Monday, June 30, 2014

Countdown to #MasterLab at #CWDFFL14

In about 12 hours, I will be waking up and getting ready for my cab ride to the airport. Then I'll board an airplane to Orlando to attend the MasterLab sessions at the Friends For Life conference. Diabetes Hands Foundation is hosting a day full of sessions on advocacy.

Patient advocacy. Working with pharmaceutical companies. Learning from advocates with other medical conditions. Talking to medical professionals. Collaboration. Exciting opportunities!

I will try to tweet as we go from @RFamsRamblings and blogging when I can. Anything you'd like me to make sure we discuss? Leave your comments below.

For more information, check out this link:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Budgeting Diabetes

I've been struggling lately with keeping my glucose numbers where I like them. I've said before that my goal is non-diabetic numbers. I want my fasting below 100 and two hours after meals under 120. It's hard to control the fasting value, but I can usually control my numbers during the day through diet and exercise.

Is this easy? NO WAY!

Think of a family on a tight budget saving up their cash for a family vacation. Their goal is to have a really nice cash only vacation without the use a credit cards. They know how much they need to save and initiate their plan with perfect timing for their trip. This plan involves the family forgoing fast food and convenient foods which are often felt needed for their busy family. Although they know they can do it, this savings plan does become somewhat stressful. They enjoy going out for burgers and fries now and then. (I guess I shouldn't have started writing this right before dinner. Now I'm hungry!) However they know that to have the money they want for their trip, they need to drive past that drive-thru and make dinner at home.

Ok, this may sound like a lame comparison to many, but for me this hit home. I do like fast food. However to keep my glucose "budget" in line, I need to keep driving. But wait. I have five children who need carbs, so there are lots of carbs waiting for me at home, too. Bread, fruit, chips, juice, french fries, granola bars, tater tots...

However, like the family saving for vacation, priorities need to be re-examined now and then. They may want to go see a movie as a family. Depending on the size of the family, this could be an expensive outing. Do they stick to the budget and forgo this family time or do they lessen their vacation plan expectations in order to allow themselves these things they enjoy? Maybe instead of a trip to Disney World find a less expensive trip in their own state. Although it's not ideal, the time spent together as a family on a regular basis is more important than saving up for that one dream vacation.

Sometimes we need to budget our diabetes. Yes, I can obtain tight control during the day by watching my carb intake and exercising. However there are times I want a burger (with the bun) and fries as a local fast food place. Maybe I want to eat a candy bar (Snickers anyone?). Yes, my ideal is to continue to manage my diabetes with diet and exercise alone. But what if the only way to avoid medication is to avoid those food treats I enjoy or to have a lazy day here and there without exercise? Am I willing to change my "dream vacation" management and consider medication if needed to allow myself to have those "quality time" treats?


I don't know when/if I'll wind up on medication. My ideal is to continue to maintain with diet and exercise. I've come to the determination that if I need medication, whether oral or injectable, in order to live the lifestyle that makes me happy, then I'll do what I need to stay healthy.

Each family's financial budget in personal and unique. In the same way, we all need to decide what our diabetes budget will be.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Diabetes Management Apps

I love gadgets. I love apps. I have diabetes (sorry, don't love that). What helpful for a tech-loving diabetic who needs to get back on track? Diabetes management apps!

I have an Android phone. Right now I'm trying out two apps: MySugr and Care4Life. Both are free though MySugr also has a paid pro version. (Disclaimer: I was given a free voucher for 90 days of MySugr Pro.) I've been having fun testing them both out and plan to give them both a review after a while. I've only been using them for a few days, so it's too early to give them a thorough review.

MySugr is definitely more "fun" with a little diabetes monster character where Care4Life is very straight forward. I'm also using the SparkPeople app to help calculate carb content of foods and record my exercise. I'm looking forward to seeing how these two apps keep me on track. I've already been able to remind myself that I have to eat a very low carb breakfast to keep my numbers down.

Do you have any apps that you use to manage your diabetes? Please share in the comments!