Thursday, April 28, 2011

Type Awesome

Tonight I was listening to DSMA Live and the topic of those who support those of us with diabetes came up.  Some use the term Type 3.  I've always called my support system "hubby and kids."  That works most days, but then I also have extended family and friends who come into my cheering section.  So what term doesn't sound medical but yet describes these people that love us and support us?

Team Awesome!

Everyone listening agreed!  Team Awesome is the best way to describe the people in our lives that love us, watch out for us, comfort us, take care of us, and put up with us.

Thanks for everything, Rachel, who was tonight's guest on the show.   I loved hearing your perspective! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Busy, busy day

Today I subbed at the high school.  Fun yet different experience.  I'm so used to the younger crowd, but the kids were well-behaved.  After that, I went to my other job at the Y, playing with little ones.  Only got spit up on twice. hehe  After work, my hubby surprised me with dinner out, just the two of us, then a nice drive around town.  When I got home, I helped dd#3 finish off her science fair display (due tomorrow of course). Helped dd#2 hang up her laundry. Got a little online time in, but now I'm ready to crash.  Hopefully I'll have something more profound to post tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thank you, Diabetes Dude!

Yesterday I received my Wish Shirt that I ordered from The Diabetes Dude.  I was so excited to wear it today.  A few people asked me about the shirt.  How many others read it without me knowing, I have no idea.  I love creative ways of spreading awareness.  Yes, my name is on the shirt.  What an honor for this Type 2!  My kids were excited to see it, too!

With the t-shirt, he also sent a few flamingo silly bands (scroll down to see a picture).  I immediately put one on (which I'm wearing as I type).  This afternoon I gave one to my friend who is a school nurse at the elementary school.  There is a student there that I know who has Type 1 diabetes.  I asked her to give it to that student.  We both agreed that it would make that person's day!  (Can't wait for an update!)

Praying for a cure!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Oops! Missed a day!  Sorry that I wasn't here yesterday.  We were outside most of the day.  It was beautiful!  I got three loads of laundry hung out. Hubby got the lawn mowed and cleaned up the front flower beds.  By the time I realized that I hadn't posted on my blog, it was 12:30am and I was needing some serious sleep.

The younger three got up at 6:30 am.  They found 42 plastic eggs filled with goodies waiting to be found.  Our fruit bowl was in the middle of the table filled with chocolate bunnies, peanut butter eggs, sidewalk chalk, sugar free gum, two card games (Harry Potter Uno, anyone?), and a jigsaw puzzle.

Church service was full of rejoicing.  Our jr/sr high bell choir played so beautifully, there were a few damp eyes.  The children found the "tomb" (box) where they had sealed away their Alleluias six weeks ago to be opened and empty.  They found them around the organ and choir inside eggs with symbols of the events (crown of thorns, spear, cross, donkey, cloth, coins, etc.). 

Right now most of the kids are playing outside with bubbles and sidewalk chalk.  Hearing their laughter fills my heart with joy!  Wishing everyone a joyful Easter!

Χριστος ανεστη! Αληθως ανεστη!
Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Brownie Cheesecake, anyone?

Since I've already admitted to being the imperfect diabetic, I'll go ahead and make my brownie cheesecake confession.  My oldest child is not very domestic, so when she asked to bake yesterday I was all over it.  She wanted to make a brownie cheesecake recipe that she had made in school recently for a get-together a group of them was having today.  I nicely informed her that if she only made one brownie cheesecake, it wouldn't make it to the party.  She had to make two.

So last night we went to the store to purchase the few things we didn't have at home already.  One of her close friends has celiac disease and is on a gluten free diet as a result.  A proud parent moment came to me last night as my daughter asked if she could make the cheesecake gluten free.  Of course!  I really care about her friend and wanted to include her in as many of the goodies as possible.  We found gluten free brownie mix.  It was three times the price of the regular brownie mix that we were buying (on sale), but I considered it my gift to the friend. 

Then the questions came... What about chocolate chips?  Cream cheese?  Vanilla extract?  Were they all gluten free as well?  We didn't want to go to the effort and expense of gluten free brownies only to add something else that contained gluten.  We weren't at the grocery store that keeps a dietician on staff and lots of information, so I did the next best thing.  We called the friend's mom.  (Thankfully it was only a little after 9 pm, so I felt ok about calling her.)  She gave the all clear to the other ingredients.

So last night, my oldest makes a gluten free brownie cheesecake.  This morning, she made the non-gluten free version.  I had suggested baking them at the same time to save time, but she wanted to avoid possible cross-contamination between the gluten-possessing and gluten-free desserts.  Very smart!  And very thoughtful!

So this evening, while she is with her friends enjoying the gluten-free goodness, we had the gluten-containing dessert.  My little ones didn't care for the cheesecake portion, but gobbled up the brownie.  (Here comes my confession...)  *sigh*  Not only did I eat my piece of brownie cheesecake, but I also at the cheesecake portion of two other pieces.  I know, I know.  I can feel my sugar rising as I type.  Thankfully I cut all the pieces small, so it's not as bad as it could have been.  No, I don't do this on a regular basis. Yes, I'm still human, and this human loves the brownie cheesecake made by her oldest child!

I'm still debating if I want to test my glucose levels.  I know it's got to be high.  I don't take medication for my diabetes, so testing wouldn't help me with dosage levels.  It's almost 10 pm and I'm not going to work out.  I already know it would not be wise to have another slice (or any other food with a trace of carbs for that matter!).  Testing right now, honestly, would only be for my own curiosity.  Ok, I'll do it....

After carefully washing my hands to make sure there wasn't a sign of the yummy delicious brownie cheesecake on my fingers, I tested my sugar.  I was actually surprised.  177.  I was expecting posibly higher, but maybe not.  I knew I was over 150, but I wasn't sure if I was as high as 200.  I have a few things to do before bed (get two sleeping kids off the couches and upstairs, tidy up the kitchen a little, etc), so hopefully it will start going down. 

Was the brownie cheesecake made by my amazing child worth the slightly elevated glucose levels?  You bet!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Perfect diabetic?

Ginger Vieira's vlog entry, The Perfect Diabetic, got me thinking.  Is there such a thing?  Is it humanly possible to eat the right amount of carbs, exercise the right amount, and take the right amount of medication if needed?  If I watched everything and did it all the "right way," would my glucose level be the ultimate physician's dream?  I can answer that question with just two letters...

N - O !

There are so many more factors that what we can control.  Various types of stress - emotional and physical.  This week I've dealt with throwing out my back, a bad cold, a sick child, a sick husband, someone I know being seriously injured, worrying about my oldest child's future plans, wondering what's for dinner, etc.  All of these things also can affect my glucose level.

Ginger starts off this vlog episode with my absolute two favorite words about this disease:
Yes, it sucks!  As Ginger states, it sucks regardless what "type" you have.  None of us chose to become diabetic.  Not a single person would voluntarily chose to have a disease where you could become blind, lose a limb, or even lose your life.  It's scary stuff!

As I've already mentioned, stress can make things worse.  That is why it's important that people with diabetes try not to stress about being perfect.  No one is perfect!  No one!  That's why the diabetes police need to back off a bit.  Your concern is great, but we put enough pressure on ourselves.  (I love how he says we're all different in our diabetes management. "We're like snowflakes."  *snicker*)

Yes, I make mistakes.  No, I'm not perfect.  But I'm learning from my mistakes and trying to do better.  I'm still going to have that piece of cake every once in a while.  I'm ok if my glucose level goes a little high every now and then.  As long as my overall health is good, then I'll be fine.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Still sick

My back is feeling much better with just an occasional pain here and there, but I am still dealing with my cold.  Hubby came down with it and has missed three days of work.  The second one came home early from school today.  Overall I feel ok, just dragging a little.  I am back to my normal work schedule.  Under my nose is all red and chapped.  Luckily I've gotten some pretty good sleep this week, but I'm going to head to bed a little early.  Hopefully I'll be able to knock this out.

I'm still hopeful after yesterday's news articles.  Hopeful for better treatment methods.  Hopeful for understanding.  Hoping for an educated public.  Hoping for a cure.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Type 2 research in the news

This morning, I was informed of a study which actually links Type 2 to an autoimmune reaction. THIS... IS... HUGE!!! I pray that this study will help people realize that Type 2 diabetes isn't something that a person does to him/herself.  Type 2s don't have diabetes due to poor nutrition and obesity.  So many people are uneducated and misinformed about the causes of Type 2, even within the diabetes community.

If you have followed my blog at all, you know that I am very vocal about being the atypical Type 2.  I am at a healthy weight (though I admit I'd like to lose about 5-10 lbs) and I'm considered "young" in the Type 2 community (diagnosed two weeks shy of 38).  It hurts me every single time I see someone shout out that Type 2s are a bunch of old, lazy, couch-potato, over-eaters.  I've actually broken down in tears several times out of frustration.

Many times I've said to myself (and whomever will listen, typically my awesome hubby), "Just like Type 1, a person who has Type 2 wound up that way due to some type of trigger.  With a Type 1, that trigger causes their body to no longer produce insulin.  For a person with Type 2, that trigger causes insulin resistance.  The trigger can be an illness or another type of stress on the body.  For me, it was probably the stress (albeit a normal, healthy type of stress) of pregnancy.  And yes, for some that stress on the system is weight."  If weight was the cause of diabetes, then all the obese people in this world would have Type 2 and healthy weight people would not.

Below are links to two articles about the study, with some of my favorite quotes:

Autoimmune reaction and type 2 diabetes linked in breakthrough study
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of Toronto have showed that type 2 diabetes could derive from an autoimmune reaction from within the body. It is hoped the breakthrough will lead to new therapies for treating the condition.
Daniel Winer, senior author on the study, commented "We are in the process of redefining one of the most common diseases in America as an autoimmune disease, rather than a purely metabolic disease."

He added "This work will change the way people think about obesity, and will likely impact medicine for years to come as physicians begin to switch their focus to immune-modulating treatments for type 2 diabetes."

Do Immune System Ills Help Drive Type 2 Diabetes?

New research suggests that the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may be linked to an immune system reaction gone awry.
"People with type 2 diabetes are often blamed for bringing the disease on, but it's a combination of genetic and physiological factors exposed to a certain environment. And, this study points out what may be another important biologic factor," he added.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Top 10 things I learned today...

  1. Sleep is good for a bad back. Slouching in a chair is not.
  2. Stealing the recliner right after a kid has been in it, while it's still warm, feels good on the back.
  3. Skipping down the stairs because your back is starting to feel better makes it feel worse.
  4. Having pre-cooked meat packaged in Food Saver bags in the freezer makes dinner a snap when you don't feel like cooking.
  5. When one has a bad back and a cold, it is in that person's best interest to brace oneself before letting out a good German sneeze.
  6. Eating a higher carb meal for breakfast will make the diabetic with a bad back have to use the restroom frequently. Might be better to stick to low carbs if that diabetic wants to stay in the chair for longer periods of time.
  7. Kids really do help out more often when Mom plays the hurt back card.  "Sweetie, can you go downstairs and get Mommy a Diet Coke? My back really hurts and I can't do the stairs right now."
  8.  It also helps when the dishwasher needs to be emptied.
  9. Squeezer hugs (aka bear hugs) can hurt.
  10. My family is awesome!  (Of course I already knew that!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pain in the back

Well my cold was starting to get better.  Then this morning, my back went out.  I was picking up a basket of laundry and *OUCH* had to drop it.  I was in so much pain that I could barely move.  Since I was already in the kitchen, I immediately took two Advil.  I then went into a hot shower to see if that would help.  The pain actually made me nauseous.  Hubby put some muscle cream on my back.  It was quite comical as I tried to move.  Seven hours later, he is calling me "Grandmaw" and offering to get me a walker.  Even I have to laugh at myself as I shuffle around the house.

At least this is preventing me from having too many snacks since it takes so much effort to get into the kitchen.  I'm sure I have pretty good glucose numbers today, though I don't know how the stress of my back, my cold, and other misc stuff are coming into play today.

On that note, I think I'll make myself some tea.  It will get me moving so I don't get too stiff, plus it's good on the carbs.  Decaf chai, here I come!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sick day #2

Yes, I'm still sick.  Yes, I feel worse than yesterday.  I was hoping to get some work done in the garden.  Luckily(?) it was cold, rainy, and windy outside, so I didn't feel guilty about not being able to do much outside.  I did get the rest of the dishes put away (the child who was working on it vanished somehow), reloaded and started the dishwasher, and hung up two loads of laundry in the basement.

A few months ago, our dryer stopped working.  At the time we were a little too busy and didn't want to spend the time/money to get it fixed, so hubby rigged a clothes line in the basement.  We have some old pipes along the basement ceiling from when we had hot water heat that worked perfectly to tie an old umbrella sized clothes line that had a slightly broken pole.  The break made it unusable outside, but worked fine in the basement.  Add a couple fans, and we have a low energy way to dry clothes indoors.

Needless to say, after that work, I was tired.  I did clip a few more coupons, but didn't last long.  After lunch, I took a nap.  Before I laid down, I posted a sign next to my door.  "Napping. Shhhh!"  Thankfully the kids let me sleep... for a little while.  I was awoken to the sounds of a younger child annoying a teenager. 

This evening has been filled with total laziness on my part.  Playing on the computer, watching a little bit of tv, and eating some yummy chili made by my wonderful hubby was about all I had the energy for.  For the most part, I've been in a haze.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get my brain to wake up at least for a couple hours.  The bell choir I'm in is playing two pieces tomorrow.  Neither one is really difficult, but one involves some repeats.  I'll need to be alert and paying attention. 

It's off to bed with me.  Took my vitamins already.  All the kids are in bed pretty early tonight.  I'm hoping they're not getting sick, too.  After church, I'm putting on my comfy clothes and curling up on the couch.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Ramblings

One of the side effects of being a substitute teacher and nursery worker is being exposed to kids' germs.  Yes, I'm sick.  I have a cold.  Cough. Sneeze. Sniffle. Ugh.

This evening it's caught up with me.  My wonderful husband picked up fried chicken for dinner.  I cut out coupons for a little while, but don't really have the stamina to keep it up right now. 

Hopefully I can get to bed early tonight. A good night's sleep might get me back on my feet tomorrow.  Unfortunately I just hit the worst part of my cold this evening, so I'm not sure if I'm still getting worse or if I'll start getting better tomorrow.  I'm trying to avoid my temptation of loading up on carbs.  When I'm not feeling well, carbs are so tempting.  

I had a fun conversation with my 6 yr old earlier.
6 yr old: Today is Friday. You know what that means?
Me: What?
Her: Tomorrow's Saturday!
Me: I'm sick. You know what that means?
Her: What? 
Me: It means I'm sick.  (I then proceeded to bust up laughing.)

Right now three of my kids are making forts in the living room with my dining room chairs and some blankets.  I really enjoy watching them work together, though I do have to admit I'd rather see them working on the dishes together.  *sigh*  Hopefully before bedtime.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I am feeling blessed this evening.  Blessed with a wonderful family.  Blessed to have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.  Blessed to be able to work at two jobs that I enjoy so much.  Blessed with manageable health.  Yes, diabetes stinks (ok it sucks), but at this moment I am able to manage diabetes.  I have diabetes; it doesn't have me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another year older

Yesterday was my birthday.  No, the day didn't go as planned.  Hubby and I both had the day off and we thought of going shopping in a larger town while the kids were in school.  That changed before we even woke up.  Our #4 got sick during the night and had a fever.  So instead of shopping and lunch out of town, hubby cleaned up after her, took the other kids to school, and later got take-out for my birthday lunch.  Sickie was drifting in an out of sleep, so we knew she was in no condition to go out, even to eat in the car at a park.  She ate very little during the day, maybe a piece of bread in the morning and a few bites of birthday cake in the evening.  Needless to say, she's home again today.

Dinner was also low-key.  Originally I thought about having hubby buy some nice steaks to cook on he grill.  However, the pork roast in the fridge was also very appealing.  So he put the roast in the crockpot, adding some sides to the meal, making a nice low-stress meal at home with all the kids.  Perfect!  Hubby kept asking if what he was making was ok.  Of course I kept repeating that the company was more important to me than the meal.  I would have been just as happy with frozen pizza, though the pork roast was easier on my glucose levels.

The kids also made me a cake.  I love the way they decorated it!  No huge fuss.  They found a "4" candle and a single birthday candle to represent "41" while also adding a chocolate chip and red hots heart.  Now this is what life is about!  The love put into that cake filled the room!  Dinner and this cake were my two favorite presents!  Yes, I love the other presents that hubby and the kids got me, too.  Seeing a pile of gifts, some funny and some cherished, wrapped in Christmas paper made me feel appreciated (and gave me a chuckle).  The humorous gifts, like the garden hose and rooster lawn ornament, reminded me that our family loves to have fun together.  The time we have together is more important than anything money could buy.

Oh, and what was my wish as I blew out my candles?  A cure for diabetes, of course!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Is spring really here?

*sniff sniff*  Yup, I think that's spring in the air!  Time to really start working on the garden.  Hubby and I have spend the last month or so planning out our garden.  We have seedlings growing in our indoor greenhouse.  We have drawn a map of our back yard and planned where everything is to go.  We have ordered and received our seeds.

Our goal is to plant and preserve enough to meet most of our needs for fruits and vegetables.  We all know that diabetics aren't the only ones that need to follow a healthy diet.  That's true for everyone.  However, diabetics have consequences tied to their eating habits that many do not.  Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Today, hubby and I went to a local department store (a local one with a rural flare).  This weekend they're having no sales tax plus a lot of things on a great sale.  We were able to find fruit trees for only $20.99 each (normally $29.99 plus tax).  Our plan is to plant three to five dwarf fruit trees along the back fence of our property.   We found three trees we like (two varieties of peach and a golden delicious apple), so we'll be planting those tomorrow.  The rest of the fruit tree varieties seemed to be semi-dwarf or full-size.  For our other two, we might consider pear or cherry.  We have plans to eat some of the fruit as it ripens, but also learn how to preserve what we will need for the coming year.

Gardening brings me joy.  I love seeing my basement cupboard full of jars containing foods that we have grown and preserved.  Yes, I have a lot of pickles, but we love pickles.  The joy in serving those pickles to my family makes it worth the effort needed, and then some.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sprinkles - what a cutie!

Kerri of Six Until Me introduced the world recently to Sprinkles the Diabetes Advocacy Unicorn.  If you read her blog even a little, she has mentioned in the past how life with diabetes isn't all rainbows and unicorns.  (Kerri, if I'm not quoting that right, please let me know.)  She now has an adorable unicorn to help spread the word about diabetes.  Oh, how about I just let her show you?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My coupon binder

Coupon binder by rfamhere
Today I started playing with my newest creation - my coupon binder!  I've tried other methods (the typical coupon wallet, an index file box, a regular envelope), but none of them seemed to work.  I heard about others using a three-ringed binder and trading card collector pages, so I thought I'd try it out.  I searched the internet for ideas on how to organize my binder, found tabs from notebooks I had in college (still wanting to keep the information in the binders, but not needing the tab dividers in them anymore).  It was a wonderful success!  I even got compliments from other shoppers in the store who got a quick glance at my notebook.

The coupon binder wasn't the only unusual thing about today's shopping trip.  We also had the three youngest (6, 9, and 12) with us.  Normally hubby and I go shopping childless or he goes alone.  However, since the two teens (aka build in babysitters) were busy and hubby really wanted me to come with the try out the coupon binder, we decided to venture to the store with three children in tow.  I will say that if I had used my previous coupon organizational system, I would have given up and left half way through.  The binder helps me stay calm and not get frazzled.  Instead of trying to flip through tons of coupons in a little wallet like thing, I was able to open up a large page and see what I wanted.  Yogurt? Oh here's the pocket with the yogurt coupons.  Let's see if the coupon makes this brand cheaper or if another brand is a better choice.  There were a few coupons we held onto knowing that the item would probably go on sale soon and the coupon wasn't going to expire for a while.

I'm still in the baby stages with this, only saving a little over $15 with my coupons.  However, some items were cheaper with another brand that may or may not have been on sale, so I did save a lot that way.  Like the 12 one-pound packages of ground turkey that I got for a dollar each (freeze by date is tomorrow).  That savings doesn't show up on the receipt, but shows up in my wallet.

If anyone has any couponing tips or websites they would like to share, please comment below.  Thanks!

I'm doing it!

Once again, I've signed up for the ADA's Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.  Last year I wasn't able to go to an actual walk, so I signed up as a virtual walker.  My fourth daughter even signed up to raise money with me!  This year we're hoping to attend a walk.  It's a few hours away, but we're very excited.  I'm hoping that our schedules work out so we're actually able to attend this year.  Imagine the energy!  Spending the day with other diabetics is something that will majorly recharge my batteries.

Please consider joining a local walk or making a donation.  Together we can make a difference!