The Costs of Diabetes Innovation #notjustagadget

Diabetes Innovation and TechnologyRecently on the New York Times website, reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal wrote an article titled “Even Small Medical Advances Can Mean Big Jumps in Bills”.  This article paints a well painted picture of the rising costs of diabetes innovation, and diabetes care.  If you haven’t read it, I suggest doing so.  Many in the diabetes online community have taken offense to the article though.  The only thing I take offense to is Dr. Joel Zonszein.  His comments are also where the majority of the diabetic online community has found offense in the article.  Below is a quote from the article where Dr. Zonszein is referring to people with diabetes and their insulin pumps, high tech meters, continuous glucose monitors, and other diabetes technology:

JP-PROCEDURES-5-superJumbo“They may be better in some abstract sense, but the clinical relevance is minor,” said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center.  “People don’t need a meter that talks to them,” he added. “There’s an incredible waste of money.”

*sigh* . . . . . *shakes head*  There are no words . . . . . 

Dr. Zonszein is just an ABSOLUTE TOOL.  What an idiot.  I have a feeling that even a reader with an IQ of 2 would realize he’s an idiot and pay no attention to his statements.  I found the rest of Elisabeth’s article, as well as the replies to her article in the diabetes online community, educational and informative.  The costs of our technology for improving diabetes care, has no visible ceiling, which is frightening.  I feel lucky that I have decent insurance, and I can afford my healthcare costs, but many can’t.  I’ve been in those shoes before, where I had to ration my supplies to survive.  It’s not a nice place to be.  If the article has done nothing else, it’s opened the eyes of many, to the financial burden that we face as diabetics.  This is a good thing.

I’m A “Diabetic” And That’s Ok

I am a DIABETICSomething I’ve never understood in the diabetic online community (#doc), is the negativity surrounding the use of the word “diabetic”.  Many in the #doc have an extreme negative perception of that word.  My guest blogging is usually edited to remove this word, replaced with “person with diabetes” or PWD.  I don’t like that my work is edited in this way, but I understand why they do it.  Using the words “person with diabetes”, instead of the word “diabetic”, will not make your diabetes go away.  It won’t make it easier, it won’t make it better.  “Diabetic” is simply an adjective.  It’s not intended to insult anyone, it’s not a 4 letter word, it’s simply an adjective used to describe a proper name.  No one other than the #doc is even aware that some diabetics find the word offensive.  I am a diabetic, and that’s ok.  I do not fear that word.  You didn’t have a choice when you got diabetes, but you have a CHOICE with how you respond to being referred to as a diabetic.

So many people fear their diabetes, and I can definitely understand that, especially if you’ve lived most of your life without diabetes.  But then some people become angry that diabetes robbed them of a normal life.  That’s where the problem begins, because: “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate . . . . . leads to S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G.”  I know that quote was made by a wrinkly green puppet, but those words have widsom none the less.  If you harbor these emotions towards your diabetes all your life, how will you ever enjoy life?  How will you ever be happy?  If you have so much fear of the word “diabetic”, or worse, so much hatred of the word, I would worry that you will never find happiness again as a diabetic.  That feeling will rob you of happiness.  It’s just a word, and you’re going to be diabetic for the rest of your life.  There are many diabetics like me that live a happy normal life as a diabetic.  Join us.  Negative emotions are such a waste of good energy, and they create so much drama.  Why not apply all that energy to something more positive?  I invite you to focus our minds on positive energy, instead of creating negative energy.  Let go of your hatred of your diabetes.  It’s a part of you now.  Embrace it, and be at peace.

Avocados – A Superfood For Diabetes

avocadosAs a diabetic, I love AVOCADOS!  So why do I love avocados, and why are they so good for those with diabetes?  Well first, it’s all fat, and it’s all good for you.  It’s yummy like butter, except instead of killing you, it’s saving you.  I know, I know.  Big claims, but why?

First, let me just say that Weight Watchers is STUPID for putting avocados on their avoid list with their new Simple Start plan.  Anyway, here are the basic nutrient wonders of an avocado.  An average medium California avocado has about 320 cal, 17g carbs, 13g fiber, 30g fat, 4g saturated fat, 20g monounsaturated fat, 4g polyunsaturated fat,  and numerous vitamins and minerals, including the ever so important electrolytes potassium and magnesium.  In fact, an avocado usually has 3 times more potassium than a banana does.

Now lets break that down.  320 calories.  That’s pretty high, right?  So what!  With everything you get in this wonder fruit, it’s worth it.  Yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable.  It’s sometimes called an “alligator pear”.  17c carbs and 13g fiber.  As T1D’s, you know that’s a really odd ratio, and it seems that you may not even need to take any insulin when you eat one of these things, because we always substract the fiber from the carbs to calculate our insulin needs.  I know I don’t take any when I eat one.  That’s part of why I love them.  30g fat.  That’s high too, right?  So what!  Fat doesn’t make you fat, carbs do, and with no insulin, you can’t store fat anyway.  You get 20g of monounsaturated fat with these little green wonders, which is a roto rooter for your arteries.  That’s a massive dose!  Monounsaturated fat raises HDL cholesterol (the good kind), which collects bad fats from all over the body and takes them to the liver.  When your HDL reaches a certain level, compared to your overall cholesterol number, you’re considered “protected” from heart disease.  We as diabetics must worry about our cholesterol because diabetes can lead to heart disease.  As a diabetic who’s already died of heart disease once (for about 60 seconds, and was then rushed into emergency quad bypass), I can say that my last cholesterol test was near this heart protective range with no medication.  That range is below 3.5:1.  Doctors get worried when you go above 5:1.  Now lets finish up, and talk about those electrolytes.  You ever get a headache, get cranky, have muscle pain, and then realize your blood sugar’s off the roof?  You’re getting those symptoms because of electrolyte imbalance, caused by your high blood sugar.  If you’ve ever been treated for DKA, you already know about this.  Blood sugar goes up, body tries to level it out by evacuating water from kidneys, which reduces electrolyte levels.  The body cannot function without electrolytes.  So avocados help us diabetics keep electrolytes levels up.

So the benefits of avocados for diabetics are:  Low insulin needs, increases good cholesterol, and keeps electrolyte levels up.  Oh, and with that much fiber, it’ll make ya poop the way you’re suppose to.  ;P

So how do you eat an avocado?  Well, I’m to lazy to do anything fancy with an avocado.  I just cut the thing in half with a big sharp knife (Carefully, click here to learn how:  http://youtu.be/eI-IVnwnbyg ), take out the huge seed, and scoop it out with a spoon.  So yummy in my tummy.  The first time I bought an avocado, I had no one to teach me how to know if they were ripe.  Mine was not, and I could not eat it.  A ripe avocado will be a very dark green, almost black.  It’s not ripe if it’s bright green, and it’s over ripe if it’s black or brown.  Ripe will be barely soft if you gently press your thumb into the skin when you pick it up.  If it’s ripe like this when you take it home, you can’t let it sit there for a few days.  You have eat it quickly, or it’ll go bad.  To make them last longer, I buy a whole bag when they’re not yet ripe, then stick them in the fridge until I need one.  Set it out a couple days, and it ripens.  I enjoy avocados on sushi, salads, sandwiches, or wherever I want.  I just let other people prepare it that way for me.

Now I’d like to provide you with some helpful links to more information about what I’ve talked about today.  As someone taking control of your own health, you have the responsibility to do your own research, and not take what I’ve said for granted.  Google things, click these links, have fun with the research, and then go eat an avocado.

Avocados:  http://www.avocado.org/about-california-avocados/

Dietary Fats:  http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-full-story/

Electrolytes:  http://www.dlife.com/diabetes/lifestyle/weather/stoppler_07_19_06

 

Shakeology Recipes

shakeology-recipesI’m a type 1 diabetic Beachbody coach, who drinks and recommends Shakeology, both to diabetics and non-diabetics.  When used properly, Shakeology and diabetes can make a great partnership.  It can help with your blood sugar profile, as well as all the other health and nutrition benefits it can provide.  However, many people who drink Shakeology, enjoy creating Shakeology recipes.  You have to be careful creating these recipes, or you turn the healthiest meal of the day, into something worse than a Snickers bar.  The recipe you see in this post is exactly such a recipe.

I am an admitted nutrition nazi.  I don’t believe in any nutritional product advertising, until I see the label (case and point: Advocare Spark says it’s sugar free, yet is has 11 carbs and 45 calories).  So the fact that I use, recommend, and believe in Shakeology, is a pretty big deal.  The benefit of drinking Shakeology, is that it’s a dense daily dose of nutrition, in a single glass.  The majority of the American people don’t get much nutrition in their diet, so drinking Shakeology in it’s pure form, mixing it only with unsweetened almond milk, or similar, can provide you with the dense daily dose of nutrition that it promises.  For a diabetic, most of the flavors provide a nice slow rise in blood sugar due to low carbs and high fiber.

Now, lets get to that recipe above.  Ok, so it’s a fan favorite.  Gee, I wonder why?  Could it be that it has as many carbs and sugars as 2 Snickers bars?!  Lets do the math.

Vanilla Shakeology                                       14g carbs          7 sugars
1/2c Unsweetened Almond Milk                     0g carbs          0 sugars
1/2c Yoplait Greek Vanilla Yogurt                  33g carbs        26 sugars
1/2 Banana                                                    13g carbs          7 sugars
1tbsp Peanut Butter                                        4g carbs          2 sugars
1tbsp Raw Honey                                          17g carbs         17 sugars

Totals                                                             81g carbs         59 sugars

Snickers                                                         35g carbs         30 sugars

We started with a healthy shake with only 14 carbs and 7 sugars, but due to this particualar Shakeology recipe, we ended up with 81 carbs and 59 sugars.  No wonder it’s a fan favorite!!!  Although this Shakeology recipe tastes great, it’s turned that nutritionally dense shake into a fat storing monster because of all of those carbs and sugars.  59 sugars?  No one needs 59 sugars in a single meal.  Diabetic or not.  You shouldn’t even be eating that many sugars in a whole day!  Those 59 sugars and 81 carbs are going to produce an insulin spike that will put most of those carbs and sugars straight into your thighs, hips, or belly.  Now each of those ingredients in that recipe have their health benefits (well, except 1), but Shakeology doesn’t need them.  It’s nutritionally dense all by itself. Yes, honey is full of anti-oxidants, yes peanut butter has healthy fats, yes a banana is a great source of potassium, as far as the yogurt, well, I’ll just bite my tongue.

There is only 1 time of any day, where you should add things to your Shakeology, to get the maximum benefit.  That’s after your workout.  If you drink your Shakeology after every workout, then you SHOULD add some fruit carbs to it.  I still would never create a recipe like the one above though.  After you workout, you want fast carbs in your shake to produce an insulin response, but a small one, because the insulin is what makes your muscles grow.  You want it to happen fast after a workout, within 45 minutes.  Any other time of day though, and those extra carbs will most likely be stored as fat.  Using Shakeology as a recovery shake, adding some carbs and sugars is a good thing, as long as you don’t go freakin overboard.  59 sugars?  Geez.

So the moral of the story, is please don’t ruin your Shakeology.  Let it do it’s job, the way it was intended.  If you want to create Shakeology recipes, which admittedly are fun, then just make sure you’re drinking your Shakeology as a recovery shake after your workout.

My Best A1C Results In 43 Years Of Diabetes!!!

hba1c-a1c-glycosated-glycated-hemoglobinLast Thursday the 19th of December, 2013, I went to my follow-up appointment with my nurse practioner (NP) after having blood work done the previous week. I got lots of tests done, but was most eager to get my A1C results.  I got lipids, c-protein, full metabolic panel, kidney test, and my A1C.  If you’re not diabetic, and don’t know what the HbA1c or A1C is, they are 2 different names for a test that measures the average blood glucose for the last 90 days.  Old school diabetics call it HbA1c, and new school call it A1C.  The goal for most diabetics is to have a number under 7.  This is how diabetics measure their control.

I’ve been what’s called a brittle diabetic all my life.  Meaning that my blood sugars have no pattern, and jump from high, to low, to high, to low constantly.  You get the picture, right?  2 years ago, before I became a diabetes advocate, my A1C was 11.4.  Most of my life I’ve been above 10.  With lots of work, determination, and education, it’s been 8.2 or 8.4 for most of 2013.  I’ve been working SO DAMN HARD at getting that below 8, and I just could not crack that barrier.

For a year now, I’ve had a Dexcom G4, which has been helping tremendously.  My former CDE (who I’m still friends with), and my new nurse practioner (NP), understand how to decode those reports to adjust my pump settings, and fine tune my control.  My pump’s config is more complex than it ever has been, and so is my control.  I actually understand some of those Dexcom reports now.

When I started seeing the NP in August, after explaining my history, she set a goal of 7.5 for me.  MY goal was just to crack the 8 barrier.  I wear my Dexcom 24/7, because I feel naked without it, and when I took the 90 day average blood glucose from that and converted it to A1C, it said 7.7, which I was super happy for.  When the NP came in with my A1C results and said “you’re gonna be happy, because I am”, I was a little surprised to hear her say it was 7.4!!!  I didn’t show much emotion other than satisfaction at the time, but when I walked down the hall my smile was from ear to ear, and I got butterflies.  As I got into the car, and started thinking about how freaking hard I’ve been working to get this damn A1C into good control, I got a lump in my throat and tears welled up in my eyes.

I have the paleo lifestyle (specifically author Robb Wolf, who responds to messages from nobody’s like me),Team Beachbody, Tavia Vital (CDE) and Brenda Borkgren (NP), and the diabetic online community (#doc) to thank for the best A1C of my entire life.  When I became a Beachbody coach, and then  later when I discovered the #doc and started blogging, people started treating me like a diabetes advocate.  So as a Beachbody coach and an advocate, I felt a strong responsibility to get my A1C into control, so I could set a good example.  So thanks everybody!  Now I have a new goal to break the 7.0 barrier.  Since a goal without a deadline is just a dream, I give myself the deadline of April 1st, 2014.  Wish me luck?!!

December’s DSMA Blog Carnival

CLICK HEREPer December’s DMSA blog carnival topic, today I’ll be reviewing 2013 as it relates to my diabetes.  So in January of 2013 I got serious about my blog and converted my free WordPress.com blog into a WordPress.org blog.  It started out with barely any views, but now I average over 10,000 a month.  I started out strong, blogging on a scheduled basis, then I met a girl.  LOL!  A type 1 diabetic actually, and so I didn’t blog for a couple months.  The girl didn’t last, but thankfully the blog has.

In June I went to my very first diabetes conference in Chicago.  It was the 73rd Annual American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions.  I went to a #doc dinner party.  The coolest thing ever was when the food came to the table and everyone reached for their CGMs all at the same time.  It as hilarious.  My friends at the Diabetes Hands Foundation were a big help at that conference.  I’ll never forget that.  I met the leaders of DSMA as well, which was really cool, and met a few of the leading bloggers in the diabetes online community.  This happened on the weekend where I was suppose to be in Las Vegas with my Team Beachbody family, but budget prevented that trip, so I’m glad I got to spend it with my diabetes family and still had an awesome weekend.

In September I fired my endo, and at the suggestion of my amazing CDE started seeing a nurse practitioner.  Best healthcare decision I’ve ever made.  My endo was an idiot.  He was basically there to write my prescriptions and that’s it.  This NP though knows what she’s doing, and actually troubleshoots my diabetes like an engineer.  So I’m really digging that.  My A1C has stayed very level all year long, at 8.2.  Been trying like a madman to bring it down, and I know what I’ve got to do, I’ve just been stubborn.

Over the last year, I’ve received hundreds of comments on my numerous social profiles and my blog here, of people that are appreciative of the help I’ve provided them.  This inspires me to keep going.  The most dear compliment I ever got was from a 4 year old boy who knew I was type 1 diabetic like him, and while sitting on his mommy’s lap looking at her computer screen said “I want to be strong like him when I grow up.”  I still get a lump in my throat while writing this.  Whew.  Wow.  Yeah, that’s worth every minute I spend doing this.

In the last quarter of 2013 I’ve picked up the reigns of my Beachbody business, which I put down when I started focusing on diabetes advocacy.  I’ve still been using Beachbody workouts all year, but just haven’t been coaching very much.  I want to go back to doing that too, and using what I’ve learned to help more people, including non-diabetics, live long healthy lives.

Changes I need to make in the coming year?  I need to change what I eat for breakfast, because that’s where my blood sugars are the worst every day.  Right after breakfast.  So starting tomorrow, Shakeology for breakfast.  I would like to break myself of my diet coke addiction, although I’ve tried and tried in the past.  Maybe I’ll try hypnotism this year?  I also need to get to the dentist and eye doctor.  Something I always dread, and sometimes go for more than year between visits.  I don’t see myself getting any new diabetes toys or gizmos, but something could surprise me.

“This post is my December entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2013/12/december-dsma-blog-carnival-3/‎

Driving With Diabetes RANT

vanessa-shaneI’m not going to make any friends with this post, but it’s important and it needs to be said.  I should warn you that this is a driving with diabetes RANT, and I’m pretty hot right now.  Am I the only type 1 diabetic that sits in his car for half an hour or more if his blood sugar is low, waiting for my blood sugar to rise, waiting until it’s safe for me to drive?  If my blood sugar falls below 80 mg/dl, I DO NOT DRIVE.  I take glucose, and I wait.  I sit, and I wait, I wait until I see my blood sugar has risen above 80 again, but I DO NOT DRIVE.  If you’re on my FB list, you’ve seen me post when this happens, and I sit there as long as it takes.  Whether it’s takes 15, 30, or 45 minutes.  It makes me so angry when I see diabetics posting about hypoglycemia while driving, like it’s no big deal.  Acting like they’re not even aware they did anything wrong?  Do you post on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook, when you’ve been drinking and drive home?  When you’re not sure if you’re drunk, but you might be, so you’re not going to post about it?  Hell no!  Diabetics have medical devices that PROVE they are unfit to drive, yet some choose to post it all over the internet when they do so anyway!  What is wrong with some people?!?!  Can you tell I’m hot about this?

When you drive, KNOWING that you’re hypoglycemic, you are worse than a drunk driver.  You KNOW that you have a condition that can impair your driving, and you’re making the conscious choice to drive anyway, because waiting for your blood sugar to rise is so terribly inconvenient.  Poor you.  You’re putting not only your life at risk, but the lives of everyone on the road, just like a drunk driver.  I understand that some people can’t feel their hypoglycemia symptoms.  I’m not talking about them.  That happened to me once 20 years ago too, where an unfelt hypo left me unconscious at the bottom of a ravine in my car.  Thank god I didn’t kill anyone.  That has never, and will never, happen again.  It scared the hell out of me, and so I never drive without knowing my blood sugar.  I’m talking about all the diabetics I see post about driving, while knowing that they are hypo.  I’m afraid to actually Google this topic.  It’s people like this that make getting our drivers license renewed such a pain in the ass.  I can only hope that their behaviors change before they kill themselves, or worse, someone else.

The online community loves to rally around causes.  I saw we rally around this one.  Responsible driving as a diabetic.  Before you put that car in drive, you check your blood sugar, and if you’re hypo, YOU DO NOT DRIVE until you’re not.  If you feel hypo while driving, pull over and check.  That picture up there at the top of the post is a picture of a young lady who was killed by a diabetic driver who plead guilty to driving on a suspended license (due to her lack of diabetes control), who admitted that her blood sugar was to low to drive.  That same woman had been in 3 previous accidents due to the same circumstances, but this time she killed someone.

 

PLEASE DON’T DRIVE WHILE HYPOGLYCEMIC

SAVE A LIFE!!!

Is Shakeology Good For Diabetics

Click To OrderI’m a Beachbody coach, and therefor I recommend Shakeology, even to diabetics, but not all Shakeology is good for diabetics in my opinion. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t recommend it for everyone else, because I’ve never felt more strongly about the quality and value of a nutritional supplement. Those who know me, know that I’m a supplement nazi, and I don’t pretend to hide it.  I’m the worst critic of every nutrition product, until I read the nutrition label.  Network marketers trying to sell me their nutrition products hate me.  All this being said, Shakeology is hands down, the absolute best quality health shake I’ve ever seen. However, there is 1 flavor of Shakeology that is better for a type 1 diabetic. Here’s why . . .

There are 5 Shakeology Flavors, 2 of which are vegan. They are Greenberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Vegan Chocolate, and Vegan Strawberry. Each of them has a little bit different nutritional profile. All of them include complete nutrition in a single glass. Some of them however, are higher in carbs and sugars, and although they are all certified as low glycemic, most of them still spike my blood sugar. It’s the standard Chocolate flavor that does not spike my blood sugar, and thus the one that I recommend for diabetics.  It has only 17g carbs, 6g sugars, and 6g fiber. I have not tried the new version of Greenberry, but it’s nutritional profile looks like it might be even better for a type 1 diabetic. So the vegan flavors, in addition to the vanilla flavor, all have more carbs, more sugars, and less fiber. Now we’re not talking much difference, but enough to make a difference in my blood sugar. The most carbs in any shake is only 22g in vegan chocolate, with 9g sugars, and 5g fiber. That’s probably why it’s my favorite. It tastes sweeter, so it spikes me. LOL!

Click To OrderNow I’m a type 1 diabetic pumper with a continuous glucose monitor, so I’m more aware of spikes than some diabetics are.  Your diabetes management might be different than mine, and those other flavors may not spike you like they do me, but if you were curious about trying it, I would recommend starting with the standard Chocolate or Greenberry flavors, which come in this handy sampler pack to the right. The benefits you get from Shakeology are vast, including all day energy improvement, possible weight loss, improved blood sugar profile, and more.  There are amazing testimonials of how Shakeology has helped people, but the only way you’re gonna know how it’s gonna help you, is to try it.

Many people are surprised by the cost of Shakeology, but here’s the thing.  It’s complete nutrition in a glass!  It’s replacing a meal, and it’s GOOD FOR YOU, unlike what you’re eating now.  It’s your daily dose of nutrition.  The cost is $4.33 per glass, or $130 per month.  Whether you’re diabetic, overweight, have migraines, chronic pain, arthritis, or whatever challenges you face, you can either invest in your health now with good nutrition, or pay for medical expenses later.  If you take no action,  you’ll always wonder if it would have helped.  Wouldn’t you like to at least know if it would help?

 

CLICK EITHER IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE INFO
Complete Nutrition Information Available 
On The Order Page

 

Sushi Is My Nemesis

Sushi PlateAs a type 1 diabetic, sushi is my nemesis for sure. I can’t get enough of it. On the occasions that do get to have it, I eat so much of it, that I can’t move. For most diabetics, pizza is their nemesis, but not for me. For me it’s sushi that’s my nemesis. Both pizza and sushi are high in carbs, but I can eat way more sushi carbs than I can pizza carbs. With pizza, I could eat it or leave it.  With sushi, I can’t live without it.  Did you know that each little piece of sushi or slice of a roll, has around 10 carbs?! Each little piece!!! I ate sushi for a long time before I figured that out.

I was introduced to sushi in my early 30′s by 2 asian friends, Toan Traan and Rich Kim. I became friends with them because we all worked together, and started hanging out a lot. So one night we went for sushi, and I was eager to try it, but they pulled a fast one on me. They told me the wasabi as guacamole! They told me how to apply it on the rice under the fish, and how to swirl it into your soy sauce, and then to dip the sushi into the soy sauce. The scene of my first bite of sushi had to amusing, to them. LOL! It was amusing to me when I could finally breathe again!  I enjoyed being friends with those guys because they liked introducing me to foods I’ve never eaten before. They once said they liked taking me because I was willing to try new things and never asked what it was until I tried it.

For many years, I had a career that allowed me to travel the country rather frequently, so I’ve been able to eat sushi in cities all over the US. My favorite all time sushi restaurant is by far Blowfish Sushi in San Francisco.  It’s an anime themed restaurant, and so they have glass tables with panes of anime underneath them that you can read at the table, anime posters on the walls, and in every corner of the restaurant, they have anime movies running on TV’s mounted near the ceiling.  Their waitresses wear anime costumes (imagine a skimpy casino waitress costume, but with an anime theme), and they serve the deadly blowfish as a sushi delicacy.  Now, the last time I was there was close to 10 years ago, so I hope it’s still the same.  If you’re ever in San Fran, you should check it out.

Now back to being diabetic and a sushi lover.  Sushi is evil.  It’s so freakin’ high in carbs that we should never eat it, but who likes doing what they’re suppose to, right?  We all gotta be a rebel sometimes, or we’ll die of boredom, right?  So yesterday I was a rebel.  I was like Billy Idol.  I was that kind of diabetic rebel.  When I woke up yesterday, I was having the craving of all cravings for sushi.  I didn’t eat breakfast because I knew I was going to have sushi for lunch.  I didn’t care if my blood sugar skyrocketed to 500, I was going to enjoy as much sushi as I could stand.  So I eat 3 plates of sushi (all you can eat sushi for $11.68, including drink).  I estimated close to 200 carbs, but I played it safe and bolused for 160.  I hate hypos.  I once saw Kim Vlasnik over at Texting My Pancreas post her sushi strategy, which, if I remember correctly was something like “enjoy your sushi and throw a lot of insulin at it”.  That’s exactly what I did.  I try to count the carbs, but with sushi, it’s not easy.  Sashimi is better for you, because it’s just the fish, but they don’t serve sashimi at lunch.  I would make them go broke if they served sashimi for $11.68 all you can eat, and I wouldn’t eat as much carbs, but dinner is twice the price, and I have to be frugal.

Hours later I was at my grandpa’s 97th birthday party (I think he’s immortal or something.  He even lifts weights and exercises!  No excuses!), and my blood sugar never climbed above 220 after the sushi.  So maybe I should have bolused for 180 carbs?  Anyway, I’m happy I didn’t skyrocket, and still enjoyed my diabetic nemesis.  What’s your nemesis?  Do you love sushi like I do?  Tell your sushi or nemesis story in the comments below!

Defeated and Embarrassed

DefeatedI recently let diabetes get the best of me, leaving me feeling defeated and embarrassed.  Last Saturday I started my day with a normal blood sugar, had my breakfast, took my insulin, and went on my way to help my cousin move.  Blood sugar was doing great for about the first hour, but then it started to drop.  I got down to 80 mg/dl so I took a few glucose tabs and kept working.  It kept steady for a while, but then dropped again.  So I stopped and got a Twix bar because the rest of my glucose tabs were glued together for some reason?  (Must have gotten wet.)  Blood sugar rose to 130 after a while, and I kept working.  We finished up in about 2.5 hours, and it wasn’t even noon yet, so I decided to join a group playing disc golf at 12:30 PM in a nearby park.

I arrive at the park, waiting for everyone to arrive.  16 of us, and I barely knew 1 person, who happened to get picked for the other group.  We drew cards for partners and teams.  His name is Kevin.  We were going to hang out playing disc (our common thread) after meeting on Facebook.  I work with his wife Ashlie.  The rest of the group were mostly middle aged guys like me, so it was a cool group.  Anyway, I look at my blood sugar, and it’s 90 again.  WTH!!!  People are already arriving and I don’t have time to run to get carbs.  I still had 5 more glucose tabs, they were just all stuck together.  So I decided to play.  I’d figure out how to break them apart if I needed them.  I also suspended my pump before starting to play.

Sure enough, hole 3 comes along, and my alarm goes off.  I crack apart 2 tabs and eat them.  Keep playing.  Blood sugar is hovering around 80.  Going below, then above.  I think I’ll be ok.  We finish the front 9 and I made it through!  Now I start to worry about the back 9.  We start the back nine, and on hole 11, the alarm goes off again.  I had to smash the outer case of my glucose tabs to break them open and be able to eat them, but I did on concrete of the 11th tee.  Now it’s not hovering around 80, it’s all the way down to 72.  You see, if I left, it would leave my partner alone, and would ruin the game for him.  Plus this is first impressions with these guys.  I didn’t want to do that, so I was breaking the rules about being safe with my blood sugar.  At the 14th tee, my blood sugar is now down to 62.  Now I’m panicking.  I’m far from my car, I have no more glucose with me.  I tell them I must leave and why.  My partner suggested that maybe someone has some candy bars, so I ask my group of 8, and luckily someone did.  I swallowed down 2 mini Butterfinger bars, thanked the guy profusely who gave them to me, apologized that I had no cash to give him for the Butterfingers, and we kept playing.  On hole 16 and it’s hovering around the mid 60′s.  I realize we’re almost done, and I start to breathe a sigh of relief.  Then we finish, and I made it through.  It took 3 freaking hours to play those 18 holes because our group was so big.

Even after this, I don’t hate my diabetes.  What I hate is that I was stupid.  I didn’t consider that the moving I did that morning, would keep affecting me all afternoon.  I know better than that.  I know that it does.  I’m also mad at myself that I didn’t think to stop for more glucose before going to the park.  I knew I only had 5 tabs left.  There’s a Walgreens that’s only a quarter mile from the park.  So I was left feeling defeated and embarrassed.  Now if I ever see those guys on the course again, I’ll be remembered as that guy who didn’t have his shit together with his diabetes.  Even though I try to set an example as a diabetes advocate, I make mistakes too.

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