Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Happy Diagnostiversary!

Today is the third anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis. Every year I celebrate being alive and, so far, without any major complications. It’s a big deal, this diagnostiversary. It’s one more year of seeing, one more year free of kidney damage, one more year of avoiding neuropathy. One more year that diabetes didn’t get me. One more year of life. I’m grateful for every day that I can get up, play with my pups, and go through the day with a comfy sofa and wagging tails to go home to. Life is a wonderful thing, and I love mine, diabetes and all. I wouldn’t ask for a different one if I could.

 

Quinoa Chickpea & Avocado Summer Salad

msteck:

Quinoa is a fantastic complete protein. It goes with everything and this recipe looks particularly delicious! Curious about quinoa? Check out some info here.

Originally posted on The Recipe to Life :

Hey everyone! I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything. A natural disaster hit close to home, and I’ve been helping facilitate donations and assistance for families in need, and have not had any time for anything else for quite a while. BUT, on a happier note, things are starting to get organized enough to where I’m able to have some personal time again, and do the things I need to do. Well, ok, not that blogging is something I NEED to do, but I sure do enjoy it. It’s one of those healthy release things I think. So here I am, and I’d like to share a fantastic recipe I’ve found with you. I made it this week and it is wonderful. We had unseasonably warm temperatures in our area this week (Seattle area, try almost 90 at the beginning of May! Holy smokes!), and it…

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Misdiagnosed

I found this story on the Greater Good website and it’s worth reading. I was originally misdiagnosed (or rather, not even diagnosed). In February of 2011, I went to see an Endocrinologist. I had never been to one but I thought it would help since I believed that the trouble I was having was related to hypothyroidism and I was concerned that my primary physician wasn’t catching some stuff that a specialist would. I was constantly fatigued, depressed, thirsty, had to pee all the time. Right.

So I get to the this doc, whose name I’ll not mention, and this old bloke tells me that he has “seen this before” and what I really needed was to go out and get a career and a husband. Um, can we say jacka**?! He then told me in a condescending sort of way that he would pursue this with me if I wanted. I went home, frustrated, exhausted, and having to pee…again.

August 11th, 2011 I was in the ER. Diabetes. Diagnosed T2 only to realize later it was actually T1 (LADA). So, I know this happens and it probably happens more than we hear about since I suspect there are some serious malpractice implications that go along with these stories. But, whether caught early or late, here we all are, and here’s “Thirteen Years and Counting.

 

CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor)

After having too many low readings (30s – 50s) with no symptoms until feeling like I was going to pass out, I caved and got the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor. I wish I would have gotten this thing earlier. It’s an awesome device. It spits out a bgl reading every five minutes. It’s user friendly, easy to insert, very small, and gives information on trending. Alarms can be set for highs and lows and I have been told there is an android app that allows users to get info off the monitor from great distances (think kids at school and such) though I haven’t verified this. It is tubeless, and comes in pink, blue, and black. Seriously folks, any T1 who has trouble keeping their bg where they want it should have one of these. Check out the Dexcom page about the CGM.

I have been in bed sick this week and normally in this situation keeping my bg in range is a futile endeavor but I have mostly been able to keep it in the 100s because I have known exactly what it is and where it is going. The information you get on trending with this monitor is invaluable. So take a look, and if you already have a CGM, share your thoughts on which devices and features you prefer.

 

Insulin Pen Approved for Diabetic Dogs

Well looky what I found! A new insulin pen has been approved for use with diabetic dogs. Check the caveat at the bottom – dogs allergic to pork products should NOT use this.

I scanned this straight out of the most current issue of Dog Fancy magazine.

dog insulin pen

Show Me Your Pump!

After indulging in a little social media griping about people’s reactions to my insulin pump in public, someone shared this wonderful article with me. Enjoy!

Hey, Miss Idaho, Is That An Insulin Pump On Your Bikini?

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, shown here in her home town of Twin Falls, Idaho, decided not to hide the insulin pump she wears to treat Type 1 diabetes during the pageant.

Endo-Anxiety (or A Rare Condition Involving Irrational Fear of Not Having Control of Your Diabetes).

Another endo visit awaits me on Thursday, during which I will no doubt be weighed and measured, quite literally. Sometimes the trips drive me crazy, sometimes they’re welcome, but they are always useful. And that’s the part we need to remember. You can learn a lot about controlling your diabetes during your endo visit. Remember, though, that you are your only real health advocate and it is up to you to go fishing for information. So next time that (perhaps dreaded) visit roles around, do yourself a favor or two.

~Get a copy of your most recent lab results. After all, that’s why you’re there, to go over results and check in. So get a hard copy and start a file so that you can keep your own records and follow along.

~Let your endo, (and medical assistants) know what you need help with. You’re literally standing in a great resource for information and help. Ask for it.

~Don’t blame yourself if your results aren’t where you want them to be. If you’re alive, and have a good to terrific quality of life, diabetes isn’t winning. Take comfort in that and keep on truckin’.

~But mostly, remember that at the end of the day, you’re head will be on your pillow. Nothing lasts forever, and most of what we worry about is in our imaginations. We worry about things that might happen or will happen or won’t ever happen at all. You’re here, on the right side of the earth for living, and we can’t forget that while we carry a disease around inside our bodies, days come and go, life moves along, and we are just as entitled to living it as anyone else is.

Love and light,

Melissa

School’s Out!

Well, I just finished my BA program, like, the whole thing! I apologize for my absence the last couple of months. Moving and new job and BA and diabetes, it’s been crazy. But I am once again back to a normal-ish schedule and more postings will be added. I’m going to take a few days to bask in the no-homework-ness and then I’ll be back with an article on anxiety over upcoming endo visits. Good health and BGLs to everyone!

Regenerative Cell Therapy for T1D

Read the article here and comment below with what you think. I”m curious to hear.

How To Test Basal Insulin Levels

For five days in a row, I woke up with 200+ readings. Okay, a pattern. I get it. So back to basal testing to make the necessary adjustments to my pump settings. So I tested every two hours last night and ran low 100’s, then get up this morning with a 71. If anything, that indicates my basal insulin needs to be reduced a few hours before waking. Zoinks! So I’ll see what I wake up to tomorrow and retest if needed. But it brings up a good point: do you know how to test your basal insulin levels?

For pump users especially, because we can adjust our settings, this is a very important piece of info. Even if you are on MDI therapy, it is still a must-have piece of info. How it works:

Eat your normal dinner at least four hours before heading to bed. Then don’t eat again until the next day. No food! Not even a skittle. :)

Set an alarm to go off every two hours. Something annoying that can’t be ignored is good.

Test just before going to bed and write down your bgl. If it anywhere between 100 and 250, don’t do anything to correct.

Every two hours, when that super annoying alarm goes off, test and record your bgl.

If the numbers stay within a thirty point range, you’re great. Don’t make any changes.

If they drop or increase more than 30 points, talk to your doc about adjusting your basal levels.

My doc has me increase or decrease in 10% increments as needed to make adjustment. Example: I have my basal insulin set at .5 units/hour. A 10% decrease to lessen the amount of basal insulin (if my numbers drop more than 30 points between any two testings) would put me at .45 units/hour. The basal adjustment has to be set for somewhere between 1 and 2 hours prior to the change in bg readings to allow time for the adjustment to take place.

BUT REMEMBER! If this whole basal testing thing is new to you (or even if it isn’t), talk to your doc!!! before making changes to your regimen.

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