Stop Diabetes

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Primal Stride Challenge Update 2.5

Double Crunch Challenge
Physical Challenge: 250 crunches per day
Health Challenge: eat a different green veggie each day

The first few days of this challenge were really tough.  My stomach was SO sore and it was hard to get through the new crunches with the previous night's crunches reminding me that they weren't yet a memory. But after 5 days, I'm really surprised that I now get to the 200's and I feel like I can actually keep going.  I think on the last day, I want to keep pushing to see how many I can actually knock out in one day.  I'll let you know. . . 

I love veggies, so the health challenge of this has been fairly easy for me. (Much easier than the 5am wake-up call from last week!) I've had spinach, several kinds of leafs (lettuce), zucchini, fennel, peppers, cabbage, green beans and I've still got avocados, olives and more to try. Are capers a vegetable? I have some of those and haven't eaten any yet.

I'm so excited for everyone participating in the challenge.  Some have faced physical injury, health issues and just plain ol' life and they keep pushing, modifying when needed, but still pushing through to the better, new Primal Stride Challenger they're becoming.

Oh, I got another challenge from my daughter today.  She challenged me to read the book Born to Run in the next month.  She said it was amazing, a great read and so inspiring.  She walks and rides her bike everywhere she goes so she's in fairly good shape.  But, this book made her want to take up running and she's making great progress.  So, I'm also taking on this challenge. Apparently, the only way I can accomplish things is for someone to challenge me! 

American Idol is back. . .

Every year I say I'm not going to watch it.

I'm not going to watch the exploitation of really horrible noise makers who dress funny, take themselves too seriously or who truly have no idea that they can't sing.  Yet, like a bad accident. . I can't turn away.

I feel sorry for the young people who sing in church every week. They're constantly told how great they are. They practice singing in their rooms, with their friends.  They sing for hours, holding a hairbrush, dancing in front of the mirror.  But. . .they can't sing.  It truly brings to mind the old adage, "can't carry a tune in a bucket."  They have no concept of intonation, resonance, basic pronunciation.  They PUSH the sound from the back of their throats out through their noses.  They scream each note as if it were their last.  They're so desperate, loud, painful to listen to.

I feel sorry for the delusional people showing up in costumes, strange outfits or with props. They don't know how crazy they look and that we truly are laughing AT them, not with them. Some of them were just trying to get their 15 mins of fame by appearing on the show as one of the strange people getting cut during the first few weeks.  But, some of them truly thought they were helping their chances by standing out and being unique.

Why is this so fascinating?  I know people who ONLY watch the first few weeks of the show to laugh at the rejected contestants.  Does it make us feel better when we see someone else being rejected?  I start questioning my own abilities after the first couple of weeks of this show. . seriously. . like, I used to sing at church.  I used to actually be the music minister.  I led choirs, I did solos, I performed in musicals.  Now, I wonder, did everyone just humor me because I was the only person willing to do the job?  I know it's stupid, but I do wonder. . .

So, here we are. . another season of Idol.  I'll pick out a few favorites, follow them through to the end, voting, cheering, downloading their iTunes singles. (I still listen to Adam's version of Ring of Fire.)   I'm already partial to the cute little blond with the huge family and two brothers with Downs Syndrome.  I'll pick out a few really, horrible auditions and hope they make a comeback in the finale.  AND, all along the way, I'll sing a little less loudly at church, make sure my great new outfit isn't just another version of my "uniqueness" and try to pick up on subtle hints that I'm not as cool as I think I am.  Even though, I think I'm pretty ok.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bionic Barb Released to the World Today!

I can not put today into words.

I have been on the edge of happy tears all day long and the fact that I can even think straight to know they were happy tears, just proves what a great day it's been.

The 'betes started messing with me in February of last year.  Seriously, I've felt so horrible for an entire YEAR. My prescription for my glasses needed to be changed, then I started eating and eating, insatiable eating, and then losing weight, a lot of weight.  I started having cramps in my legs just before waking in the morning that were excruciating.  I was getting up in the night, 3-4 times for the bathroom and drinking water on the way back to bed just to keep my tongue from sticking to the roof of my mouth.  As soon as I'd eat something, I'd fall asleep for an hour.  During the day, at work, I'd get drive-thru food for lunch, eat it as I drove back to the parking lot then sleep it off and go back to work so lethargic. I had fallen at work and scraped up my shin, and it wasn't healing.  I was jell-o brained, tired and tired of feeling sick and tired. 

That was then. .

This weekend I started on insulin and I can not tell you how much better I feel.  I only feel sad that my Dr. didn't get me started on this earlier. . I would've really enjoyed feeling this well for my birthday, the holidays and all the other days.  Today, I started my bolus doses with meals and besides the 192 BG I had after breakfast, I've been in the low 100's all day.

My boss and I have been joking that the New Improved Barb came to work today.  I'm the new release. .  Bionic Barb and she's faster, smarter and alot more fun than previous version.  The previous version seemed to have a problem maintaining charge and the batteries needed to be replaced far too often.  She would also lose files, frequently reboot without notice and just when she'd start running, exhibit symptoms of a virus. (Happily no WORMS were ever detected. . blech!) LOL

So, what do I do with this new life I've been given?  I, hopefully, am able to encourage someone else who may be feeling as horrible and hopeless as I was.  I hope I'm now able to enjoy time with my friends and family as I've missed out on so much this past year.  Even though I was in attendance, I was checked out for most of it.  I hope I can encourage another person, in the same situation, to push for answers when they seem to just be getting worse and no one is listening.  I hope I encourage them to use the resources that are available online, in books, at their magical library, and especially through the diabetic online community to find the answers they need to feel healthy, vibrant and alive again.

Welcome Bionic Barb. . I hope you stay around for a good, long while.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Insulin, Primal Stride Challenge 2.2 and Diabetes 365 Photo.

Wow, I'm just covering everything in one entry tonight. . .

I started on insulin last night.  What an amusing moment for me. To stand there, with a needle in my hand, pointed at my belly, thinking, "ok, I just. . ok, I'm ready. . just push it. . ok, wait, *sigh* (holding breath) ok, now, just . . yeah, I'm ready. . just push it in.  Wait. . ok, here I go. . .ha ha  Even more funny, is that you don't even feel it, once you actually do it.  I expected something. . stinging, pressure. . nope, nothing.

The first injection was romantically delivered in the bathroom @ Oklahoma Joe's restaurant.  I'm actually not using bolus doses until Monday, but the CDE wanted me to have french fries last nite, so she instructed me to administer a corrective dose and then have 10 fries.  I'm a VERY compliant patient, a rule-follower. . so I obliged her.  Unfortunately, the 10 fries and the 1/4 of a hamburger bun still threw me into the 300's but after my basal dose at night (of long acting/24 hr. insulin) I woke up to a beautiful number of 166.  WOOT!

So, I've been low enough to work out most of the day and I'm so happy to be able to keep up with the Primal Stride Challenge.  I'm getting ready to work out right now and complete the 250 crunches per day.  My green vegetable for the day was actually a "double-crunch" as I had asparagus AND broccoli with dinner.  The better part of that meal was the SALMON. I do love me some salmon.

Today's Diabetes 365 photo is:

I teach scrapbooking and papercrafting for Joann's Craft store in Overland Park.  This art form is very therapeutic for me.  Not only in its ability to get my mind off my broken pancreas, but it also helps me to share my story, express my fears, explain my feelings in a creative outlet.  This is a mini-album that I made as an example for a class I'm teaching next week. Maybe YOU'LL end up in one of my albums, eh?

I'll catch up with you all tomorrow.  Have good dreams. . dream about me eating ice cream. . hee hee

Friday, January 8, 2010

Diabetes 365 Day 8

@devilishly_diab joins our group of friends and family at Oklahoma Joe's for dinner. The way this fits into Diabetes 365?  I met Scott the first time at a World Diabetes Day luncheon in downtown Kansas City in November.  We have since become quite good friends on twitter.  He has been instrumental in my finding out I'd been misdiagnosed as a Type 2 when in fact, I'm a LADA Type 1. (Latent Auto-Immune Diabetic Adult)  He often helps with encouragement, education and quite a bit of fun and laughter. I was thrilled to be able to see him in person and introduce him to my family.

Catching up..

I have some blogger catch-up today.
I just posted the update on my Primal Stride Challenge experience.  I have to say that this has been really great for me.  I love having the main website to check in with everyone, to celebrate all our successes and to get/give encouragement on the days things didn't go as planned.

I also need to catch up on my Diabetes 365 photos. . one picture each day to illustrate something in my dlife.  I have a couple for today because they sort of go together.

So, here's how these are related and why they are TODAY'S Diabetic 365 photos:
These are new shoes that we bought over the weekend.  Since I lost so much weight during the onset of the 'betes, I also lost a whole shoe size. So, many shoes were replaced.  Aren't these cute?

My boss and I also recently relocated our offices and I have a real office, with a real door and I'm SO thrilled about that.  But, the wall where my desk is situated is an outside facing wall, so cold, cold air creeps in through the electrical outlet.  Since the 'betes' I've noticed my feet are colder all the time anyway. . so, this has been unbearable today as it's the first day I've been able to sit at my desk.

The other picture there is the space heater which will be hiding under my desk first thing tomorrow morning.  It's a long explanation, but you can see how it all goes together, I hope.

I'm excited for tomorrow. . .I finally meet with the CDE to get started on insulin therapy.  There's a part of me that thinks, "this will change EVERYTHING" and another part of me that doesn't want to be too disappointed so I try to tell myself, this will just get my fasting BG down.  I don't really know what to expect, but I've been dealing with the unknown for a whole year now.  At least, I know how to deal with what I don't know yet. . ha ha  I'm hoping this truly changes everything now.

I DO know that with my fantastic husband who watches me like a hawk and can see even the slightest change in my demeanor, the girls who are concerned and offer to help in any way they can and with my friends and diabetic online community, I'll be just fine.  I've received so much help, love, care, information, emergency phone numbers and people offering a shoulder to cry on. . I'm a lucky gal.

So tomorrow I boldly go into the CDE's office, learn to jam more needles into this old, tired body, and take one more step toward a healthy future.  Thanks again to all of you who are so encouraging, enlightening and educating.  Cyber-Hugs all around!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Final Day of Week 1 - Primal Stride Challenge Update

This morning, I was up at 5am, ate some breakfast and walked 4 miles with my walk-at-home video. I wish I had a better view, but with it -20 outside. . . After working out, I pulled on the winter wear and popped outside to help Dear Hubby shovel the snow. We got a couple of inches overnight, so it was quite a workout to get the sidewalks cleared. Final blood glucose after all that was 195.

I'm so excited about this next week! I'd like to continue trying to get up early but will switch to my bootcamp workout. It does a better job of getting my BG down. The crunches are SO needed and I love me some veggies. I'm not just planning on a different veg each day, but perhaps a few I've not tried before. This will be fun! I'm also starting my insulin therapy, FINALLY! So, that will certainly help as well.

I'm so happy we've all done so well! This first week was a tough one, with sleep being such a difficult change in most people's lives and routine. Keep up the good work everyone! Check in tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Primal Stride Challenge Update 1.5

Today was VERY interesting.  I woke up on my own, no alarm at 4:30 and. . you know. . the first thing you have to do in the morning. . and decided I'd just lay down for a few more minutes.  I woke up again at 6am, and BG was too high to work out again.  It's probably also why I was so tired.  I made sure to drink alot of water today and move around.  I'm still unpacking in our new office space, so that's SOME exercise.  I just tested again and I'm at 265. So, I probably won't be exercising tonight.  We'll try again tomorrow.  I at least  feel like I'm making the effort and I'm trying to encourage the other participants.  It's what I do. . :-)

I'm very excited about the next challenge!

I can SO do this!  I LOVE me some green veggies AND I REALLY need the crunches!  I think I'll break them up into smaller sets throughout the day with one big blast in the evening.  It's hard to count from 1-250, it feels like such a LONG way to go.  I can certainly do 50 at a time throughout the day.  So, DA, if my office door is closed, I'm not sleeping. . I SWEAR!  I'm crunching!

I hope you'll join me in this. . it's much more as a team!  If you need more info, go to  If you post on twitter, use #primalstride so we can find your tweet.  G'nite all!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Primal Stride Challenge Update 1.4

Wow, am I having computer issues tonight! I haven't been able to upload pics and I wrote a big ol' blog post and it didn't save.  I got some weird internal error from blogspot. I've got a bunch of stuff to accomplish tonight, so. . a quick update:

I made it up at 5am this morning and did 4 miles with my Leslie Sansone walk at home audio.  I altered the workout though. . whenever I was supposed to be walking, I jogged in place.  It really got my heartrate up and then I also added some of the moves from my kickboxing video.  Instead of the little kicks she tells people to do, I did some kicks and punch combinations from kickboxing.  So, overal. . a pretty good workout.

I was excited my blood glucose was 111 fasting.  But, disappointed that, again, it went up from working out.  I finished at 156. . that sucks.  I also noticed that today, instead of hovering in the 200's, I got down to 151 after lunch.  That was a nice little surprise.

It's getting easier to get up early.  I'm actually quite surprised and think I'll try to keep this new schedule.  I get to work so much less frazzled, more alert and, I'm sure, in a much better mood as I've already been up several hours, rather than just trying to get my day started.

Talk to you all tomorrow.  Have a restful sleep and we'll catch you bright and early at 5am!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Primal Stride Challenge Update 1.3

Today, it was much easier to get up at 5am.  I think I also went to bed a lot earlier last night. . which always helps.  I'm generally not a morning person, as my family would agree, and usually don't start feeling human until around 10am. But, I will admit, getting up early has been good for me.  This morning, after exercising, I browsed an online recipe site and will surprise the family with low-carb blueberry muffins for breakfast.

It's way too cold to walk outside. This morning at 5am the thermometer read a whopping 13 degrees!  Yeeouch! The gym doesn't open until 7am on the weekend, so I put on my Leslie Sansone, Walk at Home audio and covered 3.5mi in my living room.  It's not ideal, but it helps me keep on pace for the challenge.

I was happy my fasting blood glucose was 175 this morning, but a bit disappointed that working out, once again, made it go up to 198.  That's what happens when you don't have any insulin in your system. (I'll put the logistics of that at the bottom of this post so when you  get there, if not interested, you can go about your day.) I see the Certified Diabetic Educator on Friday for my insulin lessons and prescription.  It will be interesting to see how much of a difference adding insulin to my regimen will make.

That's my update for this morning.  Go make it a great day! If you want to learn about the insulin/exercise thing. . read on, otherwise I'll be back tomorrow morning.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the beta cells of your pancreas.  It's main function is to help regulate the amount of glucose in your bloodstream.  As the glucose level rises, the pancreas releases insulin.  Insulin then acts like a key, opening the door of each cell so glucose can enter to be burned as fuel.  With Type 1 Diabetes, I don't have enough insulin, so when I exercise, my muscles are needing fuel to burn.  There's no insulin to open the cell doorways for the glucose, so it remains floating in the bloodstream.  The muscles, starving for energy, signal to my body that they need fuel and the liver releases glucose from it's storage to provide that fuel.  Unfortunately, with no insulin to let THAT glucose enter. . the cycle just continues adding more and more glucose into your bloodstream.

That's why it's so important for Type 1 diabetics to test their glucose levels before, during and after exercise.  If you happen to be caught in that cycle, your liver could send you right into diabetic ketoacidosis. .which could require hospitalization and even lead to coma.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Primal Stride Challenge Updates 1.1 and 1.2

January 2, 2010
I DID wake up at 5am this morning, unfortunately, my BG is still too high to work out.  I was still at 267 at 5:30am, have been drinking ALOT of water to help wash the glucose out of my system. As I re-read the website, I think I'm ok not actually working out at 5am, I'll have to defer to "Lone Wolf" on this one.  The Primal Stride Exercise challenge is:
Exercise: 5 kilometers each and every day – You may walk, jog, run, sprint… whatever gets you to the goal.
The Primal Stride Health challenge is: 
Health: Get out of bed at 5am each morning – It’s your chance to start the year off as an early riser! Try it for a week!
So technically I did meet the health challenge today, I can still work at getting my BG down and doing my 5K when I do, but again, I'll check with the official website to see if that qualifies, otherwise I'll get recategorized as a modified participant.  I'll update this as I get the 5K under my belt for today.  I am excited to track the miles I cover this year.  I wish I had done it in 2009!  Good luck to all the other participants!  I feel like that old Army commercial. . some people do more before 6am than most do in an entire day!  Hooah!
Update:  I did get 40 minutes of cardio in tonight, which is how long it would take me to walk 3.1 mi on a treadmill. So, mission accomplished!

January 1, 2010
Unfortunately, I had to use my free pass on the very first day of the challenge.  I had the worst time going to sleep, was up up until 2am, took a hot bath and slept in the tub until 3am.  Once I got to bed, it was at least 4am before I fell asleep.  Being a person with diabetes, good sleep patterns are as important as eating the right foods and testing my blood glucose (BG).  So, with my sleep being off, so was my BG. I was too high all day to work out.  I did get below the dreaded 250 one time, at 9pm at my Mom's house, but I was still feeling pretty fuzzy and had stomach cramps from being high all day and decided it wasn't a good idea to try to exercise. So, I claim my free pass for January 1st and will try again January 2nd.  (BTW, I probably should've registered as a "modified" participant for this reason.  I'll make a note on the official challenge website.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Written Word - Obsolete?

I just read 12 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade on Huffington Post.  Many of the 12 items listed, truly have run their course and I'm more than happy to part with them.  I'm fine without junk mail, address books that were outdated the minute you wrote in pen, and dial-up internet service. There are also two items I really have a hard time giving up.

The first item that really caught my eye is the encyclopedia.  I agree that most information is now researched over the internet far more often than we would use an encyclopedia set. But, the thought of encyclopedias becoming obsolete, lead me to think of books in general.  I read another report this week that this was the first year Amazon sold more ebooks than regular books the day after Christmas.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Kindle and the like.  I actually bought my DH a Sony eReader Touch for Christmas.  He travels 3-4 days a week and is always trying to squeeze 3-4 books in his carry on bag.  He now has the capability of carrying 350 books in one device.  However, there's just something magical about holding a leather bound book in your hand.  The smell of the pages, the crack when you first stretch the binding, the way the standards are sewn tightly in place.  My family will tell you, I'm not a big reader. . but, there's just something about a hard bound book that I can't explain.  I even learned how to bind books so I can use that skill in my scrapbooking/papercrafting business. To think that you can fit the story of one's life, the passages of time, dreams for the future and hauntings of the past in those pages, locked between two covers of savory smelling hide. It's magical.

Another item listed as obsolete in this report was the handwritten letter.  As I write this blog, on the computer, out on the world-wide-web, I know that I am as guilty as the next person in allowing this art form and conveyor of heart and soul to disappear.  Really, if you want to 'Wow' me, write me a letter.  There is nothing more personal, more intimate than a handwritten letter.  It is a true gift to take the time to precisely write your thoughts, dreams, love, prayers, hurt, excitement with your own hand.  The scribbles, underlining, scratching though and rewritten words are precious and each one thought out and purposed.  If you are taking time to write with a pen. . oh my, the value increases exponentially.  When receiving a handwritten letter, you know that person has thought, re=thought, worded-reworded and made sure that each word was exactly chosen to convey just the right feeling, mood and conversation.  If it's written in pen, you can't take it back, there are no do-overs, unless you trash the whole thing and start over.  Having a delete button makes it so easy. . so sterile.

As I teach scrapbooking classes, one of the earliest lessons I share is to use your own handwriting to jot down notes on the pages, journaling blocks and label the pictures.  Someday, your grandchildren will be so grateful to have SOMETHING with your handwriting on it.  I don't have anything like that. . but, I can certainly imagine how it would feel to stumble across an old recipe written with my grandmother's hand, a to-do list penned by my grandfather, or notes in the margin of a Bible or study guide.  Looking at something so simply written, you can see the person sitting at the table, jotting down notes, thinking about their day, then shoving in a pocket.  But, just for that moment, they're there and they're real and they're yours.

I don't really know how to close this post tonight except to say. . I hope we never lose our wonder of the written word, or the hand that wrote it, or the way in which it was delivered.  It would be a shame to have our libraries replaced with docking stations and to never receive a note of thanks or encouragement, handwritten in ink would be a true loss.  So I send you this tonight as my gift: