Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My New Low Glass . . . .

I used to treat low blood sugars with juice all the time.  I bought juice boxes marketed to toddlers because they had just enough carbs and I didn’t have to measure anything out while low.  But then some (probably fake) disgusting“news” item was going around Facebook about juice boxes, and because I’m so easily grossed out I haven’t been able to drink a juice box since.

Pete likes juice so we always have a large bottle in the refrigerator.  But determining how much of it I should drink while low is pretty impossible for me, so I don’t bother with it.  Until now!!  Because National Etchings sent me their measuring glass to try out.  I.  Am.  In.  Love.


Seriously, this is a beautiful glass all on it’s own.  It’s shiny and pretty and feels nice and solid in my hand.  The quality is so good that I’d expect it to be priced higher than it is.  But the big draw for me is the measurements etched into the side.  It means I can pour out three ounces of juice to treat, even when a low blood sugar has my brain pretty scrambled.

Want a new low glass for yourself?  Well, you are in luck, because National Etchings has offered a second glass for me to raffle off!  To enter, simply use the widget below to “Like” the  National Etching Facebook page.  The contest will close on Friday, October 31st.  Good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Harder for Others . . .

dsmaI believe diabetes is hard for everyone, regardless of type.  However, I also believe there are some things that are harder for other types than for me, as a Type 1.  And that is the focus of the #dsma blog carnival this month.  The question is from a September chat that asked “anything easy about living with your type of diabetes that isn’t easy for another type?".

Yes, yes, oh yes!!  I believe there are plenty of things that are harder for Type 2s and people with gestational diabetes and LADAs and every other kind of diabetes.  Don’t get me wrong, Type 1 is hard too.  And some things are equally hard for all types.  But some things are harder for one type or another.

Today I’m thinking of my Type 2 friends and the thing that I believe is tougher for them is STIGMA.  Yes, I’m yelling it.  STIGMA.  I hate the stigma that comes with diabetes.  Diabetes is not anyone’s fault, no matter what type a person has.  And I think sometimes T2s get stigma not only from the general public, but also from people who have other types of diabetes.  It’s wrong and it isn’t fair.  And I wish I could take the stigma away.

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What’s That Wednesday - Meters #WalkWithD

I have identical meters - a purse meter and a home meter.  My home meter is older and also gets a lot more use.  (Apparently I don’t get out much.)   Lately I’ve been  nervous that it might be time to replace it.  So I decided to do a side-by-side test with both meters.  I used the same drop of blood and strips from the same vial.  And I held me breath to see how closely the two tests would line up.


Yeah baby!!!  This really put my mind at ease.  And it was a perfect slice of diabetes life for me to share as part of the Walk With D campaign.  Have you shared some moments of your #WalkWithD yet?

Friday, October 17, 2014


There is an important discussion with the FDA coming up, and diaTribe has arranged a short survey you can take to make sure your opinion is heard.  Read the flyer below for all of the details:


You can find the survey at  I believe it's only open through the weekend, so be sure you share your thoughts now!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Lose my Mind . . .

Fasting blood sugar - fine.  Bolus for and consume coffee.

Pre-breakfast blood sugar - fine.  Pre-bolus for breakfast smoothie.  Make and drink breakfast smoothie.  Blood sugar remains stable.

Two and a half hours after drinking breakfast smoothie - CGM high alarm.  Test to confirm, and yes, I am high.  I figure it’s the smoothie, even though it seems odd that the spike didn’t start sooner.  Whatever.  Take the 1 unit suggested correction and head the the grocery store.  The grocery store is a drag, but I’m secretly happy to go because grocery shopping always brings my blood sugar down.

Come home from grocery shopping, put everything away, dust the entire house.  Still high.  Hmmm, that’s odd.  Correct again and set a higher temp basal for good measure.

FrustrationCGM high alarm repeat is set to 1 hour, meaning that it will alarm once an hour as long as I remain high.  All afternoon it continues to blare hour upon hour upon hour, despite continuing to up my basal bit by bit.  At 4:00 I finally admit that the 200+ blood sugar I’ve been stuck with all day can’t be due to the smoothie I drank at 8:30.  Decide to change my site, and am happy to see that it’s also time to open a new bottle of insulin.  Yay for eliminating two variable at once!

Insert new site, but it feels “weird” going in.  Not sure exactly what I mean by that, but my gut tells me something isn’t quite right.  Already frustrated enough that I haven’t been able to make my blood sugar budge all day, so immediately pull the new site and replace it again.  Then take a 20 minute walk, confident that I’ve now got this under control.

Two hours later blood sugar is STILL the same and that confidence I felt is replaced by complete exasperation.  Curse the fact that I keep forgetting to check for ketones, and give in to the temptation to rage bolus.  When even that doesn’t help, decide it’s time to do a third site change.  Pull the practically new site and it looks fine, but a few small drops of blood dribble out of my body.  Insert new site yet again and call husband and cry.

Finally make it into the 190s.  Pretty sure it’s a bad idea but decide to eat dinner anyway.  Eat a half portion and test again to see that I’m in the 120s.  Yay!!  Eat the other half of my dinner!

Watch a little TV with Pete.  We chat a bit and then he says “Do you think you're low?  You kind of sound like you're low?”.  I’m sure I’m not low but agree to test before getting up to wash the dishes.  41.  WTF.  (Also, what is this "sound low" symptom Pete can spot??)  Must be falling fast because CGM shows me in the 80s, but soon after the rapid down arrows appear.  Eat but still feel like I’m going to die.  Curl up in a ball on the couch while Pete is stuck doing the dishes.  At this moment, I feel like I absolutely can not live one more day with diabetes.

There are many hard things about life with diabetes, and this is one that people outside of the diabetes bubble probably just don’t understand.  I’d stick a million needles a day in my body - that pain only lasts for a moment.  But the emotional pain of trying every single thing you can think of to get your blood sugar back into range and nothing works?  Knowing that people think diabetes is no big deal because you just need to take your insulin and not eat sugar and that’s it?  On days like this one, these are the parts of diabetes that will truly make me lose my flippin’ mind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What’s That Wednesdays - Smoothies!!

So far, the breakfast smoothie trial is going well.  I scale down the servings so they equal about 30 carbs and I tweak the ingredients to suit my tastes and what’s in my pantry.  (Like using plain yogurt with my own honey and vanilla added.)



Monday’s smoothie was more chunky than smooth, but as each day goes by I’m getting a feel for how long the blender needs to run in order to make a smoothie that is actually smooth.  But these were all really tasty, and also quick and easy to make.  I may be a breakfast smoothie convert, so I think I’ll need a few more recipes so I don’t get tired of these three.  Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe to share?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DiabetesSisters Virtual PODS

DiabetesSisters runs a lot of great programs and events.  One that sounds fantastic is the PODS Meetups.  PODS stands for Part Of DiabetesSisters, and the meetups are in person, monthly gatherings that happen in many locations around the country.  Each month a different topic is up for discussion, so women with all types of diabetes can offer support to and learn from each other.  I've thought of looking into starting a PODS in my area, but since our local JDRF chapters already to a great job of schedule Adult T1 events I didn't think there would be much interest.  This is actually a good "problem" to have because it means the need for local support is already being met.

But what about areas that aren't so lucky.  What about places were there is no local support?  More importantly, what about places where the population is spread out and gathering in person isn't as easy as it is in a tiny state like Connecticut?  Well, I was thrilled to hear DiabetesSisters is starting a Virtual PODS Meetup.  And when asked if I'd like to lead it, I was even more thrilled to accept!  This month's Virtual PODS will happen this Thursday, October 16th at 8:00 p.m. EST!


Here is a little more information on PODS from DiabetesSisters:
Whether you were diagnosed with diabetes yesterday or 30 years ago, PODS meet ups offer you a safe, nurturing place that you can go for personalized peer support. Hosted monthly, PODS meet ups are designed to provide informal support and education to women of all ages with all types of diabetes (prediabetes, gestational, type 1, type 1.5, type 2, etc.).

At each meet up, participants are encouraged to focus on their own health and share their life experiences with other women who understand their unique challenges.

Our Virtual PODS meetup will be held using GoToMeetings and our topic this month is a great one.  We'll be discussing "Tips for Making It Easier".  If you would like to join us please email me at so I can send you the meeting link.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Two Weeks . . . . .

Yesterday marked two weeks since my terrible 5K.  And, quite honestly, they haven't been good - from a health or a diabetes perspective.  Before that 5K I had gotten myself into a pretty good routine.  Pete and I ran two or three times a week.  I wore my Fitbit every day and tried to hit 10,000 daily steps.  I was drinking 72 ounces of water a day and logging all of my food and calories.  I had lost a little over 8 pounds.

But that 5K really defeated me.  I didn't want to run anymore and took off my Fitbit.  I stopped logging my food.  The pounds are creeping back on.  If I drink 24 ounces of water it's a good day.  I just stopped caring and stopped trying.  I came down with another cold.  And even now that the cold is gone, I'm still not feeling great.

I think if there is one thing diabetes has taught me in the past 34+ years, it's that times like these will happen.  Something will take the wind out of your sails, burn-out will hit, and you just won't care for a while.  What seems to help me the most is to go ahead and roll with it - but not for too long.  So yesterday, I started to think about all those running goals Pete and I did hit - things we thought we'd never be able to do but did, and how great it felt when we high-fived each other after a great training run.  I started looking for some new healthy recipes to try out.  I am ready to start over a little bit at a time until I get myself back to that routine I was following two weeks ago.

Today I will start logging my food and calories again.  I will have healthy smoothies for breakfast every day this week and see how that goes.  (The idea of breakfast smoothies has never appealed to me and I've been happy with my organic cereal bars, but I want to try something less processed and not pre-packaged).  Maybe I'll try to log a few workouts on the Wii this week.  And next week, maybe I'll pull my Fitbit out of the drawer and give that a go again.

Breakfast smoothie in a martini glass?  Why not?
Martini glasses make anything seem more appealing!!

So thank you, diabetes.  Thanks for teaching me that one failure isn't the end.  That it's okay to feel burnt out and take a break.  That it's okay, as long as you remember to start over again and never give up.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

NOT a serving of fruit . . .

Yesterday I tweeted the following:


Yes, I know an apple muffin is not a serving of fruit.  I know I need to eat a better lunch, complete with some protein and vegetables.  I even tried to talk myself into a fresh apple topped with peanut butter instead, but my craving vetoed the idea.  So I caved.

It wasn’t even a home-made muffin either.  It was a ginormous bakery muffin from the grocery store.  It was delicious and it was just what I wanted.  But . . . . you guessed it.  I was high all afternoon.  It took several corrections to get back into range.  In the end, it probably wasn’t worth it.

I think (and hope) it’s normal for everyone to give in to a craving now and again, even when we know better.  But I can’t help but wonder what that feels like for someone without diabetes.  I bet they enjoy it a whole lot more.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It’s Temporary . . . . .

I’m not a fan of winter.  I’d almost say I hate winter, but when I think of moving out of New England to somewhere warm year round I get the feeling I’d miss the changing seasons.  And as vile as snow is, I really love a white Christmas.  I guess it would be nice if it could snow on Christmas Eve, all melt away by Boxing Day and spring could arrive on New Year’s Day.  I could live with that kind of winter.

I love snowmen too.  Unfortunately, you need snow to make a snowman . . . .

I have a feeling this winter will be long and rough.  At least for me.  Why?  Because it’s only October and I’ve already been sick twice.  That’s right, once in September and once over this past weekend.  At first I thought it was allergies (both times) but I’m more inclined to think I was hit with colds.  Especially on Monday when I couldn’t get my blood sugar out of the 200s, even thought I hadn’t eaten.  Bolus after bolus did nothing, and I pulled a perfectly good site thinking it might be crimped or something.  (It wasn’t.)

It’s times like these, when my body is fighting germs and my blood sugars are out of whack, that I rely on a Temporary Basal to get me through.  I upped my basal rate a little at a time until I found the rate that finally helped my blood sugar settle down.  This time it was 150%, which I needed to keep in place for 24 hours.  Next time it might be 125% or 140% or 170%.  I’ve found the key for me is to just keep tinkering around until I find the temp basal that works for that day.

Today I’m feeling much better and my blood sugars and basal rate are both back to normal.  (Not that the word “normal” ever really applies when dealing with blood sugar . . . )  But it’s really nice to know I can turn to a temporary basal when I need it.  Speaking of temporary, it’s also nice to know that word also applies to winter weather.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Worst 5K . . . .

Sunday I ran my absolute worst 5K ever.  And diabetes was (mostly) to blame.


I will admit that we’d slacked a bit on training over the past few weeks.  We tried to train on our cruise, but it just didn’t work.  And then I got sick when we got back, and then life got busy.  It sounds like a pile of excuses, and maybe it is.  But the bottom line is that we knew we wouldn’t set any PRs during this race and we were okay with that - we just planned to go and have fun.  Unfortunately, I really didn’t have any fun at all.

I think the problem all started the day before.  We spent most of Saturday redecorating the living room.  We hauled away our old couch (in pieces, because otherwise it wasn’t going anywhere) and carted off other old furniture and carried in new furniture and rearranged and reconfigured and basically were busy all day.  I found myself fighting low after low after low, and it was no surprise when I woke up Sunday morning to a lower blood sugar than I liked.  I drank my coffee but skipped my coffee bolus, made sure I had plenty of gels in my running pack, and grabbed an apple sauce to eat before the race.

Once we got to the race site I ate the apple sauce, still with no bolus.  Ten minutes before the race I checked my sugar again, and I was still lower than I liked.  Figuring out what to eat was a little tricky though.  I’m used to running with a bit of insulin on board from breakfast, but Sunday I hadn’t bolused a thing.  So I wasn’t quite sure how much to eat to hit that fine line between being high enough to run without crashing, but not so high as to feel a sluggish, syrup-in-my-veins crud.  I decided a Clif Blok should do the trick.

Things started out fine.  At about a mile in my CGM hit my high threshold (set at 165) and showed two arrows up.  Usually that’s pretty perfect, because it’s about the time the exercise is starting to kick in and level the spike out.  Usually, but not on Sunday.  We hadn’t even gone another half mile before I started getting that fuzzy feeling.  I slowed to a walk and tested and was only at 90.  So I ate a couple more Clif Bloks.  At the two mile mark I wasn’t feeling any better, so when we spotted a little fence I could lean on and test again, we stopped.  I was even lower.  Pete handed me a gel and as I sucked it down we noticed the safety van that follows the runners.  It pulled up behind us to collect the cones marking the run route. 

“Are we the very last runners?”, I asked Pete. 
“Wait, there’s nobody behind us?’
“No.  Don’t worry about it, baby.  It doesn’t matter  Take another minute to rest.”

But to me, it sure did matter.  We were going to come in dead last and I still felt low and I was really frustrated that diabetes was making me a loser.  And that is precisely when the tears started.  I began walking that last mile and I cried.  Sprinkled along the route were people cheering us on - telling us we were doing a great job and that we were almost done.  The more they cheered, the harder I cried.  The harder I cried, the more embarrassed I felt.  Which in turn make me cry even more, which then made me absolutely humiliated.  I knew it was the low making me overly emotional but there was nothing I could do to stop it.  I was mortified and I wished more than anything that I was back home.

We were almost to the three mile mark when I started to get angry at diabetes.  I wiped away my tears and ran the last few tenths of a mile.  I gave a half-hearted smile to those who cheered as we crossed the finish line, and then I asked Pete to take us home.  Our official race time was our slowest 5K ever, and a full 5 1/2 minutes slower than the one we ran in September.  As it turned out, one person finished after us, about 7 minutes later, but that didn’t really matter to me.  And I can’t help but wonder what his story was.  Did he have an injury?  Was he sick?  Did a chronic condition mess with him?  And did he feel completely discouraged and frustrated too?