Questions, Answers and Comments, Oh My!

Here we are with a brand new month once more. I realize I didn't write a lot of posts last month but there were loads of comments and replies and I really wanted to acknowledge those and share a bit here and there about different ones.  I am working on a creative project at present and am hoping it will fire my brain into inspired status all over again.  I feel quite hopeful after the spontaneous post on Makeup Basics last month, lol.

I'll start with my first post for June:  Home, Home is Best.  There were 35 comments on this post and I can't even begin to address them all.  You all touched me with your warm welcome on my return, your own stories, your prayers, your sympathy and concern.  Funniest remark of all was from Shell who said "There is, however, no pill for being stubborn. Next time listen to your body and get in right away."

Shell, you are so right;  it was a wake up call that I really needed to 'listen' more closely to my body and a reminder that sometimes we let one thing frighten us when really it's a minor thing in the end.  Even though I have insurance I was worried about the out of pocket and deductible expenses...and being the daughter of an RN/Nurse Practitioner and wife of a Paramedic, I am accustomed to treating myself  at home or waiting to see.  Well I nearly paid with my life on that score.  And the fear of having to pay that deductible is such a silly one now, under the circumstances.  But if they ever do make a pill for being stubborn, I promise to be the first to ask for a prescription!

A few mentioned Warfarin in their comments.  I chose Warfarin because it is easily reversible in an emergency and because I knew it had a long track record.  And as I said, being medication sensitive, I figure others have already experienced the side effects.  My primary care doctor did mention the calcification that occurs but said he feels sure we can work to offset that over time, and I expect more supplements will be added to my current ones as he sees how I react to these.

In the first menu post, Changing Lifestyle  I shared a few 'facts' and the  guidelines for following my eating plan.  I do indeed believe my natural organization has helped make this transition somewhat easier.  Meal plans help a lot.  Prepping food ahead is a help I added later in the month and I'm going to try to have a kitchen day at least twice each week.  I need to eat and medicate at certain times of the day and must eat with medication.  Being organized with meal plans and food prep has made this 100% easier!

Sarah, you asked if there were any conclusion about what caused the blood clots.  I visited the Pulmonologist  last week and he was still puzzled and told me we'll just have to focus on that trip to St. Augustine as the source, because nothing else has proven to be the answer at this point.  I have decided that at the moment it doesn't matter what caused it, it matters most that it was caught in time to let me survive.  Most people don't and even arriving at the hospital John was told I had only a 75% chance of making it through the catherization process.

Karla I bought whole wheat spaghetti but I do like spaghetti squash.  I'd also like to try one of those spiral cutters to make zucchini into pasta.  A few of the recipes I've read serve the zucchini raw, but I should think you could steam it for a few minutes to cook it a bit.  I'm open to experimenting with foods, after all it's just a glorified way of 'playing with your food'.

I have been very surprised at the vast range of foods I can eat...or at least try and eat.  I've noted from many who have experience in this area that some foods do cause spikes for some people and for others it's a non-reactive food.  I don't seem to have any problem with a measured amount of corn or potatoes but there are others which elevate my sugar (bread seems to be one, even whole wheat) so I will eat those foods in very moderate amounts only on occasion.

In the Q&A post for May, Susie shared that she'd been in hospital too and was also put on blood thinners.  Susie, I'm so sorry to hear this news but hope you have as few worries as I've had thus far.  I confess I've had two silly bumps that left me bruised and my doctor has urged me to be very careful about putting myself in situations where I might fall.  Neither of my bruises were the result of a fall or almost fall, but silly things like bumping into the shower door handle and having a pile of cake pans and a glass pie plate fall from a cupboard and bump my ankle bone hard.  So do be careful of the usual household incidents as well and check for bruising.

Lana recommended in her comments as a great source for jeans.

Rhonda, I say sincerely I do not miss sugar either.  I miss having a soda now and then but I can live without those.  I miss having a salty snack most of all, but I'm learning to live without that too.  I can eat so much more of a less fatty better for me fruits and vegetables for fewer carbs and feel good and full too from the fiber.

In Savings Changes  an anonymous commenter mentioned a $20 glucometer and $17/100 test strips.  I believe you are referring to the ReliOn Prime Tester and strips and I purchased those later in June online.  I do plan to ask my doctor to prescribe some of the other test strips and pay a small amount out of pocket...then I'll have a back up meter I can keep in my purse at all times. The primary care doctor did tell me to check back periodically and see if they have any test strips in the office for the meter they gave me.  I'll be doing that too.

Lana suggested flavored drops in the water.  I've seen those but haven't been too tempted to buy them simply because I'm funny about tastes in my water overall.  I've settled on spearmint leaves, lemon, lime, strawberries when I've wanted a little flavor to the water and that suits me just fine.  I don't miss the fizziness of soda at all, but I do miss having a bit of Coke on a hot afternoon.  However, not finding a good substitute I shall make do without.  And I do have my occasional bit of diet ginger ale which I like very well.

A Little at a Time Lana commented on the milk servings 3 times a day.  I have no problems drinking the milk but I've found I prefer not to have it at noon.  I actually like milk especially if it's well chilled and it's just one cup at each meal.

I've been researching different things and the consumption of milk is one of them. It's been proven in diabetic studies that those who drink/eat 3 servings of dairy daily will lose more belly fat and keep it off long range than those who skip the dairy.  It doesn't have to be just milk though.  It can be cottage cheese (always so cool and refreshing especially in summer), non-fat Greek yogurt, low fat cheese, even sugar free pudding or a low fat ice cream if those are items you would like to eat.  I personally am fond of buttermilk but prefer the real buttermilk which is an unknown critter in this day of cultured buttermilk.  The yogurt, cottage cheese and cheeses will also serve as a partial or full replacement of any protein in a meal, so be aware you're taking two birds with one stone in that case at least.

And a great tip from Lana on lowering the calorie count of my mayonnaise in salads and such.  She suggested I mix a bit of yogurt in with it.  I've tried it and I love it!  I don't often want a lot of dressing or dip but this no fat stretcher is a good substitute and tastes awesome in coleslaw or chicken salad.

Janelle, I do not miss drinking soda over much.  As for your squash and green beans a serving can be up to three cups of either one if you choose or a total of three cups for both on the same plate if you'd like because they are low carb/non-starchy vegetables.

And Anonymous shared a diabetic friendly dessert: Take one angel food cake mix, one 20 0z. can of unsweetened juice packed crushed pineapple and mix well.  Spread in a 13 x 9 pan and bake at 350F until golden.  It sounds good...I remember this recipe being given at Weight Watchers and an alternative way of baking is to fill small (not the mini sized but not the over sized tins) muffin tins with the mixture and having a cupcake of sorts of the angel food cake.  I think you can purchase sugar free mixes if you'd rather go that route.

Gently Easing Into Routines  Melonie suggested, and rightly guessed, that I look at the website,  I found loads of their recipes and articles via Pinterest and you'll find many of the recipes on my Hearty Healthy Soul board come from that site as well as a few others.  Online resources are the biggest bonus for us folks!  Most are free and contain loads of helpful info if you look.

The topic of dressing continues to come up.  I get so much joy reading how you all are changing up your own wardrobes and adding interest however simply.  Tammy mentions she doesn't bother much if she's running up to Walmart in her town...well I'll confess, I don't bother much usually if I'm just running into town here.  Our rural community area is rather poor and most folks just go to town in their working clothes, which is usually clothing worn outdoors for hard work, not dressy clothes at all.

I took time today to put together five outfits.  I find that is my happy number.  It gives me enough choice that I can choose according to weather and at the same time means I can dress in a matter of moments.  I timed myself earlier this week and was made up and dressed within 10 minutes.

 Now I'm going to make a really big confession:  many years ago I used to run to the primary school to pick up my daughter in the most gosh awful things, including house slippers...One day I was stricken by the way my daughter's teacher looked at me.  I realized I was a mess, uncombed hair, no make up, slap hazard torn clothing, and slippers.  I decided then and there to improve myself.  Foolishly I spent way way too much money on cosmetics (but learned my lesson and have NEVER done so since!) and decided that even if I didn't have but two pairs of pants and two shirts they'd be clean and in good repair and well ironed each day when I dressed.  It made a huge difference in how I felt about myself.  I began to volunteer at the school and eventually joined Jaycees and went back to school to get some additional training.  I got my first job on the recommendation of another parent who reminded a nursing home administrator of all I did in volunteering.  She told me in the interview that I always looked so put together...Well hello!  Who knew I was literally changing my fate the day I decided to clean myself up a bit?

Kip, I love Yoder's but seldom go though it's just a few miles away.  I love the Byron Antique Mall too!  I never can make it quite all the way through that place.  There's far too much to be looked at and dreamed over as I look, sigh.  I haven't been junking lately, not since April, but I do have tentative plans to go out with a friend on Sunday.  Fingers crossed weather and cold cooperates.  And yes to all the other places you mentioned, lol.

Jennifer, You are quite welcome.  I would have told anyone who asked, right up to the moment I dropped in the floor, that I was healthy for my age and weight.  And like you the side effects of NOT following a diabetic diet is scary to me.  I know too many people who are younger than I who have lost eyesight or who play a sort of Russian Roulette with their life by not sleeping and eating the wrong foods and being all too willing to take an extra shot of insulin to counteract their failure.  Well I don't want to be one of those people!    It seemed to me with all the instruction and talking to I got at the hospital that it really is a simple to control issue if you make up your mind you're going to control it.    I'm not doing perfectly but I'm doing the best I can at the moment and I'm constantly re-reading the material I was given, doing research and looking at menu suggestions and recommendations  so that I can change my approach and correct my errors.  I am grateful that you and others find my suggestions helpful.

Karla, I posted the original Beef Stroganoff  soup recipe here.  I only added mushroom tortellini this time instead of noodles  and skipped the flour on the meat step.  It was delicious even in the simplified version.

Crystal, I so understand the loneliness and love of being a stay at home wife!  I wouldn't be anywhere else, but I do miss the slow easy days when other women were at home as well and took time to visit. I think one reason why I love to write my blog is because I get to 'talk to' someone and y'all talk back to me!  It's wonderful!

Family Time:  Karla I do have a hard time designating but I'm learning, and John is great to help and do anything at all I ask him to.

Lana, That's the way my family has been about me.  They all needed to see for themselves that I was okay.  My youngest son and Katie's husband both happened to be in Macon (at different times) when I was in the hospital and they both stopped by to check on me, but Katie nor JD had seen me.  Bess did a peek at me the day they moved and stopped here overnight.  Amie calls and checks in frequently right now.

Makeup Basics:  Sarah, when I want to know something about make up or fashion I ask Katie or my niece go right ahead and ask your grand daughter.  Contrary to what we might fear they won't make us look their age, but they will encourage you to dress and make up appropriate for your personality rather than your age.  Katie assures me I look 15 years younger than my age and so should dress accordingly.  I figure I better take advantage of it while I can!

Anne, primer is a skin conditioner basically.  It smooths, plumps, moisturizes and feels very light.  You can use a tinted primer as your make up or you can mix a dab of primer with foundation for a light coverage.

Love the discussion you all got into about makeup.  Mama wore lipstick and nothing else.  She always said makeup made you look cheap and certainly it could if you applied it wrongly.  I found makeup just subtly enhanced my looks, but have known women that it completely transformed!  I mean to the point that I didn't recognize them at all without makeup.  Generally speaking, most people who see me without mine will ask if I feel okay and then say, "You look a little tired..."  So it must help to brighten my face.  I think makeup is a personal thing.  You either like wearing it or you don't.  I enjoy it but seldom depart from my basics or my basic applications.  Again, I tend to just subtly enhance my looks and that suits me just fine.

Anyone got suggestions for those girls who need a cover up for dark circles under their eyes?

Angela I address cleanser/moisturizer in this weeks Savings post.

Family Way with Savings  Gramma D I did indeed count that deck repair as savings!  Our last one cost well over $500 and that was four years ago.

Lana, I feel you on the heat pump following a new roof.  We did the same here one year, just two months apart.  It hurt, lol.

Pam, we didnt' have AC until we moved here.  Our last house was a horrid little thing with no vents to circulate heat in winter, no insulation at all in our garage room and no AC.  I bought room units that we used on weekends only in summer and then only because I felt we needed to catch up on sleep from all we'd lost during the heat of the week.  I like AC and am grateful for it.  I'm also grateful for my well insulated little home that allows us to use the AC/heat pump and pay only half what it used to cost us a month without AC.

Karla we do the bulk of our shopping now at Aldi and finish it off with good sales at Publix on those items we don't buy at Aldi. It makes life so much simpler than making five or six stops and I can say honestly I'm truly spending less and stocking up at the same time.  I shop at Walmart online usually but dislike going into the store unless I'm looking for some unknown non-specific household decor item.

The room darkening curtains are from Dollar General and are $12.50 a panel.  They are 84 inches long and 52 inches wide and come in a variety of textured finishes including some in damask type pattern.  I'm very pleased with them.  They don't look expensive but they don't look cheap either if you understand what I mean and they work wonderfully at helping to cut down on the light and heat transmitted through the shades.

Summer Time and the Living is Easy  Gramma D, I am trying to figure out my 'magic' combination of carb counts per meal so I can control the diabetes more efficiently.  I have read all sorts of numbers on cereal boxes and finally settled for Bran flakes.  I made out a list of recommendations from the diabetic websites I've visited too, and one they highly recommend is Cheerios (the original).

Janelle, I go over to Peach Regional and have lab works drawn as it's only about 15 minutes from me.  Yes, I too am shocked at the glycemic index numbers on foods.  However, it's an individual thing.  It might affect my blood sugar a lot but only affect another's slightly, so it's all a new level of figuring things out.  I've decided this month to try to learn to count carbs correctly instead of guessing and to try and figure calories.  This week it's mostly concentrating on carbs and eliminating certain foods on a day today basis based on what I've planned and choosing a lesser option if one or two things are putting me over my numbers.

Dale shared this polyvore board.  I think it's a wonderful site and mean to go back and study it a bit more.

Karla, I have always been interested in nutrition up to a point.  I want to know whether or not I'm making healthy choices, and so I enjoy reading a lot about different nutrients and how they can help our bodies to heal and thrive and how to balance our diet etc.  But I think my current life stage is going to lead me to study a lot more.

Well that's all the comments I wanted to reply to.  So many of you commented this month and I know there are many whom I didn't address personally but I read every single comment and appreciate you all for taking the time ti share with me your thoughts, well wishes and such.  I think we're slowly developing a small community right here within this blog and I thank you all for joining in and making it happen.

Now...I'll reply again in August, unless I see an urgent request for something.


Janell in Georgia said...

Hi Kip, I see you are local also. Nice to 'meet' you.

Georgene G. said...

I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic about 3 years ago. I used the information on to help bring my blood sugar back to normal without medication. I thought you might find the information interesting.

Hope you feel better very soon!

Lana said...

You did not mention it but I hope your cold and cough is better now. I am glad you have learned to like the dairy consumption. Cottage cheese is always good! This is getting to be a nice little community! It is so enjoyable to come here and talk to you all!

One thought about the dark circles under the eyes is that it is in some ways an indicator of general health. When I got my health straightened out, that is what people noticed about me because I used to have huge dark circles. I do still have a darker area there but it is much smaller and lighter. I put concealer on lightly and then put my foundation over that and it blends it all together and the concealer is not so noticeable. I like Almay concealer best and right now am using one in a compact. It covers and blends very well. Be careful not to use too light a color and stay close to your normal skin tone. Hope that helps!

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Diary for July: Week Two

July 7, Shabat Saturday:   So very much I want to chatter over today and perhaps I will...I don't typically write on Shabat, having al...