Diabetes Blog Week Day 3 and 4

Totally having one of those weeks over here, so I'm combining day 3 and day 4 into one post. 

So for day 3, we were supposed to talk about "the blame game." For this one, one insanely terrible endo appointment comes to mind. I was in college, so understandably NOT at the top of my T1D game. Actually, it was probably at it's worst. I was overweight. I was working out (because I always have to because I'm crazy), but I was eating too much of "good things," like 4 LARABARS in a day (!!) and when I worked out, I would eat as a reward.

So I went to this new endo and she told me that I had kidney failure. And I went home upset and worried, only to find an email from here with my lab results and her saying that I didn't actually have kidney failure, but that I would if I didn't change my routine. I was LIVID. My mom was FURIOUS. There is no fury like a T1D mom for sure, and my mom was about ready to take this woman down. We both settled, but it was not a good day. Needless to say, I did not return to her, and spent another year in a bad T1D space before making some great changes. 

If I could tell her what to say, I would tell her that she should have been more understanding. Were her concerns valid? Clearly I not heading down a good path. I would have liked to be offered some services (nutrition/sports advice). I told her that I didn't sit around and eat a ton of sugar, but that I was eating a lot of the "unhealthy healthy food." When I told her this, she gave me this look like she knew I was lying because I was overweight. I'll never forget it because I've never felt so ashamed of my body or my life. So I would tell her to believe me and help me see that 4 larabars in a day is a ton of fat and sugar, too. I would have her ask me about my mental health and help me make connections about my disordered eating and my feelings about my body (which stem from my type 1 diabetes and my relationship with food). I would tell her to give me a hug and to tell me that I'm not alone and to point to support groups or other patients who might be going through similar times in their life. 

Which brings me to day 4, which is what gets me down about diabetes. These days, everything gets me down, but mostly the unknown about my future because of what I did in my past. Like i said above, I had 4-5 years where things were not good. And I worry A LOT that I did a ton of damage to myself during those years. I'm thankful that I have the technology that can help me keep my A1C close to 6, but I'd like to get pregnant one day, and I'm not sure if I can actually do what needs to be done as a pregnant T1D. In fact, I spent most of my days worrying about how I'm going to be able to live 25 more years with this disease. I worry about the fact that one of my eyes has gotten really dry, my stomach issues, my high spikes at the end of the day, muscle pain, slight indications of nerve damage (or what I think is nerve damage). This disease makes worrying so easy, and it's hard not to worry because so much of my future falls in my hands. 

How do I cope with these issues? Well, I work out. It helps me a lot, even if it causes some spikes. I talk with my husband and with other friends. I reach out to the online community and get support from other T1Ds. It's hard to talk with others who don't GET IT because I feel like I'm asking for their pity or I feel like I'm making them feel badly about my situation (like me talking about a recent T1D death makes them feel scared, which I don't want to do). So I'm still figuring out this part of my T1D journey. Self-help is super important and we have too much to worry about to let EVERY bad low or high or arrow or beep get us down. 

Diabetes Blog Week Day 1: The Unexpected

When I was five, I was hit with the unexpected. The first week of kindergarten, I was diagnosed with T1D, and my life changed in a big way. To say that diabetes has stopped throwing me curve balls would be a complete lie. It's one big curveball. Straight up arrows on a day when I eat no carbs? A small amount of insulin that results in a sweaty, shaky midnight low eating fest? Everyone who has T1D knows that you can do everything right and it can completely blow up in your face. A day with type one is full of twists and turns. 

That being said, what has been the most unexpected thing about diabetes is what I've gained from it. 

I've gained insight into my body that most people will never know. I can tell how a whole day is going to go based on 30 minutes (it might be going ok or it might be going to shit, but I can still tell). 

I learned an appreciation for math early on because I had to do complex calculations in my head in order to use my life saving medicine. 

I learned about the value of low sugar diets way before they were a fad. I was the girl eating carob chips in high school and eating bags of spinach and whole avocados when my peers were able to eat bags of potato chips (this is not to say that I've always been the picture of health, but I definitely understood that "sugar = not great for people" early on). 

I've learned that good health is precious and shouldn't be wasted. People who treat their body like dirt make me cry because I would give so much to be able to eat a whole pint of REAL ice cream and not feel guilty/stress/be glued to a machine for hours. I would love to be able to wake up and go workout right away, and not have to eat/look a machine/be glued to a machine during my workout/eat during my workout/eat right after my workout. 

I've also realized that T1D brings people into my life. The girl I met during a sorority recruitment who eventually became my little whose sister has T1D. My good friend from college who ended up getting engaged to a guy who was recently diagnosed with T1D. The four students in my school who are diagnosed and who end up in my classroom. My best friend who saved my life when I was having a diabetic reaction on a bachelorette party. My amazing husband who didn't bat an eye when I told him I had diabetes the first time we met, and who carried my Omnipod when we ran our first half marathon together, and who deals with the ENDLESS NIGHT TIME DEXCOM BEEPS. 

Lastly, I've gained the ability to be flexible. That life is going to throw you crazy curveballs, diabetes related or otherwise, and you just have to go with them. I'm not the best at this (see "living with a chronic condition") but I'm trying to get better and realize that my T1D isn't going anywhere, so I might as well take these unexpected teaching moments as they come. 

A Day in the {Diabetic} Life #1

I've seen a bunch of these posts for other bloggers, so I thought it might be fun to do one of one of my {kind of} typical work days. I've included all of my blood sugars {well, most of them} because I love to see how people handle different diabetes situations. 

6:20am- My alarm goes off. I shut it off. I'm exhausted after going to a bachelorette party this weekend, and I want the extra sleep. 

6:25am- Second alarm. I get up. I've been using my Apple watch as an additional alarm, and I like the sound options for the alarms. 

6:30am: I try to do my blood sugar in bed. STRIP FAIL. I hate wasting a good strip. 

Much better. It's even close to what my Dexcom is saying. #DIABETESWIN

I give myself 4.3 units on my Omipod. I'm trying to get better about pre-bolusing meals, especially at breakfast time. I find that if I even THINK about food, my blood sugar spikes up, but pre-bolusing has really helped with the post-breakfast spikes. 

I get dressed and head to my kitchen to make my smoothie. I typically make one and eat my breakfast on the road. 

 

This one had water, splash of almond milk, 1/4 cup frozen berries, a scoop of chocolate shakeology, spinach, a TON of cinnamon and tumeric, and ice. I had to wait until my pre-bolus kicked in to eat, but I was hungry, so I ate a leftover chicken tender. I'm trying to eat more protein to keep my fuller longer, so the chicken was a good choice. 

7:15am: I packed my bags and left for work! 

7:45: Stuck in traffic so I checked my CGM...and yay, down arrow! Time for breakfast!

Not super pretty, but very tasty! I chugged it down so that I didn't go low.

7:50am: Get to work, start my computer, reply to {a million} parent emails, work on planning...you know, teacher things. 

 

9:15am: The kids came in and we got started on the day. 

10am: My students were working on writing, so I took a moment to look at my blood sugar. The pre-bolus worked today!! Thank god. 

 

 

I also realized that my pod was going to expire that day. 40ish units would last me the rest of the day, so I knew I'd get through the work day just fine. I always carry a back-up pod though, just in case it decides it's done. 

11:30am: The kids go to recess, and I pull out my lunch. I've been trying to eat simple, but stable, foods all week, so everyday lunch has been two poached chicken tenders, steamed broccoli, and 1/4 roasted sweet potato. I also check my blood sugar before I eat, and it's a good thing I did that day, because my CGM was really off!

I ate my lunch and started working again. 

12:30pm: Time to pick up my students for the afternoon! I won't get a chance to eat a snack uninterrupted until the kids leave at 4:10pm, so I'm hoping that I stay stable today. 

 

3:50pm: I feel low so I take a peak at my watch and, yup, I'm low. I break into my bag of snacks that I brought for the end of the day to eat while kids get packed up. This pack had sesame almonds and coconut cashews from Trader Joes and 3/4 cup of rice Chex mix. It was GOOOOOD!

 

5:00pm: I decide to head home for the day, and I see this one my phone: 

Looks like the snack was too much...bummer! Time to try and stop that rise. This day was really weird because I usually go low around 3pm, so I try to have a snack then, but I went low earlier and then went way high after trying to treat with snacks. I think I need to spend some time figuring out my 2pm-3pm basal rate #ohjoy

5:45pm: Get home and we start dinner. We made the quick beef stir-fry from Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook. It's a staple in our household and this recipe was SUPER easy! We ate it with cauliflower rice from Trader Joes. 

6:30pm: We sit down to eat, so I check my blood sugar. I'm still high from earlier {sad} so I bolus and try to wait to eat dinner. 

We have been watching Narcos, so we sat down to watch that during dinner. It's the best show to binge-watch! 

I also do some work after during {during our second episode of the night}. I have to update my classroom website before back to school night later in the week. 

9:30pm: I'm still hungry, so I grab a handful of rice Chex to eat before heading to bed. If there is cereal in the house, I cannot stop eating it. I was a little low {but I don't have a picture} so I was hoping that the handful would help me from going low. 

10:00pm: After watching so.many.videos on snapchat, I decide it's time to go to bed. But not before my pump reminds me that I have to change my site. I do that quickly {only takes about 5 minutes}, and then I get ready for bed. I check my sugar (but I don't have a picture). It's ok, so I say LIGHTS OUT :) Not the best blood sugar day, but for the most part, it was ok. Progress, not perfection! 

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Do you go low at certain points of the day? Do you eat breakfast on the go?