Wednesday, February 14, 2018

#SpareARose - Save A Child

It's Valentine's Day - a day when people break bank to show their love.
Here's the thing, you don't have to break bank in order to show your love - or save a child with t1 diabetes. 

For $5, the cost of one rose - you can provide one month of lifesaving insulin, blood glucose tools, and life enhancing diabetes education to a t1 child in a developing country.
Many children living with t1 in developing countries don't have access to all of the above. 
To learn about Spare A Rose, and to #sparearose and make a donation, click HERE
 No child should living with diabetes should die because they don't have access to life saving insulin, diabetes supplies, and diabetes education. 

Be the the change you wish to see. 
#SpareARose, save a child. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Shine On, Judy Reich

The DOC received the news late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning that we’d lost our friend Judy Reich, 
It’s hit many hard - me included. I’m a mess.
I am devastated over Judy’s passing - every time I tried to put something into words I burst into tears.
This one's for you, Judy~ 
Dear Judy - 
I found out the news just as I was getting ready to go bed late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. 
It was weird - I’d just said out loud to myself, “today was better than yesterday,” and I looked at my facebook feed one last time - then it wasn’t. 
A mutual friend’s facebook status announced your passing along with a link to 8 News Now's video tribute. 
I yelled "NO" at my phone, clicked on the link and burst into tears and I couldn’t stop crying. 
I was up for hours, crying and talking online with our friends, trying to piece together the how and they whys, and trying to make sense of it, trying to find out what happened. 

And I’m still crying - and the tears keep falling.

Judy - you were a kind; funny, talented, beautiful, and phenomenal woman, I was so lucky to call you my friend, and I’m really going to miss you.

We met online first - and I’ll admit to being a little bit reserved at first, but then we met in real life at the very first UnConference - and you were so full of love and light, I was like: WOW, THIS WOMAN IS AMAZING. 
We bonded over our love of entertaining; theater, being the caretaker for our parents, my struggle to get over the loss of my mother, and both of us being maternal women with diabetes who weren’t mothers. 
That last part was big - it connected it us - and other women (and some men,) in DOC who needed feel that we not only existed - that we mattered. 
And Judy, you were a mother - you mothered and mentored so many whose lives were touched by your sparkled and joy.  

Always kind and filled with love, always making sure your friends were doing OK.

These past few days I’ve read beautiful facebook statuses and blog posts that are true testaments and tributes to the woman you were and the impact you had. 

Judy, you made a world of difference - you helped and encouraged - and you showed that 50 years living with diabetes could be done with style; grace, humor tenacity, a bit of bawdy, and boatloads of showwomanship! 

Your instant messages always seemed to flash across my screen just when I needed them most. When I was struggling; when I was feeling down or lonely - intuitively you knew it - and you started a conversation that would always make me laugh and feel inspired. 
The last time we chatted was after the holidays -both of us were short for time - it was a quick check-in with a promise to “catch-up soon, and a mutual hope that a real life meet up in 2018 was in the cards.“ 
We never got that chance and that is another reason I grieve. 
I'm sad and mad that we won't get the chance to hangout again in real life. 

Judy, thank you for being my friend and for always making me smile. 
Shine bright and shine on, because you truly are a star!
I will never forget you and will miss you always.   

And to my Diabetes Online Community Family - No matter the diabetes type and in memory of Judy, I’m asking that you schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. 

I don’t have the all the specifics, but I do know that Judy’s death was cardiac related.
February is Heart Month - diabetes and heart issues go hand-in-hand - no matter what type of diabetes you live with, because diabetes and heart disease isn't just a type 2 issue.

PLEASE schedule up an appointment with a cardiologist and get checked out. 
Do it for yourself, for your family, and do it for Judy.

If want to send Judy's husband Gary and her mom Arlene Reich condolences, 
send your cards to the Diabetes Sisters offices by the end of February - they will be forwarding them in bulk to the family. 
319 N Weber Road, pmb 163, 
Bolingbrook, IL 60490

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

So...How Many Carbs In A Slice Of Satan's Toast ?

Deadlines are staring me in the face and while doing "research" on the facebook, I saw a link to the following video. 

After laughing uncontrollably, diabetes brain immediately kicked in and thought: 
I wonder many carbs Satan's toast has & will it cause extended bloodsugar spikes? 
What do you think?!

Monday, January 29, 2018


Taste the rainbow and diabetes bitchswitch, flipped.
don’t know why some people are obsessed with carrots and diabetes - but get a fucking clue, learn the facts about diabetes, and leave carrots alone - and leave me alone when I eat or buy them - because I LOVE CARROTS. 
This happened right before Christmas.
I stood there in the veggie aisle, enthralled by the display of 2 lb bags of large and organic rainbow carrots - guys, they were seriously gorgeous, dare I say stunning?  
A literal rainbow of colors - purple, orange, beige - and I couldn’t wait to embrace the rainbow of carrots, chop them up and get them in my belly!
Bonus, they were only 50 cents more than the freakish large and weirdly uniform looking Frankenstein carrots  - and I knew they were tastier, because no chemicals. 

I’d planned on making an amazing carrot ginger soup I’d recently perfected when I got home, these carrots would be perfect. I grabbed two, 2 lb bags and walked towards the produce scale a few feet away. 
 Side bar: Bagged produce doesn’t always weigh the same, so take a beat and weigh them. 
In this case, one bag weighed a 1/2 a pound more than the other - and that would be the one I placed in my cart with the other ingredients. 
As I turned to put the other bag of carrots back, I heard someone say, “You’ll get diabetes if you eat all those carrots.” 
I looked over towards the apple bins and saw a woman standing in that aisle and with what seemed to be an inordinate amount of kale in her basket, but that's besides the point. 
She stood catty-corner to the isle, looking at me and shaking her head. 
I silently uttered ”fuck,” looked at her and said, “I don’t know anyone who eats two pounds of carrots at once and that’s not how diabetes works." 
Then I did my best to extricate myself from the lecture I knew was headed my way.
It was like the baby carrot bbq incident of 2011 all over again - but different. 

Nine times out of ten, I try and educate about diabetes every chance I get - that's what most of us do. But not this time.

This time - on a rainy and damn near freezing night, all I wanted to do was get home, put on my PJs and create the fabulous carrot ginger soup I’d been craving and which ironically, always seemed to be followed by post meal unicorn blood sugars, every time I made it. 
Which when you think about it makes perfect sense because It’s all veggies - it’s like drinking a liquid warm salad, except that sounds gross and this soup is anything but!

I started wheeling my cart back towards the carrot wall, but Apple Annie followed my over. 

Apple Annie: Carrots are loaded with sugar - they're like donuts. 
Me: Ginger Donut soup doesn’t sound like it would be appetizing. 
Apple Annie: Carrots are loaded with sugar - they do more harm than good and mess with your insulin levels. 

And in my head, I panned left to the imaginary camera and said: HOLD MY CARROTS.

In real time and standing in front of the rainbow of veggies, I stepped on my diabetes soapbox and stated: I already have diabetes - I’ve had diabetes since I was a little girl - and not because my mom fed me carrots... or donuts... or donuts laced with carrots
I have diabetes because my pancreas crapped out and destroyed the part of my pancreas that makes insulin - STOP BLAMING PEOPLE WITH DIABETES AND STOP BLAMING CARROTS.

And instead of putting the second bag of rainbow carrots back, I tossed them in my cart in defiance and walked past her.
And Apple Annie just stared at me like I had three-heads, all of which were happily munching away on rainbow carrots. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Simmering On Low Still Has The Potential To Be Hot AF

Accidents happen and patience is a virtue.
Bottom line: Make sure your hot food cools down before placing it in your mouth - and never, ever take a spoonful from the pot... unless you've made sure it doesn't have the potential to scald you. 
Seek help when something doesn’t seem right - even if it shows your flaws/stupidity/impatience to the world - because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
On Saturday night I burned the roof of my mouth. BADLY.
The culprit, a tortilla chip topped with delicious chili straight from the pot, that had been simmering on low.
It was my fault. I’d thawed out, delicious frozen homemade chili, and had it on a low simmer. 
10 minutes earlier it wasn’t hot. 5 minutes earlier it was tepid. 5 minutes after that, DEFCON 5, but by then it was too late. 5 minutes does indeed make all the  difference.

What happened wasn’t pretty, it hurt like a MOFO - I could literally feel the top of my mouth swelling on one side.  It was searing pain and also felt like half my throat was closing.
I wondered about going to UrgentCare, and after reading about mouth burns and infections on Dr. Google, I went - and even though I felt like a fucking idiot.
The Good news: Thanks to the playoff game - the place was empty and the UrgentCare team was kind - assuring me that I wasn’t the only person to end up there because of a hot meal.
The Dr. looked in my mouth with some periscope like instrument whose name I can’t remember; shook his head, and kindly confirmed that I had "a hell of a burn on the roof of my mouth.”  
He wrote and filled an Amoxicillin RX (apparently, Amoxicillin is a great drug for mouth injuries,) and gave me detailed directions on how to take care of my burn.
Directions including: take my antibiotics until I’d finished them; rinsing out my mouth with saline water rinses (made with only distilled water,)  hourly, over the counter pain meds, which I did my best not to take.
Lastly, he put the kibosh on tomatoes, crunchy/sharp foods, (chips, crackers, toasted anything,) acidic/fermented foods. And absolutely no citrus, no spice, no hot temp foods,(only tepid,) and NO CHILI.

For the record: I never realized how much crunchy, spicy, citrus, vinegar foods I actually eat.

I’m sharing for several reasons.

1. The burn happened in seconds and started blistering up immediately.  
I felt like I had something stuck to the roof of my mouth - that something was a HUGE BLISTER.

2. Pride almost prevented me from seeking medical attention - and that’s not good - and had the potential to be REALLY BAD.
Burns can get infected easily and let's face it, the mouth isn’t the cleanest place, and people with diabetes need to be weary of infections.  

I didn’t want to go and like I stated earlier. I felt so f^cking stupid. 
But I popped some ice cubes in my mouth and went - and I’m glad I did.
3. The roof of my mouth peeled Saturday and Sunday (SO GROSS,) and my blood sugars were elevated for two days.
Part of that might have been due to the fatty foods I was forced to eat - I don't know.

I couldn’t sleep and would wake up in the middle of the night to rinse out my peeling mouth with cold, salt water.

4. I was miserable.  

Thankfully, yesterday was a holiday and I was able to sleep most of the day away.
Yesterday afternoon, I took a friend on FB’s advice and bought the ingredients for Magic Mouthwash - liquid benadryl mixed with Maalox,  and made a mouth rinse that helped ease the pain, topically.

As much as I love ice cream, yogurt, cheese, and bread topped with butter, eating a combo of the afore mentioned at every meal (and in frigid temps,) gets old fast.
As does rinsing your mouth out with distilled water and salt every couple of hours and only drinking only distilled water because, germs.

Today I woke up and I could tell I’d turned a corner - my blood sugar was normal and my mouth wasn’t the first thing I noticed when I woke up.
I drank warmish coffee with cream and sugar instead of iced coffee and got back to business and in all dimensions.

5 minutes ago I gingerly ate a Kind Bar as my snack (and without much pain,) because that's all I had on hand - LITTLE VICTORIES. 

Burns are no joke - be careful, put your pride in your pocket and go with your gut.
If you question that you might need to go to UrgentCare - GO. 
Take your meds, check your blood sugars often, and last but certainly not least - take my new mantra to heart: 

Simmering on low still has the potential to be hot AF."

And of course I'm not only talking about food - but that's for another blog post, entirely~

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Diabetes: Giving Up Control To Get Control

Starting 2018 with much needed changes that I made at the end of 2017. Asking for help, giving up control to get control. 
This is me - except my hair never looks this good or this effortless. 

After my last Endo appointment in November; struggling to lower my A1C; (it's stubbornly stayed at 7.4 since July,) lower my daily insulin intake and drop weight, I decided to listen to my CDE., give up some control and let her and my Endo look at my numbers and make changes. 

And as long as I’m being honest, I was scared shitless to upload my Omnipod’s PDM to Glooko (which comes with Omnipod purchase,)and have my CDE and Endo access my info. 

Even though I have a fantastic and incredibly supportive relationship with my Diabetes Team,  old fears die hard, and I was afraid of being judged and shamed - even though my CDE & Endo have never done either. 
My diabetes team is amazing - and I know how lucky I am. 
But it’s amazing how old shame and guilt can rear it’s ugly head and cause you to NOT get the help you need. 
Showing my numbers would mean showing my flaws - which of course I have - and I know my HealthCare professionals know I have them - but now those flaws, were going to be print and available to share via Glooko. 
Also, lets talk about the the whole "control thing." 
There’s so much we can’t control on life… and our life with diabetes. 
Like you, I work hard when it comes to diabetes - and I still wasn’t getting the results I wanted. 
My a1c wouldn’t budge; I’d only lost a couple of pounds and I don’t eat huge carb filled meals very often - all incredibly frustrating. 
What I was doing wasn't working - I was taking much more insulin that someone my age and size should be taking.

I needed to give up my control in order to get the control I need and crave. 

I sucked it up, took a deep breathe and did what I was asked. 
My first round consisted of uploading/ sharing 2 weeks worth of numbers, followed by a second round of uploading and sharing 12 days worth of numbers  - and apologizing for my sucky numbers. 
4 days later, my CDE responded in the greatest of ways: 
“Kelly, please don't ever apologize for your blood sugars. You're obviously putting a lot of work into this. And these two weeks are much more stable than what we saw in the last upload. 
You aren't staying high, you work hard to bring the BG back down.”

She also told me that I was actually doing too much work  - for the results I was getting. 
Her words literally made me cry tears of joy and I posted about it on fb and twitter.

Her response motivated me to take her suggestions to heart and actually make them. 

My CDE was convinced that I was utilizing too much basal and too little bolus and wanted to closely mimic my old, "less insulin" pattern with a few changes to simplify things. 
She made drastic changes to my basal, carb ratio, and correction factors and said that if I wanted to wait until the holidays were over to make the changes, I could. 
I didn't want to wait put them into practice as soon as I received her email - 5 days before Christmas. 

The changes were immediate. 
My first 5 days (including Chinese food for Christmas dinner with my family because none of us felt like cooking,) resulted in daily insulin totals between 10 and 13 units LOWER per day, than my old settings. 
On day 6 the cold; sore throat, congestion, and cough that had been brewing in my system went all mock 5 and I caved. Setting elevated temp basal rates. 
Here’s the kicker: Even with higher temp basal for sick days, I was still taking between 6 and 10 units less on those sick days than I would have been with my old settings. 
And I’ve lost 1.5 pounds. 


Things I've Learned/Been Reminded Of
This experiencereinforced that I don’t know everything, can be too proud for my own good,  
and that I’m not great with change, even when it brings good things. 
I'm glad I moved out of my own way, shared my numbers with my team and took their advice. 

I need to upload my next round of numbers at the end of the week and will embrace what ever tweaks are required. 

Bottom line: Change can be hard  - even when it’s good. 
Admitting; asking, and taking help isn't easy. 
IN 2018 I’m embracing change and those who help me make the changes needed to become what and who I want to be in my life…. and my life with diabetes~ 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Take The dQ&A Diabetes Survey - And Have Your Voice Heard

I spoke with the folks at dQ&A last week. YEP, impressed. 
There are things I absolutely love about the diabetes products and meds that I use daily and religiously.. and there are things that drive me absolutely bonkers about the diabetes products and meds I use daily and religiously.  
There have been times where I’ve literally said out loud: Clearly, whoever designed this (insert name of diabetes technology, accessory, med, whatever), has never worn/used/taken said diabetes technology, accessory, med, whatever!  
1. It's so incredibly frustrating. 
2. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

So how do we get our diabetes POV to the people who make and create? 
A good start is signing up and taking a diabetes survey from dQ&A, ( Diabetes Questions and Answers,) and participating in their patient panel.
dQ&A was created in 2009, with the primary goal of making sure that companies in the diabetes arena (like Insulet, Dexcom, Medtronic, and Abbott Diabetes Care,) know what we want and need when it comes to the diabetes technology, drugs, and innovation. 
Speaking of innovation, dQ&A also works directly with new diabetes companies whose products have yet to hit the market.
They also rep our community. Last year dQ&A spoke in front of the FDA in support of the agency considering more than just A1c reduction when deciding whether to approve new diabetes drugs and devices. 
They backed up their claims by using a 3,500-person dQ&A survey to make and bring that point home.
And I'm so damn glad they did - because people with diabetes are more than our A1C, and people with diabetes already get judged more than most. 

You can sign up to take their survey HERE, (results are anonymous, personal info is never shared,) and your feedback about living with diabetes goes directly to the designers and researchers working on today’s - and tomorrow’s diabetes products. 
I’ve taken the survey, it’s easy and doesn’t take much time. 
Sign up today, take the survey - become part of their patient panel and participate in future surveys. Your voice matters - USE IT to help yourself and your community. 

dQ&A’s surveys are global and open to people in the United States, Canada, The UK and Europe.
 A fee is paid to every individual who signs up and takes a survey, in the form of a check, gift certificate, or a donation made to one of the following fab diabetes charities:

US Diabetes Charities

Canadian Diabetes Charities 

UK Diabetes Charities