Friday, January 31, 2014

Diabetic Dabs Winners . . . .

I had so much fun reading the comments of how you all deal with those droplets of blood.  Lots of lickers out there, and lots of wiping on clothes / meter cases / the same tissue over and over again.  Hey, no judgments here - the important thing is that we are testing, so however we deal with the left over blood up to us.

Of course, the reason you are really here is to find out who won a chance to try Diabetic Dabs as a solution to those little droplets everywhere.  So, as chosen by the Random Number Generator I always use for giveaways, the winners are . . . .

Rachel of ProbablyRachel

Congratulations, ladies, I will email you both to get your info so I can send your Dabs.  Thanks to all who entered and to Diabetic Dabs for making this contest possible.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Little Droplets Everywhere . . . . .

It’s happened to me time and time again, and I’m willing to bet it’s happened to most of you too.  I test my blood sugar, like a good little PWD, and am rewarded for my efforts by finding a blood-inked fingerprint on my clothes / keyboard / phone / cat.  (Okay, not really on my cat, but you get it, right?)  It’s destructive and also pretty gross.

How does one contain those little droplets that get everywhere?  For a while I stashed a tissue in my meter case, ripping off small pieces to wipe my fingertips after each test.  Yes, it worked.  But yes, I also started to find tiny messy tissue shards everywhere.  So I was intrigued when an email from Diabetic Dabs landed in my inbox.

9292 (8)
Diabetic Dabs are small pads of absorbent sheets to wipe up those little blood droplets.  Here’s a bit of background from the company:
“Liz Sacco, the founder and inventor of Diabetic Dabs, is a mother to four boys, including David who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2011. While helping David with his blood glucose tests, Liz realized there was a constant struggle to find a clean and easy way for her son to wipe off the excess blood from his finger, and prevent him from wiping the blood on his pants. Two years later, Liz developed Diabetic Dabs.
Diabetic Dabs are non-toxic, highly absorbent sheets that are designed to fit conveniently into any blood glucose testing kit. With Diabetic Dabs, David’s daily testing process got easier, and his clothes stayed blood-free.
Liz believes that if she can relieve just one worry from the lives of diabetics or their parents, she’s succeeded.”

Diabetic Dabs Finger CropPacket
I was intrigued, so I happily accepted a sample to test out and TWO MORE TO GIVE AWAY!  Let me tell you, for someone as OCD about wiping her blood as I am, these Dabs are a dream come true.  They suck up those droplets like nobody’s business, leaving my clothes (and cat) blood stain free.  They are generously sized to even handle those gushers.  For a normal finger prick I find ripping off about a fourth of the sheet is very easy and absorbs perfectly - without leaving behind that pesky tissue shard fuzz.  Each pad of Dabs comes with an adhesive backing so you can stick it right to your meter case (as shown below).  I don’t use a conventional meter case but the pad of Dabs is sized perfectly to slip into my meter’s pouch.

test kit small

I’m now a big fan of Diabetic Dabs, and was thrilled to hear that the company donates some of the proceeds to diabetes research:
“One thing we're very dedicated to is that we donate a part of all net profits from Diabetic Dabs back to diabetic research, specifically the American Diabetes Association. We love that it provides not only ourselves but our customers an avenue to be able to pour back into an organization dedicated to helping take care of a community we're an integral part of.
So what do you say?  Would you like to try out Diabetic Dabs for yourself?  You can order them here, but I also have two boxes to give away!  Each box contains four packets of Dabs, for a total of 200 absorbant little sheets per winner.  To enter for your chance to win, just leave me a comment and tell me how you, or your loved one with diabetes, currently deals with those little droplets everywhere.  I’ll close the contest at midnight EST tomorrow, Jan. 30th, and announce the two winners on Friday.

Monday, January 27, 2014

That moment when . . . . .

you're baking shortbread shoes and have a sudden inspiration to make a shortbread pancreas.  However, I’m still not quite sure how to bolus for pancreas consumption . . . . .

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Glimpses of 5 a.m.

It’s funny, when you’re in it, how abnormal things actually feel normal.  It didn’t seem odd for even a minute that I got up at 5 a.m. and made my way downstairs, barefoot, even though our thermostat is set at 54 degrees overnight.  I stood by the snack cabinet and ate one rice crispy treat left over from the batch Pete made for a football game with the guys, followed by two of the chocolate cookies I baked for us.  As I sat down to pet K.C., who follows me everywhere regardless of time, it seemed completely normal to get up in the wee hours of the morning to eat sugary junk.

Then, out of habit or instinct, I took a look at my CGM graph.  I blinked a few time and squinted, but it definitely said “Below 40”.  Nothing made much sense, but I went back to the snack cabinet and ate four more cookies.  As I stood for a few minutes, my mind started to clear and fragments of memories 5am now came into focus.  I remembered ignoring the big drops of sweat that had poured off of me when I ate my rice crispy treat and wondered how they didn’t strike me as odd.  I realized how hard it had been to get down the stairs, and suddenly recalled gripping the railing as I slowly made my way down and realized how out of the ordinary that is.  Then I remembered being low at dinner time, and being annoyed that my pump kept suspending me while I was eating so I turned off the Threshold Suspend option . . . . and apparently forgot to turn it back on once my blood sugar came up.  I also found my low alarms muted, although I don’t remember doing that at all.  My blood sugars have been completely borked by a bad cold that’s been plaguing me, and apparently has me so exhausted that I turned off my alarms in a sleepy germy (and probably low) haze that I don’t even recall.

I’m very thankful and lucky to have some of the latest tools to help manage diabetes.  But the fact remains, I’m still human with an imperfect brain that can interfere with the safety net of these tools in an imperfect way.  It’s still really a crapshoot of hoping my instinct will kick in when rationale doesn’t, sending me downstairs to eat whatever I can find.  Sometimes it just feels like it’s still all in the hands of fate.  So I made my way back to bed, woke up Pete to tell him I had a bad low but was okay, and tested to see a 42 flashing back at me.  I turned my CGM alarms and suspend function back on as I waited to come back to a safe range for sleep, and tried not to think too hard about what could have been.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jump Started . . . . .

Let me say up-front that event re-cap posts never come easily for me.  I get home with my head swirling with experiences and information and inspirations that I just don’t have the words to convey.  I stare at a blank screen typing and backspacing and typing and backspacing over words that feel forced and contrived.  I eagerly read recaps from others who were with me at the event, grateful that they are better at sharing with our community than I am.  So instead of talking about everything we heard and saw and said and did at the 3rd Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum this past weekend, I will tell you what the forum meant to me.

It’s already been a cold, cold winter here in New England.  My poor little car starts very begrudgingly, and I know it’s only a matter of time before I find it completely stalled out on a frigid morning.  And I’ve been feeling exactly the same way.  I haven’t blogged much lately because my ideas for topics feel buried under sheets of ice in my brain.  My DOC interactions had silently run out of gas and I felt as if my headlights were dimming and faintly flickering out.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Forum this time around, but almost immediately I could feel myself coming back to life.  I think being in a room full of peers who passionately work for a cause close to your heart will do that.  But there was something more . . . . a feeling that, for the first time I can remember, we were all coming together - my peers in the DOC and the executives and representative at Medtronic - to not only brainstorm but to take actual real steps to set important things in motion.  Instead of talking about what we could do, we were actually starting to do it.

IMG_1651These people were my jumper cables.
Photo courtesy of the Medtronic Diabetes twitter feed.

For more about the nuts and bolts of the conference, please read the posts I linked in the first paragraph and read through #MedtronicDAF to find other posts I may have missed.  But personally, this Forum restarted my engine after it had sputtered to a halt.  I tweeted Monday morning that I hadn’t woken feeling so inspired and capable in a very long time.  I now recognize how often I talk myself out of trying things or exploring ideas (or more specifically, applying for conference scholarships) because I convince myself I will fail so why waste my time trying.  I realize now that we all need to try - and if we “fail” it’s okay because we haven’t really failed.  The only way we fail is by never even trying.

The Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum was in invitational event, during which my travel, lodging and meals were covered.  In addition, as always, my current Medtronic disclosure can be found here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Over-Planning . . . .

Pete sometimes teases me about how far in advance I plan things.  For example, by Sunday evening I not only know what we’re having for dinner all week but I also know exactly what I need to pick up at the grocery store.  Spontaneity and winging it are not exactly my strong suit.

planningI can’t help but wonder how much of my tendency to over-plan can be attributed to having diabetes.  I’m leaving on a short trip tomorrow, and I found myself strategically planning my sensor insertion so the lifespan of my CGM would last until I got back home.  That way I can feel safer, especially while sleeping alone, but I also won’t have to lug any more supplies than necessary.

But my advanced planning runs so much deeper than being well prepared for travel.  In day to day life, even a mundane thing like feeling hungry requires a bunch of planning.  What is my blood sugar, how many carbs will I consume, what is my insulin to carb ratio at this time of day, what activity have I done recently, what activity do I plan to do in the next few hours, how early should I pre-bolus in order to match my insulin to my carb absorption, and when should I start prepping my food so it will be ready when my bolus kicks in.

Yeah, it’s no wonder I feel a need to have things well planned.  But hey, there are worse character flaws to have.  Right?