My marathon

OK.  It’s been over a week since I’ve even logged into my blog.  I have literally been moving non-stop.  While my days off are usually days for running errands, cleaning my apartment, DIY projects and relaxing on my comfy white couch, that’s not the case right now.  Since I hardly ever get to see my mom and she’s only here for about a month, I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much mother-daughter time as I can. It’s going to be really sad when I’m back to sleeping in late, lounging around in my pajamas all morning  and the most exciting thing about my day off is going to Trader Joes AND the post office.  I’m officially an adult and I gotta say, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I’m still working really hard to make the right food choices.  Someone brought in a bag of Marshmallows at work (no idea why) but I am avoiding that thing like the plague.  I know I can’t only eat one.  I’m the kind of person who will eat one and then another and another and before I know it half the bag is empty and my blood sugar is HI and my stomach hurts.  I think that in order to really stay on track with the food I eat, I’m going to record what I eat next week like I did a couple months ago.  I haven’t really tried new recipes and I need to give myself a reason to do that. 

In the past few months I’ve been trying out some food tricks.  I tricked my brain into thinking I still eat candy.  Every once in a while I would buy a huge bag of sweet tarts or Swedish fish and eat the whole thing in one or two sittings.  So instead, I bought a few flavors of sugar free gum and now when I get a craving for something sweet, I chew on that instead.  My sweet craving is gone and I  don’t have to give myself any insulin for it!  I’ve also been eating a scoop of whipped cream with a handful of blueberries or chopped strawberries for dessert while my husband eat dulce de leche pie or brownies.  It’s still about 20 grams of carbs, but now I don’t feel like I have to skip dessert!

Even with my mom visiting, I’m still trying to carve out some tome to exercise. Ballet has been fun.  My first class was just me, the instructor and another beginner.  She was way better than I was, really focused the whole time and really helpful.  They both said that I’m picking it up pretty quickly and they can tell I’ve danced before (even if it was 14 years before!).  The good thing is that I’m already pretty athletic, since I love to run, so I was able to keep up.  I felt pretty good about what I learned and even practiced at home. Friday was my second lesson.  This time there were about 12 people.  I was completely out of my league.  All of these women have been going to the Friday class for a while and they all knew the combinations.  I couldn’t remember where to put my arms and felt like an idiot when I looked at myself in the mirror (right now I tend to just stare at my feet) and saw them just hanging halfway between first and second position.  Even though I paid close attention to the instructor, I had to watch the girl in front of me to actually do everything almost correctly.  I’m also not even nearly as flexible as the rest of the beginner students- everyone can touch their palms to the floor, my fingertips barely graze it.  I have a long way to go, but I’m having fun!

Still waiting for my transmitter.  It officially died last week and I haven’t been able to use my sensor since.  I have yet to find out when I should be getting a new one.  So until then, I’m back to checking my blood before every meal and if I remember, an hour afterwards.  It’s not fun, but it definitely helps me to appreciate all of the technology I have at my fingertips.  I’m anxious to use my Dexcom again.  I know it makes my appointments with Dr. Peters much easier.

In the meantime, I’m planning my first wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband.  It’s really exciting and I cant believe we’ve already been married 10 months.  This past year has gone by so quickly. I’d love to take a romantic getaway to an exotic island or Paris or Ireland, but right now we can only take time off for a few days together and Paris really isn’t within our budget.  I’d love to visit Catalina Island or Monterey Bay or Ensenada, Mexico for a few days.  Any of those places sounds fabulous!

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.