Tag Archives: diabetes complications

Hypertension

High blood pressure made its debut 7 years ago when I was pregnant with my twins and developing preeclampsia. A day before they were born via necessary c-section I laid in bed thinking that I felt like the life was being sucked out of me. With my enormous belly I rolled myself out of bed and hobbled over to the computer as my husband slept. I researched my symptoms and realized I was experiencing high blood pressure.

After having my kids my blood pressure took a few months to stabilize. Then, each time I visited a doctor’s office they would check it and find it sometimes in normal range and sometimes in prehypertensive range.

During the last year I felt a terrible range of symptoms anytime stress was present (and if you are me, that is quite often). I could hardly explain my symptoms except to say that I felt once again that my life was draining from me. I’m known for my dramatic interpretations of things but at times I’d really clutch my chest and wonder why I felt like my heart was stressed, literally.

Recently, I’ve been going to bed later and sometimes finding myself dehydrated. It’s easy to neglect self-care if it comes on gradually. So although my decline in health appeared sudden, in wasn’t. I should probably expect the recovery to take equal time.

I came home from a cross country trip in a panic a few weeks ago. For months I’d been struggling with an irrational but growing fear of type 1 diabetes in my son and before I boarded my last plane home, my husband informed me that our son spent the last few hours vomiting. I had a panic attack on the plane. When the plane landed my husband let me know that my type 1 diabetic sister, Ana checked our son’s blood sugar and he was 96. I felt relieved in my mind but my body was still in panic mode.

When I got home there was an ambulance in my driveway. I felt a squeeze in my chest. My pulse was off the charts. I ran into the house to find out my son was fine.  My husband had felt worried and unsure about how our son was doing and since I wasn’t there he called paramedics to help him. No sign of dehydration. Perhaps a stomach virus or food poisoning. We were to keep him hydrated.

I stayed up with my son that night and went to sleep at 5am. I knew I was abusing my body but I couldn’t figure out how to be a good mom and a person who could take care of herself at that moment. I had to defer to the next evening when my husband got home from work and I got myself to a clinic to get checked out since I also had symptoms of a possible blood clot from my flight. My electrolytes and kidneys were tested and in fine condition. My pulse was about 120 and my blood pressure 188/105. The doctor couldn’t understand why at 33, I’d have such high blood pressure. My BMI is 23% and I exercise nearly each day. I eat very well. My A1c stays between 5.4 and 6.1.

I did lose my grandfather when I was very young to a stroke and my aunt has had high blood pressure since her 20s. On the other side my grandmother has had high blood pressure for a long time. So I suppose I am predisposed. I have lived with type 1 diabetes for 21 years which is an undeniable stress when not managed well.

Fast forward a few weeks. I’m on blood pressure medication. My dad turns 60 the same month I turned 33 and I have asked myself several times, “Am I going to make it to 60?” I know I probably will but my concern is the state of health I will be in at that point. I am the most stubborn person you will meet. I want to be relatively healthy or not be at all. Yes, I just said that. I think it is a comment completely and utterly based on fear and past experience. I’ve already had a hard time and things will probably get worse? How do I mentally manage that possibility? Are these feelings normal? Do I have some kind of diabetes burnout?

My plan is to sleep well, take deep breathes, practice more gratitude, keep exercising, keep eating well, entirely avoid coffee and alcohol, and try to accept that I need blood pressure meds and that maybe I have done an ok job and things just happen. I see a doctor soon to talk about my anxiety and blood pressure.

Do any of you deal with similar issues?

 

 

Marijuana For Diabetes

I’m probably being naïve to think this topic isn’t too controversial to post.  But, I don’t shy from ideas and discussions and information so…  I’ve been learning about our “failed drug war” and also about how some people use medical marijuana and the benefits they say they experience.  I’m not someone looking for any type of drug at the moment but I’ll be honest, I sometimes think about what the future with diabetes has to bring and I wonder if I will desperately want that option at some point.

This worry may not make sense to some but personally, I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 20 years.  I’m 31 and know I likely have many more years of diabetes ahead of me.  I know that every year brings the possibility of diabetes complications closer to reality and so I ask myself, “how will I cope?”  One of the most common complications of diabetes is nerve damage, which may bring nerve pain among a plethora of other possibilities.  I’ve dealt with random pains most of my life (not going to list them for you) and am already acutely aware of the way chronic pain works it’s way into every facet of life, from the obvious to the mundane and least expected.

To suffer more pain and not have many options for managing it sounds daunting.  I’m on this topic of thought tonight because two weeks ago I had a cavity filled.  The dentist said, “You have a huge cavity! So this is going to hurt and if it hurts after a few days you will probably need a root canal.”  Well, I’ve been in some decent pain since that day and today I broke down in tears because the constant, between a level 1-10 I’d say 4 pain I’m having is wearing me out.  Life doesn’t stop when someone is in pain.  I mean if most of us have an accident or a temporary illness we get to rest and then move on as strong as ever.  But when pain lasts and lasts, when people can no longer carry you or cook for you or take care of the kids for you, how do you do all that yourself?  I’m only at a pain level of about 4 and I’m wishing someone would give me a sleeping pill so I can have a break.  To be honest, some magnets for pain are taking the edge off for me.  And I’m super grateful and obviously open to solutions like that.

I call this pain a 4 because I think I know a 10.  I once spent a few hours screaming non stop from kidney stone pain (after a laser blasting of a large stone which caused many small stones to parade down my urethra) which was so bad I would have nearly taken a gun to my head had that option been available.  I know, I know, “Sysy, how can you say such things?!”  Pain can take over.

You must be asking yourself, “Ugh, why haven’t you gone in for that root canal?”  Well, because I can’t afford it.  But since I have health insurance I can’t go to the local free clinics, either.  I have private dental insurance and it costs an arm and a leg.  My son is going to the dentist tomorrow and it will cost $500.  He comes before me so I will bargain and strategize until I can manage to go in and hand over the dough.  Don’t worry about me, Friday is nigh!

Back to diabetes.  You can see what has taken me down this trail of thought.  Previous life experience, current pain that is making my jaw, ear, and neck hurt and my vision blurry in one eye.  (Gosh, I hope that’s normal)  If diabetes causes me some kind of chronic pain in the future…will I be able to handle it?  I’m very sensitive to pain.  I once went to a salon to get a Brazilian wax and passed out like a fool.  I may not want prescription medications with dangerous side effects and astronomical costs.  In fact, I know I don’t want that option.  My organs need to be protected.  They’ve been stressed out since I was 11.  Is there anything else?  I hear there is.  I think I hope it may be available if I need support one day.  And this doesn’t even begin to address all the people who could use some help RIGHT NOW.  Do they, do you, want this option?  I’m all about healthy lifestyle choices to manage conditions but what if I need more?

Growing up, the boy I was in love with, joked with me often saying, “Marriage-you-wanna?” (Get it? “Marij-uana?”)  And like a good girl I always said “no”.  I’d like to revise my answer to:  “maybe one day?”

 

It’s the Highs that Worry Me

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It’s 12:48am and I’m 243.  I’m waiting for my high to come down.  I never go to sleep high because I don’t want a low in the middle of the night and I don’t want to sleep through a high that continues longer than it needs to.  Normally I’d set an alarm but it wakes my husband, who gets up at 5am each morning in the summer so I try to spare him the interrupted sleep.

I’m thinking about how so many people’s fear about having diabetes is centered on low blood sugars.  I understand but for me…I don’t fear low blood sugars very much and they only cause me anxiety when I’m in the midst of a bad one.

I fear the highs.

For me, the thought of a slow descent into diabetes complications is scarier than a sudden death in the middle of the night from a low.  I’m afraid of suffering.  I feel like I’ve already suffered enough.  I’m afraid of becoming a burden to others.  Alex has tried to help me through this.  We used to know an older couple.  The lady had rheumatoid arthritis and was bound to a wheelchair for decades.  Her husband was loyal, loving, and attentive.  I was always moved by that.  And in a way, I felt sorry for her.  Because I felt that in her position, I’d feel as if I was a burden.  Not my proudest thought…but it’s just a fear of mine.  In fact, I’ve been afraid of getting old  since I was 5.  One day I watched the couple and Alex caught me gazing at them.  He said, “If you ever need me to be that way with you, I will, ya know.”  This was a few months before we got married and I felt assured that I was marrying someone who truly believed in the “in sickness and in health” idea.

But I’m still afraid.

Few things bring me more joy and pleasure than feeling my body be healthy, energetic, and pain free.  It’s something I have always put a lot of value on.  Though some of the preoccupation may be vanity, mostly I just feel happy when my body doesn’t complain when I use it.

Maybe I feel this way because I’ve dealt with plenty of body aches and pains and medical issues.  I wear glasses, I’ve had knee pain since age 13, I’ve had carpel tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, tons of severe headaches, chronic sinusitis for years, major cramps from PMS and PCOS, killer kidney stone pain on numerous occasions, and an easily unsettled stomach since forever.

Honestly, a day with no body pain and great blood sugars is like heaven and doesn’t come around often.  I don’t need anything but that.  I think this aspect of me has lead me to want this for others, too.  It’s like a healthy body is a gateway for so many other wonderful things in life.  Possibilities are easier to grasp.  One’s mood is so much easier to keep up.

I fear complications with diabetes robbing me of my relatively healthy body.  I am doing all I can to prevent them but I wish I could put the fear on hold.  To be honest, I don’t linger on these feelings often.  Usually they’re a fleeting thought.  And I think they’re a residue of all the years I spent misinformed about my chances for the risks of complications.  I wasn’t aware that good control would reduce my risks.  I was told this but I didn’t believe it because I didn’t think good control was possible.  Now I have pretty good control and some of those old feelings have stuck around.  It’s time to let them go isn’t it?

Goodnight all, though I’ll be up for a little while longer.

Real Age Diabetes Tool at Diabetes Care Club

relaAgeLogo

I work a bit at Diabetes Care Club, writing blog posts and helping out on the forums.  While logging on the other day I noticed they entered into an exclusive partnership with Real Age to create a diabetes specific real age evaluator.  I thought this was cool because I’ve taken the Real Age Test before but was a bit bummed out by how it wasn’t able to capture information based on my diabetes management and therefore not really give me a more accurate or personalized assessment.

My Real Age Diabetes score is 26-which is pretty encouraging considering I’m about to turn 29 in a couple weeks.  That’s the fun game aspect of the Real Age test but it’s not what I consider the most important aspect.  The test asks questions on every element of health imaginable and then, depending on your answers, gives you information and recommendations.

I found this test to be a helpful tool to me because it pointed out my weaknesses in my overall health.  For example, I realized that I’m eating and exercising pretty well most of the time but maybe I’m not as socially active as I’d like to be or I’m not testing as often as I’d like.  Also, the test reminded me about all the annual diabetes wellness check ups I should be having such as a visit to the eye doctor and podiatrist.

We don’t necessarily need help pointing out what we’re doing right.  We need help to pinpoint what we need to improve upon and taking the Real Age Diabetes assessment helps to organize your strengths and weaknesses in an easy to view and understand way.  And yes, it is kind of fun to work to lower one’s “real age”, I’m not going to lie.

Something I want to mention:  The regular Real Age test gave me a score of 24 and the Diabetes one a score of 26.  I think that’s interesting to note because it shows how diabetes does make a difference-not that we didn’t know that!  But it shows that creating a diabetes focused Real Age test was really worthwhile.  The truth hurts but it’s also empowering.  Let’s try to focus on the empowering part and on the part we CAN influence.

Take the test here! (you will have to register and sign in first)

Try This When Diabetes Gets Hard

 

 

I honestly don’t remember where I heard this…but I once read something where a long distance runner from Kenya was asked “how on earth” he runs so many miles at a time with seemingly little effort (we’re talking 20-some miles at a time, several times a week!)  His reply was really interesting.  He said something like, “When it gets harder, I get easier.”

I had to think about what he meant for a minute.  I never felt too sure until one day I tried something different.  Usually, seeing a blood sugar over 300 brings me down.  My mood shoots down, my energy, my thoughts, my productivity, everything.  This time I remembered what the Kenyan said.  And instead of allowing a negative rush to take over me, “I got easier”.  Meaning, I accepted the reality and decided I wasn’t going to go weak or upset over it.  Instead, I took a few deep breathes and gave myself insulin.  Then I went back to work without focusing on how I didn’t feel well.  An hour later I tested and made sure I was coming down.  I was 190.  Another deep breathe.  I continued working.  Eventually it was lunch time and I was 92.  Time to eat!  That wasn’t so bad, I thought.

I realized how the same would have happened had I gotten all worked up only staying calm and relaxed really helped me enjoy the 2 hours between that 300 reading and lunch-and I was productive at work.  Making the decision to let the anger and frustration go did take effort but, It was definitely easier than fighting a fight that wouldn’t lead to anything positive. 

So many of us do this with our diabetes.  Next time something gets you down, remember that sometimes allowing yourself to get extremely frustrated doesn’t do you any good at all.  And if you just “get easier”, you might find the ride a lot more pleasant and be amazed at all you can accomplish.

Diabetes and Kidney Stones, is there a link?

The above probably hurts less than a kidney stone/  Photo by Evgeni Dinev
The above probably hurts less than a kidney stone/ Photo by Evgeni Dinev

 

As a type 1 diabetic I’ve gone through surgery, had twins, been married, travelled, played sports, lost friends, lost family, been up, been down, etc. etc.  Just when you thought I had done a lot, today I’m going to tell you that by my 24th birthday I had already passed 5 kidney stones.  (But, none since!)

One was 9mm large and couldn’t even pass without medical intervention.  For this “kidney boulder”, as my urologist called it, I needed to have a lithotripsy.  This is essentially a non-invasive procedure where an ultrasound machine is used to send out a bunch of high energy shockwaves aimed precisely at the kidney stone, basically pulverizing it so it can be passed out of the body.  This procedure was called a success and I suppose it was… in the end. 

Just a few hours after the procedure I went right back into the ER with pain greater than what I felt during labor with my twins (although that was pretty mind-numbing, too).  The pain was enough to bump me up in front of some guy in the ER waiting room who was throwing up a lot of blood.  The pain was enough to be maxed out on morphine (I said, “Give me more!” and they said, “We have given you the legal limit, sorry honey!”).  The pain was enough to cause my mind to go a bit loopy because I didn’t think one could stay awake or alive through that kind of pain.  After a few hours of screaming and throwing up all of the bile in my liver it seemed I finally passed all of the stone fragments that were all scraping my insides all at once in a shower of agony.  I was sent home with a lot of morphine pills which kept me feeling quite over the moon for the next month.  They say one forgets intense pain but I don’t forget this experience.  This was 100 times more painful than the other kidney stones I passed.

SO…this is one reason I try to keep my A1c so low with very level blood sugars.  There have been reports stating a correlation between kidney stones and diabetes.  If diabetes is not well managed the body may become very acidic and one can become more likely to form uric acid kidney stones.  And if there is no correlation well…I’ll still be better off with tight glucose control.

Funny how I just found out that recent studies have shown a link between diabetes, high blood pressure, and that shockwave procedure I had done.  Apparently since having that lithotripsy, my risk for high blood pressure is about 1.5 times greater than before having had that procedure.  If I wasn’t a diabetic my chances for diabetes would be about 4 times greater.  That is huge!  Since I’ve got the diabetes part out of the way I’ve contacted my urologist to find out if he has heard this information-especially regarding high blood pressure.  I must say however, I never had high blood pressure until a few months after this procedure.  Since then I’ve maintained the tendency to have borderline high blood pressure.  Hmm…interesting to say the least.  (Info/article on this located here)

In case anyone out there has personal reasons to be interested in this information, I’ll let you know what my urologist says when he is able to call me back.

In the meantime here may be two more great reasons to remember to put blood sugar management first and foremost.  Trust me, you don’t want a kidney stone, and it sounds like you definitely want to avoid a lithotripsy.

My Top 5 Diabetes Blunders

 

Because I’m human, have something so ongoing as diabetes to take care of, and well, because I’m ME, naturally there will be plenty of mistakes.  The key is to learn from them.

Here are my Top 5 Diabetes Blunders-so far!  (In no particular order)

5.  You may have already read this story.  You can read it here.  I once gave 20 units of Humalog in place of Lantus.  I had been up very late the night before and was sleepy the next morning when I gave the injection.  I realized I used the wrong bottle of insulin just after injecting all of the insulin in.  I took matters into my own hands and had my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, rush me to the ER where I proceeded to inform them I’d need intravenous glucose immediately.  They thought I was suicidal, I thought they were kinda ignorant.  Fun times.

4.  When I was 13 I rebelled against all things diabetes.  I tried to manage my sugars about half of the time while the other half was spent pushing the boundaries.  Somehow I managed to survive a year with an A1c of 11.6.  I spent Christmas that year especially miserable because I had a gum grafting surgery in my mouth which was to stop my sliding gums from sliding all the way off of my teeth.  My blood sugars have never been so high since feeling the fear of losing my teeth.

3.  Not managing my blood sugars well during my wedding.  Honestly, it was a huge disappointment for me to dance my first dance with my husband and focus on foot pain because my blood sugar was really high and I was in uncomfortable and sky high heels.  My honeymoon was spent in pain as a result-not cool.  If one could only go back :(  Check out this guest post I did for LemonadeLife.com about Diabetes Wedding Day tips.

2.  One of the best nights I ever had with my husband was when we were dating.  We were at a party, had tequila, and danced the night away.  You know that saying, “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor!”?  Part of what makes the story so memorable is the way I hit the floor a few times while dancing and how nice Alex was about it.  For this diabetic, being drunk (something I have done a few times in my life) was a way to escape diabetes-if not for a moment.  Truth is, it does not work.  After being super happy that night I finally tested my sugar and found I was over 400.  I vowed to never let it happen again.  Alex vowed to never drink again because he was so upset at how high my blood sugar was.

1.  I drank too much again despite that previous vow.  This time, I didn’t feel my low until I went to test and came up 30 on the meter.  I panicked as stupid drunk people can do when a grim reality sets in.  I don’t remember much except scaring Alex to death, throwing up in the parking lot of a gas station, and screaming about my blood sugar.  I try to promote and advocate for fabulous diabetic women taking care of themselves.  This sort of story is one I remember from time to time and feel ashamed of.  Sure it can be sort of funny, but, what if the worst had happened?  How fabulous would I be then eh?  I shudder to think.  I have now gone years without this sort of thing happening again and intend on keeping the vow this time for good.

Believe it or not, the most alarming thing is I have hundreds of stories similar to the ones above…I just can’t think of them right now.

So If any of this relates to you-know you’re not alone.  Also, know that sometimes you’ll be lucky and other times you may not be.  If you are a diabetic, you can live a pretty “normal” life.  But, managing blood sugars should be the top goal-and not taking wicked chances.

 So, what are your diabetes blunders?

My Diabetes Yearly Eye Exam

 

Last night I couldn’t sleep.  First, my son woke my husband and I up at 2am.  Then his crying woke up his sister and so my husband and I were up an hour, each with a baby in arms.  After a while we didn’t know how to calm them down so they each got their morning bottle a couple hours early.  It worked although I had to stay on the couch with my little girl because she was glued to me.  Funny mama’s girl. 

Anyway, by 3:30 am when I got back into bed I found myself thinking about my eyes.  I’ve never had a problem with them (aside from worsening vision every year since age 14).  Diabetes-wise I’ve been fine.  I have noticed my eye pressure reading and glaucoma test results creeping up each year though they’ve always been in normal range.

Last year with my twin pregnancy my eyes were perfectly fine until I got really big at around the 7th month mark.  What my doctor noticed was a few leaky blood vessels in each eye.  She said they were small and probably due to the twin pregnancy (double the blood to pump in the body strains the eye!)  She did want to stress that I must not miss the next year’s routine eye exam, however.  And of course she told me to try hard to keep blood sugars steady so those blood vessels would have a better chance at disappearing.

Today I had that exam and we found that my glaucoma and eye pressure exams were better than they’ve been in years (odd but, awesome news).  Then she said it, “Your eyes are fine.”  I said, “What about the blood vessels?  Did they shrink?”  “They did, in fact their gone!  What have you done lately?”

“I don’t know…”

“Well, keep up the good work and remember your best defense is managing your blood sugars well and getting in here once a year!”

<<SIGH>>

I can’t tell you how relieved I am.  Now that it’s been a couple of hours and looking at the computer screen is no longer like glaring at the sun I’ve tried to take note of what I’ve done differently in the past year.

One thing is I feel like my blood pressure has been good this past year.  It’s never been really high but, I have always stressed at work to the point of having panic attacks or heart palpitations and being home with two babies has meant feeling much more calm and relaxed.  (Even though I often seem like a wild, clucking, mother hen).

Another thing is that I’ve been more active.  Instead of working out more I’ve been more steadily active.  Before my babies I worked about a decade and the job always involved sitting at a desk in front of a computer.  Then I’d get home and do a work out (or not).  Now, taking care of two toddlers means constant lifting and squatting.  My shoulders are kind of like an NBA player’s and my thighs are pretty wide with muscle.  All this lifting has created super abs (which are covered with loose skin so don’t ask me to prove it).  Point is, It has probably been beneficial to do more constant and steady moving throughout the day.  Lifting weights seems to help whether this is a child or a dumbell.  (Although I don’t think lifting weights is recommended if there are some problems with the eyes-not good to strain them!)

Last but not least I’ve also really cut out processed foods.  I’ve cut my salt intake considerably and my caffeine intake is very small compared to what it used to be. 

These small and subtle changes just might have done more than I ever expected them to.   

Wishing you great eye health today…:)

Who Moved My Cheese?

 

Anyone remember the book titled, Who Moved My Cheese?  It was written by Spencer Johnson, M.D. and was a big bestseller almost a decade ago.  If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it!  It won’t cost you much, it’s really short, and very easy to read. 

The book’s message is brought to life in a very neat way-through the story of cute little mice who live in a maze and are in search of cheese (why of course).  While reading the reader is meant to identify with one or more of the mice characters.  In doing so we see ourselves as we really are and because the story is cute and funny and TRUE, we stare reality in the face and are more easily able to see what we may not be doing right. 

I don’t want to tell the story because the book is so short and well written you might as well read it for yourself.  But, I will say that from a diabetic’s point of view the message of this story really hits home.

How many of us, when diagnosed with diabetes were so caught up in the overwhelming process of simply assessing how our lives were going to change for the worse?  Often, when a person hears they should eat really healthy (either to lower blood glucose or to improve overall health) they begin making a mental list of all of the things they will no longer be having and focus on how it’s just not fair. 

This person may go years in a state of resistance to the truth.  They may not take care of their health the way they should because they are too busy mourning the loss of their previous reality.  Yet, during this period of time, which this person wastes in denial and stubbornness, more damage is being caused to the body and soon even more unfair things are happening to this person. 

Now what about the person who learns what to do to live healthy and follows good advice before much more damage ever occurs.  By the time we fast forward ten years this person is in good health and the one in denial is maybe dealing with a much more difficult situation.  One that now is much harder to fix or deal with. 

What is the difference between these examples?  When one person had an opportunity for change thrust upon them or when change was forced upon them, one person entertained one lingering thought, “Hey! Who moved my cheese?” while the other person accepted the need or opportunity for change and simply changed gears, turned around, and figured out how to adapt.  This person said, “I’ll just find cheese elsewhere”.

In the book, “cheese” is a metaphor for what we’d like to have in life.  For diabetics, good health is often our “cheese”.  When it is moved, we need to not waste time hoping and praying that it comes back, instead, we need to adapt to new behaviors (follow through on them) and in turn we’ll have “less stress and more success” in our lives.

And our successes will be our fault entirely.

Seriously check out the book :)

Diabetes and Hair Loss (My Story)

Courtesy of Graeme Weatherston
Courtesy of Graeme Weatherston

 

You’ve probably heard that diabetes can be related to hair loss.  Maybe you’ve experienced it.  I have.  Here is my story:

I had out of control blood sugars for about a decade.  During this time I was mostly a teenager and remember not knowing that out of control blood sugars could cause things like hair loss.  I wonder if knowing would have given me a kick in the pants to get my blood sugars down. 

Anyways I noticed how my hair was everywhere!  I mean I would vacuum my room and my parent’s really expensive vacuum would choke up and need to be liberated of my hair before I could continue with the other half of my room.  I felt all the hair loss was simply a nuisance.  I didn’t notice my hair thinning however, until I was about 18.  No one else noticed because luckily I started out with a lot of hair (Thank God).  Yet, I noticed.  Everyone told me I was silly or paranoid because “You have gorgeous hair” they would say.  I would sigh and think that maybe they were right.

Yet, with each new year I would notice more and more hair thinning.  When I took out a ponytail I’d have about 30 strands dragged out along with my ponytail holder.  I knew I wasn’t making things up, I was losing hair.

Over the last few years my blood sugars have improved dramatically and luckily I’ve noticed I don’t lose much hair anymore.  I think I lose the normal and healthy amount now.  Yet, the damage has been done.  I decidedly have less hair than before.  I manage to mask it pretty well by having a pretty good understanding of how to style hair.  (I’ve always been a serious student of fashion magazines and their tips on hair.) 

I gently comb wet hair, I use thickening creme, and I blow dry with a large round boar bristle brush.  I finish with velcro rollers and then a flat iron or curling iron and a good amount of hairspray.  I also add some talc to the roots to help give more body and then fluff it up.  This painstaking process works pretty well.  I just can’t help but feel angry many days because I like my wavy hair and wish I could just let it air dry into it’s au naturale form.  I can’t though, because it will be evident that there is too much scalp showing. 

If this sounds at all like you I truly want you to realize there is hope.  Getting your blood sugar levels to the right place will help unless your problem is derived from another source or is genetically linked.  I do know how bad you feel.  I’ve cried a lot over my hair which feels stupid and yet you know what?  It’s not.  It just so happens my hair was my favorite physical trait.  And our society values hair.  It is also a sign of health and virility.  No one wants to have high blood sugars and on top of that show physical signs of unstable health.  I think this is what has hurt me the most.  I wonder if people think I look unhealthy or older than I am because of this.  Well, I hide it pretty well as I’ve explained.  I just wish I could hide it from myself.  Ignorance in this case would really be bliss.

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