Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wherein I Reveal Some Secrets - Worth Reading!

I'm still not used to typing these blog entries without my Little Doll at my feet, snoring.  I miss her.  I could cuddle my toes into her side and she would snuffle and go back to sleep, keeping my toes warm.  I was so used to her being on my right side that it seems empty now on the couch, though Gertie has moved over there, and her contented little mewlings have done much this week to help us along.

Yesterday's trip to the post for my checkup was a very good one, and I want to share it with you.  Like most other bloggers, I don't quite tell everything that is going on around here.  Some personal things I think are not things that you all would be interested in, and some are just not things that I want to share.  But I think it's time to share one thing, and not because a famous chef has done it lately.

You know, if you've read this blog, that Keith and I believe that this place helps keep us healthy.  Neither of us wants to atrophy as we get older, and though it is harder for me to lift the water buckets now, I compensate by not filling them as full.  I usually park far from the stores and groceries to walk, and try to walk as much as I can while doing chores.  Keith has begun playing golf again, and is walking, instead of riding a cart.  In fact, he played 18 holes today, and came home exhausted and starving, but he WALKED.  A year ago, he could never have done that, and I am so proud of him.

Eight years ago, while on a checkup at Great Lakes Naval Air Station in Illinois, where we were seen while Keith finished his Army career up at Fort Sheridan, I was diagnosed with Type Two diabetes.
I have to admit that at first, I did not take this very seriously.  We were about to move back to Kansas, and the diagnosis came a day before we left.  I had a fast class with a technician who showed me how to poke my finger with a needle, and gave me some simple instructions to do it five times a day, and off we went.  I was stunned, to say the least. 

When we got settled in Leavenworth, I signed up for some courses at Munson Army Health Center, where I was soon to start temping.  There I learned a little more about this disease, and what it could do.  I had had a friend at my old job, Bob, who had been diagnosed with diabetes some years earlier.  Bob would not take his medication, and eventually lost his sight and his leg, and this scared me but I STILL didn't take it very seriously.  I began about a four year period of going to the doctor and being told my A1C was 7 or above, and not getting too concerned.  I ate as normal.

Finally, three years ago, the doctor suggested to me that I have lap-band surgery.  I did, and my life has never been the same.... more about that in a later post. 

My A1C dropped down to six as I lost weight, and I was mighty proud of myself, though I did not do extra excercise, I COULD, once again, do lots of chores here.

As my weight stabilized (I'm three years out on surgery), my A1C began to climb again, until in November it was back up to 7.6.  I should tell you that retirees were switched two years ago to a nurse pracitioner who was herself in the Army.  She is stentorian, and I never mixed well with her. About the time it went back up to 7.6, Keith and I began to make small changes to the way we eat here. We did not give up all treats, in fact, I baked more this past Christmas season than any other in my life... but we began to eat less red meat... to eat more vegetables and fruits... and other things that changed the way we were eating. We had frozen or canned things from our own garden, and we ate those.  We did chores regularly, even those days that were miserable outside, cold and wet... slogging back and forth taking care of the animals.  Even as late as last week, I asked myself WHY was I still doing this. 

I'll tell you why.

I went up to have blood drawn on Thursday morning, and to see the NP yesterday. 

My A1C had gone down to 6.5, and I HAD LOST WEIGHT.  Over CHRISTMAS.

For the very first time since being diagnosed, I was elated.  All of the little things we are doing are paying off, and we are going to continue to tweak. I also mentioned our food pantry to the Nurse Practitioner, who immediately began talking about the new food pantry at her church in a town five miles from us, where there has never been one, and there is such a need for it!  We continued talking about eggs and the need for food for a good ten minutes.

I'm not bragging here... I'm just saying that I'm finally coming to my senses and realizing I have control over this insidious thing inside me.

So, if I am beating my own drum tonight, it's because I am still dancing on air, even though I had to re-fill the waterers and put down some new feed THREE TIMES TODAY.

Poor chickens.

So, here's the second important thing about this post. 

Nathan is here with us today, and we were glad to see him.  His mother brought us something she found on the way here today... she scooped it up off the road.

It's a little Shih-tzu girl.  She is emaciated, and has a cataract on her eye.

She has huge clumps of hair stuck all together on her legs, like something you would have seen on Animal Cops years ago on Animal Planet.  We think there is no left eye, but we can't tell for sure.  She was so hungry.  We spread food out over the entire day, so she would not be ill.  She wants to be held, and to be near you.  I lay down for a few minutes this afternoon on the couch, and she jumped up lightly, and curled up near my chest.  She can't weigh five pounds.  Keith is calling her "Bess".

On Monday, he'll run her down to Dr.Tom, on the way to work.  We'll have Tom assess her chances, and tell us.  If she is adoptable, (and temprement-wise, she sure seems to be) then we'll contact the rescue from whom we got Hannah and Abby, and see if they will take her.  They specialize in small dogs, and have great success. 

If the eye is bad, then we will make another decision, one that won't be as pleasant, but she will have had a few days of warmth and food, and a resting place here near Hannah.

God does have a way, doesn't He?


  1. Well, I learned a new word today (stentorian! had to look it up!) and learned more about my blogpal. I'm proud of both of you for your lifestyle changes; keep at 'em.

  2. Keep up the good work...both of you! You should be proud of yourself! :)

  3. Way to go! As a nurse, I can understand what an accomplishment you've made--you've earned to right to be proud! I'm so glad the dog has a chance at a better life now :)

  4. wow.. so much going on at your farm... first off major congrats on the weight lose and healthly life style, we find our farm does much the same things for us as well... and little Bess, you just know that God had (has) a hand in that one... I mean really, someone who has already had the experience and decision making skills taught by Hannah.... there's much at work going on here... keep us posted on it all... your blog is definately a favorite for me......

  5. I don't know little Bess looks like she would be happy to fill Hannah's spot as a toe warmer. Congraulations on working towards a healthier lifestyle. If I didn't have all these animals I would be a couch potato, as it is I spend too much time on the computer but need to work the brain as well as the body.

  6. Thankyou for leaving a message on my blog because it made me pop across and read yours and I'm so glad I did. Well done for getting your yourself so well, slowly but surely does it. and i hope the dear little dog gets a really good life out of passing by yours. Maybe even with you!
    I hope you have a lovely day. We, too are conscious of our our weight and fitness and are off for a three and a half miler today. It's a frosty mmorning but bright and the woods will look good.
    Cheers Gillian

  7. What an awesome benefit you are reaping from all the hard work you do on your homestead! Congratulations on your weight loss and healthier life style. I can see why you are walking on air!

    I think Bess is one of the luckiest pups ever to find such a wonderful, loving family to share her life with. It sure sounds like that poor girl has had a tough life :( I'm so happy that you've found each other!

    I just noticed your retirement ticker on the sidebar - not much longer now! I bet you're pretty darned excited about that too!

  8. Congrats on your weight loss etc. That is great!
    Hope all goes well with Bess.


  9. One eyed dogs do very well. We have had one for five years, they learn to compensate.

    Thank you for the kindness in helping get this little lady back on her feet.

    1. Congrats, Mary Ann, on your weight loss and better numbers. The little dog is a cutie, and I'm hoping he will be adoptable. Poor little thing!
      I had to comment in the reply box, sorry.

  10. Congrats on the good Dr. report.

    Aw, poor little girl. I'm hoping she finds a permanent home soon.


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