Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking for a Positive New Year

I'm praying all my medical issues showed themselves in 2014 and I'm done with them.
I'm more aware of how to do better with my diet and this will be the year I will
start to get myself to be the more active person I used to be just a short 18 months ago!

With arthritis (like everyone my age) and my back problems I guess 
I will just have to play through the pain!

I'm starting the new Year by joining "Silver Sneakers".

Here in Medina we have a wonderful Rec. Center that I have never taken advantage of.
Well, with a "Silver Sneakers" membership, all the senior activities are free.
(That's always good!)
So today, the last day of 2014 I went to the Center to look around and I signed up for my membership.  I also met two really nice ladies already.
That's a great part of this . . . socializing with people my own age.

There are so many activities for seniors.
Exercise classes, use of the pools, indoor track, exercise equipment and a senior walking club, senior yoga classes, senior lectures twice a month about all kinds of things and lunches. There's even ping pong and something called pickleball?

*So that is my plan for this new year to help me become more active and have more strength so I can get back on my horses and actually ride!!

What are your plans for the New Year?

Whatever they are, have a Healthy New Year.


Friday, December 5, 2014

A Hole In My Head!

Yes, it's official.  I have a hole in my head.
After removing the margins of the "thing" I had on my scalp, this is what I'm left with!
Stitches come out in 10 days.
Who knows how long before my hair grows back!
Well, it's winter.  I can wear a hat most of the time.

I'm not really a hat person.


Better with some hair showing I guess?

Oh Well . . .


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Update on Dermatology Visits

This sun bathing is not good!!
(and neither was that perm!!!)

When my husband Jack was alive, we had a house down in FL.  
It was on Anna Maria Is. on the Gulf, just across the street from the water!
I sold it after Jack died about 7-8 years ago.
We went down there sometimes a month at a time and back then, it was thought that it was really good looking to have a dark tan.
We were either on the beach or on the boat. IN THE SUN!
Now days, I look at people strangely that are really tan!!
It's not "in" anymore.
Mainly because of the education on the sun and skin cancer.
You never heard about that back when I was young!!
We slathered on oil to fry even darker!
I think the worst sunburn I ever had however was when I was in my early 30's and my two girl friends and I went to the Bahamas!
It was after my divorce from my first husband and was actually my first time flying!
Anyway, it was a short vacation package so we thought we had to get as tanned as we could in a very short time.
I looked like a boiled lobster!!
I could barely stand to wear clothes.
It was not attractive!
I learned a lot from that however!
But still didn't stay out of the sun, I just didn't use oil!
The real sun damage to you skin comes years later.
It starts showing up as just age spots, if you're lucky, or as skin cancer.
I, of course should have gone to the dermatologist a long time ago but waited till I thought I really could have a problem!!
And yes, all the "things" they removed and biopsied were either basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma.
Now more follow up treatments have to be done.
So, just saying, if your one who liked to tan or you see anything weird on your skin, go get a yearly dermatology exam.
I know, it's easy to just ignore, but don't be like me!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Anxiety and Aging

Until recently, it was thought that anxiety decreased with age.  However, mental health experts are altering their views.  
Aging brings added stress and anxiety because of increasing health problems, loses of loved ones, and other major life changes that build up as you get older.
The smallest things or thoughts can start anxiety and worry; sometimes, just life in general.

I know, my life has changed considerably.  I used to hardly worry at all.  
I had children and was working in a high stress job in the ER as a nurse never knowing what there was coming though the ER doors, you'd think those things would cause more anxiety and worry.
My mother, worried a lot, even when she was younger.
My anxiety and worry has definitely gotten worse in the past few years.
And with glitches in my health, my anxiety has sometimes hit the roof!

There's a lot of fears that are related to aging.  Fears of instability and falling causing debilitating injury.  Fears related to money issues, being victimized, being dependent on others and just feeling alone are a few.
If you are younger, there is no way you can fully understand these feelings.
You can't just stop worrying or stop being anxious.
I'm truly blessed and am so much more fortunate than some but still I have these anxieties.  Feeling on edge most of the time is not pleasant.
I've recently read up on Generalized Anxiety Disorder.(GAD)
Everyone feels these things once in awhile.
If you have 3-4 of these symptoms that last over 6 months, it could be GAD.
•Impaired sleep
•Problems concentrating
•Problems with memory and attention
•Muscle tension

All these can lead to limiting your daily activities and social interactions.
Increased isolation.
Losing interest in hobbies and pleasurable pastimes.
Reluctance to leave home.
Loss of self worth.

This all sounds "depressing", right!
I'm looking into ways to get more involved outside the home.
There's also treatments for GAD that don't involve medications.
There's a lot of good articles on line.
I'm going to read up on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
and maybe see a therapist.

I don't want to end up being a hermit in my house with my dogs, my cats and my chickens!!!
Let me hear from anyone having similar problems.
I know you're out there.
Us oldsters have to stick together!!!

Here are just a few of the links to go to for more information:

There's many more if you Google "Anxiety with aging" or something similar.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

That Scary Word

I went to the dermatology doctor again today to get results on the "thing" I had removed from my scalp last week.
Unfortunately it was basal cell carcinoma.
Now I will have to see the surgeon and have more tissue removed till they get clear edges.
It will be done under a local anesthetic on Dec. 1st.
I'm hoping that it doesn't involve shaving too much of my hair!!
I need it.
It's winter!!!
The Trillium Center is quite a place.  You can look it up on FB or their webpage.

I also had a complete dermatology body exam today.
That is interesting!
The doctor looks at every inch of your body that has skin on it with his big magnifying glasses!
I had 3 more things removed today!
I'm at the age that back when we were younger, we sun-bathed!
I laid out on the beach with oil on!!  Just frying and getting as tan as I could.
That was before all the sun precautions that there are now.
I have a lot of sun damage.
All those age spots . . . . Yep, gifts of the sun!
Time to pay up I guess!


Sunday, November 9, 2014


It seems as I age, I am becoming more and more inflexible.
It doesn't really bother me but it seems to irritate other people!
I realize that being somewhat inflexible has made my world a little smaller than it used to be.
That doesn't really bother me either!
I'm comfortable here.
It doesn't mean that I'm not doing things and moving around a lot.  I don't just sit and watch TV!  In fact, I watch very little TV.  I seem to find things around the house or running errands that keep me quite busy!
I don't really want to travel anymore.
Since I've been posting "Parts of My Life" on face book's Throwback Thursdays, even I am amazed at the things I've done and the places I've been!

I do seem to have to plan things more now however.

I'm not one to just pick up at the drop of a hat and go somewhere out of my comfort zone unless I plan for it at least a couple days beforehand!!
My plans for the day are written in my datebook and on the calendar on my iPhone.
My comfort zones consist of going to town and to the barn.
I know that does sound small but I do go other places too, but there's rules.
I have to plan ahead of time, I like to get started before noon and get back home before dark!
Boy, that does sound "old"!
Well, I have my dog to feed and my chickens to put away after-all!!!
Of course, unexpected things happen in life and we all have to adjust but, I'm saying, it's harder now than it used to be.


You can also find me on my main blog here:

And on Face Book here:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Imagination Running Wild

My imagination is so strong.
And it usually isn't imaging the best senario for things!!
Why is that??
Am I that negative??

Well, here's the most recent one.
I've had a growth on my scalp, under my hair for years.  Like it started at least 6-7 years ago.
This past year it has grown in size significantly and become painful.
My hair covered it, so it was easy to keep a secret.  Only my hairdresser had seen it!!
Why did I keep it a secret?  Well, because I was afraid it was something awful and I kept putting off showing the doctor.
I know he would've yelled at me for not showing him sooner.
I just avoided the whole thing and buried my head!
Dumb?  Yes!
Especially when you're a nurse!
Well, I finally admitted to myself that something had to be done.
I imagined that it was cancer and had probably invaded the skull, now giving me bone and brain cancer!
That's what imagination can do for you!!

I stressed so much about the appointment that was scheduled for today that I got a cold sore.
Stress induced!

I signed into the Dermatology clinic at 10:30am.
Saw the doctor who said,
"Oh, we'll just take that off right here and now."
He's pretty sure it is benign and it was removed with a local anesthetic in about 3 minutes!!!
Years of worry!!!
Fixed in 3 minutes.
No I don't have a picture of it because it was really horrible looking.
But it's all gone.
I go back next week for a whole Derm exam because I have moles and age spots and all those great aging things!
There's a lesson here somewhere!!!!!!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

A1c Results

I had my A1c drawn at my doctor's apt. on Monday.
I was anxious to see if I had changed my results with changing my diet.
My A1c that started this whole awareness 4 months ago was 6.2.
My doctor told me I was pre-diabetic.
Since it was in my genes, I wanted to stop it in it's tracks!!
I knew I was a 1st class, died in the wool, could eat a whole cake at a sitting,  carboholic!!
So I drastically changed my diet.
I did not cut out all sugar!  That, for me, would have been a sure plan for failure!
I've been writing down everything I've eaten since June and counting the carbs.
(The app, Calorie King is a great help with that.)
Reading, reading, reading labels!!!
I've tried to keep under 180 carbs a day.  Some days it was a little more and quite a few days I stayed under 160.
More importantly, as I found out later, is keeping each meal a more steady amount of 35- 45 carbs and then allowing low carb snack between meals.  I try to eat more carbs in the morning and less for supper and in the evening but that is hard.
I seem to be the most hungry in the evening.  I think, though it's because that's when I am finally sitting down and doing a lot less.
In August I decided to start testing my blood sugars to see exactly what foods affected my sugar the most so I got a meter and test strips and at first tested really often. 
 (Like 6-7 times a day.)
Fasting, in the morning, then 1 and 2 hours after each meal.  
I found out that my blood sugar had it's rise in one hour and was back down by 2 hours.
Other people may have a slower rise.  
So then I only checked randomly once or twice a day after breakfast and supper.
I found out that white bread was a bad culprit!
I never really had a spike over 157 and that was only twice.
I also read up on the good things that foods with a low or medium glycemic index can do.

Anyway, my new A1c level is 5.4!!!!!!

This new awareness can only be a good thing.  I am past that horrible craving for sugar all the time.
Yes, I do bend to the occasional big chocolate chip cookie from Panera or a cheesecake brownie from Starbucks.

But I at least only have just one!!
I read labels on everything and am trying to eat foods that are much less processed and mostly organic if I can.
So, it was a good thing that my elevated A1c was caught so early and yes, I believe you can stop or at least put off the development of type 2 diabetes.
I'm not a doctor, but I am a retired RN and you have to educate yourself about your health.
That's for sure!

It has certainly made me so much more aware and has made me educate myself much more on 
this ever increasing disease.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Where Are My Words??

One of most maddening things about aging is forgetfulness!
Especially when it comes to words.
It can happen mid-sentence.
Sometimes, I swear, I must sound like a real dolt!
The harder you try to remember a word you want to use, the further back it goes.
Where DOES it go!!
Do I have early dementia, am I getting Alzheimer's!
Every senior that is forgetful asks themselves those questions!
I don't think so.
Or else everyone I know would have them.
I'm not worried about it but it sure is frustrating.
Just saying!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Observations at Panera

I had lunch at Panera this afternoon, as I do about once a week.
I sat next to a table where a "little old lady" was sitting with a slightly heavyset older man.  
He had a tee shirt on that said something about rehab.
I had been up at the coffee bar waiting for this little lady to get done putting her cream in her coffee.  Everything was in slow motion.  She was only about 5 foot tall and all bent over.
She walked slowly to her seat and the server brought their food.  She said something to the man about how nice the bread looked.  I didn't hear him respond.  They sat there and ate with not a word uttered between them the entire time.
That's what amazed me.
I'd steal glances over at them.
Her posture was all bent over when sitting also, with a Dowagers Hump, a sign of sever osteoporosis.
She concentrated on her food and finished everything.
I was surprised when he evidently told her he wanted a refill on his drink.
I had thought all this time that he was taking care of her.
She slowly got up and went to the counter and got him a refill.
When they were done eating, she gathered her things and took them to the clean-up area.  He then pushed his tray to her so she would clean his place up too.
I was just really surprised.
Not at all the way I thought it would be.
She shuffled so slowly but got it done.
However when they were ready to leave, he turned and pulled out a walker that had been out of sight on the other side between a couple chairs.
He opened it up, stood with some difficulty and using it, he shuffled out the door.  As she was getting up, she caught my eye and sort of shrugged.

I would've loved to sit and talk with her awhile but of course that wasn't possible and I would've never intruded.  She might have liked to have someone to talk too.

Strange and sometimes sad how life is.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Aging, Such a Joy!

Yes, of course, I'm thankful that I am aging instead of the alternative but "Oh, My", some days!!
I think I have been doing really well on watching and changing my diet though.
I have not had one huge spike in blood sugar the whole time I've been testing.
In fact, nothing really out of the ordinary!
I'll be anxious to see what my next A1c is next month.

OK . . . . The Aging thing!

I hope there's other seniors out there reading my blogs on-line and plodding along with me!
Please feel free to comment if anything looks familiar!
Or if you have any suggestions!

I finally let the color grow out of my hair!
After the bad winter I had with hospitalizations and surgeries, I thought, 
"What the heck am I coloring my hair blond for!
Nobody thinks I'm 30 or 40 anymore!
So I got it cut short and that took care of most of the color.
I'm pleased that it has come in nice and white.
I have colored my hair since I was 20!!
I didn't even know what stages of color my real hair went through!!
I still have 5 boxes of Clairol and L'oreal hair color upstairs.
I'd buy it when I had coupons or when it was on sale.
I guess I'll take them to GoodWill.  They are fairly new and still sealed.

Here I am with my son's two.  My grandkids.  They are 5 and 7.
I surprised everyone and actually went in their pool on Saturday!!
Of course, no bathing suit!!  NOOOOOOO!!!!
Just a tee shirt and clam diggers!

I got a pedometer for myself to see how many steps I take most days.  I was just curious and read it is good for your heart to do 10,000 steps a day.  Well, I haven't ever even reached over 7000, and that was only once.  It's usually around 5000.  Even on slow rainy days I make sure I'm over the 3000 step  "sedentary" mark by going to Target or someplace and walk around.
It helps me to have a basket to push so I don't weave all over.  I swear I can't walk straight anymore.  What is that!!!  I remember my mother used to say that.
OMG, I am my mother  : ))
(Bless her heart!)


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Emotional Stages of Diagnosis in Diabetes

I read an article in "DiabetesForecast"  (It's free and is put out by the Diabetes Assoc.)  
It was about stages of emotional changes after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 
or pre-diabetes.
I think I have almost gone through them all pretty quickly!!

It states it pretty clear in this article too.

The stages turn out to be the same as the stages of grief.

(This is me)  
1.  Denial:  They must've mixed me up with someone else!  I'm thin and                                                        fairly active and I'm not overly thirsty or peeing all the time!!!
2.  Anger:  Well, damn, why did this happen now!  I'm just getting over my                                                   belly problems and dealing with back and arthritis problems!  It's                                                 not fair! 
3.  Bargaining:  OK, I'll watch my diet a little.  If I do good, maybe this will                                                        just go away.  If I just eat this much now, maybe I can have                                                        all that cake and ice cream later before bed!
 4.  Depression:  This is what I've got to do???  Watch what I eat all the time!                                                         Eating was a big pleasure of mine and I love carbs!                                                                     This isn't fair.  I'm 72 and deserve to enjoy my life.  
                          Poor me, poor me.                                                           
 5.  Acceptance:  (I'm working on this one!)  I can do it.  I'll be healthier.

                                                       Things I've found out so far:
•Body size and weight is only one of the predisposing factors in Diabetes Type 2.
Genes can play a factor too.  Oh, I have that!
•Exercise helps your body use excess sugar in your blood.
•Pre-diabetes is just diabetes caught very early.
•If you do something about it right away you have a better chance of avoiding any bad       complications of the disease.  And I don't want them!
•Count and limit carbs in each meal, not so much to count the grand total for the day.
•Start monitoring your blood sugar to find out what foods and how much would make you have a spike.  Keep a food and blood meter journal.  Record how you feel physically and mentally, etc.
•Your primary doctor basically, at this stage, orders blood work, tells you about it and writes Rx's if needed.  Other than that, you're pretty much on your own to track down info.  I have to say that my doctor brought in a dietician/nutritionist that was also diabetic to give a talk.  That was very helpful.

So here I am trying to make my way though this and other ailments I haven't mentioned in this post.  Aging can be the pits sometimes but I'm probably, now, not that different from other 72 year olds.  Just the names of ailments change!!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Diabetes and Other Assorted Problems

My first blog about diabetes was written a few days ago.
It is on my regular main blog here:  
I think I figured out how to start a separate blog so this is sort of a test.
I didn't want to write about health problems on my regular blog as I know it's sort of boring for people to read it if they don't have the same problems.
So this blog will be about numerous health issues and aging but mainly diabetes type 2.
I would like to hear from anyone with the same condition and about their everyday experiences with it.
I'm new at this diabetes thing and was only diagnosed about three months ago.
So I'm not writing this blog as any kind of an expert.
I'm and RN but retired a long time ago
I'm 72!

Here is my first blog I wrote a few days ago.
Here is a copy of that post.

They call it Pre-Diabetes
I found out a couple months ago that I'm what they are calling "pre-diabetic".
Since then I've found out that it just means that the diabetes was detected in an early phase.
I always thought to myself that I would never be surprised if I got it as it is in my genes on my mother's side.  My aunt and my grandmother both had type 2 diabetes.
But, you know, I am sort of surprised.  Mostly because I've always been thin and pretty active.
Obviously, that doesn't always matter!
I didn't have the signs I always associated with diabetes; thirst and frequent urination.
But I did have other signs that I tried to ignore.
Fatigue, hunger, tingling in hands and feet and at times, blurred vision!
Since I knew I was and probably have always been, addicted to sweets, I started counting carbs!
That is very hard for me, let me tell you.
The only way I could do it successfully is to write down every morsel that I eat and the carb. content.
After 2 months, it became a little easier and I am aware of the carb grams in many things that I eat.
I try to keep it under 180 per day but it was hard.  I want to make it below 150.
Now I read that that's the wrong way to do it.  You can't play around with the count so you end up at a certain number.  You can't eat nothing for lunch and save the grams for a big bedtime snack.  NUTS!
It's better to eat at an even level all day.
I'm also learning how the glycemic index of things comes into play.
This past week I've started testing my numbers with finger sticks and a meter.

This is a hell of a lot to learn and change at 72!  That's for sure.
I denied it at first, then was angry and now I'm rather depressed the more I read!!
But I'm always HUNGRY!!!!

Please, I'd appreciate any thoughts and help from you people in my blogging world that have type 2.
My A1c was 6.2 by the way.

I'll be writing more shortly.