A Little Update

 “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”  Dr. Wayne W Dyer

Hi friends,

The quote today is something I reflect on now and then as a result of my health challenges.  I can either sit and say woe is me or I can try and learn things that help me get into better health. I choose the latter.

I have not posted for a few days so I am just popping in to say "hello" and to thank those of you who have been kind enough to visit my blog this month. (I have been by to visit all of you but if by chance I have missed someone please do let me know). Where does the time go? The month is almost done and a new one beginning!

I have to get some birthday cards for friends and family who celebrate in February so I better get a move on.

Not a cloud in the sky today.

The weather here continues to be absolutely lovely. We are blessed with days upon days of sunshine and no rain. That is very unusual for us at this time of the year. I am happy to see the sun and to do without the cold and damp. I only hope it doesn't cause problems in the Spring for the water levels or for the animals.  Things that are no longer normal in the weather always seems to affect something else.

Porridge breakfast with cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and goji berries.
I had some bad news this week about my blood glucose levels (A1c).  They are higher than ever  despite all the good work I've been doing to eat healthy and get consistent exercise.

Better stress management and improved sleeping hours are areas I still have to work on.  Hopefully the coming weeks and months will see improvement in these areas too.

The good news is I have lost quite a lot of weight;  about 2/3 of the weight I gained over the past 3 years.  I also lost a couple inches from my waist (more from other areas too but I am really only tracking the waistline due to diabetes). My blood pressure which was starting to creep up is also doing much better and is right in middle of normal. Some things are obviously going in the right direction and most of this is probably attributable to exercise.   It is only a matter of time before the blood glucose cooperates.

My beautiful basket from Ghana.
Some of you might wonder about the weight gain over the past 3 years.  It was because I started having major issues with my knees.  It was really very bad for a very long time.  My health which was not so good to begin with really took a downturn when I could no longer walk.  I've been trying everything possible since then to correct the problems with varying degrees of success.  It was only in Spring 2013 when I began to walk more with the aid of walking poles.  Since then I have been out and about more than I had been in the previous few years.  I have also been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis and so am needing to shed more pounds to take the stress off the joints. Though my improvements have been slow in coming, I was encouraged by some positive news this week even though I also had bad news regarding my blood glucose levels.

I am back to tracking my blood glucose levels 8 times a day. Every now and then I go through this exercise to see what is affecting me (diet, exercise, etc.). Oh my! I had a bit of a scare. My readings were so high. In a desperate measure to try and lower the reading, I ate some romaine lettuce leaves.  It worked. Before bed my readings were actually too low.  I had to eat an apple to try and bring the blood glucose reading up a bit. That seemed to work and this morning I was more or less where I was before I went to sleep. I hope today will be less of a roller coaster.

I continue to see the acupuncture doctor and take the herbs he prescribes. Some of those herbs may also be affecting my blood sugar readings so I will keep an eye on that.  But I will continue going as I feel that ultimately it is these herbs that will bring me into balance. My primary reason for visiting the acupunture doctor is to deal with the arthritic pain.

Before Christmas I bought the lovely green basket you see in the photo above. It holds some of my yarn. As you can see it isn't nearly big enough for what I've put in it so I will move some of those balls. Believe it or not, it is very hard to find big balls of yarn were I live (I don't get to Wal-Mart) and if you do find them, your colour choices are very limited. Every now and then I find a big ball of yarn and I buy it.  I'm building up some colours for making more throws and quilts though I have no specific project in mind.

I sewed a bunch of these hexagons into strips but when I began to join the strips together they did not lie flat.

I still haven't finished the African Flower Blanket I started in November. I intended it for a gift and instead I had to buy something. The problem I ran into is how to join the hexagons so they do not bunch up.  I do not want to just join the hexagons at their points so I need some time when I am not too busy to figure things out.  I will eventually get to it but it will take some time.

My brother and I continue to wait for a room opening at the new facility so we can move my mother. In the meantime, I have a lot to deal with concerning her needs and that keeps me on the go virtually every day.  I try to make sure I can still get out and do some things for myself as well as meet up with friends besides just going to doctors and acupuncture.   I am back to cooking one night a week and next week we will do a special dinner for Chinese New Year.  Soon I will be joining another friend for a class on dressing for your body type. I have not done anything like that in awhile so it should be fun. My reading of novels and the Bible continue though I have cut down on general reading to try and focus more on the Bible. It does not always work out that way.  My crafts are also on the back burner for the time being. I am just too busy to do it all and am concentrating on diet, blood glucose monitoring, exercise and rest. Putting some things on hold is necessary to the stress management. Crafting and reading are wonderfully enjoyable and relaxing but only if I am not forcing myself to accomplish something as a result.

I hope wherever you are in the world you are enjoying yourself.

21 comments:

  1. Wow...you really have a lot going on...very best wishes with the health issues...your hexies are very pretty...

    ~Have a lovely day!

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  2. Your hexagons remind me of my coworkers latest quilting project. They completed 12 squares (1 per month) over the past year and then put them together. It ended up being beautiful in the end. Keep at it...it will get there eventually. I agree that healthy eating alone is not enough - exercise has to be in the mix. Have you tried biking at all? That tends to be a bit easier on the knees. And as for the good weather...ugh, more snow tonight and back to sub-zero on Monday. Spring please!

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    1. Thank you KT. I have completed all my hexies. There are over a 100 of them. I just need to figure out a satisfactory way to join them. I do not bike. i never owned a bike as a child and I really cannot climb up one. Instead I do have a stationary bike. For a long while I could not use it because my knees hurt too much. I am able to get on it now though it is not so comfortable for the behind, lol. I hope you get your Spring soon. We will probably have some more bad weather before our real Spring arrives.

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  3. About sleep--a problem for me, too. Awake often in the night; my knees hurt, my shoulders hurt, my arms, my hands--you know the litany. I bought a 2" pillow top mattress cover. It was reasonably priced, on sale, made in America. In the last several days it has been on my bed I have slept through my alarm twice. Something to think about.

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I may consider it if future approaches do not work :-) Glad you are now getting some good sleep!

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  4. Now that is a big update! I think the solution for joining the hexagons will be to crochet them together, there seem to be a lot of procedures on google, though I have only done it with squares.
    Glad that you are overcoming your health issues, no doubt aided by your wonderful positive attitude.
    Love and Blessings.

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    1. Hi Jan. Yes the hexies will need to be crocheted. It is more difficult to join a lot of hexies than a lot of squares. I clearly haven't figured it out on my own :-( Thanks for stopping by. It was lovely to see you. xx

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  5. Your hexs are going to make something really beautiful.Glad you are taking some time out for your self, sounds like you got some fun activites planned.Hope your mum is settled in her new place soon, for all of you x

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    1. Thanks Ms. J. I am looking forward to my Monday and Friday night activities. I too hope we can settle mom soon. We've waited what seems like ages though it has only been a few months. It is too long for the situation she is current in. Please say a prayer for us and for her. x

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  6. I admire how you have good plans for your health and are sticking to them, and hope the results will show lower blood sugar levels, etc. I exercise in a warm water pool and ladies there say it is great for people with arthritis since the water holds you up. You are right to plan in fun activities.

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    1. Thank you Terra. Exercise in a warm pool sounds divine. I don't have one so close to where I live which is too bad.

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  7. I'm sorry that you are having health problems. My A1C was pre-diabetic range a year ago and is down to normal. I'd be glad to share what I've learned if you're interested.

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    1. HI Georgene, I think I am taking the right steps but it isn't all coming together just yet. Hopefully I can make some adjustments to the routine as I move forward. If you would like to share your story with me that would be great! You can reach me via the email on my profile :-)

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  8. I hope your blood sugar starts balancing out more soon. You are doing all you can, I think sometimes it just takes time. And good luck with the stress/sleep thing. I think this is what affects my health most too, it is something I am trying to address.
    Your crochet hexagons are beautiful! I have the same problem when I join squares, they have a ridge. not such a problem on a cushion cover, but for a blanket it's not ideal. I think there are ways you can join them with crochet...try youtube? I've looked at lots of videos but never managed it yet. Hopefully you will have more success than me! :)

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    1. Thanks Rachel. I tried to get to your blog but I see it is missing. Maybe you are taking a break while you focus on studies? I do need to figure out how to join the hexies with crochet. I've looked at youtube and I think I found one that will help but I need ample time to try out the method.

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  9. Hello lovely joyful. I'm so sorry to read that you've been having such a difficult time. Health us the one thing we all take for granted until it's taken from us and it sure is hard to live well without good health. I really feel for you and I know just how hard it can be. I love the quote and I'm pleased to see you remain so positive!! I have been gluten and dairy free for four years now and this year I'm on a no sugar diet, but will also be focussing on more raw food. I'm thinking of doing a 21 raw detox , which I think will definitely benefit you, but ofcourse its a very personal thing. Anyway I've rambled on about it on my blog. I go hope that in the Hedy few months you find what works for your body. Keep at it. Sending much love xxx

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    1. Hannapat, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. I know you do understand. I also think you are far more disciplined that I am. I couldn't go dairy,gluten and sugar free! But I have made many big dietary changes over the years and especially in the last 8 months or so. I think the health challenges impress upon me that these changes, at least for me, are quite critical to any success and so I put renewed effort and gusto into what needs to be done. I do agree that raw foods are good and have incorporated quite a bit into the diet. I just have to work on doing it more consistently. I did purchase a nice blender which will blend up hard veggies like carrots and celery and soft ones like kale and romaine. So I drink a lot more green smoothies. Hope in time it all works together ;-) It sure does take time to plan and eat healthy. I don't know how you do it all and on top of that all your crafts and looking after loved ones. Keep up the great work. Hugs. xx

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  10. I really admire your faith that when things aren't what you would like to be, you realize that with continued work you will reach your goals. As usual, when I come here to visit, I come away with an inspiration. Thank you.

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  11. Hi Joyful, I’ve been visiting relatives down in Texas and just returned to Seattle to find 2 new posts on SNAP THAT. (If you are wondering, yes, I did have access to the internet but didn’t spend much time on there during my visit.) Your newest post, Eating Healthy ~ Potato Leek Soup is just great! I love onions but haven’t recently paid enough attention to leeks. (By the way, I looked up leeks and see that they are in the same family of vegetables with onions and garlic.) All the ingredients in your soup sound great and I will give it a try here in the next few days. I enjoy making soups, especially navy bean soup, as I mentioned once before. I like the way you give us the health advantages of eating leeks. In your earlier post, A Little Update, it is interesting to read about all the things you are doing to stay healthy. It sure sounds like you are on the right track. Hope you enjoy Chinese New Year! As always, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving me a comment. Take care and be well. John

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  12. hello Joyful, your little update was long and interesting. It's amazing how much we take good health for granted, when we have it, and don't notice how it can slowly disappear. You certainly sound as if you are working hard to keep as mobile as you can. Congratulations on losing all that weight. The last 1/3rd may be more of a challenge.
    I also get bad at going to bed early enough - the day always seems too short doesn't it!
    Good luck with maintaining your sugar levels.
    Sue

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