Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What Happened When I Unintentionally Gave Up Caffeine/Coffee for Two Weeks

I swear this story is related to living with diabetes - At least part of it is~
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Same coloring, logo in the same place. OK, now I see the word DECAF.
But when I make my coffee, I normally just grab the bag, measure out my life in coffee spoons and be done with it. Also: See what I did there ;)  
I didn't intentionally plan to give up coffee for almost two weeks on purpose. Nope, that's not how I roll -I REQUIRE my morning coffee. 
It happened by mistake and FTR, I blame Starbucks packaging more than I blame myself. 
Backstory: 
A month ago, CVS had Starbucks 1 pound bags on sale for $6.99 instead of the normal $10.99 a bag. I dig Starbucks coffee, I love a bargain and I had 5 CVS Bucks burning a hole in my pocket so I bought 4 bags. JACKPOT. 
I emptied out the first bag within two weeks time and opened a fresh bag O'Joe two weeks ago.
I'd just returned from Northern California and I was dealing with jet lag and the tail end of wicked sinus infection, so I chalked up my extreme tiredness/feeling both spacey and bitchier then normal and for no reason, demeanor to jet lag and sinuses. 
I even mentioned to a friend last week that I felt like I'd been running on decaf as of late.
Cut to this morning when I took a really good look at the bag of coffee I was pouring into my coffee maker and realized that it was actually decaf instead of whole caf. 
FTR: I usually prep my coffee the night before, but not last night.
And then I was like: Well shit, no wonder I've been feeling like crap! And this totally explains why I've been  feeling both spacey and bitchy at the same time, the headaches & feeling like I've been walking around on decaf all day! 
SHOCKER - I had been. 
Also, damn you Starbucks graphics department for making your regular/decaf packaging look ridiculously similar to one another!  
So what did I learn about this whole experience? 
1. I'm not zippy in the morning until I have my two cups of coffee - I only need 2 cups a day, but I need them. 
2. Decaf doesn't do it for me, but Starbucks Breakfast Blend Decaf is pretty tasty.
3. Caffeine is a drug and caffeine withdrawal is a bitch. And in all seriousness and sincerity, I thank God I don't have a more serious addiction.  
4. I slept better. But I was constantly wanting to take a nap because I was super tired and sluggish and I had a continual headache. 
FTR: I'm not a person who gets a lot of headaches. 
5. The skin on my face was slightly less dry - I think.
6. Diabetes wise, and this is the real kick-in-the-pants part of it all: I didn't find that my blood sugars were better mid morning because I'd unknowing switched myself to decaf. 
As a matter of fact, there were more than a few unexplained mid morning spikes that I couldn't account for. 
Hell, you'd think if I was going to drink decaf, maybe my numbers might be better?! 

Anyway, I rectified the situation as soon as I realized what I'd done & I'm feeling all sorts of zippy today. Seriously man, it's like #Imrunningwithscissors!!

I  even without finishing  my second cup of fully loaded java, I still felt great and plowed through the day.

Did some good come out of it? Yeah.... but for the most part I felt craptastic during the whole "learning experience." 
So live and and take the lessons learned, but for God sakes make sure you don't buy decaf by mistake!   

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Diabetesalicious Lite: Stuff

My latest Post is up over at Suite D and it's all about living on your own with diabetes. Some people with diabetes ( or parents who have college age/now grownup children with diabetes) are fearful of their chicks flying the nest. 
I get that, but millions of PWDs, including myself live on their own and are doing well. 
I wrote about what’s worked for me when it comes to living on my own with d and I hope you’ll check it out!  
The #bigbluetest: There’s only ONE day left to do the #Bigbluetest, (the lest day is November 19th,) so PLEASE take the BIG BLUE TEST as many times as you can! 
Speaking of the #BigBlueTest, BrainPickings has a really beautiful essay about David Thoreau and the spiritual side of walking. READ IT.  
Bolus Worthy Treats made by a Baker who actually boluses:  A while back I discovered Keep It Real Foods, Inc., on twitter. Correction, I discovered keepitrealfoods.com 's creator, Katie Coleman (@KatieColemanT1D) on Twitter. 

Katie makes beyond amazing/bolus worthy treats and she gets the whole carb thing because she has a busted pancreas. Katie sent me the gluten free  Cocoa Nibs and Peanut Butter Cookies and they made my knees buckle, they were so good! 
2 Cocoa Nibs cookies have 12 grams of carbs and two grams of fiber while 2 peanut butter cookies have 14 grams of carbs and two grams of fiber. Also: the seed and nut bars are REALLY GOOD.  Follow Katie on Twitter & checkout her site!  
Options & Being Heard.  Received a press release from YourCareMoments.com, a website that’s reaching out to provide patients with chronic illnesses the opportunity to register anonymously ( as in you DO NOT need to provide your name, address, social security numbers, etc.,) for paid online surveys re: the chronic illness experience at the doctors office, pharmacy, etc.
Surveys aren't mandatory, but you do have to register to take surveys in order to receive payments, which range between $3 & $15, and are deposited through paypal. Not a huge amount, but that could change. The surveys are short (one to three minutes in length,) and they add up. 
Something different: Yourcaremoments provides you with a contact name: Keith Olsen/contact emailcontact@yourcaremoments.com in case you have questions. 
Who actually buys/uses the data? Exactly who you think. Companies whose clients/end users are patients. Healthcare companies and pharma. 

Finally, there’s a GREAT article on Today.com called, “ 15 Ways To Take Care of Yourself While Caring For A Loved One,” and I highly suggest that anyone who has an aging parent, a spouse or a child with a chronic illness not only read, it take the advice given in the post. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

World Diabetes Day 2014: Please Remember That YOU. ARE. AMAZING.


On This World Diabetes Day - I want to take a moment and tell you that YOU ARE AMAZING. 
If you are a person with diabetes or love a person with diabetes - YOU ARE EFFING AMAZING. 
Diabetes isn’t easy to live with or easy to deal with.  
Diabetes is hard work, both emotionally an physically - And the work never ends.
I know there are moments when you think that no one is paying attention to all your hard work and struggles and I totally “get it.” 
But I’m also here to tell you that it’s not true, because the people who have walked a mile (and many cases, decades) in your shoes understand who you are, where you’ve been and where you're coming from regarding your life with diabetes. 
And in those moments when you feel alone in your diabetes life, remember that you are far from alone. Remember that every single one of is in the Diabetes Online Community is there for you. 
We are there for you when diabetes tries bring you down, and we are there for you to celebrate all your diabetes victories, big and small. And we are incredibly grateful that you are here to do the same for us!
You, yes I’m talking to you! You are magnificent, amazing and fantastical in all dimensions, regardless of your current blood sugar and in every shade of blue and beyond!
YOU. ARE. AMAZING. 
And I love you, and I’m incredibly grateful to have you on my team and in my life & I’m so happy to celebrate World Diabetes Day, aka, Dr. Banting’s Birthday with you! 
Xoxo

Kelly K~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Diabetesalicious-Lite: The Day Before World Diabetes Day 2014, Edition ~

World Diabetes Day, 2014 is tomorrow an if you're feeling overwhelmed, I TOTALLY GET IT.  
There’s stuff coming at us at all angles during the entire month of November and living with diabetes is more 365 days a year. So take a breath and then a beat, wear blue for Blue Fridays and rock on! 
While your at it, you can still send a world Diabetes Day postcard, even in the spirit of the WDD Postcard Exchange! 
Let's not forget that the date of World Diabetes Day, (November 14,) celebrates a man who saved millions of lives! Happy Birthday Dr. Banting - I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! 
On World Diabetes Day, there's a World Diabetes Day 24 hour Twitter Chat/Marathon, and yes, I will absolutely be participating in it & will be hosting the noon to 1 pm slot and tweeting my questions from my @diabetesalish handle.
You can read about the chat, (and is the brainchild of DCaf,) in more detail,  HERE.  
Also, here's the breakdown of the 24 hour WDD Twitter Chat/Marathon schedule re: time slots, hosts, topics & twitter handles. And don't forget to follow the #WDDChat14 hashtag!
FYI: #insulin4all, let’s not forget to put the WORLD back in #WDD.
There's also a World Diabetes Day Photo Scavenger Hunt - Check it out!
Today at 1pm EST, 10 am PT, tudiabetes is hosting a chat on Physical Activity & Diabetes, presented by the American Diabetes Association and The National Diabetes Education program. I have no doubt it will be a good one!  
Speaking of tudiabetesdon't forget to get your Big Blue Test on as many times as you can by November 20th Not only will you be helping yourself, you'll be helping others in the process! 

Beyond WDD: 
I received a press release from JDRF this week re: a workshop that was held by JDRF last month, here  healthcare experts from government, nonprofit agencies and educational institutions discussed expanding the definition of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) to recognize the earliest stages of human T1D before a person is considered clinically symptomatic. 
The potential big benefits of expanding the definition of T1D could include faster drug development and identification of people living with the early stages of T1D, which could in turn lead to better treatments for people and families at high risk for T1D through screening. Check it out: http://jdrf.org/blog/2014/its-time-to-redefine-type-1-diabetes/
And Finally, file the following under: Navigating the Open Enrollment process with a little help from your friends~
The American Diabetes Association has  two updated fact sheets on the Health Insurance Marketplaces available at: www.diabetes.org/HealthInsuranceMarketplaces  to help you navigate the open enrollment process.
FTR: Open Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplaces (Marketplace) starts November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015. During this time, individuals and or families can shop for health insurance coverage and purchase/change plans.  Individuals CANNOT be denied coverage or charged more because they have a pre-existing condition, including diabetes and those who are eligible can get financial assistance to help pay for a plan purchased in the Marketplace. 

Lastly, have you noticed the cost of your generic drugs skyrocketing? 
If you have, you're not alone! And ye, it's total bullish*t!
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/generic-drug-prices-skyrocketing/

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

#Insulin4all


Insulin saves the lives of people living with Type 1 Diabetes. 
It's not a luxury, it's a life saving necessity. 
But not every person who requires insulin around the globe is able to access insulin, easily.
Almost 100 years after the discovery of insulin, people around the globe are still struggling to get insulin. 
That's wrong. Very wrong. 
This year, The Access Alliance created a Tumblr account focusing on the realities of people having limited access the tools of the diabetes trade that are used to save lives.  
Tools including; insulin,diabetes technology, and diabetes education. 
The tagline for the campaign is: Put The World Back In World Diabetes Day. #insulin4all
Checkout the tumblr account and submit your own picture or poster and follow/use the #insulin4all hashtag on twitter. 
I'm all for any and all campaigns that educate the public, right diabetes wrongs,   #sparearose and any and all forms of help for people PWDs who need it! 
We are in this together and someone else's struggle obtaining insulin might very well be our struggle tomorrow. So lets change things now!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dear DOC: Today Marks 7 Years of Diabetes Blogging. THANK-YOU



Dear DOC : 
Today marks 7 years that I’ve been blogging about living with diabetes and I honestly, 
I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it’s only been 7 years since I started writing about my life with diabetes.  
Sidebar: Thank-you, Halle.   
By taking that leap into blogging and the online world, I've found an amazing community that has changed my life for the better.
Blogging has given me a community whose citizens I consider friends who are family. 
And this amazing community continues to be there for me - through the good, the bad, and the diabetesaliciousness of it all. 
Because of you I’ve found my voice and my passion, and I've developed a better understanding of myself...and of others. 
YOU taught me to listen and learn form others stories and experiences in life, and life with diabetes. 

Thank you for always inspiring, supporting and teaching me. 
Thank you for me making me smile and allowing me to cry. 
Thanks for encouraging me and giving me a helping hand whenever I’ve been in need of one. 

And thank you for continually challenging me to become a better version of myself. 
In return, I hope that I’ve somehow done the same for you.

I love you, I’m grateful for you and I will always fight for you and have your back. 
Thank you for having mine. 

Together as a community we move mountains - alone we trudge up hills. 
And as always, we are in this together.

I love you guys so flipping much!
Xoxo

k2 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bitch Low: The Aftermath

Tuesday night around 6:40ish I crawled into my bed because I felt like I’d just been run over by a truck. 

I was exhausted and tired and if I could have gone to bed for the rest of the night right then and there, I would have. Of course I couldn’t, because who the hell goes to bed at 20 minutes to seven? Not this girl! 
I curled up under the covers, closed my eyes, tried to chill and thought about the “why.”  

1.5 hours earlier, while on the phone, I had what I can only describe as a Bitch Low. 
One of those lows that literally comes out of nowhere, beats you up and leaves you feeling like you’ve been physically and mentally beat up in its wake.

As the person on the other end of the phone talked, the familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach that strikes me just as my blood sugar plummets, made itself known and I started to sweat. 
I looked around for something quiet to eat, because I didn’t want chew and crunch into the phone. 
I should have just ended the phone call, but I didn’t. 
OK, I refused to end the call. I didn’t want diabetes or the Bitch Low to win. 

I spied glucose tabs in my handbag, but they were too crunchy. 
Right next to the glucose tabs were three fun size, 3 Musketeers bars in a ziplock bag. 
Fluffy, chocolately and 3  bars equaled 34 carbs. Yep, I could work with that.    
I wolfed each bar in less than 3 bites, poured myself a few shots of juice and watched the minutes tick by, and all while doing my damnedest to participate in the phone conversation.  
Finally I said something like,"Well, I’ll let you go....,"  and ended the call. 
Then I made a beeline for the kitchen and downed two tablespoons of honey, followed by vanilla almond milk. 
 I was eating like there was no tomorrow because even though I didn’t check my blood sugar, I knew it was a really low one.
20 minutes later my blood sugar was 90 and still felt wobbly. Cut to an hour later when my blood sugar was 138 and I was wiped out.  
I’d had plans of making a good dinner, but the thought of actually doing anything was no longer appealing -  and I wasn’t hungry. 

Bitch Lows don’t happen to me very often and I’m incredibly grateful for that, because I hate them. I hate how drained I feel after. And I'm glad this one occurred at home.  
And while it knocked me down, it hadn't knocked me out. 


I was beginning to drift off, when my phone rang a little after 7. 

I was still feeling spacey and tired but I was happy to see a familiar name flash on the screen, so I picked up and said hello. 

My blood sugar was holding study at 143 and whileI was still a little rough for the wear, I'd won this round. 
Diabetes Bitch: 2
Bitch Low: 1