Sunday, April 20, 2014

Yes, my diet IS(n't) fruity... even on the holidays.

These last couple days have been eye openers for me.  Two things are going on:  First, the Easter holiday, second, some pretty bad low blood sugar bouts.  You'd think the answer would be easy: eat chocolate bunnies.  It's not that simple.

There's been some results with the research out of the Mayo on the syndrome I currently suffer from.  I really don't understand any of it, and it's all just preliminary.  My endo will be looking into it more, and let me know what she finds at our next appointment.  Until then keeping my blood sugar in balance is a delicate dance.

There are multiple triggers to my blood sugar drops.  Two I have some control over.  One I have no control over what-so-ever.  So I may be able to minimize the number of these bouts, but not control them completely.  The two triggers I can control are: 1- too little sugar/carbs in my diet and 2- too many sugars/carbs in my diet.

The hardest part for me is to find foods that have the right balance of protein, fat and carbs (and low enough carbs) to keep my blood sugar up without triggering a reactive hypoglycemic episode (where my body produces so much insulin to handle the incoming sugar that it takes TOO MUCH sugar out of circulation, resulting in a dangerous drop in blood glucose).  As I said before, it's a delicate dance.

There are now a number of foods that put me in a reactive tailspin.  They're foods I find myself craving these days.  They include:

apples, bananas, berries of all kinds, melons, and corn

Of course there are obvious foods that I might use in small amounts to raise my sugar when it's very low, but otherwise can't eat:

crackers, rice, potatoes, almost all breads, "regular" granola bars (there are some high protein bars I can eat, so long as the carbs are low enough).

Nothing I eat has more than 19 carbs.  My goal was 15, but it's pretty rough finding a meal that is less than 15 carbs these days!  Even Atkins frozen meals are twice that.  A lot of meals are carb free, and at times I feel like I live on eggs.

I could have had (if it weren't for the gastroparesis) certain salads (I made the tragic mistake of tossing some dried blueberries on a salad one day about a month ago... it's not a mistake I'll make again!) Unfortunately, when my digestion slows down, leafy and/or cruciferous vegetables are nearly impossible to move through my system, meaning that those are also out.   I also now have to avoid spicy foods, since they make the GERD I get with gastroparesis worse.

One thing I've learned through all this is that if I were to follow exactly all the diets for my various issues, I would have to live on water some how.  Not going to happen, so I balance things the best I can.

Which means, yes, I have to make choices about what I need and what I think my body can handle on a day by day... or meal by meal... basis.  But when shopping, I know that it's going to be a lot of eggs, a bit of cheese and meat, and a few choice "safe" veggies.

Yesterday I was in Sprouts and gazing with lust on the plump strawberries, the deep round blueberries, the bright raspberries...  and went for the low carb protein bars and my teas. I'm not in a place where I can take chances.

Which strikes me as a funny thing to have to say about fruit.

The holidays are always a challenge for me, since so many celebrations revolve around food.  I'll be eating my daughter's newly dyed hard boiled eggs, but haven't even thought about buying peeps, chocolate, or any of the traditional foods (cheese pascha, kulich...)  we've enjoyed in the past.  Instead our family dinner tonight will be grilled fish, asparagus, and I may risk a quarter glass of wine, depending on how I feel at that point.

What I really want right now?  Dark chocolate (yes, even sugar free) covered strawberries. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Video du Jour: Jai Ganesha (MC Yogi)

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I was actually looking for something else when I found this quote... sitting here browsing through various jpgs Google served up while sucking hard on my albuterol inhaler and trying to avoid using my left index finger to type after a minor miscalculation while using the new style lancets for my glucose monitoring.  But I found this instead:

“If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well this isn't too bad, I don't have a left arm anymore but at least nobody will ever ask me if I'm left-handed or right-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of, 
"Aaaaaa! My arm! My arm!” 
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

Now what leads me up to all this is a series of events. Some might say a series of unfortunate events. To me it was that last little straw that broke this camel's back, but instead of "aaaaaa! My back! My back!" I just have to laugh, because days like today where everything is either unpleasant or wrong only happen in books, right?

It started, as you all know, with the narrow escape in the shower, where I'd just rinsed my hair when the water ran out.  Of course, I looked at it as a stroke of luck rather than misfortune, although as the day wore on I began to have second thoughts about whether or not I could be happy about having clean hair, although no water.

As time wore on, I realized that I'd better get my laundry in before the big weekend rush, so I dragged my basket down to H building, and got one of the last washers as a family brought in basket after basket of dirty clothes.  I was pretty happy, until I went to get my clothes from the dryer, at which point I realized that my cloths were still wet, and I ended up hanging them around my room.  Even that was less than daunting, although I was becoming mildly annoyed with the day.

At that point I'd already had to deal with a return at Best Buy, Deal with an issue when Zazzle failed to send my commission payment to PayPal for the sales that was due me on April 15th.  (not a LOT of money, but 50 or 60 bucks goes a long way with me) and a problem with Amazon.com store credit not collecting an authorized payment made through my bank.  Hanging up the clothes around the room was manageable, but just one more thing.  

But I'm always game to go with it... to just keep plugging away... so I plugged in my vacuum and started on the living room rug.  Now this vacuum has issues.  There's some sort of weird static thing that results in the cat hair clinging to the top (exterior) of the vacuum head rather than getting sucked up into the canister.  But I figured I could live with that, as long as everything else was getting sucked up, which it was... until there was a rattle, a puff of smoke, and the click of the breaker, and I was left holding a smoking... and hot... and presumably dead (When something starts smoking and trips the breaker I'm not going to plug it back in and trouble shoot it) vacuum.

I could add the mis-adventure of the water bottle that was just too big and heavy for me to handle,   or the story of  how I discovered the Maverik OS and Linksys incompatibility, or how having updated my OS for my Mac resulted in the worst incompatibility issue I could imagine: the loss of my Photoshop Elements, at a time when I need the Photoshop for some of my school work.

I think at some point we all have days like this... or weeks... or months... or years.  Days when the best we can do is scream "AHHHH! MY ARM! MY ARM!"... followed by days when we can admit, that yes, "Perhaps it's not so bad..."   and eventually days when we can look back and either shake our heads at it or manage a bit of a chuckle.

from : A Series of Unfortunate Events
My series of unfortunate events is nowhere near as unfortunate as those of the Baudelaire orphans.... and perhaps much less entertaining.

Except for the water situation, which is tentatively resolved (the water is on, although there's less pressure and the water isn't exactly clear.)  these are all pretty much First World Problems... or at least Second World Problems (if there is such a thing) since I'd hardly rank a vacuum fire on par with brain-freeze from sucking down a Slurpy too fast... and while it's all annoying, it's unlikely to be fatal.

...unless, of course, I carelessly plug that vacuum back in without a fire extinguisher handy!