2023. The year To Make Changes

I have had to reckon with a lot of things in a short amount of time. I am kinda lost at the moment. My emotions and my diabetes have gone off the rails. I am in post menopause. I am still struggling with my identity. The new drug is really good for me but it’s far from a cure. I am looking at adopting a cat that may outlive me. I have no motivation to do anything. I started working out again. I am needing more insulin than normal. My lungs haven’t been great this year. I worry about my parents everyday. I worry about Cali everyday. So all that being said, let’s focus on what I can control.

I have had to take a deep dive in learning my body better in regards to my diabetes. I think the shift from peri-menopause and post menopause created some issues hormonally. My sugars WERE going way too high and way too low. So I had to start testing better and changing some of my bad eating habits for smarter ones. It has taken 22 days to finally get to a more acceptable and controlled level of my diabetes. It has been difficult to say the least. Breaking habits I have had for 50 years, cold Turkey, is a lot of work and commitment. I have been angry that I have to censor what I am going to eat. The only pro about CF was being able to eat whatever the hell I want. I realize that eating garbage was not ideal but it was my comfort/rebellion with my disease.

This is really bad uncontrolled diabetes for me.

The effect that insulin has on me in conjunction with the hot flashes has been no bueno!. I am grateful to be old enough to go through menopause but mentally I’m not really ready to be right in the thick of it. For the first time in my life I feel old. But…I can finally say that for the first time in several months that I am no longer going low overnight. What does that mean? Well it means that my body goes into overdrive trying to find insulin to balance out my sugars. Lows are extremely bad for diabetics. Lows lead to comas. Many diabetics can go into a coma while they sleep. Normally the body WILL wake you up when it’s getting low and demand sugar immediately. I dealt with that for years while I went undiagnosed as a diabetic. I always had a chocolate bar or jelly beans in my nightstand. This last batch of lows were not waking me up but my body would continue to go lower. The only reason I knew I was low was because I was testing myself in the middle of the night.

This is dreadful

Now I have adjusted a lot of moving parts in my day to prevent any lows overnight. I have had 17 nights in a row with no lows. THAT IS A BIG DEAL. I also invested in the new Libre Freestyle sensor 2. It costs $200 and is NOT covered by any health care plans but it is very effective. The needle that goes into your body is constantly measuring your blood glucose, that sensor then sends the info to my phone. The sensor will then send an alarm to my phone letting me know if I am going too high or too low in enough time to correct the situation. So it is crucial in stabilizing my diabetes but I cannot afford $400 a month to use it regularly. Our government health plan stinks for those of us without employer health care. So that is beyond frustrating for me. So any single men in Canada out there want to add me to your plan- send DM’s?, just kidding but not really.

Starting to get back on track

I know that it is a privilege to grow old. I was never meant to grow old. I was planning on cramming a good 30 years full of everything I could do and then die. Now I am 50 and a half. Yes, I have lived a very blessed life despite all of my never ending challenges but I’m not out of the woods. I still have a lung transplant to face. My body will not be able to sustain a 30% lung function indefinitely. Talking to my doc yesterday about getting a CT scan of my noodle and he says, “make sure you drink a huge amount of water beforehand” and I say, “ok, why?” And he continues to tell me that I need to protect my kidneys as best as I can before transplant and the dye they use for the CT is very harmful to the kidneys. When he mentioned transplant, I was jolted back into reality. This miracle drug is not the end of this chapter. I will need a double lung transplant in the future. How soon, depends on God. In the meantime I rejoin regular life scheduling.

With me aging, comes the aging of my parents. I am so glad that my parents were young when they had me and my brother. I feel like I get extra time with them as they head into their golden years. But with this comes certain facts. The body breaks down for everyone. How badly it breaks down is a mystery. Mom and Dad have had their fair share of issues but now I see them getting older. I didn’t really see them as old before. And now it’s happening. Time is a thief. I never planned on outliving my parents, so I have never reconciled with that idea. It’s another reason why I feel so lost. I do know that I will be there for all the doctors appointments and procedures so that I know what is going on and not relying on them to tell me some puffed up version.

As for Cali, she is 11 years old and 5 months. She has had 2 knees replaced. She has copper storage disease (like Wilson’s disease for humans) and has some weight to lose. She has some significant hind-end weakness that I am currently addressing with Physio and underwater treadmill. We also have several types of exercises to do at home. It is helping but we are a ways off. I worry about her everyday. I am still making her food and she takes 4 different supplements/drugs to help keep her liver from cirrhosis from the copper storage disease. I will tell every one of my pet parents out there, Get some pet insurance. Even though I am paying $260 a month for the premiums I am saving almost $1800 with her treadmill, Physio and meds. I guarantee you, will more than, make up the premiums. With the advancements in animal healthcare you are quite likely able to successfully treat a lot of old age issues and cancer with current treatment options. You no longer have to put them down. I am happy to send you a referral link from Trupanion. I’d get a credit to my account and you get a couple months free. Hit me up if interested.

Ok so on to the good stuff. I have been fostering cats for 3 months now. I have successfully sent 3 cats onto their forever homes. My current kitty, Care Blair, is a 2 year old domestic long hair tuxedo cat. He has a very fun and unique personality. He loves to be held like a baby, he plays with Cali’s balls, he talks like chewbacca, he likes to just watch the situation around him. He has begun to sleep at the foot of my bed for part of the night. He gets the zoomies every morning and evening after his meals. He runs around upstairs going from window to window to window. I have a camera set up and am constantly entertained watching him throw his own party.

I have to make a decision this week on whether I am keeping him for myself. I am pretty confident that he will join my family. If I do adopt him, I think I will change his name to Joey, in honour of my sweet Josephine who entered the gates of Heaven 8 weeks ago. Cali and Blair are friends by distance. They are fine to walk by each other and they nap quite close to each other but snuggles and playing are still to come. I believe they will be the best of friends. My challenge is turning Blair into a pseudo-dog and take him camping.

Cats are so very different than dogs and I have had a crash course in cat education. Did you know that the only reason adult cats meow is to communicate with humans? You will never see them meow at each other. They also like their water away from their food dishes. They have a whole book on the language of the cat tail. Cats are crepuscular which means they are most active a few hours before dawn and dusk. Fascinating stuff out there! I am enjoying learning. The one and only downside is digging around in a poop box everyday. I put my mask and gloves on like I’m going into surgery. It really is disgusting and yes I get that I pick up piping hot dog poo but this just feels like I am rooting around in a toilet. Which, frankly, I am. Finding the right litter is key here.

I’ve resumed a pretty intense workout routine this year. I really love rowing. So far this year I have rowed 47km. Pretty good stuff. I am counting down the days to camping season. April 1st cannot come any sooner. Booked the whole month of April because 1. Weather is normally cool but pleasant and 2. Is super cheap with full service. 3. It’s like adult camp and a break from the mundane.

Finally, I went on Safari with my brother in Africa…virtually of course. Every morning I would get a batch of amazing photos that he took. He really gave me the feeling of traveling with him. It was so much fun. I had to google his trip and follow along. Here are some of my faves.

So until next week, be kind to yourself and go ahead and make someone smile.

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