Friday Fives, Friday the 13th edition.

Some of the 5 worst times to get a low

(Is there ever a good time to get a low?)

5.  After brushing your teeth.  Colgate + Juice of choice/glucose tabs does not = tasty.

4.  In the middle of the night.  I hate getting out of my comfy snuggly bed to treat a low.  And the 15-15-15 rule goes out the window at 3am, leading to early morning highs and a day of feeling like doodie.

3.  After eating a big meal.  You’re already full and you have to eat/drink more?  *unbuttons pants*

2.  During/Before/After exercise.  It drives me bonkers when I’m all geared up to work out or riding the high of endorphins after a good sweat session and I have to reverse all my hard work to treat a low.

1.  During sex.  ‘Nuff said.

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Proud.

Day 4 of Diabetes Month Photo-a-Day is “Proud”.  I think that people who live with diabetes (and our awesome Type 3-ers) have a lot to be proud of every day.  This isn’t an easy disease to manage.  We constantly have to juggle, do math, chase highs and lows, etc.  It can be exhausting and every day is a victory!

But for the purpose of this Photo-a-Day entry, I want to share a picture of me after one of my training runs.  I have completed two half marathons – The Virginia Beach Rock N Roll in September 2010 and the Flying Pirate (Outer Banks) in April 2011.  Granted my times were pretty pathetic (Running is so not my thing) but I did it, managed my blood sugars along the way, and got the medals to prove it.  I think this goes to show that even people who aren’t the best athletes can set a physical goal and achieve it.  Thumbs up to you!

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After one of my training runs for the Flying Pirate Half – notice I’m wearing my Rock N Roll half shirt? (Also, can I move back to the Outer Banks? Oh how I miss living on the water…)

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.

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

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.

Artificial Pancreas? Say what now?!

***Note, I’m not a tech guru.  I panic when I have to update my iPhone and can’t find my apps on the correct screen.  My husband manages the DVR because I don’t understand why we can’t record 200 shows at once and having to pick only two overwhelms me.  And, as always, I’m not a doctor so this isn’t medical advice and all that stuff.***

In case you haven’t heard the news, Medtronic has developed an artificial pancreas.  AND, even better, the FDA has approved it!  HUZZAH!  So this means that I can slap on a pump and CGM sensor, leave it there, and not have to think about diabetes for a few days until it’s time to change my site?  Right?  Like, that’s it?!?!  The days of finger pricks, bolusing, temp basaling are over?  Freakin’ awesome, man.

Scrreeeeeeech.  Wait a hot second.  According to this article by The Wall Street Journal, “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a pump designed to automatically stop insulin delivery in diabetes patients when blood-sugar levels are too low, the first “artificial pancreas” to be approved in the U.S.”.  Heh?  I mean, that’s cool and all, but is that an artificial pancreas?

“Medtronic’s MiniMed 530G, which includes a sensor, sends out an alert if (blood sugar) levels are too low, and if the individual is sleeping, unconscious or unable to react, the pump will shut off for two hours.”  Oooook.  But what does it do if my blood sugar is creeping up?  Does it automatically bolus insulin or set a temp basal?  What about if I eat a bowl of pasta?  Will it sense my blood sugar rising and do what needs to be done to keep me in that 100-130 zone?

To me, this sounds like a pump with a shut-off feature.  Definitely an added security measure that I am sure many people will be happy to have for themselves, their spouses, their children.  Hell, I dropped to 40 the other night and didn’t hear my CGM beeping at me.  (Thank you to the husband for waking me up so I could treat and clip coupons!)  A shutoff feature would’ve been great in this situation!

Another thing that concerns me is that according to the interwebs and other rumor mills, the Medtronic CGM isn’t quite as accurate as the Dexcom.  I wonder how many false shutoffs occur?  And if they do and your body is getting zero insulin for two hours while you’re blissfully unaware in dreamland…well, that’s not really a good thing.

Also, I don’t know about anyone else, but when I have those pesky middle-of-the-night lows, I’m not quite fully awake.  I stumble to the kitchen, pretend I’m only consuming 15g carbs, wait (half-asleep) for 15 minutes, test again, and stumble back to bed.  I can guarantee that I’d forget to turn my pump back on and would not be getting insulin to cover all those carbs (Because we all know, it’s more than 15g) I just consumed.  Of course from the sound of it, this device is geared more towards when the wearer is incapable of treating their low, but still.  I’m forgetful.

So while I think that this new device is a step in the right direction towards the artificial pancreas, I think it’s more of a baby step than the giant leap it’s being made out to be.  Artificial, to me, means I don’t have to think about it.  I want a device that I just wear on my hip and it does all the work for me – it knows when I’m exercising and to give me less insulin, when I’m stressed to give me more insulin, or when I’m indulging in a plate of nachos and may need an extended bolus.  Sure, I’ll change out my insulin/glucagon and change the site every few days, check my sugar for calibration purposes, but, other than that, I want something that is mindless.  To me, artificial pancreas does not = pump with a shutoff feature.