Diabetes Diary

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Food... Our Friend?!

I've been reading a lot of blogs about food choices lately, and it got me thinking.

I was always a skinny girl (of course I didn't think so at the time!) I had good eating habits and didn't like a lot of junk food. Then, diabetes struck! At 14 years old I suddenly started gaining weight. (We're all familiar with the diabetes weight gain thing, so I don't have to elaborate!) Then I started college. I remember being over at the house where I was a nanny and physically not being able to stop myself from raiding the pantry. Now, maybe it was the college dorm food I was subjecting myself too, or something, but I just HAD to eat Cheez-its, chocolate kisses, chips, whatever the house was stocked with. I didn't have great self-esteem at the time and I had pretty much reached my highest weight (admittedly not that much, around 165, but I'm 5'3'').

Fast forward 7 years and I now have a very healthy relationship with food. It dawned on me the other day, that I don't think about food much at all anymore (in that craving, have to have it sort of way.) When and how did that change?!

Well, first of all, I left my negative, hurtful college boyfriend that liked to tell me, "You're beautiful, but you'd be even more beautiful if you lost "x" number of pounds." And met my amazing husband who loves me for me! What a novel idea :) I'm sure maturity had something to do with it too, but I know a lot of adults who struggle with food.

Not that I'm the expert on this, not by any means... but I feel like I have some insight on this because somehow my attitude towards food changed without me even noticing it! That's to say that it's definitely a process and not going to happen overnight.

First of all, food is fuel for our bodies. There are so many great foods that our bodies need! We all the know the usual suspects: fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, nuts, etc. Trying to fit all of those healthy food into our diet leaves a lot less room for junk food!

Also, I try to think of my eating from the big picture perspective. If I want to indulge, say in my favorite unhealthy food a cheese enchilada...yum, I do it. But then I eat a lot of vegetables for the next couple days and balance out my nutrition needs and calorie intake. Everyone knows we can't limit our favorite foods completely, we'd never be successful. Here's a good example: there is a great Mexican food place about 1/4 mile from my work! They have an enchilada special on Wednesdays, where you get the enchilada, rice and beans and a soda for $4. You can't beat it! Well, I took full advantage of the special for quite a few months! Suddenly the meal didn't satisfy me as much and I felt guilty every time I ate there. I decided to wait awhile between visits. I even marked it off on my calendar and only allowed myself to eat there once a month. It worked well. I ate better and when I splurge I loved the food and didn't feel guilty! Instead of forbidding food from your diet, how about making a point of having it every once in awhile and really enjoying it. I'm serious, mark it on your calendar and look forward to it!

Okay, there's my two cents on the food issue. It's seriously an ongoing battle for all of us diabetics. Not only do we deal with the normal food things like eating for comfort, boredom or just because it tastes good, but then you factor in the blood sugar maintenance aspect of food... You end up with a big mix of reasons to eat or not to eat, it's overwhelming!

We have to eat to live. Food shouldn't be our enemy!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Hate Diabetes!

I think the diabetes stars are aligned against us right now... well at least me, and I noticed Kerri has been down about our disease lately too. I'm sure there are more of you out there.

I Hate Diabetes!

My frustration right now is due to a week of high blood sugars! I believe the culprit is a vial of lantus that went bad over the weekend, but I continued to use it (unknowingly) until Wednesday night. The vial was getting towards the end and I had it in my purse all weekend since my husband and I were babysitting and away from home for two nights. I guess it got kinda hot and just went bad. (I'm not sure exactly how insulin "goes bad"- if anyone can give a more scientific explanation, I'm all ears!)

Anyway, I've been eating less and giving myself huge doses of humalog for the last three days! I now have two doses of the good Lantus in my system, but I guess it'll just take a couple days for it to fully get back to normal?!

I Hate Diabetes!

Here's an example: after giving myself tons of insulin, I'm 90 mg/dl at dinnertime- YEAH! So I eat a light dinner of 3 oz salmon and some pasta/veggie dish and give myself 4 units of humalog, that's twice what I'd normally need for that dinner. Two hours later I'm 66 mg/dl :) I gave my husband this awesome bouquet of sugar cookies for Valentine's Day and wanted a bite. So, I had half of one (they're pretty big) and 8 oz nonfat milk. Normally, I wouldn't need more insulin for that snack with that low of blood sugar at bedtime, but given these crazy numbers, I gave myself 2 units of humalog and then my normal 28 of the (now good) Lantus. This morning I woke up and tested at 6 a.m. and was 207mg/dl. NO! NO! NO!

The thing that kills me is that I feel terrible! I realize how much better I feel with good blood sugars, it's an AMAZING difference! I'm tired and moody and unfortunately still have a TON of work to do. Motivation is not my friend right now.

I Hate Diabetes!

To add insult to injury (Literally) I hurt my knee this week. My prior post about Tae-bo still stands, but be sure you're doing all the exercises properly. Apparently I wasn't turning my plant foot out enough, so when I did a bunch of roundhouse kicks on Monday morning, I hurt my left knee. It's all swollen and obviously I can't work out, which is making me feel even more blah! I momentarily thought there might be a connection between my twisted knee and all the highs, but I guess that's pretty unlikely :)

So, thanks for reading my really uplifting blog this morning! These days will be few and far between for me. But I agree with the comments to Kerri's post, we're all allowed to not be strong at times. This disease requires us to "be on" all the time, and no one can do that. I'm just going to take a little time to remember that...

I Hate Diabetes!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Upsetting Endo Experience with a Happy Ending

So, today was my quarterly endo appointment. I had my blood drawn for the A1C last Friday and was all set to see my doctor. I've been going to this doc for about 9 months and previously had a good rapport with him.

I get to the office at 10:25 a.m. for my 10:30 a.m. appointment and proceed to wait about 45 minutes before being called back to an exam room. Pretty typical, but I did notice how crowded the waiting room was. The CDE came in first and we had a short chat. She doesn't seem all that educated, in fact I informed both the CDE and the endo about the emerging Omnipod during my last visit.

Anyway, the doc comes in and hurriedly asks how I'm doing. He brings up whether I am interested in the pump. I'm momentarily confused since on two of my previous visits we've discussed the pump and he even said that "it's not for everyone" and since I'm maintaining an A1C in the low to mid 6's, it wasn't necessary. I told him (again) that I'm not interested in going on the pump, though I'd like to look into the Omnipod when it comes on the market.

He then mentions that since I'm planning to get pregnant in about a year, I should get my A1C down to 5.6 and says that my current A1C of 6.3 is "okay." This is the same guy that told me three months ago that my 6.4 was wonderful and that A1Cs in the 5's usually mean a lot of hypoglycemia and thus are not necessarily to be the goal. Now I'm really confused... or more accurately, annoyed!

Finally (about 3 minutes total have elapsed since the doc entered) I tell him I need new prescriptions. I do the mail order plan and need them written out for 3 months supplies with 3 refills:

He asks me how many test strips I need and suggests, "300 a month?"

I quickly do the math and reply, "Sure I can use as many as 10 per day."

He then looks at me disapprovingly and says, "How about an average of 6 per day, so I'll write it for 540 strips for 3 months."

What?! How in the world did he go from 10 a day to 6?! I was a little too surprised to say anything, but luckily remembered to ask him for a 100 strip prescription to fill locally, since I'm pretty low on them right now.

After writing the slips, I asked him if they were for a whole year (he has these really weird looking prescription slips and it wasn't obvious that the appropriate refills were listed.) He rudely answered, "Yes, that's one prescription, refilled 3 times, which makes a whole year!" And then he left.

I sat on the exam table, kinda stunned for a minute, before I realized "I guess it's time to leave."

I went to the reception desk to get my next appointment and give her my co-pay.

I mention to the girl "Wow, he's really busy today."

She replied, "Yeah, it's Wednesday. That's his diabetes day."

I ask, "Diabetes day. What does that mean?"

"Oh, he sees about 30 diabetics on Wednesday mornings."

Well, that explains it! I ask her, "Can my next appointment not be on a Wednesday morning?"

"He has here that he wants to see you on Wednesday morning."

Great. Fine. That will be my last appointment with him.

Now, I understand that doctor's are busy. And really, since I'm not changing my care or anything, there's not that much to discuss. However, I know other endo's look at glucose meter print outs or go over log books, neither of which he's done. This doctor is older and not up to date on diabetes advancements at all. If I just needed a doctor to get my A1Cs done and give me my prescriptions, I could go to my primary care physician.

I called the office back and informed them that the doctor wrote my test strip prescription for far less that I need. The nurse took down the correct numbers and said she'd mail me a slip for that amount. We'll see...

So, back at the office, I made some calls to the UCSD Endo Department. They have some of the best doctors and particularly a great Reproductive Endo group. I have a call into them and hope to get in as a new patient in a few months. So, maybe this was a blessing in disguise...

Okay, literally as I'm typing this I got a call back from the UCSD Reproductive Endo group and just had a delightful conversation with one of the CDE. I'm very excited about the program they have there and I will be in really great shape for my future "high risk pregnancy."

Funny how things work out :)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Exercise and Diabetes

Exercise and diabetes are difficult to balance. I'm sure we all have experienced this truism. Sometimes your blood sugar is too high or too low when you want to work out, other times you bottom out in the middle of your routine or have an unexplained high or low after you've finished the exercise.

However, since exercise is SO good for our diabetes control, it's important to find a way to fit it into our diabetes management.

Here is my experience, for what it's worth: Until about a year and a half ago, I was a "runner"- and I use that term loosely :) I ran about 3-5 miles per day/4 days a week. I usually ran after work, around 5:30-6 p.m. I'm on humalog and lantus injections, and I do my lantus at bedtime. I would have to load up on carbs not to get low in the early morning hours after a run. I hated it because I felt like all the calories I'd burnt running were being replaced to keep my blood sugar up! I slowly but surely lost a few pounds, but felt frustrated with the amount of effort it all took.

For the last 6 months, I've had an insane schedule of work and school, so the only time I have to work out is at 5:30 a.m. I got these Tae-bo tapes (there are a ton of different ones!) Each workout is about 45 minutes and it's amazing! The workouts are challenging and it works wonderfully doing it first thing in the morning. I test first, if I low I drink about 4 oz of OJ; if I'm high I do a unit or so of humalog. I don't have to eat more throughout the day to combat lows, I just have a much higher insulin to carb ratio for breakfast on the mornings I workout, like 30:1 and I still have a snack later. It's worked great for me. In fact, even when my schedule opens up, I will always be a morning exerciser from now on; there are so many benefits!

I've been so jazzed about my new workout and been wanting to share my enthusiasm with the O.C. If anyone is interested in Tae-bo, I'd love to tell you about the tapes I've found. There are a lot of different ones, which is great because you can grow with the program. I'm about to start the Tae-bo Bootcamp series which will surely kick my butt! :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

May I introduce...

Adam Morrison.

Some of you may not be aware of this guy. He's one of the standout college basketball players this year, not to mention the last two years, and has a good chance of going #1 in the NBA draft. He plays for Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash -which is in the West Coast Conference with my alma mater St. Mary's College! :)

What's so special about this guy, besides his basketball skills? He's a type 1 diabetic. Can you imagine playing basketball at the intensity of Division 1, or soon, the NBA? Adam is ready for the challenge!

Here's the link to an article and interview with Adam:


I'm sure you'll all catch the reporter's mistake when he mentions needing a "shot" a "boost" when Adam's blood sugar is low. Funny how people can't get that straight!

I think Adam is going to use his disease to advocate for all of us. I've very excited about his promising future, both on and off the court.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tag, I'm it!

Okay, I'm tagging myself... I have been kinda MIA on the posting lately (too much school and work are my excuses) so I don't blame the OC for forgetting me :) But I've been reading everyone's lists and loving it, so here goes...

Four jobs I’ve had in my life:

Receptionist in a law firm
Teaching Assistant at SDSU
Administrator for the Litigation Department of a CPA office (current)

Four movies I can watch over and over:

Father of the Bride (1 and 2)
Sleepless in Seattle
The American President
40 Year Old Virgin (love Steve Carrell!)

Four places I have lived:

Eureka, CA (born and raised)
Moraga, CA
Oceanside, CA
San Diego, CA
I'm a California girl :)

Four TV shows I love to watch:

The West Wing
The Office

Four places I have been on vacation:

Martinique (the Caribbean)
Okinawa, Japan
Alcapulco, Ixtapa, Manzanillo (honeymoon cruise!)

Four of my favorite foods:

cherry tomatoes
salads with thai peanut dressing
cereal with lots of nonfat milk

Four websites I visit daily:

Six Until Me (I, too, use her as my jumping off point for updated blogs.)
www.justinkeele.com (memorial website)
www.times-standard.com (hometown newspaper)

Four places I'd rather be right now:

In our cozy bed with my hubby!
Eureka, CA hanging out with my mom
Playing with my nephew
Laying on the beach in Ixtapa, Mexico