Category Archives: Fabulous Friday

My Reason

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I take care of myself for my husband and children.  For my parents, brothers, sisters, and friends.  For my extended family and friends composed of the DOC.  Last but not least I take care of myself for me.

Have a fabulous Friday everyone!

Remember, love and respect yourself and the rest will follow.

XOXO

One For Every Year

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My most memorable thoughts about diabetes for each year with diabetes, starting with the first year as an 11 year old:

1994  “I can do this.  No, I won’t go to diabetes camp, I’m just like everyone else, I’ll go to regular camp.”  “Ok, regular camp was fun but I thought I was going to die”.

1995  “Alright, I don’t like this at all.  I’m not sure I can do this.”

1996  “I can’t do this!  But I don’t want anyone to know…”  “I just want to be normal”.

1997  “Recovering from a gum grafting surgery.  So this is what happens when I try to be normal.  Not fair.”

1998  “I wonder what boys think about my diabetes?”

1999  “I hate diabetes.”

2000  “Feeling out of control.  Help!”

2001  “The way things are going, I might as well give up.”

2002  “I can’t do college while panicking like this.  I can’t even pick up a pencil.”

2003  “Can I turn my life around?  Is it possible?  I can’t live like this anymore.”

2004  “Ooooh…alcohol…what a nice way to forget my problems!”

2005  “Alcohol is useless.  Trying to do better.  Trying to do better.  Trying to do better.”

2006  “Eat this not that.  Do this not that.  Change is hard.  Super hard.”

2007  “Wow, I’m doing better…Just keep going.”

2008  “A1c is down.  Weight is down.  I can run a 5k every day.  Getting married this year.  Happiness is totally up.  I can’t believe this is my life now.”

2009  “TWINS!  Must. Have. Sleep.”

2010 “We’re not poor, we’re just struggling. (Can I borrow a $5 for groceries?)”

2011 “Hello DOC!”

2012  “I can do this!  Wait a minute…I am doing this.”

Life ebbs and flows.  When you’re on the up, enjoy it and take steps to safeguard your future.  When you’re down, know that you will be back up again.  Just don’t give up hope.  Giving up hope prolongs the process between going from down to up and we don’t want that.  Don’t give up hope.

29 Things to Be Happy About Today

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Today I turn 29 years old.  While I’m a little bummed that this marks the beginning of my last year as a twenty-something, I’m going to focus on happy thoughts instead.

1.  Despite my children calling me anything but “mama” (they can say “mama” they just don’t want to) at least they are healthy, kind, and have quite a sense of humor.  That’s all I ever want for them.

2.  My husband is out of state for work, which is hard on us, but at least he’s got work.  Others aren’t so fortunate.  (Alex come baaaaaaaaaaaaack!)

3.  I had a first call with my training coach for A1c Champions the other night and it was awesome.  I’m so excited.

4.  My mom watched the kids on that call from the other night.  I don’t know what I’d do without her.  Or my dad.  Every time I need uplifting, he knows just what to say.

5.  Today, if I have anything diabetes related I want to discuss, I have an entire community of people available who help each other out.  A few years ago I had no clue that existed.

6.  My little brother keeps wowing people with his guitar playing.  I won’t lie.  I’m excited at the prospect of having a famous family member one day!  When he was 3, I knew he was going to be something really special.  As usual, I was right.  Here he is from this past weekend.

7.  I have a husband who feels comfortable enough with me to tell me when I’m being an arrogant know-it-all.  I appreciate that level of honesty.

8.  My sister Ana, who has type 1, is about to start her senior year of college.  She is number 4 of us 5 kids and the first to finish college.  I’m so proud of her and am glad I can call her artwork my favorite (and I love that I don’t have to lie about that).

9.  I have two other siblings who I never mention on the blog but I should.  I have a brother named Alejandro who is a year younger than me.  I’m happy he’s fighting to make his life what he wants it to be.  Growing up with him helped me try harder at everything because he was always so smart and athletic and generally good at everything.  I hope he remembers his immense potential.  I have a younger sister named Sara who also should remember her potential.  I’m amazed at how she handles being a single mom to two young kids.  I have been doing it for a few weeks due to Alex being out of town and I’m just about ready to lose it.  And Sara always looks so cute.  I don’t know how she does it.  I’m happy that they are both close by.

10.  I’m grateful I have health insurance.  It’s a big deal and I wish this for everyone.

11.  My brother-in-law gave us his old TV a few days ago.  It’s huge and in our bedroom and I no longer have to watch movies on the computer screen, from the computer chair.  I feel positively spoiled!

12.  I love blogging.  I spent years aching to write and now I get to do it all the time!

13.  I’m happy it’s not Winter.  lol

14.  I love that last night my kids were mocking me.  They repeated what I said with their hands on their hips.  It was hysterical.

15.  I’m very thankful for Lantus.  I’m a fan of my insulin-aren’t you?!  hehe.

16.  I just discovered the show Frasier.  I was too young to get into it when it was on but now I’m watching it from the beginning and I have to say it’s my all time favorite show!  I totally relate to Frasier and wish I had a brother like Niles.  Is that weird?  Don’t answer that.

17.  Yay for TED Talks on Netflix!

18.  My birthday is on Fabulous Friday.  How nice.

19.  I’m attending the best nutrition school ever.  It’s compassion for people and respect for their differences is awesome.

20.  You really don’t want to read more than 20 right?

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, they made this warm and fuzzy post possible :)

2012 Orange:Will Diabetes Awareness Walk

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Built into the DiabetesSisters Conference is the Orange:Will Diabetes Awareness Walk taking place on Sunday May 20, 2012 at 8:00 AM in front of the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh,  NC.

Taken from the website where you can register and learn more:

“What is ORANGE:WILL?

The orange:will campaign was started by DiabetesSisters in 2010 to raise awareness of the unique issues faced by women with diabetes and to establish orange as the official color of women’s diabetes.  Most people are unaware of how different diabetes is for women, so this campaign is our way of acknowledging those differences and educating the public about them.

You can help by joining us for the walk, bringing friends/family members/co-workers to the Walk, forming a team, or raising funds to support our cause.  Everyone who raises at least $40 will receive a souvenir Walk t-shirt to wear at the event.  The top three individual fundraisers and the top team will receive special prizes – such as an iPad, custom-fitted tennis shoes, designer sunglasses, etc.  Stay tuned for more detailed information about prizes.

**LOCAL & NATIONAL VENDORS WILL BE ON SITE FROM 7:30am-10:00am on MAY 20th.”

If you’re going to the Diabetes Sisters Conference in Raleigh next week, please make sure to register so they have a proper head count!

If you’re going to be in the Raleigh area next week…join us for the walk!  The more, the better as media will be there taking note of the event!  Again, click here to register!

My husband, Alex and I will be there, we hope to see ya!

A Great Diabetes Blog to Follow

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Many of you have heard of Richard Vaughn, longtime type 1 diabetic and author of a wonderful book which talks about his journey with type 1.  He’s very active in the DOC and has provided tons of people with hope by reminding us that for many years (due to lack of modern technology and information) he had consistently high blood sugars but is healthy and still going strong.

Richard is so active via email and discussion boards that maybe some of you aren’t aware that he has a blog!  So I just want to broadcast to you all that one of the treasures of the DOC has a blog we can follow at Richard’s Rambling Review.

Every time I feel panic that somehow my diabetes is going to kill me or leave me covered in complications, I remember Richard and his many decades with type 1 and the way he is happy and healthy and always giving back.  We all could use a blog buddy like that Smile

My Ideal Diabetes Support Group

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This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival Topic is: “Describe your ideal diabetes “support group”? What would you discuss?”

Well, I’d be happy to tell you.  My ideal diabetes support group meets once a week.  That’s a tall order isn’t it?  But that’s what I would like.  Frequent “support”.  There would be plenty of members so that if half of the group can’t show, there is still a group to meet and carry on.

Also, I would like any type of diabetic because that way, we could all become friends and defend each other against the media’s war between the diabetics and spread our ideals all over the land, causing no more arguing between the types ever again!  Muahahaha!

Next, I’d like us to all exchange numbers and emails and facebook and twitter handles.  I’d like us all to know we can interact later on the DOC as much or as little as we’d like.

My ideal support group would discuss any and all issues brought up by the members of the group.  Why not?  If we are going to talk about something R rated, we can definitely decide to do so on a pre-established day so those who don’t want to discuss that topic don’t go or meet up at a coffee shop to talk other things.

I think it’s ok to get into groups by “type of diabetic” in order to get down to the technical nitty gritty aspects of living with type 1, 2, and so on.  It’s true that a type 1 doesn’t know what it’s like for a type 2 and a type 2 doesn’t know what it’s like for a type 1 so it makes sense if people want to divide up in order to discuss particular things.  Maybe people would want to divide up by age as well and that certainly makes sense.  I like the idea of meeting with everyone and then splitting up to talk about certain things like motherhood and diabetes or dating and diabetes and therefore specific groups forming for that.

Overall, we’d be a support group utopia!  How does that sound?

Today is Friday so we’re supposed to talk about something that involves self love.  Getting support is TOTALLY an important part of loving yourself.  If you are able to, check out a local support group!  If there isn’t one, consider starting one!  And if those aren’t options, join the diabetes online community!  Check out DSMA and all the support it offers.  Oh and read more entries like this one.

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!

Awareness Is Everything

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Being aware is the only route to changing what we want to change.  Being aware of the truth, of our deepest, darkest feelings, of the reality.  This is why fans of meditation rave about it-meditation helps us become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

This post I wrote about motherhood confessions was me finally being truly aware of my thoughts and feelings on being a mom.  I admitted my feelings out loud and then got feedback letting me know most parents feel this way from time to time.  It did a great number on me.  I just realized, since writing this post, I have been more in tune with my kids.  I’ve spent more quality time with them.  I’ve cleaned the house and cooked food in a more efficient way so as to return to my kids more quickly.  I had more patience.  We read more books.  They’ve been talking more (!)  I’ve started telling them a made up story every night which is nothing short of magical in the way that it calms them down and sends them off to sleep happily and without a fight.  I didn’t even think about doing all this, it just happened.  But I know the post I wrote fueled all these actions.  I know that by writing the post I became painfully aware of what I wanted to change and then had the strength to do it.

I’m tempted to spit out all my secrets, hahaha!

I’ve been reading about how we shouldn’t lock away the dark, weak parts of ourselves.  Instead we should embrace them and acknowledge their presence.  That way, they don’t sneak up on us and take over.  Pretending that everything is under control can bite a person in the behind.  Embracing the part of us that constantly messes up means it’s out in the open and we are conscious of it.

You know how if you say it out loud it becomes real?  This is what I’m talking about.  Make your “thing” real, whatever it is.  It’s the only way to protect yourself.  We’re human so we’re going to constantly have a dark side.  By being aware of it, we can make the right choices for ourselves instead of living in a state of denial and then getting blindsided.

So tell someone you trust what you’re struggling with.  Get it out.  Write it down.  But be aware.  Shame only hides things which should be dealt with.  So don’t feel shame.  Just bravely face the truth and then act accordingly.  This is what we humans are best at :)

XOXO

Confessions From a Stay-At-Home Mom

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Yes, that’s my son wearing his sister’s hair bow.

 

Lately I’ve had some breakthroughs in honesty with myself (sounds funny and sad all at once doesn’t it?)  I’ve come to an interesting conclusion…

During my twin pregnancy I imagined being the kind of mom that cooks organic food, takes the kids out to the park and on play dates, reads books and plays games and sings songs all day, and enjoys it all thoroughly.

HA.

I’ve slowly but surely arrived at the understanding with myself that I suck as a stay at home mom.  There.  I said it.  Just to catch a break I let my kids color on the walls (which takes HOURS of scrubbing with baking soda and vinegar to remove).  I allow them to leap over the high end of the couch (yeah, kinda dangerous-but they’re so skillful!).  And sometimes they eat pop tarts for breakfast (which leads me to deal with the subsequent sugar overload and extremely agitated behavior).  Now don’t get me wrong.  I know that’s not that bad.  Overall, my kids eat healthy and get treated really well.

When I say I suck as a stay at home mom, what I mean is I don’t like it (I can’t believe I just said that).

I do like being in my robe all morning if I so please.  I like knowing how my kids are doing at all times of the day.  I like seeing the fun and funny and crazy things they do.  I know I’m fortunate to be able to stay home with them.  But, I feel like I lose my mind.  Even when I was a kid, I preferred to hang around adults.  Now that I am one, this is all too true for me.  One never gets used to diapers, in my case.  I can only sing but so many kid songs during the day before I feel my brain wanting to explode.  And when my kids scream in unison, I want to run down the street to the liquor store.

My anxiousness to work in my field of passion, health and nutrition for people with diabetes, as a health coach, has me raring to go like a hungry bull or race horse.  I am torn between wanting so badly to dedicate time on this and yet I am full of guilt because I know my kids deserve better.  They deserve my undivided attention.  I’d hire a nanny but I can’t afford one or daycare.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do until they were born but that’s precisely when I got really busy so I haven’t been able to dedicate time to my newfound “thing”.  It’s pretty frustrating, as wonderful a blessing as they are.

I will say that my kids do get the best of me.  My blog and other online work gets my scraps, late at night or during naptime.  It’s just that the best of me is feeling so forced?  I can totally understand women who have their kids and return to work a few months later.  We are not all the same personality type and cannot possibly all do the same parenting styles.  The thing is, since I can’t get my kids another care taker, it is my responsibility to not work 10 other jobs while parenting them all day.  I can’t burn out and I can’t let my health slip.  And if I don’t give them 100%, problems will arise that could have been prevented.

So I resolve to hold back a little on the blog.  Maybe write once a week?  One quality post is better than three hurried ones, I’m sure.  I think it’s great I’m feeling really motivated for my work (first time EVER!).  But, I’m trying to remember there is a time for everything.  I checked my blood sugar 20 times a day to make them, surely I can parent them the way I feel is best even though it’s not my favorite thing?  (Kids, if you read this one day, YOU are both my favorite things but I am no Mary Poppins)

Does anyone else feel torn, selfish, or anxious about life as a mom?  I think we need to talk about this more openly.  I don’t want to be ashamed for feeling torn between what I need to do and what I want to do.  It does help to get this all out.

How I Use MDI

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A lot of people have asked me questions about how I manage my type 1 diabetes via multiple daily injections so that’s what this post is about.

Firstly, I want to say that this is what I do and what works for me and before you try to change anything to your diabetes management, you want to talk to your doctor.  Insulin dosages vary person to person depending on their weight, activity level, stress level, diet, insulin resistance, medications, etc.

I use Lantus insulin as my long acting “basal” insulin and Humalog insulin as my fast acting “bolus” insulin.

My Lantus routine

Every night around 10pm I give an injection of Lantus.  Based on my weight which hovers between 130-140 pounds, I am to give about 20 units per day.  This does work for me.  However, I try to exercise each day and eat a diet that is void of processed foods and low in glycemic load.  These two factors cause my insulin needs to decrease.  If I’m exercising and eating the way I try to, I use about 12 units of Lantus.  If I don’t do one of these, I will need about 15-16 units of Lantus.

I just want to note that when I removed wheat out of my diet, I lowered my Lantus by about 5 units, daily.  Kind of amazing.

Anyway, Lantus is advertised as a 24 hour insulin you take once a day.  If you open up the folded pamphlet that comes with Lantus and read it, you’ll discover Lantus lasts closer to around 20-21 hours.  So being aware of this, each day around dinner time, I give a extra unit or two of insulin in order to combat the dying out of Lantus in my system.  Or I do a really short workout and that takes care of things, too.

How do I deal with dawn phenomenon?

Well, I had a hard time with it when I gave my Lantus in the mornings because it would run out just before I woke up and cause me to wake up pretty high unless I slept around 75-80 (in that case dawn phenomenon didn’t do anything to me).  So that’s why I give Lantus at night.  Each morning, I notice that if I wake up at 7:30am or before 7:30am, I don’t deal with the dawn phenomenon.  If I sleep past that time, I will start to go up pretty quickly.  I don’t know why my dawn phenomenon seems to kick in so late, but it does.  By experimenting with testing at different times in the morning before you give insulin or eat, you can pinpoint the general time your body starts pushing your blood sugars up each morning.  I do find that if I sleep under 100, dawn phenomenon doesn’t do anything.  But sometimes I don’t feel safe sleeping at that blood sugar level, because perhaps I did more exercise than usual or something and in those cases I’ll try to sleep between 110-140.  Being in that range in the early morning typically causes a dawn phenomenon spike for me so I try to get up at the same time each day and give insulin and eat first thing.

My Humalog routine

I use Humalog as needed and before meals.  I just count carbs and take note of my insulin/carb ratio which is about 1:15.  Most of my meals let me give below 2-3 units of insulin so I don’t usually have to worry about really high or low post meal blood sugar swings.  I do notice that sometimes I’m really stressed and sometimes forget to drink water.  As a result my blood sugar climbs considerably.  I give an extra amount of insulin with meals to combat this.  If the stress is a bit chronic (long term) I’ll up my Lantus instead of my Humalog-which I reserve for very temporary situations.

About injecting

I inject in public as needed.  I inject in my abdomen, hips, arms, and above my breasts (click here for a video of that).  I reserve my hips and arms for times my blood sugar is kind of low (around 75) and my abdomen and the fatty tissue above my breasts for the times I’m ready to eat or over 120 because those areas tend to yield faster results with the insulin.  I rotate a lot more than I used to because it helps avoid the buildup of scar tissue-which absolutely affects insulin absorption and makes it more random.  After giving an insulin shot, I put my fingers over the area and press gently for a few seconds.  This is supposed to help the insulin get absorbed.  I don’t use insulin pens because sometimes I am not sure how much insulin I got or sometimes insulin leaks from the site.  I like the small child-sized syringes by BD that hold up to 30 units of insulin and have a very short and fine needle.  If you are not thin or average weight, you’ll want a longer needle in order to ensure the insulin gets properly absorbed.

Carrying and caring for insulin

I carry a case with my meter and Humalog insulin at all times.  I keep Lantus in the fridge in the butter compartment.  I don’t keep Humalog anywhere near my Lantus because I don’t want to risk giving a huge amount Humalog when I intended to give Lantus.  I’ve done that twice and it resulted in me seeing the paramedics on both occasions.  After 30 days I dispose of Lantus and Humalog (even though I have plenty left).  I never refrigerate my Humalog because it lasts 30 days without refrigeration and it is supposed to be disposed of after 30 days anyway.

Does it work for me?

So that’s how I do it.  I have managed to use the method described above for 5 years now and keep my A1c below 6% the entire time.  Shots work if you understand some insider info and consider appropriate timing and carb counting.  I had to learn a lot of this the hard way or through my doctors.  If any of this info is news to you, talk to your doctor about it.  Make sure you understand the ins and outs of the insulin you use.  It totally affects diabetes management.

Please read this part again:

Please remember that changes to your diabetes management should be done carefully and *technically* with the approval and guidance of a physician.  Don’t get hurt and then blame me Winking smile

XOXO

2012 March and April Resolutions

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It’s Fabulous Friday!  Self love sometimes means getting very disciplined about forming a new habit or completing a goal.  My type 1 sister, Ana and I are doing just that this year:

Ana’s January and February goal was to stretch every day.  She didn’t quite do it BUT her March/April Resolution was to test her blood sugar more often and she just so happened to do that all through January and February which is pretty awesome.  So now she’ll try to keep that up and stretch, too.

My Jan/Feb goal was to complete my little eBook:  “How to Start Your Own Diabetes Blog” and I did!  It really helped me to have a deadline on this and sufficient time to work on it without juggling 10 other goals.

For March and April I want to focus on healthy eating.  It’s not easy, particularly lately that I’m so busy, but I know it makes a huge difference in the way I think, feel, and manage blood sugars.

So what do you want to do by the end of April?

Have a great weekend!

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