Feb 02 2016

Pregnancy Weight Gain: Secret to Staying Under 20lbs

Recently, I was asked “So, how long did it take you to lose your pregnancy weight?”

I didn’t think about it until then, but I actually lost my pregnancy weight at birth. I gained only 17lbs and my daughter was 7lbs. If you add the water weight, the extra blood in the body, and the after birth, I shed that majority, if not all, of that weight in the delivery room.

I was then asked, “How did you do that?”

Here are the Top 3 ways I was able to do it

1. I walked. I did three races while pregnant and walked as often as possible. I would walk in the mornings or in the evenings or whenever the mood hit me. I walked until my walk became a slow waddle.

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2. I didn’t believe that I was eating for two and I didn’t let myself go. I know some women feel that pregnancy is their time to eat like a pig and not have to worry. Kudos to them, but I didn’t work this hard and for so long to just throw caution to the wind. After all, I did lose 50lbs and was finally under 200lbs. As a Type 2, my days of eating uncontrollably and not worry about the consequences are in a distant past. I stuck with my life as normal-eat in moderation and exercised.  Unfortunately, I had to quit Zumba and other high impact aerobics.

3. Because I wasn’t able to produce enough insulin for me and my growing fetus, I required daily insulin injections. No big deal, it comes with the territory. I took my medicine properly and ate balanced meals. My meals were on schedule (8am breakfast, 11am snack, 2pm lunch, 5pm snack, 8pm dinner). I believe that this schedule helped tremendously because I wasn’t hungry and didn’t feel the urge to over eat.

Below are typical meals.

BREAKFAST: Two eggs and toast

SNACKS: A piece of fruit and PLAIN yogurt (yes, plain yogurt is nasty and tasteless. I tried every brand under the sun and decided to just accept that plain yogurt is bland and undesirable).

DINNER: A protein, starch, and veggies. I ate by The Plate Method.

Every woman is unique and every pregnancy is different. What worked for me, may or may not work for you. But these three things help me maintain a healthy pregnancy, keep my weight in control, and feel good throughout the entire pregnancy–they might help you or someone you know.

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Dec 01 2015

Dry Skin, Diabetes, and TriDerma’s “Foot Revival” Cream

I have always had dry skin, that’s just my skin type. Some have oily, others have combination, I have dry.

However, I never thought about how my skin might be drier because of diabetes, I simply thought it could be the harsher water or age or me not drinking enough water. But, after trying some of TriDerma products, I realize that it could be all of the above.

My attempts to keep my skin moisturized has consisted of applying baby oil immediately after showering, then drying off, then applying lotion. I’ve used lotion with shea butter, lotion creams, sweet-smelling Bath&Body Works, inexpensive lotions, and even concoctions I’ve made. But, nothing seems to last all day.

I was asked to give TriDerma a try and I did.

triderma-samplesOf TriDerma’s Diabetes Defense Line, I was most excited about the Dry Skin Defense Healing Cream. But to my surprise, I was most impressed by the Foot Defense Healing Cream.

Dry Skin Defense Healing Cream Pros:

It wasn’t greasy or thick, but worked well. It’s a cream-like lotion. Perfect for everyday use.

Dry Skin Defense Healing Cream Cons:

It’s unscented and I like my lotion to have a scent.

Foot Defense Healing Cream Pros:

They need to change the name of this cream to “Foot Revival: The product you’ve waited for all your life!” I was SO impressed by this, I wanted to put it on my whole body.

Texture: It’s not cream like, it’s looks more like Vaseline, but it does not have that thick greasy feeling like Vaseline. (A major plus factor) Anyone with cracked heels understands that there comes a point when the only thing that can penetrate that heel skin is Vaseline. Well, now there is something even better. It works well on those elbows too.

Scent: a hint of aloe.

Spreadability: (yes, I create new words as a hobby) A little does go a long way.

Like I said earlier, I was most impressed by this product and would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone (even without diabetes). Here’s a picture of my feet:

triderma-feetMY LEFT FOOT: After drying from the shower and as you can see it’s ashy!

MY RIGHT FOOT: I applied Foot Defense Healing Cream. Now you can see why I call it “Foot Revival.” It is smooth and lasted the entire day.

Foot Defense Healing Cream Cons:

I love my scents, if they would make this product in a scented version maybe a Minty Mango or a Peach Peppermint, it would be better than awesome. I think that tingling sensation given by mint or eucalyptus would be a nice touch for us diabetics (especially those with nerve damage).

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The people at TriDerma were also nice enough to send samples for my guests at the forum I did on World Diabetes Day. In the picture below, a few participants are seen here holding up the samples.

IMG_0255My conclusion about TriDerma products. I am honored to review their Diabetes Defense Healing Creams. Each lotion is targeted for a particular purpose. I have been applying the Bruise Defense Healing Cream on my hands where I had a small bruise. As you know, we heal slower than non-diabetics, so I think this is a good cream to have in the house at all times. I didn’t try the Ulcer Defense Healing Cream because I don’t have any ulcers. The Dry Skin Defense Healing Cream is a great all over cream. It cut down on my need to use oil AND lotion.

The Foot Defense Healing Cream is the BEST CREAM I HAVE EVER USED. It actually lasted all day. I am telling you, they need to change the name to Foot Revival because it gave my feet a renewed shine.

 If you would like to purchase for yourself or a loved one, CLICK THIS LINK.

*I received the products for review, but I did not receive any money for this review. This is my honest opinion of their products.

Nov 15 2015

World Diabetes Day “Let’s Talk about Type 2”

Here’s a snippet of my presentation given on World Diabetes Day.

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Nov 13 2015

My Not-So Pinterest Pregnancy Announcement

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.26.37 AMAlmost naturally, I found myself on Pinterest searching for “Pregnancy announcements” because I wanted my announcement to be “P.E.R.F.E.C.T.” when I told my husband. I thought about telling him over dinner where instead of dessert on the tray, it would be the pregnancy news. Or perhaps a puzzle or scavenger hunt. While, I wasn’t sure which one it would be, I knew it would be creative. After all, I am a creative person.

But…this is what REALLY happened…

It was a Wednesday morning around 5am and I had awaken early only to relieve my bladder. It would mark the 4th day I had been awaiting a visitor to no avail and I was happy, but not too happy because the month before was similar. Except my monthly visitor arrived eight days late. So, although I was happy, I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high and experience the level of disappointment I had before. I knew it was almost too early to check, but I decided to check anyway. As soon as I sat down to rescue my bladder of its load, I heard the call to prayer. I paused to bring my mind into submission. I went through the motions of taking the test and while I waited the 2 minutes for the results…I prayed.

I don’t do heartache too well. I know it’s a part of life, but it isn’t an experience I care to partake in too frequently. So, because I knew the heartbreak of wanting to be pregnant only to find a negative result, I wanted this time to be different. Previously, I had tested once with the early detection test (negative), then waited to the right window and tested again (negative), used the test from Dollar Tree (negative), used the most expensive test in the store (negative), and yet still I held on to hope. Cause we’ve all heard/read about that woman who was actually pregnant when the tests said otherwise. That could be me, couldn’t it? It wasn’t.

So, because I wanted this experience to be different, I prayed a different prayer. Rather than asking to be pregnant, I asked God to help me surrender to His will for my life. My exhaustion from being disappointed wasn’t completely over the negative test result, it was partly about not getting what I wanted when I wanted it. I knew that I needed to find peace. In those two minutes while I waited for the result, while the call to prayer was echoing from all the nearby mosques, I closed my eyes and surrendered to His will.

I heard the beeping sound of the test.

I took a deep breathe.

I inhaled serenity.

I exhaled all my desires.

I opened my eyes.

I saw this…IMG_0387I picked up the test and held it. I looked again. I looked harder.

In an instant, I wept.

I just broke down with gratitude that God had given me this gift. I smiled. I laughed. I jumped up and ran…

into the bedroom and waived that test in front of my husband’s sleeping eyes and started screaming…

“I’M PREGNANT” (jumps on bed)

(So much for the perfect pinterest announcement)

“What?” rubs his eyes and opened them.

“TURN ON THE LIGHT, I’M PREGNANT SEE” (shoves test further in his face)

“Let me see” (he tries seeing but was probably dreaming and now has an over exuberant wife in his face)

“DO YOU SEE IT? PREGNANT! I AM PREGNANT” (Feeling a sense that’s indescribable)

I eventually went back to bed and a few hours later went to the hospital and it was “confirmed.”IMG_0389Next Post: I share my “Pregnancy Wish List.” Now that I was pregnant, there were surely somethings I didn’t want to experience like swollen ankles. Yes, I know I still need prayer. LOL But I figure, we have not cause we ask not.  IMG_0388

Oct 13 2015

Deciding on Motherhood while Living with Type 2

I am not the type of woman that felt my life would be incomplete without experiencing motherhood. For most of my life, I would even say, “I don’t want children.” I didn’t get a “tingling” feeling when passing the baby section in stores and “Baby Fever” was never something I caught. It was a distant thought but nothing that lingered in my face like a golden carrot like it does for some women.

I was a bona fide career-focused woman. I made no apologies for my feelings when family would ask “So… when are you going to have kids?” My quick-witted response was “When they come out with a check in their hands.” I wasn’t even moved when my grandmother said, “I hope you have children before I die.” We laughed, but I know deep down she was serious. I said, “Grandma, you have more than 40 grandchildren and more than 10 great grandchildren, ain’t that enough.”  She smiled, “but not one of them is yours.” We laughed again.

Fortunately, my husband never pressed the issue and gave me the space to be me. To do me. To focus on US. To explore the world together and establish our bond.

My diagnosis with diabetes entailed me spending six days in the hospital alone and that was a life-changing experience! Due to circumstances, not one single family member could come visit and since I was new to the city I was working in, I didn’t have a tribe of friends. I had never spent one night in a hospital before and having to spend five lonely nights there was cause to pause.

I walked away feeling strongly about two things; 1-I didn’t want to ever be that alone again, I wanted a family and 2-I was doubtful that I could have a family with Type 2.

Will I pass Type 2 to my kid(s)? How can I add anything else on my plate with having to count the carbs in everything I eat and drink? If I need to cater a hypo and my baby at the same time, who gets the priority? How do I manage finger pricks and diaper changing? See the dilemma. I had finally reached a point in my life when I wanted to be a mother, but was now so rattled with fear, anxiety, and questions about diabetes that I couldn’t possibly seriously think about children. So, I didn’t.

3 years passed.

I had carb-counting down to a science, my life with diabetes was organized and no longer consumed me, I had a diet and exercise routine, and I was living by my motto… Diagnosed NOT Defeated. I remembered that Fear and God do not occupy the same space at the same time; so it was my time to try. I prayed for a family and my prayer was granted.

I had no clue, however, that living with Type 2 while pregnant would be one of the most difficult things I have experienced. I couldn’t write about being pregnant while pregnant but I knew if I survived the experience that I would share it so that others may be informed. Tune-in to this blog series because for the next few weeks, I will be posting about my challenges and joys.

Next Blog: How I found out, how I planned to tell my husband, and how the “perfect” announcement failed.

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May 14 2015

DBlog Week Day 4–Changes

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Today’s topic: What I would most like to see change about diabetes.

That’s an easy one for me. I would like for diabetes management to be more affordable. I was diagnosed while living in the United States and over the past four years I have had the privilege to benefit from access to diabetes care in two other countries and the difference in shameful.

In France, insulin, oral meds, injectables, glucose strips are reimbursed at 100%. There is no cost for needles and lancets.

In the United Arab Emirates where I lived for a year as a Fulbright Scholar, I paid $0.00 for my diabetes related medications. I will repeat that…I didn’t pay ONE SINGLE DIME for my diabetes medications. My visits to the Endo were only $13 bucks, a big difference from the $70 that I was paying in North Carolina with Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s premium healthcare plan.

I can’t tell you how many times I worried, cried, paid bills late or not at all just to come up with the $300 a month (an average) for diabetes supplies.

So, I think we have a serious problem in the USA. It’s as if we are the last to realize that diabetes is a growing epidemic and without proper management the death toll rises.

When I walked into a pharmacy and saw THE EXACT SAME glucose strips that cost me $79.00 at Walgreens or CVS (for 50) were priced for the equivalent of $ 21.51; I nearly cried. Just thinking about all the times I skipped testing after a meal to make 50 strips last a month made me sad. Why are diabetes supplies so expensive in the USA? Aren’t “they” getting enough from us already?

I can’t express the totality of how it feels to NOT have the financial worry on top the other worries that come with diabetes management–it is a feeling that we all should experience. Not just once, but forever.

 

I would rapidly change the cost of management so that we can focus on LIVING our lives free from worries of debt or financial bondage.

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May 12 2015

DBlog Week Day 2–What I Keep to Myself

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Today’s topic is very interesting because if I tell you what I don’t tell you, then I’m telling you. LOL

However, in my most recent interview by Health Central that went live a few weeks ago (see it here) the thing that I’ve been keeping to myself is now public.

Pregnancy and Diabetes. I read, with MUCH appreciation, Kim’s and Ginger’s blogs and posts about their pregnancies and thought that I would follow suit. However, very early on I decided that being pregnant was an intimate experience for me that I wouldn’t tell you until after it was over. I wanted to savor every moment and share with only those I communicate with either via phone or text. I even tagged the slogan, “My Pregnancy is NOT for social media consumption.”

I haven’t talked about the challenge of being back on insulin and how with each new week the increases in the baby’s size foreshadows the need for more insulin. This means that sometimes I get it wrong and sometimes those errors have sent me into an emotional low (when the reading was high) or I found myself in “hypo land” too often. Nearly fainting, heat flashes, pounding heart, and worried about my baby. 

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It’s been too emotional, too private, too present to talk about now. When it’s over, I will reflect on it and share. But I can say this… Every woman who manages pregnancy and diabetes is a very special superwoman!

May 11 2015

DBlog Week Day 1–I Can

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So, today is the kick off of the 6th annual DBlog Week and today’s topic is “I CAN…”

When I think of the I CAN theme, I think about my ability to integrate diabetes management into my life rather than have diabetes management take over my life. It’s been 4 years since I was diagnosed and for the first year or so, I was CONSUMED with managing hourly glucose checks, hourly readings, hourly injections, then twice daily injections, meal prep, carb counting, doctor visits, and it was simply put…just too much to deal with. I quickly understood why some people just give up altogether or burn out frequently. Day after day, however, I woke to try again.

Even though managing diabetes clouded my mind, confiscated my thoughts, and caused me to have days filled of worry; I honestly didn’t see how I would have a life after diagnosis.

In time, however, I realized that

I CAN manage diabetes and still have a life.

I CAN manage diabetes and not be overwhelmed by it.

I CAN and I’m so thankful that I am able to integrate managing diabetes into my life without it taking over my life.

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Apr 28 2015

Health Central Interview

This is a link to the video interview conducted by Health Central

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http://immersive.healthcentral.com/diabetes/d/lbln/living-with-diabetes-hugh/index.html?ic=caro&ic=caro

 

Check it out

 

Feb 15 2015

Four Years and Still Counting…

Today marks four years since I was diagnosed with diabetes.

I’m still here, still counting and living my life diagnosed not defeated.

Each of my diaversaries are special. When I reflect on where I am now, I know that I am just where I need to be, even though I am not where I want to be in every aspect of my life.

Over the past four years I’ve learned that living and I don’t mean simply waking up in the morning and going to bed at night, I mean LIVING life is possible even though I need accommodations and I am reminded multiple times a day that my pancreas is not working properly.

Managing diabetes is no easy task and it does get the better of me some days, but overall, I am LIVING. I am making everyday count.

 

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