Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy September!

Yes, I know...I'm late.  It's been another one of those stretches where I just don't feel like typing out anything lately...  But, now I get to play catch up!

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a huge "math geek"...I do math problems for fun!  This works out well for my Diabetes needs sometimes...it has led me, on many occasions, to charting out my blood sugars in more detail than any health care provider could ever dream of!  My medical chart at my pediatrician's office was a 5-inch 3-ring binder!  At that point (way back in the early 1990's), we didn't have a home computer, so I did it all by hand, using graph paper, a ruler, and colored pencils!  Thank "Fluffy" for Excel!  These days I chart my blood sugars using an Excel workbook that I have created and adapted over the last 4 and a half, or so, months.  The latest addition to my workbook has been a Hemoglobin A1C predictor...  I looked everywhere online for something I could refer to, but since it is such a specialized test, not too many have any interest in knowing exactly how it is calculated...this is the first time in nearly 21 years I have bothered looking it up.  To make things that much harder, the powers that be decided to "update" what the numbers reflect in 2010!  What that means is that the lovely chart I did manage to find was essentially useless now!  So, I set out to replicate it using the "current" number data.

The first thing I had to do was figure out exactly "how" the A1C's were calculated.  For this, a quick Google search brought me to eHow health, this article actually gives the calculation in it (step 4)!  To double check that it was indeed using the current numbers, I had to do my math thing and get it to work "backwards" and give me a mean blood sugar (average) reading based on an A1C number, it worked!  In comes a spreadsheet...
5% is a little low...but nice information to have and 16.9% is way too high, but again, I think it is nice information to have on hand!  As a child/teenager, my HbA1C was usually around 12%...I can see now why they wanted to lower it!  My last test result was 7.1%, up from 7.0% from the visit 3 months before.  I also have another test coming up on Tuesday, but I have a better idea of what it should be now that I have this (and 3+ months of records)!

My weekly logs in Excel run Tuesday through Monday, but I keep a daily record of each day's average blood sugar (the mean) and then get an average of the averages at the end of each month.  I suppose I could take each reading individually, but this way is just faster for me!  I already had my spreadsheet set to color code readings, but I will be changing that so that each whole percentage point has its own color (for quick reference).  The center number (182) is the weekly average so that I can double check my numbers and make sure there isn't a typo somewhere.  The 3-month average here is June, July, and August...I am assuming that on Tuesday, I will get a 7% test result...which will be down from the last one, which is good, but I wish it was even lower!  My goal for the appointment I will inevitably be having in December (I go every 3 months), is to have it down to 6.9 (6.8 if I am very lucky)!  I did extremely well in June...my month-end average was 143 (6.2%), but July and August have been harder for me to control my blood sugars.  I picked up a new prescription of Humalog yesterday...I'm hoping "newer" insulin will fix my issues with my blood sugars!  The last time I picked up any Humalog was January...the pens aren't set to "expire" until October of 2012...but I wonder if the temperature in my refrigerator caused some ill-effects.  We shall see soon enough!  I am about halfway through my last "old" pen and have a fresh box to start on next!

Speaking of Tuesday's appointment...I have a whole list of stuff to go over with my doctor (nurse practitioner)!  Without having exact dates for surgery (or knowing what type they are thinking about preforming...depending on the type, I could be hospitalized for the afternoon or up to a week), I need to know what she has to say about my diet and potentially being "laid up" where I can't necessarily make my own food and medical choices.  Not that I plan to give those over to anyone...but they might fight me on it, lol.  I am totally prepared to eat nothing but Atkins bars and shakes (most likely shakes until they okay solid food) that I will have smuggled in.  Well, not "just" Atkins...I have flavored protein shakes that I like that I will also smuggle in.  I'm also planning on bringing my Excel workbook...at least a portion of it!  My meter loses time and the daylight savings feature never works...so the info it gives is useless, when, that is, they can get it to upload at all!  I'll just bring a copy of my records...they are better anyway (I don't record my meds in my meter, even though it does have that feature)!  I also have pretty graphs...even though I can't seem to figure out how to get my high/low lines to show up properly!

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In "Chicken news", Gertrude likes her meal worms so much, she is learning tricks for them!  She does know "sit"...I swear, she just wanted to show off how she could jump for the goodies when I had video rolling!  Her "sit" is basically just a squat, but it is so damn cute!  As soon as I even touch the bag, she is at my feet begging for them!  The other two don't even like meal worms!  They do, however, love BOSS!  So, I have been tossing them BOSS before Gerty gets any worms...
Another favorite for all of the girls is "weed salad"!  We have a hill in the backyard that is perpetually covered in weeds...we tried to eradicate it earlier this year, but it didn't last long.  This works out for the girls though, I grab them a handful every day and toss it in the coop to give them something "new" to do and stay busy.  Yesterday, I just had to capture this after I tossed in a rather large load of "salad"!  They just love ripping apart the whole plants and the grass is a favorite for all!  There is also Dandelion greens and some unknown weed that Henri just loves eating the flower/seeds off the tops of!  There was nothing left but stalks by bed time...

The coop and run are getting "prettied up" today!  The bedding in the coop needs changing (I don't scoop the poo out, I just mix it all in, so it needs changed now), the sandbox is nearly empty, so I need to scoop the poo out of it and have the other half help lift a new bag of sand into it (I can't get the bag out of the trash can we use in the run for storage), I need to add hooks to hang the feed and water from (the feeder got here Thursday evening and water nipples should be here by next Friday...drilling buckets for those today!) and generally just making it look "less messy" as the girls are having visitors tomorrow!  Another Spokane resident is looking into building himself a coop and having a small flock and wants ideas on how to go about it, so I told him he could bring his family over to check out the setup we have.

I finally got around to trying a Cheesecake recipe too!  I ended up making a Chocolate Cheesecake with a Hazelnut Crust, only 4 grams of net carb per slice (1/12th of the pie)!  It is silky smooth and a little bit bitter...but that is expected with only 1/4 cup Splenda in the whole thing!  The author recommends serving this with a drizzle of Sugar Free Chocolate Sauce (Hershey's makes a decent one...), I forgot it though when I served it!  This is also one of the simplest cheesecake recipes I have ever made!  First, there is no cream cheese in it...the "cheese" in cheesecake comes in the form of Cottage Cheese and a little Sour Cream!  It was super simple, with only a few ingredients...cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs (I used our backyard fresh eggs), baking chocolate, Splenda...that's it!  The crust was simple too...Hazelnuts, Protein Powder (Vanilla, but this would be even better using Chocolate!), and Butter!  It looks, acts, and tastes very close to a Graham Cracker Crust!


Did I mention it has been a busy week?  I also got some new crochet projects finished!  The square(ish) thing is a hot pad...It's cute and all, but I don't think I'll be making that pattern again!  The other thing is a hearthstone...for those non-WoW (World of Warcraft) players...this is a thing in your inventory that you click on and it sends you "home".  For the WoW players...yes, I know the colors are backwards!  My first few attempts at this pattern were painful to say the least, as it turned out, I was following the pattern wrong (it was written badly) and the yarn I was using (the "white") was just too thin to use for the body of this project.  Since it is going to the newest member of the family...I didn't think he would mind, but hos oldest brother might!  It is about the size of my hand and made from soft baby yarn, so I deemed this a perfect baby toy!  I even know how and where it is going...ha!

The cat stuff finally got moved upstairs to a location we are more likely to remember to do things like scoop the poo every night.  Having two large cats, this is a necessary evil...otherwise they fill the box in a couple of days!  This is their new set up...the chest of drawers is pulled out from the wall about 6 inches so they have easy access to the litter box, but the dog cannot get in there for "snacks".  The step stool is blocking the "kitty hallway" from the dog as well.  We cleaned off the top of thew chest fpr their food, the large feeder has the "normal" food and the small one has Baby's "special" food (only he eats it, but it is good for both of them).  That is Baby hanging out on the step stool...it is his new favorite hang out spot!

I'm not sure if I posted this or not, but last weekend, my other half and I went out to Liberty Lake so I could volunteer at Mutt Strut!  While the shelter's "big dogs" were on the 1.5 mile walk/2.5 mile run, we got to hang out with the 3 puppies the shelter had brought along!  They are labs mixes (and most assuredly gone to homes by now), so freaking cute!  The other shelters that were there were sure my other half was going home with this sweet little girl, we did not though...  Looks just like Rosie when I first got her (10 years ago)!

I think that's it...we did have plans this weekend, but without consulting me, those plans were changed...so back to making my "logbook" Excel workbook even better instead!

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