Fostering & Adopting

After 3 years of trying to concieve we finally decided a few months ago to go to a Fostering & Adoption orientation. My parents came with us as they were also interested in fostering as well. The orientation was very informative and pretty much what I expected of it. We have the paperwork all filled out but have yet to get the required police checks.

It’s not a decision we just came to a conclusion on quickly before going. It’s something for me that has been in my mind since I was a teenager and my parents adopted my brother and when we first got together and the relationshop got serious even before we experienced infertility issues it was something I brought up and he agreed with me that he would love to foster and/or adopt with me.

As I mentioned the forms are all filled out. We just have to get the police record checks done and submit it. I’ve been sitting on it a bit because I need to call and clarify which of the checks we need to get done and submit with the application. We decided first on fostering and maybe adopting down the road.

There is such a great need for foster homes, especially for children with disabilities and for babies. I’ve just also been holding off hoping to get our schedules and little more open because we spend hours getting to and from work each day added to working 8 (me) and 9 (him) or more hours a day. If we foster there is no parental leave so I was hoping one of us could get on a day shift and the other a night shift so that we only paid for childcare for a few hours each day but that’s not working out so well as neither of us can get days, they wouldn’t even give it to me for valid medical reasons after I first got diagnosed.

I kinda feel like we are juggling health and logistics problems with our desire to be parents and it’s not really working out to well for us.

At one point in my life before Edward my desire to be a parent (I was all for adopting on my own or fostering) was hampered by dept and financial issues and in the case of pregnancy lack of a partner. Now that everything seems to be on track in those departments now there is infertility, health issues, and logistical issues with just never being home. I don’t want us to be parents that never have the time to spend with our kids. so we just have to find and make the time. Eventually hopefully everything will fall in place. We haven’t given up on pregnancy yet. We know what the issue is, it’s just a lack of finances and resources to try and overcome it which is so frustrating. Right now we are just hoping for a miracle but we really need to stop stalling and get the paperwork in so that we can become the parents I know we were meant to be.

Saving Money & Budgeting

I am so horrible at saving money. You would think working for a bank for over a year I would be great at it but I’m not. I’m terrible. So terrible. Eddie and I each have a tax-free savings account (TFSA) that we opened about a year ago, a few months after I started working for the bank. So far we each have about 500 saved up. I guess $1000 between us in one year is not bad if you look at it one way.

We also saved about $300 through something called bank the rest where your debit purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and at the end of each day that difference is transferred over to the savings account. I’m not sure but I think it’s just set up on my debit card for our joint account. I guess I need to get him to check. We’ve agreed that money is going to be used at the end of the year for something we want not need. Something for the both of us each year. So it’s being saved throughout the year and spent at the beginning of the following year.

Our TFSA’s are for a down payment on a house in another 1-2 years I am hoping. I also opened a high interest savings account which is tiered interest depending on how long you keep the money in the account. However this is empty at the moment. I had initially planned on using it to save up for a down payment on a brand new car however I decided it was more economical at this point to put the money I would have put in there directly onto the car we have to pay it down a little quicker. I set up an extra $25 on the car every 2 weeks on my payday.

I just feel like there is more we could be doing to save. I’m horrible at budgeting as well. I’ve tried using excel and I’ve tried some Android apps but I can’t find one I like. I don’t trust Mint or any of those that you have to log into your bank account. I really wish I could find an app that would work. I know if I could keep track of our spending a bit better I could cut some of our needless spending and put that money in the savings account.

I also have access to an employee share ownership program and investing options and things I can do with my bonus and such. I know I’m missing out on things I have access to but I’m not sure how to set them up. I guess I’m going to have to look into that as well.

Insulin & A Family of Diabetics

So I completely forgot my insulin last night. I have an alarm set on my phone for 11 PM to take it but for some reason I had accidently shut it off which I sometimes I do. I usually catch it an hour or two later but I didn’t until the middle of the night so I never ended up taking it.

So needless to say I have been in the double digits most of the day today. not super high. Like mostly 9s, 10s and 11s. Missing one days not bad but if I miss more then I’m in the high teens. My highest yet since starting insulin last year was 23 and it made me feel so crappy. I was so lethargic and had to pee every 5 minutes, my head hurt and I was cranky and irritable. I get very cranky and irritable the higher my blood sugar goes. I’m glad I didn’t go to high today.

On the other hand trying to find the right dose of insulin is so frustrating. At one point I was was too high. My Endo wanted me to be in between 4.3 and 6.7 mmol. 4.3 fasting up to no higher then 6.7 1 hour after eating. But that was when I was taking mealtime insulin. Up to 5 shots a day. One injection of intermediate acting insulin in the morning and one in the evening. Then 1 injection before each meal of short acting Insulin. This was causing a lot of bad lows. I hate the feeling of a low. It absolutely terrifies me. I remember when I was a teenager like 16 or 17 we used to babysit a little girl who was 4 who was diabetic. My mom ran a daytime and her and I were educated by a diabetes educator on administering insulin, food education, how to spot lows and highs etc.

Back then it was a needle and syringe and testing urine for keystones etc. But I remember some of it. I used to babysit her on the weekends occasionally as her parents trusted me and I was careful and mature and my mom was literally the next street over. I remember her having lows. now I can appreciate as a child of 4 when she recovered how terrified she was. How she felt.

When I go low I sometimes feel it and sometimes don’t. Hence the continuous scanning of my Libre. If I feel it I get shaky and slow. I feel like I’m moving through a vat of molasses. Time stands still. I get confused and combative and hungry. So hungry. I want to eat the fridge. Not just what’s on it but the whole damn fridge.

The confusion makes me feel stupid at work. I forget my train of thought. I can’t concentrate. I have a hard time forming words and especially sentences. It happens a lot if I have a break or lunch scheduled and o get caught on a call that takes to long. And then my confusion makes the call seem longer and sometimes the customers get annoyed. What can I say “Sorry I’m having a hard time processing thoughts or understanding what your saying because I’m diabetic and my blood sugar is too low because you won’t stop asking me questions and I can’t take my break that I am now 15 minutes overdo for?” Can’t exactly say that…

That was mostly before my Freestyle Libre and I was also testing my blood sugar before and after every meal, at every snack and wake and bed time. It still happens often though even with it. But yeah, so many needles! I don’t know how many diabetics do it.

I remember sitting at the hospital with the diabetic nurse who was showing me how to use an insulin pen and I was literally terrified to stick the needle in. She jabbed herself with the demo one 2 or 3 times in the time it took me to do it once and no word of a lie… I was crying the tears were running down my face and I felt like an idiot. I hate hate hate needles. I wish I could say it’s easier now but even after a year there are times I have to really force myself to give myself an injection and I’m only doing it once a day now thanks to the new insulin I am on.

I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to go back on the mealtime insulin. A pump would be great but I don’t think Manulife covers it and the Nova Scotia government only covers it if your under 25. Which sucks. Maybe a move to another province is in order. At least I can move with my job potentially if we wanted to.

Eddie’s been a great help and support and cheerleader throughout my adjustment period. He’ll talk me into giving myself insulin when I’m ready to give up.

My parents on the other hand who have always been extremely supportive in everything I do or we do and who are both diabetic themselves have surprised me a little. My dad tells me I’m being silly and that it doesn’t hurt to give an injection. Even though he admitted it sometimes does and my mom well my mom seems to have just said fuck it all. She doesn’t check her blood sugar.

I think she does take her insulin which she actually started taking after I did but she bitches about it every step of the way. That insulin is stupid and that we should just be left alone to die in peace if we don’t feel like taking insulin or changing our habits and that the doctors push it on people who don’t need it etc. She’s really negative about it and then she gets on my case saying I shouldn’t be taking it and that I’m not trying hard enough to control it without etc. it’s kind of annoying. I worry about her and my dad he can’t remember and she doesn’t want to and me I want to do everything right but at the same time I don’t and I know I don’t. it’s so frustrating.

Wisdom Teeth

My wisdom teeth have been bothering me off and on for years but I have never bothered to get them out. About a year ago after starting work at Scotiabank and going to the dentist for the first time in about 4 years my dentist advised me that my lower right wisdom tooth needed to come out. I apparently didn’t have one on the lower left. I was scheduled in to a dental surgeon to have it removed about a month later. After rescheduling a few times and then being booked into the hospital to have all 3 out. II finally had it done March the 28th of this year. I booked it for a wednesday because I was already on a week of vacation and would have a few days to recover. I sick the week before and was concerned I would have to cancel again but as I was feeling better by the time the appointment was scheduled they said I could go ahead. It was a stomach bug about a week before.

My husband only has his learners permit and after booking the day of a few times only to be canceled/rescheduled this time he was unable to come with me. So my mother took me because they have to have someone there with you who can drive the whole time. We got there, parked and went downstairs to the basement of the hospital where the oral and maxillofacial surgery department is located. I am a worrier so the night before I had virtually no sleep and was tired.

We went to see the nurse who asked me about my diabetes, what meds I was on and gave me Amoxicillin and Flagyl (antibiotic) and 600mg of Ibuprofen and sent me to another waiting room. We waited for about an hour past my appointment time when they finally called me for an x-ray.

The nurse then took me back to the room with my mom following and sat me in the dental chair. The doctor came in, he was the head of the oncology department as well as an oral and¬†maxillofacial surgeon. He pretty much got right too it after asking me a little bit about my blood sugar control and if I had my meter with me which I did. He explained the risks which I will be honest I only paid half attention too. I had heard them at my other dentist before they were supposed to do them and then couldn’t. I signed the papers and then he got to work putting in the IV because I chose sedation. From there it is a bit of a blur until I woke up in recovery. I remember asking if the room was supposed to spin and him chuckling and then that was it.

At least I never felt the needles which is my worst fear I hate needles in my gums, it hurts so much and I hate the freezing I have even opted sometimes to go without for some dental work. Anyways next thing I know I wake up in recovery after drifting in and out a bit. They asked if I could walk I said yes and then my mom walked my out and upstairs and I walked to the car which was 5 min away. I felt perfectly fine. I went to my parents place that evening and my parents picked up my husband later at midnight and took us both home. At mom and dad’s I wasn’t the least bit sore as the freezing wore off. I iced my face anyways and took the pain killers (Ibuprofen and tylenol 3) when I was told to every 6 hours, first one and then 3 hours later the other, staggered like that.

We got home that night I propped myself up on a pillow and slept the whole night, the 2 tylenol 3 I took probably helped as I only took 1 at a time up to that point but following instructions I took 2 around bed time like they said. All the next day, thursday I felt fine. I stayed home, I relaxed on my own, Edward was at work. I watched TV, dosed a bit and played the Sims 3 and 4 some. Friday I was fine I was up moving around drive to get Eddie at work as he worked that Friday. By the time I got home from getting him I was starting to get sore but was still taking the ibuprofen and regular tylenol, switching the regular tylenol up with tylenol 3 only at bedtime at that point. I woke sometime in the night in extreme pain all down the length of my bottom jaw on the right. Top ones were fine throughout.

Next morning, Saturday we called the on call oral surgeon and met him down at the hospital. He said he thought I had something stuck in the socket in the bottom and he irrigated it with a syringe. Up till then I was never told to do that. I think your not supposed to for the first 3 days because of the clot forming. I spit out a lot of blood and I am assuming now looking back that that’s when I spit out the clot, cause apparently I did at some point. He said it looked good to him but because of my diabetes, the fact I was on insulin which makes you more susceptible to infections and the fact I was hospitalized a few months before for a nasty infection for 4 days that he was going to put me on Amoxicillin and Flagyl and told me to keep taking the tylenol/tylenol 3 and ibuprofen and sent me home.

The pain never went away. It radiated up to my ear and all down my jaw and into my throat. I made it to Monday but was in so much pain I was throwing up which was not helping. Monday (Easter Monday) which was a holiday I called the on call oral surgeon again and got a woman this time who told me to come on down and she would talk a look. She said I had an infection still but since I was on antibiotics to keep on them. She also said I had what could have been a slightly dry socket. Which she said is really painful but all they can really do is pain management till it heals on it’s own.

She wrote me a note for 10 days off work and packed my socket with something that tasted like cloves and sent me home with instructions to ice it for the swelling, heat for the sore jaw which she said was a combo of the fact my jaw was open during the surgery much farther then it normally would be for a while and also the dry socket and infection and to keep taking the pain killers and finish my antibiotics and to come back friday to have the packing removed. The worst of the pain seemed to subside within a few hours but my jaw was still sore, I was on a soft food diet and the antibiotics and ibuprofen were doing a number on my stomach so I stayed home, relaxed and tried to eat what they told me too which I had been doing all along.

All through it the soft diet was a bit challenging because sometimes I could not get enough to keep my blood sugar above 4.6 mmol and sometimes I would have something really sugary like ice cream or yogurt (the non-healthy sugar laden berry flavored kind) which would spike me to 10, 11 or 12 mmol or higher. I felt like crap. But by Friday I was finally feeling better. I went back, saw the same woman, she took it out the packing and sent me on my way saying to still take it easy. I had a doctors appointment for something unrelated with my family doctor but I mentioned everything with my tooth. He looked and said he thought it still looked slightly infected and put me on another round of Amoxicillin and Flagyl just in case.

I was scheduled back to work sunday. All friday and saturday I was fine, slightly sore but okay. Saturday night I got a really bad ear ache which went down again into my throat and I was having an issue swallowing. Looking it up it was the signs of a dry socket acting up which I know I had but thought it was getting better. So I left it, went to bed and work up about 3am in so much pain I was doubled over and could not even touch my face. So sunday morning I called again. Same woman. She told me to come back down.

I did and she said yeah definitely a dry socket and she packed it again with the clove tasting grossness which actually helped a lot. I told her I was still on antibiotics because my family doctor had put me on another round so she said good finish it completely and she gave me another 2 weeks off work. By this point it was 3 and a half weeks since I had been to work. Slowly over the next week the pain and swelling subsided and I went back to work only after one week not two and I worked all week last week with no major issues. A little swelling, bruising and soreness and still now I have to irrigate and watch what I eat but I have not had any pain killers in 3-4 days and am sleeping again through the night (well as much as I did before anyways). I am feeling 98% better. If I move my jaw the wrong way or eat the wrong thing (been eating solid food for the last 5-7 days again) then I get a bit of pain.

I am so thankful they took them all out. I never want to have to go through that again. Good news was was that my work is great and my benefits are great and I got paid for the whole 4 weeks and the whole thing only cost me about $120 for the surgery and all the drugs after because of the benefits.

Work vs Life Balance & the Freestyle Libre

I’m not sure why I keep paying for hosting or to keep this domain since I just don’t really feel the need to blog like I used to. I’m just too busy. Edward and I both leave for work at 12:20 PM and catch the bus and by the time I get home at 11 PM and take my insulin, change and head out in the car to pick Eddie up for Midnight and drive home it is almost 12:40 AM. We sleep 7 or 8 hours get up and do it all over again. That’s been the last year and a few months in a nutshell.

At first I was working 3 PM to 11 PM and was able to get discounted parking at $76 a month but then I requested an earlier shift at my doctors suggestion to help regulate when I ate supper and had my afternoon and evening breaks before and after supper because I was on both short and long acting insulin. Testing my blood sugar when I woke up and went to bed and before and one hour after every meal. They put me on a 1:45 PM to 9:45 PM shift with a 3 PM break, 5 PM lunch and 7:30 PM break which works out pretty nicely except that now I get to work about 1 to 1:15 Pm because I like being early and discount parking doesn’t start till 2 PM at Scotia Square’s Parkade. So I switched to taking the bus back and forth to work as the non-discounted parking is something like $200 a month with taxes.

It means using less gas, less wear and tear on the car and also more walking (walking to the bus stop, being outside more) and generally getting a bit more exercise so that part is a plus but I have to leave at 12:20 PM to get there by 1:08 PM for my 1:45 and when I leave at 9:45 the next bus is not till 10:23 PM which gets me home about 11 PM. So it’s a bit of a trade off. Bus passes are like $78 a month so only $2 more then parking. It’s just I could have left around 12:45 and got home by 10:15 If I drove.

There is no like work vs life balance really. Our weeks are taken up so much by work and getting to and from work that we have time for nothing else. When I worked at a place that had free parking and when I was on day or rotating shifts I found I could typically get more time to have a life and do things on the days I worked. So right now we are really living for the weekends lol.

I shouldn’t really complain. I get paid more then most people I know, more then my husband by about $6 an hour and because of me we have health benefits that cover 80% and dental that covers 90%. As well as I have short term disability benefits that cover 100% for a certain number of weeks and then 66.67% for the remainder until I am back at work and since I have been hospitalized twice since I started working there a little over a year ago and had to go on short term benefits 3 times in a year and 3 months I am really extremely lucky there.

Because of my benefits I was able to get this. It’s been’s a wonderful tool to have, the Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system. After installing the sensor on the back upper arm you can just scan it whenever you want to see what your blood sugar is. Took me a little bit to get the hang of using it but now I use it almost exclusively and only test when it shows I am rapidly going low or high and even then when going low I know it. I can feel it and can act to catch it before it happens because the arrow shows me going low and then within minutes I feel symptoms. I admit I scanned like 35 times a day in the beginning. I was paranoid it was not working as I didn’t understand the 10-15 min delay and how to spot trends but now I can accurately use it to dose. Even though I still use my Contour Next One to double check.

I was able to bring my A1C down from 8.2% to 6.1%. With 8.2 that means my average blood sugar was about 11.9 mmol/l (215 mg/dl) and I brought it down to 6.1 which means average of 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl). My target right now is I would like to get below 5.6% for my A1C and keep it there. But as with a lot of diabetics it will likely fluctuate I will likely go up and sometimes down. I just have to really use the Freestyle Libre and I am also going to try signing up for and using the LibreView software which I am going to sign up for after this blog post to see if I can figure it out. There is so much more I can be doing with it like recording insulin, carbs, exercise and using the charts to determine where I need to make more changes.

At the beginning of this post I said I don’t know why I keep paying for hosting and keep this domain but maybe I can use it to connect with other bloggers who are diabetic either type 1 or 2. I always loved the support you could receive in the blogging community and have been blogging for over 18 years. In fact I bought this domain in 2008 though I do not remember the month so this blog is now in it’s 10th year or almost in it’s 10th year! Wow