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.

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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!

Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2013

Did you know that this week is Invisible Illness Week? I didn’t either until this blog post came across my reader. Thanks Rose!  I used to love filling out the old email surveys way back in the day, so why not? Here’s an easy chance to learn a little more about me and my diabetes. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz at the end.

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1998, 4 days after my 18th birthday!

3. But I had symptoms since: Not long before diagnosis. Maybe a month before? I lost weight (Yay!) and was peeing a lot (Non-yay when there wasn’t a bathroom on my floor in the dorms!) but I didn’t think anything of it.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Testing my blood sugar, injecting insulin/wearing a pump, and carrying all the crap ever around – wherever I go.

5. Most people assume: That diabetes is just having to test my BG and taking insulin before meals. I don’t think people realize how serious it is and how I am constantly aware of what my BG is/how my body feels/how my actions affect my numbers.
Or, that my foot is going to fall off.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Giving up cereal. My BG hates it. No matter how I try to bolus. I miss you Cocoa Puffs.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey’s Anatomy. I’m one of the 4 people who still watch it.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Dexcom CGM. Seriously my most favorite Diabetes device ever! I credit it for helping me get my a1c down to 6.8 and I always say I’ll give up my pump before I give up my Dexcom. It has given me a sense of security and much more awareness of my diabetes.

9. The hardest part about nights are: Deciding if I need a snack before bed. Seriously. Food is hard.

10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: 2 Pills – Sythroid and Vitamin. I’m usually on Vytorin but my doc took me off of it in preparation for baby making. Also, continuous insulin via the pump.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Think they have their place. Although, with T1D there really aren’t any alternatives to insulin. But I think there is nothing wrong with seeking out a natural treatment for more common ailments like the common cold if that’s what you choose.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible. I don’t like my diabetes being made a huge deal of and I imagine if I had a visible illness I would feel uncomfortable much more often.

13. Regarding working and career: I’ve been working in some capacity of another since before my diagnosis. I don’t think that Diabetes has affected my ability to get and keep a job. I’ve really only missed maybe 3 or 4 days of work because of wonky blood sugars. In 14 years, that’s not too bad. I do feel guilty sometimes for having to miss time for doctor’s appointments, but I supposed that is what PTO is for!

14. People would be surprised to know: We really don’t want to hear stories about how your best friend’s cat has diabetes, or that your uncle “died from diabetes” or that your former boss’s mother’s sister lost her foot because she was diabetic. Really. Not helpful.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: My reality isn’t really “new” but back in college, the toughest thing to accept was that this is permanent. At least for the next 5-7 years until there’s a cure, right?

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I got nothing. Ask me again in a year or so and hopefully my answer will be “Have a baby.”

17. The commercials about my illness: Annoy me.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Eating without thought. I miss not having to test, figure out my insulin, not having to wonder how this meal/snack will make me feel in the next 15 minutes, hour, 3 hours, etc.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: One piece bathing suits and low cut dresses. Female pumpers will understand.  Oh, and cereal.  And money.  Diabetes is expensive, yo.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Blogging. This is a really new hobby!

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Eat all the pasta without a worry in the world.

22. My illness has taught me: A lot of stuff.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: See number 14.

24. But I love it when people: Ask questions and actually listen when I explain what I live with, my pump and CGM, etc.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Tomorrow will be a better day.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Diabetes is a pain in the ass, there’s no sense sugar coating it (Pun intended). But it is manageable and even though it seems like you are being inundated with information right now, in just a short amount of time, all of this will become second nature. You can do this. And if you feel like you can’t there are tons of people both online and in real life who are happy to support you, answer your questions, or listen if you need to vent.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: That even though there are people around for support, it can be very isolating. That’s why I am so grateful for the DOC and IRL D-friends I have. They “get it”.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: My college roommate took me to the hospital and sat with me for hours in the ER on what was a pretty useless ER visit (Something I could/should have handled on my own, another blog for another day). Also, my husband does nice things all the time – getting my meter for me, checking my CGM receiver when he thinks I’m not looking, grabbing me some juice, starting dinner when he’s not hungry yet so I can eat/won’t go low, etc. I’ll keep him.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: My blog isn’t so invisible, so why not?

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Happy and hopeful that you weren’t terribly bored.

 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday Fives – August 30th

Five things only a PWD has to think about:

1.  When buying a new purse…”does this have enough room for all my D supplies”?

2.  When wearing a dress…”Is the cleavage too low for the between boobs pump clip-age?”

3.  Before a workout…”Do I need to consume calories in order to burn calories?”

4.  When purchasing a bathing suit…”Tankinis.  Need to find all the tankinis”.  (I don’t know if any other female PWD feel this way, but I feel like one piece suits are a massive PITA when it comes to the pump.)

5.  All the time…”When was the last time I ate?  Do I need to check my BG?  Is that headache because I’m annoyed with work or because my BG is off?  I’m thirsty – am I high?  Did I remember to throw those glucose tabs in my purse?  Should I rage bolus or use a temp basal to get my BG down?  Do I really have to do all this again tomorrow?”

Wordless Wednesday 7/24: Just a spoonful of sugar…

Is probably all that’s missing from my Mary Poppins Bag Purse…

20130724-082123.jpg

The contents:
-Wallet
-2 Checkbooks
-Coupon Wallet
-Keys
-3 Smashed Granola Bars
-5 Pens
-5 Syringes
-1 Dead Apidra Pen
-HUGE bottle of Aleve
-Pepto
-Eye Drops
-Glucometer
-Statement from Endo’s office
-2 packs of gum
-CGM
-Glucose Tabs
-2 lip glosses
-Chap Stick
-Concealer
-Compact
-Brush
-2 hair ties
and the thing I am most proud of…
-Only ONE random test strip!

What’s missing?  The only thing that jumps out at me is a backup infusion set and batteries for my pump.