A CGM Cycling Adventure

Cycling and type 1 diabetes

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

Tuesday Topic: Yes, I Talk To Myself. I Know, I’m Working On It.

Self-Talk and Diabetes

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

NO More Doom & Gloom

Trouble Ahead Sign

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.

Diabetes Statistic                                                                         Image taken from ahealthblog.com

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

How Meditation Transforms Your Diabetes Management

Meditation and Diabetes Management

 

 

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.

Tip: Valuable read about this pausing, and the accessing of infinite potentiality by Deepak Chopra: The Seven Spirtual Laws of Success

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.

 

Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Does Diabetes Limit Your Career Path?

Artist Painting

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

Bad Weather Reserves – Part #2

Icy Roads

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

Deliver On Test Day With These 4 Diabetes Tips

How To Take A Test With Diabetes

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

Your Guide To Sorting Through The “Latest Research”

Can We Trust a Study's Findings?

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.

After reading a recent article published widely across many diabetes platforms, I decided that we all needed a refresher course on how to approach research findings.

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

A Coffee Introduction That Will Change Your Morning Forever

Coffee, Coconut Oil, and Diabetes

Welcome to the weekend. A few years back I heard about coconut oil’s unique ability to enhance the effectiveness and duration of caffeine on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. Initially, I started by using it before cycling races with my coffee or tea. I felt a difference. I didn’t have to eat as much during races. Then I ran across the Bulletproof Coffee concept from Dave Asprey. He claimed an elevated focus and insane increase in brain function. It works. In my experience, I feel a more balanced, focused, and sustainable energy with this recipe.

This is my slightly different take from the original Bulletproof Coffee. I added protein and ditched the butter. Enjoy. Continue reading

Don’t Mess With The Beast – Stay In The Zone

Don't Mess With the Beast, Diabetes Productivity

What’s the fastest, most-efficient way to derail your day? Go low or go high. This is our beast. Don’t wake it up. Don’t taunt it. Learning to preserve your creativity and momentum is critical as a modern student, professional, and parent.

Here is the goal: Do whatever you can to maintain your zone, especially when you need to be your best. Of course imperfection is inevitable. Occasionally, your blood sugar will be over 250 for no reason. You will go below 80 when you should not have. This is the grind. But, when you have established control–firmly entrenched in a comfortable blood sugar zone–you must do everything possible to preserve it for productivity sake. Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Can You Sweat Out A Cold?

Sick Woman In Bed

In my previous post, Blasted Ketones Make An Appearance, I mentioned my reluctance to visit the doctor so when I felt a head cold coming on, I contacted my dear friend Tonya, a RN CMP who works as an Integrative RN.  She gave me a list of vitamins, probiotics and spicy food ideas.  My goal was to sweat out the toxins and feed my body with homeopathic remedies.  This head cold sparked my newest culinary creation, Holy Hell – Spicy Mushroom Soup.

Spicy Mushroom Soup

Ingredients: Continue reading

Blasted Ketones Make An Appearance

Urine Sample

I’m admittedly stubborn when it comes to going to the doctor and am sure it stems from years at Children’s Hospital.  When I scraped myself together yesterday and headed to Urgent Care, I was prepared for the worst.  I’ve had a hacking cough for 5+ days, but the previous two days included dizziness, nausea and exhaustion.  I attempted to get out of bed on Saturday afternoon, yes afternoon, and almost tipped over because my equilibrium was off and then I threw up.  BOOOOO.

I was unable to eat much on Saturday and tested my blood sugar often, in fear of a serious low.  That was not the case at all, my blood sugar was over 200 for most of the day, which made me think my body was fighting an infection.  As a T1D, it is pretty common to self diagnose, but I was willing to relinquish all control to find out what was going on. Continue reading