Fine tooth comb

The past couple years have been an incredible journey. I can’t believe how much I’ve grown as a person since I started taking back control of my diabetes and bringing down my a1c. At my last endo appointment my a1c was 7.9. I’m almost there. My goal is to get to 7 and I’m less than a full percentage away!! Once I’m closer to 6, kids might even be a possibility!

I can’t even believe I survived for so long in denial. I say survived because lets be honest, I wasnt living. I was barely surviving. I think about my self-destructive behaviors and I cringe. Days without checking my blood, NEVER bolusing!!!!, running out of insulin and waiting until the next day or two to change my pump, eating absolute crap every single day. It’s a miracle I’m still alive.

I meet people all the time who struggle day in and day out like I do. We understand eachother and support eachother and have the ability to share tips and advice. I’ve had this disease for over 20 years, but I learn something new all the time!

I’m very fortunate that my dad understands exactly what I’m dealing with. I wouldn’t wish t1d (or t2d) on anyone, but it helps that someone close to me knows the struggle. Everywhere I’ve been with my diabetes, he’s been there too. His a1c is right around 7.5-8, just like me, so we have a friendly competition to see who can get to 7 first!

One thing I just started doing is training Wilfred to be a diabetic alert dog. He’s with me all the time anyway, I figure I might as well make him useful! Haha. It’s a long process, tons of work and I’ve been doing loads of research, but I think I can do it. Hopefully if I’m successful I can help other people train their dogs too. D.A.D’s are so expensive, I’d love to be able to help make service dogs for diabetics a little more accessible.

While I train Wilfred, I’m also working on eliminating as many variables as I can in my day to day life. More consistency equals tighter control. If it means my numbers will be better, then I’ll eat the same thing each day (or series of things) for breakfast and lunch. I will exercise for the same amount of time, at the same time each day and try my hardest to get the same amount of sleep each night. All that, in addition to my doctor monitoring my pump settings, is sure to bring me to my goal!

Now, for the weekly dog pic 🙂

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Structure, schedules, planning

I learned fairly quickly that one of the best ways to maintain normal blood sugars is to have a structured schedule and stick to it. Fortunately my job is such that I can have a regular breakfast around the same time everyday, low carb snacks throughout the day, my shakeology for lunch and then I’m done and home in time to make a healthy dinner. But the summer has been really busy for me and this past month has turned my schedule upside down and inside out. I haven’t been able to make shakeology for almost 3 weeks and that one thing completely threw my blood sugars off. With more hours, I’ve been more stressed and that also throws my blood sugars off. They’re not as bad as they used to be, but I’m spending more time in the high 100’s, low 200’s than I’d like. At least when I do go over 300, I don’t stay there as long. This week my schedule is back to normal and should be for a while. I’m going to work on bringing my numbers back down. Thankfully I’m still a couple months away from checking my a1c, so I have time to ‘fix’ it. It’s still frustrating though. My doctor was so happy during my last appointment, and I know she’s not going to be mad at me for having a crazy schedule and working non-stop, but I’m mad at me for not being able to juggle everything.

My new puppy Wilfred definitely helps keep me in check. One look at that scruffy face and I feel so much better.

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I promise I won’t post pictures of my dog every blog post. He definitely keeps me moving though! On days that I’m feeling super bummed because my blood sugars have been high, or my sensor is being wacky all I wanna do is sleep (or hide) under the covers and watch terrible movies and eat popcorn. But Wilfred depends on me to exercise him, train him, feed him and love him. I may have rescued him, but he’s also rescued me–pretty sure I saw that on a bumper sticker somewhere but for now I’ll claim it as my own!

So for now I’ll fake positivity, I’ll get back into my routine (my mom is visiting for a few weeks so that should be pretty easy!), and I’ll bring my numbers down!

Calm-Assertive

The past month has been nothing but a love fest at my house. Our new puppy Wilfred has added so much to our lives. Besides the obvious stress relief, Wilfred gets my husband and I walking at least 2 hours a day, usually more. He is such a happy, playful dog. He follows me around like a shadow (which I’m not ashamed to admit- I love!). I can’t help but smile when I look at his goofy face! My husband, never a dog person, has completely changed his ways. 

I’ve been reading Cesar Millan’s book, Cesar’s Way, and one of the main points he starts on is that as the pack leader, dog owners need to be Calm-Assertive all the time. Just seeing all the examples and reading about the benefits to behaving this way got me to change my perspective. As a generally tightly wound person, I’ve been trying to stay calm and relaxed but still in control all the time. Of course I still get excited and laugh loud and talk a lot when friends come over, but I’ve noticed a change in myself and in my interactions with Wilfred.

Even taking Wilfred for a walk has changed my perspective. I love to exercise, but now when I take walks, it’s not just to get from point a to point b. I don’t turn around and come back inside once Wilfred has taken care of business. We keep going! It’s completely about the journey. We are living in the moment.

This has helped my attitude towards my diabetes as well. I’ve always hated changing my pump for no real reason except that I hate doing it. It literally takes 3 minutes and is very easy to do, but I dread it just the same. I’ve noticed that the last few times I’ve had to change my pump, I’ve been pretty neutral about it. I ordered an extra pump inserter and enlite sensor inserter so I don’t have to take anything out of my mobile diabetes kit. That stays in my purse. I organized my supply ‘station’ (one of those plastic, dorm room, drawer sets filled with infusion sets, reservoirs, sensors, test strips, lancets, syringes, alcohol wipes, tegaderm, batteries, an extra meter and adhesive pads) so that everything is be easily accessible and stored in order by expiration date. It doesn’t make changing my pump or sensor fun, but it is way less of a pain than it used to be.

I also noticed that I’m not as angry when I get highs as I used to be. I’d get so frustrated and feel an awful knot in my stomach anytime my meter read something over 250. It’s still frustrating, but I know that it’s going to happen. Instead of getting mad, I go into repair mode and fix it. I give a correction, if that doesn’t work, I check my site, change my pump and correct again. I should probably inject though instead of correcting on my pump. That’s probably what Doc. Peters would tell me to do. I’m taking baby steps. I’ll get there.

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