Friday, September 25, 2009

Celebrating One Year of no insulin

I just celebrated a year of not having to use insulin on Saturday, Sept. 19, and decided to share my joy with everyone. I sent this letter to anyone whose e-mail address I have and am working on getting the addresses of many others that I don't.

Gary and I actually spent the day camping with some of the people that I spent my first insulin free day with at Put-in-Bay last summer. Except for our mouse eaten camper and the skunk that sprayed our dog, it was a perfect weekend.

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday was my one year anniversary of being insulin free and I am feeling nostalgic about it and thought I would send a letter to share my good feelings.

It has been a fantastic year highlighted with so many new experiences.

I never thought I would be able to go on a walk or a bike ride and not take something sweet to eat with me. I do that now without even thinking about it.

I can go to a restaurant with friends and not have to eat before or worry if there is a long wait for the meal.

I can take a break at work when I reach a convenient stopping place instead of whenever my body needs to be refueled.

I can get through an entire night without having to check my blood sugar and/or eat several times.

These were the first things that crossed my mind, but I think I will change course and list all of the reasons that I am in such a good place right now:

The staff at the Schulze Diabetes Institute who work so hard to enable the reality of the clinical trial that I am participating in: Dr. Hering, who is the force behind the program and the reason that I chose U. of Minnesota as the best to have the transplant. Dr. Bellin, who monitors my progress and I have learned that I can trust her opinions completely. Janet who is my main contact person and does so with a very comfortable balance of compassion and professionalism.

My family, both immediate and extended, have been so supportive and excited throughout this amazing journey. My mom actually drove through a blizzard with me to get to my initial screening tests.

My friends who are so happy for me and understand my excitement and don’t (seem to) get tired of hearing me talk about it.

My coworkers who sometimes had to finish my work for me when I had to stop what I was doing because of a low blood sugar, but expressed only concern for me.

Anyone who is an organ donor.

And last and most, my husband Gary for being there completely. I could not have done this without his support. It helps so much that he thinks this is as cool as I do.

One very enjoyable aspect of this experience has been the sharing of it. I have been keeping a blog journal of my experience and have made some contacts with others who are considering the idea of a transplant and some who have had the transplant before me. It is such and important and wonderful thing that I feel so fortunate to be a part of. I thank all of you for allowing me to share it with you and I hope that you will share it with anyone who will listen. Hopefully, this study and the many that are being performed around the globe will soon lead to a cure.



Sunday, September 6, 2009

Update and diet issues

I seem to be at a plateau in many variables at the moment.

My average blood sugar according to my meter is 105.
My stomach is ok.  Not the best or the worst.  I am taking one immodium a day.  I am trying to cut back on that when I can because I am suspecting it is the cause of my evening upset stomach.  
My drug levels are stable.  I can start having them tested monthly instead of twice a month.
My energy level seems good.  I have been playing some golf and have been pleasantly surprised with my game (except for chipping).  Yesterday, Gary and I took a long bike ride and I wasn't any more tired than I should be.

The next variable I have to work on is to gain some weight.  I  am about 12 pounds less than pre-transplant.  I  lost about 8-10 with the transplant and about 5 from the CMV/diarrhea.  I gained some of it back over the winter, but am still too low.  My gauge for deciding that I   must be too low is that people keep telling me how thin I look and not in a good way.  I just assumed that  I would gain it back with time, but it looks like it is going  to take some effort.  It is very strange to be adding food to my diet after so many years of trying to eat smaller amounts to keep my blood sugar down.  But I have been trying to increase portions and add an item here and there.  I really have not changed from my pre-transplant diet at  all. I had assumed that I would gain weight on this diet because I am no longer excreting sugar(and calories) in my urine.  I have to admit it is a weird problem to have and I don't get much sympathy for it.  I also have to wonder if it is possible to gain weight at my age and gender and have it not be all fat.  I get  some exercise every day, mostly walking, but I am not into weight training at all.