Thursday, December 9, 2010

Diabetes, Travel & the TSA Part II

 Greetings from Cuernavaca, Mexico!



I am in Mexico helping my mom, aunts and uncle pack up my grandmother's house. It is bittersweet. This trip has been fun but also emotional. Not to mention throwing in a cold, stomach flu and wacky 50% decrease in insulin needs but those are stories for a different day.

My trip out here involved me flying from Dulles to San Diego, being picked up by my aunt and uncle and driving to Tijuana and then flying from Tijuana to Cuernavaca.  So I went through security in two different airports in two different countries. And let's just say two totally different experiences.

Dulles is making full use of the body scan machines. While I was in line one of the TSA agents started chatting with me. I asked him what I should do with my insulin pump. I knew what to do but figured I should ask. He said to just let the person know and I'll have to go through the pat down. FUN. Well he saw which line I got into and went over and told the person I had an insulin pump. So by the time I got to the body scanner they just told me to wait for a female TSA agent.

The actual pat down wasn't terrible but not comfortable either. Each step of the way was explained in detail before anything was ever done. This was nice considering the places they touched. The process is long but only an extra 5-10 minutes depending on how long you have to wait for an available TSA agent.

The agent I had was extremely nice and polite. Her job stinks. As uncomfortable as it was for me I am sure it wasn't comfortable for her either.  I kept reminding myself of this.

Security in Tijuana was a totally different experience. Like majorly different.  No worries about liquids in your carry on or taking your shoes off. I went through the xray machine and the two security guys kept telling me to take my pump off. I explained to them over and over again in spanish that it was not a cell phone as they kept saying but an insulin pump and in fact could not be disconnected. After a few minutes of back and forth they let me through the machine and then when I set it off they just wanded me let me go. No big deal. Just like what security was like in the US prior to 9-11. No getting groped for the second time in one day!

So what advice do I have for you? Hmm. Well,
  • Make sure you pack well (see this post for my packing tips)
  • Go into security with a positive attitude and and open and understanding mindset.
  • Pack your patience. You will need it!
  • If you are considering passing your insulin pump through the xray machine or have any questions regarding how the xray or body scanning equipment will affect your pump or CGM please contact the manufacturer.
I'm getting ready to fly back home so I'll do another post about my experience with security at the Mexico City airport this weekend. I've gone through security there hundreds of times so I'm not expecting anything too different but still I think it would be good to have a write up of what happened and what to expect.

After 2 weeks here I am very ready to go home. I love Mexico and I love Cuernavaca but man, oh man, do I miss being home. Especially since I'll only be home for 10 days before I am back on another plane flying west to San Diego for Christmas. Oh lordy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving today. 
I hope Diabetes plays nice.
****
This year I'm grateful for Steve. He is just an incredible human being and an even more incredible boyfriend. 

I'm thankful for my family and friends. I just adore my family and friends.
I'm thankful for the DOC. You all have been amazing to me this year.

I am thankful for many more things but I could write a novel for all that I am thankful for.
****

I'll be traveling all day tomorrow but I'll be back this weekend to reveal where I am and how my experience with TSA went.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Diabetes, Travel, & the TSA Part I

Unless you are living under a rock in the United States everyone has heard about the new security procedures travelers in the US are facing: full body scans and more extensive body pat downs.

What does that mean for those of us with diabetes, specifically those of us on insulin pumps and CGMs?

While I am not traveling until Friday (more on that later) I thought I would do a post today on what I normally do going through security. Having been a pumper for 18 years and having lived across the country from my family for 15 years I have lots of experience traveling with an insulin pump. In the last two years I have not traveled as much as I used to but I still do travel.

Going through security stinks especially during this busy holiday season. The lines. The people. The hassle. I like to think of myself as the queen of security efficiency. Two things to remember: 1. Dress efficiently and 2. Pack efficiently.

So Dress Efficiently. You know you are going to have to take your shoes off so try not to wear shoes that are too big of a hassle to take on our off! If you wear a baggy sweater or sweatshirt they are going to make you take it off so wear something underneath. If I'm wearing jewelry I put it into a ziplock baggie in my carry on so I can put it on at the gate and I don't loose anything to the bottomless pit that is my purse. This baggie trick also works well with anything you would have in your pockets like wallets, keys, change ect.  Pretty simple, right?

Ok, so now Pack Efficiently. I make sure that I have one baggie with my insulin and one baggie with my carry-on liquids I'm allowed to take and I put both of them at the top of my bag so it is super easy to pull out and put through the xray machine.

Now here is the tricky part. Over the last few years I've noticed that my Animas Ping pump makes the metal detector you have to walk through alarm. Every. Single. Time. It didn't used to but it always leads to me having to go through secondary (a pat down and them testing the pump for explosives). It was driving me nuts especially since I worked so hard to do everything as efficiently as possible. So I started disconnecting right as I put my bag through the xray machine and connecting before even gathering my things. Max I was disconnected is maybe 3 minutes. This week I read that Animas says the xray machine isnt good for the pump but I've never had a problem. So I will not recommend this to anyone but I will say that I have done it before and not sure I will do it again.

For the sake of everyone's sanity this holiday traveling season please take your stuff as quickly off the xray belt and carry it over the chairs or benches and organize yourself over there instead of at the xray belt. You hold up the security line that way. If people did that and followed my efficient packing/dressing guide the line wouldn't be as bad. 

Now to my previous question, what do these new security measures mean to those of us with diabetes. Here is what I'm planning on doing on Friday when I travel:

1. I'm still going to dress efficiently. I have a long trip ahead of me so I am dressing super comfy and putting my jewelry in a baggie in my purse to be put on at the gate.

2. Packing efficiently is probably even more important then ever. I am also going to make sure all my d supplies are easy to pull out in the off chance they stop me. They never, ever have but just in case.

3. If I have the regular old metal detector I will probably just wear my insulin pump and let the person know I have an insulin pump (if I don't and it alarms they make me walk through the machine again and again so this just speeds up the process). At this point I'll be prepared for secondary.

4. If I have to choose between the full body scan or the extensive pat down I am going to let them know that I have two medical devises (insulin pump and CGM) and no I cannot disconnect. Chances are they'll make me do the extensive pat down. I'm preparing for this as all the airports in the Washington DC area are utilizing the new full body scan machines. Sigh.


This weekend I'll report on how security went.

For now I'm off to start laundry so I can pack and get ready for Thanksgiving. Mmm.

Are any of you traveling this week? What are your "tricks" to help get you through security?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Viva Mexico!

I am missing Mexico like crazy lately. Apparently I have a major case of homesickness for my country of birth. That and yesterday was so gloomy here in DC that all I could think about was being in beautiful Mexico.







Monday, November 15, 2010

Guest Post: A Mother's Prospective

Today I have a very, very special guest post for you guys: my mom! Not only is she a pretty kick a$$ mom but she is also a true Type 1 Diabetes Warrior.  She has spent the past 22 years fighting for a cure not only for me but also for all of you.  She was the Chair of Research for JDRF as well as just finishing her term  this spring on the Advisory Council for the NIDDK. In all these years I've never really asked her about her perspective of my diagnosis 22 years ago. Without further ado, here is my mom...

 Isn't she gorgeous?

There are certain days that are such memorable days that they remain ingrained in one's brain forever....marriage, birth of a child, etc.  And then there are those that we wish  had not occurred.  The diagnosis of diabetes is one of those such moments.  Everyone that has diabetes remembers when and where they were when they were delivered those terrible words.  But as a parent, there are so many other thoughts as well.  Parental instincts kick in, protecting one's child, wishing they could take the disease instead, fear of the future, longing for the past.

All of this occurred when my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  You try to be strong, try not to let your emotions, your fears show.  But your children know you well and see right through it.  It is such a difficult time.

There is a cliche that says that time is the great healer.... I don't buy it!  But I do know that it softens the blows.  I have always say that when your child is diagnosed with a serious chronic disease you have two choices, you either go into denial or you learn as much as you can about it.  I choose that second option and it has served me well.  In many ways I do understand that it is as well a form of denial.  But that is how I cope.  I became extremely involved with JDRF and spent many, many, many hours volunteering for them.  I do think that my efforts were worthwhile.  But I am extremely sad that even after all these years, we still don't have a cure.  I feel an extreme sense of disappointment and a sadness that I have let my daughter and others down.  I will still work as hard as I can, and I still feel a sense of urgency, but I am sad.

In the mean time, my daughter has kept up her end of the bargain.  She has worked hard to keep herself healthy and she has shown such strength that I never knew she had.  She has been so graceful, loving, understanding of the emotions that "type 3" diabetics have.  Type 3= loved ones of those with diabetes.  I won't say that she has always been this way.  Let it suffice to say that diabetes and the teenage years DO NOT mix.  But I am extremely proud of the young woman she has become.  She would be my friend even if she wasn't my daughter.  I am honored to call her my daughter.

I'm wiping away tears! She is one incredible woman. I know I'm her daughter and extremely biased but she should be your hero for all of her extremely hard work to find us a cure. I know she is my hero. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mmmm...soup!

This is waiting for me  for dinner tonight. Just what today calls for...yummy Lentil & Spicy Turkey Meatball Soup! Spent the afternoon cooking.


Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Travel Observations

As I've mentioned before I've been doing a lot of traveling the past few weeks: Colorado then California for family and then Florida for a project I am working on. This has translated into a lot of time on airplanes. On my flight back from Florida last week, which was majorly delayed, I wrote down some observations.

  • Maybe it was just my flights but I can't remember the last time a pilot made an announcement about landmarks we were flying over. Remember the days when the pilot would say "the passengers on the left side of the plane can see the Grand Canyon" or something like that? Very impersonal now. 
  • Seat belts are longer! I've gained a lot of weight in the last year so I know 100% that it isn't that I'm smaller. So sad that so many Americans are so overweight that the airlines have had to install longer seat belts. 
  • Travel brings out the worst in people. Not that I can blame people after dealing with all the fees (see bellow), going through security, ect. That still does not excuse the big chip on so many travelers' shoulders.
  • Travel brings out comrade. During my delay last week because of a mechanical it was interesting how despite people being p.o'ed they still bonded together.
  • All those fees! Need I say more? Ugh.
  • Carry-on bags that should never be carry-on bags. I saw a man carry on an old school no wheel suitcase as his "carry on." Yeah. Thanks to all those fees we now deal with people taking carry-on bags that are not meant to carry-on making it harder for all the bags to fit in the overhead compartments.
Travel used to be fun. Now it's just a hassle getting to the fun part. Not to mention all the stress and consequently the high blood sugars from all that stress. 

I know there are a lot more travel observations out there but I had to stop somewhere! What travel observations do you have to add to my list?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Having a little fun

These pictures are a few years old but I love them. They show just how silly S & I can be. And the fact that I totally stink at these games! 


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Six things you NEED to know about Diabetes

Today is the 6th annual D-Blog Day. The topic for today is 6 Things You Want People To Know About Diabetes.

Well, there are a lot of things I would like people to know about this disease I've lived with for the last 22 years.  So here are the first 6 that pop into my head.

  1. Just because I am on insulin does not mean I have severe diabetes! I've never understood this. Insulin keeps me alive. This does not mean my diabetes is worse then what your grandmother has and only worries about diet and exercise. It means I have a different type of diabetes!
  2. All types of diabetes are not alike! I have type 1 diabetes, formally known as juvenile diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is not controlled by diet and exercise alone. I did not eat too much candy and give it to myself. I also do not have the type of diabetes you get when you are pregnant. Nor do I have diabetes because I am overweight.
  3. Yes, I can have my cake and eat it too! Please do not tell me what I can and cannot eat. I can enjoy that cupcake just like you can except I have to do some planning and carefully watch my blood sugar after eating it. But, I can eat it. 
  4. Just because I have diabetes does not mean I need everything sugar free! With sugar free candy/food I still need to give myself insulin because it is made with sugar alcohols. In fact sugar free foods especially candy make me sick to my stomach. I still eat sugar free jello/pudding and drink diet coke but not 100% because I have diabetes. 
  5. If you had diabetes would would LEARN to give yourself shots! I hate, hate, hate when people tell me I'm so brave because if they had diabetes they would NEVER be able to give themselves a shot. Guess what, when your life is on the line you do what you gotta do! It isn't like I enjoy being a human pin cushion!
  6. There is so much more to me then diabetes. Diabetes is a big part of my life but it isn't my entire life.  I'm very lucky to have parents who ingrained into me that diabetes would never hold me back and I have lived my life that way. I have never let diabetes define me. I am not my diabetes. 
Can I ask you guys to do me a favor? Please watch this video to help get a child much needed insulin. Pass this on to everyone you know! Thank you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight Savings

I've mentioned before that I just adore the fall. From the beautiful colors of the changing leaves to the yummy in season foods like pumpkins. I also love when Daylight Savings rolls around for the sole reason of getting an extra hour. Who cares if it reeks havoc on my schedule and blood sugars for a day or two. It means an extra hour of sleep!

A reminder to everyone to check the batteries on your smoke detectors, change air filters, oh and change your lancets!



I wish I were waking up to this!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Saturday

Laundry. TV. Heating pad for my super sore neck. Boring, I know but much needed.








Friday, November 5, 2010

Travel Warp

I feel like I am in a weird travel warp (like a time warp.) After two weeks of traveling I am finally home for more than one night! Such a welcome relief.

Today has been a difficult and stressful day where, as though on cue, diabetes stopped playing nice. The good news is no travel until Christmas.

Right now I am going to go heat up some soup and then crawl into bed. Quite the rockin' Friday night!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Joys of The DOC: Not Alone

At many times diabetes can feel like a very isolating disease. From the moment of my diagnosis I have felt like diabetes was my disease and mine alone. Sure my family had to learn all about it and how to manage but in my 7 year old mind THEY didn't have it. It was MY body not theirs who revolted. How could it be their disease too?

Oh how wrong was I! The entire concept of Type 3's has completely changed my way of thinking. The DOC gave me a title to all those people who are affected by my diabetes. I can turn to my Mom or to Steve and see that they GET IT. Sure, they don't know what it feels like to have non-stop low's or highs, or those roller coaster days that leave you totally wiped out. That's what I have  you, the DOC, for. But for the most part they get it. When somebody makes some stupid comment about diabetes Steve shoots me a look that says "they are not one of us, they don't understand."

Not only has the DOC opened my eyes to just how well Steve and my mom get it the DOC has also made me feel like I'm not alone. I no longer feel so isolated. Sure in my offline life I am not constantly running into other T1's and if I do we don't spend the time chatting about the big D. I get online to find comfort that I can't find elsewhere.

At the Taking Control of Your Diabetes Conference this past Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting two members of the DOC: Ninja George from Ninjabetic and Jaime (@JaimieH). We didn't get to meet up until the very end of the conference but we were able to sit and chat for a little while. Let me just say that they are both such warm welcoming people. I really wish I had had more time to sit and talk with them. Neither of them realized it but our short seemingly unimportant conversation was the finally little push I needed to not only blog more but to make some blog changes I hope to make soon. (Details on that to come!). The entire day of the TCOYD conference was nudging me but talking to them was the finally little push I needed. So thank you guys.  Both of you are total Ninja's Kickin D Booty! (Yes, I will do a recap/thoughts post on the conference soon.)

I'm a fairly new member of the DOC. Less than a year. In that time though my A1c plummeted from 10.2 to 7.2 (and still working to get it in the 6's. The psychological toll diabetes was taking on me is so much easier to deal with then it was before. Most importantly I no longer feel alone. I wish I could go back 22 years and tell 7 year old me that I am not alone. 

Thank you DOC, from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: San Diego Edition

After 11 days of traveling to visit family in Denver and San Diego I'm home for less than 24 hours before heading to Florida for a fun work project I cannot wait to tell you all about. I'm absolutely exhausted from traveling yesterday and the time difference between the west coast and the east coast so I'm doing a quick post with a few pictures of my trip. I have more but these make me smile especially since it is only in the 40s here in DC.

 Pacific Ocean from La Jolla



 La Jolla Cove. It was stinky because of all the pelicans but still a beautiful view. On one of the rocks near the water were 3 Seal Pups. I couldn't get a good picture because all I had was my iPhone. So cute!


 Here is the Daddy Seal who was being very loud. The Mommy Seal was swimming with him not to far away from the pups.


On my flight back to DC we flew over the Rockies. Old Man Winter has arrived in the mountains! My parents are getting excited for ski season.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day Travel


Today is ELECTION DAY 2010! I never talk politics here and I won't start now but it is important to get out and vote.

Right now I'm packing and getting ready to fly back East after 11 days with family in Denver and San Diego. It has been exhausting but so much fun and good for the soul. I swear I feel like my batteries have been recharged. This is great for my diabetes control.

Tomorrow I turn around and get back on another airplane for yet another trip Wednesday night although I'll be back home Friday night. Just thinking about it makes me tired!

Hope everyone has a good day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

22 Diaversaries

For the first time in, well, ever probably my Diaversary is not accompanied by sadness or anger. For that I have the D-OC (Diabetes Online Community) and the Taking Control of Your Diabetes conference I attended on Saturday.  I will talk more about both this week but for now I just wanted to give everyone in the D-OC a great big virtual hug. You all are awesome. 
 

Thinking about what to write about today I realized I had written about my diagnosis earlier this year over at Nacho's blog. I'm going to repost it here today. Over the next few weeks I will be writing more about my diagnosis. Without further ado....


There are certain days in every person’s life that stand out: day you got engaged, married, children were born, and the day you were diagnosed with diabetes. Wait, what? Day you were diagnosed with diabetes?

Ok, so the vast majority of the population won’t have the memorable day that is D-Day.  Frankly, it would be better if nobody has to have that experience but those of us with  diabetes clearly remember  the day we were diagnosed. Of course if you were diagnosed at a really young age your parents, I’m sure, have that day etched forever in their memory.

I was diagnosed at age 7 on November 1, 1988. Day after Halloween.  The previous year was full of changes for me: mom got remarried and 5 months before I was diagnosed my baby brother was born. I guess things do come in three’s because then it was diabetes.

A week before I was diagnosed I was in Mexico with the rest of my extended family celebrating my grandmother’s 60th birthday. Before we left for Mexico my 2nd grade teacher notified my mom that I was always out of the classroom; either in the restroom or at the drinking fountain. We sent a urine sample to the pediatrician’s office as we were leaving town. In Mexico my older cousin and I snuck candy and hid it in the bathroom we shared. I’m sure lucky I didn’t end up in DKA.

Upon our return home we were greeted by a bunch of messages from the doctor’s office saying they needed to redo the test. I went in on November 1. The night before, Halloween, my parents took my candy and told me I could have it after the doctor’s appointment. Of course, I snuck some.

That doctor’s appointment changed my life. They redid the urine test and then sent us into the doctor’s office. He was sitting behind his desk when he told my mom I had diabetes.

Next thing I know we were in the elevator going upstairs to another doctor’s office. I remember looking at my mom and seeing her trying to keep her composure. At 7 years old I knew my mom was scared and upset and it had something to do with me. Suddenly I was terrified.

Next thing I know my parents and I are in the hospital learning about shots and highs and lows and food and testing.

I would give anything to not have diabetes but November 1, 1988 helped shape the person I am today. Every year on my D-Day I get sad about “what if I didn’t have diabetes” but I remind myself of all the strength that has bloomed inside of me and the courage that has come from having diabetes. This year when I celebrate 22 years with diabetes I am going to celebrate it and not think about the “what ifs”.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to School?!?!

Today I went back to school. No, not grad school and it is only for 2 weeks. Still, I'm back in a classroom for the first time in over 6 years.

Today I started the 60 classroom hours required to get your Virginia Real Estate License. With this whole "unemployment thing" I've spent a lot of time thinking about what it is I want to do with my life. For years I've thought about getting my real estate license but just never committed. When Steve and I bought our condo a year and a half ago my interest was really piqued. Apparently the stars aligned because the timing was perfect.

So this morning I gathered everything I would need into my bag: meter, test strips, finger pricker, back up strips, glucose tabs & jelly beans, extra insulin, syringe, back up infusion set, oh and a notebook and pen.

Last time I was packing up for school was over 6 years ago when I was in college. I had spent my entire "diabetic life" packing up d-supplies plus school supplies. All this time now with out practice made me nervous. I felt like I should pack as if I were going on an overnight trip. Extreme? Yeah, I thought so too so I didn't go that far. I was only going to be 20 minutes away from home.

As I left this afternoon I realized I had failed to mention to the teacher that I have diabetes. She doesn't care if we eat or drink in the class room or if we need to get up and take a phone call or use the restroom. The only real reason to tell her would be in case I passed out. Should I tell her?

As far as the class goes I am enjoying it so far. There is a lot of information being thrown at me very quickly and in a very short amount of time.  I came home feeling excited and a bit overwhelmed. The good thing is I feel confident I can do this - at least that is what I keep telling myself.  The next two weeks are going to be intense but exciting. In about a month, as long as I pass of course, I will be a licensed real estate agent in the Commonwealth of Virginia! At that point I'll have to decide if I want to make it my new career.  I'm not thinking about that. For now I am going to hit the books!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Motivation...

...I needz sum!

Confession: I have a total lack of motivation lately. Well, not "I can't get off the couch and do anything" lack of motivation but it is starting to become more noticeable.

The other day I realized that I had only tested myself twice. ALL DAY! Luckily that day has not repeated itself but still.

I'm not sure what happened that day. Maybe I have a bit of burnout. Maybe I'm making excuses and I'm just being lazy. Either way this needs to stop. PRONTO.


Some days I feel like a Diabetes Drill Sergeant is needed. Of course, not every single day but enough to get me back on track.


Here are some September Goals I'm setting for myself:

  • Turn back on the reminder on my pump to test 2 hours after last bolus. This reminder makes my pump (Animas Ping) vibrate to remind me to test.  This alone is key. It helps me catch highs before they are out of hand.  
  • Lower the high alarm on my dexcom. I need to catch high before they are too high and harder for me to get down.
  • Basal Testing. My overnight basal is a mess. I'm either fighting lows all night or I'm fighting highs. 
  • Blog more. When I'm writing about diabetes I tend to take better care of myself. I don't let diabetes take a back seat.
I have lots of other goals I would like to set but I'm going to stick with those right now because I need to feel like I can actually accomplish something.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Manic Monday?

Life has been a bit hectic lately. But that is ok. Lots of exciting things to come!  One of which is my re-commitment to blog regularly. Saucy over at You Can Call Me Saucy a few weeks back came up with daily themes to help her blog more consistently. I'm thinking of doing something along those lines.

In June 2009 I started yoga. I did it all summer and loved it. But by the end of the summer I started noticing a small pain in my left groin/hip area. By November I could not sit indian-style on the floor and forget putting on or taking off socks. Somehow I managed throughout the winter. Well the pain isn't getting any better and in fact my range of motion is decreasing. So I made an appointment for a massage.


It has been about 2 years since my last massage. I used to go more regularly because it really helped my fibromyalgia. During that time I managed to completely forget how a massage can raise my blood sugar despite staying connected to my pump the whole time. I walked out of there with a blood sugar of 306 mg/dL. Good thing I brought a big bottle of water for after my massage. Still pretty annoying.

While I was laying there  and the massage therapist was working on my groin, quad, and hamstring I became the most relaxed I've been in a long time. Years maybe. During those 60 minutes I concentrating on breathing and feeling my muscles release years of tension.  I felt incredible afterward. For the first time since November I  have more range of motion. Maybe I'll be able to put a sock on this fall/winter!

Have you had a massage before? Ever notice a change in your blood sugar as a result of a massage?

Note: I did wear socks all winter. It was just an interesting process putting them on.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July Goals

I know we are already in the second full week of July but better late than never!

July 2010 Goals
  • Start and continue Turbo Fire
  • Eat breakfast every morning
  • Eat more veggies and less carbs
  • Cook at home 6 nights a week
  • Drink more water
  • Blog more frequently

Evil Coke

Hello, my name is Adriana and I'm a Diet Coke addict.
If I'm not drinking water I'm drinking diet coke. There is just something about diet coke that gives it a special place in my heart. Yes, I know it isn't the best drink out there for me but it sure is a treat. The best is fountain diet coke. Ahh...so refreshing. The problem is that sometimes my diet coke will get mixed up and actually be, gasp, regular coke! Oh the horror!  I always catch it right away and it doesn't have the chance to do any damage to my blood sugar.

Enter this past Friday and my track record get annihilated. 

Steve and I were grabbing a quick bite to eat before going to the movie theater to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; I loved the book so I was super excited to see the movie. Maybe I can chalk up what happened to my excitement but I think the real reason was my stubbornness.

Upon being seated at the table I asked the waiter for a glass of water and a diet coke. He brings out my dĖ†rinks and I immediately go for the diet coke and take a great big swig of it. Hmm, not tasting totally right. Take another sip. Still not sure what is wrong with the diet coke so I ask Steve  to taste it. He absolutely hates diet coke. He couldn't figure out if it was diet or regular. I took another big gulp of it and couldn't figure it out so I decide to just stick to my water.

The thing is I was too embarrassed to have to waiter bring me another one. I have asked before but this time I got shy I guess.

When I look at the glass I noticed I drank about half of it! Ugh. I check my Dexcom and  see that I'm hanging out around 130-140 so I figure it was just a funky tasting diet. At the movie theater I ask Steve to get me another diet. When the movie starts I take a few sips of the diet coke and it again tastes off. Dex starts buzzing that I'm over 160. Well, maybe I shouldn't have anymore diet coke.  Right before the movie ended I looked at Dex and a number in the 360s glared back at me. Cue expletives going off in my head. Gave myself a quick bolus knowing I would be out of the theater within half an hour.

When we got to the car I  tested and was in the 370s. Time for a shot. Needless to say I felt yucky and was really pissed that half a glass of coke would do that to me. Good thing my blood sugar came down quickly.

In the late 80s, early 90s there was this product out that was a yellow strip of paper that you would put in your drink and if it came out a dark green there was sugar in the drink. Does anyone remember this? I wish I could find it because Friday night was miserable (aside from a great movie.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Foodie Friday: Farmer's Market Edition

I talk a lot about diabetes on this blog, hence the name, but today I am going to talk about another part of my life: cooking. Cooking is a passion of mine. Nothing comforts and excites me more than being in the kitchen letting my creative juices flow into a magnificent meal. The thing about my cooking is that I don't measure, at least most of the time.  I want to start a new series on my blog: Foodie Friday.  It is a way for me to share my passion with you all!

Cooking is a big part of my family. Both of my grandmothers were amazing cooks as is my mom. In fact my mom started a cooking blog Cocina Eclectica where she shares her love of cooking and some family favorite recipes. Please give her some blog love!


I've talked before about how much Steve and I love going to the Farmer's Market. It provides such a great inspiration for my cooking! On Thursday there is a Farmer's Market right outside of Steve's office so he stops by on his way home to pick up some fresh veggies. One of the stands at the market sells these amazing crab cakes that are made fresh. When Steve comes home I never know what exactly he has bought. It always makes for a fun surprise! I love putting everything together into a delish salad.


This salad included the following:
  • Fresh Rasberries
  • Lettuce
  • Green Beans
  • Tomato
  • Goat Cheese
  • Cucumbers
  • Crab Cake
All of the ingredients, except for the Goat Cheese, is from the farmers market.

To make the salad dressing I never measure. I know but I've made it so many times that it is second nature to me. One of my favorite ways to do it is by using an almost empty jar of Dijon Mustard.  Make sure there is at least a good spoonful in the jar. I put in some olive oil. Try filling the jar up about half an inch to an inch. Next I add some vinegar.  I use Rice Vinegar or white balsamic. It should be half of the amount of oil. Then I add a pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of water. Close the jar and sh-sh-shake it! Taste it and add any ingredients you think it needs.

For the salad I wash everything really well. Then I chop up the lettuce until it is all bite sized. Next I chop the tomato, cucumbers and green beans into little bite size pieces as well. I throw it all into a bowl and pour some salad dressing (amount at your discretion) in the bowl. Mix the salad really well. Plate the salad and top with goat cheese and raspberries.

To make the crab cakes I first preheat the over to 350 degrees and put the two crab cakes (one for each of us) in to cook for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I flip the cakes and let them cook for another 10 minutes. Then I place them on top of the salad and sit down and chow down!

This is my favorite summer salad! What is your favorite salad?

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hot Hot Hot: Managing Diabetes in the Heat


It is sizzling hot up in here! The east coast has had a major heatwave this week. Temperatures have topped over  100 degrees the past few days here in the Washington, DC Metro area. Today we are supposed to get a break; that is if you call mid 90s a break. Ugh.

I grew up in San Diego where, in my opinion, the weather is darn near perfect almost year-round. There is no heat+humidity in Sunny San Diego. Too be honest, I do not do well in heat. I get incredibly cranky and lethargic. I wish I could say that all these years living in humidity has changed that but nope.

This week I have felt very blessed to not have to leave the house. Since I'm unemployed I could manage my job search from the comforts of my air conditioned house without having to go out in this heat. This has also meant my insulin has been protected from the heat.

Here are my tips for the summer:
  • When out by the pool cover pump with a light colored tower with a bottle of water next to the pump/tubing (keeps the insulin from boiling!)
  • While out running errands I try to carry a bottle of water with me at all times. I keep it in my purse next to my insulin. I always have an opened bottle of insulin with a syringe on me in case of emergency.
  • Dehydrating is a big problem for me. I get dehydrated so easily so I try to drink as much water as often as possible. One way to make the water taste a little more interesting is to put a few slices of cut up strawberries or other fruit into the water. YUM!
  • The insulin in my pump is not something I worry about most of the time since I need to refill the resivour every 24-36 hours. 
  • My infusion sets don't tend to stick too well if I've been sweating a lot so I use skin tac (works so well with the dexcom sensors too!) and make sure to have my site in a place that won't be rubbing too much with clothing.
What tips do you have for the summer?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Photo Backlog

 Today I finally uploaded pictures from my camera and saw a bunch of fun pictures that I thought would be good for a Wordless Wednesday post.


My two biggest supporters: Steve and Mom!


Me and lil bro at his college graduation this past May in Boston

Beer Float! Chocolate ice cream and a Stout. I didn't try it (darn antibiotics!) but friends said it was great!

Saw this dog playing in the Potomac while on a walk. So cute!

Jellyfish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore
More jellyfish

Dolphin Show at the Aquarium!

Steve and I saw this deer near our house a few days ago. We saw 5 deers in total.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

$100 Question

Back in April I asked What is a Cure? Today I'm going to ask you how you would spend money on finding a cure.


Let's pretend for a minute here that $100 will go a very long way. It is enough money to find a cure for diabetes. The question is how you split up the $100. You can spend it all on one area of research or choose to split it up in different areas of research. It is all up to you. There are no right answers.

How would I "spend" the $100? This is a hard question and my answer will probably change from time to time but I'm going to do my best to answer it now.

  • $25 for research projects like  JDRF's Artificial Pancreas Project
  • $30 on complications research. What good is a cure if I already have kidney damage, eye damage, ect?
  • $30 on immunology research
  • $15 on prevention research
How would you spend $100 to cure diabetes?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Five

It's Friday! Woohoo it is finally Friday! Since I've spent the last month sick I've spent way too much time watching television. Way. Too. Much. TV.  So what have I been watching?


1. True Blood.  I'm so thrilled that this show is back for the 3rd season. Even Snoop Dogg has True Blood fever. Check out his terrible-yet-good new video:



2. Food Network. I'm slightly obsessed with Food Network. Although while I was sick I was hardly hungry I couldn't stop watching this channel. Steve can't complain now because this week I've been cooking up a storm thanks to ideas I got from watching the different shows on the Food Network.

3. So You Think You Can Dance. I love to dance but I sure don't have the talent that the contestants on this show have. I love all the choreography.  This show makes me want to get up start dancing! Now that Mary Murphey isn't a judge Steve might actually start watching this show with me again. He can't stand her laugh.

4.  Real Housewives of New York/New Jersey. Holy Catfights! Enough said.

5. Top Chef DC. I love Top Chef and I love this season even more because it was filled here in DC. I do have a bit of a confession to make. I didn't see the first episode that aired on Wednesday. My DVR didn't tape it! So I'll catch it next week. Even though I have yet to see an episode I just know I'll still love this show.

Since I write about diabetes in this blog I couldn't write about TV shows I've been watching and not mention the show I saw yesterday:

6. Angel.  Yesterday I caught an episode from Season 5 called Harm's Way in which all the vampires in the law firm have their blood tested to see if they have been feeding on humans. They zoomed in and they used a One Touch meter except instead of saying the blood glucose it said "negative" or "positive." Gave me a good chuckle.

What show's have you been watching? Have a good weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And She Reappears

I know, I know. Somehow I managed to fall off the face of the blogworld. May was a brutal month for me. Just read about it here. I've spent the first half of June pretty much just trying to recover and regain my footing.

What have I been doing? Aside from the continuing job search I've had my nose buried in a book.

I am about 100 pages away from finishing the second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, which means I need to head back out to the bookstore and pick up the third and final book in the trilogy.


A few months ago my mom was telling me and Steve about this great book she was reading and how we should read it. I finally picked up the first book and I just can't get enough.

What book are you reading now? Have you read this trilogy yet? What do you think about it?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rethinking Food

Okay, so my last post was a bit of a downer. Sorry about that people. Illness + Diabetes don't play well.

The good news is that I'm starting to feel like my self again. Yay! Oddly, the past 36 hours I've had to lower my basal rate by 30% and yet the highest I've been is around 125 mg/dL and no lower than 80 mg/dL. Pretty awesome! A big part of that could be diet. You see, since I'm dealing with the oh so gross thrush (symptoms are 95% gone!) I've stopped eating anything with sugar: bread, rice, fruits, ect. Basically any carb except for veggies have been banish from my diet at least for another day or two. Staying away from anything that turns into sugar and keeping tight control on my blood sugar is going to help stop thrush. What a yucky and gross side of diabetes, huh?

Anyway, this decrease in basal rate has me thinking. If the reason my insulin needs have come down is a result of diet then maybe I should reconsider my diet. I am so close to my goal a1c and at this point it is little things that are going to make a difference. I'm already doing all the big things.

As I talked about during Diabetes Blog Week, I believe in moderation when it comes to diet. Maybe there is something to a low-carb diet. I love me some carbs, but maybe I should make carb-centric meals on occasion. Not only would this be good for my diabetes but also for my weight loss journey. There are a ton of different schools of thoughts on carbs and diabetes and I want YOUR thoughts. I don't think I can keep up this absolutely no carb diet I'm currently doing but I don't want to go carb crazy once I'm able to eat them.

How do you mange the amount of carbs you eat each day? Do you have a maximum amount of carbs per meal/snack?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Good Bye May

Under normal circumstances I love May. Growing up in southern California May always had great weather, right before June Gloom. May always meant summer was that much closer and school was ending. Of course how could I not love May when it is my birthday month?! Since moving to the East Coast (even when I was in the midwest for college) May brought beautiful weather before the humidity set in. May and October are my favorite months of the year.

Not this year. May has been difficult. At the beginning of the month I came down with what I thought was a cold. Turns out I had a sinus infection and bronchitis. Off I went to  see Dr. F, my primary care doc and she gave me a 10 day course of antibiotics and the ok to fly 10 days later to Boston for my brother's graduation.

When I got to Boston I was feeling 99% better except for the lingering cough. That weekend with my brother, parents, and Steve was a blast. After a visit to the Joslin my parents came down to DC and and were here for the rest of the week to celebrate my birthday. We had a great time and I was feeling alright, still had a lingering cough.

After I dropped my Dad off at the airport that Thursday (1 1/2 weeks ago) I quickly went down hill. My mom was still in town for meetings so I laid low in her hotel room. What was to be a girls weekend turned into me feeling crappy.

This past Wednesday I gave in and went to see Dr. F again. Immediately she sent me to have and xray done of my chest in case this had turned into pneumonia. Thankfully that was not the case. I still had bronchitis and sinusitis but this time added on strep throat and an ear infection. Dr. F thinks that the first course of antibiotics killed off enough of the bacteria so that I didn't have any symptoms but it didn't call off all the bacteria. She blamed the big D. DIABETES. Ugh. Diabetes makes fighting infections harder.

Back on the same antibiotics (not sure how I feel about this but anyway) but instead of 10 days I have to take it now for 14 days. That means 24 days on antibiotics with 10 days off in between. All this antibiotics led to me getting thrush. If you don't know what it is google it. Eww. Luckily I caught it before it took over my entire mouth and went to Urgent Care yesterday to get some anti-fungal medications. Last night I could hardly swallow even just my saliva and I got low twice. I said F* that and lowered my basal rate 30% overnight and stayed between 110 and 120 mg/dL.

This morning I'm better but not there yet. Through all of this dealing with diabetes has been challenging. Paying extra close attention and being extra vigilant has helped but diabetes and illness are not friends and don't get along well. The 30 day average on my meter is higher then I would like but I'm cutting myself some slack. In the past I would get upset with myself and throw my arms up in defeat. Not now. Now I am just trying to keep my mood up because this whole ordeal has been taxing.

That is why I am looking forward to June. A fresh start. Yes, I'm still sick but getting a little better every day. I'm looking forward to a healthy June. I'm looking forward to spending less time indoors (as much as I love my condo I'm getting sick of being inside!) Most of all I'm looking forward to spending time with Steve when I'm not coughing all over him.

What is your favorite month? What are you looking forward to in June?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Trip to the Doctor (x2)

For a little over a week I've been pretty MIA and for good reason! My not-so-baby brother graduated from college a week ago this past Sunday. After the graduation my parents flew back down to DC to stay with me and Steve for the week and celebrate my 29th birthday. So much fun!

Since I was in Boston for my bro's graduation my parents and I stayed on an extra day so that I could go see the retina specialist at Joslin. I have to go every 4 months, which was easy when my bro was in school there but now that he's moving it won't be as easy.

My mom went with me to the appointment on Monday. I have moderate to severe retinopathy. Luckily it isn't bad enough to need surgery. The really great news is that the spot where I was bleeding in 4 months ago has moved further away from the center of the eye! *Happy Dance?*


On Friday I saw my endocrinologist. Based on my meter's 90 day average I had a pretty good idea what my A1C would be. When Dr. A walked in she was so excited to tell me my results: 7.2%! She was impressed. Of course, we both agreed that our goal is for it to be under 7% and  pre-pregnancy goal is 6.5% or under.

My cholesterol is still high but Dr. A doesn't want me on a statin because she is concerned that "they" still don't know the effect it has on fetuses even when stopped before conception. I have never heard of this before but for now I'm going to try to get it down using exercise and diet. That and I'm going to look into natural ways to get it down (eating more fiber, supplements ect.)

While I'm being a good PWD I'm not being good with remembering to take my synthroid (medication for my thyroid.) I know, I know. This teeny tiny little pill that I need to take that will help with my weight loss and exhaustion.


In a month I am seeing the PA/CDE to fine tune basal rates ect. My goals between now and then are to take my synthroid every single day and to loose 3 pounds. I know 3 pounds don't seem like a lot but Dr. A said that weight loss is going to be difficult with my current thyroid levels. I have an uphill battle on that front but if I can lower my A1C the way I have I can do anything! At least that is what I keep reminding myself.

Remember how 3 weeks ago I was sick with a sinus infection and bronchitis? Yeah, well I'm sick again. Exactly a week after I stopped my antibiotic I get congested all  over again and my cough is getting worse. Luckily I think it is just a cold. 3 weeks of sick day rules sure does get old after a while.

Aside from diet and exercise does anyone have any recommendations on how to lower my cholesterol?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So much to catch up on

I have a bunch to catch up on but my parents are in town and today's my birthday so I'm going to spend the day celebrating with them!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Day Without Diabetes


Sorry this is posted a day late. My brother's big graduation ceremony was yesterday and we spent a lot of time with his friends and friends' families. So much fun. My mom and I are heading over to the Joslin to see the eye doctor. Wish me luck! By the way, I haven't had a chance to reread this post so it very well could be just ramblings. My parents are heading back to my house with my this afternoon and regular blogging will return.





Today is the last day of Diabetes Blog Week. Not going to lie...I'm going to miss having each day's blog topic all set out for me. I'm so glad this has been such a success.

Today's topic:

Sunday 5/16 - Dream a little dream - life after a cure. To wrap up Diabetes Blog Week, let’s pretend a cure has been found. We are all given a tiny little pill to swallow and *poof* our pancreases are back in working order. No side effects. No more insulin resistance. No more diabetes. Tell us what your life is now like. Or take us through your first day celebrating life without the Big D. Blog about how you imagine you would feel if you no longer were a Person With Diabetes.

 This topic is by far the hardest one for me to write about. I mean I can't begin to count the number of times I've thought about not having diabetes but the thought is quickly brushed aside. I've had diabetes for most of life so it is hard to even think about life with out diabetes.

I would love to think that I wouldn't go carb crazy but I think I would have a brief moment of carb overload. Mmmm cupcakes! 

No testing.

No highs.

No lows.

No needles.

The thing that would be the most amazing would be knowing I didn't have to constantly worry that a high blood sugar was causing damage to my body. Complications are scary and not to have to worry or think about them would be amazing.

While all those things seem like an amazing dream part of me will be sad. Odd, I know but think about it. Diabetes is a part of me. It is like my brown hair. One piece of me. Like Kerri at Six Until Me says, Diabetes doesn't define me but it helps explain me. Having diabetes brought out an inner strength in me that I may or may not have had I not been diagnosed. Diabetes has taught me to listen to my body, I mean really listen. I'm constantly doing self-checks to make sure everything is ok. Hard to imagine not doing that everyday. Diabetes has also introduced me to the D-OC.

Life without diabetes is hard to imagine.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Diabetes in Pictures


I'm in Boston this weekend attending my brother's graduation from Boston University. I'm such a proud big sister! He's all growns ups! Sigh. 







Saturday 5/15 - Diabetes snapshots. Inspired by the Diabetes 365 project, let’s snap a few d-related pictures to share today. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Be creative! Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures. Or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

















Friday, May 14, 2010

Move It!

I'm headed up to Boston for my brother's college graduation today. Can't believe my baby brother is a college grad already! I digress. I have posts written for this week so I should still be continue to participate in Diabetes Blog Week. The only issue will be internet connection.












Friday 5/14 - Let's get moving. Exercise . . . love it or hate it? Do you have a regular exercise routine? Or do you have trouble finding your exercise motivation? How do you manage your insulin and food to avoid bottoming out during your workout? Today is the day to tell us all about your exercise habits, or lack thereof.


I have a love hate relationship with exercise.  I guess most of us do, huh? When I exercise I have great numbers. Love that. But I have some issues with exercise:

Motivation
You would think that having great numbers would be motivation enough for me but meh it isn't. I know that I need to exercise but most days I just can't force myself out there. Bottom line: laziness.

Fear
Weird, right?  But I have a fear of how to handle my diabetes. After nearly 22 years of diabetes I should know but I have always just dealt with the lows. Other times I was running high so the exercise just brought me back down to good numbers. I'll psych myself up to go exercise after I wake up in the morning but then I'll test and my blood sugar is in the 90s or 80s and I'll put off exercise until I just don't go. All because I'm too freaked out to play around with my basal rates.  I so need to get over this stupid fear.

Pain
Diabetes isn't my only invisible disease; I also have fibromyalgia. The fibro makes workouts difficult sometimes. I can go on a 20 minute walk one day and the next time I go on the same 20 minute walk I will end up with a flare up and be in horrible pain. Until a few years ago exercise equaled pain for me. Every. Single. Time. Then I started going to pilates classes. For the first time I felt good after exercising.  Now that I'm unemployed paying for pilates classes has become harder. I also enjoy yoga and need to get back into it.

Aside from the pain my issues are totally mental. I want, ok need, to loose weight. Exercise is going to help with that. I'm really determined to get moving again.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for me? How do you handle your diabetes with exercise? What keeps you motivated and going to the gym?