Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Weight Watchers and Diabetes

Most of you who know me in real life know that I've had diabetes since I was a kid. This is something I rarely write about, but it has been a major source of frustration for me this week. I decided to share what I've been dealing with in hopes of helping others who are dealing with something similar & maybe get some advice.

On Monday, there was only one thing that I *had* to get done. I needed to take Eva to see her pediatrician, which meant toting Samuel along. Sounds simple enough, but I got up with my blood sugar low & battled it all day long. Getting the kids to and from that doctor's appointment was about all I got done. I felt awful all day. I had a super bad headache. I went back to bed after I got the kids down for their afternoon nap. I'm still following Weight Watchers, so I didn't want to just eat a bunch of carbs. Usually I can treat low blood sugar with a banana or two & it's fine. That just didn't work on Monday. I think I had a banana, cereal, chocolate, ice cream, yogurt, oranges, apples, grapes, and I don't know what else before I went to bed Monday night. I didn't enjoy having to eat it. After that carb feast I would have expected my blood sugar to be pretty high the next morning. But no, it wasn't even 90. Ugh. That tells me that it is time to reduce my insulin dose. (Normal fasting blood sugar range is 80-120)

I've had to make reductions in my dose as I've lost weight, and it always takes a few days to figure out how much insulin I need to take to keep my blood sugar within a normal range. And it is frustrating. It means checking my blood sugar more often than usual & making sure I have snacks stashed everywhere. I try to keep granola bars in the diaper bag, the console of my car, the saddle bag on my bike, both of my purses, my camera bag, and my nightstand. I don't like eating when I'm not hungry, but I simply don't have a choice when my blood sugar is low.  My doctor has asked me to come in for lab work every three months since I've been on Weight Watchers and making adjustments to my insulin, and I go faithfully. We've agreed on what my goal weight should be, and I'm almost there. I've been *almost there* since Christmas, which is another point of frustration. I'm running out of clothes that are not too big for me, but I don't want to buy anything else until I get these last 8 pounds off. I'm down to two pairs of jeans that fit OK, no dress pants, 4 bras, 3 skirts, and well, even my shoes are loose. I've bought some things for the springtime that fit, but since it looks like winter is never going to end here in St. Louis, I don't know when I'll be able to wear them. It was 10 F, when I got up this morning.

One thing that I love about Weight Watchers is that fresh fruit is zero points, so I don't have to count it when I have to eat a banana to treat low blood sugar. This is what has made the program sustainable for me. Getting past the hurdle of a dose reduction just makes for a few rough days. Hopefully, this is the last dose adjustment that I will have to make.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hanging up my White Coat

At least for a little while that is.  Today was my last day at work. I had been working full time, dealing with a rather grueling schedule. My hours were usually something like 2 AM to 10 AM, and I had a broken sleep pattern. I felt like a zombie most of the time, and it was rough on the four of us.  We tried to streamline things as much as we could. We bowed out of extra activities at church & hired a house cleaning service, but it still left us precariously juggling our time. I missed the kids, and I felt consumed. I have worked with, trained, and taught a lot of pharmacy students over the years, and I always tell them to reconsider a job if the paycheck is the only thing that they find rewarding about it. I was beginning to hear my own advice ring in my ears, so I gave my notice in early January and agreed to stay on part time until my replacement was hired. My replacement started on Monday. She's a single mom of two who needs the jobs worse than I do. I am not envious of her position.

If I decide to look for another job, I'm not going to try to find one until after Eva's birthday, which is in about 2 months.  I worked a little for the local college of pharmacy during the fall semester, and I've been invited back to teach the same lab in the fall this year. I'll probably do that again.

I'm thankful that this is a choice that I have the freedom to make, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was a little nervous about staying home with the kids. It's hard work, and it's unpredictable. I am looking forward to seeing the kids more, and I'm relieved to be able to spend the nights in my own house instead of at the pharmacy. The kids will be little only once. I won't ever get a "do-over" of Samuel's toddlerhood because I was too consumed with work to soak in his two-year-old-ness. Work can wait. I get one shot at serving my kids well as they grow up. I've already had a lot of years to serve my patients well, and those opportunities will still be there when my kids are not. I've had a lot of patients who left an endearing imprint in my memory, but the best week of my career was spent serving in Haiti. I didn't get paid anything for that work, but it fed my heart in a way that my regular job did not. I hope I can say the same things about staying home with my kids that I say about Haiti - It was hard, emotional work that I had the honor of doing, and I got to witness Jesus do some amazing things in the hearts of people He created.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Photo by Donna Harris
Happy Valentine's Day to my dear James. I'm so thankful for you and everything that you do for our family.  This past year, it has warmed my heart watching you be a daddy to a little girl.  I love watching you play with both our kids, and it's been fun seeing you dote on your little girl.
I'm thankful for the things that you teach Samuel.  I think you've had more success showing him how to operate his "motorcycle" than I've had. 

I've really enjoyed our cycling dates. Sometimes they include dinner, sometimes not, but they are always fun. 

You are a blessing to the three of us!
Photo by Anitra K Photography

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Samuel's Second Birthday

 We celebrated Samuel's 2nd birthday last Saturday. We had his party in James' hometown, and we got to see all of our family in the area.  He has become fascinated with trains, so that was the theme of the party.

 A big thank you to one of Louisiana's finest for making this little fella pretty happy. A state trouper let us take photos of Samuel with a caboose that he owned.

James' Uncle and Dad got this train set up for the party. It was the highlight of the party for Samuel. Thank you for sharing it with us!
 The cake came from Linda's Specialty Cakes. It was delicious, and it was
way cheaper than his first birthday cake.  One of the benefits of a small town, I guess. James' parents took care of the party planning, which was a huge help to me.  Thank you! We had the party at the activity building of the church James grew up in. We've had several family celebrations in that building.
Samuel, you are a joy to us!  It is so much watching you learn how to do new things and seeing you grow. We are so thankful for you.