Feel Like a Queen!

How I Feel Like A Queen!

Image of woman in milk bath
Image of woman in milk bath

This week I realized that something I’ve been doing for over a year is really making a difference.  I turned 64 years of age on the 21st and I when i looked in the mirror, I realized that I really don’t have wrinkles.  I used to think that I didn’t show wrinkles because I was just too fat, but after losing 60 pounds and seeing my face thin down, I realized that I don’t have wrinkles like some others my age.

Some things I have going for me is that I have never smoked, and ever since I was around 30, I’ve tried to NOT get sunburned.  Before that, I was really into sports and was burned several times during softball tournaments and long practices.  But then my Mom was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and after several major and disfiguring surgeries, she finally died of complications from that supposedly easy to treat skin cancer, I became pretty paranoid about no sunburns for me nor my daughter.  Her doctor said it was probably caused by sunburns in her youth.

For the last few years, I’ve been pretty much a homebody in this wheelchair.  However this past summer we did take up kayaking (which I loved) and so I do get out in the sun a little but I’m careful and always wear a hat and use sun cream.

My skin is now very soft, smooth and wrinkle-free.  And I credit it to a couple of products I’ve been using for over a year.

What Products Do I Use on my Skin?

An image of beautiful hands
An image of beautiful hands

A couple of years ago, I became a Young Living distributor.  I use several of their essential oils in my diffuser and I started using their wrinkle cream about a year and a half ago.  Its called Boswellia Wrinkle Cream.  According to Young Living, the cream contains pure essential oils like Frankincense and Sandalwood that moisturize the skin while minimizing shine and reducing the appearance of fine lines.

The full list of ingredients is as follows:

Deoinized Water, Glycyeryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sweet Almond Extract (Prunus Amygdalus), Glycerin, Levulinic Acid, p-Anisic Acid, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Stearic Acid, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense), Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum), Sandalwood Extract (Santalum Album), Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Barley Extract (Hordeum Distichon), Sorbic Acid, Shea Butter, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Wolberry (Lycium Barbarum) Seed Oil, Grapeseed Extract, St. John’s Wort Extract, Kelp Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Sodium Phytate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Aloe Vera 200x (Aloe Barbadensis), Sodium Hydroxide, and Citric Acid.

†100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential

Contains corn, nut, and coconut/palm ingredients

I use it as directed, on my face and my neck.

I must say, I love how my face feels.  Its so smooth and soft and I’ve noticed I haven’t developed any  lines on my face or my neck – at least that are noticeable.  I’m not a makeup person, so each morning after my shower, I simply use the wrinkle cream on my face and neck and that’s it for the day for my face. I’m fortunate in that since menopause, I do not get acne anymore.  Ah, the joy of no estrogen!

An image of a bottle of cream
An image of a bottle of cream

The other product I use on my skin is a body butter (Le Beaute Body Butter | Super Rich Natural Body Cream and Moisturizer | Rich in Anti-Oxidants, Vitamins and Pure Organic Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter | Provides 24 Hour Hydration for Skin).  I lucked upon this cream simply because my husband picked it out one day when I asked him to pick up some cream with shea and coconut.  It purports to help soothe and heal rough, dry skin.  I’m diabetic and need to keep from having breaks in my skin that can get infected.

I use that cream on my hands, arms, and legs every morning after my shower.  I’m a reader and remember reading about how queens and princesses in the stories were often given special baths and treatments to give them radiant, soft skin.  (baths of milk, cucumber, etc).  I must admit that when I feel my own skin now, it is unbelievably smooth and soft.  Sometimes I think I am treating myself like a storybook princess by using these products.  Not to mention, they have a nice smell also.

Lastly, I’ve recently (the last couple of months) began to do apple cider vinegar soaks in my tub.  This is for detox purposes and to help my skin.  Three times a week, I add 2-3 cups of apple cider vinegar (doesn’t have to be the one with the mother since it is just for outside the body) to my bath water and soak for about 30 minutes.  I’ve noticed my feet and legs seem to feel better and are very smooth. I’ve also noticed that a few small skin tags on my trunk are going away.  I love it!

Here’s How You can Pamper Yourself


This wrinkle cream can be purchased at Young Living’s website.  Boswellia Wrinkle Cream by Young Living.  No, its not cheap, but does last a while.  If you sign up with Young Living, you get a much better price. Using my ID of 3556236 can help me bunches.  You can sign up as a member at the link below and get 24% off the retail price.


Body Butter by le Beaute.  This is much more reasonable in price at Amazon.

You can also purchase apple cider vinegar in gallon containers for your bath use.  Walmart and some pharmacies carry this size.  Well, Amazon does too.  Here’s a link to a gallon of Heinz Brand

Why not try this yourself for a while.  Ladies, you deserve to be pampered just a little each day.

BTW, I’ll add a pic of me after I bathe and use my wrinkle cream in the morning.  I’m certainly not a beauty but feel so good then.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.  I send out a monthly newsletter around the 1st of each month.  If you would like to receive that email newsletter, you can sign up here.


A Day Living with Chronic Pain

Maybe You are Like Me

An image of a wheelchair
An image of a wheelchair

I’m 63 years old, I’m in a wheelchair most of the day.  I have Type II diabetes, fibromyalgia, a blood condition (essential thrombocythaemia) and I’m very overweight.  I have degenerative discs in my back and have lost 2 inches of height and my left hip is deteriorating fast.  I also live in chronic pain and disability.

I am retired and these are supposed to be my “golden years”.  But they are not so “golden” after all.  I spend most of my day in pain ranging from mild to severe.

5:30 am.  I’ve been back and forth from my bed to my massage recliner in the living room more times than I can count.  There is just no position that is comfortable enough to allow me to go to sleep.  My bed has 5 pillows on it that I use to stuff around my body to try to get comfy but they don’t work much.  I’m fat and it is difficult for me to move about in my bed anyway.  Rolling over is a chore and getting up and into my wheelchair is painful.  My left hip freezes up and every movement causes a sharp pain.  I suck it in so I can sit up by the bedside and transfer to my wheelchair to move to my recliner and try it again.  Actually, I use my transport chair in the house because the wheelchair doesn’t fit into my bathroom doors and tears up the walls and doors.  The transport chair is smaller and fits, but I have to move it forward by shuffling my feet.  Getting over the door sills is hard because I have to push fast and hard to pop over them and if I aim wrong, I still hit the door frame and sometimes cabinets hard and gouge into them.

Once I move into the living room and get close to my recliner, I dread the transfer because it brings on more pain as I stand and turn to sit in the recliner.  Once there I can use the remote to lean back and start the massage.  That feels nice and I can turn on the heat too.  For a while, it feels good, but then I get too hot.  I throw off my small lap blanket and get back in the transport chair to go turn the overhead fan on.  Again, the move is painful, but I get settled back into the recliner and am a little more comfortable.  I may fall asleep for a few minutes.

Image of woman in pain
Image of woman in pain

6:30 am.  By now, my body is fixed in the somewhat sit/recline position and my left hip is beginning to lock up again.  I move around – throw that leg over the arm and try to stretch those hip muscles.  It really hurts a lot – a sharp pain, very sharp pain, as I start to stretch that hip.  But I know I need to keep stretching it.  I try several different moves, holding the leg out straight – or as straight as I can, flexing my buttocks,  the pain moves down into the front of my knee.  I rub that knee but it doesn’t help.  I stuff my lap blanket under that hip to give support, at first that helps but then it begins to ache more and more.  Now I’ve got to get up out of the recliner – which again causes pain during the transfer to the chair.  I gingerly move the chair over to the kitchen table and drink some of the coffee my great husband has fixed for me.  I need to check my blood glucose level (BGL)  and take my morning pills.  Hopefully, the Tramadol and the Cymbalta and 2 extra strength Tylenol will cut the pain in a little while.  My left leg has pain running down it to the knee and I can’t lift it without a sharp pain deep in the hip.  I prop my legs on the shelf under the table and start stretching that leg very slowly.  I hurt but gradually that sharp pain goes away.  I push my chair back from the table and stand up to stretch the buttock muscles and ligaments and while it hurts, it feels good too.  I stand for a minute and my leg feels better.  I can now sit and take my meds.

Afterwards, I go back to the bedroom and lay down on the bed flat (as I can get, on my back with my legs out as straight as I can – maybe with a pillow under my knees.  I flex both legs and try to straighten them out more each time.  I do this through the pain in my hips and at last, I feel I can turn on my side with a pillow between my knees and relax for awhile.  Maybe I sleep a few more minutes. I’m on my left side and it works for a while.  But eventually, the hip begins to ache from my body weight on that side and I turn over.  The first movement makes me what to cry out – it hurts, but I keep going and after a few attempts I swing over to lay on my right hip.  Darn, the pillow between my knees falls to the floor.  I grab another of the 5 bed pillows and stuff it between my knees.  Now I try to relax laying on my right side.  This side is not as comfy as my left side was at first. and I’m so close to the edge of the bed I feel like I may fall off.  I can’t relax.  10 minutes later, I decide to go back into the living room and get in the recliner again.

This is my routine much of the day and all of the night.  I average only  1-2.5 hours sleep each night.  I never feel rested in the morning and I’m tired all day long.

My Day

About 9:30 I decide to get into my step-in tub.  I love this tub, my only issue is it takes lots of hot water and our tank doesn’t quite handle it.  If Mel has showered recently or the dishwasher or clothes washer has run, my water will turn cold before the highest jets are covered.  Most of the time I have to turn the jets on at the lower level and just use them.  I stay in as long as I can and my hips begin to feel looser and the pain lessens.  It takes a while to drain and it is chilly waiting on the water to all drain out.  I get out and get dressed, although most days I just put on a loose gown to wear around the house.

I try to do some housework like folding clothes, unloading or loading the dishwasher, wiping the counters and running the dust mop over the floors.  Thankfully they are all hardwood or tile. We replaced all the carpet so my wheelchair would move easier around the house.  We also purchased a Roomba auto vacuum.  I love my Rosie vacuum cleaner and she cleans our floors every other day.  I gather up the folded clothes and deposit them in bedrooms and towels into the linen closets.  I unload the dishwasher and put the items on the cleaned counters.  Mel puts them on the shelves since its so hard for me to stand and reach the shelves without dropping dishes and breaking them.  I cook but Mel helps with lifting heavy pots and pans and getting things in and out of the oven and pouring out hot grease.  I also get him to do the heavy cutting, as I’m not too great handling knives.  I dust furniture but Mel has to do the tops of things that are higher than I can reach.  I also use the swifter to damp mop our floors but I must admit I often hurt after doing that.  I can strip our bed and wash the bedding but Mel has to put it back on.

Speaking of dropping things, I HATE to drop things, then I have to bend over and try to pick them up.  This is very painful to reach down so far and my hands have become less nimble because of the neuropathy from Diabetes.  I can’t pick up small items like I used to.  I dread seeing something on the floor that needs to be picked up.

My laundry is a hallway with the washer and dryer on one side and my pantry cabinet on the other.    I roll my chair into the closet one way to move clothes from the dryer and clean out the lint filter.  I have to back out and roll in backward to load the dirty clothes into the washer and move then into the dryer.  Sometimes I drop clothes as I move them, especially socks and I dread picking those up.

I carry the clean and dry clothing in a basket to the living room and fold them on the couch. Then, I take the empty basket back into the laundry hallway to put on top of the dryer. Carrying things can be somewhat difficult.  My big, loose gowns come in handy as I form a pouch and put things in and close the pouch with my teeth and roll around with my “bag”.  In my walker, it is even more difficult to carry things around.

After I finish these daily chores, I either go to my PC and work on my blogging or my digital art or one of my online classes I take.  I do tend to sit there too long and when my hip begins to hurt again, I start my recliner to bed ritual again.  I read books, either from the library – hardbacks or on my large screen iPhone and the Kindle app.  I read a lot, I can read two or more books a day.

After I finish these daily chores, I either go to my PC and work on my blogging or my digital art or one of my online classes I take.  I do tend to sit there too long and when my hip begins to hurt again, I start my recliner to bed ritual again.  I read books, either from the library – hardbacks or on my large screen iPhone and the Kindle app.  I read a lot, I can read two or more books a day.

Right now I have two chiropractic appts each week and 2 physical therapy appointments each week and I try to go the indoor pool 3-4 times each week at least.

Leaving the house requires me to get fully dressed and I use my cane to move from my transport chair inside my house to the car.  Depending on my much pain I’m in, this is more or less difficult.  I can usually drive with no problem unless my left hip is really hurting.  It’s nice to be able to still drive and go places.  When I get to the chiro or PT places, I had been getting my wheelchair out of the trunk (not easy because it is awkward moving it from the trunk and opening it from the folded position and it is not very light.  It is harder getting it back into the trunk after my appointments or my swims.

The chiropractic adjustments do not hurt.  The worst thing is getting up onto the table tummy down and then getting off the table and putting my wheelchair back in the trunk of the car.

An image of a walker
An image of a walker

Now the PT appointments are another matter.  I like the Technicians that work with me, they are very nice, but they do push me (they are supposed to do that).  Most of the exercises hurt, but I try as hard as I can and I sweat a lot from the effort.  They starting working on straightening me out and stretching the hip and thigh muscles that had shortened from my 3 years in a wheelchair.  At this point, we are working on my standing and balance and moving my legs and feet and walking.  This is proving difficult and I usually am breathing very heavy very quickly during the exercises.  They want me to begin using my walker more and coming to my appointments in it.  Oh boy!  After the first appointment where we did a lot of standing and walking, I hurt so much that I couldn’t get up on my feet or even go to the pool for two days straight and got no sleep at all for two nights.   I believe this is my fibromyalgia acting up when I overdo.  I’ve experienced this before when I felt good and did too much.  I’m trying to not overdo like that again.

At my next PT appointment, I told the technician and she cut back some of the work and I didn’t have as bad a reaction that night.

Mel and I have purchased me a lighter walker that is easier to fold/unfold and it stays in the car now to make it easier for me to take to my appointments.  I’m starting, very slowly to use the walker more, but I’m still in the wheelchair or transport chair a lot.

Each time I go to the indoor swimming pool, I use my wheelchair to get inside and back out – there is just too many steps and I have to carry my swim bag also. I change in the locker room and roll out to just beside the steps into the water.  I can hold onto the bars and make it into the pool.  Once in the pool, I feel so much freedom, it is WONDERFUL!  I no longer feel the weight on my spine, hips and left knee.  I can water walk and exercise with the noodle mostly without pain. I always do 10 laps on my back and 100 squats at the 3-foot level, then I walk back and forth across the pool many times and do pushups on the steps and some water aerobics.  I try to really stretch all my muscles in my legs and arms.  I recently participated in my first “water aerobics class” in months and I made it through without having to stop.  I’m trying to increase my squats in the water to help strengthen my legs so I can walk better out of the water.  But after about 1 hour and 15 minutes, I get out and go to the hot tub to soak and stretch for 15 minutes.  But all good things come to an end and I finally must get out, shower,  get dressed and go home.  It hurts to lift the wheelchair into the trunk of the car.  When I get home I use my cane to go from the car to the house and my transport chair again and that hurts once more. But hey, I felt so very free for about an hour and a half.

I’m usually tired and can take a short nap when I get home from the pool.  Later I’ll read or go work on my pc again until I cook dinner.  Mel and I eat and then we like to watch Netflix movies.  Right now we are watching all 8 seasons of “Dexter” one episode after another – about 5 episodes each night.  I try to do exercises in my recliner while watching TV.  I have ankle weights and an exercise band now to use and some light hand weights.  Mel goes to bed at 10 pm every night on the dot and falls to sleep instantly.  I stay up and begin my recliner to bed ritual, over and over.  I talk to God and Jesus evry night and when the pain is really bad I post on Facebook for my friends to pray for me.  This does help.  Sometimes I practice walking with my walker or standing at the back of a chair and getting up and down and stretching my legs and hips.  I’m hoping to eventually regain enough strength and enough pain relief from the chiro and PT that I can use the walker a lot and even outside my house.  Right now it’s slow going because the pain is mostly always with me and overdoing causes regular relapses.  But maybe if I keep it up along with my diet, I will eventually reach my goal of getting out of this wheelchair and walking again on my own.

I must confess, I often watch other people, as they get up and walk about and bend and pick up and carry things with great envy.  I remember that I once could do that myself and I pray that I’ll be able to do it again one day.

Nothing is easy right now.  Mel and I went to the Library Wine Pull social last evening and it was held outside.  My wheelchair did not do well over the rough ground, so Mel and I didn’t stay very long.


But each day is new and I’m hoping one day they will become much easier if I keep working at it. Meanwhile, I grin and bear it like many others who live in chronic pain and if you ask me how I’m doing, like them, I will say “fine”.

I’m not looking for sympathy, but I do want to help folks understand more about those who live each day dealing with pain and disability.  I enjoy my life for the most part unless the pain is very severe.  I enjoy my reading, my painting, my online classes.  I have a great husband, a cool monster dog, friends, and I enjoy floating with my kayak buddies.  I have a wonderful daughter who is on the mission field and I Facetime with her regularly, I have a sweet step-daughter and 5 wonderful grandkids.  I’m hoping to see the girls in California next year and I’m planning a trip to see my daughter’s family in Papua New Guinea in about 3 years – one of the reasons I’m really working on my health starting right now.  I talk with my God regularly and lean on Him.  I am a “listener” each week for our church’s AWANA club and enjoy the kids.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.  I send out a monthly newsletter around the 1st of each month.  If you would like to receive that email newsletter, you can sign up here.

– Shirley




Let’s Check Out the Whole30 Plan

When I Decided to Eat the Whole30 Way During 2016

An image of a plate of green beans wrapped with bacon.
An image of a plate of green beans wrapped with bacon.

Recently, I’ve been reading more posts in the various groups I frequent about those who have decided to change to the whole30 way of eating.  This is certainly a change I can agree with and I must say that I decided to eat this way during 2016 and I lost 30 pounds that year which I attribute to the Whole30 way of eating.

What is Whole30?

Whole30 is a clean-eating plan created by Dallas and Melisssa Hartwig which is based on an initial 30-day nutrition plan that emphasizes healthy, whole foods and getting rid of foods that tend to cause negative health issues in people.

Continue reading “Let’s Check Out the Whole30 Plan”

Slowly Making Progress Again

I’m Finally Making Progress Again

An anime image of person sweating
An anime image of person sweating

I did plateau for a while after my trip out of town and the food photo shoot.  It seems like it took forever to get back into a groove. I was so messed up with my blood glucose levels that I’m back taking insulin several times a day – not a lot but still injecting.  For some reason it seemed that all my will power and motivation was crushed during the trip.  I certainly ate off plan and my blood glucose rose greatly.  It became so hard to fast without cheating that it was demoralizing.  I wanted to kick myself back into shape.  But I decided to address the issue as the “sin of gluttony” and began to read up about gluttony and overcoming that failing.  I found several ebooks to download and read.

  • Sweet Surrender  (Christian 12 Step Recovery from Food Addiction)
  • Gluttony (A study of overeating in the Bible)
  • 10 Reasons Christians should care about what they eat
  • The Obesity Code
  • Food Addicts Recovery from Food Addiction Anonymous

I’m now treating my overeating as a disease and helping with FA (Food Addiction) methods.

I’m also rereading Dr. Jason Fung’s book about intermittent fasting which is the book that started me on my journey.  You can check it out.

Learning More about eating Keto

I’m learning more and more about eating keto and how to do it.  I love keto foods and meals and I’ve just received a great cookbook I’m going to use a lot.

  • Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking: Meal Plans and Time Saving Paleo Recipes to Inspire Health and Shed Weight

I can’t wait to try some of these meals.  I’m hoping that keto eating on my feeding days will help keep me in fat burning mode longer.

An Unwanted Issue with Keto Eating

Talk about the bad breath!  I hate my breath when I’m in fasting mode.  It’s awful, even after I brush, floss and swish mouthwash.  I’ve been researching what to do and found that chewing and swalling some parsley helps – its amazing but it does.

Where I am in my Journey Today

At this point, I’ve been on my IF (intermittent fasting) journey since 12/11/16, about 65 days into this way of living.  I started out weighing 260 pounds and injecting 182 units of insulin each day.  This morning I weighed 237.4 – so I’ve lost about 23 pounds.  I am currently injecting 10 units of long term Lantus each night and dosing with 5 units of short term nova log whenever my bgl is over 200 which is frequently, so I usually end up injecting around 15 units of nova log daily.  At one point I was totally off all insulins but my trip and backsliding blew that and I’m struggling to get back to the point I was before.  In addition, my weight loss plateaued and has slowed down during the 2nd month a lot.

Image of woman showing slimmer belly
Image of woman showing slimmer belly

I believe because of my trip and cheating on my fasting days.  I  have started having many more problems with hunger and giving in to temptation as I mentioned before.  However I do believe my research into Ketogenic eating will help me get back in control and losing weight steadily again.  I’m setting short term goals for myself.  Right now I’m working on getting to a weight of 230 pounds. But I can happily say that I’m now wearing some 2X clothing.  I can still wear my 3X and even my 4X (once I’ve washed them in hot water and dried them to tighten them some).  I ordered a new swimsuit in the next size down since one of mine was getting way too lose on top.

What I Need Long Term?

I’ve been thinking and realizing that my insulin resistance is very high and I’m not sure when I will be able to overcome it.  I definitely figure I will have to keep losing more and more weight and eating very consciously low carb, high fat. I suspect that IF will be part of my life for the long term.  I’m having a problem believing that I will actually get to the point that my blood glucose levels will be close to normal and I am totally off insulins, but I intend to persevere since w/o hope life becomes a lot less fun.

Yes, 1) reaching my goal weight of 145, 2) getting off all insulins, are still my goal, along with  3) getting out of this wheelchair.  I’ve started going to the indoor pool several times a week to work on strengthening my legs and straightening my back.  I can only walk with a straight posture when I’m in the water up to my hip level, but this does give me hope that with more weight loss, I’ll be standing straight again at some point.   I’m also adding some back stretching to my routine to lengthen muscles that have shortened from sitting so much.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.  I will be sending out a monthly newsletter starting in January 2017.  If you would like to receive that email newsletter, you can sign up here.

– Shirley

Continuing My Cure!

Beginning My Journey of IF (Intermittent Fasting)

An image of candy in a bowl
An image of candy in a bowl

I began this journey on Sunday, December 11, 2017.  A couple of weeks before that I had one of my few bouts with depression when it hit me that my daughter and her family, including my two precious and adorable grandsons, had only six more weeks until they moved out of the US to Papua New Guinea as Wycliffe Bible Translators.  It will be over two years before I see them in person again.  That was so depressing that I did what I usually do for comfort – eat!  I ate half a bag of MM’s which tasted great and made me feel better until I tested my BGLs (blood glucose levels).  It was into the 500’s which was a wake up call.  I immediately got online and read about high blood sugars (hyperglycemia) and it really scared me.

I was so mad at myself that I would do this.  I realized if I didn’t get my blood glucose levels under control, I may not be here when they do get back in two years.  I made up my mind right then that I would change and do something about this – get my sugars under control and also my weight.  Even thought I had been eating much better during 2016 and had lost 30 pounds, I had gained 6 back and I was still morbidly obese – my BMI was over 40 and I was stuck in a wheelchair because of my weight, back pain and deconditioned body.

Luckily my blood pressure was okay, and my heart was ok as far as I and my cardiologist knew.  I wanted to keep losing weight, along with getting my blood glucose levels under tight control.  My daughter had never knew me thin and in shape (I became overweight during my pregnancy).  I want to be thin and healthier and hopefully out of this wheelchair when my kids return on furlough in two years.

I determined to be more strict with my diet and start my water aerobics again in 2017 since I have access to an indoor pool year round.  I began to research and read more about controlling diabetes and losing weight.  Then I ran across an article on Dr. Jason Fung and his book “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended”.  I downloaded the book to my iPad and read it.  He described helping his patients actually cure their diabetes through intermittent fasting (IF).  Many had lost weight and got off all of their medications in a few months.  I was definitely intrigued by this and his research.  He described his experience with intermittent fasting and that of some of his patients.  He also compared IF to bariatric surgery.

My previous diabetes doc had encouraged me to consider bariatric surgery; however I have a bone marrow problem in which I produce too many platelets and abnormal ones at that.  This make me a clotting and stroke risk.  I had actually had a stroke after a previous elective surgery to repair a large hernia, and while I was fortunate that I did not have a lot of lasting damage, I had decided to not plan on having any more elective surgeries.

So when Dr. Fung said this about fasting:

“If you do not feel well for any reason, you simply stop fasting.  It is entirely reversible within minutes.  If you wish to stop fasting for several weeks for personal or medical reasons, then you may do so. If you want to indulge during the Christmas holidays or during a summer cruise, you can do that as well.  Simply get back on the program once you are finished. 
Compare this to bariatric surgery (sometimes called “stomach stapling”).  It has helped many people lose a lot of weight, at least in the short term.  But this surgery has tons of complications, almost all of which are irreversible.  And you cannot simple reverse the surgery itself.  It’s permanent.  if you are doing poorly, that’s simply too bad.  Fasting, on the other hand is completely within your control; you may fast or stop fasting anytime you wish.”

So fasting is basically like bariatric surgery
without the surgery!

I have had friends to have bariatric surgery and they had some serious complications requiring additional surgeries.  I definitely did not want to chance this.

After reading Dr. Fung’s book, I did more research on intermittent fasting, finding lots of resources and downloaded and read another book on IF.

“Intermittent Fasting – Yes to Carvings! Lose Weight, Gain Muscles & Get Lean the Easy and Enjoyable Way”

An image with graphic text Facebook
An image with graphic text Facebook

Then I looked into support groups on FaceBook and found the “Wefast Intermittent Fasting Community “which is a closed group, but I asked to join and was quickly allowed to join the group.  I read the various discussions and began to learn more about IF and then began asking some questions myself.  Everyone was very helpful and of course knew much more than I did about fasting.

I started my version of IF on a Sunday and tried some fasts of 12-18 hours and lo and behold I realized I could do this and not be ravenous during the fasting period.  I would fast from dinner to lunch the next day with no problem.  I continued to read more about IF and ask additional questions.

I especially had questions about how much of my insulins, both short and long acting, I needed to take.  I would talk with my regular physician about this but I don’t see him until January 13, 2017.  One of the members of the fasting community was a doctor himself and he began to take me under his wing and suggest what I should do about my medications.  Doc Manny (Dr. Manuel Lam)  even made up a schedule of fast/non-fasting days for me to follow.  Dr. Lam has become my FaceBook friend and is helping me with lots of my questions about what to eat and how to keep my blood glucose levels from dropping too low.  I’m so thankful to have his help.

My BGLs stayed pretty high at the beginning, but now they are coming down except for my usual morning highs.  I even broke a fast yesterday for my sister’s and I to have our annual “holiday sister’s luncheon”.  We traveled to a great restaurant at a vineyard (Wiederkehr’s Weinkeller Restaurant) and had a wonderful meal together.  Then I went back to fasting.  I must admit last evening I did have a couple of moments of slight cravings, but I drank some bone broth and ate a spoonful of coconut oil twice and I’m back to no hunger today.  I will fast today and tomorrow be back to eating low carb, whole food.

Today is day 11 of my IF journey and I’ve had several fasts and am moving to alternate day fasting.  I weighed 260 on December 11 and today I weigh 252.8., that’s 7.2 pounds.  I’m excited about this and encouraged to keep this up.  I still have a long way to go, but now there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley


Curing My Diabetes!

Will this Cure Me?

An image of a woman walking dogs
An image of a woman walking dogs

This week I decided to cure my diabetes.  This disease has disrupted my life over and over and I have suffered lots of pain, frustration and even fear over the years.  Plus treating it has been pretty expensive both money wise and time wise.  I discovered a book by Dr. Jason Fung titled “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended“.  Dr. Fung claims that intermittent fasting (IF) has healed many of his patients.  I read this book and the testimonials of many of the patients who lost weight and got off all their diabetic meds and normalized their blood sugars.  It was very encouraging and I decided that I wanted to try this approach myself.  The one statement in Dr. Fung’s book that made up my mind is that


“…fasting is just like bariatric surgery without the surgery”

Continue reading “Curing My Diabetes!”

My weight loss journey continues

It’s all about Food

image of fresh, gluten-free sald
A fresh, gluten-free salad

Well, its been a while since I’ve blogged my journey.  As I continue eating the “whole30” way, and researching this way of eating (WOE), I am more and more in favor of this WOE.

I’ve managed to keep to my 26 pound weight loss (gaining back around 4 pounds from my high of 30 lost), even during the stress of selling my home and moving to a new home in a new town.  Although the stress of living out of boxes and not having a functional kitchen has stagnated my progress for weeks at a time, I’m still determined to stick with it because of the many other benefits of eating this way.

Why do I want to stick with this plan?

I’m finding that when I cheat too much or fall off the wagon and begin eating fast food and more processed food, that my pain and swelling increases dramatically.  I can cheat just a little with no major problems, but too much wheat, sugar, soy, etc.,  and my body starts rebelling.  My blood glucose rises and my joints and muscles begin to ache.  Once again, I find I cannot sleep at night because of the discomfort.  A few days of pain and I’m very willing to go back to eating whole and unprocessed foods.

My diabetes doc has been extremely happy with me also; especially for losing 30 pounds the last time I weighed in his office and he has lowered my insulin doses twice to help me avoid lows (lol! this seems so funny for me with my history of high BGLs).   My ultimate goal is to go completely off the insulin injections and I really believe I can do that if I persevere.

Continue reading “My weight loss journey continues”

Is it worth the pain and depression?

Do you ever get tired of it all?

Some days I really do get tired of everything and wonder “why am I still here Lord?”  This rarely happens, but when I’ve been in pain for days on end, I can get pretty depressed and think those kind of thoughts.

Living with chronic pain

Actually I can’t remember when something didn’t hurt.  It seems like there is always some part of me that is in pain. Between the fibromyalgia, degenerative discs, hip pain and of course the neuropathy, I never seem to get a break.

It doesn’t help that docs are so hesitant about issuing pain meds nowadays.  For me, the extra strength Tylenol just doesn’t do it.  The tramadol my rheumatologist prescribed does help some, but I’m afraid of taking too many of them because of side effects.  It is a synthetic version of codeine and can be just as addictive.  It can also cause strokes, seizures, and other issues.  However, recently I have tried taking one or two more each day.  Up to now, I’ve doled them out 1 in the morning and 1 at night.  Now I’m taking an extra 1 twice day when I absolutely can’t relax or sleep because of the pain.

The worst of it is that when I feel a little better, I try to do more things and then I have to bear the consequences of doing that.  For instance, Mel and I went to our vacation home 5 hours away for a long weekend recently and I drove on the way up and basically paid for that for the next three days (Mel had oral surgery the morning we left so I had to drive).  Then when we came home and Mel drove.

I was still hurting so much from the drive up, that I was literally miserable the entire way home. I couldn’t get comfortable no matter what I did.  My restless legs kicked in and I spent the entire trip basically rocking back and forth in my passenger side seat without my seat belt so I could stretch forward and relieve the pressure on my lower back and stretch my legs.  I was exhausted when I got home and went straight to bed.  After getting up and trading the bed for the recliner several times, I finally went to sleep and woke up around 10am the next day.  Today I’m researching chronic pain.

Being in pain is not easy, especially when the pain does not go away. Chronic pain is a debilitating condition for the millions of people who live with it every day.

While medication goes a long way in pain treatment, it is often not enough to control all of the symptoms. When chronic pain is poorly controlled, living with chronic pain can be a challenge.
Found in this article.

Coping with chronic pain

Some things I do try when I’m in pain is:

  1. Exercise:  I mainly do stretches since I can’t walk more than a few steps.  I usually stretch lying down in my bed or back in my recliner.
  2. Hot showers or bath.  When my legs and hip hurt, a hot shower or even better, a bath seems to help relax me. But I can only do that at our vacation home with its step-in tub.  I can’t get out of the regular tub at our main home, so I’m stuck with the shower.
  3. Think about other things.I like to read to try to take my mind away from the pain and sometimes that helps but not all the time.
  4. Bible reading and prayerI enjoy my Bible reading also and especially reading the Psalms.  Reading them I know that I’m not the only one crying out to God for help in the middle of the night.  When its really bad, I post for prayers from my friends on Facebook. When I was going through the awful neuropathy pains with my leg and feet ulcers, I posted for prayers regularly – I’m convinced that is the only way I made it through that terrible pain each night.  At times I was ready to call it quits and prayed God would just go on and take me home.  But He didn’t so there must be a reason why I’m still here.
  5. Music. Sometimes I tune into Pandora and the hymns radio channel and lay in my bed listening untill I fall asleep.
  6. Heat. My heating pad and my rolling massager is my best friend when my hips and legs are at their worse.  I lay on the heating pad and enjoy the warmth.  I roll the massager up and down my calf and the outside of my thighs, where knots have formed from the fibromyalgia.  I have knots and trigger points of pain all over my body that can be felt under my skin – its really weird.
  7. Cold.  Funny how the opposite can also help.  Icing my hip and low back can sometimes help too.  I think in reality, it just helps to get your mind off the pain.

Battling Depression

I know I sometimes get really depressed after days and days of pain and discomfort.  I see and experience every day all the things I can’t do anymore.  I envy people who get up and walk across a room without a thought of how blessed they are to do that so effortlessly.  I dread dropping something because it hurts so much to bend that far over in my wheelchair and pick it up.

Managing my wheelchair takes so much time and effort and I’m so slow at everything I do – it drives my husband crazy to see how slow I am at doing things and moving around – but I like to do things for myself so I don’t feel so entirely useless – he doesn’t understand that.

Recently a friend lost her son, who’s the same age as my daughter, due to a workplace accident and it struck me so hard that that beautiful young man is gone and yet I’m still here.  I grieve deeply for my friend and her husband, parents are not supposed to outlive their kids.  With my own daughter and her family moving to a third world country to become a missionary, I do worry a lot about their safety and health.

I manage my depression in several ways:

  • By taking Cymbalta.  I take it for its off-label use to treat my fibromyalgia and neuropathy and it does help for that. It also keeps my mood pretty even.  Most days I can’t force myself to cry because my serotonin and norepinephrine is working well.

There are two naturally occurring chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood and mood stability. Under normal circumstances, these two chemicals — serotonin and norepinephrine — are in a specific balance. However, these chemicals can become out of balance, causing changes in mood, specifically depression. Cymbalta works by re-establishing the balance of these two chemicals, and in turn, relieving the symptoms of depression.

The same two chemicals responsible for mood also have an influence on pain perception. Just as an imbalance causes depression, an imbalance of these chemicals causes pain. When Cymbalta re-establish chemical balance, the symptoms of pain may be relieved, as well.  Read more here.

  • I read my Bible a lot and pray a lot when I get depressed.
  • I also keep telling myself my family loves me and needs me, over and over.
  • I always try to have something to look forward to even if its something small.  I make plans or set goals to reach:
    • Losing a certain number of pounds by a certain date (a near date).
    • Setting a day/time to paint or go out to eat with friends.  Maybe planning an artist retreat with a friend.
    • Plan to FaceTime my daughter and talk to her and my adorable grandsons.
    • Plan to eat out with my husband so I don’t have to cook.
    • Plan a visit with one of my sisters to catch up.
    • Buy and download a new ebook I want to read or buy and stream a movie that I really want to see.
    • I enjoy researching online and posting on Facebook or in forums with people who like the things I like.
    • I truly enjoy going to our vacation home in the hills of Northwest Arkansas.  Even though I do hate that 5 hour drive, I love it once I’m there.  I take lots of massage baths in the step-in tub and when I feel good, I can go to the indoor pool.  We bird watch in the sunroom and on the deck and enjoy the peace and quiet.  When I feel really good, we can drive around so I can take pictures.  We have a trip planned in two weeks and I’m looking forward to that right now.  I also have an artist retreat planned with a friend for the last week in April and I have that to look forward to also.

The trick is giving yourself a reason to look forward to or make it through another day. Also I try to accomplish certain things each day.  Like I always load/unload the dishwasher and do at least two loads of laundry.  I wipe off the counters and start “Rosie”, our robotic floor cleaner to go over the floors daily (I love our Rosie)!  Once or twice a week I dust furniture and clean the door glass where Boaz, our giant schnauzer has left his paw prints.  It also helps to have Bo around to pet and love on – he gives great “giant hugs” too.  You can read about him at my “Living With Boaz” blog site.

Sometimes I think about surgery for my back and a Pain Management Clinic to help with the pain.  However with my blood condition (essential thrombocyemia) and having thrown a clot and had a stroke after a previous surgery, I avoid any elective surgery.  So maybe one day I’ll check out a Pain Management Clinic. But for now I’m staying with my current treatments for pain and depression.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley


Success – Weight is going down!

Weight loss Success

Since my last post, I’ve been doing so well.  After the 10 pound backsliding gain, I’m doing great with losing that.

This morning my scale sat at 261.2 pounds, very close to that 257 I had reached before the holidays.

I’m keeping up with my breathing exercises.  I’m doing them at least once a day.  I also actually went to the gym and did 35 minutes of weight training.  Just a little and a very light workout.  2 sets each on about 5 different weight machines and 5 minutes on the treadmill.  I was using the lowest or next to lowest weights on the machines.  The treadmill was sitting at #1 for resistance.  That tired me out and also made me very sore.  So sore I had a fibro flare-up that evening the next day.  I may try to go to the gym again on Saturday but I’m waiting till I get over the flare-up.

The main reason I’m wanting to do some weight training is to help with sagging skin.  I’ve been watching “My 600 lb life” and “Skintight” every night and the sagging skin after major weight loss is really worrying me.  I want to lose about 138 pounds by the end of 2017 with a final goal weight of 145.

With my bone marrow disorder making me a clotting risk and my previous stroke after surgery, I really do not want to have surgery to remove excess skin.

I’m aiming to go slow, at around six pounds a month.  I would like to be at 200 by the end of 2016. That’s 83 pounds this year –  about 6.9 pounds a month. And then lose the rest during 2017.

My Eating

One thing I am doing is eating healthy.  I’m trying to eat lots of cool salads, fruits, no white bread, lots of vegetables and I’m adding things like hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, spirolina and dried cranberries to my salads and using olive oil as my dressing.

I’m also purchasing eggs from veggie fed hens and free range hens, drinking almond milk and V8 juice and water.  I’m using turkey bacon and very lean meats too.

My dinner of rice and veggies, squash, salad and multi-grain garlic toast
My dinner of rice and veggies, squash, salad and multi-grain garlic toast

Tonight I’m having chicken with small potatoes, onion, seasonings and rice cooked in my crockpot with veggie broth. I have left over squash and onions to go with it.

Things to help with sagging skin after weight loss

I’m researching things to do to help with sagging skin.

  • Lose weight slowly
  • Weight train to keep muscles under your skin
  • Be patient even after weight loss and give your body at least 2 years to tighten the skin naturally.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use creams (I’m using a special cream for pregnant money to avoid stretch marks).
  • Eat healthy and give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs.

The one thing I have going for me is that I never did get stretch marks during my pregnancy which is a good sign.  But I’m 62 years old which is not good.  I’m looking into essential oil therapy and I’ll let you know how that goes.

Deep Breathing Technique

I wanted to share some videos of the deep breathing technique I’m using.  I only use the first exercise because of my physical problems.  I’m hoping to add more of the exercises as I lose weight and can move easier.  Here’s some YouTube links you can use to learn the techniques from Greer Childers:

There are several other videos on Youtube you can check out.  Just look for Greer Childers, bodyflex, or oxycise.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley

I’m healed of feet ulcers at last!

Released from care!

Eight days ago I was released as a patient by my wound care doctor.  This ended  an 8-month journey of severe pain, great fear of amputations and searching for correct care-givers.

I can’t explain the sheer joy I’ve felt from being declared “healed” after all this time and all I’ve been through during this period.  But to be sure, I’m very happy to be able to get on with my life.

I’ve learned a lot through this ordeal also, about paying attention to my body, my diet, exercise and who to choose as a care-giver.

My journey started with a red rash that covered both feet, legs, forearms and my tummy.  I first visited my family doctor, who sent me to a dermatologist who diagnosed me with vasculitis and began treatment;  then I visited my hematologist who sent me to yet another dermatologist.  Several months later, now with painful, non-healing, open ulcers on my lower legs and feet and the fear of amputation in my mind, I saw my rheumatologist who advised me to go to a wound care center.

Fortunately, after an emergency room visit because of one of the ulcers tearing open and ER docs also advising me to go to a wound center, I made an appointment with our local wound care clinic and met Dr. Bennett who took over my care, prescribing more prednisone and both medical and surgical debridement of the wounds.

From that appointment forward, I made good progress toward healing.  I had more than 15 ulcers on my feet and legs and one by one, they began to mend together and heal.  My experience with the wound care center was very positive, although I admit the first couple of debridement’s were extremely painful.  But Dr. Bennett did prescribe me pain killers which my dermatologists refused to do.  So finally after months, I was able to sleep at night again instead of spending hours battling the pain of severe neuropathy and praying for God to take me home.

Lessons learned

From this ordeal, I’ve learned to take care of my feet every day, looking for sores and wounds and using lotions to keep them smooth and crack-free.

I’ve also learned that when one doctor is not working for you, don’t just suck it up and stay – find someone that can help.

Also, from now on, I believe in Wound Centers and Clinics.  They are more likely to be up on the latest method to heal nasty wounds.



Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley