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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).


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.


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

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.


Ramping up my weight loss efforts!

A New Year’s Push!

Image of a woman holding loose jeans out
Image of a woman holding loose jeans out

As the new year approaches, I’ve been ramping up my weight loss efforts. I’m concentrating on several methods to enhance my weight loss.




Through Intermittent Fasting (IF)

I’m doing at least an 18:6 fast each day.  That’s 18 hours fasting with a six-hour eating window where I eat either one or two meals.  I try to eat my last meal around 8 pm at night and then skip breakfast and eat again around 2 pm in the afternoon and another meal around 7 pm.  Then fast again.

Whenever I can, I’m doing a 23:1  fast, one meal a day.  I eat around 7 pm, then fast all night, skip breakfast and eat again at 6 pm the next night.

I highly recommend Dr. Jason Fung’s book to learn more about how to start intermittent fasting and the many benefits of fasting. This is the book that started me on my journey of IF (Intermittent Fasting) and the loss of 30 pounds during 2017.

The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended

Recently I also purchased a product by Young Living that is helping a lot with curbing my hunger pain between meals.  I put 4 drops in an 8 oz glass of water when I am fasting or between meals to suppress my hunger pains.  I’m finding that this citrus-like taste really works on cutting my appetite.  They have some tea that I’m anxious to try also.

Slique Essence Oil 15 ml by Young Living

Ocotea Oolong Cacao Tea Slimming Spice Tea 25 pouches by Young Living


 Autophagy – Healing my Body

Both of the above ways of intermittent fasting can get me several hours of autophagy – a form of cell cleansing which is good for the body.

Autophagy refers to the body’s response to a lack of food (fasting) which stimulates a degradation pathway of components.  By digesting its own parts, the cell does two things. First it rids itself of unnecessary proteins that may be damaged or otherwise malfunctioning. Secondly, it recycles those amino acid ‘spare parts’ into new cellular components.  This is a form of body detoxing and healing.

Here’s a good article to read by Dr. Mercola about autophagy.

I just got this book and have begun reading it.  I’m finding some interesting information on detoxing while reading it.

Autophagy: A Guide on Autophagy and How We Can Use Its Process to Cleanse and Detox For a Healthier Body and Mind (Detox, Cleanse, and Healthy Body Series Book 1)

Sugar is Poison – get rid of it!

An image of sugar cubes
An image of sugar cubes

I’m cutting out sugar, which is pretty hard with all the social events we are attending right now, but I’m determined to lose weight by the New Year.   I recently read Dr. Taubes book about sugar and I am convinced that sugar is poison and a large cause of the obesity epidemic in our culture.

I feel about the sugar industry like I did about the Tobacco industry once – they are using the addictive effects of sugar added to foods to sell products and we are becoming addicted to foods with added sugar because of this.  This huge increase in sugar consumption has been part of the rise of obesity in the U.S.

The Case Against Sugar



Deep Breathing

Another thing I’m doing is going back to my deep breathing exercises that I had achieved some success with a while back when I first started doing this and actually lost some weight after reading Greer Childer’s book.  You can read one of my previous posts on this here.

Be a Loser!: Lose Inches Fast–No Diet by Greer Childers 

“Push to the New Year Weight Loss Campaign”

Would you like to join me on my “Push to the New Year Weight Loss Campaign?”  If so, comment below and comment again on January 1, 2018.



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.

When Sitting Hurts!

Sitting Too Long is Not Good!

Image of woman with hat in wheelchair
Image of woman with hat in wheelchair

I’ve spent a lot of time sitting since 2014 when I had my severe bout with diabetic feet and leg ulcers.  That is what put me in this wheelchair.  Since then, my body has been in the sitting position most of each day.  My butt and hips hurt a lot – especially the left side.  I had lost the ability to stand straight because of lack of leg strength and shortened tendons and muscles.

I read a good article about the harm of sitting too much. “Here’s what sitting too long does to your body”.  I learned that in many ways, your body shuts down after a long time sitting:

  • Your risks of heart disease and diabetes, go up.
  • Risk of cancers (colon, uterine and lung) go up.
  • Digestion and brain function slows down.
  • Strained neck, shoulders, and back problems are increased.

My Health Push

When I began my health push this year, my goal was to lose weight, get out of this chair, and get rid of my diabetes meds.  so far I have lost weight – 25 pounds and can now stand up from my chair pretty easy.  I can also stand straighter.  I’m still working on the blood sugar meds and walking more than a few steps. I can now use my walker both in the house and outside my home and  I’m using it when walking into stores and offices when I don’t have to stand a long time.


Using Walkers to Get off my Booty

An image of a walker
An image of a walker


I actually have three walkers.  A regular one with a seat that I can take when I intend to go walk for a distance and will need to sit down regularly to rest and two identical very lightweight foldable ones.  These are great – they take up very little room when folded and are light and easy to use and maneuver.

I liked the first one so much I decided to leave it in the car and purchased another one to keep in the house since its easier to use and fits in tighter places and I have plenty of places to sit down in the house if I need to.  These walkers are called Able Life Space Saver Walkers.  They are Lightweight, folding and height adjustable adult travel walkers and they have fixed wheels with rear glides.  They have rotating wheels you can purchase to replace the fixed ones.  Mine are a nice blue color. 

I’ve also purchased a carry bag to use with them that comes in handy for carrying things since I have to be holding onto the walker itself.


What Did I do?

I decided to do physical therapy and chiropractic treatments.  The physical therapy is over (I did two rounds).  I was able to gain a lot of strength in my legs, thighs, and straighten out the shortened muscles in my booty and upper thighs.  At times, the PT was pretty painful and I worked up a real sweat every time I went for a session.  It was good that the physical therapists pushed me, even though it was not comfortable at the time.  Even now that the PT is over, I still do several of the exercises they showed me each day so I can retain my strength and mobility.

I’m currently in a long series of Chiropractic treatments, aimed at reducing the pain in my hips and going down my legs and fixing the spinal curve I had developed.  According to my chiropractor, my spine has some curvature issues both in the upper spine and also in the low back area.  I will be doing this treatment (over a  year) until next August.  My 2nd thermal scan showed that some improvements have been made and some days I can really tell that the pain from the left hip is decreased or even almost gone.  I love when that happens!

One thing I recently did was to purchase a special cushion for my wheelchair.  I read about this cushion when researching things to do to help paint in the hip.

The cushion I purchased was listed on Amazon at $24.99.  It is called a “Coccyx Cushion Pillow For Chairs | Pain Relief From Back Sciatica Pinched Nerve Piriformis Syndrome Lumbosacral Spondylosis Fibromyalgia and Bruised Tailbone”.  It has been some help for me to use it.  I notice I can sit longer periods without pain, so I’m pretty happy with the purchase.  I’ll be doing a detailed review of it soon.  Meanwhile, you can see it here.

Sitting Exercises

Since I do still spend much time sitting, either in my wheelchair or in my recliner, I’ve found a few stretching and flexibility exercises I can do each day while sitting.  I’ve found that doing this each day helps keep my hips and legs from getting too stiff and relieves pain too.

Here’s a nice video workout that includes:

  • Leg lifts (various ones), leg and arm slides,
  • Leg and Arms in and out,
  • Sitting walking, marching and running movements.

Here’s another video workout mainly for the upper body and can include hand weights.

The weights I use look like this:


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.  – Shirley

Freedom from Diabetes and Chronic Pain

My Water Therapy

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 shoes online usually in size 9.5.  I also have a Product Review of these you can read (under construction).

All of these equipment items help to enhance the benefits of water exercise.

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!


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




The 31 Day Keto Challenge – Take it!

I Challenge You!

After a slow July, at least as far as my weight loss and health goals are concerned, I’m heading into August with a brand new initiative.  Starting today I am beginning my 31-Day Keto Eating Challenge. From July 27th through August 26th, 2017 I will be living a “keto lifestyle”.

What do I Mean by a “Keto Lifestyle”?

Image of a breakfast of lean bacon, tomato slices, and a zip-lock omelet.
A breakfast of lean bacon, tomato slices, and a zip-lock omelet.

I read this today in the keto book I’m studying today.

“The Ketogenic diet consists of high amounts of fats, ample proteins and fewer carbohydrates. It forces the body to use fats instead of carbs for breaking down to convert them into energy. In our regular diets, we consume more carbohydrate and shun fats. Thus, our body is perfectly adapted throughout history to break down carbohydrates for energy. However, in the Ketogenic diet, we try to change the pattern of our body to break down the elements to be used for energy. We feed our body with more fats and less carbohydrates and thus force it to adapt in a new way to use fats for energy.

Normally, our body would convert food into glucose that would be transported to various body parts. This glucose is especially important in fueling functions of the brain. It is easiest for your body to convert carbs into glucose and use it as energy. Thus, it is obvious that your body will choose carbs over any other source of energy. Our body produces insulin to process glucose in the bloodstream and makes it travel around the body. Since glucose is there to provide energy to your body, fats are not required and hence, stored. However, if you do not feed your body with carbohydrates, the liver starts converting fats to ketone bodies and fatty acids. These ketone bodies enter the brain and pass through it to replace the old source of energy, which was glucose. Thus, all the fats you consume in the form of meats, oils, creams, etc. is broken down and it does not get accumulated in your body. When you lower down the carbs intake, the body is persuaded to enter into a state of ketosis. It is just a natural process, which is initiated by the body to help it survive when the food consumption is low. The Ketogenic diet is known by some other names as well- low carbs

However, if you do not feed your body with carbohydrates, the liver starts converting fats to ketone bodies and fatty acids. These ketone bodies enter the brain and pass through it to replace the old source of energy, which was glucose. Thus, all the fats you consume in the form of meats, oils, creams, etc. is broken down and it does not get accumulated in your body. When you lower down the carbs intake, the body is persuaded to enter into a state of ketosis.

It is just a natural process, which is initiated by the body to help it survive when the food consumption is low. The Ketogenic diet is known by some other names as well- low carbs high-fat diet (LCHF), low carb diet. The ultimate aim of a well maintained Ketogenic diet is to persuade the body into a metabolic state. But, this does not mean that you have to go hungry on calories. However, you just have to strictly control your consumption of carbohydrates. It is definitely easier than starving on fats.

Noll, Mathew. Ketogenic Diet: Do’s And Don’ts For Beginners: How to Lose Weight and Feel Amazing (Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss, Ketogenic Diet for Beginners, Anti-Inflammatory Diet) (Kindle Locations 129-140). UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.

While in ketosis, your body effectively uses fat for fuel. In general, the daily intake of net carbs required to enter ketosis could vary from 20 to 100 grams per day (and very rarely over 100 grams per day). Most people, who have experienced ketosis, claim to have reached that state at about 20-50 grams of net carbs per day.

My goal will be to eat one/two meals each day after a fasting period and stay under 20 grams of carbohydrates total for the day to ensure I will reach a state of ketosis.  Once I get my body into ketosis, continuing extremely low daily carbs should keep it there as long as I eat correctly.

What will I be eating?

My diet will consist of lots of good fats, a moderate about of proteins and low glycemic vegetables.  The more natural the food, the better.  So I’ll try to get organic vegetables if I can; and meat, poutry and fish that are free-range or wild caught.  I will avoid sugars, starches, alcohol, wheat, legunes, dairy and soy (to keep inflammation down).  This will include cutting back on my cheese, which I love.  I will be able to have some heavy cream and almond and coconut milk.  Good fats are full fat cream, real butter, olive oil, meat, bacon, fatty fish, coconut oil, eggs.  I will avoid peanuts but can eat almonds, walnuts sparingly as well as low glycemic fruit.

I need to be careful eating dairy-especially cheeses and nuts as they can contain too many carbs.

I need to eat to satiety when I’m hungry with low-glycemic, carbs, good fats and adequate protein.

Ketogenic diets are high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrates. Generally, the macronutrient ratio varies within the following ranges:

  • 60-75% of calories from fat (or even more),
  • 15-30% of calories from protein, and
  • 5-10% of calories from carbs.

The exact amount of fat and protein is a matter of individual body responses and activity levels. However, most people on ketogenic diets don’t consume over 5% of calories from carbohydrates.

Additional Goals for the Challenge

I’m not abandoning my Intermittent Fasting during this time, but plan on staying on a schedule of 18:6 with 2 meals or 23:4 with one meal a day.  I will not plan on doing fasts of  24 hours or more, since that is problematic for me – as I’ve found out the last month of my plateau due to “cheating” on my part. (because I don’t handle hunger well).

The most important thing, in the end, is for me to stick to the Ketogenic diet. The process of ketosis will happen in my body as it starts to depend on fats for my energy instead of carbohydrates and sugars; I cannot just “cheat once” on my plan without consequences. If I do, it will ruin my efforts of the past one week with just one cheat meal! It would take another one week to get my body back to ketosis and function in a fat-burning mode again.  So I’m giving myself an emotional break in sticking to the shorter fasts during this challenge and trying to keep my hunger under control

During the period of this Challenge,  I’m planning on doing a lot of reading and research on the keto lifestyle and meal plans.  I have downloaded several e-books to read and look over during the period. Here’s a snapshot of the different books I have in my Kindle Library.  Most of these were free to purchase or free to borrow through my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Image of Keto books in Library
Image of Keto books in Library




I’m also reading on this blogsite: (2 Keto Dudes)

Physical Lifestyle modifications

It so happens that I just started with a new Chiropractor today.  So I will be keeping track of how the chiropractic treatments are working on me the next 4 weeks.

Also, I will be starting some physical therapy next week.  So I will also be reporting what I’m doing and how that PT is working for my pain and flexibility.

I will not really be doing any extra exercising other than my weekly kayak float and occasional time in the indoor pool.  When I do go to the pool I will try to do so in a fasted state which will help me create more growth hormone so I lose weight and build muscle better.

I WILL be trying to increase the amount of water I drink each day.

It will be very interesting to see how the diet, PT, and Chiropractic adjustments will affect my weight, inflammation and pain levels, as well as my flexibility and mobility after this month.


I will be logging the following measures daily:

  • Weight
  • Morning Fasting BGL, insulin doses
  • BGL before and after 1st meal, insulin dose if given
  • Macros for 1st meal
  • BGL before and after 2nd meal, insulin dose given
  • Macros for 2nd meal
  • Total Carbs for the day
  • Total Calories
  • Fasting hours each day


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”

More of the “Sunshine” Vitamin

Get your Daily Dsssss

An image of the sun
An image of the sun

Several of my docs have said I’m low on Vitamin D and I need to take a supplement.  My bloodwork showed I was low. So I’ve been researching this vitamin we all know as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin” because we get it from the sun.

Vitamin D is produced in our bodies in response to exposure to the sun, eating certain foods and by taking supplements.

There are several forms, including two that are important to humans: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized by plants, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is synthesized by humans when skin is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. The active form of the vitamin is calcitriol, synthesized from either D2 or D3 in the kidneys. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

There are real benefits to making sure you have adequate vitamin D.

  1. It fights disease (like MS, heart disease and the flu)
  2. It helps with weight loss
  3. It helps with depression

I take one or two vitamin D3 supplements each day.  (2000 IUs/each pill) Continue reading “More of the “Sunshine” Vitamin”

Why do I have Food Binges?

Fail and Binge – Yes I Do

An image with the text Failure on it
An image with the text Failure on it

I have been doing so well with my LCHF eating and Intermittent Fasting, and I love all the benefits and the way I feel when I’m doing things right.  But I do occasionally have some issues. I have the occasional binge eating fail. This is so disturbing to me when I do that and I feel awful afterward, both emotionally and physically.  My fibromyalgia pain returns, my hunger is out of control and my blood sugar tends to go way up because of what I eat.

Continue reading “Why do I have Food Binges?”