Monday, November 29, 2010

Is there an app for that?

Current Bloodsugar: 135

So, I have been getting behind on my posts for 30 days of Diabetes.  Diabetes has been kicking my butt lately.  Lots of highs and lows and sleepless nights.  Hooray for the holidays.  So, I am going to wrap up the last two questions I have missed into one post!

Sometimes having diabetes means you have to carry a lot of supplies or organize different types of medications. Pockets, purses, glove compartments, hands – what do you use to be sure you’re prepared?
Aside from constantly having this pump attached and always having a meter handy I do have to carry lots of stuff around with me, wherever I go.  I was never a purse kinda girl, but now I have to have one to carry all of my "paraphernalia" around.  I have a bag with extra needles, test strips, lancet devices, batteries for my pump, pump tubing and insertion devices for my pump site.  I carry candy and snacks and medical ID cards.  I am like a bag lady of medical supplies.  But these things give me a piece of mind so I know that no matter where I am I am never far away from a fix. 

What’s the best diabetes gadget, phone app, book, or other tool you have?
Hands down, my most trusty diabetes gadgets are my pump and my blood glucose meter.  I could not live without my pump, I never want to go back to daily injections.  My blood glucose meter is often my sense of security and the bane of my existence all at the same time. 

I have read several books about diabetes, and although they tend to be helpful, diabetes is an individual disease.  We all have the same general challenges but how we deal with those challenges may differ from person to person. 

I am not a techie type person, I have a simple phone and generally don't get into all of the new technology.  I know how to use a computer and I could definitely get sucked into using a phone to run my life.  I know there are apps for carb counting and keeping track of your medications, health, and exercise.  But what I would really like is a cure so I don't have to do all of those things....Do you think there is an app for that?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Family Shares

Current Blood sugar: 89

For yesterday's prompt for 30 days of Diabetes, I was asked to have a family member guest post on my blog.  The purpose of this guest post was to have a family member share how they felt about my diabetes and how it affected them.  I am honored to have my parents guest post today.  Here is what they have to say... 

We've always heard about diabetes but never quite fully understood, until now.  When our daughter Melissa was diagnosed with Type I  just three and a half years ago, it caught the entire family by surprise and struck fear in our hearts for her well-being.  We realized from the beginning we had no real understanding of diabetes and the life-changing impact of this disease on her and on us.  However, as she has grown more confident in managing her diabetes, we have gained a greater understanding and realized that although it is a life-changing disease, it does not define who you are...if you do not allow it to do so.  That's the goal Melissa has set for her life and she is doing a wonderful job of making it a reality.

We are so thankful for the strength and courage she has demonstrated in managing her life with diabetes. Her determination to maintain her health and to reach her life's goals is a comfort and inspiration to us and all who know her.  She has helped us, as her parents, to put aside much of the worry about her future with diabetes because of her discipline and dedication to managing her health.  Her example has also helped those in her family to pay greater attention to a more healthy life style.  

Although she has helped us feel more relaxed, we still worry.  We continuously strive to balance the desire to be overly protective while allowing her much deserved independence to manage her health, especially in times of family meals.  We try to strike a balance between accommodating her needs while not making diabetes a visible point of menu preparation.  We're sure we sometimes fall short on the independence side; after all, we're still her parents.

Our hope for Melissa is that research will one day soon free her and others from the constraints of diabetes.  In the meantime, we are so grateful for her dedication to managing this disease and for the loving support she receives from her husband in the daily struggles only obvious to those closest to her.  We are so proud of who she is, her commitment to helping others with diabetes and the example she provides in addressing this life-changing disease.    

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friends and Heavy Artillery

Current Bloodsugar: I may have overbolused for dinner...but I guess that means I get to eat a cookie!  

Today's prompt: Today is Family and Friends Friday, but since I forgot to get my act together to do the actual prompt (which consists of having a family member guest post on the blog), I will have to do that post on another day!

So instead, I will share with you some fun pictures from Ammofest today!  A day spent shooting targets with good friends and no crazy bloodsugars was a good enough day for me!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day I am thankful for many things.  I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving.  In keeping with the 30 days of Diabetes posts, I will be sure to update later with yummy pictures and fun stories from today's festivities.  Until then, have a wonderful day of family, friends, and feasting!

Current Bloodsugar: not be deceived, this number is good now...but this is after 83, pre-thanksgiving lunch and 285 post Thanksgiving lunch...7 1/2 hours later back in range!

We had a great time today with family!  The food was amazing and quite carb-filled as these meals tend to be.
I am not sure how many carbs total I ate...a round about guess was all I had to work from.  I gave myself a ton of insulin pre-meal, increased my basal rates for the day, and did an extended bolus (little amounts of insulin over a few hours) post meal.  This did not completely prevent the highs I was expecting today, but prevented them from being high into the evening hours.  I would say as diabetes goes, today was relatively successful and much as I expected.

Not all of my family members were at our gathering today.  We have a very large extended family who often make it for every holiday gathering.  This seemed to be the year we are all a little scattered.  But it was great to see those who could make it and catch up.  There was lots of laughter (mostly at the expense of my brother and his turkey frying skills!) and lots of stories shared.

I am so Thankful for my health today and the inventions that have allowed me to share in this time with my family (insulin and insulin pump).  I hope your day was filled with love and yummy treats!  Time to heat up some left-overs and pop a squat on the couch for the evening!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Current Bloodsugar: 126

Today's Prompt: “Wordless Wednesday” – Share a picture or video on your blog! (need ideas for subject matter? How are you getting ready for the Thanksgiving festivities? Baking in advance? Adding some extra exercise to your schedule? Cleaning to prepare for company? Show us!)

Sugar-free chocolate chip cookies (made with xylitol)
Whole grain Peanut Butter Chews

Sugar-free Snickerdoodles

Jordan Rolls, dough rising

Second Rise, Jordan Rolls

Finished Jordan rolls...yummm!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Tips

Current Bloodsugar: 119

Today's Prompt: Holiday Travel – The pilgrims traveled for 66 days to make it to the “new world.”  Do you travel for Thanksgiving or other holidays?  What tricks or tips do you use to navigate airport crowds, traffic-filled highways and blood glucose fluctuations?

We don't really travel a lot for the holidays.  My folks are close by and hubby's are within driving distance.  It's nice to be able to see family without having to fly across the country or the world.  To navigate this crazy time of year I definitely have some tricks up my sleeve, not just for diabetics...

1) If going out of town for every week, pack enough insulin, diabetes supplies, and snacks for 2 weeks.  This is so important if your plane/car/walking stick leads you to a deserted island with absolutely no medical care or pharmacy...ok so this may be a little extreme...I do however pack enough supplies to last me a few more days than I need.

2) Bake, cook, bring with you things that you know you can eat!  This is so important, not only cause you might not like Great Aunt Gertrude's congealed salad, but also because when every one else is noshing on holiday goodies you may want something you can eat too!

3) Leave your worries, concerns, and overall stress at home.  The holidays should be filled with joy and happiness and family fun.  Don't let the stress of traveling and other people's insanity get in the way of your good time.

4)  Tell people what you want and need (food, space, that crazy expensive television).  This is key to surviving the holidays when tons of people are convening in one tiny house.

5) Have a good pet-sitter/farm watcher.  When you have as many animals as we do you have to have a reliable person who can come by and check on all the critters.  It will ease your mind to know everyone is ok!

6) Remember that the stress and excitement of waiting in line to see Santa can make your bloodsugars a little wacky.  So don't get discouraged when your numbers go a little haywire.  Take them as they are and do what you need to fix them, then go on up there, pop a squat on Santa's lap and break out that long list.

7)  Take a deep breath, remember that folks love you and keep your head on straight, January is just around the corner!

Now...If I could only take my own advice!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mouthwatering Monday

Current bloodsugar: 189...ughhh

Today's Prompt: “Mouthwatering Monday”   – What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day recipe? Share it here (don’t worry, we won’t tell Great Aunt Doris you’re sharing her secret!)

Since my last post was probably quite depressing to you readers...I am happy to see a recipe prompt!

I really like Thanksgiving food...I mean c'mon...who doesn't?  Our whole family gets together and everyone brings a few dishes, pot-luck style.  Its a wonderful plethora of food.  Of course I never really know what to expect so I always bring a few things that I know I can handle.

I don't suppose there is any one food that I like more than any other, it's all pretty danged good if you ask me!  But here are my two favorite things we make....

Hubby's famous mac-n-cheese

Now, this recipe is one of those...throw together till it looks right, so no measurements really.  This can make one 9x13 pan or if you use less cheese and less noodles, 8inch square or round casserole dish

1 box of macaroni noodles
1-2 blocks of Cracker Barrel White Chedder
1-2 blocks of Cracker Barrel Sharp Chedder
Salt to taste
Hot pepper to taste

Boil the macaroni (we boil 1/2 to the whole box and then just determine how much we need in ratio to the amount of cheese sauce).  Preheat oven to 350 or 400.  Pour drained noodles into a 9x13 pan (or smaller if making a small batch).  Melt the cheese in a saucepan over medium heat, add milk until desired consistency, add a few tablespoons of butter and salt and hot pepper to taste.  When cheese is melted and creamy, pour over noodles, place in oven and bake until bubbly and crispy on top.  You can even add a layer of Parmesan cheese or bread crumbs if you like.

Sugar Free Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge
  • 3 cups granulated xylitol (or other granulated sugar replacement)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium heat combine sugar, cocoa, milk, and salt.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 235° on a candy thermometer; remove from heat and place it on a dish towel or cake rack to cool down. Add the margarine, peanut butter and vanilla, but don’t stir.  Let it cool until the bottom of the pan is barely warm to the touch, or about 110°.

Beat well with a large wooden spoon until mixture begins to thicken, Very quickly it will start to lose its glossy, shiny appearance on top.  Pour into a mold, container, or pie plate.  Let cool completely and cut into squares.

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving foods? 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanks Diabetes

Current Bloodsugar: 116...this was after battling highs all afternoon and evening yesterday, only to wake up to a 41..yes I am happy to have a 116 this morning.

Today's Prompt: Being Thankful – It’s almost Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for? Has diabetes helped you realize your appreciation for anything?

Dear Diabetes,

There are very few things you have done for me that are worthy of thanks.  Sure there is the fact I know more about how my body works and responds to food, that's kinda nice.  Oh yea,h and there is the whole, "reason to exercise on a daily basis" thing.  You have given me a new outlook and appreciation of life and health.  Of course I can't forget the times that you have behaved and allowed me to be "normal".  But I have way more than that for which to thank you.

Thank you...thank you for ruining yet another wonderful evening with friends.  Thank you for being so out of control yesterday that hubby and I had to leave a gathering early.  Thank you for reminding me that it is too much for me to ask, to have two consecutive nights of fun with friends and music and no d-related issues.  I forgot my place and should have remembered that I am only allotted one fun evening at a time without diabetes turmoil.  I promise it wont happen again.  Thank you, diabetes for reminding me that just when I think everything is under control, you kick my legs out from underneath and wrench me away from my life.  Thank you for knocking me down a few pegs, I am sure I needed.  Thank you, diabetes for not only bringing me down but bringing my hubby with me.  Thank you diabetes for reminding me that I can never forget about you for one tiny second.  I am tired of you interfering with my life.

I think it is time we ended this relationship.  I think it is far time for us to break up.  Even though no matter what I do, you will keep calling and showing up at my doorstep...begging for attention.  I guess I have to give it another shot (no pun intended).  Thank you, I can't imagine the amount of fun I would have without you.


P.S.  Oh yeah, one little thing....I HATE YOU!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No Short Cuts

Current Blood sugar: 97

Today's prompt: Short Cuts – Are there any diabetes short cuts you have learned over the years?

I take short cuts to the mall.  I take short cuts sometimes when I am cleaning, cooking, and doing general housework...hehehe...don't tell my hubby!  I take the short cut to my friend's farm when we go walking,.  I will generally take any short cut I can find in any aspect of life, assuming that short cut doesn't end badly...think..."I can take this back road and get us there 10 minutes faster" only to end up getting lost and adding 10 minutes to the original drive time.  This may or may not have happened to someone's hubby last night :-)

But, diabetes short cuts?  I don't take any short cuts when it comes to my health.  I cant honestly even think of any thing that you could short cut in diabetes, much less something that wouldn't have negative consequences.  It's as simple as that....short cuts in diabetes don't exist in my everyday life.  There is no reducing the time required to maintain my health.  Maybe I am missing something?  What kinds of short-cuts do you take? 

Friday, November 19, 2010


Current Bloodsugar: 147 this is fasting in the morning, after battling highs all night.  I hate waking up to this number, it will throw off my whole day.

Today's Prompt: Holiday Survival – Here’s our guide to surviving the holidays (PDF). What’s your survival tip? Do you avoid carbs, fats, or family members? 

So apparently I thought yesterday was Friday and posted Friday's prompt today I will do Thursday's prompt.

What is my survival tip to managing the holidays?  Pack up your clothes, take the hubby, get a pet-sitter and go to the Carribean, or some other secluded warm location of your choice, for the entire month of December.  Tell the family you wont be able to make it to any gathering because you have previous commitments you just can't break.  Enjoy Christmas and New Years sitting on the beach in peace and quite.


Since I can't afford to do that and I do actually love my family...hmm...maybe a few of them could come along.  Hubby and I do really enjoy spending time with our families, we just prefer relaxing and not getting involved in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and all the stress that goes along with the months of Nov and Dec.  We get so frustrated from all of the pressure from our families to attend multiple gatherings and travel all over the state.  It makes it very hard for us to enjoy the holidays and the time we actually do get to spend with our family. 

So I guess my true holiday survival tip is to just suck it up, not take anything personally, and go with the flow.  To prepare myself for miserable blood sugars and crazy food choices and generally a lack of a routine that is such a pivotal part of my management.  Lean pretty heavily on my hubby for support during these frustrating times and try to be an advocate for what I need without burdening others with crazy demands.

Believe it or not I really do love the holidays and when all is said and done, there are some really enjoyable moments.  But sometimes what works best for me and hubby and makes a holiday relaxing and enjoyable, does not always fit into the vision our families have.  So keeping in mind what is truly important and sticking to making that happen is the path I have to take.

Disclaimer to any family members reading this prompt: Please do not take any of my rants and raves about the holidays personally.  Take this post as it is...that I have some genuine frustrations about gatherings in general and the problems I tend to face. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This is my burden

Current Bloodsugar: 87

Today's Prompt: “Friends & Family Friday” – As the holidays approach, social events and family gatherings are bound to occur. If you could say anything, what would you tell your loved ones about your diabetes?

Ah...the holidays...I love spending time with my family at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I have so many wonderful memories of the holidays with family.  The last few years holidays have presented a new challenge for me.  One that involves actually thinking and worrying about the food I eat and what will be available, how will my blood sugars behave, etc...etc...

I hate having that extra stress, it often overshadows what I enjoy so much about the holidays.  This just means I have to work a little harder to remind myself what this time of year is really about and to try and not let the diabetes get in the way of enjoying that time.

If I could say anything to my loved ones about my diabetes (and I imagine I am at this moment since many of them read this blog) I would say....

Please take the time to understand what it truly means to live with diabetes.  Be well informed of this disease and my lifestyle. Accept my choices.  Accept my decisions about what is best for my body and my health.  Ask questions.  But, please, please do not worry about me.  Although I may ask you from time to time to help me along this journey, living a life with diabetes is my burden to carry and I do not wish for you to carry it too. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Current Bloodsugar: 144

I know it's "wordless Wednesday" but it is just too hard for me to be wordless.  Here is a variation of a post I did a while ago that I have adjusted for life with diabetes.

Lessons about living with diabetes from the residents of a backyard farm....

We all need something (or someone) to lean on every now and then...

Diabetes management is stressful...take time to relax and feel the sand between your toes...

Diabetes is like a pile of rocks.  Uncomfortable, heavy, unstable and always in the way.  But there are bright sides to every situation, you can always find a good use for a pile of rocks (like a favorite napping spot!)

 Friends and family are priceless and are an important part of diabetes management...
keep them close by....

 Exercise is very important....

Life with diabetes often presents situations that are big and scary.  Face these things head on and you may may find they are not as scary as they seem.
  Find the resources available to help you manage your health.  Use them wisely, make the most of them and turn them into something awesome!

It always helps to have some who can help look out for you, emotionally and physically...

It's great to have an outlet for your frustrations about diabetes...

Entertainment is sometimes the best medicine....

A good night's sleep is important for maintaining your health.  
Get plenty of rest....
 any chance you get....

Keep looking up..
and smiling....

and keep your eyes wide open...
you never know what the future will bring...


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Diabetes Etiquette

Current Blood sugar: 107...yep, that's good folks...I like it when my body decides to cooperate!

Today's prompt: What question do you get asked the most when you tell someone you have diabetes? Do you use any of these opportunities to help teach about diabetes, or do they get annoying? Or both?

Ok folks, get ready to learn a lesson about diabetes etiquette.  Today's prompt makes me think not only of what questions I get asked but what comments folks make when they find out I have diabetes.  I generally love getting questions about my diabetes, with the exception of a few.  I consider it a chance to educate folks on the disease.  Not to mention the more questions people ask me, the more they know about how my life works and that makes things easier for me. 

The most annoying questions come from folks who lack information or think they know more than they do about diabetes.  Now, don't get me wrong... I do not hold the lack of knowledge about diabetes over anyone's head.  It's not expected for someone to know everything there is to know about every chronic illness.  But, with the media streaming information to the public about Type II diabetes, people tend to be quite misinformed about Type I and how it works. 

No matter what you know about diabetes, there are some things you should not say and should not ask when you are conversing with a diabetic.

Questions and comments that I endure on a regular basis that are cring-worthy...
(In other words, you should avoid asking these questions or making these comments)

1.  "Oh, you have diabetes...but you are not overweight, did you lose a lot of weight recently?"  yep folks, I have been asked this question.   I know I am not overweight and no I did not lose massive do not get Type I diabetes from being overweight.

2.  "Oh, you have diabetes, did you get that from eating too much sugar?"  I don't think I can even explain how this makes me feel...are you placing the blame on me?  Like I did this to myself?  No one causes diabetes.  You don't get diabetes from eating too much sugar.

3.  "Are you sure you are supposed to be eating that?" or "I know you can't eat this" or "I bet you wish you could have some of this yummy ______"  Now I know that you may be looking out for my best interest, but do I question your food choices?  Let me make my own decisions, I know better than anyone what is best for my body.  As a Type I on insulin, I can eat anything you can, I just might make my choices differently.

4.  "Oh you have great uncle, mom, sister, cousin, college roommate, dog had/has diabetes....they lost their vision/foot/arm/died/went into a coma and never woke up."  Ok, this is dicey...I know you want to connect with me by talking about your family or friend that has dealt with the disease and I don't discredit that.  But your family member and me are very different and I know very well what risk factors I have with this disease.  I am happy to hear stories about your diabetic friend or family member but I do not want to hear about the gruesome foot amputation.  I take care of myself to prevent those things from happening.

5.  How is your diabetes?  Honestly, what kind of question is this? diabetes is still not cured, its still wrecking my life on a daily basis.  My pancreas still does not work and generally "my diabetes" sucks.  I don't mind general questions about how I am feeling or how I am (I am not that sensitive)...its just when folks as how my diabetes is.  

Questions and comments  I welcome from friends, family, and even strangers:

1.  Why are you pricking your finger?  How does blood testing work?  What do the numbers mean? 

2.  What is that pager like device? (my pump)  I am even happy to take it out, show you how it works, how it is attached, and anything else you want to know about it.  I mean seriously...I have a smart computer attached to my waist...its pretty cool!

3.  What can you eat?  How do you decide what to eat?  What kind of foods do you have to avoid?  How do you make choices about food?  Notice the difference between these questions and the previous ones about food?  I am happy to answer any questions as long as they are inquiries and not statements about what you think I can and cannot eat.  

4.  What is the difference between Type I and Type II?  How do you get diabetes?  What are the symptoms?

5.  What are the complications that can come from having diabetes?  

6.  Do you have to give yourself injections?  

7.  I was watching Oprah the other day and I heard _________ about that true?  

8.  Oh you have Type I...but you are not a kid (shoot...I knew there was a reason why I couldn't fit into the clothes at the Baby Gap) I thought Type I was a kid's disease" This is a common misconception, so it is OK to ask if you are confused by someone being diagnosed in their late 20's . 

Ask away my friends...just keep in mind what questions are appropriate and which ones are just down-right not cool.  Oh and in general I am open to any other questions about my life...since you know...diabetes isn't all I do! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mouthwatering Monday

Current Blood sugar:   148

Today's Prompt: “Mouthwatering Monday” – Carrot sticks and potato chips have a similar crunch, but the similarities end there. What’s your favorite snack? 

My favorite snack?  This one is not hard at all.  For a salty snack I love mixed nuts.  They are low in carb and work well for satisfying my hunger and not wrecking my blood sugar.  I have recently started making my own roasted nuts, it's cheaper that way!   I also like to make sugar coated pecans using xylitol (natural, low carb sugar replacement).

For a sweet snack I like dark chocolate.  Sometimes I eat dark chocolate chips, sometimes it is a piece of an organic dark chocolate candy bar.  Dark chocolate is good for you in moderation and it is low in carbs, so it works well in my book!  I have also experimented with several recipes for sugar free cookies and brownies.  These generally turn out well and are low carb.  I tend to save making those for special occasions...they don't last long in our house! 

Here is a recipe for homemade roasted pecans and one for sugar coated pecans. 

Spicy Roasted Pecans
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
A dash of cumin
2 cups pecan halves and pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add chili powder, salt and pepper and stir to blend. Remove from heat. Add pecans and stir to coat. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pecans are golden, about 8
minutes. Cool. Coarsely chop pecans. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.) from: 

or just use salt to taste if you prefer plain non-spicy pecans
Sugar Coated Pecans
this is a good link to a recipe I have done in the past that works.  Use whatever sugar replacement you like, if that is what fits your needs! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

World Diabetes Day

Current Bloodsugar: 130...after a long walk with a friend, I feel pretty content about this number, not bad, not great, but diabetes is not on my mind at the moment.

Today's Prompt: World Diabetes Day – Today is World Diabetes Day, recognized by the United Nations, so across the globe people are taking an action to raise diabetes awareness. What about you?

As important as advocacy is for diabetes, I am not doing much of anything today to raise awareness.  Well, I am blogging and I will post some links and information on various multimedia and social pages, but that is the extent of my activism for the day. 

I think it is so important to have World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness month, I do not intend to discredit the value of these events by not putting forth more effort for diabetes awareness today.  I guess it is my tendency to be shy which prevents me from standing on my rooftop and screaming about the importance of education and activism.
So what am I doing to promote awareness for diabetes?  I check my blood sugar in plain view of others.  I don't go through extreme measures to hide my pump.  I vocalize my needs to others.  Sure, I don't say to people..."Hello, my name is Melissa and I have Type I diabetes" when we first meet, but I don't hide the fact if it comes up in conversation.  I answer questions and ask questions and dispel myths when I get a chance.  I proudly wear my medical ID bracelet and welcome questions and comments.  I do these things every day.  This is my way of advocating.  Diabetes is a invisible disease.  I look normal on the outside but I am not.  How are folks to learn more about this disease if I hide it from the world?

It's Sunday and I am spending the day relaxing and spending time doing the things I enjoy.  I am living my life and trying to be normal and not letting diabetes get me down today.  Sometimes that is all the activism I need.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Feel the Burn

Current Blood sugar: 87...whoohoo...I love numbers like this!  After exercise with very little insulin left on board and it's almost time to eat lunch.  This is one of those times I start to think I have it all under control....better not get too sure of myself!

Today's Prompt: Unexpected Exercise – Raking leaves can be such a chore, but it can also be a great way to sneak in some exercise. What are some ways you sneak in some exercise? (And no, we don’t think “Jedi mind tricks” count!)

I have never been one for exercise.  I like doing outdoorsy type activities, hiking, biking, walking, etc...but tell me I have to exercise and I am likely to kick you in the shin (well not really, I am really a non-violent person!).  I just don't like exercising for the sake of exercising.

I do however like to be healthy and to stay in shape and if exercise is how that happens, well then so be it.  The need to exercise to maintain control of my diabetes is one of the positive sides of being diagnosed.  I now have something to force me to exercise.  I have positive results with long term management of my blood sugars when I exercise and I always feel better.  For a girl who lacked the motivation to exercise daily before my diagnosis, I have more motivation than ever to do it now.

I generally don't have to sneak in exercise since I plan exercise into my daily schedule.  I rotate riding my bike trainer, lifting weights, pilates, swimming laps and walking.  I do these things most every day or at least 4 times a week.  Scheduling exercise is the only way I can make it happen.

Exercise can definitely be a thorn in my side.  Take all of the scheduling, time, and motivation that most folks have to pull together to get an exercise routine that works and then add on trying to manage blood sugars before, during, and after exercise. 

Imagine eating, changing, getting all of your gear together and going to the gym, hoping on your bike, or heading out for a walk, only to find after you have laced up your kicks, that your blood sugar is too low.  Then imagine making the decision to either pack it all up and head home or consume more calories in juice or food than you will burn during your exercise just to be able to get through the session. 

Or imagine you are all ready to exercise and your blood sugar shows up at 250 or 300, way too high and too dangerous to exercise.  Or you have a perfect exercise session, a perfect blood sugar after the session, only to find 2 hours later that your blood sugar has risen to the 200's, 300's or even 400's.  Then you spend the rest of the day correcting with insulin for an exercise related high blood sugar.  Or how about a perfect exercise, perfect blood sugar and then the rest of the day your blood sugar plummets so that you are constantly stuffing your face to keep up with your body's need for carbs.  All because you didn't calculate your insulin and carbs correctly or you worked out harder than you planned. 

These are all of the things I face every single time I exercise.  It takes months of trial and error to get an exercise routine to the point of maintaining reasonable blood sugars before, during, and after exercise.  Not to mention, those things often change once your body becomes more efficient at that particular exercise.  It's an ongoing battle, one I face every day.  Can you see why it is so hard for diabetics to maintain a healthy exercise schedule? 

So back to the original question.  How do I sneak exercise into my schedule?  Everyday I feed and water the animals, carrying bags of feed and buckets of water.  Once a week I rake the chicken pen.  I clean the house on a daily basis.  I walk the dog, work in the garden and do yard work on a regular basis.  These are the things that make up my life and the things I love to do.  This is not exercise to me.  I guess they do fit into the guidelines for physical activity, so some folks would consider it exercise.  I am lucky enough to have a daily schedule that involves a lot of physical activity. 

Any and all physical activity affects my bloodsugar.  Twenty minutes of unplanned work in the yard can make me drop from a normal 130 or 150 to a 47 reading on my meter.  Housework and yardwork, daily chores...they all affect my blood sugar.  It is a lot of work to stay healthy.  However, I am grateful for the ability to exercise and take care of my home and family.  I am grateful I can reasonably manage an exercise schedule.  I just wish sometimes it could be a little easier. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Family and Friends Friday

Current Bloodsugar: 150....this is not bad...but frustrating after riding the bike trainer for 30 minutes, lifting weights, and dancing around the den like a madwoman to the songs of Rocky Horror Picture Show (I was watching the movie while I road my trainer...I know...I don' t have to tell me).  Now I am waiting for it to come down a little to eat lunch.

Today's Post: “Friends & Family Friday” – Who is your biggest support and how do they help you in managing your diabetes?

Awww...shucks...where to do I even begin with this one?  I have lots of folks in my life for who I am very grateful.  All of my family and friends are supportive.  So I guess the easiest way to do this is to just list some of those folks that really stand out, who go above and beyond to support me. 

Disclaimer: These are in no particular order, and there are many, many folks who I wont list on here, simply because I can't list everyone!  These are just a few of those special folks!   

1. My nephews G-man and Lil'D: G-man is only 9.  It may seem odd that I, a 30 year-old would tell you that some of my main supporters are children.  First of all, G-man is a wise soul.  He is compassionate, intelligent, and he questions everything.  He doesn't take things as the come, he wants to know the whole truth.  He asks questions about my diabetes, he listens to what I say, and he never forgets.  You know how 9 year olds are...they remember everything.  I don't have to dispel any myths with him, I don't have to explain the same thing over and over.  He doesn't question my choices or offer advice, he just gets that this is what I do and he accepts it.  Lil' D is only 5, too young to be burdened with the details of my disease.  But he knows about my pump and knows it gives me something my body cannot produce.  They both see me for who I am and not for the disease I have, and that my friends is what I call support. 

 2.  My parents, my brother, my sister, and my friends:  These folks have been there with me from the very beginning.  They worry about me (sometimes too much) and they care about my health.  They think of me when they plan meals.  Sometimes they are a shoulder to lean on or an advocate.  They love me and they are always there when I need them. I would not trade them for the world.
3.  My dog: We have two dogs and I love them both dearly.  Kyra has been by my side for the last 12 years, Waylon has been with us for 4.  Although Kyra will always be my one and only baby-girl, she is not one for cuddling.  Waylon loves to cuddle and he looks at you with soulful eyes.  I always feel comfort when I cuddle with that furball.  He likes to nuzzle against you.  He is very aware.  When we walk, he waits patiently as I stop to check my blood sugar, watching me.  He has even gotten to the point that he stops when I take out my meter, he knows it means a quick break.  When I find myself frustrated and annoyed about my blood sugar while walking, I look down and his blue eyes have such a peaceful look, I can't help but relax.  He offers a non-judgmental, unconditional support. 

4. My hubby: I am not even sure I can describe the support he gives me.  I was diagnosed with Type I during our first year of marriage.  Hubby married a laid back, easy going, active, biking, hiking, rock  climbing girl and then 8 months later was thrown into a spiral with an emotional and physical wreck of a wife.  It has taken 3 years to get back to some semblance of who I was before my diagnosis. 
 Three years to get it under control to where I feel like myself again.  Three years of shots and finger pricks, carb counting, food issues, data charts, and pumps to get to a point where I control my diabetes instead of diabetes controlling me.  It takes a strong man to deal with all of the crap we have been through in the last few years. 
There is no doubt that diabetes has changed a little bit of me and hubby still loves me all the same.  We have learned to deal with the loops and wrenches this disease throws us.  He has weathered that crazy storm.  I like to think we are stronger because of it all. 
Hubby offers the kind of support no others can.  He knows enough about my care to ask questions when they need to be asked and keep his mouth shut when they don't.  He walks the tight rope of emotions with me and always catches me when I fall.  He maintains the perfect balance between knowing enough to help and not helping too much.  He keeps me grounded and provides the perspective and strength that has allowed me to stay true to who I am, diabetes and all.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time Tested Routines and a Sneaky Dog

Current Blood sugar: 119

Today's Prompt: Veteran’s Day – Veterans Day marks end of World War 1 in 1918 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Is there something you do every day at the same time to help with your diabetes routine? 

First and foremost, thank you to all of our veterans who have served our country.  We are in great debt to you and your service.  Today's post did kind of make me laugh a little though.  Not because I have a weird sense of humor, I laughed because I do just about everything the same, every day to help manage my diabetes.  There is no one is everything.

I eat the same breakfast 7 days a week, generally at the same time of the day.  Cinnamon toast made with xylitol and egg whites.  Occasionally I throw a loop and use homemade sugar free jam on one piece of toast and cinnamon toast for the other, or I will make a spinach omelet with my egg whites. 

I might get adventurous and have fruit with yogurt, a piece of toast, and egg whites.  I have a "breakfast" setting on my pump that has the carbs and insulin already que'd up so I don't have to do any carb counting or insulin caculating in the morning.  I do this the same every day because it is predictable and when dealing with diabetes...predictability is the name of the game...although losing that game is a common occurrence! 

I excerise in the morning at the same time most days.  I do the same rotation of different exercises.  Every one of them I have tested and done a series of trial and error to figure out my insulin and carb needs to prevent lows or highs during exercise.  Most days I eat the same thing for lunch at the same time, or cycle through maybe 2 or 3 different options. 

This sounds boring...believe me it can be...but it makes my life less thing I have to think about.  The problem with diabetes is that even though I try to stay on a routine schedule and I eat the same thing results are very rarely the same.  I can work as hard as I want to manage this disease and make my schedule easier and more predictable, but diabetes will always throw a wrench in my plan.  There are always other variables for which I cannot account.  I do the best to mimic what my broken pancreas would do, but I can't be as efficient as my body should I have to become predictable and routine with the hopes of providing some sense of normalcy.

On a lighter note...from the "farm"....our shepard Kyra has an interesting relationship with our chickens.  She seems to really enjoy their company and she has learned very quickly that these little fluffy birds are walking egg dispensers! 

Our younger chickens are great about laying their eggs in the chicken house, but our two older chickens lay wherever and whenever they choose.  Since our two older chickens have slowed their laying for the winter, Kyra has began a daily egg hunt to find eggs laid by the younger chickens.  It has not taken her long to figure out they only lay in their house....

So....this is what I found today when I went out in the yard....thanks to Kyra's old age and failing hearing I was able to sneak up and snap this shot of her being ultra-sneaky during one of her egg hunts.  Luckily the egg boxes are at the back of the house so she can't reach the eggs.  Of course, you should have heard all the noise coming from the poor chicken sitting in the nest box during this sneak attack!  If Kyra were a younger more limber dog, I imagine I would have found her in the chicken house!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Words Cannot Express

Current Blood sugar: 154...I have been having some higher numbers in the afternoon...time to start tweaking my basal rates....what fun!

Today is Wordless Wednesday...I don't want to think about diabetes here are some of my favorite pictures, people (and dogs), and places I love! 

 Thompson River

 Sliding Rock

 Waylon when he was a pup and my baby girl Kyra

 Hubby and me 

 My dad and me in Thailand


 My family...well it's a little outdated...that bundle of joy there is me :-)

Winter at the mountain house with family