Endo Nurse

At my endocrinologist appointment yesterday, they wanted to check if my meter was working correctly since I will get three totally different results when I run high sometimes. (I have a really cheap meter because I have to pay out of pocket for test strips.)

So a nurse comes in with the office meter and is priming it. I just thought it would be stupid for her to check it for me…I mean come on, I do that myself 10 times a day. Plus she was taking sort of a long time and individually alcohol swabbing all of my fingers, even though we’d only use one. So I offered to do it. And she gladly handed it to me. As I pressed the lancet to my finger she squeezed her eyes shut and turned away in disgust. And I said, “It bothers you?” She responded, “I can do it if I have to, but I don’t like to look at the blood.” Then afterward she insisted that I wash my hands AND use an alcohol swab.

I was SHOCKED.

1)WHY do you work as a nurse at an endocrinologist’s office if you can’t check people’s sugar?????

2) Why do you work as a nurse if a tiny drop of blood freaks you out so much?

3) WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?

As a diabetic I check my sugar in public multiple times per week (in class, at restaurants, at the gym, when I feel low in the middle of a supermarket etc.) Yea, in the beginning I was self-conscious that I was bothering people. I used to be really grossed out by blood too. I get that it bothers some people, but I also don’t feel like I should have to feel shame about my disease. Additionally, if I feel like my sugar is low, I don’t care what people think, I am not going to take the time to go to a bathroom when I can just check where I am standing. 99.9% of the time people have no reaction. On the rare occasion that they do, I ap0logize and very obviously use my hand sanitizer in front of them afterward.

BUT A NURSE, AT AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST’S OFFICE?!?!?! COME ON!

Thoughts?

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A1C!

Hey guys! I hope you had a good weekend! I did! (Except my pump ran out of insulin while I was out…you know how that goes.)

Today I had my endocrinologist appointment and I got back my A1C. (The measure of average blood glucose for the past 3 months.) It was a 6.0 which roughly translates to 120 mg/dl average blood sugar…which is a normal reading for a non-diabetic! I was stoked as my last A1c was 6.6 at about 2 1/2 months after diagnosis and before that it was 12 and I was in the hospital. Getting a good A1C feels to me like when you look at a scale and you lost 10 lbs. Beyond that, my triglycerides and cholesterol were really low and the doctor asked me if I work out a lot because my numbers indicated that I did. As diabetics, we have the opportunity to really monitor our systems so much more closely than the average person. It is amazing to me to see how my lifestyle pays off on a regular basis! (There’s a plus side to diabetes!)

I also found a new work out buddy. (Hey Lauren!) And she really holds me accountable as I got up at the butt-crack of dawn this morning to meet her at the “Y.”

My doctor pretty much told me that doing a juice fast is a ridiculously stupid idea. I think I could get a way with substituting one meal a day with it, but I guess I have to give up on that one.

This week, I challenge you to “plank” every day and hold it for as long as you can! This is a great exercise for your abs. Time yourself, and I bet that by the end of the week you will have extended your time by so much! Let me know how you do with it! I will post my times here as well! πŸ™‚

Now I am going to go bury my head in thesis writing…Have a great Monday! πŸ™‚

Awesome Low-Carb Recipes and the First Day’s Run

This morning was beautiful. I did my HIIT training which I talked about here. I ate this burrito thing that I have had a few times…but only once before on CGM. It is a vegan frozen couscous burrito that says on the back that there are 36 carbs in it. Both times I have eaten it, with CGM I have noticed a spike to over 275, so I don’t think I am going to eat it any more. I ran and my CGM was buzzing saying that my sugar was spiking. I waited for the drop from exercise, but it never happened. When I checked after the run I was at 188, though my CGM was saying 250…I am not really sure how that worked. The upside to this is that I think I don’t have intense sugar drops from exercise as much any more because I do it all the time.

I experimented with two amazing recipes tonight! Both of them are from Blogilates. I slightly tweaked them, but literally have had completely stable sugar from eating them. I barely spiked!

For the first recipe I used the Peanut Sauce from Blogilates.

Here are the ingredients:

I forgot to take out the red wine vinegar that is also in the recipe…oops.

Anyway, I halved the amounts called for in the Blogilates post, because it was only for Nick and me. Also…that peanut butter (which is the best peanut butter on earth) is really expensive.

So I used:

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/3 cup tamari or other soy sauce

1/8 cup dark sesame oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons agave syrup or sugar

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 1/2 minced garlic cloves

1 tablespoon hot sauce

I kept the amount of hot sauce in the original recipe, as Nick and I like things a little spicy. However, add or subtract from that as per your taste!

I just mixed all of this in my Bella food processor (a Christmas gift from my mom) until smooth. The I left it in the fridge while I prepared the rest of my dish.

Then I just used ingredients that I have in my house. I am a vegetarian, so I used cubed super firm tofu, but you could use chicken if you wanted.

I steamed 2 cups of broccoli. In a separate large pot (or wok if you have it) I sauteed some onion, green and red peppers, and zucchini in a very light amount of olive oil. I put an extra tablespoon of garlic in after the veggies got soft.

Then, I simply added the tofu and broccoli. I stirred it for an additional minute and added the peanut sauce. I also chopped up a few fresh basil leaves and threw them on the top. It was SO EASY. Plus this recipe is packed with protein and vitamins from the veggies. The veggies really filled me up! I bolused 15 carbs for this meal and my sugar went from 90 before dinner to about 105 and stayed there for a few hours. I know that Type 1 diabetics can eat whatever as long as there is insulin to cover it…but with my sugars actually behaving like a person with out diabetes, it makes me see the benefit of staying low-carb. And the sauce…it was AMAZING. Nick literally licked his plate…and also took all the left over sauce from my plate.

I will probably make this at least once a week now. Once you stock up on all the ingredients to make the peanut sauce, its a relatively cheap recipe. And you can add or subtract any ingredient you want. I think this would be good with cabbage, corn, or carrots (woah alliteration).

A few hours later Nick’s friend Allen came over and I decided to test this recipe out on them:

Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins! These things are amazing! I was a little skeptical, but now Nick and I are debating over how many he can take to work with him tomorrow. They are soooo good. They only have 15 carbs per serving, so I had two!

The ingredients are as follows:

  • 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of nonfat or 1-2% fat cottage cheese (I used 2%)
  • 1 tbsp of whole wheat flour (orig. recipe called for coconut flour, but I didn’t have any)
  • 1 whole medium lemon
  • 2 fresh organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla whey
  • 1/4 cup Stevia
  • 1/2 cup berries

Crust part:

  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 6-7 pitted medjool dates

For my modifications, I used regular packaged dates, added some cinnamon to the recipe, and used liquid egg whites. Oh…and I forgot to buy a lemon. Next time I would love to add bananas or raspberries.

For the crust, I used the Bella blender again. I needed more dates than the recipe called for in order to have enough crust for 12 cupcakes.

Then I simply blended the rest of the ingredients in my regular blender and poured them over the crust in my cupcake pan.

I baked them for 20 minutes and then put them in the freezer for a bit so that we could eat them faster. πŸ˜‰

And though we were all a bit skeptical…I think I am going to make them all the time now!

At 120 calories and 15 carbs per serving, you really can’t beat it!

My test subjects (and Luna)

A very genuine post-bite face πŸ™‚

Allen loved them too!

I am so excited! I have a lot of other recipes to try for you guys tomorrow. In the meantime, check out my diabetic stomach! (CGM and Pump included…and a nice shot of all our toilet paper lol)

Have a great Tuesday!

It’s Gonna Be a Long Week (Fitness, Dexcom, Homework)

This post is gonna be as long as this week is because I have SO MUCH to share with you guys.

Let me start with our first work out challenge. Last week I wrote about how a lot of diabetics that I spoke to have problems losing weight. Let’s face it, when it comes to diet and exercise, we have a lot more to be concerned about than the average person. If we work out with a lot of intensity, odds are our sugar will go low and we will end up consuming calories that counter-act the benefits of working out. In regards to diet, cutting out things and experimenting with different foods can do wacky things to our sugar levels. Beyond that, insulin makes you gain weight. So last week, I decided to be your guinea pig. However, the challenges that I will be doing…it would be cool if you did them too. It is appropriate that I am starting this plan this week, because I am also doing a test trial with Dexcom. (More on that later.) Therefore, I will be able to report how all of these lifestyle changes impact my sugar. Note that I am not a health care professional, and my experience may not mean that you will have the same results. However, I think if we are motivated together it will be mutually beneficial.

So for the first week’s challenge, I am going to focus on the most effective way to burn fat: cardio. One of the most effective ways to burn fat is called HIIT training, or High Intesity Interval Training. you can read about that here. What this pretty much entails is shooting your heart rate up and then letting it drop and repeating. I hate running. I find it very boring and monotonous. However, I force myself to do it on a regular basis. What I discovered is when I incorporate HIIT training into my runs, though they become significantly more difficult, they go a lot more quickly and are more fun. I also feel that I get a better quality work out with them. Therefore, this week I am going to do 30 minutes of “suicides” Monday-Friday. Suicides are when you sprint as fast as you can for a certain period, and then walk while your heart rate recovers for a certain period. I like to run for a minute and walk for 2 minutes. The first 3 rounds are easy and pretty exhilarating, but after that you can really feel the burn. I also think this is a good exercise for people who don’t usually work out, because you can change the walk/run ratio to suit your needs. If you start out running for a minute and walking for two but feel a lot of burn out, up your walk to 3 minutes and give yourself more of a break. I am going to monitor my sugar before, during, and after each session. Does anyone want to join me on this? πŸ˜‰

Cardio and weight/flexibility training go hand in hand. I am not going to do a challenge for that this week, however I will make a recommendation. One of my favorite websites is Blogilates.com. There are a lot of quick and fun videos that target various areas of the body. There is a menu tab for abs, glutes, thighs etc. with videos to target any location you want. Because they are all super short, I like do do a few different ones and make a whole work out. However, if you don’t have a lot of time, this is a great website because most of the videos are less than 10 minutes and you can do them all from home with minimal equipment. If you try it out, tell me what your favorite videos are!

Lifestyle challenge: I don’t know if you guys have seen “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” (which you can watch on Netflix instant watch) but it seems like a great way to detoxify and cleanse your system. A lot of Type 2 diabetics got rid of their diabetes with this diet. I spoke to my endo about trying it and she was basically like “we don’t recommend you do that.” However, since I have the Dexcom and can add lots of fruits to the juices for carbs, I really want to try it. I’m not challenging anyone to do this with me, as obviously it was not recommended by my doctor. However, I do plan to document how this journey goes. It basically consists of substituting all your meals for homemade fruit/veggie juice. I plan to run a test trial of it for 3 days, and sugars permitting I will extend it to 5 or 7. A lot of people who did this diet for a week lost 8 lbs! I am not a fan of crash dieting, as you tend to put all the weight back on, but I plan to end this juice fast with 2 weeks of mostly raw and completely vegan dieting. I am already a really healthy eater, so I feel like I have to make a drastic change in my eating habits to see results. I have to go to Gainesville to present at a research symposium on Wednesday. Therefore I will probably start this on Thursday, as I don’t want to experiment with my sugar while driving long distances. For your part-I challenge you to cleanse out your system as well! Drink the actually recommended full 8 glasses of water per day. I’m sure a lot of you haven’t even done that since right before you were diagnosed…if you know what I mean. πŸ˜‰ (For those of you who don’t, extreme thirst is a side effect to undiagnosed diabetes.) Let’s kick-start weight loss with really doing a good thing for our bodies!

Dexcom: For those of you who don’t know, Dexcom is a Continuous Glucose Monitoring system, or CGM. I wear it like my pump (24/7) and it measures my glucose all the time. It also has a handy graph that shows the trends that your body experiences based on your daily activities andΒ  food intake. I was pretty hesitant about ever using a CGM because having one thing hooked up to me 24/7 seemed like more than enough. Additionally, as some of you may have read, I attempted to wear the Medtronic CGM and had a panic attack. However, it seemed like a really cool piece of technology, and when I was put in contact with a Dexcom representative, I decided to give CGM another go. Any time I have read or heard about someone using CGM (even if their pump is Medtronic) they have used a Dexcom. I have NEVER met anyone who uses a Medtronic CGM with regularity. After looking at the Dexcom for 3 seconds it was obvious to me why that is. The cannula/overall Medtronic device is HUGE. The medical tape that is used to stick to you cannot really support the weight of the actual device. A lot of people who wear them have to use additional medical tape to keep them on. The Dexcom cannula looks like an eyelash. And though the tape that keeps it stuck to you is bigger than the Medtronic tape, the actual device is a lot smaller and smoother so as to be less noticeable under clothing. Though the insertion of the Medtronic CGM didn’t hurt, it was a lot harder to insert as the certer goes in at an angle that is very easy to mess up. The Dexcom one has a certer that guides the device in at a precise angle, which takes out a lot of the guess work and uncertainty. Anyway, I have worn it for 3 days now, and I am pretty sure I want one. I don’t think I will wear it all the time, as I still feel like that’s ANOTHER diabetes thing to think about. However, I feel it is especially useful right now as I plan to increase my work out routines and change my diet. Also, it is really fun. Maybe that is because I haven’t had it that long, but I look at what my sugar is every 3 seconds. And at least once every 15 minutes I show it to Nick saying “Look, my sugar is going up,” “Look my sugar is going down,” “Look, my sugar is stable.” I don’t think he is exactly as fascinated as I am… Anyway, I documented the whole thing in photos and plan to write a full review of it after I take it off at the end of the trial period. So…stay tuned for that. πŸ™‚

So many people have been awesome about getting surveys to me! I think I have about 25…and last week I was stressing about getting 10. But keep them coming! The more the better! However, I plan to compile a full draft by next Sunday, so I sort of need all the data ASAP so I can analyze it.

Last but not least, I told you guys a few weeks ago I plan to walk in a JDRF walk to cure diabetes in a few weeks with my dad and Nick. My original goal was to raise $200, but so many awesome people have helped me raise $315 so far. Therefore, I raised my goal to $500. Again, 100% of these proceeds go to the JDRf, the leading non-profit for funding Type 1 diabetes research. (Who I happen to have an interview with in about a week!) If you would like to donate, here is my personal page go here.

So many exciting things are happening for me right now! Can’t wait to update you on all of them! πŸ™‚

Hope this brightens your day!

I found this hilarious Facebook page.

It was nice to read some Type 1 memes!

Here are my faves! All from the Type 1 Diabetes Memes Facebook page.

Hope that put a smile on your face! πŸ™‚

Type 1s: Trimming Down and Toning Up Together

What I am about to say is sort of hypocritical since I just wrote a post complaining about how I am too small to comfortably insert my pump anywhere. That being said, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, and right now…I don’t.

I have complained before about how I have gained weight since my diagnosis. I just don’t like how it sits on me, especially on my face. When I wrote about losing weight with diabetes, (which you can read about here) a lot of women contacted me saying that they too experienced frustration with loosing weight and diabetes. I have also read this on a lot of other diabetes blogs, and spoke to diabetics about this in person. Whether loosing weight is a personal goal, or you are using physical exercise as a way to control your blood sugar, exercise is an immensely important part of a healthy diabetic lifestyle.

Therefore…I have decided to be your guinea pig. This has mutual benefit…I have to keep up with this since I committed to blogging about it, and you can share your experiences, tips, and questions with other diabetics. Every week, I will post at least one challenge. This will be an exercise, lifestyle commitment (such as drinking 8 glasses or water a day or using the stairs as opposed to elevators etc.), or a diet/recipe to try.Β  I will also be testing out how different diets affect my blood sugars and weight. I will be measuring myself with a tape measure to see how many inches I lose over time (as weighing will be less useful because I will probably gain muscle).

I know that we have different fitness goals…but we share one thing, diabetes. So I am making a commitment to you to share my experiences. I hope that you will try some of these things as well!

Addy= 5lb weight

Challenges start on Monday! Are you ready???

I just want to close in saying that I am not a health care professional. All of my tips are based on my personal experiences. If you are considering any serious diet/exercise commitment you should consult a healthcare professional.

Insulin Pump Woes

Overall I do find my pump more convenient. But sometimes things just get to me…such as the following.

I HATE BUBBLES. No, not bubbles from gum or the soapy kind you blow when you are a kid. I hate insulin pump reservoir bubbles. For those of you who don’t have a pump/don’t have diabetes, the reservoir is like a vial where you put the insulin for 3-4 days in your pump.

Image

Me filling a reservoir with insulin. If you look closely, there is a bubble in the reservoir toward the top.

Anyway, because I am not injecting the insulin directly into my veins or anything, a few teeny tiny champagne type bubbles are permissible. However, it seems that every time I change my pump site I have a huge air bubble stuck to the side of the reservoir. I push and push the plunger trying to get all the air into the vial before hand, but there is always a bubble. So then I flick the side of the reservoir (like you see nurses do before they administer a shot) to make the bubble float to the top so that I can push it back into the insulin vial. However, I flick and flick and flick the reservoir until I feel like my fingernail is going to fall off and it takes FOREVER for the bubble move. I don’t like to change my sites when Nick isn’t home because usually we are passing the reservoir back and forth between the two of us flicking it and yelling about how irritating it is. Are we doing something wrong? Is this just us? Why is this so annoying?

The bubble thing happens almost every time I change my set. However, it is not nearly as annoying when I get a bent cannula.

The cannula (or catheter) is a tiny plastic tube that stay inside me and under my skin for the entire duration that I wear my pump. I change the cannula and the rest of the site every 3-4 days. Because I am relatively small, sometimes the cannula will rub against muscle in areas where I do not have fat. Often this is painful. But it can also cause the cannula to bend. Sometimes I will change a site and a few hours later I note a 200-something on my glucometer. I will give myself insulin through my pump to correct this. When I recheck it will be the same or higher. Then I am annoyed. Firstly, this is annoying because I wasted a perfectly good pump site. I don’t have too many spots to put the darn thing so having to pick a new one is like a waste to me. Secondly, it is a waste of pump supplies. Thirdly, I have to go through the whole stupid process of filling up a whole new infusion set. This is a waste of insulin as each set needs to be primed. What this means is that I hook the set to the reservoir and wait until insulin has moved completely through the tubing and is dripping out of the cannula. So I do that, then reinsert the site. Annoying, annoying, annoying. Lastly, obviously, because of this whole ordeal my sugar is high which is the worst part.

Check this out:

Image

This is a photo of my recently bend cannula. See the little plastic part at the top? That is the cannula, which when not bent stays under my skin and gives me insulin.

The last issue I have with the pump is probably the worst. I have only had it for a few months, but have some how already exhausted a lot of my usable tissue. Because of my size, the pump is not very comfortable in areas where there is not a lot of fat. The area around my belly button has always been the chubbiest part of me, so I like to put the pump there because it doesn’t hurt. Also, with the pump on my butt, pants tend to hurt it and I sit on it all the time. So I was using my stomach a lot, which is unhealthy because you develop scar tissue on spots that are overused. When this happens your body cannot absorb insulin. And then you get notifications like this:

Image

This alert also sets of an irritating alarm. I had three no delivery alerts in one week. Once on my stomach, so I changed the site to my butt. Then after a few days, I tried my stomach again on the opposite side. At 3 in the morning my pump woke me up with a no delivery alarm and my sugar was close to 400. I called the Medtronic help line who told me to change the site AGAIN. So I did. I also had a mini-panic attack because I was so upset that the pump wasn’t working, which lead to me and Nick laying on the floor of our kitchen in the middle of the night while I freaked out. The next morning at 7:50 a.m. (my alarm was set for 8) I hear that same stupid noise. I got ANOTHER “no delivery” alarm. I thought that there was obviously something wrong with my pump, so I called the help line…again. They told me I had probably developed a lot of scar tissue. I made an appointment with an awesome diabetes educator here in Orlando. She told me that I probably shouldn’t use those sites for 6-12 months. I was shocked. My stomach is the ONLY place my pump doesn’t give me constant irritation. That was when I went on shots for about two weeks and realized how that was actually even more inconvenient to me. Now I am using my butt and my upper stomach even though it is very muscular there. I can’t use my thighs as I don’t have any fat on them. And I know some people use their arms, but I don’t like theΒ  idea of having my arm tethered to my pants, as I clip my pump to my waist.

So yes, these are my insulin pump woes. What are yours?

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