Weirdest Thing About My Health

Wego Health National Blog Posting MonthI am participating in Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month. Today’s topic is “The Weirdest Thing About My Health”


Some non-d people think that food is the only thing that affects our blood sugar. A lot of things besides food can send our blood sugar in any direction – stress, hormones, illness, medicines, changes in weight and even weather just to name a few. A lot of people think that all you have to do is eat right and your blood sugar will be perfect. That is just false.

Life is painWhat really drives me nuts is that I can do the same exact thing 10 different times and get 10 different results. There is no consistency to what your blood sugar wants to do. What works one day won’t work the next. I am someone that loves consistency and I certainly don’t get that with blood sugar.

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Why I Write About My Health

Wego Health National Blog Posting MonthI am participating in Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month. Today’s topic is “Why I Write About My Health.”

That is an easy one! I have gastroparesis and prior to finding the DOC at the end of 2007, I really had no clue how to manage blood sugar with gastroparesis. I knew the diet to follow but as far as blood sugar, I was clueless. At the time, I was testing my blood sugar at least 10 times a day. I had data but did not know what to do with it. I knew I had a problem but did not know how to fix it. Doctors had no idea how to help me. When I was in the hospital for my foot, the doctor managing my blood sugar told me he was baffled by my blood sugar. I was really on my own and very lost.

Computer woman with coffeeOnce I found the DOC, I learned all kinds of things that I did not know before. I had been at this “diabetes” thing for almost 25 years when I found the DOC,  and I felt like a newbie when I started reading stuff online.  I never heard of Dr. Bernstein, John Walsh or Gary Scheiner.  I am embarrassed to say that I knew nothing about carb counting or correction ratios.  I switched the insulin I was using from Lantus and Humalog to Levemir and Apidra. I started breaking up my meal time shots. I learned more about pumping and even took a stab at that. I got a CGMS. All the changes I have made were due to things I learned from my fellow diabetics. All the changes that I have made have contributed to an improvement in my blood sugar control. I hate to think where I would be today if I had not found the DOC.

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A Carby Day

Or at least it was supposed to be!

Today is Day 30 of the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Challenge and I made it!  I really wasn’t sure that was going to happen, but I did.  I did take the 2 get out of posting free days, but I played by the rules and only took those 2 so I guess that still counts as making it!

Today is my birthday and thought I would bake something for myself.  The cake that I really like (peanut butter meltaway cake) is very carby – it has 94 grams of carbs per regular sized piece.   I decided that I would bake banana bread instead.  I can’t even remember the last time I baked that. I learned a lesson, look at the recipe before deciding something would be “easy” to make!  I pulled the recipe out and only looked at the ingredients so I could get what I needed for it.

First, the store didn’t have any ripe bananas.  They always have a bunch of loose, ripe bananas laying there.   After I got home and looked at the recipe, I realized how much work it was going to be.  You have to sift 3 cups of flour.    After you sift the flour, you have to sift together the flour with the sugar and other dry ingredients.  Then I had to crush two bananas and beat and egg.  Who needs a treadmill!

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Ideal Diabetes Support Group

The topic for the April DSMA Blog Carnival is, “Describe your ideal diabetes “support group”? What would you discuss?”

For me, the DOC has been the ideal support group.  Back in 1984 when I was first diagnosed, I did go to a bunch of local support group meetings.  I guess for the time they were OK, but they pale in comparison to what the DOC is like.  The groups were led by an educator and there was no YMMV.  We didn’t have the insulin that we have today and snacking was important to try and prevent lows.  We used the old exchange list and things like glycemic index didn’t really come into play.

One conversation that particularly stood out for me was a guy that had to drive a lot for his job.  He asked about what kind of snack he could have that he could eat while driving.  He said he wasn’t generally hungry but knew he had to eat or his blood sugar would go low.  At the time, I had a very hectic job and I would take snacks to work that I could eat very easily without having to stop working to munch on an apple before it turned brown.  I used to buy the small boxes of raisins to take to work.  Before I get blasted, we used the exchange list back then and didn’t worry about stuff like spikes after meals!  I suggested raisins to the guy and the educator leading the group immediately squashed that idea.  The reason she didn’t like it?  Because a small box of raisins was not very filling.  The guy said that he wasn’t hungry so if you aren’t hungry, why does it matter if it is filling or not?

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First Time I Woke Up With EMTs Over Me

Wego Health Activist Writers Month Day 28

Today’s prompt for Day 28 of the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Challenge is, “First Time I… Write a post about the first time you did something. What is it? What was it like? What did you learn from it?”

I started passing out from lows for the first time in my diabetic life in 2008.  I really do believe that part of the problem was because my thyroid went out of whack.  I had to appeal to my insurance company to get a CGMS and although I had a couple bad lows slip thru, the passing out came to a halt – at least until the summer of 2010 when I started on my pump.  At the time, I didn’t realize that my pump was defective and spitting out extra insulin, but that is a whole other story!

My first time story occurred in the early hours of a Monday morning but had actually started on Saturday morning.  I woke up Saturday morning laying on my bedroom floor.  At first, I couldn’t move and couldn’t even scream for help.  I finally was able to get to the phone, but when I pulled it off my nightstand, I also pulled the cord out making the phone useless and I couldn’t get it back in.  I crawled over to the windows on the other side of the bed and somehow got my window opened to call for help.  After I got the window up, I laid down on the floor and it was at that point, I realized my blood sugar was probably low so I ripped my pump out.  By the time EMTs got there, my blood sugar was in the 50s and I didn’t think it was necessary to go to the hospital.

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Gastroparesis and Apidra

Levemir and ApidraI first started using Apidra in the spring of 2008. I saw people talking about it on a message board and wanted to try it. I had some concerns that it would be too fast for me with gastroparesis and my PCP had those same concerns. He didn’t have any patients using it, but one of the nurses in his practice was diabetic and used it. He said that she really liked it. Fortunately for me, even though he had concerns, he was willing to let me try it. He gave me one of the “OptiStick” pens but did not give me a script to get refills. When I asked to try Levemir, he had given me the pen plus a script to get more. I am guessing he didn’t think the Apidra would work!

I love Apidra – I believe that it is currently the best insulin on the market to manage gastroparesis with.

As far as Apidra being super fast, that is not my experience with it. This chart on WebMD comparing insulin has the onset for Apidra at 20-30 minutes. It has the onset for Humalog at 15-30 minutes and Novolog at 10-20 minutes. According to that chart, Apidra is actually the slowest of the three fast acting insulins. For me, it takes about 20 minutes to kick in. In talking to other people, 20 minutes seems to be a common kick-in time.

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