Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Night Videos: Christmas Past

For those of us in the Chicago area, no Christmas would be complete without the local kids' show airing these little clips. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Hardrock, Coco, and Joe

Suzy Snowflake

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Heart-y Matters

After fighting an uphill battle for nearly 14 years, my primary care doctor and I have given up. We've been trying unsuccessfully to increase my low HDL number. She called in the reinforcements after my September reading yielded an all-time low of 23. (Normal for women is 40 and above.) I'm on a statin now and have been on several different medications in the past...all to no avail. So yesterday I went to a cardiologist for the first time, to see what else can be done. We in the OC are a special tribe when it comes to the ol' ticker, of course. But my mom died of a heart attack at age 55, so I'm in the real 'red flag' category.

The good news? My heart is healthy and happy, despite the HDL issue, and my blood pressure is in normal range. (My LDL and other numbers have always been fine.) To my surprise, though, the doctor patted me on the shoulder and complimented me on being in such good control of my diabetes. I felt weirdly proud and oddly emotional. Sometimes you just need to hear that, I guess, especially from the medical profession. The only thing he suggested I consider in the near term is more exercise (of course) and losing what weight I can (of course, although I'm not too far off). I will also have a more sensitive cholesterol test done soon to see if my statin should be switched.

The eh? news...the ACE inhibitor issue came up. Again. I have never had proteinuria, touch wood, but twice in the last year my PCP has mentioned starting me on one. Apparently it protects the kidneys of PWDs so they'd rather we start sooner than later. Hmmm. We'll see, the cardio doc backed off a little and said he'd be willing to wait on that one.

While waiting, I was thinking about Lee Ann's recent post. The heart is the center of the body, of course, but isn't it (not) funny how it becomes the center of a PWD's thoughts? When I was a kid I simply never worried about my heart. I'd been a fit, healthy, active child, more tomboy than girly-girl. As a teen, and for several years after diagnosis, I rode my trusty 10-speed everywhere, never thinking about the great workout I was was simply my way to explore and get around. But then the stress began with adulthood...and I noticed every twinge and pain in my chest, and even had an EKG or two. But always as a precaution. No one ever mentioned autonomic neuropathy, although it must have been something in the back of their minds. (For years when I lived alone, Mom expected a call from me first thing every morning--did she know about 'dead in bed' syndrome, or was it just normal parent-of-a-type-1 worry?)
When my mom passed away, doctors were quick to point out all her risk factors to me and stress how different I was from her. They reassured me I would likely not share her fate. But do they worry? The cardiologist said yes, of course, and that's why you're on a statin with aggressive management. That's why my doctor was so quick to refer me to a specialist.
Do I worry?
Long ago I started to try turning negatives into positive energy in my life. So, instead of worrying about what could happen, I decided to enjoy every moment. To express love instead of waiting for "some other time". And, hardest of all, to try forgiveness and patience when I might be quick to anger. It all sounds like greeting card schmaltz, I know, but if you really try it works. It's the constant trial that wears on you.
So I will, as always, do as the doctor says. (He noted that diabetics are his most compliant patients.) Hopefully my HDL number will improve. And hopefully, I will defy the odds.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some Days...

Some days I feel so old. My husband and I moved over the weekend, and even though we hired movers we're both still torn down by the effort. The whole experience was draining, even though we love our new home. Mentally and physically, we're just exhausted.

And, some days, I just want to stage a diabetes sit-in. A break from it all. A day without worry. The testing, the constant flow of numbers, the shots, the checkups, the wears on you. But you do it. After all, what choice is there?

Some days, this is my theme song. It wasn't written about diabetes, but when I'm having one of those days, this is playing in my head. Today is one of them. So here's to all those out in the OC doing our best to hang in there--and to better days ahead.

Does it ever end, tell me?

Does it ever change color?

Does it ever start feeling better while the rains keep reminding me

Does it ever heal, show me

Will it ever rise higher than all the secret pain hurting everything

I only want to know love

Break the chain

Break the chain

Can I draw the moon sleeping

Can I paint the sky speaking

All the slient words louder, louder still, free the universe

Break the chain

Break the chain

I only want to know love

When I lose my way, find me

When I am afraid, soothe me

When I cut I bleed, touch me

Truth is everything I believe in

Break the chain

Break the chain

I can run wild raise my arms reaching for the open sky

I belong here where the light is strong

I will lay my body down, imagine all the flowers again

Corey Hart, 1998

Monday, December 1, 2008

Food Meme-a-thon

Since my brain is in Monday mode, here's my contribution to the latest OC meme. Enjoy! :-)

1. Can you cook? If yes, do you like to cook?

Yes, and yes. Especially with my husband.

2. When do you eat with your whole family?

My 'whole family' 98% of the time is DH, and we always eat dinner together. I grew up with the family around the dinner table every night, believe it or not, never knowing how rare that is (!).

3. What do you eat for breakfast?

I try to have a breakfast bar at my desk during the week. On the weekends, I generally have a little cheese or half a muffin. My insulin-to-carb ratio is awful in the AM so it's very tricky. Sometimes I don't eat until lunch. (I have trouble with dawn phenomenon from time to time...)

4. When, where and how do you eat on weekdays?

In the AM, it's a breakfast bar at my desk and I usually stay in for lunch. I try to eat yogurt and fruit no matter what; the main course is usually pasta & chicken or a sandwich. Sometimes I drop in the afternoon, so I'll have another breakfast bar around 3-4PM before driving home. In the evening we've fallen into a bad habit of eating out for dinner (see #5). I'll make popcorn or eat a cookie/cheese stick at night before bed, to avoid nighttime lows. Generally I try to consume the majority of my calories at lunchtime.

5. How often do you eat out (in a restaurant)?

Too often...almost every night! DH is low-carbing, though, so we choose more healthy foods than not (lots of salads).

6. How often do you order delivery/take-out?

Rarely--last time was pizza for a party over a year ago.

7. Regarding no. 5 and 6: Say there weren’t financial reasons would you do this more often?

Actually, for us it's the time & not the money. By the time we're both home from work it's so late, we're too tired & hungry to start cooking a meal. When I worked part-time, I would cook dinner for us most nights of the week.

8. Are there any “standard dishes” you serve regularly?

We tend to try lots of ethnic dishes, and keep going back to some favorites (like chicken curry & fish in chili bean sauce). Otherwise, we're fond of your typical meat & vegetable combo.

9. Have you ever cooked for more than 6 persons?

No...eek! DH has, but it was on the grill so I deduct points for difficulty ;-)

10. Do you cook every day?

No, though in the past I did.

11. Have you ever tried recipes from blogs?

Yes, on & off the DOC. We really like Kerri's seriously zippy white bean salad!

12. Who cooks more frequently at your home?


13. And who cooks better?

DH, hands down. But I'm neater :-)

14. Do you cook totally different compared to your mother/parents?

Yes, and no. I've inherited my mom's methods but like to try new ingredients/spices she'd have never touched. The best of both worlds, I guess ;-)

15. If yes, do you nevertheless eat at your parents?

Yes, but ever since my mom died it's been totally different, of course. My dad can boil soup and make a sandwich, and that's about it.

16. Are you a vegetarian or could you imagine being one?

No, and God no :-)

17. What would you like to cook which you haven’t dared to make yet?

It would be really nice to make an entire meal for all my family. We don't have a lot of space so it's difficult to manage.

18. Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Equally fun, though I can eat less of the latter.

19. What is your greatest misery in the kitchen?

Not enough room...and no dishwasher!

20. What do you dislike?

I can't really handle weird, rubbery textured things (i.e. calamari, squid, etc.). Licorice flavor is also bleh. Other than that I'm not too picky :-)