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“Liv-abetic” As Opposed to Diabetic

I was saying the word diabetic a lot over the past few days.  Well a lot more than normally.  Probably because I was having a few conversations with people about diabetes and my life of a diabetic blog and my insights on diabetes and healthcare.  After saying it a lot I thought, I never realized how much the word “die” is in this word.  And with the ignorance that is out there about diabetes, most people think that it is a death sentence and they are scared of it.  So I started to say I’m not a diabetic, it’s more like a “live”-abetic.  Because that is exactly what I am doing I am living, not dying.  The life of a diabetic is no different than anybody elses, we just have to do a few more things.  I’m just a high maintenance person I guess, my blood sugars require a lot of attention and my supplies are expensive.

Many newly diagnosed type 1 diabetics that I have met and spoke to are scared that they are on a clear path to living a shorter life.  Absolutely not is my first reaction.  I suggest that they be careful where they read their information on the web.  Too many articles, newsletter, and diabetes information or dis-information as I feel, have a negative tone to them.  They may or may not be done purposely like that, but they still are.  For instance, there could be two articles about diabetes and heart disease.  One will talk about how diabetes increases the rate of heart disease and risk of death.  Or you can have the same issue talked about in a way that explains, watching your diet, managing your blood sugars and exercising will decrease your risks.

Now these two things sound almost exactly the same, and to you maybe they are, but to me they are not.  I am a firm believer that you can control your diabetes, your diabetes doesn’t control you.  So, for this exact reason, I believe information should be written in the fashion that the author should explain what you can do to lower risks (you controlling your diabetes) as opposed to explaining what diabetes will do to you if you don’t do these things (diabetes controlling you).  I hope this all makes sense, because it makes great sense in my head, but it doesn’t always come out correctly.

I hope you all have an amazing day and wish you all the best in keeping your blood sugars at good numbers.

Monday Ramblings, Pink in the NFL, New Basal Rates, No Stress

First weekend with the new basal rates and carb to insulin ratio, not bad.  I didn’t see much of a difference, but the after meal highs have come down a little.  There were still highs, but they were about 170-180 insteado f the 230-240 I was having.  It could have also been the food that I ate this weekend because I must admit, it wasn’t the best choices.  Friday night I went to Chile’s.  Saturday night was food court chinese food (my favorite food in the world)  Sunday was a chicken sandwich at the bar watching the Eagles.

This weekend also didn’t really have any stress involved at all.  Saturday Virginia Tech took care of business easily, and so did the Eagles yesterday.  Nothing to stress about sports wise.  My Panthers got beat, but oh well, what are you going to do.  Anyway, onto other things.  I am working on finishing up an interview with my local JDRF person.  She pretty much does everything for the JDRF in this area, so I’ll be posting that later this week.  I have some plans that I’ve been putting together to work with the local office of JDRF and do some more volunteering and working to get more donations.  Hopefully it will all work out, mainly when I actually have some time to.

Seeing all this pink in the NFL again this weekend is pissing me off, because I know that there is not going to be a single thing done for diabetes month.  And there are a few NFL players with diabetes, one of them being a Pro Bowler (Cutler).  Diabetes gets no respect.  Diabetes is the Rodney Dangerfield of comedians, no respect I tell ya.  But all I can do is use my resources that I have to try and get a voice out there and work with you all that have voices as well so maybe one day somebody will hear us.

Well, it’s Monday and Monday’s are always my shortest posts, so I hope you all have an amazing day.

Results From Endo Appointment

Today’s post, although later is about the results from my endo appointment today.  I just came home from football practice a little bit ago, so that is why it is such a late post tonight.  But anywho, onto the appointment.  A diabetic’s mandatory meeting.

I was actually on time so that started out well.  I handed my pump and my meter to the receptionist so they could pull the numbers off of the two.  For some reason, my meter decided that it didn’t want to work anymore and wouldn’t give the readings so they were going to give me a new Freestyle Lite meter.  I told them to just keep it because I have plenty of meters at home, leave it for somebody that needs one.  [Plus didn’t know if I’d have to report that to the FTC also 🙂 ]

Next up was the blood pressure.  If you recall from my last endo appointment, my blood pressure was a little high, 140/80.  I was very stressed out that day and was running around like crazy before the appointment.  Today I wasn’t stressed at all, it was a perfectly fine day.  My blood pressure was 122/70, perfect.  So there was nothing to worry about with that.  For some reason they weighed me after the blood pressure.  The scale at their office is always about a 10 pound difference then any other scale I step on.  Their scale last time said 254 when mine at home said about 244.  Today, their scale said 246.  So even though I’m not that heavy, I am obviously losing some weight.

As I explained recently, I have had a month full of highs and was trying to figure out why that was happening.  I discussed it with the doc today and we both agreed on all the possible reasons that I mentioned.  Probably a site issue.  We eliminated those highs so we could see patterns in normal days.  Overall, the sugars were pretty damn good.  Just those few high days did it to me.  Like usual my sugars overnight are killing me, literally!  We increased my basal rate during the late night / early morning hours to 1.8 and kept the rest of them at 2.2 – 2.4 depending on the time of day.  We also increased my carb ratio to 1 unit of insulin for every 4 carbs at night time and kept it at 5 carbs the rest of the day.

I felt very good after leaving today’s visit.  Things are going good and somethings are getting even better.  My goal for next month’s A1C is to have it below 7.  I have busted my butt exercising and eating better to do this, but I can’t stop now I have to continue.  Well, next appointment isn’t until end of November, so I’ll update you again after that appointment.

Endo Appointment Tomorrow, Charlie Kimball Friday

I received a phone call today from my endo’s office to confirm my appointment for Friday and I was confused.  I said, there’s no way that I could have scheduled an appointment for that day because Friday is Charlie Kimball’s race down in Homestead – Miami that I am going to so I can’t have that appointment.  She said, well I don’t think that we have any other openings.  I said, you don’t understand, I can’t miss this race, I am going to meet Charlie and be at the race.  So she said she would look and see where she could fit me in and give me a call back.  5 minutes later I get a phone call and somebody had cancelled for tomorrow, so it looks like now I have an appointment for tomorrow.

First thing that I am going to explain to the doc when I get in there is come straight out and admit that it hasn’t been a good month for me.  In fact, a pretty effin’ bad month.  I had a lot of highs, some major lows and just been all over the map with my sugars.  However, I did manage to find more time for exercise and lost some weight.  I put a little on over the last week, but I had lost enough before that to still be down some weight since the last visit.  The last thing is to explain that I haven’t worn the sensor at all for multiple reasons.  For one, it started to fall out all the time.  Secondly, the ones that I had expired way back in May and never realized it because I just kept thinking, well I still have 2 full boxes.  I will probably still attempt to use them though.

I must also remember to get new prescriptions from her however because I am almost out of insulin.  That also reminds me that I better re-order very soon because there is always an issue, especially when I need a new prescription sent in.  The first time that I had to send in a new prescription, it took me almost 2 weeks to get my insulin delivered, not good customer service in my eyes.

Today’s post a little short because I just got back from the gym and I am tired and I am trying to cook dinner and do laundry and have a lot of work to catch up on tonight.  So you all have a great day and I will have a better post tomorrow.  Hopefully something positive from the endo appointment.

Top 5 Diabetes Things to Remember When Attending Conferences

I do attend a lot of conferences and do a lot of traveling so I was thinking about the checklist that I go through and how it has helped me with all of my traveling that I do.  Here is my top 5 things to do to prepare for a conference, Diabetes style.

1. Make a List

The first thing is to just grab a pen and paper and just start writing down every single thing that comes to your mind that you may need in the next few days or weeks.  Just look around the room and write it down.  Picture Steve Carrell’s character in “Anchorman” when he starts naming everything in the room that he loves.  “I love lamp”.  Everything that you see, write it down.  It’s a brainstorming session.  You can then go back later and make a decision on what things you actually need and which you won’t need at all.  Don’t organize, don’t worry about duplicates.  Obviously, you need your socks and undies, but I always start my list by sitting in front of my “diabetes cabinet” and just tart writing everything down.

2. Scrub the List

The next step is to scrub the list and go through the things that you actually need and get rid of the things that you don’t need.  Once again, I start with the diabetes stuff, “all I need is my pump and my wallet”.  That is my motto when I travel.  If you are only traveling for one day, you probably don’t 5 pairs of pants and shorts.  But you will require 4-5 infusion sets, reservoirs and about 2 vials of insulin.  Pack wisely because of the high costs of traveling with luggage now, so don’t put too much stuff in the suitcase.

3. Carry On Your Supplies

I take my laptop bag with me along with a second drawstring bag.  It makes it easier when Amanda is with me because, she can carry the second bag in her big ole’ carry-on bag.  However, most of the time I fly alone.  I make sure that I have enough supplies to last me double the time of the trip, so the quantity of supplies will vary.  So the bag consists of infusion sets, reservoirs, inserters, IV prep, insulin, 2 meters, strips, lancets, IV dressings and any other little things I may use to manage my diabetes.  I usually get my bag pulled off to the side for a quick search about 75% of the time, I am used to it by now.  It is well worth the additional 5 minutes instead of it being in my checked luggage and having it lost in transit and being without supplies for a week.

4. Prepare for Emergencies Before You Get There

Contact the hotel, conference center and company putting on the conference before hand to find out information on what kind of food or juices that they may be having.  I always contact the hotel before hand and let them know that I need a fridge in my room so I can put my orange juice in there.  Also, ask if the hotel has a deli or snack area to go pick up some juice if you run out.testing at Renaissance Orlando

Next, speak with the actual conference center where the event will be.  Find out where any snack bars or vending machines are in case you need to get up for some juice.  If you are the type of person that is afraid to tell people about your diabetes, then this isn’t for you.  Simply tell them beforehand that you are diabetic and explain what you may need and they should be able to make accommodations or tell you where these things are.  Finally, most conferences have already planned out what they are planning serving for lunch or dinner so send a quick e-mail to the staff putting the event on and they may be able to give you some sort of idea of what is going to be served. This is great to know, so you know if you need to fill up another reservoir before you go into the session or bring an extra insulin pen with you.  It also helps with knowing approximately how many carbs are in what you.  (Unless you have an IPhone, there is an app for that.  Rumor has it, there’s an app that runs your whole life).

5. Test, Test, Test, Test

Just like anything else that you are doing in life, it is absolutely important for you to test your sugar constantly.  I tend to test myself in between sessions so that way I can prepare for a low at that time.  I hate to miss information at a conference, because I paid for the damn thing I want to be there the whole time.  If I have a low in the middle then there goes some information that I am going to miss.  Also, don’t be scared to pull out your meter in front of people.  It actually is a good networking tool.  It sparks conversations for me and then that is just another person that I was able to meet at the conference.  In a way, it is an ice-breaker for me.

I hope this was helpful for all of you.  I am sure that you all have your own method of planning for attending a conference, so I would like to hear some of your other ideas and planning methods.

Have a great day ya’ll.

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.