Stop Diabetes

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Primal Stride Challenge, Join me to help build a healthy, stronger you in 2010.

The Primal Stride Challenge is an opportunity to join with others in meeting weekly goals of health and fitness.  The first challenge begins January 1st at 5am and is being called the 5 at 5 challenge.  For the first 7 days, simply complete a 5k each day beginning at 5am.  That's 3.1 miles.  If you walk, at a brisk rate, you can complete this in 45 minutes.  It doesn't matter how quickly you accomplish this, how gracefully you finish. .just finish.  The next week will be a new challenge, like, doing 250 crunches each day, or eating a new green vegetable each day.  For more information, follow the link and watch the video on the home site.  I'm really excited to take this next year to get healthy and really shake things up!

What I LOVE about this idea:
  • How many of us make New Year's resolutions that die off after 2-3 weeks?  We make it to the gym 4 days the first week, 3 days the next and before you know it, we're sitting on the couch again.  This is one week at a time and I don't know about you, but I can handle one week at a time.    
  • You get one "free pass" day per weekly challenge, so if something does come up or you're not feeling well one day, you're off the hook.  Just pick up with the next week's challenge and continue.
  • It's a community of people with a common goal of seeing each other succeed, pushing each other to achieve more and pulling you along when you can't get out of bed.
  • It's a chance to see what I can accomplish.  There may be challenge weeks that seem easy, there may be some that push me to the limit of what I can accomplish. . in between, I will have grown, stretched myself and become that much more healthy.
  • People will be blogging their experiences.  It'll be interesting to see how others progress as we compare notes, rantings and pictures.  
What I don't like about this:
  • The very first challenge starts at 5am!  Anyone who knows me, knows that this will be my biggest challenge right off the bat.  If I can wake up at 5am for 7 days in a row. . I will have accomplished my biggest feat EVER and the rest of the year will be easy, breezy, beautiful!  ha ha
Ok, I hope I've convinced you to join me.  It'll be fun to do something together, you and I.  It'll give us another dimension of our relationship. Please go to the Primal Stride Challenge website and leave a comment on his blog.  Then, please let me know so I can check-in on you, compare notes, and we can help each other succeed.  HAPPY 2010 to you and the new you you're about to become!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Woot! Yea, verily, triple woot!

Today the journey has a new starting point.  I went to KU Med to see if I qualify for a research study of Type II patients, currently taking the meds I'm on and possibly adding a third.  They drew blood, did an ecg, measured, weighed and poked and prodded me.  I gave them copies of all my lab work, chart notes, etc. I met Dr. Robbins and Debbie, my new CDE.  They're both extremely nice and made me feel very comfortable.

Dr. Robbins asked me to have my Dr. order a lab test, because he can't do it as part of the study.  I asked, what test is that?  "A blood test, I'll write it down for you."  He continued, "with your atypical presentation, I'd like to confirm that you actually are a Type II."  WHAT?  Really? 

He continued to explain how the study works, praised my hard work in getting my A1c down from 13.7 to 8.3 in just 6 months, marveled at the corrections I'd been able to make to my cholesterol readings in that same 6 months and overall talked about what a healthy specimen I am.

I had mentioned to Debbie (CDE) that I could feel whenever my BG was changing.  It feels very different when it comes down than when I've just finished eating and it's headed north.  Usually, within 20-30 minutes of eating anything (and I DO mean ANYTHING) I get this strange pressure in my head, and glaze over for about 5 mins as the meal turned glucose hits my bloodstream.  After that, I can join into the conversation again. It's funny, my hubby can tell too. . and responds, with "well, there it is. . "

After a few minutes of conversation, I asked. . "what was so atypical about my presentation?"  He said that generally Type II doesn't come on so suddenly.  There's usually a time of  BG creeping up, a general sense of not feeling well.  Mine just sort of hit me all at once.  Also, he said that Type II's don't generally feel their BG rising and falling as I do.  He's asking for a GAD65 Antibody that will determine whether my body is producing antibodies that fight my Islet cells and keep me from producing enough insulin, steadily to handle what I eat.

So, the bad news is. . I may not qualify for the study, if this indeed, is the case.  The GREAT news is. . they'll know what is going on, FINALLY, and be able to treat me accordingly.  YAY!  This doesn't reduce any of the work I've put in to self-managing my condition, but, it will make that hard work much more efficient!

Here's where I give credit to @Diabetic_Iz_Me and @devilishly_diab for their apt twitter diagnostic skills. Holla!

So, as @rpederse responded on twitter this morning upon hearing the news: Woot!  Yea, verily, triple woot!  Indeed!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There's never a good time. .

We were told yesterday that we need to move our offices by the end of the month.  Another lease was signed that would require our entire space and there may or may not be space available across the hall. So, I may or may not be looking for office space elsewhere or I may or may not be moving across the hall.  I don't know when to expect this information and/or should we be signing a new lease with another building or just hanging on.  The I.T. guy for the building starts his vacation tomorrow through the end of the month, so who's supposed to move our computer and phone lines?  The boss and I were going to take these next couple of weeks to gear up for a big marketing campaign to kick-off the new year, etc. 
There's never a good time. . .

This made me think about other times in my life when things have happened at the most inconvenient time:
You know, your checkbook is running thin and the tax assessment arrives for your house and it's due 5 days before Christmas.
One year, our dog ate a plastic trash can lid, seriously, a 40 gallon trash can lid. . . chewed it into little pieces and swallowed it up, bit by bit.  This required surgery to open her stomach and pull the pieces out.  $1K spent two weeks before Christmas.  We were faced with paying for this surgery or informing our girls that the dog would be going away to doggy heaven. . right before Christmas.  We're wimps, we paid for the surgery.
You have a huge presentation that could change your business for the rest of the year and you wake up with a sore throat, a crazy BG or stomach virus and can't go to work.
You have an ill child, one that's missed their nap, another lying naked on the changing table and the roof inspection guy shows up. The dog is barking to alert you that a stranger is approaching, the kids are crying, you have one hand over a diaper holding back the golden stream and trying to answer the door and hold the dog  back.
You get bad news. . you've got a chronic illness, a lump, a broken relationship, lose a job, lose a loved one, lose hope.
There's never a good time. . .

We are a people of planning.  We plan our days, weeks, months, years, lives in an effort to know where we are heading, what to expect, when we'll arrive and how that will be rewarded.  Anything changing that direction sends us reeling as we try to make adjustments to STILL reach that planned destination while fitting this detour in.  There's never a good time . . . as our time has been alloted, our money has been spent before it arrives, our emotions have been invested.

So then, do we find each life circumstance to be an interruption of an otherwise good plan, or do we examine it to determine if our final destination needs to be changed.

My mom certainly didn't plan on living her retirement years on her own.  She had a plan to travel and live in a 5th wheel visiting friends and family around the country, constantly being welcomed with a warm hug, new sites, new experiences.  That all changed in January of 2008, when my Father reached HIS final destination, at the feet of his Savior.  My mom could've just pulled up the sidewalks, locked the doors and windows and given up on her dream of travel and the warmth of a welcome hug.  Instead, she adjusted, changed course and rolled with it.  Since Dad's passing, Mom has moved to Kansas and visited Belgium, France, California, Tennesse and Oklahoma.

I just started a new life in KS, with my very handsome husband and our four girls.  I was already adjusting to a new city, new job, new church.  I got lost on a daily basis and never knew which direction I was driving.  I'm fortunate that we have a group of friends that accepted me in and loved me immediately.  

Now, I face that new life with diabetes.  I can either give in, decide I'm not going to make it to that final destination or I can adjust again. . adding new routines to my days, new information to my library, new frustrations but also new solutions.   I've also had the privilege of adding new friends, new experiences, new opportunities that never would've been part of this journey if I hadn't stumbled over the diabetes speed-bump.  So, I grasp this new life, hold it close and start running.  I know it's hard to  believe, but there have been some good things brought about by this bump in my road:

I've met so many inspirational, wonderful, funny, loving, smart people
I've lost quite a bit of weight
I'm eating so much more healthy
I'm exercising regularly
I've learned to notice changes in my body
I got to go without glasses for several months
I'm writing again. (you may not think that's a good thing. . but, I LOVE it.)

So, I change direction again and I'm back to finding an Attitude of Gratitude to start each day.  Today, I'm grateful that I can recognize when I'm starting to be bitter, grumpy and complaining early enough to adjust my direction and get back on the path.
  • I'm grateful that if I have to deal with a chronic condition, it's one that can be managed and LIVED with
  • I'm grateful for my family and friends who surround me, grabbing my hands to pull me up when I fall down, walking in front of me to guide me, behind me to give me that "push" when I need it and beside me to hold my hands and keep me at the right pace.
  • I'm especially grateful for my husband is the most supportive, helpful, cheerleader ever! 
  • I'm grateful for a God who knew me in my mother's womb, who knit me together, fearfully and wonderfully made me and knows what's broken and how to fix it. 
  • I'm grateful that I can use writing and art as therapy, to get my feelings out there for others to relate to and hopefully find kinship and hope in.
There's never a good time to face changes in our direction. . .but it's always a new opportunity to re-evaluate that destination and see if the entire journey needs an adjustment.  We might find that the new destination is that much more exciting than what we had previously dreamt of.  Have a grateful day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Exciting news and quite a gripe session. . .

So first, the EXCITEMENT!
Many of you know I've been struggling with my BG being 2-300 for quite awhile.  If you're on twitter, you've also seen some of the wonderful help and advice I've been getting.  Truly, I don't know what I'd do without my tweeps. . I truly believe they've saved my life, more than once.
So, my dear friend, Scott, was on his way in to visit with his CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) and he mentioned how I'd been struggling, that I hadn't been able to find an Endocrinologist to see, etc.  His CDE said to have me call her and she's see if there was anything she could do to help me.
I talked to her for a few minutes and was frankly, getting a little discouraged.  She would have to have a referral from my Dr. and then wouldn't be able to see me until February.  Then, she had a brilliant idea!  She told me about some studies that KU Med Center had ongoing and suggested I contact them to see if I would qualify.  At least, I'd be seen my a specialist soon, just to qualify me for the study.
Well, indeed, that's what happened.  I go in on Thursday morning to meet with them to qualify for a pharmaceutical study.  I'm taking the right meds, have been diagnosed the right length of time and am overall a perfect candidate.  Here's the best part: each visit is with an Endo and CDE, my meds will be monitored, my BG will be monitored MUCH closer than before.  I'll be seen every couple of weeks rather than every couple of months. She said that if they can help it, I won't be living in the 300's anymore.  WOOHOO!  And, on top of that, I'm helping other people just like me by testing the effectiveness of this medication plan.  I know there are so many others out there, like me, struggling every day to get their BG down to a tolerable level. This could change everything for them and I'm happy to have been part of that solution.

So, once again, a hefty THANK YOU goes out to @devilishly_diab (aka Scott "that Old, cranky and devilishly good looking friend of mine) for caring enough to talk to someone about my case and get me in with an Endo.  I can't wait to see the difference this makes!

I'm also VERY excited for a special day our family celebrates this month.  Our youngest (or as we call her, the baaaby) is turning 18 tomorrow.  Dear, dear B, we love you very much and are so happy to be celebrating this milestone in your life.  But, you'll always, still and forever more, be known as, the Baaaby.  Ha ha You are wonderful, talented, loving, kind, beautiful and brilliant and we're very proud of you and the young lady you've become.  Have a WONDERFUL birthday!

Now onto the gripe session. .
I put these complaints at the bottom so you could ignore them if you want.  If you'd like to chime in with, 'Yeah, why do they do that?'  Feel free, but it won't hurt my feelings if you head on over to one of my friend's blogs listed to the side over there.

I have a few things piling up that I need to get off my chest.
1.  What is it with all the tweets about drinking coffee/tea will keep me from getting diabetes?  Here's a sample: "Four Cups of Coffee or Tea Daily Lowers Risk of #Diabetes by 25%"
Anyone that knows me, know that's a lie right off.  I drink enough coffee/tea to keep my entire neighborhood from being diagnosed with diabetes and yet. . here we are. I've been a coffee-holic for years and coffee bean, my dear old friend, you've let me down.  Not only did it NOT reduce my risk of diabetes, it apparently has been causing my BG levels to skyrocket.  This last weekend, I was wondering about my caffeine intake, felt a little dehydrated and started limiting my intake to one serving a day followed by LOTS of water with lemon (also said to help insulin resistance.)  I'm guessing that's what made the difference, it's the only change I made to my diet/exercise program and my BG started coming down . .a little at a time.  My buddy, Scott, then told me that indeed, being dehydrated affects your BG.  Thanks Doc, for letting me know that ahead of time.

2. I really, really think companies which list only the "net" carb on their nutritional labels without informing you that they're "netting the carbs" should be held accountable for this dangerous practice.  IE:  Cheesecake Factory has a "6 Carb Cheesecake."  That's what it's called.
The crust is made of nuts and it's sweetened with Splenda, etc . .it could be a 6 carb dessert, I've seen recipes that are close to this, so I wasn't crazy to think it could be real.  I normally order at the restaurant and they serve from a 10" cake.  The waitress was nice enough to inform me that the serving they deliver to the table is actually 12 carbs, an actual serving is 1/2 the size of that which is plunked down before the unsuspecting patron.
But, it gets worse.  I ordered a whole 7" cheesecake to take to a dinner party. Because the size was different, I asked for the nutritional label so I could measure out my portion accordingly.  I was HORRIFIED!  The "6 Carb" calculation is for people who deduct the ENTIRE fiber and sugar alcohol from the carbs. You know, people who are dieting for the sake of fitting into a smaller pair of pants, not people who could go into a coma.  MY carb count is 21!  That explains why when I ate 2 pieces a few weeks ago (hey, 12 carbs is allowable, if that's REALLY what you're eating) I felt like I was going to pass out.  I was actually eating 42 carbs, after a meal and I'm only allowed 30 carbs per meal and even 30 usually sends me into Jell-O head-land.  So, lesson learned. . .If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

3. This just made me laugh so hard tonight.  I was checking out recipes on (I LOVE THIS SITE!)  and there was a cookie recipe stating that the entire recipe yielded 60 cookies and the nutritional information was listed below that.  Ok, really. . some guy wrote in and said, "I'm a little confused, are you saying that this is the nutritional information for 1 cookie as one serving? or is one serving 60 cookies?  REALLY?  You put this in writing for everyone to see?  Where would you get the idea that a PWD would be served 60 cookies at one sitting and only ingesting 5 carbs?  I just shook my head and made that funny, mechanical (ya-ee-aa-ya-ee-aa) sound you hear in cartoons.

Ok, that is all. . I hope you're having a great month thus far and you've got great plans for the holidays.  I'll write more positive posts in the coming days.  Hang in there with me, won't you. . .what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  I just need to identify what those things are. . ha ha

Sunday, December 6, 2009

No D-Month = Fail

Ok, so I couldn't do it.  This was going to be a No-D month for me.  Since I completely unleashed that which is "D" in November, December would be full of stories related to my family, my hobbies, my faith. . . anything but Diabetes.  But, then. . .

My blood glucose started climbing and no amount of exercise would bring it down.  In an effort to share with you the power and the value of the online community, I want to share this story with you.  If you are not currently on twitter or taking advantage of sites like,, etc. . you are really missing an important piece of your diabetes management.

A few months ago, I had seen a few tweets saying things like, "BG too high, no #sweatbetes today" or "dang, I'm too high to work-out."  Because of these comments, I specifically asked my GP when should I NOT work out?  Is there a point when my BG is too high and exercise could be dangerous?  He basically answered that if I feel that I can exercise, I should try since that's the only way to get my BG down.

I had seen the effects of exercise over the previous few months.  I was 480 one day (which would've sent me to the ER if I were on the Dr. Oz show.)  My Dr. explained that it was because I hadn't been working out and  that my choices were simple; work-out or die.  I went home that afternoon from his office and started walking.  I walked for 45 minutes and got my BG down to 190.  I felt triumphant!  I felt VICTORIOUS!  I also felt nauseous.

Since that day, I've experienced a few days a week where my BG has been over 250, even 300 and I dutifully break out the jump rope or start walking.  Occasionally, my stomach will start to hurt, I'll get nauseated, feel like I can't catch my breath, but I push through and get my BG down below 200.  This last week, late in the evening I was at 424 and once again, changed into my workout gear despite feeling like I would really rather step out in front of a bus.  I jumped rope for about 20 minutes and started feeling nauseated again.  I rested for a minute, then I started getting cramps in my stomach and in my legs.  Before I knew it, I felt like I was having an asthma attack.  I couldn't catch my breath, I was hurting, sick to my stomach, home alone and more than a little frightened.  I assumed I had just gotten my heart rate up too high, so took an extended rest and got on the computer while I waited.

I tweeted with some of my friends: @Diabetic_Iz_Me, @sajabla, @rpederse and @devilishly_diab. (If you don't currently follow them, you need to add them to your list!)  They shared my pain, talked about high BG levels and how horrible it feels and generally encouraged me and talked me through my fright. . but then. .
I tweeted that I was going to work out some more because I had only gotten my levels down to 324.  @Diabetic_Iz_Me aka Cherise quickly tweeted back, "you're not over 250 are you?"  but I didn't see it, I had already started my work out video and would come back to this message 30 minutes later.

As I finished my exercise and had gotten my BG down to 212 I came back online.  Hmmm, why did she ask that?  The following 1/2 hour was full of information, links to websites, stories of what "could've been" and an overall education that I SHOULD have gotten from my Dr. when I had asked a few months ago!

People with diabetes are generally told not to exercise if their BG is over 250 with ketones present or if it's over 300 AT ALL.  To exercise in this state can put you into a state of ketoacidosis requiring immediate medical attention.  This can be deadly if not treated.  The symptoms of ketoacidosis;  yep, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing.  So, the next day, I was still having trouble breathing and went in to see another partner at my Dr's office and he confirmed that this is true, and I, indeed, could have a serious problem if I hadn't paid attention to my body.  He said many people just assume they're out of shape and try to push through it, and they end up in the hospital.  Lesson learned.

But, the existence of this condition is not the only lesson learned here.  I also learned the absolute value and power of the diabetic online community.  I valued this group previously for their care and concern when I had written in the past, but they had now possibly saved my life with information that I truly needed.  They've always been there with a shoulder to cry on, ready laughter when I joked and information to help me cope with this chronic condition, but the information and concern they showed that night was unbelievable.  So, to you, my DOC, thanks for everything!  I'm still struggling with managing this disease, but I'm never alone.  Help is never far away!

Thanks also to the friends who have since heard this story and offered their assistance at any time.  My mom even offered to spend the night whenever my husband travels out of town so I'm not alone.  I am well-loved and hope that my appreciation for you all is evident.  Hugs to all!