Silly diabetes, tricks are for kids? :)

I’ve come to find, over the years, that when my sugar is a tad bit low..I have no idea what I am doing. Take for example the other day. the picture below is from Monday the 26th. Around 11 o’clock my blood sugar went from 82 to a very shaky 57. I then take two glucose tablets that I assume/read on the bottle to be about 15 carbs a piece. In my head I am taking 30 carbs so that I can come back up to a normal number. Wrong. Because then I drop. I continue to stay low even after popping a few more tablets. What the heck is going on here?

After eating lunch I finally hit a great number and then drop again. Have my glucose tablets gone bad?

Oh no. It was just me forgetting how to read labels..

Because it states, clear as day, that total carbs for 1 tablet is only 4. Where as calories are 15. So I was actually only taking 8 total carbs at a time when I should have been taking more. This was so frustrating to see. Ha. Well, now I know.

In other news.

I was up all night with low blood sugars, again. It seems as though, now that I have been really exercising, my blood sugar will spike right after the workout and then stay very low for the rest of the day.

So I came to the conclusion that..

Checking your blood sugar at 3 in the morning, and not wanting to disturb people by turning on all the lights, would be so much easier if I had one of these already built into my glucose meter. Stumbling and fumbling around trying to figure out what’s going on with the good old blood sugar is not fun. Not one bit. I may need to just purchase one of these handy dandy lights and keep it close by.

Solar-LED-Reading-Light

And that’s going to do it for this installment of wordy wordless Wednesday. :)

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What’s the buzz?

Recently I purchased an at home A1c kit. The company is Reli-On and I bought it, at Walmart, for about $9.00. I was concerned about the price at first, is cheap always good? However in this case I thought I would take a chance.

I was asked by a few people on my Facebook page, The Diabetic Mommy, if I could give a quick review of the product. I figured why not, I know a lot of people have been wanting to try it, myself included, and so here are my thoughts..

First off..

This is what the box looks like. Fairly self explanatory there. You can find it, most likely, where you would get your glucose tablets, glucose meters, testing strips, and things of that nature.

This is the back of the box where it gives you a quick definition of what, who, how, and why in regards to your A1c. As well as some very basic instructions on how to use this product.

Below are the contents of your Reli-On kit:

  1. The instructions on how to use and send your blood specimen.
  2. Hemoglobin A1c test authorization and collection form.
  3. Lancets.
  4. Alcohol pad.
  5. Gauze pad.
  6. Adhesive bandage.
  7. Postage paid return envelope.

The instructions are very in depth and easy to follow. There are guided step by step directions.

These are the lancets by the way. Be warned that if it doesn’t click the first time and stab poke you then it is not working properly and you will have to use the other one. Another warning: it hurts and left a bit of a bruise. Of course I might have sensitive fingertips.

The Good:

Here’s what you really want to know. As far as this product is concerned I did like it. Very much! The accuracy is up to par with getting your A1c done at a doctors office. I’ve had both done recently. So I would highly recommend it. And since it is so cheap I’d suggest doing it yourself just to get a heads up before getting it done at your next appointment. Even if only to compare the results yourself.

The Bad:

What I didn’t like is how long it took to get the information. I figured it wouldn’t be as quick as getting it done at the office, I just didn’t think it would take as long as it did. On the sheet it gives you two options: 1. You can get your results mailed to you which could take up to a week. After they receive and review the material. Or 2. You can get the results emailed to you. It stated that this could take up to 24-48 hours after the initial receiving and testing part.

I opted for the email thinking that I would get it quicker this way. I was wrong. It took nearly two weeks before I heard anything. Of course I was very pleased with the results, a perfect 7.0% so that made up for the wait. Overall, that would be my only complaint though. If you don’t mind waiting a bit for your results then, again, I would highly recommend it. I’d also like to add that their customer service reps are phenomenal and answered all of my questions within a day of my emailing them. (Two weeks was just too much for this impatient little lady) They are just awesome though. I am a sucker for amazing customer service.

The Conclusion: (There was no ugly) 

As in the movie, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly..? Okay, never mind. 

If you are thinking you’d like to check your A1c before appointments, between them, or whenever, then I would suggest using this product. I’m actually an avid Reli-On products user, you can find them in your local Walmart. I personally use their glucose meter, the Prime, with such affordable test strips. I have found it to be fairly accurate in comparison to other meters. I also use their glucose tablets that come in some very delicious flavors. It’s all just really great stuff.

If you’ve used any of these products, or just the A1c at home testing kit, then let me know what you thought of it.

Good or bad.

And as I always say, Own it or be owned. :)

August: #Dsma Blog Carnival.

Diabetes is a condition that affects more than just our bodies, it influences our emotions as well.

It can sometimes feel harder to cope with the emotional aspects of diabetes then the physical demands.

With that in mind, we revisit the “Diabetes and Mental Health” chat from July 24th and ask: What can a parent of a child with diabetes, or a person with diabetes, do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for diabetes?

This question hits very close to home, and not just because I happen to be a person with diabetes, but also because this is a topic that has been on my mind for quite some time now. I do find that dealing with, living with, or managing diabetes, however you’d like to view it, is a difficult job. One that I probably would not have signed up for had I been given the choice. So, I am doing the best with everything I have. Like previously stated it’s not just the physical demands that can wear you out, it’s those emotional battles as well. Even though you see a smile on my face, and I am proclaiming from the rooftops that my blood glucose levels are phenomenal, that does not mean that I am stress free, that I am so far above the emotional roller coasters.

On the contrary.

To stay on top of everything, to continue to be healthy, I almost need to be an emotional wreck. If I want to ensure that things are going as smoothly as possible I need to be prepared for just about anything. The upside is that I know when I need help. I understand that though this disease may feel like I am walking a lonely walk, I’m actually not. It’s helpful to have the DOC on my side but it is even more beneficial to have supportive family and friends. My husband doesn’t have diabetes but he lives like he does right along with me. No, he doesn’t inject insulin, or test his blood sugar, but he is up in the middle of the night with me when those lows get unbearable. He is chasing those high numbers back down right next to me. Bringing me water and insulin. His support and understanding is what makes the emotional wear and tear of this disease a little less of a burden on my shoulders.

I vent to him and I lean on him and that makes the emotional impact of this disease a little more bearable.

I think in order to help someone with diabetes get through any sort of emotional roller coaster that person needs to first realize that not every day will be the same, no matter how “routine” you try to make it. They need to be understanding, compassionate, and able to be a listening ear and shoulder to lean on. They also need to know that, though they really wish they could, they can not just will this disease away from their loved ones body.

So, be patient. Be alert. Be there. That’s all.

From a personal view in order to help myself get through the stress of maintaining this disease I have to try, difficult as it may be, to not beat myself up. I have to realize that  today is right now, yes, but tomorrow is a new day. I need to know that it’s alright to want to punch diabetes in the face so long as I keep up the good fight and never let it defeat me. I write when I get frustrated and don’t feel like “bothering” others with my gripes. I allow myself the time to take a step back a breathe. I tell myself, Own it or be owned.

I am very thankful for the people in my life who ask questions, who show concern, who allow me to vent about diabetes even if they don’t always know what it all means. Just knowing that I can turn to someone helps me get through the highs and the lows.

“This post is my August entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2013/08/august-dsma-blog-carnival-3/“

..and the winner is..

Me??

At the beginning of this year I told myself that I would try to be better than I was last year, in everything that I do, in every part of my life. A better mother, wife, sister, friend, and also in concern with diabetes, a better diabetic. I’m always trying to improve on something. Learning and growing is apart of life, it doesn’t stop once you hit a certain age.

The last 7 or 8 years of my diabetic life have been a roller coaster. I went from not caring about my diabetes, to having to be on top of everything during my pregnancy, and then right back to only sort of taking my health seriously. I wouldn’t say I was always destructive but there was definitely a lot of room for improvement. My very first A1c was around a 9. which meant that my average glucose levels were around 212 constantly. This is for an 8-12 week period. I didn’t know what that really meant at the time. To me it was just another number set in place to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Which is how I saw the numbers on my meter.

When I became pregnant I was informed that my diabetes would not only be affecting me but also my unborn child, so I kicked myself into high gear and began testing/recording/injecting and doing everything I could to ensure that my daughter came out healthy. Thankfully there were no complications so I must have done something right. She showed no signs of diabetes at birth and is still just the healthiest little thing. Unfortunately I cannot recall what my A1c was around that time.

Within the next couple of years after that I started to feel the whole “diabetes burnout” thing. My daughter was fine, she was perfect, and healthy. So, my diabetes, in my head, wasn’t affecting her anymore. Anything that I did shouldn’t have mattered, right? I allowed myself to fall out of that good rhythm and again my A1c’s would be sitting around the 8’s-9’s at times even higher than that.  Which meant my blood glucose levels were on average in the 200’s plus. Again, this meant nothing to me. Though the doctors showed concern and engaged in conversations with me on how to improve I stubbornly continued to do things my own way.

Since joining the DOC I have found diabetics who strive to be incredibly healthy individuals despite living with diabetes. This has been encouraging. They chat about their A1c’s and the importance of this and that which sparked me to begin my own research on the topic. I discovered more and more what this number meant and why it was such a huge deal. I found that the long term effects of high blood glucose could potentially end my life. Knowing and caring about my Hba1c gives me an idea of how my treatments/regimens are working or not working. A lot of diabetics strive to be at or below 7%. It means that you are doing everything right. That good, healthy number means that you can live longer. That you can look forward to another year with family and loved ones without complications.

I came to the conclusion that even though my poor diabetic habits weren’t affecting my daughter right now, in this moment, physically. They will affect her in the long run when I am no longer around. I heard a disturbing statistic about diabetics only living to be in their 60’s, that is with poor habits and constantly high blood glucose, I would like to live above and beyond that number.

Which is why a few months ago I told myself that now was as good a time as any to get this thing going. I started exercising more and really making my diabetes a priority. (Keep in mind that I am on MDI-Manual daily injections) This has been tedious, time consuming, frustrating, but overall very empowering. I have taken my life back into my own hands and decided that if I was going to be the best diabetic I could be I was going to have to get serious. The hard work has paid off because I just received my A1c results back and I am at a perfect 7%. I am amazed. It is the lowest I have ever been since diagnosis and so on.

I am very proud of myself.

This isn’t the stopping point. I would like to make my goal for my next A1c even lower than this number.

Own it or be owned. :)

The best part of you..

Here’s another installment of Friday Fives.

First off, I would just like to wish everyone a Happy Blue Friday. I am definitely showing my support for diabetes awareness today. :)

Now on to very important business.

Five things I’d like to share about the DOC (Diabetes Online Community)

1. When you want to complain about blood sugars or diabetes in general there is always someone listening, giving advice, understanding.

2. When you want to celebrate a diabetes win there is always someone cheering you on. Ready to split that sugar free cupcake.

3. When you need to know a guesstimate on carbohydrates in something, there’s a very good chance that someone knows and will share that information.

4. More importantly the friends in the DOC know/understand what an A1c is. No having to explain why or what this important number in your life means. They get it. And that’s so awesome. Good or bad, they have your back.

5. Lastly, no matter where you are in the world, once you become apart of the DOC, you have friends for life. That is such a special thing to find out. :)

If you are out there looking for support and encouragement and you can’t seem to find it where you live, well, there’s hope. It’s the DOC. You can find them trough Facebook/Twitter/Tudiabetes.com even Instagram.

Just look and you’ll see us. :)

Friday Fives-ish.

A few of my blogging buddies do this Friday Fives thing. After careful research I’ve discovered it’s basically just five things that are going on in my life, five things I’ve learned this week, or five random things that I deem worthy enough to share.

Here goes..

  1. I bring this up only because I just decided to make it for lunch, but, eggs are not my friend. Not anymore anyway. I made an egg sandwich this afternoon, it sounded tasty enough, only to find that half way through it was already upsetting my stomach. At least that is the only thing I could link it to. A few days ago I had made one and the same thing happened. When I eat scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, anything egg..I am left feeling absolutely miserable. Which saddens me because it wasn’t always this way. I’ve always loved eggs for breakfast/lunch. These days, however, I am not liking the way they leave me wishing I’d picked something else to eat. I know, I know what you’re going to say..then why chance it and eat them over and over again if you know they will only cause you trouble? Well, my response to that is..I’m stubborn. That is all. :)
  2. I’m extremely proud of myself for having such amazing blood sugar numbers on the days that the family and I took little trips. We went to King’s Island and the zoo where we spent hours upon hours running around, and surprisingly, my numbers were great! I wish my numbers when I am just lounging around the house were that fantastic. I am sure the exercise helped but overall these trips went better than they ever have before because I took the time to plan, prepare, and take care of me. Go figure, right? :)
  3. Vitamins are my best friends. I hate those one a day, diabetic, horse pills. Lately I have pushed that aside and decided that they are there for a reason, no one ever says, “Oh no! Don’t ever take a vitamin. Those things’ll kill ya!” I have to say, I’ve felt better. More energy that’s for sure. So with my numbers staying on track and these vitamins I am feeling wonderful. Again, go figure, right?
  4. In other, none diabetic, news: My little one is starting Kindergarten in about a week and I am at a loss for words. When they say time flies they aren’t kidding. Whoever “they” are. She’s growing up so fast and I love watching every single second of it. The other day she announced to her dad and I that when she grows up she’d like to become a doctor. So that when I am sick from my diabetes she can make me feel better. She’d also like to find a cure for it. Her words exactly. Which I thought was so beautiful. I’ve never even talked about a cure with her so I loved that she sort of thought of that all on her own. She’s precious.
  5. Lastly, insulin does indeed go bad. There are expiration dates on them for a reason. Be sure to check those out, and often. Also, when going out in the heat be sure to safely secure your insulin in a cooler, portable ice chest, of some sort. I’ve had a few people inform me that they were not aware of this and I think it is very important to know. Expired insulin, or insulin that has gone bad, will not work properly. I experienced this the other day. I had a vial of long acting with me when I had gone to King’s Island and the heat must have gotten to it because for the next few days after that my numbers were very erratic. After changing the vial things have been working as they should. I know I mentioned this before in my last post but with the messages I received in my inbox, through my Facebook page, I thought it would be important to note again.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my random fives. :)

And as I always say, Own it or be owned!