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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

No A1C Test for a While

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

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

7 day blood sugar avg

14 day blood sugar avg

30 day blood sugar avg

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Not a Great Weekend For Diet and Blood Sugar

This weekend was not so good for the blood sugars or my diet.  My levels were running up close towards the mid 200’s on average all weekend.  Last night after dinner my blood sugar was over 400 for about 3-4 hours be fore it finally came down in the middle of the night.  When it is that high the first thing that I do is change my site.  It’s weird though because my sugar was 115, and then I ate a salad and about 30 minutes later I changed my site and about 30 minutes after that I had chinese food for dinner.

That leads into why my diet wasn’t so good this weekend as well.  Last night I had chinese food from Pei Wei.  On Saturday I didn’t get home until 6 and had to leave at 6:30 for the Panthers game, so I had to stop at Burger King quickly to pick something up.  I know I could have eaten a little better while ordering from BK, but I was starving and haven’t had BK in forever so I decided to go with two of their spicy chicken sandwiches and a junior whopper, like I said, not the best decision I ever made.  Friday night was even worse.  I went to a friend’s naturalization party, I know who has ever gone to one of those before!  It was a place in Boca Raton called The Lodge.  The beer is not normal beer, so it was a little expensive, but the food was amazing.  We had some BBQ chicken nachos and a grilled chicken sandwich.  My blood sugar was about 300 at the end of the night, but the amount of food that I ate was incredible.

I’m becoming thirsty right now thinking about all of these high blood sugars!  I might even have to go to the bathroom soon too.  Funny how thinking about certain things makes your brain want water and go to bathroom.

The weekend was very busy, so fast food just seemed like the right option for me.  I started doing some side work at a local fitness center helping out with directing sports during birthday parties and events for the little kids.  I coach football, so I enjoy doing these things on the side.  At the same time trying to keep up with the consulting work because unfortunately that doesn’t stop after 5 p.m. on a Friday.

Speaking of work, it is time to get back to it.  I hope everybody’s week is off to a great start.  See you all on Twitter throughout the day.  I’m going to have a nice little surprise for everybody on Twitter on February 1, so if you’re not following me yet, you better get to it, because the contest will be on Twitter only!

Using CGM, First Time in Two Months

Today I have decided to wear my sensor for the first time in almost two months.  I had it charging all night long because it wasn’t even connected to the charger during that 2 months.  I am not even sure if the sensors are still good because I know that they have  short expiration date.  Oh well, I will still use it and see how it goes.  I better change the battery in my pump though because I think it is almost at half life and the sensor kills the battery within a few days, even when it’s a brand new one.  I use the Medtronic CGMS just in case you didn’t remember.

I have a doctor’s appointment coming up in a few weeks and she really wants to see the results from the CGM and she usually only looks at the 2-3 weeks prior, so this is good enough amount of time for her to see, and also for me not to get in trouble again for not doing it.  I also have to get my A1C down next week, which I am not looking forward to because I don’t think that it is going to be a good number.  I have managed my sugars pretty well the last 3 months, but there have just been some random highs here and there that just concern me.

Today is also Monday, so we all know what that means, time to start the diet again.  I had coffee to start off the morning, but didn’t eat anything.  For lunch I am going to have a salad and a little bit of left over pasta.  Tonight for dinner I am going to a banquet for the football league that I coached this year.  There is going to be a lot of different random food because I believe it is a pot luck type style.  My assistant coach and myself are supposed to bring pizza, so I’ll be bringing whatever pizza is on sale, the kids won’t care, they will love it either way.

The afternoon today is also going to consist of more job hunting and submitting resume’s online.  I’m not just looking for a regular 9-5 but also some contract or telecommuting type jobs as well for CSI Marketing Solutions.  I haven’t been real aggressive in looking for clients, but I think it’s about time that I start to do that.

Well have a good week everybody.

Review From Doctor’s Visit Last Friday, To Symlin or To Not Symlin

Friday brought me another doctors visit. Let’s go through the checklist for the visit.

Insurance card, ID, meter, pump, clean socks, clean feet, food log, reasons for why I didn’t wear my cgm all month long.

Ok I have everything I need so now I can go to the visit, let’s check my sugar one more tome before we go. Ut-oh I ran out of strips. Once again I don’t have an extra box at work or in my laptop bag.  Going into the visit, I wanted to accomplish a few things.  They were to get my basal rates at right levels, get my morning sugars lower, figure out a better diet plan, learn more about temp basals and square wave boluses.

To start the visit off, I had weight a few pounds lighter than the last visit, even though that scale is way off.  Next came time for the blood pressure, not so good, it was 140-80.  I don’t know why it was so high.  I have been a little stressed lately with less sleep and some things going on at work.  Once the doctor came in the very first thing we discussed was why I didn’t have a lot of readings from the CGM.  So good thing I prepared for that one.  But I told her straight out that I just didn’t wear it as often as I should.  Then we started to look at the levels from the meter.  At previous visits, I had brought in 3 or 4 different meters and gave them the readings from those because I used different meters at different places.  That was one of the things from last visit I tried to stop and attempted to use the same meter almost every time, and I was pretty successful at doing so.

Now it was time to take a look at the bolus readings from the pump.  There were a lot of 25 unit (max) boluses without even having a blood sugar reading.  She did not like that very much.  The reason for those is when I know I am eating bad, and I don’t test before I eat, I just take 25 units, then will test later and correct from there.  Usually because I know I am eating enough carbs to cover that 25, which at my ratio, 5:1, that is at least 125 carbs in one meal, not too good.  There was even one in there just from last week that was two different 25 unit boluses within an hour of each other, (Olive Garden visit).

The last part of the visit was doc and I discussing the possibility of using Symlin.  The reason being is because she wants me to lose weight and she thinks just by my eating habits that I am not going to be able to do that.  This was brought to my attention with my previous doctor as well, and I had decided to throw the sample away and lose the weight myself.  Pretty much the same result this time.  I told my doctor that I want to attempt to lose the weight myself and by the next month if I don’t lose weight, then I will go on the Symlin.  I really don’t want to do that, but if I have to then I will.

Which leads to me to my question of the day.  How many people out there are currently or have previously used Symlin?  How did it make you feel?  Did it make you lose weight?  Was feeling like crap worth the weight loss?  Please let me know your experiences with Symlin.