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focus

I was down 3.6 pounds this week, which was nice to see after no loss two weeks ago and a one pound gain last week.

I’ve lost 16.2 pounds so far this year. Four pounds a month. That’s good, I know, but often I feel a little impatient and discontented with that.

This week, if I begin to feel irritable about losing slowly, I will make an effort to focus on being happy for the loss and not unhappy that I’ve not lost two or three pounds each week. I know that the key to building new habits is a healthier lifestyle and that results in slow and steady loss. I want lasting health and new habits, not a quick loss that turns into a bigger gain after a short time. This will be my focus. 🙂

braces

Yesterday, B. had the spacer removed that has been hanging out in the roof of her mouth for several months.  She also got more braces on her top teeth.  Now each top tooth has something attached to it.

She’s thrilled to have the spacer gone, but not so happy about the additional brackets being added.

The orthodontist said that when her top teeth catch up with her bottom teeth, it will be time to add bottom braces. She’s right on track with is plan for her teeth, so all is well.  I’m still just so thankful that she won’t need to have surgery to shorten her lower jawbone, like he had originally thought when he consulted with our family dentist.

another sticker!

This morning at Weight Watchers, I weighed 1.6 pounds less than last time (two weeks ago). That brings my total weight loss since Jan. 2, 2009 to 15.2 pounds.

That also means that I got another 5 pound sticker at the meeting. WHEE! I feel really silly for being so excited about a little yellow star with a 5 in the middle of it. But seriously, it’s a great feeling!

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When I get to work on Monday, I’ll add two more paperclips to the chain of paperclips I have hanging near my desk to represent the weight I’ve lost. One paperclip for each pound. When I feel tempted, I find myself looking at the paperclip chain and trying to make healthier choices. It’s funny how small visual reminders can help me stay on track.

visit with the endocrinologist

Day 62

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This photo was taken this morning at the clinic where J sees her endocrinologist. Since December of 2006, I have been in this clinic many, many times.  I have wondered why those two parts of the ceiling that are hanging down have leaves stenciled on them and no other parts of the ceiling do. I thought they must have started stenciling leaves, then got busy and didn’t ever finish. Today, I realized that the pillar thing in the middle of the room that’s painted brown was supposed to represent a tree trunk and those stencils are supposed to be leaves. Leaves on the tree. Duh.

I’m not sure why I didn’t “see” it before today.

So, this morning was J’s appointment with her endocrinologist. She’s got appointments every 30 days for the next 90 days because her A1C was not very good last month at her quarterly visit.

Today’s visit was so much better than last month’s visit. J had her log book filled out, had her blood sugar meter, had better readings, and had been doing the things Dr. K had asked her to do.

I’m really happy that Dr. K is J’s doctor.  The thing I love most about Dr. K is that she visits with J, not with me. She talks with her on her level, explains things, only asks me questions if J says that I know the answer.

J likes Dr. K a lot and relates well to her.  She left the visit beaming.  She is proud of herself for making improvements and for working hard to reach her goal.  This month, her goal is to continue to do the same things (checking her blood sugar at least 3 times each day, logging her blood sugar readings and bolusing -giving herself insulin- each time she eats).  I’m proud of her for working so hard and for having such great determination.  She definitely has strength of character.  It’s one of the things about her that I like most.

Also, we got her paperwork for diabetes camp this summer completed.  Dr. K filled out the part that the physician has to complete and I’ll fax it this week to secure J’s spot.

end of week four

kitchen-scales-photo-by-sciondriver

Photo by Sciondriver

Last week, I gained 2.8. I was not happy. At. All.
So, I changed a few things (exercised more, journaled each bite on paper instead of only tracking with weight watchers mobile) and hoped for better results.

This week, I lost 4 pounds. That’s more like it!

Total to date = 8.8 pounds gone. 🙂

emotions and food

food-by-gaetan-lee
photo by Gaetan Lee

At Weight Watchers on Saturday, we talked about the emotions behind overeating.  This is a biggie for me (pun intended).  For years, I’ve eaten after the kids went to bed when I finally had a few minutes of peace, almost as a reward for getting through the day.  I’ve eaten when I was upset with my ex-husband, the kids, about work or money, whatever.  I’ve eaten when there was something to celebrate.  I have eaten to cover almost every emotion I’ve had.

The past few weeks, I’ve been tracking my hunger signals and learning which foods keep me satisfied longer than others.  Now I’ll also be thinking and working through the emotional reasons behind my food cravings.

Quote of the week:

If it’s not hunger, food is not the answer.

This is what I do now.

(day 12)

What do I do now, you ask?

See that 2 points per serving that’s handwritten on the box?

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Each time I figure out how many points are in a serving of food (that we have purchased and brought home – I do not do this in stores), I write it on the package. That way I only have to figure it out once. When I don’t write it on the package, thinking that I’ll remember how many points to count if I eat 18 All-Bran crackers (one serving), I’m sure to forget.

My kids love seeing points per serving written on the tops of cans, lids of salad dressing, and free spaces on labels and sides of packages.

Just kidding!
Really, they roll their eyes and sigh at me.

Week One

kitchen-scales-photo-by-sciondriver

Photo by Sciondriver

Today’s weigh-in was a good one!  4.8 pounds gone.

Woo hoo!  🙂

fizzy drink

Day 5

Seriously, this was the best part of my day.

It was completely worth writing down 3 points in my food journal.  I’d gladly go an extra 15 minutes on the stair stepper if I had no points left for the day to be able to have one of these once in a while.

Last night, I went to bed with a headache.  This morning, I woke up with a headache.  I took headache medicine twice today.  By afternoon, I was nauseated with wobbly eyes and between  the flourescent lights and computer screen I was feeling worse by the minute.  I left work a little early, drove the back roads in case I had to pull over, came home, laid down in my room with the shades pulled and the fan on for a bit and then had a Dr Pepper.  The kids helped (did most of) with dinner preparation and now that we’ve had eaten and the kitchen is clean, I’m feeling even better.  I plan to go to bed in about half an hour (8:30pm CST) and sleep it off.

I’m so thankful that I don’t get headaches often.  They really are awful.

New year. New beginning.

Day 3

This morning, I learned about lots of recent changes in the WW program.  The changes make a lot of sense.  I am excited about what this year (and my commitment) will bring.

Fun times at Sugarmont High

A better title for this post might be No Sleep (so no nightmares)  on Elm Street or Lifestyles of the High and Sugary.

If I lived in a different place, I could make the title similar to a movie about someone who doesn’t sleep well in the northwestern part of America.  The title could be Drowsy in Denver or Insomnia in IllinoisYawning in Yakima. If I lived by my youngest sister, I could name this post Weary near Waxahachie High in Hawaii would be a fun title, but who knows what kind of readers would come by looking for news of a high that does not involve sugar in the blood.

OK.  Enough of that.  Obviously, I’m Goofy in Grapevine from a lack of sleep, as I am cracking myself up with titles that are probably not funny at all if you’re the slightest bit Rested in Richmond.

Yesterday, I woke up to find a huge pitcher of water with straws in it on the kitchen table.  This is a sure sign that J. has been up during the night drinking water because her blood sugar was high.  She didn’t wake me, probably thinking she could drink water, bolus and be fine by morning.  Well, she thought wrong.

When she checked her blood sugar around seven o’clock, it was 578 and she had large ketones. I thought it had to do with the nine peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s Kisses that she ate when she was up in the wee hours of the morning, but now I’m not sure that was the whole reason.  Normally, when she eats and doesn’t bolus, we can bring her blood sugar down to normal range fairly quickly.

Since yesterday morning, some of her blood sugar readings have been:  HI, 494, 436, 511, 389, 305, 283.  She’s checked her blood sugar every 2 hours, we’ve corrected with injections, we’ve increased her basal rate and she’s checked for ketones about 8 times. She’s forced down liters of water and Diet Sprite, but didn’t have an appetite until around ten o’clock  last night.

She vomited and had a fever yesterday afternoon/evening.  This morning she was finally below 300. Through the night when I came in every two hours with the lancing device (is that what the pricker is officially called?) and blood sugar meter, she’d dutifully roll over and prick her finger.  We should probably be glad that we weren’t in Forks sleeping over with the Cullens  with all the pricking she was doing yesterday and through the night. Their self control would likely have been wearing thin by the time this morning rolled around.  What?  They’re fictional characters? Quit raining on my parade and play nice.

During the night, I scooped her blood onto the test strip and gave injections in whichever arm she left out of the blanket for me.  That way she could roll over and get back to sleep more quickly.

We’ve found that she comes down faster (usually) with injections rather than a bolus.  I’m not sure why that is so.  It was not the case these past 24 hours, but seems to finally be working now.  We shall see how the rest of the day pans out.

This is the first fever she’s had since she was diagnosed in December 2006.  I had to get out our manual from the diabetes team at Children’s Hospital to make sure I knew what to do.   Good news.  I did.  🙂

laughter yoga

Yesterday at the Farmers Market, Chrissie and I saw a little circle of people over to the side of the building taking deep breaths, making faces at each other and laughing. As we stood in line to buy some veggies (tomatoes, okra, eggplant, squash and cucumbers), we saw that other people in line were noticing and asking about those laughing people too. The stand owner and her daughter said that they thought the laughers were called THE LAUGH SQUAD or something like that. They weren’t sure why they were over there laughing, but thought it might be to bring smiles to market patrons.

As we were walking away, Chrissie and I saw a sign that said LAUGHTER YOGA and had an arrow pointing in their direction over there under the trees. I was a little skeptical, having not ever heard of laughter yoga until that moment.

Guess what? It really does exist! It’s not some made-up thing that a bunch of weird Oklahomans were doing at the Farmers Market to entertain the masses. It’s an actual form of exercise. Even Oprah agrees (scroll to the bottom of the linked page to see a quote from Oprah about laughter yoga).

Since I like laughing and all (see the name of my blog), I’m thinking this might be the perfect form of exercise for me to explore. 🙂

one year

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my hysterectomy.  This past year I’ve felt so much better that the severe pain and complete misery for days on end are distant memories.   It was the perfect choice for me and I’m so glad I did it when it was suggested by my gynecologist.

one year already!

Youngest daughter has been using her insulin pump since March 15, 2007.  It’s really made life easier than it could have been.

I’m thankful that we live in this century with all the medical advances that have been made and are being made (see article from ScienceDaily below).

cure for type I diabetes on the horizon?

Look at this!

Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have initiated a phase 1 clinical trial to reverse type 1 diabetes. The trial is exploring whether the promising results from the laboratory of Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, can be applied in human diabetes. Faustman’s previous studies have shown that mice with a form of diabetes that closely resembles type 1 diabetes in humans can be cured.

In the animal studies, a commonly used vaccine that provides protection against tuberculosis, called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) was used effectively to deplete the abnormal immune cells that attack and destroy the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. The first step in the human study, which is currently enrolling volunteers, is to determine whether the same strategy using BCG vaccination can be used to modify the abnormal autoimmune cells that are present in type 1 diabetes, sometimes called “juvenile-onset” diabetes.

“We are pleased to be starting human clinical trials,” said Faustman. “Human trials take time, but we are making the step from curing diabetes in mice to determining whether it will work in men and women with diabetes.”

Type 1 diabetes usually starts during childhood or adolescence and can cause a variety of severe complications including kidney failure, loss of vision, amputations, heart disease, and strokes. It occurs when a person’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. In the absence of insulin, which is necessary for sugar and other nutrients to enter cells, blood sugar levels rise. The risk for developing complications is closely linked to the elevated blood sugar levels over time. If blood sugar levels are well controlled, the long-term complications can largely be avoided.

However, the so-called intensive therapy that is required to maintain near-normal sugar levels requires life-long demands on the patient, including frequent blood sugar monitoring and at least 3 daily injections of insulin or use of an insulin pump, along with restrictive diets. Insulin doses must be adjusted based on blood sugar levels, dietary factors, and anticipated exercise. Thus, a cure for diabetes has been highly sought after and has attracted much research interest.

The clinical trial is using the BCG vaccine for several reasons. BCG has been used safely for nearly 80 years as a tuberculosis vaccine. It is now being used in the human trial because it causes a low-grade inflammatory reaction, which in the mouse model of autoimmune diabetes lead to the destruction of the abnormal autoimmune cells.

David M. Nathan, MD, director of the MGH Diabetes Center, who is leading the human study at MGH, provides context, “This is the very first step in what is likely to be a long process in achieving a cure. We first need to determine whether the abnormal autoimmune cells that underlie type 1 diabetes can be knocked out with BCG vaccination, as occurred in the mouse studies.”

Adapted from materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Source: Massachusetts General Hospital (2008, March 14). Phase I Diabetes Trial Aims To Reverse Type 1 Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/03/080313125344.htm

Isn’t that exciting?