Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Toast . . . .

ToastI believe Diabetes Burnout is a real thing, and I’ve had it many times.  But right now I’m not there.  It’s definitely not smooth sailing, but I’m not burnt out.  I guess maybe I’m lightly toasted.

When I’m burnt, I don’t count my carbs.  I bolus random amounts where the Guess in my SWAG is more Wild Ass than Scientific.  Pre-bolus is replaced with bolus while eating.  Testing happens about twice a day, if I’m lucky, only so I can calibrate my CGM.  None of that is happening now.  I’m counting and testing and pre-bolusing.  I’m not burnt.

So what tells me I’m toasted?  Well, when my CGM rings a high or low alarm, I immediately yell “Fuck you, just fuck right the fuck off”.  (But if my mom is reading this, I mean that I say “Oh gee, gosh darn fiddle dee dee”.  Sorry Mom.)  During the day, I don’t bother treating a low until I really feel the low symptoms - pretending that I’m not hypo-unaware.  And during the night, I might dip into the 40s before I feel motivated enough to leave my bed and eat something.  Yes, I’m testing, but I’m starting to forgo a finger-stick here and there in favor of bolusing off my sensor if I know it’s been spot-on.  Yup, not burnt, but definitely getting pretty toasty.

I’m hoping by acknowledging that I’m firmly between the red coils of the toaster, I can pop myself out before I’m fully burnt.  Maybe I need to take a “Diabetes Day Off”, kind of like a Wallow Day but with less wallow and depression (since I’m not quite there yet) and more just giving myself a break for a day.  Will that turn the heat down and keep me from getting too crispy?  Any other ideas to halt the toasting?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Guest Post: Denouncing the Charlatans . . .

Today I'm delighted to share another guest post from Rick Phillips, who was kind enough to write about Spring Rains here last month.  Take it away, Rick!

First, thank you to Karen for giving me another chance to do a guest blog. I was once told any time a lady says you can come visit again you have done alright. As a matter of fact thinking back on my 57 years that only happened once and I married her (though she did turn me down for a first date 3 times before she called and asked me). Ha go figure.

Today I stumbled on another supposed ‘cure’ for diabetes. This one a 28 day cure. These things always make me think of the awful situation my mother faced years ago right after her diagnosis with type 1 diabetes in 1962. In those days mom and dad were alone and struggling with how to go forward. Now mom knew about diabetes, her sister (my aunt) was diagnosed at age 7 and she lived 3 years (she did not die of diabetic complications), but still as a thoughtful person mom felt alone with big decisions to make.

My mother’s (Marjorie Hale Phillips) senior picture before her 1954 HS graduation, she was 17 and Valedictorian of her class when this picture was taken. (Mom skipped 3rd grade)

Of course we now live in a world of social media, something my mom never had, but she would have used if it were available. I think mom would have found virtual supporters and helpers, just as easily as she found supporters in her in regular day to day activities (there were many). The difference being that today, mom would have found both more knowledge and well to be generous more stupidity about diabetes.

Some folks think these miracle diabetic cures are the invention of the internet age. I know better. When my mother was first diagnosed in 1962 she was confronted with a choice. When diagnosed she saw a doctor who gave her a very precise diet, including a multitude of herbs and vitamins. She was told to stop insulin immediately and pick up this diet and in time (perhaps 6 months) her Type 1 diabetes would be ‘cured’. She rejected that idea in favor of insulin.

What I admire so much about my mom was that she always looked forward, never back. Once (15 years later) I asked mom about that diet. She said it was so tempting to stop insulin and do that rigid, unattainable diet. I asked her why she didn’t stop insulin. She said it didn’t make sense; the science just did not support it. Today of course mom would search the internet for this crazy diet, she would find supporters and detractors of that approach and a dozen more. I think she would come to the same conclusion however. I think she would still choose insulin over lunacy.

A site like Karen’s is a beacon for giving good information and we need to celebrate that. But we also need to be just as loud in denouncing the charlatans. Yes I want a special diet to cure my diabetes. I want Okra water to cure it; I want cinnamon to cure it. But the science just does not support it. As for me I will choose insulin and that is the best advice I can give a type 1 diabetic today. Well that is until we get a Cinnabon (eat 2 Cinnabons with extra icing a day) cure. When I get that specific diet cure I may follow along. (no don’t worry, not really)

*** Lawrence ‘rick’ Phillips Ed.D.  is a 40 year type 1 diabetic who blogs about diabetes, life and films at  You can also find him on twitter @LawrPhil.  He is a notorious misspeller of words, and sometimes he tells humorous stories.  He has been married for 37 years Sheryl and has two sons and three grandchildren which he will tell you about ad nauseam if you let him.  You can contact him at ***

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WTW: Me and Dr. Oz . . .

What's That Wednesday: Did you know I was on The Dr. Oz Show?


Well okay, I wasn’t REALLY on The Dr. Oz Show.  But right behind Dr. Oz?  That’s a picture of me that I tweeted as part of #showmeyourpump.  (Yes, that is my unmade bed in the background.  Had I known I'd be on national T.V. I would've taken a minute to make my stupid bed first . . . . )  It was included in a segment that featured Miss Idaho, Sierra Anne Sandison.  Ah, my 5 seconds of fame.  But seriously, anything that can help spread awareness and education is a great thing, so thanks Sierra!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Crowd Sourcing: Packing Insulin

Pete and I are just back from a fantastic cruise to Bermuda.  Although there was lots of food (and maybe alcohol), there was also a lot of walking and stair climbing and we even worked in one 5K training run.  So my blood sugars were looking great . . . . right up until the last two days.  Then I found myself skyrocketing after everything I ate and taking quite a while to come down.  Once back in range I did manage to stay there, until the next time I ate even the smallest bite of food.

There is a lot that can throw off my blood sugar when I travel.  Lack of sleep due to late nights and a bed that isn’t my own.  More treats and food indulgences than I eat at home.  Stress.  (Yes, even on vacation I manage to stress.  Over possibilities of missing flights, sleeping through breakfast, leaving belongings behind in the hotel . . . . I can always find something to worry about).  But more often than not, I think my problem is my insulin.  I really think my little vials also suffer from travel stress.  I feel like they just lose their zing halfway through any trip.  I use Apidra, and I understand it’s more volatile than other insulin brands but I’m kind of tired of tossing out nearly full vials when I come home from a trip.

So can you help a girl out?   I’m looking for your suggestions on how you pack and store your insulin when you travel.  Because in my experience, the best place to crowd source is the DOC!  Got any tips for me?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Notes to Self . . . .

Note to Self:  Taking a few days off from a CGM sensor in order to insert a fresh one right before a trip is fine.

Note to Self:  On occasion, if blood sugars are in the “pre-run happy place”, it’s okay to leave the meter at home for a quick mile or two.

Note to Self:  A snack before a run is a good thing.

FailNote to Self:  Running with no meter and no sensor is NOT OKAY.  Even if it’s just 2.25 miles, and you had a snack because your pre-run blood sugar was only 86.  Do you hear me?  NOT OKAY.

Note to Self:  When running without a meter or CGM (but don’t ever do that!!) AND feeling low, for goodness sake, LISTEN TO YOUR HUSBAND!  Stop and eat the Level Life Gel he’s trying to give you.  Insisting you will be fine for the last 15 minutes of the run even though you feel like you’re made of Jell-o is NOT OKAY.

Note to Self:  Yes, you finished your run and it all worked out okay, but come on.  You know better.  Stop being so stubborn!  (Although I did agree to eat the gel before finishing the run.  Point in my favor??)

Do you ever make “Notes to Self”?  And do you actually listen??

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Looking Back - Oven Mitts . . .

****  Today I’m revisiting a post from a few years ago, in which I realized just how calloused my poor little finger tips are.  And yes, I still do feel guilty for all those times I called my husband a wimp when he complained things were too hot touch!! ****

During the summer, we do a lot of cooking on the grill.  Okay, by “we” I mean Pete.  I don’t actually step near the grill.  Although I do prep the food so that makes it a “we” effort, right?  I usually wrap our vegetables in foil packets in an attempt to have Pete cook our entire dinner outside on the grill during those sweltering days of summer.  When we try to unwrap them, hot off the grill, Pete always complains about the foil burning his fingers.  I usually call him a wimp and unwrap them with my bare hands.

The other day, we went to Starbucks.  I grabbed a seat to check my blood sugar while Pete ordered our coffees.  As he brought them over, he said they were so hot they were burning him and went off to get us those thermal sleeve thingies.  Call me pig-headed, but I had to see how hot the paper coffee cup really was.  And it wasn’t hot at all.  Wimp!!

Cue the guilt-music.  Now re-read the paragraph above.  Especially the line about checking my blood sugar.  You see, I test between 8 and 12 times every day.  I’ve realized that the scar tissue I’ve developed on my poor over-pricked fingers are my permanent little oven-mitts.  And the perhaps my husband isn't such a wimp after all.  Sorry, Sweetpea!