Tuesday, May 31, 2016



I felt like I had the worst night's sleep ever. I tried to use my CPAP (machine to combat sleep apnoea) and lay awake for four hours, with the noisy machine and my sweaty face stopping me sleeping. Finally took the CPAP off, then was kept awake the rest of the night by Tim and his asthmatic breathing. And then he gets up an hour earlier than me and getting ready for work today seemed unusually noisy. I felt like I didn't sleep at all.

Except I must have, because as usual I can remember my dreams, specifically before I took the CPAP off. And today I felt much less exhausted and cranky than yesterday. I guess it's worth giving the CPAP another try tonight.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Weight up


This morning I weighed 81.6 kg, up  2.1 kg from last Monday. So slow to leave, so quick to come back.

I've had two nights in a row of poor sleep due to pelvic pain. I think I will try to find a gyno who can see me sooner than two months away. Last night I tossed and turned, and when I did sleep I dreamed I was trying to sleep on a hard floor! Very tired and grumpy and headachy today. I'm always on the edge of insufficient sleep anyway, so two extra bad nights affects me a lot. I fell asleep sitting up in the afternoon, but only for about 10 minutes as the kids were home talking to me.

I thought my book club was tomorrow, but now I'm pretty sure it was last Tuesday and I missed it. 4th Tuesday of the month. Damn. The book was "The Palace of Tears" can't remember the author (Australian). I don't read a lot of what you might call modern fiction, I usually read fantasy genre or classics, and I'm enjoying expanding my repertoire but it's a shame missing out on the human interaction that I joined the group for. I've marked the next date in my diary this time. Next month it's "The Dressmaker" which they recently made a movie of, but you wouldn't have heard of it unless you're Australian.

Everything I want to talk about today: pain here, pain there, tantruming toddler in supermarket, Foxtel crashing just as Game of Thrones started, long list of tasks I didn't get done... is pretty negative so lets just say I struggled to cope a bit today and leave it at that. I got through the day.

Sunday, May 29, 2016



We usually have a family dinner in the evening on Sundays, alternating between here and Nick's house, but as Ping is tired all the time with her early pregnancy we'll be having it here every week for a while and at lunchtime. It suits me fine, I don't have to miss my favourite TV show in the evening! It does mean a lot of washing up of pots and pans and serving platters that don't fit in the dishwasher every Sunday. I think Grandad and his partner should offer to wash up sometimes since they never have to cook, but oh well. I love having them all here. I'd rather host than visit any day. I like cooking for people.

I don't know why but I am so hungry all the time at the moment. Whether it's hormonal, or as some people suggest the more carbs you eat the hungrier you get, or just because I've given myself permission to snack, but I'm eating all the time. And you know how I got down to 5 kg total lost (again)? Well in a week I've put 2 kg back on. So I'm hopping back on the yo-yo tomorrow.  I really think that 5 kg is a major psychological barrier for me. Maybe something to discuss with the therapist in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Animated skeletons


A cool rainy day today, perfect for staying inside playing with the virtual reality headset. Of course with four of us no-one gets to play as much as they'd like. I got to progress with the dungeon game, turns out sword fighting animated skeletons is quite a workout! You don't step much in the small space but you duck and dodge and swing your sword. I just acquired a bow so I'll get to use that next time. Jasmine hasn't returned to that game, it is a bit scary in 3D even though the skeletons are quite cartoonish.

Apparently we got a couple of games free with the set, an overenthusiastic spam filter hid them originally, I've only tried one of those, it is a virtual job game. You can be a chef or a mechanic or a few other things. The chef is similar to games you've probably played in an idle moment on your smartphone, making orders for customers. But in 3D. I didn't do that... too much like my real life housewife job! but I did become a mechanic which was funny. I charged a lot for changing "headlight fluid" and added sugar to a petrol tank so the customer would have to come back again.

As I thought when the boys came over last night they all wanted to have a turn on the VR so they didn't start their movie until 10:30. I went to bed. And today found cider spilled all over my favourite cushion. Men!

I didn't do much else today, read and had a nap in front of the TV. Tim is cooking risotto for dinner. Delicious delicious carbs.

We've recently started having movie night with the kids on Saturdays, they often have a good kid's movie starting early on TV, or else we watch a DVD. Tonight we've borrowed "The Fifth Element" from Nick and I'm looking forward to seeing that again and showing it to the kids. One of my favourite movies ever. Pretty sure it's not too violent or anything. Aiden is nine but actually it's Jasmine at twelve who is much more timid and impressionable and likely to have nightmares.

Friday, May 27, 2016



I didn't get to use the new virtual reality headset last night, apart from putting it on for a minute to see what it looked like, as everyone was so eager to try it out. The kids monopolised it until they went to bed then I thought Tim should get to have a go since it was really his baby! Today I tried it out and I only had to call Tim three times at work to sort it out lol.

There is a headset with a sort of screen in front of your eyes and you can look up and around and all directions by turning your head. Also headphones. And a controller in each hand with a few buttons. We marked out how big our room was so it only lets you take a couple of steps before a virtual wall appears to stop you walking into a real wall. And people outside the game can see everything you're looking at on a computer screen.

We have two games, one is a dungeon adventure which is a little suspenseful since it seems like you're right there next to the skeleton swinging a sword at you. I didn't spend long in that one. It's quite cartoonish but very 3D, it kind of feels like you're in a castle built of cardboard. The graphics are nothing compared to any normal computer game but it's still very impressive to feel like you're right there in it. The other is a cute puzzle game where you move pipes around to redirect the flow of water. I spent a bit more time on that one. I'm sure there are other games out there, and more will be created now that VR headsets are available.

Tim's brother and cousins are coming over tonight, supposedly to watch a movie together but I think they are going to spend the evening in virtual worlds!

My foot is so much better today. I was singing to myself as I did the grocery shopping (Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid, if you're interested), unable to believe I wasn't even limping when yesterday I could hardly walk. So nice when pain is gone. Also, my horrendous TOM is almost over. I am so cheerful today. Sometimes I forget what a difference it can make. I feel like a different person.

Thursday, May 26, 2016



Tim was home sick today. It's been going around the family. I just got on with my usual day: writing, minimum of housework, playing computer games in my "breaks", taking the kids to Acrogym after school.

While the kids were in the gym I walked over to the shops to buy more apples - this family goes through a lot of fruit, if we all had two pieces a day that would be 56 pieces of fruit a week! I only have about one per day but Aiden makes up for that with three or more - my foot was ok on the way there but very painful on the way back. I am getting very sick of it.

I'm on to my third type of treatment for the plantar wart, Upton's Paste which is very strong. I put it on last night but don't know if it's doing anything yet. The wart is such a small white circle, doesn't look like it could hurt anybody, but I think it's mostly underneath like an iceberg. Walking is usually like having a pebble in my shoe (on a bruised foot) but sometimes intensifies to feeling like I'm stepping on a nail. If this stuff doesn't work my GP will send to the podiatrist to look at surgery.

I try not to whine about it though, as I hobble around I am frequently seeing people with wheelchairs or walking frames and I know this is a minor and temporary annoyance. It just seems so stupid that such a little thing is affecting my life so much.

We had a knock on the door late this afternoon, the virtual reality headset which Tim wasn't expecting for another month! It takes a bit of setting up, with monitors on the walls to track movement, which is still going on. I'll let you know what it's like when we've had a go.

Two chemists have told me they've stopped making test strips for my blood glucose meter, which I got ten years ago when I had gestational diabetes. I have ordered some online, but if I want to keep testing myself now and then I guess I'll eventually have to get a newer model. I'm so out of date. I bet newer ones do all sorts of amazing things.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Titty slap


A couple of things I found amusing/weird today. I dreamed I was in the library and was chosen by ASIO (our Intelligence organisation) for some kind of random screening. A timid young man was asking me questions that were scrawled on the back of a torn poster. The only question I remember was: Jamal says his father is having visions of glory and the afterlife, what do you do? My reply was: tell Jamal to get his father to a doctor because he might have a tumour pressing on his optic nerve.

Then I spent the morning in an unfamiliar suburb, principally to get Jasmine a new reed for her clarinet but also buying some other things while I was there. My foot was ok at first but very sore by the end, I parked in one place then limped around so I did quite a bit of walking. Anyway, the funny bit was when I grabbed a few things in the supermarket and went through the 12 items or less lane. As I put my bag of apples on the counter with my other items, I asked if six apples counted as one item or six? The friendly little old lady behind me cheekily said six, the cashier said it depended on the customer. Some people she wanted to punch in the face. She was a tall, hefty young lady and I certainly wouldn't want to be punched by her. We agreed that some people made us want to punch them, then she went on to say that actually what she really wanted to do was give some people a titty slap. I didn't quite understand her at first but nodded away, and she went into a bit of a detail, with actions. Inside I was half laughing, half eager to get out of there. Really, a "titty slap"? Interesting customer service motto.

Terrible food today. Snacked on all sorts of things. The only reasonably healthy thing was the beef bouguignon I made for dinner. Except for the mashed potato with cream and cheese. Which was both unhealthy and not particularly nice. My husband makes excellent mashed potato, mine is lumpy every time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016



Aiden was home sick today. He stayed in bed until 11, watched TV until 2, then rapidly improved over the afternoon and had an enormous dinner. How can such a little person fit in so much food? He certainly made up for not eating all day.

Of course I couldn't go out anywhere today. I managed to get work done while he was resting but once he was feeling well again he was sitting next to me interrupting me every two seconds. He is not a keen reader so he doesn't have the same anti-boredom failsafe the rest of us do.

This evening for no good reason I ordered pizza. Now I need to drink a couple of litres of water before bed to flush out all the salt and carbs! I say "no good reason" but actually I have an excellent reason. It's that time of the month when I crave salt, fat, carbs, sugar, and smacking other people upside the head.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sixteen weeks weigh in


I have now finished my second eight-week round of the Blood Sugar Diet. I have not stuck to its rules perfectly, in particular I've done almost no exercise, but I have got results as good as any other diet I've ever been on and just as importantly when I slip up I don't give up! I pick myself up and keep going!

The basic theme of the diet is low-carb and low-processed forever (the Mediterranean Diet, lots of fresh vegetables with olive oil and nuts and meat and fruit and full-fat dairy, occasional dark chocolate or red wine), with low calorie for this eight week starting period. I am going to continue counting calories for the time being.

Starting blood glucose (last year): 10.8 mmol/L (very close to diabetes)
16 week blood glucose (last week): 8.9 mmol/L (still pre-diabetic range, but better)

Starting weight: 84.5 kg
16 weeks: 79.5 kg
Total loss: 5 kg

That is with a long break between two lots of eight weeks, where I put some weight back on, and a five day break just recently when I also put a bit back on but then have already lost that again. My weight has bounced up and down by a kg or so for weeks, ever since I first hit that 5 kg milestone. My challenge now is to get below that and keep continuing down! And I would love to be in the normal blood glucose range (7.8 or under) by next year's glucose tolerance test.

I can't really set a goal of a certain weight or certain blood sugar reading by a particular date because I am not 100% in control of that. What I can control is my actions not the result. So I will keep making good choices in what I eat and how much, and start getting some exercise.

Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon around 4:30, Jasmine told me she needed fabric for her sewing class on Monday! She had mentioned it earlier in the week but without knowing what precisely she needed. Now she knew, but of course all the shops were closed by the time she remembered it. Today in class she helped a friend and told her teacher she'd get the fabric in time for a double class tomorrow. So we dashed out between school and dance lessons to the closest place I could find, around 20 minutes away. She had very specific ideas of what she wanted for her seat cushion, luckily we were able to find it. They are making the actual stool in woodwork lesson which I think is pretty cool.

I was weak and bought myself a small brownie for a snack while we were out. But then I was strong and did not get KFC for dinner even though I really wanted to.

Sunday, May 22, 2016



Today I got to sleep in! I did wake at around 6am and couldn't get back to sleep for a while due to my pelvic pain, but finally I did and didn't wake again until 9. Awesome.

Quiet day of games and a bit of housework.

My niece Emma was sick so that part of the family couldn't host (or attend) Sunday dinner, Tim went out and bought some ingredients and made Butter Chicken for us and his dad. Yummy. So much nicer than pre-made sauces or even restaurant versions which I always find really sweet. I had cauliflower instead of rice with it, and a little scoop of ice cream (instead of pie and ice cream) for dessert. A bit too much camembert though, while waiting for dinner. Nothing wrong with cheese except it has a lot of calories!

I was worried I'd struggle getting back on my diet after five days off (which should have been three), but it's been fine. I've had cravings, and eaten a bit of dark chocolate, but overall done well. I still need to tighten serving sizes but I'm happy with what I'm eating.

Saturday, May 21, 2016



I got up early this morning to let in the handyman who was to finally fix Aiden's chest of drawers. He came in with the missing piece. Looked at the furniture. Looked at the piece. Wrong piece. Again. Unbelievable. How many months now? I think this was the hanyman's fault, he was the one who ordered it. He apologised, a couple of hours later the furniture store called and apologised. They have ordered the (hopefully) correct part. I haven't made any decision yet about what to do. At least, as Tim says, we have a story to tell!

We didn't know what time to expect Darren, he came at 11:00am and stayed until I announced I was going to bed. We talked during meals and he played with the kids a bit, the rest of the time he played computer games. He doesn't have internet or a decent computer at home (just an old one of ours) so that's what he does when he is here. I don't mind that, it means I don't have to entertain him, except he uses my computer so I didn't get to play this evening!

I was very proud of myself that even though we had a "guest" here I didn't use that as an excuse for serving and eating unhealthy food. As well as normal lunch and dinner, we had cheese and fruit for afternoon tea, and yoghurt with fruit for dessert. Darren brought us belated Easter eggs, the kids had some but I won't. The first ingredient is sugar!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Results and referrals


I saw my GP Dr Miller again today. The results for the glucose tolerance test are in, down to 8.9 mmol/L after being 10.8 last year (11.0 is diabetes). Still in the pre-diabetic zone but much better. My blood sugar diet and losing a bit of weight seem to be helping.

She has referred me to a gynaecologist about the fibroids but they can't see me until late July.

We also discussed my mood and she has referred me to a psychologist(?) who will see me in about three weeks. She seemed to think I have a tendency towards depression, exacerbated by recent major life events i.e. the deaths of both my parents and then the move to another state where I have no friends. I lean more towards the hormonal explanation and I feel a bit of a fraud in a way because I'm not really that depressed. I know what depressed is like. And I'm a lot better with anti-menopause tablets. But I am very willing to go and talk to someone about it. Can't hurt.

She also told me off for not using my CPAP.

I like this doctor, it's a shame she's only at the clinic until the end of July.

Ate well again today. I don't know how to number this anymore. It's supposed to be an eight week diet. I did eight weeks back in Jan/Feb but by the end I wasn't really sticking to it at all. I started again seven and a half weeks ago - two days left of this eight week cycle. But I had nearly a week off with the carb loading so I haven't really done eight weeks... oh bugger it whatever. I'll just keep going.

Thursday, May 19, 2016



Another ordeal over. Pelvic ultrasound. I drank the required water but then in the hour I was supposed to be holding it I went to the toilet twice, then at the clinic when my appointment was 40 minutes late I went twice more (trying not to empty completely). Seemed fine, the radiologist (??) didn't comment.

I've had two other pelvic ultrasounds over the past three years, the other two reports suggested adenomyosis (the uterine lining growing where it shouldn't), this time the technician told me there was a fibroid which is a different sort of growth that looks very similar. I haven't seen an official report yet. Obviously I need to know which it is before progressing with any treatment, I might need an MRI. I see my doctor tomorrow and I think she will refer me to a gynaecologist.

I'm back on my healthy eating today. I know from repeated experience that day three of strict low carbs is when I have my cravings, I have to brace myself for that and not just say "I feel terrible so I'm going to eat whatever I want". If I can get through a few days I'll be fine. Today for the first time in ages I'm going to achieve my water goals. Only two cups to go!

My brother had been trying to contact me for a couple of days. His phone is ancient broken rubbish but since he has no landline or email/internet it's the only way to talk to him. And if I call him it goes straight to voicemail, which I don't know if he ever checks, so I have to wait for him to call me. After lots of calls dropping out without us being able to hear each other, he walked up the hill today to get better reception and I shouted at him over the noise of the trucks on the main road. Probably quite funny, in a way. Anyway, he's coming over on Saturday. He couldn't hear any of my queries as to what time, so I eventually gave up on getting any details. Based on past visits, it will be "for lunch" but arriving long after we've eaten because he is late for everything, and staying through until the kids have gone to bed.

Hmm now there is a Christmas present idea. A phone that actually works. Maybe one he could use internet on if he's somewhere they have free Wi-Fi? But that might be a bit complicated for him. A phone that works would do.

That ongoing saga of Aiden's furniture may finally be resolved, the handyman guy called yesterday to say he'll be here on Saturday, with the correct part, to finish putting together the unfinished chest of drawers we've had since Christmas! I can always hope.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Glucose Tolerance Test


I had my glucose tolerance test this morning. It involved eating high carb for three days (not everywhere requires this) then fasting for 12 hours and having blood taken, drinking a nasty glucose liquid with 75g of pure carbohydrate, then testing again two hours later. I will get the results (ie whether I am diabetic) in a couple of days. I did tests with my own kit while I was there, I peaked high (12.5 mmol/L, which is diabetic) at one hour but was back down to 10.3 mmol/L (pre-diabetic) at two hours. The official test is at the two hour point so I'm assuming I will still be considered pre-diabetic. But my testing hasn't always matched the official result when I've done this before, so we'll see. Home kits aren't as accurate as the lab.

I have been so inconsistent with "getting healthy" that I really have no idea whether to expect to be better or worse than last time.

I had lunch when I got home but around two hours after that - nearly four hours after the glucose liquid - I had a blood sugar crash. I felt very shaky and odd. I went and tested my blood and it was down to 3.9 mmol/L (70.2 mg/d) which is right on the borderline of normal to low. Certainly nothing dangerous, I wasn't about to go into a coma, but I was trembling so hard I could hardly hold the blood test pen and I felt quite unwell. I went and ate some more, including carbs, and got my blood sugar back up to normal. I'm assuming it was a reaction to the high of the test leading to a crash (reactive hypoglycaemia). I hope that isn't a bad sign. I spent the rest of the day trying to balance my food intake.

It would have been my mother's 75th birthday today. Sad thinking about her.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Time to talk


I saw my doctor this morning for a routine pap smear. I am seeing her again on Friday to talk about how I'm feeling.

Last week when I was listing all my issues to Dr Miller I was surprised when she jumped on depression. To me, it was something recent that the herbal menopause medicine was helping control. But I let her schedule an appointment to discuss it. Since then, I've been looking over some blog posts to get dates of various physical tests I've had in the past, and have found the words "depressed", "sad" and "unable to cope" come up a lot more often than I expected over the past few years. Of course twelve years ago I had quite severe Post Natal Depression with my first child. And before that had depression when I had my serious ongoing shoulder pain when I couldn't even dress myself or do much of anything and had to quit my job and go through the whole stressful compensation process. And finally today I suddenly realised that I should probably include when I was a teenager and used to cut myself. So I guess, yes, you could say I have a history. And it might be time to do something about it.

I'm not sure if talking to anyone will help. Right now, there isn't anything specifically wrong to talk about. It's not like when I was a child and my family was falling apart, or later when I was in constant pain and worried I'd never be able to work again - back then I probably could have used a therapist (an independent one who wasn't paid by Comcare to do anything to get me off worker's compensation). I assume it's my hormones. What would I say? "I feel a bit sad for no particular reason." And I'm not feeling too bad since I started taking the herbal tablets, just a general lack of enthusiasm for life, a difficulty with getting on with things. But I'm willing to listen to what my GP suggests, she may refer me to someone else. I'm certainly not against "talking therapy", I'm just not sure if it will be useful to me at the moment.

Weigh in


Today I was 80.8 kg, exactly the same as last week.

This is my fourth day of carb loading. I'm supposed to do three, but I started early and will get five before my blood test on Wednesday morning. The first two days I loved the feeling of being "allowed" to eat all the carbs I wanted. Bread and potatoes and even biscuits. Crackers with my cheese. Pasta, rice, all the stuff I've been trying to avoid all year. By last night, the end of day three, I no longer had any interest. I did eat the dessert I made (lemon tart) for our family dinner, but then put out lots of snacks in the evening for guests and only had a couple of chips. So it looks like three days would have been ideal. Today I pretty much had to force myself to have toast for breakfast and a bread roll with lunch. I feel heavy and tired and headachy. I had a nap this afternoon for the first time in ages. I thought I was tired all the time because of my poor sleep at night, but now I think carbs must contribute a bit.

But I'm still not having sugar in my tea. I feel like I've got to the point where I almost enjoy it that way (almost), and I don't want to waste all that work.

I poked around on the internet about carb-loading before a glucose tolerance test after getting some feedback that they don't do it in the UK. Apparently the received wisdom here is (or used to be) that if you don't usually eat a lot of carbs then have that sugary drink for the test, your body will overreact and you may get a "false positive" - i.e. the results will show you have diabetes when you don't. They make sure you eat carbs for a few days so you don't have that overreaction on the day. But many now say that carb-loading has little or no effect on the results. I'll just continue to do whatever the doctor/pathology clinic tell me to do each time. I've definitely been trying to do quite a low carb diet so I don't want that to mess with the results if there is a possibility of that.

Aiden's school had a student free day, or teacher development day, or whatever they call it here. I forgot that when planning my week, and had to rearranged my appointments a bit. No problem. We had a nice day together.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Eurovision Party


Eurovision is a European song contest that gets bigger and more glamorous every year. It is very popular in Australia as we have many people of European descent here, and the past two years Australia has had an official entrant even though we're round the other side of the world. I believe it was telecast in China and USA this year too (and Justin Timberlake was the guest performer). Maybe eventually it will become WorldVision. No, that name is taken.

The charm of Eurovision is its diversity and weirdness. Plenty of normal power ballads and a few rock or country style; but also Russian grandmothers with a folk song, heavy rock from Finland with the band in full "orc" makeup and costumes, a Romanian opera singer dressed more or less as a vampire and singing the whole thing in falsetto. Actually this year lacked a bit of the weirdness. ABBA and Celine Dion have won it in the past, other names probably more famous in Europe than here.

We've been really into it for only about four years, but we love it now. Semi finals Friday and Saturday nights and the final Sunday night. Actually it was performed in the early hours of the morning, our time, so had to stay away from media giving away the result! We invited extra family to our usual Sunday dinner then more people to come over in the evening to all watch together. It was a fun party. We let the kids stay up late too. I was worried there would be so much talking I wouldn't be able to hear the TV, but we all quieted down for the songs and gave scores after each one. I think our top five was pretty close to the official top five. Australia's entrant came second! Ukraine won instead of the favourite, Russia, in what many consider to be a political result.

There were also a couple of family announcements. Our close family group is made up of two sets of brothers - cousins to each other and they all grew up in the same street so it's almost like four brothers - and their wives (and parents). A few weeks ago one wife announced her pregnancy, I knew another was not ready to make it public. Last night she announced, and then the third did as well! I'm the only one of the four of us not pregnant. So we'll have three new babies in the family in October, November and December.

I say "she" announced it, but actually I just realised in all three cases it was the husband who got up to give the news. I wonder if that is because it was his side of the family they were telling, or if that is a thing?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lots of carbs


As I mentioned yesterday, I'll need to eat lots of carbs for three days, starting Sunday. Well I started a bit early. Oh how I love bread rolls with lashings of butter! And maybe some other stuff. I just felt like, why bother trying when it's just for two more days? I know the other way of looking at it is to eat clean while I can to make up for the upcoming three days.

I've really been struggling with sticking to my plan so it's not just the carb loading, but that gave me an extra excuse to quiet the guilt demon. I think I won't be getting back on my strict plan until mid next week, after the test.

What I have been working on is drinking more, to get my body used to it before Monday when I have to hold a full bladder.

Here's a fun fact. You may have heard that non-African humans have around 3% Neanderthal DNA, well apparently red hair and freckles are linked to that! So Gingers are not straight from the devil, as some say, they are just cavemen.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Forty five: doctor


I had my delayed doctor appointment this morning, turned out we had so much to talk about I had to make two more appointments for next week! Have also scheduled in another ultrasound and some blood tests.

When I walked in to her office I got a bit confused, surely this wasn't the same lady I'd seen a couple of times since moving here? Young and female, but otherwise quite different. Turns out they rotate through new female registrars (which I believe means a fully qualified but junior doctor still in a sort of intern period) every six months in this clinic. I chose this medical clinic because it is so close to our house and also near the shops so it's very convenient. It turns out it bulk bills (ie completely free, in Australia unless you're a pensioner you usually pay part and the government pays part) which is nice but maybe that is because they are junior doctors? And Dr Miller asked me if I had a regular GP (general practitioner, ie family doctor) elsewhere which I found a bit confusing (she said it's fine I don't). I queried her about whether I'd mistaken the nature of the medical clinic, but no, she said some people had a GP near work, for example, as well as this one.

I've been happy with both the female doctors I've seen but I'm a bit worried about continuity of care if they change every six months. And always inexperienced. But I guess they have to get experience somewhere, and at least they're up to date! The older male doctor doesn't seem to change, but my husband didn't really like him much. So we might end up finding another clinic at some point. See how it goes.

Even though I had a pelvic ultrasound only nine months ago, Dr Miller wants me to have another one and some more blood tests since the pain has returned. I've got that booked in for Monday. I complained about how horrible having an ultra-full bladder is and how I cried last time from the pain, she told me that only a man with an enlarged prostate can hold a litre of water, to ignore the stupid instructions and just have some liquid, not as much as they say. Which was a huge relief. Then I'm seeing her again on Tuesday for a physical check up that we didn't have time for today. Then on Wednesday I've got my blood tests and glucose tolerance test, where you drink nasty glucose liquid and they see if you go into a diabetic coma. (Or at least if your blood sugar spikes.) The last time I had one in Canberra I was surprised to find I didn't need to carb load for three days, they said they don't do that anymore as it's pointless. But when I booked in this place they said I do need to. I guess they are behind the times here. I can't pretend I'm not looking forward to stuffing myself with carbohydrates for three days, after trying to stick to low carb most of this year! The last test result was very close to a diabetes diagnosis, so I'm hoping my diet and weight loss this year has improved my glucose tolerance. Finally on Thursday back to Dr Miller again to talk about my perimenopausal symptoms including depression. Or Tues and Thurs might be the other way around.

Hmm, just realised both tests I'm going for have outdated and unpleasant or unhealthy preparations (drinking a huge amount of water, eating a huge amount of carbs) which other specialists say aren't necessary. Makes you wonder.

It is my 14th Wedding Anniversary today. That's about 28 times longer than a Hollywood marriage. We went out to a tapas restaurant in the evening. We originally tried to get a babysitter but ended up taking the kids with us. They are lovely anyway, and definitely part of this marriage!  The food was really nice, all little share plates. My favourite was crispy pork belly on cauliflower purée. Yum. I shared a (full size) dessert with Jasmine.

Feeling very full and sleepy now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Forty four: stress


I really don't handle stress at all well. This saga of the missing piece of Aiden's chest of drawers has been going on for five or six months now, I got myself worked up and called yet again, they are waiting for the part from the warehouse and promised (again) "very soon". A fortnight ago they said "early next week". I really don't know what to do. I've called many times, Tim has called, it goes on and on. I've made a deadline for myself, if it's not fixed by the end of next week I'll demand a refund and complain at the highest level I can find. I know I should have done that months ago, but they keep promising and I keep hoping. I don't really want to return it because it's part of a matching set of furniture, otherwise I wouldn't have let it go on so long. But this is their last chance.

I find standing up for myself extremely stressful. It's lucky there wasn't much in the house to binge eat. I had some two minute noodles and the chocolate I was given for Mothers Day. It's hundreds of calories extra. But I didn't go out and buy myself junk although I really wanted to.

It's it silly what little things make me want to turn to food.

I was also feeling a little down for another silly reason. In my computer game I've been playing for months working towards a particular goal. I generally play for a while after eating lunch, and sometimes in the evening as well. Today I achieved my goal! And almost immediately felt let down. Like, "what now"? All that "work" for a couple of seconds of "yay". Actually that is nonsense. I've really enjoyed playing, it wasn't work in any sense. It's just that getting a congratulatory message on my screen didn't seem quite worth the long build up.

I actually wrote a flash fiction short story once about that exact feeling, a few years ago. It was chosen as one of the ten put in people's show bags at a writing convention. So it seems I've had that  experience before!

B: cheese on toast, tea.
L: bacon.
S: noodles, chocolate.
D: beef casserole, bread roll with butter.

Way too many carbs today.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Forty three: windy


I just deleted a long rambling post about nothing...

I got out for a walk today, to the library. It's a good distance for a walk. Lovely temperature outside, but very windy. I'm trying to overcome my excuses and just get out there.

B: cheese, apple, tea.
L: chicken, cucumber.
S: nuts, tea.
D: lemon chicken, potato, salad.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Forty two: weigh-in


Weigh-in Monday, 80.5kg which is a little up from last Monday and doesn't reflect the significant weight loss and then regain that happened during the week. I have two weeks left of this eight-week cycle and commit to sticking to it... mostly. It is our wedding anniversary on Thursday and we are going out to dinner. That counts as a special occasion. Having people over to watch Eurovision on TV on Sunday does not.

Jasmine is in the runny nose and coughing stage of her cold, and stayed home from school today. I find it hard to work on my writing when I have people home - but I feel guilty if I don't work. I'm sure my kids think I do nothing all day while they are at school, because if they are home sick we take it easy and read, watch TV and play computer games. (Sounds like a great lifestyle, actually.) I have to prove I don't! Not all day anyway... I ended up getting some good writing done.

I was supposed to have a doctor's appointment today to follow up a few things but had to reschedule. I need to get this pelvic pain sorted. Adenomyosis (where the uterine lining migrates to surrounding muscles) showed up in my last two ultrasounds but my last doctor didn't seem to pursue that angle at all, assuming diverticulitis (intestine inflammation) even though I don't think I fit that profile at all. I will do whatever tests the new doctor thinks is appropriate to work it out. Either way, I don't know if they can do anything. But at least I'd know!

Cold rainy day.

B: yoghurt and raspberries, tea.
L: cauliflower soup.
S: apple, tea.
D: lemon chicken saltimbocca, a few bites of vegetables. I cooked some asparagus and broccolini with the chicken but it didn't work out. Had a tiny bit of salad.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Forty one: Mother's Day


I'm feeling much better today. Quiet day at home. Presents then the kids made me breakfast (with daddy supervision), and Tim went out and bought food for the day since we weren't originally expecting to be in. Mostly reading and family computer games today. And too much eating. Luckily tomorrow is Monday and another fresh week.

Eight week diet plan:
Fortnight One - stick to plan, maybe a little treat, lose lots of weight.
Fortnight Two - a few more treats but mostly to plan, still lose some weight.
Fortnight Three - as many days off plan as on, weight swings wildly.
Fortnight Four - did you say you were on a diet? regain most of the weight.

I'm about to start the final fortnight of this eight week plan. My goal is to stray from my usual pattern outlined above! Surely I can stick to it for two final weeks. Then reassess.

My own mother died January last year, so this is my second Mother's Day without her. My father died almost exactly a year ago. I have thought of them often today.

Forty: home


Still not quite right today. Hopefully fully recovered tomorrow for Mother's Day! Nick has also been sick so there won't be a combined family dinner. I was expecting to go over there so don't have anything planned. Never get a restaurant this late. I'll send Tim up to the shops tomorrow.

We have movie night on Saturdays and watched "Home". Nice kids movie.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Thirty nine: sick


I woke early with abdominal pains, my day was made unpleasant by my digestive system. I won't go into details.

As usual when I have an upset tummy, I was uninterested in meat or vegetables, and I only ate salty carbs like vegemite on cruskits. I didn't count calories or carbs or even record what I ate. Mostly better by bedtime.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thirty eight: sunshine


Tim was away last night on a work trip to a different city and still isn't back. The house is very lonely without him in it. I am feeling better today but Jasmine had a sore throat in the morning and got home from school with a bad headache. I hope she shakes it off. She is worried because she has a test tomorrow and can't concentrate. Unlike some kids she doesn't like missing school. Aiden would jump at the chance of a day off school!

I got out for a walk to the library, lovely autumn day. It was nice to get out into the sunshine, I don't do that often enough these days. My foot has been giving me trouble, yesterday was horrible, today it stayed in the realm of discomfort rather than pain. I also picked up a couple of things at the shops, and was too weak to resist some junk food. I knew I should have stayed away. I'm sick of having so many days when give in to cravings. But I'll keep slogging on.

I had a long list of other things to do today and I got quite a lot of them done. My herbs are now properly potted in, for one.

B: bacon, cucumber, tomato, tea.
L: leftover Pad Thai, Wagon Wheel (chocolate biscuit), cheezles (I threw some away), tea.
D: beef stir fry with wom bok.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Thirty seven: chaos


I had a really chaotic morning. We had some last minute changes to when people needed to leave and whether they needed a lift somewhere. I thought I had to get up early, then I didn't (snuggled back down with Aiden), then I did (panic!). Then I didn't. After everyone else was finally out of the house, I forgot that I could now relax and take my time. I went out to run my errands even though it was peak hour traffic and I hadn't had breakfast or even a drink. I spent the morning touring government departments, delayed by bureaucracy and staff incompetence, and finally got home at 11:15 hungry, tired, annoyed, thirsty and footsore.

My weight dropped dramatically after two days of eating properly, 1.5 kg down. I'm 79 kg (174 lbs), Richard, I'm on my way! I'm back below my previous low for the year. I got on the scales this morning and saw the 79.0, but then later couldn't quite believe it. Maybe it had said 79.8 and I misread it? I had been a bit flustered at the time. So I took off my shoes and heavy jeans and tried again. 79.1, so I really had seen 79.0 earlier. All the water weight from those extra carbs gone, and a bit more. At least for the day...

I had assumed my feeling a bit off colour this morning was due to not eating or drinking anything, but in the afternoon I continued feeling worse and worse. Quite unwell. Nausea, bloated, aching legs. I tried eating some chocolate but it didn't help (is it just day 3 carb flu again?). I couldn't face making dinner. The kids wanted pizza but I ordered Thai food, I thought it would be a bit healthier. I didn't have any rice but I did have satay chicken and noodles. I have no idea how many calories/carbs/sugar. I'm sure the scales will give me some feedback tomorrow.

B/L: chicken, cucumber, tea.
S: cheese, chocolate.
D: satay chicken, pad thai.

Utterly dismal water intake, I'm still on my third glass for the day. I can't seem to force it down into my upset tummy. Hopefully it's just transitory.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Thirty six: let food be thy medicine


I watched a Michael Mosley show last night (I'm doing his Blood Sugar Diet atm), the first episode of "Trust Me I'm a Doctor" where they look at widely held beliefs about health. They covered a few topics but the main one was about how to lower cholesterol and therefore heart disease. They talked to experts and did an experiment where they split some people with high cholesterol into three groups: one reduced saturated fats (animal fat, cheese, butter), one added oats every day, one added almonds every day. And Michael Mosley himself did all three! I think it was for three weeks. It was to see if diet was as effective as statins. The group reducing saturated fats and the group adding oats both had major improvements, cholesterol down around 9-13%. The almonds on average appeared to do nothing, but when they looked at individuals some had a big improvement but some got worse. So that one seemed to depend on the person. And MMs cholesterol was down by about 30% - so it seemed the three strategies stacked benefits! Pretty sure his at least was as effective as the statins he had been taking. Interesting that he has high cholesterol even though he is not at all overweight and presumably follows his own healthy Mediterranean diet plan.

There are online forums for the BSD diet I'm doing and some people (who have stuck to it better than I have) have had amazing results. Weight loss, but also reversing diabetes which is what the diet is designed to do. The received wisdom was that you can't reverse diabetes once you get past the pre-diabetes stage, and maybe that is true in the sense that if they went back to their old eating habits they would have the same high blood sugar problems, but on this diet they have normal blood sugars WITHOUT all the medication they had to take before. Diet is enough, if it's the right diet. Yet the authorities still tell diabetics and prediabetics to eat plenty of carbs, spread throughout the day, to keep blood sugar levels steady! And that diabetes is progressive and you'll have to go on more and more medications eventually. Well yes, if you keep eating lots of carbs! When I've stuck to the diet a bit longer and lost some more weight I'll have my blood sugar tested and see if it's helped me. I don't think that any diet is perfect for everyone, and I tend to be happier with some carbs in my diet, but so many people have improved their blood sugars I am trying to stick with it for the duration.

Another day of clean eating under my belt.

B: roast beef, cucumber, tea.
L: chicken, grapes.
S: Apple.
D: bolognaise with zoodles.
S: cashews.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Thirty five: clean


Another Monday weigh in. Unfortunately I'm up nearly a kilogram from last week, from the damage done on Thursday and Friday. 80.5 kg. At least I didn't put on any more over the weekend. And I ate clean today, I can lose it again.

I took all the paperwork and the number plates from our two cars into the relevant government office to get them transferred to NSW, but I neglected to get Tim to sign and one of the cars is in his name. Silly mistake. Means another trip in tomorrow. At least I got Tim's phone fixed. And I came home for lunch instead of trying to negotiate restaurants or fast food.

B: raspberries and yoghurt.
S: tea (back to no sugar).
L: lamb chops, zucchini, asparagus.
D: roast beef and vegetables.

I forgot to tell you my little cannoli story. A cannoli is an Italian dessert, crisp pasty with a sweet filling. At the restaurant on Saturday night they had cannoli on the specials board and I've been wanting to try one so I decided to share one with Jasmine even though I was full of pasta. It wasn't very nice at all and I only had a couple of nibbles - Jasmine ate the chocolate filling but left the pastry and she'll usually eat anything sweet! The waitress came around and asked how it was, I hesitated but as usual said it was fine. Then she told me it was a new dish they were thinking about putting it on the permanent menu so were trying to get feedback. So I said, "Well in that case actually I didn't like it!"

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Sunday night:

My tongue is so sore. I tend to get mouth ulcers if I eat too much sugar. It doesn't really take that much to be "too much" and I had a few things over the past three or four days. Now I have several ulcers on my tongue and eating hurts. I can't even consider having anything sweet. Tomorrow I commit to eating clean again. I'm not really bothered that I break out from my diet every so often as long as I go back to it - but I need to limit my binges! This is not fun.