January 31, 2006

Endo Appt

Tomorrow I have an appt with my endo - time to survey the damage of Christmas, a final master's project, and an engagement on my blood sugar... the dreaded A1C.... haha I know - I'm being melodramatic, but I hate the sense of impending doom that accompanies my A1C tests. I know I'm partially to blame, but my pancreas takes the other part of the blame, which is my only consolation at times like these. As I review my numbers over the past few months, I can venture a guess at what my A1C might be, but I'd rather not throw out figures just yet.

Regardless, I'm actually looking forward to my endo appt. because it will give me the opportunity to talk to him (Dr. C - from now on; I hate "endo".... does anyone else cringe at the sound of that word??? END-o???) about starting on an insulin pump. The insurance paper work has been taken care of, I just need Dr. C's okay and I should be on my merrily pumping way. When I got the call from my Pump Rep, I actually felt excited about something related to diabetes.... I can tell you that those moments are very few and far between for me, so I relished the moment by envisioning myself becoming a model pumper - the picture of pumping at its finest.... (cue harps and sunbeams)... Overall, I'll just be happy if pumping gives me more flexibility, if it lets me feel closer to "normal" once in a while, if it helps me to stop vengeful eating at night (after seeing bad post meal #s).... if it improves my control... well, that will just be the proverbial cherry on top! I still have a lot to learn and vial upon vial of test strips to use up in the process, but I am EXCITED...

January 27, 2006

Was it my head cold???

Test Strip Slip-up....
I have to fess up to a semi-major whoops I had this week. I just realized today that I didn't code my meter after I opened a new container of test strips.... and I just finished the first 25 test strips this morning... my meter was still coded on 10, and my test strips new code was 22... Grr...

Regardless, I haven't noticed a big range in my blood sugars this week, so I'm not really sure what to think of it!!! I had a major head cold and was very congested and miserable earlier this week, so maybe in the whirl of getting engaged and then getting sick, my diabetes mind shut off and I went into auto pilot... haha hard to say I guess. Has anyone else ever done something like that?

Pumping Iron...
Even though my wedding won't occur for a year and a half (Summer 2007), I've decided now is the time to finally talk to those nice people at the gym about setting up a weight lifting/strength training program. I'm a cardio queen, I love using the exercises machines and walking outside, but I seem to have a total aversion to lifting weights. I know it will help me to lose weight and get more out of my workouts, but I just haven't gotten in to it yet. I have about 10-15 pounds that I want rid of soon (as in yesterday-impatience strikes again!), so I'm really hoping that I can kick it in gear now that I'm done with my master's and have a wedding to look forward to! Any advice on this from other Type-1s?

In other news....
I went to bed the other night with my blood sugar at 104. I had a piece of string cheese and some sugar free jello and went to bed. Slept like a lamb. Woke up next morning: 256.... Recheck? Why not - 265.... *shit*... I was about to go through my usual beratement of myself, then I remembered the advice I've received through this blog and on discussion boards and I thought back through my evening... I went to bed at 9:30... which was about two and a half hours after I finished dinner, so most likely I was still metabolizing my dinner and I hadn't seen the full effect of my evening meal on my blood sugar yet. Also, I had a head cold, which hadn't really given me any questionable numbers until that one ... But regardless, it's annoying! I really can't wait to get a CGMS. I think it would answer a lot of questions that I haven't tested enough to answer yet. I know, I should be realistic and just test more, right??? Sounds easy, right?? I know!!! And yet, I still don't do it. Maybe I need to set up an incentive program for myself or something?? I'm constantly amazed at how easily this disease can unearth my faults and numerous imperfections...

Well, I'd better close before I launch into another ramble...!! Thanks for reading - I'll try to be more concise and focused next time!!! ;) Until then - thank you to all of you who congratulated me on my engagement! I'm still on cloud nine :)

January 25, 2006

Good Highs....

It's nice when I have times that make me all but forget that I'm diabetic. The past weekend was one of those times.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years now, and last weekend we went to a nearby ski resort to celebrate and do some skiing. Well, unfortunately mother nature didn't have skiing in mind for us - it rained most of the stinking day - however, we did have plenty to celebrate! On Saturday night, I had a wonderful "high" - my boyfriend asked me to marry him!!! I was completely and utterly shocked! I hadn't been expecting him to propose for a while because he just finished his bachelor's degree and had said he wanted to get settled in a career before we started making plans for a wedding. That same day I had been thinking about going on the pump (which will take place within the next month or so!!!), teaching my classes the following week, and losing weight (a constant battle). It's amazing how all of those thoughts vanished when he knelt down, looked me in the eyes, and tearfully asked me to marry him. I said yes, and I think it served a dual purpose - a word of consent and word of exclamation... Yes - there is life beyond diabetes... Yes - I can have a life and be a diabetic... Yes - I am lovable regardless of how ugly this disease can make me sometimes... YES!!!!

January 19, 2006

Impatient patient

I've been reading a lot lately about the continue glucose monitors, and I'm really wishing I could get one pronto. In my mind, I can imagine myself keeping my blood sugar in near perfect control because I would constantly know my blood sugar. "Do I really need an extra serving at dinner? Why no! My blood sugar will go too high!" This would be opposed to my current thinking "I won't be testing for another 3 hours, so that'll give it enough time to get back down.." Flawed thinking, I realize, but this keeps me sane most days.

When I was first diagnosed, I would test at random throughout the day and would be appalled if I saw a number above 180, certain that I was slowly killing myself with each out of range number. Now, if I see a post-prad. under 180 I bust a move and applaud myself on my stellar carb counting/insulin management. Unfortunately, these dances don't occur on a regular basis for two reasons: 1 - I can be lazy with my carb counting and 2 - I'm horrible about testing 2-3 hours after a meal. Hence, my need for the continuous glucose monitor... so that I can perpetuate my laziness.

My first meter was a One Touch Basic, which took 45 seconds for a test result. 45 seconds... I always felt as if it was a count down to my death, I honestly took the results that seriously. And in retrospect, it might be good if I still had that strong sense of doom with each blood sugar reading. Maybe I've become too laissez faire? My current meter, One Touch Ultra Smart, gives me readings in 5 seconds, which gives me just enough time to suck on my finger to stop the bleeding (gross, but effective!). However, my current claim for why I do not test more is because I don't have time when I'm teaching to break out my meter and test my blood sugar. The real reason - I think I'm just too damn lazy and impatient. I have a million things going on in the average day at school, and the last thing I want to think about it what my blood sugar is doing, especially if I've just had to ream out a student! But the truth is, I would probably be a better teacher if I kept my diabetes in really tight control. Lord knows I've had some days where I was swinging from high to low, and I was just happy that I could talk in complete sentences, let along lead a discussion about the symbolism used by James Hurst in "The Scarlet Ibis." But I digress...

I think my main problems with testing are that I'm impatient and I hate bad news. To a normal person, five seconds is nothing; but to me, five seconds to test my blood sugar seems like an eternity and a real annoyance. Also, I hate bad news. I hate seeing high blood sugars or unexplained lows at inconvenient times (not that there's ever a great time for either...). As I write in this blog, I'm beginning to see that even though I've had diabetes for four years, I still have a lot of issues I need to address if I ever want to have tight control. I need to accept that diabetes is a part of my life, I need to take time (albeit, 5 -10 seconds) to check my blood sugar.... So... without further delay, I'm going to check my blood sugar... :)

January 18, 2006


I've decided to dedicate this post to a list of confessions. I'm not sure why I feel led to "confess" to these things, but if anything, maybe I'll come to accept some of my bad habits through this blog.

Confession #1 - I'm a Gum-aholic
I chew anywhere between 4-10 pieces of gum a day. Granted, it's sugar free and leaves my breath minty fresh, but do I really need to chew to excess? I think I started chewing gum at a feverish pace after I became diabetic. I always hated the between meal times because I never ate a bite between meals but had to watch everyone else eat whenever they wanted. The gum helped because I felt like I was chewing something. However, over the years of diagnoses, I think the gum has just become another bad habit, like biting my nails. Any suggestions from fellow gum-aholics? Or am I the only one???

Confession #2 - Blood sugar brainwashing
I think my blood sugars tend to effect my eating patterns. If my blood sugars are good, I tend to eat reasonable meals, carb count extra carefully, and avoid eating between meals and before bed. However, if I'm having a period of horrible blood sugars, I'm likely to eat regardless of the blood sugar number and, unfortunately, regardless of my hunger level. I think I do this to spite my blood sugars.... Foolish? Yes... Do I realize this while I'm doing it? Yes... DOUBLE foolish... As my mom would say, it's like cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Confession #3 - Guilt trips
George Carlin once said that people should take trips to foreign countries and the beach, but never take guilt trips. Easier said than done, George. I've always been a very sensitive person, but I think being diabetic has heightened my sense of self loathing when I do something that I feel has hurt, annoyed, or angered another person. For instance, my boyfriend - I tend to take everything he says to heart. I fail to put the comments in context given the circumstances, and I become an emotional ball of sobbing, snotting guilt. Not some of my finer moments, mind you. I go on MAJOR guilt trips with my family. I've always been very close to them, but since I met and began dating my boyfriend (going on 2 years now), I've had to deal with major guilt issues of not spending enough time with them anymore. I know I need to just grow up and accept that this is part of an adult relationship, but it's definitely a struggle for me.

There are definitely more things I could confess to, but I'll leave you with the Cliff Notes version for now. I do feel a little bit better now, but I doubt I'm at the point of reconciliation with my faults.... in fact, I can already see myself grabbing my purse for that 8th piece of gum....

January 15, 2006

I'm beginning this blog quite optimistically - I honestly have no idea how often I'll be able to write or if what I write will interest anyone but myself (and even that may be a stretch some days), but I'm beginning this with the hope that it will help me through the good and bad times of being a type 1 diabetic.

I often wonder how diffferent my life would be if I didn't have diabetes. I can hardly remember my life before diabetes, which saddens me since I've only had diabetes for four years.. I wonder how I would handle the stress of teaching, a long term relationship, grad school ... would I handle it any better? Or, would I respond the same way, minus the rollercoaster blood sugars during stressful times?

I often wonder how much I let diabetes control my life. Do I hesitate to be more spontaneous because I'm just that boring, or is it because my mind starts to reel thinking about my blood sugar? I used to love to snow ski, but anymore I almost hate to go because I hate the bother of finding some safe place to store my meter and insulin. I also worry of going low, testing my already questionable coordination as I try to avoid becoming a human snowball, propelling down the slope.

On the other hand, I wonder if I would be so health conscious if I hadn't been diagnosed with diabetes. I exercise 6-7 days a week and I eat healthy, well-balanced meals; some days it's easy and other days I trudge to the gym, swearing I'll only exercise 30 minutes. I love to cook and prepare my own food, which I think is partially due to being a diabetic. Even though my mom is an excellent cook who prepares very healthy meals, I love having complete control over what I'm eating.

Diabetes has also made me appreciate my health. I became very depressed after I was diagnosed, partially because I realized I never appreciated my health until it was seemingly gone. I now try to remind myself that I have the ability to take care of myself so that I can have many healthy days ahead of me. I'm going to have highs and lows, but what matters most is how I respond to both - hopefully with the same optimisim that I felt when I began this blog.... :)