Friday, August 31, 2012

Revisiting “Judgements” . . . .

Lately I feel like there hasn’t been much going on with me, diabetes-wise.  I’m doing what I need to do, I have some highs and low here and there, but mostly things are just steadily plodding along.  Which is good . . . . . except that it doesn’t leave much to blog about.

In an attempt to find some bloggy inspiration I started looking back through some old posts.  I found one from three years ago called Judgements, and I knew it was the perfect post to revisit . . .
"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 finger-stick 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."

Quite honestly, this post really surprised me.  I certainly don’t feel like I have to hide my meter or my pump anymore.  In fact, I’m thrilled to tell anyone who will listen all about how I can use exercise and my pump features to manage a carb filled meal on a special occasion.  It was easy for me to forget all of those years when I hid diabetes because I worried about what others thought - and because deep down inside I was always judging myself and feeling like I was failing.  All of that has gradually changed over the past three years as I’ve become a more informed patient who has tons of support from others who also live with diabetes.  Yes, sometimes I still do judge myself and feel like I’ve failed, but I know that my health is my business and I don’t worry about what some random stranger may think of me.

Sometimes when things seem to be plodding along at an even pace, it’s easy to forget just how far we have come.  It can be surprising to look back and realize how much your outlook has changed.  Tonight I’m attending my niece’s wedding and I will eat some wedding cake and have a drink (or two) and I won’t worry one bit about what others might be thinking.  And that is pretty cool!!

Do you ever take a look back at your life with diabetes and find yourself surprised at how things have changed?  What has helped you make those changes?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dual-Waveing at The Loop

When I first started pumping, I was kind of scared of those “advanced” pump features like the Dual Wave Bolus and the Temp Basal.  It took lots of research and quite a bit of trial and error before I figured out what worked for me, but now I find I use those features often.  In fact, I use the Dual Wave every Friday, without fail, as Pete and I indulge in Pizza and Martini Friday -which has become an end-of-the-week tradition in my house.

I’ll admit it . . . . I LOVE PIZZA AND MARTINI FRIDAY. 

It took a while to figure it out, but my Pizza and Martini Dual Wave usually keeps my blood sugars happy.  And that’s what I’m talking about at my latest post over at The Loop, entitled Pizza and Martini Night.

If you are a pumper, do you make use of your advanced features?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?  Anything you wish you knew more about?

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

New York Metro Meet up

I’m very fortunate that my local JDRF chapters have been embracing Adult Outreach.  I’ve been working on the planning committee with one chapter for about a year and we’ve had three excellent events.  A couple of months ago my other local chapter had their first Adult Outreach event and the turn out was great.  I’m so thankful that local, off-line support is springing up in my area, because it’s just as rewarding and important as the support I find on-line.  So I’m very excited that the JDRF chapters in my region are uniting for a larger meet up next month.


So, who will I see you there??  (Don’t forget to RSVP to your Outreach Manager listed above.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Free Toys!!!!

I was awoken at 1:30 in the morning by the sound of K.C. playing.  It sounded like she was having a grand old time batting something plastic around the bedroom.  This was odd since we keep all of her toys downstairs.  Wondering what she had gotten ahold of, I begrudgingly got up and flicked on the little flashlight I keep on my night table for midnight finger sticks.

Much to my surprise, I found K.C.’s fun new toy was this . . . . .


It’s the top of my pump reservoir - the part that snaps onto the insulin bottle when you fill it.  After site changes, I immediately put the sharps in an old coffee can that is my personal sharps container.  I don’t ever remember dropping one.  Apparently I did, and K.C. was happy to claim it as her own.

Free cat toys . . . . just one more benefit of  having diabetes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Egg Cups

A few people asked how I made the breakfast cup from yesterday, so here is my “recipe”.  Actually, there are tons of recipes for these floating around the internet - I’ve found that once you learn the basic technique you can change them up any way you want.  And although they look kind of fancy, they are so easy.  Really, if you can scramble an egg, you can make these!!

 Here are the ingredients.  Today I’m making an asparagus and goat cheese cup.  Yesterday I made broccoli and shredded cheddar.  I’ve also made spinach, tomato and feta.  I bake them in a small ramekin from Crate and Barrel.   I made a whole batch in a muffin tin once and then froze them.  That was good, but they stuck a bit in the tins.  They do freeze well though, so you can bake up a batch ahead and then just pull one out each morning.

Start off by preheating your oven to 350.  Now chop up your vegetable.  I like to use frozen vegetables because they thaw to a soft texture and don’t need to be pre-cooked like a hard, raw vegetable might.  I just pull a portion out of the freezer first thing in the morning, and it thaws quickly on the kitchen counter.  Dice it up small, spray your cup with cooking spray, and then throw the vegetables in.

Next, add your cheese.  I buy shredded or crumbled cheese, so they are all set to go.  Toss it in and mix it around to combine it with the vegetables.

Then beat an egg with a splash of milk - just as if you were making scrambled eggs.  See, I told you this was easy!

Pour the egg into the cup.  I season the top with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Then pop it into the over for about 30 to 40 minutes. 

Yum, golden brown goodness.  These are HOT, so I pop the whole thing out of the cup to help it cool faster.

And that’s it.  Looks so fancy, but is so so easy!  I don’t need to bolus for these, but your bolus needs may vary depending on the vegetables you use and how your body processes the protein and fat.

What is your favorite low-carb breakfast?  Or what is your favorite high-carb breakfast when you want to splurge??

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Breakfast

In an attempt to cut down on my carbs, I’ve been baking little cups with cheese. vegetables and an egg every morning.  So good and I barely have to bolus for them!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Get a Job!!

Your pancreas is in a job interview and totally bombed the question about ______.

Interviewer:  Good morning, thanks for coming in.
My Pancreas: Hey, thanks for seeing me.
Interviewer: So, let’s get started.  First why don’t you tell me a little bit about your employment history.
My Pancreas:  Yeah, well, for a little over 11 years I worked with  my beta cells . . . . or was it my islets . . . . are they the same thing?  Yeah, whatever, I don’t know, but I made insulin.  Then I decided I was so done with that, so I stopped.
Interviewer:  You stopped? 
My Pancreas:  Yup, just quit.
Interviewer:  Okaaay, and what have you been doing since then.
My Pancreas:  Umm, yeah, I guess nothing.  Well, maybe I’m like a placeholder so the other internal organs don’t shift around and stuff.  Ya know, they might do that if I just wasn’t there, right?
Interviewer:  Ahem, well, why don’t you tell me what you see as your greatest strength?
My Pancreas:  Pfft, I don’t know.  Strength?  I kinda don’t really have one.
Interviewer:  Well, what would you say your greatest weakness is?
My Pancreas:  You know, I just really don’t do anything.  So I don’t have any weaknesses or strengths.  I just kinda hang around.
Interviewer:  (sighing loudly)  Can you tell me why you are interested in this job?
My Pancreas:  (laughing)  Lady, I don’t WANT a job!  I don’t even know how I ended up on this stupid interview.  I’ve been a slacker for almost 33 years, and I don’t see any reason to change things!
Interviewer:  Okay, I think I’ve gotten all of the information I need.  Thanks for your time.  We’ll let you know when we’ve made a decision.


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

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I don’t know anything . . . .

I’ve lived with diabetes longer than I’ve done almost anything else in my life.  Longer than I’ve known my husband.  For more years than I was in school.  Longer than I’ve owned my own house, been able to drink alcohol, or had my driver license.  I’ve lived with diabetes for 32 years and 8 months, so by now I should know absolutely everything, shouldn’t I?  I should be able to run on auto-pilot with perfect results, right?  WRONG!!!

Lately I’ve been feeling like I don’t know anything about diabetes.  Well, no, I guess I’ve been feeling more like diabetes has changed the rules.  Specifically, the low blood sugar rules.  I’ve always felt lucky that my body handles lows really well.  Even in the 30s and high 20s, I’ve been able to do what I needed to do without much of a problem.  Lately, that hasn’t been the case.  I had that scary bad low last month when I was home alone.  Thinking back, I also had a weird low in the middle of the night while at Friends for Life.  I tested somewhere in the 30s and ate four GlucoLift tablets, and then sat there trying to figure out if that was enough.  I was so confused that I had no idea how  many carbs I needed to treat a low.  I picked up the box of Canadian Smarties that Scully had gifted to me earlier that evening and saw that it contained 40 grams of carbs.  I pondered if 40 grams was what I was supposed to treat a low with and scarfed them all down.  That’s right . . . . I treated a low with a total of 56 grams of carbs and thought that sounded right.  Clear-headed, I was not.

Then there was another scary bad low last week.  Pete worked late and picked up dinner for us on his way home.  He noticed I wasn’t talking much, but assumed I was mad that he had worked so late.  (Poor guy.)  He said he realized something was wrong when my hand started shaking so badly that I kept dropping my food.  I don’t remember that, but I do vaguely remember him bringing me a juice box and telling me to drink it.  Things went kind of dark and fuzzy for a while, but I eventually realized I was covered in sweat and that Pete kept taking furtive glances at me with a concerned look on his face.  I had to ask him what happened, and as he filled me in he admitted how scared he was.

I don’t know what is going on.  I don’t know why my body isn’t handling lows well anymore.  I don’t know anything except that, for the first time in my life, going low really scares me.  I’ve lived with diabetes for a very long time and I’ve made lots of adjustments over the years.  This will be another one.  I’m making sure to test the second my CGM sends me a “low predicted” alarm.  Earlier this week I started to feel as if I might be slipping toward another bad low, so I treated and treated and treated some more.  Sure, I ended up near 200, but I will gladly correct that back down if it means avoiding another instance of realizing there is a chunk of time I can’t account for.  I will do what I have to do.  But it is important to know that even after 32 years and 8 months, I sometimes feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.  It’s important to know that diabetes keeps changing the rules  And that I do have a nagging fear deep down inside that any minute, diabetes will win.

We need a cure.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless(ish) Wednesday - Conquering a High

Lately I’ve been more bothered by lows than highs (more on that next time).  But when those sticky highs hit, its frustrating to watch my blood sugar soar on my CGM while bolus after bolus appears to do nothing.  My sure-fire high cure?  Grocery shopping!!  It never fails to bring my blood sugar down.  (Target works too.  Although as you can see, sometimes they work a little too well.)

Do you have a trick that always helps get you back into range?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Unlikely Advocate . . .

So . . . . a bout of writers block and my recent trip to Indy for the Roche Social Media Summit have caused a bit of an unintended blog hiatus.  When you add in the fact that I had another bad low last night it may not be surprising that I’m feeling fairly scattered today.  (Luckily Pete was with me last night so it wasn’t quite as scary as last time, but I need to figure out what is going on with these nasty lows.)

advocateIn any case, while I attempt to get my act together over here, my latest post is up on the Medtronic Loop blog.  This month I’m talking about advocacy, and how starting my blog led me down an unexpected path in which I’ve found my voice and learned to use it to try to make a difference.  I’ve been extremely nervous at times because I’ve always been pretty shy, but I’ve found that ignoring the fears and doubts and pushing myself to do things outside of my comfort zone has been unbelievably rewarding!  You can check it out here:

Has your involvement in the DOC lead you down an unexpected path that you are happy to have explored?

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