Vacationing with diabetes.

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As I plan itineraries and sight seeing for our trip to Florida in a few months I can’t help but think about how stressful it could end up being because despite my pleading and begging diabetes has decided to tag along for my first family vacation.

I asked nicely.

I’ve even been babying it in hopes that it might let me slide this one time but my hopes were shattered when diabetes decided that I couldn’t escape it’s grimy, disgusting grip on my life.

So included in my planning for all the exciting events I have to also plan for diabetes. I have to make sure I bring with me enough supplies and game plan for anything that may go wrong.

Here’s a quick list of things I will need:

  1. Insulin.
  2. At least three pods, not including one that I’ll be wearing. (I’ll be away from home for a total of four days) Pods can be fickle little beasts sometimes.
  3. Test strips and my meter.
  4. Triple A batteries for my PDM which controls the whole pump/insulin system. With out that I couldn’t bolus.
  5. An extra Dexcom just in case mine craps out.
  6. Syringes. Because pods could die and then what would I do.
  7. Charger for my Dexcom.
  8. Water and snacks for low blood sugars.
  9. Locating pharmacies in case of extreme emergency.

Truthfully I have to have back up plans for my back up plans. You never know what could happen. Because the thing about diabetes is that if you don’t have an idea of what to do in an emergency, or if you miss even the tiniest detail in planning, you could be screwed. Just in case is something I mumble a lot to myself even when I’m not going on vacation. Just walking out the door to the grocery store gets a plan A,B and C. “Well, I should bring this/do this just in case…” I can’t leave things up to chance. I can’t afford to blow caution to the wind because my life literally depends on it. That;s a scary thought, am I right?

It’s frustrating but manageable. It’s annoying and tedious but I can do it. I just wish I didn’t have to. I wish I could go on our vacation with little to worry about.

I plan on having a magnificent time despite certain hassles, I plan on enjoying myself fully. Because not even diabetes will ruin my vacation! I just have to be sure to plan accordingly.

Have you been on long vacations with diabetes tagging along?How did you manage and what are your tips for traveling?

Diabetes Sucks

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Please excuse my very grouchy language in the title but it’s the truth. I’m not writing this to be negative, just honest. At the end of a very long and stressful day or even a fantastic one… diabetes will always suck.

I have had many days where my blood sugars are stable and I am a bolus queen. But most days aren’t like that. Most days I encounter high numbers here and there or numbers so low I can’t think. What makes it even more annoying is that these highs/lows always seem to happen at the most inconvenient of times.

For example:
When both kids are cranky or I need to feed my son because he’s screaming his head off. I can’t give either one of them my full attention because I’m about to pass out from a blood sugar reading of 45 or lower. I can’t function. I can’t even remember my name but I have to suck it up and fix the situation. It’s stressful.

Or how about when I’m trying to drive to work, or a doctors appointment, but then I have to pull over to fix a low blood sugar or else I could be putting myself and others in danger. I’ve had to sit in the car for almost 20 minutes waiting for my numbers to stabilize. It’s frustrating.

Sometimes my blood sugar gets high and I have to stop playing with my daughter, or stop making dinner, so I can give myself insulin or I could again be putting myself or others in a possibly dangerous situation.

A few days ago my pump decided to crash out on me in the middle of my shift at work. My numbers were so high I felt sick. My head was pounding, my mouth was dry, and every time I took a step I felt dizzy, I couldn’t see straight. No matter what I did I kept creeping higher and higher until eventually I had to leave early. It was upsetting to me because I try very hard not to let diabetes get the best of me or interrupt my daily routines but sometimes it does and I just have to deal with it.

These might seem like no big deal to some people but when you are trying all that you can to take care of yourself and you still end up feeling helpless in certain situations, because your body is fighting against you, it can be overwhelming.

The reality is that with diabetes there’s no time off, no vacation away, no 20 seconds of freedom. Diabetes is 24/7 and it just sucks.

I try to stay positive with everything because these were the cards I was dealt but it’s become very difficult with the new baby to care for diabetes like I used to. Diabetes is needy and uncaring. I’m hoping to get back into a rhythm with it but so far it’s just been an overall mess.

It doesn’t help that no one can really tell when you’re struggling with this disease because you can’t see it. I may look fine on the outside but I’m battling a monster inside. That’s what this disease is no matter how you look at it. A monster. Every one handles their diabetes differently, I try not to make a big deal out of my struggles but sometimes it is a big deal.

I’m in a bit of a diabetes funk if you couldn’t tell but I know tomorrow is a new day and it will be better. It just has to be.

I’m still smiling and I hope you are, too.

Motherhood

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Five truths about motherhood from my perspective.

1. It’s difficult: I know. I went there and said it. It’s a beautiful blessing but it can be stressful. When your newborn cries all night no matter what you do. When your seven year old is sick and can’t sleep. When you worry about your parenting skills and hope to the heavens you’re doing this right. It’s all so difficult. Not something I’d give up but I’m allowed to wish things were a little easier sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.

2. You’ll fall in love: As a mother, no matter what, you’re going to fall so deep in love with these little people in your life. The sticky, crying, kissable little people you’ve created will steal your heart. After having my first and giving her every drop of love I could muster I thought for sure I’d never be able to love another person so much. And then I had my son and somehow my heart grew ten times bigger and I fell in love with him, too. My heart overflows for these two kids. It’s an amazing, incredibly breathtaking, experience. That’s the only way to explain it.

3. You’re going to be exhausted: People told me lies. I’m here to tell you the truth. Those long sleepless nights with your newborn don’t go away. They are fewer and far between but they’re still there. At 3 am when your toddler has a tummy ache, when your seven year old has a nightmare, you will be right there. Wide awake. While they sleep, toss and turn, or are puking up their guts… You’ll be there. Every cough will startle you awake. Jolt you from the deepest slumber. For the rest of your life as a parent. That’s the truth. But it’s okay because it shows you care. That’s how much you love your kids that you’re willing to go nights without sleep and then juggle the world the next day. The good part is you won’t remember how exhausted you were when you look back. You’ll just remember all the sweet moments.

4. It’s expensive: I know that’s a give in but lemme tell ya…I didn’t realize how expensive. Between diapers, formula, and everything in between you’d need quite a few bucks in the back. And they don’t get cheaper as they grow. They’ll wanna play sports or they’ll decide they want to be an artist so you’ll need all those supplies. On the other side of that coin is the pride and joy you’ll feel when you’re cheering them on after kicking the winning goal. The excitement that runs through you when you’re showing off their latest art piece. It’s what makes spending your last dime on them worth it.

5. It’s all worth it: Despite the mixture of emotions I’ve displayed here I can say with my whole heart that I wouldn’t give up a second of this crazy, beautiful, exhausting thing called motherhood. I just wouldn’t. My life wouldn’t be the same without my children. They’ve taught me so many things in just the short time they’ve been in my life. Patience, unconditional love, patience… Yeah you’ll need a lot of that, and most importantly appreciation. An appreciation of all the tiny moments. The laughs and giggles, the smiles, and all the hugs.

Kid Art

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I love when my daughter draws, paints, and colors. I’m a huge advocate of spreading ones creative wings. Discovering what you can do with a few tools and your imagination. Over the years her art has gotten better and better. This picture is of her little brother. She was very proud of it and so am I. So much so that I had to share it for todays wordless Wednesday.
Hope you’ve found a reason to smile today.

Level Foods Review

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Recently I started looking into level foods, quite a few of my fellow diabetic friends love their products, so I figured I’d research them a bit. If you don’t know much about them level foods is a US based company founded by Ethan, a type one diabetic, who strives to help you take control of your life and your diabetes. Their products make living with diabetes easier by providing healthy, delicious, snacks or shakes that keep your blood sugars level and give you the boost of energy you need to get you through the day.

Sounds awesome, right? I thought so.

After following Level Foods on Facebook to see what they were all about I was lucky enough to win one of their giveaways. My prize was a box of chocolatey peanut crunch and I was very excited to give them a try.

Side note: I received my box very fast which made me even happier.

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Let’s get to the fun part. The taste and my thoughts.
I wasn’t surprised by the taste. It was what you’d expect from something that is a better choice for you. The dark chocolate and peanuts covered up a lot of that cardboard taste you get with some protein bars. I liked it. But I wasn’t in love. What I loved was that I had eaten this bar before work and my blood sugar levels were amazing. No spikes. No lows. Everything stayed in range and I had a little extra pep in my step, too. Another plus? I wasn’t completely famished by the time I got my lunch break.

I would recommend level foods to all my diabetic friends strictly for the blood sugar results. This particular product, chocolatey peanut crunch, was not my favorite but with such a variety of flavors in bars and shakes I’m sure I’ll find something that suits my taste buds.

If you are looking for products to try head on over to your local Target. They have all sorts of Level Foods products and if you have cartwheel you can find discounts on them as well.

Have you tried Level Foods before? Thoughts? Favorite flavors?

Tasty Thursday

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Ladies and gentlemen this Tasty Thursday segment is brought to you by Influenster and Reese’s peanut butter chocolate spreads…

I admit that I don’t post much about foods. Being a type one diabetic I can say that my relationship with food can be a rocky one sometimes. I rarely find treats that I consider bolus worthy but when I do I hold on tight.

Recently I was given the opportunity to try a new product compliments of influenster:

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Reese’s peanut butter chocolate spreads. That’s fun to say ten times fast. Now, I’ve tried other spreads before and thought they were decent. This one however combines my love of chocolate and peanut butter. How could a girl resist. Especially since it’s only 21 carbs for 2 tablespoons. That ratio might seem a bit outrageous but for just a little tasty snack before or after dinner it is actually plenty. On one piece of toast I only used maybe one tablespoon. Same goes for everything else I’ve enjoyed with this spread. Truly, a little goes a long way.

Enough about the numbers. Let’s talk taste. Yum. It’s everything you could hope for in one 13 ounce jar. (Sorry, I did say no more numbers, right!?) It’s like eating Reese’s peanut butter cups. Only not? I’ve tried it on apples, pretzels, and toast. All amazing. Of course my husband loves it too. In fact he’s the one who suggested it be a morning treat on toast.

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I have to say that overall it’s worth the cost, around the three dollar mark, and worth the carb intake. I can’t get enough. It’s delicious. Don’t take my word for it though try it yourself. I bet you’d agree.

If you’ve tried it before what have you paired with it?

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own and I was paid in no way for them.