Friday, June 24, 2005

Focus Group

I'm in a friend's wedding this summer in California and I'm trying to save some money for the trip. Unfortunately I tend to spend more money during the summer months than during the winter months. So in my effort to save money for this trip, I've decided to look into making some extra cash by signing up for focus groups.

The first one I did was for self-soaping razors. This was so fun and easy. Two weeks for two different razors, fill out two surveys and make $75. No problem. Yesterday I got called for another focus group. This one is for type 1 diabetics who are on the pumps. Most focus groups on diabetes I've talked to are looking for either type 2 diabetics or don't know what to do about the fact that I'm on a pump, so this is perfect. I'm not exactly clear what we'll be discussing, but I'm not worried. Oddly I'm kind of excited about it. It will be nice to meet with other people in the same situation and talk about our experiences with the pump. Granted, our conversation will be steered towards what the focus group is about, but still.

Not much else to say on the diabetes front. My blood sugars have been pretty level with few lows so I'll be excited to see what my A1c is at my next visit to the doctor.

I've been busy the past few weeks. My older sister was in town visiting last weekend. We went shopping downtown, had lunch at a nice restaurant and then got our nails done. It was a very girlie day but I hardly ever do those things so it was fun. She got to relax away from her son and was surprised that she wasn't worrying the whole time about him. By Sunday she was very ready to go home and see him though. A nice break for her I think. Then this past week has been very spontaneous. I was at work late on Tuesday and walked by a theater my friend was volunteering at. I stopped to say hi and got sucked in to watch the show, which was wonderful. Wednesday I got to work and at 10 my co-worker told me our chief of staff had just given her 4 tickets to a 1:00pm Sox game that day and could I go? Um yes! So I spent the afternoon sitting in the sun enjoying a beer, a hot dog and great baseball.

This weekend I have big plans of weeding my garden. We have an old Greek woman who lives next door and whenever she sees me she tells me how to improve my garden. It's to the point where she wants to come over and weed it for me. Okay lady. I get the idea. You don't like to see my bad gardening skills. Look the other way! Ah!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A little hot, a little high

I've been on the pump for a year now. Last summer I was at 7,000 feet in Arizona and never had to worry about leaving my open bottle of insulin out. I'd put it in the cupboard and it was fine. Temperatures in shade never went above 75 I think.

Anyway, while I know that insulin should be kept cool and in the fridge, I guess I forgot about it when it started to get really warm here. For several days my blood sugars were getting just a little high, day by day. Just last night I had one of those *doh* moments and realized that it's been HOT here and I've just been leaving my insulin on my dresser! I threw the half empty bottle away and changed sites (it was time anyway) with a new bottle from the fridge. Silly me, forgetting the basics of insulin storage. Sometimes it feels like I have been doing this forever, that I could check my blood sugar in my sleep. And then I do something stupid like this and realize that there's always more to learn and things to remember.

Has anyone had any problems with the pump and summer heat? I wonder about that since the insulin is getting body heat & heat from the sun/air. Any tips or advice?

On a different note, I am not ashamed to say that I love Harry Potter. I read the five books about 3-4 years ago (can't remember when the last one came out). I decided to borrow all the books from my sister and reread them before the new book comes out. I've been devouring them! They are just so fun to read and I fly through a book in a day or two. My roommate told me last night that I needed to 'stop obsessing over Harry and listen to me!' while I was reading. I'm almost done with the fifth book and plan on going to the library to find a nice nonfiction to sink my teeth into to get some of this wizard world out of my head. :)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

54, do you need a snack?

On my commute home yesterday, while sitting on the bus reading, I noticed something. Hm, am I starting to sweat? I think I'm sitting under a vent as well, so I should feel fine... Are my hands starting to tingle? Oh! I should check my blood sugar.

It's then that I realize how long it's been since I've last had any noticeable lows (below 70 is when I feel it). Wow, how long has it been? Three weeks. Three Weeks!

I check my blood sugar on the bus and see I'm at 54, with my meter asking me if I need a snack. I pull out a couple glucose tabs and am fine by the time the bus gets to my stop.

I attribute my success at not having very many lows to my new way of eating. I had the most problems at around 3:30-4 in the afternoon before I cut down on my carb intake. Before, I would check at noon and eat 40 carbs (sandwich) and take four units of insulin. Three hours later my blood sugar would be 150 or 160 (not that great). But if I tried to bolus to correct, even the smallest amount, in 2 hours I would drop hard to the 40s or 50s. Since I switched to my new way of eating I've been having salads or veggies & hummus for lunch, cutting way back on carb intake over lunchtime. I would still eat good carbs for breakfast and dinner though. Anyway, yesterday I was forced to eat cereal for lunch do to my budget and laziness. and then BAM! I get a low. So, apparently my body just does not LIKE that insulin over lunch.

What really matters is that I've found a way to prevent these late afternoon lows (besides eating a snack then, of course), which is good!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It's the humidity

I don't like summer. I mostly don't like summer due to the fact that if it's humid to any degree, I will start sweating. Ick. When I lived in Arizona, in the mountains, it was perfect. 80 degrees was the hottest it would get and with a very low humidity. That was perfect. But I'm certainly not in Arizona anymore. Early June and it's going to be over 90 degrees with up to 70% humidity. Again, ick.

I get intense cravings for fruit during the summer though. I could eat melon, berries and peaches along with fresh ripe tomatoes for every meal when it's hot and humid. What else do people eat in the summer anyway? I'm certainly not going to turn on my oven and make anything. Even using the stove is questionable. And obviously anything grilled is perfect, but it takes a while to get that grill going and you still have to stand around a hot fire!

This will be my first Midwest summer with diabetes/my pump. I wear it in a black case which I'm afraid will heat up pretty fast. I normally don't have time to spend all day outside in the hot sun (stupid full-time office job!), but I imagine I'll be doing that a lot on the weekends.

I am also already thinking about a vacation to southern California I'm taking this summer for my friend's wedding. I'll have to buy a new swimsuit since my old ones are bikinis and I just don't feel comfortable showing of my dotted stomach and my little insert to everyone. So I'll have to go shopping for a one piece. My main worry is really about what I'll do with my pump when I want to run into the ocean. Do I leave it on the beach in my bag? Nope, too expensive to leave all alone. Do I make my friend stay with it while I'm in the water? Do I leave it in a locked car, or will it get too hot in there? Hopefully I'll have enough people with me that someone will sit with it. But seriously, I'm not going until the end of July and I'm already worrying about something like that?

Winter's so much easier. I love coats and hats and scarves. Jeans and sweaters. Just a couple more months...

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Blue Skirt

Every spring, once it gets too warm to need my sweaters and warm enough to need my tank tops, (vice a versa in the fall) I pull out my Rubbermaid tub full of off season clothes and switch everything out. I finally got around to it this weekend. While pulling out tank tops I remembered that I also kept some other things in this tub. I came across the clothes that I just won't get rid of. Sure, I don't fit into them anymore, but of course I'll fit into them again sometime soon. I've been eating really well and cycling/lifting weights at my gym, so I thought, hey, might as well try. I have not been weighing myself lately. It's discouraging to see that number when it's not where you'd like it to be, even though you feel great and think you are losing weight.

Ah, I do have a point. I have a blue skirt that my sister bought me a few years ago. It's a sky blue, pencil skirt. I tried it on. It fit. As I leaped about my room in my sky blue skirt that fit, I realized that the skirt's not really in style anymore. It's not hideous, but no one will mistake it for something new. I don't really care. I'll be wearing it tomorrow anyway. :)

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