Diabetes Diary

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

Friday, July 28, 2006

My Michelle!

I've always appreciated seeing pictures of the folks in the O.C. and I realized that none of you have seen one of me... (I'm in the pink!)

The only picture I had handy is of me and my best friend Michelle. I figured this is a good time to talk about my support system a bit.

I have been unbelievably blessed with friends and family who have the perfect balance of support and respect for my disease. They're the first to tell me how well I handle my diabetes. On the other hand, they never nag me or ask "Should you be eating that?" I really appreciate this, as fellow diabetics can attest!

Michelle was my college roommate for our sophomore, junior and senior years. She'd patiently wait for me to test my blood while everyone else ran off to the dining hall. She'd gently remind me to test my blood while we were enjoying a few cocktails! Michelle never complained when I turned on my light at 3 a.m. to test my blood, or staggered around trying to find something to eat!

Besides her attention to my diabetes stuff, she's just the dearest friend. Even know that we live 500 miles apart, with a quick phone call I can feel right back home in our friendship. She works at a middle school run by the Christian Brothers as a counselor. I strongly believe everyone should have a best friend that's a trained counselor, it's quite a gift! But as she told me the other day when I called her upset and said, "I need a counselor." She replied, "No, you need a friend!" She's the best.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is my 13th Diabetes Anniversary!

I've officially (almost) had diabetes for half of my life! I was diagnosed when I was 13 1/2, so actually the halfway point will be just after my 27 birthday in January... I'm not quite sure why this seems significant. For the rest of my life, diabetes will be something I've lived with longer than I was free of it... kinda weird.

I thought I'd commemorate my anniversary with a quote I really enjoy, and that sums up the life of a diabetic quite nicely:
"Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly." - Julie Andrews

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The rollercoaster...

In diabetes lingo, the rollercoaster effect is to be avoided at all coasts. Swinging sugars is another way to describe the giant fluctuations in blood sugars during a day.

What I experienced this week is different, a sloooowww rollercoaster if you will.

So, after boasting about my beautiful blood sugars last week... I proceed to skip my exercise Saturday morning and lay on the beach for five hours. From 9 a.m to 2 p.m., in San Diego, in July, with only one application of sunscreen (but it was 45 SPF!) I think you can see where this is going... SUNBURN!!

This was the worst sunburn of my life. The kind that pretty much ups your risk of skin cancer by a thousand percent!

I never even considered how my irresponsible sun care might effect my blood sugars.

The thing is when you're THAT burnt, you can't put on clothes, which makes going out of the house and being active, fairly unlikely :) Instead I spent the rest of Saturday, all day Sunday and all day Monday (I stayed home from work!) sitting in my living room.

This period of low activity corresponded with my humalog going bad. I can NEVER even finish half a vial before it goes bad. I guess it's good that my insulin needs are low, but it always seems so wasteful to toss half a vial!

So, Sunday through Tuesday my blood sugars were atrocious!

Luckily, after a workout this morning and a new vial of humalog, I've been in the 90s for the past 7 hours! :)

I'm starting to realize about this disease that things are ALWAYS changing. And trends are big. But trends change very quickly, so it does no good to get worked up over a couple bad numbers (or a week...) inevitably, with a little effort, they get back to normal.

Until another flu shot, vial of bad insulin, stressful day, or a sunburn come to wreak havoc on your management! (those are just some of my blood sugar raisers... I'm sure there are many more!)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Weight-loss struggles!

This has been a topic I've considered posting about a few times... but for some reason hadn't yet.

Today I was inspired by Nicole's post:
"On Being Chubby"

I think most of us PWDs who've had the disease for awhile, have experienced the somewhat inevitable weight gain. My experience with this came at a particularly inopportune time: teenagehood.

Diagnosed in the summer of 1993, I was entering 8th grade and 13 years old. I was one of those silly girls who swore I was FAT! when I weighted 105 lbs! Literally, the most I ever weighed before diabetes was 107. At the time of diagnoses, I was 92 lbs and super excited about filling into size 0 Bongo jeans (well, excited while I wasn't eating, drinking or peeing for the last month!)

I don't know about everyone else, but during my hospital stay they fed me like CRAZY! Huge portions of food (and not all if it very healthy)- trying to fatten me up, since "I'd been basically starving to death!" The amount of food they fed me followed me back to my everyday life.

During the next school year, I remember going up sizes fairly quickly. A particularly traumatic experience was buying shorts with a size 30 waist! :) Ridiculous now, I know!

Junior high lead to high school. I continued to gain weight, slowly but surely throughout high school. I played sports, had boyfriends and great friends, but my weight started to bother me.

Another memory that stands out was when I had a dress made for the junior prom. In order to make the dress look right (since I was biggest in my belly) the dressmaker gave me a C-cup! I had to stuff it! The guys at my high school watched a barely B cup girl turn into a bombshell overnight!!

In college, my self-esteem was pretty low. I worked out a lot, but the college dorm-food and lifestyle was sabotaging my efforts. At my heaviest I was about 165 lbs, which I know is not that much, but I'm short and it had all settled in my belly area. Unfortunately I was in college when Britney Spears and the stomach barring style took off!

Sadly, the boyfriend I chose in college played into all of my insecurities about my body. He'd tell me I was beautiful and then mention "Oh, but you'd be even more beautiful if you lost a few pounds." (Don't worry that man is long gone from my life!)

The issues we diabetics potentially have with our bodies is multi-fold. Insulin doesn't do the prettiest things to our bodies, but we have to have it. We'd obviously rather be less than perfect in the figure department but be alive and healthy! Still, the battle continues.

Through A LOT of exercise and attention to my diet, I have gotten my body to a muscular, fit 150 lbs. My lower stomach roll (I think someone called it the "muffin top" which I loved!!) is not too big, but well defined. It's not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Living in Southern California, I think the pressure to have a perfect body is intensified. This weekend my husband and I hit the beach. The parade of young girls in San Diego with bikini ready bodies is ridiculous!! However, I didn't let it get to me! I proudly wore my bikini with sport cut bottoms (and got terribly sunburnt)!

I continue to work out and eat healthfully, as much for my blood sugar management as weight loss these days. (Though I'm having great toning success with Tae bo Bootcamp!)

My body seem really content at the weight I'm at. If I eat too much one weekend or cut way down on calories, I don't see any difference in my clothes or on the scale. There's a certain freedom in that.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Reflections #1

I've had this book for years and it just recently made its way to my nightstand and ultimately as my first choice for bedtime reading. Many of you may have heard of it, or already have it. It's called Medications on Diabetes: Strengthening your Spirit in Every Season, by Catherine Feste.

I figured I'd share some of my family quotes and thoughts from this book, since it's inspiring me to consider my mental and spiritual side of being diabetic (or a PWD).

People would consider me an optimist, I've been accused of such many a time. There's nothing in my life that requires a good attitude more than diabetes. If anything can get you down about life it's a disease that demands constant attention and sacrifice! This is a great quote to remind us that our attitude is critically important to our success:

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit." - Helen Keller

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A pleasing string of blood sugars...

As mentioned below, my swtich to a morning dose of Lantus, instead of a bedtime dosing, has worked great for me! I've been exercising very faithfully and working on keeping my diet low carb and healthy! The results are pleasing:

July 11th

7:00 a.m. 102 mg/dl

8:45 a.m. 163 mg/dl

1:00 p.m. 117 mg/dl

6:30 p.m. 133 mg/dl

8:15 p.m. 73 mg/dl

9:45 p.m. 65 mg/dl

July 12th

4:30 a.m. 67 mg/dl

7:00 a.m. 119 mg/dl

12:00 p.m. 173 mg/dl

4:30 p.m. 86 mg/dl

7:00 p.m. 121 mg/dl

10:00 p.m. 138 mg/dl

July 13th

3:00 a.m 97 mg/dl

5:15 a.m. 60 mg/dl

10:00 a.m. 69 mg/dl

12:30 p.m. 97 mg/dl

3:30 p.m. 70 mg/dl

I haven't been above 100 today, and I have eaten moderately, having fruit and yogurt when my blood sugar drops a bit! Nothing below 50 mg/dl or above 200 mg/dl in the last few days! I was typically having lows in the 30s and 40s when I did my Lantus at 10 p.m.

I can see that I'm a little higher than I'd like to be around late morning, that's when the Lantus hasn't quite kicked in to full gear yet. I'll have to think about a higher insulin:carb ratio for breakfast.

Thanks for endulging me, this is very exciting :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Times They Are A-Changin'

the timing of my Lantus injection that is...

I am one of the few remaining MDI users in the Diabetes OC, which I am okay with since my A1C are consistently in the low 6's and I'm pleased with my control. However one element has been bothering me for awhile.

As instructed by my doctor many years ago, I have always taken my Lantus injection at bedtime, usually around 10 p.m. each night. The issue (as many Lantus users can tell you) is that the insulin has a gradual peak around 5-7 hours after injection, which meant A LOT of lows around 5 a.m. I ALWAYS got low on nights after I'd exercised (which I do frequently). It didn't matter how many carbs/protein I had for a bedtime snack, that early morning low would hit every time.

This is frustrating on many levels. First of all, I was sick of having to consume so many calories in the evening, especially after a good workout. Kinda defeats the purpose of burning calories if you're just going to put them right back! Plus, my sleep was always disrupted when I had to correct those lows with more food!

I mentioned this to my endo a few months ago. He's not the best doc, but I'll be under the care of the reproductive endo department in a few months (more about that later!!), so I'm not switching doctors for the time being. When I suggested changing the timing of my Lantus injection, he barely gave the idea any consideration. "Oh, it'll be fine" was his response.

So, a few weeks ago, I finally decided to just make the change. I read a lot about Lantus online and felt confident that the change would serve me well.

I knew it would be problematic if I suddenly just did the Lantus in the morning one day. Since Lantus works for 24 hours, it's important do take your dose at the same time each day. So, over the course of a week or so, I just moved my Lantus injection back an hour or so each night. This was a pain, because I had to set my alarm for 2 a.m., 3 a.m., etc. to give my injection, but it was a small price to pay.

I'm LOVING taking my Lantus in the morning!!

There's definitely been a period of transition though. See, now, I basically have very little insulin in my system overnight. Though Lantus claims to work for a full 24 hours, I find that it tapers off pretty strongly after about 20 hours. Before, I'd need a bedtime snack even if my blood sugar was around 150-170 mg/dl, now I don't need any extra carbs when I go to bed with a blood sugar around 100 mg/dl. That took some mental adjustment.

Also, since it take a little while for Lantus to get working, I am working with my breakfast meals to make sure they're lower carb. However, the other bonus is that now the Lantus has it's gentle peak right around lunchtime, so I need much less insulin at lunch! Also, it's still going strong at dinnertime, instead of wearing off, like it did when I injected at 10 p.m.

It just makes sense, why not have the Lantus working its best during my waking hours, especially the peaks! (Note: I don't seem to suffer from Dawn Phenomenon, luckily!)

I've also experimented with splitting the dose a bit. I tried giving myself 4 units of Lantus at bedtime and then 24 units at 7 a.m. (my total dose is 28 units). I still experienced a few lows with this, but it might be a good option when I'm not exercising as intensely.

So, all in all, I'm really happy with the change and I'm pleased with my ability to take diabetes management into my own hands.

And I excited to tell my doctor about the progress at our next appointment!