Mixed Emotions.

As most of the world knows, Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast with a vengeance on Monday.  Joe and I were extremely fortunate that there was no damage to our apartment building or car and we never even lost power.  It was mostly my nerves that took a beating.  However I have been watching the news, pretty much nonstop, the past 3 days and I cannot say the same for many, many people.  As many pictures and video clips as I have seen or as many stories as I have heard I cannot wrap my head around the force of the water and wind from this storm.  The damage is just catastrophic.  I don’t think anyone can remember a time when the NYC schools were closed for a whole week due to weather related conditions.  The last time the New York Stock Exchange was closed for two consecutive days relating to weather was in 1888.  Was the transit system ever inoperable this long before?  I’m not sure.

 

All I know is that my emotions are completely torn.  On one hand I am forever grateful today.  Not only am I grateful that I still have a roof over my head with food and electricity and my husband by my side.  I am thankful that my sister, brother in law, niece and nephew are alive and unharmed.  Then on the other hand I am heartbroken for all the people who are dealing with such tremendous losses.  Houses that have exploded and burned.  Neighborhoods still under water.  Buildings collapsed.  People still missing.  Lives lost.  Things will not be “normal” in the tri-state area  for quite some time.  I can only pray for those who are struggling and are forced to rebuild their entire lives.  And heed the reminder to hold dear those people and things that we have and love.

Holding on to a Good Thing.

My last A1c about 6 weeks ago was not only one of my lowest ever but also close to a 1% drop in 3 months.  As ecstatic as that made me, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the result since I don’t exactly know what caused it.  I have suspicions that it could have been my switch to primarily using a higher reading BG meter but not sure how I can prove that.  Other than switching back to a lower reading one and hoping for a higher A1c again?  No thanks.  Now feeling even more pressure to hold onto that golden A1c, I am making more efforts to keep it there with ways I know how.  With good BGs.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, exercise and I have a love/hate relationship.  I love to workout.  (Honestly!)  However my schedule sometimes hates to have time for it.  With that being said, the past few weeks I have made a conscious effort to not fall off that exercise wagon.  And I’ve been doing good, averaging workouts about 3-4 times a week.  I’d love to do even more and when I can, I do.  Additionally, I have changed my diet with the help of Ginger.  For the past few weeks, I have been eating about half the carbs I used to, sometimes less.  Now I didn’t eat a ton before but still more than I probably needed.  And the difference in my BG readings has been phenomenal.  I have had a fair share of “no hitters” in recent weeks.  For me that means my BG is between 70 and 200 mg/dL for a full 24 hours.  I am by no means saying things have been perfect.  Because well, there is no such thing.  But I’ve been very happy to see the type of readings that should result in a recommended A1c level.  I plan to actually download my Dexcom results to take a peek at any new trends rearing their head.  And maybe get an illustration of the differences I am seeing.

All the reports you hear about how to stay healthy or lose weight are on to something.  Diet and exercise.  That’s what it really comes down to.  And I’m hoping that my A1c will remain where it was last time when I see my endo again in December.  Even lower would be nice but I’m not that greedy 😉

*please note that I am not promoting changes for anyone’s lifestyle.  This is currently what is working well for me and as we all know, not only does diabetes vary, so does health in general.

Diabetes Grab Bag. Copied.

I am all about accessories.  Handbags, wristlets, phone or tablet cases, meter cases.  I’ve got quite the collection of these things.  And lucky for me, diabetes gives me more devices that I can accessorize!  After reading Kerri’s post today on her Diabetes Grab Bag, I decided to post my own to answer her question, what’s in your diabetes grab bag?

Since I have an abundance of accessories for my BG meter devices, I do like to switch it up.  I tend to get bored using the same thing day after day.  My favorites are from Myabetic or Sugar Medical Supply or Stick Me Designs.  (If you haven’t checked them out, they each have great stuff!)  But lately I have thrown in a regular cosmetic case for use to carry my meter and supplies, like Kerri, Kim, Rachel, Alanna,  to name a few.  I like it because it’s compact yet big enough to hold all the things I need to test.  Or treat a low.  And keeps my meter or PDM handy instead of securing it within the case.  I can even throw my Dexcom receiver in there when it’s not next to me.

I also carry with me a separate case that holds my emergency supplies.  Two extra pods, an unopened vial of insulin in my Securitee Blanket vial protector, syringes, batteries, alcohol swabs.  So yes, I too carry a ginormous tote bag full of stuff 😉

Faces of Diabetes.

November is right around the corner.  Which is Diabetes Awareness Month.  In other words, a very busy month for diabetes advocates and organizations everywhere.  There will be movements and efforts throughout the month, especially on World Diabetes Day, to promote education on the facts of diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association, launched a social initiative a couple of weeks ago to illustrate what a day in the life of diabetes means to you.  I like initiatives like this a lot.  It gives diabetes a face (or in this case, many faces)  It shows the world that as grueling as diabetes can be, we can look just like anyone else.  It gives it life.  It shows strength.  And hope.    To help spread this initiative, the ADA will create a larger-than-life outdoor projection of the photos in Washington D.C. on World Diabetes Day.  That is pretty cool.   Also, for every photo uploaded to the Association’s Facebook page, CVS pharmacy will donate $1 to the Association, up to $25,000.

Please visit the Facebook page for the A Day in the Life of Diabetes campaign.  Take a look at what diabetes means to tons of people.  And upload your own pictures!  (if you search by name, you should see two of my own entries 😉 )

Big Blue Test.

One of the things that I struggle most with in terms of my health and(or) diabetes management is consistent exercise.  Usually I do well for a few weeks then work hours are longer or I have more things to do and I get off track.  I’ve made a promise to myself recently that I am going to make it a priority in my life no matter what.  What helps me a lot to stay motivated honestly is support and inspiration of others.  When I see someone post about working out or read about the accomplishments of athletes living with diabetes or pass by someone who is running or riding a bike in my neighborhood, I want to get active.

That is why I love the Big Blue Test.  It is a movement started by the Diabetes Hands Foundation in 2010, to help promote the positive affect physical activity has not only on a person with diabetes’ blood sugar, but on everyone’s health in general.  It is so simple.  All you have to do is test your blood sugar, exercise for at least 14 minutes, test your blood sugar again and log it over at http://www.bigbluetest.org.  Those people without diabetes can participate also, just minus the blood sugar readings part.  The best part is this:  if 20,000 entries are logged by November 14th, Roche will donate $100,000 to organizations that will provide life saving diabetes supplies to those who need it the most.

I know together, we can achieve this goal and help those less fortunate than us while helping ourselves stay healthy.  I’ve logged my Big Blue Test three times already this week.  Have you?

High Demand.

I have been a huge and loyal Dexcom fan since I started with my Seven system in November 2008, coming up on four years.  The first few months I had it I used it now and then to gather trend data but I didn’t feel like I was getting the whole continuous glucose data benefit so I started using it continuously.  (no pun intended)  For the past three years or so, I have not been without a sensor.  At all.  Call it dependence.  Call it addiction.  I call it peace of mind.

Talk of the next generation system from Dexcom has been in the works for some time.  And was approved in Europe March of last year.  Last year?!  This morning totally unexpected, to me anyway, they announced the FDA approval for the new G4 Platinum system.  I couldn’t be happier!!  Who doesn’t want a 19% more accurate glucose monitor?  Or 20 foot range for glucose signals?  Or customizable alerts with different tones?  And now to view your readings on a nice color screen on a nice color receiver?  Being a girly-girl, I love to accessorize my boring diabetes supplies with color.  This indeed is a huge plus in my book!

While I just got a new Seven Plus system in July (thinking the approval for the G4 would not happen anytime soon), I was happy to hear that Dexcom is offering customers who have purchased a Seven Plus so far this year, the eligibility to upgrade to the new system for a onetime payment of $399.  Since the product is hot-off-the-press-new, they are still working on a method in which they will be taking upgrade orders.  I put my name on the list to upgrade and will be contacted by Dexcom later today or tomorrow.  I suggest if you’re interested in an upgrade, giving them a call to get on the upgrade list.  Systems are expected to be shipped in a few weeks.

Other tidbits I was interested to find out from the CS rep on the phone – the old sensors will not work with the new system but the new sensors are smaller!  Also coming soon, a link to Amazon to purchase accessories!  Thank you Dexcom for creating an amazing product and also for your fantastic customer service at 6 in the morning, over in your neck of the woods 🙂

And now I wait for the call back from Dexcom to get my order going.  I.  Cannot.  Wait.

Check out Dexcom’s website to see the overview and features of their new G4 Platinum CGMS here.

*Just a quick clarification on the upgrade: if you’ve purchased a Seven Plus system between January 1 and August 31 of 2012 you are eligible for the $399 upgrade.  If you’ve purchased a Seven Plus between September 1 and today you are eligible for a free upgrade. If your current system is out of warranty, the order for the G4 Platinum will be processed like a new order and not eligible for an upgrade discount*