So I’m diabetic now

I think it was 10 years ago when my doctor warned that I was pre-diabetic, and he gave me a glucose meter and my numbers went down because I basically cut out all the sweets and only ate vegetables and meat, no bread or carbs. Eventually after a few months of having good numbers on the meter, he told me I’m cleared and I don’t need to worry about it anymore as long as I continued to eat healthy. He didn’t prescribe test strips.

They tested my glucose in June of this year and it was 373. Yikes! My doctor prescribed Metformin HCL ER 750 MG tablets and I have taken it every day like I was supposed to for 3 months. I’ve cut back significantly on sugar and have eaten basically nothing but salads for dinner for 3 months. They tested my glucose again in September and it had dropped down to 228, still yikes. But the day of our appointment which was a week later, it had gone back up to 391. YIKES!!!! She thought the Metformin would help, but apparently not, so she prescribed Trijardy XR 25-5-1000 MG tablets.

Today I finally got the new medicine and the new glucose machine. It’s a True Metrix self monitoring blood glucose meter and it only came with 10 testing strips and 10 lancests, and I don’t know why they didn’t give me any more than that, but whatever. My life partner has the same machine and he buys testing strips from Amazon, so he gave me some of his for when I run out of mine in 3 days lol.

I tested my blood when we came home from the pharmacy, which was a little after 3pm and my blood sugar was 242. I took a Trijardy. Then I ate dinner at 6pm and did the test about 10 minutes later and it had dropped down to 147. So apparently the new medicine is going to help. I wonder what the side effects will be lol. Joking aside, I’m glad my blood sugar has gone down significantly.

Now that I know I have an issue with my blood sugar, I will slow my roll on junk food and try to eat healthier from now on. It’s hard because I REALLY love junk lol. I am a 50 year old man, I need to grow up and stop acting like a child who thinks he can eat anything he wants. I don’t have a grown up to tell me to eat my vegetables and that cookies and ice cream will spoil my dinner.

Actually, my life partner has told me you’ll spoil your lunch or dinner and I laugh because whenever I do eat lunch or dinner, it’s never enough and I’m still hungry. Perhaps if I filled my stomach with vegetables, which from what I understand breaks down slower in your stomach, which makes you feel full longer, then I might not be so hungry all the time.

I downloaded the True Metrix app called True Manager. I don’t have the True Metrix Air which apparently connects to the app with Bluetooth, but I can manually enter the data. I hope my blood sugar drops down to a normal range and stays that way. I will know on the app since it has a log and it tells me my average based on my log entries. They told me to do the blood test in the morning on an empty stomach, and then again after dinner.

My Leg is Healed

I had a doctor’s appointment for my broken leg. They took new x-rays, which to me looked exactly the same as the one from my last visit, so I didn’t bother to take a new picture. The doctor was shocked to see that I was walking on my own since the last time he saw me I was still using the wheelchair. I was using a cane, and he told me that he’d like to wean me off the cane, at which time I showed him that I could walk without the cane. I told him I only use it when we go out in public if I’m having pain and limping a lot because it hides and explains my limp to people. He said perfect, don’t use it if you don’t need it.

So I took a new picture of my scar to show that it’s almost disappearing. It’s flat, not bumpy. I’m sure it will eventually disappear, even though I would love for it to stay. I know that sounds odd, but I like it lol. It’s like a battle scar, like a trophy. I show it off to anyone who will look. Of course it helps if I wear shorts, or sweat pants so I can lift the leg.

The doctor told me that he is sending me back to physical therapy, which is awesome because I miss going there. He also wants to see me in 3 months for my final visit. I wanted to ask for a new prescription of my pain meds because it still hurts. It hurts when it’s cold outside, but it also hurts like the dickens when I wake up in the morning. You know how when you wake up and your body stretches all the limbs? Yeah, that hurts lol.

2 Months

It has been 2 months since I broke my leg and had surgery. The picture on the left was taken last month  on 1/20/2016 and the one on the right was just taken on 2/18/2016. I wanted to show how it’s healing.

My leg still hurts from time to time if I twist my leg at the knee, but that’s about it. My partner was giving them to me every 4 hours like clockwork for the first month because he didn’t want me to be in any pain, which I appreciate. After so much time had passed, I guess he just forgot to give me the pills unless I asked for one. But that’s a good thing because I should only be taking them when I actually need them. They are so expensive that I’d rather only take them when I actually need them.

I go to Physical Therapy 3 days a week and that has helped a lot. I went to Physical Therapy at a place only a block away on the same street a couple of years ago for my back when I found out that I had scoliosis, and I didn’t like going there. I’m HIV+ and they didn’t want me to be in the open room with the rest of their clients, so they put me in a room by myself, which was very awkward because I had to ring a bell when I was done with my exercises and wait for the guy to come give me the tool for the next exercise. I didn’t tell this place that I am HIV+ because it’s not relevant. I’m not going to bleed or ejaculate on anything, so there’s no reason for them to fear me. That other place told me that they want to put me in a room by myself because they don’t want me to catch a cold from one of the other clients, but I’ve been going to PT at this new place for at least a month and I haven’t gotten since yet, and yes, there have been clients who were sick and I never caught their cold.

My doctor told me that I can put pressure on it in between the middle of March until the beginning of April. I wonder if I will replace the crutches with a cane by then. I sure do hope so. I am so sick of crutches. I will blog about that when that time comes.

I cut my finger

wpid-20151117_165457_3rd-st.jpg.jpeg

I have an oopsie whoopsie lol. Last Monday I came home from the gym and I was making a protein shake. I have whole strawberries in the freezer that I put there to prevent them from going bad, but I forgot to remove the stems. So I was cutting the frozen stem off by flicking it with a steak knife. It wasn’t working, so I tried to gently push the steak knife into the side of the stem, and I guess I don’t know my own strength because it went right through the strawberry and an inch of the steak knife penetrated into my finger. Continue reading “I cut my finger”

Noom Week 1 Weigh In

Screenshot_2015-02-01-11-16-01

Today was my first weigh in for week 1. I restarted my weight loss program with Noom less than a week ago, but for some reason, Noom wants me to weigh in twice a week and today was the first weigh in. I started out at 238 and today I was 234.6. I was actually 240 before I began my weight loss program, but I had already dropped 2lbs by the time I started, but I can’t count that. So as it stands I have lost 3.4lbs.

That’s good enough as far as I am concerned. You are only supposed to lose 2lbs a week, so I’m happy with 3.4lbs. I have been dieting and exercising, except yesterday I didn’t because I follow a routine now. I eat lunch at 12, then wait about half an hour before getting on the bicycle, then I try to be finished by 1:45 so I can get in the shower so I can watch tv with my partner. He likes to watch TV with me from 2pm to 5pm because that gives us time together. If we don’t, then we never see each other because of my video game addiction lol. So there is a reason for a routine.

My nutritionist wants me to follow a specific diet where my plate has 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch and 1/2 vegetables. Here are the papers she gave me which shows the plate planner, and breakfast, lunch and dinner.

plate plannerplate planner1

They don’t seem to be too bad. They are actually what SparkPeople wanted me to do, but the thing is, sometimes I don’t want to eat a specific thing. I usually only eat a Weight Watchers frozen dinner which is green in the Noom app. Hey, I lost 70lbs with the weight watchers frozen dinners, so how can I go wrong?

I will do my best to eat a healthy diet, but I can’t promise I will be able to fill a plate since I usually just eat my food from a bowl. If I eat pasta or rice and meat and vegetables, I usually mix the entire amount and eat it in a bowl. I find it better to combine everything because it puts sauce on the veggies so I don’t have to use margarine or butter. Oh and I asked her about that, and she told me to use lemon in place of butter. I haven’t tried that yet, but I have a feeling it isn’t going to be the same thing lol.

Well, I can’t promise I will eat a 3 or 4 course meal, but I will promise to do the best that I can with what I can actually afford on my disability checks. So far the best option for me is 1 weight watchers frozen dinner for $2 at Food Maxx. It fills me up and it isn’t expensive.

I don’t know if I will continue to update my blog every week like I did 2 years ago.

Sleep Apnea

bipap machine

My aunt in Simi Valley and my other aunt who lived in Palmdale at the time (2002 – 2004) both told me when I visited them that I gasped for air in my sleep and that I snored REALLY loud. I never took the snoring issue seriously because I’ve always snored loud, at least that’s what people always tell me. I remember when I was 19 and lived with my sister and her husband in Tujunga and I fell asleep on the floor while watching TV and my snoring actually woke me up lol.

When we lived in the little house next door in 2004, I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air. Not like a little gasp and being able to breathe like normal, I mean I was choking and I could not get any air at all. It was frightening, to put it mildly. Just imagine not being able to breathe for several minutes and feeling like you’re going to die soon. What happened was, when I was sleeping, my airway would close, causing me to not be able to breathe. Try as I might, I could not get any air. I would even vomit during this. Vomit was able to leave my mouth, but then my airway would close up again. Eventually the airway would open and I could breathe, and then I would have really bad acid reflux. My doctor gave me a inhaler, and that would help until I could get a sleep study referral, which took a long time to get.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2005. They told me at the sleep study that I would stop breathing for 25 seconds, then breathe for 35 seconds (or maybe it was the other way around) and this went on every minute. I don’t recall if they told me that I gasped for air or not during the sleep study, but I’m sure I did. Thankfully I didn’t vomit lol.

I received my BiPap machine in September 2005 and I used it faithfully every night until 2013 when I lost 70lbs. I was told that if I lost enough weight, I wouldn’t have sleep apnea anymore, and for the last 18 months I didn’t. The last week I’ve had to start using my machine again because I would wake up in the middle of the night with really bad acid reflux, which is always an indication that I need to use my BiPap machine.

One of the concerns I have is that if I don’t use my machine, I could die of a heart attack or stroke in my sleep. My mother was overweight and she died of a heart attack in her sleep. I don’t know if she had sleep apnea, but I do remember that she snored really loud, so I am only assuming that she did, and that was how she died. I was told that sleep apnea is genetic, and that the reason I got it was because a family member had it. My aunt in Palmdale moved to Texas and was also diagnosed with sleep apnea. She and my mother have the same father, but different mothers, so perhaps this was bestowed upon us by my grandfather, who also gave me the gift of male pattern baldness lol. I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and every time I look at it in the mirror, I see him and it makes me smile because I loved him.

So I called Monitor Medical today and told them that I was using my machine again, and they made a note in my chart. I would really hate to leave this world and leave my partner because I was dumb enough to stop using my BiPap machine. It’s very irresponsible of me! I hate that I have to use it, but it keeps me alive. I would love to go back to losing weight, but it will happen if it is meant to be. In the meantime, I was continue to use my machine until I don’t have to use it again, but honestly, this is probably going to be with me until the day I die.

If you or someone you know has really bad snoring issues and they might gasp for air, tell them to get to their doctor for a referral for a sleep study. Sleep apnea is a matter of life and death, so when you see someone snoring, don’t laugh at them or ignore the problem, tell them to get to a doctor stat! You will thank me later.

Oh and by the way, the machine at the top, that is a stock photo, but it is the machine that I have. And in case you are wondering about CPAP vs BIPAP, the CPAP uses one pressure and the BiPAP uses two. These two pressures are called inhalation pressure (IPAP) and the exhalation pressure (EPAP). Everyone I have spoken to who has sleep apnea uses a CPAP and they tell me they’ve never even heard of BiPap before. So now you know.

The nerve of some people

nerves-facial-morris

The subject of this blog is not a complaint about someone’s character, rather a discussion on nerves, more particularly the nerves in my face since my Parotidectomy surgery in November.

You can read the details of my surgery in the link in the previous paragraph, or I can give you the cliff notes version.  I had a stone growing in my saliva gland and it had to be removed because it was causing a massive amount of pain.  It was removed by a surgeon at the Kern Medical Center on November 20th 2013.  It left me with a huge scar and a golf ball sized chunk taken out of my face.  It has been numb ever since, but the feeling is coming back, more importantly pain is coming back.

You see all those nerves in the diagram above?  Everything is connected.  Even though most of my face is numb, I can feel electrical impulses when I touch certain parts of my face.  If I touch my jaw line near my chin, I can feel electrical impulses in my earlobe.  If I touch anywhere near the incision area, I can also feel it all the way up my ear.  If I touch my earlobe, I can feel it in the spot on my jaw line near my chin from before.  There are certain areas that even the slightest touch can cause pain from the electrical impulses.  Even blowing on my skin can cause the feeling and possibly pain.

I’m not bothered by it as much as I probably should be because I know that my face is still healing.  The numbness is still there, but it is going away.  It’s like that pins and needles feeling you get when you sit on your foot for too long and your foot goes numb and then you get the pins and needles, although the pins and needles only shows up when I touch my face, and it doesn’t show up in the exact spot that I touch.  It’s a very strange feeling, but I am getting used to it.

The other day my partner touched my face and I recoiled in pain and he was a bit shocked at my overreaction, but he didn’t understand what I am feeling.  Heck, I didn’t quite understand it until now.

My last appointment with the surgeon at KMC was yesterday and he told me that there are more stones growing in the saliva gland on the left side of my face so eventually that will need to be taken care of like the right side, but that may take years to happen.  I am not going to worry about that until the pain comes from that.

Speaking of pain from nerves, am I having massive tooth pain and need to visit the dentist in May when my dental insurance kicks in again.  Right now all they will cover is emergency extractions and right now I am having an emergency in 3 or 4 teeth and I would much rather have fillings than more extractions.  I am using a sensitive toothpaste, but it doesn’t seem to be helping me very much.  I’ve flossed and flossed and that only makes it worse and my teeth are so jagged that they cut the floss in half and I can never get the floss out of between my teeth.  The Listerine helps numb the pain when I finish brushing, and sometimes I just swish with it just to numb the pain 3 or 4 times per day.

It seems I am always in pain.  I feel like I was the worst person in the history of humanity in a previous lifetime and I am paying for the bad karma in this lifetime.  I sometimes feel like I am earning some of my karma back by being a good person, but it doesn’t help at all.  I wonder who I was and what I did to deserve this.  Oh well, it doesn’t do any good dwelling on the past, especially a past I don’t have any memory of.

Anyway, I am looking forward for my next round of pain to end at least before my birthday lol.

Until next time…

New problem seems to be no problem

I mentioned in a previous post that I was having complications from my recent surgery to remove my parotid gland. The problem was that I am still generating new saliva which is causing some pain when it fills up too much and because it doesn’t drain into my mouth, but instead my neck.

I have an update on the issue. It doesn’t seem to be getting too big and I can feel it drain on its own without me having to push on it to milk it, for the lack of a better word. How it does it is very strange, it feels like sweat is running down my face along the scar along my ear. Although I am not positive that that is what it is, that could just be my scar tingling as it has been doing. I am feeling it right now as I type this because I just ate a bowl of cereal which generated some saliva in the gland.

I actually don’t know where the saliva would drain from that gland.  When I have pushed on it before, I feel a vein bulge inside of my mouth which is near where the parotid gland used to be in front of my earlobe, so it is possible that there is a vein, or tube or whatever you want to call it that allows the saliva to travel to reach its destination to release somewhere.  Perhaps that was releasing into my parotid gland which would release into my mouth, or perhaps it had a tube in common with the parotid gland, which is now gone since the parotid gland is gone.

So I don’t think that I have much to worry about. It seems to be correcting itself, despite how freaking strange it feels lol.

december 18 2013 When I look into a mirror I don’t even notice it much anymore. I mean, I see a little lump, but it looks normal considering there is still a hole beside it. The hole isn’t even that noticeable anymore. I mean, when I look at it in the mirror with a shadow on it, it’s very noticeable, but I just took a picture using the flash and you can barely see it. All you can really see is the scar, which seems to stand out along my neck. When I touch it with my fingers I can still feel a hole, but it does seem to be filling in.  When you look at the image to the left you can definitely see where the saliva is filling up in the saliva gland which has no exit into my mouth, but instead in my neck.  It’s that little marble sized ball.

I will definitely be speaking to my doctor about what is happening because he told me that there was a collection of “spit” (his words) that has collected and it will be absorbed into my body, but it’s nothing to worry about.  The very fact that it is still collecting, or generating new “spit” that is draining into my neck seems like it should be something that I should worry about, but I am sure it is hardly a problem considering if it were draining into my mouth, I would end up swallowing it, so it ends up being absorbed into my body regardless of how or where it drains, so again, I don’t see that much of a problem.

So that seems to be it for now.  My appointment with the surgeon isn’t until March, but my next appointment with my regular doctor is in January. I will mention it to both doctors and if it is an issue then I will post another update, otherwise I don’t see much of a reason to add another update on this because it doesn’t seem to be causing as much of a problem.

Parotidectomy Surgery Complications

glands

It has been 3 weeks since I had my surgery and everything seems to be healing well.  My scar isn’t red and it isn’t too noticeable, except for the scar from the hole from where the tube was draining the fluid for 2 weeks which is quite visible, but disappears with a Band-Aid.

My face and ear are still numb, although the feeling is coming back slowly, but it is coming back.  But it still feels very strange.

The only thing that seems to have gone wrong is that I still have a saliva gland that seems to still be producing saliva with nowhere to go.  According to the image, there are three glands.  Parotid, which was removed, Submandibular and Sublingual.  The Sublingual gland is under the tongue, no problem.  The gland that is still producing saliva is my Submandibular gland which is below where the Parotid gland used to be.  It is still producing saliva, but it is not releasing into my mouth.  Instead of releasing into my mouth, it stores the saliva.

This is a really big issue because that is what my Parotid gland was doing.  It wasn’t releasing the saliva, so I was having to push (or milk) it out of the gland and into my mouth.  I have been trying to do that with this gland, but it is not releasing into my mouth, instead, I can feel it releasing under my skin.  I can tell because it tingles.  I don’t want it to release saliva inside of my body, but if it doesn’t get milked, it just gets bigger and bigger and next thing you know I will be rushed to the emergency room because of how painful it is.

The surgeon told me when I came back last week to have the tube removed that it was just some saliva that will be absorbed by my body, but I had no idea it was still producing more saliva.  I only know it is producing more saliva because I could feel it getting bigger and under more pressure when I ate some chocolate the other day.  Sweet and tangy are what seem to generate a lot of saliva for me, which over the years has been a major issue for me because when I start generating a lot of saliva after drinking orange juice, my saliva gland would get backed up and it wouldn’t release the saliva into my mouth.  That’s what I was trying to get surgery for, forget the stone, I want my saliva to be able to release into my mouth as it normally would without me having to milk it.

I can live without orange juice, which I have lived without for years because I know that sour causes this issue.  The one thing I don’t think I can live without is sweet, because I have a sweet tooth.  I love sweet flavors, such as sweet tea, or sweet coffee, or sweet oatmeal.  I can live without chocolate and cookies and so on, but I can’t avoid other sweet flavors because there is almost always something sweet.

My next appointment with the surgeon isn’t until March, but my next appointment with my regular doctor is next month and he will advise me on what to do.  I just hope by then it isn’t too painful.

I was hoping that my last post on this issue was my very last post.  I guess I jinxed myself by saying it was my last post.  This seems to be a pattern with me though.  I say I will never have to worry about something again, but then it comes back and I have to worry about it some more.  It’s a “if it can go wrong, it will” type of thing.  Murphy’s Law.  Why does Murphy seem to always be hiding in the shadows cursing me?  Darn you Murphy!

I will certainly update this issue if it becomes too unbearable and I end up in the ER or when I see my doctor in January, whichever comes first.

No More Tube!

tube removed december 6th

We went to the surgery clinic at Kern Medical Center today to have the tube removed from my neck.  It would have been removed last week if it weren’t for the fact that my surgeon is only there on Fridays, and that was the day after Thanksgiving.  I honestly did not mind having the tube for that extra week because there was still more fluids draining, so I feel the extra week was warranted.

I don’t have very much swelling anymore, thank goodness.  When I did have swelling, it felt like my stitches were going to pop so I used ice to help bring the swelling down.  I think the swelling was what hurt the most, besides of course having a tube inside my neck, which hurt like hell every time I accidentally yanked on it.

Without me even having to ask, my surgeon Dr. Trang told me that they tested the stone that was in my parotid gland and they did not find any traces of cancer.  I didn’t think there would be, but it’s good to know that there isn’t cancer anyway.  I do have more stones growing in my left parotid gland, so there is a good chance that I will have to go through this all over again in a few years.  Hopefully not, but if it happens then it happens.

You can’t even see the stitches along my ear, but you can see it behind my ear and along my neck.  You can’t see my neck in the picture above, but it’s there.  I’m not too worried about scarring.  If I have a bad scar then I will buy some scar cream, if I don’t have a scar then yea for me lol.  It really doesn’t phase me one way or the other.  I’m just glad I don’t have a stone in my parotid gland, well, I don’t have a parotid gland anymore either.

There is a mushy lump on my face down near my jaw near my ear, but Dr. Trang told me that it is just saliva that has collected in that spot and it should absorb into my body.  It will go away on its own.

The thing that I am most happy about is that it is all finished and I can move on with my life pain-free, well, until my back starts hurting again, or some other thing causes issues lol.  I know it’s going to happen, it always does.  You know the saying, if it isn’t one thing, it’s another.  That’s how life is for me.  It sucks, but I think it is why I am such a patient person.  That has too meanings lol.  Get it?  I’m patient as in not impatient and I am a patient as in going to the doctor’s office lol.  I thought it was funny.

If you have no clue what I am talking about, please read this post: Parotidectomy Surgery

Anyway, this is hopefully the last thing I have to say about this issue.  It’s all good!