|Posted by Suzanne on February 26, 2012 at 2:10 PM||comments (1)|
Oh, the wonders of technology! We have so many great things now, computers, the internet, smart phones, tablet PCs, and so much more. In the diabetes world I remember the days before insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and many varieties of glucose meters. I realized in the past 4 weeks how incredibly spoiled I have become with all my diabetes high tech gear. I also realized how stubborn I can be!
So here is a bit of background on my experience. About 3 months ago I noticed the display on my pump was not as bright as it used to be. Because I look at the screen multiple times a day, I hadn’t realized how dim the display had become. I was so busy getting ready for a vacation/training trip that I decided not to call the pump company until I got back. After all, my blood sugars were fine and I could see the screen well enough. I also did something I NEVER do, I did not ask my pump company for a loaner pump to bring on vacation, even though they offer them and it is easy to get them to send you one.
On January 27th, I headed down to Miami with 2 work colleagues (and all together great gals) to go on a cruise where we would be vacationing as well as getting continuing education credits for our licenses as professional counselors. Right away I realized something was wonky in my diabetes world. I was having lots of unexplained high blood sugars, even when I switched out my infusion set and tried a new bottle of insulin. I assumed that my wild carb guessing was the culprit most of the time. After all, I was eating more sweets and junky food since I was on vacation. Then while in Grand Cayman, I tried to bolus for some ice cream and I could not see the screen on the pump at all in the sun or the shade. I ended up under a beach towel trying to make out the screen to bolus. For the first time in years my diabetes was getting in the way of my fun times, making me feel super stressed out. It made my friends worry about me, which I hate. We still managed to have fun but diabetes was getting in the way.
The trip ended and we all headed home. For the first 5 days of being back, I was in the mad rush of catching up on work since I had been gone for over a week. The wacky blood sugars continued, even with me going back to weighing and measuring my food. I finally called the pump company about the pump screen being so dim. After lots of troubleshooting, they agreed to send me a new pump even though they felt mine was working fine except for the screen being hard to read.
The new pump came in 8 days ago. Guess what? All the weird blood sugar issues are gone! So maybe there was something wrong with the old pump after all other than the screen being dim. So I come back to my original thought in this post. I was too stubborn about calling the pump company. I was depending on this pump to keep me alive and I was taking for granted that I have to be more proactive in my own self care. After all, it is not the pump’s job to keep me alive, it is MY job to do this. I became spoiled by the technology in an unsafe way. It makes me wonder if the darn thing would have had to power off completely or dump a ton of insulin into me before I would have taken it off and called tech support. As you can see from the picture below, thereis a huge difference in the readability of the screens so it seems so obvious that there was something really wrong.
So here are my valuable life lessons from this experience:
It’s all about your attitude!
|Posted by Yogi on December 15, 2011 at 7:15 PM||comments (0)|
1. My non-diabetic friend accepts all of me, including my diabetes.
2. My non-diabetic friends never make blanket assumptions about my diabetes or me.
3. My non-diabetic friends truly listens to me when they ASK about my diabetes.
4. My non-diabetic friends are great to share food with, when controlling sugars!
5. My non-diabetic friends are informed about my diabetes, and know when I need help.
6. My non-diabetic friends know that diabetes is only part of who I am.
7. My non-diabetic friends are mindful of insensitive comments, especially in public.
8. My non-diabetic friends NEVER try and force THEIR way of healthy living.
9. My non-diabetic friends understands that EACH AND EVERY DIABETIC IS DIFFERENT!
10. My non-diabetic friends understand that a syringe does not mean I am a drug addict.
11. My non-diabetic friends laugh with me and not @ me.
12. My non-diabetic friends are interested in learning more about diabetes together.
13. My non-diabetic friends participate in the very things they recommend.
14. My non-diabetic friends................. (you fill in the rest)
|Posted by 1HappyDiabetic on October 17, 2011 at 8:25 PM||comments (0)|
What does diabetes have to do with me?
Diabetes has everything to do with you. Ever try doing exercise, taking a test, going on a job interview, play Wii without thinking about your diabetes? If you haven't thought about your diabetes before doing any of those activities I'll bet you were not at peak performance. And who wants to look bad playing guitar hero? Not me.
I am one of those people who don't mind the term "diabetic" heck I even did video about it LINK HERE… but anyways my point is I am at a point in my life where I am comfortable with my diabetes. I am very lucky to say that. One of the reasons I got to this point is because I think of my diabetes all the time, and how I can make it better or easier.
Diabetes stress anyone? Have you heard of that term before? What does that mean to you? My personal definition of Diabetes Stress is - not giving yourself enough time to properly prepare for a diabetic situation. Or maybe that is less of a definition and more the outcome if you don't properly prepare yourself in a diabetic situation.
This is something you can limit. By preparing. Here are some simple steps to prepare yourself better.
• Have extra pump supplies (if on a pump) in your car at all times. Infusion sets, insulin cartridges, and batteries.
• Have something to treat a low blood sugar, in your car, at school, by your bed at all times.
• Ask every time you get your insulin and test strips how many refills you have left.
• Always ask your yourself before going anywhere… what would be the worst thing (diabetes related) that could happen, and do I have a solution for that.
But just doing these simple steps you just might be able to relieve some of the diabetes stress that comes when you don't expect it. When you take the time to really think about your day, and what that means to your diabetic needs, the days get easier. You are more prepared! Being prepared means less stress and happy faces!
So do yourself a favor and think of yourself with diabetes… and smile! When I do, I don't frown anymore, I am actually excited. I tell myself how can I do it better, not how better it would be without it!
|Posted by Suzanne on September 29, 2011 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
When I look back over the past 2 years as I have been working towards my full licensure as a professional counselor, I realize how in this new beginning of a career, I have let important things in my life become neglected. My focus and purpose were sosharp, but I missed the bigger picture. I have lost touch with the DOC (diabetes online community) and I have been affected on many levels by this. With the launch of the new 1happydiabetic.com website, I am ready to change my priorities, not just for the DOC but for my own well being.
1happydiabetic.com started as a dream of Bill’s that he took on by himself. 2 years ago he asked me to join him and I jumped right in! My diabetes care was top notch, I was plugged in, I could connect and make a difference for myself and others. Then life got in the way. I started my first job out of graduate school and started working 80+ hours a week. I didn’t make time to do videos or blogs. I stopped tweeting and blamed it on my crappy phone at the time. I slipped further away from the person I truly liked being, one very happy and positive diabetic. As I made excuses to friends and family, I started making excuses to myself. I stopped living in the here and now and focused on my future career only.
When I dropped off the radar of the DOC, I started gaining weight again. I ate fast food 5 days aweek and I always got the worse dietary option available! I thought, “I have an insulin pump, I can have that ice cream/French fries/crappy extra value meal, I deserve it since Iwork so hard taking care of others.” I stopped taking care of myself, physically and mentally as I disconnected from the DOC and anything that was not work related. Throughout this process of becoming someone I didn’t recognize anymore,there was one constant in my life other than my husband, it was Bill. Bill was understanding and encouraging as I struggled with my crazy schedule. He kept me in the loop on DOC happenings. He took care of the website and kept making videos. All while he worked and had a new baby in the house!
As Bill geared up for this launch and brought in the awesome new crew, I told Bill I didn’t have time, I didn’t want to let him down and I needed to just bow out. He wouldn’t let me quit, he told me to do what I could do, that I needed to be part of it. He was so wise in that moment, I don’t thinkhe even realized it. In that moment, Iknew that it was time. Time to get my priorities straight and reconnect with who I am and who I want to be.
With the relaunch of www.1happydiabetic.com, it has gotten me thinking about change and new beginnings. I have decided that some things in my life have to change. It is time for me to reconnect with my diabetic self and the DOC. It is time to look at my priorities and shake some things up! I amso fortunate to have the wonderful people of the DOC as part of my life and itis time that I give back to the DOC. Keep checking in with us on the new, improved site as I share how to getmy diabetic groove back!
|Posted by Yogi on July 7, 2011 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
I'd like to re-introduce myself. My name is Yogi, and I am so happy to be apart of the 1happydiabetic family. Bill (founder of 1happydiabetic), Mike, Ryan, Suzanne, and myself, are working on some really cool ideas for the site. We will keep you posted!! For my first blog post, I would like to talk about the importance of good diabetic support system (which fits with the overall mission of not just 1happydiabetic, but many diabetic bloggers around the world who are donating their time to help others). Today, there are more than 350+ million people around the globe that have diabetes. Ten percent of those are type 1 (thats 35-45 million). Althought type 2 still makes up for the majority of diabetes cases, 45 million type 1 people around the world is nothing to sneeze at; yet, it appears that very few of us have support groups (personal or professional). Why is this??
I can tell you from first hand experience, support groups are extremely important. Not just for the newly diagnosed, but for veteran diabetics as well. Diabetes isn't always easy. Sometimes we have to endure mean comments from people who will never understand; sometimes you just want to hear from someone who's gone through the same thing; sometimes we need pep talks; sometimes you just want to be around other diabetics that keep you motivated.
You are not alone. There is no need to keep your diabetes inside, or even to keep it a secret. Let our experiences become someone else's lesson. Diabetes isn't just a condition, it's a way of life, a way of thinking, a way of reconnecting with self, away to confront our subconscious; emotional cleansing, a permenent lifestyle change. All of these various stages in our lives, requires support on some level. Diabetes is unlike any other disease. You can't just take a pill, or even insulin once a day, and "forget about it". Diabetes is the only disease were it requires you to be focused 24/7, and the only way to stay focused, is to truly love yourself, love your body, and love life. There really isn't a such thing as a "vacation" for any diabetic.
|Posted by Suzanne on September 28, 2009 at 3:19 PM||comments (0)|
Our buddies over at TuDiabetes are currently running a "Making Sense of Diabetes" video contest. They are seeking video entries that tell about the impact diabetes has on our lives through one of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.
Check out the contest today HERE. What a fun way to express yourself!
Click HERE to see Bill's video entry on sight
|Posted by 1HappyDiabetic on September 23, 2009 at 9:46 AM||comments (2)|
Diabetic patience do you have it? In a world with high speed internet, answers to questions at your typing finger tips, and the generation of instant feedback do you have the patience you need to manage your diabetes correctly?
With diabetes technologies advancing quickly many people with diabetes are taking advantage of continuous glucose sensors. We are now able to see glucose numbers every minute and trends in our glucose numbers that couldn't be seen before unless hooked up to a lab machine 24/7. How amazing is that? But what do you do with all this new information?
Here in lies the problem or answer depending on how you look at it. With all this information, diabetics can make better improvements in their daily management of their diabetes. By noticing trends we can prevent lows. We can more easily do correction ratio and carb ratio tests to see if our insulin needs are being met. But the temptation to "not consult" with your Endocrinologist or Diabetes Educator is there as well. Do you have the know how to make these changes?
When using continuous glucose sensors there is a temptation to over correct and over bolus for high blood sugars. As a diabetic for 20 plus years I grew up, Blood sugar readings were a time for me to "act" on my diabetes, most likely doing insulin or eating food. This is not the case with continuous glucose sensors. Not every reading is something to act on, far from that actually. Being patient after a correction bolus when you can see your high glucose readings every minute or so can drive some diabetics crazy, wondering every few minutes if their blood sugar is going down. Stacking your insulin can be a temptation some people just can resist.
With wearing an insulin pump, there is a temptation to just click a button and deliver insulin at any given time. Not that doing insulin injections are different but the availability to deliver insulin whenever you want is made easier by a pump. This is why diabetic patience is a valuable tool to learn. Most fast acting insulin has a duration of action of about 4 hours. Meaning if your blood sugar is 180 at 8:00 am and you correct with insulin for that, the amount of insulin you take will get you at your target in 3 to 4 hours, So 12:00 pm you should be in your target range.
So to conclude this blog I wanted to just make an observation on how having patience for your diabetes is an important asset to have. One day of testing does not give you enough information to make adjustments with your insulin. Many days are needed to get a good average. Medical professionals are at our finger tips, just a call or email away. Keep them involved in your management and success will be an easier goal to reach.
|Posted by 1HappyDiabetic on September 14, 2009 at 12:33 PM||comments (6)|
Hooray! We did it. We have over 100 members on1HappyDiabetic in little over a month with our new site design. I want to thank all of our members for your great comments, forum posts, videos, and pictures that add value and smiles to everyone that views them. Our enthusiasm for positive diabetes education, social value, and change has reached many diabetics and their families. It’s nice to laugh and feel welcomed with the struggles we face every day.
A very special thanks to Suzanne Watts who has helped with the development and creation of this amazing site. I am so lucky to have found such a special and talented friend that was willing to put her time and effort towards an idea that started a little over 2 years ago. Thank you.
I also wanted to thank everyone who has helped spread the1HappyDiabetic message around the internet and contributed towards the contentof this site. Thanks to; Kenny Kellner, Michael, Lorraine & Caleb, Katherine Marple, Clark V, DlifeMamma, Dene, Leon, Andy, Colette Henry, MelindaMonks, Fred, whatever1210, Argarcia1, and Cecilia. I know I have left many out, but thank you all for adding your thoughts and creative videos. Suzanne and I are truly honored.
1HappyDiabetic.com is growing and spreading that positive attitude we all need in our lives. This little community is growing and I am so excited. We hope to progress even further in the years to come. With justa little help from our friends with Diabetes I am sure we can. We look forward to hopefully expanding our “1HappyDiabetic” name and logo in the future (we are saving up as we speak) so we can be a recognized entity in this amazing Diabetic Online Community we are involved in.
We always welcome any ideas, suggestions, and involvement onhow we can make this site better. One of our members Fred asked for a way to display his involvement in the JDRF to share with others. So we created our new events calendar to display events and diabetic engagements our members would be attending. Hopefully we will be able to have 1HappyDiabetic meet ups in the near future.
So cheers to 100 and hundreds more!
Your Diabetic Buddy,
|Posted by 1HappyDiabetic on August 13, 2009 at 12:39 PM||comments (12)|
I've been on vacation in Rhode Island this week. The weather has been great so far! A welcomed change from the rainy New England summer we are having.
There is a family staying at the cottage next to us. They are a strong family, with great kids, and great routines. The routine the family goes through before leaving the cottage is one I will learn from. Whether it is the teenaged kids leaving to catch sea crabs, or the whole family leaving for dinner, they always ask each other the same question. "Are you equipped?"
It is just a great phrase for me to use more often. I usually ask myself, "Do I have everything?" Not whether I am equipped or not. As a type 1 Diabetic I need tobe equipped at all times. My extra test supplies, infusion sets, insulin, and glucose tabs do nothing for me if I don't have them "equipped." My supplies have to be close enough to me so that I can use them if needed.
Suzanne did a great video of what she carries in her diabetic purse (see the video below).
I know there are a lot of diabetics out there (and I am one of those) who try to minimize what diabetes supplies I carry. My pockets are only so big. Not to mention I carry my pump 24/7 in mypocket. If I leave the house I have my keys, wallet, and anything my wife wants me to carry? Did I say I have limited space? So each inch is important.
But if I choose to leave something at home it does me no good. So I try to have my car be a mini diabetes storage unit. That?s how I can get away having all the supplies I need. But if I am not taking my car, or I am traveling in a different way I need to bring more back up supplies.
So it?s a simple question, "Are you equipped?" Yes or No.
|Posted by 1HappyDiabetic on August 7, 2009 at 11:14 AM||comments (3)|
Diabetes and being a Red Sox fan are one in the same. I'm a Red Sox fan, not by choice but by my genetic makeup of my father?s wishes. A baby dressed in Yankees gear wouldn't be welcome at my family home, unless used as a diaper.
But the similarities with Diabetes and Red Sox go on and on. There are good times, bad times, and times where the lineup is stacked against me. Like the Red Sox, sometimes I feel like I am just a few games back. I feel like I'm just one good start away from turning this whole diabetes world series around. Do I try something new, or stay with what got me here?
But then something out of the blue happens. I get a diabetic, Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, or Aaron Boone batting .161 hitting one deep over my head. Where did that come from? I thought I had everything under control. Diabetes hits me sometimes when I think I have everything in control. I used to get frustrated when it happens and still do, but like a good Red Sox fan I know it comes with the territory and tradition. "Keep your Head up Blue!"
Baseball and Diabetes is all about fundamentals. The better you are at keeping your glove down on a routine grounder, the more consistent you are checking you blood sugar before and after a meals make a big difference in the game. It?s the simple things done correctly that give you better success. You have to think like you're a professional and have confidence in making the routine plays. You'll hit one out of the ballpark one day, but the next day you could have rain on the field and need to adjust.
Preparation is the key. You always need a back up. What happens when your Starter goes down early in the game? What's your plan? The more backups you have (meters, insulin, glucose tabs, etc) the more confident you can be during the game and enjoy it. You already have you bases covered.
So as I start the climb back to the top of my diabetes division I need to keep in mind my attitude, my fundamentals, and preparation. Diabetes is a team sport. The better the players around you, the better you will do. We are all here on the same team so lean on us if you need. We all have the same goals in mind.