Monday, December 21, 2015

The Diaversary that Wasn’t . . . .

My diaversary (or the anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis) falls some time in December.  My hospital records are long gone and we’ve forgotten exactly which day I was rushed in and diagnosed, so I usually pick the middle of the month, December 15th, to mark the occasion.

This year makes 36 years I’ve lived with diabetes.  Pete and I usually celebrate.  We aren’t celebrating the fact that I have diabetes.  After all, although I firmly believe “life with diabetes isn’t all bad”, I most certainly would rather not have to live with this (or any) chronic illness.  But we still celebrate, to acknowledge how far I’ve come, how far treatments have come, how much work we put into keeping me healthy, and that I’m still here and (mostly) kicking diabetes’ butt.

So I had last Tuesday all planned out.  First I’d blog about my diaversary, which I do every year.  Then I’d head out of finish my Christmas shopping and stop at Crumbs for celebratory cupcakes.  And that evening, Pete wanted to take me out for a nice dinner.

None of that happened.  I woke up Tuesday feeling depressed by the weight of 36 years.  I was thankful to still be alive and healthy, but I hated everything about living with diabetes.  I didn’t have it in me to celebrate.  I didn’t even have it in me to leave the house.  I vented to a group of trusted friends in a private Facebook group (which helped a lot, so thank you!!).  And then I climbed back into bed to watch T.V. and snuggle K.C. (who was an overjoyed kitten loving the extra attention).

It kind of seems stupid and whiney now.  I don’t quite know what my problem was.  But on the other hand, diabetes can be so demanding and if I needed  a day to wallow I guess that’s okay.  By Friday I was ready to buy those cupcakes, but alas our Crumbs is closed again, apparently for good this time.  Oh well.  Pete wanted to reschedule our fancy dinner for a day that I’m feeling up for it, so we have plans to go tomorrow.  And who knows, maybe tomorrow is actually the day of my 36th diaversary.  But whether it is or isn’t, I want the dinner to be about Pete and I spending a nice evening together and not about 36 years of this chronic illness. 

This year, I guess I’m just not into my diaversary.   I just need the diaversary that wasn’t . . . . .

Monday, December 7, 2015

Push Through or Give In . . .

I believe one of the things diabetes has taught me over the years is when I should push through and when I should give in.  For example, there are some low blood sugars that I’m able to treat and just keep on with what I’m doing.  And there are some that make me give in and sit down for 10 (or 15 or 20) minutes while my blood sugar recovers and I’m able to get back to living life.  High blood sugars are similar - sometimes I can just bolus my correction and get on with things while the insulin works it’s magic.  Other times, I need to stop and check for ketones, have some water and re-check often to be sure the insulin is doing what it’s supposed to.  Judging whether I’m in a Give In or Push Through situation isn’t always easy, but usually I know which is the right thing to do.  (Even if I don’t like it and don’t want to admit it.)

sickThe skill of knowing when to push through and when to give in is something I can (and should) carry over into my non-diabetes life as well.  In fact, today is the perfect case in point.  I woke up this morning feeling a little tired but that’s not all that unusual when you have a husband who snores and a cat who likes to sleep on one of your knees.  (She may be less than 10 pounds, but it feels like a ton when she’s resting it all on one of my knees.)  As I drank my much needed coffee the sneezing began.  And it didn’t let up.  I’m literally stopping every 20 seconds to reach for more tissues and my nose is turning a festive red.  “It’s okay” I thought “I can still push through.”.  Then my throat began hurting.  And my eyes were begging for a nap.  And some chills and aches crept in.  And I’ve decided today is not a day to push through.

I think that without diabetes, I’d probably force myself through the day.  And I’d probably do a crappy job on everything because I’m not feeling well.  Instead, I’m smart enough to realize it’s time to give in.  I’m going to close the lid on my laptop, brew a cup of tea with honey, and curl up on the couch with a blanket, my cat and Netflix.  And everything else?  I can deal with that all tomorrow.  Because in the words of my favorite heroine . . .

“After all, tomorrow is another day.”

(In fact, the heck with Netflix, today might be the perfect day to pop on my Gone with the Wind DVD again!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Auto-Pilot . . . .

autopilot2Lately I feel as if Otto has taken over.  That is to say, diabetes seems as if it’s running in auto-pilot.  (Also that link is, of course, from Airplane!  So it is, of course, NSFW.)

That’s not to say diabetes management has exactly been easy, because diabetes is rarely easy.  There are still spikes and lows and pieces that didn’t go exactly as planned.  But nothing out of the ordinary and certainly nothing worth blogging about.  Last month I went to the endo and all was well - except that we upped my Vitamin D dose again.  If that’s all I need to worry about after almost 36 years with diabetes, I consider myself pretty lucky.  The Thanksgiving weekend brought such a great string of blood sugars that I had to wonder if I had a few islet cells kicking in valiantly before being wiped out by my immune system.  (Taking my parent’s dog for a walk after our turkey dinner didn’t hurt either.  But it was a pretty slow walk because she insisted on stopping to sniff EVERY SINGLE LEAF!!)  But all in all, things have been pretty quite over here, diabetes-wise.

I appreciate the small breaks when I can get them.  Even if it doesn’t leave me with much that’s blog-worthy to write about.  I can sacrifice blog material for the chance to let diabetes run on auto-pilot while I focus on other parts of life.  After all, history has taught me that this won’t last too long, so I’ll enjoy it while I can!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Winners Winners Winners . . . .

1390714768-2400pxJust a quick post today to announce the winners of the six pairs of blue circle #LaceUp4Diabetes laces that Novo Nordisk was kind enough to provide for me to give away.  Yay!

Over all, between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Bitter~Sweet, there were 36 entries.  I wish I had a pair for each and every one of you.  But the six people I do have pairs for are . . . . . .

Briley Boisvert
Liz Wedward
Aliza Chana Zaleon
Martin Wood
Stacey Divone
Tarra Robinson

Congratulations to you all!!  I will message or email each of you to collect your addresses and send your laces out next week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#LaceUp4Diabetes . . . .

Humor me for a minute as we flash back to my college years.  (Disclosure:  This time period may involve any and all of the following: big hair, day-glo colors, large geometric prints, piles and piles of black rubber bracelets, and guy-liner long before it was known as such.)  A young version of me is late for class and frantically tying my Keds when a lace snaps.  In a hurry, I pull out both laces, throw them away and rush off the class.  And I decide I like these new slip-on Keds I’ve created.  And since then, each time I buy a new pair of Keds, the first thing I do is take out the laces.  I used to throw them away, but now they get hung on a hook to be used as K.C.’s cat toy of choice  (She loves a good string to swat at and it keeps her away from my yarn.)

So why are we strolling down memory lane (in our lace-less Keds)?  Because I now have a reason to put laces back in my sneakers, thanks to Novo Nordisk’s #LaceUp4Diabetes campaign and these lovely blue circle laces.


When these laces started popping up around the DOC a few years ago, I longed for a pair.  And last year I was fortunate to score them from Scott Benner.  And this year, I’m thrilled that Novo Nordisk has sent me the 6 pairs you see above to give away!

Why is this important to me?  Well, because exercise motivation is probably the portion of diabetes management I struggle with the most.  But when I actually do exercise, it’s so easy to see the benefits to my blood sugar,  my mood and my energy level.  And seeing the blue circle laces helps with motivation.  They remind me of those health benefits, but more importantly they remind me of all my friends in the DOC who have a regular exercise regime that I admire.  And although we aren’t actually exercising together, we kind of are in a virtual way.  And that helps get me moving.

So, would you like a pair of these laces to help get you moving too?  Simply leave me a comment and I’ll enter you into a random drawing.  I’ve also been taking entries from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, so I’ll gather them all together and pick six winners on Friday.  Good luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What I Don’t Know CAN Hurt Me . . . .

"Ignorance is bliss." "What you don't know can't hurt you."  I suppose in some instances these statements may be true, but mostly I don't agree with them. And I especially don't agree with them when it comes to my life with diabetes.

Over the past decade or so, I’ve become increasingly hypoglycemic unaware.  Not every single time, but more often than not.  As a rule, by the time I feel any low symptoms I am pretty damn low, like in the 50’s or below.  And that’s why I depend on my Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).

It’s scary to think about living without a CGM.  I’ve heard that if you run your blood sugars higher for a while, you can get back some of the sensitivity to lows.  But that’s not  a great trade off because high blood sugars can come with terrible consequences as well.  So I depend on my CGM to let me know that I’m heading into a potentially dangerous blood sugar situation.  It often helps me correct the plunge before things get scary.  And it not only helps the dangerous lows, but it alerts me to highs as well.  My CGM helps me correct out of range blood sugars, when without it they might stay too high or too low for far too long, causing damage to my body.

I am 47 years old and I’m lucky that my insurance covers my CGM.  Those who have aged into Medicare aren’t as lucky.  I find this ridiculous and scary, because I know just how vital a CGM is to my diabetes management ( and I’d guess the diabetes management of many others as well). 

Medicare-CGM Infographic

Why doesn’t Medicare cover CGMs??  Honestly, I have no idea.  It doesn’t make sense.  And I’ve been part of the JDRF movement to try and change that.  At Government Day last spring, I joined my fellow Advocacy Team Chair volunteers from around the country and we spoke to leaders and staff on Capital Hill about this issue.  I believe it was discussed again at Children’s Congress in July.  Action alerts continue to go out about the bills aiming to facilitate Medicare coverage of this vital technology.


We’re getting there, but we have a long way to go.  Please, if your Representative hasn’t signed on to HR1427 yet, email them and urge them to do so.  Even if you’ve sent an email in the past, now is a great time to send another!

support map

And the same goes for the Senate and S804.  If your state isn’t colored dark greenish (teal??) on the map above, click here and email your Senator.

People on Medicare need access to CGMs.  Because what we don’t know can hurt us.  #MedicareCoverCGM

**  I hope that by the time you read this post and click the graphics above, the sponsorship numbers will be higher than shown here.  Because I hope new cosponsors are signing on every day! **

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dear Cigna . . .

I got your letter a while ago.  Quite frankly, I couldn’t deal, so I stuck it in a folder but it’s been nagging at my brain anyway.  I’m getting ready for my endo appointment next week, so I pulled the letter back out.

"Starting January 1, 2016, your Cigna plan won't cover the medications listed below.  This means that if you continue to use any of these medications past January 1, 2016, you'll have to pay the full cost of the medication."

Now I’m sure you have no idea what this means to me, so let me try to explain it to you.  Pretend you’re going to buy a new pair of shoes.  And you are told that shoes now only come in size 5 or size 9.  And your foot?  It is a size 7.  Oh, but don’t worry, it’s all still shoes!  Look at all these people happily walking around in size 5 and size 9 shoes with no problems whatsoever.

Ridiculous, right?  Those happy people clearly have size 5 or size 9 feet.  But you don’t.  Those sizes won’t work for you.  Sure, you can cram your foot in a size 5 and walk around, but soon you’ll be dealing with blisters and bleeding and foot cramps to start, and it will only get worse from there.  Or you can slip right into the size 9 and then trip and fall and lose the shoes.  Neither are an actual solution for your body.

This whole analogy sounds preposterous, right?  That’s because it is.  And so is your letter.  Apidra is my size 7.  Humalog and Novolog are my size 5 and 9.  I’ve tried them.  They are not a solution for my body.

I will fight for my size 7 shoes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Another Thing to Carry Around . . .

It’s been about a month since MiniMed Connect began shipping.  I was fortunate to be part of a pilot group testing MiniMed Connect before it’s official launch, so I’ve actually been using it for about two months now.  (Disclosure: As part of the pilot group, I received my Minimed Connect free of charge, in return for providing feedback about my experiences with the system.)  I’ve done a post for The Loop about my first impressions, which you can find here.

One of the most frequent concerns I hear about MiniMed Connect is that the uploader is just one more thing to carry around.  And I’ll admit, that was a concern of mine too.  Not just for the hassle, but for the fear of losing it.  The first time I put it in my jeans pocket I could see this wouldn’t be a secure place to store it.  My DKNY jeans have ridiculously shallow pockets and it seemed like it would be way too easy for the uploader to fall out.  So I came up with another way to carry my uploader that feels both secure and hassle free.  I use a cell phone charm strap!


First, I perused Amazon and found 100(!!) straps for about $5.  I’ve actually broken one so far, but I’ve got 98 more on hand should the one I’m currently using break.  Anyway, I threaded the strap through hole in my phone case for the mute switch thingie (official technical term - not!!).


And then I attached an old key chain loop to the top of the uploader and clipped that to the charm holder.
And it’s been working perfectly.  The uploader just needs to be within about 6 feet of my pump, which is fine because my phone is usually just a few feet away.  The only problem I’ve had is when my laptop is between my phone and my pump.  Some electronic devices can disturb the frequency, but solving it is as easy as moving the phone next to my pump instead of next to my laptop.

There you go, my solution to the “I don't want to carry around one more thing” dilemma of the uploader.  It’s now part of my phone, which I’m carrying around anyway!

I’m hoping that between this post and the Loop post, I’ve answered any questions you might have about MiniMed Connect.  But if I’ve missed anything, leave your question in the comments and I’d be happy to share my experience!

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sneakers and Purses . . . .

Yesterday I made a quick stop at Marshall’s.  They are selling JDRF Sneakers and I wanted to support the fundraiser.  Of course, I needed to bring something up to the register in order to buy my sneaker, right??

This isn’t the best picture.  The main body of the purse is actually a gorgeous forest green, with tan sides and black handles, and it kind of reminds me of a cute little Italian sports car.  I had to have it.  I should’ve gotten a better picture, but I loved that my cat photobombed so I had to use this one.

Anyway, the cashier asked me right away if I wanted to buy a donation sneaker, and I told her “absolutely” and then I told her why.  I thanked her and told her we discussed the Marshall’s sneaker sales at our JDRF board meeting on Thursday and that we appreciate the support they give and fundraising they do every year.  I really am grateful when people with no diabetes connection pitch in to help our causes, and it was wonderful to get to thank her.

And getting a new purse wasn’t too bad either.

Friday, September 25, 2015

That Loaf of Bread . . . .

As I made my way down one of the last few grocery store aisles, I started to feel that familiar fuzzy feeling.  A glance at my continuous glucose monitor showed that my blood sugar was indeed trending downward.  (Stupid grocery shopping, why do you almost always make me low??)  I gobbled a packet of fruit snacks from my purse and pressed on.  If it all worked out as I hoped, I could grab the last few things on my list and check out while the fruit snacks brought up my blood sugar.  I’d be back in a safe range just as I was ready to drive home.

But then again, diabetes often has a way of not working out as I hoped.

breadI suddenly realized I had been loitering in the bakery section.  Then I noticed how sweaty I was.  Then I looked down at my phone.  My grocery store has this cool app that allows me to scan my groceries with my phone as I shop, and bag them right in the shopping cart.  My phone showed that two loaves of wheat bread had been scanned.  How weird, I didn’t buy any bread yet.  And I was looking for sourdough, not wheat.  (I bake my own wheat bread from scratch these days.)

And then I looked in the bag in my shopping cart, and there was a loaf of wheat bread staring back at me.  I had no recollection of taking it off the shelf, scanning it (twice!!) and putting it in  my bag.  That?  That really freaked me out.

I took a deep breath.  I deleted the bread from my phone and put it back on the shelf.  I then found the sourdough,  grabbed and scanned one loaf, and added it to my bag.  I also took a look through the rest of the charges on my phone and the items in my bag, to make sure they matched.  They did.  But what would have happened if they didn’t?  What if my hazy low found  me putting something in my bag without scanning it, and I happened to be chosen for a random audit that day?

These thoughts really freak me out too.  Since that day, I won’t go to the store unless my blood sugar is nearing 200.

And I really hate that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Day of Diabetes . . .

Have you heard of #dayofdiabetes?  It’s a day when the Diabetes Online Community documents our day of diabetes together by tweeting using that hashtag.  I have to admit, I usually forget to participate but this time I marked it in my calendar so I’d remember.  It worked!!

So yeah, I tweeted a lot yesterday. (I've even left a few out because this post is already way too long. But perhaps my most important tweet yesterday was . . .

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sad Banana . . . .

I typed “depressed” into the search bar of the free clip art site I use and this image came up.  It’s called “Sad Banana”.  I actually think the banana looks more scared than sad, but overall it was ridiculous enough to make me smile.  So I had to use it.  And if this opening paragraph isn’t a huge spoiler to my post today, I don’t know what is.

I’ve felt off all summer long.  I thought I just needed a break.  I thought I was in a bit of a summer slump, trading motivation for vacation.  And not just from blogging and DOC stuff.  From life in general.  I’ve just felt so blah about absolutely everything these days.  I thought I was lonely.  I thought Pete’s new job (after another promotion) was taking a toll on both of us.  I thought it was a million things, but not depression.

Guess what?  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Isn’t it funny how when you’re deep down in depression, it can sometimes be hard to see it for what it is?  I’m not tired.  I’m not unmotivated.  I’m not stressed.  I'm not lonely.  Actually, I AM all those things . . . .but so much more.  I’m just one sad banana.  Yup, I'm depressed.

So now that I realize it, what is next?  Well, I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and move toward that happy fruit bowl.  I think writing this post is a start.  At least, I hope it is.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Share-ing with Shannon . . . .

When I offered to “follow” Shannon's Dexcom Share, I thought I’d simply have her back if she needed someone.  After all, I know she is well equipped to take care of herself.  But I also know there have been times when I’ve been in the throes of a low, sitting with a packet of fruit snacks in my hand and trying to figure out if I should eat them.  Sometimes we just need someone to tell us to “Drink your juice, Shelby”.  If needed, I was happy to do that for Shannon.

Share-ing with Shannon has been what I expected . . . . but it’s also given me something unexpected.  You see, I know what it's like to have a low blood sugar.   I can easily list the vast and varied symptoms that might pop up with any given low.  But I realize I had no idea how it feels when someone you care about is having a low blood sugar.   In this way, Share-ing has given me a peek inside the world of my loved ones.

ShareTo clarify, our Share is one-sided - I don’t use the Dexcom CGM so I can’t Share back with Shannon. (Although soon MiniMed Connect will allow me to do something similar with my 530G with Enlite!)  The only notification I’ve set up is the “Urgent Low” one, because I know she can handle the highs and the slight lows.  But when we fall under 55, sometimes we need some help.  At least, I sometimes do.  (No data in the picture on the left, because I respect Shannon’s privacy.)

Getting a peek inside the “Type 3” world has been interesting.  Although I hope I have a bit more insight coming out of the gate, since I've experienced tons of lows myself.  I’m definitely careful with the words I chose when texting to check in on Shannon.  Usually my texts simply read “Hi!!  You okay?”  Because I don’t want to nag her and I don’t want to interrupt her.  She needs to focus on treating that low - so as long as I know that’s happening I can leave her to it.  I actually feel guilty for bothering her when she’s probably feeling crappy.  But I know that if the low has her too confused to treat, I need to nag her!

IMG_3378The really eye-opening part for me happened about a week ago.  The “Shannon Is Low” alarm buzzed around 4:30 a.m.  I texted . . . and waited . . . and didn’t get a response.  Panic rushed in fierce and quick!  I texted again, and then I thought about how we’d never discussed what I should do if the alarm buzzes and she doesn’t respond.  I was hesitant to call her in the middle of the night knowing she has three small boys in the house that need their sleep.  Just as I was deciding it was safer to just wake up her whole household, she replied and my panic was washed away on a wave of relief.

We talked about it the next day and agreed that yes, I should call her, and that the boys probably wouldn’t hear her cell ringing anyway so no worries there.  But I have to tell you - that moment of panic has made me love and admire our Type 3s even more.  I’m great at complaining about all the diabetes crap I have to deal with.  But the fear and helplessness my husband must feel when I’m in the throes of a bad low?  I hadn’t fully comprehended how that feels until Shannon didn’t answer my text.  And I’m grateful to understand it better now.  It’s made Pete an even bigger hero to me than he already was . . .

You can check out Shannon’s take on “Share”-ing over here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

On A Break . . .

In my eyes, Diabetes Social Media (and Social Media in general) is similar to a romantic relationship.  At the start, when it’s shiny and new, I’m completely enamored.  It makes me smile, it’s always on my mind, and when other life things need attention I can’t wait to finish them up so I can get back to my new love.  I’m happily infatuated and everything seems so perfect . . . .

But then the newness starts to wear off, and maybe things start looking a little less perfect.  Flaws start to pop up and reality sets in.  The very things that once seemed so great can start to become a bit annoying.  Conflicts pop up and the shiny begins to dull.  I feel the need for a break . . .

And that is exactly what happened this summer.  I began to grow a bit tired of Diabetes Social Media, finding flaws that maybe aren’t there and finding myself not quite as smitten as I used to be.  And I unofficially took a break.

DOCburnoutDay-640x461So Diabetes Social Media Burnout Blog Day could not have come at a better time!  Thank you, Diabetes Daily, for coming up with this and really getting me to ponder my Diabetes Social Media relationship.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the little white print in the image to the right.  “Do you take breaks?  Have you been the target of an attack?  Felt bullied?  Exhausted?  Unappreciated?  How do you heal, endure, recharge, or reconnect to find your own happy balance within this powerful and tremendous community?  Share your tips on your blog, and in the comments section on’s burnout blog on September 1, 2015.  #DOCburnout2015

My summer DSocMed break has been really nice.  I’ve had some time to think about what bothers me and what I love and how to balance all of that.  But the break has also been lonely.  I’ve kept up with some DOC friends but it hasn’t been the same as when I’m blogging and tweeting and reading and commenting.  I feel very out of the loop and I feel like I’ve been a bad friend and supporter.  So I am, hopefully, back from my little DOC break and I’d like to think I’m  a little wiser.  I’ve figured out the following:
  • Personal stories and support is the most important part for me.  This is what first drew me into the DOC.  The connections, the me-too, the knowing I’m not alone and that we all struggle together.  When I’m too overwhelmed to read the hundreds of posts in my feed, the personal stories of bloggers who need support is where I should spend my time.
  • Not every advocacy issues will speak to my heart.  And I need to understand that is okay.  Over the years, advocacy has gone from nearly non-existent in the DOC to a hot topic.  That is a great thing.  But I also find it exhausting at times.  “You need to do this.”  “You should care about that.”  “Why isn’t the DOC doing such and such?”  I feel a mix of guilt, resentment and, ironically, an urge toward inaction.  (I suppose I don’t like to feel bossed around.)  So I’ve decided that the great thing about the DOC being a vast pool of members with many varied issues is that I can put my energy into the ones that speak to my heart and that I’m good at.  I love my volunteer efforts with JDRF Advocacy.  I love providing support as the moderator of DiabetesSisters Virtual PODSSpare A Rose continues to be a must in my book.  When issues and initiatives speak to me, I will work hard to support them.  And when they don’t, that’s okay.
  • It’s all about that one person I reach.  I find myself bristling at terms such as “DOC superstars”.  Does anyone in the DOC feel like this term applies to them?  Does anyone believe they lead the DOC?  In my mind, that’s not what our community is about.  I see us as all equal.  Living our lives with diabetes, doing the best we can, and reaching out to help and to be helped.  It’s not the number of comments and RTs that matters.  It’s the one comment or tweet from someone who says “thank you for this, it helped me”.  I’ll never feel unappreciated if just one person has been reached.
  • Haters gonna hate.  (Do people even use that saying anymore?  Or does it just make me sound old?)  I have never felt bullied or been the target of an attack.  But I am quite sensitive and criticism that isn’t constructive hurts me deeply.  And the truth is, this year was the first Diabetes Blog Week that didn’t find me crying over something critical I stumbled upon.  But I realize I need to learn to let these things roll off me.  I know I can’t please everyone, even though I try really really really hard to do so during DBlog Week.  It’s terrible that I let the criticisms deeper into my heart than the compliments.  That’s totally on me, and it’s going to be something I work on from now on.  I’ll pay attention to constructive criticism, because that is very helpful.  The rest, I will learn to let go.
In the end, the break has done my DSocMed relationship some good.  I see that I am still in love, even if things are a little less shiny and perfect.  And a lot of the time, it isn’t you, it’s me.  But this is definitely a love that is built to last.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

10 Insanely Good (and True) Things About Diabetes

So I hadn't realized that all 10 of my Insane (but True) Things About Diabetes focused on negative aspects until I read the great comment left by Sharon C
Can't tell you how many times I've nearly had to carry my kiddo out of Target. And at least once I put her in the cart (a tiny aged 12 chickie) and pushed her to the car. WTF?!! Sooo true. Don't get me started on IKEA. Glad you put out this post! Next post: 10 insanely good (but true) things that've come from having Diabetes. Can you do it? Are there 10?
Thank you, Sharon C, for really giving me something to think about.  After all, if the tagline of my blog is “life with diabetes isn’t all bad” I guess I’d better be prepared to back that up.  But are there 10?  That many might be tough, but I’m certainly not one to back down from a challenge.  So here we go!
  1. It’s taught me not to back down from a challenge.  What?  I just said that in my intro?  Well, I suppose it bears repeating.  Yes, diabetes can be really hard sometimes.  But giving up isn’t an option.  So we rise to the challenge time and again  and learn to never back down.  And that can carry over to other parts of our lives as well.
  2. Sometimes candy is medicine.  Low blood sugars generally are no fun.  But the bright side is that sometimes they give me an excuse to indulge in a yummy treat.  Jelly beans at Easter time.  Candy corn during Halloween.  Cotton candy at a fair.  I have to, my blood sugar is low.  (Also it can give me an excuse not to share my treats!!)
  3. Playing the D -Card / Sympathy.  Okay, I don’t do this a lot.  And it really isn’t anything to be proud of.  But every so often, I play the Diabetes Card.  I’ve been known to exaggerate low symptoms so my husband will do the dishes while I lay on the couch.  Hey, if I’m stuck with this chronic illness, I might as well reap a few benefits every once and a while.  (But please don’t tell Pete!!)
  4. That moment when I think my sugar is sky high, and I check it and I’m right in range.   This one is really hard to explain if you don’t have diabetes.  But if you do, maybe you know what I mean.  The feeling you get when you think your meter will throw you an icky high  number, and instead it throws you a really great one?  It is wonderful!
  5. Diabetes has helped me find a voice.   I was the shy girl in school who never raised my hand to answer questions.  I had a really hard time making friends.  I still often feel like that shy girl, but diabetes has helped me break out of my shell quite a bit.  I blog about the details of my diabetes life.  I speak up at diabetes conferences.  I go to D.C. every year to meet with our Representatives to lobby for government funding of diabetes research.  Not bad for a shy girl!
  6. Nailing the bolus for Chinese food. Or Mexican food.  Or any food that is tricky to bolus for.  When I indulge and my bolus works out perfectly, it’s a reason to celebrate!
  7. Diabetes makes me strong.  You know those 10 Insane Things?  Dealing with them gives me a strength I never would have found otherwise.
  8. Getting 100 on my meter.  Did you know that when you test your blood sugar and the number is a perfect 100, somebody has to give you $1.00?  It’s true, and you’d better believe I’ve collected $1 from my husband for each and every 100.  (Last night when I checked before bed, the meter flashed a 101.  Damn, so close but yet so far.  Oh, but we’re focusing on the good today . . . )
  9. Diabetes has taught me to be prepared and organized.  Am I OCD because it’s in my  nature?  Or is it because I need to have my shit together if I want to live?  After 35+ years with diabetes, I guess I’ll never know.  But I’ve always got stuff in my purse to treat lows.  I make notes on my calendar to remind me to refill prescriptions and change my sites.  I have spare rolls of test strips in my purse, in my meter case, in my dresser drawer and in a living room drawer.  I have backup syringes and long acting insulin and my pump settings have been uploaded to Carelink.  Well prepared and organized?  I am, because my life could literally depend on it.  (And this OCDedness spills over to life beyond diabetes too, and that generally helps my life run more smoothly.)
  10. The Diabetes Online Community!!  By far the very best thing about having diabetes is the friendships I have made because of it.  I’ve made some of the best friends of my life after finding the DOC and I don’t know what I’d do without the understanding and support I’ve found.  I know someone has always got my back, and I’ve got their backs too.  Most of my DOC friendships have carried over into real life, and have helped me make a bunch of fantastic local diabetes friends as well.  So without a doubt, the friendships I have forged through our shared condition is the very most Insanely Good (and True) Thing About Diabetes!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

10 Insane (but True) Things About Diabetes . . .

I’ll admit that my blogging mojo seems to be on Summer Vacation.  Try as I might, I can’t come up with anything to write about.  So in a moment of desperation (because OMG if I don’t blog about diabetes they might take it away from me)  (also, wouldn’t that be GREAT???) . . . anyway, in a moment of desperation I turned to Blog Topic Generators.  I didn’t really have high hopes that this would solve my problem but I typed in the word “diabetes” and hit the button.  To my surprise, a few fun ideas popped up!

Tango-Crazy-210 Insane (but True) Things” caught my eye right away.  Because really, diabetes is pretty insane, right?   So here are my 10.  Maybe you’ll find yourself nodding along.  Or maybe you’d like to add a few that I missed.  Or maybe you randomly stumbled across my blog, in which case I hope I’ve helped you learn some insane (but true) diabetes facts.

  1. The very medication that saves my life can very easily kill me.  -  What kind of sick joke is this, right?  Without a steady stream of insulin, I will die.  But dosing a bit too much insulin can also be lethal.
  2. Strangers (and  even people I know) seem to think it’s perfectly fine to tell me “diabetes horror stories”. - I really don’t understand what makes it okay to tell me about relatives with limbs chopped off or blindness or failed kidneys.  Sometimes I wonder if people do this for other illnesses too?  “Oh, colon cancer.  My grandmother had that and they removed part of her large intestine and she had to have a colostomy bag!”.  Please tell me people don’t say things like that - and please make them stop doing it about diabetes.
  3. When things go wrong, I get blamed. - The blame.  Oh the blame!!!  It sucks.  Blood sugars out of range?  Diabetes complications?  Must be because you aren’t taking care of yourself.  Again I have to ask if people do this with other illnesses?  “My uncle had skin cancer on his nose and they operated and it destroyed his salivary glands and for the rest of his life he couldn’t eat and was fed protein shakes through a feeding tube.  But, you know, he was a landscaper so he was in the sun all day long, so he really brought it on himself.”  Nobody would ever say that about skin cancer, right?  (Oh I sincerely hope not!!)  But it’s okay to tell a horror story with a side of blame about diabetes?  Come on, can we PLEASE stop doing this??
  4. Even though diabetes is an incurable chronic illness, people will tell me how to cure it. - Let’s hear it for the wonder cures!!  Cinnamon, okra, magic herbs, dancing naked under a full moon.  Once, while buying a JDRF sneaker at a pharmacy, the cashier proceeded to tell me that there is a cure for Type 1 in Europe and why I didn’t just go there?  I shutter to think what a statement like that does to the fundraising efforts . . . .  donate to Sneakers for the Cure?  No, just go to Europe!!
  5. I can be fine, and five minutes later I can be totally incoherent.  - Sometimes it’s scary how fast and severe a low can come on.  Toss in my hypoglycemic unawareness and the chance that I’ll randomly lose my ability to function at any point in the day increases.  Especially if I’m shopping at Target, am I right?
  6. The results often do not equal the effort. - I can do the exact same thing at the exact same time two days in a row, and go way high one day and way low the next.  Or I can have a day when I try really hard and still have crap blood sugars.  And I can totally half-ass diabetes management one day but find myself solidly in range.  Makes no sense!  It can also make motivation really hard to find sometimes.
  7. There is no finish line in diabetes and I can’t EVER have a day off.  - Yes, I know, this is what puts the “chronic” in “chronic illness”.  But think about it.  Since 1979, I’ve dealt with a condition that needs almost constant attention and is affected by a million different factors.  SINCE 1979!!!!  Not a single day off.  I did it yesterday.  I’ll do it today.  I’ll be doing it again tomorrow, and next week, and next year.  Frankly, if I think about this too much, it’s exhausting.
  8. Diabetes is hard on my body.  -  I have callouses on my fingertips from repeatedly lancing them to draw blood to check my glucose.  Every three days I jab the needle of an infusion set into my skin.  Every six days I do the same with my continuous glucose monitor.  For my first 28 years with diabetes, syringes were stabbed into me at least once a day and often almost a dozen times daily.  Bruises and scar tissue and red marks abound.  Medical devices must hang from even the most chic of outfits.  And let's not forget the toll diabetes takes on me internally, to my eyes and my heart and my nerves and every part of me.
  9. Diabetes is even harder on my mind. - The blame from Item 3?  It doesn’t just come from the outside world.  It also come from me.  When things go wrong I’m the first to blame myself.  Now let’s mix in some fear from Items 1 and 5.  Toss in some distorted body image from Item 8.  And let’s not forget some WTFedness from Items 6 and 7.  Mix it all together and it brings me to Item 10 . . . . which is . . . .
  10. Diabetes is just insanely hard.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Strangest Places . . . .

A week or two ago, I suddenly noticed my insulin pump clip was missing a chunk off the end.  I had no idea why or when it broke, but I wasn’t bothered.  I had a spare clip, so I replaced it and didn’t give it another thought.

Until today, when I was vacuuming under the couch cushions and a little clear nib of plastic caught my eye.


The bottom of my pump clip!!  How and why it broke off remains a mystery.  But I know one thing for sure.  I find diabetes stuff in the strangest places.

(PS: Don’t even get me started on test strips!!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Fear . . . .

fearDo you remember that bad low I wrote about last week?  Although it’s in the past, I find it has left me with an unexpected “side effect”.  Fear.

I’m not used to being afraid of going low.  Well, okay, I supposed I’m always a little bit afraid because lows can be serious and deserve a smidgen of healthy caution.  But for the most part I tend to worry more about highs than lows.  That has all changed.  I find myself getting panicky when my CGM low alarm rings.  I get scared when I feel the familiar fuzzy and shaky feeling.  Worse yet, my Fitbit stats tell me I’m averaging around 3,000 steps a day - no where near my 10,000 a day goal.  And I know my lack of steps is solely due to my fear of going low.

I think the reason this one is different from the rest is because it seemingly came out of nowhere.  In my 35+ years with diabetes there have been very few lows when I can’t remember what happened.  And they’ve occurred either in the middle of the night (when I likely slept through the low symptoms) or when I was already treating but it didn’t work fast enough.  This time was different.  This time, I was fine one minute and definitely not fine the next.

There is, of course, a silver lining.  I’m paying more attention.  I’m wearing my CGM continuously.  I’m testing more and not ignoring my Low Predicted alarms. That break I felt I needed is long gone. I even find I'm rarely swagging boluses, instead actually counting my carbs as precisely as I can in the hopes of avoiding a (now dreaded) over-bolus.

Sure, this sounds good - this reawakened attention to diabetes details.  And it is good, if it didn’t come with a huge dose of fear.  Because I don’t want to - I can’t - let myself live in the shadow of diabetes fear.  I’m hopeful the fear will just fade as that low moves farther and farther into my past.  But if you have any tips for overcoming it faster, I’d sure love to hear them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tethered . . .

Sometimes the slight hindrances of life with diabetes make me chuckle.  For example . . .

Don’t  you just hate it when you can’t get out of the car because you’re tethered to the seat belt?  And don’t you think this “problem” never crosses the mind of someone who doesn’t have diabetes?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Mojito Memories . . . .

So earlier in the week I was catching up on my DVRed episodes of The Chew because I still like that show.  (Although to be completely honest, I don’t like it as much as I did in its first few seasons.  Also, remember the time I went to a live taping??)  So anyway, I’m watching The Chew and who should appear on one of the on-location segments?  My favorite chef with Type 1, Sam Talbot.  Okay, I don’t actually know of any other chefs with Type 1, although I’m sure there must be a bunch more.  We’ll still call Chef Talbot my favorite though.  Especially because I like what he had to say towards the end of the segment about “diabetic food”.

It got me thinking back to the first year I went to Friends for Life and Tandem’s event for adults with Type 1, “A Night with Sam Talbot”.  It was covered towards the bottom of this write-up.  I remember how delicious that Blueberry and Mint Mojito was, although Pete and I shared one because I lost my drink ticket.  Actually, I thought I lost it.  The drink tickets were small(ish) removable tabs on the evening’s admission wristbands, and after we got back to the room at the end of the night it turned out my ticket has simply folded over and was hidden inside the band.  (Yes, I’m sure if I had told someone “in charge” they would’ve gotten  me another.  But we all know I’m far too shy for that.)  Ah well, maybe the universe was telling me I drink too much.  And look, even dead sober I very blurry pictures.

Who knows, maybe a full drink would’ve helped my uncoordinated self a bit!!  In any case, it was a nice walk down memory lane.

I’m not really sure what my point is in this rambly post except that I had a nice time reminiscing.  And perhaps I’ll make myself a mojito tonight with my “diabetic supper”.  *wink wink*

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

That Moment When . . .

JuiceThat moment when awareness flits in and out, as if carried by butterflies.  Deep inside I wish it would just crash in all at once.  I’m sure that would be easier.  I take another sip.  My water tastes so weird, almost fruity.  But I clearly remember our conversation as Pete poured our dinner drinks.  He offered iced tea, but I wanted water so that’s what he poured me.

Another sip.  No, I’m quite sure this isn’t water.  I suddenly notice my glass of water on the coffee table and realize I have a second glass in my hand.  “Wait.  What am I drinking?”  “It’s your Low Juice”, Pete replies.  That doesn’t make sense.  “Why?  Was I low?”

“Yes, baby.  I think it was a bad one.”

As we talk, a few more pieces of the puzzle come back, but never enough to fill in the whole picture.  My blood sugar must have dropped really fast, and Pete said he could tell I was low even before my CGM alarmed.  For one thing, I was just staring blankly at the T.V.  As he tells me this, I suddenly remember how confusing the show we were watching was.  That show?  It was Seinfeld.  Not a confusing show at all.  Then he tells me my hand was shaking so badly I could barely eat my cheeseburger.  Oh yes, I do remember trying to take bites while my whole arm jolted around.  I wonder why that didn’t seem odd to me at the time.

Pete asks if I remember my pump suspending.  I don’t, but sure enough when I look it has suspended.  I also don’t remember him getting me the juice.  I actually don’t remember much else about the time that passed during that low.  I imagine it’s like when you drink so much that you black out, without the fun, silly drunk time before the blackout but with the same hung-over feeling afterward.  (I’m guessing at this because I’ve never actually drank so much that I blacked out.)  There is only one other small memory that floats back to me, and I have the chuckle at the irony.  I remember thinking that it has been a very long time since I’d had a really bad low.  Maybe since that one I had while watching an early episode of Mad Men, when I got combative and yelled curse words and didn’t even realize what I was doing.  That’s right, as I sat there smugly thinking that I hadn’t had a bad low in a very long time, I was actually deep in the throes of a bad low and didn’t realize it.  Oh Diabetes, you sure love to eff with my mind, don’t you?

"You must be really sweaty, Sweetheart.”.  His words snap me back from my memories and I realize that yes, I am really sweaty and I’m shivering.  So I head upstairs for a shower, but not before apologizing for having such a bad low and scaring Pete.  In fact, I apologize over and over that night, and even for a few days more, even though I kind of know this wasn’t my fault.  I can’t help but feel sorry for putting him through that.

I also can’t help feeling the fear.  I’m not used the letting fear be one of the emotions tied to diabetes, but it’s wormed its way through and has settled in.  I let me mind go to the place where I wonder what would’ve happened if Pete hadn’t been home to help me.  If I had been driving.  If I had been with people who don’t know what a bad low looks like and what to do when it happens.  I don’t let my mind dwell on this too long, but right now I can’t completely block out the fear.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Beyond the Bottle . . . .

No no, this post is not about Martini Friday or anything alcohol related.  Instead it’s about those bottle dressings and sauces and marinades that provide a little shortcut to meal prep.  Sure, they are easy.  But honestly, I find the taste to be mediocre.  And the list of ingredients contains a lot of unpronounceable junk.  So for a while I’ve been making my own when I can.  I started with salad dressing.  My favorite is something I call Lemon Herb Vinaigrette, even though I don’t actually put any vinegar in it.

If it doesn't contain vinegar is it still vinaigrette?
This dressing is simply lemon juice, herbs (fresh from the garden when I can, dried during the winter), a little fresh ground pepper and olive oil.  I used to whisk up what I needed for my salad, but lately I’ve been shaking it up in a canning jar and keeping the extra in the refrigerator for a few day’s worth of salads.

Then the other day I came across a recipe on Clinton Kelly's website for barbeque ribs.  I almost never cook ribs at home but I thought this recipe looked really good and really easy, so I decided to give it a try.  I was also intrigued by the idea of making my own barbeque sauce instead of using the bottled stuff.  Spoiler alert: It was a huge success!!

The meat absolutely just fell right off the rib bones!
As usual, I put a bit of my own spin on the recipe.  I used beef ribs instead of pork because that’s what I prefer.  They were expensive, but I consider this a treat meal and also it was WAY cheaper than if Pete and I went out for ribs.  The barbeque sauce was so easy to make - you just mix together the stuff and let it simmer.  I was too lazy to go buy bourbon so I searched on-line for substitutions.  One suggestion was to substitute one part vanilla and two parts water.  It was delicious but I’ll still pick up some bourbon the next time we hit the liquor store so I can try it that way.  I also added some cumin and chili powder to spice it up a bit, because that’s what I like.  I think next time I’ll fiddle with reducing the sugar a bit.  However, I could totally make it the exact same way next time and be thrilled because it was so so so good!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So barbeque sauce is now added to the list of things I’ll never by bottled again (along side salad dressing).  I like that I can make my own with fresher ingredients and less preservatives and other crap.  I like to know exactly what is going into it and that I can fiddle with the amounts.  Because it is much easier to bolus for those tricky sauces and dressings when you actually know and can control what is in them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

On A Break . . . .

OnABreakI’m starting to notice a pattern developing over the last couple of years.  While I wouldn’t change a single thing about Diabetes Blog Week because it is probably my  favorite week of the year, I come away from it needing a bit of a break.  I find I’m ready to put the focus on other areas of my life that get neglected while I’m working on DBlogWeek.  I take a bit of a social media hiatus and instead give some attention to my house, my cat, my husband, the beautiful weather  . . . . .

I guess I’m okay with that.  We all need a little break once in a while.  What I’m not okay with is the fact that this year, the break has seeped into diabetes management a bit.  I haven’t worn a sensor in over a week.  Every day I have great intentions of inserting a fresh one and every night I go to bed sensorless - and happy about it.  There was the evening I realized I hadn’t tested my blood sugar since my fasting finger stick, and had just guessed at any carbs I ate and randomly bolused.  If I feel low, I treat - without confirming first on my meter.

The one thing I’m happy about is that when I do test and I’m high, I don’t get upset - I just correct and move on.  I guess it’s easier for me to take the emotion out when my focus is on things other than diabetes.  But I think it’s time to come back from my break.  I’ve written this post, so I’ve ended the social media hiatus.  Maybe this afternoon I’ll finally put a sensor in.  I’ll definitely test before I eat my lunch.  But the emotions when diabetes doesn’t exactly go as planned?  Maybe I’ll try to keep them on their break indefinitely . . . .

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wrapping Up the Sixth #DBlogWeek

250x250It's hard to believe that another Diabetes Blog Week has come and gone, but it’s true.  I couldn’t be happier about how fantastic the week was, but I also am sad that it’s over already.

This year we had 195 participants signed up, and over 750 posts added to the link lists.  Those lists will remain open through to end of the month in case you’ve forgotten to add your link or if you fell behind but are still planning to post.  After that, the lists will be closed to new entries but will remain on-line for future reference.

ThankYou As always, I couldn’t have done Diabetes Blog Week without a lot of help.  A huge thank you to Mike Lawson, who once again created the fantastic DBlogWeek graphics for us to use.  Thank you Kerri Sparling for chatting with me about Diabetes Blog Week and to A Sweet Life for featuring me on their Short & Sweet series.  A big thanks to Scott Benner for hosting  me on the Juicebox Podcast, and for sharing DBlogWeek posts from non-bloggers on his blog.  And thank you to Cherise for featuring DBlogWeek in last week’s #dsma chat.

Last, but certainly not least, I owe a huge thank you to all of you!  I’m so grateful to everyone who blogged, read posts, tweeted, Facebooked, left comments and lurked with us for DBlogWeek.  This whole week wouldn’t be possible without all of your enthusiasm and participation.  I’m more thankful than you know.  And next year, if you are up for it, maybe we’ll have a go at the Seventh Annual Diabetes Blog Week.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Continuing Connections - #DBlogWeek Day 7

250x250Welcome to Day Seven of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  We are down to the last day of what truly is the most fun week of my year.  But it isn’t over yet!  We still have one more post to tackle.

Our topic today is Continuing Connections.  The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it's held every year.  So let's help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week.  Share a link to a new blog you've found or a new friend you've made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant's List, check it out and share it with us.  Let's take some time today to make new friends.

connectionsSo this had been a whirlwind week.  Diabetes Blog Week always is, but I also had a conference to attend on Thursday and Friday and a family wedding on Saturday.  It’s been so much fun, but I’m hundreds of posts behind on blog reading.  That’s actually a very good problem to have, except when it comes time to look back over the week.

I know I still have a lot of connections to make and blogs to get to know as I make my way through the link lists.  But for today’s post, I wanted to share the amazing vloggers I’ve discovered.  This was the first year I’d been asked if DBlogWeek was open to vloggers (short for video bloggers) and I was happy to answer with a resounding yes!

So please take a moment to meet and check out the Diabetes Blog Week Vloggers. 
I’m really inspired and impressed by the vlogs these ladies are sharing.  Vlogging has never been something I’ve been comfortable doing, so I admire their talent.  When you can see a person’s face and hear their voice, you can’t help but feel connected right away.  And that’s always been my biggest wish for Diabetes Blog Week.  So thank you Danica, Sarah, Lauren and Shelly for taking this week to another, most awesome, level!

Here are more Continuing Connections - Sunday 5/17 posts.

What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Favorites and Motivations - #DBlogWeek Day 6

250x250Welcome to Day Six of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  It may be the weekend, but we are still going strong.  We officially have almost 200 bloggers signed up to participate.  I just want to send out a quick thank you to the DOC for all of the enthusiasm and support this week, and for all the time spent writing posts, reading posts by others, and leaving comments.  I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has been wishing for a housekeeper and personal chef this week?

Today’s topic is Favorites and Motivations.  If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blog post that you have ever written?  Is it diabetes related or just life related?  If you are a new blogger and don't have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?  (Thank you Laddie of Test Guess and Go for suggesting this topic.)

I started Bitter~Sweet in 2008 and have written exactly 700 posts (not including this one).  So picking a favorite is quite a tall order.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize my favorite blog post that I’ve ever written wasn’t published here.  It is a guest post I wrote for Kerri back in 2010.  It’s my story of why I always carry plenty of supplies to treat low blood sugars.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Here are more Favorites and Motivations - Saturday 5/16 posts.
What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Foods on Friday - #DBlogWeek Day 5

250x250Welcome to Day Five of the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog WeekTGIF, right?  The week may be winding down, but it isn’t over yet.  We’ve still got three days left so let’s get to it!

Today’s topic is Foods on Friday.  Taking a cue from Adam Brown's recent post, write a post documenting what you eat in a day!  Feel free to add links to recommended recipes/shops/whatever.  Make it an ideal day or a come-as-you-are day – no judgments either way.  (Thank you, Katy of  Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes for this topic.)

I’ll admit, I don’t have the best eating habits.  My food choices can often be better, but I’m working on it.  So today I thought I’d share the good, the bad and the ugly of what I eat.

Good breakfast
breakfast good
I love apples with peanut butter.  I slice my apple into wedges and spread each one with chunky goodness.  Sometimes I’ll weigh the apple and measure out the peanut butter to get the carb counts, but usually I’ll just swag about 30 carbs for the apple and 8 for the peanut butter.

Bad breakfast
breakfast bad
These cereal bars are quick, organic and have a precise carb count of 26 grams.  But they’re also highly processed.  One of my goals is to work on eating less of the processed stuff.

Ugly breakfast
breakfast ugly
A big Cappuccino Chip muffin from the bake shop of my local supermarket.  I guesstimate it to be around 75 grams of carbs for which I generously pre-bolus on a dual-wave setting.  It often trips my high alarm, but not every time, making it impossible for me to nail down the right bolus.  I don’t eat them often but oh how being a little bit bad can sometimes taste so good.

PS: breakfast always includes coffee.  Coffee is a non-negotiable must!!
My coffee mug is huge (thanks to Hilary, who hand made it for me) and fits 5 cups of freshly ground and brewed dark roast with a little light cream.  A one-unit bolus covers this perfectly.

Good lunch
lunch good
I love salad.  If it’s from a restaurant I usually have to bolus a couple units to cover any sweet ingredients in the dressing and any bread served with it.  When I make them at home I usually don’t bolus at all.  The salad above was mixed greens with cucumber and goat cheese and home made lemon vinaigrette.  I wish I had remembered to sprinkle on some slivered almonds.

Bad lunch
lunch bad
When I’m not particularly hungry, or feeling lazy, I reach for a Greek yogurt.  I like the ones with the mix-ins.  I really like the ones with mix-ins that are chocolate.  So yeah, it’s really more like eating dessert for lunch.

Ugly lunch
lunch ugly
Even uglier than those Greek yogurts is the fact that many days I skip lunch all together.  I’m often just not hungry at lunch time.  Carb count = 0.  No bolus needed.  Still not a good idea.

Good dinner
I don’t have pictures of my dinners, but I often make what we call Cornflake Chicken.  It’s an oven-baked version of fried chicken and it’s so good.  The recipe is from The Chew.  (Warning: when you click on the link it’s likely that a video will start playing.  Just in case you’re secretly reading blogs at work or something.  Not that you would do that.)  I usually make steamed broccoli as our side dish.  Also, I make these as nuggets (using white meat only because I don’t care for dark) and I dip mine in a little buffalo sauce.

Bad dinner
Stir fry!!!  This is my go-to easy dinner.  I make it with packaged stir-fry noodles from the produce department (that come with a powdered flavor packet . . . I know), a bag of broccoli salad, and what ever protein we’re in the mood for.  Usually beef, but sometimes chicken or shrimp.  It’s my favorite quick, one pan dinner.  But again, that stir-fry pack is pretty processed and probably high in sodium.

Ugly dinner
Risotto.  I love risotto.  I make excellent risotto.  First, sauté some chopped pancetta.  Take it out of the pan and add some garlic.  A minute later, add the Arborio rice and let it toast a bit.  Then slosh in some white wine to deglaze the pan.  Then add chicken stock a quarter at a time, waiting about 5 minutes for the rice to cook and absorb the stock before adding more.  Then stir in some parmigiano-reggiano and that pancetta you sautéed .  Carb count?  You don’t want to know.  But it’s comfort food at its finest.  Add some roasted asparagus on the side and a glass of that white wine and I’m happy!

Good snack
snack good
A handful of this trail mix is what I reach for when I’m behaving.  It’s got almonds and cranberries and crunchy sesame thingies.  I totally swag the carbs.

Bad snack
snack bad
Oh how I love chips.  Ridged chips with onion dip.  Plain old thin chips.  In an effort to be a bit more healthy, I’ve been buying whole grain chips instead.  I think they’re baked, so that’s good.  Right?

Ugly snackcupcake
Mmmmmm, who doesn’t love a good cupcake.  The picture shows my favorite recipe Dark Chocolate cupcakes.  The peanut butter frosting from the recipe is divine as well, but the cupcake above was topped with regular cream cheese frosting instead.  I just love cream cheese frosting.  I modify this recipe, adding extra butter and sugar.

Oh boy, now I’m hungry!!

Here are more Foods on Friday - Friday 5/15 posts.

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