Life Update

Hi guys,

It’s been quite a while since I last posted on the site. I actually just checked to see what my last post was to see what I could update you on and realised the last post was also a random life update 🙂

So what’s been happening for the last two and a bit years? Well, I got a new job which has been eye opening, exhausting, frustrating and yet fulfilling at the same time. It’s part of a training contract so I’ve been spending a lot of time studying trying to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (we’re getting there slowly but surely). That has meant that my little project from my last post didn’t really take off as I was focusing on career goals.

On top of that, just before my last post, I joined the gym. I wasn’t able to swim with my wrist and it was causing me crazy amounts of pain. I ended up training with a PT around Feb 2018 and she’s become such a big part of my life. I still train with her today (though virtually at the moment as COVID-19 has the world all crazy) and I’ve found a love of leg day and doing weights.

Talking about my wrist, it’s been so much better. I got discharged from physiotherapy pretty quickly as there wasn’t much they could do and the waiting list for steroid injections was really long. Combining exercises from my PT and also getting acupuncture has really helped with the inflammation and now my wrist only twinges from time to time which is a massive plus.

On other health issues, I’ve taken massive strides. I can’t remember where I updated you last on blood pressure meds but they’ve reduced from what was at my worst, 4 different tablets to this week cutting down to a half dose – one little tablet that I hope will reduce down to zero in the next few months. In terms of my diabetes, I’ve technically been in “remission” for six months now which is crazy. Back at my check up in January my last three quarterly HBA1Cs had come back as totally normal and my medication had been slowly reducing but as of January, I haven’t been taking any medication for diabetes which is amazing. I was supposed to be having another check up a couple of months ago but obviously all routine checkups have been cancelled but I got a call last week asking me to get some urgent bloods done so hopefully I’ll be having another telephone appointment soon to discuss my progress.

So, weight wise what’s happened there? This has been quite a rollercoaster. I hit my lowest weight in 2017 which was 82.7kg – this was pre-gym and exercise I think and since then up to May 2019 I was fluctuating at around 84-86kg depending on the time of month. Since the Summer of 2019, I have been hardcore struggling. Work has been insane – I was given additional responsibilities on top of the increased workload I had from someone leaving, we had a couple of deaths in the family and then in January 2020, I had my implant put back in – which in hindsight now, was probably a mistake as this all contributed to my weight gain as by March 2020, I was back at 95.5kg which I think was around my start weight for the low carb journey a few years ago (though not at my highest which was 16.5 stone – about 104.7kg).

Luckily with lockdown and having to work from home, it’s given me perspective to really focus on my eating. Exercising was never really an issue with the gym – I loved going and working out with my PT and I’d taken to spin classes (which I never thought would appeal!) but my curse has been my comfort eating, especially in times of stress. Since lockdown started for me just after Mother’s Day in the UK, I have been at home constantly mainly due to the higher risk my health conditions pose against COVID and I felt safer exercising from home, especially as we live in an area of several blocks of flats where social distancing by my neighbours has been dubious most of the time. However, by spending the time focusing on my food and trying to find alternative ways to alleviate stress and anxiety, I’ve managed to lose just shy of 5kg in the last 3 months. I weighed in the other day at 90.8kg (14st 4lb) which I am super happy with.

I do have a short term goal. Me and OH are trying to get married again – which in itself has brought us a few headaches but fingers crossed, lockdown will be lifted enough for us to be able to elope in August. I have my dress which I to just skinny down enough to get the last inch of zip up and so I can sit whilst breathing >.< but I think if I can keep it up, it shouldn’t be a problem.

And lastly, just a paragraph to sum up the craziness that has been the first 6 months of 2020. It has been absolutely insane. As I write this, the Black Lives Matter movement is in full swing which I fully support. Racism not only in the US but around the world is something which is ingrained in the system that governs our lives. It upsets me to read posts from my hometown which suggest that “it’s amazing how one death of a criminal has led to absolute uproar and protests in America and what about Lee Rigby?” They are two very different scenarios – Lee Rigby’s killers were arrested as soon as they were found from what I remember and we had protests in support of how horrific the murder was – despite the increase in attacks against Muslims despite the fact that the people who killed him were terrorists. George Floyd was murdered by people in power – the police – who weren’t arrested or charged for this until public pressure was apparent. And yes, he had a criminal past but does that justify being knelt on by the neck for almost ten minutes and dying? How about the run up of black murders and other racial incidents in the weeks leading up to this? How about Breonna Taylor, an EMT on the COVID frontline who was murdered in her home as she slept by plainclothes police officers who raided the wrong house and the suspects were actually in police custody? These officers are still working in the force and have not been penalised or apprehended as far as I can tell. Or what about Ahmaud Arbery who was gunned down whilst on a run in his neighbourhood? They have only just ruled that there is actually enough evidence to convict. Unfortunately, the UK although it seems better, there is still a lot of racism underfoot. Only last week did Boris Johnson condemn the increase in racial abuse towards East Asians since COVID-19 started – it’s been six months. Let’s not mention all the other racist things he’s said in the past right now but as Prime Minister, as with Trump, the electorate look up to them to lead the country and to set the tone. To those who still don’t understand why it’s such a big deal, it’s about the equality of justice, to eradicate the prejudice that is evident in positions of power. Yes, it doesn’t apply to every police officer, or every politician, but by not speaking up, we’re essentially saying that this behaviour is ok and that some races in our community are less valued than others.

So after this massive essay, if you’ve reached the end, well done! Please stay safe and please continue to read, expand and educate yourselves in the world around us. After all, we’re all part of the human race.

Until next time.. x

I’m back! Update

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time. A really long time. I apologise! My life has been quite the rollercoaster with work going a bit insane, moving & just being crazy disorganised.

So what’s new? Well, I’m very nearly discharged from the hospital for my diabetes. With work, I was just grabbing food whenever I could, binge eating as I had no idea when I would have time to eat next and drinking an awful lot of sugary drinks to give me energy, which was then followed by massive sugar crashes. I know I was burning myself out but when you’re working with family, sometimes you don’t know how to say no. So the result of this was at my yearly check up in June 2016, the nurse was really worried about my HBA1C (blood sugar level over the past few months) as it had increased rather than decreased. I was given gliclazide, a blood sugar monitor for the first time and a referral to the diabetes clinic. My blood sugars were ranging from 4.2 to 15 and I was all over the place. Though my blood sugars came down, I was a bit of a mess to be honest!

When I visited the clinic in January 2017, the nurse I was with suggested that maybe I try the newest diabetes drug (SGLT2 inhibitors) Farxiga, which prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing the sugar and instead is passed through urine. I recently posted on my instagram that this medication has suited me so much better. Instead of my blood sugars jumping all over the place, I’m now usually around 5-7mmol/L and my energy levels are so much better.

To give you an indicator of how bad it is, the target for HBA1C is 48. In September last year, my result was 98, which is scarily high and more than double the target figure. The gliclazide lowered me to 78 and in May, I hit 60. I have also lost around 4kg (all my doctors now weigh in kilograms opposed to stones and pounds so I’m trying to make the conversion!) which is around 9lbs. My total weight loss from my original start weight is currently at 1st 5lb which is about 8.5kg. It’s been really slow progress but this scare has given me a huge kick up the backside.

I saw my diabetes nurse at the GP the other week and as my blood pressure is now at around 102/77 (before it could hit 147/112 – 120/80 is ideal I think) so she said we’ll monitor my blood pressure as I lose more weight as my medication will need to be adjusted. I literally can’t wait as at the minute I’m taking around 7 tablets for my diabetes and blood pressure, 1 for my hayfever and 2 supplements for hair and energy (I have had quite a lot of hair loss recently due to stress) so less tablets would be more than welcomed.

Current stats:

CW: 93.4kg or 14st 9lb
BMI: 35
Body Fat: 43.4%

Alongside that, in a couple of weeks I will be down a job. I’m now preparing myself for the drop in income by tightening my belt and so I’m getting full swing into meal prepping and researching my shopping list first – so these will be back! I will be looking at weight loss on a budget and keeping tabs back on here to keep me accountable.

So, until next time.. x

Hospital Update – November 2016

Hi guys,

Hope you’re all well. As I mentioned in my last post, I was referred to the hospital by my diabetes nurse and I had the appointment last Thursday. Originally, I didn’t quite understand why I was being referred – my nurse mentioned that “there might be a third type of diabetes” – I can say that after this appointment, I’m pretty sure she was wrong.

I headed up to the hospital and they took my blood pressure, current blood sugar levels, weight and height. I then saw the specialist diabetes nurse who then explained that the reason why I was referred was because I wasn’t exhibiting classic diabetes symptoms. I have also been diagnosed with high blood pressure and she had asked if either had been fully investigated, which I was honest and said I had a bunch of tests done when I was about 18/19 but all I remember being told was that I had PCOS and when I wanted to try for kids, I should be re-referred back to them.

Having this appointment was actually really useful. Since my diagnosis about 4 years ago, I hadn’t actually had everything fully explained to me and what the tests were and what the preferred number ranges were and how I compared. After going through my health history (though they didn’t seem to have any details before my move in 2011, which is when I did all those tests – very reassuring!), she then explained that because I didn’t have all the symptoms and my results didn’t seem consistent, she thought that maybe I didn’t have full on diabetes – that it was possible that something else was causing my blood sugars to rise to look similar to it but that it was a symptom rather than the cause.

She then asked the endocrinology nurse to come see me and basically because I have had eczema since I was a baby and had been prescribed steroid cream (e.g. hydrocortisone, elocon) to help during flare ups and infections (more so when I was younger; I tend not to use them that often now), I may have something called Cushing’s Syndrome. This is basically a build up of cortisol in the body and my symptoms seemed more in line with that.

This made sense and so I’m going to be under investigation and hopefully will have a better idea if I’m affected by this or not in about a month or so. I have done a few blood tests and I have to do two 24 hour urine tests (not fun, I can tell you) and submit those to my GP this week. I will probably do a more detailed post on Cushing’s Syndrome as it is something that I hadn’t heard of until last week and on reading about it, it seems difficult to diagnose.

So all in all an eventful appointment. I have a follow up appointment with the diabetes nurse in January. She has asked me to do blood sugar readings twice a day (rather than just before I drive) so she can see how I’m doing as when I took the monitor in last week, the readings were a little sporadic. I was really nervous to go but I’m glad I did as the hospital nurse seemed to have a lot more time for me and was willing to go through everything I wasn’t sure of and reassuring me that what I was doing was right. It was a nice change from the blind panic of my annual check up at the doctor’s a couple of months ago.

So, until next time.. x

Health Update – October 2016

Hi guys,

Sorry for the standstill in posts. I’ve been working my butt off (unfortunately at work rather than at the gym) and barely had a minute to myself.

Today I thought I’d give an update on my health situation, especially as I am due a hospital appointment early next month. My weight has been pretty steady the past two months, despite the eating of junk/restaurant food when I’ve been working 12-14 hour shifts so I’m guessing being on my feet for most of that time has put it on an even keel. The diabetes nurse I saw in August said my weight has dropped since I last saw her about 15 months ago – I think I was about 15st 8lb and now I’m around 15st.

My blood pressure is good but unfortunately due to the aforementioned bad eating, my blood sugars have gone up despite the good news everywhere else. So she has upped my Metformin to two tablets twice a day and after speaking to a specialist at the hospital, she has also prescribed my gliclazide tablets. Unfortunately this and a blood glucose monitor was prescribed to me over the phone so then I had to wait for another appointment to actually show me how to use it and the side effects as I have to ensure that my bloods don’t fall below 5 or I’m not able to drive.

So, I have been trying to remember to take them. On days where I work my second job, I find this a lot harder as I’m forever running about and next thing I know it’s bedtime so trying not to be patchy so when I go for my appointment next month, they don’t try and prescribe me more medication as they don’t see an improvement because I’ve been too busy to make sure I’m caring for myself. Yes, I know it takes a few minutes but I suck at it for some reason.

Hopefully it won’t be too much bad news when I go and see the specialist at the hospital. I’m going to try and kick start my healthy eating (starting with trying to stick to 3 meals a day rather than 1 humungous meal just before bed) and drinking lots of water. Two basic goals I’ve really been struggling with but it needs to be done. The amount of tablets I take is actually quite worrying and forgetting to take them isn’t going to help decrease the amount so it’s back on the wagon for me.

On another note, any handy tips for someone who doesn’t have time to food prep anymore? I work between 70-90 hours a week at the minute and barely have time for laundry, never mind a nice lie in. Any hints would be much appreciated!

Until next time.. x