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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.

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!

Diabetes Makes Me Think A Lot

Last night I started to think about some things, usually not good when I do this kind of stuff.  Diabetes makes me think a lot.  Let me exaplain the background of the  story first and why it came about.  Over the last, I’d say 2-3 weeks I have fell in love with this new bbq sauce.  It is the Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle.  I am not getting paid by them, nor have I received anything for free, even though, I will admit I wish I did!  This bbq was found randomly because a local grocery store, Albertson’s, is closing down.  I tasted it, and that was the end of that.  I have eaten it on literally everything.  Salad, sandwiches, steak, fries, crackers, bagels, EVERYTHING!

Last night we decided to look at the ingredients and the very first one on there was high fructose corn syrup.  Hmm, probably not the best thing for somebody, especially a diabetic.  So my girlfriend asked, “is it healthy for your to be eating this much of this when you have diabetes?”  My quick reply was no, “no definitely not, but it is amazing!”

About 2 hours later that situation popped into my head and I started to think about it.  Has that ever happened to you?  Somebody says something to you, and it means nothing but then some time passes and you actually think about what they really said.  And on went my brain.

How much are my “live for right now” decisions hurting me in the long run?  When will I get back in to see my doctor?  Can I get private dental insurance as a diabetic?  Why can’t I just stick to my diet?  Why am I asking so many questions? 

Those are just a few of the thoughts that went flying through my mind last night.  Usually it gets me into a little bit of a down mood, but last night I snapped out of it pretty quickly.  They have recently built a new Dollar Tree across the street from where I am living, so I wanted to walk there and get exercise.  Amanda and I also decided to stop into Office Depot because there was a paper shredder there that I wanted last week.  It wasn’t on sale anymore.  This is when my mood changed.

As I was walking out the door to leave I glanced down and just so happened to see a different paper shredder in the ad for even less money.  So I went and asked an employee if they had more because I didn’t initially see them the first time I looked.  They did, but they were all on top of the shelf.  As I was waiting for somebody to climb up and get the shredder for me, Amanda brought my attention to a $200 desk on sale for $45.  It is a large desk, with storage, and lots of room for lots of stuff I have.  SOLD!

The desk was already assembled, but I had to take it pretty much completely apart once I got it home in order to get it upstairs to my make-shift home office.  And if you are wondering, didn’t you say you walked to the store?  Yes, but we had her brothers come pick us up with the truck.  I am working on-site today, so I won’t get to use the desk until tonight, but a good desk makes you do a lot better work.  Or is that just me?

Sorry about the 2 or 3 different things I was talking about in this post, but that was everything that happened to me yesterday.  Good thing I started a diabetes blog a long time ago to get this stuff off of my mind and know that there are others going through the same crap.

Just another day in the life of a diabetic!

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.

How Diabetes Has Changed Me

I was diagnosed in April of 2004, that’s almost 6 years ago.  Diabetes has changed me in so many ways, even though I always say that I am not going to let this disease affect me and control me.  Well in reality it has controlled me and affected me, but in positive ways.  Of course there are some thing that I don’t like about the disease that I have to do, but overall they have made me more health conscience, it has introduced me to so many new great people, and it has changed my outlook on life.

Going back to my high school years and freshman year of college before I was diagnosed, I had a completely different outlook on life.  I didn’t care about things as much, I didn’t appreciate the little things in life.  I would always say, “whatever, I’ll do it tomorrow” or talk about things that  will do in 5-10 years from now.  The night I was diagnosed that all changed.  I then started talking about doing things that same day because you never know what could happen.  I know that goes for anybody, not just somebody with diabetes, but it really sunk into my brain at that time.  I have become a little impatient at times, especially when it comes to work and making a lot of money because I want to travel the world and I want to do it now!  I don’t want to do it later on in life because you never know what may happen in the future.

Since diagnosis I have become a lot more health conscience.  Sure, I may not always eat as well as I should, but at least now I know what the complications are.  I used to eat a burger and fries, well probably 3-4 burgers and fries and a milkshake and didn’t think anything of it, because I was young, skinny, and worked out everyday so what did it matter.  I never thought about the fat getting stuck in my arteries and clogging my veins that could lead to heart problems later on in life.  Now, before I decided to eat that burger, fries and shake, which I do at times, I at least think about the consequences and what I will need to do to make up for eating that meal.

I also made a decision to become an expert in the field of diabetes and know everything about this disease that I could.  My definition of expert here does not mean knowing how to do research in the field, but to become a diabetes management expert.  If I can manage my blood sugars and keep my A1C at good levels, then in my mind I am an expert.  I have read more books about diabetes then I have any other field of category of books.  I read blogs, articles, magazines, journals, essays, whatever is out there to better myself and to possibly lower my A1C but just a tenth of a point.

The people that I have met, whether just online or in person, have been incredible.  I have learned so much more about diabetes than these books could ever tell me.  Other d-bloggers have made me feel comfortable living with diabetes.  At times when I thought I was the only one in the world that was going through this stuff, they made me realize that I wasn’t the only one.  Also, they made me stop feeling sorry for myself.  There were times that I would get down and feel sorry for myself and want a pity party because I was the lonely diabetic that nobody knew what I was going through.  Shut up Chris and get over it.  You’re diabetic and so are millions of other people.  But now I was able to connect with these people and a lot of them have become personal friends.

These are a few of the ways that diabetes has changed me and I am thankful for these things.  They outweigh some of the negative things that may have changed my life, like checking my blood sugar, worrying about what the food I’m about to eat will do to my blood sugar, and counting carbs.  But these are all things that I do to manage my diabetes, so in my mind they are good things to do because I have become healthier since my diagnosis.

I hope everyone else can see the positives of diabetes and focus more on them, then the negatives that are out there.

Diabetes Inventory Day – Time to Count

Today it is diabetes inventory day.  How often do you do this?  I usually do it once every 3 or 4 months just to see how much I have and how much I will need to re-order.  Typically, I have a lot more infusion sets than I do reservoirs because I don’t change my site everytime I fill a new reservoir.  This is mainly just due to laziness.  Sometimes it is because I just can’t do it.  I may be driving and filling a new reservoir, or at work, or somewhere that I just don’t feel comfortable or have the opportunity to change the infusion set.  When I get a 90 day supply of my pump supplies the reservoirs are usually gone in those 90 days, but the infusion sets usually last about 5-6 months so I always have enough infusions.  Do you re-use your reservoirs at all?  I do from time to time just so I don’t run out.  Right now I don’t have insurance (looking into picking up Cobra), so I doubt I will be buying supplies any time soon.

I plan on counting everything diabetes related that I have.  Test strips, lancets, syringes, pen needles, infusion sets, reservoirs, sensors, IV prep pads, IV dressings, alcohol swabs, and anything else that I have in my diabetes cabinet.  I am hoping that I have enough of everything to last me at least 90 days because most companies will give you insurance after 90 days of employment.  It’s ironic that I worked for a company that helped uninsured people and now I am one of those uninsured.  My main concern is being able to get insulin.  I really need to work on exercising and eating less so that I use less insulin, especially until I am insured again.

I have no excuses anymore for not going to the gym.  I don’t have a job right now, so I have all the time in the world to go, but I am constantly doing things on the internet now.  These are productive things, so I’m not just sitting online all day looking at Twitter, I am trying to get things accomplished and do work on my clients sites.  That’s also one reason that I have decided to do the diabetes inventory later today because I have the time to count each and everything that I own.

I’ll give all the numbers tomorrow.

Lack of Exercise Has Brought Weight Back On

In a post I did earlier in the week, I explained that I was working a lot and not really sleeping at all.  Well, along with that I have been working right through exercise time as well.  My exercise has consisted of throwing footballs and doing a little jogging at football practice when I am coaching, that is about it.  I also have not been eating healthy again because I haven’t really gone to the grocery store in a long time.  I don’t really have the funds right now to go out and by $100 worth of groceries.  Business is good, but there are plenty of other things that require my money at the current time.  Back to the subject, I have put some weight back on unfortunately.  Not a lot, I am still down a few pounds from back in September when I got serious about losing weight, but still not down to what I want to be.

I have a monthly goal of losing 5 pounds before every doctor visit, which at this time is every 4-6 weeks.  I may have to cancel my next visit that is scheduled for later this month because I may not have insurance coverage at the time, we shall see and I should have a better answer shortly about that situation.  Once again, if anybody has information about being on Cobra, I really need your help.  I’ll post more tomorrow, but I no longer work at the diabetes supply company that I worked at for 2 1/2 years.

I will get back into my workout habits again, it doesn’t take much for me to get back into the gym, it’s just making sure that I continue to go everyday, well at least 5 times a week.  I also need to cut back on my coffee intake and fast food.  Lately I have not been cooking breakfast, instead I have just been going to Dunkin Donuts and getting a large coffee and a sausage biscuit (it’s only $0.99 so that’s why.)

Here is my goal and I will keep a daily record on my blog of this starting on Friday November 6, 2009.  I’m going to look for a cool WordPress plugin, if anybody knows of one, let me know, that will put a chart or graph into my blog and I will add it into here.  But I will keep track of my daily calorie intake, as well as how much exercise and energy drinks that I intake.

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.