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 . . . .