Friday, 26 July 2013

My steps to feeling good!

After a pretty difficult winter, I am finally feeling great and eating some solid foods for the first time in 8 months!

The last 2 months have been exceptionally well compared to the previous 6 months! There are a few things that have contributed to a successful recovery after the longest stay I've had to date.

1. Diet - I went extremely slow when adding in new foods. I started off with a clear fluid diet, jello, broth, popsicles and watermelon, including ensure 3 times a day, for 3 weeks. Then adding eggs,  dairy including skim milk, yogurt, pudding, creamed soups, and ice cream, adding one new item every couple days. After about 5 weeks of these foods I added 1% cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, carrots, white bread, white rice, soda crackers, and arrow root cookies, and again one item every couple days. This is where I am at right now. The next foods on my list over the next couple weeks will be white pasta, mushrooms, onions (extremely cooked), fish, chicken, and turkey.

2. Exercise - I've been walking and doing yoga as much as I can. Whether it's a 1/2, 1, or 2 hour walk followed by a 1/2 hour of yoga. Doing a bit of exercise after each meal has helped a lot. Honestly, it just feels so good to be getting some physical activity in again. It's not like my younger days filled with year round hockey and softball but I'll gladly take it!

3. Therapy - I've started seeing my therapist on a regular basis again. Talking through my stresses has definitely helped my overall health. I mostly talk about my health but regardless of what's bothering me health-wise or not, it just helps to talk! I think everyone should see a therapist regardless of your health situation.

4. Blood Sugars - Keeping your blood sugars controlled while also living with gastroparesis is close to impossible and as a result I am testing between 15-25 times a day because they are never stable. Having an insulin pump has helped improve my blood sugar control because I am able to give insulin over a course of a few hours instead of all at once since my stomach digests much slower. However, I still have severely high sugars and severely low sugars and everything else in between. If I am able to I will go for walks when my sugars are high to help bring them down faster or do some yoga to build up a sweat. I've been exercising quite a bit more then I usually do and I have noticed an improvement in my sugars so if I am feeling well enough I take advantage of it and do whatever I can...and it feels GREAT!

When I am healthy and in "remission" as some would say, all I really deal with is blood sugar control. I can and do get nauseous with high blood sugars and that can bring on vomiting which then can lead to pain if the vomiting persists, which means I'm heading to the hospital soon. Which is the more reason to keeping good blood sugar control...or at least try to. Usually though, I don't vomit with high sugars just a little nausea. Even with being in "remission" and eating some solid foods again, the gastroparesis is always present. It's always effecting my blood sugars and I worry about that a lot. Diabetes and gastroparesis are a bad combination of conditions/diseases to have, not that any are good but these two can lead to more complications unfortunately and because of that, eating and exercise (when your able to) are extremely important in trying to keep blood sugars under control.

My hemoglobin A1C is 8.3 which is a high-normal number. Ideally you want to be between 5-6. I've been as high as 14 which could be part of the reason why I have GP now. I have noticed that most diabetic GPers have an A1C averaging between 6-9. These aren't horrible numbers but considering our sugars are unstable with diabetic GP our A1C numbers are almost a false positive. Even though the numbers are decent, the control is not. What's a diabetic GPer to do? To control blood sugars you must eat right and exercise often but with GP, sometimes we can eat and sometimes we can't and when we can eat, it's mostly foods that are not the healthiest or best for diabetes. GP limits the exercise we get. Some days just getting up to get a drink is a task and a half and then other days I can go for an hour or two long walk and do yoga, it's hit or miss. That's why I try and take advantage of every day that I am feeling good because I don't know how long it will last.

5. A Positive Mindset - Staying positive is my #1 rule! I believe that everything has a positive aspect and a negative aspect and it's up to you to decide which way to go. I try to always look the positive way and it DOES make a difference! Living with diabetic GP stresses will arise but you have to think positively that you'll get through what ever it might be and keep moving forward. Times do get tough but then they do get least for a little while :) I try to always strive forward as diabetic GP knocks me down from time to time I will NOT let it keep me from getting back up again, ever!

I am going to keep doing what I am doing, because so far, it's working! My goal is to beat my 15 months of  "remission", no vomiting, no pain, and no hospital stays and to have no more 4 1/2 month long hospital stays. This means being extremely strict with my diet and exercise plan, minimizing stress, checking sugars numerous times a day, and staying positive. Keeping a log book with my blood sugars, food, exercise and anything else I do in a day helps me keep track and to notice any patterns in the way I feel and what might bring on an episode. Doing all this is a job in itself but it helps so it's got to be done...whatever it takes to stay healthy!

I am very appreciative for every good day I have and thankful for the strength I have to get through the bad days. I am forever grateful towards my family, friends and loved ones for all their support and love. I could not do it without them!

Hope your all having a good tummy day, cheers! :)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Yet Another But Fairly Good Hospital Stay

After being in the hospital for four and a half months I was able to stay home to stay home for a month and a half with very little symptoms, only a little nausea that was tolerable and bloating of course. I had a few days of emotional stress along with quite a bit of physical work which put a lot on my nerves causing or at least contributing to another hospital stay. Other factors could have been blood sugars, they were bouncing up and down just like and almost as fast as a bouncy ball and/or it could have something I ate as I was adding new foods into my diet at that time. A frustrating part about having diabetic GP is there usually is more then one factor as to why I get a flare-up. On a Thrusday evening I started to get sick. Once the vomiting continued and the pain started I went to the ER.

The entire hospital visit went Very well! First of all there were no line ups in the ER when I got there so I got in right away, it could have been because it was 5:30 am. Incredibly they got an IV on me fairly soon, the second person trying got it quickly. I got IV fluids, zofran, gravol, and buscopan all through the IV and I got morphine subqutaniously (it lasts longer then getting it through the IV) I spent a day in emerge then I was admitted on to the medicine ward. Soon after my endocrinologist, who has a lot of pull in this hospital that I've gone to for the majority of my GP "life", heard I was in hospital and came to see me right away. I told her that I needed a couple things changed to my medications so she went and talked to my admitting doctor and got things changed, pain meds more frequently, she changed my novo rapid insulin to humalog that has helped stabalize my blood sugars a little, and something to help me sleep because I hadn't slept in  2 days so she gave me a strong sleeping medication that really helped me get rest.

With getting in quick to the ER and getting medications fairly fast then having my endocrinologist step in, like she usually does especially if I ask her due to having issues with other doctors which is mostly about medication complications. Having eveything go very smoothly and quickly contributed to my stay being a "short" one of 6 days. My average for each flare-up or bad episode is 10-12 days so I can handle 6 days :) I was able to keep things down clear fluids after 2 days. Thats amazaing considering my last episode was 3 weeks before I could keep anything down. By the 4th day I was feeling good, going for walks, moving around lots and the morning of the 6th day I was discharged. Of course I was not happy to be in there but because I was, things could not have gone bette

I have been home for 2 days now and I am on a clear fluid diet with ensures at every meal. I've had energy and today I went walking and shopping for 3 hours and that felt real good physically! I have had nausea in the mornings but I tend to have rough mornings so thats normal. The nausea hasn't been too bad so it's tolerable which allows me to be able to get things done around home if needed. Overall things are good and I am feeling good so I can't complain abiut anything!

I hope everyone readsing this is having a Great day especially health-wise! Happy tummy day to my fellow GPers!!