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Long Stressful Drive Back from Orlando

Yesterday involved a long, stressful drive back home from Orlando.  After spending a great weekend up there, Amanda and I were headed home on the Florida Turnpike in seperate cars.  We were flying down the highway and making great time.  We were on pace for about 2 1/2 hours which is great time for where we live.  My sugar was about 220 at this time.  It was above 200 all day while at Sea World.  I couldn’t seem to get the numbers down, I don’t know why.

So, we were just north of the Ft. Pierce exit on the Turnpike when I heard a little noise, almost like I hit a bump in the road.  About 2 miles later the loudest noise of my live occurred.  It sounded like someone let go a shotgun right next to my head.  I knew it exactly what it was when it happened though, and the first thing I thought was $#!t.  My spare tire is already on the back right side of my car because I had a flat several weeks ago.  And no, my spare is not a donut tire, it was a real tire so that is why I was able to drive on it for so long.

I called Amanda and told her to get behind my car and she said that it didn’t look like my tire was flat, but then she said that she thought that she just saw the tire spark.  She saw it again, so I said ok we need to get off at this next exit.  We pull off into the nearest gas station (with a Dunkin Donuts) so I could get a coffee if needed.  I looked at the tire and there was a huge hole in it, but it wasn’t flat.  The wires were sticking out of the tire, so that explains the sparks.  I called AAA right away and they were going to send a truck out to me and tow it to a tire service and I would have to get it the next morning.  I definitely did not want to do that, but what the hell else was I going to do on a Sunday night at 8 p.m.

I called a 24 hour tire service to come out and fix the tire and they wanted to charge me over $300, uhh yea right!  After 30 minutes of waiting for the AAA truck, it was the wrong kind of truck.  They didn’t get the correct information from dispatch and they needed a flatbed truck.  It was going to be another 30 minutes, which I didn’t want to wait.  I asked the driver what his honest opinion was, if he felt I could drive it about one mile to the Super Wal-Mart and he felt that I could.  I drove it down there about 10-15 MPH and took all of my belongings and then drove home with Amanda.  I wanted to stay in a hotel and just get the car fixed first thing in the morning, but it didn’t make sense to spend the $70, even though it probably would have worked out better that way.

Finally, this afternoon after a half day of work, we drove back up to the Ft. Pierce area and went back to the Super-Walmart.  Luckily my car was s till there and intact and I was able to drive it over to the tire service center and get 2 new tires and put the spare back into the truck.  I drove the car back home and the tires felt fine.  The car was riding smooth again, so I was happy.

Meanwhile, the whole time this was going on my sugar was just skyrocketing because all of the stress.  It went up to about 375 because I was freaking out.  I was so hungry and there was a Sonic right there, but I knew I couldn’t eat because I could tell my sugars were in just one of those moods that they were not going to come down, especially with more food going in.  I woke up this morning with a 245 blood sugar.  Things were fine with the blood sugars all day today after that, a few lows, but no highs.

So that was the wonderful life of a diabetic this weekend and the stressful drive back from Orlando.  It was a long, exhausting, stressful night.  But I made it through it, and have another diabetes related story to share with people that want to know about diabetes.

Why Did You Start Blogging?

I am currently up in Orlando right now at the IZEAfest at SeaWorld 2009.  It is a social media conference for the weekend.  I am in between sessions right now so wanted to try and get a post in before the next session starts.  I haven’t even checked into my hotel yet, so I better go and do that soon.  I have my insulin with me and didn’t leave it in the car like I usually do.  Amanda is coming up later today as well because we received a free SeaWorld ticket along with admission to the conference.

Anyway, onto diabetes.  Yesterday was a better day with my blood sugars.  Nothing over 200 at all, so I was excited about that since the past few weeks I have been having a lot of highs.  I still haven’t completely figured out why they all have been coming, but I have an endo appointment next week, so I better have somewhat of an answer for her.  My goal for this weekend being away is to actually eat healthy.  So that means eating salads for dinner and some chicken, and not tacos and fast food and fried food etc.  I have been doing great with losing weight and exercising, so I can’t throw it away in just one weekend away.

I just heard somebody at the conference say, the “power of blogging.”  That comment  just completely changed what I was going to blog about and thought about what that actually means.  When I first started blogging almost 2 years, I did not know the most about diabetes that I thought I did.  I didn’t realize how many other diabetics were out there.  I thought that I was the only one going through this crap and nobody knew how I feel.  Then I came online and found these amazing blogs and thought ya know what, I think I want to do this too.  When I first started to blog, I didn’t really care if people were going to read it.  I just needed a way to get out of my mind how I was feeling, and I couldn’t keep a journal because I hate writing, and I am constantly online, so it just made sense.

Then people started to read and people started to comment and then it just turned into a daily, well I try to do it on a daily basis.  Blogging is now fun, and I enjoy it because it relieves a lot of stress for me.  So that leaves me with this.  I am curious to know how you came about blogging and who inspired you to start blogging.  I’m guessing majority of your answers will be the same as mine, (Kerri).

Diabetes 2.0 at Diabetes Research Institute

Quick follow up from yesterday’s post about the gnocci’s, 425 blood sugar at 1 a.m.  Enough said.  Now onto some other things that are more important.  I signed up finally today to go to the Diabetes 2.0 conference at the Diabetes Research Institute on November, 7.  I am very excited to attend this year.  I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to attend, but my football schedule changed, so now I can go.  There is so much going on down there so I don’t know what I am the most excited about.

I have met Jay Skyler before and he was one of the best speakers that I have ever heard, so I can’t wait to get another chance to speak with him.  Then there is all of the fellow members of the diabetes community.  I feel like I know all of you already, but have never met any of you, well some.  I was able to finally meet Kerri and Sara up in Orlando at the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference this past year.  Definitely looking forward to finally meeting Manny, Allison and Gina.

Then there is so many good things going on at once, so I don’t know which to go to.  I went to a conference in New York back in August and all of the sessions were video-taped and attendees were given a username and password weeks later in order to view the recordings of all the sessions, because it was impossible to make it to all of them.  I love this idea and think that all conferences should be exactly the same way.  Of course it will increase the cost of the conference, but you get more out of it.  All in all, I’m still excited about this one.

I know there are petitions going around, can we start one to get an additional 4 hours in in the day so I can have more time to catch up on blogs.  I thought working through college was tough and time consuming, yeah right!  I’m doing more learning and reading now then I ever did in college.

Time to get back to living the life of a diabetic.

All You Can Eat Gnocci’s

Just by reading the headline, I’m sure you can understand how I feel.  My girlfriend’s father is from Argentina and his family is over here visiting now.  So we went to an Argentina restaurant in Lantana, FL and Tuesday night is all you can eat Gnoccis.  Well they are already one of my most favorite foods, and the sauce at this place was amazing.  I had 3 plates, which was a lot of carbs.  My sugar was getting really low before I started eating, so I had to snack on some bread before hand which was using up my insulin.

I just got home a little while ago from the place, so I had no time to go to the gym.  That means that tomorrow morning, I must make it to the gym before I even go to work and then again after I get home from work.  Unfortunately, gnoccis make me very tired, and it is already 10:30 p.m. so this post is going to be extremely short.

Good night ya’ll and tomorrow’s post will be better, I promise.

Too Many 400 Plus Sugars This Month

I don’t know what is going on with my body right now.  My blood sugars are all over the map.  I am eating healthier and losing weight, but at the same time losing control of my blood sugars.  My 7 day average on my meter is 210, 14 day is 198 and my 30 day is 177.  What the hell is this?  I have had more readings over 400 in this past month then I have in my 6 years with diabetes.  I am still trying to figure out what is doing it to me.  Is it the exercise and feeling low while at practice and just drinking Gatorade?  Is it over correcting lows?  Is it bad sites?  Maybe even bad insulin?  Let me dig into each of these.

Football Practice

When I am at practice, I don’t really have time to test my sugar.  I will now make time, but up until now there are several water breaks, but this is the time that I have to take down one drill and set up the next drill so by the time the kids are done with their water break, I am ready for them to start the next thing.  I have them for 2 hours, only 2 nights a week.  For those of you that know anything about pop-warner ball, you know that this is nowhere near enough time to teach kids who haven’t really ever played football before, so I have to manage the time the best I can.  Obviously, my health needs to come first though.  So, what is an easy resolution?  Wear your god damn CGM Chris!

Everytime I wear it at football practice, it falls out.  I can’t seem to find a perfect place for it where it won’t fall out.  I have tried my stomach, and unfortunately until I lose some more weight (down 8 pounds since September 1) I will have some rolls on my stomach that don’t make it easy for the CGM to stay in place.  I have tried it on my backside, which seems to be the best place to wear it, but it is so freakin hard to get the thing inserted by myself back there.  Amanda doesn’t mind inserting an infusion set for me, but the CGM sensor is different because of how long the needle is, she just isn’t at that point yet to feel comfortable enough to do it.  The final place that I wear it is on my leg which is the easiest place for me to insert it, but at football is the quickest place for it to fall off. Reason being is because I am constantly running and cutting, and also punting to the kids, so everytime I do that, it starts to fall off.

All my Dexcom friends out there… those sensors stay in better?

Over-corecting Lows

Now I know this is a dilemna for just about all diabetics.  You see that 50 or 60 in your meter and you just chug a gallon of orange juice, eat a bag of skittles, follow it up with a case of sugar tabs, and then just unleash a pound of sugar into your body.  An hour later and your blood sugar went from 50 to 350.  WTF???!!???  Obviously, I am exaggerating here with how much we take, but you all know what I mean.  I know how much I need in order to correct my low, but I get nervous and continue to eat until I feel better, which means that the initial sugar I ate has taken affect, and now very shortly all the other sugar will take affect as well.  I am going to start making pre-filled baggies with just enough candy or sugar that I need to correct a low.  And once the bag is finished then that is it, no need to take more.  If I still feel crappy a little later, then I will take more just after that.

Bad Sites

This is definitely part of the problem, and is 100% my own fault.  I don’t think that I have ever switched out a set in only 3 days purposely since I have been on the pump (5 years).  I usually keep a site in for 5-7 days, sometimes even more when I am being extremely lazy.  Of course I know it’s not good, but I still do it.  It’s tough to break bad habits, but I have been trying to hard lately to stay on top of it.  So when I get a high, and I try to correct it takes forever because the insulin is not getting through the skin, or it’s leaking, whatever the reason.  I will change my set if I do get a reading over 400. That is the first thing that I do.  Usually if it is over 350 I keep the same one and correct, If I do a test again in an hour and it is not below the 350, then I will switch it out right away and correct again.

These are all my ideas on what has maybe played into the higher sugars.  One thing I didn’t talk about as a reason is the food that I have been eating, because I have been eating excellent…..most of the time.  So it could be those very few times, the 5% of the time foods that could have an affect.  So when most people are worrying why their electric bill was so high this month, but living this life of a diabetic requires me to not only worry about that, but also my blood sugars being high.

Support / Advocate Luncheon – H1N1 Vaccine, Medicare Fraud, Kidney Disease

Every other month I attend a luncheon in Boca Raton at the Bova Cucina. It is a diabetes advocate and support group type meeting.  It is usually comprised of several CDE’s, diabetics, sales reps and a few MD’s.  The support group is put on by Murray Pincus.  Majority of you probably have no clue who Murray is, but if you are diabetic and live in the south Florida area, then you should know his name.  Murray is a great friend of mine and a terrific advocate of diabetes.

Today’s luncheon was comprised of 3 main parts.  Session one was a lecture on diabetes and kidneys by Dr. Frank Lavernia, who is an esteemed endocrinologist in south Florida.  He gave a great lecture on kidney disease being such a silent killer because so many people are living with it right now and have no idea.  Not just diabetics, but people in general.  Diabetics usually find out before non-diabetics because they should be getting tested for it.  Dr. Lavernia’s suggestion for finding out if you are at risk is simple, “Pee in a cup!”  He also explained that it is not just the high blood sugar that will affect your kidney’s, it is multiple things.  Cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, and there are multiple different factors that affect these problems as well.  And of course all of these risks increase with type 1 diabetes.  So to sum it all up, we need to make sure we go to the doctor’s follow the guidelines and be prepared by being ahead of the game and having tests done.

The next part was a talk given on Medicare fraud.  In south Florida, where I live, Medicare fraud is extremely high.  Mainly due to the obvious reasons, people retire to Florida.  There are also the snowbirds (people who come down south for the winter).  Snowbirds may be receiving supplies up north and may switch to a different company when they come down south and the DME can continue to bill for supplies that aren’t even being sent out.  And how can they dothis?  Because they rely on the elderly not paying attention to their statements and being “just old and out of it.”  There are organizations around the country now that do nothing but look at Medicare claims and make sure their are no fraudelent ones.  Unfortunately, there are not enough people doing it.  (Imagine what a national run healthcare reform would look like!)

Finally, it was summed up with a representative from CMS (Medicare).  He was there to talk about the H1N1 vaccine and if it’s covered by Medicare, who should get it, is it safe, etc.  Let’s start with his analogies.  CMS believes that everybody should get not just their seasonal flu shot, but also the H1N1 vaccine.  You can get these at the same time, 2 different shots, but at the same time.  For right now, the H1N1 vaccine requires a second booster shot, however that is beginning to change due to more recent research.  He explained the H1N1 vaccine as a seat belt.  Everybody should wear one.  If you don’t get into an accident, great, at least you were prepared.  However, if you do get into an accident then the person who is wearing a seat belt (the one with the H1N1 vaccine) is more likely to survive.  This was a good analogy.  Someone asked the question, is it safe to take, it hasn’t been around long enough to know the safety of it.  An MD responded, using the same analogy, “Don’t take the mindset that, ‘John Doe died because he was wearing a seat belt, if he wasn’t wearing it he would still be alive.”  As in, you know of one person that got sick from the H1N1 vaccine does not mean that every single person is going to get sick.

Now after all this, I must admit, I have never gotten a flu shot before.  I always think, what’s the point, I’m young, I don’t need a flu shot.  To me, the flu just means I’ll throw up a couple of times one day, have a bad fever, get the sweats, get the chills and then be over it in 2 days, no big deal to me.  As I get older, I understand that’s not going to always be the case.

What are your feelings / thoughts on it?

Diabetes and Feet – Not Enough Effort

Well today had a lot better blood sugars then Sunday did that’s for sure.  I didn’t go over 200 at all today, the closet I came was just right now right before dinner and after 2 hours of coaching football, it was 178.  I just had a pulled chicken sandwich and 1/4 cup of baked beans.  I don’t like eating this late because typically it will lead to higher 3 a.m. blood sugars, but I didn’t over eat, I ate very small.  Today is all about my feet.  First, I want to thank my doctor for taking time to check my feet every single visit.  So far they have been pretty good.  I do have a few calouses but I have always had them from sports.

I try to lotion my feet every single night, but I don’t always remember to.  Luckily I have an amazing girlfriend that is willing to do this for me with a special diabetes foot cream.  I use Neoteric primarily, but there are a few others I have tried, but don’t recall their names.  I have also tried the Anastasia foot cream as well, and liked it, but just didn’t want to pay the higher prices for it.  I don’t feel that I pay enough attention to my feet.  How much attention do you pay towards your feet?  I sometimes get the attitude, well I’m only 25, that stuff will only happen when I’m older.  Well I try to smack myself in the face when I say that.

For instance, I just came home from football practice tonight and my feet are soar.  I’m only 25 like I said and still “fresh” out of football so I am very active with the kids and running pass patterns and throwing them passes so I am running around in cleats all night.  Then I come home and my feet kill, my calouses are even bigger and my feet are as dry as can be.  I am about to take a shower shortly, but as soon as I get out, my feet will be extremely dry.

In the industry that I work in, I see a lot of different wound care products and items and sometimes wonder what they are for or how they are used.  Then I see some of the promotional materials or product catalogs for some manufacturers and then I see examples of open wounds, and sores that can come from not taking care of your feet.  This makes me sick to my stomach and do not want to allow myself to get that way.  I know that sometimes it may not be your fault, but if there are things that I can do to prevent it, I want to make sure that I am doing them all.

One of the keys to my health as living a life of a diabetic is that I must keep my feet in great condition and not allow them to crack or get sores on them.

Hope you all have a great day.

Weekend Full of Highs…Went over 500

This weekend involved a lot of highs.  I hit over 250 Friday night, reached 300 on Saturday and was over 500 on Sunday.  Sunday’s was the worst.  It was also the scariest, and also made me feel like crap.  I was coaching a football game Sunday afternoon and I was sweating a lot and felt a little low so I drank some Gatorade.  After the game and when I got home I tested and I was at about 240.  I then ate Arby’s because Sunday is my diet cheat day.  About 2 hours later I started to feel a little crappy, just felt like laying down. No big deal I thought because I was up early and was out in the sun all day.  I tested and I was now up to 300.  I figured it was because I ate fatty food so it will take a while for my levels to get back down.

Then I started to feel really thirsty and my stomach was starting to hurt.  I tested again and now it was over 400.  So I take some more insulin to correct.  About an hour later, or maybe even less then that, I tested again because I was even more dehydrated, and that’s when the meter gave the worst reading, “HI”  HI Blood Sugar

I didn’t panic because I knew I could bring it down, just do everything that I was always taught from my diabetes educator, thank god I’m able to still have a CDE!  I corrected on my pump and took the necessary insulin.  I tested 30 minutes later, still says high, so I changed my site and corrected with insulin in the new site.  I layed down and tried to fall asleep and wake up and hope that it was lowered.  I woke up about 45 minutes later and now finally I got a reading, it was down to 435.

Before I finally went to bed at midnight, it was down to 235.  I woke up at 4:30 this morning with a blood sugar of 65.  Talk about going from one extreme to the other.  I went downstairs and had some OJ and of course a few Skittles.  I went back to sleep and when I woke up and went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, I tested and I was at 106.  So luckily I was able to get it down and get it back to where it needed to be.  I ran a little high all day today as well, around 200 all day long.  I just came back from the gym for an hour and I am about 160 right now.  I thought my sugar was running high because I was starting to feel sick, but now I think that I felt sick because my sugars were high.

Well I guess this is part of living the life of a diabetic.

Friday Reflection Part 1

Every Friday from now on is going to be a “Friday Reflection” day in which I will attempt to reflect upon everything that happened during the week and try to make sense of it and move towards the next week.  This week was filled with some good positive things and some not so good things.  Sounds normal right?  Fortunately, my blood sugars this week have landed on the good side, so that is something that I am excited about.  Unfortunately, due to the bad things my blood pressure has been starting to get a little whacky on me.

This week started out with another long week of work ahead of me.  No different then any other Monday or week for that matter.  My responsibilities outside of work are what are starting to pick up and that is what’s causing the most stress.  I have football to coach on Tuesday and Thursday’s and we have games coming up soon so I am trying to prepare the kids for this and create a playbook for them to study from, which is taking forever.  There are so many damn blogs to read now a days I can’t seem to find a chance to read them all.  I find myself every night going to Diabetes Daily and just going through the lists of the posts throughout the day and some nights I make it all the way through and some nights I just can’t.  Monday night also included the first week of Monday night football, two games actually.  So that brought the excitement of the NFL back to me.

Tuesday, like I stated earlier was football practice and then home to try and get some work done on a few little side projects.  I’ve also been doing some brainstorming on some cool, fun little activities to try and give back to JDRF locally.  Wednesday and Thursday were just boring ole days, nothing really exciting that went on.  So that comes to tonight.  I just came back from TGI Friday’s and then heading out later tonight to check out the new Jennifer Aniston movie, should be good.  This weekend will be filled with nothing but football.

Looking back on the week I am happy.  I learned a lot this week.  A lot about myself, a lot about diabetes, and about life in general.  I unfortunately learned a lot about some people, that I did not know previously.  My goal every week is to learn more than I did the week before.  And to be able to look back on the week and think, what did I do to make myself better this week.  Whether a better person, a better diabetic, a better worker, better at anything.  As soon as I become complacement, things get back.

Well there you have it a summary of the week for a life of a diabetic.  Nothing too special, all pretty much boring ole life.  Have a great week ya’ll