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Entry Number Eleven: THE END!!!! (of the story so far)
I'm skiving off piano practice today. The conductor of the choirs I accompany cancels rehearsals during half term, as a lot of the singers have children/grandchildren to look after. That means I get a couple more evenings in with my wife this week, woo! And I can focus on writing instead of piano. Don't get me wrong, my work as a musician is brilliant. But once in a while, it's nice to have a break.
So, we left off in about October of 2014 last time. Let me update you on what happened afterwards! As mentioned before, my blood sugars had improved dramatically. However, I had put on weight and gained some ldl cholesterol. I was 12 stone 5, which is fine at 5'11", but I was happier when I was a bit lighter. So I made a few changes. Nothing so dramatic as before, but significant nonetheless.
I was actually getting a fair amount of exercise in just from my weekly demands on my time. The choirs I play for, and the piano students I travel to are all up big hills. It takes me about 45 minutes to cycle to my students, and an hour to walk to choir. I was also getting a few press ups in when I found the time. So I looked less at my exercise regime, and more at my food intake. The first change I made was reducing my cheesecake consumption. My low carb cheesecake was very nice, but I was getting through lots and lots of Philadelphia and double cream. I started having almond and stevia muffins for both lunch and dinner. This may sound dull to some, but I'm generally happy eating the same thing day in day out. Before I switched to low carb, I would have peanut butter sandwiches every day. I had done this since the age of about five, and was in no way bored of it. I also limited the amount of double cream I was putting in my coffee. I was not using milk because of the lactose content (lactose is a sugar, and it spiked my blood sugars).
So what did this do to my weight and cholesterol? Well that, my friends, is a work in progress! My weight is currently 11 stone 7, which I'm pleased with. However, I won't find out how my cholesterol is doing until March. I have my next diabetic clinic on Friday the 13th of March (Dun dun dun, Friday the 13th!), and will get to see how my levels are then.
November and December were a really busy and stressful time for me, but not in a bad way. I will always remember the horror of working in a shop in the christmas period. For the past couple of years I have been thrilled just not having to do that. However, I probably filled my time up a bit more than I should have done. You see, I had an ambition. Something I had wanted to do for most of my life. I had never found the energy to do it before. But now, my blood sugars were not bouncing up and down like crazy. I decided it was time. In November, I wrote the first draft of a novel.
Every year, there is an event called NaNoWriMo (which stands for National Novel Writing Month). Between the 1st and 30th of November, participants try and write a novel of at least 50,000 words. If you get over the word count, you win. The grand prize is the fact that you have written a novel. I had thought about giving it a go before, but had always faltered before I begun. This year though, I decided it was time. The point of getting my diabetes under control was so that I could live life, and get the most out of it that I possibly could. And you know what? I managed it. On the 30th of November I uploaded my word count to the NaNoWriMo site. I had reached 53,268.
So now, I have two goals! Hammer my first draft into a decent second draft, and get my diabetes as close to perfection as I possibly can. You see, there's still a way to go. This is nearly the part of maximum excitement. This is almost the part where we get up to the present day regarding my journey with diabetes. But first, Christmas!
Usually, Christmas had been the time where I dropped the facade of caring about my diabetes, and just ate and drank what I pleased. Not this time. Eating a low carbohydrate diet had become a normal part of my routine, and I saw no reason to change that for the sake of a festival I had no religious reason to observe (firmly an atheist). I was going to visit my parents for the holiday season, and they asked what I was able to eat. I told them I would have a christmas meal, of course! Turkey, Brussels sprouts, some thick cut chips, and of course, Yorkshire puddings. However, I was being cunning. To quote a Mr E. Blackadder, My plan was so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. I made the Yorkshire puddings myself. I found a recipe calling for eggs, milk and flour. Eggs were no problem. Instead of milk, I used coconut milk. Instead of flour, I used ground almonds. Job done, lovely and tasty. My thick cut chips were made from celeriac. I do love me a good celeriac chip. For dessert I had my almond flour muffins. It really was a lovely christmas meal. And my parents introduced me to almond milk as well. It really is great. Next to no carbohydrate at all, and packed with calcium. I replaced the cream in my coffee with almond milk, and am still doing that now.
Now, in a lot of posts I have said that things were going well, but that there was a fly in the ointment. This entry is no different! I came back to Bath after Christmas, but it seemed that something else was returning too; my hypos. I found that I was eating the same meals in the same quantities, but suddenly I was in the 3s a lot. I found that things were getting a bit manic again. I would sometimes be in the 8s and 9s, and sometimes in the 3s, even dropping to the mid 2s on occasion. I think that my weight loss probably played a part in this. I started meticulously noting everything down again (I had stopped keeping such a comprehensive diary), and quickly came to see that there was not much of a pattern to things. Sometimes I would get dawn phenomenon, sometimes I wouldn't. And often, I was hypoing during the night. This hadn't happened for ages. Before christmas, I had to take insulin about 2am or I would wake up high. Now, I had to take dextrose tablets to be in the 4s.
I am working on solutions to this, but I think that there is one main culprit; My Lantus. I have been on Lantus for around 12-14 years. I never questioned it, but I do wonder now if it's the right fit for me. Looking at my recent results, I seem to be going low randomly, and randomly high at other times. Over the past few days I have been gradually reducing my dose. So far I have brought it down from 18 units to 15.5. I like to do things incrementally. But I feel that ultimately, it's time to try a different basal insulin. I'm going to be pushing my case to try out Tresiba, when I go to my diabetic clinic. Thanks to members of this forum, I have learned about it, and the reported good results that have been shown thus far.
So there you have it! The details of my journey thus far with diabetes. From here on in, I intend to keep posting entries to my blog. It will probably be a bit more in the style of my opening paragraphs though. Random thoughts about my day, along with any relevant diabetes information. Thanks for reading, and I hope to share more (hopefully) fascinating revelations with you soon!
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