Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What diabetes supplies to you lug around?

A while ago Lee Ann from The Butter Compartment did a vlog in which she went through her purse to show all of the medical supplies, and medical waste, that she lugs around.  Yesterday Kerri at Six Until Me did a similar vlog.  So I decided I'd put the contents of my purse on display for everyone too!

Things I learned while making this vlog:
  • The video quality of my laptop web-cam is pretty poor.  The words often don't match up to my lips.  There is also a flash of light near the beginning which seemed to make everything blurry for a while.
  • I move too fast and use my hands too much when I speak.  I can't help it, I am half Italian.  All of that fast movement doesn't help with the blurry issue.  (I did debate trying to shoot this again on my digital camera, but I couldn't deal with making another big mess.)  I apologize in advance to anyone who gets motion sickness while watching my vlog.
  • I need to learn how to put the fancy lettering on the vlogs so I can show people's web addresses when I talk about them.
  • When I'm nervous, I tend to over-state the obvious.  And babble.  And incorrectly identify things.
  • I need to learn to hold things up higher if I expect the camera to see them.
  • I carry enough candy in my bag to treat lows for the whole D-OC.
  • I can't tell a dime from a nickel.
  • Travel cups will crack me up.
  • I'm forgetful in front of the camera.  I meant to shake my empty bag and see how many old test strips would fall out.  It didn't happen.  Maybe that's a project for a future vlog!

Too scared to watch it? No? Okay, don't say I didn't warn you!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meme Monday - Over the Top

I spotted this little meme over at Ballatrina's blog last week.

I'm not sure if my blog is actually over the top.  It probably isn't.  I'm also not sure if I've done a MeMe similar to this already.  I probably have.  But I don't have the ambition for much else today.  We lost both a great aunt on my father's side and a great uncle on my mother's side on Saturday.  My morale is a bit low.  One word is about all I can manage.

You have to answer these questions, only using ONE WORD:

1. Where is your cell phone?  Close
2. Your hair? Graying
3. Your mother?  Fabulous
4. Your father?  Awesome
5. Your favorite food?  Lobster
6. Your dream last night?  Non-existent
7. Your favorite drink?  Coffee
8. Your dream/goal?  Purpose
9. What room are you in?  Living
10. Your hobby?  Knitting
11. Your fear?  Lonely
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?  Happy
13. Where were you last night?  Parent's
14. Something that you aren’t?  Coordinated
15. Muffins?  Please
16. Wish list item? Travel
17. Where did you grow up? Here
18. Last thing you did? Tweeted
19. What are you wearing? Glasses
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your pets? Spectacular
22. Friends? Wonderful
23. Your life? WIP
24. Your mood? Sad
25. Missing someone? SweetPea
26. Vehicle? Old
27. Something you’re not wearing? Socks
28. Your favorite store? Several
29. Your favorite color?  Green
30. When was the last time you laughed? Seconds
31. Last time you cried? Today
32. Your best friend? Far
33. One place that I go to over and over? Crazy
34. One person who emails me regularly? Crystal
35. Favorite place to eat?  Out!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You know you're married to a diabetic when . . .

I've talked about the fact that Pete and I are dieting.  And how we track our calories, carbs, fat grams and protein on Sparkpeople.  This lead to an interesting conversation between us the other night.  It went something like this . . . 

Karen: How was dinner?
Pete: It was good.  Now I need to log my bloods.
Karen: You need to what?
Pete (slightly annoyed): Log in my bloods.
Karen:  Do you mean log in your FOODS?
Pete: Oh . . . yeah . . . I said blood sugars, didn't I?

Something tells me he's been married to a diabetic for too long.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Support is a great thing . . .

I've mentioned before that for most of my life I was the only person I knew with diabetes.  That's part of what brought me into the world of diabetes blogging and on-line support groups.  It's part of what makes each and every Fld County Diabetes Dinner so amazing.  It's part of why I enjoyed going to that support group in May.

Yes, you've seen this picture before. Yes, it's the one Kerri took. 
Yes, she was kind enough to let me post it . . . again.

I wish I could regularly attend the support group meetings, but getting to NYC takes too long (and is too expensive) for me to do on a weekly basis.  Lucky for me (and for you too) these talented ladies have launched a web-site.  Introducing . . .

The name is an acronym for Adults Coping with Type 1 Diabetes and the group's main goal is to provide all types of support for people living with T1.  The site is still in its beginning stages but they have been working very hard and it is expanding quickly.  There is a page with information about the two support groups they run.  One is for young women, and a second group has been added recently for all people with Type 1.  You can already find information on a new Supply Exchange the group is organizing, and a list of medical professionals in the NYC area who can help those struggling with the emotional side of diabetes.  And you can check out my favorite feature, the daily blog posts by the various group members.

I'm really impressed with what a great resource this site is for those in the NYC area and beyond - but I can't say I'm surprised.  After all, I have been lucky enough to meet the ladies of ACT1.  They are a wonderful group of intelligent, compassionate and dedicated women.  And they know how to have fun!  Please do check out their site and join me in wishing them the best of luck with all upcoming projects!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sometimes it's good to be a squeaky wheel . . .

On Saturday I was due for an infusion set change.  I showered and popped in a new set before we headed off to a pool party.  When we got to our friend's house everyone was in the pool already, so I disconnected and tried to pop the cap onto my set.  It wouldn't click on.  I tried and tried and tried some more.  No luck.  So I decided I would just re-connect the pump and forgo swimming.

Again, no luck.  Try as I might, I couldn't get the tubing to click back into my set either.  I started to get really frustrated, so Pete said he'd help.  He tried.  He really tried.  He pushed so hard that I squealed in pain and had to remind him that those plastic pieces were actually attached to my abdomen.  In the end, I yanked everything out and went swimming with my friends.  After I got out of the pool, I put in another brand new set.  I was thankful that I always keep a spare in my purse.

Usually I'm the worst about calling places to complain, but I decided I should definitely let Minimed know about the defect in this infusion set.  So I called . . .

"Thank you for calling Medtronic Minimed.  Your call is very important to us and will be answered in the order it was received.  Based on current call volume, your wait time is approximately 40 minutes . . . "

Oh yeah.  Forty minutes.  I briefly considered hanging up but I decided I might as well just stick it out.  I put away laundry.  I read a couple of blogs.  I Tweeted a bit.  Luckily, my call was answered in about 10 or 15 minutes.  The Minimed Tech was extremely nice, filled out a report about the situation, and has shipped me two replacement sets.

In the end, I'm really glad I called.  It's always so easy for me to grumble to myself (and you!!) about problems with my supplies.  But if I don't let the companies know that I'm having problems, I'm not giving them the opportunity to improve things.

Monday, August 17, 2009

MeMe Monday - I'm too old for MeMes

When Lee Ann from The Butter Compartment posted this MeMe last week, I knew I had to grab it.  It's supposed to be for those of us who are now adults.  Or at least, out of our teenage years - because I don't ever plan to fully become an "adult".  *grin*

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
That's a tough one.  But I think it's the taxes I have to pay twice a year to my town for Sewer Usage and for owning my car.  We pay plenty of property tax to my town - I don't understand why I have to pay extra to flush my toilet and park my car in my own driveway.

2. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?
On the cruse!!  Not only was it our anniversary, but we were lucky enough to get assigned to a private table for two.  So we had romantic dinners every night!

3. What do you really want to be doing right now?
Eating chocolate.

4. How many colleges did you attend?
Just one.  Bentley College (now Bentley University) in Waltham, Massachusetts.

5. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?
Right now I'm wearing a little cotton work-out shirt I bought at Target.  Honestly, I chose it because it was the least expensive of their work-out cloths.  It's also comfy and cute though!!

6. What are your thoughts on gas prices?
They are way too high.  They probably won't ever go down.  There has to be a better way to power our cars..

7. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
How much longer can I sleep and still have enough time to feed K.C. and pack Pete's lunch before I have to drive him to the train station.

8. Last thought before going to sleep last night?
I hope my blood sugar behaves.  And if it doesn't, I hope my CGM catches it.

9. Do you miss being a child?
Sometimes, sure.  Don't we all?

10. What errand/chore do you despise?
Grocery shopping.  It probably wouldn't be so bad if other shoppers weren't so rude.  Or stupid.

11. Get up early or sleep in?
I'd love to sleep in, but I usually wake up early and can't go back to sleep.

12. Have you found real love yet?
You bet!!

13. Favorite lunch meat?
Boar's Head Buffalo Chicken Breast.

14. What do you get every time you go into Wal-Mart?
The Wal-Mart in our town is pretty icky.  I go to Target.  I always buy Archer Farm's Pepperoni Pizza for our Pizza and Martini Fridays.

15. Beach or lake?
Probably a lake.  Or a beach in the Caribbean.

16. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?
No, I don't.  But I think it's a personal choice.  There is nothing wrong with just living together if that works for you.   I also see no reason why same sex couples shouldn't be allowed to marry.

17. Sopranos or Desperate Housewives?
Although I've never seen the Sopranos, I'm willing to bet I'd like it better than Desperate Housewives.  I love anything Mafia related.  I really should put The Sopranos in my NetFlix queue.

18. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?
I know I should be all deep and go for a world leader or something.  But I'll be shallow and say Sting.  It's not just his hotness though.  He's also intelligent, writes some awesome lyrics and supports some excellent causes.  Okay, and he's really hot too.

19. Have you ever crashed your vehicle?
Nope.  Please don't let that answer jinx me.

20. Ever use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose?
No.  I've never used a fire extinguisher for an unintended purpose either.

21. Ring tone?
I just picked one that came pre-loaded in my iPhone.  I do have a different one assigned to Pete's calls.  It's "Sci-Fi".

22. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth?
I don't think I've ever brushed my teeth in a strange place.

23. Somewhere in California you’ve never been and would like to go?
I'd love to see San Francisco.  Also, my brother lived in Half Moon Bay for a while and he said it was gorgeous, so I'd like to go there.

23. Do you go to church?
Only for weddings and funerals.

24. At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or a new relationship?
Definitely a new career.

25. How old are you?
Ugh, 41.  But I don't feel like I'm that old.

26. Do you have a go-to person?
I have several!!  Pete.  My best friend Heidi.  My parents.  You can never have too much support.

27. Are you where you want to be in life?
Yes and no.  I'm happily married and we have a house that I love.  But there are still so many areas of my life that are not where I want them to be.

28. Growing up, what were your favorite cartoons?
I think The Jetsons was my favorite.  I liked The Flintstones and Under Dog too.

29. What about you do you think has changed the most?
I'd like to say I'm less shy than I was when I was younger.  But maybe it's just that I hide it better.

30. Looking back at high school were they the best years of your life?
Most certainly not.  They could have been worse, but they also could have been better.

31. Are there times you still feel like a kid?
Oh yes, a lot.  Usually when I'm being silly with my husband.

32. Did you ever own troll dolls?
I did.  In the '70s my very first best friend and I used to walk to a gift shop down the block and buy them.

33. Did you have a pager?
Nope, never did.

34. Where was the hang out spot when you were a teenager?
In high school, everyone used to drive up and down Route 1.  Don't ask me why, but it was the thing to do on weekend nights.

35. Were you the type of kid you would want your children to hang out with?
I guess so.  I was definitely a "follow the rules" kind of kid who never got in trouble.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I thought it was odd . . .

When the CGM alarmed me for a high a few hours ago, I thought it was odd.  I don't usually have a problem with highs mid-morning.  And I had been slacking and hadn't even eaten breakfast yet, so it wasn't like that would have driven me up.  But my blood sugars have been off for the past week.  So I just figured it was another frustratingly random high.  I tested and punched in my correction along with a breakfast bolus.

When I thought I felt a bit of dampness, I thought it was odd.  But I'm a pretty clumsy person.  I was sure I must have sloshed some of my breakfast onto my pajama leg.

When I noticed my CGM still showed me well above 200 with two rapid rising arrows, I thought it was odd.  Surely some of the insulin I bolused would be kicking in by now.  I know I ate breakfast without waiting until I was under 150.  But I shouldn't still be rising so rapidly.

When it occurred to me that the funny scent that kept wafting past my nose smelled a lot like insulin, I DIDN'T think it was odd.  It finally clicked.  I figured out what I'm sure you had pegged by the second paragraph of this post.  I pulled out my pump.  I kept pulling and the tubing kept coming - swinging gracefully though the air because it wasn't attached to my site.  DUNCE!!!!

I had disconnected at 7:06 this morning to prime out a large bubble in my tubing.  Apparently, when I connected back up, I didn't click into the site all the way.  The end of my tubing had been pumping insulin into the air rather than into me.  I know I'm very lucky that my blood sugar is only 284, but it's a small consolation.  Hopefully I can get it back on the down-swing before I hit the 300s.  But it's frustrating that my own stupidity is causing hours of crappy blood sugar readings.

I'll be wearing my dunce hat for the remainder of the day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's for dinner tonight?

It seems that quite a few people enjoyed last week's "What's for Dinner Tonight?" post so I'm thinking of doing it on a fairly regular basis.  I'd love to try more recipes from dLife and I'll probably throw in some other meals I like to make too.  This week, I thought I'd share my current favorite dLife recipe, Grilled Wasabi Tuna. I've made this four times and we love it!

As usual, I varied from the ingredient list a bit.  I couldn't find wasabi powder in my supermarket, but they had wasabi sauce so I picked that up.  I also don't keep regular brown sugar on hand because I always use Splenda brown sugar blend.  And I used regular pepper (not white) and regular soy sauce (not low sodium).  I think when we finish up this bottle of soy sauce I will give the low sodium version a try.

I often don't measure when I cook, I just guesstimate.  I always marinate in zip-loc bag, so I just plopped the ingredients in the bag and smooshed them around until they were blended together.  Then I popped in the lovely tuna steak, squeezed out all of the air and sealed up the bag.

The recipe says to marinate the tuna for 10 - 15 minutes, but I usually leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours.  It gives the tuna a delicious flavor that isn't overwhelming at all.

Once Pete gets home from work he is in charge of cooking the tuna out on the grill.  We also had some grilled Ciabatta bread and a foil pack of snap peas.

And here it is!  Yummy!!  The marinade gave the tuna a really nice flavor that isn't at all spicy.  Maybe using wasabi powder instead of sauce would give it more heat.  While I wouldn't mind that at all, I love this recipe just like this too.  (Quick note:  To be honest, I usually make a larger portion of vegetables but I didn't make it to the grocery store that day so we just ate what was left in the crisper.)

What's for dinner next?  I'm not sure.  What do you like to serve?  Or what recipe would you like to hear about?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tales of a Diabetes Smack-Down . . .

This may sound a bit vain, but the main reason I've been keeping up with my exercise program is because I'm tired of constantly finding out that last season's clothes are too tight and that I need to go up a size.  But another benefit that I really love is what I'm seeing on my meter.  I don't ever remember being this stable.  I'm using much less insulin than I used too.  I'm starting to figure out just what to do in order to finish my exercise and like what I'm seeing on the meter.  Usually . . .

Yesterday was a nice cool day with no humidity, which actually made it easy to get excited about the treadmill.  I pushed myself a bit longer and a little harder to make up for some of the gnocchi indulgence from the night before.  Then I hopped off and tested my blood, ready to bolus for breakfast.  Until I saw the results . . .


WTF?  When I looked at my CGM mid-workout, it read 136.  That's right on track for me to end my workout in the 80s.  I washed my hands and tested again, sure that the number would be better.  231.  Then I remembered that during my workout I noticed my site was feeling a bit sore.  Breakfast was not going to be an option any time soon.  I pulled out my site and took a correction the old fashioned way - with a syringe.  Then I took a quick shower and put a new site in.  One hour later, I was at 184 and the pump told me I didn't need a further correction.  (Although I took my correction with a syringe, after I disconnected from my pump I programmed the 2.5 unit bolus and let it run.  This way, my injected insulin would be reflected in the pumps Insulin on Board).

Less than an hour went by and I tested again.  104.  I had dropped 80 points in forty-five minutes.  I bolused and ate breakfast, but I had a feeling I knew what was coming.  In another hour, I found myself craving Swedish Fish.  I was pretty sure I knew the reason.  My body was telling me something.  Sure enough, I tested and my blood sugar was now 50.

I spend the afternoon feeling tired, queasy and pretty darn crabby.  I guess sometimes, no matter how hard you try, Diabetes just needs to show you who is the boss.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Judgements . . .

Yesterday was a pretty big day.  We closed on a refinance of our mortgage, locking in the current low interest rates and knocking five years off our payments.  Then we went off to our weekly ballroom lesson.  But we felt like celebrating.  Since we've been working so hard on our exercise and diet plan, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at a great Italian place just down the road from the dance studio.  And we decided we would order whatever we wanted.  In my case, I knew it would be Gnocchi alla Vodka Sauce.

I was testing my blood when the waitress came for our drink order.  I was bolusing when she came for our dinner order.  And I felt like I had to hide my meter and my pump.  I felt like if she knew I was diabetic, she would judge me when she set the huge bowl of gnocchi in front of me.  Or when she saw me accept the slice of bread Pete passed from the bread basket.  It didn't matter that my extended bolus kept my blood sugar from going no higher than 157 after eating and put my 2-hour post-meal fingerstick at 91.  Or that a slightly higher overnight temp basal and a 2am correction of a 145 blood sugar gave me a fasting of 125 this morning.  I felt like she would judge me.  She would be under the impression that a Type 1 diabetic can't eat a pasta meal.  She would become the dreaded diabetes police.

I'm proud that I can indulge once in a while and still keep my numbers fairly in line.  But I'm disappointed that my guilty conscience sees people judging me, whether they actually are or not.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's for dinner tonight?

Do you hate that question as much as I do?  I like to cook but sometimes I feel like I'm cooking (and we're eating) the same boring dinners over and over again.  Last week, I couldn't think of a single thing I felt like making for dinner.  What's a girl to do?  Easy, I made Pete plan the week's menu.

One of the things he requested was Lemon Pepper Chicken.  Which was fine, except that I've never made Lemon Pepper Chicken.  No problem . . . I turned to the dLife Recipe site and searched Lemon Pepper Chicken.  And I came up with this Lemon Chicken Packet. Score!! I tweeted about it and Landileigh requested I blog about it.  But first I  want to mention that since Pete and  I have started our quest to slim down I've been turning to the dLife recipes quite often.  They always include Nutrition Information, which makes it a snap to count my carbs, and also keep track of my calories and fat grams.

So on to dinner.

First, I gathered my ingredients.  This includes the noodles and asparagus I decided to serve as side dishes.

I used Perdue Perfect Portions Thin-Sliced Chicken Breasts.  I love these because each individual pack is the perfect size for a dinner for me and Pete.  I rinsed the chicken and divided it up between two large pieces of foil.  Then I topped it with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, rosemary and scallions / green onions.  I also threw on some lemon zest to give the chicken a stronger lemon flavor.  Then I added some crushed red pepper flakes to since Pete had asked for Lemon PEPPER Chicken.  This whole process probably took less than five minutes.

Now it's time to wrap the packets.  I had decided we'd cook these on the grill since it was too hot and humid to even consider turning the oven on.  So the most important thing was to make sure the packets were tightly sealed, otherwise they leak and make a mess (or maybe a fire) in the grill.  Go ahead, ask me how I know?  Anyway, first pull the two long sides together and roll over as many times as possible until you have a flat packet.  Then roll up each end tightly.

I like to do asparagus in grill packets also.  I drizzle it with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  This time I also threw on a little rosemary to compliment the chicken.

Out to the grill the packets went, while I cooked the noodles on the stove-top.  It made for an easy and delicious supper.  Although I must admit, the chicken was a little bland for my liking.  Next time I will use two or three scallions because I couldn't taste any onion flavor after using just one.  I'll also slice a second lemon and arrange the slices in the chicken packet for some extra flavor.

So, what are you cooking for dinner tonight?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Goals for August

I have to admit, I'm having a hard time believing that we are into August already.  The month of July really flew by.  But like it or not, August is upon us and it's time to take stock of my July Goals and see how I did.

July Goal #1 & #2 : Do 30 minutes of cardio every day. Do weight training three times a week. -This is a tough one for me, because I REALLY don't like to exercise.  But I pushed myself hard this month and there were only two days when I didn't do some kind of cardio or weights.  I'm finding the more consistently I exercise, the less I hate it.  By the end of the month, I was even doing 45 minutes rather than 30.  I will admit I would still rather be relaxing on the couch with my knitting . . . . but the workouts aren't the tortuous time in Hell they used to be.

July Goal #3 : Continue to track my meals and snacks, staying within the guidelines set for me to lose weight. - This is an easier goal for me because I am so damn obsessive-compulsive a very organized person by nature.  The SparkPeople web-site and their iPhone app are making it very easy for me to plan what I'm going to eat.  This is especially helpful on "Pizza and Martini Fridays" because I can plug in that high fat / high calorie dinner first thing in the morning and see how many calories and fat grams I have left for the day.  Then I make really healthy food choices for breakfast and lunch.  By the end of the day, I've had my Friday treat without going over my daily calorie or fat allotments.

I'm proud to say that my July Goals led to some pretty good results!!  I lost 8 pounds in July.  Before we all get too excited about that, I should point out that I had gained some weight on the cruise, so overall I'm only down a couple of pounds from where I started.  I'm still proud though!

More importantly to me, since mid-June I've lost 1 3/4 inches from my waist, 2 inches from my hips and an inch from my thighs.  That tells me that I'm losing fat and building muscle.  That's really what is most important to me anyway.

So, what is up for August?  Although it sounds like I did really well in July, there are a few areas where I have slipped.  Mainly drinking water and eating fruits and vegetables.  So those will be my first two goals this month.
  • Get back to drinking 8 glasses of water each day.
  • Eat 6 to 8 servings for fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Kick the cardio up to 40 minutes every day.