Diabetes

The Unknown | New Chapters and New Territories

We are all on a path in this journey of life, with goals and destinations we plan to reach.  Sometimes life has a funny way of getting us there, it may have some unexpected turns but we’re still on our path.

The above picture was taken on my way to teach my first class of the new year.  Remnants of confetti and celebrations scattered the street, full of excitement and anticipation of what this new year would bring!  New goals, new chapters – a world of possibilities with a clear path ahead!  Little did I know that shortly after, my path would take a very different course… this new route would be the path to Motherhood.

Yes, right after the new year I found out I was pregnant!  A very big surprise, and being someone with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) this was to be taken quite seriously and there was no time to waste on getting my butt into gear to get my hemoglobin A1C (blood sugar average over 2-3 months) down where it needed to be.

(*Please be advised I am not providing any medical advice in this article, but simply telling my story).

T1D + Pregnancy = A LOT OF WORK.  For a quick general background, it is preferred for those with diabetes to plan out their pregnancy and have their A1C at a particular target level before “trying” to get pregnant.  Now insert my situation….my A1C was not in a desirable place (8.2 % to be exact), nor was the pregnancy planned.  (Generally the target range for an A1C is 5-7 %, however in pregnancy the target is as close to 6% as possible or less.)

It was time to kick it into high gear, and I was going to sprint to get back on track and do whatever it would take to get there.  This included making some very difficult (yet no-brainer) decisions.  To move quickly my doctors and I removed the  extra “variables” in my life to get on track.  My erratic schedule and workouts were unfortunately the ones to go.  The reality is getting myself on a regular schedule made tracking my blood sugar easier, both with eating and working out.  As a T1D, everything must be calculated. Every piece of food that goes in your mouth, to every step and movement you make – and this is especially heightened during pregnancy.  My hiatus from teaching is not so much physical, as it is more to do with blood sugar levels and stabilization.  Addressing both high and low blood sugars while teaching, is not effective.  Anytime blood sugar levels fluctuate and increase, it poses a risk to both me and the baby, and essentially I want to eliminate the unnecessary.  What most don’t realize is that, YES exercise is great for blood sugar control and lowering levels, but High Intensity Exercise can cause blood sugar levels to spike, (not fun).  Also, during pregnancy blood sugar target levels are held to a much tighter range much lower than I am used to.  Prior to pregnancy if I was 65-75 I would be chugging down some juice or popping some glucose tablets, but now I hang out and wait to see if I drop further…. this has been the BIGGEST adjustment for me.  It is this fear that my blood sugar won’t come back up.  This is what was causing a lot of my fluctuations prior to pregnancy, as I was always on the go and this would create a bit of a roller coaster effect – something I was working on fixing.  Although I’m learning to trust that the juice will kick in and that it may actually take longer than 10-15 mins to do so; there is no need to overtreat it.  I swear it is the longest 10-15 mins out there, and I still refrain from trying to consume the refrigerator, but I’m learning to have some more patience.

REAL TALK:  There is no science to Diabetes management, it truly is an art.  You can do everything right, everything the exact same way and things just happen.  Emotions, Stress, Hormones, being sick, Technology failure, it’s Wednesday, the sun is shining….. I think you get where I’m going.  It is work, it is a full time job on a regular day, pregnancy now doubles that.  My life is numbers, and although it can be such a nuisance (especially in the middle of the night :::BEEP BEEP BEEP:::) but technology is truly a blessing.  Having a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) really is a game changer.  The alarms may drive me bonkers these days (especially with the closer target ranges), but it gives a much clearer view of what is going on in real time, so I can make any adjustments more quickly and attempting to optimize blood sugar control.  It is consuming but obviously worth it!

My current A1C is now a 6.7% (still a work in progress) but it has taken a lot to get here.  Rather than negate all of the work that has been done (a big thank you to my doctors for their support) my teaching hiatus was the best option for optimal blood sugar control and health.  Although I’m a bit sad about it, I also know it is not forever and I will be back!  Now that I am feeling more like myself again (bye bye Nausea!) I am having fun incorporating new ways of working out, and creating new routines for myself and I welcome anyone to join me!  If you have a favorite low intensity exercise please throw them at me!  I’ve got some cool toys from Power Systems that I’m excited to play with and tell you all about!

We all have our path, we can only go forward and do our best along the way!

While I head into some unknown territory, this site is going into a major overhaul with new and improved features and content coming at you!  Always in food, fitness, fun and living the T1D life.  If you are curious about anything above don’t hesitate to ask!

Until next time – Stay Fit Stay Fly!

-SS

My Genteel (A Review for my T1Ds)

When talking about T1D I’m always in the market for the following:
Will it make my life easier?
Is it more comfortable?
Then the answer is – YES I want to try it!

For those who don’t know, although I wear a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) , T1Ds still have to test their blood sugar with a finger stick.  Using a CGM lowers this number, but I’m still testing 6-10 times per day.  After coming across some reviews on the Genteel, and looking at my callused/scabbed finger tips I decided that this new gadget was something I needed to try!

Did it meet the above criteria?  YES, and exceeded in many ways!

This gadget comes in a variety of colors and I decided on Playful Purple.  Upon ordering, I was sent a welcoming email with a “How to” video which was most helpful!

The box arrives a few days later, and I discover that I can PERSONALIZE my Genteel….. ok hold up…. I can decorate my diabetes supplies with stars and unicorns??? HECK YES!

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(Stars & Unicorns and of course “STEPH”! <3)
After putting my personal touch on it, in all seriousness this device is legitimately a game changer!  In simplest terms, the design does not allow for the lancet to penetrate the nerve cells, and uses a vacuum technology to draw out the blood!  Err go – no more sore fingers!  I have been using this for about 2 weeks now and I have noticed a difference in my finger tips!  Easy to use, pain-free, and the personalization makes it at least just a little fun! 🙂

For those curious – insurance does cover the genteel and they also supply a form for you to submit to your company if needed!  There is also a 120 day satisfaction guarantee!

Go ahead and check it out!!! My Genteel

What are some of your favorite D-gadgets??

Yours in living the D-Life,

-SS

Is there Avocado in it? Then YES!

My love affair with avocado will never cease to exist.  This glorious, tasty green fruit brings so much joy and delight to my life in the most simplest of ways. :::swoon:::

In looking for new ways to incorporate my favorite fruit into something other than ❤ Avocado Toast ❤, I took some inspiration from IG and google and found Avocado Pesto! (There are a variety of recipes out there and I used one from POPSUGAR as a base)

Take note: I love to cook, I love eating fresh food (heck, I love eating 😉 ), but when you’re running around all day, time just gets away, and the priorties become: let’s eat something and eat something quick before the HANGER sets in!  I’m all about meals that are simple, quick, healthy and of course TASTY!  This recipe hits ALL categories!!!  The creaminess from the avocado almost makes this meal like a decadent, indulgent treat!

I’ve been saying this for a while now… Fat is your friend (the healthy fats to be exact) and the avocado is
P U R E  P E R F E C T I O N!  Great for your skin, full of fiber and good for you heart healthy fats!  This kind of fat is what will keep you S A T I S F I E D!

For this meal in particular I chose to go half pasta and half zucchini noodle.  Why, you ask?  Well, your bod does need some carbs – it is a part of the fueling process! Being a T1D, I choose Barilla Plus as it is high in Protein and Omegas – this slows the breakdown of carbs (whether you’re T1D or not, def not a bad option!).

Adding the zucchini noodles will help fill your plate, and is a great way to add some extra greens and good for you nutrients without packing on extra calories and carbs.  Your bod needs carbs, but unless you are running a marathon there is no need to overload!

*Here’s a little something…. if you’ve never truly measured out what a serving size of pasta actually is, I HIGHLY suggest doing so.  It will open your eyes to seeing what a true serving size is, and sadly it is a far cry from what you are served at a restaurant.  This is where I insert the Zucchini Noodle love 😉

What you will need:
Serving Size of pasta measured out (optional)
1-2 Green Zucchini
1 Avocado
Basil Leaves 1/3 cup (or dried – I used dried as I did not have fresh – 3 tbsp dried)
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp for sauce, 1-2 tbsp for Zucchini
Salt
Garlic (I prefer more so I used 2 cloves)
1/2 lemon (juice)
Tomatoes (optional – this is my add in)
Parmesan Cheese (optional – of course this is my add in… it’s Cheese and little sprinkle goes a long way!)

While your pasta water is boiling – get your zucchini noodles prepped and put off to the side and start on your sauce.

For the sauce: combine Avocado, Basil, Salt, Lemon, & Garlic.  Personally, I do not have a food processor, but use an Immersion Hand Blender.  Blend until smooth.
(SIDE NOTE – The Immersion Blender is one of my absolute FAVORITE appliances!  I use it for everything from Sauce, Soups, Smoothies – it takes up very little space and so easy to use!)

Saute your zucchini noodles in a little Olive Oil until done to your liking, then combine the Noodles and Zoodles together.  Pour in your sauce, add tomato if you like (I love tomatoes in this, it is a perfect filler, adds beautiful color to your plate and is another  heart healthy fruit!), plate and sprinkle a little parmesan to finish! (You know I had to add a lil cheese in there somewhere!)

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And there you have it, minimal prep, minimal clean up, all good for you real foods,  & ready in under 25mins!!!

I’m looking forward to when it gets warmer out to try this one chilled!

Keep it Tasty friends,

-SS

Late Night Thoughts |The D-Game

I don’t want to play anymore.  It’s 3 AM – I am wide awake yet exhausted.  Awoken by thirst and need for the bathroom I knew something was up.  Rather than insert a new CGM sensor before bed I decided to forego this task until morning and use my glucometer… boop beep boop …. 303 pops up my on meter (not surprising given the way I feel right now).  It is clear my attempt at temp basal-ing after an earlier low blood sugar has failed.  Lately this game has turned into a cyclical chase of highs and lows.  Although I am working to straighten out this roller coaster, it has become mentally and physically wearing, and for now I’m just tired.  For one day, a whole 24 hours, I would like to shut my brain off and know what it is like to feel “normal”.  By normal I mean physically and to also not be mentally consumed by T1D. This all encompassing disease truly effects every single aspect of your life.  A full time job that no one applies for.  Both high and low blood sugars literally suck, and they suck all the energy out of you. Although they are not (hopefully) constant, what remains constant is the worry of when your blood sugar is in normal range the potential for it to go high or low.  There is no break.  Being that my lifestyle revolves around being tethered to gadgets 24/7.  Ok,  so I guess saying I’m a little bionic can be cool… maybe… and although they have a huge impact on my quality of life, being responsible for these said devices can get a little old.  In addition to my insulin pump, the CGM (continuous glucose monitor) has made a world of a difference. Perfect example right here…had I just inserted the new one, I definitely would have caught this high blood sugar much earlier that’s for sure, but I’ll be honest….I F*ing hate inserting that thing. Yes, yes once I do it, it is never as bad as I think it will be, however… let it be known I never was or will ever be ok with injecting anything.  Period.  Just because I do it, does not mean I am ok with it. More so, there is no choice, this is my lifeline, therefore I do it.

Generally speaking, keeping a positive attitude despite the trials and tribulations of diabetes is the way to go, but for right now I’m having a moment.  A moment of feeling defeated and a bit broken….I’m human, it happens.  Why can’t things just work?  The unfortunate truth stares me in the face.  There are so many factors that go into it, there is no hard answer, no science to it. Finding the balance of everything is an art, an art that is ever evolving and changing.  The only hard answer is that my pancreas does not work, that will never change. As much as I would like to throw my hands up and say ok “You Win”….tomorrow is new day.  A fresh start to conquer the world with T1D.  As my blood sugar comes back down ever so slowly (we’re now at 223) I am thinking about tomorrow, how I’m going to tackle the day and my goal to “stay between the lines” on my CGM.  I may not be winning right now, but watch out diabetes, I will own you.   One of these days I am going to be able to say “GAME OVER” I win!

-SS

Special thanks to these organizations that keep me inspired:
JDRF
Beyond Type1

DBlog Week 2015: Out With the Old and In With New

Well DBlog Week 2015 has come and gone.  As much as I tried to keep up – My laptop charger breaking did not help matters.  I know, I know … NO EXCUSES, but frankly writing from my iphone and producing something of quality was just not happening.  I don’t want to write just to put something out there just for the sake of it.  Twitter and Social Media are great for thoughts and feelings but for a blog… not so much.  So as much as I am a bit disappointed in myself despite outside factors, I am still posting this topic that I started.

In this post I combined two of the blog topics of “Cleaning Out the Diabetes Closet” (Literally / Figuratively) and changes you would like to see in Diabetes in any way shape or form.

When travelling, my awareness of having T1D is definitely heightened.  Meeting new people, I generally let people find out about my diabetes more naturally.  As with anything, the more time you spend with me, the more you find out.  Being that I was away on a work conference, certain things always come to mind (“What if” is always the common theme).  There is always an uncertainty of food being available – Lunch is provided, but what exactly does that mean?  Now, I’m always game for anything but the fact is, the days can be long and being in and out of places I generally tend to overstock my bag – because well .. you just don’t know.  Glucose tabs, and Juice are a staple but if I start to run low, I start buying things on the fly just in case (again so I can be ready to go in a moment’s notice).  Being that I have officially had my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) for a year now (keep doing your thing Dexcom!), it’s really time to start changing some thought processes.  Trusting it (cgm), while trusting my instincts.  It’s time to clean out these thoughts of how I approach some of these items.  Cleaning out of comfort zones and habits and starting new ones (it takes 21 days right?).  Thanks to technology and my CGM for being there to assist in this process in taking these actions.  Having the data available definintely gives me more confidence in taking that risk of really fine tuning my blood sugar.  More recently I have been testing the waters in my overnights – I have a mild fear of going low in the middle of the night, so my evenings can be a little higher than necessary and sometimes have an effect on my morning due to this fear or overcompensation.  In this clean out, I’m changing my mindset, and taking action to clear out these mental blocks of “what if”.

As for changes in Diabetes: outside of a cure and changes in care…I want to see better Education  and Public Awareness about diabetes!  What it is, what it entails and the differences between each type. Oh yeah, and Let’s throw in everyone’s favorite topic – health insurance coverage! I will stop myself now and refrain from ranting about the insurance topic and just say this needs to be changed STAT!

What is so amazing to me though, is seeing these changes. In 17 years I’ve certainly seen a lot of innovation in diabetes care and we are in a very exciting time with promising research in encapsulation, and the artificial pancreas project (thanks JDRF! #thisiswhyiride).  There are also some newer companies out there taking different innovative approaches such changes as TidePool #WeAreNotWaiting and Bigfoot Biomedical.  These individuals have taken matters into their own hands – truly an inspiration!

To add to this, while in California I had the absolute pleasure of meeting with the people of Beyond Type 1 and they are up to some pretty awesome tasks in educating the public about living with diabetes!  I’m seriously stoked with what is coming from them – it will be EPIC!  Be sure to check them out on social media @beyondtype1! (Be on the lookout for #TheDropSpotted)

I’ve left this weekend feeling inspired to take things to the next level, in all aspects of my life.  As I clean out my mental closet and look ahead with my eye on the prize, I want to know….. what are you cleaning out?  What actions are you taking?

Jack Welch was the keynote speaker at the conference I attended and this stuck with me:

“Have you ever wished you waited 6 months to do something?  No.  Move faster and faster”.

Here is to Moving Forward!  Faster, Truthfully and with Passion!

Stay Fit Stay Fly!

-SS

DBlog 2015 | I Can

Well folks for the next week there is going to be a lot of D-posting.  Yours truly is participating in DBlog Week 2015 and will be posting daily with specific topics and to kick it off the topic for today is “I Can”.

I can and I will.  Now, I joke about being pancreatically challenged on the reg, but honestly it’s not a laughing matter (however, life is just too short to be so serious!).  Type one diabetes is 24/7 and all consuming – it literally effects every part of your life, everything do and every part of your body.  I could sit here and say “what if” and let diabetes just run my life (if I did I probably wouldn’t have much of one) but rather I run and take diabetes with me!  Ever since I was diagnosed at 14 years old, that is what it has been – diabetes is a large part of my life but it just comes along with everything I do!  A food aficionado – each new food brings a new challenge, and a little trial and error! Then you find the “sweet spot” (ba dum bum) and you figured out the right ratio of insulin:carbohydrates for that pasta dish you wanted to try – sweet sweet victory!

Leaving my 9-5 regular scheduled job, to being self employed and working in fitness – people ask how do you do it.  Here is the thing kids – when you want something you make it work!  Now I am self-admittedly a work in progress in balancing some of this out, but it’s been treating me well.  The most important thing that I have learned is to ALWAYS be prepared.  This should go without saying, but when I have everything on me (small purses be damned!) and by everything I mean diabetes supplies from syringes and insulin, to extra infusion sets – I’m not just ready in case something fails or breaks.  I can also be ready to go anywhere at a moments notice.  For those who know me, I hate injections of all kinds, yes, I may be used to it but it doesn’t make it any better.  Recently my pump failed while running in between jobs, the only option was to take a shot….woof.  First, I was very happy and thankful to have the syringes and insulin on me (what a drag and near impossible to have to try to run home and then get back into Manhattan) but after doing it I had a sense of pride, feeling like a diabadass knowing what I just did, and we all as Type Ones do this on the reg. Let’s just be real… we’re all diabadasses.  We stick needles in ourselves, insert pump sites all on our own, prick our fingers – if we can do that, we can do anything!

I CAN because of technology and research.  I’m amazed where technology has taken the care of diabetes, making the quality of  our lives better while en route to a cure.  Personally, adding the CGM (continuous glucose monitor) to my life was one of the best decisions I made.  Especially when teaching or performing it allows for me to really make a plan for how I want to approach my insulin needs, snacks etc.  Rather than taking good guesses I have more data and knowledge to work with – remember kids knowledge is power!  (Thanks School House Rock).

This Fall I am participating in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley, CA with my wonderful husband and we are training to ride 100 miles.  So for me, to get through the 100 miles in the heat – I’m taking this mantra of “I Can & I Will”!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Paris to Cologne | FIBO, Food, Fitness, T1D

*THIS POST SHOULD HAVE GONE UP WHILE AWAY BUT ALAS, THERE WERE MANY A WIFI TROUBLES, SO I’M COMBINING POSTS!
What a whirlwind!  Paris.  It was a very brief stay – a good 9 hour visit – but it was a simply gorgeous day in Paris and you know this one took complete advantage of the weather and time.  In keeping with Staying Fit and  Staying Fly, I LOVE seeing cities by foot – there is just so much more to see on foot and it is a great way to get some miles and activity in without even realizing it!  It took a bit longer to get out of the airport than anticipated- but I was able to get out and about in the city by 3pm.  Now when booking this hotel I was all about location, location, location!  This was not my first trip to Paris, so I really just wanted to take time for some of my favorite things: walking, people watching, and of course FOOD! Also, the last time I was here, it was quite cold, so it was a delight to walk around in the sun, and see lovely signs of spring! From my hotel I was able to make a great loop making my way to the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs Elysee, over to the Louvre back around to the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower.  Now after walking around all afternoon it was time for some imbibements that were well earned.  Of course a delightful platter of cheese and glass of wine were just the thing to satisfy this tired and hungry traveler.  After devouring a delightful plate of Brie, Camembert and Rocquefort and a glass of Cote du Rhone sitting outside watching people pass by- it was time to head back to the hotel for a little refresher.  I’m a huge fan of catnaps – a good 20-30 minutes of sweet slumber and I’m ready to go.  Dinner was on a recommendation – had a lovely piece of fish, some veg and of course some Champagne!  The owner was a bit perplexed and squeezed me into a spot at the bar and muttered that the place was full of English and Americans – haha oh well!  The bartender was a true delight, and mentioned this as well (he was equally perplexed but was a delight to have as a server).  There is something so gloriously wonderful about exploring a city on your own and dining on your own.  If you haven’t done either, I strongly suggest trying it out.  Find a new restaurant you’ve been dying to try and just go, sit and be in the moment.  The restaurant forgot part of my order – the carb portion – luckily I hadn’t bolused yet, and my blood sugar was a little out of whack so I was ok.  I took this as sign that dessert was in order.  Strolling towards the Eiffel Tower – the best view is actually just a few blocks from my hotel.  So I stopped and bought a coffee with some Beingets (you know I never had them before?) a crepe would have been delightful but was a little too large for my liking.  These little dough balls full of chocolate were just what I wanted and the two were the perfect size.  Up the stairs I found the perfect spot to sit watch and wait for the light show.  Sitting and taking it all in watching tourists take photos (I’m beginning to think I need a selfie stick), groups of teenagers hanging out in corners, hawkers selling mini Eiffel towers and random cheap *toys, couples canoodling and then there it is.  The beautifully lit Eiffel Tower standing right in front of me.  Breathing in and thinking how lucky and thankful I am to have this moment – the light show starts and it is Magic!  In everything you do, take time.  Moments create experiences, experiences are your life and build who you are.  A few minutes after the light show I decided I should head back to the hotel for at least a little sleep before leaving for Cologne in the morning. 🙂

Now en route to Cologne and I am so excited for what is to come!

FOR MY T1Ds:
Generally I have not had this much trouble when travelling, but for some reason my blood sugar has been a bit of a roller coaster (I know the time change and carb counts are a bit different (especially the bread) but it has been alot of ups and downs.  This is also the first time travelling internationally with my CGM – it has been quite off (by about 100!)
QUESTION:  Have you experienced this while traveling?

COLOGNE – FIBO 2015 – MASALA BHANGRA
Au Revoir Paris, Wilkommen Cologne!  I have to say, this was by far the best train ride I have EVER experienced – no exaggeration!  A delightful ride through the French country side, Belgium, and then my final destination: Cologne!  Spacious and the upgrade is well worth it – Free wifi and breakfast (a quite tasty one at that) it completely pays for itself – extra cup of coffee – don’t mind if I do  thank you Thalys!!!

Now for Cologne!  FIBO 2015 – what an honor and a privilege to be a part of one of the largest international fitness and wellness expos!   A heartfelt thank you to the creator and founder Sarina Jain -I had the amazing opportunity to assist and present Masala Bhangra both at the booth and on the Main Stage!  I have to be honest – our booth was sick!!  No joke people were taking photos of it – and it was pretty wild to see my face on there!! Now the Masala Bhangra FIBO team was ON POINT!  We rocked the main stage and endless demos at our booth!  Energy was high and lots of Balle Balle Love all around!!!

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It was hard work for 4 days, but you know how we roll here at Stay Fit Stay Fly – Work Hard Play Hard!  So of course, taking advantage of any moment possible at the end of each day I made sure to see part of the city (by foot and through food, there is no other way 😉 ) and indulging in some well earned local eats and libations!  Nothing like an ice cold Kolsch and some wurst to tap off your night with awesome company!!!

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The most memorable evening was at an Indian Restaurant (keeping on theme with Masala Bhangra) where I got to share some time with some pretty incredible and special people, delicious food and some impromptu in house dancing!!  What is better than that?!  Thousands upon thousands of people queued up to enter the convention each day.  I even met the creator of Zumba – Beto Perez!

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This convention includes a Body Building Competition – although my failure at finding someone to benchpress me and the MB Team (WOMP), it was quite a spectacle!

After this incredible whirlwind it was time to pack and head back to New York.  There was also a great lesson learned on this trip home – I MUST visit Amsterdam!  A country that sends you off and welcomes you with copious amount of Gouda (is this heaven?) clearly gets bumped to the top of the travel list!   Not only that, they have samples for you!  Heck I wish I had a longer layover so I could have delighted in more cheese consumption!

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For my T1Ds – this was a real first for me.  I try not to let things get to me but man my bloodsugar was one huge roller coaster the ENTIRE time!  As mentioned in Paris, it’s different food, adrenaline, hormones etc. etc. etc. (throw in whatever outside factors you wish) – nothing was consistent.  I even ate the same breakfast each day – my lunch and dinner varied as I spent my days chasing highs and lows.  But I persevered, I do not let T1D stop me from anything – minus a small personal breakdown over not wanting to consume another glucose tablet (2 large jars in 4 days – not cool Betes, not cool).  Although I am incredibly thankful for these medical technologies and devices in my life, they are pretty useless when not working efficiently.  Ex: CGM says 181, but Steph is feeling funny and whips out the glucometer and finds 74 on the screen!  (again, not cool, and reason #9879876 why I rarely carry a small bag.  Always be prepared kids, it’s not good to rely on others for these situations – it’s your life, why risk it?).  Update: Back to the daily D-Work In Progress, and things are back to normal on the CGM front – wondering if security checks do anything to it????

New countries, cities, experiences, education (love learning and learning from others), amazing people – I am very thankful and humbled – looking forward to the future, and laying off the cheese for a little while (sigh).

Stay Fit Stay Fly
-SS

Travelling with Type One Diabetes | What If…

From the West Coast to Cologne!  Being that I just got back from California and preparing to go to Germany TONIGHT (Ja! – with a brief stop in Paris – YAY stinky cheese – then off to FIBO.  FIBO is one of the leading international trade shows for fitness, wellness & health! ),  with some final packing I am thankful that a bulk of this project had been completed – however this one really gets me EVERY time!  Here is the thing – I LOVE travelling but I HATE packing.  Yep, there is no joy in packing (you are packing just to unpack) and let’s face it, with Type One Diabetes, there is no such thing as “packing light”.  I carry my life with me on a general and that is just for the day, now imagine for the week.  🙂  My general rule of thumb is as long as I have all of my diabetes paraphernalia I’m all set.  For anything else that may get left behind, I figure I can always get it somewhere.  Ok, that sounds easy enough.  So per usual I make my list of all the D-items I need to bring, pull everything together and then.. it happens.  That thought that completely consumes  my mind and takes over…..

WHAT IF?!?!?!

Even though I have packed enough supplies to last me a month, the “what if’s” begin. “What if I drop my insulin bottle and it breaks”?  “What if I drop my lancing device and it falls in the sewer AGAIN”? (yes, this has happened – it was like watching a movie in slow motion, I actually don’t think I could have done that if I tried).  “What if my insulin pump malfunctions – do I have enough syringes, maybe I should get more just in case? What if this glucometer breaks do I have a back up?  Do I have enough *glucose tablets – what if I go low too much and then I don’t have enough..I’ll just pack a second jar”…..  I think you are picking up what I’m putting down… and before you know it, I have months worth of supplies packed away for a 4 day trip.  Crazy I know, but the reality is that these things can (and have) happened!  I pack everything in clear bags/containers so when going through security on the off chance I get pulled aside (this has not happened often but has happened) making for a smoother search.  There is nothing like being pulled into a separate room to have your perfectly packed bag poured out onto a table (Reason # 93485943857 why I hate packing).  While I pace to and from my luggage stuffing random diabetes supplies in any extra space I find (as they say, the more the merrier), I look forward to a lovely sleep on the plane this evening dreaming of that stinky cheese and red wine I plan to enjoy while in the “City of Light”!
See you in Paris!
-Stay Fit Stay Fly
SS
*To my fellow T1Ds out there.  I generally use glucose tablets as they work fast, and travel well (no mess!).  What is your go to/ what do you prefer to use for low blood sugars?

17 | A Little More Bionic, Ready & Riding for a Cure

17…No it’s not the title of the next Taylor Swift song.  Today, March 9th,  marks the 17th year I have been living with Type 1 Diabetes.  17 years.  Even as I type this, the thought that 17 years has gone by is hard to process.   I remember that day so clearly and I am amazed at how technology and care have changed over the course of this time!

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks itself and destroys the beta cells that produce insulin.  So essentially my pancreas just takes up space in my bod, and no I’m not sporting my high school beeper on my hip. That hunk of plastic is my lifeline.  My insulin pump. One of my most valued possessions, and also the biggest nuisance in my life. 😉

Now, generally I poke fun of my being pancreatically challenged, and try to stay positive about it all  (minus the obscenities that spew from my mouth when needing to change a site, or there is a random error). But I’m going to get REAL here….  It is F*ing tiresome!  T1D is 24/7!  A full time job that you do not get paid for, but this full time job is required for you to live!  I look forward to the day where I can shut my brain off and not be consumed with thoughts of:  what physical activity I just did or will do, what food I ate, will eat (or forgot to bolus for), counting carbs (and of course whether there is protein and fat), carrying extra supplies, concerns of complications, oh wait – am I feeling funny? let me double check that.  To be honest I’m not really sure what is like to just feel “normal” for a day. That is just a glimpse as to what goes on in this noggin – not to mention the trials and tribulations of cost, insurance coverage, and the ever comical dealing with fashion, insulin pumps and the paraphernalia that goes with it! 😉

As I look back on the last 17 years, I do have a sense of hope.  A special thanks to JDRF for the research they do!  While en route to a cure they are also making huge strides in increasing the quality of life in T1Ds for the better!  The medical technology and innovation never ceases to amaze me!  Here is a quick look at how some of my care has changed:

First Diagnosis: Injections and Finger Sticks
Pre-insulin pump.  Eating calculated amounts of food at scheduled times (regardless of whether or not I was hungry).  Multiple injections per day (mixing two insulins – one fast acting and one slow) and this number of injections was to increase.  Reluctant at first, was then convinced to try a newer device : the Insulin Pump!
Photo: This Inject Ease made it easier to give myself shots.  FACT: I still to this day have a very difficult time with inserting/injecting anything: syringes, pump site changes, CGM changes – I LOATHE it.  It does not matter how long I have been doing this, that fact will never change.  Despite the feelings of hatred, I do always end with a sense of surprise and pride once I complete the task! 🙂

 
inject ease   57307469

My First Insulin Pump:
This contraption opened up a whole new world!  Less injecting (though still finger pricking), a more flexible schedule, and being able to eat different foods and amounts of carbs!  Oh the taste of freedom, while being tethered to something 24/7! Ironic no?  PHOTO:  A loyal Medtronic Minimed Pump user – this is my current insulin pump, it has evolved in features over the years – again technology is amazing, and the changes are all for the better!

pump

TODAY: Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
Yes, people things are getting Bionic!  I wear a pump that supplies my insulin and now I wear a separate gadget that reads my blood sugar throughout the day!  Although I still have to use a glucometer – the CGM lets me know if my blood sugar is dropping, going high or just staying steady!  It has truly changed my life! Thank you DEXCOM!


dxcom
Next stop (with continued research) will be the Artificial Pancreas!

WOW.  We really have come a long way!  As I reflect on these thoughts, of myself and the millions of others who suffer from T1D, I am reminded of how we are some truly INCREDIBLE, STRONG DIA-BADASSES, who fight everyday and most people don’t even know!

Help me me turn Type One to Type None: HERE

Stay Fit Stay Fly!