Thursday, January 20, 2011

Moving Forward

It's been awhile since I've checked in ... and last time was some pretty heavy stuff. So, for a change, I thought I'd check in with a light update!

I'm loving that we - CTC - have so many training options available to us. If you are in the Cleveland area, you HAVE to join, it is SO worth it! If you join by Jan. 31 - it's $20. Beginning February, it's $25. You will get discounts that easily save you the membership fee, and the support network is PRICELESS!

I go to Twinsburg Spin classes on Sat. mornings - lead by the amazing Todd Bolgrin! I look forward to this ALL. WEEK. LONG!  Todd whoops my arse on the bike and I keep coming back for more. I'm hopeful he, and my other amazing support network, will get me through Ironman St. George in 109 days I think it is now.  I love our group and I have a lot of fun there! Then we do some swimming afterward - and it's just MORE FUN!!  So, by the time I return to my home, I've done a super workout and can spend the remainder of my day with my family. Kids every other weekend - Love that, too!

Sundays I head over to OBERLIN - yes, that's quite a trek from Mentor! But there I get a fun-filled, kick-ass workout with some of my favorite CTC peeps.  This started out easy - very easy - but we are quickly moving into very challenging sets.  After swimming, we move upstairs where me and 30 of my closest friends do a freakin' HARD spin class. OMG!

This past weekend, I was very bummed because I felt TERRIBLE.  Initially it may, or may not have been steel-cut oats. I'd had 3 servings in 12 hrs, including a cup at 5:30 am before swimming. Boy was I sick. I was hurting like nobody's business! I hung the best I could. I started feeling okay, but as the workout amped up, I started feeling worse and had to sit out sets. I was bummed, too, because I had 3 new lane-mates and I'm sure they were thinking "what the heck is SHE doing in our lane?"  Typically I can hold my own. I'm not the lane lead, but I can hang with Durno (who was also hurting, but for different reasons!).  Ed Slovenkay, not so much!! He's a machine! :)  I got out to see if it was my blood glucose ... took about  5 minutes for my CGM to sync ... next time I bring the glucometer. Nope.  148. So, back into the water and I tried to hang, but had to step off for a few 50s in each set.  My gut was killing me. I was pretty bummed because this was our hardest workout to date.

After swimming I was happy to get on the bike, but the gut was still pretty painful.  At least I could see my CGM though, so I knew it wasn't diabetes-related. By this time, I'm blaming the oatmeal.  It may or may not have been the oatmeal ... I guess I won't know, because I sure as heck won't be doing that again!  I think I need to lump (pun intended) oatmeal into my cereal ban - although for other reasons. I do love it, but this was brutal.  I went home and writhed in pain for the rest of the day.

Monday, went to work and still hurting! By this time I'm considering the ER ... I'm bloated and - literally - look 6-7 months pregnant!  I should have had Ted take a pic - I was HUGE!!!!  Things weren't moving and I was hurting.  Then, at work, epiphany!!   I remember this ... it's a damn gall bladder attack!  The last time I had one was when I was teaching and surgicating at Stautz and I was the surgeon for the night class.  I writhed in pain on the staff lounge floor and everyone tried to get me to the ER ... but I knew if I didn't cut, the students would have to make up the lab.  We got out the ultrasound and could see my glorious gall stone and an angry gall bladder.  And, while it's not common, I get horrific bloating and chest pains too.  I keep meaning to get this taken care of but the episodes are so few and far between, and my health insurance sucks, so I'd be paying for the entire thing.  Well, damn it, I want an insulin pump, not a cholodochocystectomy!

I made it through work Monday, again, cutting while in pain - but it was merely 2 simple castrations, so no biggie.  Got home and, while I wanted to curl into the fetal position and sleep and cry and bask in the glory of pain meds, I had course syllabi to finish. Damn it.

By Tuesday, the pain had abated. Mostly fasting and a lot of water.  But still somewhat bloated. But, I have classes all day and am on campus from 8 am - 8 pm.   Throughout the day, it seemed to improve.

Now it's Wed. and I'm feeling more like myself! I'm hopeful to get on the treadmill this evening! Swim and spin tomorrow and looking forward to camping out at LTF all day Friday doing my monster workout day. 

I'm also very much looking forward to this weekend's  Spin/Swim and Swim/Spin classes - and mostly, for redemption at Sunday's class.  I want to show my new lane-mates that I CAN hang with them!! I''m not afraid to push and hurt  in a swim set - but dang,  gall bladder attack - that'll bring you to your knees.  I hung tough,  maybe more so than most realize! I was a trooper!!  But let's hope that's over and I can have a great kick-ass work-out weekend again, then spend the rest of the time with my kids and hubby.

Today I'm trekking to the west side to see a few HS peeps!! I'm very excited!! I'll be seeing Ana-Lee, as I check out her classroom lizard.  And Julie (Keefner) Bihn, and her 2 girls, Dakota and Bailey - as I drop off candles she bought to support my fundraising campaign - which, btw, was majorly a CF by Yankee Candle - I'm SO disappointed in them!!  Julie was very understanding and I am grateful for that. But I'm really looking forward to seeing her.   Lastly, I'm hoping to catch up with Mr. Dan Major, an old friend from Jr. High and HS, who is currently struggling with some health issues.  I am fearful that he is still in the hospital at CCF, and not home ... if he's home, I hope to stop by if he's taking visitors.  I'm very worried about my friend Dan ... Say a prayer for him - he's the nicest, kindest man you'd ever meet.

Lastly, we will be celebrating my son's 7th Birthday today, as he was at his Dad's on Jan. 17th.  So, off to get cake and a gift ... not sure what! He didn't have any suggestions either! What kid can't tell me what toys he wants??  I'm stumped, but have a tiny idea in my head that may play out well.

Peace out peeps! Keep moving forward!
Much love,

Friday, January 7, 2011

Accountability and Personal Struggles

It was a mere week ago that I wrote about the highs and lows of 2010, how grateful I am to have my health, my family and my friends. I am truly blessed!! That has not changed - I doubt it ever will ;)

It was also a week ago that I made a New Year's Resolution to give up the sweets and start eating better choices.   Well ... I've broken that resolution :(   And I've fallen off the wagon.  And I've been struggling ... with a lot of things.  I'm trying to get my "house in order" - my life, my training, my relationships, my career, my family, my diabetes ... I could go on and on.

I recently had a "cyber-friend" - a woman that I feel very connected to, very close to and care about very much - lose her mother to cancer on Christmas day.  Wow.  That really puts things into perspective! My shit - my stuff - can't begin to be compared to that kind of struggle.

I also recently connected with a few FB friends who have shared personal struggles with me.  I'm "safe" because I'm more of a cyber-friend than anything ... I've been fortunate to lean on some of my cyber-friends in times of need, too. It really is good to have that "safe", anonymous friend to share anything with - no judgment in their eyes, just support and cyber-hugs.  One of those "new" friends is Michelle Alswager.  I didn't know her. I didn't know her story.  I didn't even know how we were connected! (Oh, and BTW ... SHE STARTED Team Triabetes!!! It was her idea!! Wow.  Just...WOW!)  I saw some cryptic posts that made me curious ... I feared something tragic had happened in her life. It had.  Her son, Jesse Alswager, died at age 13 in February, 2010.   She shared her story with me. I was floored. I'm a vet. I'm educated. I'm a diabetic. I could not understand how a boy who had been type 1 diabetic for 10 years, appeared healthy and active to all that knew him, and for all intents and purposes (or intensive purposes!!) was a "healthy kid" - could just die.  How? Infection? Blood clot? Ischemia? WHY???   She told me about "Dead in Bed" syndrome.  OMG ... how do you go on after that??   The answer is: Michelle is an amazing and strong woman. She has 3 other children so curling up into a ball and dying over grief was not an option for her.  So, she lives on. And she is still VERY active in the diabetes community.  Go ahead, Google her! Facebook-Friend her. Follow her blog.  This woman is truly amazing. And I cannot begin to imagine how I could survive past the sudden and inexplicable death of my "healthy" son.  My cousin, Jeffrey Wade Snyder died inexplicably 6 years ago in his sleep.  He was not diabetic. The coroner could not give a cause of death. This must be haunting for parents.  Scary and haunting.  I can't even think about it ...

All of that being said ... my struggle seem so ... insignificant.  Really, they are. And I wish I was a stronger person. I struggle with food addiction. I struggle with depression (dysthymia) - have since I was a teenager. I have an addictive personality, so really, once I find something I like, I must have it! I am likely a bit bipolar.  But I'm functional.  Most of the time! :)

Lately I've been struggling with that drive I used to have. I find it for a day or two, but I cannot seem to keep up the momentum.  I'm really trying hard to "get my house in order" - chunk off things I need to do, getting organized, working on scheduling things in a way that I can manage. As most of you do - I thought the new year would be a chance to turn the page and start new.  Well, I've scribbled on that new page.   So, I will try again.

What's the opposite of embellish?  (Runs off to look it up ...)  LOTS of synonyms, but only two antonyms: simplify and minimize.  I'll choose minimize.  I have a story ... I will be minimizing some of the details because the truth ... YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!! :)  Really, you can't.

I have a client, whom I like very much. She has 4 mastiffs - 2 very old, 2 very young. She contacted me to "prearrange" euthanasia for her two older pets. The old girl - she's a meanie! Vicious and will tear me open. She'll be a challenge.  The old boy - he's a total sweetheart. Her favorite.  She knows the end is near. She knows I can't positively come when called - I don't do emergency house calls, those are best handled by the ER vet.  She knows I don't come after 8pm - I'm with my family.  I had just neutered her younger dog and she called right at 8pm.  I let it go to VM, as I always do.  You can't believe how hard it is to hear someone begging me to come out to Ashtabula to treat their dog that's been hit by car and his eye is hanging out.   I can't handle it.  It's difficult.  But I saw it was this woman and I listened to her VM because I feared a complication at the incision site or something. I was wrong - her beloved old boy had fallen, and she feared a broken hip - it was time to euthanize.  She was sobbing and so grief-stricken. We contacted the funeral home and they would come out to get him tonight, so I was absolutely going to go help her boy make that transition to the other side as quickly and painlessly as I could. She didn't live far.  I had already taken my Ambien - only 5 mg, a low dose - and it was a 10 minute drive, tops.  I arrived to help her and we assisted him as he went to God.

On the way home, I knew we needed coffee cream (non-fat!) and I wanted to get her a sympathy card. Giant Eagle is at the top of my street - less than a mile. I stopped there on the way home. I got the cream, I got the card, and .... I got a bag of Reeses Pieces.   I know I should not be eating that - first off, because I gave it up as part of my NY resolution! Second, I'm 30 minutes from sleeping, I rarely eat after 6pm. But, I'm in the Ambien state - a state of no inhibition! No self-control. No good choices are made  ... let's remember, I'm usually SLEEPING by now (9:30 pm).   So, yes, I bought - and ate - the bag of those demonic, addictive, fabulously-tasty candy.  Now,  if I take insulin to cover the carbs, I'll get fat. (wrong and illogical, but that's where my head was!) Or, I can let my BG run high and damage my kidneys, my retinas, my nerves.   Hmmm - which should I choose??  Um, yeah, I chose the latter.   Not smart. Not wise. Not good. Not the behavior of a "role model".  I feel guilt. Shame.  Remorse.  Do I induce vomiting??  Then I'm "bulimic" - yet another malady to address. No, there will be no bulimia. I can't do it, anyway ... I know this because I've tried. Yes, I have tried. After eating a whole cake. Or eating a whole bag/tray of Oreos. Or ... well, you get my drift!  So what's left ... a laxative! That's what I'll do, I'll take a Correctol ... "the gentle, overnight, laxative".  And the Correctol will "correct all" ... right??  This is my thought process.  Yes, I know. It doesn't exemplify the "role model" I'm supposed to be.  It doesn't reflect my extensive education and medical knowledge. It's just me trying to "fix" my "failure".   It doesn't make sense because it's nonsense. It's not wise. It's about as brilliant as my father cutting his morphine lines, with kitchen scissors, then tucking them in his pocket ... the lines that lead to his spinal fluid.  He got meningitis.  Self-induced.  Brilliant!  So, apparently it runs in the family!!

Where am I going with this ... well. Today I had my quarterly Endo appointment.  My previous A1c was 6.4.   Today: 7.0   That's not great. It's barely "good" ... it's mediocre at best.  But it reflects my recent behavior. My "failures".   I confessed my failure. He said not to be so hard on myself.  But really, I think I should be!  I think that I have a RESPONSIBILITY to behave responsibly with my disease.  I didn't. I haven't. I can't hide from the A1c! 

So, I will try again. I will turn the page - today.  I'm about to get on the treadmill. I've had a good morning, mostly because I had to fast for my blood work, but hey, let's take what we can and move forward.  I can't wallow in self-pity.  I am going to own my behavior. I need to step up! I need to keep myself accountable, and continue to strive for that balance. I DO have my health. I DO have my children - and they are healthy! And I need to model behavior for them so that they can learn good eating habits.  I loved my mom dearly - and I miss her every day - but she struggled with food addiction too, and she modeled poor eating habits for us.  True story: she'd buy a 1/2 gallon tub of Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.  She'd thaw it a bit, then cut it into thirds. One for her. One for me, one for Trent.  And we'd eat our ice cream.  That was one serving.  When I'd go to a friend's house as a little girl, and they'd put this little scoop of ice cream in a bowl, my mind said "WTF??" (yes, my mind TRULY did say WTF - again, I'm my mother's daughter!!) - like, is this the teaser dessert  or just a preview??

So, today I move forward ... trying to regain some control ... some self-control. And some balance. And some perspective.  I am grateful. I am smart. I can do better. I will do better. And I appreciate all the support I get from all of you - it makes me feel amazing and makes me WANT to be amazing.  I'm not perfect. I'll never be perfect. I won't even try for perfect ... but I'll try for "better".  I really need to go to the Church of the Triathlon!

<3  Peace out!