Wednesday, April 1, 2015

30 day diabetic challenge.

First off, wow.
Thank you to those of you who read my little blog.
I haven't blogged in what feels like forever, yet there are people out there who keep reading it. (Or at least people who click on my blog and therefore BlogSpot counts it as a view). That is really exciting.
BlogSpot tells me I have audience from the United States, Canada, Egypt, Australia, France and Poland to name a few. I think people stumble across my blog because they are looking for help, for answers, and for shared experiences from fellow diabetics.  I hope I have been of some help to you.
That has inspired me to really get back to this. Diabetes is a hard disease to live with, but its easier with help.

So a little update.  Actually not much to update. But I do have an appointment scheduled with my diabetic nurse in approximately one month.  My goal is to do a 180 with my health by then.  I need to get serious about my blood sugars, about my weight, what I eat, how much I sleep, exercise, etc etc. I want to go to my appointment in a month and impress the socks off of my nurse. (not really, please keep your shoes and socks on...gross). I want my A1C to be the best its ever been. And additionally, I'd like to get my body as healthy as possible so I can have a baby.

Dear God, did I actually put that out in the universe?!
Yes I'm (cough, cough) 32 and I think I'm finally ready to be a (cough cough) parent. If you can't tell, that idea still kind of freaks me out.
(Also I swear that's not an April Fools Joke...)

So who is with me? Who wants to become more healthy as a diabetic but also as a person? (Diabetics are people too!) Who wants to do a 30 day diabetic challenge? (These are really things we need to be doing for the rest of our lives, not just 30 days, but hey, baby steps)

Here it is! For the next 30 days...starting today (or today being whenever you may read this), I challenge you to...
1. Test your blood sugar every morning after you wake up. (My blood sugar goal is 90-140)
2. Test your blood sugar before eating (that includes before mindless snacking...better yet, don't mindless snack)
3. Test your blood sugar 90-120 minutes after eating.
4. Test your blood sugar before going to bed at night.
**If you have a different plan for blood testing prescribed by your doctor, than follow that plan as your challenge**
5.  Drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning, 8oz-16oz.
6. EAT a healthy breakfast in the morning, something with fiber and protein.
7. DO NOT drink any Soda, sports drinks, or energy drinks (UNLESS necessary to correct a low)
8. At least 30 minutes of movement in your day. (Example walking around your neighborhood.) This can be done in 3 10minute increments if need be, just make sure to get it done.
9. Record and log what you do. This is not only for your accountability but also so you can refer back to good and bad days to figure out what made it a good or bad day.  Plus at the end of thirty days, other than feeling great, and maybe looking great, you'll have something you can see as record of your success. Because no matter what, at the end of the thirty days, if you've stuck with this, that is a success.
10. Eat at home MORE. And I'm not talking about fast food or restaurant food taken home. Cook more of your food and eat it at home. This is just healthier, plan and simple. I'm not saying don't go out to eat (yeah right), but make a conscience decision to eat more at home.
11. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. For me, this means going to bed around 9 or 10pm and waking up around 5 or 6am.
12. Take your vitamins. Talk to your doctor (if you haven't already) about what supplements you made need.

There you have it. Feel free to comment about your experience with this challenge.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Diabetes and Trigger Finger

I am continuing to learn about the many complications that can be caused by diabetes. My most recent discovery, Trigger Finger.

In my case, specifically my thumb. Although I've had a few scares with my middle finger.

So what is trigger finger? Well according to the Mayo Clinic, trigger finger is caused by a narrowing of the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. Specifically if the tenosynovium, or the protective sheath that surrounds the tendon becomes inflamed frequently or for long periods, the space within the tendon sheath can become narrow and constricting. The tendon then will not be able to glide through the sheath easily and may catch the finger in a position before popping straight. With each catch, the tendon itself becomes more irritated and inflamed. And ultimately, your finger can get caught in a bent or extended position.

Lucky for me, my thumb stuck in the straight position. So what can you do to avoid trigger finger?
Well you are already at a greater risk of developing a trigger finger if you have any of the following conditions; rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, amyloidosis, and certain infections such as tuberculosis. Diabetes is always on the risk factor list, right?! Oh, and trigger fingers are more common in women...nice. I'm still trying to figure out just what I can do to avoid trigger finger (especially since I feel I have another one coming). Because diabetes is a risk factor, I've been told better diabetic care. Get my numbers better, a better A1C, healthy diet and exercise. Oh well if that's all...

What are the treatments for trigger finger? Well it depends on the severity, but some of the treatments are;
--Finger exercises
--Avoiding repetitive gripping
--Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin) may relieve swelling.
--A steroid injection to the area. HOWEVER, this may not be as effective in people with other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
--Percutaneous trigger finger release. Performed with local anesthesia, doctors use a needle to release the locked finger. This procedure is most effective for the index, middle and ring finger.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Acanthosis Nigricans AKA crappy diabetic skin

I went to the doctor yesterday because I haven't been feeling well. Of course she ordered blood work and believe it or not I just marched myself down to the lab and had it done. All by myself.
This is actually a huge accomplishment for me. I am terrified of needles. I put off getting my blood drawn like some people put off a root canal or doing their taxes. Usually I drag my mom with me. I honestly think I take her with me to make sure I don't flake out, oh and then we usually get breakfast afterwards.

But yesterday my mom wasn't with me. I was all by my lonesome. Well I am an adult and I decided, I can do this. (Never too late to grow up right...I say this yet I am very grown up, I have a husband, a career and two dogs....) And you know what, it was literally the easiest blood draw I've ever experienced. It didn't hurt at all, and it fact I barely felt it. The woman was amazing. Will I continue to do blood draws on my own?  :)  No, if she's free, I'll still drag my mom with me, because then we can go get breakfast afterwards.

The point of this story though is to tell you about my doctor's appointment. Literally everything I complained about my doctor told me was text book examples of poor diabetes control. To name one of my issues...

Acanthosis nigricans

Women's neck with Acanthosis Nigricans
(this is not my neck, but this is an
accurate photo of the condition)
I read on line that the majority of cases of acanthosis nigricans are associated with obesity and is likely because of insulin resistance, and more likely to occur in darker-skinned persons. I find this interesting because yes I have diabetes, but I wouldn't consider myself obese, but this is a reality check because according to my BMI I am obese. Another interesting thing I am not a darker skinned person, in fact I'm one of the palest people you'll meet.
My doctor said there is not direct cure or treatment for this condition however it is reversible after years of good diabetic control. Which is in line with what I read on line, that obesity related acanthosis nigricans will improve with weight loss and controlling blood glucose levels through exercise and diet often improves symptoms.
I have had this skin condition for a few years now. I actually thought for a while it was caused by my necklace, that it must have been poor quality metal. I gave up wearing my necklace for months, but of course it never cleared up. My doctor did proscribe me prescription strength lightening cream but because its a cosmetic prescription I couldn't front the $96 bill for it. (Its Christmas time, I'm beyond broke right now). But there are several makeup companies that sell lightening cream. The difference, over the counter brands contain 2% of the whitening chemical compounds, while prescription creams contain 4%. I think for now I'll try the 2% and see if it helps, in fact, Mary Kay just released a dark spot reducer product for $40.
I'll give this a try and let you know how it works. It won't make my skin perfect I know. But if it could make the skin discoloration a little less noticeable, I'd really appreciate it. It would be nice to wear an updo with my hair again.
Does anyone else have this problem? What do you do to treat it? I guess as a woman I have it a little better. I can cover my neck with my hair. Well know you aren't alone, and its not your fault (unless it is, because like me your blood sugars aren't under control) but at least you know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Get your diabetes in check and this may go away.