A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Folks in our day and age don’t say the word TREAD much – we say walk more often than not; however, the word TREADMILL is not only familiar to most of us, but a regular part of healthy living.  I really hate using the treadmill at the gym – but it’s honestly not because I’m lazy!  The chronic sciatica I’ve suffered with for over 30 years has held me back – I have this thing about hurting…  I don’t dig it.  My leg burns from the moment I wake up in the morning until I blissfully go to sleep at night.  I’m very happy when I’m asleep.

Through the years I’ve done different things to make it better – right after the injury I was in physical therapy for several months – nearly a year.  I was on strong pain medications but as we all know, they have unwelcome side effects.  I decided they weren’t worth it – so I weaned myself off of them and tried to keep moving.  It hurts like crazy, but I have to keep moving.

Today I have no brain fog and other effects of strong pain meds have disappeared.  I have given the issue to God.  Don’t roll your eyes at me…  it’s true.  Now I take 2 Aleve in the morning and move as much as I can.  God’s helping me, but I had no doubt He would.

A pastor’s wife once told me, “Everybody has SOMETHING.”  At first, I thought that was her not so subtle way of telling me she didn’t want to hear about my issues (which I don’t recall sharing at the time anyway).  But I put a pin in the comment and stuck it in the back of my mind.  She’s right – we’re human and we get tired, weary, discouraged at times, and close to quitting.  Then – God steps in.  He never shows up early – but He steps in – just in time – His perfect time.  I’ve found that to be true and I’ve heard testimony after testimony that bears this out.

I can’t explain how my messed up back with a burning sciatic nerve has the ability to walk on the treadmill, ride the bike, and do other machines…  it’s all God – He has given me the strength and the GOD-bility to keep moving.  I praise Him for helping me every day!

God helps us do what we have to do – but even more exciting…  He helps us do what we like to do – and most writers would say…  what they absolutely must do!  God has put such a desire within us to write, and everybody knows…  a writer WRITES… about anything, anytime, anywhere.  Put me in an elevator by myself and shut the door.  If I have a pencil and some paper (or a napkin, preferably unused, but…) – I can come up with something – it could be about the color of the buttons…  lol.  Maybe there’s a fly in the elevator with me.  Hmm…  bonus!

If you’re feeling like you can’t tread…  or walk on the treadmill…  remember, with God and His strength – you can!  Climb those mountains like a deer!  🙂

 

 

 

NATIONAL NEUROPATHY AWARENESS WEEK

TL 5-12 NATIONAL NEUROPATHY AWARENESS WEEK

GOD LOVES ME WHEN I HURT

Neuropathy is the term used to describe a problem with the nerves, usually the ‘peripheral nerves’ as opposed to the ‘central nervous system’ (the brain and spinal cord).

The causes of peripheral neuropathy are:

  • Alcoholism. Poor dietary choices made by alcoholics can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
  • Autoimmune diseases. These include Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and necrotizing vasculitis.
  • Diabetes. More than half of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy.
  • Exposure to poisons. Toxic substances include heavy metals or chemicals.
  • Medications. Certain medications, especially those used to treat cancer (chemotherapy), may cause peripheral neuropathy.
  • Infections. These include certain viral or bacterial infections, including Lyme disease, shingles (varicella-zoster), Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, leprosy, diphtheria and HIV.
  • Inherited disorders. Disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are hereditary types of neuropathy.
  • Trauma or pressure on the nerve. Traumas, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports injuries, can sever or damage peripheral nerves. Nerve pressure can result from having a cast or using crutches or repeating a motion many times, such as typing.
  • Tumors. Growths, cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign), can develop on the nerves themselves or they can put pressure on surrounding nerves.
  • Vitamin deficiencies. B vitamins, including B-1, B-6 and B-12, vitamin E and niacin are crucial to nerve health.
  • Bone marrow disorders. These include abnormal protein in the blood (monoclonal gammopathies), a form of bone cancer (osteosclerotic myeloma), lymphoma and amyloidosis.
  • Other diseases. These include kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders and an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism).

On my journey with type 2 diabetes, I’ve developed diabetic neuropathy.  Most people know it by the term diabetic nerve pain from the advertisements on television.  It’s a shooting, burning pain that constantly reminds me of this disease.  It’s also one of the main reasons I need and want to keep this beast of a disease under control.  The closer in check I keep my sugars, the less pain I feel.  Over the years I have determined that being out of control is just not worth the price I pay.I TRUST YOU, PAPA GOD

In my research I’ve also learned that the popular drug metformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes, when taken over time can cause a vitamin B-12 deficiency.  As we see, a deficiency in B vitamins is a cause of peripheral neuropathy.  When I began to take a vitamin B-12 in addition to my regular multi-vitamin, my pain lessened dramatically.

Between hypothyroidism, arthritis and diabetes it’s a challenge to manage my neuropathy, but I’m determined to stay as active as possible.  On bad days I walk with a cane, but on good days I walk just as fast as my little legs will take me!  I’m thankful to God for the good days!  🙂

 

PHYSICAL WELLNESS MONTH

TL APRIL IS PHYSICAL WELLNESS MONTHIf it was easy everyone would be a size 2…  that’s what everyone says.  Nowhere in the Bible do I see a verse in the Beatitudes that says, BLESSED ARE THE HEALTHY, FOR THEY SHALL LIVE FOREVER.  Life comes with challenges – some are emotional, some are mental and yes, some are physical.

I’m facing the challenge of my life.  I recently got my A1c checked – it’s a 3 month average of blood glucose levels.  It’s gone up again – now I’m at 8.3.  It should be under 7.  My doctor asked questions about my eating habits and I admitted my love of fruits and vegetables.  I like goldfish crackers and have little pouches which provide portion control.  I don’t eat more than one a day – honest.  But those little golden beauties are 28 g. of carbs so I can’t keep eating them every day.  I have to give up many fruits that I love – and can’t have fruit juices, even low sugar brands.

The thing that my doctor emphasized to me was that no matter what dietary adjustments I make, the most important thing I can do to regain my health is EXERCISE!

UGH…  the dreaded “E” word again…  but I hate it – I hate to exercise!  I’d so much rather get up in the morning and waddle to the bathroom and make a beeline for the coffee pot.  Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 – go straight to the coffee pot.  🙂

It’s no longer an option – it’s a necessity.  I keep wishing I had a partner in crime…  somebody to say COME ON, LET’S GO!  Some enthusiastic voice beside me, saying, LINDA, YOU ARE WORTH SAVING AND HERE I AM TO HELP YOU – TO WALK WITH YOU AND TALK WITH YOU ALONG THE WAY.

I’m taking the largest dose of Metformin, Glipizide and 40 Units of Levemir every night.  I have to bump up the amount of insulin, which means I’ll have to buy pens sooner – and that is hitting my budget in a BIG way.

I’ve hit the proverbial brick wall – head on – this is it – I have to decide if I’m going to do this or if I’m going to pay out upwards of $400 a month for insulin.

Note to self:  SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP!  You have absolutely no choice.  Get out of this bed and put on your walkin’ shoes – get out there!  It’s a beautiful day – and yeah, you’ll walk alone, but you have no choice.  You just gotta do it.

So…  from now on, my routine will be get out of bed, waddle to the potty, waddle to the closet and put on my walkin’ clothes and head out the door – get it done while I’m still half asleep, right???  When I get home I can then waddle to the kitchen, fix breakfast and brew the coffee!

I can do this…  I CAN.  I WILL.  🙂

TYPE 2 DIABETES TIPS FOR SUCCESS

TL TYPE 2 DIABETES

GOD DOES RESEARCH WITH ME

Have you ever had a NERVE CONDUCTION TEST (NCT)???  There’s a reason they keep a box of tissues in that office…  those things HURT!!!  Basically, the test didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know – oh, and I’ll never have another one – ever.

I did my research.  My neuropathy from type 2 diabetes was so severe that I was barely able to walk – and then with a cane to lean on.  I already have sciatica, but add the neuropathy to that, and it’s a recipe for major pain and difficulty walking.

Did you know that a side effect of Metformin, the most popular medication for type 2 diabetes, when taken for the long-term, is vitamin B12 deficiency???  Yep – and here’s the interesting part.  Vitamin B12 is what keeps your nerves healthy and happy!  So, maybe it’s not diabetes that is really causing neuropathy, but the medication we take for it.  Seriously?

I gotta tell ya…  I’m very excited because reversing the pain and numbness in my leg was as simple as taking a vitamin B12 pill every day!  I’ve been on Metformin since I was diagnosed in 1994, but did not realize that those 4 pills a day were depleting my B12.  Since I added a B12 pill, the pain and numbness has gotten so much better and I can walk without a cane.

Because of the sciatica I still have shooting pain down my leg, but with exercises I’m able to manage it.

I hope the information I share helps you.  Hey – give vitamin B12 a try.  It’s sure better than nerve damage and inability to walk without a cane.

My next appointment is April 13th to have my A1c checked.  I’ve really been watching my diet closely, drinking water and exercising.  I’m also taking my medicine, of course.  The goal is to ultimately get my weight where it needs to be so I can inch my way off of all diabetes medication.  I’m workin’ on it.  Doin’ the best I can!  🙂

NATIONAL WALKING DAY

TL 4-6 NATIONAL WALKING DAY

WALKING

The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages us to get out and walk today!  They hope that this will begin a good habit that will last while we have good weather.

Whether you are a seasoned walker or tend to waddle like me, today is the day to get out and motivate those feet – one in front of the other – for thirty minutes.  Some can do that all at once and some like me will have to do either two fifteen minute walks or three ten minute walks.  I was so happy to read that the results are the same regardless – isn’t that great?

Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.  – Gene Tunney

There are obvious benefits when you walk.  It strengthens your heart and lungs as your breathing increases, but it is good for your legs and helps define your muscles.  There are mental benefits that are almost immediate – a sense of well-being and accomplishment help you feel more positive about yourself and about other projects you tackle.  The human body was not created to sit around all the time.  You are worth a half hour of exercise every day – YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Some folks walk at our local mall every day.  I’d rather get outside to walk, but whatever helps you get started – do it!  Taking that first step in a very literal way is what matters.  It’s nice to get together with other walkers for support.  The time goes so much faster when you’re engaged in conversation along with jokes and laughter.  It’s possible to exercise alone, but it’s not as much fun.

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.   Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.  – Raymond Inmon

As you walk along, it’s amazing how many threads of inspiration are weaved together as you keep moving.  Most of my scathingly brilliant ideas come to me as I’m walking.  Some days I’m bombarded with creative notions just waiting to be launched.

Sometimes I take a camera with me on a walk, but that can slow me down if my goal is to realize health benefits.  A camera usually goes with me when I’m more interested in mental benefits and a little stroll.  Every bit of it helps.  Just get out and enjoy God’s creation.  It will make you feel better!  😉

BIFOCALS AT THE MONITOR LIBERATION DAY

TL 12-1 BIFOCALS AT THE MONITOR LIBERATION DAY

 

12-1 GLASSES FOR THE MONITOR

A host of changes took place in 1994.  It was as if I was just blissfully gliding along in life and suddenly hit a brick wall!  I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, gained more weight after going on diabetes medication (that’s frustrating), and found out my thyroid was terribly low.  I felt so overwhelmed and decided it was the beginning of “getting older”.  Later in the year I went in for my annual eye exam and was told I needed bifocals.

Well – that was just IT.  I threw up my hands and welcomed age into my life.  Of course when faced with adversity – I fight back with laughter!  What else can I do?  If I don’t laugh, I will cry.  I really don’t want to cry, so…

Bifocals are tricky to say the least, especially when you first get them.  When you walk, your steps are exaggerated.  It’s funny to watch someone getting used to new bifocals.  It takes a while to learn to navigate stairs or even step up on a curb.  My heart goes out to anyone wearing bifocals for the first time – especially if they have to get used to them alone.  I’m so glad my husband was there to help me when I got mine.

I remember when I could sit at a computer monitor without eyeglasses.  I used to have to hold things very close to my face to read them clearly.   Now the opposite is true – now if I can hold things far away, I read them better.  LOL!  When did I get so old?

We want to be set free!  We want to be free from tilting our heads back and looking through the bifocal lens to read the computer  monitor or play the piano.  Ouch – my aching neck!  We honor those poor souls who suffer with neck and shoulder pain due to bifocals with BIFOCALS AT THE MONITOR LIBERATION DAY!!!

That’s a good idea – if you’re rich!  I can’t afford 3 pairs of glasses.  I do good to get one pair (I’m guessing you do too).  I came up with a solution on my own because I was so desperate to save my neck.  Our local Dollar Tree store has a few pair of full-size readers (make SURE you get full-size readers because half-size readers will force you to bend your head back to see through them).  My bifocal is about +200 so I found some full-size lenses that are that strength.  I wasn’t sure it would work – but for $1 I thought it would be worth a try.  My plan worked!   If you don’t know the strength of your bifocal, ask for a prescription from your eye doctor or ask over the phone.  They will gladly share that information with you.

Now I have the bifocal glasses I purchased from my eye doctor for everyday plus a pair of full-size readers in the strength of my bifocal – to wear at the computer and to play the piano.   While the full size reader is great for seeing a computer monitor or sheet music, I can’t see to walk or anything else, so I must have my “regular” glasses handy to put on before I get up.

Laugh it up, young people!  Your turn is coming.  LOL!  😉

It was a very inexpensive solution to a painful problem.  Hey – I’m a happy camper and no more neck pain!  Sometimes I feel like a smart cookie!  😀

Well, before things go completely downhill and get totally depressing, let’s hear some positive news!

My soul is not contained within the limits of my body; my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.  – Jim Carrey

It’s true!  No matter what limitations we face, the only thing holding us back is the thought that something is holding us back.   😉

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY

TL 11-14 WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY

11-14 I'M SO THANKFUL TODAY

I have to chuckle at the word AWARENESS sometimes, especially when it comes to diabetes.  If you have diabetes or you live with someone who has diabetes, trust me, you are painfully aware – on so many levels!

The idea is to make those who do not live with diabetes aware of not only the challenges of living a life with diabetes, but also the way we can overcome those challenges with positive thinking, a good support system and of course – insulin!

What am I thankful for today as I live another day with type 2 diabetes?  It’s a long list, so fasten your seatbelt and hang on …

1.  I can see clearly!  Since my diagnosis in 1994, I’ve faithfully seen my eye care specialist once a year.  People without diabetes see their eye doctor every other year.  I say this with all humility, a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes – every year when my eyes are dilated and I am checked for retinopathy (a common condition with diabetes), my doctor gives me a glowing report!   He says, “If I didn’t know you were diabetic, I would not be able to tell from these pictures.” 

2.  I hear ya!  It’s recently been proven that diabetes can cause hearing loss.  They think that the small vessels of the ear get plugged up because of excess glucose in the blood.  If I could not hear it would not be the end of my life, but I am a musician and have been blessed with perfect pitch.  I’m not bragging, just telling the truth.  Hearing loss would be a huge loss to be sure.

3.  I’m walking on sunshine!  I admit there are days when I need a cane to walk better because of neuropathy (another complication of diabetes), but I am on my feet and moving.  What a wonderful blessing to still be mobile and able to take a walk anytime I want to.  It’s so important that I stay as independent as possible.  I do not take my freedom for granted.  I thank God for the ability to exercise without much pain.  Through the years I have relied on a good Chiropractor and an occasional massage to keep me going.  Exercise is a key component in diabetes management.

4.  I smile every day!  Keeping blood sugar within a healthy range is so important because everything is affected – even my smile!  If my gums are not healthy it could lead to tooth loss.  Along with brushing and flossing I use Sesame Oil to “pull” bacteria from my teeth and gums every day.  Just one Tablespoon of oil once a day really helps my gums stay healthy.  Swish for about 5 minutes and spit – (never swallow the oil), then rinse with water and smile!

5.  I keep stress at bay!  I’m the first to admit that this was not easy a few years ago.  Now that I’m retired it is so much easier to manage the stress in my life.  God has helped me to re-evaluate priorities and re-examine the things that cause stress to begin with.  Sometimes stress just happens, like when there is a health crisis in my family – but these days I really don’t sweat the small stuff.  The older I get, the less most things really matter.

Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul.  Thank You, Lord, for making me whole.  Thank You, Lord, for giving to me Thy great Salvation so rich (full) and free!  I do count my blessings and these are just a few of them.  Yes, I have diabetes, but diabetes does NOT have me!  D stands for dedication to living a healthy lifestyle because God has blessed me so much!  ❤