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My Favorite Things: #Dblog Week, Day 7 June 8, 2014

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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Dblog Prompt: As we wrap up 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!

What is not to be a favorite thing during Dblog week?? I think the only thing I do NOT like about this week is that it’s not a national holiday week, so I have to squeeze in work during all the blog reading and writing! Of the blogs I’ve read so far during this event, I noticed a few more international DOC members this year:

Shannon in Dublin: http://seichelberger.blogspot.ie/
Juliana Brazil: http://insulinaportatil.blogspot.com.br/
Pam in Dubai: http://diabeticinthemiddleeast.blogspot.ae/

While it sucks that we all have to deal with diabetes, I love that the DOC represents members from truly around the world. The core goals that we all have, regarding our health, are often not that different. Reading how people in different environments than I deal with diabetes is another favorite insight that the DOC has helped me find.



Saturday Snapshots: #Dblog Week, Day 6 May 17, 2014

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Dblog Prompt: 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.

The below snapshot is one of my favorites. You can see why. But the other part I love about this image is knowing how hard I worked to make that happen. 72 g of carbs means I brought at least that much. A pump setting means I somehow wrangled my insulin pump into a safe position on that trip. It means I also brought a backup pen. Four hour mountain bike ride…that’s a lot of tough riding. I went solo on this trip, but any riding partner would have brought their bike gear, snacks, hydration and that’s it. When they hit a technical spot they think only about the obstacle. I’m thinking about the obstacle, which way to land if I crash so I don’t rip out my infusion set, what by BG is, and what this obstacle is doing do my BG. As diabetics, we are pretty much ALWAYS thinking more than our pancreas-functioning counterparts. And that sucks. But it makes you feel pretty sweet when you can manage an outcome like this:

72g carbs + 4 hour -70% basal + 3 water bottles + 4 hour mountain bike ride =

This only takes 4 hours of mountain biking!

Diabetes Life Hacks: #Dblog Week, Day 5 May 16, 2014

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Dblog Prompt: Share 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!

My current favorite diabetes life hack pertains to a beeping, high alarming CGM. Recently, I’d been over treating highs because I would dose correctly yet my DexCom continued to beep or go straight up arrow or double straight up arrows. This scenario leaves me more irate than what is rational, leading to the overtreatment of highs just because my calculated treatment was not working fast enough. So, I move Dex to a separate room with a closed door where it stays by itself for an hour to two (enough time for my insulin dose to do its thing). If possible, I go for a short walk or do some stretching to try and calm down. After the hour or two I go get Dex and reassess the blood sugar situation.

A few considerations if you give this a try:

  • Put your CGM in a logical place; i.e., don’t lose it. That undoes the whole not frustrated thing.
  • Not a good hack for down arrows or low alarms. In fact, don’t do this.
  • Don’t abandon your CGM for too long. Leaving an unresponsive high unattended isn’t super.
  • I’m not a doctor. Use your CGM as directed by your doctor.

Mantras and More: #Dblog Week, Day 4 May 16, 2014

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Dblog Prompt: Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day. Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day. Is there something positive you tell yourself? Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through? Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too?

The one-word difference between a hard day and a hard diabetes day is huge. A hard day IS any diabetes day. A hard diabetes day is like a hard day x 5. Regardless, hard diabetes days are unavoidable. When one hits, I try to remember that I get to try this all again tomorrow. I leave yesterday’s diabetes behind and start again. I restart with a blood sugar I am satisfied with (if that isn’t what you wake up with, treat and do the whole restart thing starting wherever ‘satisfied’ is for you).

One hard diabetes day is not going to change your health outcome, your A1C or your weight. A hard diabetes day is a blunt reminder of how hard you work everyday to avoid days like this. I recognize a hard diabetes day and recognize that I can do my best for the rest of the day, go to bed and try it again the next day.

Alternately, I’ll say fuck it, buy Ben & Jerry’s, rage bolus, find a TV comedy, double check for a low in the middle of the night and let the morning be a chance at redemption. 🙂

What Brings Me Down: #Dblog Week, Day 3 May 14, 2014

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Dblog Prompt: What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?

The diabetes online community (DOC).

The DOC is tremendous. The reach we have is huge. I think of changes and differences we have made and, for the most part, feel proud. But my diabetes didn’t really have an affective emotional side before I encountered the DOC. That strategy was working pretty well for me.

Sure, LOW lows, weird highs, carrying glucose every damn place frustrated me every now and then. But that was just part of life. I treated a low, treated a high and didn’t think twice about carrying glucose. I recognized that some of those lows were the cause of something I did previously, and the highs the cause of something I did not do. I didn’t think twice about it, learned from what happened and moved on.

But the DOC. As a whole, we can be pretty big on shit not being our fault (treading on thin ice here, I know). I can’t argue with that concept. Diabetes was not my fault. (And it is not your fault.) Many of my LOW lows and HIGH highs might not be my fault. However, introducing the idea that some of what goes on every day might be excusable, might not be my fault and might even be okay also introduced diabetes behavior that I am not proud of. For me, something not being my fault correlates to an excuse. And how I deal with diabetes goes better when I’ve got no excuses. Nothing to fall back on. Nothing to blame but what I did that day. I think that is the mindset that I need. That’s not the way everyone rolls. I’m not giving up the DOC – it’s too awesome. Instead I need to try being more mental prepared when I engage. Take the helpful pieces, offer my thoughts, suggestions and support, and leave everything else.

Poetry Tuesday: #Dblog Week, Day 2 May 13, 2014

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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Dblog Prompt: Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. 

I’m disenchanted with you.
You’ve never been easy and that will always be true.
I don’t get along well with your friends,
and I think they are disenchanted with you too.

Change the World: #Dblog Week, Day 1 May 12, 2014

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Dblog Prompt: Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up…Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you.

This post requires a disclaimer. Or acknowledgment. You decide.

Except for the weather, I do not believe anyone has a right to effortly complain about something that they have not tried to fix.

I’ve not tried to fix health insurance at any level.

So, that being said, health insurance is my issue. It is an issue for anyone with a chronic disease. Health insurance (or financial security/ability) that lets everyone choose and use the best treatment option for that one person at that time must be available. It makes zero sense that some people do not get the option to use a pump or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). I understand that new or unique treatment options are expensive. But so is heart or eye surgery, neuropathy treatment, kidney disease treatment and hospital stays. An insulin pump and CGM are two life-saving and life-changing devices that can help decrease health issues in the future. And if you don’t want a CGM – that’s cool. You should get to choose any number of strips for any meter that you want. Or the insulin you want in the delivery method that works best for you. The world of health insurance is changing, but it has a long way yet to go.

Spread the Love: #Dblog Week, Day 7 May 21, 2013

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Dblog Prompt: As another Diabetes Blog Week draws to a close, let’s reflect on some of the great bloggers we’ve found this week. Give some love to three blog posts you’ve read and loved during Diabetes Blog Week, and tell us why they’re worth reading. Or share three blogs you’ve found this week that are new to you.

The last Dblog Week post is more than a bit late, but I was so busy reading the posts from #Dblogweek!

  • Diabetes Blog Week introduced me to Elizabeth, over at Life or something like it (and Twitter @xXLovelyLizXx). I often have trouble relating to bloggers with kids, happy families, you know regular life people…because that’s not what I’ve got going on at this time in my life. However, Elizabeth’s blog caught my eye, and I’ve enjoyed reading what she has to share. Elizabeth gives us a down-to-earth view of living with diabetes. She’s honest, straight-forward and easy to read – go check her out!
  • Reva, over at Type ONEderful, had a WAY cool Diabetes Art post. I love the actual art, and the accompanying poem is a great statement not just for D-Art day, but everyday.
  • Brian, over at (Buzz, Buzz)  Not My Cell, wrote a true Brian-style post on some possible service animals. Penguins, ponies and…matching shoes?

Diabetes Art: #Dblog Week, Day 6 May 19, 2013

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Dblog Prompt: This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense. Do some “traditional” art like drawing, painting, collage or any other craft you enjoy. Or look to the literary arts and perhaps write a d-poem or share and discuss a favorite quote. Groove to some musical arts by sharing a song that inspires you diabetes-wise, reworking some song lyrics with a d-twist, or even writing your own song. Don’t forget dramatic arts too, perhaps you can create a diabetes reality show or play. 

Diabetes art using an infusion set, strips, glue and glitter.I must admit that this Diabetes Art is from Friends For Life 2012. But, it has not made a blog appearance yet, and this creature is not what is important about this post.

What is important is that diabetes should get to be fun. Definitely not all the time, but some of the time. Building this creature was one of the first things I did at FFL. Brian, Ginger and I goofed around, used some diabetes supplies in unexpected ways and put glitter in unexpected places. And it was fun. Truly big smile and laughing fun.

Diabetes camps can be fun, as a camper or a leader (I didn’t enjoy diabetes camp until I ran my own). This #Dblog week adds some fun, talking with the #DOC on Twitter often adds a smile and laugh to my day. Diabetes is tough and unrelenting, but it is important to take a break, however small, to add some fun to the whole thing.

Check out some true Diabetes Art at the #Dblog Week link list for today’s topic!

Freaky Friday: #DBlog Week, Day 5 May 17, 2013

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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Dblog Prompt: Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

If I could switch with somebody my diabetes for a different chronic disease, I guess I would switch for something that is truly treated with one pill a day. Except…oh yeah, I have one of those too (hypothyroid)! I am no expert on chronic diseases, but I am pretty sure I would rather have Type 1 diabetes than cancer, Celiac, HIV/AIDS or Type 2 diabetes. A drastic comparison perhaps, but those are some of the big chronic diseases this world encounters.

Reading other people’s blogs, meeting other people at diabetes meet ups has helped me open my mind a bit. Having diabetes already sets me up with an open mind as to what other people might be dealing with. And that sometimes your body screws you over big time and the only thing you can do is make the best of it with a good attitude, medications and new technologies. A good friend of mine has Celiac, and just as she learned how to deal with my diabetes, I learned how to eat, cook, clean and travel gluten-free. Those kinds of things are just part of who that person is; if you’re my friend, you are accepted regardless as to what you’ve got going on.

But, if you are a stranger and one of the first things I know about you is that you have Type 2 diabetes, MS or whatever else, the diabetes online community (DOC) helps me remember that that information is NOT the most important thing about you.

You have so many other things to offer. It does not matter how or why you got stuck with a chronic disease. What matters most is who you are as a person, which might include how you’re living with a chronic disease, but the regular good-people traits like honesty and respect always trump any chronic disease characteristic.