“That is so cool.”

In a meeting the other day, a coworker noticed my CGM receiver (which I still rock in the Dexcom provided 1990s business-person themed leather snappy case thing).

“What is that?  A MP3 player?”

“Oh, it’s my continuous glucose monitor.  It tells me what my blood sugar is.  See?  Right now I’m 98 and steady.”  (I wanted him to high-five me for my awesome reading, but alas, he did not.)

“But….how?”

“See this lump on my leg?  It’s a sensor that’s reading my blood sugar level.”

“So, does it alert you if you go out of range?  Is that what those lines are?”

(Dude. He must be brilliant.)

“Yup!  It beeps and vibrates and acts like a jerk if I go too high or too low.”

“That.is.so.cool.”

And to think, a couple of months ago I was all sorts of nervous about starting a new job and explaining diabetes and stuff.  Now I’m clearly the coolest kid on the block!

 

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Five for Josh

Last Sunday I participated in the Durham Bull City Race Fest in honor of my nephew, Josh, who passed away in June.  My sister, Josh’s Mommy, organized a team of over 80 people to participate in this event – from the one mile fun run to the half marathon!  She is amazing and has raised over $6000 for SIDS research!  It was a great weekend, full of love.

I decided to participate in the 5 mile distance.  Myself and a few others on “Team Josh” were going to walk and I admit, I trained for this event for about 10 minutes.  I think I’ve gone running (shuffling) maaaaybe 3 times since we’ve moved here a year and a half ago?  Boxing is my favorite exercise, but I’ve been a complete bum in that department as well.  Oooops.

Of course since I didn’t train, diabetes decided to be a butthead.  I woke up around 200 and had a bagel for breakfast.  I bolused about 70% of what I’d bolus normally.  I wanted to come down a smidge but I still wanted to stay around 170-200 because I knew this was going to be physically challenging and personally, I like to run a tad high when I exercise to prevent drastic drops.

Before the race started I looked at my CGM and saw the dreaded double down arrows.  20131024-073622.jpg

Oy.  I ate two glucose tabs and figured I’d hopefully level out.  I’d be very pleased if I stayed around 160 for the whole 5 miles.

Of course, diabetes rarely plays nice when you want it to.  Throughout the whole race I had at least a southeast arrow.  I was popping glucose tabs every 2 miles or so (along with texting my husband such ladylike things as “My BG is being an asshole”, I am the epitome of class, friends), took Gatorade when it was offered, set my pump to only give me 10% of my insulin, and still finished the race at 78.  I suppose this could be considered a victory because I never really dropped, was just slowly going down.  However, it caused me to panic and I couldn’t really enjoy myself and take in the race.

BUT, I did it, there wasn’t a catastrophe, and it was nice to be a part of Team Josh.  I think about him often and miss him so much.

However, the next time I decide to do 5 miles, I’ll do one of two things: I will either actually train for it so I can remember how my BG reacts and can properly prepare, or I will eat a giant cupcake right before the race.

20131024-073612.jpg

I made these delicious chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing for the Team Josh potluck. Don’t judge my awesome icing skills.

Thank you.

I didn’t know her.  I never spoke to her directly.  I read her blog a few times and remember thinking her daughters are really beautiful.  Through her words, you could feel the love she felt for her girls and her husband.  You could feel her strength, her compassion, her kindness.  The diabetes online community has lost a beautiful voice.

I am frequently in awe of D-parents.  I know what it’s like to live with this disease.  I know the times I worry about myself, the frustrations I feel, the overwhelming sadness when I remember that this isn’t going away.  I simply cannot imagine what it is like to feel those things for your child.  D Moms and Dads, you really are amazing.

Shamae, thank you.  Thank you for being a wonderful mom to your girls.  Thank you for teaching your daughter grace and courage as she lives with this disease.  Thank you for supporting others who are fighting the good fight.  Thank you.

Rest in peace.

Talk to me Tuesday, 10.8.13

Today I’m e-chatting with Liz, Mom with Type 1.  Check it out!

Tell me the basics. What’s your name?  Where are you from? When were you diagnosed with the D?
My name’s Elizabeth but my friends call me Liz. I’m originally from California but I call Ohio my home now. I was diagnosed at 18. December 2005/January 2006.

Care to share your diagnosis story?
I was sick for a few months leading up to my diagnosis. In November of 2005 I started showing signs of diabetes brought on, they think, by a horrible case of strep throat. Everything lasted until about the end of December when I had dropped a bunch of weight and I started guzzling everything I could get my hands on. I was in the middle of switching my insurance carriers and wasn’t able to be seen until January 1st of 2006. Instantly the doctor knew what was going on and rushed me to the emergency room where I spent a week in ICU. It was a bit traumatic for me. I had never been that sick before. Spent a few days in a regular room where they taught me about my new life.
That must have been awful, having to deal with the symptoms from November to January!

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your newly diagnosed self?
Research, everything, don’t take what the doctors are saying for gold. I have learned so much more about this disease through research and talking with others then my doctor at the time had informed me.
So true!  I think sometimes doctors don’t think of us as individuals and may forget that what works for Patient A may not work for Patient B!

What treatment methods do you use to manage your diabetes?  Why have you chosen this particular method?
I’m on MDI. Manuel daily injections. So I check my blood glucose on a glucose meter about 9 times a day and inject insulin about 5 times a day or more. Depending on different daily factors, of course. I’ve stuck with this method because it is all I know. Since diagnosis I have been MDI and it has worked for me. Why mess with a good thing.
True!

How do you stay informed about the newest Diabetes technology?  What are you most excited about?
Honestly, I get a lot of my information from the diabetes online community. There is always someone in the know and willing to share the information. Not really excited about anything, unless there’s word of a cure, then I am all ears. 🙂
Haha, me too!  I actually learned about the Dexcom from the DOC. 

What is your dream D-device?
I’d like a device that checks my blood sugar without the use of pricking myself/blood. Not sure how that would be possible but I would love it.
Yes, and one that would be 100% accurate too! (still love you, Dex!)

Some non-D stuff.  What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy spending time with my family these days. I craft a little here and there. I consider writing a hobby. It’s something that I enjoy doing just to clear my head.

In the past year, what’s been your greatest achievement? D-related or not!
It’s terrible to say that I never cared about my A1c before but lately I have been trying to take my health into my hands and control it better. I was so happy that my last A1c was a 7.0. Which made me very proud because I worked hard for that. I am hoping to get it lower with even more hard work.
Never terrible to say that you are taking charge of your health!  Great job on the 7.0!

Who inspires you?  Non D and D?
Non-D I would have to say my sister is a fairly huge force in my life. She has been through a lot of battles and still comes out knowing exactly who she is. She’s always encouraged me to follow my dreams and not let anything stand in my way. A D inspiration would be anyone fighting the good fight. Staying strong through this diabetes journey. It’s difficult sometimes but when you wake up in the morning ready to beat this disease down then you inspire me to keep going too.

How has your attitude towards your diabetes management changed since you’ve become a parent?
The instant I became a parent I knew this disease was going to be affecting my daughter. Maybe not physically but emotionally. I knew that I needed to start taking care of myself so that I could be here for her when she needs me the most. I am very serious about my health and sticking to everything I need to do.

What is the hardest thing about being a mother with diabetes?
I think the hardest part of being diabetic and a mommy has nothing to do with the disease itself. It’s more in terms of how this disease makes my daughter feel. When she sees me upset/sick it crushes her. She says she wants to be a doctor so that she can cure me. Being a mother means never wanting to see your children suffer but when that hurt stems from something in your life it makes it so much harder to handle. If that makes sense.
You sound like a great mom!  And your daughter sounds sweet too.

What makes you happiest and saddest?
A lot of things make me happy. Waking up with awesome blood sugars in the morning put a little pep in my step. Calculating my carbs perfectly and coming out on top feels like a win. Sad? I’m only sad that sometimes I let the “bad” days defeat me from time to time. I’m still learning and growing.

What’s been your best vacation?
This last Summer was amazing, it was my daughters first real summer vacation from school. We stood around home but we went everywhere. Baseball games, the zoo, movies, amusement parks..and I did it all with nearly perfect blood sugars. I was proud. Great memories.
Nice!

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I’d like to go overseas somewhere. Paris, Rome..something like that. Though I would be nervous to be flying so far away from home. The farthest I’ve flown is from Ohio to California and back.
I’d love to eat my way through Italy!

What’s your favorite book or movie?
My favorite book is The Giver. Such a beautiful story. I’ve read it about a million times.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Maybe how much I actually struggle with diabetes. I smile a lot. I try to put on a very brave face even when I am feeling discouraged.
I hear ya.

Back to diabetes.  What have you learned about yourself since being diagnosed?
That not every day is the same when dealing with this disease. It’s alright to hate it  just as long as you continue to fight. I’ve learned that I am strong but not invincible.

What was your scariest Diabetes moment? What is the scariest thing about living with diabetes?
Scariest moment was getting behind the wheel and not checking my blood sugar. I was driving along with my daughter, feeling fine, when it hit me. The dizziness, the shaking, the sweatiness. I panicked. I knew I had to pull over. My heart was racing and my vision was getting blurry. When I turned onto a side street I barely saw the car coming from the other direction and we nearly collided. Thankfully I was able to react fast enough but the moment frightened me. I kept thinking about my daughter and the other drivers. I wasn’t going super fast but damage could have occurred. When I finally checked I was at a 35. Since then I make it a priority to check, double-check even, my blood sugar before driving anywhere. Things have been better.
It’s always a good habit to check before driving! 

The scariest thing about this disease is not knowing if this is what is going to take my life. Complications. High/low blood sugars.

The constant what if’s with this disease scare me.

What has been your best diabetes moment?
The best moment for me was getting through my pregnancy with diabetes on board and having my daughter come out absolutely perfect. No major complications. Even with all the worry.
Yay!  I’m happy to hear about another successful diabetes pregnancy!

What is your personal diabetes motto/attitude towards it?
Own it or be owned. It speaks for itself, I think.

Do you have a blog?
Yes, I blog at Elizabethfritzblog.wordpress.com I’m a newbie blogger but it’s a wonderful outlet.
I love your blog!

How do you think being part of the diabetes online community has affected how you take care of yourself and your diabetes? How has it been beneficial/detrimental to you?
I think almost any form of community is beneficial. It sort of keeps me accountable. The people I have met through the DOC genuinely care about me and how I am doing day-to-day. It’s been a real blessing being able to share my ups and downs with people who just get it. 🙂

Why do you follow my blog?  Any tips or suggestions or specific topics you’d like to see me write about?
I love following people who understand where I am coming from. When I came across your blog I felt a real connection. It’s not easy being diabetic, and speaking solely from a personal place, it’s not always easy being a woman either. It’s nice knowing that I am not alone. As far as tips or suggestions..just keep doing what you’re doing. I have no complaints. 🙂
Awww, thanks!

Other than insulin, how else do you keep your diabetes in control?
I try to exercise as often as I can. Also, I try to make healthy food choices, though it can be easier said than done. It’s all about compromise, I think.

Any tips/hints to other PWD?
Look on the positive side of things, yes. “I feel like crap today, but tomorrow is a new day.” It’s more than alright to vent and want to punch diabetes in the face though.

What would you say to someone who is newly diagnosed?
See my above answer. I think at first I felt like I had to do everything perfectly, which lead to a huge bout of depression when I wasn’t getting the results everyone wanted, then I realized that yesterday will not be like today, even if I do everything exactly the same. Realize that some days will be better than others. Diabetes isn’t  perfect and neither are we.
Great advice!

What would you say to the general public about diabetes?
Other than the obvious, no I didn’t do this to myself and too much sugar wasn’t the cause either..I’d say..don’t be so quick to judge. Diabetes is a real disease. Diabetics are real people with real feelings. Mocking, joking, being blatantly cruel..it hurts. Imagine how you’d feel.

Friday Fives 10.4.13

Five Reasons Why I Like Having Diabetes

(Thanks for the topic suggestion, Doug!)

1.  I don’t have to feel like a jerk if I start eating before everyone at the table is served. (Although I really, really try to wait).

2.  It gives me an excuse to buy new purses.  “But I need something bigger to carry around all my D-gear!”

3.  I feel like I’m a whiz at math.  Sometimes.  Not always.

4.  Flu shot?  Pfffft, that’s child’s play.

5.  I’ve met some pretty awesome people because of Diabetes.

Have a great weekend!