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The Diabetes Dialogue

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It was a beautiful Friday afternoon and I was perusing other people’s junk at a garage sale with my special fella when I got the phone call that would change my life. Looking down at the display window, I noted that it was my health care provider and figured they were calling with lab results from just two days ago. I’d needed a refill on my blood pressure pills and the new doctor I’d been assigned wanted to run some lab work to ensure that my medication was still the best fit for me. As it turned out, my blood pressure was great! In fact, it was the lowest it’d been in quite some time so the meds were doing their job!
Yep. Over the phone. While I’m somewhat familiar with diabetes since my mother has had the disease since I was a little girl, everything changes when it’s YOU! Suddenly, my head started spinning. What did this mean for me? Was I going to have to take insulin injections? Was I going to have to use a monitor to check my blood sugar daily? Would I ever get to enjoy pizza again?
For those unfamiliar with this disease, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Type 2 Diabetes says that, “Diabetes occurs when the body fails to make enough insulin, a hormone that helps cells take up sugar for energy and / or the patient has problems responding to the insulin that the body does make. Insulin enables glucose to enter muscle and fat cells, where it can be used as energy and stored for future use in a form called glycogen. Between meals and overnight, the liver produces glucose. Insulin plays a role there by ensuring that the liver produces just the right amount of glucose to maintain normal blood sugar levels.” The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Type 2 Diabetes also says that Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95 percent of all cases of diabetes and that 5.2 million Americans who have diabetes don’t even know it.
The doctor that I’d been assigned by the head honchos of my insurance company did a piss poor job of explaining what my course of action was to be and I believe I was in a bit of shock, so the logical questions (ahem, the ones I mentioned several sentences ago) didn’t pop into my head. She didn’t encourage me to call back if I thought of anything. She didn’t take the reins and tell me what I needed to do except to say, “Take your medicine twice a day and call the dietician to schedule an appointment.” The medicine, it turns out, is called Metformin and it’s formulated to help control the blood sugar. It also makes the patient (at least this patient…) feel like absolute poop! I’d been warned that it could give me severe nausea and that I’d become one with my bathroom. Good news though! Those side effects should only last a couple of weeks. Ugh!
Once I shook the cobwebs from my head and realized that…whoa! This is my life we’re talking about here!…I notified my insurance company about the doctor’s blasé way of notifying me about this life altering disease, and her lack of guidance for my future. I still have no idea if I should be conducting daily blood sugar checks or when I need to return for a follow-up visit. I have an appointment with a registered dietician, though they can’t see me for another 2 ½ weeks. Until then, I’m doing my best to make the obvious changes with no sodas or sweets and minimum carbohydrates. I’m in the process of obtaining an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in diabetic treatment.
Luckily, my significant other is determined to fight this with me and help me be more than just a statistic. I know that it’s not going to be an easy battle. There are days, I’m sure, when I’m going to try to justify eating what I want or not working out. In those moments, all I can do is dig deep and realize that my self-preservation depends on my strength and the choices that I make for myself. After all, choosing to live is going to be the sweetest reward I can give myself.
*Some symptoms of diabetes include unusual thirst, frequent urination, unintended weight loss or increased hunger, blurred vision, frequent infections, and wounds or sores that won’t heal. If you experience any of these symptoms or have a family history of diabetes, please get checked out by your doctor!*
Did you know…?
Diabetes has affected people from all walks of life, regardless of race, age, or gender. Some famous diabetic musicians include: Syd Barret, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Mick Fleetwood, Nick Jonas, Curtis Mayfield, Bret Michaels, Ghostface Killah, Mark Collie, and Elvis Presley. Diabetes has also affected the following actors and actresses: Halle Berry, James Cagney, Drew Carey, Carol Channing, Victor Garber, Al Lewis (grandpa Munster was diabetic!), Jackie Gleason, Jean Smart, Paul Sorvino, Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Perkins, and Mae West.
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Get Inspired at the Orlando Home Show

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The Orlando Home Showone of the region’s most anticipated fall events, returns October 24-26 to the Orange County Convention Center in West Concourse, Hall C facing International Drive. The three-day home improvement extravaganza is the premier place to find fresh inspiration, helpful tips, innovative products and fantastic deals in remodeling, home improvement, design and fall outdoor projects with hundreds of experts all under one roof.

Show highlights include appearances by Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and Todd Wilbur, author of Top Secret Recipes; demonstrations by top local chefs and Elaine and David of TLC’s The Next Great Baker on the Edible Orlando Cooking Stage; and daily how-to presentations by DIY expert, Chris Tice. Plus designer rooms, a Sunday food truck rally, featured products that are new to the market or making their Orlando Home Show debut, and much more!

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LIFESTYLE

Military Reconnect with Families at Callaway Gardens

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Beginning today, the Callaway Homecoming Initiative (CHI), a program a year-long in planning between Emory University, Callaway Gardens and Fort Benning’s Maneuver Operations Center for Excellence, becomes a reality.

The CHI is designed to help members of the U.S. Military reconnect with their families and assimilate into a peacetime home environment upon return from combat deployment.  Set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in west-central Georgia at Callaway Gardens, this program brings soldiers and families together – at no personal expense – in a spectacular and serene setting, far from the stress and anxiety of war.

A series of classes, developed in partnership with Emory University’s School of Medicine Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit, features experts from around Georgia, who have volunteered their services.They provide information to soldiers and families about unique aspects of military family life and how to transition from the combat theater.  Military families also participate in a regimen of outdoor team challenge,s including a timed adventure race, a zipline course, a laser tag competition and more. Ample time is built-in for recreational activities as well, including golf, tennis, fishing, bicycling and hiking.  When the day’s activities end, CHI participants unwind in Callaway Gardens’ Southern Pine Cottages, set in a secluded woodland environment and equipped with screened porches, full kitchens and fireplaces.

The program is directed by J. Douglas Bremner, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology, and Director of the Emory Center for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. Dr. Bremner also serves as Director of Mental Health Research at the Atlanta VAMC in Decatur, Georgia.

“With all expenses paid and a comprehensive program that addresses all aspects of the combat-to-peacetime transition, CHI is a win-win prospect for everyone – soldier, family and society at large,” said Dr. Bremner.

“Callaway Gardens was created to provide a place of nourishment for the soul, consolation for the heart, and inspiration for the mind,” said Edward Callaway, Callaway Gardens’ chairman of the board.  “What better group of people to engage in this environment so that they can benefit from its beauty at such an important and critical time in their lives to re-connect with themselves, their family and their homeland after providing such an incredible service to our country.”

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LIFESTYLE

Rockin the Hair at Rogue Hair Studio

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There is nothing better than a great haircut!  People take this notion for granted all the time, and I was guilty of that myself.  You get tied up with work, family and things you “have” to do and taking time to get your hair done, is somewhat of a luxury and a perceived time waster.  “When I have spare time, I will make an appointment” you say.

A great haircut and color is more than something to do in order to “look” good.  It is actually good for your soul.  It makes you feel great inside and you instantly have more confidence.  Even if you never thought you lacked confidence.

I had the best experience at a great hair salon today.  Melissa Meacham, the owner of Rogue Hair Studio in Woodstock is now the only hair stylist I will go to.  The Backstage Beat has officially adopted them as our hair care team!

Rogue Hair Studio takes their job of cutting and coloring your hair very seriously.  Even though it is a fun place and it can get silly there, trust me, these talented ladies are not messing around when it comes to your hair!

From a simple cut and style to full-blown rainbow fantasy hair, there is nothing they can’t do!

This is place to go to relax, get pampered and get the best haircut of your life.  You will walk out of there with a bounce in your step and a great attitude!

Get right with your hair, go Rogue!

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