Tag Archives: lifestyle habits

Two Reasons, One Recipe Campaign

 

 

I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Acclaimed chef and type 2 diabetic, Franklin Becker and Dr. Yehuda Handelsman, an endocrinologist and the current Chair Medical Director of the Metabolic Institute of America and Chair and Program Director of the World Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease.

They have teamed up to educate adults with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol and healthy food choices.  The name of their campaign is Two Reasons, One Recipe.

Chef Becker is the execute chef of New York’s Abe and Arthur’s Restaurant.  After his type 2 diabetes diagnosis he set out on a mission to create healthier versions of his celebrated recipes.  On the campaign’s website, TwoReasonsOneRecipe.com you can find some tasty recipe ideas and learn more about the campaign.

These two men have teamed up to promote the importance of lowering one’s A1c test and measure of bad cholesterol, which is LDL-C, in adults with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. 

I disagree with the campaign when it comes to the use of vegetable oils and soy but, I appreciate the effort on encouraging people to eat more vegetables and lean meats and enhancing the flavor of dishes with safe options like lemon, herbs, and spices. 

Ana and I came up with some questions to ask and you can check out the short video below to see what Chef Becker and Dr. Handelsman had to say. 

Note: While I spoke to them, I watched them on a video that had a few seconds of delay so when you hear me hesitate or talk unbelievably slow, please know this was like a mind game for me-next time shall be better, I promise!

 

If you don’t see the video above, here is the link to it.

Don’t forget to check out the recipes on Two Reason, One Recipe, they look really tasty!

Soda and Diabetes

 

Firstly, I want to announce that anytime I give a recommendation, it will now be referenced so you can read the science for yourself and know I didn’t make it up.  Then, if you want to tell me you disagree, I’ll ask for your references as well.  We’ll learn more from each other this way, it’s a win-win. :)

I recently read about how just one soda a day hikes up a person’s diabetes risk by a whole lot.  This study concluded that other drinks containing High Fructose Corn Syrup did the same thing.  This would include sweet tea, energy drinks, etc.

An article talking about this study is here

This study showed that people who had one soda a day were more than 25% more likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t have nearly so much soda (no more than one drink per month).

Most people I know have at least one soda or sugary drink each day.  Does that mean many people have increased their risk for type 2 diabetes by 25% or more?  It looks that way.  So while  type 2 diabetes isn’t caused by too much sugar, it looks like drinks with High Fructose Corn Syrup play some sort of a role in type 2 diabetes incidences, no?

Anyway, it’s not too late to cut out sugary drinks.  No matter who you are or what diabetes you have you can still decide to do this. 

Not only will you significantly improve your health with one step, but you’ll likely drop a few pounds (as long as you don’t make an increase in caloric intake somewhere else in your diet). 

I had a hard time giving up regular soda when I was 11 and diagnosed type 1 diabetic.  I never had more than one soda a week but, still.  I enjoyed that one soda a week.  I didn’t like diet sodas for a while but, eventually learned to absolutely love the taste of Diet Coke.  Then after researching artificial sweeteners I decided to cut out Diet Coke, too.  This was really hard but, after doing so felt so much better and stopped feeling hungry all the time.  Now, I enjoy a Diet Coke about once a month and that’s it. 

The key is just adjusting to a new norm.  Even though it feels impossible to substitute water for sodas or other sugary drinks, it won’t always feel that way. 

Something that helped me adjust was to add lemon or lime juice to my water and to discover herbal teas.  I also enjoy making my own hot cocoa which allows me to control how much sugar goes in.  Over time you’ll be pleased to notice that a regular soda suddenly tastes so sweet it makes you gag.

The point of all this is, A) studies prove you have lots to gain by cutting out or minimizing sugary drinks, and B) I know you can do it!

Start today and if you have a hard time, just minimize your intake very gradually so you hardly notice.

Note: If your blood sugar gets low and you usually drink something sweet to correct it, I suggest 100% natural juice or drinks with sugar and not High Fructose Corn Syrup.  I usually carry 100% orange juice with me at all times.

6 Things I Want You to Know About Diabetes

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6.  I want you to know that Diabetes is very serious and although diabetics often seem carefree, they’re often not, whether they manage they’re diabetes well or not. 

5.  I want you to know that Diabetes is not nearly as common in 3rd world and Developing countries as it is in Developed ones.  This means that we should pay attention to what we’re doing differently and learn what we can change to help ourselves-such as eating differently.  Just because we’re “developed” doesn’t mean we’re doing all the right things.  Nor does it mean the convenience of pop tarts is worth it.

4.  I want you to know that Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your dreams.  Your dreams however, may have to make some small adjustments.

3.  I want you to know that Diabetes isn’t as silent a killer as people think.  If you don’t feel super duper great, then your health isn’t in tip top shape.  Many adults don’t know they have diabetes but, they know they don’t feel too hot.  We should expect to feel healthy and if we don’t we should strive to figure out what is between us and feeling great and then work towards feeling wonderful again.  Maybe we’ll never feel wonderful but, most can get pretty close with a lot of hard work.  Our standards for feeling healthy should rise.  Don’t settle for feeling so-so.

2.  I want you to know that Diabetes is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with.  And I’ve dealt with loss of family and friends.  Not to mention large kidney stones, surgery, many years of depression, and chronic childhood shyness.  (And there’s much more).  Diabetes has been the worst experience of all and I’m afraid the worst is yet to come.

1.    I want you to know that a cure for diabetes is being significantly delayed by a greed for money.  Money rules the world only because we allow it to.  We have more power than we think.  Angry about corn syrup being in much of our food supply?  Boycott any product with corn syrup.  If many of us did this I promise you corn syrup would start disappearing from ingredient labels.  Upset over the lack of diabetes support groups?  Start one.  Stop being a victim and start being the change you want to see in the world. 

Gandhi sure had it right.

Which Diabetes is Worse?

It's a journey for both.  Photo courtesy of Evgeni Dinev
It’s a journey for both. Photo courtesy of Evgeni Dinev

 

David Edelman started a very interesting conversation at Diabetes Daily.  He eventually made a late edit saying he started it to show how unproductive the subject matter is to talk about.  I wish he hadn’t said this because I don’t think communication is unproductive.  I think anger and fear and ignorance is unproductive.

“Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.”

-Aristotle

The subject matter is probably one of the most debated subjects surrounding diabetes.  Here is what I have to say about the subject regarding which diabetes is worse, type 1 or type 2.

I have had type 1 diabetes for almost 16 years now.  I have family with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, type 1.5 or LADA ,and even pre-diabetes.  I think that having any type of diabetes is difficult.  I think every human being has their own difficult journey in life.  We are all human beings and we all have different reasons for which life might be challenging.  If a pre-diabetic feels suicidal for whatever reason, then do I have the better diabetes?  We can’t answer these questions for each other because we are not in each other’s bodies.

Do type 2 diabetics have a clue how hard life is for a type 1?  NO.  But, do type 1 diabetics know about the deep, painful and complex struggles of life with type 2?  NO.

Our lives are full of thousands of factors which vary upon each separate individual.  All of these form variables and they are countless.  We can’t possibly speak for another person and say they suffer less than we do.  Scientifically speaking, it’s not possible.

 The only disability in life is a bad attitude.

-Scott Hamilton

My husband is from a tiny town in rural Mexico.  We were talking about how sad the issues with poverty are all over the world in general…I mentioned my depression about certain things and somehow he brought up how he knew some people in his town who were genuinely happy.  They were barely scraping by but, they were happy.  And at that time, years ago, I wasn’t.  It suddenly occurred to me that often, those who suffer the least are those in a healthy frame of mind.  I was allowing myself to feel like a victim and these others, with struggles I couldn’t imagine living, seemed to suffer less because of their attitude.

So now, I’m almost never jealous of those who have a nicer car or home or who have better health than me.  I’m jealous of those who are happier and have a more resilient attitude.  Since we don’t know what life will throw out at us, the best defense is a wonderful and healthy outlook on life.  (I’m not saying this is easy)

I understand many of the points type 1 diabetics had to make about how our type of diabetes is very exhausting and how we could quickly die at any moment with just a small error or miscalculation.  We don’t mean to sound dramatic, this is the truth and we just want people to acknowledge this!  We just want people who are not type 1 diabetics to say, “I don’t know what you’re going through but, it sounds really, really, awful.”  Most of all, we want people to listen and not judge.

Type 2 diabetics want the exact same.  If someone has lung cancer because they smoked too many cigarettes do you deny them sympathy?  Type 2 diabetics want people to understand that no, maybe some of them haven’t always taken the best care of themselves, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, that they aren’t struggling.  It doesn’t mean they didn’t live what they believed was a healthy lifestyle.  It doesn’t mean they didn’t live a truly healthy lifestyle.  Besides, when the government has told us in the past that fat is unhealthy and carbs are good and most of what we find around us is processed, it’s no wonder we have an epidemic.  And I can’t imagine how hard it must be for a type 2 to juggle medications.  Seems like a nearly impossible way to manage blood sugars.  Especially when your doctor gives you your dose and it may not be the exact amount of medication you require.

I’ve read over and over again that unhealthy lifestyle habits can change the expression of our genes, basically switching on genes that predispose us to cancer, type 2 diabetes, a full head of gray hair, and so on.  BUT, the point is that we need to exercise some more sense coated in compassion.  I grew up eating a lot of white bread just like a type 2 diabetic might have.  I got type 1 and they got type 2.  When I got older I ate too much McDonald’s and gained weight.  Just like a type 2 might have.  I don’t get blamed for my diabetes and that type 2 does.  How is that fair?  How dare we do that to them?  My husband asked me the other day, “if you could trade your type 1 for type 2, would you?”  I couldn’t answer him.  I just want neither type.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worth while.”

-Albert Einstein

It’s not fair and every type of diabetes deserves compassion and understanding.  I don’t believe that genes are 100% to blame but, I don’t think most type 2 diabetics believe that either.  I think that type 2 diabetics are struggling to figure out (just like myself) how to eat healthy on a budget, how to exercise after a long work day and commute home, and how to show up at the potluck without brownies so people don’t give you strange looks when you instead bring something “healthy”.  Our entire way of life is very accustomed to some long standing habits that we are now struggling to change.  It doesn’t make things easier when people don’t even agree on what changes we should make.  It also doesn’t help when we tell them they should lose weight (the ones that are overweight).  I mean, I don’t ask my husband if I look fat so he can enlighten me, I ask so he can lie and tell me I’m not.  People know if they should or shouldn’t lose weight.  Some overweight people are healthy and feel fabulous.  They probably don’t need to lose weight but only they along with their HCP can decide on that, not us.  And those who should lose weight?  They just need some support.  It’s hard to lose weight-especially if you’ve had that extra weight for a long time.  And especially if diabetes causes your feet to burn, your mood to plummet, and your wallet to shrink from prescriptions and doctor visits.

I think that part of why the discussion gets so heated is that we all are desperate to claim that our disease is the toughest because if it were, wouldn’t we feel better about ourselves?  If we were each dealing with the most difficult form of diabetes, wouldn’t we feel a bit less like failures and a bit more like champions?  I’m not saying we’re failures, I’m saying we often feel as if we are.

A lot of the negative energy in these comments stems from hurt.  These people have really deep wounds and they want a band aid.  Then we try to tell them how they’re wrong and it puts salt in their wound.  This just causes more illogical back and forth.

How about we all just stop and listen to each other’s stories and sympathize and give support?  Let’s try our best to put ourselves in each other’s shoes.  We need to find a way for you to tell me your story while I just listen (not trying to one up you with my account) and then you listen to me while I tell you mine.

Honestly, I’ve never told anyone about how a typical day of mine goes.  I’ve never told them about how I feel when I wake up until the time I go to bed.  Now that I realize this I also realize I have never heard a type 2 tell me how their typical day is and what they think and feel throughout it.  I really want to know.  Is there anyone out there who will share this with me?  (Since writing this post, a type 2 has shared the experience-read here!)

Some people in the discussion were upset and said they feel we should each stick to working on our own causes.  I think we should unite.  We should all simultaneously support the cause for a cure for type 1 and 2.  At the same time we should all work on ourselves.  Do the best you can eating and exercising and getting your friends to join in.  Read and research how to be healthier.  Use common sense.

And if you’ve been cruel or judgmental, or less than kind, I forgive you, now just forgive yourself and make a personal note to stop or do less of it.  And keep working on this.  (I’m including myself here) Eventually we’ll succeed and find that we inspired many other people to do the same.  This is how change happens.  It doesn’t happen with hateful comments.  So let’s share and listen more and work on ourselves.  And we’ll see what happens.

When you hit bottom there is no where to go but up

 

Something I’ve been thinking about lately has been fueled by reading what fellow diabetes writers/bloggers have been saying.  So many of us feel like we’re living life on the edge and in fact, I would say that living with type 1 diabetes IS the epitome of living life on the edge.  It would be more fun to do by choice like these brave/foolish people but instead we are literally forced to make life/death decisions all day long.  And yes, we could say that we all make those decisions-like when we drive (shall I stop at this red light or continue?) but, the truth is that we’re walking on a tight rope for a living.  It’s a breeding ground for those moments movies like to dramatize the most.  Those moments when we are at our limit.  I think this is when we are our weakest and our strongest.

Sometimes we are spiraling down…down…until something happens and finally stops the spiraling.  Why?  Because we’ve hit rock bottom.  I refer to rock bottom as a way of saying someone has hit a wall, emotionally or mentally.  For example, denial often ends when one finally gets forced to snap out of it and although they’ve now reached a low point, it’s also a turning point and the beginning of healthy and necessary change. 

When our diabetes management routine isn’t working for us we will often go days, weeks, or months plagued by it.  We’ll complain that our numbers are not where we want them to be and we’ll do our best to chase our high and low blood sugars, but we’re not necessarily focused on troubleshooting.  We’re too busy living.  Besides, we’re getting by alright.  But eventually we hit a wall and are finally so intensely frustrated or upset that we break down and have the chance to look at our problem from a new perspective and with a sense of despair and urgency.  This sounds awful but it’s really not.

The idea to write what you read on this website came to me about six years ago after I spent 48 hours being closed up in my room.  I had finally had enough of my high blood sugars and my general state of health and felt so frustrated I cried for oh I don’t know, maybe 4 hours straight.  Funny thing happened afterwards…all my frustration was gone (due to exhaustion) and a sense of calm came over me and I thought to myself “When you hit bottom there is no where to go but up”.  I laid on the floor of my messy room-messy because I threw everything all over the place in a fit of emotional fury and that is when I came up with the idea for a book I would one day want to write.  Thus, the idea for The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes was born. 

There have been many of what I call “healthy breakdowns” and they have all led to some substantial improvement in my life.  I think it’s natural for humans although it’s probably a more frequent occurrence for us diabetics than for the rest of the population.  The key, I think is to realize that when you feel your lowest you are standing on the edge of something big.  You are facing an opportunity to face your mistakes logically (instead of emotionally), to forgive yourself, and to choose a different plan of action. 

Many great things in this world have been accomplished by those who have been pushed to their limits and forced to make important decisions.  So as diabetics, maybe we should think of ourselves as people with huge potential…

Fighting Diabetes Stress with Diabetes Zen

 

Zen means whatever you think it means.  This is pretty much how Zen priest Susan O’Connell summed the meaning of Zen up during a recent interview.  Literally it means one can gain enlightenment from meditation or intuition rather than from faith alone.  In this article I’m talking about the more popular meaning for Zen which has to do with peace of mind, calmness, and simplicity. 

We all probably want peace of mind and to feel calm.  But, not all of us see the benefit of less is more and I think that this is because we live in a fun tech filled world that never stops (neither does the consumerism).

There is a major movement happening around the world right now.  It has to do with a newly inspired focus on achieving simplicity and peace.  Why?  Because we have 3 year olds interviewing for private schools, mothers multi-tasking to the point of breakdowns, and quantity assurance taking the place of quality assurance.  Is all the busyness, extra stuff, and running around really worth it?  Aren’t all those yard sales proof we have too much stuff at home?  The fact that I can’t buy a toaster that works properly for over a year? (I’m going on my third)  What about our need to buy tons of fun “green” products which are only fueling more and more harmful production?  And why can’t we just do less and enjoy more?  Why do we slave away for a golden retirement we may never see?  It is all interrelated and I’m loving the idea of being part of the movement to simplify life. 

Due to all of the above many people are starting to de-clutter their homes.  They are buying better quality items and maintaining them rather than frequently replacing them.  People are going home at 5pm instead of staying in the office until 6:30pm.  Some are part of a Slow Food movement that is rapidly spreading and creating an awareness and a link between which foods we choose to buy and consume and how we eat those foods-slow and mindfully, with our health and our community’s best interest in mind. 

Personally, I’ve been trying to take baby steps towards a more peaceful and less complicated existence.  I’ve been getting rid of clothing I don’t use often enough and household items that are not crucial and just get in the way when I’m trying to clean.  I don’t shop at Walmart because they pay their employees less than other places I can get groceries.  I also try hard to buy unprocessed foods and organic produce in order to support healthy farming methods.  I try to buy fair trade products which help support small farming communities everywhere.  I eat organic and humanely raised meat and poultry so I don’t have a hand in animal cruelty.  (These things are not easy to do considering the extra costs involved but the key is to do what you’re comfortable with)

The great thing about trying to simplify life is it can be done to your own standards-meaning there are many different levels suited to accommodate any of us.  Just do what you can.  A great way to begin is to think about what would give you more peace and joy.  Less clutter?  Eating dinner more slowly?  Maybe without the TV but your favorite relaxing music instead?  Maybe you want to focus on spending more money on fun experiences for the family instead of new clothes or gadgets.  It has been said meaningful experiences makes us happier than shopping.

I try to capture this entire idea of “zen” in my diabetes management routine.  I don’t use an insulin pump because it doesn’t suit me personally (if it does you-then great) and I find it more relaxing to give an insulin shot and not worry later if I have a knot in my tubing or an infusion site that won’t stay put.  I also enjoy sticking with minimal supplies-test strips, insulin, and syringes.  But again that’s just me.  It is what gives me peace, perhaps not you.  Having a good A1c gives me a lot of peace as well-perhaps more peace than anything else.  This is why I try to eat simple foods like fruits and vegetables, meat, and poultry which I find much easier to cover with insulin than I do processed foods.  And along the same lines I don’t want to stress over not being able to afford my healthy food and basic diabetes supplies so I have had the same cell phone now for four years (something people love to pick on me about) and my husband and I share the smallest phone plan available.  There isn’t a lot of money for extras but, being healthy is worth having as a top priority so more money goes to support that.  I remove the thoughts from my mind that tell me I cannot exercise because I can’t get out of the house with the twins on my own.  I try to remember that I can do some push ups and squats in my living room instead of give myself excuses as to why I am out of shape. 

So how can you “zen” your diabetes life?  By taking really small steps and thinking about what makes you healthier and what makes your diabetes routine less complicated.  Some people need their insulin pump and CGMS and yes that includes considerable supplies but there isn’t a need to linger on that.  Instead, if this is you, think about how you can clean out the space you have set aside for your diabetes supplies.  Can it be organized a bit more so you never have to rummage through to find your meter’s batteries?  Is there a way you can synchronize your supply orders so you don’t have to worry about ordering six different prescriptions throughout the month?  Or perhaps we can all begin by just living more in the moment and being very aware of our actions.  When I don’t live in the moment I tend to eat and give insulin without much thought and next thing I know my blood sugar is high or low and I’m wishing I had paid more attention.

The funny thing is, once you find a way to simplify a few things, you’ll often find a way to simplify more and more.  It is truly a liberating feeling.  And something that just happens to be very important to me is that simplifying things in life usually leads to an easier time cleaning and picking up.  Amen to that.

The 90/10 Principle and Your Diabetes

The Power is Yours

 

The 90/10 principle was coined by bestselling author Stephen Covey.  It means that 10% of life is made up of what happens to us and the 90% of life is decided by how we react.  So we have no control over the 10% but we control the 90% by our reaction.

For us, having diabetes is part of the 10%, meaning we don’t have control over being diabetic.

There is a little or a lot of insulin resistance going on in our bodies or maybe our pancreas doesn’t make an ounce of insulin.  That is a fact and yet, what about the 90% that we can control?

We can control a lot.  Within our unique situation we can…eat as healthy as is possible, we can exercise, we can control what we allow to upset us, we can try to fail less and succeed more, we can remember more and forget less, and we can improve over time rather than worsen.

We can control how we feel.  Even though we may think as if “diabetes makes us” feel a certain way and do certain things, the truth is we allow ourselves to feel however it is we feel and do whatever it is we do. 

Here is my personal example to sort of illustrate this principle:

Years ago…I would wake up with my blood sugar really high.  I’d curse diabetes for “doing this to me” and then call work.  I’d tell my job I would be late because of my diabetes and to log this lateness under FMLA, as usual.  Then I would give insulin and lay in bed, depressed until my blood sugar came down.  I wouldn’t really make too much of an effort to look decent because I hated my job anyway.  Then I’d think, “stupid diabetes, because I need insurance, I quit school to work full time so I could pay for diabetes supplies and now I’m stuck at this horrible call center”.  I’d go to work with a low self-esteem because I looked and felt pretty rough.  At work I’d probably snack on some M&Ms because I believed I deserved some comfort food.  After all, diabetes is the opposite of comfort so what else could I do?  Then my blood sugar would be high in the afternoon and I’d curse diabetes again in the usual way.  When I got home I didn’t feel well enough to do anything productive because “diabetes is so depressing and takes all of my energy and motivation away”.  So then I’d eat something “comforting” again and go to sleep unhappy only to wake up the next day and start another agonizing day.

A couple years later after forcing some thinking and attitude adjustments on myself: (and clearing up depression)

I’d wake up with blood sugar around 75-80 (because I maintained my night schedule) and if my blood sugar was high I’d give insulin and continue getting ready for work.  At work I’d test whenever I needed (sometimes even in the middle of an important meeting-under the table).  I would try to keep a consistent eating pattern while at work so that I wouldn’t be too surprised by unruly blood sugars.  I was able to work pretty well all day because I’d manage my blood sugars well.  If something went wrong I didn’t blame my diabetes-which was refreshing.  When I went home I’d work out.  This gave me energy for the next part of my day and elevated my mood and helped my blood sugars.  Because my blood sugars were pretty level I would find nothing stopping me from doing something productive or enjoyable and I never sat down to watch TV.  My personal relationships were good because I was feeling healthy and happy.  I would find it easy to eat a healthy dinner and organize things for the next work day.  As long as I never ate processed foods at dinner I would wake up the next morning with a great blood sugar reading and start the day off right once again.

Diabetes was the same in both scenarios-ever present, and I have always fully relied on insulin.  But, the scenarios are very night and day and this is because I reacted differently to everything.  I used to flip out over a high glucose reading.  I would panic or get depressed and then allow the rest of my day to go to ruin.  Now, I give insulin for the high reading and leave it in the past, knowing that the insulin will bring down my blood sugar and soon I’ll feel good again. 

In most cases, we suffer with our diabetes because of our reaction.  No one said it was easy, but it sure is true. 

Just a reminder to grab the reigns again!  You are in the driver’s seat.

Diabetes and Kidney Stones, is there a link?

The above probably hurts less than a kidney stone/  Photo by Evgeni Dinev
The above probably hurts less than a kidney stone/ Photo by Evgeni Dinev

 

As a type 1 diabetic I’ve gone through surgery, had twins, been married, travelled, played sports, lost friends, lost family, been up, been down, etc. etc.  Just when you thought I had done a lot, today I’m going to tell you that by my 24th birthday I had already passed 5 kidney stones.  (But, none since!)

One was 9mm large and couldn’t even pass without medical intervention.  For this “kidney boulder”, as my urologist called it, I needed to have a lithotripsy.  This is essentially a non-invasive procedure where an ultrasound machine is used to send out a bunch of high energy shockwaves aimed precisely at the kidney stone, basically pulverizing it so it can be passed out of the body.  This procedure was called a success and I suppose it was… in the end. 

Just a few hours after the procedure I went right back into the ER with pain greater than what I felt during labor with my twins (although that was pretty mind-numbing, too).  The pain was enough to bump me up in front of some guy in the ER waiting room who was throwing up a lot of blood.  The pain was enough to be maxed out on morphine (I said, “Give me more!” and they said, “We have given you the legal limit, sorry honey!”).  The pain was enough to cause my mind to go a bit loopy because I didn’t think one could stay awake or alive through that kind of pain.  After a few hours of screaming and throwing up all of the bile in my liver it seemed I finally passed all of the stone fragments that were all scraping my insides all at once in a shower of agony.  I was sent home with a lot of morphine pills which kept me feeling quite over the moon for the next month.  They say one forgets intense pain but I don’t forget this experience.  This was 100 times more painful than the other kidney stones I passed.

SO…this is one reason I try to keep my A1c so low with very level blood sugars.  There have been reports stating a correlation between kidney stones and diabetes.  If diabetes is not well managed the body may become very acidic and one can become more likely to form uric acid kidney stones.  And if there is no correlation well…I’ll still be better off with tight glucose control.

Funny how I just found out that recent studies have shown a link between diabetes, high blood pressure, and that shockwave procedure I had done.  Apparently since having that lithotripsy, my risk for high blood pressure is about 1.5 times greater than before having had that procedure.  If I wasn’t a diabetic my chances for diabetes would be about 4 times greater.  That is huge!  Since I’ve got the diabetes part out of the way I’ve contacted my urologist to find out if he has heard this information-especially regarding high blood pressure.  I must say however, I never had high blood pressure until a few months after this procedure.  Since then I’ve maintained the tendency to have borderline high blood pressure.  Hmm…interesting to say the least.  (Info/article on this located here)

In case anyone out there has personal reasons to be interested in this information, I’ll let you know what my urologist says when he is able to call me back.

In the meantime here may be two more great reasons to remember to put blood sugar management first and foremost.  Trust me, you don’t want a kidney stone, and it sounds like you definitely want to avoid a lithotripsy.

Diabetes, Tantrums, and Useless People

These big bouncy balls better be worth it
These big bouncy balls better be worth it

 

There are moments in life when some situation will overshadow your diabetes and you might even forget you’re a diabetic altogether.  You’ve got to always carry glucose tablets or juice and just forgive yourself for those highs.  It also helps to carry out smart planning. (Not that all madness can be prevented).

Such was my case this weekend.  If you want an amusing story, read on. 

Alex and I went to Target to get a bath mat.  That’s it.  Just a bath mat so the kids don’t slip in the tub.  I always test my sugar in the car on the way to some place so that I can deal with my children and hopefully not have to deal with my diabetes.  As we pulled into the parking space I was 84.  Excellent.

So off into Target we went with the twin stroller and the 15th month olds and my bottle of juice.  We went straight to the section with the mats and we debated over which one to buy as the kids started whining and squirming to get out of the stroller.  
 

“We’ve been here only a few minutes”, I thought.  Yet, I know they’re not used to the stroller because they didn’t get out much their first year of life so now they just want to be free everywhere we go.  Fair enough.

Alex finally said, “Just pick a mat and we’ll go”.  So I did and as we left we noticed the cute Halloween costumes for kids.  “Aww, let’s check them out!”  The kids cried a little more and we tried to just keep moving the stroller to keep them happy.  Then we passed some huge bouncy balls and said, “Wouldn’t they love those?!”  So we got out a red one and it gave us another 2 minutes of peace and quiet.  Then we decided to leave because they were anxious to get out again.  “Oh but, shouldn’t we get two balls so they don’t fight over this red one?”  I said to my husband.  “Yeah, that’s true”.  Because I could hear my children screaming I ran to the back of the store and retrieved a blue ball.  I passed a girl and her mother.  The girl said, “Mommy she isn’t supposed to run in the store!”  I wanted to say, “Hush, you!”

Anyway, as I ran closer and closer to the stroller the screams turned louder.  Finally I got to my husband who was taking Henri out of his stroller.  He seamed to be having a mini-meltdown.  My twins have never had a tantrum.  Never say never.  I began to suspect this was one of those fabled times in a parent’s life.  I put Henri down with the ball which was bigger than him and he literally took off like lightning through the isles of clothes.  I ran after him as Alex got our screaming daughter out of her seat.  Henri took a sharp right, a sharp left, and then ran straight until…alas, he tripped and fell on top of the ball.  This ball being large and very bouncy hit the ground, bounced up in the air with Henri on top of it, then since he still wouldn’t let go of the ball he turned sideways in air and when it was all over he was on his back with the ball on top of him.  Mothers looked at me in horror as he cried again as before.  He turned red and seemed angry and frustrated.  I tried to pick him up but, he wouldn’t let go of the ball.  I finally took the ball away and he threw himself on the floor and kicked and screamed.  Alex found us by following the sound of Henri’s incredibly loud voice and we did that thing parents do where they look around at people with this fake smile and a shrug that says “Haha! you know kids!”  When really we were like “We’re never leaving home again!”

Next thing we knew my daughter fought out of my husband’s arms and now we had two children who wanted to run away.  When we didn’t allow it they arched their backs and kicked and really, it was an amazing spectacle, they turned bright red as they cried at the top of their lungs.  I said to Alex, “Ohmygosh let’s just get out of here!”  People were staring, children were pointing, and I noticed one woman nodding her head in disapproval.  We couldn’t control our children, push the large double stroller, and carry the large bouncy balls by ourselves and yet no one offered to help.  And as we attempted to make it to the front of the store to check out, we’d drop a ball and have to run down the isle chasing it with a hysterical child on our hips. 

We finally realized we weren’t going anywhere so we left the balls in the middle of the floor and just raced to the check out line because ugh! we still had the bath mat to purchase!

We waited in line struggling with the kids who wanted down (and we couldn’t let them because they are FAST).  I looked down to the opposite end of the store and saw one of the balls we had left.  Alex must have read my mind and he told me he could hold both kids.  So he did as I took off like a nutcase, sprinting to the red ball.  But, where was the blue one?  Alex backed away a few feet from the register and watched as I looked frantically around, running in every direction and looking down every isle.  I finally found it very far away from where we’d left it.  I picked it up and jetted back to the line which we noticed was suddenly closed and the guy manning it walked away to the bathroom!  Furious, we tried to figure out why someone would close their line at the exact moment we were next.  I hope he was having a bathroom emergency because couldn’t he see we were desperate to check out and leave?  We struggled to push the stroller (not easy with one hand) (couldn’t put the kids in it-backs too arched, screaming too loud) and I complained with the lady who finally could check us out.  She literally did not care nor did she make any eye contact with us.  She said we could take it up in “customer service”.  Forget that, I’ll call later. 

We left in the cold rain which luckily stunned the kids into submission.  They finally relaxed a bit. 

I tested again when we got home-86.  Now for the moral of the story.  Don’t have children?  Nah, that’s not it.  It’s do your best to plan ahead for good blood sugars before you go anywhere.  Can you imagine how much more ridiculous the above story would have been had my blood sugar been low?  I don’t even want to imagine it.

You know… I would like to imagine a world where people stare less, and offer help more.  A world where just one of 100 fellow human beings in Target says, “hey, I’ll hold the balls for you, you just handle the children.” 

What a wonderful world that would be.

10 Ways to Multitask While You Exercise

 

How often do we get to the end of the day and think, “Uh oh, I either watch Glee or workout”?  Chances are you’ll watch your show.  I totally understand, but the only way for exercise to be super rewarding is to be consistent with it.  I wrote a post for Emilia Klapp over at The Diabetes Club(-where you can get tons of great info if you are diabetic). 

The post I wrote is located there and gives us 10 ways we can substitute our busy lives for a workout.  It’s a win-win situation when we get our stuff done and our workout accomplished at the same time!

Click on the link to check out 10 Ways to Multitask While You Exercise and how you can have a fun workout while watching TV :)

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