Thursday, January 31, 2013

Feeling like a Four Year Old

I'm excited for this weekend.  I'll be in D.C. for the Children With Diabetes Focus on Technology conference.  I've been going through kind of a rough time lately, so a weekend away for some fantastic sessions with some good DOC friends is just what I need.  But first, I have to get there.  When I get to D.C. I plan to take the Metro to the hotel.

The Metro.  No big deal, right?  I've taken the subway in NYC plenty of times.  When I was in college outside of Boston I took the T all the time.  Easy peasy.  But I can't help thinking of the last time I took the Metro.

It was last spring when I was in D.C. for JDRF's Government Day.  A group of us had gone out to dinner.  Bolusing for a restaurant meal is always a bit of a crap-shoot for me, but as always I did the best I could.  After dinner we decided to walk around a bit to explore the area.  By the time we reached the Metro station I was feeling funny, so I tested even though my CGM showed me in range.  It turns out I was dropping really fast.  I started chomping on glucose tabs as quickly as I could.

kidWe approached to ticket machine, figured out which trains we needed to take to get back to the hotel, and everyone started to buy their passes.  I stood there with a fist full of dollars and was totally confused.  "Is this machine impossible to figure out, or am I just really low?" I asked, feeling kind of like an idiot.  Luckily, besides my friend Jonathan who is also an adult T1, our group was made up entirely of D-Moms.  (Can I just say, D-Moms are the absolute best??)  One of them swooped in as I stretched out my palm full of money while mumbling "I have this much, is it enough?".  It was enough and my D-Mom Hero bought my pass for me and offered me another snack.

Even as an adult, diabetes can make me feel like a four year old at a moment's notice.  Thank goodness I can still count on D-Moms to bale me out when I need help!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Favorite Things . . . .

Whiskers on kittens?  So cute.  Warm woolen mittens?  Definitely needed right now.  But this is a diabetes blog, right?  Okay.  These are a few of my favorite things (diabetes-wise). . . .

My Favorite Glucose Tabs?

GlucoLift
Hands down, GlucoLift is my very favorite.  Actually, the GlucoLift Orange Cream are my absolute favorite.  Don’t get me wrong, that Wildberry in the picture is yummy too, as is the Cherry . . . .but oh man, that Orange Cream is pretty much worth having a low for!!

My Favorite Meter?

meter
I’ve been using my new Bayer Contour Next Link meter and it’s by far my favorite out of every meter I’ve used.  I love how small it is.  I love the cool color screen, which is so easy to read in any light.  (My OneTouch Link meter’s dull gray display is practically impossible for me to read in dim light.)  I love the light on the end where the strip goes - makes testing in the middle of the night a breeze.  I love that it has a rechargeable battery.  My only wish to make the  meter better?  I wish I could bolus from it too.

My Favorite “Free” Snack?

Pickles
I’ve been working on finding some things to snack on that are lower in calories, lower in carbs, and a bit more healthy.  These yummy pickles seem to fit the bill.  They are definitely low in calories and carbs.  I’m not sure how healthy they actually are, but I figure they at least count as a vegetable serving, right?  (While discussing the pickles with Pete, I found out he had no idea that pickles are made from cucumbers.  Weird, huh?)


My Favorite Bolus-Worthy Snack?

cupcake
A girl can not live on pickles alone.  Last week a friend and I went for cupcakes to celebrate her diaversary.  (I forgot to get a picture, so you're stuck with the Clip-Art version.)  We both went with the Cannoli Cream flavor, and it was definitely well worth the insulin (and the post-treat spike).

What are a few of your favorite things??

Friday, January 11, 2013

Freak Outs . . . .

Yesterday on Facebook Kerri shared a cute blog post she had come across - 46 Reasons My Three Year Old Might be Freaking Out.  It’s really funny, and you should probably go read it or you won’t really get the rest of my post.

So anyway, as often is the case, my demented brain worked out a way to bring this around to diabetes.  And I give you . . . . . .

FreakOut46 D-Reasons I Might be Freaking Out like a Three Year Old


No AAA batteries.

Huge plates of French fries.

My husband drank the last of the juice.

My insurance company . . . . anything about them at all.

Mexican food.

I’m really really thirsty.

Low reservoir.

My toes are cold.

Gusher.

“Can you eat that?”

Endo appointment tomorrow.

“My Grandmother had diabetes and went blind!”

Ketones.

Chinese food.

“My father’s uncle had diabetes and they had to cut off his foot!”

26 mg/dL.

348 mg/dL.

Beep Boop BEEP.

I took my Lantus this morning . . . . . didn’t I????

Dessert buffet.

Bent cannula.

“My sister’s friend’s cousin had diabetes, but he lost weigh and it went away. Why don’t you do that?”

Dropped my bottle of insulin on a marble floor.

Dropped SOMEONE ELSE’S bottle of insulin on a marble floor.

Low alarm at the gym.

High alarm at the Italian restaurant . . . . before we even got seated.

Shopping at Target.

Non-delivery error.

Button error.

Motor error.

Husband thinks the reason I’m mad at him must be because I’m low.

Two up arrows.

Two down arrows.

Pricked, but can’t squeeze out any damn blood.

Pricked one spot, but bled from three.

Seven rage boluses finally kick in . . . . . all at once.

Co-pays.

TSA.

Error 5.

Blood spot on my new white shirt.

“Type 1 . . . . . is that the BAD kind?”

Halle Berry.

The diet Coke the waitress brought doesn’t taste like diet.

“220?  What did you eat??”

Snake oil cures.

It’s Wednesday evening and TWITTER IS DOWN!!!  #dsma

Thursday, January 10, 2013

No Humor in Misconceptions . . . . . .

Every morning, once the coffee is brewed, K.C. is fed and Pete’s lunch is packed, I settle down with my caffeine and my email inbox.  This email was waiting for me today.

email
Click to enlarge!!

I was hopeful!  I imagined a funny bit about inhalable insulin.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t what I found when I clicked over.  Instead, it was a bit that enforced the misconceptions that ingesting sugar gives you diabetes, and that cinnamon cures it.

My email reply?
I’m very disappointed in this video. I watched it hoping to see a funny bit about inhaling insulin, but was extremely disappointed to find this was just another case of spreading misconceptions about diabetes. Most of us in the diabetes community are working hard to make the general public understand that you do not get diabetes from eating sugar, and that diabetes can not be cure by eating cinnamon. I know the video is meant to be a joke, but the unfortunate reality is that although people will understand the juice box is a joke, they will not understand that the messages about sugar and cinnamon are inaccurate. It is my opinion that very few, if any, advocates in the diabetes community will get a chuckle over this video. Humor is important when dealing with chronic illnesses, but that humor needs to be found in a responsible fashion that will not spread misconceptions.

I am all for using humor to cope with diabetes.  Hell, at times I think if I didn’t find the humor I might go insane!  But I can’t see anything funny about reinforcing diabetes misconceptions.  Those misconceptions are a big reason that people with diabetes are blamed for our conditions.  Those misconceptions can hurt fundraising efforts for better treatments and a cure.  Because seriously, would you donate to diabetes research if you believed that a cure was as simple as not eating sugar and having some cinnamon?  I know I sure wouldn’t.

I must admit, I did get one chuckle out of this whole thing.  I find it pretty funny that they said “Conan gives him his just deserts”.  Really?  Conan makes the viewer hot, dry and sandy?  Actually, when I’ve miscalculated my dessert bolus and my blood sugar is high, my mouth and eyes sure do feel like a desert.  So yeah, that’s kind of funny.

I'm intentionally not linking the video, because I don't want to help drive up its views.  But if you've already seen it, I'd love to know what you think?  Did this video make you chuckle?


****** UPDATE********
I received the following reply to my email:

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the feedback. I apologize for misjudging the fit of this video. It's certainly not meant to spread misconceptions - the running joke is that Conan is always wrong about these "Fan Correktions" and pretends to believe he's right by making even more absurd, wrong arguments. I think that may have been lost out of the context of the show.

Thanks for watching. We really do appreciate it.

Thanks,
Diana

I do appreciate that she took the time to reply and explain.  I do understand that, since I'm not a regular viewer of the show, I may not get the ongoing joke of this segment.  But overall, I'm still disappointed.  Because if I don't get the joke, that means lots of others probably don't get the joke either.  But it was nice to get a response and apology for my concerns, and I hope they will put a little more thought into matters like this next time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Years “Goals” . . . .

NewYear

Every year I feel compelled to follow convention and make New Year’s Resolutions.  Every year, they don’t go so well.  So two years ago I decided to set goals instead.  I figure with goals, even if I fall off track, I can always continue working toward them.

Today I’m over at The Loop blog explaining more about why I think goals work better than resolutions for me, and sharing my first goals for 2013.  I hope you’ll click over and check it out!  This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival also involves a similar topic, asking about what you are striving for in 2013.  Care to share your thoughts?

** My Medtronic disclosure can be found here. **

Monday, January 7, 2013

Nonsense . . . .

Sometimes I think the most frustrating thing about diabetes is the complete and utter nonsense it throws.  That’s also probably the thing that the general public just doesn’t understand.  Need an example?  No problem.

nonsense
 Last week we rang in the New Year at a casino.  First we had dinner at a nearby restaurant.  I ordered a Key Lime Martini.  I ordered the stuffed fillet of sole with a baked potato.  I knew it was a lot of carbs so I skipped the bread and starchy options at the salad bar, but I was still prepared to run a bit higher all night.  I decided I’d be okay with it (as long as my blood sugars stayed somewhat within reason) and I’d just have a good time celebrating with Pete and our friends.

Upon arriving at the casino, my low alarm rang.  I tested and treated and thought I was done.  NOPE!  This ring - test - treat cycle continued all.  night.  long.  I seriously hovered in the 50s and 60s no matter what I consumed.  I practically ran through the entire (huge) supply of low stuff I lug around with me.  And then, at 11:45 I tested again and a 38 flashed up from me meter.  That was when I really started to get scared - and I think my friends did too.  Pete got me a bottle of orange juice and I drank most of it and finally got my blood sugar up to 101.  But an hour later, when we got to our hotel, I was down a bit to 83.  Seriously, I was sure I’d be about 283 by that time, but  no.  Complete nonsense, right?

And then there was last night.  We had dinner at my parent’s house, just like every Sunday.  Mom make spaghetti, just like every Sunday.  I tested, dosed, and ate, just like every Sunday.  I’ve never really had a blood sugar problem with pasta, and by now I have my Sunday night dinner bolus down cold.  But last night?  Before the after-dinner coffee was even brewed I was greeted with double up arrows on my CGM.  I had showered before we left for my parent’s house, so I though maybe I hadn’t connected my pump properly.  A quick run to the bathroom gave me no answers - the pump was connected and working fine.  It was just complete nonsense.

A low when I should be high.  A high when I should be fine.  Diabetes = Nonsense!!  Has it thrown you any nonsense lately?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Better Snacks . . . .

So I have to be honest . . . . . my eating habits over the holidays were not stellar.  I may have eaten more than my fair share of chocolate.  I may have eaten Christmas cookies for breakfast . . . . more than once.  I may have knocked back quite a few cocktails.  Fruit?  I can’t recall having any.  Vegetables?  Yes, there were some, but the chocolate far outweighed the healthy stuff.

So now that the holidays are over and the New Year is here, I’m getting my eating habits back on track.  (It’s not a resolution though - I’m saving that topic for anther post.) I’m keeping our fruit bowl well stocked.  I’m cooking an extra serving of vegetables with every dinner.  And at the grocery store this week, I took a look again for some better snacking choices.  I found these!!

snacks
The Somersaults are for when I’m craving something salty and crunchy.  They are crispy little disks made primarily of seeds.  (They are nut free - but if you are gluten free, please note that they do contain wheat.)  For the Pacific Sea Salt flavor, one serving of 14 pieces has only 14 carbs and 150 calories.  Perhaps more importantly, they are all natural, a good source of protein, fiber and vitamin E, and are lower in fat than other healthy nuts like almonds.  I love them and am happy to reach for them instead of chips.

How about when a sweet craving hits?  Well, I found these plush puffs marshmallows.  I won’t lie, they are expensive (the price at my local store is higher than what’s on the website).  But they really do the trick when I want something sweet.  (And on the up-side, Pete doesn’t like them so they last longer!  ;) )  These marshmallows are gluten free, low in fat, and free of high fructose corn syrup.  A serving of 5 of the chocolate marshmallows has only 80 calories and 18 carbs, but I find I’m happy to eat just two at a time.

I’ll admit, I’ll probably never be the healthiest eater around.  But to me, the important thing is making small changes toward healthier foods, and the Somersaults and plush puffs are definitely healthier than regular chips and chocolate.  And in my book, that’s a step in the right direction.

Do you have any healthy snack recommendations that I could add to my snack cabinet?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One of those lows

It was one of those lows

One of those lows where I feel it even before my sensor catches it. That doesn't happen very often these days.

devilOne of those lows where I was really glad Pete told me to stay in bed while he got something to treat it. Because I knew if I went to the kitchen, I'd eat anything and everything I could get my hands on.

One of those lows that makes me feel paranoid. And saps my self esteem. And makes me sure that every single one of you reading this post hates me.

One of those lows that makes me squeeze my eyes shut, flop my head onto Pete’s shoulder, and cry..

It was one of those lows.  Oh how I really really hate those lows.

** Usually my lows aren’t a big deal, and even when they are "one of those lows" I often forget how crappy it felt once I’m back in range.  I wrote this post the other night, while waiting for one of those lows to come up, so I could capture exactly how it felt.