Friday Five!

This post is partly inspired by a friend of mine who, every friday on her blog, posts 5 reasons why she loves her husband.  I’ve decided to steal the idea from her, but of course with a diabetes twist.  So every friday I’m going to post 5 random Diabetes related thoughts.

1.  Please make up your dang mind about my blood sugar during exercise!  Some days I go high, some days I go low.
2.  Why does insulin have to smell like bandaids?  Why can’t it smell like flowers?
3.  I really grinds my gears when I try to upload my data from my pump, get to about 95% complete and then the ezManager program tells me that the upload has failed.  *Banging head against wall*
4.  When I pack for trips and my husband is all, “Why are you packing so much?!” you give me an excuse to need the bigger suitcase in which I may or may not sneak extra clothes.  🙂
5.  The 10 day old OpSite Flexifix tape’s peeling looks like I have the skin of an old lady who spends way too much time in the sun.  I’m channelling my inner Magda.

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DSMA Blog Carnival – Diabetes Strengths and Weaknesses.

I really enjoyed participating in Diabetes Blog week – the topics were great and I loved being challenged to answer specific questions related to diabetes and living with the disease.  I also found some great new blogs to follow and I am learning from and laughing with them every day now!

I was delighted to hear about the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy monthly Blog Carnival!  I am looking forward to the monthly topic and finding some more great blogs to follow.

The topic for May is:

What do you consider to be your Diabetes Strengths?  What do you think are your Diabetes Weaknesses?

I posted a couple of months ago about things that diabetes has taught me and although these are strengths, I wouldn’t say they are necessarily “diabetes” strengths.  I think that my biggest strength with managing diabetes is that I’m never too lazy to test my blood glucose.  If I feel off in any way, I test.  I prefer the peace of mind knowing what my body is doing so I can treat accordingly, rather than guessing.  I frequently get angry at my father because he is absolutely a lazy tester.  He will wait and wait and wait to test, meanwhile his sugar is plummeting or sky-rocketing.  I really wish that he would realize that it takes 30 seconds to test and it could make such a difference!  Granted, now that I am on the CGM, I don’t test as frequently but I’ve never been one to slack on testing if I feel weird.

A weakness I’d say, at least recently, is my laziness when it comes to exercising.  I know exercise is an important factor in diabetes management.  But I’ve been seriously slacking in that department for the past 8ish months.  I recently started a challenge with some girlfriends to exercise 20 times before the end of June.  I already have 2 workouts under my belt, so I am on my way!  I am hoping that this challenge will help me get in the good habit of going to the gym more often than once/week.  My hips, butt, and thighs will thank me, right?  Oh yeah, and my blood sugars too…

The weight of it all…

Although this is a Diabetes blog focused on day-to-day life with the disease as I try to get healthy to have a successful pregnancy, I can no longer ignore the elephant in the room…my weight.  (Elephant in the room…see what I did there?).  Anyway, I am finally coming to the point where I am ready to face my weight issue head on and I am ready to quit being lazy and in denial about it.  I kind of have to be.

I stepped on the scale this morning and was above my “scary weight”…I weigh, in interest of full disclosure, 202.4 pounds.  The highest I’ve ever weighed was 206 pounds and give me another few weeks of eating like a complete jerk, and I bet I’d be there.  I refuse to let this happen.  Enough is enough.

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Those endorphins were pumping!

About a year before our wedding, in September of 2011, I made the decision to get in shape, lose weight, and be a “hot bride”.  I wanted to lose 50 pounds.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined a kickboxing gym – something I talked about for months before actually ripping off the band-aid and walking through the door.  I was scared that it was going to be all these super fit, in-shape people and as an overweight woman I would not fit in.  I was so intimidated.  Luckily what I found was a friendly, supportive environment.  I started hitting (hitting, get it?) the hour-long kickboxing classes 4-5 times per week and within a couple of months was working with a personal trainer once a week.  The weight was falling off and in the meantime I was having FUN with my workouts and made some great friends.  In November and December of 2011 I participated in a Bootcamp, further pushing me out of my comfort zone and upping my results.

Also in interest of full disclosure, my doctor had also prescribed a low dose of Phentermine for me when I started on this fitness journey.  Something that I am sure a lot of people do not agree with, but she felt I was a good candidate for the drug.  Let me tell you, it gave me a lot of energy, as well as the hot flashes of a menopausal woman.  However, I really do think it helped me with my weight loss.  During this time I was losing about a pound per week – some weeks more, some weeks less.  I was driven.  I was dedicated to my health.  Nothing was going to stop me.

Until we decided to move.  A bunch of factors went into our decision to move – I was severely under-employed and had a long commute to my entry-level job, my husband was a contractor at the time (working from home) and we felt that if he lost his contract there were minimal employment opportunities for him in our coastal town, we are planning on having a family in the future and the medical facilities in our town were not exactly top-tier (I had to drive almost 2 hours for my endo appointments, pain in the neck when one is going weekly during pregnancy!), real estate costs at the beach were outrageous, etc., etc., etc.  I received a job offer in early 2012 and we made the decision to move in early spring.

I’m not going to lie.  My head knew it was the right decision, but my heart was screaming, “nooooo!“.  I was falling into a rhythm with our life on the Outer Banks.  After living there for 2 years I was making friends, getting in shape, and could honestly say that with the exception of the long commute/job situation, I was whole-heartedly happy.  Moving was an adjustment, to say the least.

During our first six months here I focused on the wedding.  I believe knowing this date was coming really helped me with my diet – I counted my calories on My Fitness Pal and luckily only gained 5 pounds from the time we moved to our wedding day.  I did not reach my goal of losing 50 pounds, but I lost about 30 and that made me pretty darn happy and proud.  I think that had we stayed at the beach and I continued with my trainer and gym, I would have met my goal, but I cannot think like that.

Our honeymoon was perfect – we relaxed, slept in, explored, oh, and did I mention ate and drank our faces off?  We returned from the honeymoon in early November so I got in the mindset of “It’s holiday season!  My birthday!  Thanksgiving!  Christmas cookies!  Traveling!  There’s no sense in trying to start a diet now!  I’m going to enjoy myself.”  And enjoy myself I did.  I think I went to the gym three times in November and December.  Whatever, I’ll start over in 2013, it will be my year.

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Not quite at my goal, but much closer than I am now!

Since we moved last April, I have been what I like to call “gym shopping”.  I had such a great experience at my previous gym that I refused to settle for a ho-hum environment.  First I tried a chain boxing gym.  Hated it.  It smelled and the people just weren’t friendly.  So I quit.  Then I found another local chain gym that had sort of a subset Muay Thai (kickboxing) school.  I liked it, but the schedule annoyed me – classes were from 6-7 so I wouldn’t get home until close to 7:30.  Plus it was really, really intense and I always got partnered with a woman who, I swear, never washed her hand wraps.  (Imagine gym socks that never see Tide…hand wraps get NASTY!)  So I bailed.  Finally, late last summer, I found a smaller gym that had boxing two nights per week and kickboxing on Saturdays.  In between it had bootcamp type classes.  I liked this gym but was not a fan of the price, $100 per month.  After the wedding, I found myself going less and less and finally decided to quit back in March.

Recently a new boxing gym has opened and I have joined.  It opened about a month ago and I’ve gone a handful of times.  Every time I go, I really like it.  The problem is that I just find excuse after excuse not to go.  Laziness wins out every time.  I cannot seem to find that drive or focus I had when we lived at the beach.  It just isn’t there even though after each workout I think to myself, “I need to remember how fun this is and how good it feels tomorrow when I’m talking myself out of going!”.

I am letting myself slip into this unhealthy lifestyle of eating whatever I want to eat and spending my evenings sitting on the couch instead of moving my body.  For diabetes blog week, I even posted about how I’d selfishly temporarily trade places with someone who is paralyzed so that I can celebrate what my body can do.   I’ve been inspired by blogs touting the importance of exercise even when we don’t feel like it but then as soon as I close the internet window, the inspiration goes along with it.  I’ve been in a slump and I really want to get back to that kick-ass woman of 18 months ago who was happy, confident, and high on endorphins.

My husband has been doing a fantastic job of losing weight.  We’ve dedicated this year to the year of getting healthy and physically ready for a baby.  I feel like a complete jerk that he has been so focused and doing so well and has been doing it on his own.  He’s lost almost 50 pounds and his drive and dedication is admirable.  I’m so proud of him.  I wish I had an iota of his dedication and perseverance.  He has mentioned to me a few times that losing weight is so much easier as a team and I know that it’s been tough for him to watch me not have the drive to do this.  But still, living with someone who’s on a mission still hasn’t been enough for this couch lover.

One would think that the thought of having a healthy pregnancy and baby would be enough to motivate me.  Up until now, it hasn’t.  Yes, it’s motivated me to become more vigilant about my carb counting and properly bolusing for my meals, but it has done nothing to kick me into gear with weight loss.

But I know that I have to do this, like it or not.  Maybe that is the first step in the motivation process – getting angry enough at myself to punish myself with an exercise and food plan.  Maybe after a few weeks, once I see some results, it will get easier and become a habit.

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Time to put down the fork..

So for now I am going to “fake it til I make it”.  It’s going to suck and I know that, but I am going to track my calories on My Fitness Pal and go to the new boxing gym at least 3 times per week.  NO EXCUSES.  I am going to limit my calories to 1300 on days I do not exercise, and 1500-1600 on days that I do.  Oh, and my beloved beer and wine?  No more.  I typically burn about 800 calories in a boxing class.  I cannot continue to let my weight creep up and do nothing about it.  I am 32 years old and will likely be 33 by the time we start trying to conceive.  If I’m going to do this, I need to do this now.

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…and pick up the boxing gloves!

I am going to check in every Tuesday with my weight and progress and a quick blurb about how the week went.  I ask that you call me out on any excuses I make, because really, there are none unless I’m lying in a hospital bed.  I have the time, I have the resources, I have the support…

And, speaking of elephants, really, how cute is this guy?

You’re not the boss of me!

Argh.  I have a love/hate relationship with insurance.  Love it because w/out it, well, I’d be selling my kidney and firstborn to pay for my diabetes care.  However, that being said, even with insurance, diabetes is expensive, man.

One of the perks for buying my new pump and CGM early on in the year and all at once was that I have met my out-of-pocket max for the year.  Hello, 7 months of lower diabetes costs!  Woohoo!  I called my insurance company to see what exactly was now covered at 100% and was told “all diabetes supplies.”  I clarified with her, “So, pump supplies, CGM sensors, test strips, correct?”.  It was confirmed, yes, these things are covered.  Parrrrrrty!

Imagine my surprise when I went to the pharmacy today and I was asked to pay for my test strips.  Now, this isn’t a $20 co-pay, it’s close to $100 for a one month supply.  The young lady at the pharmacy assured me that they ran it through my insurance/prescription coverage so I paid and told her I’d take it up with them.

I called my insurance company first who connected me with the prescription folks and told me yes, my strips are covered at 100% if I use Accuchek.  I use OneTouch, and they are not covered at 100% under my plan and despite meeting my out-of-pocket expenses, I still have to pay the $100/month.  The way she made it sound was that Accuchek strips are covered 100% all the time, no matter if the out-of-pocket max has been met.

I told her this is ridiculous and she needs to give me the phone number of whomever I need to speak to regarding this.  I have left a voicemail and am looking forward to receiving a call back.  It just makes no sense to me that my pump supplies are covered yet the test strips for the meter that talks to my pump are not.  Does.not.compute.

It makes me pretty angry that some random person gets to decide what is covered and what is not and make decisions about MY medical care.

Wish me luck when dealing with the insurance company!

It’s a pager…it’s a cell phone…it’s a…camera?

Last night the Hubs and I were out purchasing me some golf clubs (Because, you know, I golf every weekend.  *Note – I’ve never been golfing, but it looks fun and I had a gift card.)  We were chatting with the sales dude and he notices my pump, which was clipped to the pocket of my jeans, facing out.  He asks, “Is that…ohhh, is that a camera?”.  I’ve heard pager and cell phone, but never a camera!  I just said, “Oh, no, it’s my insulin pump.”  He replies “Ohhhhh, looks like a camera!” Maybe he thought I was a super techy secret shopper? I responded “Nope, just my pancreas.”

The Hubs said I made the guy feel bad, but I was just trying to be my sarcastic self.  How do you respond when people ask you what your pump is or mistake it for something else?

She’s got legs, she may as well use them…

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I really need to start doing some sit-ups. Yikes.

Man, two weeks in to pumping and CGM-ing and I already feel like I’m running out of real-estate.   I’ve been sticking to my belly for both, with the exception of using my upper right side of my tooshie for one pump cycle.  Since my boobs get in the way during insertion arms aren’t long enough to reach around to my left side, the upper bum area is limited to the right side.  Until I either become ambidextrous (“I’m not an ambi-inserter!” Name the movie), get really good at yoga, or lose some pounds, it seems the pump will have to be inserted on my belly, right butt cheek, or legs, which I’ve never tried.  I’ve never worn it on my arm either and for me it just doesn’t seem particularly comfortable with the tubing.

However, I decided to be a big girl and try wearing my CGM sensor on my leg.  Even though Dexcom says it should be in the belly only (because this is where they did their testing when getting FDA approval), I’ve read on the interwebs that you can really put it anywhere you feel comfortable.  I’ve heard from a lot of people who wear it on their thighs and love it.  So I’m giving it a whirl!

Insertion was a little weird as I’ve never done it before (that sounds like something a high schooler would say after prom night if you know what I’m sayin’), but other than feeling the needle a little more than I do in my tummy, it was fine.  I have it on my upper right thigh, towards the outside but not so far on the side that I will feel it when I sleep (I’m a side sleeper).  I haven’t noticed it much and it’s nice to not be rubbing against my desk at work.  I’m conscious of it when I use the bathroom as I don’t want to rip it out and be annoyed that I just wasted a sensor.  I used tons of Opsite FlexiFix per my usual and I can see that I will probably need to reinforce my tape in the next few days, simply due to pulling my pants up and down every time I use the ladies’.  There is a little bump under my pants but I think it’s one of those things that unless you know it’s there and know to look for it, you wouldn’t notice.  I’ll be attending my boxing class tonight, but I don’t anticipate it being annoying.