Friday, December 21, 2012

Update Time!

Wow, I've been out of the blogosphere for a while now...I didn't realize that it's been almost two months since I last posted anything! My husband has been working out of state since mid-October...coincidence? I think not. The last couple of months have been super busy, and I don't think I've even had a chance to think very critically about anything during that time. Nevertheless, I do have some updates to share!

First of all, I went back to see my neurologist last month for a follow-up on my Chiari issues. I was to the point that I had all but decided to go ahead with surgery due to the fact that my more annoying symptoms hadn't gone away, but luckily he helped me evaluate my options more objectively. We came to the conclusion that we'd "wait and see" for a few more months since things hadn't gotten worse, and some aspects had, in fact, gotten better. After all, surgery itself presents other issues, the main one being that I would be pretty incapacitated for a couple of months...which is an issue when you have an almost-11-month-old to take care of! Because I'm no longer breastfeeding (since I started taking anxiety medication), he thought muscle relaxers would be a good option to try for my neck/back of head weakness. So far, it seems like they're helping quite a bit. I still have days when I feel much worse than others, but it's an improvement. I'm still holding onto hope that it will all go away completely again, but at this point (six months in) it's stuck around a lot longer than my past flare-ups.

My blood sugar numbers have been slowwwwwly improving. I still have a lot of (seemingly) inexplicable highs and lows, but as always it's a matter of day to day (or hour to hour) adjustment. My latest at-home A1c test showed 6.5%, so I'm hoping it's even lower than that...last time it showed 6.9% and the lab test came back 6.4%. Either way, I'm just glad things are better.

As of my last post, I still wasn't working out consistently, but I'm happy to say that has finally changed. I've been recording Faithful Workouts on DirecTV (NRB Network), and it's been great. Not only is it faith-based and therefore very uplifting and encouraging; it's also an awesome workout. At 30 minutes long, they're not too difficult to squeeze in my busy day, and every workout works your entire body. I've been encouraging my mom to start them too, especially because they show adaptations of every move for different fitness levels. They also don't require anything fancy--just some light hand weights, an exercise band, a ball, and a mat. Even so, they give you options to use if you don't have those things as well. Aside from this week (when my baby girl was sick), I've been trying to work out at least 4-5 days each week and have been fairly successful. As the program's founder Michelle Spadafora says, "if you stay faithful to your workouts, you will get stronger!" I've felt much better since I've been working out; not only can I tell a difference in my muscle tone, but everything is also a little easier because I am getting stronger. It's something I've really come to enjoy, and I can honestly say I never regret working out...especially on the days when I least want to.

This new change in my routine has meant further changes to my insulin needs, but that's to be expected. Anytime you do something different, it takes a while for you to balance everything out again. Keeping an open mind and testing frequently has helped a lot. I won't say I've figured it out yet by any means, but I'm not hitting any big lows or highs (from too little insulin) following workouts very often anymore. If I know I'm going to be working out, I just reduce my mealtime bolus by half or more, and along with a temporary reduced basal rate, I usually stay pretty steady.

In other news, I was recently appointed Secretary for our local branch of JDRF! I was hesitant to take on the position when I was first asked since I've been so busy with my husband being gone, but after I was assured it wouldn't take much time I decided to go ahead and accept it. This position also means I'm officially a member of the Executive Committee, so I'll be representing my area (which currently doesn't have a lot of JDRF involvement) in decisions and development. I attended my first board meeting as Secretary last week, and it went very well. I love going to meetings because our board's excitement about the JDRF mission is contagious. Everyone I've met through my contact with the local branch has been amazing, and I'm truly lucky to know them. They are all so dedicated to finding a cure because each has been touched by T1D in one form or another. In the past year that I've been on the board, it's been awesome to see how much they've accomplished and I'm blessed to be a part of it all.

Finally, I wanted to share an exciting development in regards to the Artificial Pancreas Project. Our local JDRF Branch Manager talked with a JDRF staff member undergoing outpatient trials of the APP a couple of weeks ago, and now there's a video up explaining it all. For anyone who has been "out of the loop" (excuse my poor attempt at d-humor), the APP is an amazing new technological development for those of us with T1D. While it's not a cure, it will make our lives better and easier...a little more normal. Like I posted on my Facebook page this morning, normalcy is something you take for granted until it's gone. The hope for the APP is that it will allow technology (an insulin pump and CGM/Continuous Glucose Monitor) to make all of the minute diabetes management decisions for you, eliminating human error and keeping blood glucose numbers closer to normal. Results have been very encouraging thus far, so I'm hoping the FDA approval process goes smoothly and quickly!

Brobson Artificial Pancreas Trial