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Weird day -- completely rearranged

Had to get my labs done this morning for my upcoming medical appointments.  They scheduled for 8:15 am, which is a bit earlier than I like.

No time for blogging first, and no time for work.

I went ahead and stopped at the gym and worked out.  Got done at 11:30, but had the siren test at 1:00 pm, so I picked up my sale items at Nordstrom and had lunch there.  I really like their cafe and get their salmon salad.  Since I don't have to feed my husband, I'll have Profile pizza for dinner.

Friday is going to be interesting too -- I have new living room furniture being delivered and a door bell installed.

Clinical Trial

The most interesting thing I've done in the last two years is to participate in the Pfizer clinical trial.

When covid started, I signed up for just about every clinical trial you can think of.  For example, I had to interact with an app daily as to my physical well being.  I had to send blood samples several times to a lab.  I still interact with an app that tracks both covid and the flu.

I was vaccinated for covid through the Pfizer trial on September 22.  I have to read a 22-page document, which was summarized verbally before they gave me the shot.  We were originally double-blinded, meaning we were told we wouldn't know our vaccine status for two years.  I had to give a blood sample before being vaccinated and again shortly after.

Being double-blinded upset a lot of bioethicists and my endocrinologist.  More on that in a bit.

They have me check in with an app weekly and have given me a covid test to take and send in if I do get covid.

I got my second shot on 10/12.

Since the double-blind upset so many medical professionals, we were unblinded at the time we would normally get vaccinated and given our vaccines then.  I was lucky as I had actually been given the vaccine.

I was so relieved to find out.  I suffer from allergies and am afraid a lot of the time that it might be something else.

I am a huge believer in vaccines.  Every vaccine I'm eligible for I've gotten -- none of them completely prevent disease, but they make the symptoms less deadly, or in the case of shingles less painful.  

I will say that it can be hard to recommend the vaccine, anytime anyone suffers side effects -- which I never do -- I cringe.  

I was given the opportunity to participate in the booster trial but wasn't able to participate as I had recently taken steroids.  

I had to go back in for a blood draw, this year on September 27, and I got my booster shot at the same time.

I still check in weekly, with an app.  I'm still supposed to contact them if I test positive and send in my covid test.  They gave me a new kit the last time I was there.


Current Diabetes Technology

I've come full circle...

I started out with Metforum, almost 20 years ago, which appeared to be a random number generator.  That was VERY frustrating.  I moved to insulin -- multiple daily injections, but kept having problems with lows.

I switched to the Animas Insulin pump which I loved, but my insurance wouldn't cover so I ended up with a Medtronics pump.  I lost my endochronolist, as he retired, and it took a while to get a new one.  During that time, Medtronics refused to upgrade my pump since I was a) Type 2, and b) didn't have an endo.  It still worked but wasn't the one I thought my insurance had paid before.  It certainly wasn't according to their documentation.

When I found out that the Omnipod was covered by pharmacy benefits I switched to it.  I really like it and keep some supplies at the ready.

I am also on Ozempic and have been a few years.  I was first on Victozia but my current insurance covered Ozempic.  Oddly enough my back surgeon suggested I try Wegovy, which as I mentioned early, is just a double dose of Ozempic.  I tried it but didn't find much difference.

Right now, with my weight loss, diet and exercise, I'm down to 12 units a day so I'm using the InPen.  I went to it because I need an app to keep track of my injections and to calculate how much insulin I need.

I'm also using the Dexcom G6 system, which I have been using since I found that it too, is covered by my pharmacy benefits.  I started with the G4 system.

I have a few other tools at my disposal -- since I am in Texas and carry the InPen everywhere, I am using the Vivicap to protect it from heat.  It does make the pen bulkier, but at the same time easier to find in my bag.  If you need this, use this referral link: ViviCap Referral link

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I also have the version that works with my Ozempic.

I just started being an ambassador for Vivicap, which is an interesting program. 

So currently, I am on insulin and Ozempic.  I use an InPen and Vivicap to keep my insulin the proper temperature.

My LapBand Slipped

First, I have always felt being pressured into bariatric surgery, and lap band surgery to begin with.  I had gone to my doctor and asked for permission to do Jenny Craig.  He wouldn't give it.  Come to find out the company that ran the business part of his practice owned a Lap-Band practice.  

I ended up firing that doctor and the same visit he fired me.  He has since retired and the Lap-Band company has gone out of business.

The person who coached me through the process no longer has hers.  It's also no longer a modality of choice.

I honestly didn't want to do anything permanent but wanted help dealing with binging issues.

I did lose 60 pounds and it has helped me learn to manage that better, so it's not a complete loss.

I sensed there were some issues with the lap band leading up to the pandemic and I had made an appointment with the surgeon but the appointment got canceled. I was more and more miserable, having trouble eating the correct food and seeing food again a lot.  When I finally saw the surgeon, I didn't like his attitude so went to a different bariatric surgeon, who I recommend -- Colleen Kennedy.

We went through the process to see what was wrong and to revise the band.  We also removed half the fluid from the band, and then a month later the rest of the fluid.

I felt SO much better.  I absolutely do not recommend bariatric surgery.

I ended up deciding against any more surgery, with the idea we will continue to document my attempts at weight loss so we can revisit it in the future.

Frankly, it's not happening.  The lap band is still in my body and I will discuss removing it at the same time we remove any lung nodules.

Weight Loss -- the blog has got lapband in the title

I am currently at my lowest weight in probably decades.

I'm doing it through diet and exercise.  Specifically I'm doing Profile By Sanford.  If you decide to try them, use this link: Profile Plan Referral Link. I think we both get something from it.

I just signed up for another year.

Here's what I like about Profile -- they teach you how to eat correctly.  It's very flexible.  I've done their balance -- both when I started before my doctor gave permission, and while I was preparing for and recovering from surgery.  They have plans for pregnant women and breast feeding moms.  

I also exercise a lot, but that's mainly because I'm recovering from surgery.  I have several memberships to give me access to gyms.  I'll blog about my favorite soon.

This is the only plan that has gotten me off my very long McCafe Mocha addiction.  I'm currently drinking a peppermint mocha, with 8 oz. of coffee, Veggies Plus, whipped cream and a dash of dark chocolate syrup.  15 carbs.  

I really like the current plan, as I'll grab a protein bar and eat it mid workout.  Lunch will be their meal replacement and veggies.  I'll have another bar mid afternoon and a fiber drink.  Dinner will be on my own, probably Chili's sirloin and broccoli.  I'll eat a Profile chocolate cake before I go to bed.

It comes with a coach, app which links to a scale, and a food scale.  

I've lost just about 35 pounds this year while on profile.  I also had major surgery -- L4-L5 fusion and several steriod shots for hand pain.  

My insulin usage is down from 70 units a day to less than 20.  However, I am on Ozempic.

Back Surgery

This is crazy, as I don't remember just how much in pain I was, but I couldn't stand or walk without a walker for more than say two minutes.

Standing is still a problem, but I think that will come with time and strength training.

I finally broke down and went to the recommended surgeon -- Dr. Timon with All Star Orthopedics, back in July.  He wasn't hopeful at the time, as he didn't see anything he can fix on the XRay but sent me for an MIR.  He was really excited after seeing it.  He saw a herniated disk which he knew he could fix.

I cancelled dog shows -- especially driving to Ohio for the National Beagle Speciality and scheduled the surgery immediately.  It was set up for Monday, September 13.

Got there, did all the prep and was waiting for surgery and Dr. Timon comes in.  He was furious because the facility wasn't climate controlled enough to guarateen that the surgical field would be sterile enough.  I had to get dressed and go home.  Got a call later in the day and the surgery was scheduled for the next day at a different facility.  Of course, I had to prep a second time which was hard on the skin.

That surgery went off without a hitch, but the staff at that hospital was difficult.  Dr. Timon insists that his patients walk every three hours for 24 hours after surgery.  Well, you tell me something and I'll do it to the best of my ability.  Unfortunately the staff wasn't on the same page.  Also they were lazy and disconnected my IV which caused it to clog.  It hurts a lot to unclog it.  Also I had no idea that they weren't alerted when the alarm went off.  They also didn't bother to tell me until the last bag of IV antibotics, that it was diluted with glucose (my endo said they should have used saline).

They did put 15 pounds of fluid on me (I know, I weighed before and after surgery).

Once I got home, recovery was easy.  I did insist on home health care which consisted on an OT and a nurse.  The OT came out two times -- first recommendation, get a hip kit BEFORE surgery.  That is tools that will help you to keep from BLTing (Bend, Lift, or Twist -- which you can't do for 6 weeks).

The wound got pink once, they threw antibotics on it, and it was all good.

I got cleared for PT after 6 weeks and scheduled it immediately. 

Did exactly that the PT people said -- and used All Star Orthopedics Physical Therapy -- it was my third round with them.  Was cleared after 6 weeks of 3 days a week - about an hour a day.   Did an extra 45 minutes of cardio each day.

I gained a bit of weight before surgery.  Took it off, and have been maintaining ever since.

Managed to accomplish my goal -- show my dogs at the Dallas Dog Show -- and was able to do it by myself, as always.  

I had a checkup yesterday, got a clean bill of health, and will go back in 6 months.  The PA said I was a textbook case!

I'm back blogging -- I hope

I have completely gotten out of the habit of blogging, and I do know that when I do, I do better diabetes management wise.

It's been an interesting year, but hasn't it been for everyone.

I fell a few years ago, and wasn't able to get back up.  I went to my orthopedist office and they didn't find anything and sent me to physical therapy.  I used a walker to get around, and did for the past two years.

Come to find out, I had a herinated disk.  It wasn't seen until we did an MRI, last summer, and I almost immediately scheduled surgery.  Best thing ever.

The hospital stay itself was a nightmare, but more on that for another post.

Currently I'm walking 20 minutes a day on the treadmill, doing strength exercises, and doing 30 minutes of Peloton classes.  

I'm going to keep it short, so that I have other topics in the future.

Cardiology appointment

Fun appointment. 

My tricuspid valve isn’t leaking as much as it was last year when I was thinking about weight loss. The cardiologist was patting herself on the back for the improvement. 

This puzzled me because I couldn’t remember what she did. 

She said it was because she counseled me weight loss.  

Oh well, if she wants to take credit, okay. 

Kathleen Weaver

Big Scale Victory

I reached a new scale victory today.  This weekend I had reached a loss of 95 pounds since I had lapband surgery.  30 pounds since I joined Profile by Sanford.

I currently have no fluid in my band.

My insulin usage has gone from over 100 units a day to 100 units a week but that’s because Profile by Sanford is so low carb.

I still have a high amount of arthritis pain but I am finding it easier to get around.


I have severe dry eye.  So bad, I couldn’t do a full time remote teaching job.  At the end of the day, I couldn’t focus enough to drive safely.

I had my early visit with my eye doctor and saw a poster for Lipiflow.  I signed up immediately and my only regret is the charge, but I’m hoping it will go down in price.

There is a lot of after care to it but I should have been doing a lot of the care already.

They warned that I might have more trouble the two days after than before but I didn’t notice that.  4 days out and my dry eye is the best it’s been in ages.

Very happy with it.

They put you in a chair, put relaxing music on, give numbing eye drops and then put on special equipment on your eye.  They stayed and observed, while I babbled about the weekend’s dog show.

Sent me home with a bag of ointments.  Another than that helped is that they switched me from PM Ointment to Oasis Plus at night, which means I still have some useful vision.

Definitely worth it.