Skip to main content

Life of a Diabetic Has Been Busy

The life of this diabetic has been crazy busy over the last few days.  This new work schedule is finely starting to feel normal, and I must admit, I actually like the schedule.  Let’s take a look at how my new day goes:

7:00 a.m. – Alarm goes off

7:15 a.m. – I actually wake up

7:15 a.m. – test blood sugar

7:20 a.m. – coffee, breakfast, shower

8:00 a.m. – hitting the road for my commute

8:45 a.m. – get to work and test sugar again to see how breakfast was holding up

11:00 a.m. – test sugar to see if correction was good

12:30 p.m. – test sugar because it is lunch time soon

2:30 p.m. – test sugar to see how good my bolus was

5:30 p.m. – test sugar once more because I am getting ready to leave at 6 to drive home

7:00 p.m. get home from work and go for a quick walk

7:30 p.m. – get home from walk, start to cook, eat and cleanup dinner

9:00 p.m. log into blog, check out comments, attempt to respond to twitter comments

10:00 p.m. – check sugar

12:30 a.m – laying in bed trying to fall asleep to start the same thing over the next day.

There is not one time throughout the day that I hate that busy schedule.  I absolutely love it.  Living a schedule like this with type 1 diabetes or any disease in that matter can start to wear on your health if you are not taking care of yourself properly.  I try to force myself to test my blood sugar during these times because I know that I will forget to do it.  I set the alarm on my pump now, I have never used that alarm before in my life.  I think it might annoy my co-workers, but nobody has said anything yet.  They are all usually listening to music anyway, so I don’t think they even notice.

Tonight I am going to be up later because I have a lot of other things to take care of, lots and lots of e-mails I haven’t responded to in almost 3-4 days.  So if you e-mailed me, sorry I will get to it tonight, promise.

Time for that energy drink.

Have a great Friday tomorrow everybody.

Weird Words How People Found My Blog

A few weeks ago I was running my monthly Google Analytics reports from the many websites that I manage.  I usually don’t look too much into the stats for this site because it is simply a personal site and the number of readers and subscribers doesn’t mean more money I make, unlike the other sites that I manage.  But I decided to take the time to look at some of the keywords that were bringing people to my blog.  Below is a list of the top 8 keywords that brought people to my blog and a short explanation of how I THINK it happened, and questions as to why and how people are even coming up with these search phrases.

Top 8 Keyword Searches

  1. Recent Misleading Store Ads – this one is pretty simple.  I had a few posts about how CVS was printing an ad that advertised a certain test strip on sale for a box of 25, but yet not a single store even had it in stock.
  2. Diabetic at Pei Wei – this one is a little weird.  Maybe someone was thinking of eating Pei Wei and they wanted to see if other diabetics ate there?  Not too sure, but I did find a Fired Up Friday post about places not having many drink options for diabetics.
  3. I am Diabetic and I still love to eat a lot? – Well, this one doesn’t make me feel too great about myself if that is how people are finding my blog.  I have a lot of posts on here about my weight though and my journey of trying to lose it.
  4. Is my life over when I am diabetic? – Short answer, NO, it’s just beginning!
  5. – Ummm….ok?
  6. “Submit a guest post” – money – seo – Looks like somebody was trying to make some money off of my guest posting week.  No shame in it, submitting guest posts is great for SEO purposes, but I would expect a phrase like that on my business blog, Chris Stocker Inc, and not on here.
  7. Chick fil a diabetic – Ok, this one just weirds me out, sort of like the Pei Wei one.  Once again, I think the only post it could be about is the limited drink options.

So, these ones weren’t that bad, but there was about 1,000 other phrases, but these ones were just the most common out of them all.  What are some of the funniest / weirdest keywords you have had people enter your site through?

Cherise Guest Post – Job interviews and Diabetes

Day 3 of guest post week is a post from Cherise.  Please be sure to follow her on Twitter because she is very active and gives great advice and comments.

I  would  like  to  thank  Chris  for  inviting  me  to  do  a  guest  post  for  him.    I  am  honored.

There  once  was  a  girl  named  Cherise,  she  lived  in  California  but  soon  to  relocate  to  Indianapolis.    She   knew  she  had  to  find  a  job  but  where  and  what  to  look  for.    Cherise  searched  high  and  low.  She  applied   for  many  jobs  but  no  one  would  respond.    She  almost  gave  up!    One  day  she  received  an  email  from  Sue.   Sue  asked  if  she  would  like  to  come  in  for  a  job  interview  on  Thursday.    Cherise  was  excited.    Could  this   be  it?  She  texted  her  husband  and  off  she  was  to  Kansas  City,  MO  to  hitch  a  ride  with  her  mother  to  the   great  city  of  Indianapolis.      Cherise  knew  she  had  to  eat  something  to  keep  her  blood  sugars  from  rising   but  she  didn’t  have  a  clue  what  to  eat.    Cherise  said, “I  can’t  eat  too  many  carbs  because  I  will  get  sleepy   but  if  I  don’t  eat  enough  carbs  I  will  go  low.”  Off  to  the  waffle  house  she  went.

She  ate  bacon,  eggs   and  hash  browns.      She  looked  at  her  iphone  and  it  was  time  to  go.  
This  is  how  the  interviews  went.

Interview  number  one:
  Hi!  My  name  is  Cherise.    I  have  diabetes.    If  you  hear  anything  alarming  or  buzzing  don’t  be  alarmed.    It   could  be  my  insulin  pump  or  my  continuous  glucose  monitor.    It’s  a  little  hot  in  here  can  I  take  my  jacket   off?    The  interview  lasted  an  hour!  It  was  fun  and  I  enjoyed  talking  to  all  three  of  the  ladies  in  the  room.

Interview  number  two:
  Hi!  My  name  is  Cherise.    I  have  diabetes.    If  you  hear  anything  alarming  or  buzzing  don’t  be  alarmed.  It   could  be  my  insulin  pump  or  my  continuous  glucose  monitor.

Sue: “What  if  your  blood  sugar  goes  low?  What  do  you  do?”

Cherise:  ␣I  have  glucose  tablets  I  carry  with  my  all  the  time.    I  eat  a  few  of  them;  they  bring  my  blood   sugar  up.    After,  I  eat  the  glucose  tablets  I  try  to  eat  something  that  has  protein  in  it  to  keep  my  bg’s   leveled.”

Sue:  “Ok,  would  you  like  a  glass  of  water?”

Me:  “Yes.␣”

The  interview  lasted  about  an  hour  and  a  half.    It  went  great.    I  met  with  2  people.    I  was  asked  about   going  back  to  school  and  why  I  wanted  to  become  a  CDE.

Interview  number  3:
  This  interview  was  sprung  on  me  at  the  last  minute.    I  was  a  little  exhausted.    Seriously,  I  started   interviewing  at  8am….. now  1pm.
  I  repeated  the  same  opening  speech.    I  was  excited!  I  have  never  had  3  interviews  at  once  and  all  in  the   same  place.    My  bg’s  did  not  drop  and  I  was  offered  a  2  positions  out  of  the  3  I  interviewed  for.    I  know   some  people  don’t  like  to  disclose  that  they  have  diabetes  when  interviewing  for  a  job  but  I  try  to  be   honest  up  front.    I  try  to  be  open  and  honest  with  everyone.    I  have  to  go  to  the  endocrinologist  every  3   months.  I  could  go  low  one  day.    IMO,  the  more  people  who  know  about  me  having  diabetes  the  better   it  is  for  me  in  the  long  run.

In  case  you’re  wondering,  I  went  with  job  number  2.

Do  you  inform  your  potential  employer  that  you   have  diabetes?

Be  Blessed


Scott Johnson Guest Post – Resignation Versus Resolve

Day 2 of guest post week is Scott Johnson.  He is a great person to know if you don’t know him already.  If you are not following him on Twitter already, then please follow him right now.

I recently wrote a blog post (“Screw It! I’ll Just Eat The Rest”) about not wanting to finish my dinner. My brain almost imploded when I tried to think about my insulin and how it would affect me if I stopped eating. So naturally, I posted about it!

I think it’s important to talk about those sorts of situations because it gives those around us a glimpse of how difficult food can be for us. While food is only a small part of our daily life with diabetes, it seems to take up more energy than it should. At least that is how it seems to me.

I got so many wonderful comments from that post (thank you!), but there was one that hit me and stuck in my head.

Barbara said:

“What I am wrestling with now is balancing resignation with resolve to keep trying and working on it. I think that the key is to try and keep figuring out how to tolerate all these diabetes difficulties which you describe so well. I pray for strength and resilience because most of it can’t be ‘fixed’, just tolerated.”

Thank you Barabara, for such a great comment. That is something I wrestle with all the time! It’s really a tough thing! There is very little positive reinforcement with our diabetes management. Think about it! If we do well enough, the encouragement we get is lack of negative consequences! That is not the same thing as positive encouragement.

The amount of work it takes to maintain anything close to normal is mind-blowing. Many of us try so very hard, but still struggle more often than not. The messages we receive when we’re not doing so well are all negative. Those messages come from many places (including our own heads!), and often get skewed by our huge load of guilt (why do we feel so guilty?).

I am all too familiar with the “resignation” that Barbara talks about. It usually comes to me in one of two ways. One is after I’ve tried SO HARD and still can’t seem to do well enough. The other is a slower, sort of grinding down of my resolve to keep trying. I think that one in particular is from the lack of positive reinforcement.

I try very hard to not be negative, and honestly, it’s not always negativity directly, but rather the LACK of positive signals and messages. If I do great – well, that’s expected. If I do poorly, then by default I’m not working hard enough. It’s a failed feedback system that has been built into so many of us.

Have you ever had a really great A1C? You and the doctor might celebrate for 5-10 minutes, then you’re back out in the world again. You are expected to maintain that fabulous A1C, and often to work even harder to get it down more! There is constant frustration built into something that always has room for improvement. It is a hard, hard balance for us to find. The balance between resignation and resolve is slippery, and most often a moving target. What is the answer? IS there an answer?

Vacation Over Means Back to Blogging

What is this thing called a WordPress dashboard that I just logged into?  Luckily my password was saved in Firefox or I may have not remembered what the password was.  Hello everybody again.  It has been a while since my last blog post and that was a decision that I made several weeks ago.  I was beginning to spread myself too thin between a million different projects that I had going on, plus my personal life was very busy as well.  I just got back from a nice trip back north and have some good things to talk about.

First, I had decided to go to the 140 Conference in New York, so since I was going up there I may as well make a trip out of it and visit family.  I flew into Allentown on Saturday and spent 2 days in PA with my family before taking the bus up to NYC for a few days.  NYC was awesome!  I have been there before, but only stayed over night there one time.  This was Amanda’s second time in NYC and first time staying over night, so she was beyond excited.  I think the million photos and over 20 minutes of Flip cam video we have proves that.  I just finished editing the video last night to make a 15 minute movie, so I will cut down some of that into clips and post online soon.

I went to NYC with only 3 testing strips, more on that in tomorrow’s post.  On Wednesday, we took a bus back home and it was more time with the family until this past Saturday when we had to fly back home.  Anytime I go up north and see family, it really puts things into a totally different perspective for me.  Down here in Florida I am constantly on the go, whether it is writing 5 blog posts right after each other, then jumping into Photoshop, then heading to Starbucks for a meeting, then desiging a new web page and before you know it, it’s 2:00 a.m.  Up there, everything slows down.  I only check mail a few times throughout the day on my phone, if it’s not an emergency, then it can wait.  Seeing my 5-month old niece for only the 2nd time since she was born is a bittersweet moment as well.  It’s great to see her, but also realize how much you miss by living down here.

Then comes the diabetes part.  Every family member that I visit is asking me about my diabetes and sometimes I wish I just had a recorder to give the same answer to everybody.  But all in all, it is good to be back, mainly because I don’t receive paychecks up north, ha.  And I’m back to getting up at 7 and starting my new diet (going to beach in July with parents and brother’s family, so I can’t weigh more than my brother!).

Have a great Monday everybody and I look forward to talking with you all on Twitter again.

Refilling a Reservoir at Work

Yesterday I had to refill my insulin cartridge at work and it made me think about a couple of things.  First, what reaction am I going to get from people who walk by? Why do I have two vials of insulin in my laptop bag and both have 2 refills left in them?  Why is this thing so damn loud when it is priming?

Well here were my answers to all of those questions.

Reaction from People

First and foremost, I don’t  really  care what their reaction is to it.  I am doing something that I need to do in order to survive, so get over it.  Do I look at you weird when you breathe or when you drink water or when you eat?  No, didn’t think so, so keep on walking.  But I do find it funny what most people say.  The most common phrase I hear is, “What are you shooting up or something?”  Some people mean it in a sense of am I shooting up insulin, but I think we all know what most others are referring to, obviously a joke.  I usually say, “Well, I’m already high, so I need to shoot up some more.”  That is when the other person doesn’t get the insulin and high blood sugar reference and thinks that I am just making a drug comment back to them.

What kind of reaction do you get?

Two Vials of Insulin

When it comes to insulin, I try to have only one open vial at a time, but that tends to not happen very often.  The reason is usually that I open one and put it in my laptop bag because that thing goes with me to work, home, and travel.  That way the insulin will be with me at all times.  Then there is usually one on my desk at home, maybe it’s empty and I forgot to throw it away, so when I see it, I think that I just finished one and go and open another one.  As soon as I used it to refill the reservoir, I throw it in my laptop bag and now I have two opened in the same location.

Do any of you do this as well, or am I just being a bad diabetic?

Loud Priming

The last part of what was going through my head was why this insulin pump is so damn loud when it is priming.  It beeps so many times, and it is extremely loud, so when my co-workers are working, they hear it beeping and then all the questions start.  Normally I don’t mind the questions, but when I am busy and trying to get work done so I can get home and start working on some other clients work, I’m not usually in the mood to lecture on diabetes.

Do you all refill right at your desk or do you go to restrooms or cars, or somewhere else to take care of it?

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.

Fired Up Friday – Limited Drink Options at Restaurants

Every time I go to a restaurant, I tend to get a little mad.  There may be a few reasons why, but primarily it is because I may not be in the mood to drink water, diet Coke / Pepsi or un-sweetened iced tea.  But, guess what, those are the only options.  With so many diabetics in this country don’t you think we deserve to have just as many options of beverages than people who are not living with diabetes have?  Not only people with diabetes, but all the people who are trying to diet and make the right choices when eating out have minimal choices.

I have always wanted to start a petition to force restaurants to have more options.  I’ve been told by people that if I want diet soda then I probably shouldn’t be eating there anyway.  Let’s take an example of this.  If I walk into a fast food joint because I’m in the mood for it, and order some unhealthy greasy burger and fries, ok let’s be realistic, 2 burgers, but I order a diet coke.  Should I be looked at weird because I’m getting a diet coke to go along with my 1,500 calorie meal?  No, not at all because I am choosing to take about 10 units less of insulin by drinking the diet coke.  Therefore, I should have a few more options of drinks.

Let’s take a look at some of the people who are doing it right and why I will choose their place to eat over others.

  • Chick-Fil-A – I will spend more money for a chicken sandwich here than other places because they offer sugar free lemonade and diet Dr. Pepper.  I love diet Dr. Pepper, it is the only diet soda that I used to drink before I was even diabetic, because I can’t taste the difference in the two.
  • Quiznos (some) – Why would I rather pay an extra dollar for my footlong?  Easily, they offer un-sweetened, Sprite Zero, diet Mtn. Dew, and various bottled beverages that are zero carb or diet.
  • Pei-Wei – There is more than one reason why I enjoy this place, but I spend more money on their food, for one the quality of food is better, but also because they have two different flavors on un-sweetened tea, they also have Fresca, which is a great alternative to diet Sprite all the time.

These are just a few of the places that have won my customer loyalty all because they offer drinks other than diet coke and un-sweetened iced tea.  If there are any restaurant owners / managers out there reading this right now, did you just read that?  I have been won over by places because of their beverage options, not because your burger is a ¼ larger, or you have extra sauce or your foot long is only $5.00(even though you charge almost $3.00 for a combo which ends up being more expensive than your competition, I see your trick).  I understand that I am in the minority here and you have to make business decisions based upon the majority.  Put, are you really going to spend that much extra money by eliminating 1 flavor or regular soda and switching it out with diet?  I doubt not.

I have gone as far as bringing in my own drink into a restaurant because they don’t have a type of drink that I like.  They didn’t have a problem with it, they just charged me for the cost of purchasing a drink of theirs.

How do you all feel about this?  Am I just over-reacting to this situation?

Eating Healthy for Diabetes Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Being diabetic, we all know that we need to eat healthy and exercise.  Well why is it so difficult to actually follow through on this?  I have said plenty of times that this is the time that I am going to cut back on my bad eating habits and increase the good eating habits.  I can’t just stop eating bad one day and then switch to eating good, it just doesn’t happen.  The easiest way for me to get back into eating habits is to eat the things I have been eating, but cut down on the portion control.  Eventually, I will not require as much food to move away from the table and I can begin eating healthier things.  The other bad part of eating unhealthy is the amount of money that I spend eating out.  I eat out for lunch on average 3 days a week.  One day, I will eat bad and spend about $10 and the other 2 days are split between Subway and Quiznos, which are both about $5 each.  That right there is $20 a week, $80 a month, almost $1,000 a year.  I could pay off a credit card in a year with that amount of money!

So, yesterday was the tipping point for me.  I went to the store and bought stuff to make my own Sammie’s and oven roasted chicken breast subs and flat bread salads.  I paid about the same amount of money, but will have enough food to last me about 2 weeks worth of lunches.  I used to always say that it costs so much more to eat healthier, well not exactly.  If you do it properly, then it doesn’t.  Living with type 1 diabetes brings a lot of expensive situations, but eating does not have to be one of them.  I bought a package of pork tenderloins (6) for $5.50, a box of boil in a bag brown rice $2.50, package of steamable veggies $1.99 and made 5 days worth of lunch for under $10!  When I go out for lunch and buy stir-fry it costs me $10 for one meal.

On a side note, here are some pictures from Daytona and a few videos, hope you enjoy.

Daytona 500 National Guard Jimmie Johnson CarNational Guard Car

Diabetes in Daytona

This past weekend I went up to Daytona Beach, FL for the Daytona 500 race.  This was my second consecutive year going.  I met a guy up there who said that he has gone to 42 straight, this year’s was the 52nd so he only missed the first 10 races.  That sounded like a great idea to me, and I think I am going to do it.  Amanda, her brother, friend and myself all packed up Friday morning / afternoon and made sure we had everything ready to go for about a 3:00 departure for the 3 hour drive.  Everyone was packed to go and I of course was doing the diabetic thing and triple checking.  Having type 1 diabetes isn’t always the easiest thing to pack for.  I made sure that I had everything that I would need and we were set to leave.  I tested before I got in the car, 345, not a good start.

I had eaten two bagels for breakfast that morning, I know probably not the best idea.  It was about 3:30 and I didn’t eat lunch and there was some Little Ceasar’s pizza, so of course I ate some.  I bolused enough for the correction and then again for the pizza and I felt like I was going to be just fine.  About two hours later I tested again and I was down to 180, not bad at all since I ate pizza.  We finally arrived in Daytona and were going to get Subway for dinner.  Blood sugars didn’t go so well Friday night.  At one point it was up to 425.  This high blood sugar gave me the opportunity to educate some body on diabetes however.  The kid we were staying with didn’t really know anything about diabetes, he just knew that his grandmother had it and that his mom had told him that it skips generations.  Let the lecture begin.

I was explaining to him that it is difficult for anybody with type 1 diabetes to drink because when you get low, you feel light headed and woozy and when your blood sugar goes high, you pee a lot.  So, since we were heading out to a bar, he realized the difficulties and the confusions that can come of this and the dangers behind it.  Throughout the night, the blood sugars came down and I was ready to go Saturday morning (except for the little headache I had from the night before.)

Saturday night led to another conversation with this same kid about diabetes, but not about drinking this time.  It was just diabetes in general.  I explained how I became diabetic [or how I was born with it, according to Dr. DipShit(OZ)].  I took him through the whole night, the 858 blood sugar, the issues, the problems, ways to avoid problems, and discussed with him about the skipping a generation issue.  I am not a scientist or doctor, but I didn’t think that was true because there is plenty of people that I know whose parents are diabetic and so are they, but I don’t know, correct me if I’m wrong please.  After the conversations with him, it felt great!  I love teaching people about diabetes or eliminating their ignorance or mis-understandings about it.  Explaining the insulin pump is always the best and then asking them if they want to test their sugar is funny.

The answer is always the same, “Hell no, get out of here”