Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's Been A Long Time Since (You've) Seen (My) Face...

When I was thinking of a title for this post, I couldn't get this song out of my head:

I know it's been entirely too long since I've written, and all I can say in my defense is that I've been incredibly, incredibly busy and a lot of things have been going on in our lives.

First off, my husband got back around a month ago from working out of state and got to be home for three weeks, but then his brother's wife had their baby so he went back to run his crew while he took some time off. That was a little over two weeks ago, and even though I'm used to him being gone, it still isn't fun to see him go.

It usually isn't too bad once Baby Girl and I settle into our routine, but this time has been a little different. Instead of our usual staying at home during the day schedule, the first few days of last week I was a group leader at our church's VBS. I also had to fix a stopped up drain in the bathtub by myself, and have been washing curtains, miniblinds, and moving furniture and boxes (by myself) for the past two days in anticipation of our new windows that are being installed tomorrow. I was informed of this appointment on Saturday evening, and my husband isn't getting home until late, late tonight. All of that on top of trying to keep up with our little one, the house, and my work stuff hasn't been easy.

Besides the chaos, I've been in and out of doctors appointments trying to figure out what's going on with me lately. I've mentioned my anxiety issues before (which started with my Chiari flare-up around a year ago)...simply put, it's hard to tell when the physical feelings I'm experiencing are due to my diabetes (low blood sugar), the Chiari stuff, or anxiety. Some of the symptoms overlap, so it's basically a process of elimination. Add to that the fact that my husband has been gone for the better part of six months, and my anxiety quickly got out of hand. One ER visit, a Holter monitor test, and an echocardiogram later, the doctors haven't found any physical cause of my heart racing and palpitations. Everything has come back normal, so at this point we can safely attribute it all to anxiety...upwards of $2,500 in testing/visits later.

It's all been frustrating to say the least, and all I want is to feel better...normal. I've literally reached the point of being "sick and tired of being sick and tired." It seems like if it isn't one thing, it's another. My awesome doctor has been working diligently to balance my medications in order to gain control of my anxiety, so that's been a huge help. Since I was having actual panic attacks, I was taking a very small dose of Xanax whenever they would occur until the Celexa started to kick in. Since that failed to effectively manage my anxiety level, she upped the dose on my Celexa and prescribed me Buspar to replace the Xanax (not on an as-needed basis, of course, but as an additional means of eliminating the anxiety). With the addition of the Buspar, my anxiety has all but disappeared.  So basically, I'm taking a lot more medication than I'd like to be on, but I'm finally starting to feel human again.

Ideally, I would like to be medication-free, but obviously that isn't an option for someone that needs artificial insulin to survive. I'd at least like to get rid of my muscle relaxers for the Chiari and my anxiety medication, though. I discussed it all with my doctor keeping the future in mind, because I didn't want to be on something that would either be extremely hard to come off of or dangerous during pregnancy/breastfeeding later on. I'm by no means ready (physically or mentally) for another baby, but clearly I have to plan waaay in advance for those things!

Diabetes-wise, it's pretty much hit or miss it seems. I have some days or weeks that are really good, and some that I'd rather not think about. Highs frustrate me, but lows scare me. I've been very successful at avoiding the lows, but I still see more highs than I'd prefer to have. My next endo appointment is next month, so I'm interested to see how my A1c is. If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably going to be about the same as last time. I'm just hoping it's not worse. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't have to monitor something that their body does naturally, but it's unbelievably frustrating to try so hard and want so badly to have normal numbers and not get them. I'm also pretty self-sufficient when it comes to my diabetes management, but I think if my numbers aren't where I like them this go-around I'm going to enlist some professional help to see what I'm doing wrong. I think sometimes I just get in a rut and either miss things I could be doing; or the opposite, I start doing too much and screw everything up.  I know a lot of it can probably be attributed to the stress I've been dealing with, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept. If anything, that lack of control just adds to the stress.

More than anything, it all makes me want a cure that much more. At our last JDRF board meeting, we were shown this video: (for some reason, I couldn't find it on Blogger to embed, so you'll have to follow the link to watch it). It's so amazing to think that in the semi-near future, people with T1D will have the ability to wear a machine (insulin and glucagon pump + continuous glucose monitor) that automatically regulates their blood sugar. Obviously it's not a full-blown cure, but it is a dramatic, exciting leap in diabetes technology. In addition, there is also current research that is focusing on encapsulating functioning islet cells for implantation to replace the body's own nonfunctioning cells, which would be very close to a literal cure in my way of thinking. Either way, my biggest hope is that I'll be able to utilize these technologies in the near future to achieve a better level of control over this disease.

With that said, I better go put our puppy up for the night and get ready for bed! My husband just made it into town, so I think I'll spend some time with him rather than my usual Facebook =)


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