During my January hospital admission, I learned that – despite having made no changes in my diet – my diabetes had shifted in a huge way from August of the previous year. My hemoglobin A1C – a measure of how well my diabetes had been controlled over the previous several months – had been 7.1 and had suddenly jumped to 13.2, again with no dietary changes AND with a reduction in my prednisone – which should have lowered it.
To make a long story short, this indicated that my body had stopped producing enough insulin and I was started on it during that admission.
Since then, my blood sugar has been much better overall and many things have changed with my diabetes management.
For example, I now wear a continuous glucose monitor:
I do love Lionel the sensor because I simply scan my phone over him and check my blood sugar anytime. I change sites every 14 days and that’s that.
He’s REALLY been amazing this past week because I’ve had a pretty sick week – my CRPS and spine and all that fun stuff – and my body has really gone lulu at times and I’ve had these kind of episodes:
Blood sugars that are this low are so far outside of my normal. It’s just been a really puny week. . .
So, I’ve also just started seeing a chiropractor for my spine, which is a totally new thing for me, but I am very hopeful that he will be able to help me.
And my blood sugars finally seem to be normalizing despite a gnarly sinus infection.
All that said, what I had forgotten from my nursing days was that, when people initiate insulin therapy, they usually gain twenty or so pounds regardless of what they are eating.
Until it happened to me.
It took me a bit to put two and two together – but I’ve gained weight as I was eating less AND, again, still reducing prednisone – so I should have been losing it.
So, over the past couple of days, I put on my nurse and holistic nutritionist hats (more on the nutritionist hat in a bit) and started trying to figure out what to do about this – since stopping my insulin isn’t really an option.
After much reading and video watching, I’ve decided that intermittent fasting – a very mild version of it with careful glucose monitoring – is the most logical approach for me.
Where many people fast for several days, fast every other day, or eat one meal a day, I will be doing the 16:8 intermittent fasting approach to be certain my blood sugar is stable – and, of course, I will take any day that my blood sugar is wonky due to a sick day off completely.
Considering that this is actually what Dr. Fung does with all of his patients, he definitely knows his stuff, and the science is solid, I am confident that it is the right approach. I also believe it is necessary, not only because no one enjoys carrying extra weight, but especially, because, with my RA and CRPS, my joints don’t need any extra burden.
I also realized something else as I was doing my research. . .
When I had to stop working as a nurse, I went back to school and finished a fabulous program to become a holistic nutritionist – and I love it. I wrote a good bit about it in 2018. However, as I’ve been more ill, I stopped writing about it and offering to help people with it because I told myself that people wouldn’t want the help of a chronically ill holistic nutritionist/health coach.
However, as I’ve spent several days essentially looking for a me – someone who has the knowledge base I’ve needed AND knows what it’s like to live with chronic disease and a medically complex picture – I’ve realized that there is definitely a need for my abilities and experience, both in nutrition and as a nurse.
So, I’ve decided to write about this journey a few days a week – how things are going, my progress, what I’m reading and learning – and to continue my holistic nutrition work after all.
Rather than see my chronic illnesses as a reason NOT to keep going, I’m going to push on with a focus on helping other people who deal with the kind of issues I do – my fellow spoonies. Sometimes it is SO helpful to be able to find someone to answer your questions who understands – and God doesn’t waste anything, especially the difficult things we go through. ❤
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and Blessings.