Thursday, June 30, 2011

diabetics eat ice cream.

yes, you read that right. people with diabetes eat cookies, and cupcakes, and candy, and milkshakes, and icees, and smoothies, and pie, and cake, and chocolate, and fruit, and fruit covered in chocolate, and tidbits of foods that are with a chocolate fountain - i'll stop. you get the idea.

WELL. one of the things i bought with my target gift card that i was awarded from my company's virgin healthmiles program was an ice cream maker.

target.com

last night i made the chocolate ice cream recipe that came with the book ... let's just say i ate a few bites and dumped it down the drain.

but i was really excited about making strawberry ice cream. i was going to wait and make it tonight, but i decided i wasn't patient enough (shocking). i went to the grocery, bought the ingredients, and off i went.

now, i only tasted a few bites because it needed to hang out in the freezer longer - maybe because i don't have a fancy ice cream maker, but it tells you that it will be ready after you mix it ... yeah, no it won't. it needs to go in the freezer for a while. i mean, parts of it are ice cream consistency, but not throughout.

so i can't wait to get home today and try out the homemade strawberry ice cream! because i figure, if i'm going to eat it, it's probably better to make it at home with only four or five ingredients and know what i'm eating. right?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lauren's Hope giveaway winner!

and the winner is ... 

lauren! (how fitting!) 


congratulations lauren, enjoy your bracelet!!

the truth about burnout.

i'm kind of a big fan of wordless wednesday. but this week, my wednesday is full of words. i usually keep things pretty light around here. and i've talked about burnout before. i guess sometimes it can be worse than others, or sometimes it feels like burnout but really you're just a little tired ... other times, it's full on burn out. like now.

i was sitting at dinner recently and as i looked over the menu, and looked around at what all the people at the restaurant were eating, i got really discouraged. and pissed. why can't i just order something on the menu without thinking about how many carbs are in that meal? am i going to bolus the right amount of insulin? am i going to eat too many pieces of bread and have really high blood sugar later? i just want to eat whatever i want without having to think and calculate in my head. i don't want to have to consider that i might have dessert. i don't want to pull out my meter and check my blood sugar in front of everyone (even if i am discreet and more than half the time no one even notices). i don't want to have to THINK about anything, i just want to enjoy my meal. and no, i don't let diabetes hold me back from eating what i want, but sometimes i just want to not think about the repercussions of what i put in my body (i mean aside from anyone else in the world, i'd like to just worry about calories and fat and such things). i just want to snack on some candy at work and not have to make sure i bolus. i want to have a smoothie or an icee. or a milkshake. or maybe, a regular soda. i haven't had one of those for pure enjoyment in over 11 years. regular soda is for treating lows.

i absolutely loved wearing the dexcom when i was on vacation, it made me feel like i had better control over diabetes. but sometimes, i don't want anything attached to my body. the pump ... it's always there. sure, i could go back to taking shots, but it's been so long i have no idea what i would do, not to mention that i have better control when i'm on the pump. the few weeks after i was diagnosed until i started the pump and the one time in 11 years that my pump malfunctioned are the only times i can remember taking shots. i would be lost. it's there. sure, i can detach for showers or swimming or whatever, but it can't stay off. it gets reconnected. and when it's unattached, it leaves behind a little friend. a little friend that causes people to ask 'what's that?' or 'why do you have that thing?' or 'does it hurt?' ... questions that i don't mind, i'm an advocate for educating yourself over being ignorant, but sometimes, i want to forget about the medical aspect of my life.

sometimes i get tired of having to figure out which finger i poked last. which has the least marks, which one isn't sore ... my fingers need a break. sometimes i just don't want to check my blood sugar at all. i don't want to have to bolus. i want to eat and move on. or exercise and not think about what's going to happen later.

my wallet needs a break. my brain needs a break. i just want to eat some junk food and not worry about what's going to happen to my blood sugar.

sometimes, diabetes just SUCKS. it's not like you are sick and you take some medicine, get better and you move on, it's 24/7. it's a full time job. on top of your real-life full time job. it NEVER goes away. you have to make sure you have your supplies. test strips, lancets, infusion sets, reservoirs, batteries - AAA and AA, glucose tablets or some kind of candy, snacks ... and if you don't have something or forget something then you have to go home, or get on the phone, or go to the store, or go to the doctor for samples ... it. never. ends.

as i am sitting here writing this borderline whiny post, i have thought of two things. my first thought was, this sounds like i need to watch some 'you can do this' videos. i realized, just from that thought, and all these thoughts of what a pain in the ass this disease is, that i know i can do this. i have gone through this before, and i'm not going to let diabetes win. i know it could be worse. i know i'll get my shit together and keep it under control ... and i have been doing that, even thought i've felt the burnout in a major way for about a week - maybe you've noticed my lack of blogging - my blood sugars are pretty decent ... i have been on this road before and i know i just have to turn in the right direction and just keep going.

my second thought was DAMN, since i was feeling the burnout and not caring, i TOTALLY forgot to celebrate my dia-versary for the SECOND year in a row. i used to have red velvet cake every year to celebrate ... last year, i forgot. my good friend allison showed up at my place with a red velvet cheesecake (AMAZING) from the cheesecake factory. she's a good kid. ;)  my diaversary (definition: anniversary of diabetes diagnosis) is june 26. it's been 11 years. wow. 11 years and not doing too shabby.

AND FINALLY (i know, i said two thoughts) ... i think i know what i want to do for my 'you can do this' video. and no, i'm not telling you. you'll have to stick around and see!

i've almost worked myself out of the burnout. just gimme some time. be kind. give me a break. i know i'm not alone.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lauren's Hope Giveaway!

people must like my blog readers :) i have another giveaway today! lauren's hope was one of the first medical ID bracelet companies i ever came across, and i remember looking through their web site and being excited about a medical ID that didn't look so 'medical.' thanks, lauren's hope, for giving my readers a chance at such a great gift! 




When you or your child was diagnosed with diabetes, your life instantly changed forever. As your doctor explained medical procedures, medications, and other lifestyle adjustments, you may have been overwhelmed thinking about all the things that would have to change. One thing that your condition shouldn't affect, though, is your individualized sense of style! In the past, medical bracelets have been big, bulky, impersonal and unattractive - which meant a lot of people would opt not to wear them.


That’s why Lauren’s Hope was founded - to create medical alert jewelry that people would actually want to wear. This inspiration for the business came from a family friend of the company’s founders. As a teenager with diabetes, Lauren Phillips refused to wear medical ID jewelry because it was “ugly” and could “draw attention” to her illness. Lauren’s mother asked for a fashionable medical ID to keep her daughter safe, and the rest is history.


Today, Lauren’s Hope is still dedicated to making beautiful medical ID jewelry for people of all ages, with any condition, and with any sense of style! Whether you have a style-savvy teenager with a penicillin allergy or you feel self-conscious wearing your own chunky diabetes ID to a dinner party, we can help you find a fashionable alternative that will keep you safe. People with diabetes, severe food, drug, and insect allergies, heart conditions, asthma, autism, a visual or hearing impairment, epilepsy, or any chronic illness need to wear medical alert jewelry with that information engraved, as well as people who are on certain medications or are gastric bypass, lap band or organ transplant patients. each medical id bracelet or necklace will be personalized...


In the event of an emergency, your medical ID will do more than just make you look good - it can also save your life! Your medical ID bracelet should be custom engraved with a few important details so medical personnel will know how to treat you best. They will need to know your name, your medical condition(s), any allergies and important medications that you have, and emergency contact numbers.


First and Last Name
Medical Condition
Allergies/Important Medications
Emergency Contact Number #1
Emergency Contact Number #2
__________

Lauren's Hope would like to give a bracelet to one reader! the winner will pick one of the bracelets pictured below. for a chance to win, leave a comment sharing which bracelet is your favorite! you have until midnight tonight (eastern time, 6/28/11) and i'll post the winner tomorrow.


C232 Fiona with Tag

B90 MoodBead

 B92 Petite Petals With Tag

B-2Blackbraidedleather

for more information or if you have questions about Lauren's Hope, be sure to visit their web site, their facebook page, or follow them on twitter

Friday, June 24, 2011

giveaway winner!

and the winner is ... (based on number of comments and leaving out the informational comment i left)


elizabeth!!


elizabeth, I.C.O.E. will email you the details of how to get your bracelets. WOO HOO! thanks to everyone to left a comment yesterday and became a fan of ICOE bracelets!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I.C.O.E. bracelets and a GIVEAWAY!!

I.C.O.E. bracelets is a company that was started in my hometown. they sell personalized 'in case of emergency' bracelets (wristband-style) for children and adults!

they have a great product and they're growing fast (they've been on the local news and they even had an interview on CNN! for real. sorry i couldn't find a link.)! i took a minute to have a chat with one of the owners of I.C.O.E. bracelets to find out more information, because i think they could be a great product for diabetics - of any age. i have one coming my way, and i'm pretty excited about it!


What are ICOE bracelets?
ICOE stands for “In Case of Emergency.” They are emergency contact bracelets for, all ages that provide emergency contact phone numbers in the event that a child (or, adult) gets lost or separated from their caretaker. We also have allergy and medical, alert bracelets, which provide allergies and medical conditions that the person wearing, it has.

How much are ICOE bracelets?
Currently, they are $5.00 each and a portion of every sale is donated to charity.

What charities do you donate to? 
Most often, we donate to Home of the Innocents and Make A Wish Foundation. We chose those because they are both focused on bettering the lives of the children they serve. Some months we choose different charities depending on the time of year or if there are any events. note from fancy nancy: last year ICOE made a donation to my walk team for the JDRF walk! 

What are the most common things people have put on bracelets?
For our children’s “regular” emergency contact bracelets that have one or two phone numbers and a design of their choosing, parents most often order the train and ladybug designs. The most common allergies we see are peanut and tree nut; for medical conditions, probably Diabetes or Asthma.

Is there anything that you can not put on a bracelet?
We have a company policy not to put a child’s name, under the age of 12, on the bracelets. This is to limit the amount of personal information available for strangers to see. We have made exceptions, in cases where a child is non-verbal and the parent NEEDS that on the bracelet.

What sizes do your bracelets come in?
Toddler (fits wrists up to 5.9 inches around), Youth (fits 5.9 – 7.1 inches) and Adult (fits 7.1 – 8.0 inches around). Please keep in mind that you’ll need to fit the bracelet over your child’s hand. They do have some stretch, but not a whole lot.

How are ICOE bracelets different from other medical ID bracelets?
They are made of silicone, which is a type of rubber. This makes them very comfortable and inexpensive. We have had parents tell us that the Velcro bracelets scratch their children and a lot of times, children don’t want to wear the metal ones. These offer cute designs, which helps make the children want to wear them. They
also come in 9 different color options (allergy/medical alert only come in maroon).

What if someone wants to put their own design on a bracelet? is that an option?
We have done custom created designs, but we can’t put characters or designs on them that are copyrighted. For example, we can’t put Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh on a bracelet.

Do ICOE bracelets really work?
We hope so! The information is right there. As long as your child will keep the bracelet on, your phone number can be with him/her at all times. We have taught our 3 year old that if she gets lost and can’t find us, to find another Mommy, tell her she can’t find us and show her the bracelet.

Do kids really wear them? are they comfortable?
They are very comfortable, but it’s going to depend on your child. Our daughter wears hers almost any time we leave the house and never complains about it. We have never had anyone complain of them being uncomfortable.

How long does it take to get a bracelet once i place my order?
Our turnaround time is 1-2 weeks.

Do you have any success stories (because of someone wearing the bracelet) that you can share?
Not that we’ve heard, but we’re okay with that. We don’t WANT kids to get lost or need to use it, we’d rather it just provide peace of mind for parents.


and now for the awesome news! I.C.O.E. would like to give one reader two bracelets! for a chance to win, you need to do two things: become a fan of their page on facebook (make sure you say you were sent by withasideofinsulin.com), and leave a comment on this blog post. you have until midnight tonight (eastern time, 6/23/11) and i'll post the winner tomorrow! 

for more information or if you have questions about I.C.O.E. bracelets, be sure to visit their web site!

Monday, June 20, 2011

how do you raise funds?


my local JDRF's walk is in october this year. last year, it was in september and i started fundraising in the summer ... it's time to start thinking about it again!

last year, the ways i raised money were:
     tupperware party (portion of sales donated)
     letter (email) writing
     social media links (mostly through facebook)

this year, i'm trying to think of other ways for my team and me to raise money.

what do you do to raise money for your walks/rides?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

vacation!

as you might have noticed, i had about a week of guest bloggers. i was at the happiest place on earth with my family! :)


we met lots of characters ... 



went on some fun rides and tried lots of cool things! 
(including the dexcom that elisa let me borrow for the week!!) 

riding a segway is not as easy as it looks!


and of course, we had to check out some of the sweet treats:


the whole week was great, and diabetes-wise, it was almost perfect. a couple ALMOST no-hitter days (that was pretty awesome) and being able to tell what certain rides and snacks did to my blood sugar (thank you dexcom), it was so helpful to have that! 

not to mention the special guest pass. people told me i should get one when we went and it would help us avoid lines. i was not sure at first, but wow, it was amazing. we still had to wait in line of course, but the pass allowed us to go in the 'fast pass' lines and had much shorter wait periods. that meant less time standing in the heat (which does make my blood sugar rise), and more time for fun! it's a nice little thing that disney does. 

i think i saw only two insulin pumps on other people when i was there. both women. i was always on my way somewhere so i didn't say anything to them. but i knew we had a presence! :)

i would like to thank ALL my guest bloggers: kim, martin, jessica, bob, kerri, mike, briley and sarah ... i greatly appreciated the awesome posts you wrote for me about traveling! 

it was a great trip, but it's good to be back!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

guest blogger: sarah

summer is upon us, and for many people that means it's time for a vacation! to get everyone ready for this vacation season, i have some awesome guest posts about traveling to share with you from some of the amazing members of the DOC. today's post is written by sarah from smartDpants! thanks so much sarah :) 


the time(s) I boiled the insulin...
Yes, you read that right. I've ruined my insulin by leaving it in the car when it's super hot outside, and I've done it more than once.

No matter where I'm headed or how I'm going to get there, traveling with D is an annoyance--sometimes minor, and sometimes off the charts in Annoyingland. I rock the security line at multiple airports to fly to conferences for work every couple of months, explaining my extra ziplocs full of juicy juice boxes and Novolog to TSA. I often ride the city buses throughout San Francisco, and suck down the glucose after sprinting to catch the 43 Masonic or N-Judah. I've changed pump sites right in my seat on the airplane in front of everyone because the bathrooms are just too tiny and skeezy. But road tripping? That's a special d-trip for me.

One might think that after one hideous episode of leaving my insulin in a super sweltering car, I'd learn my lesson and never do it again. No, not me. Summer road trip? I'm in! Keeping the sustenance of d-life properly cool and usable? Not so much. It usually happens when I'm trying to get to or experience awesome, once-in-a-lifetime events like, say, my brother's wedding or Lilith Fair. 

Insulin + car + summertime 90+ degrees - icepack or cooler = Sigh.

July 2005: My brother's wedding. He and my now-sister-in-law had their ceremony in the middle of some of the most gorgeous Big Sky Country near Bozeman. True Montana summer was everywhere. Sunny, clear, dry and hot, upwards of 95 degrees. In all of the excitement before the rehearsal dinner, I didn't pull my d-supplies out of the car, which was sitting outside in the sunshine. As you have probably already guessed, my pump reservoir ran dry during the rehearsal dinner. I kept drinking refreshing cocktails and eating yummy food, however, thinking I'd just fill it after dinner. When my partner and I went out to the car to go back to the hotel at the end of the evening, I realized that my insulin had cooked.

At midnight, and with no Walgreens or any other pharmacy in the vicinity that could fill my prescription, we headed to the emergency room at the local hospital. I had to be admitted to the ER in order to get a bottle of insulin. The nurses and dr. on call weren't quite sure what to do with me, as my blood sugar was high but not that high, I didn't have ketones and wasn't in ketoacidosis. After a while, they brought me a bottle of Humalog, the only kind of short-acting insulin they had at the hospital. I filled my pump and was released.
Since my medical insurance was from out of state, I was 100% responsible for the charges for that night's d-festivities: $105.00. Relatively cheap expense for putting myself in what could have been a really dangerous situation. 

The Lilith Fair road trip was MUCH more expensive, not all due to diabetes. Late June, 1998: Lilith Fair in Bernalillo, New Mexico. Beloved partner and I were on our way from Boulder, Colorado to Albuquerque for the concert. Our fuel pump blew in the 105 degree heat as we came to the top of the mountain pass. We were stranded in Raton, a small town on I-25, for 2 days while we waited for a part to come in and for a rental car to be delivered from a tiny town on the other side of the Colorado state line. Once we got the rental car, we made it--barely--to Bernalillo a few hours before the 3pm gate opening at the fairgrounds. We parked the car, with the insulin in the back seat, about a mile from the entrance. (It wouldn't have mattered if I brought the insulin with me. It was so hot it would have cooked even if it weren't in the car.) We walked the mile to the entrance, found that there was just one gate, and walked another mile or so to the end of the line.
We felt like eggs with the skin on the backs of our necks, arms and legs frying as we stood on line. We could feel our skin crackling in the sun--so gross! Some nice residents came out of their houses in the neighborhood and sprayed us with their garden hoses, a moment of delicious cool in the midst of the desert. Some of them were nice enough to share the temperature with us: 117 degrees. No shade.

My pump didn't run dry while we were having the whole Lilith experience, and it was so hot that I barely ate anything for about 8 hours while we were there. But the insulin still boiled and was useless the next day when I needed it. Thank goodness again for Walgreens, and an insulin prescription that they could fill in any state. A big relief and much gratitude for not getting myself into massive trouble.

13 years since Lilith-New Mexico and 6 years since my brother's wedding. I'm older and a parent now, and trying really hard to keep myself--and my D--pulled together. I don't have all, or many, of the answers, and I make tons of mistakes all the time. But we are going on two camping trips with friends and family this summer, and damn if I'm not going to keep the Novolog cool and safe. No hot insulin drama this year.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

guest blogger: briley

summer is upon us, and for many people that means it's time for a vacation! to get everyone ready for this vacation season, i have some awesome guest posts about traveling to share with you from some of the amazing members of the DOC. today's post is written by one of my favorite DOC friends, but also my REAL LIFE FRIEND! ... briley, from indpendence. thanks briley!




I am really excited that Mer asked me to guest post for her today. Not only do I feel honored when people ask me if I'd like to guest post, but she's my real life friend! I hope that you enjoy my airport experience and understand that I'm not always this peppy or willing to talk to people.

As I got out of the car, grabbed my suitcase and said thank you to my father for bringing me to the airport, I was preparing myself for the worst. Except I was so excited that I didn't look like I was preparing for the worst. And by worst, I don't mean what waited at the other end of the plane. I mean the experience before even getting on the plane. I was the peppy traveler that day. As as I went through security, I got everything set up to go through the scanner, I told the woman directing "traffic" that I had an insulin pump so I couldn't go through. "So you're opting out? Honey, you can do whatever you want." She called another female TSA agent over, but not before the first woman told me I looked excited to fly. I think I just shook my head in agreement. 


The other agent got there and I stepped through. That's when they started the pat down. And of course all the other passengers look at you, and I wanted to grab a sign that said "I have done nothing wrong, I decided to opt out!" I think the best way to describe the pat down is choosing whether or not you want a new girlfriend. At least that's how it felt for me. I think every part of my body except my face and the bottom of my feet was touched. And yea, that's a little intimidating/awkward, but I'm of the feeling that there are things I'd rather suffer through than letting crazy people on the plane with me. I think that I made sure my sight was in my stomach, so that I wouldn't have to drop my pants when they felt it. When the woman came across my site, she asked me what it was. I told her it was my pump site, picked up my shirt and showed her. We kept going and then she asked me if she could ask me a few questions. First of all being, "Is opting out because of the pump annoying?" Yes! Except I tried not to sound so enthusiastic. And I explained how one day of opting out to get on an airplane is better than many many many days of shots. (For those of you who don't agree, when I went on the pump I was still on Lente and Regular, so when I refer to daily shots, that is where my mind goes.) And then she pushed a little on the site and asked me if it hurt. I told her that no it doesn't, but some people may think that it does. She then thanked me for allowing her to ask the questions. "I see so many people with these, but I've never thought to ask the questions before." So I told her that I'd rather have her ask the questions to find out from the source than just go on with just guesses and assumptions. She swabbed my pump and then I was on my way.

On the way home, the man sad, you know you don't have to opt out as long as we can still swab your hands. So I walked through with (before) the rest of the crowd, got swabbed, and was on my way.  And no more airport girlfriends!

Monday, June 13, 2011

guest blogger: mike

summer is upon us, and for many people that means it's time for a vacation! to get everyone ready for this vacation season, i have some awesome guest posts about traveling to share with you from some of the amazing members of the DOC. today's post is written by one of the people i met at my first d-meet up, mike from my diabetic heart! thanks so much mike :) 



Have Diabetes, Will Travel

From time to time, someone will ask me whether diabetes keeps me from traveling. And invariably, my answer is: “No Way! Have Diabetes, Will Travel!”

Type 2 diabetes does not keep me from traveling; neither does congestive heart failure. I’ve actually traveled more in the two and a half years since my diagnosis than I had in previous years. And up until my last cardiologist appointment, the only limitation I had was that I couldn’t fly because of my heart. That really wasn’t a problem, though, because I prefer road trips anyway; they allow a slower pace and provide an opportunity to see more of the land and attractions in each town along the way.

The fact of the matter is that no matter where I go, diabetes and my other health issues go with me. Going on a vacation doesn’t mean that those things get left behind. While they don’t keep me from going where I want to go, they do make planning and preparing a bit more challenging.

Aside from the usual stuff that I pack for a trip, like clothes, toiletries, laptops, cameras, etc… I now have a box with a metric crapton of pill bottles, diabetes testing supplies, a blood pressure monitor, and a BiPAP machine to pack. For those unfamiliar with them, a BiPAP machine is used for treating sleep apnea, which is common among people with Type 2 diabetes.

My road trip supplies wouldn’t be complete without diabetes friendly snacks and beverages; peanut butter and bread, granola bars, low sugar Gatorade and water are among my favorite items to take along for the drive.

I also tend to check my blood glucose a little more frequently when I’m traveling. I spend hours at a time in the driver’s seat, and I have to keep track of where my numbers are. It’s a safety thing.

And I never leave home without my medical ID bracelet on my wrist and an up-to-date emergency information card in my wallet. The bracelet has my health conditions and the medic alert symbol on one side and my name on the reverse side with a message pointing to the information card in my wallet. The card bears details about my diagnoses; all of my medications; doctor contact information; a list of allergies; and last but not least, my emergency contacts. 

If you’re living with diabetes and you do not have either of those items, you should!

So, while my health issues do complicate traveling, they certainly do not keep me from doing so. Life is far too short to allow something like diabetes or congestive heart failure to keep me from going places.

I mentioned earlier that I had been given my wings to fly, and I’ll have a chance to use them at the end of June.  It will be the first time I’ve flown since diagnosis, and since being put on the injectable drug Byetta. It should be an interesting experience to say the least.

That’s right, folks. I’m going to fly with diabetes. Let the adventure begin!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

guest blogger: kerri

summer is upon us, and for many people that means it's time for a vacation! to get everyone ready for this vacation season, i have some awesome guest posts about traveling to share with you from some of the amazing members of the DOC. today's post is written by the first d-blogger i ever knew about, kerri, from six until me. thanks kerri!




Opting In
- Kerri Sparling from www.SixUntilMe.com

(Thanks for letting me guest post, Meredith!)

I love traveling. I love new countries, new cities, and new experiences.

But I hate the actual “travel” part of getting there. Freaks me out. Whether by plane, train, or automobile, I’m not a fan. Traveling causes a lot of anxiety for me (hello, type A and slightly OCD personality), so the packing and planning can send my brain into spin cycle.

The airport is a place that makes me particularly anxious. It’s like a vortex of stress. All those rules! Get there two hours early. Bring a little plastic bag for all of your 3 oz travel toiletries. Do not make eye contact with the ticket agent. And for people with diabetes who are pumping insulin, there’s that delicate dance of “Do I put my pump through the x-ray machine and potentially eff it up, or do I opt out for the scan and in for the pat down?”

I don’t like surprises during these moments. I like feeling as though I’m in control of something – anything. So I keep my pump and Dexcom on during airport security screenings, and I ask for the pat down. This way, I know it’s coming, I am comfortable, and I’m the one who determines how that security moment plays out.
It helps me calm my anxiety about the process, while ensuring that my diabetes devices make it through the security screening without frying out.

The airport pat downs, for me, aren’t dramatic or concerning. In the last year or two, I’ve been patted down about 20 times, and each time it’s been a very predictable, easy experience. I haven’t had anything in the past that has made this experience uncomfortable for me, and since I expect it every time, it’s become almost routine … too routine. The TSA agents have the same verbiage and motions. So I do what I can to mix it up just a little bit. It’s like a sport, like getting the Buckingham Palace guard to smile.

“Ma’am, do you have any parts of your body that are sensitive?” the female TSA agent asks me, acting with the utmost professionalism and barely cracking even the littlest facial expression.

“Not really. My insulin pump site is on the back of my hip. It’s a little floppy. So I guess it might be sensitive about that.”

And her stifled laugh is enough to take my anxiety down a notch, and helps me enjoy at least that moment of traveling.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

guest blogger: bob

summer is upon us, and for many people that means it's time for a vacation! to get everyone ready for this vacation season, i have some awesome guest posts about traveling to share with you from some of the amazing members of the DOC. today's post is written by the always entertaining bob from t minus 2! thanks so much bob :) 



Staying at Home with Diabetes

So my good friend Fancy Nancy is hosting a series of guest posts on traveling with diabetes. While I haven't yet seen the other posts as I write this, I don't doubt that they are as full of wisdom as pecan pie is full of sugar. 

But far be it from me to cooperate with anything worthwhile like that. This post is about staying at home with diabetes.


See, not only do I not travel much, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I sometimes go for weeks without leaving an area that's less than a mile square. My work is walking distance from my apartment. There's a good drugstore across the street from work, and a good grocery store just a couple of blocks farther.  I do have occasional errands that take me farther afield, but as I don't drive, it's never more than a few miles.

(And walking? I live at the bottom of a hill that would have Lance Armstrong reaching for the TV remote. And yet I walk to work every day. And I have to climb that hill on the way home, too.)

While i occasionally take an actual trip, I put it off as long as possible. While it's true that I have my share of little anxieties, flying isn't one of them -- it's more the hassle and arrangement-making that deters me. If I could afford a personal assistant to set stuff up for me, I'd travel more often. As it is, it's been a couple of years since I've gone very far from home.

So, here are my tips for staying at home with diabetes:


Find ways to keep to your diabetes care schedule. Many people find it harder to keep on top of their self-care without the structure of the work day. On the weekend days, I have reminders for my afternoon pills set on every electronic device I own. (And don't think it's easy to set a reminder on a rice cooker.)

Make sure you have what you need. Say it's Saturday morning, and you've promised yourself a deeply productive weekend playing computer games, and you discover you're out of your blood pressure meds. Are you gonna strap on your cross-trainers and head out to get some? Not if you're like me. If you're like me, you'll figure that you probably aren't due for a stroke this weekend anyway and get back to the zombies. The wise PWD avoids this situation. (I'm always wise. OK, -usually- wise. Um, would you buy 'occasionally' wise?).

Don't stay up all night. When you spend a lot of time at home, especially if you live alone as I do, it's all too easy to stay up and tweet, or kill zombies, or do crossword puzzles, or watch cooking videos on YouTube. (Interested in being a better cook? Seriously, YouTube is amazing. Try searching on "gnocchi".) But it's better for our energy, and our mood, and even our insulin resistance if we're properly rested. So keep your sleep on a regular schedule.


(And when you figure out how to keep your sleep on a regular schedule...tell me the secret, please?)
In all seriousness, almost all of us will benefit by doing a little planning for times when we're off our normal routines, whether you going to the other side of the world or only the other side of your bedroom. Besides, -I- think travel is overrated, anyway. Remember what they say: no matter where you go, there you are. So why go at all?

Friday, June 10, 2011

guest blogger: jessica

summer is upon us, and for many people that means it's time for a vacation! to get everyone ready for this vacation season, i have some awesome guest posts about traveling to share with you from some of the amazing members of the DOC. today's post is written by jessica from me and d! thanks so much jessica :) 


So most of the traveling I do is in the car. Road trips to visit friends and family. Lots of good times and good memories.

But I was having trouble thinking of a good story to share here. Until I took another road trip a few weeks ago.

I was headed to a girls weekend with some of my college roommates. Woohoo! Yay! Happy Dance!

Iʼm at Target, picking up a few last minute things for the trip, when I hear that distinctive LOW PREDICTED alarm. Three beeps in descending pitch. Awesome. Whip out the meter to double check, and yep, 75. So I grab some fruit twist things and go check out while eating them.

I go hop in the car and begin my 3 hour drive. Now, the last thing I want is to be low and driving. I keep an eye on that CGM, and the number is not rising. Iʼve consumed most of the bag of fruit twist things before it does. I know Iʼll rebound later, but oh well.

The weird thing? There was no rebound. Hm. Oh well, Iʼll take it!

In case you were wondering, we had a SPECTACULAR weekend! I laughed a lot, ate a lot of good food, and baked cupcakes. All with two of my very best friends in the whole world. I love them.


Unfortunately, I eventually had to go home. I was running in the 200s all morning that Sunday, but considering all the food Iʼd eaten, I wasnʼt too concerned. I corrected as my pump suggested, said goodbyes, and left.

Again, Iʼm keeping an eye on the CGM as I head down the road. And I get frustrated as I see it heading up. Grrrr!

I stop to go to the bathroom after an hour on the road. A quick bg check shows 310. 310? Really? I know I ate some cupcakes, but seriously...

And guess who was out of syringes for correcting? Yup. Me. So I got to change my set in the bathroom of a McDonalds in the middle of nowhere. Awesomesauce.

And ripping the old set out revealed a nice hard lump right where it went in. So it wasnʼt the espresso dark brownie cupcakes with peanut butter fudge icing, I guess. Good to know.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

guest blogger: martin

summer is upon us, and for many people that means it's time for a vacation! to get everyone ready for this vacation season, i have some awesome guest posts about traveling to share with you from some of the amazing members of the DOC. today's post is written by martin from diabetically speaking! thanks so much martin :) 


Capital Crisis

Traveling with diabetes is always fun. Getting groped at the airport, scanned from head to toe, explaining to the security personnel that my insulin pump is not a cell phone, then having them use the little sniffer wand on it to make sure it's not full of...well, I'm not really sure what they think it might be full of.

The real fun happens before the trip though. There is a lot of stuff that has to be packed when you go somewhere with diabetes. If you're real thorough (of which I'm not), you'll remember all of the various components that add up to optimum diabetes management.

A few months ago I made a trip to Washington D.C. for a few days, which also happened to coincide with my birthday. The day before my birthday, I had a day's worth of insulin left in my pump, as well as a day left before I needed a site change, so I decided I would wait until the morning of my birthday to refill and put in a new site so I could start my day with a free shower. (A "free shower" is when those of us with various devices attached to us get the opportunity to shower without said devices and attachments.)

Free shower accomplished, I had a lox and cream cheese bagel for breakfast that my girlfriend had surprised me with via room service, and then went about the process or inserting a new infusion set and refilling the insulin reservoir for my pump.

Wait...

Where are my insulin reservoirs?

I searched through all of diabetes supplies, dumped everything out onto the bed, rifled through my suitcase throwing clothes to the side that weren't yielding hidden insulin reservoirs, but they were nowhere to be found. That is because they were sitting back at home on the table where I had left them when I was packing.

After a string of profanities and inappropriate gestures toward my diabetes supplies, I did the carb math for what I had eaten, and after dosing to cover that, I had just barely enough insulin to last six more hours if I didn't eat anything else. All of my plans to go explore DC and get lost in the city were tossed aside. I had a new mission: Track down insulin reservoirs.

I chose to approach the problem from multiple angles. First, I called my Medtronic rep from back home and got her on the hunt for someone in the DC area who might have a reservoir. Second, I reached out to the DOC, and fished for someone in the area who might also have extra supplies. Third, as a final resort, I called my endo and left a message at his office letting him know that I may need him to call in a prescription to a local pharmacy for Lantus (slow acting insulin) and a box of syringes.

After several back and forth phone calls and a bevy of frantic Tweets, I managed to secure a reservoir from both a local Medtronic rep. I had to walk a couple miles to meet the Medtronic rep, and I felt like a total sidewalk pharmacy customer when he called me and said, “Meet me by the carousel. I’ll be in a white SUV.”


The reservoirs he brought me were small, but at least I wouldn’t have to be without my pump, even if I did have to refill it daily. Fortunately, the DOC also came through and I got an adult sized reservoir later that evening, just in time to get a Crumbs cupcake with friends for my birthday.

The moral of the story is simple: When packing for a trip, make a list of the diabetes supplies you absolutely must have and check off each item as it goes into your suitcase or bag. Also make sure you have your emergency phone numbers. And remember, when in doubt, tweet it out. The DOC is full of amazing people, and odds are good that somebody knows someone, somewhere, who can help.