Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Diabetes Intuition . . . .

Ever just have a feeling about something?  When you know in your gut something isn’t quite right, even if you don’t have hard evidence to support it?  It happens in life, and for me, it especially happens in life with diabetes.  For example, let’s say I go out for dinner.  And I look at the plate of food in front of me and I look at the carb count given by the restaurant’s website, and I just know the information isn’t right.  Or maybe I’m at the endo and my basals are being tweaked, and I just know the new basal rates aren’t going to work.  (Although I must say, my endo absolutely respects and listens to my input.)

My diabetes intuition was blaring yesterday during my site change.  When the new site went in, I just had a gut feeling that something was off.  And I wondered, do I listen to my diabetes intuition or not?  On one hand, I’d hate to pull a perfectly good site because I had a feeling but no proof.  And if I had been wearing a sensor, I probably would’ve given the site a chance, knowing that my CGM would alert me if the site did indeed fail.  But last week I decided to take that sensor break, and I wouldn’t be starting my new sensor until this morning.  (I like to leave them in overnight before I put in my first calibration.)  Of course, there is also the option of just checking my blood sugar frequently for a few hours to determine if the site is working or not.  But I’ve been having a rough time lately, struggling with some major depression, and I just didn’t want to worry about increased sugar checking.  So, I decided the best thing to do was to go with my gut.  I pulled the minutes old site and inserted a new one.

Crystal_ball-2400pxIt's times like these when I wish I had a diabetes crystal ball to rely on, instead of using diabetes intuition.  That would really be useful in our diabetes management, wouldn’t it?  Of course, even it it existed, our insurance probably wouldn’t cover it anyway . . . .

So when has your diabetes intuition kicked in?  And did you listen to what it said?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Time Off . . . .

I love my d-technology.  I love that it helps me better manage my diabetes and makes my life easier.

NoTechExcept when I don't.   Because to be honest, there are also times when my d-tech gets on my last damn nerve.  And it’s not really the fault of my devices.  But I guess it also isn’t really my fault either.  Being with anything 24/7 is bound to get annoying after a while.  (And I’m not just saying that because my husband has been home sick all week.  *wink wink*)  The beeping.  The constant stream of information.  They are helpful and important, but they can be a bit much sometimes too.  And then add in the skin irritations that can pop up.  The care that must be taken not to yank out sites and sensors when changing clothes or using the bathroom.  The fact than my cat always seems to sit on the exact spot where my transmitter is attached to me.  It all gets to be a bit much at times.

And so, when my CGM reached the end of its six day life last night, I decided to take some time off.  I think a week should do just fine.  Yes, I’ll need to test more often and be more aware of any high or low symptoms.  But it feels oddly freeing to be CGM-less right now.  Don’t get me wrong, I know how very fortunate I am to have access to a CGM and I know this is totally a first world (diabetes) problem.  And maybe I’m just a big old whiner.  But since I can’t take time off from diabetes, this feels like the next best thing.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Top of the Muffin to You!

I’m not making any New Years Resolutions this year.  Instead, I’m going to keep working on being postive and making 2016 a really great year.  Part of that is to continue my  journey to eliminate as many pre-packaged foods as I can from our diet.  I’ll keep trying to make as much as I can from scratch.  My favorite transformation carrying over from 2015 has been breakfast.  I had gotten accustomed to eating organic cereal bars because  they’re fast and easy.  And organic.  Which is nice, but they are also pre-packaged and therefore highly processed and packed with preservatives and other junk we probably just don’t need in our food.  So I though about what I could replace those cereal bars with, and my answer?  Home-made muffins.  (Unlike Elaine, I eat the bottoms as well as the tops.)

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Muffins are quick and easy to make, and the varieties are endless.  Oatmeal muffins and banana nut muffins and cinnamon apple muffins (I skipped the topping on these to cut down on the sweetness).  And when I get a craving for those big grocery store muffins that used to be my favorite, a batch of these helps.

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I’m starting my 2016 muffin journey by pulling out an old muffin cookbook I bought years ago.  It contains 100 muffin recipies and I plan to bake my way through it page by page.

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The  nice thing about this cookbook is that the recipes are a bit healthier than the ones I’m finding on the web.  The author battles high cholesterol and her recipes reflect that.  I must admit, I do use whole eggs in place of the egg whites or egg substitute her recipes call for, but overall the muffins are still lower in fat and more healthy.

Small changes amount to big progress, right?  Here’s hoping!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Diaversary that Wasn’t . . . .

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My diaversary (or the anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis) falls some time in December.  My hospital records are long gone and we’ve forgotten exactly which day I was rushed in and diagnosed, so I usually pick the middle of the month, December 15th, to mark the occasion.

This year makes 36 years I’ve lived with diabetes.  Pete and I usually celebrate.  We aren’t celebrating the fact that I have diabetes.  After all, although I firmly believe “life with diabetes isn’t all bad”, I most certainly would rather not have to live with this (or any) chronic illness.  But we still celebrate, to acknowledge how far I’ve come, how far treatments have come, how much work we put into keeping me healthy, and that I’m still here and (mostly) kicking diabetes’ butt.

So I had last Tuesday all planned out.  First I’d blog about my diaversary, which I do every year.  Then I’d head out of finish my Christmas shopping and stop at Crumbs for celebratory cupcakes.  And that evening, Pete wanted to take me out for a nice dinner.

None of that happened.  I woke up Tuesday feeling depressed by the weight of 36 years.  I was thankful to still be alive and healthy, but I hated everything about living with diabetes.  I didn’t have it in me to celebrate.  I didn’t even have it in me to leave the house.  I vented to a group of trusted friends in a private Facebook group (which helped a lot, so thank you!!).  And then I climbed back into bed to watch T.V. and snuggle K.C. (who was an overjoyed kitten loving the extra attention).

It kind of seems stupid and whiney now.  I don’t quite know what my problem was.  But on the other hand, diabetes can be so demanding and if I needed  a day to wallow I guess that’s okay.  By Friday I was ready to buy those cupcakes, but alas our Crumbs is closed again, apparently for good this time.  Oh well.  Pete wanted to reschedule our fancy dinner for a day that I’m feeling up for it, so we have plans to go tomorrow.  And who knows, maybe tomorrow is actually the day of my 36th diaversary.  But whether it is or isn’t, I want the dinner to be about Pete and I spending a nice evening together and not about 36 years of this chronic illness. 

This year, I guess I’m just not into my diaversary.   I just need the diaversary that wasn’t . . . . .

Monday, December 7, 2015

Push Through or Give In . . .

I believe one of the things diabetes has taught me over the years is when I should push through and when I should give in.  For example, there are some low blood sugars that I’m able to treat and just keep on with what I’m doing.  And there are some that make me give in and sit down for 10 (or 15 or 20) minutes while my blood sugar recovers and I’m able to get back to living life.  High blood sugars are similar - sometimes I can just bolus my correction and get on with things while the insulin works it’s magic.  Other times, I need to stop and check for ketones, have some water and re-check often to be sure the insulin is doing what it’s supposed to.  Judging whether I’m in a Give In or Push Through situation isn’t always easy, but usually I know which is the right thing to do.  (Even if I don’t like it and don’t want to admit it.)

sickThe skill of knowing when to push through and when to give in is something I can (and should) carry over into my non-diabetes life as well.  In fact, today is the perfect case in point.  I woke up this morning feeling a little tired but that’s not all that unusual when you have a husband who snores and a cat who likes to sleep on one of your knees.  (She may be less than 10 pounds, but it feels like a ton when she’s resting it all on one of my knees.)  As I drank my much needed coffee the sneezing began.  And it didn’t let up.  I’m literally stopping every 20 seconds to reach for more tissues and my nose is turning a festive red.  “It’s okay” I thought “I can still push through.”.  Then my throat began hurting.  And my eyes were begging for a nap.  And some chills and aches crept in.  And I’ve decided today is not a day to push through.

I think that without diabetes, I’d probably force myself through the day.  And I’d probably do a crappy job on everything because I’m not feeling well.  Instead, I’m smart enough to realize it’s time to give in.  I’m going to close the lid on my laptop, brew a cup of tea with honey, and curl up on the couch with a blanket, my cat and Netflix.  And everything else?  I can deal with that all tomorrow.  Because in the words of my favorite heroine . . .

“After all, tomorrow is another day.”




(In fact, the heck with Netflix, today might be the perfect day to pop on my Gone with the Wind DVD again!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Auto-Pilot . . . .

autopilot2Lately I feel as if Otto has taken over.  That is to say, diabetes seems as if it’s running in auto-pilot.  (Also that link is, of course, from Airplane!  So it is, of course, NSFW.)

That’s not to say diabetes management has exactly been easy, because diabetes is rarely easy.  There are still spikes and lows and pieces that didn’t go exactly as planned.  But nothing out of the ordinary and certainly nothing worth blogging about.  Last month I went to the endo and all was well - except that we upped my Vitamin D dose again.  If that’s all I need to worry about after almost 36 years with diabetes, I consider myself pretty lucky.  The Thanksgiving weekend brought such a great string of blood sugars that I had to wonder if I had a few islet cells kicking in valiantly before being wiped out by my immune system.  (Taking my parent’s dog for a walk after our turkey dinner didn’t hurt either.  But it was a pretty slow walk because she insisted on stopping to sniff EVERY SINGLE LEAF!!)  But all in all, things have been pretty quite over here, diabetes-wise.

I appreciate the small breaks when I can get them.  Even if it doesn’t leave me with much that’s blog-worthy to write about.  I can sacrifice blog material for the chance to let diabetes run on auto-pilot while I focus on other parts of life.  After all, history has taught me that this won’t last too long, so I’ll enjoy it while I can!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Winners Winners Winners . . . .

1390714768-2400pxJust a quick post today to announce the winners of the six pairs of blue circle #LaceUp4Diabetes laces that Novo Nordisk was kind enough to provide for me to give away.  Yay!

Over all, between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Bitter~Sweet, there were 36 entries.  I wish I had a pair for each and every one of you.  But the six people I do have pairs for are . . . . . .

Briley Boisvert
Liz Wedward
Aliza Chana Zaleon
Martin Wood
Stacey Divone
Tarra Robinson

Congratulations to you all!!  I will message or email each of you to collect your addresses and send your laces out next week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#LaceUp4Diabetes . . . .

Humor me for a minute as we flash back to my college years.  (Disclosure:  This time period may involve any and all of the following: big hair, day-glo colors, large geometric prints, piles and piles of black rubber bracelets, and guy-liner long before it was known as such.)  A young version of me is late for class and frantically tying my Keds when a lace snaps.  In a hurry, I pull out both laces, throw them away and rush off the class.  And I decide I like these new slip-on Keds I’ve created.  And since then, each time I buy a new pair of Keds, the first thing I do is take out the laces.  I used to throw them away, but now they get hung on a hook to be used as K.C.’s cat toy of choice  (She loves a good string to swat at and it keeps her away from my yarn.)

So why are we strolling down memory lane (in our lace-less Keds)?  Because I now have a reason to put laces back in my sneakers, thanks to Novo Nordisk’s #LaceUp4Diabetes campaign and these lovely blue circle laces.

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When these laces started popping up around the DOC a few years ago, I longed for a pair.  And last year I was fortunate to score them from Scott Benner.  And this year, I’m thrilled that Novo Nordisk has sent me the 6 pairs you see above to give away!

Why is this important to me?  Well, because exercise motivation is probably the portion of diabetes management I struggle with the most.  But when I actually do exercise, it’s so easy to see the benefits to my blood sugar,  my mood and my energy level.  And seeing the blue circle laces helps with motivation.  They remind me of those health benefits, but more importantly they remind me of all my friends in the DOC who have a regular exercise regime that I admire.  And although we aren’t actually exercising together, we kind of are in a virtual way.  And that helps get me moving.

So, would you like a pair of these laces to help get you moving too?  Simply leave me a comment and I’ll enter you into a random drawing.  I’ve also been taking entries from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, so I’ll gather them all together and pick six winners on Friday.  Good luck!