Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I've been so busy this past week! I was at camp on Wednesday and realized how much I enjoy being outside doing physical labor. I shoveled mulch, water proofed a dock, and tilled a big garden. I also ate the best meals, let alone camp meals. Everything was homemade and laden with everything I shouldn't be eating. When the director told me how much butter was in the mashed potatoes (ooo, that's not really a part of the south beach diet is it?!) I just laughed and said "well, it's good I don't eat like this everyday!" On the drive back into the city that night I started to realize how hard I'd worked... I ached for several days. Who knew about those forearm muscles!

I also went home this weekend and stayed with my sister. I got to wake up at 6:30 every morning to the sounds of my nephew, Sage, happily running through the house. I bought him a tray of brightly colored blocks (I remember playing with blocks just like them as a kid) to play with. He liked it when I stacked them up and he could kick them down and yell 'ka-boom!' I think I took about 50 pictures of him this weekend.

I got back Sunday night and yesterday my roommates and I grilled in the backyard with friends. I diligently applied sunscreen but somehow managed to miss my entire left arm (I did get the shoulder though). So now I have one red arm that stops right below my shoulder. Classy.

I've been happy with how my blood sugar has been throughout this all. It's always a challenge to travel, eating food you don't normally eat, or trying to find something, anything to eat while driving. I hate fast food (I recommend reading Fast Food Nation) so I tried to bring a bunch of food with me this time. It worked pretty well. I still had a couple spikes in my blood sugar into the low 200's after a couple strange meals, but was pretty good overall.

Kerri- Here is a top five list for your game:

Top five bands that are currently getting the most play on my iPod:
1. The Decemberists
2. Andrew Bird
3. Iron and Wine
4. The Hold Steady
5. Mountain Goats

Top five things that may lead people to believe I'm a bit crazy:
1. I don't really like ice cream.
2. Personal Bubble: If someone, anyone, touches me without me knowing they are going to, I flinch. Not just a little flinch, a BIG, shrinking away flinch accompanied by an angry glare. I blame this on my brother for snapping towels at me when we were growing up.
3. Frozen Liver Sticks: My mom used to feed these to my siblings and I when we were growing up. She claimed it helped with teething. When I tell people this they are so disgusted they think I'm lying. I never eat liver anymore.
4. I like going to the dentist because I love how clean my teeth feel afterwards.
5. I was in marching band in high school and really really liked it. I played the trumpet.

Most recent movie I've loved: Motorcycle Diaries
Most recent book I've loved: assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. (And anything by Augusten Burroughs!) Any book I read that's been written by her or David Sedaris, I can't help but read with their voices (in my head of course). I saw David Sedaris speak in Iowa City a few years ago and loved his voice.

Ah! That's it for now! I like that game!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Pleasant Surprise

I went to my gym on Friday after work to do some weight training. I haven't weighed myself since my last doctor visit about 3 weeks ago. I weighed 150, the top of my ideal weight. I decided to find out how well my revised South Beach diet was working. After two weeks of eating far less carbohydrates, but still eating fruit and some whole grains everyday, I had lost 5 pounds! After about a year of not being able to drop a pound, it's pretty exciting. What's really great is that I have only had a couple lows (60s) in the past two weeks, where as before I was having a low almost once a day.

This week will go by fast at work. Tomorrow I get to go to camp! The nonprofit I work for owns and runs a camp in Wisconsin and twice a year we get to go out and help prepare it for the summer. Nothing like cheap labor! But it should be a good break from sitting at the computer all day. Then after work on Thursday I'll be driving home to visit my family. I get to see my nephew/god son, which I'm so excited about! He's 17 months old and has more energy than any child I've ever seen. My sister told me that yesterday, while visiting my mom and dad, he just ran around the block, over and over. I guess I won't have to worry about missing my workout next weekend. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

After the fact

I just read Sandra's post about deciding on a pump for her son Joseph. It made me think about all the things that came after I'd made the decision to pump. The little things that I'd never even thought about before I had started using it.

Let me list a few that I've encountered so far:

- Shirts & Pants: I never thought about how clipping the pump onto my pants would actually affect what clothes I bought. Shirts lay funny. Do I buy a big shirt that covers it? Or do I figure out how to tuck the back part of my shirt behind the pump? Do I have to wear a belt all the time? Because when I don't some of my pants didn't have sturdy enough waists to hold the pump up, dragging them down a bit too far.

- People's response to it: Okay, I did think about this before hand. I figured people would see this thing, and see a tube coming out of it and immediately ask questions. Turns out NO person that I've met has asked me what it is. Nope, they all think I'm some big nerd that thinks she's important enough to wear a gigantic pager. At a party a while back, I had a guy grab onto it and say "what's the deal with the pager!?". I was so shocked that someone actually had the nerve to touch it! Don't you know how important this is to me! You can NOT touch that! Oh, wait. You have no idea what this is. I told him and he was really embarrassed.

- Obstacle: People usually know how big their body is. They can determine whether or not they can squeeze through a shelf and, let's say, a shopping cart. Oh! Not anymore! While my body can fit, you can be sure that I'll forget about my pump and end up knocking things off the shelf or getting stuck on the cart. That happened to me again yesterday.

- Dating: Okay, I'm lying again. I thought about this. But I thought in terms of serious, long term relationships. Of course when I get into a serious relationship I will tell my partner all about it! He'll be so wonderful and understanding! But, until that happens, I'll date. Because that apparently comes before the long term relationship. Go figure. So how do I introduce this fact? How do I explain diabetes and my pump? I dated a guy for a short time this fall, and as we started to get intimate one night, I asked him if my insertion site was going to bother him at all, explaining that I will detach the pump. He was fine with it asking only for reassurance that it 'wouldn't fall out or anything'. No no. It won't fall out.

It's such a special little pump. I still like it despite all these faults.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nice Guy

We had some friends over last night for some drinks. One of my friends, Mike, is a type 1 and on the pump. He was diagnosed at age 6 and is now 25 I believe. When I was diagnosed my brother sent me his email (I didn't know him at the time). So we corresponded a little bit before I moved back to the Midwest. The first time I met him in person, he comes up to me and starts patting around my waist, finally landing his hand on my pump. Besides being shocked (I have a pretty big personal bubble), it really made me laugh and somehow feel included. Mike knew exactly where it was. He knew exactly what it was. That was so comforting.

Anyway, last night he apologized for not being able to hang out with us the past weekend. His parent's friends just found out that their young son (11ish I think)is a type 1 and Mike's parents offered to have him come over and have a 'diabetic dinner' together. So Mike was busy on a Friday night having a healthy dinner with a scared 11 year old, trying to show him that things would be fine. He's such a sweet guy.

What's strange when I hang out with him is that I hear his pump. The variety of beeps that my pump produces are ingrained in my head to make me react. *beep BEEP beep* Always brings me to attention. So to hear that noise when I'm not doing anything with my pump makes me nervous. And I always have to check to make sure it's not low battery/resevoir, pump failure etc. And then we smile in acknowledgement that we are the only two people in the room to even notice that noise, let alone react so immediately to it.

Friday, May 13, 2005

An off topic Friday post

There are just so many things happening in my life that sometimes days pass and I don't think about my diabetes too much. I do the basics: check the blood sugar, exercise, bolus etc. But it sometimes just blends right into my regular life and I almost forget about it.

This past week I had several things happen that are keeping my mind busy. I spoke to an old high school friend that I'm close with. Her husband is a police officer and is now fully trained as a sniper. Yes, he will get called out to perch on rooftops with his sniper gun aimed precisely. I know both her and her husband well, since we were children, and this terrifies me. I can't imagine how she feels.

I found out yesterday that my boss will be hiring a new employee in our department. I share a room with my boss, but it has three desks. So soon we'll have one more person. Oh how I wish I could sit in on the interviews and judge them based purely on personality! I sound awful, but I will have to deal with this person everyday so I'm crossing my fingers that my boss hires someone I will be able to tolerate. And it's exciting, because maybe I'll really like and enjoy their company. I'm crossing my fingers.

My brother's good friend from college just got engaged last night. Now his two closest friends are or will soon be married. My brother has been dating his girlfriend over about 1.5 years. Will this lead him to think about marriage? Is he already thinking about it? Will he end up moving in with his girlfriend soon? I enjoy living with my brother and having him in the city. He's a great friend too me and while I like his girlfriend, I know how much things will change once he moves out/gets engaged/gets married.

And to bring this all down to a trivial level, I'm excited about going to a party this weekend. I know that a really cute guy, who I have only spoken with briefly a couple times, will be there. I haven't been interested in anyone for months now, so it's exciting to think about. Will we having anything to talk about? Is he even remotely interested in me? Do I have any cute clothes to wear? Will he notice my pump? How on earth does one bring up their diabetes in a new relationship? Will I end up going into my explaining mode and ruin any chemistry? And then I think that if someone is turned off by my diabetes, I certainly will loose any interest in that person. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Will he even remember my name?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Fabulous numbers

So it's only been since Monday morning that I've been eating in the 'south beach' way. (I hate using the word diet. ) I haven't weighed myself, and I don't care too terribly much. But what I have noticed is that my blood sugars are fabulous. I haven't gone over 135, but most importantly I haven't gone below 75. My random, afternoon lows that I get if I don't eat something around 3:30 have not happened. It's almost ridiculous how inline I have been. I haven't been strictly following the phase 1 or phase 2. It's kind of a mix. I still have some fruit and a bit of whole grains, but I'm surprised by how full I am after my lunch of veggies and hummus. Anyway, my level blood sugar was something I wasn't quite expecting, or wasn't expecting to this extreme. But I don't mind!

I was reading some interesting things on the Joslin site yesterday. I wanted to find out how likely it is that my siblings could get diagnosed with type 1, or my nephew, or my children(if and when I have any!). My two sisters and one brother have a 1 in 10 chance, since they have the same genes that I do. I found out that women are less likely to pass type 1 on to their children than men. More specifically : "On the other hand, if the mother has type 1 and is age 25 or younger when the child is born, the risk is reduced to 1 in 25 (4 percent) and if the mother is over age 25, the risk drops to 1 in 100 — virtually the same as the average American." I sent this information on to my parents and, of course, my mom's reply was "So glad to hear that a “future-prospective-grandchild” has such good odds." She's so cute when she's not driving me crazy. :)

Well, it's raining outside, which means the kickball team I play on that has games on Wednesday night will probably be cancelled. This means everyone will end up just meeting at the bar we go to. I'll have to start convincing myself now that I really don't want to order the $1.50 special of a hamburger and french fries. mmm. French Fries... (ps. yes, I am 24 and play on an adult kickball team! It's so much fun attempting to throw and kick a big, bouncy red rubber ball!)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Lovely Doctor

As I was getting home from work on Friday I got a call on my cell phone from a number I didn't recognize. I answered and it was my endocrinologist calling with my lab results. (First off, let me just say how impressed I am that my doctor makes personal phone calls to his patients!) He said my a1c is 5.7 (last time it was 5.6). He also said that my c-peptide was 1.5, which isn't good enough to go off insulin and just take oral medication, but is still better than a diabetic who is out of the honeymoon phase. Again, I need to read up on this so I understand it better. All in all it was good news.

I think I'm going to try out my own version of the South Beach diet. I've read a little bit about it and the first two weeks you are supposed to eat no carbohydrates. Um, I don't think I can do that! But I can definitely cut down on excess carbohydrates. I won't cut out fruit though. Makes no sense to me that the fresh pinneapple I bought this weekend could in some way make me gain weight. I have a co-worker that's going to let me borrow her book so I can read through it and see what I think will work for me. I won't get dramatic results, but hopefully I can devise a diet that is healthy and also allows me to drop about 10 pounds.

I got a message from Violet from Pumplandia (i'll add you to my links today!) about going over the glucagon shot with my roommates. I live with my 27 year old brother and a friend of his from college. I've sat down with both of them and shown them the glucagon kit. I've made an emergency note that's posted on our bulliten board that goes through what to do if I start acting really bizarre. It's really reasuring to know that it's my brother that would be there in the event that I needed help. When we are out during the weekend he is always there to pester me with 'have you checked your blood sugar lately?' or to crack a joke about my 'gear'. So, as far as feeling comfortable with my roommates and their knowledge about what to do, I feel pretty good.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Snack cookie

Here is the recipe for those cookies that I had mentioned.

12 Tbsp (3/4 cup) peanut butter
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups cornflakes

Mix peanut butter, honey and cornstarch.

Form into balls, about 1 Tbsp size and roll in crushed cornflakes.

Flatten balls with a tumbler and chill

Quantity 1 dozen
Serving size 1 cookie - 13 grams carbohydrates
4 grams of protein
8 grams of fat

Nervous visit

I went to my appointment yesterday and came out feeling nervous. My doctor and I went over my meter print out and I guess I'm having too many lows. Everything else is in line but he's worried, since I'm on such a small amount of insulin, that I could go too low quite easily. He pointed out some lows on the chart and asked if I had experienced any seizures with them. Um, no. You would have heard from me if I had. It's strange to me to think about all these really important things that I just have no idea about, or haven't even had time to think about over the past year. I asked how low you having to be to have a seizure. I'm thinking in the 30s or lower. He said 50. Oh.

In the past year I have been in the 40's two times. I've been in the 50s and 60's a bunch (mostly 60s though). Looking back at this I freaked myself out. I started doubting how well I was actually doing this. Do my roommates really know what to do if I have a low that I can't figure out how to fix on my own? Does my boss know what to do if she walks into my office and I'm having a seizure? What happens when I start noticing the lows less and less? I usually catch them pretty fast now, but the more lows I have the less I notice them.

I guess that was the biggest thing from the appointment, although we also talked about how I can loose some weight. I've been at a steady 150 for the past year, gaining weight back and then some after being diagnosed. I work out 3-4 times a week, cardio and weight training. He said that I'm probably 'feeding' my insulin since I tend to have lows after working out. So he said I should look into a lower carbohydrate diet. South Beach diet to be exact. I can't fathom doing with with a super low carbohydrate diet but I've heard that the South Beach diet is more reasonable and healthy. I don't know much about it. My initial problem is that I really like lots of fruit (oranges! bananas!) and bread/pasta (I'm still eating my homemade bread... It's still so good!). I have started buying the whole grain pasta which I think is good and very filling with a smaller amount. It is just annoying that I have really healthy eating habits (or I think I do) and workout regularly but can't drop this bit of excess weight. ggrrrr.

I had to go back to the lab today to have some blood taken for some tests. They are going to check my 'c-peptide' (no idea if that's spelled right, or what it really means). My doctor said it will help them determine how well my beta cells are still working. To test that I had to have a high blood sugar for some reason. He just recommended eating my regular breakfast and not taking any insulin. That terrified me so I took half the normal amount. By the time I got to the lab I was feeling it. I checked and was at 353. They took the blood and I corrected immediately. I feel strange now but am at 98 so that's good. I'll get the tests back in a week or so.

That's about it for now. I need to get back to work and maybe go for a walk over lunch since it's finally warming up here. I love the midwest. :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


For those of you interested in that cookie recipe, I'll post it tomorrow (if I manage to remember to copy it out of the book tonight!). I do know that each cookie is about 15 carbohydrates.

Today I have an appointment to go see my endocrinologist. This will be my second visit with him since moving to this city. He's a very friendly guy and seems to care about my health. I have no complaints, but then again since moving here I haven't had any sort of major diabetic related problems (which is good!).

After first being diagnosed, the hospital doctor recommended the only type 1 diabetic doctor in town. I lived in a small town before I moved here and there was no endocrinologist there, so a type 1 doctor was the best to be found. Luckily he was wonderful. He was the most energetic person I'd ever met, let alone a type 1. I walked into his office the first time and he jumped right into telling me how "everything will be just fine. A few months from now you'll look back and think about how worried you were right now, and then you'll think about how 'normal' your life is again." My doctor was an amazing athlete. Normal for him was hiking up our 12,000 foot mountain (our town was at 7,000 feet) and skiing down it.

Well, if he could do that then I could certainly start jogging again. I started jogging only a month after being diagnosed. It was hard to get that balance of having a high enough blood sugar ahead of time and letting it drop just the certain amount. I've got it about right now, but I still always jog with some glucose tabs handy.

Anyway, I find that I'm eager to go to the doctor today. I like to have the updates every three months on what my a1c is. Last time I was very surprised to find out that it was so good. Hopefully the good news will keep coming.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Bread and crackers

First, I just wanted to let anyone who is reading this know that you should feel free to leave comments. I really enjoyed seeing the message from Kerri and reading her blog. So please don't be shy!

I love to bake. I grew up with my mom having Friday's off and she would bake six loaves of whole wheat bread. Upon arriving home from school I would walk into the house that would be filled with the smell of fresh bread. The heel was my favorite part, with warm butter.

I went to college and during my junior year called my mom up to get that recipe. She laughed at me, at my desire to start baking now that she wasn't there to help me and show me how. I got the recipe and made some bread. It takes about 4-5 hours start to finish since the bread rises so many times. The first time I made it it was nothing like my mother's bread. But I continued trying and started baking bread fairly often.

After being diagnosed I didn't bake for almost 8 months. I was just worried about the carbs. How on earth to do I figure out how many carbohydrates are in this homemade bread? I finally just decided that I'd figure it out by trial and error. I baked a few months ago and it was fine (the bread was great too).

Yesterday I had a free Sunday for the first time in about a month. I used it to clean and bake. I made multi-grain bread (two loaves) and whole wheat crackers. It was such a good feeling to not only bake, but to think of my mom baking those same things years ago. The only difference is that now I have to think about my blood sugar.

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