Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fun At The Fall Festival

Because I love the Fall Festival - And I love friends who encourage me to get moving and love me even if I don't.  And I've learned as of late that it's OK to go with the flow and indulge in the bolus worthy without going totally batshit and making myself feel guilty~
Over the weekend my town had their yearly Fall Festival. Two days of fun in the sun and  on a main drag that was shut down to cars,( except for yummy food trucks,) and filled with a quarter a mile of booths from local and not so local artists, businesses and the likes there of. 
There were kiddie rides and dunking booths, a beer garden and a stage for live bands. 
And there was a hell of a lot of walking, laughing, eating and drinking going on. 

The festival was a place where you could literally run into old friends you haven’t seen in years and make new ones because they were standing next to you- and everyone has a great time. 
Between you and me, I LOVE the Fall Festival - even though it means saying so long to summer. 
And also between you, me, and the interwebz, with the encouragement of some friends this summer (you know who you are,) I’ve worked very hard to get moving again and eat cleanly 80 % of the time. 
The steroid weight I gained from May’s severe upper respiratory infection from hell, was taking it’s own time leaving my person and it was frustrating and depressing.
So when I finally got my ass back on the scale last week after a 4 week break from my weekly weigh-in, I saw that the scale was going in the opposite direction and that I’d lost 6 pounds. Yep, I was thrilled!
But back to the festival:  I spent all afternoon and into the evening on Saturday, at the Festival with friends. We walked for hours, laughed even longer, and dined on foods weren't all low in carbs.
Lunch was a grilled Kobe Cheese Dog, loaded with ketchup, onions and mustard  - and it was the first hotdog I’d had in maybe a year. 
It was made from Kobe beef, so it was healthier than most hotdogs and it was delicious. 
Then we sampled spicy hot pickles (FREE FOOD,) and enjoyed copious amounts of maple and cocoa covered almonds. 
Dinner included fresh mussels in a fantastical red sauce that was loaded with garlic and accompanied by fresh baked Italian bread and immediately followed by a slice of gourmet pizza that was piled high with veggies and washed down with 2 glasses of Cabernet. 
I didn’t worry about the calories or the carbs, I checked my blood sugar and bolused accordingly - and I enjoyed myself.
I reminded myself that I’d walked for hours that afternoon and had participated in a three hour yoga meditation workshop the night before. 
I also told myself that continuing to move and being flexible when it came to food was working for me - And that everyone needs and deserves to live in the moment every now and then - and even if they have diabetes. 

So did my blood spike after the pizza and even with the temporary basal rate? 
Of course it did, but it went down again with a correction bolus. 

Do I regret my food choices I made at the Fall Festival? Nope, not a bit. 

But DAMN if I'm not still craving those delicious mussels in that fantastical garlicky red sauce ;) 

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Daraprim Effect

I write about living with diabetes, I Advocate for people living with diabetes, and it's incredibly important to me that patients not only have Advocates, but that people advocate for themselves and others. I wrote this post because of my outrage and my fears regarding prescription drugs that save lives, but whose prices continue to skyrocket. Simply put, I'm afraid that The Daraprim Effect, which has been happening long before Shkreli came into the picture, will continue to spiral out of control ~
 Yesterday, it was announced that Turing Pharmaceuticals would lower the price of Dararprim from it's overnight price hike of 5400%, after a public backlash of global proportions. 
When I first heard about the unethical,and yes I'll call it as I see it - dick move by Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO, Martin Shkreli, the man who decided to increase the price of the drug from $18 dollars a bottle to $750 dollars because he wanted to make more money from an older drug.  
The hedge-funder turned Pharma owner felt that the 62 year old drug was undervalued -and stated he still felt that daraprim was undervalued after the price increase. 
Watch his interview on Bloomberg TV interview and prepare to be disgusted. 
Shkreli also used the skewed reasoning that the 5400% price increase would help generate funds for new cancer drugs that Turing Pharma hope to create and sell in the future. 

Martin Shkreli has a history of Pharma greed and is current being sued by Rerophin, a Pharma company he founded and was eventually ousted from, because of allegations regarding misconduct, etc.
 Like many, I was disgusted and angry when I heard about Daraprim - and as a person who relies on a a prescription drug in order to lived, I was scared. 
In my mind I kept thinking: What if what was happening to Daraprim was happening to insulin?  Like millions, I need insulin to live - and even with insurance - the cost of my monthly insulin is over almost four hundred dollars - and that price continues to go up.
If it wasn't for my Endo giving me generous amounts of insulin samples - I'd be royally screwed.  

My fears don't seem so far fetched when you consider Shkreli's history of short selling  Afrezza stock. 

Eventually, I facebooked and tweeted what was on my mind. 

And of course I wasn’t the only one feeling that way, aI received tweets and Facebook messages of support. And 1 tweet from a person who told me that applying economic theory to something so personal was like a Doctor treating their spouse. 
But it is personal got me. VERY PERSONAL. And I think it's personal to every single person who has dealt with a chronic illness or a deadly disease. 
But we don’t have to agree on everything -as long as we agree that that crazy Daraprim price hike was wrong.  

Daraprim is an old drug with multiple uses that help many. A drug created 62 years ago to combat malaria and now primarily used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can cause life threatening problems for babies whose mothers become infected while pregnant - and people with compromised immune systems including AIDS and certain types of cancer. 

"An old drug with multiple uses that help many," also reminded me of two other drugs used in the diabetes arena, Metformin and Ramipril. 
Metformin, a generic diabetes medication (brand name, Glucophauge,) that was originally marketed to people with type 2 diabetes, but has since been used along with insulin to help prevent spikes and combat insulin resistance in people with type 1 diabetes. 
Another magic power of Metformin is the protective effects it has on the vascular system - something that people with and without diabetes and regardless of the type, benefit from. 
Ramipril, while not created as diabetes drug, is a generic ace-inhibitor (blood pressure medication,) that not only battles high blood pressure issues, (something people with diabetes are prone to,) but is also incredibly beneficial in protecting the kidneys of people with diabetes. Endo's prescribe ace inhibitors to many with diabetes and normal and high blood pressure in the hopes of preserving and protecting kidney function.
Both drugs have been on the market for years, both drugs are reasonably priced, and both drugs have multiple uses. 
So yep, such an outrageous price increase could absolutely happen to drugs that people in the DOC and beyond use daily. 
Then I thought of my diabetes heroes and saviors, Dr. Banting, Best and McCloud. 
What would those men think of Shkeri's plan? Those men that all of us living with T1 diabetes owe our lives to. 
Amazing men who not only discovered and patented their extract of insulin and won the Nobel Prize in the process, but decided to give that patent to the University of Toronto, who used the income generated from said patent to generate funding for diabetes research. 

I had a feeling that those men were rolling over in their graves.

Then I saw the following tweet and became inspired and angry all over again. 
Yesterday I saw this Meme at attn.com and originally attributed to imgur.com , comparing Shkeri to Jonas Salk, the Virologist/Redical Researcher extraordinaire who spent 7 years developing the polio vaccine. A man who felt that it was his moral duty to vaccinate the globe against polio - and who said that putting a patent on the vaccine would be like putting a patent on the sun.  

Look, I know drug companies are for profit businesses, I understand and accept that.  
And I'm the first one to say that I've benefited and that I'm alive because of pharmaceutical drugs and diabetes technology. 
But like many Americans, the cost of living with a chronic disease keeps me up at night. 
I worry about my financial future - I don't want pharma to be run by Shkreli's of the world 

Except what Martin Shkreli attempted to do isn't new - It’s been happening with drugs for years, and the FDA needs to set up boundaries because if they don't, such hikes will continue. because people like Shekiri will buy the rights to old drugs and charge an astronomical price for them, all in the name of making a buck. 
60 minutes did a story on the high cost of cancer drugs in October: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cost-of-cancer-drugs-60-minutes-lesley-stahl-health-care/
And the price of generic drugs are skyrocketing so much, the feds are looking into it. 
The Atlantic's Julie Beck wrote a disturbing and excellent piece on the Deraprim's exorbitant price hike being part of disturbing trend. CLICK HERE, and read it!
Beck's article quotes and links to a study that was recently published in  Neurology.Org. The study states that first generation MS drugs, which originally cost between $8,000 and $11,00 dollars, now cost upwards of $60,000 a year for those who need them.
Click on the following to get a breakdown of the study - It's a must read that paints a very real and disturbing picture of drug pricing: http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2015/04/24/WNL.0000000000001608.full.pdf+html

Carolyn Johnson of the Washington Post said it best when she wrote: "Shkreli's actions were shocking for a simple reason: It was an unusual moment of complete transparancy in health care, where motive's prices, and how the system works are rarely ever talked about so nakedly." 

Because of Shkreli's "nakedness" and his blatant greed, he allowed the public a peek into a very opaque system regarding drug pricing in the U.S., confirming our thoughts and fears in the process - And I thank him for that. 
Now that our fears are confirmed - we must stop the epidemic of The Daraprim Effect from become a plague  - because our health and our financial futures depend on it.    

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cookabetes: Grilled Asparagus Salad

It's pretty simple, I love to eat and I love to cook - not a huge fan of the cleanup. 
I especially like cooking for other people because.. well, I just do. 
But, I've been making a concentrated effort to make tasty meals for myself with as much zest as I do when I make meals for my friends. 
And with the advent of smart phones; facebook, twitter, and instagram, I've been known to post pictures of some of my creations online. 
And a lot of people have reached out and asked me to post more recipes on the blog  - which is very flattering and most incredibly cool.
Ironically, all who have requested more recipes on the blog have expressed that they don't want "diabetes friendly," recipes - which is one of the reasons that they like my food posts.

And I totally get that. 
Personally, I don't set out to make "diabetes friendly," recipes - I set out to make foods I'm interested in eating - many of those meals are healthy - and some, not so much. 
But as long as I'm being honest, I've been known to refer to my cooking as "cookabetes," 
 1.The person cooking these meals,(me,) has diabetes 
2. You all know how much I dig a good diabetes play on words.
Anyway, here's a recipe for a really tasty roasted asparagus salad. 
Was it easy on the blood sugars? 
Yep, it was. 
But this salad was even easier on the taste buds...some might even say it was diabetesalicious~ 
I made this and it was effing amazing~
Ingredients for the Grilled Asparagus salad
Grilled Baby asparagus or regular asparagus - as much you feel like eating
and sauteed in extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic.
Lettuce that you like and will eat
Raw red and or sweet onions
Tomatoes -diced or quartered 
Sweet and spicy peppers 
Sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Ingredients For The Vinaigrette 
2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of red, white, or balsamic vinegar 
1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice 
1 or 2 tablespoons of diced raw onions - FTR, I used 2 tablespoons red onions
2 or more tablespoons of pitted and chopped kalameta olives 
3 tablespoons of crumbled french feta cheese 
Sidebar: I find French feta to be much creamier than Greek Feta and I prefer it.
 ** for those who are dairy free, Trader Joe's baked savory tofu is an excellent replacement for the feta 
1 clove of chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of honey 
1 teaspoon of dried oregano/ 3 or four stalks of fresh oregano 
1/4 a teaspoon of dried parsley - make sure you make it powder like - I think it tastes better that way
Dill to taste
Sea salt and pepper - as much or as little as you like. 

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake like you just don't care. 
Take the grilled asparagus and place on a plate of clean lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. 
Pour some dressing over the salad. 
PS: The leftover vinaigrette also tastes really good on grilled chicken. 

I don't believe that there's a lot of carbs in this salad - Personally, I bolused for 20 grams of carbs, but I also added a small italian roll to the mix - that's what the majority of my bolus went towards.
But as always, your diabetes may vary~
Hope you enjoy like it! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Corresponding With The Man In "The Diabetes Man Cave."

A few months ago on the twitter, I saw that someone named @DiabetesManCave had starting following me. 
I dug the name so I checked out the blog, The Diabetes Man Cave that said twitter feed linked to - and found the writing to be honest; straight from the heart, eye opening and a much needed addition to the diabetes blogosphere - And shared the link on twitter, Facebook and the blog

Why is The DMC so important? Because it gives men with diabetes a safe space to share/discuss diabetes complications that only men deal with. Things like, but not limited to; male infertility, erectile disfunction, retrograde ejaculation.
Things that have to be discussed, but that most men with diabetes, (and women with diabetes for that matter,) don't feel comfortable sharing with their spouses; healthcare professionals, and others living with diabetes complications. 

But we have to talk about those complications, so we can help ourselves and others. 

The Diabetes Man Cave is a place where the creator/writer (who goes under the pseudonym, Mr. DGuy,) discusses all of the above with frankness, bravery, and honesty - and encourages others to do the same.  
I was impressed with Mr, DGuy’s bravery and honesty, (as well as his frankness,) and wanted to interview him. 
I found his email address on his blog, sent him some questions. Mr. DGuy responded & gave the OK to share them with you - And that's what I'm doing. 

Kelly: You describe your blog as, " a virtual sanctuary where those of us guys living with diabetes can hopefully find a place to share our stories about what’s getting to us, from the men’s perspective."
Here's the thing - most guys don't talk - and you are, I think that's not only great, it's necessary and very needed, so thank-you so much.

Mr. DGuy: Thanks for these questions, Kelly. And for the support you've shown, and the nice comments there. I really do appreciate that.

Kelly: Speaking of talking, How did you get the courage to create a space where you could write/share what's on your mind re: diabetes issues related to men, specifically issues like ED? 

Mr. DGuy: The need to share this part of my life has been bubbling up for awhile. But I never had the courage to share this side of me with the world, because it's so very personal. Maybe I felt ashamed, embarrassed, guilty. 
Maybe it was a subconscious acceptance of society's need to classify things as taboo, TMI, hearkening back to the days when you just didn't share these things at all outside your own family and home. Whatever the reason, I just didn't do it. But I was searching, waiting, hoping that others might write something on this that I could relate to so I didn't feel so alone.

What changed? Three things happened.

In August 2014, someone stepped up and shared their story. That was Benno Schmidt, and I saw his story on Tom Karlya's blog. That planted a seed of courage and hope.

Then, My Diabetes Secret gave me a voice when I needed it. That site had been around since October 2013 and was born from a blog post Kerri Sparling had written in 2011, giving people a way to share their inner most thoughts (or secrets) but remaining anonymous. After Benno shared his story and made me think "me too," regular life carried on for a bit. 
I broke down in a particularly tough Father's Day moment and in the heat of my depression and tears, I turned to MDS and shared what I was feeling. That felt good, even if it was an overly-depressing note.

But then I realized something: I still felt alone. Hundreds of people may have read that and been nodding in agreement, or no one may have cared. 
I had no idea. And that human need to connect with others like me, that need to experience the "me too" feeling that I'd experienced in diabetes generally, and that Benno had offered me, took hold.

Some friends reminded me over the summer how many in the DOC had taken that bold step a decade ago to put themselves out there. To share their lives with the online world. They reminded me that others have done the same -- on mental health, eating disorders, wearing medical equipment, living with ALS and cancer and so much more. They took the step to start a needed conversation, and that led to others being able to say "me too" and not feel so alone, lost, ashamed.

And so, I decided to blog about it.

Kelly: How do you hope to engage your readers and get them to open up about very personal issues re: diabetes & sex - not to mention other D and non D related man stuff? 

Mr. DGuy: Well, I don't have any magical elixir to make men or anyone else share anything. No idea whether people will or won't open up. All I can do is share my own stories, and invite others to respond to that and share their own experiences or thoughts.

Comments and Twitter are probably the best ways. That's big for me -- I don't like blogs that don't allow people to comment without having their name attached. 
I am not on Facebook and will not put the Diabetes Man Cave on Facebook, because that's just too much. If others want to post links and stuff there relating to the Man Cave, so be it. That would certainly help "spread word," I'm sure, but I worry about anyone sharing their own stories there just because so many real names are attached. It's not really built for being anonymous, that Facebook.

These are such personal issues, I think even if some do open up, many won't want to put their names to what they say. That's fine by me. That's exactly how I am doing it. I think respecting the need for being anonymous sometimes is needed. If someone chooses to reveal their identity, that should be on their own terms. I respect that here, just as I hope others will respect my need to keep my name out of this. Because right now, I am not comfortable going beyond that. Will I ever? Time will tell.

Kelly: Have you found blogging about the subject to be cathartic? 
For example, does blogging about what's going on elevate some of the stress you've been dealing with know that your actually talking/blogging about it?
Have you seen a positive change in your blood sugars, your outlook, etc., since you've started sharing online? 

Mr DGuy: Yes, it does feel good to just express myself. Whether anyone's reading my words or not, figuring out how I feel and writing that down is very cathartic for me.

This also helped me organize my thoughts, expanding beyond the "this sucks and it's the worst thing ever and even worse than the world ending because it's so horrible." It's helped me see patterns and recognize what I might be failing to take action on. What can I talk to my wife and doctor about? In a lot of ways, it's me holding myself accountable. Kind of like how you look at blood sugar logs or CGM data to pinpoint how you're doing.

No, I haven't noticed any specific changes related to my sharing on the Diabetes Man Cave. Sure, my mood is OK a lot of the time, and in the past two months I haven't felt like I'm drowning in this. But that's probably more related to life than anything else. Managing blood sugars and diabetes is its own world of attention-needing headache. But in sharing this side of my life, and seeing how it's all connected to BGs and meds and mood in general, it does give me a good channel to keep tabs on how that D-side may be impacting my "in the bedroom" side.

Kelly: What's your goal regarding "The Diabetes Man Cave?" 
Mr. DGuy: Don't have a particular goal. Aside from just sharing what I need to share, and hope it's useful for anyone who needs it. Again, I felt alone and needed to get that "me too," and so maybe that's how others feel, too. So I hope that happens, if nothing else. 

Kelly: What has the response from the DOC been so far? 
Mr. DGuy: It's been great. Many have offered some very nice comments, and some have even shared their own thoughts and feelings. I think Kerri Sparling at sixuntilme.com brought a lot of attention this way for a time, and so I have to thank her for that. And I think it's been mentioned in other places, that have been nice. And you, Kelly, for being so supportive. Same goes to so many others. Everyone that I have "met" on Twitter has been nice and supportive so far.

Kelly: What do you hope HCPs (because healthcare professionals absolutely need to read your blog,) will take away from The Diabetes Man Cave? 

Mr. DGuy: That they can give great doctor advice and medical info, but many of us need more than the advice of "Take care of your BGs." There is a whole emotional and psychosocial side, and many of us need to connect with others. Not all of us with diabetes are that way, of course. And many guys probably won't share even if there is a channel or place for them. But still, some will. And I hope doctors will consider sharing that with patients who are experiencing these issues, to at least let them know it exists. From there, whether someone uses that resource or not, it's up to that person.

Kelly: What do you hope others who are dealing with the same/similar issues will take away from your blog? 

Mr. DGuy: You are not alone.

If you are feeling this way or going through these things, there are others too.

If you have a man in your life, maybe he is feeling some of these things too. And maybe he's not OK about talking about them, even admitting them to himself. Please keep that in mind.

Maybe for guys who are going through these issues, remember that even those who "don't get it" are trying to better understand and help as much as possible. We have to meet them in the middle.

Thanks for being so open and honest Mr. DGuy, and thank you for helping others to do the same~

Monday, September 14, 2015

Diabetes And Tales From The Fitting Room ~

I love clothes but I hate shopping. Specifically, I hate trying things on - most of all I hate the harsh lighting in the Fitting rooms and how I swear the mirrors are from an actual FunHouses, and not in the good way.
And FTR, I don't "hide" my pump on a daily basis, who has time for that? 
I'm proud and blessed to wear an insulin pump, but every now and then I want the clean lines of my clothes and my bodacious curves to be the focus - not my lumpy, pump - know what I mean?     
I was trying on dresses and pantsuits yesterday because nothing fit in my closet and ended up purchasing one nice pantsuit that was 50% off, plus an extra 20% off. It wasn't the pantsuit with a touch of teal pinstripe that I went bonkers over - but it was a nice suit none the less.
And with each dress/suit I tried on, I made sure that I could navigate my pump easily. 
The dresses were easy because I had the choice of clipping said pump to my trusty garter and or SPANX (and yes, I had both of them in my handbag,) and both are easy fixes.
With the pantsuits, I would clip my insulin pump to waist and give my hips a critical eye. Sometimes the jacket would cover the pump nicely and no one would be the wiser. 
Other times the jacket would cover the pump awkwardly and my hips would look freakishly uneven, no matter where I placed the pump on my waist band.

Next I’d attempt to clip the pump inside the jacket, which either: 
  1. worked really well
  2. made me look like I was the recipient of a really budget boob job 
  3. made me look like a old time gangster packing heat. 
Next stop, I’d place the pump between the actual boobs themselves - which never works for me, EVER. OK, it’s works for me when I’m wearing a bustier, but not an option this time around. 
Still, I always give the boobs the old college try, with the hopes that this time, I won’t look like I have 3 boobs. 
And of course, I did look like I had 3 boobs.
And I was getting slightly frustrated - mostly because the suit that I really wanted and was the very last one they had in that style. The one with the jacket that looked awesome no matter where I placed my insulin pump and had that awesome touch of teal pinstripe, but came with pants that were two sizes to big thanks to someone switching the bottoms out . The one that that sold out in other locations  - but I digress. 
Back to the story. 
Keep in mind that while I changed into the suits in my own dressing room, I would check myself out/play 'hide the insulin pump' in the shared, ginormous mirror in the center of the shared Fitting room.
A woman was waiting for her daughter to try on dresses for a wedding they were attending in a few weeks and was watching me flipping and switching my insulin pump in the mirror with both amusement and curiosity.  

“Do you mind if I ask you what that is,”  said the mom of the college aged daughter, as she pointed to my pump in the mirror. 

Me: Of course not, it’s my pancreas. I have diabetes and this is my insulin pump. 
Mom of College Aged Daughter: Ohhhhh, OK. So you wear it all the time? 
Me: Yep - except when I shower or swim

Mom of College Aged Daughter: That’s a real commitment to technology, it must be worth it. 

Me: It is... it really is. Thanks for the realizing that... and thanks for the reminder~  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

#tbt: Kids Say The Darndest Things - And Now She's 16!

I originally wrote this post on August 11, 2008. My niece Oliva, aka, Livvy/Oblivia was just shy of her 9th birthday back then and she was all about The Jonas brothers and Hannah Montana. 
Today, Olivia turns 16, she's taller than I am, she's still a force to be reckoned with, and Nick Jonas is no longer a teenager - he's like, a man. 
And all of a sudden I'm feeling really old. 

In honor of my amazing Sweet 16 niece - I hope you enjoy this #tbt post! 
Sending the Jonas Boys & the the folks in dBloggville kisses
So I spent the weekend with my 8-year-old Niece Livvy, (sometimes called Olivia or O-blivia, depends on my mood - and hers) who will be 9 in September. 

She flew in from the “wild west” with my brother, (her Dad) to visit the family.  To put it mildly, Livvy is a pistol: A.K.A., a piece of work, a TOTAL TRIP. 
She’s turning 9 in September, but I’d say she’s really 8 and 11 months going on 17. Very hip, very funny, and dare I say, quite the Tweener in training! 
We went to dinner, and the beach, where she showed off her expert boogie boarding skills. She was quite the pro for a girl born in the Mountains. 
We played with Photo Phone Booth on my MAC (you're actually seeing a very small portion of the photos in this post), and went to Lucy The Elephant & sat a top her howdah. 
We actually named the freckles on one another's faces - she has 5 and I have around 100 - all named Livvy.

I introduced her to Mad TV, which sh
e now loves – sorry mom & dad, good comedy has no age limits!
We had lots of girl talk, which mostly involved Livvy talking about her favorite Singers and crushes. She knows every Hannah Montana episode/song verbatim and is a HU
GE FAN of The Brothers Jonas! We spent way too much time looking those boys up on the Internet, and Livvy actually taught me who was who.

To quote my darling O-blivia:

“Nick is the cute and sensitive one and he 
has diabetes (like you Kel,) - He even wrote a song about diabetes. He was in the movie Camp Rock! He is my favorite and I love him. 

Joe is the cute funny one. Joe is the star of the movie Camp Rock! He is the middle kid and he’s too old for me to love. He also looks like my cousin Anton.

Kevin is the cute romantic one. Kevin is the oldest. He is also too old for me to love. He was in the movie Camp Rock!


Like I said, LIVVY IS A TRIP.

Liv was also very interested in learning about all things diabetes. She knew it ran in our family, and that her favorite JB had been diagnosed with it as well.

Liv: Can diabetes be cured?

Me: Nope. 

Liv:  I thought the insulin in your pump fixed it.

Me: The insulin in my pump I take is to survive, but the organ in my body that makes insulin (the pancreas)  doesn’t work. That part that is supposed to make insulin, (The Islet of Langerhans) is damaged & doesn't work anymore.
I have to inject hourly with my pump and change the site ev
ery few days. I also take my blood sugar’s all the time, like when we had our treats earlier and when we have dinner later.

Liv: Kelly, will I get diabetes someday?

Me: I don’t know, I hope not. It runs in the family, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get it.
Liv: Oh, so you mean it’s ‘in the genes', like our sense of humor and my red hair?

Me: Yes, exac
tly (OK, on a side note, "It's in the genes" is family saying regarding both diabetes and our occasional flakiness - obviously this kid has a mind like a steal trap - she forgets nothing!) How’d you get so smart?

Liv: Me? Oh, I know a guy… But what if I do get diabetes Kel?

Me: Then you’ll deal with it every day 24 X 7, wear your pump, take your blood sugars, and have a great life. Diabetes or not, someone is always worse off that you. 

Liv: Yeah, my friend had cancer! But he’s OK now. And we’re keeping our fingers crossed – toes to. 
So you and Nick Jonas both have t1 Diabetes? WOW.

Me: Yeah, so do somewhere between 1.7 million to 3 million other folks.

Liv: WOW. Hey, Do you know him? I’M JOKING Kel.

Me: No, I know of him – I’M TOTALLY SERIOUS Liv.

Now, I’m sure this comes as no shock to you, but Livvy is a total Disney Channel freak. Which means that we spent a lot of time watching Hannah Montana and using the “On Demand” feature to watch Hannah Montana AGAIN AND AGAIN. Livvy would act out each scene for my viewing pleasure. I don’t “get” the Hannah Montana thing, and I told her so. She still thought she could convert me, and I let her try. 

Ironically about an hour after our JB conversation, while watching the dreaded d (Disney) channel, we were privy to a behind the scenes Rockumentry about The Jonas Brothers.

They actually featured a good bit of time on Nicks Diabetes. 
Viewers watched Nick take his blood sugar - his target range is 178, but he’d been 400 earlier in the day. Personally, I liked the fact that they showed the blood sugar roller coaster ride, especially among hormonal teens. From what the parents in dblogville have taught me, blood sugars and hormones make for a bumpy ride at times.
NJ also showed us his “Pod,” (Omni Pod must have LOVED THAT) and talked about counting carbs and taking blood sugars in between sets.

The Jonas family was also interviewed about dealing with Nick’s diabetes. It was really quite good documentary - and very interesting.
Many a citizen of dBlogville has written about The Brothers J – Nick in particular, and all of us in dBlogville know that Nick wrote a song about diabetes, “A Little Bit Longer”.
My Livvy knew every word and sang along – VERY PROFESSIONALLY, AND VERY LOUDLY. She also kept saying (VERY LOUDLY) “This song’s about diabetes Kel, LISTEN…LISTEN! KELLY THIS SONG IS SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE…. LISTEN” 

So I did. 

Near the end of the program, Nick was backstage, talking to children with diabetes, slapping them “5,” shaking hands, & telling them it would be “OK.” Then, he gave them each a p
Now, I’m not sure if they were special t1 Jonas Brother pins, or just JB pins in general, but I’m sure those kids were shaking in their boots. Livvy was, and she was watching in her grandmother’s living room.The kids backstage all wore insulin pumps, they all loved Nick, and one little boy who was spoke for the group said, ‘ Nick inspired them regarding their diabetes.’ 

I have to say, I was impressed how open he was regarding diabetes, & how he took the time to explain his daily routine, etc. But what really impressed me was how strongly the children with diabetes reacted to him. I’ve never been on the Hannah Montana bandwagon, but I’ll tell you what folks. l give the Jonas family a lot of street cred for spreading the word about the Big D, and I’m not talking Disney.
Musically, I like the song he wrote regarding diabetes, and yes, those boys can put on a show
And while I am in no way the caliber fan that Liv is, I do respect Nick as a Diabetic spreading the word, and the Jonas brothers as performers who are blessed that they get to do what they love, daily.

The doc was over and we needed to get ready for dinner. 
Neither one of us moved off the couch, and Livvy had her arm around me and her head on my shoulder.

Kel,” she said and looked up at me smiling with her big hazel eyes and pretty smile.’

”Yes, O-blivia.”

“If I do get Diabetes (I mean I really don’t want to get it,) but if I do Kel, IT’S OK. I mean, you and Nick have it, and you guys are doing great. It could always be worse. I told you my friend had cancer.”

Me: looking her square in those big hazel eyes: “That’s a great attitude Livvy, but I’m hoping and praying you never have too deal with Diabetes – EVER.

Livvy: “Me too. I love you Kel & I miss not seeing you!!!!!
Me: I love you too O-blivia….And I miss you something awful!!!!!

Livvy: Now, let me tell you about Hannah Montana, Kel….

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Life Isn't Perfect & Diabetes Is A Fickle Bitch

This past Friday through Monday morning, my diabetes not only behaved, it was damn near perfect. Perfect numbers to match a perfect last summer weekend. 
NEWSFLASH: Life isn’t perfect and diabetes is a fickle bitch. 

Monday morning started simply enough. I woke up with a 140 blood sugar an 9 units left  of insulin in my reservoir. I put in a fresh reservoir, bolused for and drank some coffee, then headed out to get my gentle stretch yoga on. 
2 hours later I walked in the house with a blood sugar of 95 and feeling all types of groovy. 

And then slowly, like the amusement ride called Free Fall, a ride I loved and feared as a child and despise as an adult, my numbers started to rise and wouldn’t come down. 
120 - no big deal. 150 - I’d just had lunch so that was cool. 200, 190, 233, 250, 200,249, 270, all the way up to 293. 
No last day of summer fun for me - and no matter how many correction boluses I did or new infusions sites I put in (two,) my numbers wouldn’t budge.

My numbers were shit and I felt terrible. I ate few crackers and a slice of cheese for dinner and drank club soda for the rest of night. 
At 11 pm, I called it a day, and only after my blood sugar had fallen from 290 to 240 and I felt safe to go to bed. 
I woke up at 1:26 am with a filled bladder and a blood sugar of 226. 
I gave myself a correction bolus of 1.7 units, peed like a race horse and went back to bed. 

I woke up at 6:45 am, Tuesday with 20 units lift in my reservoir and a 247 blood sugar. 
I changed out my site again and switched out my reservoir for yet another new one - eating the 20 units of precious insulin in the process. 
I bolused for a cup of coffee and a correction, showered and left the house with a blood sugar of 199. 
I ate a protein bar and went about my business  - I had a busy week and quite frankly, 
I needed to get shit done. 
And I was getting shit done - until 11ish am, when my blood sugar started to fall fast and once again mimicking that damn Free Fall. Except instead of rising to the heavens, my Diabetes Free Fall ride was crashing fast and heading to hell and I couldn’t keep up with it. 
I’d just left Staples and was shoving a kindbar in my mouth, trying to prevent the crash and it wasn't kicking in fast enough, for my liking. 
I made it to my car and sat in the drivers seat, phone in one hand, glucose tabs in another, meter next to me - and tried to remain calm. 
My meter said I was 65, but I knew I wasn’t. I was sweating and shaking. I stared at the medical ID bracelet on my wrist and I was grateful - If something were to happen, at least they’d know I had diabetes. 

5 glucose tabs later. I got out of my car and walked to the Pizza shop next to the Staples. 
I felt unsteady on my feet - and as I pulled the handle on the door, I felt my body tilt to one side - a weird slow tilt - and for a split second, the door handle suddenly looked sideways. I walked through the door, went to the drink fridge. grabbed a Nantucket Lemonade and started to drink it. I went to the cashier, gave her the three dollars without blinking an eye or uttering a word. I was starting to feel like myself again - a tired, sweaty version of myself. 
I sat in my car for another 25 minutes, taking little sips of lemonade - at 55 grams of carbs I didn’t want to gulp the bottle down and deal with high blood sugars later.  
Finally, I put the key in the ignition when my meter flashed 91 on the screen. 
And as I was driving I started to cry. 

I cried because I was angry and frustrated and I cried because for the first time in a long time, diabetes had kicked me so damn hard I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get back up. 
When I got home, I sat at my desk and tried my best to get on with my day - but the feeling of diabetes defeat wouldn’t leave my side. I chatted briefly online with a few doc friends about it -but kept the fact that I’d been so scared to myself. 
My numbers didn’t go above 150 for the rest of the afternoon. And at 4pm, I shut my laptop down, called it a day, crawled into bed and took a nap. 
 And for most of last night, I kept thinking about diabetes getting the best of me. 
I kept telling myself that THIS wasn’t a daily occurrence and that we, every single person living with diabetes, have days like this - and I know that to be true. 

Each of us have days and moments where diabetes does get the best of us - And I needed to accept that - and I usually do. 
But for some reason, it was really hard to accept this time... because I don’t want diabetes to get the best of me - I don’t want diabetes to fucking win.
I don’t want diabetes to have the upper hand. I don't want diabetes to take moments and any more people away from me who I love, and I don’t want diabetes to take me away from the people I love or the life I want to live. 

And every once in a while - after something like this happens, deep down inside I'm afraid that diabetes will.

 The past 24 hours with diabetes had been a rough ride. Now, the ride was over, the park was closed and I'm glad to get on with the business of living.

And today? Today is going really well. Today is going great