Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Anxiety & Depression

So let's talk about anxiety & depression.

Depression & anxiety.

Not happy topics.

No fuzzy bunnies involved.

I've been debating making this post for a long time, but thought it was better to hide it. No point in dwelling on the negative, and no one wants to read about it anyway.

But I changed my mind.

There's an estimated 1 in 10 adults with depression in the US, and of those, nearly 1/2 are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. That means that there are probably about 12 people who read this blog who are dealing with depression, and 5 or 6 who have anxiety as well.

Well this post is for them.

And for those reading who have a friend or family member dealing with depression or anxiety. (And if you've got 9 of those, one of them probably is...)

And for myself.

-------------------------------------

We all know the symptoms, right? You've all seen the late night commercials or the ads in magazines for the various antidepressants...
Do you suffer from feelings of guilt or worthlessness? Persistent sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness?

Do you feel anxious or empty? Unable to enjoy the things you used to?

Blah blah blah... Just take this drug & be magically healed!
No.

Sorry.

It doesn't work that way.

I know because for close to 20 years I've been dealing with my own depression & anxiety.

I've tried medicines that made me apathetic, medicines that made my head spin, and medicines that made me break out in hives. I've seen apathetic counselors, therapists that made my head spin, psychologists who cared more about the bottom line than about helping me, and even a priest for a while. I've done tons of reading, checking clinical trials on the latest drugs, and research on the whys and hows of depression & anxiety.

Sometimes, I can forget about it, live and be happy and joyful, and carry on like Everybody Else™. Sometimes, getting up in the morning is hard, (why bother?) but I push through even though most of the day goes by in a grey haze. And sometimes, simple things like making a phone call, going to work, or even to visit a friend, makes me cry and shake, feel filled with adrenaline, heart racing, can't catch my breath...

When things get really bad, I shut myself in my room and try to distract myself from the negative thoughts in my head. (You're so bad.) But it doesn't often help. (Can't do anything right.) They circle around and around in my head, (Badbadbad...) leading me down darker & darker paths... (Stupidstupidstupid...) And I wind up feeling worse.

And truthfully the past few months have been pretty dark for me.

And it's a vicious cycle. I'll have a situation that makes me super anxious, so I'll avoid it, or I'll have a day feeling depressed, so nothing gets done; and then I'll feel bad, because things didn't get done, and I'll find myself depressed and anxious again, and nothing gets done; and so it goes... down, down, down, around & around...


A sketch I did a long time ago; it gives a good visual of how I feel sometimes...
Everyone else laughing & chatting (so loud!) and me locked up inside my own head...
time stopped yet unending, meaningless (like me)...

So what to do instead... How does one dig in and stop spiraling down into despair?

Well, I think it's different at different times and for different people. And that's why you find so many articles out there on how to beat depression & anxiety.

I think the first step, when you are spiraling down, is to realize you're doing it. Recognize that you are sliding into anxiety or depression, and stop your thoughts from continuing on that path.

And that's the hard part. Stopping your thoughts. But there are lots of things you can try, and some might not work for you, and some might not be possible, but here's a list of things I've tried...
  • Tell those voices to stop. Stop stressing (if you're starting to get anxious), stop putting you down (if you're starting to be too negative), stop because it's not true (whatever your head is saying). If saying stop in your head doesn't work, do it out loud.

  • Physically move. Stand up if you're sitting, sit down if you're standing. Lie down. Stretch. Roll your shoulders. Take a walk to the restroom, or to get a drink. Just move your body & concentrate on that.

  • Take a walk. This goes with the previous one. Even in the winter, just going out to get the mail at the end of our driveway is enough to change my mood. Breathe the air, feel the wind, hear the sounds of life going on around you. (It's not that bad!)

  • Put on some music. Something upbeat that you like. No depressing stuff! You can find something appropriate in any genre of music, so find something you like that makes you feel good. Even make a playlist to put on to drown out those voices.

  • Dance! Combine the music with the moving. You don't have to move like Grace Kelly or BeyoncĂ©. Wiggle your butt, flail your arms, shake your shoulders.... Just move your body in a manner that makes you happy!

  • Take a bath or shower. Clean the voices out of your head the same way you clean your body. Scrub-a-dub-dub! Let the water relax you and wash all the negative right down the drain.

  • Find a funny website. Bookmark it, and visit it when you need a laugh. Funny videos, hilarious auto-corrects, adorable animals... whatever makes you LOL for reals, that's the place to go when you need a mental realignment.

  • Cuddle your kitty. Or your dog. Or your bunny. Or spend some quality time with your goldfish. Or even have a chat with your chia plant! Connecting with another living thing can help get you out of your own head.

  • Phone a friend. Use that life line! I know for me this is a really hard thing. Maybe the phone isn't for you either. So instead, try an online chat or text via your cell phone. Just find someone who can listen non-judgmentally, someone you can vent to without having to worry about them trying to fix it or you, just someone to help lift your spirits.

  • Get a hug. Another hard one sometimes. Especially if you're at work, or live alone. But if you can find someone who you can approach and say, I need a hug, and get one. Then do it. It's been scientifically proven to help!

So, now that you've pulled yourself up and out of anxiety or depression for the moment, how do you keep from slipping back into it?

Again, different things for different folks at different times, but these are some things that the experts agree can help...
  • Exercise! Yuck. That's the first thing I think when someone says that. But guess what? It doesn't have to be yucky. All it has to be is you moving your body in a way that makes you happy. It doesn't have to be hard. Click here to read what the Mayo Clinic has to say about depression & anxiety and exercise.

  • Watch your diet! Another yucky one. I feel restricted and resentful and want to eat a whole carton of ice cream just thinking about it. But again, we're not talking strict calorie counting or anything. Just pay attention to it. There is some evidence to support the claims that diets high in simple sugars or caffeine can increase depression & anxiety. I know for myself, when I have a day when I eat things like pasta, rice, bread, desserts, chips, and other refined carbs, I feel more tired and lethargic, and have a lot of aches and pains the next day. It's worth it for me to reduce how many and how often I eat carbs. Also, make sure you're getting all the right nutrients from a wide variety of foods to keep your mind & body working to the best of it's ability!

  • Sleep. Yes, it really does matter. Not getting enough sleep makes everyone miserable, depressed or not. Try to keep a regular schedule of 7-9 hours of sleep, even on weekends, or if you work from home (or are retired). One that works with your natural body clock is best. Sleeping from 11pm - 6am is just as good as sleeping from 3am - noon if that's how your body likes it.

  • Be social! This is another one that can cause a lot of anxiety, but finding people to connect with is one of the most effective ways to keep depression & anxiety at bay. Being depressed and anxious can make you feel isolated, which only gets worse the less you interact with others. They don't have to know you're depressed or anxious, just have a conversation. Say hi as you pass on the street or in the supermarket. Call a friend. Compliment a coworker on their outfit. And don't forget to smile! (Just that alone is said to improve your mood.)

  • Keep busy. Feeling productive is another great way to improve your mood. Wandering aimlessly through life can leave you feeling frustrated and uneasy. Create a routine of daily activities, or choose an achievable goal to pursue to help give your life direction and focus. I know for myself, day after day of not doing anything leads to some depression, and makes me even more anxious when it's time to get back out there and *do* things.

  • Keep a journal. This does not have to be an online public blog. This could be one of those fancy hardcover blank books you can buy at bookstores, or a creative handmade one from Etsy. You can buy a notebook from the dollar store or even looseleaf paper, and you can handwrite it. Or you can create a private online journal or download some journal software if typing is more your speed. From what I understand you can even get one on your smartphone! The point is to get the thoughts out of your head.

  • Be Yourself! OMG HARD ONE! But so true. Don't compare your life to anyone else's. And don't try to live anyone else's life. Doing what someone else says you should do, or being someone you aren't, is a great way to feel like a miserable failure. Make sure you're not letting someone else run your life for you, and that *YOU* are in charge of yourself. If you're finding people in your life who have too much of a negative influence on you, and what you do, then limit your contact with them.

  • Relax! Lots of times we get caught up in really strict thinking; we put all these rules, shoulds and musts, on ourselves & others, and leave no room for wiggles. Things are black or white; no other color. And when we fail to live up to those rules, or when a friend doesn't, or when life in general doesn't, we feel guilty or anxious, angry or frustrated. It's better to relax our way of thinking and how we see things, so we don't get so stressed about things. You ate too many cookies when you were feeling sad earlier? It's ok. You're not bad, just a mistake, move on. Your spouse forgot your anniversary? That sucks, but they love you enough to still be there, and I am sure they didn't do it to hurt you. Remember to pause & then think outside the box!

  • Meditate. Most people think meditation is all about clearing your mind. Letting go of all thoughts, and becoming one with the Universe. Well, that is something that I personally can't do. Thoughts, they keep bubbling back up! And I follow them, one after another, down the rabbit hole! But that's ok. Because that's what everyone goes through. The way to meditate effectively is to focus on one thing, a phrase, a visual focus, your breath, and just Be Present. Yes thoughts may bubble up, but return your focus to that one thing. Just taking a few deep breaths can be a quick meditation to reduce anxiety and ease depression enough to think clearer.

  • Seek help. If you really feel you're in too deep and are thinking of hurting yourself or someone else, talk to someone. Ask your doctor if medicine or therapy could help.

    If things have reached a crisis level, call 911 or visit your local ER, or try one of these methods...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Body Issues

You may have noticed from some of my recent posts, that I have some issues with my body that I am trying to work through. I've been heavy since I was a child, and have always been larger on top than on bottom. In the past year I have lost enough weight so I now weigh what I did when I was a teen-ager. Even then my body was proportionately larger on the top. And I've never really liked my body.

But what I am having a *really* hard time with lately is having spent so many years not appreciating what I *did* have. I look in the mirror at my face & body, and see all the fine lines that come from aging, the crease-lines on my forehead from frowning when concentrating, the dark circles and bags under my eyes from lack of sleep & worry, the sagging flesh of my breasts, stomach, thighs, back, neck... that wrinkle up weird, and jiggle funny, now since I've lost so much weight...

Sure, I may weigh what I did when I was 17, but I no longer have that body. My flesh is no longer taut and smoothly rounded; it's like an old balloon someone let the air out of, lumpy & wrinkled in weird places. And I feel so disappointed. I don't know what I expected, I guess I knew there'd be some loose skin if I lost a lot of weight, but I assumed if I lost it as slow as I have been, that it would shrink up, and I could look nicer than I did when I was fat. And I guess I do when I cover myself up in clothes. If I can find clothes that fit this lumpy irregular body correctly.

But that's not the point... what I am trying to remember - to internalize - starts with this:

We all only have the one body we were given.

It's with you from birth, carrying you from place to place, experiencing the world around you as best as it can. And that old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," is true. The media portrays what we as a society feel is the best & most attractive, and plastic surgery may be fast becoming just a rite of passage in some circles, and the news is telling us we're all getting too fat & unhealthy, and we learn to criticize the people we see who are less than perfect with our friends & acquaintances, and those voices & images get etched in our brains and don't shut up.

But we are the loudest "beholder" of our own beautiful bodies. We judge ourselves, compare our bodies to those around us & in the media, and we pick ourselves apart, chipping away at any sense of self-love that we have. We try all kinds of things: all sorts of make-up and beauty products, diet aids, fad diets, exercise regimens, surgery... just to make ourselves look like this *perfect* beautiful image of ourselves in our head. But guess what?

Our bodies are already perfect.

And I generally try not to use that word, perfect, because it tends to be so, well, imperfect... but we are. Perfect. Just the way we are. Right now. Lumpy. Fat. Wrinkled. Bony. Pale. Tanned. Freckled. Frizzy hair. Straight hair. Near-sighted, far-sighted, or with 20/20 vision. Tall or short. Broad shouldered. Broad hipped. Willowy or Rubenesque. Old or young. Healthy or failing. Even if you feel like you're the wrong gender, your body is perfect; that's about the gender acceptance, not the genitals. Our bodies are perfect.

My body is perfect.

I am choosing to accept that it is perfect, just the way it is. As is. Perfect. And yours is too.



I wanted to end this post right there with a picture. I had in mind, a tastefully done nude photo (nothing really showing); so I searched flickr and deviantART for something to represent the heart of what I am feeling, and although I found some wonderful art and photos (check out this piece and this collection), I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. So I thought, "Well, how about one of myself?" I mean, if my body is so perfect, then posting an artistic nude photo shouldn't bother me - I love my body as is - and I shouldn't be bothered by any criticisms of it, right?

Well truthfully, I'm not there yet. I'm still struggling with accepting that my body is perfect and wonderful and worthy of loving just as it is. And that's ok. For now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Diet Soda

If someone had told me last year, that I would one day love diet soda and shun the full sugar stuff, I would have told them they were nuts. My step-father was diabetic and I grew up with sugar-free soda in the house; I never could get past the after-taste. After moving out on my own, I would occasionally enjoy some Crystal Light flavors, but would shudder when 'forced' to drink diet soda. Ew ew icky icky ew!

After being diagnosed diabetic, I really didn't change my soda-drinking habits. I didn't drink it often or much when I did; my primary drink of choice is, and has been for years, iced herbal tea. (And I still had that taste issue....) However, for the past few months, I've been controlling my blood glucose, and losing weight, by changing to a low carb diet. Full-sugar soda is *not* low carb. One 20 oz. bottle has more than half - no, more than 3/4!!! of the carbs I should be eating - and a ton of calories!

Look at these stats for 20 oz. of my faves:
SodaCarbsCalories
Cherry Coke25070
Dr. Pepper25067.5
Wild Cherry Pepsi26070
Cherry Vanilla Pepsi25069
Mountain Dew29077


But look at these:

SodaCarbsCalories
Diet Cherry Coke00
Diet Lime Coke00
Cherry Coke Zero00
Diet Dr. Pepper00
Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi00
Diet Cherry Vanilla Pepsi00
Diet Mountain Dew0<1


So I caved and tried again. Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Mountain Dew were most tolerable to me at first. They were what I would have when I really craved the soda. Then I noticed others not tasting too bad. (I think I've grown used to it.) I have recently discovered that Diet Cherry Pepsi is SO GOOD! I keep forgetting it's diet! And now they have a Diet Cherry Vanilla too, and it is EVEN BETTER! ^-^

I have only one problem though: all those fabulous *different* soda flavors, the Mountain Dew DEWmocracy flavors, Code Red, Vault, cherry, strawberry... They're impossible to find in diet versions... :\

Anyway, here's the trick for switching from regular to diet. Don't drink regular sodas. Stop cold turkey. Then after a week or two of drinking only things like milk, tea, and coffee, pick out a soda flavor you really like, in diet. Polar Birch Beer & Cream Soda are good flavors, in addition to the ones I've already mentioned. Then just gradually add in the others...

Really, I am surprized that I like diet soda now - I was so adamantly against it - but I really do feel like it's a luxury for me now, to have diet soda...

Monday, August 02, 2010

Diet & Exercise

I've been thinking about exercise lately, and whether or not it would help speed up my weight loss. I've tried a lot of things to lose weight over the years: meal replacement shakes (yuck.), diet pills (whoa jitters!), weight loss groups (have I mentioned my social anxiety?), crazy diets (cabbage soup, grapefruit, counting calories, low fat...), joining a gym ($$$)... and nothing has worked. Mainly because I never stuck to anything for more than few months.

Since I've been blogging, I've not lost more than 20 pounds, and that *was* while I was working out at Curves 3x a week. It took many months and was very slow with lots of ups & downs. Most of the downs were in conjunction with me adding a diet modification to the routine. And it was all gained back when I stopped going.

In March, Jacqueline started tracking my food using DietPower, and since then I've lost over 40 pounds. Yes, it's also slow, but my ups are usually daily fluctuations of a pound or less, and my downs have been steady. I feel physically better. I have better balance. Things that used to exhaust me, no longer do. I can walk all over without saying I need a break. I can go up the 4 flights of stairs to Emma's apartment and not need to stop and catch my breath when I get there. I can squat down to get a good picture and stand back up with out using my hands or feeling like I'm going to fall over. I can go up & down the hill at FlatRock without needing to hold someone's hand and without worrying about tumbling down headfirst!

But I still have body issues. My clothes don't fit right anymore; they're all falling off me and are uncomfortable, and I am sad about how I look in them. I have strange lumps and bumps (omg those are my ribs!), and parts of me feel very deflated and wrinkly now. I also have pain and discomfort. I have osteoarthritis in my hands and feet and hips, as well as some back pain (bed?), and strange hernia-like discomfort in my belly sometimes.

Today DietPower sent this in an email:
Is Exercise Enough?
By Terry Dunkle

Like many overweight folks, your DietPower CEO likes to think he can lose pounds by getting more exercise. My favorite neighborhood walk takes 50 minutes. If I do it daily, will that make up for the pork chops?

A few summers ago, while tending a campfire built on my driveway during a power outage, I got to thinking about Soylent Green, a sci-fi movie released during the 1973 oil embargo. Set in 2022, the film depicts a resource-starved world where Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson share a tiny flat powered by a stationary bicycle yoked to a generator.

Could you really power your household with a bicycle? Not a chance. The average American uses 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day -- equivalent to 26,000 calories. That's three times the daily energy expended by Lance Armstrong in a Tour de France.

We're not trying to beat Armstrong, however -- we just want to work off, say, one pound a week. And according to DietPower, 50 minutes of walking every day at my weight and speed burns about 3500 calories a week -- equivalent to one pound of body weight.* This will solve the problem, right?

Wrong. My walking will cause a weight loss only if I eat the same number of calories as before. But walking makes me hungry. Not right away, mind you, but an hour or two later -- which often happens to be dinner time.

Overblown Truths
"Wait a minute," says a little voice on my left shoulder. "Doesn't exercise raise your metabolic rate, so your body burns more calories even when you're not walking? Maybe that will get rid of some pounds."

This argument has been repeated for decades, but according to health writer Sally Squires (among the most reliable I know), it's overblown. "Studies show that after a typical 20- to 30-minute workout, the body burns about 10 to 12 more calories -- the amount in a bite of an apple," she writes.

"OK, but what about the extra muscle you're building?" the little voice says. "Doesn't muscle burn calories faster than the rest of your body?"

Once again: true but trivial. "The average enthusiast who goes into the gym puts on only three to five pounds of muscle mass over 12 to 15 weeks," David Nieman, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University, told Squires. That amount of muscle burns only 28 to 40 calories per day -- the equivalent of half a slice of bread.

The answer is clear: Walking may lower my blood pressure, cholesterol, and resting pulse. It may also make me feel good. But it won't keep my weight in check if I don't watch my calorie intake. And that's why I'll continue using my DietPower.
And that last paragraph is it really. I've lost all this weight by monitoring every morsel of food that goes in my mouth. Portion control. Did I have days of hunger? Yes, some days were really hard. Did I have days of excess? Yes, did you see that birthday cake? Did I stick with it anyway? Yes.

But what about exercise? I do think I am going to add some strength training exercises. Strengthening my stomach and back muscles will help my hips and that weird belly problem, I believe, and the movement in general will help the other pain. I've got some belly dance DVDs that I've been meaning to practice with, and I'm going to search the intrarwebz for some other exercises, like the donkey kick, etc.

Anyone have any good links?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

Jamie asks, "What do you wish for your well-being?"

At the moment, I wish in particular to heal the nerve damage I did to my ulnar nerve. Take your left hand off your face everyone! Stop sitting that way before you get tingly fingers too... ^o^

Now how else is well-being described...?

well-being n. The state of being healthy, happy, or prosperous.

Well, I wish eating low carb was easier and tastier, and I wish for more income to *come in* so we have money to pay bills and still have fun this summer! Those are the things I wish for my well-being today.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Another Quote

If health were our real concern, it would be dieting we question, not weight.
~ Sally Tisdale

Friday, April 02, 2010

Stupid Anxiety *kicks*

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted here...

I'm not perfect. No one is. I am trying my best though. And that's true of everyone. Sometimes it gets hard to remember that. That everyone is doing their best. We all have past experiences that affect how we react to things. We're all doing the best that we can with what we've been handed in life. Sometimes things don't turn out how you planned, and you deal with that as best as you know how.

I know things went wrong with my plans: Married by 22, baby at 24, a housewife, maybe more when the kids went to school, but... well... the man I wanted to marry didn't see me as good enough to marry (or at least that's how it felt), then I couldn't have children with the man I did marry... It took me decades to get my bachelor's and after 3 years of subbing, I'm not sure I want to teach. But all the student loans... I need to pay them back somehow...

I don't know how I pictured my relationship with my family, but I am sure the way things are right now is *not* it. All the strained conversations trying to read in between the lines and figure out what they really mean and why they're not just saying it. None of it is made any easier with my social anxiety.

Yes. There. I said it. The phone, it makes my hear race, my hands shake, and my body fills with adrenaline. Making a call, or expecting one... I hate going to work. Sunday nights, or the night before work after a bunch of days with no calls, I can't sleep. That first day I come home and practically fall right into bed to sleep until morning because I am so worn out from dealing with controlling the panic in school. Stupid, isn't it?

And now, I dread talking to my dad, or grandmother, or aunt because of all the miscommunication - or non-communication. Conversations seems polite on the surface, but it feels like things are being left unsaid, like I'm being judged for doing or not doing things the way they expect and assume I should. And I feel like it's all my fault because I can't pick up the phone and have a normal conversation. Or go visit regularly.

But I am doing the best that I can. And I only *feel* this way. Unless it's been said to me, I shouldn't assume anything. Everyone is just doing the best that they can. No one is intentionally out to hurt anyone. I just wish I could remember that and stop panicking all the time...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Frank

I am writing this from the family lounge on 9F at University Hospital, where I have been since noon today. My mother called me this morning and had me come to Syracuse. She needed to make the decision to take my stepfather off life support. He is now getting what they call Comfort Care: he has a morphine drip to keep him comfortable, but all other support has been stopped. He is breathing on his own and they have removed the tube for that. He still has the heart monitor things on his chest and the blood pressure cuff and the feeding tube in, but they aren't hooked up to anything. The feeding tube is there if they need to give him Tylenol or something direct to his stomach. The swelling on his brain hasn't gone down and it's not something they can operate on. There are no guarantees he will wake up, and if he does he will likely not be the same Frank. My mother is afraid to leave, but he could be like this for a very long time...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Update again

There's been no change. He's breathing on own, not sedated; the bleeding has stopped, but the swelling has not gone down. No other changes. They can only keep him comfortable for a few more days or something... then mom might have to make hard decisions.

Update on my step-father

I would like to thank those of you who responded with your well-wishes to my last post. At this point there is still no change in his condition. He is still in ICU and intubated, and has had a feeding tube added. They did take him off the sedatives, but he is still in a neck brace and still unconscious. Still no idea why he fell or why he is not waking up.

My mom is holding up. She's got a long time friend of the family staying with her, and she's going to work still because they need the money (and probably for the distraction), but of course, she just wants her husband to come home. And I just want my mommy happy...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Think Good Thoughts Please

My step-father collapsed while walking home from the bus after work yesterday. In addition to having cuts and bruises on his face, he has multiple small bleeds throughout his brain, and 2 large ones. He is still unconscious, has been intubated, and is undergoing tests today. Any healing energy, prayers, good thoughts, etc. that you can spare and send to him and my mom are greatly appreciated...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Not Your Typical Weight Loss Blog

I am continuously amazed by the writing that Jacqueline does for her blog, Not Your Typical Weight Loss Blog. The writing is clear and concise, thought provoking, but most of all heartening! She doesn't claim to have all the answers, but definitely encourages one to embrace joyful living and acceptance, while eating to feel healthy. If you've been struggling with your body image and find yourself bogged down in counting fat grams, obsessing over calories burned, or following the latest diet fad, then adding Not Your Typical Weight Loss Blog might just be what you're looking for...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quickie

To sick to blog properly...

Sunrise
Heading to work...
Sunrise

Sunset
Home from work...
Sunset


Happy Chinese New Year!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sick

I hate being sick.

I hate having my nose feel like it's been shoved full of cotton balls, my throat like it's been rubbed with sandpaper, and my glands like they're the size of golf balls.

I hate drinking & drinking & drinking til my belly HURTS, but still feeling dry.

BUT I NEED TO BE POSITIVE!

I love having a girlfriend that wants me to feel better and will do anything to help make it so.

I love having kids that know I am sick and will be extra quiet cuz they know my head hurts too.

I love being a sub, and not being made to feel guilty about not going into work.  (By the work people at least, my own guilt is another subject.)

I love being able to crawl into bed and fall fast asleep with a quickness.

So good night everyone...

(And yes, I am sure this is all lordrexfear's fault.... :P )

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

REQUEST FOR CGMS: DENIED BY INSURANCE

Today is CGMS Denial Day...


A CGMS (Continuous Glucose Monitoring System) is a device that tests your blood glucose (BG) levels throughout the day and night, and can help you & your health care professionals decide on the best course of action for your treatment of diabetes. A tiny sensor is inserted into your abdomen, like an insulin pump catheter, and every 10 seconds it sends information on your glucose levels to a pager-sized monitor attached to your waistband.

For 3 days, you regularly check your BG and keep track of meals, exercise, and any medication or insulin. Then return to your health care provider with the monitor, and with the information gathered, you will be able to see patterns and trends in you BG levels, and create a better treatment plan for your diabetes, which will mean a lowered risk of diabetes-related complications and fewer medical costs in the future.

This is not something I need right now, as my diabetes is not severe and kept under control quite well with medication, but there are many diabetics who really could use this, and maybe someday I will too. However, despite the need, many insurance companies are denying it as "not medically necessary" - not seeing the long term benefits, only the short term costs.

If you have been denied, have diabetes, or know someone who does, please help spread the word, and hopefully the insurance companies will open their eyes and let the people with diabetes and their health care providers make the decisions about what's medically necessary and what's not.

For more information, visit JDRF's Steps For Obtaining Case By Case Coverage For Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMS) or CGMS Central.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Thunderstorms etc.

Last night we had our first thunderstorm of the season. The air was hot and muggy, and Jacqueline & I slept with no covers. We tried to leave both windows open, but I was afraid of rain coming in; so we closed them most of the way. In the middle of the night (4am?), the thunder and lightening woke us. Great rolling booms and sharp cracks, flashes and pops, strobe lights lighting up the room... The power went off and on, and reset my clock to flashing. I have not ever really been afraid of storms, but sometimes, like last night, I feel the fear in my belly, and cuddle closer to my lover, despite the heat, before falling back to sleep.

Needless to say, this morning I am once again not well-rested. This time it's not my fault though... Without the alarm set, and being so tired, I took my temp later than usual. I guess it doesn't matter much since it's been screwy all month. I am glad to only have a half day today. I got to sleep a little later. And I got to have a nice leisurely morning and get some stuff done...

Yesterday, I worked for the district with the disrespectful, totally out of control students. It was so bad, I had to call the principal to come get control of the class. I called the sub-caller and told her to take me off her list for the rest of the school year. I'll decide over the summer if I really want to go back there. I like the teachers, it's close to home, I did my student teaching there, and I used to think I wanted to work there, but every time I've subbed, it's been a bad experience. I don't want to go over it all... it was bad. So I was lucky to get a call for the half-day today at a different district. Of course then I got several calls for a full day at the further away district that pays much better... But it's first come, first serve right now. This close to the end of the year, I worry that not so many teachers will be needing subs.

In other news:
My personality type: the dreamy idealist I am a Dreamy Idealist.

Adjectives which describe your type (bolded those that I feel were particularly accurate)
introverted, theoretical, emotional, spontaneous, idealistic, dreamy, effusive, pleasant, reserved, friendly, passionate, loyal, perfectionist, helpful, creative, composed, curious, obstinate, with integrity, willing to make sacrifices, romantic, cautious, shy, peace-loving, vulnerable, sensitive, communicative, imaginative