Friday, June 29, 2012

Endo Stress . . . .

I love my endo.  Last year I was so upset when he moved his practice 45 minutes away but I decided it was worth the drive to keep seeing him.  (I know in many areas 45 minutes is nothing, but in a small state like Connecticut we think it is a big deal.)  Sticking with him was absolutely the right decision and I’ve never once regretted it.  So my answer to this month’s DSMA Blog Carnival is probably going to surprise you.  The question of the month is . . . . .

doctorDo you get nervous or stressed when you have to go to your endo/doc appointment? Why or why not? Be honest.

I'll say it again, I love my endo.  He’s supportive.  He treats me with respect and listens to what I have to say.  He never makes me feel rushed and always takes the time to answer each and every question I have.  He gives me recommendations but allows me final say in my health decisions.

So endo appointments should be a snap for me, right?  OH MY GOSH, WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!  I get COMPLETELY stressed out.  Seriously, I am a nervous wreck for at least a week before.  I am a complete and utter crab (which is the G-rated version of what I’d really like to say I am) and I’m very lucky I have such a patient husband because I don’t know how he puts up with me.

Most of my stress comes from those stupid numbers on the paper . . . . my A1C and my meter reading.  I feel like they need to be perfect.  When I told my endo this, he said “Well, you do know that’s impossible, right.”  Which is true . . . . diabetes makes it impossible for our numbers to be perfect all the time.  Also, I think back to all those years when I couldn’t get my A1C down - I’d be so stressed before my appointments and I was sure if I could just get the number where it needs to be the stress would disappear.  I was wrong.  My A1C has been on goal for quite a while, but now before each appointment I stress that it has jumped back up.  I also stress over the results of my other labs and over getting the news that complications have set it.

Honestly, I know it’s just in my personality to stress.  In general, I stress the big things and the little things and everything in between.  So I guess it makes sense that endo appointments are no different.

This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Type 3

Early in the spring of 1999 I met someone who really caught my eye.  I was pretty sure nothing would ever come of it because of our age difference . . . . he’s six years younger than me.  But I slipped my number to him anyway.  No . . .  actually . . . . I was way too shy to slip him my number - instead a mutual friend gave it to him for me.  Later that week he called me.  And thirteen years ago today we went on our first date.

In September of 1999 we spent a long weekend in Maine.  On that trip, I told him about diabetes.  He didn’t know anything about diabetes.  To be honest, there was a lot I didn’t know too.  But over the years we’ve learned so much together and he’s helped me time and time again.

Eight years ago today, exactly five years to the day of our first date, we were married.

In The Water
It was the best day of my life.  I’m so grateful to have the best Type 3 a girl could wish for.  He helps me stay motivated, he gets me juice boxes, he takes care of me when I can’t take care of myself.  But beyond that, he is my best friend and my favorite person.  He’s just as silly and warped as I am.  He's met most of my DOC friends and he counts them as his friends too.  He loves me more than I ever thought possible, and I love him the same right back.  He can’t know what it’s really like to live with diabetes, and I can’t know what it’s really like to be on the outside looking in diabetes-wise.  But we each do our best to help the other understand.  I’m so grateful for all he does for me.  And I know he’s grateful for all I do to make sure we are together for a good long time, despite diabetes.

Be Nice
The Kiss
Happy Anniversary, Pete!!  I  love you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Glooko Contest Winner

Today is a fun day, because I get to announce the winner of the Glooko contest I wrote about last week!!  First I’d like to thank the generous Glooko team (especially Molly, who I’ve been emailing with) for allowing me to use the extra set of cables I received for a blog give-away.

So, as I always do with blog contests, I used a Random Number Generator to draw the winning entry.  And the winner is . . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

Hallie from The Princess and The Pump!!!!  Congratulations Hallie!!  And thanks so much to everyone who entered the giveaway.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


fourToday is my Blogaversary.  I’ve spent most of the morning trying to figure out how best to convey what the past four years of blogging has brought to me and what it has meant to me.  I thought about reposting my first blog post but that didn’t seem to fit.  I started writing a little poem using the letters in ‘FOUR YEARS” as the start of each line.
First I found Six Until Me
Of course that led me to the DOC.
Right, I only got as far as “FO” before I lost my inspiration.  Trying to list all of the things I’ve learned seemed pretty dull and would make for an epically long post.  Talking about going from someone who was embarrassed to talk about diabetes to someone who won’t shut up about it has been done before.  A paragraph about what my life might be like if I hadn’t started this blog four years ago seemed like a good idea, until I wrote-deleted-rewrote-redeleted repeat repeat repeat and still had nothing.

Four years of rambling on about diabetes . . . . . and I can’t think of a damn thing to say.  Except that it still feels like I’m only getting started on my journey.  I’m not sure where it is taking me, but I thankful to have you along with me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Your Support My Vary . . . .

If there’s one major thing I’ve noticed since getting to know other PWDs it is that we are all very different.  Some of us have terrific results with MDIs while others find success in pumping.  The same food can effect our blood sugars in very different ways.  The right target blood sugar for one person may be too high or too low for another.  We are all very different and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Last night I attended the first Adult Outreach event for my other local JDRF chapter.  (As opposed to the chapter that started Adult Outreach last year.)  We gathered in a cozy private room of a wonderful restaurant and introduced ourselves.  I talked a tiny bit about my involvement in the DOC and how I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but that there is something magic about spending time in the same room with a group of other PWDs too.  We also talked about what things we’d like from our new Adult Outreach group.  Some wanted purely social functions like last night’s dinner.  Others wanted informational sessions about cure research and ways to advocate.  I said I wanted it all, and suggested that a talk about the emotional side of diabetes - perhaps lead by a professional - might be beneficial since I feel this area is greatly overlooked.

On the ride home last night, and as I gathered my thoughts this morning, the thing that stands out to me most is that we are all different with different needs.  I’d be lost without my DOC, while others aren’t interested in on-line activities.  Some want support groups full of members just like them (in age range and type of diabetes) while others want varied groups that can discuss different experiences and opinions.  Some want social settings while others like presentations.  And that’s okay!! If you find a group that isn’t quite right for you, it’s okay to move on and find a better fit - or start your ideal group yourself.  Poke around online until you find the connections you are looking for.  We all need different things, and over time the things we need often change and grow.

For me, personally, I need as much support as I can find and I love interacting on-line and off-line.  What kind of support works best for you?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Only as Good as our Meters . . . .

Meter accuracy is definitely a big concern of mine.  When I really stop to think about it, it’s pretty scary that the accuracy requirement for blood glucose meters is + / - 20%.  After all, it’s those numbers on my meter that guide my important diabetes treatment decisions.  They help decide how much insulin I should take.  They let me know if I’m okay for exercise or if I need a snack first.  They tell me if it’s safe to drift off to sleep.  We are all expected to hit our A1C goals, but how can we do that if we are basing treatments on incorrect information?

When I posted recently about my switch from Accu-Chek to OneTouch, Carol left a comment raising the question of accuracy.  Until that point, I hadn’t really thought too much about different levels of accuracy between the two meters but I was so glad she planted the thought in my head.   (And I feel silly that it hadn’t occurred to me . . . . . )  I decided to do some simultaneous testing with both meters to see how the numbers stacked up.  Here’s what I found:
OneTouch Accu-Chek
78 75
85 80
59 61
114 113
108 109
82 85
56 62
89 85
When I look at those numbers I have two thoughts.  #1 - WTF, how did I manage to have eight tests in a row with a number no higher than 114 / 113???  I can attest that my numbers don’t always run like this, and in the interest of full disclosure I offer this (not so) lovely number from Saturday as proof:

But I digress.  Thought #2 is that I’m glad to see the numbers on both meters are consistent with each other.  No, it doesn’t ensure that either meter is giving me accurate readings - they could both be off by 20%.  But the fact that they line up with each other does make me feel a little more confident in the results.

But honestly, I wish I could depend on my meter being closer to 100% accurate.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Glooko for You (a giveaway!!)

I used to be excellent at logging my blood sugars and food and all of that other stuff important to diabetes management.  Used to be is the key phrase in that sentence.  In the past few years I’ve fallen out of the logging habit.  I can download all of my CGM info from my pump.  And I am pretty good about always entering my blood sugar readings into my pump, so I can download that info as well.  As for the food . . . . I just don’t log any of that anymore.  But I’ve been using a new tool / app that may get me back to being a good logger.

You may have already heard of Glooko, a logging app for iPhone and iPod Touch.  A while back I signed up to help beta test the Glooko IR Adaptor, which adds Accu-Chek to the list of meters compatible with the system.  I downloaded the free Glooko app to my iPhone and my cables arrived in the mail.  I’m currently using both Accu-Chek and OneTouch meters, and it was so easy to upload my blood sugar readings from all four of my meters into one logbook using Glooko.  I simply plug the cable directly into my OneTouch meters, and use the Adaptor to transmit the data from the Accu-Cheks.
There is a pretty extensive food database in the Glooko app that I haven’t played around with too much yet, but it could get me back on the food logging wagon too!
Once you’ve got all of your info entered or downloaded, you can view the logbook on your phone or you can email logs to yourself, your doctor or anyone you choose.
If being better about logging is one of your diabetes goals, I think the Glooko system is an excellent tool to make this easier - both in the logging itself and the sharing of the information.  My only wish, which I’ve shared with the Glooko team, is that there was some kind of graphing or charting included because for me, the visuals help me spot trends and problems more easily.  However, the data can be emailed as a .csv file which can then be charted in Excel.  (Not that I could figure out how to chart it, but my Excel-whiz engineer husband could probably do it for me.)

When I signed up to help test Glooko with my Accu-Chek meter, I was sent the cable and adaptor free of charge.  I was not required to post about it, but I’m happy to share the information with you.  I’m also happy to share the Glooko system with one of you!!  I accidentally received two sets of cables and adaptors, and when I asked the Glooko team how I should go about returning the second set, they graciously told me to keep it for myself or give it away to a friend.  So if you’d like to try Glooko out for yourself, leave a comment on this post with the words “Glooko Giveaway” and I will enter you to win the extra set!  I’ll draw the winner next Monday and announce it here.  Good luck!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Birthday YCDT

Did you know that the You Can Do This project was launched a year ago today?

You Can Do This is a project dreamed up by Kim of Texting my Pancreas, in which people with diabetes create YouTube videos telling their diabetes story.  It’s a way to show that we are all in this together, a way to share your story in the hopes it encourages others to keep going, a way to hear stories that will inspire and energize you when the road you are on gets rocky.  It’s one of the best ways I know of to create ongoing support for anyone and everyone who needs it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit I haven’t made my video yet.  (What, me, procrastinating?  What a surprise . . . .  not!!)  I’ve started a million times, but could never quite capture what I wanted to say.  But I think that’s part of the beauty of You Can Do This.  It is ONGOING, no end date, no deadline.  New stories can be shared all the time.  The more I think about it, the more I realize the timing wasn’t yet right for my video.  In December I will mark my 33rd diabetes anniversary, and at that point I will have lived 3/4s of my life with diabetes.  And I think that is when my video needs to be made.

For now, please join me in wishing You Can Do This a very happy first birthday!!  Kim, I am so proud of what you have created and I want to thank you for being such a bright light in our darkest times!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How Come?

Here are a few diabetes questions I’ve been pondering since returning from the JDRF Annual Conference last week in D.C.

How come I always end up sick after I travel?  Seriously, I feel like every germ on the plane zeros in on me the minute I board.  (I guess spending long days in conference rooms with hundreds of others doesn’t help much either.)

How come my new pump decides to throw me a motor error at the worst possible time?  A motor error on a new pump is bad enough - but getting it while filling  my dinner plate at the buffet line before the opening speeches of the JDRF Annual Conference is probably about the worst timing I can think of!

How come someone who is a chronic over-packer can end up far away from home with a battery that’s just about to go dead and no spare?  Luckily this problem was solved with a quick walk after dinner to the CVS a couple of blocks away.

How come my blood sugar can spend an entire day doing the exact opposite of what I need it to do?  Seriously, I spent my first full day in D.C. running high when I met with our members of Congress on The Hill, low when I had some free time to hit the treadmill, and then high again when it was time for dinner.

How come I manage to end up in the only airport security line with a full body scanner instead of the dozen for the metal detectors?  How come TSA is so sure my insulin pump can go through the full body scanner even when I tell them I know it can’t?  (Don’t worry, they did finally agree to give me a pat down and it was fine.)

How come an evening low blood sugar always hits AFTER I’ve brushed my teeth for bed?  Does my toothpaste have inhalable insulin in it?

I can’t answer any of these questions.  And even if I could, I’m sure diabetes would send me some more “how comes” to ponder.  What does diabetes make you ask “how come” about?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bye-Bye Basic Black

I think I’ve been using the same brand of meter for more than nine years.  I loved my Accu-Chek Compact Plus for its convenience.  Strips come in a drum of 17 that gets preloaded into the meter and the lancet attaches right to the meters side.  It makes testing easy.  However, there are some drawbacks too.  The meter seems HUGE compared to other brands and it makes quite a racket when the drum advances for a test.  Lately I started eying OneTouch, which is the other brand my insurance will cover.  The UltraLink pings my readings straight to my pump.  And the cute little UltraMini adds very little bulk when tucked into my purse.  So I decided to make the switch.  I’m finding the main thing I miss about my old meter is the back lit screen, but other than that I’m very happy.

I decided that new smaller meters called for cute new cases, so I turned to etsy to see what I could find.  I struck gold at RKEMdesigns and ordered two small sized pouches (on sale!!!).


So adorable!!  The cupcake pouch was a no-brainer given the DOCs cupcake obsession.  I knew my UltraMini would fit in the case just fine, along with my strips and lancet and a tissue in case of gushers.  And the key ring on the side of each pouch is perfect to attach the travel pill container that I use to stash my used test strips!


The second pouch I ordered just because I’ve always had a thing for matryoshka dolls and it was too cute to pass up.  (I actually have a thing for almost anything Russian, but I digress.)  I didn’t really think the small pouch would be large enough to hold my UltraLink and supplies.  But I’m glad to say I was wrong - everything fits quite nicely.


No more big bulky meter and no basic black meter cases?  I’m one happy D-Gal!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Busy Week . . . .

BusyBeeI am a busy bee this week.  I’m trialing both Glooko and mySentry (more on both soon!).  I’m rounding up the May #dsma blog carnival and coordinating the June topic.  I’m still (slowly) working on reading and commenting on the wonderful Diabetes Blog Week posts.  I have a wake to attend tomorrow night for a dear friend’s father.  I’m trying to get exercise back to the top of my priority list, so fitting in some workouts is a must.  And I’ll be spending the second half of my week in D.C. for the JDRF Annual Conference - which includes more time on the Hill advocating to my Congress people for support of diabetes issues.  Oh, and I have a pile of emails that are long overdue to be answered . . . .

Actually, it’s going to be a really great week (aside from the wake) and I’m so excited about everything.  But busy = stress and stress = erratic blood sugars.  Travel in general, and flying specifically, also tends to really throw my blood sugar into a state of havoc.  I’m always scared to toss exercise into the mix when I’m traveling.  And busy schedules and travelling can also  mess with healthy meal planning.

So basically, although I’m thrilled with everything that I have going on this week, I recognize it will be a bit challenging Diabetes-Wise.  I sure could use some tips and tricks!!  How do you stay on track during travel and busy times - especially when they both hit at once?