• diabetes and steroid meds

    Disclaimer- I am not a medical professional or nutritionist, but I do have diabetes and have become really good at controlling my blood sugar with diet since I cannot take the diabetes meds.

    Having to deal with diabetes sucks bad enough, but sometimes you have to get prednisone shots or go on a medrol pack for allergies or autoimmune flare ups or goodness knows what else, and then diabetes can turn into a real nightmare. Steroid meds force your adrenal glands to squeeze out more cortisol, which in turn makes other hormones and chemicals do stuff, and while this can be wonderfully life-saving, it also makes your liver dump out its glucose backup, originally meant for fight or flight emergencies, into your bloodstream *right now*.

    Facts About Corticosteroids (Steroids)

    Steroid meds are awesome when we need them, even when they temporarily make us gain weight and lose sleep. But a diabetic person on steroid meds is in a catch-22 situation when their blood sugar spikes a hundred or more points and stays that way while on steroid treatment. Increasing your diabetes meds without strict monitoring can get dangerous, and then you wind up on a roller coaster between high spikes and low drops. This is especially dangerous in traffic. I have no proof of that, but I'm sure doctors and highway patrol would agree, because low blood sugar drastically affects decision making and reaction time, kind of like being drunk or sleepy.

    I have a solution! And it works! I confess it's not my idea, bit it's brilliant, and I can help you. happy 

    The best thing I ever found for easily controlling blood sugar spikes during steroid treatment is the Rosedale Diet. (I'm not being paid to say this, and I bought nothing from them but a used book off Amazon.) Dr. Rosedale takes the time to list foods you can eat that don't spike your blood sugar. There are plenty of foods out there in the form of proteins and healthy fats that you can rely on. The problem is that our world nowadays is so saturated with carbohydrates (sugars and starches) that it seems almost impossible to know what to eat during times of illness and stress, when a diabetic's blood sugar goes the highest.

    Other easy ways to learn what 'carbs' to avoid is by following the South Beach Diet or by learning the glycemic index. Even people without diabetes find they lose weight faster and in a more healthy way when they simply limit the amount of carbs they eat. Diabetes websites such as American Diabetes Association also recommend 'counting carbs'. But that sounds like a lot of work, you say. Nope, it's EASY. Food labels show you how many grams of carbohydrates per serving. Rule of thumb is 10-15 carbs or less per meal or snack. You get 11 carbs in one cup of milk, for instance (that's half of a tall glass).

    I had the opportunity to try this myself recently after an ER trip with IV prednisone, benadryl, and pepcid for unknown cause that could have been anything from allergic reaction to lupus flare up. I also had to take a pain pill on an empty stomach there, so they gave me 4 crackers, which normally won't spike my blood sugar much at all because it's just under 10 carbs. Since I hadn't eaten in several hours, my blood sugar was most likely below 100 before I got the prednisone shot. (I'm able to control with diet since I can't take diabetes meds, and therefore test regularly, so I know pretty well how it goes for me.) After I went home I got my glucose monitor out and a piece of paper to keep track. My blood sugar had jumped up to 148 from only 4 crackers on an empty stomach. I knew better than to eat any more carbs that evening, so I scrambled a couple of eggs and ate a piece of cheese. My blood sugar held steady like that for about 12 hours. When it finally came down the next morning (tested 111), I had some coffee with a little milk and a half tsp. of sugar in it and did ok, but I still stuck to mostly proteins and healthy fats until I was sure it was going to stay down through the afternoon. THEN I went back to 10 carbs per meal and snack. But then when it was time to take prednisone pills that evening (24 hours after the shot), I stopped all carbs again about an hour before I took the pills and didn't eat anything else through the night. The next morning my blood sugar was down to 115, so I was able to handle a small amount of carbs with breakfast, and then eat normally as the day wore on.

    This worked fantastically until the fourth evening. My brain fell out, I wasn't thinking, I remembered my prednisone and took it without waiting after I ate, and 30 minutes later suddenly decided to polish off the rest of some chocolate milk I had left over, about a cup. *WORST*NIGHT*EVER*. ~omg~ My blood sugar must have spiked over 250 and stayed there for hours, because I was miserable, up every hour to pee, tossing around feeling like my heart was beating too hard, felt too hot, finally got a nasty headache that went down into a neck spasm and I had to get an ice pack out at one in the morning just to be able to lay back down. It didn't even dawn on me until I woke up again at 3:15 with a nasty throbbing headache that I did that to myself. I totally forgot to count my carbs and slammed that prednisone down right in the middle of them. I took my blood sugar right then and it was 142, so at least it was on the way back down, and was 118 by 5:45, thank goodness. The next night I watched my carbs again and *slept great*.

    Ideally, you want to keep your blood sugar below 120, preferably between 86 and 100. Blood sugar goes up and down all day as we eat, and that's normal, but it's not normal for it to go over 120 and stay way up there for hours, which is what prednisone will make it do, especially if you've just had a shot. So until that comes back down, NO CARBS, or you'll make it go way higher. A great site to get really good blood sugar information from another real person like me is Blood Sugar 101.

    If you are diabetic and must spend a week or longer on steroid meds, here are a few quick rules of thumb until you can get your menu figured out-

    *Avoid all sugared drinks, including soda pop, tea, and fruit juices.

    *Cheese, cream cheese, and butter are ok, but cut down or avoid all other dairy, because lactose will spike your blood sugar, including cottage cheese and some other soft cheeses.

    *Eggs, nuts, meats, poultry, and fish are awesome, but avoid eating them if they are breaded in any form, especially tempura. Breading (flour) will spike your blood sugar as much as sugar will. Peel the breading off. This goes for other breaded foods as well. NO onion rings or other breaded veggies like okra or mushrooms or jalapeno poppers! Also beware of sugared or honeyed nuts and main dishes with added sugar in any form, which happens in some Asian, Mexican, and Italian dishes. *note- IHOP uses pancake mix in their scrambled eggs and omelettes, which will spike your blood sugar. Check labels on frozen precooked meals.

    *Avoid all grains in any form as much as possible until your blood sugar comes down, and then only in moderation because grains are super carby. This includes all pastries, cakes, cookies, pies, breads, buns, tortillas, gravies, sauces, pastas, and rice. I know this is really hard. *hug*

    *Be very careful with all legumes. Beans will spike your blood sugar a little differently from grains, but will stay high for a long time if you eat a lot. This includes chick peas and tofu. This part is really tough for vegetarians who use legumes for protein, so please watch this and keep monitoring your glucose levels.

    *Avoid potatoes and other high starch or high sugar root vegetables and gourds, such as squash, pumpkin, carrots, parsnips, and beets. Stick to leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and radishes. NO french fries or chips! Corn is the worst, watch the peas, stick to green beans, unbreaded okra, and asparagus. *note- some restaurants soak lettuce and salad veggies in sugar water to freshen them up, which can spike your blood sugar. This has happened to me. It sucked. It's not fair when you can't count on 'healthy' low carb foods in restaurants because of poor practices, so be vigilant.

    *Be careful with tomatoes and ketchup, very high in both natural and added sugar content. Avoid salsas, spaghetti and pizza sauces, basically stay away from concentrated tomato products if your blood sugar is already high.

    *Cut out fruits until your blood sugar is under control, although you can probably eat most berries without much of a problem. NO watermelon! Fruits are naturally very high in sugar content and are as bad on spiking blood sugar during steroid meds as drinking soda pop. I think avocados are ok, half a banana or less, but since fruits aren't marked for carbs and are generally carb rich, it's easier to walk away if you haven't had the time to look it up.

    DO NOT DESPAIR. Remind yourself this is temporary until you can figure out your blood sugar pattern, like I did, or until you can make sure your diabetes medication is working well for you while you are on steroid meds. The worst thing you can do on top of feeling sick or dealing with something like flare ups and meds is make your diabetes worse. When you don't feel well in the first place, it's very natural to grab and eat something that tricks your body into thinking it will feel better, like caffeine or quick sugars and starches. But that feeling is very temporary, and the consequences are not only miserating, but harmful and even dangerous if your blood sugar is spiking up into the 300's. YOU CAN CONTROL THIS. I've learned this because my own health depends on it, since I can't take the pills. A nice perk I've noticed is that when I carb count while on steroid meds, I don't have any new weight gain.

    I'm not going to abandon you there. I have a lot of experience with making food yummy and keeping my blood sugar down. That list up there is for emergencies while you are trying to get through the next 24 hours (or week) of misery (because that is usually when I find articles like this myself, and probably why you are here, too). You need a reward for sticking through this far during such a sucky time! heart Let's make this easy!!!

    I know what you're thinking- it's already sucking bad enough, but the thought of eating salad and no dessert when you need comfort food the most is about to send you through a black well of despair. If you absolutely must have something or go crazy, the dessert I have found that does the least harm is a very simple cheesecake, but you still need to keep the portion small so you won't make yourself sick. I got this recipe from a Philadelphia cream cheese box. Total carbs in the entire cheesecake is 224, and if you slice into 8 portions, each portion is 28. So eat half a slice of this cheesecake and get only 16 carbs, which is fantastic compared to most desserts having 30 or much more.

    Crust- 1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 c sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter, stirred together and patted into pie plate.

    Filling- Mix together 2 8-oz blocks of cream cheese, 1/2 c sugar and 1 tsp vanilla, then mix in two eggs. Pour into crust and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Do NOT add a topping when it's done unless a label says it has no carbs because it's been replaced with artificial sweeteners. Fresh berries are ok if you don't add sugar to them, but please use your glucose meter to verify this and not my word.

    One of the biggest challenges in switching to a low carb diet is thinking you have to sacrifice flavor and feeling comfortably full, if you are used to filling up the empty corners on breads and desserts. One of the myths of good health is that fats will kill you, when in fact the sugar is already doing it much faster. The body craves healthy fats because they are essential to good nerve conduction and proper metabolism, among many other things. Because fats have lots of flavor and calories, a little bit of fat replaces a whole lot of sugar and starch and your body is much more quickly satisfied when you eat them. When you eat sugars and starches and play the game of spiking your blood sugar, your body sends out an alarm when your blood sugar starts to drop, and if you are diabetic, this alarm is sent out prematurely because your system is wonky, and bing, you're hungry again even when you've had more calories than you need and it hasn't been that long since you've eaten. This vicious cycle can be broken without the horrible suffering you imagine, simply by eating more proteins and fats. Treat yourself to some delicious food as you limit your carbs while you are on steroid meds, and you will feel so much better in both the short and long term. I have a few recipes of my own linked right here that work wonderfully for me.

    campfire scrambled eggs- add more veggies if you like, it only gets more delicious

    restaurant quality alfredo sauce- if you need a low carb sauce or gravy to go over grilled meat or poultry (do not add pasta)

    Italian Chicken Fingers- the breading is half parmesan cheese for low carb

    really good chicken soup- super low carb unless you add carby stuff like potatoes and rice

    I wish you all the best, and I hope this was helpful.


  • the zombies got sitemeter



    And that's even worse when you feel about two months behind in the first place.
    To all you poor saps working around the clock at Sitemeter lately, I raise my coffee to you this morning. While little blogs around the net are actually documenting traffic increases every time the word sitemeter goes into their posts because so many frantic surfers are looking for answers, they are still turning to other stat counters in tiny desperation. What happened this time? Massive lightning strike? ( X-class CME pulsing their equipment? ( Traffic jam during the server move? (pun, ha, I'm so funny at 7 a.m.) I'm just glad I'm not on that end of it. I'll wait it out over here in my little house, because I'm curious. I've been with sitemeter since 2004 and I know all their ins and outs. I've triangulated their tracking system with internal tracking here and a stalker module on another blog when it was bouncing off the walls in 2008. People talk about switching: hey, just add something. If you're getting it for free anyway, just use more than one tracker so you'll have backup. Don't just compare during their worst crisis, compare it year round when your sites are slow.
    So here's the deal, since other bloggers are yapping their TMI numbers. My sites were essentially dead, because I had them all closed for two years, some longer. I only recently opened them back up, just in time, apparently, for the epic sitemeter fail. My internal trackers asploded this week, nothing over the top, just busybusy, and it would have been nice to have sitemeter for a tad more accurate info. But I don't have any of that, and after wrestling with it for a couple of days have decided to sit back and ride it out, just watch and see how it gets handled, etc. Every time a host of any kind goes down for 'maintenance', it always takes longer than projected, it's usually handled badly, i.e. making the users feel abandoned without explanations, and then when it's all fixed the host service usually winds up way better than it was before. I went through this with AOL's growing pains years ago and stuck with them when everyone else I know bailed, and I can't tell you how cool the services are now. I've gone through this with xanga multiple times. Look at all the people hanging in there with facebook, even though the grumbling is continual. Webring did a massive overhaul and is trying to get me back. And sitemeter has grown through several glitches just like everyone else. "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology, we have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. We can make him better than he was before; better, stronger, faster." I remember when there were no computers for us peons. Now regular bloggers have access to light-speed-up-to-the second information and have all kinds of cows and kittens when servers go down. At least send sitemeter a thank you card for boosting your traffic while you're complaining about them. That's a free service.
    Back to my coffee. I've got bigger things on my plate. The prednisone seems to be curing Scott of zombie-itis, and he's feeling well enough to wrangle with some new technology at the break of dawn. We'll have our own server downtime going on if I don't monitor this situation.... *need coffee*  (ug, now photobucket is upgrading again...)
  • I married a zombie

    Scott is having one of those interesting weeks where you wind up at the doctor a few times to rule out lots of stuff and everyone is scratching their heads. So he's home on loads of prednisone, twiddling his thumbs, and he starts rattling about all the ways we're going to outwit zombies when the attack finally comes, like building a plank mechanism out one of the upstairs bedroom windows to trick them, as soon as they're on it we can dump them while we watch from the roof, on which we'll have pulled up the extension ladder. Not that zombies have ever been able to figure out how to climb ladders, right, but just in case.
    Every time we go in, the doctor runs down the same list, and every time she asks if there is any new confusion it's all I can do not to pop up and say, "Nope, we're ~real~ clear on the plan to wait out the zombie apocalypse on the roof while we bait and kill zombies with a gizmo outside a window."
    Today is our 19th anniversary. I'm not entirely sure Scott hasn't already started turning into a zombie. I'll have to think of an alternate escape plan in case he tries to eat my brain or something.


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My first tracker was installed in 2004 and broke several times before moving to a new server, which lost a few months of stats, and then Xanga moved to new servers and I lost more stats for more months before the page came back up, so I've lost a total of about two years' worth of stats. The second was installed 2-22-14 and is considered very conservative by business owners who use analytics, which itself is very conservative, estimates being that roughly one third to one half of hits by real live people aren't even counted, most likely due to javascript discrepancies. Actual hits on several posts here are in the thousands now, and the Lexx Index in the ten thousands. I've got pingbacks turned off, so spam isn't counted at all within the Xanga internal tracker, and most direct post hits can be correlated to my real time linking activity on twitter and other social media. When I did Google Analytics beta testing I got to see how search engine performance compares to tracking. I believe live feed linking sources to various social medias are key to a future where search engines are more about performance than cataloging, which has been confirmed to me by coders who create bot algorithms as I was beta testing I've fought hard through redundant age-old stacks to make my way to the google front lines again, so my Lexx work shows up faster on Chrome searches now. This has been a really interesting ride. At any rate, my point is, I can still go back 6 years on my original tracker and I can still see that in 2013 just before the last big blog server move, I was getting traffic like this (and since then, the tracker may have been abandoned, we can't tell). Click the thumbnail to see full size.

My original tracker also still lets me see the latest 500 visitors on a map. I once counted over 80 countries among the total visits. You guys are not alone. Click the map to see it better.

Besides Lexx, the most common search phrases that bring new visitors here are variations on 'huge spaceship'. The most seen post from a phrase search is How Big is the Lexx? My biggest Lexx referrer is Lexx Domain. Most of page views per person count comes from the Lexx tag on Tumblr. Visitors who stay the longest come through URLOpener and are pinged through the Google translator server in Mountain View, CA.

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