Saturday, June 30, 2007

Eating Right

Today marks 7 full weeks, 49 days, of no sugar and no diet soda for me. I simply can't believe it at all! I never thought I could go this long and I'm still not sure where this is coming from.....except that I continue to see the damage that it's doing to my husband.

I wanted to make notes on how I'm feeling. Yes, I still do have a moment here and there where I really really really want something sweet. But for 7 weeks, I have not had a cookie, a piece of cake, pie, or candy. I haven't given in. And it's been about 9 months since I've had any ice cream.

I am still not completely off of aspertame. But with no soda, it's mil compared to what I used to ingest. I try to be very careful of labels, but I do know that some is getting past me, especially when we eat out. Mostly in sweeteners. And I'm trying to watch that a bit more.

I also have not had any red meat in about 7 weeks. Limiting myself to seafood and chicken.

I've cut way back on white flour, using flour tortillas and pita when I can. I have not completely cut it out of my diet yet, but have substantially reduced it.

And I've walked 3 miles a day almost every day for 4 weeks now.

What do I think it's done for me?

1. I've lost 10 - 15 pounds. That's not my goal, but it's an end result of the changes.
2. I have less pain. Noticeable less pain. My arthritis only bothers me about once a week now. I'm moving better. I get up out of a chair much quicker. I can tell I'm gaining muscle.
3. I'm not irritated. I think I'm handling things a whole lot better. His flare ups don't seem to upset me as much as they did a few months ago and I think it's because I know I'm taking care of me.
4. He has slowed down on the candy. And I know it's not my imagination. I got mad at him one night as he was sitting here eating a bag of chocolate and told him if I ever saw anything sweet in this house I would throw it out! So he's either slowing down (just a candy bar every couple of days) or he's taken to eating in the closet when I'm sleeping (which I sure would not put past this guy!)
5. I have more energy.
6. I am sleeping all night long. Every night. Two months ago, I was getting less than 4 hours of sleep a night and had big black circles under my eyes. They are almost gone now. Even hubby is noticing a difference.
7. I'm getting more done. See # 5. It's like something sparked inside of me and I'm not nearly so tired, I'm happier. And I really think it all stems from the fact that I know I'm taking care of me.

And I know that I have to take care of me because I can't take care of him, I can't fix him, I can't change him. But 3 cheers for me for the changes I've made, and for making it to 7 whole weeks! :o)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Foot xray today

As I log the journey that he has chosen, it seems to me that less and less makes much sense. Today he had his foot xrayed. Summary to date: Two weeks ago, it was just fine and he was walking better than ever while on vacation. Back home, swelling and pain so intense he could not walk for 4 days. Dr. treated it for a bunion. Put the circles on it, skin got white and raised up (died off). Then hubby decided it was gout, told the doc who put him on prednisone and crutches. Pain immediately subsides. But skin has now opened and is festered and oozing yellow puss. Doc orders xrays which were done today and he has an appointment on Tuesday to go see him.

Hubby refuses to put anything on the open wound, not even a bandaid. He is wearing socks and sandals. But cotton socks can get fibers into an open wound and I think he is almost wanting a worse infection, although I can't imagine why!

He continues to be extremely grumpy, so I have gone to my basement studio and am happy as a clam creating fun stuff. It's a work day and I'll venture he has spent less than an hour actually working. That concerns me, but until he gets laid off or fired, I'm not going to worry a whole lot about that as there just isn't a thing I can do.

He had steak fajitas for lunch. Far cry from what he is supposed to eat on his current diet to reduce his uric acid. Again, not a whole lot I can do.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Memory Loss and lethargy in diabetics

Jean wrote: I've noticed for the past year or so now that my husband completely forgets entire conversations. As with most things with this disease, it's not a consistent symptom so I too wonder if he's really forgotten or just "conveniently" forgotten. He's had double-digit A1c's for most of the time I've known him, and one of the docs I transcribed for told me memory lapses and ultimately dementia were more common in diabetics and of course elevated even more in those who don't care for themselves.

I've noticed a lot more lethargy with my husband lately. He goes to work as normal but really lets things go with the lawn, car care, etc. Lots more sleeping and laying around during the day. So I wonder . . . is it just a normal phase of being tired out or is it depression, problems with the heart, failing kidneys or ???? It's to the point that I sometimes tiptoe to the side of the bed or sofa and just stand there til I see the rise and fall of his chest that lets me know he is still alive.

I find these comments amazingly interesting. One of the reasons I decided to blog was to write down things that my husband says because he denies making some comments that I know he made....and it was driving me nuts. I got to thinking that maybe I was the one who couldn't remember things or that I was making things up that he had never said. I agree, it's not a consistent problem. But it is a problem that bothers me. When is it a lie, when is it a convenient forgetfulness, and when is it memory loss?

How high or low, and for how long of a duration does it go, before there is memory loss? I think I have noticed a distinct pattern that when he is low and says something, he will not remember it at all. It's more like a short term memory loss. But I can almost guarantee that he will not remember anything that is said or done when he is in a low. And for some reason, I notice it more with a low than with a high.

I have also definitely seen an increase in his lethargy. I do think it is partially due to depression. I also think his body is simply wearing out. He cannot do the things that he used to do. However, I also think it's a partial excape. If he's watching TV, sleeping, reading.....he can escape the reality of what is happening to him.

What bother's me most are his comments like, "just take me out to the desert and leave me" or "why don't you just shoot me and put me out of my mysery". That's when I know he's most depressed. And although I don't think he would take his own life, one never knows.

I've also noticed that he doesn't want me to go away. I just spent 48 hour at my moms and he called me 6 times. And all he could do was tell me that he missed me. I don't think he misses me so much as that he is afraid when I'm not here.

I wish more spouses who were experiencing issues like this would post, but I have a feeling they have left, or are too frustrated, or too busy taking care of their spouse.

I had a lovely 48 hours away and am just delighted that prednisone is bringing down the pain in his foot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Is it a lie....or does he honestly not remember?

That's the problem with highs and lows and memory loss. He had a low this morning. So I said, "can you tell when you are having a high?" He said "huh"? I said, "well, I remember someone telling us that with a normal a1c, if you have a low, you have a countering high.

And he said, "my a1c was high, over 7" and I nearly fell off the bed. I KNOW he said it was normal. He said that all of his tests came back normal at the last testing.

So if he is having a low, with a high a1c, then he must be high a whole lot of the time.

I asked him if they had mentioned getting a pump. He said his insurance will not pay for a pump. I went to their website and sure enough, they WILL pay for a pump. But I'm not about to confront him as he's just mad tonight at the world. He is in such pain and his foot is just so horrible. Yet he still ate a bag of potato chips at dinner.

I'm about exhausted as I've been running up and down the stairs all day long fetching things for him. The neighbor came over and said we had a broken sprinkler, water was shooting into their yard. Hubby tried to tell me how to test the sprinklers, but I couldn't make it work so he went out to the garage and ran the test while I ran back and forth between the garage and the side yard trying to figure out what was wront. He finally told me to put a brick over it and sure enough, the water doesn't shoot into the neighbor's yard. But we will have to get it fixed this weekend. That little bit, just walking out to the garage, did him in. He was in bed all day long with an infection in his foot and he literally can't walk. And I can't continue to fetch things for him. I wonder where we go from here.

We've been at this since last Thursday. I'm taking a break and going off to visit my mom and my sister for the next 2 days. Scared to death to leave him alone, but know that I need a break and he has to make some choices about how long he goes without calling his doctor. I suggested that he get some crutches. Maybe it would help for him to take some of the pressure off that foot.

On the other hand, if he has a high a1c, I'm not sure much of anything will help. I'm tired of the lies. And if his brain cells are so fried he can't remember what he tells me, well, I'm tired of that, too.