It’s now afternoon. I’m staring out of the window from my desk at school, trying to pound information into my brain with little progress. The weather’s perfect. It was time. Time to ride. I mean, for February in Oklahoma, I’ll take anything above 40 but yesterday it was 60!
Let me digress, our story really begins at lunchtime. I was running low on groceries, so campus food was the only option. I stroll up to the cafeteria salad bar at the bottom of Children’s Hospital, looking to put together a relatively healthy salad. At this point, the blood sugar is 90. As a plant-based, vegan eater, I always check first for beans and peas, the old reliable sources of protein. Neither were in site.
I bailed, then walking half a mile up to the student union for a taco salad bowl. By the time I got there, the glucose was hanging out in the 60s. Now, I’m absolutely starving. I eat the bowl, and casually check the CGM (continous glucose monitor) to see when my blood sugar starts to tick back up. Once it did, I dialed up a few units and didn’t give it another thought. Two hours later, I get the high blood sugar alert at 250. Knowing that I’m about to take off on a bike ride, I only take a unit to play it safe.
The cardinal sin of CGM wearing is not testing your blood sugar on the meter before correcting. I sinned. Continue reading →
Since joining the DOC (diabetes online community), I am continually impressed by the uplifting encouragement dished out daily. Really though, it’s amazing. It usually goes a little something like this:
Person 1 on Twitter: “I seriously hate being high! I’m so sick and tired of my pump clogging. It’s all my fault for not changing the site! #theworldisending”
Person 2 responding to Person 1 on Twitter: “It’s not your fault! Things just happen. Remember, this will pass and your sugar will be good in no time! #keepyourheadup” Continue reading →
In my nightly reading, I’m often overwhelmed by the abundance of all things “doom & gloom” on the diabetes front. The overall message seems to be – you’re going to die a lot sooner than the average person and here is a long list of complications to look forward to. BOO.
I’m kicking off the week with a positive vibe by offering a sneak peak into my stockpile of recent reads. I’ve officially become an article hoarder. I hope you enjoy a few articles that made me laugh or offered a positive outlook on the disease. Happy Reading. Continue reading →
Diabetes does not leave. It’s the last person at the party, but that person happens to stay forever. It’s always there. The way we live our life often reflects directly onto how we manage our diabetes. The whole body is connected and our blood sugar is a huge indicator of its health. Meditation is in vogue. I read online daily about how someone has changed their life with meditation. It’s powerful. And yeah, it has effects on the diabetes life too.
Here’s a look at the four things I’ve witnessed since jumping on the bandwagon:
1) You now have the power to pause.
Space enters between an event and our reaction. Instead of immediately jacking 5 units of insulin into my body after a surprise 300 sugar, I can assess where I would like my blood sugar to be in two hours. It helps take my reactions from immediate to long-term gratification.
2) Trends become your friends and the body becomes your ally.
When you’re mindful of your brain’s activity and can consciously watch your thoughts, sensing your blood sugar’s direction becomes intuitive. When I start to go low or even trend downward, I feel my mind switch into fear and anxiety mode. I can sense that better than any physical sign. Yet, if I have 17 different things on my mind and am running around like chicken with its head cut off, I lose the blood sugar intuitive sense.
The DDG received a heartfelt message from a woman who has dominated diabetes for 60+ years. I wept while listening because SO much of her message hit home. She described her passion for art and successful career as an artist while battling diabetic retinopathy. Feeling defeated by a recent trip to the eye doctor, she couldn’t enjoy a single moment of her exhibition. Diabetes had robbed her of happiness and replaced it with a dark cloud. Could she still be an artist if/when she lost her eyesight?
I rarely talk about it, but I was fortunate to receive vocational rehabilitation to assist me with my tuition, books, etc. Even though I was thankful for the help, I was limited as to what I could study and art was on that list. Continue reading →
The Oklahoma weather keeps us on our toes. Last week I enjoyed cocktails on the patio, but last night temperatures dropped below freezing and the sleet and frozen rain kept me from falling asleep. Confession – I chose not to buy into the hoopla because the local media seem to heighten our fear of inclement weather. I enjoyed my lazy Sunday reading without a care in the world. I felt confident I could head out tomorrow, like most Mondays, to run errands. I was WRONG!
I awoke to my driveway being a solid sheet of ice and there is no way in hell I’m going to ice skate to the grocery store. This scenario reminds me of a post I put out during tornado season, Bad Weather Reserves. In this post, I seem to have it together when prepping for bad weather year round. I should have reread that post before deciding to turn my back on the weatherman. Continue reading →
108 questions. 3 hours in one room. This is what awaits me tomorrow. The final exam covering 5 weeks of Immunology and Microbiology. It’s a beast. The perfect opportunity for blood sugar to interrupt my brain’s ability to sort through an absurd amount of information for the correct answer.
People with diabetes not only have to do these things, but we should expect to deliver our best performance. Putting out our best effort is all in the preparation, both while studying and during the exam. Over a semester and a half of medical school, I’ve piled up a few suggestions based on what’s worked and what’s, well, yeah, not worked so well. With these tips in mind, you will deliver your best effort on test day. (Disclaimer: I was purposeful in not claiming one would receive an A. Just your best effort…)
While studying, don’t get off track when your blood sugar’s in the money zone.
Don’t waste time on Pinterest or Candy Crush when your mind is right. When my blood sugar is in between 120-180, it’s time to get after it. Continue reading →
Odds are, right before you opened this article, you saw the findings of a recent research study blasted across your Facebook. Or Yahoo. Or the evening news. Or the radio. The scientific method has pushed our society forward on many accounts–producing the likes of penicillin and middle school science fairs–but it has also made choosing a healthy lifestyle incredibly complicated. Now the average joe can tell you how many grams of carbohydrates and protein are in a bagel. My grandpa could care less about all those numbers, but he knows that getting outside, walking a few miles a day, and eating apples makes him feel good.
Feel free to use these tips next time you see a bit of research come your way:
1) Know your own bias.
We all come from somewhere. We all believe in things. The hardest part is dropping that when we try to learn about something else. I eat a vegan diet. I will probably have a different take on the results of the bacon and eggs diet than the person eating a bacon egg mcmuffin while reading the article. Continue reading →