Skip to content

Archive for

Put On Your Listening Ears.

Our backyard is big and lovely and fenced in on all sides so that when Birdy and I are playing outside, we’re both safe from cars and giant woodland creatures (except the ones that can shimmy underneath the fence … I’m looking at you, groundhog).  I don’t keep my eyes glued to her while she plays, and we can enjoy the sunshine and the garden without feeling paranoid about passing cars, wandering off, etc.

Which is exactly what sucks about the front yard, because that’s the part of the house that the road is closest to.  So while I still need to do things in the front yard (getting the mail, tending the front garden, drawing hopscotch in the driveway), I don’t do anything of those things without having Birdzone front and center in both my mind and my actual line of sight.

Yesterday evening, Birdy and I were working in the front yard garden (I was clearing out some weeds and she was making “houses” for worms we discovered underneath a rock), when my Dexcom started wailing from my pocket.  In retrospect, I felt a little “off,” but it wasn’t until I heard the low alarm blaring from the Dexcom receiver that the symptoms kicked in fully.

“Hey, your blood sugar is whoa, Mom,” Birdy said absently, placing another worm onto a pile of dirt.

“Yeah, we need to go inside and get some snacks, okay?  It’s important,” I replied, looking at the “UNDER 65 MG/DL” warning on the Dexcom screen.

Normally, she listens.  Especially when it’s about blood sugars, because Chris and I have talked with her a few times about how listening is important, particularly when I tell her my blood sugar is low.  But she wanted to stay outside.  She liked playing with the worms.  She liked being in the dirt and gardening.  She didn’t want to have to cut playtime short because Mommy needed a few glucose tabs that she should have brought outside with her in the first place.  [Insert Mom Guilt here.]

“Nooooo waaaaaaay!!!” she said, flouncing away from me and refusing to turn around.

Under normal circumstances, I would have laughed (because “No way!” is a great response), but I was starting to feel shaky and my brain cells connections felt loose, like thoughts weren’t coupling up the right way.  We were in the front yard and I knew I needed to gain control of all potentially dangerous situations in a hurry.

“We need.  To go.  INSIDE right now.  My blood sugar is low.  This is not a joke.” I said.

“No!  I don’t waaaaaaant to!!”

My blood sugar falls fast.  It always has.  I don’t get the long, lingering slides towards hypoglycemia but instead the quick, breathless plummets.  Knowing that I was dropping and watching yet another car drive by our house meant I needed to get control fast and without issue.

Before my body completely caved to the low blood sugar, I scooped up my flailing daughter and walked into the house.  She was freaking out and still forcefully asserting her right to “NOOOO!” but I needed sugar more than I needed her to like me.  A few seconds later, we were both safely contained in the kitchen.  I had a few glucose tabs and waited for my brain to acknowledge them.  Birdy pouted in the corner, staring at her hands and still mumbling, “No way.”

A few minutes later, I felt more human.  “Birdy, I’m sorry we had to come inside.  But my blood sugar was low and it could have become an emergency.  So that’s why you needed to put your listening ears on and come inside.  I wasn’t doing it to be mean; I was doing it to be safe.  Does that make sense?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry we couldn’t stay outside.  But we can go back out now, okay?”

“Okay.  I’m sorry I didn’t listen.”

“It’s okay.”

She turned around and pressed her hand into mine.  Something wriggled.  She smiled.

“I brought a worm inside.”

No way.

 

Ironic Baking.

Earlier this week, Birdzone asked if we could bake some bread.  (We’ve been baking bread for her since she was very small, avoiding gluten for the first 15 months of her life and becoming gluten-free bakers, after a fashion, for a year or two.)  Now, thanks to a bread machine that makes baking bread easier, we whip up random recipes.  Birdy likes measuring the flour and whisking the eggs, and the bread machine makes it easy to dump in the prepared ingredients and watch the magic (slowly) happen.

Examining the basket of almost-overripe fruit on the kitchen table, we decided to make a play for apple-banana bread, per her request.  (“Mom, can we take those gross bananas and make banana bread?  And add an apple that’s not as gross?”)

The recipe we made was a version of this one at All Recipes (a site I frequently look at but infrequently follow through on), only we doctored it up a bit:

ingredients:

2 cups gluten-free all purpose baking flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
3 mashed bananas
1 apple, diced

directions.

*  Since we baked this in a bread machine, we didn’t need to preheat the oven.  Instead, we just plugged in the bread machine and prepped it for the “gluten-free” setting.

*  In a big bowl, we combined the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together and mixed it up.  We didn’t mix it gently because Birdy was doing most of the stirring, so I also can’t guarantee that all of the ingredients stayed in the bowl.  The countertop was a bit dusty when she was done.

*  In a separate bowl, we whisked together the eggs and apple sauce (the original recipe called for butter, but we usually sub in applesauce instead), and then dumped the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ones.

*  Then we mashed the eff out of those bananas and added in the diced apple bits.  (“Why didn’t we mash the apple, Mom?” she kept asking me, because she wanted to take a Sledge-O-Matic to it a la Gallagher.)

*  Once everything was combined, we shuttled the mix into the bread machine pan and let it stir-then-bake for the assigned time.  When it was done, it was very dense and moist (ew word, but appropriate) and tasted awesome.  The addition of the extra fruit made for about 38 grams of carb per slice (ish), but it was worth it because it tasted awesome.

I’m not much of a cook when it comes to making things that are healthy, but I can bake the hell out of anything, which is sadly ironic for this PWD.  Essentially, I can cook what I would do best not to eat on a regular basis.  And this bread was a winner on that front.

The No Good (Sort of Good) Food Diary.

It was easy to avoid food logging because, on the whole, my blood sugars aren’t a disaster.  I bolus for the foods I’m eating, and I don’t graze much so stacking insulin doses isn’t as much of a problem as it has been in the past.  But the other night, when 9 pm rolled around and I was asking Birdy for the fifth time why she isn’t ever tired ever, I realized I’d had six cups of coffee that day.  Technically, it may have been seven cups of coffee, because one of them was an iced coffee and those don’t follow any rational serving size.  And I couldn’t remember if I had eaten more than a handful of almonds as a snack earlier in the day, and did I end up actually sharing a doughnut with Birdy at the coffee shop, and I know I had a wrap sandwich at some point but some grapes ended up in the mix somewhere and where the hell did that glass of wine come from??

My schedule throughout the day doesn’t afford for much consistency.  Each day is pretty different from the previous one, and sticking with a set schedule is challenging on the days when I’m both working and playing with Birdzone.  Not that it can’t be done, but it isn’t usually done.  I’m becoming more scatterbrained as time goes on, to the point where I am actively forcing myself to take certain actions in order to reclaim and make sense of my days.

Which is why I decided to start logging food for a week or two, because it’s clear that I have absolutely no frigging idea what’s actually happening each day.  (I’m using MyFitnessPal for the time being, until it frustrates me and I revert back to keeping a list in my bottomless basin of a purse.)

I don’t like it, though.  It’s a level of accountability I don’t joyously embrace.  (“YAY!!  Writing down everything I’m eating?  So that I’m now tracking blood sugars and exercise AND food intake so that I can feel both powerfully informed and terribly guilty about every single choice I’m making all day long?  OH YAY!!!”)  I don’t like having to be honest and log that, yes, I ate chicken and green beans for dinner but yes, I also went berserk and had a big, fat slice of banana bread for no reason.  I don’t like looking at the food log and noting that less-than-healthy food choices really toss the calorie count for the day up into the air and then out the window.  I don’t like logging anything (read: blood sugars), and keeping a food diary is no exception to my pre-established log loathing.

But … big, reluctant sigh … it’s useful.  (bah.)

After only a day of logging foods, I realized that my coffee intake is abysmal.  Way too much.  Blood sugars don’t seem to care, but the caffeine influx makes for trouble sleeping, and I’m in no position to sacrifice sleep.  After three days of logging foods, I realized that my willpower and organizational skills are top notch in the morning and afternoon, but around 7 pm at night, I lose control over what I’m thinking/doing/eating and I consume most of my unneeded calories at night.  And while I don’t like writing down every healthy (and otherwise) decision I make during the day, the food diary does hold me accountable for my actions.

Fine. I’ll curmudgeonly accept that logging foods for a week or two is useful.

I’m already looking forward to stopping the food logging in a few days, but I know it’s a good way to realign my brain, and my schedule … and my stomach. I have already seen for myself that there are choices I can improve and decisions I can pat myself on the back for. And it’s confirmed, officially, that I drink way too much effing coffee.

Circle.

Yesterday afternoon, when I went to calibrate my Dexcom, the wheel-o-everything (that wheel on the right hand side of the receiver that is used to calibrate, view the graph, set alarms … everything) made a very soft clicking sound, not unlike the sound my old computer made when I pressed on the F key and then it came loose off the keyboard.  But I refused to accept the implication of the sound, and I calibrated and then patted the receiver on the screen.  “There, there.  You’re fine.  You’re not breaking.  Nope.”

I’d read about broken Dexcom receivers in the past, but this receiver had been in my life (and also my purse, my Spibelt, my car, my suitcase, et to the mega cetera) since November 2012.  It’s held on remarkably well for a device that’s toted around everywhere with me.

But last night, it finally gave up.  And this morning, the wheel, housing, and all plastic accompaniments went kaput.

(Yes, I tried to enter the calibration it was asking for by poking around in the fleshy part of the under-circle.  <— technical term  No dice.)

Now I’m data-free until my replacement receiver arrives, and I’m trying to resist the urge to check my blood sugar every hour on the hour.  Taking a breather from diabetes devices when I choose to is one thing, but having the option removed without a co-sign from me is stressing me right the eff out.

Friday Six: Masterlab, TypeOneNation, and Jim Turner!

There used to be only six links, but I’ve made a mockery of that and now it’s a pig-pile of resources.  All clickable and informative, though, so dive right in!  –>

Jim Turner has always been on my list of “awwww, isn’t he charming?” and the fact that he has type 1 diabetes didn’t hurt that sentiment.  This week, Christopher Snider talked with Jim about diabetes and his journey as an actor on Just Talking.

“How do we educate the younger generation into a world of acceptance, responsibility, and a little less anger towards the uneducated and ignorant? How do we promote peace, understanding and use social media for good?”  Insightful post from Jess at T1DActiveLiving.

If you live near Austin, TX or are planning to be there the weekend of June 20th, join the JDRF for the TypeOneNation Texas event.  I’m excited to be on their list of speakers and am looking forward to visiting Austin again.

“The Diabetes Technology Society (DTS) this week announced the launch of the DTS Surveillance Program for Cleared Blood Glucose Monitors. This surveillance program will provide independent assessment of the performance of cleared blood glucose monitors following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance against accepted standards, and generate information that can assist patients, healthcare providers, and payers in making the right product selection.”  Bennet blogs about it here, and the DTS has a full update here.

A Sweet Life is hosting an excerpt of my book, Balancing Diabetes, on their website, focusing on Walking the Blood Sugar Tightrope (you know … that thing we do every single day?).  Insight from Dr. Shara Bialo, Dr. Sean Oser, and Dr. Jill Weissberg-Benchell make me so proud of this particular chapter.

Oh hell yes.

“The pride of my four year old daughter in her ability to aim her vomit was kind of heart-warming were it not for the fact that previously in the day, she’d thrown up all over me.”  New column up at dLife’s Generation D.

Are you a Boston-local and with some free time next Wednesday night?  Join me, and the crew at Glu, for a discussion about Dexcom and life with type 1 diabetes.  Details here.

“Acceptance means that I don’t have to like the fact that I need to make these decisions, but I can be kind to myself while doing them.”  Leeann’s guest post about diabetes and mental health, part of a series on the You Can Do This Project website.  Amazing stuff.

“Want to be a champion for effective diabetes policy? You’re in luck. The Diabetes Foundation will host the very first MasterLab, July 2, 2014 at Marriott’s Orlando World Center in Orlando, Florida!”  Learn more about the MasterLab program, and how you can become part of it, at the Diabetes Hands Foundation website.

Happy weekending!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers