Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Diabetes, Labs, And Taking A Beat Before Clicking On The Link.

Back in early August, when I was dealing with a nasty viral infection that made me break out all over and feel like crap; required a slew of lab work and forced me to finally signed up for LabCorp’s patient portal. 
Bottom line it made communicating with my GP's office easier, especially since the staff was in rotating vacation mode, which resulted in unreturned phone calls re: my labs. 
I’ll admit that it was cool to see years worth of my lab work online, at my fingertips, and organized in one place by date and doctor.
At the time I thought it was great. But last Wednesday? Not so much.
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Cut to last Wednesday afternoon. 
3pm, me deep in thought and working on a project that was due on Friday.
I took a break, opened my email tab and immediately focused on the Subject Line  of an email from labcorp, letting me know that my labs were available online.
All I needed to do was click on the portal link and sign in. 

 INSTEAD, I IGNORED IT
I knew if I clicked on the link,I would be either happy... or I wouldn’t - because of my a1c .
Clicking on that link would take me down the rabbit hole of numbers that I didn’t have the time or mindset to go down.  
And at that moment, I knew I was reaching the brink re: my diabetes numbers breaking point. I took a beat, told myself my Endo appointment was the next morning and I would go over the results with  Dr. J.
Until then, I was going to give myself a break so I could assess and be proactive at my appointment - no matter what. 

It wasn’t easy to ignore the email.... at first. 
Seriously, (like for the first 20 minutes,) I kept toggling back and forth between screens. 
But slowly, I forgot about it, except for when I didn't - but I never clicked on the link.  

Cut to Thursday morning at my Endo’s office. 
I sat in the exam room with a slightly elevated blood sugar and a normal blood pressure of 120 over a number I can’t recall. 
Dr. J walked in, said hello, shook my hand and stated: The good news - your A1C didn’t go up.......It’s exactly what it was last time you were here.

And at that moment I was so glad I'd stayed above ground and hadn’t clicked on the link and ventured down the diabetes rabbit hole of numbers and what-ifs. 
I would have lost focus and been upset for the rest of the day. 

Today, I wasn't thrilled, but I ready to talk it out and make some changes. 
Sidebar: I know a 7.4 A1C isn't terrible - it's not.
But honest to God I really thought that I'd made strides since the beginning of August. 
I'd started on the Omnipod, (and really like it,) I'm taking less insulin per day, (by at least 10+ units,) and I thought my A1C would have reflected that. 
I was expecting it to be 7.0 or lower and not stuck in an the same a1c moment - and I told him that.

I was frustrated with myself and with diabetes - and I knew Dr. J was too - even though he remained calm and kept his game face on. 
We talked it out. Dr. J asked me what changes I’d made that led me to believe my a1c would be lower.
I told him about cutting back on my daily insulin intake and how I’d been trying to eat healthier. 
He asked if I’d been sick or dealing with anything that might have contributed to my A1C.
I explained about the viral infection that had me down for the count for parts of July and August... but it was November 18th. 
I was grasping at straws and we both knew it. 

He asked me if I thought I was getting enough exercise.  
I was honest. I told him that needed to do better in that department. 

And then he asked if I’d downloaded the Glooko app on my phone so I could download  my Omnipod PDM’s info, and share it with my Sorceress of a CDE, Cheryl - so she could work her magic on my basal rates, carb ratios, etc and assist me in getting unstuck. 
Sidebar: Insulet (the company that makes Omnipod,) and Glooko have been data management partners since last year - the Glooko cable and instructions is included with your first PDM and first pod order - and mine was still in the box. 
“Cheryl’s really knows what she’s doing,” he said. 
And he's totally right, Cheryl does know what she's doing. 
She and I had discussed me getting my data to her via Glooko when she was training me on the Omnipod. 
I told her I would - and I talked about doing it. 

But I didn't.

And I needed to revisit and reconsider.
Calmness prevailed and Dr. J pointed out the positives in my labs - and I love that he always points out the good. ALWAYS. 

And then I blurted out to Dr. J how I’d ignored yesterday’s email - and he looked a little surprised and asked me how come. 
Me: I knew that if I clicked on the link and it didn't take me to the number I wanted to see - I wouldn’t be able to concentrate or get things done. I’m always dealing with numbers - I knew I was seeing you this morning. I needed a break, so I took one. 

Dr.J: OK, fair enough. Set up the Glooko, so share your PDM data with Cheryl; set up an appointment with her for December. I'll be right back, I’m going to see if we have any insulin samples for you.

When he came back with insulin in hand, I'd downloaded the app to my phone and was willing to try it out. 
Because I am going to tackle those damn basal rates with my CDE. 
I am forging ahead.
I am keeping the promise I made to my healthcare healthcare team.
I am going to keep the promise I made to myself. 
And we'll see how it goes. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

World Diabetes Day 2017: Thank You, Great Job & You Are Magnificent!

Today is world Diabetes Day - Dr. Banting's Birthday and the day when those of us living the diabetes life wear blue, educate other,s about life with D, tweet, chat, and live our lives with diabetes. 
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Diabetes is hard work, it’s never ending and what we do as people living with diabetes, goes unnoticed and under appreciated by the mass, most of the time. 
So.... 
THANK YOU & GREAT JOB. 
Seriously, THANK YOU for dealing with diabetes 365 days a year with no time off for good behavior. 
THANK YOU for pricking (and dealing with pricks, personified,) and bleeding for your diabetes health when it comes to blood sugar checks, fasting labs, and the likes there of. 

THANK YOU for dealing with insurance company bullshit on a weekly basis, fighting for you (or your loved one's coverage,) and BRAVA for making it look easy. 

YOU ROCK. 

Fantastic job counting carbs - even when you have no freaking clue and wild ass guesses, included!

Phenomenal job dealing with snarky diabetes comments from people who don’t understand. 

Diabetes burnout - you live with it, and it likes to rears its annoying and ugly head from bring us down - and it tries it’s best to keep us down. 
Getting back up can be so damn hard and there are moments when it seems like we can’t.
Thank you and great f^c$ing job for falling down seven times and getting back up eight.

MONDO job advocating, educating for yourself and others living with diabetes and doing the best you are able to do, every damn day. 

Thank you for the tremendous job you do for helping others (including myself,) in the Diabetes Online Community and in real life. 

STANDING OVATION for all your diabetes victories - big and small. 

Thank you for for inspiring others, for showing them that they are more than the number on their glucose meter or A1C. 
Thank you for showing healthcare professionals that every number has a story; word choice matters, and people with diabetes are PEOPLE first.  


YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT - never forget it! 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Diabetesaliciousness Turns 10


Time freaking flies~
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10
10 years ago today, I published my first blog post. 
I had no clue what I was doing - clearly that's obvious from my blog's name. 
I knew that I had something to say, I wasn't quite sure how or where to say it. 
Blogger looked easy enough - like a glorified word file - so I went with it.

I didn’t know that the DOC (the Diabetes Online Community,) was an actual “thing” and 
I had no freaking idea how much I needed my community - until I found it.

And thank God, Jesus, Buddha, The Goddess,The Spirit In The Sky, Kali,
(whatever and whomever the heck you believe in) that I did! 
These past 10 years the DOC has given me love; laughter, support, knowledge and a fantastical D Tribe that has been there through all my HIGHS and the LOWS.... and not just re: my life with diabetes. 
Over the past decade, you guys have been there for all the highs and lows of my life! 
Cheering me on.... and picking me up whenever I fell. 
THANK YOU. 
Blogging about and advocating for diabetes has changed my life; reinforced that I am not alone, altered my career path, and taught me that my greatest perceived weakness ( my busted pancreas,) is actuality my greatest strength and biggest passion. 

I learn and continue to learn from every person with diabetes - or who has a loved one with diabetes. 

 I’ve made friends around the globe - some I’ve been lucky enough to meet in real life!
AND I AM ONE LUCKY DUCK.

My community taught me to speak up and speak out - that my voice mattered - that all of our voices matter. 

The DOC taught me that people with diabetes - and no matter the type, are in this together. 

There is no "separate but equal," when it comes to diabetes types - or anything else. 

And the Diabetes Online Community has proven to me time and again, that alone we trudge up hills, together we move mountains.

Guys, thanks from the bottom of my busted pancreas for always being here for me!
 Now, back to moving mountains! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Don't Forget To Take Care Of Yourself During National Diabetes Awareness Month

I took a few days off before jumping into Diabetes Awareness Month on the blog. 
I celebrated my 40th Diaversary on Halloween (CRAZY,) had a celebratory dinner and drinks with friends on November 1, which was a fantastic way to kick of National Diabetes Awareness Month. 

Cut to Thursday me, the opposite of "chilled," and with the chills, the beginnings of a sore throat, and a low grade fever. Whatever crud I'd been running from (IGNORING,) had almost caught up with me. Almost because I was going to nip whatever in the bud before it had me down for the count! 

I went to my Nurse Practitioner, she prescribed an RX, and I spent the next few days chilling, but thankfully, leaving the chills behind.  
Woke up with a normal temp on Saturday, on Sunday I was feeling more groovy than not.
I’m still running an increased temp basal rate, (but it’s lower than it was over the weekend,) I'm starving, and I’m plowing through. 

National Diabetes Awareness Month is now officially in full swing and all of us are working hard advocating wherever and whenever we can. 

This post is your official reminder (and mine,) that we have to take care of ourselves - and not just the diabetes part, in order to advocate and take care of others this November - AND the other 11 months of the year.   
Keep advocating , listen to what your body is saying, be kind to yourself, and continue with the kicking ass. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Diaversary: It Was 40 Years Ago Today

40 years with diabetes has gone by like "THAT!" 
I plan to hang with friends tonight and tomorrow night. Initially I wanted to throw a big 40th Diaversary party - but it's been a crazy quarter. So I've decided to celebrate throughout the year!
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14,600 days ago, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. 
It was 40 years ago, today - THAT'S CRAZY. 

Also: 40 years - W.T.F. How the heck can my diabetes be older than me?! 

So what have I learned since I was dx’d way back in 77? 
A hell of a lot and quite frankly, too much for one post. 

Diabetes has taught me to appreciate and celebrate the good days - and to acknowledge the not so great ones. 
That it’s OK to laugh at diabetes and I strongly suggest that you do - and as often as possible. 
On the flip- side, It is also absolutely OK to cry because of diabetes and I encourage it.
Keeping “it” all inside is overrated and detrimental to our mental and physical health. 

It took me almost 40 years to realize that my parents weren't mad at me - they were upset at the number on the meter. Parents, keep your game face on - kids can't differentiate.  

I discovered that diabetes guilt can be an anchor around your neck that you didn’t even know you were wearing. Get rid of that accessory, ASAP - it holds you back and keeps you down. 

Diabetes is still teaching me to choose my battles and focus my energies on things that are important.

Diabetes proved to me that I was actually good at math. 

Four decades with a busted pancreas has taught me that there are moments when you feel alone with and because of your diabetes - but that if you have a d tribe - you are never alone. 
Find your tribe and never let them go. 

Finding the Diabetes Online Community has taught and continues to teach me that my diabetes isn’t better than yours - it’s just different... and in some ways, very much the same. 
So no matter what type of diabetes you have - I got your back. 
I will stand beside you and fight for you. 

I will listen and I will defend and I will not blame. 

Life and life with diabetes has showed me that you can do everything right, and still not get the results you want - but you have to keep trying. 


Life has reinforced the fact that there are worse things than diabetes.

Things like losing your parents and the people you love.

Diabetes has shown me that words matter - and that what you say and how you say it, does indeed matter. Choose your words wisely, check your tone often.

Diabetes was the catalyst for training and developing my voice, because diabetes forced me to speak up and speak out from a young age - even when it was the last thing I felt like doing.

Diabetes made me that realize that saying “I’M HIGH,” after checking my blood sugar, can result in shocked looks from strangers. 
Also: Obviously diabetes has been a huge influence on my twisted sense of humor. 

After 40 years of life with D, my empathy skills are dialed up to 11 - and that is the gift that keeps on giving. 

And during these last 40 years, I have learned that's OK to fall down - as long as you get back up. and that ssometimes getting back requires multiple attempts. 

Finally, 40 years of living with diabetes, but mostly because I am my mother’s daughter, 
I have learned that seeing the positives in life helps you get through life..  
And every year on my diaverary, I make a list of positives and based on the Diaversary number I’m celebrating. 

here's what I came up with this year.

40 Positives
1. The color of the sky 10 minutes before the sun goes down - it’s never the same canvas and it ALWAYS takes my breath away
2. Making homemade soup - it relaxes me and clears my head 
3. Eating homemade soup
4. Clean, crispy sheets
5. Swimming in the ocean
6. Salt water  - swimming in, floating on
7. Dogs - I love dogs and dogs love me
8  Photography. I love taking pictures. Photography makes me appreciate colors and expressions, and allows me to see the little things that I might never have noticed.
9. Super sweet strawberries
10. Halloween and dressing up in costume
11. Music 
12. Not many in the DOC know this, but I love to sing. I took voice lessons for years, and in college I used to rock out on the mike. 
13. Speaking of singing, SHOW TUNES are my jam
14  Hearing/seeing my nieces and nephews sing. I love watching them perform. 
It’s in the genes and it makes me happy 
15. Nailing carb count when it comes to a crazy difficult carb meal 
16. Christmas lights
17 Clouds. CLOUDS ARE MAGIC 
18. Diabetes meet-ups - also MAGICAL 
19. The DOC. I’m damn grateful that I found the DOC in 2007 - you guys have changed my life and rocked my world
20. Diabetes technology - you’ve come a long way baby! 
Now, if we could just get the prices down!
21. My DOC and non DOC children. I don’t have bio children and that door is probably closing for good sooner rather than later- but I have amazing DOC and non DOC kids who enrich my life and make my heart happy. 
Littles, Middles, Teens, and College age. I love them, I learn from them, and I am so proud of them!
23. D moms and dads who have become my friends, substitute parents, and friends for life. 
SO THANKFUL
24. The way certain shades of green make my eyes pop - Same goes for purple, turquoise, and yellow. 
25. Riding my bike on perfect day
26. Traveling - I love to travel - I need to do more of it
27. Jeans that make my ass look fantastic
28. My friends (diabetes and not,) who are family - I would be lost without them
29. Cupcakes make me happy, and for the most part - I can nail the carb count by eyeballing the circumference and thickness of the icing on the cupcake - It’s a gift, and a tasty one at that!
30. My family
31. When kismet happens
32. My parents. They are gone, I miss them terribly. 
I hate that they no longer walk this earth and the very thought of them brings me to tears. 
But I had them, they loved me, I loved them
33. Being an Aunt. No words except I love them all more than I love myself
34. Red wine, presecco, and Tito’s vodka - but not all in the same glass
35. Books. Books have been my friends since forever
36. City lights
37. Great sex and lots of it
38. The word MAGNIFICENT. It’s well… MAGNIFICENT. People don’t use the word “magnificent” nearly enough  - but I do. Learn from me. Embrace magnificent, say the word and use it often - And always let the world see how truly magnificent you are!
39. Indian Summer. Perfect weather, amazing colors and light - TRULY MAGNIFICENT, INDEED

40. Hope floats, even in the roughest of waters ~




Friday, October 27, 2017

Embracing Low Carb Dinners - And Trying Not To Over Bolus


If at first you don't succeed..... 
Since Monday (OK, really since Sunday, but that was because I had big lunch and didn't feel like eating much dinner,) night I’ve been consciously trying to eat low carb dinners for a multitude of reasons . 
Better blood sugars, trying to drop a few pounds, upping my veggie intake - all that stuff. 
Plus, low carb is easier to cook and requires less clean-up - at least in my kitchen. 
But while cooking/preparing low carb meals have been easy (tuna salad loaded with raw veggies, yogurt and fruit, eggs with 1/2 a baked sweet potato and lots of veggies, Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup,) I tend to over bolus for meals that are considered low carb. And then 9 times out of 10, I end up running low either a few hours after my meal, right before bed (and right after I've put my night-guard on,) or in the middle of the night - all of which negates the whole “trying to eat low carb dinners,” thing. 

So for the past 3 days I’ve been working hard on my bolusing skills for low carb.
As in actually looking up carb counts (which by the way - I’ve been freakishly spot on with,)  and not counting the carbs in my animal protein ( I always count the carbs in legumes or quinoa) at dinner. 
Animal protein is where I usually make my mistake when it comes to bolusing. 
As always, your diabetes may vary.

To be balls out honest, it was weird to see such a small amount of insulin flash up on my Omnipod PDM. 

On Tuesday night I had a meeting with myself and was like: If the 2.20 units don’t work out for my eggs,1/2 a medium size sweet potato, and green beans with hot sauce, no big deal - that’s what a correction bolus is for. 
Things went well. 100 blood sugar two hours later with insulin onboard, a very small glass of cranberry apple juice and a 130 bg blood sugar before bed.  

Cut to Wednesday morning, a blood sugar of 120 and no middle of the night lows. 
I ROCK. 

Wednesday dinner blood sugar was 111 and I made a tuna salad loaded with raw veggies and served with gluten free crackers. 
1.75 units did the trick and again - a little freaked out by the small dinner bolus - but I went with it. 
Went to bed with a bg of 135 and woke up at 116. 
And as I was drinking my coffee I may have uttered: WHO’S YOUR F^CKING DADDY, DIABETES?!

Pickings are officially slim in my fridge, and last night's dinner was a repeat performance. 
Eggs over medium, the other half of baked sweet potato, and the last of the green beans. 
2.75 units to cover my meal and 153 bg - all seemed right with my world. 
178 bedtime bg. 
hmmmmmm and interesting. I chalked it off as being tired - considered a full correction dose - but only gave 0.90 unit instead of the 1.50 correction because I was going to bed and I was worried going low. 
Sidebar: I don’t wear a Dex. I need to be careful with bedtime corrections  because nighttime is the right time for my blood sugar to drop.

Blood sugar this morning: 297

Clearly - diabetes was sending me a message and that message was: WHO’S THE F^CKING DADDY NOW, KELLY!!? 
And sometimes diabetes likes to f^ck with me.... because it can. 
Also, I should have known something was up when I woke up at 4:30 to go to pee and then couldn’t go back to bed.

This morning required a 6.25 correction bolus in the form of a shot and including insulin to cover the carbs for copious amounts of coffee. Then like we all do every damn day when it comes to living with our diabetes, I forged ahead. 

By lunchtime my blood sugar was 159. 
Current blood sugar: 131 as of 1 minute ago.

Takeaways
I was once again reminded diabetes is never the same disease two days in a row - and will prove that too you - and just when you think you’ve figured it out.


Diabetes can do whatever it wants - so can I. And want I want to do is to continue trying and fine tuning when it comes to managing my diabetes. 

And I’m going to take it one day... one carb... and one number at a time. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Diabetes And The Little Things That Can Mess With Our Heads

It’s the little unexpected diabetes things that catch us off-guard...and can cause us to second guess ourselves in other ways and areas.
And we have to deal, acknowledge, shake it off and get on with the business of living. 
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Sunday night with spoon in hand, I headed for the fridge, grabbed a yogurt and some clean red grapes from a chilled glass bowl, closed the door and headed towards the TV room  to watch one of my favorite shows, OUTLANDER. 
Claire and Jaimie were about to get together for the first time in 20 years (and through the time and space continuum, which made it more like 200 years,) and I didn’t want to miss a thing. 
SIdebar: If you’re not watching OUTLANDER on Starz, rectify that situation, IMMEDIATELY.

Fresh out of the shower after a day out in the sun -vanilla yogurt and red grapes in front of the TV were the perfect light and easy dinner.
15 minutes to Claire and Jamie “officially reuniting,” I’d bolused accordingly, I was giggling like a school girl, and my yogurt and red grapes were hitting the spot. 
10 minutes to Outlander, spoon in midair, half way through my yogurt and out of the blue, I realized that I hadn’t actually heard the fridge door close behind me. 

I put down my spoon, got up, went to the kitchen and saw that the refrigerator door was more than slightly ajar - the damn door was wide open! 
I went over and went in, checked in the produce drawer to make sure my insulin supply was still cold. And of course it was - it had only been like 5 minutes. 
But for my peace of mind I had to double check - insulin was too damn expensive to leave it chance. 
I closed the drawer, shut the door, and watched it close shut. 
And then I brushed my hand over the door handle and gave it a little pat.

CRISIS AVERTED. 5 minutes to OUTLANDER and all I could think was what if I hadn’t realized or wasn’t home to realize that I’d left the fridge door open. 
I didn’t care about the food - there wasn't much in there anyway. 
But the “what ifs” re: 4 bottles of insulin going bad had me hyper focusing on diabetes.

And diabetes was the last fucking thing I wanted to focus on. 
I took some deep breaths and did my best to shake it off. 

And I did. 

By the time the OUTLANDER theme music started, I was focused on a print shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, circa 1768 and on a reunion  20/200 years in the making. 
Also: SUCH A GOOD EPISODE.
Claire & Jamie back together!
Photo Credit: Aimee Spinks/Starz Entertainment, LLC
Cut to yesterday morning, after locking my front door and just as I was about to walk to my car, my thoughts went back to the opened fridge door from the night before.
I took a deep breath, unlocked the door, went to the kitchen and did a quick double check that my fridge door was right and tight like a drum. 

It was. 

I ran back outside, shut the front door without a second thought..... until I was about to put the car key in the ignition and drive away - and then I wondered out-loud if I had locked the front door.

I let out a string of F-bombs, removed my seat-belt, and opened my car door. 
For the record, I had locked the front door.
But after the Sunday night insulin “could have beens and thank God it wasn't,” I found my second guessing and checking, again - because diabetes had messed with my head and my confidence - and for the third time in 24 hours. 

Yep - it was a Monday vibe for sure. Monday vibes and diabetes be damned, I put the key in the ignition and like Claire and Jamie, I forged ahead~