Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Adulting With Diabetes

"Adulting with diabetes," buying what you need (and have just run out of,)
with your Target GiftCard, instead of splurging on something you want! 
If you are an adult living with diabetes, you are “adulting with diabetes,” every single damn day - I get it and I applaud you for it. 
Some days it seems as if we adult with diabetes, more than others.
Take last Wednesday - I swear to Gouda, it seemed that the majority of my day was all about “adulting with diabetes,” at least that’s how it seemed to me. 
And I was proud of myself for dealing with it and #adultingwithdiabetes
We - every single one of us adults with diabetes, are "adulting with diabetes," every single day, every single minute of the year - and there are moments that we want and should brag/bitch about it.
Also: BRAVA and BRAVO to every damn one of us! 
Adulting with diabetes means NOT canceling your scheduled eye exam, even though it's happening on a beautiful Indian summer afternoon and you’d much rather be playing hooky outside than having your eyes dilated and all that goes with that, inside a crowded doctor's office.
And then continuing with adulting by stopping by the cable company to exchange your cable box (which you remember to bring with,) something you’ve put off doing FOREVER. But today is the day - even though you know that you’ll have to hook it with dilated eyes when you get home. 
After picking up said new cable box, you realize that Target is right across the parking lot from the cable company - and that you have a $20 Target gift card.
You finish up the 7 Tropical Fruit flavored glucose tabs in the emergency glucose tab bottle you always keep your car ( you're not low - but history has shown you that you will need the extra carbs for walking around Target,) and which you empty. 
And you save the bottle to use as a on-the-road sharps container. 

Then you decide to use that Target gift card on things you need, like windshield wiper fluid, cleaning suplies... and Target Glucose tabs. 
Not things you want or want to splurge on - like lipstick or new workout clothes.  
Sidebar: You score an additional 5% off said glucose tabs with Target’s Cartwheel app - and you don't go low in Target - thanks to the extra glucose tabs you downed in the parking lot.

Afterwards, you come home, sit in your driveway and down the rest of the water in your 24 ounce reusable water bottle -and put some much needed Windshield wiper fluid under the hood - before you walk in the door. 
 Speaking of walking in the door - you go straight to the fridge, put away the cheese and yogurt (have I mentioned that my latest yogurt obsession is OUI, by yoplait?) purchased at Target. You put away t\the cleaning supplies, then sit on your couch and hook up your cablebox – even though you can barely read the directions with your dilated eyes. 

When all is said and done and you’re ready to make dinner... adulting with diabetes, continues.  
You do this by adding more frozen green beans to your leftover almost Bastard Almost Homemade Chicken Soup because you know that you haven't eaten nearly enough fruits or veggies, today. 

Speaking of almost leftover Bastard Almost Homemade Chicken Soup – you actually choose to eat homemade chicken soup instead of of caving into your takeout Stromboli craving.

And then as you eat your fantastic soup loaded with green beans, you realize all the damn adulating with diabetes you've done today - and everyday - and you tell yourself: WAY TO GO, GIRL!

More "adulating with diabetes," moments as of late 

  • Calling up in dealing with care Centrix when it's the last thing you feel like doing 
  • Checking your BG before putting the key in the ignition  
  • Speaking of blood sugar, checking your blood sugar at an extended red light 
  • Choosing a glass of red wine instead of a beer because
  • Your Dr. told you that you should drink at least one glass of red wine and night, plus
  • You don't feel like doing any diabetes math and beer confuses the hell out of you when it comes to bolusing. *CLINK.*
  • Making sure you’re diabetes RX refills are filled on-time and no matter what. 
  • Dealing with all the stupid diabetes myths and trying to educate the masses with diabetes realities - and without losing your temper! 
 I could go on and on, but enough about me, I'm hoping that you have an "adulting with diabetes," moment you’d like to share. 

If so, tell us about it in the comments section (if you want, absolutely no pressure,) WELL DONE, AND YOU ROCK! 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup~

Cooking - makes me happy - cleaning up - not so much. 
I always keep my pantry stocked with meal basics - spices; pureed tomatoes, garlic, onions, beans, organic, Low Sodium Vegetable and Chicken Broth - enough to make a simple meal. 
 FTR, stores like Target and ACME have tasty and reasonably prices organic store brand broths. 

Comfort food - we all need it, we all crave it. 
Food evokes memories of people we love and times and places we wish we could go back to. 

For me, soup is  one of my comfort foods - I like the the act of creating/making soup. 
 It makes me feel better when I’m feeling under the weather and it makes me feel good when I’m feeling down. 
The act of making soup has a beginning, middle, and an end. 
I find zen in slicing and dicing veggies, the smell of spices - fresh or dried, and adding them to a concoction that will eventually turn into a delicious bowl of something fantastical - I LOVE IT. 

I make soup for friends and family and my Soup Registry expands yearly - I think I'm up to 15 different soups.
This past Sunday I was feeling under the weather and wishing I had my mom’s homemade chicken or turkey soup - but I would have been just as happy with her hearty beef veggie soup - which was my absolute favorite mom soup, happier still if my mom was here to make it with me. 
Sunday was gray and damp and I dragged my but off the couch checked in my pantry ,and saw that I had organic chicken broth, awesome spices, pastina stars, onions and garlic. Carrots, celery,  and lemons were in my fridge and tricolored flash frozen green beans and white corn in my freezer . 
The only thing missing was chicken. 
I didn’t feel like roasted a chicken from scratch - lucky for me/us, there are other options and Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup is damn tasty!
Sidebar and new edit: Read this great recipe for turkey stock over at Wilted and Wild
I jumped in my car, drove to the grocery store and picked up an oven roasted, lemon pepper chicken on sale for $7. 
I grabbed it from it’s perch, still hot from the oven. 
I did a quick drive-by through the produce department and I stumbled upon an herb bomb,(Italian parsley, thyme, leek, and a spicy, tied together with twine and ready to be stewed. 
I was immediately taken back to my childhood and watching my mom cook. 
My mom referred to herb bombs a "potherb," and it was a key ingredient to her soups and stews. She'd send me to the store to buy one and I always new that something delicious was going to happen in a few hours.

I LOVED the flavor herb bombs add and I took it as sign from mom to proceed with gusto! 

I grabbed an herb bomb,, rang up my purchases,and rushed home to make my Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup . 
My Bastard Chicken Soup ws both delicious as comforting - as was the act of making it. 
Here’s the recipe - I hope it brings you comfort and love. 

Bastard Homemade Chicken Soup
1 Oven Roaster Chicken 
4 or 5 cups of Low Sodium Chicken or Veggie Broth
Fresh lemon - one or two slices
Olive Oil
1 small or medium Onion
1 or two stalks of Celery
1 or 2 Carrots 
2 cloves of garlic
two handfuls of frozen green beans 
1/4 a cup of frozen White Sweet Corn
Sea salt
black pepper
dried basal and oregano 
1 herb bomb

Take roasted chicken, pull all the meat and if you'd like some skin and bones  (I hate chicken skin, unless it’‘s a  kick ass hot wings - and then I only eat the little kick ass  hot little drumsticks,) and set a side in a Pyrex container.
Dice the carrots, celery, and onion, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and dried spices (as much or as little as you want,)  and saute in extra virgin olive oil for  two minutes.
Add chicken broth, chicken and consider adding more pepper, salt, and dried spices to taste. 

Add diced/smashed garlic and squeeze two lemon wedges into the broth mixture.

Drop in the Herb Bomb. 

Herb Bomb of Italian Parsley, Thyme, Leeks and hot pepper doing its thing~
Simmer on low to low medium for 20 to 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, grab a small pot, fill it with cold water and some salt or a dash of EVOO, and bring to a boil. Add two tablespoons of pastina and cook until it’s alldente . Drain pasta and keep in a separate container. DON’T ADD TO SOUP, YET. 

5 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add the frozen green beans to the bubbling soup. 

Grab a bowl, add a few teaspoons of pastina and then add soup. 

Top with Parmesan or Locatelli cheese, group an spoon and enjoy! 
So delicious~
Let leftovers cool, store in Pyrex containers, and put in the fridge.

Soups tend to taste better the second day - I add fresh frozen green beans with each bowl. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Diabetes & A 49 Blood Sugar That Sneaks Up Like A Bitch Ninja

It was a morning of trying to plow through, 
taking notes for an article I'm working on, two deadlines looming on the calendar, and doing my best to stop the Graham Cassidy insanity from happening. 
Focusing on getting shit accomplished. 
And out of nowhere, I suddenly felt shaky and tingly all rolled into one. 
I was sweaty and hungry and I didn't feel so steady on my feet. 
Diabetes had snuck up on me like a bitch Ninja and I was dropping fast. 
Status: Threat level Hot Mess, with a blood sugar of 49. 
I grabbed a juice-box, sucked it down, and immediately sucked down a second.
10 minutes went by and I ate 7 Swedish fish from the movie size box in my computer bag. 
The box of Swedish Fish I bought for 99 cents and on sale last week - and I don't even know why I'm mentioning that, but I am. 
Sidebar: Swedish Fish are now much smaller than they used to be. WEIRD. 
5 minutes earlier I was sitting at my computer and everything was fine.

Now? Not so much. 
I did my best not to overeat - easier said then done.
I watched the clock and tried my best to wait before treating again.   
20 minutes later my blood sugar was 95 and I let out a deep breath.
I fiddled with the InstaMessage App for a few, (see above pic,) and 15 minutes later I checked my blood sugar again. 
I was 142. 
A small correction bolus was given - what had gone dangerously low, was now on its way towards the cheap seats. 
Current Status: Blood sugar is172 with 1 unit of IOB. 
Pod PDM suggests I give myself a 0.30 correction. 
For now I'm holding off. 
Back to work - but a quick blog post because this is life with diabetes - and I continue to plow through. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

My Omnipod Experience - Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about part 1 of switching things up and starting the Omnipod. 
Today I share part two of my experience, where I discuss the stuff I love about podding - and the stuff that takes some getting used to. 
The Stuff I Love
Swimming in the ocean with my Pod - I LOVE IT.
Not having to disconnect, and more importantly - not worrying about the contortion issues re: access to my pump site to reconnect after swimming - which for some reason, was always trickier for me, is freeing in all dimensions. 

The same goes for showering without disconnecting and sleeping naked if I so choose. 
Also: YAY!!

Wearing dresses and not having to wear bikes shorts or pump garters - makes things so much easier. 
I still have to deal with Spanx on occasion, but at least I don't have to worry about dealing with infusion site issues!

Access/Utilizing Arm/Leg Sites Is A Game Changer 
I could never navigate arm sites with my tubed pump and the thought of getting tangled in tubing freaked me out.
Every time I tried a thigh site with my previous pump, they had a limited shelf life and normally only worked for 24 to 40 hours before crapping out. 
Thighs = high access area and the tubing was continually being pulled, yanked, etc. 

With Omnipod, I’m able to wear arm and thigh sites for three days and that makes my life with diabetes easier. 

Scar tissue was a huge issue with me on my previous pump and is the primary reason I chose the Omnipod. I was changing out my site every 30 hours - that’s no longer the case and I’m thrilled. 

Good To The Last Drop
Most of the time I’ve been able to use all the insulin in my pod - that wasn’t always the case with my old pump reservoirs - which normally would be less efficient when the reservoir went below 30 units.

Cool Techno:
When you activate your new pod on your person, the PDM tells you the exact date and time it’s supposed to expire, based on your personal pump settings and insulin amount.
My pods run low on insulin between 3 and 4 hours earlier. 
That’s not on Omnipod issue, that’s a Kelly issue - yours truly needs to do some MAJOR basal rate testing, which I  didn’t want to consider let alone  attempt until I was wearing new diabetes tech. 
Basal Testing is now on the horizon. 

Loud Alarms
 The first time my 15 unit Low Reservoir went off, my PDM was in another room and I thought it was my smoke detector.

The PDM & Pod do their priming dance BEFORE you put it on your body.

Cool Software 
I can download the Omnipod PDM to Glooko, making it easy for my CDE to access all my PDM info: Carbs; blood sugars, basals, carb ratios, etc. 
This should allow for easier tweaks and I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

Blood Sugars
4 out of the first 8 days, my daily 24 hour insulin intake was 10 to 12 units lower than my old “low side” of normal. 
That still seams to be the case 36 days in - sans elevated bg's due to a couple "dead sites," and the summer cold that's been the bain of my existence for the past week.

Facing Fears 
I have officially conquered arm, thigh, calf and love handle infusion sites. 
day 18 (and for the first time, ever,) I attempted a back /love handle site, it required some major twisting on my end, but mission accomplished!
BONUS: Great numbers with that never before used real estate space.
I tried an inner side calf site - it was easy but I had absorbtion issues. 
I’m going to try the back of calf to see if works better. 
Still have not tried back or front belly sites. 

I’ve decided that before I give my abdomen areas a complete break, I want to see how that area works with the omnipod verses my old pump - I haven’t done it yet - but I will. 

Issues /Learning Curves
The only insulin pump delivery system that’s 100% perfect is a fully functioning pancreas. 
I don’t have that - same goes for many reading this post. 
Andit makes sense that changing pumps = dealing with some issues and learning curves 
as I learn to navigate wearing/using the Omnipod insulin delivery system.

Bad Pod/Bad Pod sites 
Dealing with Pod failures and insulin reimbursement issues. 

Unexpected Pod Change Out On Day 2 of Wearing My First Pod  
I wasn’t thrilled, but shit happens - how many times did I rip my old pump's tubing out by walking by a door knob or getting caught on my car's emergency break? .
Answer: ALOT.  
Anyway, everything was working great with my first official pod (left arm,) the first 27 hours. 
Then I started noticing blood sugar spikes that wouldn’t come down, no matter how much I corrected. Something was up and the top of my pod looked uneven. 

I called Insulet's Customer Service and the Rep and I spent almost an hour on the phone. 
I told him my issue, answered a series of questions, emailed the Rep pics of the pod on my arm so Insulet could study the issue and send out a replacement pod.  
The Rep also talked me through my Pod change - it was only my second time and I was a little nervous - but it was easy and he was patient. 
CS Rep and I discussed the insulin reimbursement program - 7 cents per unit (OK, it’s something,) with an insulin receipt and 5 cents per unit without.
I emailed a photo of my insulin receipt from my pharmacy and via my phone to Receipts@insulet.com
Insulin Reimbursement takes up to 6 weeks to be approved and payment received. 
There’s two different procedures - one for dealing with a bad pod and or bad pod site, another dealing with insulin reimbursement issues - that can get confusing if you're new to  podding
I’ve learned to take notes and jot down the the case numbers for both, along with the date and the name of the CS I spoke with. 

Follow up
I’d like the follow up fort the insulin reimbursement (it takes 6 weeks,) to be better. 
I’d like an email to be sent saying they received my email and receipt photo and are working on my case.
Sidebar: My second pod (on my right arm,) stayed put for 3 days through daily showers and body surfing in the Atlantic, no problem.

ALWAYS follow up
7 days post my first pod site failure, I called Customer Service to check on the status of my insulin reimbursement and found out the wrong report had been filed.
The new CSR rectified the situation, immediately - and yes, I followed up to make sure.

Day 24 - Pod Failure Alarm
PDM called a Pod Failure while said pod was in Prime Mode and not yet attached to my bod. 
FTR, I liked and very much appreciate that the PDM recognized an issue with the Pod BEFORE it was officially up and running on my person. 
I called CS, they asked me some questions and then told me they’d FedEx me a new Pod. Filed both a failed pod report and insulin reimbursement report. 
This time, the phone call took less than 10 minutes and I received my replacement pod 
3 days later. I returned the failed pod to them in the package and shipping label Omnipod included with my replacement pod. 

All in all, I'm learning and going with the curve~

Embracing Something Different 
Change is difficult - even when it's good. 
Diabetes or not, we get used to doing things a certain way and I love that going with the Omnipod is helping me knock down my walls when it comes to embracing change in life... and life with diabetes.
 I wore a different brand's insulin pump for 15 years, I knew the idiosycricies of that pump brand like the back of my hand - I was losing real estate because of scar tissue and I needed to switch things up - so I did. 

So far, I’m glad that I made the change - and I 'll keep sharing my podding experiences with you guys - The good, the bad, and the diabetesalicious of it all. 

And if you have any questions - ASK! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

My Omnipod Experience - Part One

Learning and discovering new things every damn day and glad that Insulet gives us 45 days to figure it out. 
There’s a learning curve when it comes to wearing the Omnipod, but so far it's been good - except for a few hiccups along the way.
I’ve taken copious amounts of notes - so many notes that I had to divide them up into two posts!
Part one is below and I hope you enjoy!
So this happened!
Day 1: Omnipod training with my CDE went well and I'm officially untethered!
Wearing pod on my right arm. It's weird not being tethered to my electronic pancreas ,but in a really great way!
Also, discovered that I walk freakishly close to the edge of door frames.
Seriously, why have I not realized this about myself before?  
Another also, since noticing this Kellyism, I have become better at not slamming into door frames.  
Day Day 2: Experienced absorption issues 27 hours into wearing with perfect numbers up until then. I was the wearing the pod on my arm - the one I kept banging into door frames. 
Called CS and replaced pod. More on that in part 2.
Day 5: I swam in the Atlantic ocean with my pod for the very first time - it was fantastic!
Also, it stayed securely on my person - muddy legs and all. 
Actual aerial footage of my and my pod about to
go in for a dip in the Atlantic~
Day 8: I left my PDM/case on the table in a restaurant that I had just exited. 
I immediately noticed after checking my hand bag (to make sure I had my PDM,) and ran back in to retrieve it - and all the while silently praying to the Diabetes Gods that it was still there. It was and I was grateful - it has not happened since. 
Day 9: Wearing the pod on my left arm - it's working well, but I'm aware of my pump whenever I twist to exit my vehicle. 
Day 17: Getting the hang of podding and no longer waking up and reaching to check if my pump is attached to the waistband of my Pajamas. 
Same goes for reaching to disconnect every time I walk towards the bathroom to shower.
Day 35: OK, every once in a while I Still grab my waist band to disconnect before taking a shower - old habits die hard.

Maybe it’s just me
For the first few days, I kept confusing my PDM with my iPhone and whenever I was trying to take a picture of my PDM screen. 
I’d stare at the screen for a few seconds, all confused as to why I couldn’t take a screen shot. 
Unlike an iPhone you can’t take a picture of the PDM screen with said PDM and no matter how hard you try and attempt to press Home button and the nonexistent Silent switch

No matter how hard one tries, you cannot take a
screenshot with your PDM.
But you can customize your PDM~
Day 33 and since I'm being balls out honest, sometimes I still grab my iPhone when I mean to grab my PDM and then wonder "why" and out loud when I press the "Home" button and start to bitch out load because I can’t scroll down.
Then I realize why and I feel like an idiot. 

Spacial Issues
I still have them, but instead of doorknobs and edges issue with pump tubing, arm pods and door frames have become my new jam - literally.  
like I mentioned earlier in the post, for the first few days of podding, I banged my pod arm into my kitchen and bedroom door frames more often than I’d like to admit. 
Now, I'm specially more aware of my surroundings - at least when I'm wearing the pod on my arm. 

Black on Black pump skin 
PDM came with a black Skin. Black PDM + Black Case/ Black Skin means the potential for misplacing is an issue because diabetes or not, I am extremely nearsighted - there's a reason I avoid handbags with black lining and my wallet is not black for a reason - I can't freaking find anything in a blackened handbag - especially a black wallet.
Also, I've put aqua blue K-tape on my black remote control for the same reasons.
My Fix
I have a collection of several brightly colored and insulated, 3 and 3/4 inch X 7 inch, makeup bags. I use one of these bags daily and rotate whenever the mood strikes. 
Currently the one I'm using has owls all over it  - and people stop me every damn day because it's so cute.
 I always put the PDM (and my canister of teststrips/lancets because the PDM also acts as a meter,) back in whatever bag I’m using, ASAP and without fail.
It's now become a full fledged habit - and it didn't take 30 days!

When I go out, I put the PDM, spare pod, test strips,and insulin in said makeup bag, and place in my handbag/work bag. 

Sidebar: Lipstick, eye-drops, my driver’s license and a credit card also fit in the bag along with all of the above mentioned - VERY IMPORTANT.
Also, recently started using bright green skin for the PDM because it brings out my eyes  - but I still bag it~
Owl bag because functional and very cute!
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2, where I break down and get to the nitty gritty re: what I love about podding, as well as the learning curve when it comes to being a Podder~ 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Diabetes Emoji

Do you think that diabetes is trying to tell me 
that it wants its own official Diabetes emoji/emojis?  
No joke and this is NOT photoshop guys. 

THIS is what I saw when I looked down at my fingers 
after I checking my blood sugar this morning (it was 111😁.) 
FTR, that's my blood, not a Sharpie drawn smiley face~

Pretty damn trippy! 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Diabetes Makes Me Do That Thing Where I'm Always Checking

So..... checking as it relates to diabetes - does it drive you batty and please tell me I'm not the only one!
Do you have any tips? 

If so, please feel free to share - diabetesalicious minds want know!
Also, I apologize in advance for the ridiculous amount of times I use the words "checking," and "check." 
Diabetes makes me do that thing where I’m always checking. 
Checking to see if I have enough insulin and other meds; checking to see if I have my pump attached to my person before I walk out the door, and now checking to see if I have my PDM because I’m currently podding. 
Checking to see if I have enough test strips on my person and in my stash. 
Checking to see if I have enough pump supplies. 
Checking to see if I have enough juice; juice boxes, glucose tabs, and regular food in my house. 
Checking to make sure I have glucose tabs, or other low treats in my car.
Checking out the latest diabetes related studies, news, and the likes there of. 

Checking for little signs of diabetes burnout before they become big signs.

Then there’s the paper work required for all of the above, checking to see if my insurance not only covers certain med/supply, etc.,making sure RXs are up to date, doctors appointments are scheduled. 

Then there are things I shouldn't even have to check for, but must -  because someone else didn't do their job. Case in point - making sure my insurance company covers the right copay. 
Since I switched up my plan on March 1, my insurance company has charged me my old 60/40 co-pay for two different prescriptions instead of my current 80/20 co-pay. 
That's a big damn difference.

Guess who was the one to figure it out? 
Guess who was the one who spent two hours on the phone trying to fix it the first time and hour on the phone the second time making sure it was fixed? 

But back to checking. 
Checking blood sugars, checking for ketones, checking to make sure I have extra everything before I go out the door and start my day. 

Most days it doesn’t bother me because the checking has become second nature and I've figured a way to streamline my prep check. 
I have a cool looking (and slightly bigger than my 6+ iPhone when in it’s otterbox,)size brightly colored/insulated bag I use for my diabetes.
I keep my PDM; meter (which I don’t bring now, because I can check my blood sugar via the PDM,) test strips, pump/pod supplies, K-Tape, insulin, backup batteries. 

But even with streamlining, there are still some days when diabetes and checking throws me for a loop - like if my blood sugars are wonky, or if I’ve run out of test strips, or left something D related on the counter.... at home....or at the restaurant I've just left. 
When that happens, I feel like I also forgot to check for my sanity before I left the house, because I clearly feel like it's missing. 

And on those days when I feel as if I’ve checked for my sanity a million times and can’t locate it to save my life - I’m glad I have the Diabetes Online Community, DSMA, and my diabetes peeps.
“Checking out,” and taking a few minutes to read a blog post, chat on twitter, or text with a D friend - that makes all the difference. 
That right there is the best medicine - and I thank you guys for it.