Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happenings in My World

Hello everyone, I hope this post finds all of you happy and healthy. Health is such a wonderful gift. If you have it please cherish it. If you don't have it, remember that you are worth looking after and do what you can to keep it or improve it. I'm learning all this myself. Some of us are slow learners but every one of us can learn.

Over the past several weeks I've been back to the grindstone doing everything I can to get my blood sugar levels down. I'm exercising each and every day, taking my medications faithfully, testing my blood glucose levels, going to sleep earlier, trying to make sure only good foods are prepared and served and just generally trying not to get overly stressed.  I have some days where my sugar levels are doing very well and other days where it is very high even though I do all the right things. For example, last night before bed, my blood glucose was 5.7 (normal). This morning it was 7.5 (slightly over normal).  After a breakfast of cold cereal with fibre, 1% milk and 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds it soared to 17.5! That is unreal. My blood glucose is always higher in the first half of the day.  Even if I eat my usual breakfast of oatmeal (with cinnamon, goji or strawberries and flax meal) my blood glucose is still at about 11 or 12 ml. I still think that is way too high so I've been experimenting with exercising on my stationary bike after each meal. I am better at it some days and not so good on other days though I keep on doing the best I can and feel that it will all help make a difference.  (I already know that eating vegan helps but I am not quite that disciplined.  Perhaps in time with all the changes I've made over time I will end up with a totally vegan diet but for now I still eat a bit of cheese, dairy and chicken/meat/fish).

My doctor wants to increase one of my medications but I am resistant to the idea.  I know that increasing medications is not going to solve anything in the long run though it may help in the short term. That is why I am now exercising every single day rather than a few times a week. I will give it a bit more time and then go back and see the doctor to discuss with her. In the end I may increase the medications but first I want to try everything else possible to correct the problem.

I LOVE pansies.
In addition to that I've gone for my annual eye check and discovered that I had a retinal tear in one eye.  I was very shocked but apparently it comes with age and affects some people who are quite myopic which I am. There can be some very bad consequences of an unchecked retinal tear. In my case, I went to the eye doctor on a Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday morning I was at the retinal specialist's office. By Wednesday morning of the following week I was at the downtown Vancouver hospital getting eye surgery.

I didn't really have time to ask a lot of questions as the eye specialist was and is super busy. I found out he is one of the best in town (I didn't know of him before I was referred) and suffice to say that the surgery went well. There was no pain from all the light beams directed into my eye. What I did find a bit painful was the pressure on my eyeball from whatever was used to keep my eye open. It wasn't exactly painful but the pressure exerted on the eyeball was making my eye fatigued and sore.  By the time the doctor was finished zapping my eye I was so happy!  I return to his office in a month's time for followup.  Everything seems fine afterward, though I've noticed I tend to get eye strain more than I did before. Perhaps this will subside in time.  All I can say is that I am grateful the problem was found and corrected in record time.

It poured heavily on Sunday

In the meantime, I've been keeping very busy this Spring with a myriad of things: planning and preparing my small garden, buying a new patio table, Spring cleaning around the condo (declutter my drawers and closet shelves, wiping down the kitchen), taxes, paperwork, running to different doctors, reading, and life in general. Of course most of you know that the simple tasks of planning and preparing meals and blood glucose monitoring takes oodles of time.  So all in all, I am keeping rather busy.

Starter plants waiting for their pots.
The Paradise Guest House
Weekend in ParisBecause I've read a lot of books early this year I've decided to increase my reading goal for the year from 25 to 30 books. It's no problem as I've got hundreds of books on my "to read" list. It is just a matter of finding some of them at the library or the second hand (thrift) store.  I may have to increase the goal again before the year is out since we still have 7 months left in 2014.  I'm reading at a leisurely pace.  In fact I haven't been doing any reading for a few weeks so today I will pick up a couple of library books (the two you see in the photos). They look like light, fun reads.

Last but  not least. I've dug out a work-in-progress.  It's the African hexagon flower crochet throw/blanket I intended to give as a Christmas present in December 2013!  I've managed to sew all the hexagons together now.  By laying it on my double bed I can see that I still need a few rows of flowers and I've run out of the yarns I've been using. I either have to carry on in different colourways (perhaps too much difference in shading) or try and find more yarn (easier said than done though I could perhaps order on line).

My hexagons are randomly placed and are not all identical. I've used 4-5 shades of yarn in different order and have sewn them together without much thought.  It is too time consuming to keep laying the throw on the floor or my bed to see how to arrange the hexagons.

I still have to fasten the ends at the back and add another row before deciding whether to buy more yarn and continue.

I'm pleased with the overall effect. 

Right now I am experimenting with the yarn I have on hand to finish adding one more row.  I can then see whether what I have on hand will work or whether I need to buy more yarn.  After seeing how heavy the throw is getting I might skip the idea of making a cover for a double bed. But, you never know, I can always change my mind.

Chicken cacciatore is bubbling away on the stove.  This is something I never make but am tired of eating baked and roasted chicken so I thought a change would be fine. I don't generally eat much pasta  and thankfully it doesn't tend to cause any huge blood glucose spikes. I almost decided on boiling some steel cut oats for the foundation of the meal but I'll save the oats for breakfast.

I think tomorrow's menu for lunch and dinner  will be a nice green salad with canned salmon and a hearty vegetable stew.

Keep well everyone. I may not be posting for awhile as I'm going to be busy catching up with friends and work and relaxation around the house.

Joining in with My World Tuesday


Unknown said...

Beautiful flowers!! Boom, Bobbi and Gary.

Terra said...

The bedspread looks beautiful and I like the colors, they are restful. I hope you have good results with your exercising every day and keeping your diet healthy. I cut way back on sugar to keep in the healthy range and I don't drink fruit juice cuz it has high sugar content. That and exercise are working for me at present. Your flowers are colorful after their wash in the rain. I wrote on my blog today about books I am reading too, great minds think alike?

Joanne Noragon said...

Look at all those happy pots of plants! When I had my cataracts removed I was more susceptible to eye strain in the very beginning. But I've noticed nothing three months on. Hope yours is the same (or better :-))

jabbott said...

Im so with you regarding trying to sort out your sugar levels the natural way. Sometimes the best medicine is listening to your body. If on the other hand you have tried everything then maybe more medication is the answer.You mentioned that you had to get eye surgery do glad that was caught in time. Lastly I think your blue blanket is really, really pretty and looks like lots of work has gone into it x

Joyful said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my crochet afghan. You are so right about the work that went into the blanket. I want to make at least one more in this pattern now that I know what is involved. After that, I don't think I would tackle it again. I think it is much faster to make granny squares.

Joyful said...

Hi Terra, thank you so much for your kind comments. I don't use much sugar and I seldom drink fruit juice though from time to time I will indulge a bit. You are very fortunate that those changes are working for you. I hope that continues. Happy reading :-)

Joyful said...

It is good to know that you noticed eye strain after cataract surgery. I think (and hope) that in time the eye strain will disappear as this is not something I usually have a problem with. Thanks so much!

Denise said...

God bless you my friend. Praying for you. I know how hard it can be to keep diabetes under control. The bed spread is lovely.

Joyful said...

Thanks Gary!

Joyful said...

I appreciate your prayers so much my friend. I know you know what I'm talking about. I'm glad you like the crochet bed spread :-)

KT said...

I agree to try and do things naturally first...medications second. It is not that medications are bad...but why take them if you don't have to. My coworker found out he has high blood pressure, and immediately went on something. I asked him how many eggs he has a day (lots) and lunchmeat (lots) and though - geez, the doctor didn't try controlling diet first?

Love the afghan. I just finished a crochet blanket...have more yard to start the next...it is a fun hobby - just takes a lot of time for me to finish one!

Joy said...

I'm loving your beautiful crochet throw/blanket Joyful - you have worked long and hard with this and the results show it was well worth it! Well done, and I hope you manage to complete it without too much trouble finding yarn!
You certainly are working on your health too, all credit to you for sticking it out with the natural way and not hopping onto medications if they're not necessary - not that I have anything against meds. but I do agree its worth trying to manage the problem through dietary changes if possible.
I'm so happy that your eye problem was found and fixed so quickly - you were very fortunate there my dear!
Your plants are looking nicely refreshed after the rain - I can almost hear them singing!
Now take good care of yourself and make time for relaxation and lots of new reading - enjoy!
Love and blessings, Joy xo

A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

I'm sorry you are having problems with your blood sugar. I've been on this journey for a few years and my blood sugar is now normal. I've discovered I can rarely eat grains. They spike my blood sugar. A bowl of cereal would spike my blood sugar for sure. Here is just one of many websites that I learned so much from. http://www.bloodsugar101.com/
I also love http://www.lowcarbfriends.com
Go to their forums and look for 'recipe suggestions'. I've learned how to cook different and the gals on that forum have helped me so much. I'd be happy to help you anyway I can if you are interested in this kind of eating. I know many people who have adopted this way of eating and have brought their blood sugar back to normal after being full blown diabetic.

Jan said...

I love the colour of your quilt Penny. Sounds like you are working hard to stay healthy. I need the reminder today as I'm not looking after my health as I used to at the moment. I tell myself I'm too busy and am eating all of the wrong things for comfort! Yesterday I was looking at a raw vegan diet. I had ideas about changing my diet but they've passed now - that's me all over! I need to make a commitment to myself. Sorry to hear about your eye, that doesn't sound too good but hope that they can fix it. You are reading so many books this year. I always like to hear about your reading list and join you in some of the books. Take good care of yourself and I will take good care of me too. My Heath is not something to tAke for granted or to deliberately sabotage! Thank you for this post todAy. Xx

Hootin Anni said...

I crochet myself...so I have to comment on that hexagon bed covering you've shared...it is EXTRAORDINARY!! Oh and I too love pansies.

affectioknit said...

The hexies are so pretty!

~Have a lovely day!

Bossy Betty said...

Thank you for reminding us that health is important! I know you will do your best to improve yours and I send you lots of good thoughts! Love the quilt!!!! That is wonderful!

Mereknits said...

Thankfully you caught that tear quickly and that you are now all fixed up. Good luck with the blood sugar levels, not an easy task to get them to decrease. I love your blanket, it is looking fantastic.

Cynthia said...

I absolutely love the colors in your bedspread. Health problems are no fun, and it sounds as if you are doing your best to stay healthy. How fortunate that the retinal tear was discovered when it was, and that your are to read and do your crocheting. Take care!

Jayne H said...

Keep up the exercising and good job they found your eye issues out in order to rectify them.

I love your patchwork bedspread, I have always pretty much resisted crochet shapes for my blankets as I can't be faffed to sew them together, but they do look lovely.

Saucy Siciliana said...

Take care of your eyes Joyful. You are so talented, I also love the bedspread, it's gorgeous. Enjoy your time with friends. Relax yourself. Have a nice weekend!

Ceil said...

Hi Joyful! I am so sorry that your sugar is just bouncing all over the place. Good for you for exercising and doing what you can to get it under control. I'm sure it's a process...
My husband found out he had retinal tear too. He had the same surgery you did. I think it must be pretty normal to have it. Still not fun though. I'm glad you did so well.
June Blessings,

Unknown said...

take care of yourself! <3

John's Island said...

Hi Joyful, As always, I enjoyed reading this post. You are definitely onto good health and your efforts to maintain that are admirable. My experience coincides with yours so much … this business of getting older seems to be constantly presenting new challenges. It is good to hear that your eye surgery has been successful. I sure like your garden area … it all looks inviting and like a great place to sit and be peaceful. Congratulations on all the exercise … I know that is important as I feel so much better when I’m on a walking program of about 3 miles a day. I will look forward to your next update as your summer gets underway up in beautiful BC. Thanks for your kind comments on John’s Island. John

emilyclare said...

So sorry to hear of your recent health difficulties Penny - and praying for healing and peace about how to address them! Your garden is looking lovely with those pansies abloom, and that crochet quilt is marvellous (of course I love the blue and white hues!) xx Emily

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