Diabetes Diary

Kelsey's diary about living life with type 1 diabetes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I only do finger sticks on my middle two fingers. That gives me four fingers total, with two sides each, for a whopping total of 8 places to “prick” my finger.
This method seems entirely normal to me, but upon reading other blogs, I realized that maybe it’s a Kelsey-quirk and not a routine practice. The way this developed was simply habitual. When I was diagnosed at 13 I had a terrible phobia of needles. (I passed out when I got my ears pierced!) So, giving myself injections and testing my blood was traumatic. I’d sit on my bed with the lancing device against my finger for literally 20 minutes before having the courage (or impatience) to finally push the button.

I think the reasoning for sticking to just the middle fingers was this: the pinkie finger is too little and fragile, the index finger is too sensitive and we use it the most, and I had serious issues with thumb sticks from particularly traumatic blood tests at the pediatrician’s office (they used a razor blade looking device!)

So, 12 plus years later, I’ve developed pretty good calluses on my middle two fingers at the two places where I test. You can feel them more than actually see them however. I guess I’m a pretty good healer… and a real creature of habit!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Don't you hate it when...

you don't factor something in to your insulin dose or food decisions and end up low or high?

Lately I've been eating less and being more aggressive with my insulin. Good control has largely been the result of these efforts. However, sometimes I determine my insulin dose simply based on the carbs I'm eating or what my blood glucose currently reads. Or I'll decide to have a snack based on my blood sugar without thinking through whether I'm on the way up or down. There are so many other factors!

Here's an example... Well two actually. Last night we had a late dinner (my husband and I ran around town looking for a book I'm supposed to have read for class tomorrow, since Barnes and Noble can't seem to remain faithful to their shipping dates!) Anyway, I did my dinner shot a little after 8 p.m. I was 139. I was eating about 70 carbs, with a good amount of protein. As I got ready for bed and did my lantus at 10 p.m., my blood sugar was 142. I tend to get low in the early morning, so I had about half a granola bar and some milk. I woke up at 5 a.m. and I was at 242 mg/dl. What?! Well, now that I think about it, the time between my dinner test and my bedtime test were only 2 hours apart and I had a lot of protein, I was probably going up at bedtime, not down. Also, I have lows at night when I exercise, which I hadn't done in two days. I know these things, why didn't I consider them when deciding whether to have a bedtime snack?

So, at 242 and about to exercise this morning to a Tae-bo tape which I love! I gave myself 1 unit of humalog. About an hour after my workout I was at 89 mg/dl. Great! I had my breakfast of Frosted Mini Wheats and milk and gave myself 3 units (I have cereal down pat!) I get to work and immediately start to feel low, I'd just done my injection an hour ago! I tested and was 70 mg/dl. Uh oh! A light yogurt was scarfed down as I realized: "Kelsey, you still had a unit of insulin in your system from before your workout, plus obviously your body is using the insulin more efficiently due to the exercise!" I just had my 60 carb breakfast and automatically did 3 units (my ratio is usually 1:20) without consider what insulin I already had in my system or what other factors would be effecting my blood sugar! Frustrating!

I suppose I just need to think through a few extra factors before deciding my food and insulin choices. Or maybe it's getting up at 5 a.m. everyday that's messing with my focus :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Perfect Peepers!

It's had been five years since my last eye exam.

I don't really have any excuses, and actually the OC is responsible for making me go have my eyes checked. I knew diabetics could experience complications involving their eyes, but it wasn't registering very high on my radar screen until I noticed other bloggers were having their eyes checked regularly. With my increased attention to diabetes care, I decided it was time for a check-up. Oh, and my husband scheduled me an exam! (It's okay, I schedule his doctor's appointments... we take care of each other!)

Our appointment was last Saturday, and it was really cool! The doc has been taking care of my husband's eyes for years. My hubby has a really unique astigmatism and has to have special contacts, so he and his eye doc are old friends. I thought we'd each have our appointments alone, and that they were just scheduled back-to-back. Dennis (that's my husband) mentioned to the doc as they were going back for his exam, that I'm deathly afraid of the glaucoma machine. You know the one that puffs the air into your eye! I had a terrible experience years ago, when my family eye doctor had to try to get a reading on the "puffer machine" but I kept pulling away and closing my eyes. Finally when I was nearly in tears from the fear, he said "Okay, you're young, I bet you don't have glaucoma!" So, Dennis tells the doctor about this and he decides to call me back to the exam room. He let me hit the button to puff the air into my husband's eye. Thinking that this would make me more comfortable, I guess. Well, it worked because when the doctor made me sit in front of the dreaded machine, I opened my eyes wide and got readings on both eyes the first try. I felt like I had overcome such an obstacle.

I think we're getting at the real reason I avoided the eye doctor for so long!

Anyway, we both went in the exam room. The doc had me go first because he had to dilate my eyes. We started asking some questions about how diabetes affects the eye. Our doctor gave us the most thorough explanation about diabetic retinopathy. I was amazed! The doctor examined my eyes and kept commenting on how great they looked! He was teasing my husband because his vision is pretty bad... but we figured, he has poor eyesight, I have diabetes... we all get something!

I was so glad I went to the eye doctor and learned more about how my diabetes affects my eyes. Now I have yet another measuring stick for my diabetes care! Plus, when you have a chronic disease, isn't it nice for a doctor to tell you something is Perfect?! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

5 Random Things

I don’t know if I’ve been officially tagged or not, but since I’ve been sort of MIA on my blog lately, I bet not. I love the idea of 5 Random things, so here are mine:

1. I love soup. I eat it a lot. I never go to a restaurant without asking what the “soup de jour” is. My favorite is probably Chicken Tortilla, which can actually differ quite a lot from place to place. When I go out with a group to lunch or dinner, I’m often the only one ordering soup, and I sometimes order it as my entrée. Of course, you have to avoid the really creamy soups, since they’re full of fat. Luckily I enjoy the soups full of veggies and broth. Yummy!

2. I was born and raised in the Redwoods. I’m from Eureka, a small coastal town in Northern California. Giant Redwoods are all around us. Since it’s where I grew up, I don’t realize how amazing they are to people who haven’t seen them… but I’m told that many people are totally impressed by these huge trees. They are beautiful.

3. Sports are one of my favorite things. I love to play them, especially softball and tennis, but I also really enjoy watching them. I can watch sports I’ve never even played, like soccer and volleyball. My favorites though, are baseball, basketball and football. My husband is an even bigger sports nut, so we’re like two peas in a pod (lots of food metaphors!) My favorite teams are: the Miami Dolphins, University of Miami Hurricanes, San Francisco 49ers, Phoenix Suns and the team closest to my heart, the San Francisco Giants.

4. My hands are really small and chubby. I’m sort of petite, but my hands are really small, and no matter my weight, they’re chubby! The imprint of my hand I made in kindergarten looks like a 2 year olds. Oddly, my palms are pretty much normal sized and my dad says that we have “Norwegian rowing hands” because apparently big palms help with rowing?! I’ve never rowed anything.

5. My undergraduate major was a program called Integral. It’s a Great Books Program that spanned basically all of Western thought. Classes were seminar style, so 15 of us would do a reading and come to class to discuss it. We read everything from Homer and Plato to Marx and Nietzsche. We also studied Ancient Greek as our foreign language so we could translate parts of Aristotle and the Book of John in the Bible. Our math tutorials started with Euclid and covered Ptolemy, Copernicus and Newton. We traced the development of philosophy, language and mathematics as they developed in the western world. I miss that program and my classmates a lot. I know this education colors my thinking of the world and I’m so grateful to have had this experience.

So, those are my five. I think everyone's been tagged, but if not, please jot down your five things. It's fun to hear about the "non-diabetes" related things in our diabetic friends!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Happy New Year all!

My apologies for ignoring my blog over the Christmas vacation. I spent the last week and a half visiting family and friends in Northern California in the middle of terrible winter storms! Fun! Actually, my husband and I somehow managed to plan our travels perfectly around the worst storms and faired much better than, for instance, my mom and her boyfriend who traveled from Eureka to Sacramento in 11 hours (that trip should take 5-6 hours tops!)

I assume I'm not alone in realizing, once again, that the holidays are no friend to the diabetic. My blood sugars didn't end up terribly high, but they were running higher than I'd like. Now I'm trying really hard to get them near perfect again, so my A1C next month isn't totally blown!

I'm very excited for 2006! There is a lot of work ahead of me, and hopefully some fun! Next semester I will be taking two graduate classes (the last of my course work) and working full time. I'm very motivated to get my classes finished so I can begin my thesis! Once that's done... it's baby time! :) Honestly, I'm most excited about starting our family, but I need to get this degree finished. Plus, I still want some time to get my body baby-ready as far as my blood sugars. I was excited to reach my lower A1C, but maintaining that level of control is another battle.

So, if there are any diabetics (particularly type 1's) who've had a baby, I'll be interested in picking your brain over the next year! I'm pretty nervous about the pregnancy and especially the delivery, mostly because I'm a big wimp! :) I know I'm stronger than I give myself credit for (at least that's what my mom says!) but any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

One last note: Now that I've attempted to join the blogging world, I have a lot of admiration for the great OC bloggers out there. It takes a lot of thought, energy and dedication to come up with interesting topics for posts and to blog faithfully. Thanks for doing what you do and inspiring the rest of us!