MY Health Journey – One Year And Counting

It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago this month I received the final kick up the butt I needed to make healthy changes to my life.  Last December my A1C was 7.2 and the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication to control my diabetes.  As I had already been on Metformin since August 2008, I did not want to take more drugs.  Especially when research showed that drug was strongly linked with causing liver damage.  That was when I knew I had to change my habits.

Fast forward to March 2015 when the weather finally thawed after the frigid winter from hell.  I started walking every day, then began incorporating running into my new regime.  The running built slowly, but now it’s an integral part of my weekly routine.  I try to run at least 3 times a week.  Last month my A1C was 5.5 and I’ve been off Metformin since April.  I still test my fasting sugar almost every day and it’s averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.

My cataract surgery has slowed up my fitness routine as I’m not allowed to lift anything over 20 lbs for two weeks after surgery.  Next Wednesday will be the two week point after my second surgery so I’m planning to go to the gym and begin to lift weights again.  I can’t wait!  (Play on words fully intended!)

It’s always the way.  When you know you can’t do something you want to do it more!  I hadn’t realized how much I’ve come to enjoy lifting weights, but I really miss it.  It makes me push the cardio more.

I lost another pound today.  I’m now 30 lbs lighter than I was when I started this journey in March.  I just want to lose another 5 lbs and really firm up what’s left.  My fitness lifestyle is so ingrained into who I am now that I really miss it when I can’t do any one part of it.  I just wish I’d started this 20 years ago when I started to gain weight.  I can’t change the past.  All I can change is what I do today.  And how I affect tomorrow.  Fitness and health are part of what defines me today.  I know I will never go back to who I was.

Seeing In HD

fire in the skyI decided to share something that I went through recently.  I just had cataract surgery on both eyes.  My right eye three weeks ago and my left eye yesterday.  I keep hearing that at 47 I’m fairly young to need this surgery.  I guess my diabetes has been the main cause, even though it’s under control.  My sugar was high for years before I got it under control.  And that takes a toll.

My right eye was the worst affected.  I think I was about 80 % blind in that eye by the time I had surgery.  When I covered my left eye I could barely see any details.  When I looked at someone’s face with just that one eye all I saw was pretty much an egg.  I saw the oval outline of a face, but I couldn’t see the details; the eyes, the nose, the mouth.  Think about what you see in a car on a humid rainy day when the windshield is all fogged up and all you can see is the vague shape of a car ahead of you.  That’s what I saw through my right eye.  It seemed to affect me really suddenly, deteriorating in just a few months.  The left eye wasn’t nearly as bad, though I had a cataract in that one too.  Things got so bad I had to use reading glasses and a magnifying glass to read a book.

I’ve always had a severe phobia of anyone doing anything to my eyes.  I won’t even wear contact lenses for that reason.  So I dreaded the first surgery, despite being assured it was safe and one of the most common surgeries.  I had to be at the out patient hospital at 6 15 in the morning.  Which was good, because at least I didn’t have it hanging over my head all day.  The worst part of it was the eye drops.  Before you go in for the procedure they give you six eye drops in quick succession.  Then after five minutes another round of the six eye drops and after another five minute break yet another round.  I’ve always hated getting eye drops and the last one of each set stings and burns.  The procedure itself was a breeze after that.  I definitely have no regrets at my decision to have this done.  Though I pretty much didn’t have a real choice.  The surgery happened on a Wednesday morning.  But it wasn’t until the following Sunday that I really appreciated the difference.  I had noticed I was able to sit at the computer and watch television without needing to wear glasses.  But that Sunday morning I went out for my first run since the op.  It was amazing.  As I walked to the park I usually run in, I looked around me and was amazed at how sharp and clear everything was.  And the colors!  The sky was such a vivid shade of blue.  The color of the leaves in the trees.  The detail!  It was as if I’d switched from an analog television to watching in HD!  That whole run was the most amazing experience and I couldn’t help looking around in wonder.   And this was with just ONE good eye!

So I didn’t dread my second procedure yesterday.  I dreaded those bloody eye drops!  They were just as bad as I remembered.  The procedure itself didn’t really worry me.  It’s fast.  It’s simple.  And it’s painless.  For anyone who is thinking of having surgery to remove cataracts I say go for it.  You won’t believe the difference.

I plan to go for my first run since my second procedure on Saturday.  I’m looking forward to that run.  Now I’ll have HD vision in BOTH eyes!

 

Running As A Stress Buster

runners fuelrunners relief

Tomorrow I go for what is now going to become a regular 3 mile fun run.  I want to beat my previous time of 31:04.  Hopefully going on these runs with my running club will push me to improve, to get stronger, faster.  It’s going to be chilly tomorrow so I get to wear a new pair of sweat pants I bought last week.

I also intend to use running to help me deal with a new health concern I have.  I have a cataract in my right eye.  My vision in that eye is seriously impaired.  I can see shapes and colors, but I can’t see a lot of detail.  I have a cataract forming in my left eye, too.  I know cataract surgery is one of the most common and simple surgeries.  But it’s still scary.  I hate the thought of anyone messing with my eyes.  I don’t think anyone likes that.  Since I was diagnosed a diabetic, the idea of going blind is the one thing that scares me the most.  Even more than the idea of dropping dead from a heart attack.  Diabetes is a truly horrible disease and it can cause damage to so many parts of the body.  The frustrating thing is my sugar is under control right now.  My fasting sugar is still averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.  Yet this cataract has been getting steadily worse for over a month.  I get surgery on my right eye on the 11th November.  On the 2nd December I go back to get the same procedure on the left eye.  It has been so frustrating lately.  I have to use reading glasses and a magnifying glass to read a book.  I just can’t wait until it’s all over so I can see clearly again.  The doctor told me that cataracts happen faster with diabetics.  She also said getting outside and exposing my eyes to extra sunlight because I’m out more with my running could have sped up the process.  Unfortunately I’ve never been the type to wear sunglasses.

At least I can still run.  Running will help me deal with the stress of my impending surgeries.  It’s bad enough having to go through it once, but knowing that just a few weeks later I have to do it all again with my other eye just makes it so much worse.

Talking of running, the pics above are of products I’m using that help me with my running.  The first pic shows the Access bar.  This is a delicious bar I eat about fifteen minutes before I start to run, or before I start any kind of exercise.  It helps fuel my workout, giving me energy for whatever workout I’m going to do.  It also helps the body access fat stores.  I wouldn’t want to run without eating one first!  The protein shake is delicious and it’s something I look forward to drinking when I go home after a run.

The second pic shows the products I use for my post workout.  There is nothing better than a long soak in the bath after a good workout at the gym or after a hard run.  The essential oils are especially soothing.  The Pain-A-Trate is great for soothing sore leg muscles after my run.  All these products are available from an amazing online Wellness company we shop with.  Running is so much better with them!