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I am a Diabetes Hoarder

Currently I am watching this Hoarding: Buried Alive show, and I am seeing myself in this a lot, in many different ways.  One, I hate to throw things away and get rid of things, I like to hang onto things.  The other part is that the hoarders are constantly making excuses.  I am a diabetes Hoarder.  I hoard bad blood sugars and bad habits.

Unless I make drastic changes, then I am going to continue to collect these bad things and all the bad things that go along with all the bad diabetes related things, which I don’t think I need to tell you all what those things are.

I have been getting so much support from all of you in the diabetes community and I thank you all so much, because it means a lot.  It shows me that I can do these things because you are all doing it.  It’s almost a jealousy thing, I’m jealous when I see you all showing your Dexcom numbers and when it’s 180 you are like, OMG I can’t believe I went up that high.

I have been eating a lot better so far this week, I know it’s only Wednesday, but still.  For dessert tonight I am having some strawberries and kiwi.  As opposed to ice cream with a lot of sprinkles and syrup and whipped cream.

Well, I’m off to eat this and then relax and go to bed.  Have a great night everybody.

Diabetes in a Meeting

Earlier today I had to go to a client meeting and knew it was going to be about a 40 minute drive there, an hour meeting and then about another 40 minute drive home.  Whenever I have to sit it on meetings, I get nervous that my blood sugar is going to get low, and I hate pulling out Skittles in the middle of the meeting because people look at you weird, like are you serious, in the middle of a meeting you have to eat?  If they knew I was diabetic, then there would be no problem, but I don’t introduce myself as, Hi Im Chris, nice to meet you and I’m diabetic.  If I feel my blood sugar is low, I will not hesitate to pull the Skittles out and eat some because my life and health is more important than any meeting that I will ever be in.

Before I left for the meeting I tested my sugar and it was at about 155.  At that level and with a small lunch that I ate, I knew that it would go below 100 before the meeting was over.  I took a small bag of Skittles with me and headed to the meeting.  We were a little early so we stopped at Starbucks and I got a regular coffee, but sprinkled some Cinnamon on it, (which is my favorite way to drink coffee from Starbucks.)  I knew that this would also raise my sugar a  little and keep it from going too low during the meeting.  Once we got to the meeting, I realized that I forgot my meter back at the office so I couldn’t test again.  I just ate a few Skittles before we went into the meeting, because I would rather my sugar be around 170-200 during the meeting then it drop to 70-90 and start to get sweaty and start to think less clearly during the meeting.

To sum things up, it was all good.  The meeting went exceptionally well and my blood sugar did not go down at all and by the time I got back to the office, it was not high either, it was right around 160-ish, don’t remember exactly right now what it was.

This leads me to asking you all, how do you deal with having to go into meetings with diabetes?  Do you bring in juice, candy, do you let the people in the meeting know that you are diabetic and may need to excuse yourself? I’d love to hear all of your comments on how you handle.

Too Many High Blood Sugars for my Liking

Every so often I have a period of 2-3 weeks where my blood sugars pretty much hover around 200-250 all day, everyday for that time period and it seems that no matter what I do, I can’t get it down.  Once I eventually get it down, I drink something or eat something to fix the low and then I end up high again.  Recently, this has began to bother me a lot.  Normally I don’t allow myself to get upset with my blood sugars because I have the mentality, that it is just a number and I can correct it.  But when that number is there consistently for a long period of time, it goes from “just a number” to “it’s a problem.”  But just like with any other problem, there is a way to solve it.

I believe that by going back on a CGM will definitely help me out.  It will allow me to monitor when my sugar is beginning to spike again before it is too late and catch it and correct it.  Right now all of my sensors have expired, and I never really used the Medtronic CGM when I had good sensors anyway.  There were multiple reasons, the main two were that the damn thing hurt to insert and it was just a pain in the ass to get calibrated and started. If I do switch to the OmniPod, then I will most likely switch to the Dexcom.  I have heard more good things about the Dexcom than I have heard good things about the Medtronic CGM system.  But once again, does it really matter what I want or does it matter what the insurance company wants to cover?  I would think that if something would help you manage your disease a lot better, than it would be a no-brainer to clear that particular product, but not with insurances, it’s all about what fattens their wallet the most.

Well, I have some things that I need to get working on, so enough of this rant.  Point of this post is that, don’t get down on yourself when you are having low blood sugar episodes.  With hard work and proper management, you will be right back to where you need to be.

Busy Day Today

Sorry that this post is so late at night, but I had a long day and just got around to it now.  I was at work until 6:15 tonight and then I started my Spanish classes at my job tonight, so that didn’t get over until almost 7:45.  After that, I came home, ate, relaxed for a few minutes then got a haircut, showered and now here I am.  I am excited to be taking a Spanish class.  This is the first class that I’ve taken since I graduated college a few years ago.  I have a textbook and everything!

Before class started, around 5-ish, I noticed that my blood sugar was down at 103 and I didn’t have any candy or anything.  When I went upstairs at 6 for the class, I saw that there were chocolate chip cookies, so I ate two of them to keep my blood sugar steady during class.  When I got home, my pumped beeped and I was out of insulin.  It totally slipped my mind that I was supposed to rewind my pump and put in some more insulin at 6:00 before the class.  Ooops.  When I came home tonight before dinner, it was up to 387.

Big jump, but it is my own fault.  I was not able to make it to the gym today, but I ate healthy for lunch and for dinner, so that is at least one goal that I wanted to accomplish.  I still feel that I am just accepting the fact that I didn’t have time to go to the gym, even though I could have forced myself to go, I was just so exhausted and I didn’t think it would be a good idea.

Well, have a good day tomorrow.  Phillies begin their World Series journey tomorrow.

To Drink or Not to Drink When You’re High

Yesterday I wrote a post about things that I do when my blood sugar goes really high, over 400.  I received some comments and some tweets about my own way of handling this situation, especially # 4 which was don’t drink water.  A lot of people had said that they do the exact opposite and drink as much water as possible to flush all the ketones out.  I have heard that as well, so I am not going to try and dispute those that said that.  I was twice told otherwise, but that doesn’t mean that is the correct answer either.

When it comes to diabetes, there are a lot of generalizations that go for everybody, however there are a lot of things that are completely different between each person.  For instance, some people are fine with eating pizza, I can’t eat pizza without going over 350 blood sugar levels.  So this is where I am going to give my MTV version of their Jackass disclaimer, don’t try this at home.  This works for me, and that’s the bottom line, it may not be good for you to do it or for a friend or family member to do it.

Only two more days until vacation, so if you have a guest post, please send it to me asap so I can get it scheduled.

4 Steps to Fixing a High Blood Sugar

Over the last 48 hours I have had some of the best blood sugars that I have had in a long time.  It all started with an extreme high on Sunday night.  My glucose meter was reading, “HI” we all know what that means.  No, not, “Oh shit, what do I do now”.  It means that my blood sugar was over 500.  What do you do when you get in that situation?  Or maybe if you are lucky enough, you haven’t been faced with this situation.  I have unfortunately been faced with this situation several times.  First and foremost, you can’t panic, it will come down if you treat it properly.  Here are the 4 steps that I go through when I see a sugar that high.

Step 1 – Don’t Panic

This is a very important step.  If you panic and freak out right away, then you are going to have a hard time bringing this high blood sugar down.  Most of the time when you stress out and freak out this way, your blood sugar will go higher, but for some people it is different. Take a deep breathe and take care of what you need to in order to get that sugar down.  I highly recommend that you have a plan together with your doctor for when something like this happens.

Step 2 – Inject Emergency Insulin

Emergency insulin to me comes in one of two forms.  I try to keep an emergency insulin pen at my house or whenever I travel.  If I doo have the insulin pen, I will just draw up the units and inject the insulin.  If I don’t have a pen, then I will take a syringe and draw insulin directly into the syringe and inject it.  Either way, I get insulin into my body in another form that from the pump.  Why do you may ask?  Have you ever seen how long it takes 25 units of insulin to get into your body compared to a pen or syringe?  The insulin gets into my body 100 times faster and can get to work a lot quicker.

Step 3 – Change Site

There is a good chance that the reason my blood sugar is high is because I have a bad set.  This isn’t always 100% the problem, but most of the time it is.  Once I get that site taking out, I will insert a new site on the opposite of my stomach and then go for a walk if I can, or just lay down and relax

Step 4 – Don’t Drink Anything

I obviously become extremely thirsty when my sugar is that high, that is one of the reasons that I knew my sugar was so high to begin with.  The more I pee, the more sugar that is going through my system, and I don’t want that.  So the less I drink, the less I am going to urinate, the better.  It is tough to try and not drink something, but you have to try hard, it is better for you.

These are my 4 steps on fixing my high blood sugar, but this is not going to be the best way for you, so don’t try what works for me.  Find out what works for you.

Have a great day eveeryone.

High Blood Sugars at the Hockey Game

Last night I went to the Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals hockey game. It was embarrassing to be a Panthers fan last night because they got their butts handed to them, to speak in nice terms. My account rep had upgraded my seats for me for that game so we were sitting in the Lexus Club level where the food options are a lot larger than at the regular concession booths. This isn’t sounding good for somebody with type 1 diabetes who just had food court Chinese food about 2 hours prior to the game. Can you see where this is leading?

Amanda was hungry, so I told her to get whatever she wanted and I would just finish what she didn’t eat because I wasn’t really hungry. I tested my blood sugar before she ate and I was at 307. High, yes, but I wear an insulin pump, I can correct that easily. I take a correction bolus and wait about 5 minutes before I do my little insulin check. About 10-12 times a day I will rub the infusion set and then smell my fingers for insulin. Amanda tells me that I need to be less obvious when I do it, because I look really weird, which I agree, I probably do.

When I felt the infusion set, it was soaked, so I knew I was going to smell that disgusting smell of insulin, and I did! In a normal situation I would have freaked out and been worried that my sugar is going to stay high. Normally, I would just bolus like 25 units knowing that not all of it was going to get absorbed. Luckily, I had inserted an infusion set on my backside a few nights ago, but since my sugar was high at the time I put a second one in on my stomach. When my sugar is high, infusion sets on the butt don’t work. So I didn’t take that one out, so I was able to hook up the tubing to that.

Now the hardest part is trying to figure out how much insulin my body actually did absorb. I bolused at about 90% and when I went to bed I was at 195 and woke up at 156.

Now for a quick update on my cough and ear thing that I have had going on forever, it seems like. My ear is still clogged, the nasal spray I was prescribed doesn’t work and when I try to clear them myself, it just makes them more clogged. I am going to try the Neti Pot again tonight and see what that does for me. I have an appointment on Monday, so we will see how that goes.

Not So Great Life of a Diabetic Lately

If you follow The Life of a Diabetic on Twitter, then this post is not going to sound like much of a surprise to most of you.  My blood sugars have been crazy over the past 2 months, even 3.  I haven’t seen my endocrinologist since October, which I was seeing her every month for 6 straight months so I can make changes quite frequently.  There are multiple reasons for these higher blood sugars, but today they come to an end.  Actually, yesterday they did, I didn’t have a blood sugar over 170 all day.  Screw diabetes!  Let’s get into some of the reasons.

  1. Diet – Or should I say lack there of.  I haven’t been following any sort of diet at all.  It’s just been eat whatever is made for dinner, or eat wherever Amanda and I feel like going out to eat.  When I did go out to eat, I wasn’t ordering anything healthy, plus I would eat Amanda’s leftovers instead of taking them home, sometimes.  Well my solution to this has been portion control.  I haven’t been eating too much healthier, but I have been eating less, only one serving.  At night, I then am eating a PB&J and that holds me off and also keeps my blood sugars stable.
  2. Exercise – Once again, lack there of.  The portion control helps some, but added exercise would make things a lot better and also help me lose more weight, which means less insulin, which means the longer I have to wait before I buy more of it.  I have gone back to doing little things to get more exercise, that you may not even think about.  For example, when I did laundry last night, instead of bringing upstairs all of my dress shirts, I walked them up one at a time and walked up and down the stairs about 10-15 times.  I park a little further from the store and make myself walk a further distance.  These little things will add up to big things for me.
  3. Lack of Testing – I know that I am running low on strips, so I have been testing less.  I always told myself that I wouldn’t do that, but I am.  I still test 4-5 times a day, so it’s not that bad, but I don’t catch the guys until it is too late.  I can’t pick up on trends of my blood sugar that way.  I will be getting a full 90 day supply of strips next month, so I have enough to get my by until then.  The only problem is that I’m not so sure how accurate the meter is because I don’t have control solution.  And I must say, I was a big fan of Home Diagnostics products (True2Go, TrueRead etc.), but lately as much as I have been complaining about their product, I haven’t heard a single thing from them.  Where are you on social media and tracking your company brand?  Bad, bad, bad job.  In fact, 3 of their competitors have contacted me because I was tweeting about not liking HDI.  (Being a social media consultant, I tend to prefer businesses that are doing social media right).
  4. Max Bolusing – Well, since I haven’t been testing, and then I haven’t been eating healthy, and I haven’t been counting carbs, what else am I going to do?  Max bolus of 25.0 and then eat to the bolus or if my sugar was high, which I’m assuming it was over the past couple of months, then that would include the correction bolus that I would need.

This is not something that I am proud of at all, in fact, I am quite embarrassed by it.  But, what can I do about it now?  I can’t change the past couple months, but what I can do is continue to get better at doing the right things and keep moving forward.

My Three Words of 2010 – 1 Month Later

Back in the first or second week of January, I wrote a post about my three words of 2010.  These words were growth, dedication, and health.  I outlined what all 3 of them meant to me and what my plans were to achieve and live those 3 words all year long.  Today I wanted to take the time and give a monthly update on those three words.  If you have read that post, I encourage you to so this post makes sense to you.  I also encourage you to do your own 3 words and then share them with me, because I would love to see what yours are as well.

Growth

The main reasoning for this was to grow as a person, just become a better person.  Over the last month I have been doing this quite well.  I do not get to flustered over minor things, I don’t let the little things in life get to me and ruin my day like they once have.  If somebody cuts in front of me in the grocery line, I just take a deep breathe and smile.  A lot of times when my blood sugar gets high, my patience goes right out the door, I’m sure you all know what I mean, so I have been trying hard to control that as well.  There have been times in the past that I have been short and snappy with Amanda just because my blood sugar is low, and she doesn’t deserve that because my insulin didn’t work properly.  She understands that if my sugar is high that I am probably not going to be the happiest person in the world.  There is still room for more growth, there always is.

Dedication

I have definitely slacked off here, big time.  I have dedicated myself to my business a lot more.  I am accomplishing more work for current clients, but haven’t spent enough time recruiting more.  Exercise wise, there really hasn’t been any.  I exercise, once or twice a week because I always feel like I have no time, but that is why I have made this one of my words of 2010.  I have not dedicated enough time to cooking healthy meals either.  I have been given a 1-month free trial pass to LA Fitness, so I am going to go there for a month and that should get me back into the motions of wanting to exercise again because of how good it makes me feel.

Health

For those of you that follow me on Twitter, know that my blood sugars have not been that good lately.  I have been sick and have been having really high blood sugars all week long.  There have been a few that hit the 400’s but the average has been around 250 or so.  You can see my 7,14,and 30 day averages in yesterday’s post about not having an A1C test done for a while.  This is my number one concern is my health.  My dedication is going to be the key factor into getting my health better again. 

So enough blogging about it, and time to actually do it!

No A1C Test for a While

Not having insurance for some time really sucks.  Sorry to be so blunt about it, but it does.  For those of you in that boat, you know what I mean.  I was insured the entire time I was diabetic, so I had no clue how it would actually feel.  I could only imagine, but now that my COBRA should be kicking in soon (fingers crossed), things may be getting better.  I have not had an A1C test done or seen my doctor since October.  I was seeing her on a regular monthly schedule.  The very first thing that I am going to be doing when I get that confirmation letter that I am covered again is schedule an appointment with her.

I know that my A1C is not going to be good this time around.  I am not even going to try and make myself believe that.  Over the last month, my overall sugars have been crap!  Below are snapshots of my 7 day, 14 day, and 30 day average levels, respectively.  As you will see, not that good.

7 day blood sugar avg

14 day blood sugar avg

30 day blood sugar avg

The 7 day average is mainly due to two bad sites and being sick.  My last A1C was 6.9.  I was happy with that at the time because the one before that was 7.1, so it was declining.  Unfortunately, that is not going to be the case.  At least one of my top 10 goals of 2010 should get accomplished.  These elevated blood sugars can be explained with two simple words: diet and exercise.  Actually, those words may not be as simple as we think.  Let’s get into details.

Diet

If you do a search in the dictionary for the word diet you come up with 11 different varieties of the word.  Yea, 11!  You can choose whichever one you want, but I have decided to go with this one:

“a particular selection of food, esp. as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease: a diet low in sugar.”

That sounds exactly like what I am trying to do.  I select certain foods to make me lose weight and keep my blood sugars normal. That part seems easy to do, but it’s the management of it that gets me every time.  I feel that I don’t have the time to make a healthy dinner every night.  Well that’s just BS because the time that I spend sitting in a restaurant or waiting in line at a fast food joint, I could have spent cutting up some veggies and grilling or boiling some chicken.  One tip that has helped me in the past with this is to just put my laptop next to the grill and do some of my consulting work while the food is cooking.  Getting something accomplished while making a good, healthy meal.

The next part that ruins my diet every time is the cravings.  One craving will kill a whole week’s worth of dieting.  I always get cravings for Chinese food, which is my number one craving.  I used to crave Taco Bell all the time, but I fought that one off, so I know it is possible to do it with this one as well.  A good way to fight off these cravings is to cook up some veggies myself, grill some pork loins and then make my own stir fry with brown rice, there’s my craving fix.

The final struggle to my diet woes is portion control.  Even when I do cook a healthy meal, let’s say for example that stir fry I just spoke about.  It doesn’t make it healthy when I eat 3 plates of it when I should be eating only 1, maybe a half of a second plate.  The way  I always justify it to myself is that, well it’s healthier than eating 3 servings of Chinese food, which that logic needs to go, which I know this, it’s just the fact of actually doing it.

These 3 things are what are killing my diet, but I know what I need to do and will need to work harder to stop doing these things and I should be ok.

Exercise

This one is simple and easy to explain, laziness.  I make way too many excuses because I am so busy.  I work 3.5 days a week on site at Volvo Aero Services and then am doing about 50-60 hours a week worth of consulting or web design work, so there is very little time to fit things in.  I also have season tickets to the Florida Panthers so there are nights that I can’t exercise because I don’t get done working until about 5-5:30 and have to leave for the game at 6:30.  So that gives me one hour to either cook a good dinner or exercise, and typically neither one of those even happen.

I am sure that I share these same problems with everybody.  If it was simple and easy, I’m sure we could all get over these hurdles easily, but they are not simple and easy.  It makes it a lot easier however having the supporting cast on here that we all have.  Every day that I am living with being overweight is just hurting me in the long run.

It all comes back to my 3 words of 2010 and getting it done!