Some Updates.

I realize I have not been blogging much lately so wanted to say hello to everyone and let you all know what’s been going on around my neck of the woods and keeping me busy.  Or maybe distracted.

 

  • It seems my blog anniversary completely slipped by me!  The end of August marked four years since I started here and I want to thank everyone that has ever stopped by to read, to comment and support me.  This wouldn’t mean to me what it does if it weren’t for all of you.
  • In July, I had a repeat gastric emptying scan done.  Unfortunately it confirmed what both me and my gastroenterologist figured, my gastroparesis has progressed.  Compared to the first one I had four years ago, it is still considered mild but it has gotten worse.  She prescribed two medications to take as needed and luckily I’ve been able to manage without them.  My hubby did some investigating to see if there were any natural remedies to help and he found out about ginger root.  I have been taking capsules before most meals and have noticed that it does help.  Thank you hubby!  I have learned a lot about this condition and it is not something that I would wish on anyone.  I’m truly hoping that managing my blood sugar as best I can will help keep it mild.
  • A few weeks ago I had my very first insulin pump infusion site infection, after almost 8 years of pumping.  I had removed the pod from my lower back and it was a little sore which is not completely unusual.  However the next day it was extremely painful and with the advice of a friend, I had it looked at by a doctor.  It was indeed infected so was put on 10 days of an oral antibiotic.  It has healed nicely but I have to admit I’m a bit weary of getting another one.  I’m hoping it was just a one-time-fluke type of thing.
  • I have been more involved with IRL citizenship and advocacy type efforts.  I am part of the citizenship committee as well as the disability network at my job.  It is very fulfilling to be part of such great networks and helps make my “regular” job more worthwhile.  I am also on the walk committee of my local JDRF chapter this year.  It makes me proud to be part of an organization that has announced such exciting advances in type 1 diabetes research in recent months.
  • Over the past 2 months, I haven’t exercised and my eating habits weren’t always the greatest.  While I’m finally working on changing that now, I was extremely surprised at the results from my endo appointment this past week.  A1c went down, not up like I expected and also one of the lowest I’ve ever had.  Also I lost a couple of pounds.  None of this makes much sense to me and really not the motivation I was hoping for to get back on track but honestly I’ll take it.  It makes me think back to all the times I was expecting and hoping for an A1c a lot lower than it turned out to be.  Sometimes diabetes is just unpredictable.
  • Most importantly, on September 3rd, my Mema (grandmother) passed away.  It wasn’t sudden as her health had deteriorated rapidly since earlier in the year but I still cannot believe she’s gone.  I’m glad I got to spend more time with her the few weeks before she passed, even though she may not have realized it was me.  I’m glad and thankful she was a part of my life for so long.  I’m glad that she lived such a full life – she would have been 95 next month, had 8 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.  I’m glad that she went peacefully and is now in a better place.  But it still hurts and I miss her dearly.

 

I suppose that’s most of it in a nutshell.  I’m hoping for more peaceful times to come and to make a better effort at blogging more often.  Especially with a big month coming up with a lot to do and say.  Oh, one more thing.  I got the new iPhone 6 on Friday (I was one of the crazy people who pre-ordered early in the morning on September 12th and not the crazy person who got on a line at the Apple store two weeks ago) and would highly recommend it for other iPhone lovers out there!

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(image credit goes to the internet)

Winners of My Stuff.

Thank you to all who checked out my giveaway and congrats to the winners below!  :)

 

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Winner one = Cat

 

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Winner two = Flying Furballs

 

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Winner three = Stacey

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Winner four = Tyler Jo-Anne

 

Winners, please send your address to me at staceydblog@gmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

My Stuff is Your Stuff.

I have a lot of crap.  Seriously, I have so many of so many things!  I realized today when looking for something just how many meter cases and bags I have.  It’s insane.  I threw some out, the boring old black ones that come with meters that I never ever used.  There are a few great ones that even though I like them, I just don’t use them because of how many I have.  And this is where you benefit from my addictions ;)  I have four meter bags from the lovely Sugar Medical and Stick Me Designs that I am giving away.  They are all lightly used, with no signs of wear or tear at all.  Like brand new!  All you have to do is comment below by midnight EST on Saturday (7/26) and you will be entered into the drawing.  I will announce the winner on Monday.  You may want to make sure you like them all, because the order in which they are pictured below is the order in which they will be given away.  So check them out and good luck! :)

 

(Dexcom pictured for size comparison)

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Diabetes Burnout.

I have been living with T1 diabetes for almost 33 years.  That is 11,863 days or 1,694 weeks or 284,712 hours or even 1,024,963,200 seconds without ever getting a break from having to fill in for my non working, good for nothing pancreas.  When I was a child, my parents did most of the worrying and diabetes work.  But it was still there.  As I grew into my teenage years, my focus sadly was not so much on my diabetes.  But it was still there.  When I went to college and got my first full time job and started making an adult life for myself, I didn’t want my diabetes to be at the forefront of my day to day tasks.  But it was still there.  And it will always be there.

I love Ginger.  I “met” her initially online, then got to meet her in person a few times and also worked with her briefly for coaching.  I honestly learned a lot from her in regard to diet and exercise, and that was after living with diabetes forever.  She always has such a positive outlook and loves to share her knowledge to help others.  I read her books Your Diabetes Science Experiment and Emotional Eating with Diabetes and found them both to be easy reads, full of useful information.  When I was asked to give tiny input and also to give a preview of her newest book, Dealing with Diabetes Burnout, of course I said yes.

In more recent years, I have put a lot of effort into working on my diabetes management.  (I hate to use the term “management” but I guess that’s what we try to do is manage our blood sugar right?) And I can sometimes feel it taking its toll.  One thing Ginger mentions in the beginning of the book is  “It’s endless.  Whether or not you become noticeably frustrated with your diabetes, the constant thought, energy and worry is inevitable.  And that can lead to burnout.  That constant effort and worry is exhausting, even if it motivates you to take care of yourself”.  Bingo.

I always try to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative, especially when it comes to diabetes.  Another thing Ginger says in the book is “Diabetes may get to use up a tremendous amount of my mental energy every day, but I refuse to let it use up my happiness” and I can totally relate.  I think that is the key to not losing your mind completely.

Reading this book made me realize that number one I am not alone with feeling overwhelmed at times.  It also made me realize that it’s okay and totally understandable to get down from time to time.  I almost think we have to in order to cope healthily.  Ginger offers great insight in how to get to the bottom of your feelings and more importantly how to get through it.  No matter what you’re feeling today or what you’ve felt in the past, I would highly recommend reading this book.  It might be just what you didn’t know you needed.  I have an appointment with my endocrinologist tomorrow and will be mentioning it to her to tell her other patients.

 

Happy Birthday Daddy.

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Today is my father’s birthday and he would have been 72.  It’s hard for me to imagine him at such a mature age, since it’s been so long that he has been gone.  While the ache in my heart from losing him isn’t new anymore, it is still there and always will be.  I found the below images and found them to be perfect for today.

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Happy birthday Daddy.  I will always miss you deeply.

 

That’s a Wrap – Diabetes Blog Week 2014.

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Apparently I was busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday since I didn’t get a chance to post the last three days of Diabetes Blog Week!  But I’m here now to wrap things up in a combined post.

 

Diabetes Life Hacks from Friday was the sharing of the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)

I wouldn’t say I have too many suggestions of tips and tricks that I use that haven’t been posted already.  The only thing I can think of is using hydrocortisone cream after removing pods (or infusion sets).  I know those little cannulas can leave marks, some of which can seem permanent, but I think this has helped in that area.  I use the one by Aveeno but I would imagine any type would work just as well.  I just apply a liberal amount to the area which was the home for the pod for the previous 3 days.  I also used this before switching to the pod, when I used a tubed pump with infusion sets.  I really think that it helps the skin heal and not leave any permanent marks.

 

Saturday Snapshots from Saturday was back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

I post lots of diabetes related pictures on Facebook or Instagram on a normal basis.   Doesn’t everyone??  Here is one from Saturday specifically – it was a soft landing from a super high BG resulting from a leaky pod.  It took a little longer than I would have liked for the new pod and insulin to catch up but at least I didn’t crash :)  (for the record, leaky pods is not a normal occurrence for me.  I had it on my left arm and had bumped it while walking through doorways not once but twice so I’m thinking I jarred it loose)

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And finally Sunday was a wrap up of another Diabetes Blog Week, let’s share a few of our favorite things from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing!

While I find it completely impossible to totally keep up with everything during blog week (umm hello, I couldn’t even blog every day!) and didn’t really have the time to comment much, I did read a lot and love seeing everyone come together and share thoughts and ideas.  A huge thank you to Karen who illustrates her awesomeness every year by organizing this event.  I will be going back to my regularly-scheduled-once-in-a-while-blogging now ;)

Mantras and More – Diabetes Blog Week 2014.

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Day 4 of Diabetes Blog Week is here and  we are getting back to the positive with our topic Mantras and More. Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets you through a hard day? Or, more specifically, a hard diabetes day? Something positive you tell yourself, or mantras, or what you fall back on to get you through. Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

There were two things that came immediately to mind when I read the topic for today.  They may sound silly but I’m posting them anyway :)

The first is you can do this.  I think even before the official You Can Do This Project was born, this saying was a bit of a pep talk I’d use to myself when things get tough.  Battling stubborn high blood sugar?  You can do this.  A1c not where I want it?  You can do this.  Being sent for tests to rule out diabetes related complication?  You can do this.  Scary feeling low blood sugar seeming to last forever? You can do this.  Getting up the courage to tell my story? You can do this.  And on and on.  Doing the things that at times seem like I can’t, certainly beats the alternative.

The second is a blast from the past and for some reason got stuck in my head when thinking about diabetes related mantras.  Anyone remember this?  Love it!  (shout out to Mike who I learned thought of this in relation to today’s topic as well!)

Suga Sheen – All The Diabetics

 

I think most importantly, when the going gets tough I just remind myself that things could always be worse.  Even if it may seem like the worst possible moment in the world, it most likely is not.