Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The members of this list tend to be a bit older (my age, say), and of the tweed-corduroy-wash-and-wear-comfortable shoes type (and yes, I've met many of them), often because of preference for a low-cost and low-maintenance wardrobe, and sometimes because of budget. But I like nice fabrics (wool, cashmere, silk, linen) and while I don't shop at retail stores that sell these at full price, I can hunt out a bargain at the local off-price store (Winners), and I've scored big time at the Value Village near my house. (And I should put in a plug for St. John's Thrift Store on Danforth, east of Woodbine, where I got my nice black wool beret and cashmere scarf for $2.00.)
Lauren, Karan, Diesel, Linda Allard-Ellen Tracy, Kenneth Cole...WonderBra. None of these items cost more than $10.00. The Donna Karan cashmere sweater was $6, the silk blouses average $5-7. And I don't buy them if they look icky or have stains in the armpits. Mostly I hand wash stuff, and periodically take things to the dry cleaner for a nice finish, especially if the stuff is really good, or at the end of the season. I like to wear clothes of nice fabrics that are well made (and along with my two yoga college credits I have two full credits in Sewing and Tailoring from an actual Canadian university).
Mom taught me to sew when I was about 11 years old, and the parents got me a sewing machine for Christmas when I was in my late teens. I learned a lot about fabric and construction over the years (but not what looked good on me until lately), so I have an idea what to buy.
So sue me. I like nice clothes. But I don't like to iron.
And I had a really pleasant Sunday shopping/lunch trip with my friend K, also a person with diabetes. We went to IKEA, for gawd's sake, on a Sunday! That's usually a mistake, but we both found parking within seconds, had a pleasant afternoon shopping and browsing, and it was great to see her. She also wishes she could get back to the point where controlling her blood sugars had a point. I don't remember when mine was. I think it was after my 5-day diabetes education class, when my BGs were still perfect (and A1C around 5%).
Diabetes education: For the record, the first session was an interview with a nurse-educator. The first thing she asked after the usual stuff (medical history, diagnosis date, etc.) was whether I did my own housework. When I said no she looked worried. "Well, what do you do for exercise?" Well, on Monday I play badminton for 3 hours. I practice Karate for 90 minutes once or twice a week. I do yoga for about two hours on Saturday. "Oh, so you probably get enough exercise..." I remember being quite fit, and I need to get back to that state (more than 10 years later) but I'm being thwarted by old bad habits (but I am keeping up with my flossing).
Don't rush off to check out that handy steamer that's being advertised on TV these days. You know the one: use it to freshen bedding and dry-cleanable clothing (save $$!!), and your life will be swell. I only wanted to compare the price of having one delivered to the price of the one on sale that I could pick up myself. To see that I had to submit my credit card information. "Your order has been processed!!" Whaaaa?? No confirmation page, which I find somewhat like going to the midway at a carnival. When I was a child, I actually had a carny grab my dollar bill out of my hand and drop three quarters into my purse, in order to make me play his silly game. I must have looked at him funny, because when I held out those quarters he gave me back my dollar.
Anyways, I made two phone calls and sent three e-mails (for which I did not receive a response even though the autoresponder promises I'll get one within 48-72 hours. Those must be Albanian hours or something. And they lie. "Oh, the confirmation page is not working, I guess, it should be there." "Oh, your shipment is already with Canada Post." That was January 22. But I got the confirmation from Canada Post just today. I can't win: if I don't accept the delivery (which I'll have to pick up with the car) I will get back only the cost of the item less shipping and handling. If I accept it I was promised a $20 discount (or was it $30? Doesn't matter. I'll never see it). And I can use the thing and then return it in 30 days for a "full refund." I guess I will try it out. My only concern is the fiddly bits on my silk blouses, the collar, hem, cuffs, darts, button panels. I can see myself gettin' out the ol' ironin' board.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
On the evenings that I don't have a lot to do, I should try to do other things: take
walk, lift weights, do laundry (fold clothes, iron), change sheets, etc.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Handsome Stranger loves the fur-covered rattly mice, and he drops them close enough to my hand that I have to throw them.
Gril brings her favourite: a hard rattly whiffle-type ball that I put in a plastic net, so she can carry it around ("mrr, mrow, mrr, yeow, argh, mrow", etc.). She also like to carry around white plastic forks and spoons. I have yet to get a photo of her carrying a plastic spoon in her mouth.
Bwai will bring a rubber cat brush half-way up the stairs, arguing with it the whole way (her voice is quiet but scratchy and annoying). She also likes to play with a dog toy my brother sent me -- it's a medium-hard rubber ball with a cable and hand loop. She never gets it past the bottom of the stairs, though.
Peabo plays with everything but hasn't got the hang of sharing with me. He's only 1.5 years old so he might get it.
I need to get to a hardware store for some sisal twine or carpet. They do all like scratching the furniture...
"Smoking contributes to developing diabetes." My mother told me this at Christmas and I laughed at her. (Smokers should always quit, and DMs should quit even more.) But apparently this is partly true -- the sendentary lifestyle and poor diet often associated with smoking contributes to onset. I've been smoking about 20 a day for at least 30 years. I quit once for 6 days, using a nicotine patch. But mostly I have been thinking of how I spend $8 CA times 7 (days) times 52 (weeks) per year (or 8 x 365, not to complicate it). That's $2920.00 per year. I imagine that going into my retirement plan... or into a bathroom reno.
I'm getting some Work done but it takes about 4 times as long as usual to open a file remotely, since I have dialup access. And my version of Word is kind of decrepit so documents I start in Word 2007 tend to wilt when I work on them in Word 2002.
Shoe service update: I got a pair of Nike sort-of court shoes at the first store I stopped at where they didn't bother me after I arrived. I don't care if they have pink trim... Really, it was the first store I went to, and I wanted to test them too. And I did get a "thank you for shopping at Champs." I still haven't played badminton yet, but with the loose-ish knee I'm going to wait.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Vivian is our instructor (I use the classic spelling since I don't know how she actually spells her name). She engaged each participant privately before class started to get name, health issues, yoga experience, and even put our names on post-it notes(tm) on our mats. I thought this was a good thing. She's young (in my estimation), experienced, even-tempered and humourous. Good start. But I found my muscles shaking while lowering myself from Plank position after the nth repetition of the second variation of Sun exercise. Um, this is a good thing -- holding the Plank pose, I mean. I did walk home from yoga class (about 20 minutes or so) with a couple of bottles of wine in my backpack...
Admission: for breakfast I ate 1 cup of President's Choice(tm) Extra Raisin/Raisin a la folle ("crazy raisins") raisin bran cereal with 2% milk and an apple; for lunch I ate spinach lasagne and salad and a huge shortbread cookie. For an afternoon snack I ate salted peanuts from the vending machine. Result: whoa. After 2 hrs yoga and walk: 18.6. I had hopes. This morning's BG was 10.9---better than usual. Maybe tomorrow, after tonight's exercise.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Somehow I feel like I am making progress in my war with DIABETES but based on my BG tests it's not at all true. But I have been walking at least 30-45 minutes a day for 9 of the last 10 days; my first yoga class in 3 years starts tomorrow evening; I found a place to play badminton on Saturdays; I have the class schedule for Goju karate, located just up the street; I'm picking up my prescription sports goggles on Friday; and I've been planning to visit my fitness club for at least 19 months.
I've been sorting my sportswear too -- that's fun. Since my fave sport is badminton I want new court shoes (all I have is grubby runners with mud on them). So I went to the mall ("Sale!!") to check out one of the two stores dedicated to sports shoes and wear. I was greeted by a clerk in the first store, but when I turned around to try to catch someone's eye everyone was busy with arranging stock and discussing Albanian Idol tryouts. At the second store I found a shoe I thought I'd like to try on, so I tried again to make eye contact (without actually shouting "some service here!!" across the not-exactly-crowded aisles) with a clerk. Eventually one spotted me on the way down the aisle and asked if I was being served "or just waiting for someone." I said, yes, I am waiting to be served. I guess this got her back up because after we discussed the kind of shoe I wanted (opposed to the one she wanted to sell me; she looked like an aerobics chick), I found a shoe I wanted to try on. She'd let me: "yes, you can try those on." I said I wanted a pair that didn't have the security ball and chain stuck on them, so I could actually walk in them and maybe be sure what they felt like. Understand at this point my credit card is burning a hole in my backpack -- I WANT to buy something. She took the shoe, started back to get a pair, was distracted by a young man who couldn't admit he wanted something to de-stink his shoes (his mom was hovering) and my f^cking useless clerk stopped serving me and started serving them. I am sitting there with my boots off and she's holding half my shoe order and discussing toe jam funk smegma with a kid. (Yes, I was ticked.)
I SAW this clerk watching me put my boots back on. As I walked past her I just said, "Some other time." Loudly. En esprit d'escalier, I should have said, "I'll come back when there aren't so many people in line behind me." Or, "When you've found my shoes, I'll be in the next store, or grabbing a coffee." I was fully prepared to stump out and tell all my friends about this lousy experience. The store would never hear about it, of course; and after all my friends stopped shopping there they might lose .046 percent in annual sales. If I had had a chance to try on those shoes I might have bought them, and maybe recommended the store to one or two people.
But instead cutting off MY nose to spite THEIR face(s), I've decided to try again: go to the back of the store where the clerks congregate for safety, get a manager, and tell the same story.
BRB with the results.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I want to reduce the meds, but until I get in shape for more vigorous workouts I have to keep them up. Also tonight a huge admission, since I've trusted these people with anything up to now -- when I explained why I was leaving early (my boss and my boss's boss are very generous), they suggested I start wearing contact lenses. I took a deep breath and said, "I used to wear contacts but I can't anymore. I have to admit to you that I'm diabetic and haven't told anyone so that I have the excuse to eat whatever I want." No shock (though they didn't know), since we all know friends (at least two), co-workers (our former department Vice Pres), family members (my older brother and possibly my younger brother, my late grandmother, boss's boss's mother), neighbours (one that I know of), who are diabetic.
Tonight I left work an hour (or so) early to get to the spectacles place to get my two-month worn glasses adjusted. I actually have a pressure sore behind my ear. It seems better now, but I am also wearing a bandage and antibiotic ointment over the spot. These are lovely progressive bifocals (trifocals) in Anne Klein frames that I got for about 200 CAD after the sale and the vision benefits insurance repayment. Vision benefits haven't changed in 19 years since I was first eligible: about 200 CAD every two years. But the price of glasses (mostly for the lenses) has about tripled. My expensive lenses were half price.
Note: I woke up on my 40th birthday needing bifocals. Yes, it really is that sudden.
I also ordered some single-vision sports glasses while I was there. I won't need them for my yoga class (which starts Thursday), I hope. But I want to start training in Goju karate (I used to do Shotokan/kung fu) and to start playing badminton again after my first 30 days of 30 minutes walking per day which, according to the RealAge(tm) Workout, should get me ready for anything.
Thank dog for the Green Bin program in Toronto. I submitted a full bin plus several extra bags, mostly kitty litter (plant source) plus the inevitable poops and clumps. Otherwise I would have put out a full garbage bag of just cat litter. BTW, the corn litter has a lifespan of several weeks -- I have to replace the whole mess once in a while, but baking soda bought in bulk and sprinkled on the box bottom and in the litter after de-clumping (or scooping) prolongs its life tremendously!
Since I've decided against an all-out food dehydrating program, I've reviewed my freezing program and decided it's worth it. When I can find the premium ziplock(tm) freezer bags I stock up, since I also use them for storing several months worth of credit/debit card receipts (and mark the bag with a Sharpie(tm) pen), various items that can go into storage until they're needed (like necklaces, scarves, cosmetics), and dried herbs. If I need freezer bags and the prems aren't on sale I get the store brand and have never complained about their quality. Wish I could pack up my troubles in a ziplock bag and smile, smile, smile (la la la).
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Mostly I buy clothes -- coats, sweaters, silk blouses, jeans (Diesel jeans for 10 bucks, Donna Karan cashmere sweater for 6). If I had to replace all the good stuff I'd pay thousands of dollars.
Last night I got a little grab-bag (they go for a couple of bucks). Inside was a wooden citrus reamer and a short wooden spoon, a corkscrew, an ice cream scoop, and a kitchen timer still in the package. All looked new/unused. I calculated that my $1.99 CA buy got me $26 CA in stuff. Happy Dance....
- taking my insulin injection last night
- drying any more vegetables. It's a pain in the ass. I'll keep the machine to dry herbs
- going to yoga class at my fitness centre. But I signed up for one on Thursday evenings
- .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,m = kitten typing. Can't be bothered to delete it
- emptying the dishwasher, even though the sinks are full and the counters covered
- typing any more
January 12 update: I did a 60 minute walk, mostly to look at the demolition that's going on down the street: http://www.insidetoronto.ca/News/EastYork/article/39156
The whole century-old building is being demolished.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Anyways -- if I didn't have four cats piled up against me every night, would the night sweats be worse or better?
Also, I've had exactly one mood swing in the last two years, lucky me.
And (guys, close your ears), my last period was last August (two in summer after 9 months of none---AUGH!). Diabetics should stay away from black cohosh in "natural" HRT remedies, I guess. I'm keeping my stash of feminine hygiene products in case any overnight guests need them. Or in case I do.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
(Second day of walking 30 minutes per day according to the RealAge(tm) workout. Fasting BG 11.2/201 would have been better if I hadn't had a bowl of bran cereal before bed.)
I spent 3.99 CAD on a food dehydrator (at Value Village) and 2.00 CAD (at No Frills) on fresh white mushrooms, and, without benefit of an instruction manual, am attempting to add to my pantry (food storage) by dehydrating veggies for soups and such. I'm a pretty good online researcher, but the world wide interweb doesn't throw up much in the way of instructions on dehydrating. Lots of advice, yes ("Don't dry celery or you'll end up with celery dust") but no suggestions on how to use my particular model -- which has no brand, model, year, or anything to hint at what it is or how to use it. Or how long to dry any particular vegetation or how to cut it to dry optimally. Or any information on how to use a basic 5-layer warm-air/no fan dehydrator. So I am winging it. If it doesn't work I can easily return it to Value Village.
January 10/08 update: I got about 1 cup of leathery (i.e., perfect) dried mushrooms, but wasn't sure about storing them so I put them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer.
For the first year that I lived in T-dot I made my own bread, for something to do and to save money (that was still when I ate a lot of bread on a regular basis. Now I just binge on it). When people asked me what kind of bread machine I used I just held up my hands.
I also make yogurt once in a while, but last summer I changed to a probiotic-low cholesterol plain yogurt, in hopes that my endo or GP wouldn't want to add at least a statin something-or-other to my already choking level of pills (mostly supplements).
Sunday, January 6, 2008
(Fasting blood glucose 10.5/189. Not as bad as yesterday, but that's not saying much. I am going for a walk to pick up groceries and more wine.)
My favourite sport is badminton -- I played in the back yard with my brothers, and didn't realise for quite a while that for me it's a SPORT, not a pastime. I bought a membership to a karate dojo and went for a class about once a year for three years. Then I found a badminton club within walking distance of home, and found I got in shape really quickly while playing and having fun. I was able to get through a karate class more easily and started going about twice a week. I was THIS CLOSE to getting my blue belt when first my office moved downtown and then I moved downtown. My BGs haven't been any good since. So I've been walking past a Goju karate dojo for years now, and recently found a place to play badminton on Saturday afternoons.
Question: how did Haley Berry "wean" herself off insulin??
Saturday, January 5, 2008
My symptoms: peripheral neuropathy (numbness on shins); lesions (twice in armpits, often inside nostrils); yeast and urinary tract infections (asymptomatic, diagnosed by urinalysis); high blood sugar in morning, of course; I've had blurry vision, but that's cleared up, etc. Low energy since I don't exercise enough.
I just tested at 14.2 mmol/dl (multiply by 18 for USians)--this is waaay high, but about average for me. Fasting blood glucose should be 6.0 or less, and 10.0 or less one hour afer eating. My last good reading was in early December (5.8). I had salad for dinner.
My BG meter is a Johnson&Johnson Lifescan OneTouch Ultrasmart. I have medical benefits from work, so most of my equipment and drug costs are covered.
I just bought the RealAge(tm) Workout book by Dr. Roizen. Since I smoke and have DM my "real age" is about 58. I started flossing daily (instead of weekly) last August--that will take a couple of years off (my calendar age is 51).
All for now -- wish me luck!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
He had an awful eye infection, but within a week of applying the vet's ointment it cleared up. Here he's about 9 weeks old. He snorgles me endlessly.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
- I'm a technical writer and editor for a good-sized Canadian-owned company based here in the T-dot.
- I've belonged to the Editors' Association of Canada (Toronto branch) for going on 6 years, and it's all been fun. www.editors.ca/toronto
- I graduated from the University of Guelph in 1979 (BA in English). I don't bother with alumni affairs so don't ask.
- I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in January, 1995. First it was called Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), and for a few years I did really well (gots lots of exercise and watched my diet pretty closely).
- I've had my own (as opposed to Family) cat(s) since 1980. They are, in order of acquisition): MacIntosh (from a pet store for $6; 1980-1999), Fluffy ("just for a few weeks, honest;" 1987-2005), Chess (adopted at the ripe cat age of 14 or so; 198?-2000); Bwai and Gril (2000-); Fiasco T. Peabrain (2006-), Handsome Stranger (2006-). When I figure out how to post images you can see them.
January 10 update: OMG!1! I forgot my fave cat, Tuk. I got my dad to drive me back to college early after (Canadian) Thanksgiving (around 12 October, 1974), and the poor guy (about 6 months old) was trapped in my dorm hallway. I adopted him immediately. He was the best cat, and came to a bad end (around Oct. '76) after I left him at my parents' house when I moved to Ottawa to fail again. 'Nuff said.
My reasons for starting this blog are varied:
- I tried Facebook and felt like I was sitting in a window in Amsterdam's red light district. I got a few hits from friends and former co-workers, but I deactivated my account the same evening.
- Only a couple of people at work know that I'm diabetic (in fact, they might all be gone). Since I stopped my regular vigorous exercise (doubles badminton, yoga, tai chi, long walks, Shotokan karate) I can't keep my blood sugar under control, I'm afraid to test in the morning, I don't follow the diet regimen, and I'm starting to suffer symptoms I can't attribute to anything but high BGs. I figure if I start to publicize my condition in a small way, I will get SMART finally and not pretend that there's no effect to not monitoring and taking control.
If you don't know, kittens are as ubiquitous as spam. They don't sleep through the night until they are at least five years old. The Toronto Humane Society recently stopped, for the first time due to overcrowding, accepting cats, since they are full up.
I didn't mention Scuffy/Mr. Jones/Boss Cat/Old Guy (shown here letting me pat him). He is an intact tom that lives under my porch and is fed (often several times a day) by me and a few neighbours. I was away for 5 days at Christmas and he actually came running up to greet me. I can't believe I expend about a cup of premium vet food (about $37.00 per 4 kg bag) on this battle-scarred warrior (he's about 3 years old, and might be Peabo's daddy). So I guess I actually have five cats, except Scuffy doesn't count until I bring him in the house.