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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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??
If you’re interested in being E-interviewed, email me at email@example.com or send me a DM on twitter! I’d love to make this a regular thing!
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!
Five things that are annoying about traveling with diabetes:
1. The amount of space diabetes stuff takes up in your bag – Pump supplies, snacks, batteries, extra test strips, CGM sensors, Insulin. This is valuable clothes-packing real estate!
2. The wonky blood sugar levels that always seem to happen with long car rides.
3. Feeling guilty about not bringing copies of your Rxs like every good travelling diabetic should.
4. Attempting to test your blood sugar in the car – why is it that we always hit a bump just as I’m about to prick my finger?
5. Being out of your diabetes comfort zone.
Have a great weekend, everyone!