Way too early Wednesday

Last night was a tough one.  My BS was over 400 all night.  In my sleepy haze I didn’t even think to change my insulin pump site until an hour before I was supposed to wake up (4am).  I changed it gave myself a correction and woke up to my BS steady at 244.  Because of my early schedule I grabbed a couple quick (healthy)  food options before running out the door.  Early mornings suck, but at least I can go home at 3:30 and I have the next 2 days off.

As soon as I got to work, a wonderful member came in with a giant box of bagels.  They were warm, smelled amazing and looked delicious.  I didn’t eat any, but I could smell them all morning and if I hadn’t been so busy probably wouldn’t have been able to resist.

Morning BS reading: 437, then 244 when I woke up

Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs and half a medium sized banana

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-2 hard boiled eggs- they were made last night so Sean and I could both grab something quick and easy before work: 0 carbs

-1/2 a medium sized banana: 12 carbs

Post meal BS reading: 285 and steady

I felt great all morning.  I got so much done at work and I honestly had a ton of energy.  It was fantastic.  I almost didn’t care that I had to come in so early.  Today’s lunch at work was difficult to work around.  The options were pasta, potatoes, egg rolls, pork, black beans, rice and mushy vegetables.  I tried to grab the healthiest options.

Mid-day BS reading: 238

Lunch: pork slices over lettuce and 1/2 cup of black beans

-I put 3 slices of pork on my plate, but it was really really dry so I only ate about 1 and a half: 0 carbs

-The lettuce was good, it had a light vinaigrette dressing that I liked: 0 carbs

-1/2 cup black beans: 20 carbs- I made sure not to overdo it because I love me some black beans!

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Post meal BS reading: 264

I was really excited for dinner tonight.  I wanted something light and super healthy especially since my blood sugars have been running pretty high the past couple days. I messed up though.  I ate 2 enormous pineapple spears that were chillin in my fridge and didn’t even think about checking my sensor or even bolusing and didn’t realize I hadn’t bolused until I saw my sensor before dinner.

Dinner BS reading: 334

Dinner: Grilled Eggplant over salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing

-plate of salad: 0 carbs

-2 slices of grilled eggplant: 0 carbs

-2 slices of gooey, melted provolone cheese: 0 carbs

-a filling, delicious meal: priceless

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post meal BS reading

Terrible Tuesday

Before I went to sleep last night my sugar was still steady at 140.  I was nervous it would go too low in the middle of the night as that tends to happen, so I poured my self a small small glass of Tropicana Cherry Limeade.  I’m talking 2 small gulps.  When I woke up my blood sugar was 358 and by the time I got to work it was 450.  I did not fell well and the last thing I wanted to do was go to work, but Iknew that all I needed was a correction bolus and I’d feel better.

I had to be at work by 7, so I didn’t have time to make breakfast.  For that reason I have a couple quick options in my fridge.  The good thing about starting early is that I get to leave early too.

Morning BS reading: 358/450 (I waited a little bit to eat after giving myself a correction bolus)

Breakfast: half a grapefruit with 1 Kefir breakfast drink (the one breakfast drink that got the ok from my dietician)

-1/2 pink grapefruit: 9 carbs

-1 Lifeway Bio Kefir breakfast drink: 10 carbs

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Post Meal BS reading: 321

All morning I felt nauseous, thirsty and so so sleepy.  I got right to work though and  kept checking my sensor to make sure my blood sugar was going down.  We get a hot meal for lunch today at work so I had that to look forward to.

Mid day BS reading: 254

Lunch: chicken with grilled vegetables and one small dinner roll

-small chicken leg: 0 carbs

-half a plate of grilled vegetables: 0 carbs

-1 small dinner roll: 30 carbs

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Post meal BS reading: HI…I shouldn’t have had the roll… 😦

I gave myself a correction and ate some cheese so it wouldn’t go too low, but it stayed high from 2 through the rest of the day.  I also had a really stressful day at work.  I have about 20 boxes of inventory to check in for my golf shop all by myself, got into an argument with a coworker about finishing their job 100% and I still had to work the shop when members came into my shop, answer phones and run sales.  Needless to say, my heart was pounding in my chest by the time that I got home.  My BS felt so high that I could see my stomach moving with every beat.  I wanted to crawl into bed and just fall asleep.  I wanted to drink a gallon of diet coke.  I just wanted to feel better.  So my wonderful husband Sean and I decided to eat out.  I checked my blood since it was too high to see the actual number on my sensor (435), gave myself a correction and together we walked to a great Mediterranian place near our apt.  I made sure to eat light.  The pita bread looked amazing, but I didn’t touch it.  After looking up the carb count on grape leaves, I figured that would be a safe appetizer for me.  I went light with my main course as well.  Usually I go for a falafel pita or the shawarma combo, but this time I ordered the mahi fish kebab with salad on the side.  Sean got my rice. **Unfortunately I don’t have any recipes for this meal

Dinner BS reading: 435

Dinner: 3 grape leaves with mahi kebabs, roasted vegetables and salad

-2 grape leaves: 12 carbs each

-Mahi kebab: 0 carbs

-salad with oil and vinegar dressing: 0 carbs

-I had a teeny bite of Sean’s rice…

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Post meal BS reading: 316 and trending down- this time I’m not drinking any juice!

 

 

 

 

Mouthwatering Monday

When I woke up his morning, I felt like my sugar was 500.  My mouth was dry, I had a stomach ache and a pounding headache (no I didn’t go bar hopping last night- the only thing I drank was diet black cherry Hansen’s soda).  I was afraid to look at my sensor, afraid to post that my sugar was high because to be honest I had no idea why it felt so high. So imagine my surprise when I peeked at it and it read 241.  Maybe I was tricking myself into thinking I’m sick so I could call out of work.  Not a chance!

My breakfast inspiration this morning came from my dad.  He never eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  He eats peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  I didn’t want to eat too much bread so I decided an open face sandwich would be a good, healthy option.

Morning BS reading: 241

Breakfast: Wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced banana

-One slice of wheat toast, I got mine at Trader Joes and it’s made with Sprouts so it takes a little getting used to: 15 carbs (amount varies depending on what kind of bread used)

-1 tablespoon peanut butter: 7 carbs

-1/2 sliced medium sized banana (gave the other half to hubby): 12 carbs

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Post meal reading: 253

Lunches are really tough at work on Mondays.  It’s a slower day with generally fewer employees working so they don’t offer a hot meal.  Instead we get a make your own sandwich bar (sometimes if I’m lucky a fresh cobb salad).  Today I wasn’t so lucky.  I didn’t want to eat more bread so soon after eating toast this morning.

Mid-day BS reading: 207

Lunch: Lettuce, tuna salad and cheddar cheese

-Full plate of lettuce with light dressing: 10 carbs

-Scoop of tuna salad: 0 carbs

-2 slices of cheddar cheese: 0 carbs

It’s not very exciting, but I feel better skipping the bread.  If my BS dips too low I’ll eat an orange or an apple (also available in the lunch room)

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Post meal BS reading: 229 and trending up

–A few hours later (after running around at work, lifting boxes, helping members and organizing my golf shop) my sugar started dropping.  It was 167 and trending down fast.  I ate a small piece of chocolate (love when I need to eat chocolate).

Busy days at work usually means leftovers or takeout for dinner.  Unfortunately I don’t have an unlimited bank account and can’t afford a cook who will have all my meals ready for me.  What I can do though is fill my crock pot and set it before I run out the door.  Then I return 9 hours later with a warm meal and an apartment that smells amazing!  I decided to do this today, because I knew I would have a long day at work and the last thing I want to do is cook when I come home exhausted.  I haven’t tried this recipe yet, so it will be a surprise.

Dinner BS reading: 98

Dinner: Ground Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers— I changed the recipe slightly.  I skipped the rice and added half a diced green bell pepper to the diced onion, I also added 1/4 cup shredded cheese

-4 bell peppers, topless and seedless.  Place in cooking sprayed crock pot

-1.25 lbs ground turkey (I used more since I skipped the rice) browned and drained

-1 diced onion and half a diced green pepper sautéed.  Mix with ground turkey

-1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce added to meat mixture

-dash of oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper added to meat mixture

-8 oz tomato sauce added to meat mixture

-1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

-fill empty bell peppers with meat, onion, pepper, cheese, sauce and spice mixture

-pour 14 oz tomato sauce over and around all bell peppers

-cook on low 6-8 hours

***I calculate about 10 carbs for each pepper.  The recipe says one stuffed pepper has 40.1 carbs but that’s including rice which I eliminated from my version.  The turkey has no carbs so I’m just looking at vegetables.  One serving of vegetables has about 5 grams of carbs, but I’m eating a whole bell pepper with even more vegetables and tomato sauce mixed in.

pepper

Post  meal BS: 119

Overall it’s been a good day.  I was really busy at work, and moving, unpacking and organizing boxes took a toll on my blood sugar.  I’m hoping it doesn’t go too low tonight.  Thankfully I have my CGM that will alert me if it does!

 

Starting Over Sunday

I woke up this morning with the worst stinging in my left eye.  Occasionally this happens, and it’s really annoying when it does.  But all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed.  Not a good start to the day, but I forced myself up and out, put my darkest sunglasses on and hoped it would get better.  Time to shift my focus…onto food 🙂

Morning BS reading: 205

Breakfast: Store bought Greek yogurt with homemade applesauce– I changed the recipe slightly (only used apples and cinnamon: no sugar, no syrup)

-1/2 cup honey flavored Greek yogurt: about 15 grams of carbs depending on the brand you choose

-1/3 cup applesauce: about 7 grams of carbs

-1 cup of coffee with artificial sweetener: no carbs

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Post meal BS reading: right after I ate, my BS shot up to over 350 and a couple hours later it registered at 299, trending down quickly (double arrows pointing down). I’m thinking it went up because I completely forgot to factor in the milk I put in my coffee, but I can’t imagine it going up that much because of a little milk.

Mid-day BS reading: 253

While I’m fortunate enough to get free lunch at work, I have no idea how anything is made or how many carbs there are.  So I do my best to guesstimate.  I also try and get the healthiest and freshest options. Some days that’s grilled chicken and broccoli, other days that’s half a grilled cheese sandwich.

Lunch: Salmon burger (no bun), roasted vegetables and salad with light dressing

-about 1/2 cup roasted vegetables (don’t know what kind of oil was used to cook them): 0 carbs

-full plate of lettuce with light salad dressing: 10 carbs

-1 salmon burger patty (not sure if they’re store bought or made here, but it was the best  lunch option compared to pizza and French fries): 0 carbs

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Post meal BS reading: 177 and trending down (I was feeling a little lightheaded so I ate a small orange and now it’s level at 181)

Dinner BS reading: 232

Dinner: lemon pepper chicken with 1 corn tortilla and 1 cup corn and edamame salad

-1 large chicken breast (for 2 people- hubby’s gotta eat too) season with lemon pepper and bake in  Extra virgin olive oiled baking dish for 30 min at 350 degrees: 0 carbs

-mix about 1 cup frozen corn and 2 cups edamame with 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp. olive oil and dash of salt and pepper.  Place on foil lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes: 1 cup 5 carbs

-toast corn tortilla on stove, careful not to burn your fingers!: 1 tortilla 8 carbs

chicken edamame salad

Pretty good for day one.  I just looked at my CGM immediately after eating dinner and my sugar is 331 and trending up.  Hopefully my correction and meal bolus is enough to cover it.  That’s why this exercise is good, it let’s me see exactly what I eat and how it affects my blood sugar.  My doc’s are gonna love me :).

Food…Friend or Foe?

Food is a big issue for diabetics, whether you’re Type 1, 2 or gestational it’s always going to be on your mind.  I can’t just eat an apple and feel happy that I chose a healthy snack. I have to consider what my blood sugar is and how big the apple is and how soon after a meal I want to eat the apple and whether or not I need a correction.  It’s a lot to process for a healthy snack.  Now that I’m meeting with Meg, I’m learning so much about food and I’m excited to keep learning new recipes and healthier options.  I was told that since my body is so used to high blood sugar readings and since I’ve gone so long without calculating  bolus’s, I’d start gaining weight if I gave myself the correct amount of insulin for the kinds of food I currently eat- and I didn’t really want that to happen. While I’m not underweight like I was in college, I’m comfortable at my current weight (110 lbs).  So until we find the right balance between my basal rate and bolus’s, I need to think about the quality of every bite that I eat in addition to how many carbs I’m eating and how it will affect my blood sugar.  That’s a lot to think about. I don’t like thinking about it.  I’m used to feeling hungry then eating whatever is in the fridge, or if I’ve had a busy work week and my fridge is empty, then whatever takeout is closest to my apartment. 

I’ve been doing a lot of homework on diets, foods and how they work with T1D, and I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me.  Since working with Meg I’ve only gained a couple pounds, and I’m fine with a couple pounds.  What I’m not fine with is my high blood sugar readings, dry mouth, nausea and headaches when I eat something I probably shouldn’t.

Meg has provided me with some really great food options and eventually I’ll try them all.  For now I’m sticking with my favorites and trying to make them my own.  This whole next week (starting tomorrow) I’m planning on tracking everything I eat.  This will probably force me to follow Meg’s advice to a t, because I’m not going to want to have to post that I ate an entire box of Girl Scout cookies (not that I’d ever do that, but I cant say that I never have either).  It’s easier for me if I plan my meals a head of time, that way I know what I’ll be eating everyday and I’ll make sure to have all the ingredients I need.  I’ll post pictures, the ingredients I used and what I estimate the carbs to be.  I’m probably going to be off some of the time, but I’m learning as I go along. 

In addition to meeting with Meg, I’ve been researching different eating plans for diabetics.  One that has piqued my interest is the Ketogenic diet which is basically a low carb, high fat diet (good fat i.e. avocados, olive oil, full fat yogurt).  I’m particularly interested because unlike Atkins, T1D’s have claimed to have lowered their A1C to non-diabetic levels and cut way back on their insulin with the Ketogenic diet.  That’s the goal right?  I’m afraid to go too low carb though, especially since Meg specifically instructed me not to. She would like me to eat roughly 100 carbs a day. But I’d be willing to try this in the future, once I’m hovering around a 7 A1C.  In the meantime, I’ll skip the dinner rolls and load up on protein, veggies and fruit.

My first steps

I started my journey at the beginning of this year.  My first appointment with my new, fantastic endocrinologist was on January 6th, 2014.  I had heard wonderful things about Dr. Peters from other doctors, diabetics and parents of diabetics.  So after some online research I prayed that she was still taking on new patients and made an appointment.  Just walking into her office made me feel better.  It doesn’t feel like a regular waiting room.  There’s nothing extraordinarily different about this one.  It’s actually smaller than most waiting rooms and has the same pamphlets, generic artwork and family photos you’d see in any doctor’s waiting room, but everybody who works there is just so positive and wonderful I couldn’t help but feel comforted.  She has the friendliest nurses and is the nicest, most comforting doctor I have ever met with.  As is my nature I completely broke down and just started crying buckets during our initial meeting.  She assured me that cases like mine are her specialty and that she will safely bring my numbers down and help me feel better, because after all, that’s why I was there in the first place.  I was sick of feeling sick and completely over waking up every morning with my sugars over 400.  I was ready for a change.

We’d take baby steps, Dr. Peters told me.  The first job I had to master was checking my blood three times a day and giving myself a correction before each meal.  I didn’t have to count carbs, I didn’t have to drastically change my diet, I didn’t have to start wearing my Continuous Glucose Monitor, I didn’t even have to lower my basal rate that much……yet. I would be doing all those things soon; however, for the next month my only job was to gather data for Dr. Peters.  I haven’t had an actual logbook in at least 10 years, but I was able to use my insulin pump to log my blood sugars that whole month.  I felt hopeful and capable of staying on track.

At my next appointment we discovered that my sugars are consistently between 300 and 400, with just correction boluses and a high basal rate.  I was frustrated, but I knew it would be a long and difficult journey to see my numbers where I want them to be.  I started meeting with Meg, a wonderful and dedicated dietician.  Together, we came up with meals and snacks that are not only easy to make, but absolutely delicious.  She answered all my texts and emails. How many carbs are in an acai bowl? How nutritious are those diabetic shakes really? How many carbs do I need to eat everyday? Do I need to give myself a full bolus if I eat a meal after I workout?  I discovered that avocados are ‘free foods’ and I don’t need to give myself any insulin for them- which is incredible because I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of my life. She is teaching me how to calculate the carbs in the foods that I eat, and she is showing me quality foods that don’t leave me feeling guilty for enjoying.

Since then, my blood sugars are consistently hovering between 250 and 350…for now.  I’m working really hard to do whatever Dr. Peters and Meg tell me to do. They still shoot up to 400+, but those readings are becoming less common.

Enough is enough

A new month brings a sense of new beginnings. A blank slate. I’m going back to the basics and ready to re-learn everything I was taught regarding type 1 diabetes 12 years ago- when I began a lifetime relationship with my Paradigm MiniMed insulin pump. I started using an insulin pump because I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Europe with family friends. But in order to go I had to be comfortable with an insulin pump which would give me more freedom than twice daily insulin injections at 14 years old did. I’ve had the pump for the past 12 years, but once again it seems completely new to me. While I was in control over a decade ago, I have in the last 8 or 9 years become a victim of my pump. All through college and my post grad life I didn’t check my blood as often as a T1D should. In fact there were periods of time that I would go weeks without once pricking my finger. And then I’d feel bad about it and start checking religiously for about a week. I never gave myself meal boluses and relied only on my obscenely high basal rate and occasional correction boluses. I’d run out of insulin in my pump and often go about a day or two before changing it. I forgot how to count carbs. I even forgot what foods to avoid. Instead of gaining the dreaded Freshman 15, I lost about 20 pounds. But I can’t say I’m surprised. After eating pizza, bagels, ice cream and pasta every night in the dining hall for 4 years and not getting any insulin for it, it’s no wonder all my clothes were falling off me and I had to start shopping in the children’s department. I didn’t realize what I was doing and didn’t even recognize the link between my weight loss and state of denial until I read an article about what is commonly known as ‘the black diet’, when diabetics purposely refrain from taking insulin just to lose weight. I don’t think I’ve fully processed that moment. Even after I read that article and realized what I was doing to my body I didn’t change. Sure, there were times I’d vow that I’d check my blood 6 times a day and count all the carbs I ate for each meal and eat healthy, quality foods. And I’d start out living up to the promises I made myself, but like clockwork, within a month I’d fall easily back into my old habits.

I don’t know what’s different now. Maybe it’s because I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20. Maybe it’s because I got married last year and it’s not just about me anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling more like a grown up. Maybe it’s because eventually I want to have kids and I’ve seen Steel Magnolias (spoiler alert….don’t see Steel Magnolias). Maybe it’s because I’ve told myself for years how serious T1D management is and now I’m finally ready to do something about it. Whatever the case, I’m working closely with my fabulous endo who has seen cases like mine hundreds of times and who truly cares about her patients. I’m meeting with her and an amazing dietician who has completely changed my perception of quality diabetic meals once a month and I’m going to do everything I can to take back control. I’ll probably mess up, but this time I won’t let it stop me.