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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Puppy Love

It’s been a few weeks since my last post  but it’s only because I’ve been so insanely busy. From thinking my car was stolen and then finding out it had been towed (but I was never notified). Thinking I was getting a new car and then realizing I’d be stuck with the same crummy one I had (I’m glad it was found, but really I was more upset that my bike rack was gone than my car was stolen!). Discovering that my car would cost as least $1,000 to fix and make safe again and then getting a used fully loaded volvo. My emotions have been going up and down all month and I feel like I haven’t had a moment to sit down.

I’m very blessed that my family and I are  able to figure out this whole car nightmare. I’m also glad nothing was stolen from the inside. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been relieved that my car was gone. There are so many issues that have come up with the Versa in the last year. My immediate thought after “Crap! Someone stole my car!”, was, “good riddance!”. Now the plan is to either fix it and sell it or sell it as is just to be done with it. But either way, this whole ordeal has definitely stressed me out and made me high. Not good.

Then a couple weeks ago, for my birthday, my sweet sweet husband got me something that I’ve wanted for years….a puppy!

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His name is Wilfred, and he is the cutest, softest, sweetest, friendliest dog in the world. Because of him I’m walking about 2 hours a day. 30 min in the morning, 30 min at night and about 1 hours (sometimes broken up into 2 walks) during the day. I still go for bike rides and hikes and runs. It’s too hot right now to bring him with me, but once it cools down, I’ll have a new hiking / running buddy! Already I can tell that my stress levels have gone down. Ve also lost about 8 lbs. Here I was spending so much time working out like a maniac and all I had to do was go on a few walks a day! I’m able to bring him to work with me so for the most part, he comes with me everywhere I go. I’m looking into training him to be a diabetic alert dog so that I can bring him everywhere else.

Last week I had my monthly appointment with my endo and found out that my a1c finally broke 8!!! I’m officially (as of Tuesday) at a 7.9. I told my doctor that she needs to tell all her patients to get a dog! That, combined with eating low GI foods, has completely changed my diabetes management. I’m beginning to think I’ll be at a 7 in no time!!!

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I REALLY Wasn’t Supposed to go on a Hike

What was supposed to be a fun hiking day, turned into a saturday filled with tears, hail and high blood sugar.

About a month ago I planned a 10 mile round trip hike to Inspiration point with a new friend. I went to sleep early the night before, packed snacks, water and extra diabetes supplies and laid out a healthy breakfast.

The hike started out perfect. It was warm and sunny. My blood sugar was good, I was feeling good. I got an amazing shot of a rainstorm over Los Angeles. It looked like the rain was going to miss us.

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By the time we saw the lightening get closer to the mountain, it was beginning to drizzle. We figured that we’d make it to the halfway point and decide if we wanted to go the whole way up to Inspiration point. It didn’t look so bad. If anything, we’d wait out the storm before continuing on.

The higher up we got, the closer the lightening was. By the time we made it to Echo Mountain it was raining hard, windy, and freezing. A park ranger suggested that we head back down. At this point my blood sugar was on its own steady climb up. At the base of the mountain my sugar was 206. By the time we got to the top it was over 300. I cancelled my 50% temp basal and gave a correction. We kept stopping along the trail as the rain got heavier and heavier. Then, for a brief couple minutes it started to hail. In July. In Pasadena. And every time I looked at my sensor my blood sugar was higher. By the time we finally got back to the car my sugar was over 400. I felt terrible, I was soaked to the bone and all I wanted to do was sleep.

As soon as it starts to rain, everyone in Los Angeles loses their minds. Nobody knows how to drive. People freak out because idiots drive other idiots off the road. It took forever, but i finally got home. I drove as slow as possible and felt like someone was twisting my stomach into knots from the inside the entire way. Somewhere along the way I had to stop the car and throw up.

My wonderful husband helped me inside and got me a nice cold diet ginger ale to sip on. I changed my pump, gave a correction and fell asleep.

A couple hours later we decided to get ready for the Red Sox/Angels game that night. We already had tickets and I was beginning to feel better. Unfortunately, because of the rain, it took us almost 2 hours to get there and we were about 45 minutes late to the game. By the time we finally got food, sat down and could relax, there were only 3 innings left.

We decided to make the best of it and enjoy the game no matter how terrible the Red Sox were playing 😉

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We stayed until the very end and were having a wonderful time…. until we walked to the parking lot and discovered that someone had stolen my car. I guess things can always get worse….

If it Looks Like Cauliflower, and Tastes Like Cauliflower, It’s Probably Cauliflower

I decided to see what all the hype was about and finally make cauliflower crust pizza. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for weeks. So yesterday I got cauliflower, mozzarella, parmesan, and tomato sauce and invited my neighbors over for moral support. We already had a backup plan in case the meal turned out to be a total bust.

I decided to use this recipe- Cauliflower crust pizza, found on Pinterest. It says it’s the best recipe, so I couldn’t go wrong! This time I did take pics along the way 🙂

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The recipe called for rosemary and oregano for the crust, but I used fresh basil from the one plant I haven’t killed in my apartment yet. Looks like I need to restock my salt and pepper….The wine was very crucial in the cooking process!

My first step was to shred the mozz. I did it the same way the Layla (blogger who posted the recipe) did it and shredded it in my food processor. I don’t think I’m ever going to use a cheese grater again. Next was the cauliflower. It was probably the most time consuming part of the recipe because I got such a large head of cauliflower and I have a smallish food processor. About halfway through I realized I had been hitting the chop button instead of the puree button.

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As I cleaned up the sink and got the egg, salt, garlic powder and 1/4 cup of each cheese, my neighbor Liz squeezed all the liquid out of the pureed cauliflower. I mixed everything together and realized I had forgotten to preheat the oven to 500….oops.

I didn’t have any parchment paper and since I don’t eat regular pizza I didn’t have a pizza stone either. But we made do with a cookie sheet and aluminum foil. I sprayed the foil with Pam and pressed the dough into an oval. About 40 minutes later we had a delicious, misshapen crust. Once it had browned in the oven, I sprinkled with mozz, parm, and fresh basil. We turned on the broiler and put it back in the oven for 4 minutes to get the cheese nice and melty.

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Around this time Sean and Liz’s husband, Federico, got back from the Italian restaurant around the corner with meatballs, garlic bread and an actual slice of real pizza (Sean’s idea-unbelievable). The apartment smelled amazing and the pizza was ready to come out of the oven. We all served salad and got a slice of the ‘faux’ pizza. The real Italian food was on standby.

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Liz took the first bite and said what we all were thinking, ‘It’s good, but it tastes like cauliflower, sauce and cheese.’ After we stopped laughing, we ate the rest of the “pizza” and the Italian meatballs. I wouldn’t say this recipe is a bust, but if you’re expecting it to taste like the real thing… well it doesn’t. Sean’s biggest complaint was that it had no pepperoni.

I’ll probably be making this again, my blood sugar hovered around 100 throughout the night and into the next morning. But next time, I’m adding toppings!

Making it Work

Now that I’m drinking Shakeology everyday again, my blood sugars have started leveling off again. This week it’s been hard to squeeze in workouts, but I’m managing to set aside at least 30 minutes a day. The best is when I have the time to ride my bike to get groceries. It’s even better when I can go for a long, challenging hike. I’ve noticed that out of everything I do to work out, hiking is the best for my blood sugar. As long as I keep an eye on what my sensor says during and after the hike and adjust my basal rate as necessary. I’m looking forward to hiking with a new friend on Saturday!

Last night, the last thing I wanted to do was cook. I had planned early on to make a dinner plan for the week, but couldn’t find the time for that. So when I got home from work, I looked in the fridge and groaned. Fortunately, the hubby came home just before I had given up all together and ordered take-out. We took ground beef, veggies, tomato sauce and pasta and whipped up a delicious meal. I only had a few pieces of penne and loaded up on the broccoli. My blood sugars started rising only after I ate blueberries with whipped cream 🙂 That’s one of my favorite things about Sean, he can create something delicious (albeit many times extremely unusual) with almost nothing in the fridge. Hopefully today I’ll have more time to go grocery shopping!