Acting Like Adults

Thanks Hyperbole and a Half

The hubs and I tend to use the extended Thanksgiving weekend to clean our house before decorating for Christmas. This year, we rented a carpet shampooer and cleaned the carpets! Woot! Exciting!

But because of our lovely furbabies, this clean feeling will disappear in about 2 weeks, max. But hey! At least I can decorate now. And my nose doesn’t itch a bunch from the dust and dander.

And all this activity is keeping the sugars under 100. Yay?

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Happy Black Friday

Here is a great example of what Black Friday looks like in the US.

No seriously… most stores and malls opened at midnight last night. But I thought it would be a good time to sleep instead. Or at least I tried. Since I was up around that time, I thought, well, why am I not shopping right now? Oh well, right, I want sleep.

Our Thanksgiving plans were altered slightly. Well, maybe more than slightly. The hubs woke up with an epic cold and we were slated to sit in a car for 2+ hours to visit my family. Since I have an ailing grandfather, we both figured it’d be a horrible idea to spread the cold to everyone in my family. Plus – the hubs just felt miserable. And I’d have to do all the driving. No thank you.

We had two options. Some of my good friends host an “orphan Thanksgiving” every year for those in the swing community that can’t afford to travel or don’t want to travel to their respective families. And then my brother-in-law and his wife were also hosting a mini Thanksgiving at their apartment. After some phone calls, it turns out I’m heading to two Thanksgiving dinners. One at 3 and one at sometime after 5 pm.

So here comes the ultimate game of pacing yourself so you don’t overeat and overdose on insulin. Since I was hungry at 3 and could stand to eat, I did. But chose my weapons wisely. And bless my friends for having a diabetic friendly meal prepped. I brought all my Splenda/Low Carb desserts to enjoy and carb count. They offered sweet potatoes that were boiled; not mashed, marshmallowed, and brown sugared, thank goodness. Plain steamed green beans with onions, rather than in a high carb/fat casserole. Dinner rolls with carb info. Just a couple things on the appetizer table. The biggest offender on my pump was a slice of jalapeño cheesy cornbread that everyone fought over. Yum!

Oh. And wine. Lots and lots of wine. I had to drive, so I mostly just watched everyone down glasses while I nursed my one and half. With some water.

On to the next party…

I started that part of the evening at 210 mg/dl. Which is crazy. That never happens. My average Thanksgiving blood sugar is 250 or higher. So for being 2 hours after I ate and that’s as high as I recorded, I was pretty stoked. (Though, I have no idea what my pre-dinner sugar was because… well… oops.)

I didn’t partake in second dinner, with the exception of dessert at the end. The hubs hadn’t eaten yet, so this was his meal after napping for most of the day. This dinner was quite different. Sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows. Green beans and bacon. Mashed potatoes. Mostly the stuff from my hubs and his brother’s childhood. And while delish… way hard to carb count. So I refrained, stating that I already had dinner, but would take some leftovers home. And then enjoyed a slice of homemade pumpkin pie.

Which I grossly overestimated.

I read somewhere that a good size piece of pumpkin pie is 37 grams of carbs. This was a good size piece, but maybe not a store bought size piece. I also over corrected to bring down my sugars floating at around 160 at this point and had been for the last couple hours.

By midnight, I’m 54 mg/dl. In an effort to not mess with my morning sugars too much, I only have juice and try to go to bed. 15 minutes pass and I still can’t shake the low feeling. Check again and I’m 46. Another round of OJ and some crackers and PB because obviously something isn’t sticking. I’m browsing Facebook to keep my mind occupied while my sugars hopefully come up. 15 minutes pass again and I’m at 96. Thank goodness. Bolus to cover the midnight snack. Briefly consider changing to go shop with the crazies. Decide against it and head to sleep.

Wake up at 9:00 am with a 101 blood sugar. How the hell did that happen? No idea. Let’s go shopping!

Thanks… Merci… Gracias… Mahalo… Danke… Grazie…

 

It’s Thanksgiving here in the states. It falls into one of the holidays I have a love/hate relationship with. Love hanging around my family and friends during an extended weekend… then using the weekend to dig out my Christmas decor. Hate that it’s all centralized around food and no matter how diligent I am, I still end up with highs off the charts at all hours of the evening. Since my blood sugars have been FANTASTIC for the last few days, with a few blips here and there, I’m trying to devise a plan that doesn’t center around the appetizer table. And maybe I will skip the mashed potatoes this year.

But, let’s not talk about food anymore because I’m sure I’ll be guiltily enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie later despite my best efforts.

What I am thankful for, instead, is the following:

1) Medical technology that allows me to eat said pie. And the medical insurance to allow me to purchase said medical technology. I know it’s not great right now, but at least I have it.

2) A wonderful support network. Since I started this blog and shared it with a limited audience of IRL friends, I’m thankful that a number of them have taken a greater interest in my journey, struggles, and successes. (Probably now that they understand it more.) I can continue the conversation offline with a couple of them and grateful for that added personal support. (Yes, that includes the hubs, but that’s kind of a given since he sees me the most.)

3) My fellow D-readers, who I don’t know in real life, but they offer insight in their own blogs, and sometimes share it on mine. For only having the blog for a month, I’ve already got a pretty good network established.

4) A new team of doctors. And a new diabetes educator that reassured me that I am doing fantastic and only need a “tune up” to get me where I need to be for next year. Let’s hope this move to the new hospital (and insurance) continues to be worth the hassle in funding and paperwork.
Happy Thanksgiving all!

99 Problems and A Breakfast Ain’t One of Them

Warning… my Type A Personality kicked into overdrive on this post… needed something to counter balance yesterday’s humor.

The increased morning basal rate seems to be working better than expected. I’ve had the same breakfast meal for the last two days, and most likely will continue to until I have reason to try something else. But I haven’t experienced the extreme highs I have been for last, oh, I don’t know, 6 years.

I can’t really remember the reason behind giving me an extremely low basal between the hours of 8 am and 10:30 am. I think the logic was it was to mask the extreme lows I’d experience around those times when I was on Lantus. Each time my docs would increase my Lantus to decrease my post prandial highs, I’d always peak much later than expected, resulting in lows.

And why was this never adjusted later? Who knows. Maybe other things were a priority. Like my middle of the nights. And my fastings. Or that I just didn’t have the time to care.

At any rate, as long as I have a high fiber snack in the morning, my blood sugars seem to respond favorably until lunch.

And then I eat lunch and it all goes nuts for some reason. This is when I experiment with dual wave boluses the most because my lunches are lower in carbs, but higher in protein and fat. It doesn’t always work. However, neither does giving all the insulin in one fair swoop. So – here in lies my issue. Am I eating the wrong things? Or are my basals in need of adjusting again? Or maybe I’m not bolusing enough. The insulin to carb ratio at that time is 1:5, for reasons I can’t remember.

My usual fallback of “well I can’t take that much insulin because I’ll crash” doesn’t seem to work anymore. The last few afternoons have elevated into the 180 range and don’t fall further unless prompted by another correction. Otherwise I just hang out there.

So – rather than checking every single hour to see what my sugars are doing, I really hope the CDE has more productive answers. My goal is to not hit those 200s anymore. And to fall normally within a 3 hour range so I can eat a small snack and continue. This plan works so long as I have no other outside factors to hinder them. (Blocked insulin pump, hormones, stress, etc.)

But hey… breakfast! Those are good, right?

Sugar Free Doesn’t Equal Carb Free

Case in point… these are still 40 grams of carbs. Made with Maltitol. (Why did I buy these again?)

“Sugar free” cupcakes

These little beauts are from a local cupcake only bakery limited to our region. They had a Groupon not too long ago, so I bought it. I know… why is the diabetic buying cupcake Groupons??? As much as I enjoy baking, I don’t always have time for it. Especially elaborate masterpieces like they create.

It was going to expire soon and I was in the vicinity, and I have a slew of young sorority sisters that I’m paying a visit tomorrow. Why not.

So I get 10 non-sugarless cupcakes for them. And 2 sugar free cupcakes for me and the hubs. And I felt like I was the first person to ask the gal behind the counter for nutrition facts. Go me! At least they were prepared. (I’d hope so for special cupcakes like that.)

Since my blood sugars have been running oddly lower than usual during 3/4s of my day, I’ve decided not to dive into these quite yet. Especially since I just know it’s a flat 40 grams… and God knows what else…

It’s Not a Toomah!

Yes – the famous line from Ah-nold’s quasi-action movie, Kindergarten Cop. And often what I say, in jest, when people question the insulin pump under all of my dance costumes.

Of course I love ballroom dance because it’s highly social, is goal oriented, and is a huge part of my exercise regiment. But let’s face it. Who wouldn’t want to prance around in all of those fancy, glittery ballgowns that you see on Dancing with the Stars? I have a number of “oooh… shiny” moments when it comes to selecting outfits for upcoming showcases and competitions. (West Coast Swing comps are much more laid back, but I still like to sparkle.)

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Hmm, I’ll just put my pump… no where? (Melissa and Tony from DWTS All Stars)

The problem with most, if not all, dance clothing is that everything is made of skin tight lycra or spandex, allowing all movement of the body to be showcased. As well as all of your bulges, flaws, and rectangular battery powered devices that keep you alive. Now for most performances, I generally disconnect for the times I’m on stage (10 minutes total max). But sometimes I have to plan where my site is because maybe my dress is backless. Or if I disconnect with a tight dress, I get this cool plastic nub under my costumes.

I’ve also taken nice little pump vacations and head back on lantus for a week; I’ve found this to be easier than connecting and reconnecting backstage and fighting the adrenaline and stress highs. But, then I’m on shots for a week. Ugh…

However, it’s a little more complicated for rehearsals and practices that I want to wear my costume and my pump. It’s not so much the awkward lines I suddenly create. It’s figuring out where to place the pump so that it doesn’t fall out during a lift that is a bigger problem. Even with all of the bands, garters, and clips out there, it’s generally best for me to just keep practicing in sweat pants with pockets until the very last minute. I’ve had my pump grabbed, my wire caught on my partner, had the pump leg band fall mid-run of a routine, had the pump fall out of my pocket, jab my partner in strange places… etc. Often, a ballroom dance costume is all one piece with built in leotards. So good luck with trying to hook the pump on anything isn’t at risk of ripping, shedding a few rhinestones, or whatever.

This is why I like competing in west coast swing so much these days. I can wear PANTS. With POCKETS. And I can hide my wire safely away from leaders with crazy octopus arms. It’s amazing.

But – again, I still love dancing, albeit the unique reflections I create in a mirror. And the shiny rhinestones. Lots and lots of rhinestones.

Job Qualifications: Design, Event Planning, PR, Type 1 Diabetic

So I’m reading Cheryl Alkon‘s book “Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-Existing Diabetes” to gain more insight from women that have “been there before.” Alkon is a Type 1 diabetic and writes about her experiences and interviews other T1s and T2s about their pregnancies. Kind of like a D-friendly “What to Expect While You’re Expecting.” Because honestly, the first thing Google pops up about diabetic pregnancies are 1) Horror stories and 2) GD.

One of the interviews stuck out after I read it. The new mom basically said that balancing her diabetes during pregnancy and prior to pregnancy was similar to having another full time job. Finally, a well thought out simile. Especially since I’ve spent the last 2 days at my desk preoccupied with my blood sugars not coming down than my actual work load.

Think about it. We are control freaks by nature; attempting to grapple on to a disease that doesn’t want to be controlled and yet we still try anyway. We can sit hour-by-hour testing, worrying about what we just ate, calculating insulin doses to make up for errors, correcting, re-correcting, exercising to make sugars come down, downing Skittles when we’ve come down too much, going to doctor appointments, taking phone appointments,  meticulously looking at all nutrition labels while grocery shopping…

Seriously, for the amount of hours I spend, I should get paid for trying to please this unruly boss. I’d make a fortune.

Or at least I should be able to add it to my resume qualifications.

Today’s Not Your Day. Tomorrow Doesn’t Look Good Either.

A funny little saying that perfectly describes my blood sugars today. It’s as though the D was only pleasing one person today, and obviously it wasn’t me. And here I was hoping I’d have a good day because it was International Diabetes Day and all. Oh well.

I was given the opportunity to try my new bolus rate for night time snacks. 1:6. I had some high protein snacks. A little bit of plain greek yogurt, a couple raspberries, a graham cracker and some PB. I started off 162 before heading to sleep. Maybe that was the issue. But I corrected and gave insulin for the carbs I ate.

At 4 am, I woke up suddenly with a 280 blood sugar. Corrected and went back to bed.

At my alarm at 6 am, I’m still 260.  Sigh. Maybe the pump encountered an air bubble. <change set> <additional correction>

By 7 am, I’m still 200. But I assume I’m coming down. So I have a small breakfast and head to work.

I remain over 200 up until about lunchtime, even after multiple corrections. I was waiting for the eminent crash from all the insulin getting stacked against me. But I only came down to 125.

The rest of my day stabilized. Almost. I managed to drop into the 60s. Well, at least this roller coaster day is over. But I pretty much just ruined my average for the month.

My CDE appointment is next week. It really can’t come soon enough.

Ugh… Diabetes: 1 Me: 0

I had one of those days where I seemingly ate a steady diet… and my blood sugars just misbehaved.

I was also particularly upset that I scarfed down two (really gross) veggie protein sausages with my whole grain Eggos this morning in an effort diversify the meal and was high for most of the morning.

And an average lunch that I always have shot me up to 280 two hours post meal.

I think this was payback for going to sushi (again) last night.

Well played, diabetes. Well played.

 

ETA: Okay – this made me laugh. Download the PDF at the bottom.

What It Really Costs to Be a Diabetic

I was on a very good medical plan for about five years. All of my durable medical supplies were 100% covered. (Durable medical: supplies that help maintain your condition or administer the medicine required to take to keep you alive. So test stripes, pump supplies, etc.) My medicines were generally inexpensive in the grand scheme of things.

When I switched jobs, I knew my new medical was going to be a challenge. But I was kind of sick of my old hospital’s care, so I figured now would be a good time to switch.

My new insurance has an $1800 deductible. So that means I need to pay full price for all supplies and doctor appointments until I meet the $1800 minimum. And then after that, everything is 100% covered. I was told it was going to suck blowing through that much money to get the full coverage. Especially since I’d spend that much on a three month supply of all of my prescriptions.

Only now am I realizing the grandness of this problem. My glucagon kit, which I unwillingly filled this weekend, cost me $145. It’s a one dose medication that expires in ONE year. I most likely won’t use it. <knocks wood> But – it’s just to put my doctor and my hubby at ease in case I have a problem. Boom – $145 gone.

My test strips is another sad example. A box of 100 test strips for my machine retails for $118 at my local Target. And since I’m now testing about 6-8 times a day, that’s about $118 every 13 days or so. Yikes!

I don’t really want to think about what my pump supplies and insulin cost. Or my multiple upcoming doctor visits.

But again – after three months, I won’t have to. It just sucks right now.

On a happier note, it’s beginning to feel a bit more like winter out here, even though it’s still November. We’ve got the fire turned on most nights and it’s quite cozy. The kitties certainly have been enjoying it. I even started Christmas shopping today.

Cozy comfort