Pardon the Dust While I Rebuild

Recently, there was a bit of a setback here with the blog. It had come to my attention that there was an attack on the site. Unfortunately, there were errors with my backups and the back up would work. I was able to save all of my blog posts, however the design elements were lost, images were lost (if you see posts with missing images, it is what it is) and some other error pages.

I will be updating the blog to get it back to a high quality site again, so please pardon the dust as I rebuild it.

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Weird and Funny Keywords from April – VLOG

Every month I check the keywords that people searched to get to my blog. I like to see questions that people are asking because it helps me answer people’s actual questions. Anyway, some times there are some weird and funny keywords, so here is a few of them from April – https://youtu.be/F69s2g1dBzQ

The Feeling of Guilt at 3:00 AM

Last week I posted a VLOG episode that started out with a 3:00 AM low blood sugar that required my wife to go downstairs to get some apple juice for me. Unfortunately, the same thing happened last night. I woke up around 3:15 AM to use the bathroom and I instantly started to feel lightheaded, sweating a lot and just discombobulated (first time I ever typed that word).

I instantly staggered out to my work desk where I keep a bag of Starburst Jelly Beans (thanks after Easter sales). But they just weren’t doing the job.

As I sit on the edge of the bed trying to not make a lot of noise with the bag of jelly beans because I don’t want to wake up my wife, I hear her say, “Do you need some juice?” My initial thought in my head was, “absolutely I need some because this is a bad low.” But, then that feeling of guilt sets in. The feeling that I don’t want my wife to have to get out of bed, go all the way down the stairs to the kitchen, fill up a glass of juice, bring it back upstairs and then have to try and fall back asleep. I’d much rather her just lay there and sleep.

So, I first answered her with a, “no, I’ll be fine. The jelly beans should do the job.” But I ate 1/3 of the bag already and I’m not feeling any better. I need something to react quick! Juice is what’s going to do it. But, I still don’t want her to have to wake up and get out of bed, this is my low blood sugar, not hers.

starburst jelly beans for low blood sugarsThen I somehow started to do some basic math in my head. I had my pump off for dinner because I needed to do a site change and didn’t feel like doing it until after I took a shower. So, I took an injection for dinner, then took an injection for a snack and a correction and then put my pump back on and didn’t adjust my temp basal at all. So, I realized I had a lot of insulin in my body and I needed to feed it some sugar.

So I finally gave in, “actually, I’m going to need some juice, I’m sorry. Can you please get me some? Sorry”

If you could see the speed of which my wife jumps out of bed to get downstairs to get my juice, you would think she’s starring in the new Wonder Woman movie.

As she came in with the juice, Kool-Aid last night, I said thank you and sorry again. Her response is always, “stop saying sorry, it’s fine.”

But it’s not.

I always have the same feeling of guilt every time this happens in the middle of the night. If I can make it downstairs myself, I will, but some times these lows have me extremely light headed, it’s extremely dark, 2 baby gates to step over, it can be tricky for someone fighting with a low.

[bctt tweet=”I feel a sense of guilt every time I wake my wife up bc of middle of the night low blood sugars” username=”lifeofadiabetic”]

Even after I’m starting to feel better (which usually means I’m going to go high soon because I over-corrected, which I always do in the middle of the night), she doesn’t fall back asleep until she knows that I’m good to go.

This is what it’s like to have a life partner that’s with you through thick and thin and there for you for every low and also my short-tempered highs as well (we’re still working on those situations).

I’m not sure the guilt will ever go away, but the guilt quickly turns into thankfulness and appreciation.

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Switch It Up Book Review

This book was sent to me for free in exchange for writing a review. See my disclosure page here. Links included in article may include affiliate links.

Also, read until the end to find out about a giveaway for this book!

As you may remember, my wife and I have been trying to eat a lot healthier. Not so much a diet, but more of a lifestyle change. I have been trying to cut out as many carbs as possible in order to lower my insulin usage and hopefully increase my insulin sensitivity levels.

So, when I was asked to review a copy of Switch It Up: A Fresh Take On Quick and Easy Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for a Balanced Life by Corinne Trang I thought it was a no brainer because I really need some new recipes.

This book is one of the American Diabetes Association books.

One of the main issues that my wife and I always have is repetitiveness. We find something that we like that is healthy, but then we overdo it and then we start to get bored with it. Once I get bored with something, then it just makes me want to go and eat unhealthy food that may be quick to fix for dinner.

The pictures in this cookbook are unbelievable. A lot of the times my wife may find a recipe online but it’s filled with ads all over the page, confusing cooking instructions or you have to sign up for something in order to read the full recipe. That’s why I like good ole’ fashioned cookbooks and recipe books.
So far, some of my favorites have been the Curry Spiced Chicken Breast, Avocado Corn and Tomato Salad, and Pork Lettuce Wrap with Prune Relish.

[bctt tweet=”Curry Spiced Chickren Breast, Avocado Corn and Tomato Salad and more great recipes” username=”lifeofadiabetic”]

We’re just getting started with this book though, so I’m sure we will have a lot more favorites soon.

Finally, I am going to be giving away one FREE copy of Switch It Up to one lucky winner. Here’s how to enter in order to win:

1. Comment below or on Facebook (you can use the Facebook comments below)

2. Like this post on Facebook

3. Share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter (You can simply click to tweet below)

Once doing all three you will automatically be entered to win a FREE copy of this book.

Winner will be selected on May 10, 2017.

[bctt tweet=”I’m entering to win a free copy of Switch It Up by Corinne Trang from The Life of a Diabetic” username=”lifeofadiabetic”]

All images in this post are credited to: ©2017 by Corinne Trang. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. Switch It Up is available at ShopDiabetes.org, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733. Food Photography: Corinne Trang

Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) Releases New Advocacy App – Review

If you haven’t heard of the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) yet, then you can check them out with the link and you can read everything that I’ve written about them over the last couple of years by clicking on this custom search.

I have been a huge fan of DPAC from the day I found out about them. They have done so much for diabetes advocacy that it’s unreal. They have truly made it so easy and simple to advocate. You can go to their website and just click on your reps names and send them tweets and emails. Seriously, how much easier can it get?

Well, they actually did just make it that much more easier. Like many others, I live on my phone or iPad. I’m connected to it at all times. I love apps. I particularly love apps that do good. And this one does.

Now, you can simply download the DPAC App and advocate right from your phone.

 

Well, here’s my initial review of the app.

[bctt tweet=”Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) App Review” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

Once I downloaded the app, it was super easy to set up. You can link to your Facebook or Twitter account or email if you would like. This creates your profile for others to see. I love the idea of building a community around advocacy. It helps me knowing that others are participating in some of the same efforts that I am.

The profile set up part was super easy.

Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition - DPAC App 1

 

By inputting your address, the app is able to figure out exactly who your reps and Senators are and makes it super easy to then contact them.

The next part was to simply take action, already. For me, the easiest, quickest thing to do was going to be to Tweet my Representative. So, that’s what I clicked on. Once you click on Tweet your Representative, a second option pops up for which one you want to tweet to. Click on the button and it will automatically draft your tweet for you. You can add more to the tweet if more characters are available. If you don’t want to edit, then just simply send the tweet.

Finally, you will get confirmation of your tweet and you can go back and start taking more actions.

Earning Points

People are driven by success. Success can be measured in any way that you want to. I am super competitive, in anything. I compete against my diabetes to beat it. I compete against fellow advocates, because I don’t want to be out-advocated. It drives the advocacy efforts.

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Doing more to collect points is a way to keep people engaged and keep people doing more. If you’re last on the leaderboard and you feel like you’ve done enough, chances are, you haven’t, so you will want to do more.

Do More.

It’s a quote I have everywhere around my life. Simply, Do More.

[bctt tweet=”Simply Do, Then Do More.” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

So, there’s my review. The app is super easy to navigate. It really does make advocating so easy. You can do this while waiting in your doctor’s office, while you’re waiting for the water to boil for dinner, in the bathroom, waiting for your coffee to brew, anywhere!

Download the app here (iOS Link)

Get Up Out That Seat

First off, Happy Easter everybody.

I recently wrote about my decision to purchase an Apple Watch to help in my diabetes management. One of my favorite things that I didn’t talk about was how the watch reminds me to stand up. As someone who owns a digital marketing agency, an e-commerce craft site and a multitude of affiliate marketing websites, I spend a lot of time in my chair all day. Like, a lot of time. Some times up to 16 hours a day just sitting.

All of that sitting is just horrible.

I have the app set up to remind me to stand up once every 30 minutes. I tend to work, when I plan it out, with the Pomodoro Technique which is work on one task only for 25 minutes an then take 5 minute break and then start back up for 25 minutes. So, I plan my days in 25 minute blocks. During those 5 minutes, I try and stand up and walk around or get a quick game of hide and seek with the kid (perks of working from home).

There are some days that I just sit for 3-4 hours at a time without getting up and oblivious to the world around me. Those are usually project launch days! The watch helps remind me with a little vibration every 30 minutes.

The more and more I use the watch and all of it’s features, the more and more I love it and can’t wait for the next product that Apple releases that can help manage my diabetes.

Apple Working on a Top Secret Diabetes Project

So, apparently Apple has a secret team of engineers that are working on something diabetes related. I’ve seen it called a “diabetes treatment” as noted in this CNBC Article:

Apple has a secret team working on the holy grail for treating diabetes

[bctt tweet=”Apple is working on a top secret diabetes project and that’s awesome!” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

What that treatment is seems to be a noninvasive continuous glucose monitor. If this would be built into an Apple Watch, then I guess I will be returning the one I just recently purchased to help me keep track of certain vitals and I will be scooping this new one up whenever it comes out.

This also seems to be the next great fight between tech monsters Apple and Google. Google has been working on the contact lenses for a while now and I still don’t know how those would work. Imagine the FDA approval process on those to be able to dose insulin…. take a number and sit down next to Beetlejuice.

I’ve expressed on my site in the past how I’ve gone from hating everything that Apple stood for and people who used Apple to being an “Apple Fan Boy” and only using Apple products (iMac, 3 iPads, iPhone 7Plus, MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, Apple TV), so to say that I’ve been hoping and wishing for an Apple product to use to help me with this disease would be an understatement.

I’ve been waiting for the day to be able to open up an app on my phone or watch and see everything that I need at that point to make a decision and then bolus from there.

So, here’s to you Apple, doing what you do best. But, can we get back to the innovation days of when Mr. Jobs was there? Please

CGM Improves Quality of Life

When I first read this short article outlining a study titled, “Continuous Glucose Monitoring Improves Quality of Life in T1DM” my initial reaction is….’thanks captain obvious”

The study was conducted by Dr. William Polonsky who I respect to the highest levels. The study was also funded by Dexcom, which is why the study was done, as a simple marketing angle for Dexcom.

[bctt tweet=”I’m a big fan of Dr. William Polonsky and respect him to the highest levels” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

Once I really started to think about how a CGM can improve the quality of someone’s life and how obvious that is, I then began to think about how it could in fact decrease the quality of life.

The study mentions that the group with the CGM’s showed a greater decrease in diabetes distress. I’m not 100% sure what distress is defined as, but I know when I wear a CGM, I feel more confident that I’m in more “control” of the situation because I have real-time data (or as close to real-time as I can get).

However, at the same time, it’s a constant reminder to me that I am connected to this device and I’m constantly looking at my watch or phone or PDM to see what my blood sugar levels are. That to me, gets tiring and I get burned out from it quickly and I’d say that it increases my diabetes distress.

The point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes I see the headlines of studies that are released and my initial reaction is exactly what I said above, “no crap, I could have told you that” but at the same time, I now realize that maybe it’s not as much of a no-brainer as I originally thought.

Another example is studies that have been released stating that insulin pump therapy may provide better results than MDI. (Don’t quote me on the exact study, but I know I’ve seen it out there). I would initially say, “yea, of course”. But then again, I’ve taken pump breaks and have done just as well on MDI as I did on the pump, so maybe it’s not as obvious as I once thought.

Bottom line is this… don’t be a headline reader. Click on the articles and read the information inside, the meat and potatoes if you will.

Learning from Other Health Communities

Deciding to start this blog almost 10 years ago has totally changed my life. It has provided me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t start it. One example is the ability to meet and talk with people who live with other chronic conditions.

For so many years, I was only surrounded with others who were living with diabetes. Well, after I started blogging, not before, because that’s one of the primary reasons why I started to write in the first place. So, when I thought about chronic diseases, I really just thought about diabetes and how the diabetes world works.

It wasn’t until I started meeting people with other diseases that I was really  able to open up my mind and start thinking about my own disease in a different manner. It allowed me to be open minded about new disease management techniques and questions to ask my doctors. It also made me realize that as someone with type 1 diabetes, I might actually be at risk for some of these other diseases that I see others writing and talking about.

I would start to learn more about certain diseases and conditions because if I was at risk for them, I want to know to warning signs of them. Sort of like I wish I knew the symptoms of diabetes that I was living with for 2 months before I was sent to the ER.

There is a lot to learn from other communities and I think there are a lot of people in the diabetes community that have reached out to other communities to try and figure those things out. For example, the AIDS community has been able to do so much by speaking up and sticking together. Healthcare in general is such a hot topic right now and people from all disease communities have come together to fight together and that’s just awesome to see.

It’s great to see events like the HealtheVoices conference that is happening this month. People from all different kinds of conditions, diseases, backgrounds, nationalities, etc. are meeting together. These type of platforms are where some of the best ideas and collaborations come from. That’s just my opinion for what it’s worth.

I will not be attending HealtheVoices but I will definitely be following along with the hashtag #HealtheVoices17 from April 21-23.[bctt tweet=”I will not be attending HealtheVoices but I will be following along with the hashtag #HealtheVoices17 from April 21-23. ” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

Have you had experiences with speaking to people from other health communities and if so, what were you able to learn from them that helped in your diabetes management or advocacy efforts?

Replacing Coffee with La Croix

If you know anything about me, you know that I love coffee. I love coffee too much. I’ll drink it from McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or my favorite, local coffee shops, especially a cold brew. I used to drink a lot more coffee. Like, a lot more. But, my doctor scared me enough to realize that I was drinking too much coffee and I needed to cut back a bit.

I started to cut out my afternoon coffee, but I still needed the caffeine, so I was drinking a soda. The soda I was also trying to cut out because I was trying to lose weight. And I don’t care what studies say on either side of it, when I drink diet soda, it makes me gain weight, bottom line.

I needed an alternative.

I love water, and I drink a lot of water, but I needed something “special.”

Well, just as I was going through this time period of figuring out what I could substitute the afternoon soda with, I was walking through the grocery store and I saw it. There it was. On sale. BOGO. Buy One Get One Free.

[bctt tweet=”La Croix sparkling water has replaced my afternoon coffee and changed my life!” username=”@lifeofadiabetic”]

La Croix, Naturally Essenced Sparkling Water

I put it in the fridge and got it nice and cold and….. “EWWW” this stuff is disgusting. It was like I was expecting something super sweet like soda because it was carbonated, but it didn’t give me that flavor.

But then, I stuck with it. And now… you can’t separate me from my La Croix. I am now drinking 1-2 cans of La Croix everyday and I love the taste. I love the flavors that they offer.

And most importantly, it has replaced my afternoon soda, which replaced my afternoon coffee. I am not getting the caffeine that I needed, but giving myself the caffeine was just putting a band-aid on the wound, it wasn’t actually fixing the problem, which was, breaking the caffeine habit.

 

So, this is to you La Croix.