Friday Fives, 11.15.13. Slacker edition.

Five Reasons Why I’ve been Slacking on Blogging, Tweeting and General DOC-ing

1.  I got a new job and I’m a lot busier here than I was at my previous job.  I may or may not have done most of my blogging at work previously.  Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.  But when I come home from work now, I’m legit worn out and sick of looking at a computer.  So, I have little motivation to blog.

2.  There is nothing really new to report in my D life.  Things are stable other than some random weird BGs.  I’m adjusted to being a complete cyborg.  No news is good news, right?  I just can’t think of anything interesting or clever to write about in relation to diabetes.  Topic ideas are welcome, but I’m not promising anything.

3.  I feel like there is a lot more going on in life right now than Diabetes.  Which is good.  However, nothing exciting enough to share here.

4.  There are so many great blogs and twitter folks that I follow that I feel like I need to read every single post from every single blogger/tweeter and I feel bad if I don’t have the time or motivation to do so.  So I just ignore everyone and go into my Homeland-watching, wine-drinking, Secret-imaginary-baby-pinteresting hole.

5.  Sometimes talking about diabetes all the time can be overwhelming.  There’s a lot more to my life than diabetes and every now and then I just need to take a step back and focus on other things.  Right now is one of those times.

So.  I will post when I have something fun and interesting to say.  I am hoping to catch up on the Photo-A-Month posts since I’ve majorly dropped the ball on that and they don’t require too much creativity.  And they are fun.

I hope everyone is doing well!

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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!

Talk to me Tuesday

Recently I’ve been in a bit of a blog slump.  I reached out to my Twitter BFF Doug to ask him for some post ideas.  He’s given me a bunch, one of which is to E-interview fellow bloggers, twitter peeps, or other PWD.   You lucky dog, Doug.  You’re my first victim.

Tell me the basics. What’s your name?  Where are you from? When were you diagnosed with the D?
Doug, Laramie, WY, DXd spring 1984

Care to share your diagnosis story?
Nothing interesting… lost weight, constant thirst leading to constant peeing. Actually drank way too much 7Up and Kool Aid to help with the thirst thing. My HS French teacher, Ms Urbanski (a T1 PWD herself) actually noticed the symptoms and told my sister that she suspected I had diabetes. I concurred since I had been researching my symptoms in the library… this was before Dr. Google and the internet. Off we went to family Dr, and boom… straight to the hospital we went.
Well done Ms. Urbanski!

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your newly diagnosed self?
I would tell him to not be lazy, testing and a good diet are easy compared to the complications that could (would?) arise. Oh, and stick to the XC skiing thing. Kris Freeman doesn’t have to be the first US skier with Type 1 to compete in the olympics 😉
(I have no idea who Kris Freeman is…)

What treatment methods do you use to manage your diabetes?  Why have you chosen this particular method?
MDI, using pens.  Researched on internet after a bad A1c and decided I needed change. My Dr. gave me samples, but no useful instructions, so I again used WWW to dial myself in. 3 months later, my a1c was 6.7.

Have you considered the pump? Are you on a CGM?
I considered an OmniPod… was denied by insurance because my Dr at that time was not a strong advocate for me. My new endo wants me on one, but I haven’t yet decided which to try for. Animas, Medtronic, t:slim or the new Snap. I desperately want a Dexcom!
I of course rambled on and on about how obsessed I am with my Dexcom, I’m sure Doug’s eyes were glazing over as he was reading my response.  Sorry, friend.

Some non-D stuff.  What are some of your hobbies?
Outdoor sports like cycling, XC skiing, kayaking.

In the past year, what’s been your greatest achievement? D-related or not!
Proud daddy to my 6 month old daughter, Maggie.

Who inspires you?
Lately it has been Maggie. I have done so much to be sure I get to see her grow up.

Like what?  How has your attitude towards your diabetes management changed since you’ve become a father?
Maggie deserves to have a dad for as long as she can. One she can look to for advice, or someone to walk her down the aisle in the VERY DISTANT FUTURE. I need to be able to give her those things, and without proper management, who knows if I would?

What makes you happiest and saddest?
Happiest – Hanging out with my family, and my sweet dog Kona (Although I guess we all consider her family).
Saddest – Thinking of the future and what my daughter might have to deal with health wise or politically in this country and the World.
😦

What’s been your best vacation?
I’ve lived in Jackson Hole and Crested Butte… better than any vacation.

What’s your favorite book or movie?
Either “The Art of Racing in the Rain” or “Teewinot: A Year in the Teton Range”.
I haven’t read either.  I obviously need a kindle to remedy this situation.  <–subtle hint to the husband.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
A friend of mine and I got caught in a blizzard in the mountains of Colorado… spent the night out without shelter. She died of hypothermia. I was rescued, taken to a hospital where it was decided they would amputate my frostbitten toes. I signed out of the ER against medical advice, and took my still attached toes with me.
Whoa.

Back to diabetes.  What have you learned about yourself since being diagnosed?
If I actually try, I can achieve great things… but I do get quite lazy sometimes.
Don’t we all?

What was your scariest Diabetes moment? What is the scariest thing about living with diabetes?
Scariest D moment… during the blizzard, I was out in the forest for over 24 hours without insulin, or food. So when I was finally rescued and taken to a hospital (2 actually), I asked for insulin and some food. The nurse asked why, I told her I was Type 1. She scurried off and came back with the doctor that said that because of the D, he had scheduled an OR to remove my toes. I begged and pleaded to play the “Let’s wait and see game”. He said no. So I requested to leave.
GOOD FOR YOU!
Scariest thing about living with it is definitely the uncertainty of it. I can eat the same things day after day, same dosing, same activity level, but D does what it wants to do. I can go low (scary in itself), skyrocket to the stratosphere or just cruise a mellow sea of awesome. Just never know. I’m sure PWDs are some of the best problem solvers because of this.
And we’re really good at math.

What has been your best diabetes moment?
My best… or at least one of my favorites came days after DX, when my vision cleared up to a perfect 20/20 again. I was a 14 yr old boy who had worn glasses for a few years… I needed ( OK… wanted) a girlfriend and having glasses was not helping. Voila… no need for glasses again. I was less than thrilled when my vision changed back before I got a GF.

What is your personal diabetes motto/attitude towards it?
“Weebles wobble but they won’t fall down” is one. But lately it’s been more like “You sonuvabitch… nice try”
I like that!

Do you have a blog?
I started a blog this past spring, but baby, dog and über-busy wife take all my time. I actually go to my full-time job to rest.

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?
The greatest benefit of the DOC is getting real world advice on items such as CGMs or pumps. Also, it’s a great outlet for D related rants. I honestly can’t think of any negatives.
Except maybe when I talk about my special lady time on the interwebs?
Why oh why do you have to go and do things like that?? The trauma…
HAHAHAHAHAHA

Why do you follow my blog?  Any tips or suggestions or specific topics you’d like to see me write about?
Doug said something about trying to teach me how to drink better beer.  Something like that.

Other than insulin, how else do you keep your diabetes in control?
To manage I use a couple apps on my phone… “D Sharp” for BG logging and dosing based on carb count. The other is Sanofi’s “Go Meals” which I use to carb count and log my meals. I also walk a couple of miles daily, bike commute to work everyday regardless of weather (and being at 7200′ in Wyoming, I get lots of weather).
No wonder you go to work to rest!

Any tips/hints to other PWD?
Just stay on top of things the best you can. No one is perfect. I see all of the DOC superstars post about BGs in the 200s, 300s… but we can only take it in stride and keep swimming.
Or keep bolusing.

What would you say to someone who is newly diagnosed?
We’re here for ya. Ask as many questions as you need. There are no stupid questions… well there are a couple, but we have perfected the nod and smile.
*Nodding and Smiling*

What would you say to the general public about diabetes?
If you feel you must judge us, do it silently and to yourself. If you tell us we should have exercised more or whatever the newest Reverse Diabetes trick is… we might snap and get violent. You don’t want me to use a lancet on you… do you??
Ouch.

If you’re interested in being E-interviewed, email me at a1conceive@gmail.com or send me a DM on twitter!  I’d love to make this a regular thing!

Flat tires, dead sensors, and clueless people…

Oh my!

This past weekend the husband and I traveled to our hometown for a bridal shower and bachelor/bachelorette parties for a wedding we are both in.  The 7 hour car ride up was pretty un-eventful, my blood sugar behaved for the most part.  However, once we arrived my one day old sensor started misbehaving.  It wasn’t giving me a trend arrow and was telling me I was in the 40s when actually I was 184.  I was hoping it’d come back to life, but after an hour or so of this naughty behavior, I got the question marks of death so I yanked it.  Kind of a bummer because I didn’t want to have to deal with the first 24 hours of sensor inaccuracy during the shower and bachelorette party, but, such is a Diabetic’s life.

The shower was lovely, however when I went out to my car to leave, I noticed a flat tire.  Oh boy.  Luckily my in-laws live only a few miles from where the shower was held so I was able to get my car there and they went out of their way to get a new tire for me.  I am so grateful for them for doing this and giving up their entire Saturday afternoon to solve my problem.  They are wonderful!

The bachelorette party was fun – we went to dinner at a Hibachi style restaurant.  However, we did a lot more walking than I anticipated so I was low for a good hour.  This led to one of the women making a comment about me eating a couple of cookies.  Something along the lines of “I can’t believe you’re eating.  Aren’t you full???”  ARGH.  I said that my blood sugar was low and rather than pass out, I had to force a few cookies down my throat even though we just ate.

This same woman also told me her grandfather “died of diabetes”, so as you can imagine my patience with her was wearing thin.  I will never understand why people think that in order to relate to your disease they have to tell a horror story of someone who died from complications or lost a foot or whatever.  These stories are NOT helpful.

I did face a few D-related decisions over the weekend.  To prevent my CGM alarm from going off at the shower since I knew I’d be eating a lot and it would be a guessing game as to how much to bolus, I turned the high alert off.  I stayed in the low to mid 200s pretty much all day, which, not good.  But, it is what it is.  Hindsight is telling me I probably should have done a temp basal, but live and learn!

While getting ready to head out for the bachelorette party I had to decide if I should bring my meter or CGM as both did not fit in my small, going-out purse.  I chose my meter since I was still within the first 24 hours of my sensor and, well, I trust my meter more.

All-in-all it was a good weekend.  Traveling is just tough with diabetes.  This weekend I’m going to visit my dear friend in NYC and I am determined to have a good blood sugar weekend.  I think it will be much easier since I’m obviously much more comfortable with her than I am with a group of women I’ve only met once.  I have my endo appointment on the 14th and I don’t want last weekend and this coming weekend to mess up my a1c!

I have a special guest blog post coming tomorrow, written by the husband.  Stay tuned!