Jenny: My Very Bad No Good Weekend

So long holiday weekend: nothing but good, right?

On Friday night, I hit a deer.  I’m fine, the car is banged up, and the deer is dead.  I wanted to stop to see if it was okay and then bring it home and nurse it back to health and adopt it into the family, but I was fairly sure the dumbass was in Deer Heaven.  Lani went to the grocery the next day and passed the corpse on the road; she said it died instantly and I didn’t ask for details.  

On Saturday, I was working on Lavender’s Blue and noticed that the lines of type on the computer screen were wavy.  At first I thought it was a computer malfunction, but then I remembered that I have a macula (membrane behind the retina) that’s looked like swiss cheese for years, and every eye doctor I’ve ever seen has handed me an Amsler grid and told me to check it every day.  Which of course I haven’t.  So I googled for an Amsler grid and yep, wavy lines and holes.  I have AMD.  Went to the doctor on Monday who confirmed that and scheduled an appointment for me at the Cincinnati Eye Institute in two weeks, and told me it was very early yet.  He didn’t say, “Don’t worry” because there’s no treatment for dry AMD and that there’s a good chance I’m going to be legally blind down the road, all of which I knew as soon as I figured out that those wavy lines were not a malfunctioning computer display.  That was a bad, bad moment.  Then after the appointment, Lani took me to lunch and we were arguing about something else, and she said, “It’s true, you just can’t see it,” and I say, “Oh, REAL NICE, Rich,” and then we laughed our asses off.  Because, you have to admit, that’s funny.

So to cope, on Monday night when I couldn’t sleep, I did mountains of laundry and started reupholstering a chair.  In the middle of all of that, I found an envelope buried deep in a laundry basket from two weeks ago from my doctor reporting on my physical.  Good news: kidneys and liver are just fine.  Bad news: my glucose levels indicate that I’m diabetic.  I’m in today for more blood work and a come-to-Jesus talk with the doc, but I already know that I have to change my life.  My first thought was, “Now I’m going to have to drink Teresa’s fucking kale milkshake,”(no offense, Teresa) but then I realized that orange juice was probably off the list, too.  Always a bright side.

So, a really bad weekend.  But as I told my daughter, I’ve survived stage three cancer and I’m living with asthma and polycythemia vera, and at least I have a chance of reversing the diabetes through diet and exercise, so really, that’s all good.   I’ll cope with the blindness if and when it arrives, although Krissie and I have always had a plan in place for that since I knew my eyes were a time bomb and her knees are, too.  We’re going to move in together, and I’ll push her in her wheelchair and she’ll tell me where we’re going.  Together we’ll make one very large, very cranky old woman who’s mobile and can see.

In the meantime, I’m re-habbing furniture and writing a book, fairly secure in the knowledge that next weekend will not be as bad as this one and that I am still the luckiest woman in the universe, especially since Krissie started this blog and made me begin changes that are now going to be non-voluntary, so thank you, Krissie.

Nothing but good times ahead.

144 thoughts on “Jenny: My Very Bad No Good Weekend

  1. I’ll start with a giant That All Sucks because a) It does and b) everybody should have emphatic agreement from friends when they get crap news.

    My next thought was, “Thank God Jenny’s a strong woman”. Instead of dwelling in the crappiness and letting the drama overwhelm you, you have a plan and will take action. You are a warrior woman.

    Regardless of the next steps, you will prevail.

  2. German Chocolate Betty says:

    First off, bummer weekend. All the way around.

    Second, I had to laugh at the last sentence, because a paragraph or two above it, I thought to myself already “nothing but good times ahead”… ;>

    See, the positive is: you’re such an influence on our thoughts! Your voice is in my head now.

    Also, just looooove the “one very large, very cranky old woman” image. I am looking forward to the cranky stage. I think I am getting there. The other night I cranked at my husband and he was a bit taken aback. But didn’t push back. So maybe being cranky will make life easier.

    Or possibly just more enjoyable.

    Keep on rolling.

  3. I’ll echo Mary Stella’s “That sucks” — because seriously, the deer alone would’ve freaked me out all weekend.

    On the silver lining side, one of my best friends since college is one of the heads of the staff for a major organization which raises money to fund AMD research. There’s some breakthrough treatments in the human trial stages now that are having some pretty great results. Not reversing AMD, but stopping it where it is. I need to ask her to remind me of the details, but from what I understand, it has taken a long time to get to this point where they are getting positive results, but they are getting them.

  4. So sorry to hear about your very terrible weekend. On the AMD, my son’s paternal grandmother is 81, has had it for years, and still reads and weaves. It can progress very slowly. I wish that slow, slow progression for you!

  5. Ylva Hedin says:

    Well wasnt that just the weeked from hell?!? Diabetes type 2 is easy to controll by dieting and exersising.

    You dont really have to do alot to get the glucoselevels down. An 20 minutes walk take down you glucose by two. So that good.

    Well you mabye become like my female dog. She is diabetic (since she was 4 yrs now she will turn 8 this summer) and she is blind.
    She is the grumpies and most loving terrier bitch you ever seen. She do not let anything or anyone make her mood changes and if the rest of the pack dont follow her orders well they know they are in for some real punishment! 😉

  6. I don’t really know what to say besides wishing that God keeps you safe and in good shape as long as possible. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about 15 years ago and I thought it was the end of my personal world – and then, miraculously, it came to a stop and there were no more attacks and I can live quite well with my ms-induced limitations.

    About that deer: don’t you have to report it when you have an accident with wild animals? In Germany, car insurance covers it if you can prove it was a deer or a wild boar.

      • That’s why the Germans build these sturdy cars – in Sweden, you have moose, in Germany, you might meet a wild boar. They are said to be very smart and difficult to hunt, they cause a lot of damage to farming crops, but they taste heavenly.

    • My SIL was diagnosed about ten years ago, and same as you, it just never got worse. Seems to progress only in the tiniest baby steps. Her doctor says at this rate, it will likely never prove to be a problem for her. She’ll die of old age before MS messes up her life.

      Had a writer friend diagnosed much more recently, but so far, same experience. Virtually no progression.

      Starting to think maybe a lot of people have the potential for the disease and certain markers in their body that make them test positive, but there’s something about their bodies or lifestyle or something that makes it never become a real problem.

      • Well, they say the later you get it, the better the prognosis. So for the first time in my life, I was happy when someone (the neurologist in this case) told me “Good that you’re already that old!” I was just turning forty. Hm.

  7. stephanie says:

    That is a truly bummer weekend and I think that was more than 3 things. Aren’t things just supposed to come in threes. Maybe you’re just extra special;)

    I like the team work you and Krissie have planned. My BFF and I have something like that planned for when I get Alzheimer’s. We’ll move in together and I’ll tell her stories from long ago and she’ll remind me where I put my shoes.

  8. That really is a terrible horrible no good weekend. I worry about hitting a deer and it totally freaks me out. To then have the bad medical test…oy!

    Good for your excellent attitude, and of course changing habits will help improve everything.

  9. Jane says:

    Ok, so with that list I’m thinking you are showing great self-control not having any expletives in your Very Bad No Good Weekend title. I’m heartened to hear about the research breakthroughs for AMD that Toni mentioned. My grandmother had AMD and it was tough for her in her later years. Of course she didn’t have a Krissie, so you’re good there.

    I’m impressed with your car and your driving that you were both able to come away uninjured from hitting the deer. Glad you are ok and moving forward.

  10. julianna says:

    Wow, that is a crappy weekend. I’m pretty impressed that you’re already snapping back and looking ahead. This will probably sound cheesy, but your strength is really inspinrg me right now. Including the fact that your way of coping with the eye news was to accomplish something — I tend more toward curling up in a ball in front of the TV. So I know you can deal with all the crap life is throwing your way, but I’m sorry that you have to.

  11. Briana says:

    That sucks! I’m so sorry to hear about all of it.

    Although, like folks have said, there are some things you can do. I have a friend whose husband takes special vitamins for his AMD and they seem to help — it really hasn’t progressed much at all — and I can ask her what they are. (though it might just be his form, too!)

    • I’m taking Ocuvite until I see the retinologist. I know there are heavy duty ones by prescription, so that may be what your friend’s husband is on. Every specific suggestion is a help; thank you!

  12. That’s a lot of sucky news. I would whine for quite a while, and then I would want to kick some serious ass. Which I know you will do. Nonetheless, I’m sending positive, healing vibes your way, along with extra Wonder Woman gear for the ass-kicking.

  13. Jenny,
    Drink the fucking kale! (Okay, you’re right. OJ has tons of sugar. Just don’t use OJ. I’ll tell you how to do it.)
    And my first thought for you was… well, she has a plan. I, too, would want a plan. I always want a plan. And you have a good one — you and Krissie, one with good knees , one with good eyes. Great plan.
    Have to take daughter to work. Back with more later. I know about pre-diabetes stuff myself. And my father is a bad diabetic. You do not want to be a bad one.
    –Teresa

    • Okay, back from playing taxi.

      My father’s blood sugar is awful and has been for years. It’s a miracle he’s still alive. He doesn’t take care of his blood sugar, eats fried foods and sweets, whatever he wants. He’s had toes amputated because of it, is probably legally blind and has other problems I won’t mention here.

      My mother exercises, eats well despite his bad influence, and her diabetes is controlled by diet and exercise without insulin.

      You really want to be my mother, not my father.

      First, what kind of blood test did they do? An A1c thing? A fasting morning blood sugar? Or just the finger stick in the office like at the gyno? The A1c is the best test of where you really are, based on the last 3 months of your blood sugar levels. Fasting test is next, and the plain finger stick could be anything, depending on when you last ate before the test.

      Do they want you on insulin now? Or willing to give you some time to see what you can do to get it down on your own?

      • Sorry, I answered this down thread and missed some stuff. It was a fasting blood test as part of a routine physical. Went in for A1c today. No insulin for now; we’re waiting on the test results and also I wanted some time to try lifestyle changes for a couple of weeks and to work with the glucose meter to learn how my glucose naturally spikes or falls depending on what I eat or do. My doc is fine with all of that. She did put me on Metformin, but other than that, we’re still figuring this out.

  14. romney says:

    That sucks.

    I had a similar pact with a bath chair. If my friend and I didn’t marry, we were going to take turns pushing each other round Brighton in a bath chair when we got old. I spoilt that by getting married, but I can still push my husband round Brighton in a bath chair right? It strikes me the world would much nicer if there were more bath chairs in it.

    • I don’t think we have bath chairs in America. One more thing we should import along with your fabulous black London cabs. They were one of my fave things about England.

  15. Samantha says:

    At least you are fabulous. It would be so much harder to deal with all of that if you weren’t already fabulous! And, I’m pretty sure that Stephen King has AMD too, so if nothing else, you are in good company. And Halle Berry has diabetes, which made me feel much better when my pancreas sputtered through pregnancy.

    • Micki says:

      I’m probably atypical, but scary stories make me want to go and eat something (preferrably chocolate). (-: Knowing the Halle Berry has diabetes, though, makes me want to go out and buy a catsuit. Love.

  16. A big pants weekend. Hope all the further testing for diabetes shows that is also early days. My m-in-law was diagnosed with AMD a while ago, but all so far is well, she’s 80 this March and doing fine with the sight.

    And don’t forget you’re a cherry goddess, seriously, there will be good times ahead. Especially thinking about the one big cranky old lady person…

  17. Marcia in OK says:

    “It all started with a dead deer, and went downhill from there . . . very fast!” The good news is now you can start on the upside.

    (((HUGS)) and whining is allowed. Friends that make you laugh at yourself, and bitch at you about your diet and the like will help.

    Forward!

  18. Maine Betty says:

    Jeez.
    My totally unasked for recommendation: a stationary bike. Even a cheap one. Exercise that can be down while sitting down and reading, or watching a show.
    And probably a change in diet is good. For instance, you may want stick to lean meats. Like venison.

    • German Chocolate Betty says:

      Oh, Maine Betty, how could you — venison!!? (BTW, did anybody see that some state, Arkansas or Texas, is making it legal to pick-up — read, scavenge — roadkill. And the author of the article wrote something like, “but that doesn’t mean you can now go hunting with your Buick, it has to be already dead when you spot it…”

      My apologies to all and sundry. I’m a bit punchy today.

      • Pam says:

        It’s not legal to scavenge road kill? My brother-in-law has been doing that for years. Mind you, this is the guy who got e-coli from leaving his open beer a bit too close to the septic tank he was cleaning . . .

        • German Chocolate Betty says:

          Well, I think it depends on the state. I’m originally from Michigan, where they average something like 2500 deer kills by car each year. Used to be you had to call animal control but couldn’t keep it (to keep people from hunting with their Buicks, smile), but then at some point they changed it where you still had to call, but you could take it with you if you want to.

          Of course in Michigan we also have elk (lower peninsula) and moose (upper peninsula), which will really kill your car (they’ll take out a semi), but your consolation prize is something like 400 lbs of meat.

          My sister-in-law has, to date, wrecked 3 cars killing deer (no home consumption though). One year she hit two within two weeks. Of course, it was mating season…

          RE: smaller roadkill (like raccoon, possum, etc) I don’t know if there’s an anti-scavenge rule. Skunks, however, ALWAYS ended up left at the roadside!

          • Pam says:

            I’m in Michigan! It probably is illegal to scavenge roadkill deer here, because we usually see the carcass by the side of the road. Must be no law against taking the heads to mount, though. Either that or we’ve got a headless deer problem. Which would explain why they so often end up in the road.

          • Micki says:

            LOL, classic throwaway line: “Like venison.” Reminds me of a bio teacher I had who would scavenge roadkill for his parasitology studies. (-: I don’t think he ate it, though.

          • Kelly S says:

            I have lived in MI for 5 years now. This state has the most roadkill ever. I think even now I’m passing 2 dead dear and a smaller thing every day on my commute.

            When a family member via marriages hit a deer in MI on his return to IL, the cop asked him if he wanted to buy a hunting permit so he could take the deer with him. He was appalled. 🙂

        • In Vermont you report it immediately to the police, they come and get it and if it’s fast enough it goes to hungry families (I think they sign up for it). So many people hunt — Deer Camp is a state institution.

    • Mermaid Scribbler says:

      Hugs to you! I’ve been following your different blogs for ages, but this is my first time to chime in. Drink the Kale! Juicing and trying a raw diet have helped many of my friends beat illnesses ranging from ovarian cancer to skin issues. Jennifer Cornbleet has a cookbook called “Raw Food For One Or Two People” that is easy to use and the recipes taste great. . The model, Carol Alt, has written about her experiences with the raw diet if you are looking for more information. You probably don’t want to eat raw food at every meal, but one juice and salad a day could really help. I have Celiac and can’t eat gluten, dairy, and soy. Cooking has become a lifesaving passion. I’m using this blog to help get back some healthy balance since I’ve had a baby (and can’t remember hot food or sleep). Thanks for starting this with Krissie! All the best!!

    • I have a treadclimber and I just downloaded Couch to 2K. I used to run five miles a day, so it’s just getting (slowly) back on the horse. I’m going to duct tape a bed desk to the rails and see if that works. If I come back in here and post that I have a broken jaw, you’ll know how I got it.

  19. Deborah Blake says:

    Well, doesn’t that all suck? (And Maine Betty, I immediately thought about venison recipes too…)

    The eye thing is the scariest. I’ve had some issues with my “good” eye recently, and it is definitely not fun. My family is riddled with serious eye crap, and anything that threatens my vision makes me nervous as hell. Here’s hoping it progresses so slowly, the new research catches up and you can go to plan C, which is sitting on the porch with Krissie and ogling young men.

    Hope the rest of your week is proportionally better!

  20. Awww, big hugs, Jenny. That was a crappy weekend. I like how you’re meeting these challenges head on and preparing a plan of action. Can picture you and Krissie cruising along with the wheel chair.

    I recall a lecture on AMD at Braille Institute (I worked there in the late nineties) and they were talking about for those with AMD there was a benefit in eating spinach. My thought was how much? Ten pounds per day? And do you have to cook it? Anyway, I became a spinach lover after that. So there you go, my assvice for the day, eat more spinach and it will help with the diabetes and the eyes.

    • I started substituting spinach for lettuce in sandwiches quite awhile ago along with making salads with it. It’s really good as long as nobody cooks it (bleah). Also excellent in omelets. I am one hundred per cent behind spinach.

      Kale, however. . .

      • I read that recipe for the smoothie and while I like smoothies, the kale in that one threw me off. I also admit to being a bit too lazy to actually make a smoothie with more than 3 ingredients. I have heard very good things about kale chips however 🙂

  21. Sharon Bates says:

    So sorry to read about your weekend but you do have a plan which is half the battle. About your eyes-my nephew complained about his eyes and he was tested. He needed glasses-the eye doctor said that he would not even be able to pass the driver’s test. Then, 2 weeks later, he was diagnosed with stage 2 diabetes. He has been on diet, exercise and insulin for 2 months and eye sight has improved dramatically. Here’s hoping your eye problems are managed the same way!

  22. Haven’t read the comments yet but I have to tell you – when I read this

    “We’re going to move in together, and I’ll push her in her wheelchair and she’ll tell me where we’re going. Together we’ll make one very large, very cranky old woman who’s mobile and can see.”

    I laughed outloud. Considering I totalled my car Saturday a good laugh was needed. Just goes to show that you aren’t losing your sense of humor.

    If you ever want to comiserate over diabetes call me up. I can bitch with the best of them. But I can’t give assvice about it becuase at the moment my blood sugar is all screwed up – partially because the DH didn’t want to go out of the way to pick up the meds. And partially because the pharmacy screwed up the insurance claim and the doctors office called stuff in to the wrong pharmacy and I (double underlined) am not proactive enough to pick stuff up as soon as I can so this doesn’t happen. I’m short two of my three meds.

    I’m so screwed. But happy to have a bitch fest with anyone about almost any subject.

    • Kelly S says:

      This is almost as bad as Jenny’s post. I hope/trust no one was hurt when the car got totalled and may your insurance be good. Also, here’s hoping your meds are now all figured out since I’m reading this 4 days later.

  23. Becky Bee says:

    That truly is a craptastic weekend.

    Here’s hoping that the bad crap progresses slowly while the good stuff zooms right along!

  24. Carol says:

    I can’t believe that no one has suggested Australia. 🙂

    I will join in the “that sucks” chorus, but your plowing ahead attitude kicks ass! I think with the multiples of bad news you’re allowed a little more time to wallow, should you so desire.

    Kale chips, baked in the oven with a little olive oil and salt, rock. Trust me on this.

      • Diane says:

        I’ve had these. They really are quite tasty and seem more like potato chips than you could possibly imagine. Kale is such a difficult vegetable to prepare in a way that tastes even remotely edible, in my opinion. And this is one way. There are 80 gazillion recipes for them via Google, but here’s one:

        http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-kale-chips/

        Really make sure it’s dry before baking and really make sure you keep an eye on it. I fall down on the last count many times in the kitchen. I am a master of culinary pyrotechnics through forgetfulness.

  25. Oh, of course. Why didn’t I think of that. Part of the eyesight thing can be high blood sugar. My eyesight is horribly wonky at the moment. However, I’m not sure blood sugar has anything to do with AMD – you could ask your doc. Regardless I think your eyesight will be less wonky when you get your blood sugar stablized.

    I thought I was going blind before I found out I have Diabetes. They perscribed glasses and when I got my sugars normal I needed new glasses again. So there you go. I hope you are better than I am at controlling what you put in your mouth. I need a keeper.

  26. merrymac says:

    Truly sorry to hear about the rotten week-end. I sympathize and relate. My horrible week-end was two weeks ago when I started seeing flashing lights. At first I thought there was a police car or something similar outside, but when I covered my eyes, the flashes were still there and my heart just sank. I knew it had to be a retinal problem. The next day I had emergency laser surgery to repair 3 tears in my right retina. So, I figure I’m lucky to be alive in modern times, and unlucky because it or a detachment can happen again at any moment. I already knew I was pre-diabetic, though, so at least my shocks were spread out. It’s still all very depressing and I need to stop flinching and freaking whenever I catch a mirror reflection or other flash of light, but I’m working on that. Oh, and thank God for Rock Star Betty, aka Kimberly. I’ll bet I reminded myself of how amazing she is about a million times that first week-end. And I’m thankful I haven’t collided with a deer or a boar. Or anything.

  27. Katherine Peterson says:

    I’m sorry to hear that all your troubles seem to be converging. I too live in an area where the deer’s only predator is the automobile. I am working on an AMD model experiment at the moment, but I’m afraid that I’m much closer to the bench than the bedside. But take heart, many bright dedicated people are working as hard as they can on both AMD and diabetes (and asthma too).

    So here’s my deal. I’ll love you forever just for the pleasure your books have brought me. You’ve been so generous with your blogging, letting us into your life and allowing us to share bits of our lives with such humor and charm that I (one among many I’m sure) want to count you as a dear friend. I don’t think that I am so desperate or isolated that imaginary internet friends are my only alternative, so my attachment to you is your own darn fault.

    Thus justifed for my impertinence, I am now going to vent at you. You’ve been warned. Jenny the health problems that you’re describing, the weight, the diabetes, the AMD, and probably to some extent the asthma are yours to manage and deal with. And by manage I mean managed with behavior. These are conditions associated with inflammation. Inflammation is affected by the way you eat and by the way you move (I don’t have to even mention cigarettes do I?).

    But I keep reading anger in your posts about getting healthier. What’s up with that? You’re mad/afraid that biology doesn’t work just the way you want it to? You’ve got to figure out what it is. Honor it. And get on with it, this stuff is really really time sensitive. Now not later. I understand the pleasure of floating down de Nile, but nobody gets to swim in it for long. **Tortured metaphor warning!** Sooner rather than later you will find yourself swimming alongside Charon in the Styx.

    Don’t make me quote Agnes back at you– and I could, without having to crack the book. We’ve all got to eat for nutrients these days. The ‘eat when you’re anxious’ used to work because starvation was what we had to feel anxious about. We don’t occupy the ‘always close to starvation niche’ anymore. Now the adaptation required is for the ‘so freaking many calories available it’s killing us niche’.

    Google AREDS (age related eye disease study), skip the ads from vitamin sellers, and check out the information about the results of phase 2 of the study. Diet has a large real effect on AMD. The associations between diet and disease progression were so strong that phase2 focused on diet and nutrients. Register that, not drugs, not genetics, not even *&%$ing cigarettes, but nutrients. Nutrients, what the patients ate mattered. That was news to the researchers. You have power here. Keep trying until you find versions of all those healthful options that are palatable. Besides, always a bright side, you won’t have to eat much of any of them if you’re keeping the calories under control.

    Enough with the food. I think that the missing element here at Reinventing Fabulous is the activity component. I will not repeat all the start slowly, increase gradually warnings, but, not to put too fine a point on it, you guys aren’t starting. If you read the science (geek here, I do) you will quickly see that increased physical activity is the THING. We are built to move. We don’t move, stuff goes wrong in a hurry.

    Why does moving more have to be a onerous burden? Playing and moving and running around are fun, aren’t they? It will make you feel better, and I’m here to testify that better is better. You need things (note the plural) you like doing, not something you have to do. I have to do my taxes, but I love Pilates, do it almost every day. Taxes, once a year with grumbling. Hell woman you have five dogs, doesn’t that count as five insanely happy reasons for exercise? Just the notion of dachshund doggie agility makes me smile. You’ll be lengthening their lives too. Everybody wins. Buy a treadmill desk set and give it a fabulous paint job. You could paint a scene on the tread that will make you smile every time it rolls by. Tai Chi? Move your chi, settle your mind, run some blood by all the tissues that depend on it. Use Bob’s WDW method for organizing, motivating, and evaluating how things are going. Just think of all the snark and fun sending him emails about how well it’s working. I will cease raving now.

    Jenny you’re so smart and so good at analyzing things. Point that humongous intellect at this and live longer and healthier.

    • Nice rant! Dare I mention now, my kale smoothie is supposed to reduce inflammation? 🙂

      But seriously, most every disease is now believed to come from an inflammatory response in the body, right?

      There’s a great nutrition book on eating to curb inflammation (ignore the stupid, this-title-will-sell-a-book title) The Flat Belly Diet Book. Lots of nice, simple recipes. The chai is to die for.

    • Kira says:

      Dancing. I bet dancing would make you really happy. Doesn’t matter what type. Good for the brain cells, too.

      May you have a full and complete recovery, and good health for many, many years to come!

    • Micki says:

      (Beating back the chocolate pudding demon this rant conjured up) (And if I went a little psychotic and acted it out, I’d have five minutes of my movement for the day.)

      (Deep breath) I know this is aimed at Jenny, but I really appreciate it, too. I KNOW what needs to be done, and you have said it again.

      But yes, I am enraged that I have to control my diet. I feel like a deserve a rest after my largely sedentary job. I go to doctors, and they have no specific plans — just vague recommendations to eat better and move more. Or “change your lifestyle.”

      I know it all begins with me. Only I can tell how much exercise is enough, and how much is too much, and only I can choose to control what I put in my mouth.

      And it still makes me want to punch something, but thanks.

    • Cathy M says:

      Katherine, you made some great points in your comment that I heartily support. I think everyone has something about their health that they have to take responsibility for. For me what it all boils down to is whether I’m willing to get off my butt and do what needs to be done or just wish the situation were different and do nothing. Some things can’t be changed, but if you choose not to do whatever is within your ability to effect, then you’ve made a self sabotaging choice.

      Keep preaching the word, Katherine. I’ll be your cheerleader.

    • First, thanks for caring. That was a lot of writing you did there.

      Second, the fact that we’re not posting about changing our diets and exercising doesn’t mean we’re not; there’s a lot we’re not posting about. We’ve only been doing this blog for nineteen days, there’s tons we haven’t mentioned. For instance, I’ve never smoked, so that’s not a problem. I’m not angry about changing my lifestyle; I’m angry about pretty much everything else, but I’m good with the lifestyle change, it’s going right along with all the other changes I’m making. I’m good, really.

  28. *uck.
    *uck, *uck *uck.

    My Mom had macular degeneration.

    Ok. I’ve inspected the cloud hover over you like some sort of spitball sent from a really pissed off Goddess, and have found the slightest sliver of silver.

    The deer could have taken you out, not the other way around. Cheers.

  29. Tracey says:

    Sending positive thoughts your way… my favorite Aunt had AMD for years; as a previous poster noted, it can move very slowly. I wish that for you, as well.

    Type 2 diabetes sucks, but if you’re rigorous about the diet and exercise, it can be controlled without meds. Long-term insulin use is not without side effects.

    But after all, you’re right — this next weekend can’t be as bad, right?

  30. Maria says:

    Big hugs on all of the totally sucky news! Becoming totally blind is a huge fear for me – your attitude rocks. Let us know more about the diabetes when you have the full battery of tests.

    I can’t help you on the what to eat. I am a lover of vegetables. You’d think I’d be thinner, but I am also a lover of cheese, fried food, fats and salt. I don’t mind the kale shakes when I add blueberries (covers the color of the kale) ginger, tomatoes, garlic, hot chilis and a pinch of salt. Don’t ask – it sounds disgusting but I do love it.

    Your attitude is great and here’s to advances in medicine where they can map our genes find the problem areas and then through nanobiological technology repair the problems. Things are already heading that way and I am all for it especially with the eye stuff!

    Rock on and paint some furniture!

  31. Several years ago I moved out into the middle of nowhere Ontario to live with my dad who should not have been living alone and I was elected because I wasn’t married and had no children which to all my siblings meant I did not have a life!Bitter!?!?!? Me!?!?!? One night when I was driving home from work I saw these huge dogs standing in the middle of the road, they looked like a cross between a grey hound and a hairless alsation (spelling), I slowed down because I am not into killing even suidicdal animals who must needs party in the middle of a small highway. Turns out they were deer, all females and all looking through my windshield at me with very superior eyes. But I thought “hey, I didn’t kill any and they didn’t kill me. In my defensive driving class I was told their hooves can decapitate a person.” Eventually, they with one leep bounded off the highway, kicking my car as they went. Luckily my car is plastic (Saturn) so there was no damage. So you killed a deer, at least you still have your head. As for type 2 diabetes I have been sprinkling cinnamon on everything that can take it because cinnamon helps the pancreas do what it’s supposed to do with sugar and insulin. I looked it up on the internet before trying it. One can also take the capsules. Actually, it works. As for Kale smoothies …. not while I have a taste bud left on my tongue!

  32. jane says:

    Please check out what Dr. Neal Barnard suggests for reversing diabetes. It worked for my husband; he lost 50+ pounds and was able to control his blood sugar. Now he’s unemployed and depressed and eating cookies, but that’s another story. And I make an awesome kale smoothie that he likes. Honestly, you don’t taste the kale, it’s just a disconcerting color, depending upon what else you put with it.

    I LOVE the plan you and Krissie have! My best friend and I have a similar plan for when our husbands croak (if we don’t kill them first!).

    • Thanks. Will check that out. I’ve recently cut down drastically on the amount of meat I eat, switched to Almond milk about a year ago, still eat a bit of cheese every now and then and organic high-protein yogurt.

      Blood sugar is still barely in the borderline-high-normal range, but going down.

  33. Courtney says:

    I am so sorry for all your troubles. I hate it when all trouble converges like that! Hugs to you! You are a strong lady so you can handle it. Look at you and Krissie planning ahead. My mom and her best friend have a similar plan.

  34. Maine Betty says:

    I feel I have to speak up for kale here. Cut out the spines, slice it up and steam it with olive oil and lots of garlic.
    Then chop it up fine and add it to mashed potatos. No – wait – I didn’t mean to add that last part!
    It’s good without the spuds.

  35. Maybe I need to make a pact with a friend around the same age that we’ll share a place together when we’re older and balance out each other’s infirmities. Right now I just have a pact that if I die, she empties the “toys” from my bedroom before my family has to go through my things.

  36. G and T says:

    If you lived anywhere where I have in the last 20 years, you can be thankful it wasn’t a moose. (I have not hit one…yet.) Not only are they large and ungainly, they also have a lot of ticks. Tens of thousands of them. I recently learned that one of the side effects of hitting a moose is the possible cascade of ticks into the vehicle cabin, along with random kicks to escape, general bashing about of the moose rack and voiding.
    See? Lucky.

  37. Jana says:

    Good grief, it’s the hat trick from hell. Glad to hear you’re facing it with your great humor, great friends, and great attitude intact–taking charge and taking no prisoners.

  38. Deb says:

    ARGH! So sorry to hear of your trials. I join the many who have faith in your ability to conquer what ails you.
    Thanks goodness for your besties and incredible will.

  39. Well. . . it was worse for the deer?

    But, yeah, a crummy weekend, fer shure. And scary about the AMD.

    The good news, though, is that diabetes II is controllable–as my doctor informed me, “You don’t have to have this disease.” Hmmm, yeah, okay, bring on the exercise–walking; bring on the food monitoring–not as bad as you’d think.

    Manageable, but still crummy.

    I’m crossing my fingers for you that things go better and this dumpload of lousy gets shoveled away fast.

  40. Katherine Peterson where are you? You wrote from the heart as only a good friend could…wonderful. The thought of failing eyesight is scary shit. I have retinal dysplasia, which I have to keep an eye on. I thought I saw lightening when there wasn’t any. 🙂 I have to agree with Katherine, nutrition…the old cliche, you are what you eat. Physically we haven’t evolved since we lived in caves. Our bodies haven’t changed…maybe not so hairy…Our ancestors ate greens, berries and what ever they hunted. Not a preservative in sight, or colour, or complex carbs. What makes us think we can do that to our bodies today. Everything I look at in the store has numbers. I’m on a number free diet. Sulfur, sulphates a preservative, makes my heart pump at 150bpm, that can’t be good. Balance and being creative is the key. Being HAPPY is the key. There are 10 of us in the immediate family, all 6 women, love your books, plus my husband, he’s the odd one out among the men, and has read them all. Fast Women and Angnes and The Hitman are his favourites. Reading your books, (and others too) makes us happy. We hang out for each new release…(no pressure 🙂

    Hugs from all of us down under…Oh that’s sounds weird.
    Hugs from us all who live…no that doesn’t work either.
    Hugs and thank you Jenny, from us in Aus.

    • Kat Peterson says:

      Hi, thanks for the kind comments. I’m here in Bethesda trying not to take remarks by the primary candidates about the worthlessness of Federal employees too personally. One of my responsibilities is maintaining a webpage that lists and links known genetic diseases of the eye. I’m sorry to hear about your dysplasia. Being a PhD rather than an MD I can’t offer medical advice, but I think that you are wise to take any visual anomaly (e.g. more lightening) very seriously. I can, however without reservation agree that choosing happiness is the key.

  41. Victoria says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought “venison!” at the mention of hitting a deer. It’s been a while since I’ve had any deerburger. It’s a version of the old “lemons/lemonaid” saw.

    Cinnamon capsules do work for reducing blood sugar. I have a sister that uses it. Also, people think “diet and exercise” are onerous when it comes to diabetes. It’s not. A 20 minute walk or bike ride or even dancing around the house to music will suffice for exercise. You could chase your pack of dogs around the house while leading them in a howl fest – burn off calories and frustration at the same time! (Personally, I like to collect exercise methods because I get bored easily.) As for the diet, there’s a lot of good assvise already given, except one. Get a food scale and start measuring your portions. Type 2 diabetes is caused by too much food as well as the wrong food.

    Also, blood sugar affects vision a lot, so your AMD may not be as bad as you think.

    • That’s the first I’ve ever heard of cinnamon capsules. Huh.
      I already chase the dogs around the yard and run up and down a flight of stairs about twenty times a day, so I’m not completely sedentary. But yes, moving more is part of the plan.

      • Yes, cinnamon capsules really work. Take two or three with a meal and you’ll be amazed at how much better blood sugar readings are.

        And if you’re a paste person, there’s a great pasta out now that’s loaded with protein, whole grains and fiber and omega 3s. Much better for the blood sugar than the regular stuff and it tastes completely normal.

        • But you’re not going to tell me what it is. You’ll give me a liquified kale recipe, but you won’t tell me the name of the pasta. REAL NICE, TERESA. Although I might already be using it. Smart something?

          • Victoria says:

            Just get the whole wheat pastas found on the shelf next to the regular pastas. They’ve got all the fiber and other stuff you need without hunting wild brands in the store.

            Plus, I like mixing brown rice with long grain wild rice (50/50 mix), both are very high in fiber and yummy. They also take twice as long to cook as white rice does. (Which is why I usually cook them in crockpot meals or low and slow with a roast in the oven. My rice cooker bit the dust and I haven’t replaced it. )

            If you’re an oatmeal fan, get the steel cut oats — also high in fiber, but with a much better flavor and consistency when cooked. (again, it takes longer to cook since these are whole-grain – in the crockpot overnight works here, too. I use the leftover oatmeal to make bread. One version is cinnamon/brown sugar and the other uses whole wheat flour mixed with all purpose flour 50/50.)

          • julianna says:

            Dreamfields makes pasta that tastes absolutely normal, but the way they manufacture it, not all the carbs are digestible. I know, that sounds like a crock of shit, but my diabetic husband eats a lot of it without negatively impacting his blood sugar levels. Just make sure not to overcook it, as that apparently breaks down whatever it is that keeps some of the carbs from being absorbed. (The box says not to overcook it, but doesn’t say why — I was assuming it was a flavor thing until I read the company website.)

            p.s. I was a little nervous that whatever their process is for “protecting” the carbs from being digested would be not-great for us, but I showed the packaging and some stuff from the website to my son’s pediatrician, and he said it was fine to feed him.

  42. Jenny, you and Krissie are indeed goddesses. I’ve been having a week from hell as well, feeling sorry for myself and just general life sucks stuff. I try to stay positive and ignore the messy things in life, and I end up thinking, “don’t worry about it, eat something tasty and really bad for you.” That’s not working so well.

    Then I read both your and Krissie’s posts and I realize that we all have “stuff”. And you two are here posting it for everyone to see, and heaven help you, the rest of us need that.

    Only good things ahead.

  43. Lani and I spent nine hours outside the house today. It was so long even I was ready to quit shopping. Teresa, I had a fasting blood test as part of a general physical which is how they caught the high glucose. Had the Aic or whatever that is done today. Went out and got shoes for the treadclimber/running. Loaded up my shopping cart with romaine, spinach, peppers, onions, and–just for Teresa–kale. My favorite buy: an iHealth which supposedly takes my blood pressure and records it on the iPad. How cool is that? Got pills (Metformin) to hold me until the blood test comes back and Ocuvite because I’m not seeing the retinologist for two weeks yet. Got a glucose reader and strips. Got a set of robin’s egg blue mixing bowls that I’d been lusting for at T.J.Maxx. Had salad with Lani at Panera. Bought big buttons for the chair I’m reupholsering. Bought new feet for the chair I’m reupholstering. There was some more stuff, but I can’t remember it all now. Crashing now. Thank you all for your advice and support, it means a lot. Smooch!

    • Jenny,
      Good for you. :))))

      FWIW, my brother’s in the same situation now, just been told he’s diabetic. His doctor told him to just stop eating anything white. No white bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no sugar, and he’s lost 29 pounds, seems like over night. But he’s a man, of course, and younger than all of us. (So not fair, the way that works.)
      So proud of you for buying the kale.

        • Well, as long as you think of me, Jenny…

          Did I tell you acupuncturist has me trying some Chinese herbs but warned that some people find taking them a bit like licking the earth? And some people don’t want to lick the earth.

          And yes, I think that is what it tastes like and I do not want to lick the earth.

  44. Micki says:

    before comments: This is no whine. You are being cranky (and well you should be), and also very brave. So, as long as you want to keep up the snark, let’s flip a finger at the universe, and determine to have a good life in spite of everything that comes at us.

    Yes, nothing but good times ahead will be our battle cry . . . . We can re-invent fabulous out of all sorts of odd materials . . . .

    • Micki says:

      Well . . . this was certainly a kick-in-the-butt blog and comment section! Going to go and pace the halls for a few minutes. I will eat well this week. BTW, isn’t kale used in Irish food? St. Patrick’s Day isn’t that far off, so it might be a good chance to share kale recipes . . . . (Of which I have none at this point.)

  45. Yay! Way to go on the goodies in the shopping cart and the new shoes. You Are making lemonade out of your sour lemon weekend. Fantastic! I think it really will be nothing, but good times ahead 🙂

  46. Cathy Hineline says:

    I have spent the last however many years reading all the Anne Stuart and Jennifer Crusie books ever published thinking of you living in a big house on the hill basking in all your fans adoration.

    I think I’m just now realizing that authors are real people too.

    • Well, the big house part is right–there are five people living here–but I bask in the adoration of my dogs mostly. I pick my audiences carefully (g).

  47. Damn, Crusie. You can’t just have a normal very bad no good weekend like everyone else, can you? Like maybe the cat yacked up a hairball on your favourite sweater and the toilet flush chain broke and there is glowing blue mold in the basement. Noooo, you have to be all dramatic with venison and vision and insulin.

    We need to talk about this whole over-achiever thing you’ve got going on. Because this is fucking ridiculous. Even for you.

    This is what happens when you treat your body like a mere container for your highly superior brain. Sort of inevitable that one day it was going to bitch slap you upside the head and demand more in the way of benefits than a daily dose of Oil of Olay. Good thing you’re smart enough and stubborn enough to DO SOMETHING about all this.

    Once you figure out what, exactly, needs doing, please let us know. I have a feeling my own body is working its way up to a sucker punch. Or two. Getting old is not for sissies.

    At least you’re not whining. You get a goddamned gold star for not whining.

    • Well, I bought kale. I have new running shoes. I walked past the Krispy Kremes at the grocery without hesitation. I think everything I’m doing is pretty obvious, though. The only really odd thing so far is the kale milkshake and I’m still not sold on that.

      Eat right! Exercise! You know. The basics.

  48. Jen Wyatt says:

    You’re very lucky you weren’t hurt when you hit the deer. If you live where there are lots of deer, get some deer whistles to put on the front end of your car. They’re cheap.
    You’re surrounded by folks who love you, including those of us in cyberspace.
    You will prevail! Go Jenny!

  49. julianna says:

    Make sure you see an endocrinologist for your diabetes. No matter how good your primary care physician is, she/he just isn’t an expert on the subject like an endocrinologist is, and it’s too important not to see an expert. Also, my DH found it really helpful to take a diabetes education class — if your endocrinologist doesn’t know of any, I think the American Diabetic Association has a list.

    • She’s still gathering data to find out what’s going on, so for right now, I’m good. Love the idea of a diabetes class, so I’ll definitely look into that once I know more about where I am. Thanks!

  50. Oooh, baby. Smoochies huggies, sized huge.

    Now about V-8 juice, has parsley beets tomatoes, separately and together, they cure ANYthing. I goose the low-sodium sort with Wocestershire, Tapitio hot sauce, celery salt and seed, shake it shake it shake it. Oh oh, good. Guzzle it. Also, investigate CSA, really. Changed my life.

    Move, if possible. And thank you goddess that it’s still possible.

    Listen to and thank Katherine. We all should.

    Write more.

    For my part, I’ll spur the doctor investigators out here at cutting-edge UC to hurry eyesight investigation. They’ve already learned a lot. Also, I’ll dedicate my next yoga practice to your intentions. And they better be good.

  51. Holy cannolli-of-doom sweetie! Well, so I won’t be showing up on your doorstep with ganache any time soon. But love and hugs and puppy kisses are making their way to you right now and always. You are mighty and awesome and dayum what a fucked up weekend! So very, VERY glad the deer didn’t hurt you!

  52. There’s nothing better than an awesome shopping spree. I can’t wait to get to IKEA…or as one in the family calls it ickyia

    Hope we get to see a photo of the chair 🙂

    • The chair will make its debut next week, fingers crossed. I’m still in the staring-at-it-not-sure stage of upholstery. Perhaps taking Mackensie-Childs as my role model was a bad idea. They’re not good with the subtlety.

  53. Reb says:

    Jenny, ouch. That’s awful. Like everyone else, I’m impressed at your sense of humour.

    And Katherine? Cut it out. I didn’t want a kick up the butt that my high fat, high sugar, no exercise lifestyle is going to make me miserable. You just forced me to cook up tuna and veges for dinner instead of icecream.

    “It will make you feel better, and I’m here to testify that better is better.” Love that line!

    • KatHerine Peterson says:

      Doing my happy dance to celebrate the awesomeness of your supper. Now, I dare you, impress me with your breakfast.

      • Reb says:

        Breakfast was wholemeal toast with butter and jam and an apricot. I cut back on the butter a bit. Lunch was a cheese toasted sandwich (wholemeal bread) and an apple. No butter. Cheese is a health food, honest; it’s got calcium.

        Do I pass?

        Day’s mostly not too much trouble. Evenings are when I hit the takeaways and chocolate. Sigh. And exercise so far today? Uh, none. Might bully myself into a walk tonight.

  54. romsfuulynn says:

    Diagnosed at the end of last August – glucose of 485 and a1c at 11.8. (I’d been fine 8 months before.) As of Dec 30 my a1c was 5.8 and my avg glucose was in the 130s.

    Metformin takes as much as 3 weeks OR MORE to kick in and as they work to titrate the effective dose, you again take time to react. Be patient.

    My doctor had me go straight to a small dose of Lantus (long acting insulin in a level every night dose) because she wanted my sugar down immediately.

    If you have a “smart phone” myfitness.pal has an app that gives you the carbs and sugars in anything you can imagine. (or you can just do it on the website.)

    Carbs are everything. EVERYTHING. Bread and rice and potatoes and pasta become just as much sugar for your pancreas to process as orange juice or soda or cake. The trick is to keep them low overall. 45-60 per meal (3 meals a day) and 15-30 per snack (2 per day.) Carbs lurk in unexpected places – a corn muffin at Famous Daves is 39 carbs. That’s why looking up the carbs in everything you eat is crucial. A corn muffin sounds healthy.

    About that “lean meat” – fat doesn’t affect glucose levels. You want to lose weight because overall being overweight makes it harder to keep your levels down but you can have a pound of bacon and 3 eggs with cheese and mushrooms – skip the toast and the potato and your glucose levels will still be low. Have half a bagel or muffin (or none) Steak and salad. Get nuts and jerky and olives and other low carb stuff to snack on. Half the bun on a burger.

    Monitor, monitor, monitor. Fasting am, and at least two hours after meals. Even very moderate exercise makes a huge difference. And log. For glucose monitoring I use “OnTrack” on my Android phone. It gives you all sorts of graphs and charts.

    I also had some blurry vision that cleared up when I got the glucose levels down. Also sort of TMI – I was having both a urinary tract infection and a yeast infection – which went away once the glucose level got down – (yeast particularly loves sugar) but which added to the general level of misery. But have your doctor check for both – the UTI particularly but both to some extent are masked by the frequent urination from the diabetes. Good luck.

  55. Ever since I read “Crazy for You” I knew you we’re awesome. That laughing your ass off because you can admit its funny just confirms it for everybody else.

    Anyone who can laugh in th face of adversity knowing what she’s staring at, is special indeed.

    (Er, did I just do that? I think I did)

  56. Late to comment. Am in awe of your attitude, that was a seriously horrid weekend.
    Whilst I think you have some really excellent advice I just wanted to chime in a say healthy food doesn’t have to taste boring. Having had a health scare makes you super careful at the start but once you get things under control, which you will (!), if the food you’re eating doesn’t excite you’ll end up sliding. So great excuse to cruise the web for tasty low GI recipes!

  57. Cathy M says:

    If anyone is still searching for kale recipes, I tried the one for sauteed kale by Bobby Flay and it was pretty good. I then modified it by omitting the garlic and adding a 14.5 oz can of Publix (our local Florida grocery chain brand) diced Italian seasoned tomatoes while the kale is cooking. Our local Publix carries kale that is already washed and chopped which makes this recipe quick and easy. And what appears to be a giant bag of kale that fills my large soup pot cooks down to a much smaller quantity. The Bobby Flay’s recipe is at

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/sauteed-kale-recipe/index.html

    I’ve also tried the baked kale chips and they’re great.

    • Jill says:

      Holy Crap ! You need a whole bunch of {Poor Babies}. Then get off the couch and fight this stuff. Which it sounds like you already are doing. May all the HGs (Health Godesses) watch over you.

  58. I am very sorry to hear about your rotten weekend but am glad that you have A Plan.

    I saw this the other day and thought you might find it useful: A few of Dr. Oz’s favorite foods http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307333,00.html

    For the record, there was no kale mentioned but his list does include dark chocolate. I’ve never watched him, but I like the way he thinks 🙂

  59. If you want to share eye war stories, we can talk. I’ve had a form of AMD since I was 47, which is far too young to be stricken with an age related condition. Mother, grandmother, aunt all have /had it. My daughters are thrilled. 😉

    I only get the wavy lines in my left eye though my right is beginning to distort, but the loss of central vision is similar in both. As long as it’s daylight and I’ve got plenty of flashlights around, I’m good to go. Also, yay for backlit digital reading because reading by flashlight is a pain.

    The “you can’t see it” is a running joke around here, and a great excuse for anything I’m accused of. 😉 When life gives you lemons, you hope you’ve squeezed the juice into the glass and not onto the floor …

  60. Kelly S says:

    I’m very late in commenting, but there was a ton of good advice here for you and I see you are taking it. Hope this weekend went better!

    You also made my bad week seem not so bad. I need surgery on my shoulder for a torn rotator’s cuff, had 3 stitches on my dominant hand that was cut while washing dishes, slipped on ice on the sidewalk, had a valuable team member quit, hubby got caught by phishing scheme, and caught a cold from the doctor who stitched me up. I am trying to look at it like this: I am grateful I have access to medical assistance whenever I need it and can afford it as I have insurance, the fall didn’t do major damage, the employee will eventually be replaced and we didn’t lose any money to the fraud. However, I have succumbed this week to comfort food none of which is healthy. Back to the veggies I go…

    • Kelly S says:

      Oops, I failed to add that I am very happy that you are safe and weren’t hurt by the deer! Also, I am glad that it sounds like getting the diabetes under control could help the eyes and sounds doable! So, Yay! You have a strong support group that is cheering for you to get better and live long.

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