Watch me lose weight!

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy 3rd Pumpaversary!

Today is Arnold's 3rd birthday!  It was on this day 3 years ago that he and I were joined at the hip (literally) and became best pals. 

He doesn't look quite this shiny and new anymore. 
Being on the pump has allowed me so much freedom, even though I'm tethered to a machine 24/7.  I can coordinate my insulin based on my life, not the other way around.  And this birthday is a little sad because this is probably the last one we'll share together (my warranty runs up next year, and there's this strange crack in the screen that worries me).  I don't know what I'll do with Arnold next year, but I have a feeling I'll keep him for a little while.  He's like my first car, which I had for 9 years before I bought a new one.  I'm just a sentimental ole sap, so I'll probably keep him and put him by my bedside table.  He's been a great companion and friend. 

Happy Birthday, Arnold.  Let's go eat some cake! 

Arnold:  "BOOP-BEEP-BOOP!" 

Monday, October 25, 2010

A1c = 6.3 = Happy Me!

This morning I had my first endocrinologist appointment since having my Dexcom CGM.  I was very interested to see what this A1c would be and how close it matched to my average on Constance, which was 141 mg/dL.  According to this site which I just Googled, that should have corresponded to an A1c around 6.1.  And being the ever-studious patient, I actually printed out some graphs and tables from my Dexcom software.  This is a huge step for me because 1) I'm horrible at keeping logs and 2) even more horrible at bringing them to my appointments.  But this software is so easy to use and speaks to the nerd in me, so I brought the graphs that I thought were most useful and had the most information for my endo: 

This is by far my favorite graph from the software.  It shows the average (among other things) blood glucose levels for each hour of the day.  A God-send for adjusting basal rates.  

This histogram plot shows where I spend most of my time on the blood glucose scale.  Most of the time I'm in the 101-160 mg/dL range. 
Armed with these fancy charts and graphs, I headed to my endo's office for my 8:30 AM appointment . . . all the way across town . . . in rush hour traffic.  I was so afraid I was going to be late that I could sense my stress levels going up.  Even with a stop for coffee (mmmm!), I made it with 3 minutes to spare before my appointment time.  I took my seat and prepared for the long wait (P.S. this is why I stopped for coffee).  I was enjoying watching an episode of "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?" on the lobby TV because it was the Pet Lover's episode and the contestant had a rescued border collie.  Thirty minutes passed and my name was called.

I make my way into the hallway and the nurse motioned me to step on the scale.  I always giggle when I get weighed there because there's a little comic strip above the scale that says, "Don't step on it.  It will make you cry!"  So true, so true.  Then I take a seat in my room while my nurse takes my blood sugar, A1c, blood pressure, and pump readings.  We chatted a little while waiting on my A1c (it takes 10 minutes to do its thing).  I heard the machine stop, but I was at a weird angle to see it.  And I didn't want to be all "What is it?!  What is it?!", so I waited for the nurse to tell me.  She looks back at the machine, "6.3, good job."  "Thanks,"  I said while doing a congratulatory dance in my head.  She left and told me that the doctor would be in shortly.

Enough time passed for me to snap a pic of the little room where I got my A1c:

Note the 3D model of a thyroid at 10 o'clock. 
Then he came in (I really should find a clever nickname for him other than "my endo" /digression), and said, "Your A1c looks great."  "Thanks."  He does some clickity click on the computer, checks my eyes, and asks me if I need any prescriptions filled.  "Just insulin."  After the confusion mess last time trying to get my strips refilled, I was glad I still have 6 months on those.  Then came the most awkward question from my endo that I've ever received:

"You're trying to get pregnant, right?"

I'm not sure if my eyes got as big as I felt they did, but I was able to rebut that statement pretty quickly, "Now right now.  We're just in the planning stages."  You see, in the process of trying to get insurance coverage for my CGM, I kind of had to play the "I wanna have kids someday" card.  And nothing screams "INSURANCE APPROVED" more than a procreating type 1 diabetic woman, right?

It's true that Trey and I do want to have kids some day, and a house full of them.  But the time is not quite right for us . . . yet.  And I don't say that like we don't have a plan and I'm waving my hand, "Oh, someday."  No, we have a PLAN, but it's just not right now.  And I'm not at a comfortable enough disclosure level with you guys to let those plans be known.  (But I still love ya!)  Then my endo turned to me and said, "Well, you have good control now that you'd be OK."  I'm glad that diabetes won't be something we have to wait on. /end awkward moment

He filled my prescription for my Novolog, and I went on my merry way.  But something that I did notice was that my endo was sort of shuffling me out of his office.  He seemed happy with my A1c, but it was almost as if the good A1c didn't merit any questions from me.  Not like when I came to his office crying last February where he let me ask "Am I going to die?" over and over.  It's slightly less dramatic than that, but I did wonder about my blood results, and my thyroid,and my finger stick test, and my blood pressure.  It seems that there's only discussion if your results are a little abnormal, otherwise, no news is good news.

There is something a little unsettling about that.  For example, I didn't even know what "good" blood pressure was until I had a bad one after a stressful day.  And I didn't know what a "good" cholesterol level was until it was pointed out that mine was a little elevated.  Just because I seem to be on the right track doesn't mean I don't want to know where the wrong track is.  I suppose that's part of being an involved patient, I want to know all the gory details of my body, even the good stuff.

So, to end this post (can you tell I'm trying to draw a conclusion?), A1c is good and lower than my 6.5 last time.  I've once again realized that my endo is a very small part of my diabetes management, and that most of the responsibility (and victory) goes to me.  I should go buy myself a trophy, or at least a diet soda . . .

Friday, October 22, 2010

Moment of Silence

In lieu of a Friday Five today, I'd like everyone who reads this blog to have a moment of silence or prayer for Eilish and her family.  Eilish was a 13-year-old girl who died in her sleep, most likely due to nighttime hypoglycemia.  There have been some great posts among folks in the DOC about this tragedy, instead of linking them all you can go look at my blog list down on the right.  We've all been taking this pretty hard.  Some of us are mad, some of us are scared (that it might happen to us), but all of us are sad. 

It's true that this event is rare, and not something we should be scared of.  It's true that we should hope for a cure (I do, everyday).  But there are times when things like this happen, that we just need to mourn.  It's OK to grieve, even for someone I didn't know.  I'll admit, I sat here and cried at my desk after hearing the news.  I prayed that God would just wrap her family in comfort in a way that only He can.  I find comfort in Him and His Word, so I'd like to share some verses that give me peace during times of mourning. 

 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: [. . .] a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance" ~Ecclesiastes 3:1&4 

 "O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I could bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." ~Psalm 51:15-17

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Calling All Fingers

Ever since I was diagnosed, I've mainly used my middle and ring fingers for testing.  I use these fingers the least for normal, daily activities.  I also try to test on the sides of my fingers rather than the fingertips so it doesn't hurt as bad.  And I've actually got into the good habit of changing out my lancet once a week!  Every Monday morning, it's the first thing I do before I test. 

But lately I've been noticing that these fingers are not as willing to give up the blood.  Due to testing 6-8 times a day normally, "correcting" Constance when she alerts me of a high or low, and entering two tests at the beginning of a new sensor cycle, I'm testing a lot more.  All of this is great as far as diabetes management, but detrimental if I ever wanted to fulfill my dream of being a hand model (not really my dream, but just sayin').  Either way, my two (four) finger rotation wasn't cutting it for all these tests, even with testing on two sides. 

So, for awhile I've been bringing the pinky into the testing rotation.  I've always spared the pinky because . . . well . . . I feel sorry for it.  It's the tiniest of all the fingers and it's all the way on the far side of the hand.  It only has the ring finger to keep it warm, but it can be kind of a diva (especially the left one *wink*).  And inevitably, I always stick it out when I'm sipping on a drink; it doesn't matter what the drink is, either:  coffee, water, even beer, the pinky sticks out.  It actually drives Trey crazy, "Why are you sticking your pinky out?  You're not French!"  Like the French have copyrights on the pinky being out, only during tea time. 

Now the pinky is starting to look pitiful, so I have to bring in the other two fingers:  the index and thumb.  I really don't like testing on these fingers because it hurts.  Maybe I'm still getting used to using them for testing, but I also use these fingers for most of my daily activities.  I try to only use these fingers when all of my other fingers start looking like over-used pin cushions. 

So now I'm using all ten fingers for testing.  I look down at my hands, and all fingers have nice red spots on them from previous tests.  When I did my security clearance for my job, they took a digital scan of my fingers, and you could still see pricks on my fingers that looked like they healed.  In other words, my finger print actually changes everyday!  Who's ready to rob a bank with me?  =D 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blood Work

It was a crisp fall morning.  Most of the cars were heading east towards town, but I was the only one heading west towards the medical center to get my blood work done.  This was the first time going to this new medical center since we moved back in the spring.  It took me turning around once and refreshing myself on the map to figure out where I was supposed to go. 

Once I found the right building, I walked in and took my number.  I was the third person in the tiny room.  The other two occupants were a middle-aged woman with glasses and an elderly woman walking with a cane.  In our small talk, I found out she had knee surgery nine months ago and was using the cane to help during her recovery.  Even though I've done this same song and dance half a dozen times since being diagnosed with diabetes, I felt a little out of place being as young as I am. 

After both women were called back, I was left in the waiting room by myself.  I took the opportunity to snap a photo for the Waiting with Diabetes Flickr group: 

Good thing I didn't have to wait long.  Those chairs were not very comfy. 
The young nurse called my number.  She was dressed up in Auburn scrubs, so we immediately had something to talk about.  We discussed the Arkansas game coming up (which we won! woo!) while she took my insurance card.  She began setting up her things, and I noticed the huge needle about to make its way in my arm.  She looked at my blood work request form and said, "Oh, we also need a urine sample from you.  I didn't notice that."  Peachy, apparently giving a urine sample is some sort of honor.  So I made my way to the bathroom down the hall and . . . donated. 

Walked back into the nurse's office and sat back down in the chair.  "Which arm do you want to do do?"  I motioned toward my left arm and said, "I guess this one."  She tied the rubber ribbon around my bicep and began flicking my vein.  She kept flicking, and kept flicking, and kept flicking.  "Hmmm, it doesn't want to come up does it?"  "Yeah, my veins are always hard to find."  I was just praying that she got it on the first try, I didn't want to go through a failed vein prick and have to start all over.  She picked up the needle from the table, and I turned my head to the right and closed my eyes.  "Little pinch," she said.  I felt the needle go in and shut my eyes even tighter.  "You OK?" she asked.  "Yeah, I just don't like to look." 

A few seconds passed and she said, "Hold this and apply pressure."  I looked over and the needle was out and she was holding a cotton ball on my vein.  I let out a sigh and put my right index and middle finger over the ball.  Then she wrapped up my elbow with flesh-colored wrapping and said, "OK, you're all set." 


"Now go get you some breakfast."  Gladly . . .

Monday, October 18, 2010

Walking Blind into the Forest

Sometimes I wish I could control when I have to recalibrate Constance.  For example, this weekend we were visiting Trey's family in Tennessee (hello, fall leaves!), and we all decided to go for a hike on Sunday afternoon.  It just so happened that I had to start a new session on Constance right before the hike.  Of all the activities we had scheduled that weekend, I needed Constance most on a hike through the woods. 

The hike began fine because we started going downhill, but once we started going uphill I started feeling the rush of an upcoming low.  I honestly didn't think about adjusting basal rates before the hike, so I simply reached under my shirt, disconnected Arnold, and put the cap and tube in my pocket.  We got to our stopping point--a beautiful spring and waterfall setting.  The family sat down on huge rocks, catching our breath as we took in the fall foliage.  Some family members took to jumping from boulder to boulder, but I decided to take it easy and conserve whatever my BG levels were at that point. 

It was the perfect weather for a hike, too, with highs in the upper 70s, a cool breeze, and not a cloud in the sky.  I only wished that I had snapped a picture (even if it was just with my phone), but sometimes it's best to just take it all in with a mental picture.  We saw all sorts of autumn hues including yellows, reds, oranges, pinks, purples, and (ever)greens. 

We started making our way back to the house, and I was still unconnected.  We went downhill, upwill, over tree stumps, and I never felt the shakes or dizzy or any other of the classic low symptoms.  By the time we made it back, Constance was prompting me to enter the two BGs needed for startup.  I used both my meters, the UltraLink and my Mini, and both gave me a nice 110 mg/dL post-hike.  I was even able to enjoy some afternoon dessert of creme puffs and raspberry tarts with a nice streamline around 115 mg/dL for 3 hours afterward (diabetes nirvana!). 

Even though I was nervous about being "blind" for our hike, everything turned out alright.  This was a nice surprise because I was battling some major highs the whole weekend before that, like no matter what I ate I peaked at 300 mg/dL without fail (traveling stress).  But Constance has helped me bring these down quickly, and maybe having Constance as a part of my diabetes management has scared my numbers into submission.  I'm really interested in my endo appointment next week to see what my A1c will be post-Constance. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose

Tuesday was an awesome day for me, diabetes-wise.  I'm pretty sure I even had a no-hitter, but I haven't downloaded my numbers to confirm.  My in-range trend continued into yesterday, and I decided to reward myself with a regular Snickers bar (not dark Snickers?). 

Big mistake. 

Since I had a meeting soon after lunch, I got my Snickers bar and bolused accordingly without waiting the standard 30 minutes for my insulin to kick in.  Of course, I sky-rocketed to 325 mg/dL before I started coming down.  But since the last few days had been rock solid on the insulin absorption front, I started coming down fast . . .  too fast.  Even without a correction, I was still dropping so much that I needed to drink some juice before I left work. 

Riding this glucoaster left me so drained when I got home, that I punted on making dinner and declared it "Leftovers Day" (we both ended up eating a bowl of cereal, but I digress).  But it seemed no matter how much I ate, I couldn't get my BG back up AND stable.  It seemed like my numbers were playing some sort of virtual tennis game, and whenever I would hit 100 mg/dL my trend immediately started going down again.  It got to the point where I was literally sick of eating, and just wanted to go to sleep. 

When I was ready to go to bed, I was 89 mg/dL with a straight arrow down.  I didn't want to eat anymore, especially in the middle of the night, so I set a 50% temporary basal for 2 hours.  Constance did go off about 30 minutes after I was in bed, saying I was 69 mg/dL--right under my low threshold (I was kind of annoyed that I was "Low" but just under.  I just wanted to go to sleep, and being woken up from a 69 mg/dL was like "What?!  You couldn't be one or two points higher!").  I tested but my meter said I was 99 mg/dL.  I corrected Constance, and she compromised at 85 mg/dL but still with a southeast arrow.  I figured my temporary basal would kick in soon, so I went to sleep. 

This is where things went to crap.  According to Constance, I jumped to just under 350 mg/dL and stayed there for 3 hours!  What scared me most is that I didn't wake up.  This is exactly the kind of situations I wanted to avoid with a CGM.  I finally got up at 3 AM when Constance woke me up at 276 mg/dL.  Luckily, my meter said I was actually 181 mg/dL, so I'm hoping that Constance was overshooting that 3-hour, 350 cruise.  The thought of being at that number for that long just makes my stomach turn.  My first thought when I woke up (at 127 mg/dL, I didn't correct the 181 for fear of going low again, I was comfortable just cruising until I woke up, basal rates may need tweaking) was I wondered if these past few bad days was going to mess up my blood work that I'm going to get done on Friday. 

A recap of my bad day.  (I wanetd to label this pic "crappy_day" in my Constance folder, but I already had one labeled that.  So this is crappy_day2, ducking fiabetes.)
I hate days like this because I worry about what damage I'm doing to my body with these numbers.  And it's not just the persistent highs, it's the bouncing from low-normal-low-normal-high etc.  I notice that my body takes time to get used to "normal" and having days like this (sick days, stress days, Snickers days) makes me feel like I'm starting all over. 

I think next time, I'll just reward myself with a diet soda.  =( 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Great Milk Debate

One of the things that I constantly struggle with is my peak following my breakfast cereal.  It seems I can't knock down my average peak of 225 mg/dL one hour following my meal of Kashi GoLean Original and milk.  For the longest time, I thought my cereal was the culprit in my peak.  I never suspected the milk might be causing the spike, but it is loaded with 13 grams of carbs, most of which were added post-processing.  So, this weekend during my weekly grocery shopping trip, I decided to take a closer look at my milk options.

Of course, we usually buy the fat-free store brand milk, which is cheapest.  And that's always kept me from looking at other options, but battling these cereal peaks requires better low carb milk ammunition.  There were several soy milk options that had half the amount of carbs of my usual purchase, but I guess I've never really understood the soy craze.  Other milk options had less amount of carbs, but were loaded in fat.  The best option I could find with a good fat:carb ratio was a soy milk option with 2.5 g of fat and 6 g of carbs in one cup.  There were also some organic milk options, and of course those appealed to me.  I've mentioned before that I'm not 100% organic in all my grocery purchases, but I definitely like to buy all natural and make less post-processed meals when I can. 

I finally settled on an organic, no sugar added, soy milk with 4 g of fat and 4 g of carbs in one cup of milk.  I didn't realize the amount of fat in one cup until I got home.  It's significantly higher than my usual fat-free purchase, but most of the fat in this milk is polyunsaturated, which is a good fat that has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.  And according to my last blood work results, I could use some cholesterol-fighting power milk.  Even though it's good fat, it's still fat.  So I will have to see how much this milk really helps in the blood sugar department before I settle on it for my new, usual milk.

 So far this morning, my fasting BG was 74 mg/dL and my peak was 123 mg/dL with my Kashi cereal and this milk.  It seems to be passing in the diabetes department.  Does anyone else have a good milk they'd like to share?  I'm still open to other options.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Five: 8 October 2010

Welcome to another edition of Friday Five!  Today's post is about diabetes management with the cooler weather which involves more rotating site changes, new sensors, managing insulin sensitivity, and getting some diabetes nirvana. 

  1. With the cooler weather upon us, I have taken out all my long-sleeve shirts and sweaters in my closet.  This also means that I get to take advantage of the 4' pump tubes for some arm sites.  I had great success with my arm site a couple months ago, and I know I need to rotate my sites more in order to avoid dead absorption sites.  
  2. I got a new order of Dexcom sensors last week, which means I've been wearing Constance for 3 months now!  I really can't believe how fast the time has gone.  One of the things I'm looking forward to is using the software in my upcoming endo appointment and see what my doctor things about this software.  He was rather reluctant to CGMs, so I'm hoping I can help other patients have success in getting approval from him.  
  3. A new project for me is in the works for my job.  I'm really excited about this upcoming opportunity, but it does involve some lab work, which includes 10-hour days in a lab with no food or drink (I get a lunch break, at least).  I expressed some concern with my boss about being in a lab that long without food, so we're looking into having a sealed bottle of juice for me in case I get low in the lab.  I am excited about the work, but the diabetes limitations still worry me at this point.  
  4. I'm still having issues isolating my increase in insulin resistance that seems to be in sync with the fall season.  It seems I need to increase every single one of my basal rates by 0.1 units, and my insulin:carb ratio has increased from 1:12 to 1:10.  Constance is helping me isolate these incidents, but my total average (from Arnold and Constance) is still around 140 mg/dL so I'm not totally frustrated. 
  5. But sometimes, all this maintenance and frustration leads to something known as diabetes nirvana, when everything seems to line up and diabetes behaves:  
Like getting matching Captain 100s with a nice streamline on the Dexcom.  =) 
 Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No D Day: Super Nerd!

Today is the day where we're not supposed to talk about it.  Not even mention it, not even on Twitter (what?!).  We're supposed to talk about what makes us who we are, apart from it.  So who exactly is Holly apart from it?

I . . . am . . . a . . . nerd!  Yep, that's right.  A bona-fide, tried and true, math-loving, physics-studying, weather-gazing, computer-programming GEEK!  I've always been like this.  In grade school, doing homework was fun to me.  I loved working on math problems because it was like a puzzle to me.  My favorite day in 3rd grade was when we started studying multiplication.  Then in 8th grade I started algebra (technically one grade earlier than I was supposed to), and letters were added to our math problems.  Then in high school I took trigonometry and calculus.  I even went to summer school between my junior and senior year ON PURPOSE just so I could take AP calculus in my last semester.  No one made me do any of this, my parents never had to make me do my homework.  I willingly took on extra math classes in order to prepare for my college major--physics! 

Luckily, I went to a college where being a geek was acceptable.  In fact, being one of very few females in my physics classes made me very popular.  (I was NOT used to this kind of attention.)  But I loved my classes!  One of the other reasons I love fall is because it is back to school season, but since I'm no longer living the student life I couldn't list that reason.  Being a physics major, I minored in math where I expanded beyond calculus and took differential equations and linear algebra.  My physics classes included the basic physics introductory classes plus fluid mechanics, relativity, and quantum mechanics.  In my senior year, I started taking my specialized courses in atmospheric science including dynamics, thermodynamics, radiation, cloud processes, satellite remote sensing, and tropical meteorology.

Presenting my thesis research at The American Meteorological Society annual conference.

In grad school, a new element to my nerdness entered the picture:  computer programming.  Basically, computer programming is like using a really fancy calculator that takes on much larger problems and can make pretty plots (at least for me, anyway).  Admittedly, it took me a good year to get a hold of computer programming until my satellite remote sensing course.  But now I feel like a programming wizard!  I like creating my own programs from scratch and seeing the results that are used in making decisions for the safety of future astronauts (whoa! heavy!).  But I love it!  Other than actually being an astronaut, I'm pretty sure I have the coolest job I could ever imagine. 

I also get to make spiffy GUIs like this one.

So that's it for No D Day.  Other than it, I'm a computer-programming, math-loving, GUI-creating super nerd.  But I have no clue how to change a light bulb . . . 

(That last part was a joke, I do know how to change a light bulb.  I was just trying to explain that my super-nerdiness sometimes outweighs my common sense.) 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Losing Steam

I have an endo appointment in 3 weeks, which means I have to go get blood work done in 2 weeks.  It's about this time in my 4-month trip between visits called "life" that I start to lose my enthusiasm for diabetes management.  After I leave my appointments, within hours I go full force into testing frequently, counting carbs, and waiting the appropriate amount of time for the insulin to kick in.  But due to work life, home life, social life, and just life, I start to relax and think, "Eh, 216 mg/dL isn't that high."  Two hours later and still hanging out in the 200s, "I guess I should take a correction."  And instead of trying to figure out why I was high for so long from either not counting my carbs, testing my insulin:carb ratio, or tweaking my basal rate, I simply go on with my day and don't think about it. 

This trend starts with a trickle like going out with friends and wanting to leave diabetes at home, but then it just becomes part of the routine.  And before I know it, my 30-day average has jumped up by 5 mg/dL.  And I start getting relaxed on my diet, consuming well past my allotted 150 g carbs per day.  Then I start skipping workouts or stop going all together.  (Then you agree to play intramural football on a cool, windy Sunday afternoon and get so sore that you avoid walks to the bathroom because you have to go downstairs.)  All these things begin to pile up, then the calendar turns to October and you notice you have an endo appointment in 3 weeks and think, "Oh crap!" 

However, having Constance this round has helped my diabetes management a ton.  She doesn't increase my enthusiasm for testing or carb counting, more like an overbearing parent that constantly reminds you that you're high . . . every hour . . . starting at midnight.  When you have to wake up every hour to see to an inanimate object and look in the mirror wondering if you're starting to go crazy, you make sure your basal rates are spot on and you're normal before bedtime, because dangit I wanna sleep!  So even if I wanted to completely forget about diabetes in this last month, Constance wouldn't let me.  I was so excited when she first arrived, but now I find myself telling her, "You shush up now, and go to sleep!"  Maybe after the appointment, she and I will be excited about our bond and become BFFs again. 

So how do you guys handle this?  We all get excited and gung-ho about diabetes management at some point either after an appointment, diaversary, or getting a new toy (i.e. CGM), but eventually we all get burned out or simply bored with the day-to-day with diabetes.  I really don't want to watch this video to remind me to take care of myself (and that video wouldn't be that helpful anyway, give me hope over fear!).  I'm constantly reminded that living a life with diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint, and coming out of the gate full force only leads to frustration and exhaustion later. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Diabetes at Auburn

This past Saturday, we went down and enjoyed the Auburn game.  It was a great day that ended with an Auburn victory.  I got to watch Nova the eagle fly right over my head (TWICE!) before landing on the "AU" symbol midfield.  I also got to watch 1700 high school cheerleaders run all over the field at halftime like opening day at a new mall.  1700 screaming girls made a screaching sound beyond my decibel level.  But diabetes always comes along for the ride, and always causes trouble. 

Since the game started at 11:00 AM, we had to get up at 5:00 AM in order to get there on time, accounting for game traffic and pregame activities.  After stopping to get breakfast at good ole McD's, I bolused for 61 g carbs but wasn't able to wait the standard 30 minutes before consumption.  So I peaked in the 200s before finally coming down; however, I started falling too fast because I was 75 when we got to Auburn.  I know for some diabetics, stress causes them to get high.  Well, I somehow am blessed to have the opposite effect, so the stress of trying to find a parking spot, my parents, then the stadium (not to mention also walking to the stadium) made me start dropping . . . quick.  Luckily, we were able to catch a transit from our parking spot to the stadium where I was able to consume 4 glucose tabs.  Constance was warning me I was in the 60s and dropping, but I was just trying to get to our seats and then worry about food. 

When we got into the stadium, we found out we were on the complete wrong side from where our seats were located.  We begin walking to the right, figuring the direction didn't matter, before being told we had to turn around thanks to a blockade of security guards.  We were a quarter around the stadium before we were told to turn around.  So we all turn around and begin to fight the crowd again, doubling back.  Trey looked back at me at one point and said, "Are you OK?"  (He heard Constance going off earlier.)  I looked down and saw I was still in the 60s but with a northeast arrow.  "I'm fine.  I'm coming up.  Let's just find our seats."  We make our way through the stadium, and I couldn't figure out if my sweat was coming from walking or from being low. 

We finally get to our seats, and Trey didn't even sit down before he asked, "What do you want?"  "Uhhh, I guess a diet coke, hot dog, and a Snickers bar if they have one."  He turned to walk away and I said, "Wait, you're gonna miss the eagle."  He gave me this look that said 1) that's not that important to me and 2) you're diabetic and it's lunch time.  I knew the game was probably going to be a blow-out (and it was), so I knew seeing the eagle fly down the field was going to be the highlight of the game for me.  And it was, the eagle was released and flew over our section towards the band, then doubled back over our section again before diving down to midfield.  I was clapping, smiling, and screaming all at the same time. 

I knew my BG was still dropping, so I didn't even bolus for the hot dog and the handful of M&M's (grrrr, no Snickers).  But around the 3rd quarter I was craving a frozen lemonade, so was Mom.  My dad and Trey went down and got 2 for all of us.  But when Trey opened it, I saw the syrup-y remnants on the lid (high-fructose corn syrup) and fulling expected to bolus a truckload for this snack.  Total count:  71 g carbs.  There was no way I could wait even 15 minutes for this snack because if I did I would be drinking it instead of enjoying it frozen.  So, I hate to say this, but I just expected to peak above 250 mg/dL (and I did) and just wait it out.  I bolused and tried to nurse it, but I could only savor so much before it started melting.  I hate that.  I knew I would go high and I did, but dangit I wanted a frozen lemonade! 

The game ended and we made our trek back home, but we stopped for dinner where I experienced diabetes nirvana:  I was able to SWAG bolus my way through a chicken strips and fries and stayed on a 130 mg/dL streamline for 6 hours!  After a crazy high-low-high day, diabetes and I ended on a good note. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Five: 1 October 2010

Welcome to the first October edition of Friday Five!  This week, I thought I'd share what I love about Auburn Football because I have the privilege of attending tomorrow's game (woo hoo!).  Seeing the game on TV is one thing, but being there is completely different.  For those of you new to this blog, yes, I am a female who loves football.  Some (including my husband) might say I'm even a little crazy about it.

1.  Watching an eagle fly around the stadium!  One of the pregame traditions is to have a bald eagle fly from the top of the stands, around the stadium, down to the 50-yard line to his trainer.  It is truly a beautiful thing to watch this magnificient animal.  The crowd continues to shout "WARRRRRRRR" until the eagle lands and they end with, "EAGLE, HEY!".  Even if you aren't a football fan, you can enjoy and appreciate this beautiful scene. 

2.  Aubie!  Aubie is the Auburn mascot who provides entertainment and skits during the whole game.  He also makes appearances at other venues, including running the 40-yard dash at the R&B show.  It is impossible to not smile when you see Aubie.  When the game gets boring or becomes a blow-out, I love to watch Aubie and his craziness. 

3.  The Band!  This is one of the reasons why I love college football more than professional.  It just doesn't feel like a football game to me without a band.  What can I say, I did marry a band geek, too. 

4.  The game.  I can't list what I love about Auburn football if I didn't mention that I love the game itself.  I've loved football since I was a kid, must be a genetic thing by growing up in the south.  I love it so much that I play intramural football and kick major hiney!  If Trey and I end up having a boy (later on), and he wants to play soccer, I may just die! 

5.  The spirit.  I've been to almost every corner of this country (haven't made it to the northwest . . . yet), and it's such a cool thing to see someone else with AU clothing or jewelry and shouting "War Eagle" and getting a "War Eagle" back.  It's like saying "hello", only it goes much deeper.  Something I've always respected about Auburn University is the spirit of comradery it instills in its students.  I didn't go there as a student, but my brother did and I still see the spirit alive in him.  When it comes to college football, Auburn is home. 

Now that I've fully endulged in a football only post, I know I must yield.  I'm sure there're some UA fans reading this who might delete me from the RSS feed now.  I promise I will get back to diabetes stuff next week . . . until the Iron Bowl! 

Have a great weekend and WARRRRRRRRRRRR EAGLE, HEY!!! 

Recent Posts


DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

Recent Comments

About Me

My photo
My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.