Me: A Positive

There once was a little girl who was happy, active, – albeit a bit prone to anxiety-, but smart…and even a bit cute. Most people would describe her as “a sweet little quiet girl”.

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She was the youngest of seven children and fit in that big happy family just perfectly. The little girl’s family wasn’t perfect (what family is?); there was a sickness that chose random victims. The disease was incurable, scary, and made life harder. It was called type 1 diabetes. The little girl’s father, brother, aunt, and two cousins had it.

And one day she got it, too.

She was scared, she had to learn to live differently, more carefully. She had to learn to take shots and prick her finger several times a day.

She really didn’t like this disease. She was mad and sad.

But, she had her big ol’ family to help her. They were all there in one way or another. They taught her, guided her, disciplined her when she did something “bad”. They let her cry on their shoulder, praised her when she did good. They were a good, loving, caring family.

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She still struggled, but no matter what, she always knew she wasn’t alone. Even though she made some bad choices, she always knew she was loved and cared about no matter what.

And that is why she kept trying.

There were a few things this disease did that actually helped her in life. It made her learn to be independent and stronger. It made her not afraid of needles and pain. It taught her how to accept what can’t be changed and to be happy anyway.

It taught her that sometimes even when you do everything right, things just don’t work out how you planned.

It taught her to keep trying and persevere.

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Resolve For 2017

With each new year the majority of human beings decide to go the optimistic route and view the new year as an opportunity for new beginnings, or as an encouragement to improve themselves.

But most of us fail at new beginnings or improvements. Things go well for a few weeks at best, but then we fall back into our old ways. Unhealthy habits we sport a love/hate relationship with and can never seem to overcome.

We may not like it, but we are comfortable with it. It is familiar. Most of these bad habits are pacifiers for our stress and pains. And we just can’t seem to replace them with healthier pacifiers.

And we lack motivation to keep up with new healthy habits. I want to work out several days a week, but I just can’t find a good enough motivator to keep me going. Wanting to do it isn’t enough. Knowing the benefits of it isn’t enough. Screaming at myself to get off my ass just isn’t enough!

I want to eat healthy. I really, really want to eat healthy. I don’t keep any unhealthy food in my house. But…it’s just so much damn easier to go through a drive-thru on the way home from work. Everywhere we look there are ads for this or that unhealthy, heavenly delicious, this or that.

We only have so much will power. We can only resist for so long. We only have so much energy.

Is it better to just forego the resolutions and spare ourselves the disappointment?

I say no! I say make those resolutions! Give it your best shot! If you fail then get up and start again.

Not trying is the only true failure!

Make your resolution realistic. Keep it small and reachable. Do it in steps instead of all at once. Don’t expect miracles and instant results.

Just try your best.

And celebrate even the smallest of victories!

Panic! At The Disco: Victorious

2016 FU

So many people are talking about how glad they are that this year is ending. Oh, how terrible it has been, how bad it has beaten us all down, and how wonderful it will be to kill it dead and move on to a, hopefully, better year.

What has made 2016 such a bad year?

The most horrible, racist, bigoted, idiot of a human being getting elected president of the United States. Might as well flush this nation down the toilet now.

Then there are the one after another deaths of great performers, authors, athletes, etc.. Why couldn’t more really bad people die? Why so many good ones?

Then there were all the natural disasters around the globe, as well as the ongoing wars and evil and tragedy that is always around.

Then, of course, each of us individuals had our own close to home heartaches. Family deaths, money troubles, relationship issues, job issues, health issues, and on and on and on.

There are no promises that 2017 will be any better. For me I’m sure it won’t be. My health is showing no signs of improvement.

All we can do is try. And that’s my point. The only way our year will be better is if we all try to change the bad things, try to improve our environment, our country, our world, and, of course, ourselves.

Stop whining and complaining and get off your ass and figure out what you can do to improve things…AND DO IT!

What do I plan to do to make my year better than last?

Find a way to bring in some income

Work on my health – exercise, get back on my healthy diet, stop neglecting my BG checks, keep working with my doctors to figure out issues and fix them, etc.

Work on my home and yard

Work on our issues with clashing personalities in the home

So far my list is only close to home stuff. But that’s where change begins.

Will I Be Missed?

Part of having depression is having unreasonable thoughts and feelings…maybe the word “unreasonable “isn’t quite right, maybe “untrue” is more appropriate here.

I’ve always suffered with the beliefs and feelings that I am unloved, unliked, unwanted, etc.. And over the past three years you can add on, a burden.

So, logically when I think about when the time I die comes…

Digression here. Yes, I think about dieing. I think it’s not morbid but actually healthy to think about your own death…as long as you’re not dwelling or obsessing over it. Being as riddled with incurable diseases as I am, as unhealthy as I am, it’s never seemed odd or “psycho” to think about what’s going to eventually happen to all of us.

I don’t do it in a suicidal way. I just am not afraid to think that far ahead (as if any of us knows when or how it’ll happen).

Digression over.

So logically, when I think about when the time I die comes, I wonder who will miss me. Will anyone? With me being so introverted, and having social anxiety, and being agoraphobic, I don’t really have a whole lot of social interaction with people. Sure I have friends, but will they really care, or even notice, when I die? I have a large family…I’m sure many of them will miss me, but honestly, I’m not too sure about all of them.

Like I said, I’m often overwhelmed with thoughts that no one cares, no one loves me…they don’t even like me.  I’m nothing but a burden to my husband and mother. So It would probably bring more relief and joy to them when I die.

I know this isn’t true. But because I have depression (yes, I’m on meds) I have these thoughts and feelings. And I’ve had them my entire life. I remember at a very young age, probably around six years old, having thoughts like this.

It’s very difficult to change thinking and feelings that you’ve had daily for 30ish years.

And when you are not the one causing your own thoughts and feelings- an illness is- well it’s even harder to change.

The meds help me “feel” better, and to some extent think “righter”, but they don’t cure me. So there’s always more work to be done.

Anna Kendrick – You’re Gonna Miss Me

Chronic Rambling

It’s pretty much the same with all chronic illnesses. They become all-consuming…they become who you are.

“Look who’s talking! You’re unhealthy, fat, worse off than any of us. Who are you to suggest what’s healthy and how to do it right?”

This is one huge reason I don’t make many suggestions in my blog. My writing is dedicated to sharing my own personal experiences. Sure, I do have a lot to teach, if anybody would listen. But I’ve screwed up so many times in my life I just don’t feel worthy of teaching. I simply talk about my thought’s, feelings, and life experiences.

Yes, it’s true, I have dropped a tidbit of education here and there throughout my posts. I just can’t help it when someone smacks of ignorance and subsequent rudeness regarding diabetes. I just feel the need to set ’em straight through a blog post.

And anyway, there is no one way to live healthy. We are all human, but we are all unique and have different needs in order to be healthy, right?

It’s the  same with diabetes. What works for one diabetic may not for another.

So, who would I be to talk? All I know  is me and my body…and I still can’t figure that out!

Living with an incurable autoimmune chronic disease is not easy. The fact that it is incurable means I will have it until I die (it will probably be the cause of my death). Autoimmune means that it is my very own body that is trying to murder me…all day everyday.

According to medicine.netA chronic disease is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear.

There, I taught something…

Anyway, I find my type 1 diabetes being an autoimmune disease kind of funny and apropos in a morbid kind of way. My body hates me…and I hate me, too.

From the day I was diagnosed, way back in 1987, I have hated myself. Self-loathing, so full of hate, anger, shame, self-blame…

I didn’t know I had an autoimmune disease. All I knew is that I was diseased and it would last forever. I blamed myself even though there is no way on earth I could have brought this on myself. It was my fault because….because I’m a horrible human being…because I fail at life….because…well, because I’m just me and I always get the bad things.

It’s my body and it’s screwed up which means I’m screwed up…I hate it! And therefore I hate me!

I find no separation in my being and body. Just as I find no separation in  my being and diabetes.

I am a Person With Diabetes, yes, I understand that. But, sorry, all y’all PWD pushers, but I find it much more suiting to me to be a Diabetic.

It has been my identity since 1987 and nothing will ever change that. I’m not trying to be depressing here. I’m simply speaking my truth, my heartache, my psychosis.

I can’t understand how diabetics (especially type 1’s) can insist that diabetes isn’t part of their identity. They try so hard to separate themselves from it, yet still strive to  live healthy with it… which requires constant vigilance, constant awareness of diabetes, constant thought and work to control it.

Either way, I have come to the conclusion that, at least for me, there is no “living healthy” – at least emotionally- with diabetes.

I cannot separate myself from diabetes, it is in me, it is my life…it is me.

Literally, diabetes is my life. There is no part of my life, no second of time, that I do not have to think about my diabetes. Eating = diabetes, any physical activity = diabetes, inactivity = diabetes, even thinking = diabetes; peeing, showering, sleeping, sex, travel, drinking fucking water! = diabetes!!!!

How could this not be an identity?!

It’s pretty much the same with all chronic illnesses. They become all-consuming…they become who you are.

I talk here of my struggles, heartache, self-hate. But, surprisingly I am not unhappy. Knowing and accepting who you are is it’s own happiness. I don’t go around pretending I’m something I’m not. I don’t spend my life trying to be something I can never be. I am content to be a diabetic. I’m fine with life as it is. It is far from perfect and therefore I do strive to make what can be better better. But to each of us, we can only be who we are…and that is true contentment.

Life was never meant to be happy. Life is meant to be a struggle. From the struggle comes the joy. If a person goes around thinking something is wrong because life isn’t perfect, then they only cause themselves more frustration.

I’ve learned not to look to what I want for happiness, but to look at what I already have to find contentment.

There, I have bared my soul…and showed my true craziness.

Ramble ramble ramble….. post done…

From Hallelujah to Nachtmusik

I have written before about my love of music and how I listen to certain songs or styles when I am feeling certain ways. Sometimes I listen to change my mood, but most of the time I choose what I choose in order to wallow in whatever mood I’m in and either feed it or use it up.

As a type 1 diabetic, I tend to have many moments of frustration, depression, fatigue, etc. I will listen to certain baroque or classical songs in order to relax, feel better, build energy, or wallow in my sorrows.

Incidentally, when I need to use my brain – study, figure things out, find inspiration for a project, etc. – I will listen to baroque or classical music because they stimulate the mind and imagination in ways nothing else can.

I haven’t spoken much about these two of my most favorite ‘mood’ styles of music, though. I absolutely love both Baroque and Classical music. They are the foundation of all modern music styles you probably listen to today, and they themselves are magnificent, ingenious, and downright wonderful to listen to. I have never listened to any music that moves me more than baroque or classical.

Below I have listed many composers and their works that I love. I intentionally chose works that I don’t just love, but that are also well known. Even if you don’t intentionally listen to this type of music you’ll probably recognize these works from movies or other places.

I will start with Baroque composers because the baroque era (1600-1750) came before classical (1730 – 1820).

George Frideric Handel is one of the most popular baroque composers. His most famous composition is no doubt Messiah, especially the part known as the Hallelujah Chorus. I personally favor his work of the Water Music Suite No. 2 (alla hornpipe) which is less known but still popular. You may also recognize Solomon – Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, which is wonderful.

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi is also a well known baroque composer, although not the most well known. He is probably best known for his work The Four Seasons. I personally love La Primavera (The Spring) the most. He makes you feel and hear the weather and animals through his wonderful style of music.

OK, so Johann Sebastian Bach is a baroque composer, not classical… even though most people just lump all eras into one giant title called ‘classical’. Bach is no doubt the most well known baroque composer. Most people recognize his works from weddings. Pieces such as Air and Herz Und Mund Und Tat Und Leben. Both of these I love.

Jean-Joseph Mouret Is probably best known for his work Suites of Symphonies. I love the Premier Suite 1-4, which you will most likely recognize from Masterpiece Theatre.

And then there is Johann Pachelbel who is best known for Pachelbel’s Canon which is another wedding favorite. You may be surprised to find out this work is sampled in Green Day’s hit song Basket Case. Both songs are wonderful…in very different ways.

Ok, so, on to the classical era. I am only going to feature my two favorite composers from this era, Beethoven and Mozart.

Ludwig Von Beethoven was born in the classical era and died in the romantic era, but for all intents and purposes he is considered a classical composer. Although most people who don’t really listen to his music but only know it from movies, etc. think of his music as dark, brooding, and gothic, this is simply a misrepresentation. I find most of Beethoven to be quite happy, optimistic, and upbeat. Below are some links to his most popular music; these are some, but not all, of his works that I  love.

Fate

Fur Elise

Moonlight

Pastoral

Ode To Joy

And my most favorite composer of the classical era, and probably my most favorite composer, period, is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I suppose I love him because his music is so modern in it’s feel (he was so ahead of his time), and also because it speaks to my emotions more than any other composer. I hear his music and it just makes me feel things I can’t explain. Mozart just so happens to be the most well known (arguably) classical composer, and for good reason, he’s frickin’ amazing! Below are just a few of his popular (and magnificent) works.

The Marriage of Figaro

Piano Sonata No 15 in C major

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

Piano Sonata No 5 in G Major

Piano Concerto No25 in D Major

Dur Holle Roche

So, there you go. I can only hope I’ve helped a few develop a new respect and love for baroque and classical music.

Simple Fix

I have felt better these past few weeks than I have in the past five years! I have more energy, my appetite has evened out, I feel ‘light’, I have had very little nausea and vomiting. I just feel…alive again.

Why? What changed?

It was all so sudden. At least that’s how it seemed.

About five years ago was when my heart started giving me noticeable trouble. Heartburn (acid reflux), chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue. I didn’t have insurance at the time so I just lived with it and hoped and deluded myself into believing it wasn’t what I knew it was. These symptoms just got worse and worse over the next couple of years.

Three years ago I got insurance and ended up having open heart surgery. A triple bypass put me down for several months. The surgery and subsequent recovery time caused me to develop a frozen left shoulder on top of everything else I was dealing with. I was put on all kinds of medication and filled with heavy duty antibiotics. I never did quite get all my energy and strength back…until now.

Three months after the heart surgery I began a one year journey that would end up being four eye surgeries. More meds… and physical restrictions while healing.

Over the past three years I have been extra prone to developing staph infections in my skin. So this means I have been on and off of heavy duty, double doses of antibiotics.

During this time I have been feeling miserable, frustrated, depressed, anxious. You name it! On top of dealing with my ‘normal’ life of diabetes, I was dealing with all this crap. I just couldn’t figure out the cause of certain symptoms. It’s bad enough to have any symptoms at all, but when you and your horde of doctors can’t pin down the cause, it’s just down right maddening!

Loss of appetite

Weight gain

Inability to lose weight

Chronic fatigue

Frequent nausea and vomiting

Vitamin deficiency (for me vitamin D and B12)

Less frequent bowel movements

Diarrhea

Inability to digest certain foods (sulfur heavy foods, red meat, eggs, etc.)

Now, I do have gastroparesis, so most of these symptoms were blamed on it. But, my gastroparesis was diagnosed as mild and both my GI and my endo implied that my symptoms should not be so extreme and frequent.

So, moving on, the entire month of October this year I suffered with extreme symptoms of hyperthyroidism which we determined was caused by thyroiditis. I lost close to 25lbs and had no strength or energy among other terrible symptoms.

Then, suddenly, I awoke one beautiful morning and felt…good. Just like that, I felt like time had gone in reverse and I was back to five years ago before this whole fiasco ever began.

Why? What changed?

It’s so simple. Why hadn’t I thought of it earlier…and why hadn’t any of my doctors?!

Going through all of this…stuff, I was on so many medications, and even worse I was on SO MANY antibiotics.

Antibiotics…kill bacteria…even the good bacteria we need to be healthy…gut bacteria that helps us digest, absorb nutrients, eliminate properly, etc.

Back in July, I think it was, I began to take a probiotic supplement capsule every morning. I soon noticed that as long as I take that capsule every single day, I feel fewer symptoms. It took some time but as you’ve just read, this glorious little over-the-counter capsule of good gut bacteria has set me back to feeling just about right as rain.

Probiotics, yo, try ’em out if you got problems, it just might be an easy fix for you, too.  😀

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Now the one and only concern I have when I go to my doctor is getting my blood sugars back in line. I’ve fallen really far off track with BG control.

Self discipline. I need to kick myself back into gear. I can do it! I’ve done it before! I will get there again!