Diabetes Blog Week 2012 – Day 7

Welcome back to Day 7 of Diabetes Blog Week 2012!

Wow, I can’t believe the week is over already! That went by fast! :) The topic for today’s post is “Diabetes Hero:”

Diabetes Hero – Sunday 5/20: Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”.  It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3.  It might be a fabulous endo or CDE.  It could be a d-celebrity or role-model.  It could be another DOC member.  It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero??

There are a handful of people I’d like to recognize as my diabetes heroes today.

First, the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) in general is amazing, and I only wish the internet were around back in the early years of my diabetes so I could have learned so much from them when I was first diagnosed! Though I’m a pretty silent DOC member, I love how inspiring the members are–always searching for ways to beat the disease, and do it with a smile!

I was seriously inspired by the DOC in general to get on the wagon and combat my A1c, which had been riding in the mid- to high-7’s for a few years (after hitting an all-time high of 11 when I was in college). Yikes. I’m happy to report that my latest A1c came back at a shocking 6.1! (I was seriously shocked!)

So, thank you, DOC, for getting me back on the road to better health.

Second, there was this guy I met a little more than a year ago who told me about this iPhone app he was using to learn how to run, called 5kTraining. He was overweight and had started showing symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, and took up running to loose weight and keep his bloodsugars in check. He showed me the app and told me how hard it was to get started, but also shared the sense of accomplishment he had as he completed each training session.

After our short chat, I went home and decided that I, too, was going to take up running. I downloaded the app, and took off a couple days later. (I think it took me a bit to decide that I could do it!) Between all the diabetic athletes I knew online and my trusty 5kTraining app, I summoned the strength to run regularly for a while.

These days, I’m still running, though not as regularly as I was. In fact, today, my husband, father-in-law and I completed the 26th annual Coronado Bay Bridge Run/Walk! It was really fun! I didn’t run all 4 miles, but I ran as much of it as I could, and apparently finished in 46min 24sec, which was #237 in my age group and #2612 overall. Yippee! Here are a few photos from today: my husband and I, after finishing; the route we ran, according to the RunKeeper app I use; and my results per the run’s website:

So, thank you, random diabetic runner, for the inspiration to get going!



Diabetes Blog Week 2012 – Day 6

Welcome back to Day 6 of Diabetes Blog Week 2012!

Instead of choosing the assigned topic for today’s post, Saturday’s Snapshots, I’m going to go with one of the wildcard topics, “Something Good to Eat:”

Something Good to Eat – Saturday 5/19: Inspired by DFeast Fridays share a favorite recipe with us.  It can be healthy, or it can be a yummy indulgence.  Extra points if you can include carb counts and other nutrition info!!  If it’s not an original recipe, be sure to properly credit your source.

My husband and I have been having a lot of fun in the kitchen recently! He’s been really supportive of my recent kick in healthy eating, which has been awesome. We’ve been eating more and more fresh fruit and vegetables, which are easy on the bloodsugar. He’s a king of the grill and I love throwing veggies in a little olive oil on there.

I’ve also stared making some smoothies for breakfast in the morning. My favorite one right now uses Greek yogurt as the base and is really easy to whip up. I put a cup of fresh berries (usually chopped strawberries and a few blueberries) in the blender with 1/2 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt and 1 cup of crushed ice. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Trust me, it is as delicious as it looks!

Nutritional Info, based on 1/2 cup Chobani plain, nonfat Greek yogurt and 1 cup fresh strawberries:

120 calories, 0g fat, 17g carb, 3g fiber,  12g protein.




Diabetes Blog Week 2012 – Day 5

Welcome back to Day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week 2012!

The topic for today is “What They Should Know:”

What They Should Know – Friday 5/18: Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September.  The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

The main thing I wish people know about diabetes is that insulin is not a cure. It’s medication that keeps me alive, but it doesn’t replace all the thinking that a working pancreas would do. It’s a tool to maintain my bloodsugar. Even with insulin, I still check my bloodsugar, monitor it with my CGM, calculate everything that goes into my body, calculate the activity I’m doing, worry about future complications, and more.

Sure, I like to make managing type 1 diabetes look easy, but I’ve been dealing with this diabetes thing for over two decades now, and I’ve just recently felt like I’ve gotten the hang out it. It take time, patience, and lots of insulin! ;)



Diabetes Blog Week 2012 – Day 4

Welcome back to Day 4 of Diabetes Blog Week 2012!

The topic for today is “Fantasy Diabetes Device:”

Fantasy Diabetes Device – Thursday 5/17: Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary. Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

My fantasy diabetes device is really not all that fantastical. You may or may not know that JDRF is already working on creating an artificial pancreas. Though not a cure for diabetes, an artificial pancreas would be totally and utterly awesome because it would be to predict and respond to my bloodsugar levels automatically, like most people’s pancreases do everyday.

But, while the FDA decides whether or not it wants to move forward with the artificial pancreas, let’s focus on something a little less fantastical: a smaller insulin pump with a reliable built-in CGM. My pump isn’t huge by any means, but it would be great if it could more easily slip into my jeans pocket, or more easily hide in general. And while Medtronic does produce a CGM that’s integrated with the pump that I use, the sensors were unreliable and painful enough that I made the switch to the Dexcom system, which added a not-so-pleasant, football-shaped device to the list of need-to-carry’s for my diabetes care.

Let me be honest for a moment: I still get asked “IS THAT A PAGER?!?” often enough to wish that people were more educated about diabetes and insulin pumps… or that I could just hide it somewhere out of sight!



p.s. Sorry to the guy at Starbucks in Redlands last Saturday! You were nice and overly apologetic when I replied, “no, it’s not a pager; it’s an insulin pump,” but our conversation was awkward and I’d rather just not have conversations like that at this point in my life! :)

Diabetes Blog Week 2012 – Day 3

Welcome back to Day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week 2012!

The topic for today is “One Thing to Improve:”

One Thing to Improve – Wednesday 5/16: Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

One thing that I do need to improve is adjusting the basal rates on my pump. Basal rates are the baseline amount of insulin that my pump is programmed to deliver. They’re the little amounts of insulin I get every hour, the pump equivalent to taking a shot of long-acting insulin to maintain my bloodsugar through the day. They can be adjusted to fine-tune each person’s needs, which is what I need to improve.

It’s not as simple as just adding more here and there, or reducing them just a bit every so often. Each change should be calculated precisely so as to keep myself from being too low or too high at any point in the day. Insulin is a hormone that lasts in my* body for about 5 hours. So, to adjust the basal rate that’s affecting my bloodsugars at noon, I would have to analyze my basal rates at 7am and earlier. (*I said my body because, like food, different people metabolize insulin at different rates–thus adding to the complications of diabetes management.)

Recently, I kept waking up low, but then my bloodsugar would spike about an hour after I got up, even though I had determined that I wasn’t over-treating the low (a.k.a. eating too much). After uploading my CGM data to my computer and verifying when the drops and inclines were happening, I actually ended up increasing the amount of insulin I received in the early morning hours, while decreasing it in the late evening. The process of fine-tuning my morning basal rates took a few tries over a week or so until I finally got it to work decently. But it caused another problem… Since I made that adjustment, I’ve been having more mid-to-late-afternoon lows than I was. Now what? It’s time to adjust those basals again! In the meantime, I’ve been stocking up on juice and granola bars for my afternoon snack.

As you might guess, basal adjustment is an on-going process, and I need to get better at keeping up with my body’s needs!