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June 2009

Dogs help injured soldiers overcome challenges - Military-

This is a really good program and the CORRECT BUSINESS MODEL for service dogs.

Quoted from

Dogs help injured soldiers overcome challenges - Military-

Training takes up to nine months and costs $23,000. Service Dogs doesn't charge its clients but relies on private donations and foundation grants.

Unfortunately the diabetes community has been a victim of people who participate in a business model where the clients pay for the training.  If you are considering such a program, RUN, do not walk away.

My Mother

And yes, since my sister got her on Facebook, she'll probably read this.  The sad part, is that she will only get what she wants to get, as that is how she reads everything.

We had a tough conversation last night.  She's worried about her brother-in-law, my uncle as he is having problems with complications from diabetes. He's on insulin now -- the oral medications stopped working, which is going to happen if you live long enough.

Oh, and mom has diabetes too, and she should know these things.

Last night she told me if she had to go on insulin she'd give up, she wouldn't do it.  This is being told to her daughter who choose to go on insulin in 2002 because I was tired of the random number generator.  I wanted her on insulin immediately when she was diagnosed, but of course she won't listen. 

Here I am, on insulin AND symlin, with the genuine and earned fear of needles -- emergency plastic surgery after going through a windshield of a car with nothing to numb the face.  She's seen me inject, etc.  Oh, and yeah, I'm the one getting fills which involves another needle.

PLEASE.    I'm sorry but insulin isn't that big of a deal and I really don't have much respect or patience with that attitude.

But that isn't the biggest problem.....

I've got another issue right now that she doesn't get - mushies -- every lap band patient gains weight when they are on mushies. It's expected, you can't help it, and you eat food you can't and don't eat any other time.

There isn't much you can eat on mushies.  The easiest for me is "loaded" baked potato so that when I get done there is more butter, sour creme, and/or cottage cheese than there is potato.  Of course, there is little or no protein etc.

AND worse yet, I was on the phone with her after the fill, and OH MY GOD, I actually went to Sonic and bought a strawberry shake.  How awful, especially after I stated to her last night that I don't keep ice cream in the house and I don't buy it.  OH MY GOD, how awful that I bought a shake -- she sniped at me over this in an aside last night.

I'm SERIOUSLY thinking of flying to Washington now, and skipping the trip to her house.

Day 37 with Lapband

So I am 37 days out from lap band and am two day from my first fill.  Next time I do a fill in the day I am going to make sure I eat something 3 1/2 hours before the actual fill.  Next time will be hard, as I as scheduled for first in the day.   But in a way, it might be easier.

I don't notice any changes from the fill yet, but I am still on munshies.  Which I just spelled as munchies which probably describes mushies for me. They are higher in carb than my normal food, which makes it hard for me.

My diabetes remains the same, though I'll say my over all blood sugar level is lower -- probably will go up a tad with the mushies, but back down.  I'm having trouble with the arthitis again lately which means my activity level goes down.

I'm getting mentally ready for my trip -- I'm going to concentrate on getting high quality meals on the trip and not do the fast food thing. 

I probably won't know how the fill is until later on in the week.

I do have a bit of a NSV (non scale victory).  I finally decided to go through my clothing -- I've purchased a few items on clearance from plus size stores, and I have a good selection of skirts I can wear.   That's one thing I wanted to make sure of.

It's a real issue.  The largest size I have arond the house literally fall off of me, and they have been put aside.  I' m weraing the next smallest size, and can even wear a pair of jeans in that size -- have them on now -- jeans have been a huge problem, as I carry most of my weight in my midsection.  The size below what I am wearing now, I can wear if it is a stretch demin skirt, but I try not to , as I know I look heavier in them.  I did find some things I can wear in this size that was stashed in the back of my closet so that means I have more clothing than I though.

Right now, I keep a bag to hold clothing both upstairs and down and if I find something that falls off of me, or it is the current size and I know I won't wear it, I put the item in the bag.  I figure when I fill a bag up, I'll take them down the road to Salvation Army.

Day 35 with Lapband -- First Fill

Got my first fill today.  It was not a big deal at all. The PA numbed me, found the port, did her thing and in less than a minute I was done.  I was in the office for a total of 30 minutes that included checking in, getting weighed, etc. and making the next appointment.

B lood pressure was excellent, weight was good -- I think I've lost about 21 pound total according to their scales, but not 100% sure what my heaviest was.  7 pounds total since the surgery.

I'm on two days of full liquids and two days of mushies and then back to normal food.  Had a Sonic Strawberry Shake because I was starving!  Couldn't eat for three hours before the fill.

We'll see how after the fill goes...

Day 32 with the Lap Band

I am really having trouble eating protein.  Chicken, ground beef, tuna, etc. is really hard for me to get down.  I am being a good bandster and eating it first.  It gets stuck and often comes back up.  I suppose this is a good thing.  It is certainly keeping me from over eating.

I really do think need to get more protein in during the morning.  My typical Diet Gourmet breakfast is 10 carbs. I'll see while I am on my tricks but something like an Egg McMuffin, or scrambled eggs and sausage, might stick with me longer.  Today was typically, muffin and yogurt.

I'm probably doing too much of things like cottage cheese and eggs but those are thing that stay down.

I am doing a lot of things for myself.  I went to Merle Norman and had them do me a makeover and then bought their stuff.  I really liked them when I was in college and when I was working as a programmer.  When I started teaching I stopped wearing makeup, I think it was in response to the overly made up girls.  Back when I started, there are a lot of young ladies I wanted to take to the bathroom, have them wash it off and try again, but we don't see a lot of that right now.

So, no one really will recognize me when we come back to school.

I had a really good workout with the personal trainer -- this was our first chance to do a good workout with weights -- she's coming again tomorrow, Friday and Saturday as she missed this weekend due to some personal issues.

Summer school and summer testing work is going well -- will start with that again on tomorrow (Tuesday).

Day 31 with Lap Band

Wow!  It's been a month since surgery.

I'd love to see another burst in weight loss, but I'm having a lot of hunger. 

  • Real, physical hunger not so much.
  • Head hunger -- I've got a lot of -- I did something that I usually eat after so I think I ought to eat.  Or it's a time I usually eat. 
  • Some emotional hunger.  Some of it is frustration (last week), and some of it is boredom -- I've got to figure out what to do when I do have some down time.  I've got plenty of things to do, but sometimes it takes some energy to think about it.

Learning is helping the head hunger -- Yesterday I got something to eat because of head hungry and I ended up coughing it all up.  Enough of that will stop the head hunger for sure because it literally isn't any fun.

I'm also hoping the fill with help.  I'm hungry more in the day than I should be right now.

Fill is on Thursday.

Should be a quiet week, am hoping to work on the test some but am figuring on having Monday off. 

Exercise is going well, I've been on the treadmill almost every day since school has been out and have been doing 30 minutes a day in 2 sessions. I've been able to do 15 minutes straight consistently and am trying to work up to 20.

Why do people STILL get their eye dialated for routine exams?

Seriously.  Lately I've seen more than one diabetes blogger who was getting their eyes dialated.  That is so 1990's and before.

Here's the deal -- my eye doctor's office is very much into prevention and they've had Optomax Retinal Exams for a long time.   This is their page on it:  You stand in front of a machine, hold your eyes as wide open as you can, don't blink and they simply take a picture.  It saves a picture in the doctor's computer so they can compare prior images, and so it can be sent to a specialist if needed. 

My doctor gets to fuss at me for not wearing sunglasses -- apparently that changes the retina some.  But the really great thing is that they can compare and see if the eye has changed and how fast.  They have done a diation and a double check, but only when they couldn't decide what a change was -- and it was in the early days of the mapping.


I'm gong on a twelve day trip in a few weeks -- don't worry, husband and dogs will be at home.  I'm going to a workshop and sightseeing on the way.

The first thing I always do is start to locate and organization medications.  In fact, I do that every Saturday.  I use one of those SMTWTFS pill boxes and organize my pills for the week, that way I know how much of everything I have and if I need to order.

I do the same thing with diabetes supplies.  I haven't started packing yet, but I make sure I have at least double (some times triple, depending on the item and the length of the trip).  I'll start packing things about a week before the trip.

And yes, because my husband is at home, he could ship something I might need but that is a pain for both of us. It's easier to take more than I need.

To the non-diabetic, this might seem anal but I've forgotten something major when I haven't planned this well.

Day 29 the Lap Band

I've finally decided to keep track of my own weight.  I haven't been because when I was over 300 pounds, my scale wasn't accurate (actually it "broke" sometime over 305).  I've been watching it carefully as I was afraid I would have to replace it.  I'm not quite at my lowest weight, but I'm getting closer. 

Speaking of my scale, I love it, it's one of those fancy BMI scales and it measures in .1 of pounds. That's really nice when you want a gradual weight loss -- I'm hoping for 2-3 pounds a week, which I think I'm getting -- will let you know in a few weeks.

Did something I haven't done in ages.  I've thought about it, but haven't done -- I went to the Galleria in Dallas and did the mall thing.  Left when I over spent, but walked most of the 3rd and 2nd floor.  Stopped in the middle and had sugar-free iced coffee and tweeter to take a breath.  Found some really cool glittery red combs in a kiosk -- where I spent to much -- and she has some other things for me to spend too much on the future.  Good sales woman, could take her hair stuff and create a really pretty hair style in seconds.  Wish she had some plain, not glittery stuff, would definitely buy.  And of course, red for school spirit Fridays.  I believe this counts as a NSV -- spending a morning shopping. NSV is lap band for Non-Scale Victory.

I'll have to commend Chico's, they did a very nice job of letting me know I was too big for their clothing -- asked me if I knew about their sizing which opened up a conversation to ask. Also went to Macy's and saw that their plus size clothing is ugly and shoved off the beaten path.  Old Navy will start fitting soon.  I thought they had Plus Sizes in a few stores in Dallas, but checked with the store and the website, and no, they shove us on-line only, which means Macy's is slightly better....

By the way, I won't be surprised if I don't get a fill next week.  I'm getting food stuck almost every meal.  Weird, but okay.

Sleezy Tweeting

<Warning Snarky mode on> I saw the following tweet on Twitter today and it got me to thinking and then writing:

DiabetesMine First-ever branded Tweet: Charlie Kimball on Levemir - good info, or just sleazy?

First, I have to thank Charlie for getting me interested in Indy racing this year.  Because of his interview with SUM, his tweets and his blogs, I've watched two Indy style races, Indianapolis and Texas Motorspeedway and I've got Iowa on the DVR.  I'm also following some of my favorite Indy drivers.

Second, I've always wondering about the bloggers who make money -- especially those that make money on their chronic disease.  I really like what David Mendosa writes and Amy makes me think.

I'll have to admit, blogging and writing is a hobby for me, and is a secondary means to an end, polishing up my technical writing.  One of my next major projects, if my district ever gives me time, is to write a CS textbook.  In the meantime, I do a lot of curriculum writing because what I do for my classroom. 

I'd love to make a few cents on the lapband experience, but if I don't, well, I don't.  And if I can help someone behind me on this mission cool.

That being said, if Charlie and Levemir think that tweeting will get both of them some attention, who is Amy to say it is sleezy?  It's no more sleezy than her tweets which almost always promoting her blog or RTing someone else.  Frankly I use Twitter to communicate and promoting the blog is secondary -- in fact, lately blogging is a way to write more than 140 characters, and communicating to my PON (personal online network) though PON can also be a cool herding dog (shout-out to Moseley, a PON)..

Hopefully I'm done being snarky today, but then who knows, I might still be in a snarky mood.

By the way, I love Novalog -- Humalog makes me itch, and I'm keeping Apridia around just in case Novalog starts making me itch too.  And I keep wondering if Symlin has the same preservative as Humalog as it makes me itch too, but it doesn't last long. Pretty sure it does.