The Show Must Go On No Matter How Low Your BG Goes

Cranberry Juice

The DDG recently jumped on the opportunity to record a live podcast at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Connect+Cure Gala. After months of planning, the day finally arrived. My four outfit choices were back from the cleaners, I had the perfect shoes and my checklist was complete. The average person (someone without diabetes) would be in good shape with the exception of performance jitters, but the T1D planner in me had a few other things to consider.

Ryan and I chatted the night before the event, double checking the details. As we wrapped up our rambling the conversation moved to handling a low BG during the podcast. We both agreed, the show must go on and were prepared to handle any diabetes mishap.  Continue reading

Reluctantly Riding The BG Roller Coaster

Rollercoaster

I feel like a broken record because I’ve written numerous posts on the effects stress has on my blood sugar, but a few events last week reinforced how diabetes can take over your life. My life/work scenario forced me to take a seat on an insanely large BG roller coaster and I’m still waiting for the downhill plunge.

I believe a timeline is in order to help you understand.

  • Thursday – BG 214.
    • Odd because it’s usually around 120 – 150, my preferred roll out of bed BG. Maybe I have an infection??? Continue reading

Getting The Med School Lecture On Diabetes… On My Birthday

Birthday and Diabetes

Today is my birthday. I will eat cake–perhaps even some coconut milk ice cream. Special occasions deserve special levels of insulin.

Today, in the first year medical school curriculum, also marks the Introduction To Type 1 Diabetes lecture. Quite the comical coincidence.

On the day of my birth, I get to hear about the chronic disease I know most intimately. The disease that permeates my thoughts by the minute. I know about insulin. I’ve read the convoluted hypotheses on the cause, linked with autoimmunity. I can recognize the signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. I definitely know how to treat them. I’ve felt the link between epinephrine and cortisol, causing that random high blood sugar. If there were one lecture this year, that I probably won’t have to look at again, it’s this one–a real savings in time! That is a cool gift, but there’s more to it. Continue reading

3 Tips To Dominate Uncharted Food Territory

Symposium

Last night I returned home from the Oklahoma Symposium and am happy to report my diabetes didn’t slow me down. The weekend was packed with panels, lectures and networking – not to mention a beer tasting and nightly cocktail hour. In years past this eventful weekend has been a bit of challenge, but this year I took charge. I’m happy to report three shifts in thinking that proved smoother sailing when navigating uncharted food territory.

1. Don’t be afraid to express your dietary needs.

The Saturday evening meal looked wonderful, but happen to be a filet so I was served the other option – white pasta w/red sauce and sautéed carrots. No thank you! I asked the server if the kitchen would be kind enough to whip together a grilled chicken breast and some steamed broccoli. After speaking with three servers and the chef, I was served exactly what I requested.  YAY ME!

Symposium Dinner 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

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

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

Art & Diabetes = A Masterpiece with a Message

Begaye Piece

Super Size Angels by Marwin Begaye

I’m an A+ house sitter and while overseeing a friend’s home over a series of weekends, I grew fond of a particular print in her hallway.  One day while strolling down the hall I stopped dead in my tracks – that angelic figure is a monitor with a test strip and a reading of 356!!!!!

Monitor - Begaye

After further investigation, I noticed the needles and bottles of insulin.  This piece is about diabetes! Continue reading

Damage Control: Keeping Your Cool When Low

Keep Your Cool When Low

Picture this. You walk into a party, feeling like you own the place. You’re witty. You’re striking up conversations like Jimmy Fallon. Then, paranoia hits you. Thoughts like these flood your mind — “Why did I wear this? This looks ridiculous. Why am I even here? Should I just go home?” Before this runaway train fueled by low blood sugar sends you off into self-loathing, let’s get you back on track. Follow these tips to salvage evenings, meetings, and conversations while in the hypoglycemic zone.

Don’t be afraid to let people know that you’re low.

This seems relatively straight-forward but then again, is anything straight-forward when low? Even if you just met this person or group, say something like this, “Excuse me, but I have diabetes and could use some sugar. Would you mind if I stepped away for a moment to find some?” This is fairly formal. For the more informal scenario, go with this, “I can barely understand what I’m saying, nevertheless what you’re saying. I’m going to find something to eat or drink.” Ignore the paleo guy in the background telling you that carbs are bad for you. Continue reading

Tis the Season to Call in Sick

sick woman at work

As cold and flu season is upon us, a few days ago I was reminded that having T1D can be a bit stressful this time of year.  I currently have four employees and they’re dropping like flies.  One of them recently contacted me to say he wasn’t feeling well.  I had been around him earlier in the day and thought he looked a little pale so I encouraged him to go home.

Fast forward five days and I’m working along side my newest employee.  She abruptly jumps up and exits the room.  I didn’t think much about it as we were in the middle of an exciting project and she could have been eager to pull something from storage.  Upon her return, she looks like a zombie.  She shyly admits she had just thrown up.  My first thought is, “Are you pregnant?”, but quickly remember that is inappropriate to ask.  THANK YOU filter for working today.  She assures me she feels better and thinks it might have been something she ate earlier in the day.

Soon after the vomiting episode, the head cold employee joins us and nonchalantly mentions his cold was actually the flu. WTF are you doing here!!!  He promises me he is no longer contagious and is eager to work.  This scenario sparked a conversation I’ve only had a few times in my life – Continue reading