Thursday, 8 March 2012

Recognize it, no matter how small...

It's a rainy day here, and I am feeling better today than I have been in the last couple of days.  Partly because I have chosen to take some of my emotions that I haven't fully dealt with, and have put them 'up on the shelf' for a little bit.  Not necessarily to gather dust, but to give myself a well needed break from feeling the emotions that sometimes make me terribly sad.  It's a constant work in progress, working with a roller coaster of emotions.  Knowing when to feel it, and when to give yourself a break from those intense feelings is the only thing I can recommend when going through chronic disease.

I went to the Endocrinologist yesterday.  The one appointment that seems to stir me up in all sorts of directions.  I got through it, and here I am. :)  As I sat in the waiting room with my 3 year old, I tried to relax. I normally would go to an appointment like this alone, but with family living across country, and not having a 'village' to help raise my child, he mostly comes with me for my appointments.  If not for these appointments, my little guy would not be here. Pregnancy and Diabetes is dedication, summed up in a word.

 This was it.  Again, the last couple of months had passed so quickly, and we waited patiently to see the doctor.  While I drew pictures of elephants and tigers, and cats and dogs for my son, thoughts ran through my head on what the magic number aka hemoglobin A1C was going to be today.  Was it going to be enough to make me feel happy?  Was it going to be enough to not get me so disappointed that my numbers would creep up again due to my feeling failure in my diabetes work?  Was it simply just going to be enough?  At that moment, I had to decide that any improvement was going to be a step in the right direction.  So that's what I did.

Once we were called in to her office, I parked my son in his stroller in the regular spot where he takes up shop while I chat with the doc.  I quickly pulled out his portable DVD player so he could occupy himself while my meeting with the doctor was underway.  Then I sat in the chair next to her desk with my big red binder.  The binder is my 'life story' of sorts.  I keep copies of every blood test, take notes of recommendations, and print outs of my reports from my insulin pump data inside -You would think I was the 'good little diabetic' with this organization  ha ha.  Well, in order to feel some sort of control with something like my body that's not so easy to control, I guess having an organized binder helps, or at least I make myself think that.  :)

It was the moment.  The anticipation was too much, so the little bit of chatter that we exchanged the first minute or two while sitting there is now a distant memory.  I asked her how my A1C was.  Knowing that my previous two A1C's were 9.3% and 9.1%, I was hoping for a good number, in the sevens. I earned it.  I worked for it. She said "7.9", and then took another breath to say something else.  I interrupted with my excitement.  I felt ecstatic.  I said "Really?  7.9?" and I smiled the biggest smile.  I felt like I had won the diabetes lottery, whatever that is! And in that very moment, I had already chosen that any small minute improvement was going to be recognized....and then she started to say how she had expected a better number and how it's still not where it should be.  I shut that conversation down, not in a rude way, but I stopped her.  I said to her, "No, I cannot do this - I need to be happy with this number.  I need to recognize this accomplishment, because this is what it is for me, an accomplishment.  I cannot have negativity enter my mind that this is not good enough.  I know what I have to do, and I am doing it.  I am doing the work, so I feel good about my results".  With that, she stopped herself, and a small smile came to her face.  Something of a silent understanding between us entered, and then she said, "Yes, you are right, you have done great work."  In that moment, I felt satisfaction.  I worked and I saw the results.  They aren't perfect, but I made it to the sevens.  And now, I will just keep going.

Numbers are one thing, but living life while trying to meet those numbers are another thing, and I feel like the doctors sometimes forget that.  I know it's their job to push for the numbers, but sometimes they need a little push back to let them know that the numbers are within a human being who needs to be recognized for the work they are putting forth, no matter how small the change.  As long as it's in the right direction is all that counts, in my opinion.

We then discussed my thyroid numbers, which have fallen in the 'normal range' for my last two tests.  I was pleased to hear this.

And then we discussed the hormone replacement therapy.  We are going to put it off for another while for now to see how it goes.  That's when the emotions came rushing in.  I asked questions about my condition, and was reminded that for me to have another child would be another miracle.  So, in order for me to get more answers, she is sending me to a fertility clinic in Toronto's Mount Sinai hospital.  I am not sure if this will give me the answers I need.  I need something....anything, to bring me to a place where I can say, okay - now it's time to put closure to this issue, and I need to heal.  I realize that I have a long road ahead of me.  Who knows, maybe it will be a forever hurt that I may never recover from.  I don't know that.  I guess this is why Life is a journey.  I just go from being okay with it, to then questioning it, so it's clear that my journey of acceptance is still ongoing.  And don't get me wrong - I am the first person to be grateful for what I have been given.  That's where my struggle is - to identify if my depths of sadness come from the fact that I cannot have another baby, or if it's mourning the loss of a choice.  A choice that I should have been able to make, not a choice that has been ripped out from under me without my permission.  It's a complex situation, and even I haven't figured it out yet.  All I know is that I wish that the public knew more about Premature Ovarian Insufficiency.  It's a condition that many women suffer from, but there is clearly not enough research on it yet.  And fertility drugs does not help in any way.  Fertility drugs like Clomid are given to drive the ovaries to push out more eggs.  With Premature Ovarian Failure, there are little or no eggs left to 'push out', so there's no point in taking the drugs.  That's why egg donors are out there.  To help people with this condition have children, if that is the avenue they choose. Each person must do what is right for them.  At this point in time of my life, I want to go to the fertility clinic to have my ovaries tested again, to just see if there is any function whatsoever.

In my experience, I had my miracle boy without any fertility measures after my diagnosis, which was a very rare occurrence - so going for a second miracle is a very slim chance.  I can only live in hope - and try to comprehend it all in the process.

In the meantime, I will live every moment, try to laugh often, and love beyond words....
Have a great day!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The place to find my peace

I find myself 'strolling' in here tonight because I feel overwhelmed.  I find it quite annoying when I step out of being present and my brain takes me on a ride with all the thoughts that run through.  I sometimes feel as though I am smothering in my own thoughts, so I need to process in a healthy manner.  Writing works for me - it always has.

I have my Endocrinologist appointment tomorrow and with that appointment, brings a lot of thoughts for me.  It's my 'wake up call' appointment, my 'reminder of how I am not perfect' appointment, my 'reality' life.  The reminder of the things I sometimes just want to forget.  But, I can't.  It's back to all the things I want to 'evict' from my body, but I have to learn to coexist with.

My thoughts go to the fact that I will have to discuss my newly diagnosed Fibromyalgia with her, then my thyroid levels, then how my latest A1C is (which brings a little anxiety as I do not want to be disappointed with my efforts) and then, I am supposed to bring the decision to the table.  One that I have put off for months now - whether I want to start Hormone Replacement therapy or not.  All the while, I am trying to accept being 'broken', not being able to have a sibling for my son.  Yes, some may call it feeling sorry for myself, but I call it my reality, and darn it, there are some days I really am just very sad about it all.  I cannot be strong all the time, and this is my place to come to release it all, hoping to get back to finding peace.  Peace within myself.   I feel as though with all the appointments I go to, each doctor I see is for a separate issue.  However, I feel like whenever I go to my Endocrinologist appointments, it's the place where I go where all my issues go to 'collide' with one another, and frankly, I find it overwhelming.  I am used to dealing with things one at a time.  It's easier to cope that way.  But to throw it all in together, and stir it up , it saddens me...for the moment.

I know I am just having a day, and I know it will get better, but these hormonal rides I go on are sometimes not so fun, and I need to release it.  All the while, whoever may stumble upon this some night while searching for living with 'Type 1 Diabetes', 'Hypothyroidism', 'Fibromyalgia', or 'Premature Ovarian Failure', you have found it all here, welcome to my world.  But if it will help you in any way, to find some sort of familiarity with my release of vulnerability, then I have helped at least one person, and have a purpose.

Onward and day at a time.
Good Night.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Leap Year! Leaps and bounds....

I thought I would take the opportunity of posting today, because, I won't get to post, on this date, for another 4 years!  Hmm, I wonder where my life will be 4 years from now?  I will look back on this post and hopefully laugh, and be proud at how far I've come.

On this date, in four years, I will have already taken my son to his first day of school.  He will be in Grade 2.  Even though there are many things a person can hope for, these are just a couple of the things I hope for that's on the top of my list, at this moment, for the next Leap year:

- I hope that we are able to give our son a sibling
- I hope that my son will be able to say, "I love you Mom"
- I hope that I am able to maintain such good control of my health, that being a person with Diabetes with 'no complications' can continue to be a part of my life.
- I hope that Life will be kind.  Who knows what 4 years may bring.
- I hope to find direction in what my passion is - photography.  I want to find out where I am supposed to be with it.
-I hope that my family and friends continue to experience good health & happiness.

Mainly, I hope that until the next Leap year, I am able to remain more present than not.  Enjoy each day as it comes, and continue to have gratefulness in my heart for whatever may come my way. To continue to Dream, Believe, Hope - and have Faith in it all. These are the things I hope for, right now, in this moment.

Right now, I am focused on today.  In four years, I can look back on this entry, and reminisce about the time gone by.  For now, I am thankful for the time I have been given.

Happy Leap Year!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Appointment burnout?

It's a beautiful morning here today.  Not too bad as we approach March.  I must say that I am grateful thus far for the weather we have had here in Canada this Winter.  It could be so much worse.

It helps to have really good weather when you must leave the house to go to appointments - and yes, lots of them.  Well, that's what it feels like lately - I schedule my life around my appointments.  Play dates for my son have to be penciled in around 'our' appointments.

My son is now 3 and still isn't talking, so he is in individualized speech therapy, one on one.  And then we have pediatrician appointments, which I might add, I am very happy that they have recently stretched his appointments to every 4 months now.  Before, it was every month.  So - I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Then, there are my appointments - Endocrinologist, Rheumatologist, Diabetes Education team...but I think it all starts in January for me every year  as it is a time of new beginnings, so to speak, but that does not take away from the fact that I do believe that from time to time, I feel a little bit of the 'appointment burnout'.  Well, if that leaves my Summer months less congested, then I am thankful.

I started seeing a new Endocrinologist in December.  I have gone through several tests, and must be thankful that she has put me through the tests, even though it isn't all that enjoyable.  I have had constant pain and stiffness for a very long time, and well, I have suffered fatigue for most of my adult life, since my teenage years.  And it was so frustrating to me, to go to every doctor who has either discounted it for my Diabetes, my Hypothyroidism or my POI being the culprit.  Easy enough to say, but I live in this body.  I know this isn't some side effect of my other issues.  Yes there are days where I feel miserable and I can see that it's a high blood sugar.  But, his has been an underlying thing for me for what feels like forever.  And frankly, I do not feel that on a 'good day' of great blood sugars, thyroid in check because of the right dosage of meds, that I should still feel a lack of motivation, live in a constant fog, and feel this way - I am too young for this!  There are so many things my brain wants to do, but my body just will not follow.

My visit to the Rheumatologist surprised me.  I went thinking to myself, "Ugh, why am I even going to this appointment?"  I felt it was just another appointment to take away from my day, take up my time, and get nowhere with the results.  I have been  doing this for so long that I felt that this was how it was going to be.

After consulting with the student doctor for well over 45 minutes, and then meeting with the head Rheumatologist, and being poked and prodded all over.  The Rheumatologist came in with a binder.  Inside the binder, as he started to flip the pages, the content looked all too familiar.  What was the content?  It explained a condition called, Fibromyalgia - also known as Chronic Pain Syndrome.

So, I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  As I told my husband - "another notch in my belt"....and I am really trying to figure out how to feel about all this.  I was surprised, yes.  Do I feel relieved yet?  No....I am grateful there is a name for what I am going through.  But, I do wish that there were some magic pill I could pop (similar to how you handle Hypothyroidism) to fix this - but there isn't.  And I think that's where I am confused as to how to feel about it all.  I mean, I have been living with this for so long now - but was hoping to 'fix it', not just name it.

And so, it leaves me here, for this moment.  Not sure how to feel.  Not sure if I am in denial or shock.  Or if I have finally come to a time where the appointments can stop for a while, and I can just rest, and be okay with living in this body.  It's the only option I have.

Monday, 23 January 2012

January - A time of New Beginnings.....


It always seems as though this time of year, with the wet, cold snow outside, that I begin to think about things from a different perspective.  I drop by sometimes to read some old posts as I find it serves as a motivator for my general overall emotional and physical health.  I suppose that having an almost 3 year old that is past the baby phase helps to have more time here as well.  One of the main things that I find I must remain conscious of is finding my balance, and keeping it.  Not saying I am successful at it - but I sure do try.  But, nothing is perfect.  Nothing ever is...that's just a part of life.  Once you are able to accept that part, then everything is great!

So, I must confess - and a warning to all that find some things just TMI (Too much information) - use the exit door now :)

This past year, I have put a lot of work into myself by working on acceptance.  It is a constant work in progress as there are always some sort of curve ball that Life will throw at you.  The fact is, I was beginning to really accept that I was, as the fertility specialist said I would, entering full blown menopause due to my premature ovarian failure.  My LMP was January 11, 2011.  I did not cycle all year.  So, I am not so sure if it was just that I was running out of hope, or if it was just blatantly clear to me that we were not meant to have another child, and I was starting to somewhat seem okay with that.

I went to see a new Endocrinologist on December 5, 2011.  I spent almost 2 hours in her office discussing all 3 of my autoimmune disorders.  I left there with the normal prescriptions, blood work requisitions, and suggestions of what to do next with things that were concerning me.  The one thing that stuck out in my mind was the fact that my doctor now wanted to discuss the option of going on Hormone Replacement Therapy.  I left there feeling, well, not sure really.  I just know that immediately I was like "no, uh uh, no way, not yet, not ME".  I just wasn't ready to admit to myself that I am now on the 'full blown menopausal train'.  I guess what I had done all year was just swept it under the rug while all other parts of life scattered over it like the first fresh snow of the year - just enough to blanket everything to a stand still, and then leave a chill in the air.

Mid December, I started to experience pain in my lower abdomen.  Weird pain, like that of contractions when you are first induced in pregnancy with gel.  The pain went on for at least 4 to 5 days when my husband said, "You should really go see the doctor about this".  Then, one of those days, I was presenting symptoms as though I was ovulating.  I thought that it just could not be.  It's been 11 months since my LMP.   But, I did say to my husband - "I think it is possible.  Should we have a baby?"  Of course, at that point, his answer was "No".  I could understand his trepidation, as I certainly wasn't ready either.  This discussion was something that had just been put up on the 'shelf' and gathered a lot of dust, as we both were beginning to just accept our life as a family of three.  And, because of my denial that it could even be possible, I scheduled a doctor appointment just to be on the safe side.  I wanted to rule out any possibility that this pain could be a kidney or bladder infection.  So, when I went to visit the doctor, she ordered a pelvic ultrasound.

The end of December came, and I was due to go get an ultrasound on my thyroid as well.  I woke up to get ready for my appointment, when lo and behold.  AF was here!  I was 12 days short of 1 year without cycling.  I have never been so delighted to have AF arrive.  It was kind of a relief, but since that, I am so confused with emotion now.

Here it is, almost a month later, and I am on the Roller Coaster again, so to speak.  Hubby and I have since had the talk.  Time is not of the essence for us.  If we want to have another child, we must do so when the opportunity presents itself again. I am going through the feelings of regret that we missed an opportunity.  I feel scared because my mind sometimes visits the 'what ifs', like What if that was the very last egg I had, and my chances are now gone.  Must I go through all the emotional work again to begin accepting us as a family of three again?  I mean, I know what I have been blessed with, but tell that to my maternal instinct.  I just feel as though I am not done, yet.  My Endocrinologist still wants me on HRT, and I know that she looks at me as some person in denial when I say to her, "No, I am not ready for Hormone Replacement yet.  I ovulated once, and my body will do it again.  I just feel as though I am not done....and with all your statistics, I will be the ONE.  The one person that will defy the odds and be that miracle person."  Most days I feel that way, but I must admit, my hopes are dwindling.  I am not experiencing any of those ovulation symptoms this month, and I know it isn't going to be easy, but I am just not ready to admit defeat.  Something tells me I am supposed to have another child.

I ask myself if I am crazy to want to go through all the health check ups again, all the physical changes that it brings with having another child, but I feel like this is my last chance.  It's this year, or it's over.  And then I look at my son, and where he is at now - and it all becomes so clear - it is worth it, to me.

So, this is my agenda.  This past month, I have been working really hard at going within to find peace in myself.  No stress. I have my thyroid now in normal range, this month.  I have had my eye check up as a base line picture just in case pregnancy occurs.  I have been working really hard at getting my blood sugars within a very good range.  I have been taking prenatal vitamins since December 20, 2011, I started taking calcium supplements, and vitamin D and extra iron.  I also started eating grapefruit again.  I ate a lot of that before getting pregnant with my son.  I know my estrogen levels are on the low side and my FSH levels are around 100, so I am eating anything with a hope of having some extra estrogen in my system without hormone replacement therapy.  I am drinking more water than I have, I have cut back my coffee by half.  You know the saying, "Fake it 'til you make it".  Well, I am getting my body ready....despite what the doctors say.  I have to do this so I can honestly say "I tried".  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I am scared, scared I will fail, again.  But, one thing I know - things happen when they are supposed to.  So, if it's not this month, next month, or next year - I just have to be okay with that.  It doesn't mean I am there at this moment, but I will get there, if I have to.  And the emotional upheaval of taking this topic back off the shelf and dusting it off throws me into feelings I haven't had to address for a while now.  I really hope that it will be worth it.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Eye See!

Although I am sporadic these days with my visits - I really want to be back here, blogging away.  My work schedule has changed, therefore, affording me a little more time to keep up on things.

It's nap time here for my boy, so I thought I would pop in and give a quick update about today.

I am off to the eye doctor.  Yet, another unscheduled visit for me.  For the last 6 weeks or so, I have this little dot 'following' me around.  It's in my right eye. Well, it's like a dot with a line attached to it.   It's there when I read, when I drive, and if I really pay attention to it, you can find me crossing my eyes chasing it around!

So, I mentioned it to my Endocrinologist on my most recent appointment.  She suggested going to get it checked out to be on the safe side.  Am I nervous?  Heck, yeah.  But, I have to stay on top of this stuff.  The not knowing would kill me more, I suppose.  While I was pregnant, I did suffer some slight hemorrhaging in the back of my eye due to the extra blood supply in my body, but that later healed itself.  So, we will have to see what today will bring.

In the meantime, it's onward with the Diabetes Management.  My latest HbA1C is back up from that 7.7% mark to 8.2% once again.  Disappointing yes, but I have stopped beating myself up over that one.  The blood work was taken just days after Christmas holidays.  What did I expect? ha ha

Well, I am off to get ready.  I am hoping and praying it's nothing.  But if it is, I guess I will just have to deal with it.

Keeping my chin up, one day at a time!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve and sweet treats!

I know, I's been over a month since I was here last!

I really need to get my butt in gear and make more time for writing.  This past month has been crazy.  We've been getting ready for Christmas around here.  And now, it is upon us!  Most of the shopping is done, but not one item is wrapped yet!  So, I think know that's how we are spending our Christmas Eve.  We are going to set up our long 'party table' and make that our gift wrapping station for tonight.

So, health wise, I've been feeling good these last 4 to 5 weeks that I haven't been around.  With the exception of a few small things.  I have this one little black dot that's been visiting me daily in my right eye.  I can usually tolerate it, but sometimes it can be a little annoying, especially when reading as I feel it's chasing every sentence I am frequenting.   I will have to get it looked at in the New Year.  I know it can't be anything too serious.  I had my last eye appointment in the end of August, and everything was looking good.

This morning when I woke up, as I walked down the stairs, there was a numb kind of dead feeling in the front of my right leg.  I am suspecting it's a circulation issue.  I tend to cross my legs a lot, and I know I must stop.  It's the same leg that I always have crossed, and it's in the area of where it rests on the top of my other leg.  So, I can account for the possible cause of it.

We hosted my Hubby's work party last weekend.  Well, his team - not the whole company! :)  I spent my week leading up to it baking my heart out!  And, not healthy treats, I might add.  So, to counteract the little bit of guilt I am feeling (uncrossing my legs, again! You really don't know how difficult this is until you try it!) I did try a healthy version of muffins, and they are delicious.  As I said in an earlier post about the coconut palm sugar, I finally tried it, and I must say, changing up the sugar really made a difference.  None of this 60 grams of carbohydrate nonsense for one muffin.  I had to guess at the carbohydrates on this one, but I must say that my sugars did very well when entering only about 20 grams or less of carbohydrate per muffin.  (*Note:  this amount of carbs worked for me - do not substitute my judgment for your own - I don't want to see episodes of Hypoglycemia out there!*)Amazing, isn't it?  And there were no blood sugar spikes!  So, I am liking this coconut palm sugar, and see more baking with it in my near future.  Keep in mind that there is a high fiber count in this recipe, and with carbohydrate counting, fiber doesn't count!

Here is a sort of healthy alternative to muffins, with a hint of chocolate, of course!  Thanks Jen, for the recipe.

Orange Bran Flax Muffins

1-1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup flax seed (measure first, then grind)
1 cup natural bran
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 whole oranges (washed, quartered, seeded- and yes, this includes the peel)
1 cup brown sugar (this is where I substituted with 1 cup coconut palm sugar)
1 cup buttermilk (if you do not have this readily available, use 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp vinegar mixed in)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)

Combine oat bran, flour, flax seed, bran, baking powder, and salt.  Set. aside.

In a blender/food processor, combine oranges, brown sugar, coconut palm sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs & soda.  Blend well.

Pour OJ mix into dry ingredients.  Mix until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Makes 18 muffins.  Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes (I always bake for 25 minutes)  Ovens may vary.

So, there you have it.  A little sweet treat if you are looking for something without the guilt inserted! :)  Great especially if you are an orange/chocolate flavor freak! :)

Well, this gal better run - just thought I would drop by to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate.  Wishing you all the best....hmm, could this be my last post of 2010?  We will have to wait and see.

1 more sleep until Santa!  So excited.....