Monday, May 18, 2015

Wrapping Up the Sixth #DBlogWeek

250x250It's hard to believe that another Diabetes Blog Week has come and gone, but it’s true.  I couldn’t be happier about how fantastic the week was, but I also am sad that it’s over already.

This year we had 195 participants signed up, and over 750 posts added to the link lists.  Those lists will remain open through to end of the month in case you’ve forgotten to add your link or if you fell behind but are still planning to post.  After that, the lists will be closed to new entries but will remain on-line for future reference.

ThankYou As always, I couldn’t have done Diabetes Blog Week without a lot of help.  A huge thank you to Mike Lawson, who once again created the fantastic DBlogWeek graphics for us to use.  Thank you Kerri Sparling for chatting with me about Diabetes Blog Week and to A Sweet Life for featuring me on their Short & Sweet series.  A big thanks to Scott Benner for hosting  me on the Juicebox Podcast, and for sharing DBlogWeek posts from non-bloggers on his blog.  And thank you to Cherise for featuring DBlogWeek in last week’s #dsma chat.

Last, but certainly not least, I owe a huge thank you to all of you!  I’m so grateful to everyone who blogged, read posts, tweeted, Facebooked, left comments and lurked with us for DBlogWeek.  This whole week wouldn’t be possible without all of your enthusiasm and participation.  I’m more thankful than you know.  And next year, if you are up for it, maybe we’ll have a go at the Seventh Annual Diabetes Blog Week.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Continuing Connections - #DBlogWeek Day 7

250x250Welcome to Day Seven of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  We are down to the last day of what truly is the most fun week of my year.  But it isn’t over yet!  We still have one more post to tackle.

Our topic today is Continuing Connections.  The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it's held every year.  So let's help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week.  Share a link to a new blog you've found or a new friend you've made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant's List, check it out and share it with us.  Let's take some time today to make new friends.

connectionsSo this had been a whirlwind week.  Diabetes Blog Week always is, but I also had a conference to attend on Thursday and Friday and a family wedding on Saturday.  It’s been so much fun, but I’m hundreds of posts behind on blog reading.  That’s actually a very good problem to have, except when it comes time to look back over the week.

I know I still have a lot of connections to make and blogs to get to know as I make my way through the link lists.  But for today’s post, I wanted to share the amazing vloggers I’ve discovered.  This was the first year I’d been asked if DBlogWeek was open to vloggers (short for video bloggers) and I was happy to answer with a resounding yes!

So please take a moment to meet and check out the Diabetes Blog Week Vloggers. 
I’m really inspired and impressed by the vlogs these ladies are sharing.  Vlogging has never been something I’ve been comfortable doing, so I admire their talent.  When you can see a person’s face and hear their voice, you can’t help but feel connected right away.  And that’s always been my biggest wish for Diabetes Blog Week.  So thank you Danica, Sarah, Lauren and Shelly for taking this week to another, most awesome, level!

728x90
Here are more Continuing Connections - Sunday 5/17 posts.

What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Favorites and Motivations - #DBlogWeek Day 6

250x250Welcome to Day Six of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  It may be the weekend, but we are still going strong.  We officially have almost 200 bloggers signed up to participate.  I just want to send out a quick thank you to the DOC for all of the enthusiasm and support this week, and for all the time spent writing posts, reading posts by others, and leaving comments.  I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has been wishing for a housekeeper and personal chef this week?

Today’s topic is Favorites and Motivations.  If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blog post that you have ever written?  Is it diabetes related or just life related?  If you are a new blogger and don't have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?  (Thank you Laddie of Test Guess and Go for suggesting this topic.)

juice
I started Bitter~Sweet in 2008 and have written exactly 700 posts (not including this one).  So picking a favorite is quite a tall order.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize my favorite blog post that I’ve ever written wasn’t published here.  It is a guest post I wrote for Kerri back in 2010.  It’s my story of why I always carry plenty of supplies to treat low blood sugars.  Hope you enjoy it too!


728x90
Here are more Favorites and Motivations - Saturday 5/16 posts.
What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Foods on Friday - #DBlogWeek Day 5

250x250Welcome to Day Five of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog WeekTGIF, right?  The week may be winding down, but it isn’t over yet.  We’ve still got three days left so let’s get to it!

Today’s topic is Foods on Friday.  Taking a cue from Adam Brown's recent post, write a post documenting what you eat in a day!  Feel free to add links to recommended recipes/shops/whatever.  Make it an ideal day or a come-as-you-are day – no judgments either way.  (Thank you, Katy of  Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes for this topic.)

I’ll admit, I don’t have the best eating habits.  My food choices can often be better, but I’m working on it.  So today I thought I’d share the good, the bad and the ugly of what I eat.

Good breakfast
breakfast good
I love apples with peanut butter.  I slice my apple into wedges and spread each one with chunky goodness.  Sometimes I’ll weigh the apple and measure out the peanut butter to get the carb counts, but usually I’ll just swag about 30 carbs for the apple and 8 for the peanut butter.

Bad breakfast
breakfast bad
These cereal bars are quick, organic and have a precise carb count of 26 grams.  But they’re also highly processed.  One of my goals it to work on eating less of the processed stuff.

Ugly breakfast
breakfast ugly
A big Cappuccino Chip muffin from the bake shop of my local supermarket.  I guesstimate it to be around 75 grams of carbs for which I generously pre-bolus on a dual-wave setting.  It often trips my high alarm, but not every time, making it impossible for me to nail down the right bolus.  I don’t eat them often but oh how being a little bit bad can sometimes taste so good.

PS: breakfast always includes coffee.  Coffee is a non-negotiable must!!
coffee
My coffee mug is huge (thanks to Hilary, who hand made it for me) and fits 5 cups of freshly ground and brewed dark roast with a little light cream.  A one-unit bolus covers this perfectly.

Good lunch
lunch good
I love salad.  If it’s from a restaurant I usually have to bolus a couple units to cover any sweet ingredients in the dressing and any bread served with it.  When I make them at home I usually don’t bolus at all.  The salad above was mixed greens with cucumber and goat cheese and home made lemon vinaigrette.  I wish I had remembered to sprinkle on some slivered almonds.

Bad lunch
lunch bad
When I’m not particularly hungry, or feeling lazy, I reach for a Greek yogurt.  I like the ones with the mix-ins.  I really like the ones with mix-ins that are chocolate.  So yeah, it’s really more like eating dessert for lunch.

Ugly lunch
lunch ugly
Even uglier than those Greek yogurts is the fact that many days I skip lunch all together.  I’m often just not hungry at lunch time.  Carb count = 0.  No bolus needed.  Still not a good idea.

Good dinner
I don’t have pictures of my dinners, but I often make what we call Cornflake Chicken.  It’s an oven-baked version of fried chicken and it’s so good.  The recipe is from The Chew.  (Warning: when you click on the link it’s likely that a video will start playing.  Just in case you’re secretly reading blogs at work or something.  Not that you would do that.)  I usually make steamed broccoli as our side dish.  Also, I make these as nuggets (using white meat only because I don’t care for dark) and I dip mine in a little buffalo sauce.

Bad dinner
Stir fry!!!  This is my go-to easy dinner.  I make it with packaged stir-fry noodles from the produce department (that come with a powdered flavor packet . . . I know), a bag of broccoli salad, and what ever protein we’re in the mood for.  Usually beef, but sometimes chicken or shrimp.  It’s my favorite quick, one pan dinner.  But again, that stir-fry pack is pretty processed and probably high in sodium.

Ugly dinner
Risotto.  I love risotto.  I make excellent risotto.  First, sauté some chopped pancetta.  Take it out of the pan and add some garlic.  A minute later, add the Arborio rice and let it toast a bit.  Then slosh in some white wine to deglaze the pan.  Then add chicken stock a quarter at a time, waiting about 5 minutes for the rice to cook and absorb the stock before adding more.  Then stir in some parmigiano-reggiano and that pancetta you sautéed .  Carb count?  You don’t want to know.  But it’s comfort food at its finest.  Add some roasted asparagus on the side and a glass of that white wine and I’m happy!

Good snack
snack good
A handful of this trail mix is what I reach for when I’m behaving.  It’s got almonds and cranberries and crunchy sesame thingies.  I totally swag the carbs.

Bad snack
snack bad
Oh how I love chips.  Ridged chips with onion dip.  Plain old thin chips.  In an effort to be a bit more healthy, I’ve been buying whole grain chips instead.  I think they’re baked, so that’s good.  Right?

Ugly snackcupcake
Mmmmmm, who doesn’t love a good cupcake.  The picture shows my favorite recipe Dark Chocolate cupcakes.  The peanut butter frosting from the recipe is divine as well, but the cupcake above was topped with regular cream cheese frosting instead.  I just love cream cheese frosting.  I modify this recipe, adding extra butter and sugar.

Oh boy, now I’m hungry!!

728x90
Here are more Foods on Friday - Friday 5/15 posts.

What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Changes - #DBlogWeek Day 4

250x250Welcome to Day Four of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  As we pass the halfway point of the week I hope you’ve been having fun and discovering some great new blogging friends.  I know I sure have, so thank you to everyone participating!

Today’s topic is Changes.  Today let's talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you'd most like to see change about diabetes, in any way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people's perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing.  OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes.  Were they expected or did they surprise you?

I can't help but think about today's topic as my past, my present and my future.

DinoWhen I was diagnosed, dinosaurs roamed the Earth and we used spikes from Stegosaurus tails as lancets.  Okay, okay, I might be exaggerating a bit.  But things were very different.  Urine testing.  Exchange diet.  One injection a day.  R and NPH insulin.  Sugar was strictly taboo.  Control was poor. 

Today, things have changed quite a bit.  Blood sugar testing and CGM.  Carb counting.  Insulin pump.  Apidra.  Nothing is off limits if I work to make it work.  Instead of “control” I try to say “management” and it’s better than it was 35 years ago.

So does that mean I’m happy to hold this status quo for the future?  Hell no!  There is still too much diabetes work involved in our lives.  Things need to be smaller and easier and more automated.  Three decades ago my family got our first cable box - a large push-button device that didn’t come with a remote.  That’s right, we had to get off the couch every time we wanted to change the channel.  Today I can program the DVR in my living room in Connecticut while I’m in California.  (I’m not in California, but I could do this if I flew out.)  This is what I want for diabetes.  Big advancements that I can’t even dream up yet.  (Because when I pushed those clunky cable box buttons I couldn’t have imagined the sleek DVR boxes and smartphones I’d be using today.)

I may not be able to tell you specifically what I want and how it can happen.  I just know we still need much better.

728x90
Here are more Changes - Thursday 5/14 posts.

What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Clean it Out - #DBlogWeek Day 3

250x250Welcome to Day Three of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  If you have signed up to participate, please check the Participant’s List to make sure I’ve added you correctly.  I tried my hardest but the chances are slim that I didn’t mess up an entry or two.  So please email me if your listing needs to be corrected and please accept my apology for the error.  Also if you are blogging along with DBlogWeek but haven’t officially signed up yet, please do so here so I can add you to the participant’s list.  The list will remain available well after Diabetes Blog Week is over as a Blog Roll of sorts and I’d love to include your blog on it.

Today’s topic is Clean it Out.  Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let's clear stuff out.  What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out?  This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you're mentally or emotionally hanging on to.  Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?  (Thank you Rick of RA Diabetes for this topic suggestion.)

There are a lot of things I could clean out of my emotional diabetes closet.  I am inclined to say that getting some therapy wouldn’t be a bad idea, but I’ve never quite gotten around to it.  (A therapist could probably tell me why I keep putting it off.)  But anyway, I feel like my first two posts of the week were kind of heavy, so I’m not going to delve into my emotional diabetes closet today.  Instead, I’m going to take a look at my physical diabetes closet and all of the stuff I’m holding on to that should just be cleaned out.

horder

This is some of the stuff I’ve stashed in a couple of boxes in my diabetes closet.  It’s stuff I haven’t used in years.  Old meters, old lancing devices, and tons and tons of lancets.  There are a bunch of instruction booklets and empty boxes from my pump and my current meter.  There is a bag of pen needle tips, a glucose tablet keychain, a thigh pouch for my pump (that no longer fits my thigh) and a box of Tegaderm which I haven’t used since switching to the Enlite sensor.  There is also a photo-bombing cat, but she can definitely stay!!

Why am I keeping all of this stuff?  I have no idea.  I mean, it’s not like I couldn’t use some extra closet space to fill with . . . um . . . something.  (Okay, it’s shoes!!  I always could use more shoes!!)  And come on, do I really need to be a lancet hoarder?  Is there ever really going to be a lancet shortage than I need to prepare for?  I don’t think so.  It might just be time for a Spring Diabetes Supply Purge!!  (And then maybe some shoe shopping.)

728x90
Here are more Clean it Out - Wednesday 5/13 posts.

What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keep it to Yourself - #DBlogWeek Day 2

250x250It’s Day Two of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  Before I jump into today’s topic, I wanted to take a moment to thank Scott Benner for hosting me on the Juicebox Podcast.  I had a great time chatting with Scott.  If you’d like to have a listen, you can find the episode here.

Okay, on with #DBlogWeek.  Today’s topic is Keep it to Yourself.  Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?  (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone.  There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects.  Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won't tell them.) (Thank you Scott E of Rolling in the D for this topic.)

I'm pretty much an open book when blogging about anything diabetes related.  I’ll share my triumphs and my struggles, the things that work for me and the things I need to improve, and even some fairly personal stuff that has to do with diabetes.  If something doesn’t have a diabetes connection at all, I’m probably not likely to share it because this is a diabetes blog, right?  And anyway, diabetes seeps its way into an awfully big chunk of our lives, doesn’t it?

There is, however, one diabetes story I haven’t written about in detail.  And that is the Glucagon story.  I did write a tiny bit about the incident but at the time I didn’t feel up to rehashing all of the details.

Glucagon

Honestly, even though it’s now almost two years later, I still can’t bring myself to write about it.  I’ve told the story to friends in person.  I carry guilt over what happened that night.  Part of me feels like I should share so others can learn from the mistakes I made.  But overall, I just don’t want to.  And I think maybe I never will.  And I’m trying to decide if that’s okay, or if it’s a blogging fail.

728x90
Here are more Keep it to Yourself - Tuesday 5/12 posts.

What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I Can - #DBlogWeek Day 1

250x250Welcome to the first day of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  I’m thrilled to see many past participants signing up again.  And I’m equally excited to see that there are so many new blogs are joining in for the first time.    If you didn’t sign-up yet, it isn’t too late.  The sign-up form and other information you need can be found in this post.

Let’s get started!  Today’s topic is I Can.  In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of "I can...”  that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren't sure you could?  Or what have you done that you've been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?  (Thank you to the anonymous person who submitted this topic suggestion.)

Two weeks from tomorrow I will turn 47.  And I am healthy.

Several years back I wrote a little bit about my aunt who died of diabetes complications when I was in high school.  I thought the things I saw her go through were the things my future would hold.  I thought it didn’t really matter if I tried to manage diabetes or not.  I remember laying in bed as a teenager and counting how many healthy years I had left.  I figured it was less than ten.  Definitely not 15.

old-304605_640And now it’s been 30 years since I stared at the ceiling and counted the years I had left.  I can dare to dream that at least another 30 are ahead of me.  I feel very fortunate that, for whatever reason, my body seems to be holding up despite what diabetes does to it.  I try to never take that for granted.

Living with a chronic illness sometimes means the thing I’ve accomplished that I didn’t think I could is simply living.  I can grow old.

728x90
Here are more I Can - Monday 5/11 posts.

What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.