Saturday, July 4, 2015

Movie day


We were supposed to drive to Sydney today to see family but we are a bit of a house of sickness at the moment. Tim seems mostly better but I'm a bit worse and now Jasmine has come down with it. she never usually gets sick. So it's been a sitting around at home day. We watched the dance movie "Step Up" and were able to predict the whole plot from the start, but it was still entertaining. Then I took a nap. And in the evening we watched "Night at the Museum", which we also hadn't seen. I'm afraid that was my day.

Report card:
Diet: Good. Didn't even have a cupcake that my husband made.
Exercise: Nil, which is fine.
Water: Good.
Sleep: Ok.
Mental health: Ok. I'm sick, but not sad.

Friday, July 3, 2015

A big hole


I had a lovely day yesterday. It had the three things important to me on a birthday. Firstly being surrounded by people I love; my husband had the day off work to spend time with me, my kids were home after school, and I received lots of phone calls and texts and facebook messages. Of course I missed my parents, my first birthday since their deaths. Secondly the lovely presents I got yesterday; I spent quite a lot of time either colouring in or playing with my new iPhone. And thirdly food! Yes food is still a bit part of celebrating for me. I ate a gazillion calories -- actually my best guesstimation on fitbit was about 2,700 -- but I did keep my almost-diabetic state in mind and managed my carbs/sugar throughout the day. For instance I had a chicken breast in cream sauce for lunch (few carbs) then half a sweet dessert. And at dinner I had another third of a different dessert. Never too many carbs at one time, to keep my blood sugars steady even if I wasn't exactly eating healthy! And I had ten glasses of water.

Tim is home again today but unfortunately sick this time. We've both had various flu symptoms this week. My back is really aching today and I'm feeling generally yuck. I have not felt sick enough to stay in bed but Tim spent the morning in bed which means he is pretty bad. At least we were both more or less ok for my birthday yesterday so we could enjoy the day.

The man the insurance company appointed to fix the ceiling in the studio/junk room/rumpus (it's called rumpus by real estate agents so I'm going with that) came today and I thought that saga would finally be over. This is what it looked like before:

And at the end of five hours work, and the tradesman going home, here is the after:

Um, is this an improvement? There is a huge hole in the ceiling and lots of visible nails in the plaster beside it holding up that sheet, and new cracks where he pushed the sagging plaster up to nail it on. He didn't have the right cornice and will have to order it, he grumbled that he hadn't been given all the information, and then he decided that the whole room needs to have the ceiling replaced and has gone away to get approval from the insurance company even though I told him we are probably knocking the whole room down in a few months. I don't know if he is incompetent, or trying to get more money out of them, or if the ceiling truly does need the work. I don't have any choice in tradesmen since I handed it over to the insurance company, so I just have to wait. It is a complete mess now. Oh well, I guess we'll get a completely new ceiling which will look nice if we sell. It better look nice, or there will be trouble, I don't care how shy I am. But it is dragging on and on and we can't use that room and have all the stuff that was in it cluttering up the house and garage. Since I'm not feeling well today I think I found it particularly difficult to deal with the whole situation.

Definitely not as nice a day as yesterday.

Report card:
Diet: Mixed. I did well all day until takeaway dinner driving home from ballet.
Exercise: Poor, but I was sick so that is ok.
Water: Good.
Sleep: Ok.
Mental health: Poor.

Hopefully everything will be better tomorrow.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My birthday!


My birthday started with presents. My main present was an iPhone 6 (I had been using a 4S) and my son chose this beautiful cover for it:

My daughter gave me body lotion, hand cream and lip balm.

My husband also gave me this stunning colouring book, with a set of 72 artist pencils.

I had bought my children colouring books for Christmas and loved them so much I bought one for myself, but this one is actually made for adults. Apparently grown-up colouring books is a thing now, as an anti-stress technique. I used to colour in a lot as a child before moving on to cross-stitch embroidery and then painting miniatures for Dungeons and Dragons. In all cases I am not required to be able to draw! The design work is done for me, I just get to choose the colours and soothingly fill them in.

It was a day of indulgence, and as such I am not going to give myself a report card today. But tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Last day at 44


I couldn't use my CPAP last night due to nasal congestion, but I feel much better today. Hopefully I've washed away those germs with all the water I drank yesterday.

My daughter had a little expo at school this morning, her class was showing off a recent project they did on animal biomes. Jasmine and her friend Jedda did a diorama and poster about the polar bear.
The black pellets are apparently representing polar bear poo. I didn't ask whether the polar bears were supposed to have built the snowman themselves, and if so where did they get the scarf and hat?

Tim and the kids rode their bikes up to the school and I walked. It was so cold, and very foggy. This is the school oval with the school in the background but you can't see it at all.

Tears seemed to freeze on my cheeks which was very painful, and my glasses fogged up. I could have driven there, but it is less than a kilometre away and I'm trying to get more activity in. And the kids do it every day, and Tim rides to work in every weather. I am just not used to it, safe in my warm cocoon of a home.

Back home, I spent several hours cooking. A healthy lunch, and soup, and casserole for tonight. I was really clumsy today, spilling things badly several times and also nearly tripping over myself. I'm sure it's the result of this flu or whatever messing with my inner ear. Probably not a good day to take up tightrope walking over Niagara Falls.

I did a meditation in the afternoon which of course segued into another brief nap. The program wakes me up at the end (when I count to five you will wake up -- it works); I really should turn that option off! That way I might get more than 20 minutes sleep.

With just two days of healthy eating plus drinking lots and lots of water, I have lost 1.5 kg, nearly all the extra weight I gained in the past few weeks. The problem will be keeping it off -- it's my birthday tomorrow! Tim and I are going out to lunch and I will have dessert, but I will try not to go overboard. 45 years on this earth, that is something to think about.

Report card:
Diet: Excellent.
          Breakfast: High fibre oats with linseed and Nutella, only half an "instant" serve as I was in a hurry. Cup of tea an hour later after I got back from the school.
          Morning snack: Cheese and crackers. Apple.
          Lunch: Quinoa "fried rice" with chicken and vegetables. One piece of chocolate.
          Afternoon snack: Two bowls of homemade spicy roast tomato soup. Cashews. Tea.
          Dinner: Chicken and olive casserole.
Exercise: Ok. Only did the walk to the school and back.
Water: Excellent. Ten glasses.
Sleep: Ok. No CPAP.
Mental health: Ok.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A little cold can't stop me


I went to bed last night feeling ok, but during the night developed a throat tickle and blocked nose. In the morning I felt pretty awful. Cold or flu, we've all been there. This often happens when I make changes towards health, although this time there was no over-strenuous exercise and I didn't try to cut out caffeine or sugar so I don't know why. Probably all psychological - I just resist healthy efforts by saying "I can't diet/exercise, I'm sick!" Not this time.

By mid-morning I felt well enough to go out and do the grocery shopping. It was freezing! I don't know how my husband rides his bike to work every day, and he goes much earlier than I was out. My hands hurt from the cold. I bought lots of healthy food, no junk. Later in the day the tiler came to fix the roof, and then I remembered I needed to exercise so I went out for a walk. Now the warmest part of the day, it was still so cold and I didn't feel well so I cut the time down to 15 minutes. Saw some pretty Sulphur Crested cockatoos, hanging out with pigeons and one Major Mitchell cockatoo (the pink and grey one). There was a rainbow lorikeet too but it flew away before I got close enough to take a picture.

Came home for some hot vegetable soup.

The hardest part of the day was when a friend came over so our kids could play. I had some of the cheese and crackers, and strawberries, that I provided but there were also yummy biscuits that I didn't feel were healthy for me at this time. I managed to resist, and the others polished them off before I could give in to cravings. It was my friend who is a nutritionist, and we talked about my Vitamin B12 deficiency and looked at my results from earlier tests and how they hadn't tested for that (even though I've complained of being always tired for several years), so she thinks I could have had this problem for a while. She thinks I should forget the tablets and ask for the injections straight away! But I'll stick with my doctor's advice, if the tablets work then I won't need monthly injections for the rest of my life.

When Tim got home he said he isn't feeling well either, although he refuses to get sick. I hope we can both shake it off quickly.

Report card:
Diet: Excellent.
          Breakfast: Two poached eggs, one toast with butter. Fresh tomato. Tea.
          Morning snack: Banana.
          Lunch: Two lamb chops. Lebanese cucumber. Vegetable soup.
          Afternoon snack: Camembert cheese and crackers. Strawberries. Vegetable soup. Tea. Peppermint tea.
          Dinner: Peanut beef with Asian vegetables. Quinoa.
I feel like I'm getting a good balance including lots of fruit and vegetables.
Exercise: Good, considering I'm not feeling well.
Water: Excellent. Eleven glasses.
Sleep: Ok.
Mental health: Ok.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Strong day

later Monday:

I've done well today. I went for a 30 minute walk in the afternoon and kept within my calorie limits (around 1400--1600, my Fitbit allowance varies depending on exercise). No junk, all healthy food. I had two afternoon snacks because I got really hungry. Or stressed? But kept it to real food, and tracked everything. And I have some vegetable soup simmering on the stove for if I start to panic about not being allowed any more food today or feel deprived that I only had two tacos.

Report card:
Diet: Excellent.
          Breakfast: One slice of toast with peanut butter. Fresh orange. Tea.
          Lunch: Chicken breast. Salad. Tea.
          Afternoon tea: Fresh strawberries and Greek yoghurt. Tea.
          Second afternoon tea: Small apple and some cheese.
          Dinner: Two beef tacos with lots of salad.
Exercise: Good. 30 minute walk in the sun (also good for Vitamin D).
Water: Excellent. Ten glasses.
Sleep: Ok, and I used the CPAP. I've got my own CPAP brain back tonight, slightly adjusted, with continuous air pressure rather than varying, so that is good. But as discussed in the last post, lack of sleep may not actually be my problem. I've taken my Vitamin B12 tablet. A note on B12, because it comes from animal products I get plenty of it in my diet (vegetarians and especially vegans can have problems getting enough but I am most definitely a carnivore). Absorbing it is the problem, I may have something called pernicious anaemia -- the doctor mentioned this, I didn't just get it from the internet -- we'll see.
Mental health: Surprisingly good. While all these medical issues are scary, there is always a certain exhilaration to the start of a new diet when you feel like you have the motivation to tackle all your problems. Well, I find it so, anyway.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Health issues - the results


I saw my doctor and the sleep clinic today and got a lot of results back, good and bad. I'm going to list them all here, mainly for my own records.

Firstly I saw the technician at the sleep clinic. I'd had the borrowed CPAP brain for two weeks to get some more readings on how I'm sleeping. The result is that my tiredness doesn't seem to have anything to do with my sleep apnoea. The machine is working well, I'm using it correctly, I'm having a sleep apnoea "event" on average 0.1 times per hour (that is about once every second night), which is negligible. They have now increased the air pressure to eliminate even that occasional event, but it's not really going to make any difference. So, that was not the problem.

Then I saw my GP (general practitioner, my family doctor) to get the results of my glucose tolerance (diabetes) test and all the other blood readings. That was interesting and a bit scary.

Four years ago, when I was first flagged as having pre-diabetes / glucose intolerance, my blood glucose was 10.0 mmol/L. Normal is 7.7, diabetes is 11.0. So it wasn't good. I worked on it. Two years ago it was down to 8.2, nearly normal. Great work Natalie. Today it was up to 10.8 mmol/L. That is not good at all. It's 0.2 from a diagnosis of diabetes. Doubly bad, with my father recently dying of (probably) diabetes complications. I have gained weight back over the past couple of years, I was down to 78 kg for a while, I desperately need to lose it again, and more. This morning I was at my highest for a long time: 84.8 kg. That is a couple of kilograms (5 pounds) in less than two weeks. I was hoping the weight gain was partly a monthly fluctuation, but apparently not.

Obviously it's time, way past time, to get really really serious about my health.

That wasn't the only result. The next most important was my level of B12, which are very low. It seems I'm not absorbing B12 from food. And guess what, low levels of B12 make you very tired. We may well have a solution to my constant fatigue. I'm now on Vitamin B12 supplements for 2 or 3 months, then will be retested. If I still can't absorb the vitamin from the tablets, as is quite likely, I will need regular injections of it. This was completely unexpected news! Lucky I'm not scared of needles. In a way I am excited about this result, because it means I might finally get a resolution to my constant tiredness. An injection every month or so in return for normal levels of energy? Bring it on! Or maybe the pills will help, which is even better.

My cholesterol is too high. I've always had high cholesterol, but last test it was down to almost normal. This time is was up again, to 6.2. Should be 3.5--5.5. Probably tied to my obesity, and another reason to lose weight.

My blood platelets are up a little bit. High enough for my doctor to point it out, but not high enough to worry, she said. They can go up due to an infection, so if I had a cold or something (and I have had a sore throat) that can cause the reading. When I got home I looked it up and the other thing that causes increased blood platelets is cancer. Ah, the internet, so comforting. I'm trying not to worry about that at this stage. I was only a little above normal. But another thing to keep an eye on.

And finally my Vitamin D levels are low. I was put on tablets for this before, but stopped taking them (without consulting my doctor) when I started walking regularly and was getting plenty of sunlight. That fizzed out a while ago. So now I'm back on the pills.

I'll be tracking food, counting calories and carbohydrates. And exercising every day.