You can eat keto too and reap the rewards!

Keto Really Works!


I was skinny during my teens and 20’s, but after I had my only child in my 30’s I gained significant weight which I’ve tried to lose ever since then.  I’m also a type 2 diabetic.  I’m 65 years old now and during my life, I’ve tried everything to lose weight and the only things I’ve found that work for me are the following:

  1.  Atkins.  I did the Atkins diet when I was younger (20’s) and it was easy for me to lose 5-10 pounds doing that. But that was over 40 years ago and my body is different now.
  2. The Whole 30I did the Whole30 plan in 2016 and lost 30 pounds that year eating whole and select foods.  Cutting out alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, MSG, sulfites, and processed foods. This worked very well while I was doing this.
  3. Intermittent Fasting (IF) In 2017 I did IF and lost 20 pounds and managed to get off all my insulin injections after two months. Unfortunately, I was unable to keep fasting because I had to cook for others besides myself and it proved too hard for me to resist the foods I cooked for my family.
  4. Keto.  This year, in 2019, I began the Metabolic Research Center (MRC) plan and it includes eating lower carb.  I’ve now lost 25 pounds eating this way so far, with the support of the MRS staff, the eating plan, and their supplements.  I fully believe that eating keto can help me to lose weight and also to reduce my insulin requirements.  I am continuing this journey with the MRC plan and support.

Continue reading “You can eat keto too and reap the rewards!”

Improve Your Skin Naturally

Image of women with beautiful skin

Time to Get Serious


Yes, it was definitely time for me to get serious about my skin.  At age 65, my skin was not going to get any younger and I wanted to look as good as I could.  I had been researching skincare for several years now and learned some of the ways I can keep my skin looking younger.  I definitely wanted to improve my skin naturally and I’ve been researching collagen supplements.

Here are some tips to help protect your skin and keep your skin young-looking.

1.  Avoid sun damage by wearing sunscreen when outside and avoiding long periods in full sun.  Use sunscreen also if you are in front of a screen all day like myself to avoid damage from rays produced by the screens.

2.  Don’t smoke.  This is easy for me since I have never smoked.

3.  Avoid alcohol.  I rarely drink alcohol and only occasionally a glass of wine.

4.  Keep skin hydrated with moisturizers.

5.  Drink plenty of water, at least 8-10 glasses each day.

6.  Clean skin and remove makeup every evening, use a moisturizer afterward.

7.  Massage with moisturizer daily and rub it in using an upward motion, as though you were pushing your skin up toward your forehead.

8.  Eat a clean, natural diet with plenty of veggies and fruits that contain antioxidants.  Eat plenty of salmon, pumpkin seeds, lemons, green tea, honey, almonds, olive oil, broccoli, apple cider vinegar, yogurt.

9  Avoid negative facial expressions such as frowning or squinting.  Keep up with the smiles and laughter.

Image of baby with beautiful skin

 

I will never have skin like a baby again.  Here’s an image of my little granddaughter, Hope.  Her skin is perfect now but over her lifetime, it too will sustain damage from sun, wind, and aging unless she is careful.

Hopefully, my daughter will teach her how to protect her skin from damage while living in the tropical rain forests of Papua New Guinea as a missionary baby.

 

 

Continue reading “Improve Your Skin Naturally”

The Healing Power of Water

Water and Your Body


If you could see your body the way a health scientist does, you would discover that not only is up to two thirds of your body composed of water but that 20 percent of your blood is water, that 73 percent of your brain and heart are comprised of water, 83 percent of your lungs, 79 percent of your muscles and kidneys, your skin comprised of 64 percent water, and your bones are comprised of 31 percent.

Thinking about water in that way makes the importance of hydration seem valid. After all, if a doctor were to ask you, which body part do you want to cut short of water, your heart, your liver, your brain, your blood, your skin or your bones, you’d shout back at her, “none of them! They all seem pretty vital to me! Keep in mind the healing power of water.

Functions of Water in Your Body

The functions of water within the body are many, I’ve listed a few below:

  • Water is the essential building blocks of cells.
  • Water, through perspiration, is the primary regulator of your body’s heat,
  • Water is the primary component of saliva, which helps you digest and metabolize food.
  • Water lubricates the joints within your body.
  • Water surrounds your brain, spine, and organs and serves as internal shock absorbers.
  • Water is used by the body to eliminate toxins and waste through the urinary system.
  • Water carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells.

Continue reading “The Healing Power of Water”

CBD oil for chronic pain – I did and “My Pain Is Gone”

 

Join The Hottest Wellness Trend & Next Billion Dollar Industry

Be Part Of The CBD Hemp Oil New Product Line Revolution

Take a FREE position NOW with CTFO and their new hot CBD (Cannabidiol) product line!

 

Can CBD oil help with chronic pain?

I can only say that I’ve read many testimonials that indicate CBD oil has helped many suffering from chronic pain.  I am one of those it has helped.

My Story

Image of ShirleyI’m Shirley Dawson and I am 64 years old and retired.  I am in a wheelchair, have diabetes, degenerative discs in my low back and have lived in daily pain for years.  I have suffered from low back pain since I was in my mid-30s.  Before then, I lived the life of an athletic person.  I played softball and volleyball and coached both sports also.  I loved to play racketball and pretty much any sport.  I spent my entire 20’s playing or practicing a sport every night of the week and also playing on weekends.  I did the diving for a ball and catching it in softball and the diving and rolling in volleyball.  Yes, I had scrapes and bruises frequently, but they were gone in just a few days and my body seemed to take everything in stride.

But then, in my 30’s I married, got pregnant and gained weight for the first time in my life.  In my 7th month of pregnancy, I began to have low back pain.  It was severe, sports were out and pretty much any activity that required bending or lifting.  For the first time in my life, I was overweight and in lots of pain.

I gave birth to my daughter by C-section due to scar tissue from a previous surgery to remove a fibroid tumor.  I had to carry my pillow around to hold against my tummy for a couple of weeks.  I was left with a terrible looking scar down my abdomen.  I still had the low back pain even after I recovered from my C-section.  The pain was such that I could not hold and carry my infant around very long and I had severe pain when I would lean over to put her in her car seat or crib.  I couldn’t exercise and gradually began to gain more and more weight.

That was not all I had going on.  My daughter was a poor sleeper and for the first 8 months of her life, I got almost no sleep at night.  I returned to my work two months after her birth and I was tired all the time.  I remember one day on my way to work thinking “how can someone live with this little sleep?  I also found I could no longer wear the contact lens that I had worn since my late teens.  My eyes would water constantly and I could hardly hold them open.  My doc tried a different brand and they didn’t work either.  So I was back to wearing my glasses all the time – bummer!

Another interesting thing happened to my body during this time period.  Before my pregnancy, I had never been able to wear a watch because something about my body would stop them after a few days.  After my pregnancy, I found that I could now wear a watch without breaking it.  I know my body chemistry had changed somehow.

My doc would give me muscle relaxers and send me to PT for my back but nothing seemed to help much.  I would get a little better then suddenly the pain would come back full force.  This went on for years.

I would find that my body has sensitive spots – that were very tender to the touch.  I would ask my husband to rub my shoulders because they hurt but then I could not bear the pressure when he would massage my shoulders.  My arms and legs would hurt, like a deep muscular pain but I couldn’t figure out why.  If I poked myself, it was a sharp pain.

I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and then full diabetes in my 40’s and I also had a hysterectomy. Another abdominal scar and I lost my belly button – lol!.  These scars didn’t help me in trying to get a healthy core to support my back.  I was also diagnosed with a blood condition which made me a stroke risk as I produce too many platelets and they are abnormal.  I started a chemo drug daily to suppress my platelet product.  I still take that drug every day.

I decided to go to a neurosurgeon about the back pain.  After a multitude of tests, including an MRI, the doc said he would have to do rods and screws and plates and with my uncontrolled diabetes and my blood clot risk, he didn’t recommend surgery for me.  He said I could end up even worse than I was.  I certainly didn’t want that.  My pain and the wheelchair was bad enough.

I developed a hernia along the scar line on my abdomen.  So I quit trying to do any situps or anything to make that worse.  But it grew larger and larger and finally, I decided it had to be fixed.  I saw a surgeon about it and he said he would put in some mesh to keep me from getting another one after he removed the very large hernia.  I made sure he and my oncolgist talked about my clotting risk before I scheduled surgery.  My oncologist had a blood study run on my blood and thought I would be more at risk to bleed than throw a clot.  So they agreed I could do the surgery.  I stopped my blood thinner and chemo meds and had the surgery done.

After surgery, I was very disorientated and itching all over.  I was given large doses of Benadryl for the terrible itching but my disorientation continued.  It was discovered that I did have a stroke during or after the surgery.  I had no paralysis but I was very confused, could not do math or multi-task and I didn’t drive well – I would run stop signs.  Thank God who must have been watching over me because I didn’t kill myself or anyone else.

I had a new doctor now, a neurologist who I saw regularly and who put me on a special blood thinner that would both thin my blood and make my platelets less sticky.  I got better over time and a year after the stroke I could do better math and some multi-tasking again.  Today I feel back to normal with my math and thinking skills except for when I am extremely exhausted.

Yet More Heath Issues

In the fall of 2014, I had a severe case of vasculitis on my legs and feet that turned into huge ulcers.  They hurt a lot, these were diabetic feet and leg ulcers that doses and doses of prednisone were not helping.  The pain was bad, even unbearable.  The nights were so long and full of pain.  I didn’t sleep, I had no pain pills because the docs refused to prescribe them.  I saw 4 different docs, a general physical and 3 dermatologists over a 4 month period.  The ulcers got worse and bled and oozed requiring bandaging.  I had to use a wheelchair to get around.  The same chair I am still using.  I feared amputation – the great fear of lots of diabetics.

The diabetic nerve pain (neuropathy) was like electricity running from my feet all up my legs.  I prayed at night for God to bring me home.  I even considered suiciding a few of those long painful nights.  But I would never do that to my family.  Then I was referred to a wound center and Thank God for that, the doctor prescribed even more prednisone and then started debriding the wounds regularly.  This was very painful but I was a pro at pain by then – the doc was surprised I could handle the debriding as well as I did – he said I was one tough lady.  But the truth was I had learned to take a great deal of pain and he gave me hydrocodone pills to take before coming to my appointments.  The wounds started healing and 3 months later I was released and left only with scars on my legs and feet.

So that’s me at 64.  I’m still in a wheelchair.    I still have those bad discs in my low back, a bad hip and sciatic pain that runs down my left hip to my knee that can be excruciating and I can’t straighten that leg completely out due to the pain.  My fibromyalgia (actually diagnosed by a rheumatologist who prescribed tramadol and Cymbalta for me for the pain) continues to give me lots of pain.  In fact, the pain this last year had gotten so bad I rarely slept more than 2-3 hours at night.  Naturally, I was tired all the time.  Plus the meds I take, almost all have the side effect of fatigue. (Metformin, Neurontin, Hydroxyurea, and 3 different insulins).  I’ve tried physical therapy this year, increasing my doses of Tramadol and extra strength Tylenol and hot jetted tub baths and stretching.  While the PT helped my range of motion quite a bit, the pain was still there.  I go to a chiropractor weekly and sometimes it seems to help a little.

One month ago

Then one month ago I was in a bad flare-up of pain, I hurt so much I never slept because there was no position I could get in either my bed or my recliner that was the least bit comfortable.  I was praying for relief and posting on my facebook page for my friends to pray.  In fact, I prayed for God to fix me or just go ahead and take me home as I was useless in my life here.  Life was just one big pain. When my husband would ask me something, I could not concentrate because of the pain I was in.  I couldn’t sit at my computer or anywhere very long.  I would get in my walk-in tub and have jetted baths several times a day, hoping to relax my muscles so I could sleep for a little while.  I started increasing my doses of Tramadol and took as much extra strength Tylenol as they allow in a day.  I found some pain pills left over from dental work and took them.  But nothing lasted very long.

THEN

Image of CTFO oil drop bottlesI found a box of hemp/CBD oil I had ordered months ago but wasn’t sure if I should take it because I thought it was like “weed” and would give me a high.  I opened that box and the bottle of CBD oil and took 15 drops that morning, evening and the next morning.  On day 2, I went to sit in my recliner and realized that it didn’t hurt and also, I could stretch my left leg out with no pain.  I was shocked.  I sat there for a few minutes and then thought to myself “MY PAIN IS GONE”.  I could feel no pain at all in my body.  It was years and years since I had felt this way.  I was totally amazed.  I continued to use the oil drops and purchased a few different brands to try.  I found CTFO Health 300mg CBD oil drops  (you can sign up as a customer free and get wholesale pricing) and they seem to work better for me.  While it does wear off and sometimes my pain does return, I take more drops and wait and soon feel better (within 30 minutes).  I feel like I have a new life.  That I am not defined by my pain anymore.  I think clearer than I have in years and I’m sleeping better.  I rarely have the sciatic nerve pain down my leg as I did before, so I can sit for longer periods of time.

While I’m still in my wheelchair, I can stand up more to reach my kitchen cabinets and I’m using my walker more (when I only have a few steps to go – like to the car or even into a restaurant that I can park near the door.) I’m hoping that I will be able to strengthen my leg muscles again and walk more and I plan on starting swim exercise again now that I can get to the pool once more.

CBD Oil Research

I’ve started research hemp and CBD oil and I’m finding that while FDA is really not recommending it for specific conditions, there is lots of anecdotal evidence that it helps many people.

I worked for the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for 33 years and of course, I went to the FDA.gov website to start my research.  I came across this Article from August 3, 2018, which states:

Another important consideration is the need to identify a method to consistently provide a given dose of a drug. When the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reviewed the clinical use of marijuana, it identified the problems associated with obtaining consistent dosing using smoked products and recommended that clinical trials involving marijuana should be conducted with the goal of developing safe, alternative delivery systems:

“If there is any future for marijuana as a medicine, it lies in its isolated components, the cannabinoids, and their synthetic derivatives.  Isolated cannabinoids will provide more reliable effects than crude plant mixtures.  Therefore, the purpose of clinical trials of smoked marijuana would not be to develop marijuana as a licensed drug but rather to serve as a first step toward the development of nonsmoked rapid-onset cannabinoid delivery systems.”  read the full article here.

Life Now

Since I discovered the benefits of CBD, life has improved, the pain returns sometimes, but its not as severe and I have something I can take for it, which gives me hope.

Comments

I welcome your questions and comments, please leave yours below.

-Shirley

Note: this page may contain affiliate links, which, when clicked on and a product purchased, I receive a small commission (with no extra cost to you).

I Love to Share my CBD oil experience

Image of marijuana plant with text "Getting Help from Nature"

CBD Oil Really Works for Me


CBD Oil has become a great passion of mine.  I began using it and found out it made my sciatic pain go away.  Now my hip feels regular most of the time and there is no pain shooting down my left leg any more.  Whenever I start to get that feeling again in my hip, I take a few more drops of my CBD oil and a little while later, I feel good again.

I became a CTFO associate and I now help others by promoting and selling this great brand of CBD oil products.  I use several of the products myself and love them.

If you have pains you haven’t been able to get rid of,  you might try some CBD oil yourself.  You can even become an associate like myself.  I’m sharing my site where you can shop or sign up as an associate below

Shop and Sign up Free

Shop here at my shop

Sign up as a CTFO Independent Associate here.  Pick me (Shirley Dawson) as your enroller please.  I will be available to answer your questions.

Comments

I welcome your questions and comments.  Please leave them below.   Also, please share this post with your friends that may be interested also – Shirley

Note:  This page contains affiliate links, if you click on them and purchase items, I will get a small commission – at no extra expense for you.

 

Product Review – The Complete Guide to Fasting – Healing Your Body through Intermittent, Alternate Day and Extended Fasting

 

 

 

TITLE:  “The Complete Guide to Healing Your Body through Intermittent, Alternate Day and Extended Fasting” by Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore.

Author:  Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore.

Publisher:  Victory Belt Publishing, Inc. Las Vegas

Where to Purchase: This book is available at many book stores and online.  I personally purchased it on Amazon at a price of around $20.  This is well worth it.

 

 

I purchased this book in mid-December of 2016 when I became so disgusted with myself and my diabetes that I determined to do SOMETHING.  I researched and found this book by Dr. Fung and purchased it right then and downloaded it and read it straight through.  I purchased a hard copy later so my friends and family could look at it also.  I began fasting the next day.

Before mid-December, 2016, I was injecting 182 units of insulin daily.  Then I began my adventure with Intermittent Fasting (IF).  Within 78 days of starting IF, I was down to injecting under 10 units of insulin a day and I had lost a lot of weight (from 260 to 227 pounds).

Read how my fasting story started here.

Dr. Jason Fung began promoting this new way of eating after finding that intermittent fasting worked for his patients and many patients lost a great deal of weight, decreased many of their medications and became free of their insulins with normal blood glucose readings by using his methods.

You can read testimonials from several fo Dr. Fung’s patients on his website. “Intensive Dietary Mangement”

The dangers of diabetes and periodontal disease

Image of tooth brush and paste

Taking Care of Your Teeth

For the nearly 30 million Americans who have diabetes, many may be surprised to learn about an unexpected complication associated with this condition. Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes, adding serious gum disease to the list of other complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Image of diabetic pricking fingerEmerging research also suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way.  People with diabetes, like myself, are more susceptible to serious gum disease.  Serious gum disease has the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for severe oral health problems, such as gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (serious gum disease). The reason for this risk, is that they aremore susceptible to bacterial infection, and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.

I have receding gums and my dentist and I have talked about it.  Many people have gums that are pulling away from their teeth.  This condition can encourage bacteria growth at and below the gum line.  Eventually, the gum tissue and even the supporting bone may deteriorate and the damage become irreversible.

 

So What Do We Do About This?

I’ve been a diabetic (type 2) for years now and as I age, I really do NOT want to lose my teeth. I see my dentist regularly, usually twice each year for cleaning and a checkup.  But what else can I do?

Here are a number of things I can do:

  1. Brush my teeth after meals (brush tongue and gums while I’m brushing the teeth).  This will get rid of the bacteria that form plaque on my teeth and gums and causes them to become inflamed.
  2. Floss every day to get out all the bacteria and food particles stuck between my teeth.
  3. Choose a plague reducing mouthwash and swish some around the mouth after brushing and flossing to remove all of the particles between teeth.  (Don’t swallow the mouthwash – spit it out)
  4. Make sure you choose a great dentist or even a periodontist, who will check your teeth and gums for the start of periodontal disease and start treatment early.
  5. Avoid food with sugar and sodas with sugar.

image of coconut oil in jarSome other things I try to do is “oil pulling”.  This is swishing a small amount of virgin coconut oil around in my mouth for as long as I can (20 minutes is recommended) but I rarely can hold it that long.  Do not swallow the oil after swishing it around – spit it out.  Some naturalists claim the lauric acid in the oil prevents tooth decay.

My dentist has also recommended I use an electric toothbrush to clean my teeth.

An Electric Toothbrush has these advantages?

  1. It helps control and stops too aggressive brushing by sounding a warning tone when you are pressing too hard.
  2. It has a timer to warn the user when 2 minutes (which is the dentist recommended time to brush your teeth) has passed, or it may simply turn off.
  3. It removes up to two times the amount of plaque than a regular toothbrush.

The chances of gum disease can be significantly lowered when plaque is removed and prevented from building up. You can do this better using an Electric Toothbrush.

 

What is the Best Electric Toothbrush for Gum Disease?

Some of my dentists have recommended the Oral B Pro electric toothbrush.  So that is the one I purchased and use.  Of course, there are others on the market to choose from as well.

 

Oral-B Pro 1000 Electric Power Rechargeable Battery Toothbrush with Automatic Timer and CrossAction Brush Head

Oral-B Electric Toothbrushes are designed to gently but effectively clean the surface of your teeth, which helps to remove plaque buildup without causing irritation. In fact, some Oral-B Electric Toothbrushes include a special message or gum-care cleaning modes. In addition, only Oral-B Electric Toothbrushes have a visual pressure sensor that alerts you when you brush too hard, to help promote healthy gums.

Claimed benefits:

  • The Oral B removes 300% more plaque along the gum line than a regular manual toothbrush
  • Clinically proven superior 3D Cleaning Action oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up and remove 300% more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush
  • Senses when you brush too hard with the pressure sensor. It is also rechargeable with 1 mode- Daily Clean
  • In-handle timer pulses every 30 seconds to let you know when to switch areas of the mouth
  • Compatible with Oral-B Brush Heads for every Oral Care need: CrossAction, FlossAction, Precision Clean, 3D White, Sensitive Gum Care, Deep Sweep, Dual Clean
  • The Oral-B Pro 1000 provides a clinically proven superior clean vs. a regular manual toothbrush. The professionally inspired design of the CrossAction brush head surrounds each tooth with bristles angled at 16 degrees, and 3D cleaning action oscillates, rotates, and pulsates to break up and remove up to 300% more plaque along the gumline than a regular manual toothbrush. The pressure sensor lights up if you brush too hard to prevent harmful over-brushing and there is 1 mode, plus an in-handle timer to help you brush for a dentist-recommended 2 minutes. Best of all it’s brought to you by Oral-B – the #1 brand used by dentists worldwide.

Currently, it is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon and is a well-liked product on Amazon.

You can purchase it through the link below:

 

Conclusion

It is not a good idea to neglect your teeth – because you risk some serious periodontal disease when you do not take care of your teeth.  There are a number of things you can do to help keep your teeth and gums healthy and switching to an electric toothbrush is one of the best.

Note:  This post includes affiliate links, which when clicked and a product purchased will give me a small commission (with no increase in price to you).

I enjoy receiving comments and questions.  You can leave yours below. – Shirley

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Stopped Eating!

Eating has consequences for diabetes


An image of Josiah finally seeing his mom in the ICU
An image of Shirley in Austrailia

If the title of this post caught your attention and you are thinking I’m taking some drastic measures,  well, you are right.  I’m stopping eating two meals a day and some of the foods that are mainstays of the standard American Diet.

 

Being a type 2 diabetic for many years is no fun.  I deal with blood glucose lows and highs and insulin injections daily, as well as the pain of neuropathy in my feet, legs, and hands.  I’ve lost some of my fine motor skills in my hands which makes picking up small objects more difficult.  I also suffer from fibromyalgia and degenerated discs in my low back.  I am in a wheelchair most of the day.  I’ve been in this wheelchair since the fall of 2014 when I developed severe diabetic feet and leg ulcers.  It was eight months before these were healed and life was very painful, excruciating even and trying.  I’ve been in this wheelchair ever since.

An image of diabetic testing equipment.
An image of diabetic testing equipment.

Like many type 2 diabetics, I’m overweight.  I wasn’t always overweight.  I was actually very normal and active in sports and coaching all through my 20’s and until I turned 34 and became pregnant with my only child.  I gained 60 pounds and my back went out – severely. Afterward, could not be active at all and continued to gain weight.  At one time I weighed 284 pounds on a 5.5″ frame.  In 2016 I found out about the “Whole30” way of eating and ate that way for most of the year.  I lost 30 pounds that year.  But I still had my issues with uncontrolled diabetes, even though the diet made some improvements overall.  It also helped with my inflammation and the pain of fibromyalgia, since I removed gluten and grains, sugar, soy, legumes and alcohol mostly from my diet.

Then I came across a book by Dr. Jason Fung, about how he is curing his diabetic patients of their type 2 diabetes through Intermittent Fasting.  It was the middle of December 2016 and I began Fasting the next day.  I did very well, fasting anywhere from 24-72 hours a couple of times a week and in February of 2017 my blood glucose numbers were so good I was off all my insulins.  My blood pressure was way down, my cholesterol was way down and my weight had dropped from 260 to 240 – a 20-pound loss.  I felt great.

Then I got a cold and ended up with a very bad sinus infection.  I was given 12 days of prednisone tablets.  This sent my blood glucose number skyrocketing and I was hungry all the time.  My fasting was impossible to keep up because of the hunger cravings and I had to go back on my insulins again.  This was in the summer of 2017 and I have struggled since that time to get back to fasting and eating low carb.  Its been uphill and downhill – mostly downhill.  Then the holiday season came and I had lots of social activities where I was not strong-willed enough to not eat the candies and cakes and bread.

2018 came around and I tried to go back to eating only one meal a day.  I ended up having to eat two meals a day more than I needed.  When I cook – I eat.  Yesterday I was miserable – my entire body hurt and my BGL was very high (high 300’s and 400’s), I cried a lot and decided I HAD TO get back to my fasting and low carb eating.

A Decision

So I began fasting after dinner last night.  Today, January 28, 2018, I kept fasting and only eating one meal a day again (OMAD).

An image of a salad
An image of a salad

Today was pretty successful with me eating only a large salad for dinner which really filled me up.  It was not an extremely low carb meal because it had some croutons and ranch dressing.  I did manage to push aside half of the croutons though.  When I checked myBGL tonight it was 277, (not good but much better than the 300 and 400’s I’ve been having at night.  We’ll see if I can keep this up.  I hope to get back to my LCHF (low carb hi fat) eating with no sugar and bread.  It may take a few days but that is my intention.

I weighed just now and I weighed 245.0 pounds.  I injected 70 units of long-term Lantus and 28 units of short-term Novalog tonight and took my regular 1000 grams of Metformin. I’m curious what my morning BGL will be as I tend to be high in the mornings (dawn syndrome).

Resources

You can read my post about the Whole30 healthy eating plan and access a link to purchase the book here.

You can read more about my decision to start fasting here.

Comments

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 diabetic issues.

– Shirley

Freedom from Diabetes and Chronic Pain

My Water Therapy – why I love it!


Image of water aerobic class
Image of water aerobic class

One of the habits that I have taken up to help with my diabetes and pain is water exercise.  I must say this is one of the few things that is always enjoyable that I do for my health.

Swimming and water exercise is often recommended for those who have trouble with joints and movement.  It can be cardio, muscle building, stretching/flexing and extremely relaxing.  The resistance of moving in water is over 40 times that of moving out of the water.  Also, the body weight is so much less while in the water, that one can perform movements and stretching that is impossible out of the pool.

I’ve read that you can burn 400-600 calories per hour exercising in the water and I know that at times I’ve dropped my BG levels many, many points during water aerobic classes (once I dropped 100 points from before a class to after the class).  For this reason, I always take a tube of “rescue” tabs with me just in case I have a low while I’m at the pool.  It has happened a few times and I was very glad I had those tablets to take.  One thing I noticed when I did have those lows, was my first symptom was not sweating, which is usually the beginning of my low symptoms.  You don’t sweat in the water, so the shaking and sinking feeling in my tummy was the symptoms of my blood sugar levels dropping that I noticed.  No sweat is another benefit I enjoy from my pool exercising – I’m really not a fan of sweating.

Free from my Body Limits

The best thing about my time in the water is the great sense of freedom I have.  As soon as I step into the pool, my body feels so weightless; I can move my limbs and torso in so many ways that are impossible for me outside the pool. In addition, my pain is almost gone when I move around in the water.  I can’t even describe how good it feels to not be in pain at last.  Sometimes I just wish I could hang onto the side of the pool and take a nap without pain in my hips and legs.

I have a personal routine to my exercise when I’m not participating in a water aerobic class.  I step into the pool, walking around a little and doing a few stretches with my “water tube”.  I use the tube to help me balance and stand tall when walking back and forth across the pool (water walking).

Only in the water can I stand perfectly upright and those back and leg muscles and tendons finally get nicely stretched.  Then I begin doing my laps, which I do on my back with a backstroke.  On the back, because I have never perfected the breathing technique for swimming “free style” or front crawl.

An image of a swimmer backstroking
An image of a swimmer backstroking

I always do 10 labs, taking time at each end of the pool to stretch my back, completing 20 specific power arm exercises at the deep end and doing 10 water squats each time I’m back at the 3′ mark. These water squats are wonderful for building my leg muscles and I’ve had docs tell me that squatting is one of the best exercises we can do.  I can really only do squats when I’m in the water, certainly not the really low ones, and I credit all my water squats with my success in building my upper thigh and buttock muscles back so I can now get up from my wheelchair or recliner much easier.

After my 10 laps, I will have finished 100 squats in the water and 1000 arm exercises with the resistance of my water gloves.  This usually takes about 40 minutes.  Then, I do about 15 minutes of water walking to strengthen and straighten my legs.  After that, I will go to the side of the pool and do several leg flexibility movements in sets of 10 or 20.  Finally, I will just play around by myself twisting and turning in the water, marching, doing jumping jacks, bicycling, and hopping around.  I finish up sitting in the hot tub and doing some final stretches before I hit the shower and go home.  This pretty much wears me out and takes about 1.5 hours to complete.

Water Exercise Equipment

I use swim gloves and I really love them and the extra resistance they give me when moving my arms in the water.  They are so good at building muscles in both my forearm and upper arms and helping with losing the “bat wings” under my upper arms.  I have used swim gloves for so many years now that I feel “naked” if I swim without them.

Using my swim gloves with the webbing between the fingers creates much more resistance for each movement of my arms in the water and also in my shoulders and chest.  The intensity of my workout is significantly increased when I wear my swim gloves.  I order a size medium in gloves.  I have created a Product Review of the gloves I use which you can read (under construction).

I also use a water tube in the pool.  I use it to help balance and stand tall when I do my water walking, as well as resistance when doing specific exercises.  It is easier for me to push the tube up and down underwater with my arms than using water bells.  They tend to hurt my fingers and wrists when pushing and pulling with them.  I also “ride” my tube when I do “bicycling” in the water. These tubes can be purchased during the summer in stores like Walmart or Target.  I use the larger in diameter ones.

I’m lucky that our recreation center provides tubes, bells, balls, and other water equipment, so I only have to bring my swim gloves and towel and rescue tabs.  I notice many other swimmers bring water goggles, swim fins and snorkels when they come to do their laps. I’ve thought about purchasing swim fins, but I’m going to do some research first.

An image of water shoes
An image of water shoes

Oh, I shouldn’t forget that I always wear water shoes so my feet do not get abraded against the bottom of the pool.  This is important for me as a diabetic.  I buy my swim

A Recent Experience

Yesterday, I was at the indoor pool after finishing my routine exercises and laps and was getting out of the pool into my wheelchair.  I park my wheelchair near the steps into the pool and leave my “rescue tablets” on the seat of my chair just in case.  A lady who had been doing laps in the lane next to me told me that she was surprised that I was in a wheelchair because she had noticed I was moving so well in the water.  I told her I loved the water and she said: “I can tell, you look very comfortable in the water”.

She was so right, I feel completely FREE when I’m in the water and there is practically no pain when doing most of my exercises and movements.  I feel so much less weighty, my legs and back can move in so many stretches and movements that are totally impossible for me outside of the water.

I can’t truly explain that wonderful sense of freedom I get in the water.  It makes me so happy.  However, I never realized that other people could notice that freedom from just watching me.

How often to exercise?

I have set a goal for myself of routinely going to the pool 3-4 times each week year-round.  I am so fortunate that I have access to an indoor pool that I can go to during the fall, winter, and spring when outdoor pools are closed.  At least 3-4 times each week I can enjoy the ability to move my body freely, without pain and disability. WHAT FREEDOM!

Comments

I love to get comments and answer your questions, please leave yours below – Shirley

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which, if clicked on and an item purchased, I receive a small commission with no extra cost to you.

 

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.

Hope

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.

Comments

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