Diabetes Included

Yessss…. diabetes is included even to music festivals. Just be glad you don’t have to pay extra cash for it!

The sun was blazing, the skin was roasting, and no school freedom had begun. Three common symptoms of music festival fever. A couple of weeks ago, my cities famous music festival had finally approached and boy was I excited! Music festivals are non-stop running and jumping around, which can lead to some dips in the blood sugar as all diabetics know. Since I’m diabetic, I had to do some planning before this more than fun event approached. Sometimes just knowing you have to plan a whole bunch before an event happens can be a hassle. There is times where I wish I could be like the rest of my friends and just GO! But……….I am not like the rest of my friends. I have type 1 diabetes and because of that I just need to accept and prepare. The good thing is when you do prepare, it’s like diabetes is almost not there. You don’t have to worry as much.

To prepare for the festival I used a small back pack for me to carry around for the whole weekend. Beware: this will cause you to become the pack mule for the time…my friends are lucky I like them so much…  Inside my handy dandy back pack I carried:

  • An empty water bottle ( They had hydration stations where you could fill up your bottle for free! I completely took advantage! Remember it’s hot and staying hydrated is super important during times like these!)
  • My PDM, test strips, and a finger pricker! ( of course this is a complete must!!!!)
  • Extra pump, insulin, or pens!
  • Fruit leather strips (With all of the running and jumping, lows are going to happen! Be prepared!)
  • Granola bars ( Got to keep the lows up when they happen!)
  • My wallet

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*TIP- Of course at these kind of events there are tons of concession stands and food trucks for if you go low, but the big thing is that when your waiting for performers and are stuck in a huge crowd, it is almost impossible to get out. That is why carrying fast acting glucose and a carb+protein snack is super important!

*TIP- Also remember to inform your friends that there are times that you might need to take a break and sit down to check your blood sugar to get it back up so you can continue. I know how bothering it can be to yourself to have to speak to your friends about these kind of topics, but if they’re your friends, they will understand! Mine did!

Now I am no expert here, and there was some things that I learned to do for next time. These included:

  • Time better for changing your insulin pump. ( The first day I didn’t realize it was time to change my pump. I ended up making my group stay behind for me to change it at last minute. Good thing good friends come in handy because they totally understood and didn’t mind one bit. Even when I felt a little guilty, they made me feel better.)
  • Bring hand sanitizer! ( Boy can food be messy and when your eating without plates and acting like a Neanderthal, it can get all over hands causing blood sugar to be slight inaccurate due to the food getting into your blood.)
  • Ohhhh and checking your blood sugar more….(Guiltyyyyy…. It’s so easy to get lost in the excitement and forget. Luckily, I did to where my blood sugars were pretty good. I also at least checked as soon as we got back and both nights I was 75 so I knew my blood sugars had to be at a good level. Pinkies crossed at least…)  But really… there are no excuses!

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BAND OF HORSES!

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Smiling too hard because I got to catch a show with my big brother!

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Goobers for wearing matching bandanas

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Forecastle “selfies”

I had a ton of fun and couldn’t express all the enjoyment that contained my two days I had at the festival. I sadly couldn’t do the third day due to a family vacation that I had to get to. I had to catch a super early air flight to Florida Sunday morning. But hey…who can complain, I was going to Florida with my family! Nothing is more fun than a vacation!

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Hello Again

This past year has indeed been crazy with school and two jobs. It has turned me into neglecting this blog that I dearly loved doing. I stopped and I honestly felt a empty spot inside of me. This blog was something that helped me open up about my diabetes and helped me spread the word of type 1 diabetes awareness. For the past few weeks I have been telling myself I need to start up again. It’s a passion that I wish I kept going, but had let other important things get in the way. Today I decided it’s time to get back on track. I am not trying to post multiple times a week but perhaps as much as once a week. Even if there is no one reading, I still want to post just because of the feeling that blogging about diabetes gives me. It gives me hope, encouragement, support, and a way to vent.

During the school year, I let stress get the better of me and honestly wasn’t the best diabetic I could be. Instead of letting that get me down, I am just trying to get better with baby steps. My A1c is still pretty good, so I at least know I am not too horrible.

The steps I have made to help me improve have been:

Setting a goal- Working out is one of the best things you can do to for your body. Especially when you are diabetic. Exercise increases blood circulation, increases endurance, strengthens your heart and lungs, and keeps your blood sugar regulated. ( Just remember to watch out for those lows!) My big goal I set up for myself is to do the Mud Run in September. It a 3.1 mile obstacle run that is a muddy mess and a pretty good challenge. It is something I have been really wanting to do and I really could use a good challenge lately. To work up for this run I am also training for a 5k run that will be in August. I have been incorporating running, yoga, and riding my bike to help me build up my endurance. I will definitely keep posted up about training with my diabetes.

( awesome training app!)

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Eating Healthy-The good thing about doing your own grocery shopping is that you are in charge of what you buy. This has helped me buy food with hardly any preservatives and that are low glycemic, which is a huge help towards keeping my diabetes under control a bit better. Of course, when I am out with friends, I will occasionally split a pizza with them or go out for ice cream. At least I know that during the rest of the day and week I have been fueling myself with healthy foods.

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Hydration- I used to drink about 60 ounces of water a day. Lately, I have been slacking off. I think it is because I have been finding water to become boring. To spice it up, I had purchased a nice glass BPA free water bottle that is fun to drink out of and bought some fun additives to add into my water such as lemons, mint leaves, and blackberries. All of those purchases definitely has helped me. The only negative is that the more water you drink the more bathroom trips you have to take! But did you know staying hydrated with water actually keeps your blood sugars regulated? Another reason to keep the water coming!

 

Inspiration-The last couple of weeks I have been researching of nutrition books that would be a good read and help me stay on a good path. Being healthy is always on my mind and is a huge passion for me, but sometimes you need an extra kick! I decided to pick another passion of mine to help, which happens to be reading. I have yet not started reading this book yet but from the reviews I can’t wait to and should be starting it tomorrow!

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Things I need to work on:

Check my blood sugar- I used to be a Nazi when it comes to checking my blood sugar, which would have me checking from 10 times a day. I have slacked off recently which is a huge no no. Lately, I have been increasing again which is a huge help. To keep me in that mindset it’s a constant metal reminder, which can be hard to do when you get lost in having fun. I have belief I can get myself back into that mindset and I’m working on it!

CGM-I have a confession to make…. I had lost my CGM sensor. On vacation it came off on the beach and so I placed it in my purse. One day I was running and used the same purse to hold my diabetic supplies and all of a sudden a huge rip happened causing the strap to completely fall off. My mom saw it and just threw away. My sensor so happened to be in there so now it is history. The CGM was a huge help towards keeping me on track and I miss that little booger big time. Luckily, I am in the process of getting a new one shipped to me.

Things upcoming:  I am going to a music festival soon, another family vacation, my very first air flight all by myself  (nervous energy affects blood sugars), school starting once again, and my 21st birthday! All of these things will play a huge role in my diabetes, so to see how things go down is always interesting. Diabetes really never leaves your side! Oh how the love/hate relationship continues…

I favor

Having to prick my fingers multiple times a day can really affect my fingers and I have plenty of proof of the thousand pokes. With that being said…I seem to always go to the same two fingers every sugar testing. Luckily, I don’t have any scar tissue yet. The favorite fingers I always go to are my left ring and pinky fingers. I can’t seem to shake the habit away.  I think I go to those two fingers because I don’t eat with my left hand, so less oils will go into my blood. I find the same issues with where I put my insulin pump. I love to wear it on my left and right hip. I favor those two places for my insulin pump because it is the most fattiest place that is on me. It’s also a great place to keep my pump from the public eye.  Am I the only one that subconsciously does this?

I am now back in school and still getting used to getting in that diabetic:student mode. I am making sure at the end of my new classes to speak to my professors about me being diabetic. I think it is very important to do this because if something is to happen, they’ll know that it is from a diabetic episode. The good news is that they totally understand! One of my professors brother was just diagnosed with type 2 and two of my  professors have it themselves!  It sometimes can be amazing how many people have at least an idea of what diabetes is, even if they don’t know the distinct difference between type 1 and type 2.  I guess diabetes will always follow and be a part of me any where I go. Such a bitter-sweet thing.

5.5*

Today is a day that all you’ll want to do is curl up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa, watching a Harry Potter Marathon. Apparently, it is the coldest day in my city since 1990. It is 0 degrees and I am seriously not planning even putting my toe out into the cold. With all be said…

I had my endo appointment Thursday and it went superb. Kidneys-good, heart-good, cholesterol-good, blood pressure-good, and lungs-good! My A1c came out to be 5.5! Which is awesome since my home A1c kit said it was 5.7. Which is very accurate and proves to me that it really is a good thing to keep purchasing.

 

I am still having low’s but they have been getting better. I am still working on them, and hopefully they won’t be so present. This week I am to fax my blood sugars back to my doctor to see if my ratios are good and to record when I exercise.

My next appointment is in March and I will surly keep up with my good work and keep my A1c in the right range! 

A challenge I will accept!

Hope to all that your weekend was nice!

New Year, New Start

Happy New Years! 

Each year I love to reflect on my accomplishments I have done. This year was a great one and I am very grateful for each blessing that has come my way. This year I achieved: finally declaring my major and heading towards my path to becoming a dietician, having an A1c of 6 and lower the whole year, and started this blog that keeps me motivated on being the best diabetic I can be. I didn’t achieved these, but I am also proud that I gained a sister-in-law and that my beautiful niece has finally arrived!

 

Now for 2014, I am excited to:

  • Start volunteering for Kosair
  • Practice yoga more
  • Train and enter in 5k and 10k races
  • Keep living a healthy lifestyle
  • Manage good grades
  • Keep up with my A1c being under 6.5
  • Lastly, to keep myself towards the path of becoming a dietician
 
Sure more might be added, but so far I will take one step at a time. I can’t wait to see how this year flies on by. Now I am off to get ready for my Endo appointment! Wish me luck!

You Never Know Who Is Watching

Truth be told, I have been embarrassed to check my sugar in public. I either didn’t want  people to know I was diabetic or for people to whisper things behind my back. I was even afraid that I would get judged. As silly as it sounds now, it was a problem that I had. As I got older I started to care less. Checking my sugar is what is keeping me healthy and that is the number 1 priority. And you know what? I grantee you that nobody even notices or thinks different about it. I will not lie and say I flaunt diabetes, because sometimes I still feel self conscious about it. When I do feel that way I simply do it all in my purse. It hides me pricking my finger and looks as if I am digging through my purse. You can even excuse yourself to do it in the restroom. Another constant reminder to myself for when I need to check my sugar in public is that you never know who is watching. It could be a younger diabetic. Seeing you do it could motivate them and let them think, Hey, If she/he can check their sugar in public, I can too! I know it is a challenge to branch out with your diabetes, but remember… challenges were meant to be faced!

Hope you are having wonderful holiday fun! (=

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Ginger bread men and ginger bread tree cookies!

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Traditional buckeye balls, cinnamon streusel bread, and spicy sweet almonds (highly addictive)

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Over Due

Last week I went to my Endo to get my lab work done. Every three months I get blood drawn from my arm for routine test to get my A1c, and  make sure my kidneys and heart are healthy. I was supposed to have this done in November, but with the unexpected trip to see my great grandmother before she passed pushed my appointment back. Now with Thanksgiving and Christmas, getting an appointment is hard to do since everyone wants to take off work. Now my appointment to see my doctor is scheduled for January 2nd which is a little ways to go.

Not to fear!

I whipped out my A1c home test kit and got to work. We keep these in my house just in case I need them and it turns out this is a just in case situation.

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I followed the instructions to a T and waited for a long five minutes to see the results.

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Woohoo! That is what I am talking about!

I am proud to see that it was in the perfect range. Although, I knew it would be good from all my hard work, it is still great to see and be proud of.

I find keeping these A1C home test can be  very helpful to improvement. If you test every month and see your number lowering, you know, “I can do this!”.  Just work hard and keep up with the good work, and you too can have an awesome A1C!

Hope you have a wonderful, snowy week!

I am Thankful For Insulin

and….FAMILY!

Sorry to neglect blogging but it is that crazy, WONDERFUL time of the year! A favorite of mine. I already started up the holiday music driving my sister up the walls. I really can’t get  enough of this joyful time. I love the elegant Christmas lights and the pine tree smells. I love the family bonding and the comedy Christmas movies (Home Alone and Elf are my favorite!) I can’t forget to love the giving and the wonderful feeling that Christmas brings.

Now enough with the Christmas talk. We can’t forget Thanksgiving like every where else does. Thanksgiving is lovely. The food, family, and insulin dosing. I promise you, insulin is a diabetics best friend on Thanksgiving!  This year we had a 20 ILB turkey! It was ginormous and I had to have one of the huge turkey legs. Thanks to the amazing farm that also was where we got our lovely veggie and fruit basket over the summer!

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We also had regular mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, pretzel rolls, and wheat yeast rolls. Safe to say I was stuffed……INTILL, we brought the crazy amount of pies out!

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Pies were: My grandmas delicious  chocolate pie with a graham cracker crust, my talented chef brothers homemade apple pie and homemade black bottom pumpkin pie, and my homemade pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust. There was also some baklava that my sister-in-law brought.

All were terrific!

Thanksgiving is full of carbs and desserts which can drive your blood sugars crazy! That is why checking your blood  sugar a lot is very important to see if you took the right amount of insulin. I even documented my insulin:carbs of that day.

(Important: My insulin to carb ratio will be different to lots. What I take doesn’t matter what to what you take. Everybody is different!)

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I am kind of a Nazi when it comes to checking my sugar. But, it sure does pay off!

When it comes to the holidays and winter months, us diabetics have to be sure to check our sugars a lot and make sure we are exercising when needed to. Trust me! I know how mouth watering all of the food and TREATS are. If we follow the triangle of checking blood sugars, taking insulin, and exercising we can indulge too! Of course that doesn’t mean pounding food down your throat. Nobody should be doing that! So monitor your self and watch for portions! Portions are the key!

Happy Holidays!

P.S. Just because it isn’t Diabetic Awareness Month doesn’t mean it has to end. Keep people aware and lets try to make being a diabetic easier!

Support is Nice

I have been gone for the past week  due to a death in the family. It was a hard week but I am finally getting back on my feet.

Regrets. I try not to have any, but one I do have is that I wish I had gotten in a diabetes support group earlier. I was diagnosed just a couple weeks before my 13th birthday and thought I was to cool for support groups and camps. Eventually as I got older, I finally realized I needed to be around other diabetics my age. I had no one to talk to that really understands diabetes.

At the age of 17, I finally went to a wonderful diabetic camp that soon led me to amazing type 1 diabetics my age and younger. I befriended a girl, who actually has a very similar diagnoses story as I did. We bonded over being healthy, being active, and other diabetics/non-diabetic things. To this day we still talk and share stories. We even send each other fun care packages on each others birthdays. We often talk about becoming counselors at the camp we met at and hopefully will do.

I say this now because I want other diabetics to know that joining a diabetes community is not weird!It is wonderful! I promise you everyone is so welcoming and you will bond immediately. It really has helped me become more educated and more strong. I no longer feel different and it has really helped me become even more in control!

Now I am off to spend some quality time with my family. I am too excited for Thanksgiving and I am ready to dose up for all the stuffing and pies I will be digesting! I can’t wait! Keep up with the good control!

Fuel Me

Exercise and diabetes can be a nuisance. I am still trying to figure it out from time to time. A lot of times, I am having to plan my exercise  to what my blood sugar is. Sometimes I wish I could just wake up and work out knowing I won’t be going low or high at all. But, you know what? I can’t change that, I can only own it and work through it!

Lately, I have been finding myself fueling my body with some good ole’ carbs before I work out. Yesterday, I had time to do a morning work out. I heated up a Cliff nutrition bar in the microwave and made a latte, making it a fast breakfast that will sure raise my sugar up and give me energy. Note: I don’t take insulin for breakfast on mornings I can work out. My sugar is usually on the lower side ( 70’s 80’s), so eating a high carb breakfast doesn’t cause me to go over 180. Must you know that I ONLY do this on work out mornings. If I didn’t workout and skipped the insulin, eating 60 carbs would sure raise my sugar up and that is not what I want and is dangerous.

I make sure to check my sugar before I eat, 45 minutes after  eating or before exercise, and after exercise.

Example: Woke up 73 and ate breakfast. 45 minutes later, I was 150. Worked out and was 67.

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I tried the Gingerbread Cliff and it was AMAZING! I am definitely going to get more next week! I also love heating them up in the microwave. It makes it almost like a baked oatmeal cookie!Although, I kind of wish they didn’t put the drizzle of glaze on it.

After getting my sugar up, I made sure to fill a water bottle up with a little bit of orange juice. I do this for me to take tiny sips during exercise in hoping to not go low. I always make sure to keep my diabetic things with me at the work out machine I am on.

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I am always low after a work out. I am trying to figure out how to not become low after. I don’t know if it is possible to not, but hopefully one day I will defeat the low!

This routine works even after a snack, lunch, or dinner. It’s so helpful to exercise after a meal because then it is not food you are forced to eat.

It is always a good idea to speak about your exercise routine to your doctor. It is no problem calling them or sending a email. It takes no time at all! (= Do what suits you!