Setting aside some time

Was supposed to get some blood tests ran today but hit a snag when the lab technician told me that I was 1 hour overfast. I drank my last glass of water since midnight and was there at the window by 10:30 AM which supposedly puts me well within the 10-12 hour fasting required for blood tests.

I wanted to break down and cry knowing all the things I had to set aside just to make it to the hospital that morning. It meant that I had to ensure work-related things were still moving even when I would be offline for a bit.

Anyway, of course, no matter how frustrating it is there is nothing I can do about that and I just have to return as instructed.


In my life right now there’s work and more work. Hustle and side hustle in an effort to ensure the bills are paid.

I know that I should also set aside time for relationships, health & exercise and other fun stuff but the thing with working in the digital space is that there’s seems to be no “offline”.


Some small wins…

Sometimes, I choose not to charge my phone overnight to ensure I do not keep on checking what notifications I have received.

I was able to find time to read Crazy Rich Asians and am now 1/3 finished with Rich People Problems – hooray for me! Been a while since I picked up a non-fiction book.

Have always been reading books related to my trade.

Oh, and I found some time to type into my laptop a non-work-related note–this post! ūüôā

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Food and DT2

Upon learning my blood tests show that I indeed have developed Type 2 Diabetes, I cried out of helplessness because I felt like I have made mistakes all these years that led to this.

Admittedly, if I review most of my diet, it has consisted of canned food, some processed meats (luncheon meats, canned tuna) and noodles (I absolutely love Lucky Me Pancit Canton), but this has been my diet since I was a kid. When money was tight, I’d lean on some rice and noodles to fill my belly–I found it comforting.

While I do love eating fruits and veggies, they are quite a challenge to come by in large prescribed amounts on a day-to-day basis. Salty food such as fries (Potato Corner and Mcdo fries) and chips are yummy and are considered a treat after a tiring day. I do enjoy the chocolate in my Milo and I almost always order coffee with choco.

Thankfully, the doctor advised a simple meal adjustment plan. Choosing brown rice over breads. Limiting it to 3 cups per day (1 cup per meal). Choosing chicken over other red meat. Limiting red meat to only 2x a week. Choosing to eat more vegetables and fruits. Choosing to drink water than juice. Avoiding alcohol. Distancing myself from smokers. She didn’t say anything about cutting out coffee, but I assume less sugar and less cream in the mix would be better.

“You are what you eat.”

Thankfully, our office provides lunch and snacks. Most of the time, the food is healthy consisting of veggies, seafood and red/brown rice. On days when there are no rice choices, I choose to skip the white rice completely.

I was told to only pick eating lean meat and stay away from fat. Good thing, I never enjoyed eating fat anyway.

There’s a food sensitivity test I could actually take to check which types of food are considered a “poison” to the body. It is priced at around Php 15,000.00 and seems like quite a hefty investment. Seriously considering getting that as a Christmas gift for myself

Speaking of Christmas, the good doctor warned me about Christmas in the Philippines and how we’d most likely have to attend multiple Christmas gatherings/parties. She told me to closely watch what I eat especially at those times of buffet folly.

How my food choices from hereon will fare compared to the past, still remains to be seen. For now, I have to chug down 6 different types of medications and fight to ignore the tingling in my fingers, brain fog and tiredness.

Hiding like a cat

I remember our eldest cat Beki, hiding inside cabinets when he wasn’t feeling good. Turns out, if we didn’t bring him to the vet that day, he would have died because his kidney was in bad shape.

Similarly, another cat of ours, Betchay, the youngest one, hid herself in between our stove and the wall when she wasn’t feeling okay. She would pass away a good 3 weeks later after battling a mysterious illness.

In a way, that’s how I am feeling at the moment. I feel like hiding like a cat. I do not want to see my mom and sis in person. I don’t want to attend family gatherings. Just until I know I am not yet better.

Should they give me reminders or reprimands, I know I must/can take it. Because they say it with the best intentions.

Nevertheless, I don’t like them seeing me weak.

Toes and Fingers

I recall some conversations in my early life between my mom, our pediatrician and I about an itch or a tingling sensation I felt in my fingers and in my toes.

As a kid, my wild imagination had me thinking that there were worms living under my nails squirming inside leading to the itch. However, our pediatrician Dra. Oliveros said, that it’s usually the early signs of diabetes.

If I remember correctly, I was less than 10 years old at that time. From then, I still continued to feel the itching on my fingers and toes but have learned to ignore it.

I would acknowledge the sensation for a few seconds and then go about my life. The feeling would sometimes grow in intensity that I would have to put pressure on my toes while sleeping, as in push my toes against the bed.

Writing this, I now recall one episode a couple of months ago when I felt so bothered by the itch I visualized chopping my toes off just to relieve the insatiable itch.

I did a Google Search of “tingling in tips of fingers” and “diabetes” and this is what came up:

High blood sugar can cause diabetic neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Another symptom is a burning, sharp, or aching pain (diabetic nerve pain). (from www.healthline.com)

Further reading also attributes this symptom to systemic disorders such as hypothyroidism, which I have as well.

I believe that explains it. I have to be careful about my nerve health given that I have two conditions that seem to be the root cause of this discomfort.

Tingling, I can take. But the thought that one day, if I do not keep my diabetes under countrol, there may come a time when parts of me would have to be amputated (scary even to type it) gives me extreme sadness & fear.

Close to Christmas in 2016 I remember feeling a stiffness in my right ring finger. It lasted for 2 months and at night, when there is less activity, that’s when the stiffness manifests. I wouldn’t be able to close my whole hand into a fist, because the ring finger would stick out. For some nights I have had to tie it with a handkerchief to keep it in place.

It wasn’t until I took Neurobion (suggested by my mom) for at least a week that I noticed an improvement. Two weeks of taking it completely made the stiffness go away. If any one is reading this, for your info, Neurobion contains Vitamin B12 that combats nerve damage.

Hashimoto’s Checklist

Did several web searches on the topic of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and noted several effects attached to it. Just wanted to go through it one-by-one to help me understand my condition.

Weight Gain

Walking daily for at least 20 minutes had the reverse effect on me. Instead of maintaining my weight of 185lbs, it made me gain 15lbs. It scared me to tip the scale at 200lbs. I am fully aware than for a height of 5’2, 200lbs opens me up to a host of other issues such as knee and back injuries. I was surprised that this happened at the time when walking was a consistent part of my day.

Fatigue

It’s tough for me to say if the level of tiredness I feel day-to-day can be attributed to my condition. Since college, I’ve always felt “low batt” by 10PM.

Brittle Hair

More than brittle hair, I noticed hair loss. This was scary because I like being a girl about my hair and coloring it, wearing it long or short.

Difficulty Concentrating

Have not encountered this challenge as yet. I can still stay concentrated during meetings, while crafting emails/presentations. If at all I get distracted, I reckon it is more because of mobile phone notifications!

Feeling Colder than Normal

Not so prominent for me. Whenever I do feel cold, I check with others in the same space if they feel cold as well, and they usually do. So, I conclude that I still perceive cold the same way others can.

Dry Itchy Skin

Does dry, flaky scalp count? Dandruff has always been a part of my life. I relish days when my scalp is tame and under control. Perhaps it’s my oil-prone skin type is more to blame for dandruff than Hashimoto’s. But I can’t be sure.

Goiter

Doctors did ultrasounds and manual examination on my throat area for this and no goiter. Yey.

Depression

The least visible of the effects. Haven’t sought professional help to confirm if I have depression. Yes, there are times when I do feel sadness and feel like I do not want to interact with people per usual, but I have yet to get the proper diagnosis for this.

Further tests show…

When I started this blog, I had intended to write about my experience of living with PCOS to reach out to other ladies out there also living with its far-reaching effects.

Further visits to several doctors, blood tests and ultrasounds have revealed that I also have Hashimoto’s Thyroditis, an auto-immune disorder where my own immune system attacks my thyroid causing hypothyroidism (no production of the all-important thyroid hormones).

I said “all-important” because thyroid hormones control metabolism or how the body is able to process calories from food. ¬†This presents a whole hosts of effects including difficulty in losing weight. Conversely, it makes it easy for me to gain weight.

Confirmed with a new doctor I am seeing that I have developed several other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high uric acid, fatty liver and diabetes.

Such a long list of conditions that require an equally longer list of medicines.

I have been prescribed a total of 6 medicines to improve my cholesterol, uric acid and blood sugar levels; keep my liver healthy.

I have 60 days to observe a healthier diet and ample exercise (15 mins. of walking per day) to see if there’s any improvement in the numbers & more importantly, if there are any medicines I could stop taking.

 

 

 

Forever 21

My sister and I were trying out an eyebrow tint gel yesterday. My mom gave me the pair of office pants I requested her to repair. We spent the whole afternoon waiting for the electricity to come back so we could watch TV.

Then I suddenly blurted out that I feel like we’re still in our 20’s even if I would be turning 32 in 3 months.

This whole ageing thing has not fully dawned on me. Adulting as they call it nowadays, entails taking full responsibility for yourself. While I live alone and take care of myself, I still feel like a kid. A young person still yearning to discover more of the world. My body has some aches and pains that weren’t there before, but I cannot grasp the concept that I have been on this earth for 32 years.