diabetes-farmers-market

Diabetes at the Farmer’s Market

Amanda and I have always been fans of local farmer’s markets. For me, I love the fresh food and small businesses that are out there hustling. I am a huge fan of homemade items that are usually sold at farmer’s markets, such as pickles, jellies, pepper jellies, baked goods, fresh veggies, etc.

Our local farmer’s market is located right next to the intracoastal waterway so it is a beautiful site as well. We had not been there in a while, so we decided to check it out and see if there were any new vendors. There were some new ones there and I knew it was going to be time for a BG check and some insulin because I saw some great free samples.

That leads me into what I wanted to talk about. During this time, I was taking an insulin pump vacation for the weekend and was just using a syringe and vial. Walking around eating free samples and not knowing exactly what I am going to be eating never worked out well for me when I was on MDI. When I am pumping, it is not a big deal because every time I decide to eat something, I just bolus for it with the pump and that’s that.

When I am on MDI, my strategy is a bit different. And in the comments below, or on Facebook, I would love to hear your feedback and your comments on how you handle situations like this.

In a situation like this where I am eating random items that are free samples, they typically are not large enough that I need to worry about a bolus. If I eat 3-4 free samples from different vendors and I feel like it was a significant amount of carbs, then I will simply stop and take a shot. If I know that I am going to eat something that is not a free sample, but an actual item (New England Clam Chowda at this farmer’s market is amazing!) then I will bolus directly for that.

The other issue is that depending on what you are eating (sweet pickles, pepper jelly) it is difficult to guestimate how many carbs are in a specific food. I honestly do not get mad if the vendor does not have that information. I just ask what they put in it and I do my best to guestimate. If I am wrong, then I correct, simple as that.

Usually after the amount of walking that we do at the farmer’s markets we go to (at least 2 miles altogether) the exercise helps burn off some of the food that I ate and helps balance out the blood sugar. Please note, I am not saying exercise is going to lower my blood sugar and I don’t need insulin, so diabetes trolls, stop right there.

Like I said above, I’m curious as to how MDI-ers handle situations like this? Would love to hear your feedback.

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Process of Packing Supplies for a Day Out

The process of packing up and heading out for the day has definitely changed not only after my diagnosis in 2004, but even more now with a 1-year old (actually, just a few days shy of one). I have come to perfect the “leaving for the day” thing, except sometimes, I forget my diabetes bag.

Several years ago, while at a K-Mart in Pennsylvania, my wife found a Philadelphia Eagles pencil case and she bought it and then said to me, “I figured you could use this for your supplies in my purse.” I still use that case every single day of my life.

I found that there wasn’t a single glucose meter case from any of the companies that fit exactly what I needed. Here is what I keep in that bag:

  • Syringe
  • Vial of insulin
  • Vial of test strips
  • Meter
  • Lancing device
  • Reservoir for pump
  • Extra tubing for pump
  • Infusion Set
  • Infusion set injector
  • Lots and lots and lots of used test strips (literally 100 at a time)

This bag is usually kept in my wife’s purse, or now, the diaper bag.

I try to always have this bag stocked with items because when we have to leave for the day, we are both concerned about making sure we have enough diapers, wipes, food for the kid, extra outfit, etc. You know, all the crap a kid needs throughout the day.

There have been many times that I have forgotten the “Eagles Bag” at home and had to come back home to get it, or just hope that my current infusion set didn’t rip out or leak. So, my wife and I have devised a plan to make sure that never happens.

eagles bagFirst, we give each other a 15 minute warning for when we are going to be ready to leave. Typically, whoever is the one that is getting showered, dressed, etc last will give that warning.

Next, my wife gets started preparing the diaper bag for the long day, or short trip, whichever. If my wife is the one getting ready, then I will get the diaper bag ready….. meaning, I ask her one by one what needs to go in it.

Once the diaper bag is ready, I then go and grab my Eagles Bag and ensure that it has everything in it that I need. I then put it in the diaper bag.  The diaper bag is then put on the couch near the door so that when I am leaving and setting the alarm, I don’t forget the diaper bag.

I’ve forgotten the diaper bag in the past. I was told by my wife that I forgot the diaper bag. I have never again forgot the diaper bag.

After 12 years with diabetes (April 3 will be 12) and one year with a kid, we have finally gotten this traveling out for the day thing down…. so far.

I don’t think that people truly understand everything that goes into the daily life of someone living with diabetes. Things just as simple as getting in the car to drive to Target or visit family requires planning and prepping and making sure that you don’t forget crucial, life saving supplies.

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Talking Cure on DSMA

Last night’s #DSMA Twitter chat was based around a cure. Do we think one will happen, what will it cost, when will it happen, what will a cure be, etc. These are all questions I think that many of us have asked ourselves or discussed with others at one point in our diabetes lives. Last night was the first time that I discussed it in a very long time. So, I decided to talk about it just a bit more here.

These are my honest opinions, love em or hate em, we are all entitled to those opinions.

Also, my language is a bit NSFW.

Will There Be a Cure for Diabetes?

For me to see? No. For my 6 year old niece to see? Probably not. Do I “hope” that there will be one? Abso-fucking-lutely. But, as I said last night during the chat, there is a huge difference between a hope and a belief. I definitely hope that a cure happens. Do I have hope in it? No. Do I believe? No.

The number one reason why I don’t think it will occur is basic economics. There is way too much money being made in the pharma industry for a cure to happen. I’ve heard people say that the economics isn’t the issue and that companies will still make money, but that’s all “future speak” meaning, we don’t know shit about what will happen if there is a cure. Projections are cool, but results are fucking awesome!

Also, I currently do not believe there is enough funding going into an actual cure. I think that the people and organizations that are doing it are great. Whether you like the Diabetes Research Institute or not because of some marketing mishaps they had in the past, they are still doing some excellent work. But, at the same time, I don’t really care to stay up to date with this cure talk anymore because I don’t care about breakthroughs are progress being made. I simply want results.

I am more focused on research and development that is going on within the technology industry that is going to help make my life with diabetes easier. That’s what I care about.

What Does a Cure Look Like?

That’s simple to me. A cure means the disease does not fucking exist! It doesn’t mean I still have to check my blood sugar, and have check ups. It means it doesn’t exist! Anything less than that is not a cure. Once again, it is progress towards a cure.

What Will it Cost?

If you want exact numbers, you can go do your own research, but I’m not going to look up the finances for big pharma to get exact numbers, but here’s the theory with a basic number. Let’s say the profits from diabetes are currently $1 billion per year. That means that the cure would have to make $1 billion per year for big pharma. So, whatever that number is, there’s your answer of the cost. I know it would be a lot.

Mike Hoskins had said last night:

And I my friend, believe in Zombie Unicornszombie-unicorn

Here is the bottom line for me. I think that the cure, unfortunately, is a false hope. At least for my generation.  It’s like holding out for Prince Charming when Mr. Right is standing right there in front of you. Meaning, IMO, why set my eyes on a cure, when I can set my eyes on better technology to make the disease even easier to manage?

I’m not telling you to give up hope for a cure. Because if you have gotten that out of this post, then re-read it, because that’s not what I’m saying. I’m also, by no means, saying that I don’t want a cure and that I think people should stop funding it. Definitely not saying that.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or on Facebook

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Peter Sheehan Diabetes Care Foundation

A few weeks ago I received an email (which I receive a lot of them with pitches about diabetes), but this one I found a little bit more interesting, so decided to give it a second read. The email was about a crowdfunding opportunity for the Peter Sheehan Diabetes Care Foundation. The mission of PSDCF is to:

Improve T2D care and prevention for at-risk communities, provide education to prevent the onset of T2D and its complications, and organize forums enabling an exchange of scientific ideas to further the understanding of T2D.

I am all for any one that is trying to spread awareness and education for diabetes.

You can check out their crowdfunding page here – https://www.youcaring.com/peter-sheehan-diabetes-care-foundation-503231

You can also watch their YouTube video below:

 

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losing weight and gain confidence

Losing Weight And Gaining Confidence

Since I started a diet that my doctor put me on, I have lost 10 pounds. That’s 10 pounds in less then a week. I know it won’t continue to be this easy but, I am ready to keep working to keep knocking more off.

So far, I have stuck to my diet every single day. I don’t think that I have stuck to a diet this long since I was in college and had to lose some weight for football. It is now becoming a bit harder because I am running out of options for side dishes. I have been eating broccoli and/or carrots every night. I need to find some additional side dishes that are creative, but still as carb free as possible.  Low carb, not carb free.

I am thinking about trying a cauliflower pizza, but I’ve never done anything that intense. Please share some recipes with me that are low in carbs and also low in fat, aka, not cheesy.

I am losing weight, but more importantly I am gaining confidence. I don’t mean confidence in the manner that I’m now walking around saying, “damn, I look good”, but the confidence in myself to stick to a diet and to stick with it. My wife is not on the same exact diet as me. She is eating the same foods as me, but she can have rice, or pasta, or some starchy side dish, but I cannot currently do that. I am also not eating a dessert, just a handful of mixed nuts, but my wife can enjoy whatever she wants.  I must say though, that I am proud of my wife also, because she is standing behind me in this diet and trying to eat just as I am.

The confidence that I am gaining is that I feel that I can look at the Girl Scout Cookies in the cabinet and look right past them. In the past, I would have just one, which seriously, has anyone ever had just ONE Girl Scout Cookie before.

I didn’t have much of a choice to go on this diet because I allowed my health to slip so damn far and I put myself in a position that I should have never allowed myself to get to.

This is for me, this is for my wife, my daughter, my friends and family. I want to be around a lot longer, so it’s time to start treating my body in a way that will help me get there.

If you are tempted to eat those Girl Scout Cookies, but you really don’t want to, reach out to me. Chat me up on Twitter or Facebook or Snapchat, and we can knock these pounds off together!

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endo appt new diet

Endo Appointment Leads to New Diet and New Changes

I haven’t been to the endo in 7 months. I had 3 different appointments all get cancelled and rescheduled for multiple different reasons. I was flying back to south Florida from the north on Sunday and was hoping that the winter up there wasn’t going to delay me and make me cancel my appointment again on Monday. My endo office made it clear that I needed to be at this appointment or there would be no more prescriptions written, which is completely understandable in my eyes.

I got my blood work done up in PA while I was up there, but I wasn’t sure it was going to be completed in time for the appointment, but luckily it was.

But, just like I thought, the blood work was not good.

I was previously on a statin and something for my triglycerides because they were extremely high. I had ran out of refills and my primary doctor would not call in any refills, I had to set an appointment. Well, I should say, my FORMER primary doctor, because he no longer is because of that. Since I could not get refills (they were prescribed by PCP, not my endo), I stopped taking the pills. For this reason, I knew my cholesterol and triglycerides were going to be off the charts. And they were.

I also hit my highest weight I have ever reached. I’m actually quite embarrassed by it, and I don’t get embarrassed easily.

We had a very nice heart to heart conversation about your 30’s being different than your 20’s. I’m now married, with a kid, own a home, own a business and have a shit load of other stressful items, so life is a bit different.

We also talked about how my body is already at a disadvantage by having diabetes, so we have to try and level the playing field. Also, in order to get my labs back at a normal level, I really needed to make changes. I am now back on a generic Lipitor, triglyceride meds, blood pressure and Vitamin D. My pill collection is growing.

I used to be anti-medication because once you start, it’s tough to stop. But I am at a point in my life that I just want to be healthy, and if taking a pill is necessary to reach that goal, then so be it.

I also needed to lose weight. My insulin usage is out of control, my basals are so damn high, and I get it, as long as my levels are under control, it doesn’t matter how much insulin I use. However, I need to cut that back by cutting out my diet a bit.

new-dietSo, she put me on a diet that I have been doing for 2 days now and I feel confident in sticking to this diet. Basically, this is the diet:

Breakfast – 3 egg omelette. One day with cheese, the next day with ham. Alternating back and forth.

Lunch – As big of a salad as I want. Vinegar based dressing. No croutons

Dinner – 6 oz of meat ( 8 oz of fish). Non-starchy veggies.

Snacks – Mixed nuts. I have set aside a certain amount for the day and I have been eating it throughout the day.

So far, it has been great. My blood sugar levels have been nearly perfect (perfect to me).

I am excited to continue on with these changes and losing the weight and becoming a better person.

Follow me on Snapchat to follow my journey on this new diet and new changes. Just screenshot the image below and follow the steps:

follow on snap

 

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Time to Spare a Rose and Save a Child

February 1 not just brings the first day of February, but it also brings the start (you can donate any time of the year) of Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign. If you have not heard of this great campaign yet, then now is the time to get involved.

The concept is as easy as it can get. When you go to buy your significant other, or others if you’re into that, just buy one less rose and use that money to donate to the IDF. So, you are sparing a rose.

What does Spare a Rose help fund?

The rose that you spare is going to help fund the IDF’s Life for a Child program which provides insulin and supporting to developing nations that are in need.

You are now also able to choose to provide a monthly on-going gift for as little as $5.00/month. In fact, if 3 dozen monthly donations are funded within the first 3 days, Bennet Dunlap from YDMV.net will wear his Disney Map Tights to the Friends for Life banquet this summer. That in itself sounds like fun.

For more information on how to donate and Spare a Rose, head on over to the Spare A Rose website.

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aae-pam-allweiss

Leaving the Hospital with More than What You Came In With

When you first read this title you may be thinking that I’m talking about leaving with more debt or more bills, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about potentially going into the hospital for a diabetes related issue and leaving with something else, such as Hepatitis B.

When I recently went to the ER a couple of months ago because I thought my appendix was bursting (which it was not, it was a muscle strain), the ER nurse had asked me if I wanted her to check my BG with the hospital meter. My quick response was, absolutely not. I am known as a pretty big germaphobe. I don’t avoid every single germ possible or walk around with a gallon of sanitizer, but I do try to avoid any areas or situations that may just look full of germs (Yes, I know, the entire planet is filled with germs).

I bring up this story because if I allowed the ER nurse to test my blood sugar with the hospital machine, I could have been putting myself at risk. This just doesn’t sound like something that should happen. That a hospital setting could pass a disease onto me. Well, it shouldn’t, but unfortunately it is a possibility.

There is a webinar coming up on Tuesday, January 26th at 12 PM that I highly recommend you attend. Not just you, but anyone you know, because it is not just related to people with diabetes, but anybody going to a hospital.

The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition is hosting a webinar with Dr. Pamela Allweiss, MD, MPH, Medical Officer for the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She will be discussing the risks of virus transmissions in healthcare settings in the United States.

Register for this webinar today and share with at least one person that would be interested in learning about this serious problem and some ways that we can make it stop.

For a little more information of how Hepatitis B can be spread in a healthcare setting, check out Christel’s post at The Perfect D.

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