Thursday, August 27, 2009

Squeaky Clean...and NO Streaks!!

It's so funny what we as diabetics become immune to. What I really mean is that nothing that I do really surprises me anymore. Lessons always seem to be learned the hard way and really it only takes the one time for the lesson to be learned. And no matter how prepared you think you are, you always catch yourself unprepared at some point. And some things don't really seem like that big of a deal until you tell someone about and then realize, WOW, the things I do to stay healthy and keep doing the things I love are pretty off the wall. And when you tell a fellow diabetic, well, some of these stories can be pretty hysterical.

Take for instance yesterday....well....

Actually, here's a little history before my story. I've been swimming alot lately....YAY!!! Good for me...I'm finally getting in the pool on a regular basis. And I've picked up my training hours to about 20 hours a week which means not only am I swimming, I am biking, running, changing clothes and, more importantly, I am sweating.... ALOT!! I already sweat more than the typical person...atleast I think I do. Well, I put my last site on after a long cool shower after a long run....the problem was that I had not really stopped sweating completely. I always put on lotion after a wiped off my lotion with an alcohol swab to prep the site and I noticed that when I put on the site....well... it didn't really adhere as well as it usually does. But I went with it knowing that I would stop sweating soon and it would adhere a little better.
For those of you that are not diabetic....A site is the place on your body that you have to change every 3 or 4 days that is similar to a tiny IV that connects to your insulin pump....basically it's the only way that the insulin can get into your body from the pump. So without your're pretty much screwed!! Most diabetics put their site on their upper buttock or stomach (switching sides each time so that scar tissue doesn't build up too much).

Well, if you are a diabetic athlete you know that when I site doesn't adhere well, you are constantly fighting to keep that site on. comes my story about yesterday.

So yesterday I did strength training for a little over an hour, I ran for an hour, then I went to my gym and took a kickboxing class for an hour....Afterwards before getting into the shower at the gym when I wrapped my towel around me I almost ripped my site out. Oh Crap!! I, of course sweating like crazy, had a feeling that this wasn't going to last much longer. But I'm trying my best to keep the site in. It stayed on throughout my shower and afterwards as I took my towel off...well so did my site!! Dern!!!

Looking in my site replacement!! Really???? I'm usually so prepared but I forgot to replace the one I usually keep in my gym bag. BUT....Not to worry....I have one in my purse (which was in my car) and I also keep one in my car console so I'll just put it on when I get to my car. PERFECT!! So 10 minutes later, dressed and ready for dinner, I get down to my car. Turn the interior lights on.... one big problem....NO ALCOHOL SWABS!! I've just put lotion as you probably know this new site will not adhere unless I wipe the lotion off. So I'm looking around in my car....Ahh Hahh!! I found something that would probably work just as well as alcohol.....WINDEX...yes...the streak free glass cleaner. I don't normally keep windex in my car but I had put it in there (along with paper towels...thank goodness) to take into my classroom to clean off tables and desks (I am a school teacher and school starts on Monday).

So yes....I'm sure it was a lovely sight ( no pun intended)....there I was sitting in my car with my pants pulled half down wiping my ass with Windex...just so I could get a good site. The things we do to stay healthy and keep living an active lifestyle. The funny thing is that even while I was doing this it didn't really seem like that big of a deal (it's all relative) until I told a diabetic friend what had happened and she literally laughed for 5 minutes the point that her stomach was hurting:)

Hopefully you got a laugh too....take it easy and always do whatever it takes to keep living life the way you choose....healthy and active:)
Lesson: Always replace what you use;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Does Diabetes have me???

I've often read about and talked with other active Type-1 diabetics who insistently claim that even though they have diabetes, diabetes doesn't have them. That is a strong statement that is often put to the test as a diabetic athlete. I am also one of those people who says that diabetes doesn't have me!! But there are times when I wonder if that is truly the case.

I'm in NC visiting family for 12 days and because I couldn't deal with the hassel of bringing my bike and often times do not have access to a car my training for the IMAZ has been limited to running. So I have been running every day since I've been here. 2 days ago I had a great 2 hour run...tested a few times and each time my sugars were great:) Because of this my anxiety about going low was completely absent. It even rained (poured down) the last 15 minutes of my run which was such a nice and refreshing treat. I love running in the rain. Got home and my sugars were around 100. This was a run where I felt like I didn't even have diabetes....despite the fact I had to stop a couple of times just to check my sugars to see if I was in a good range.

Before I had diabetes I would go out for a run for as long and as hard as I wanted to. If I was hungry I ran through it, if I had a pain or discomfort I ran through it, if I was tired or unmotivated I ran through it, if I wanted to run longer I would, if I wanted to do speed work or fartleks or stairs I would. I've learned that through having diabetes that part of my personality has been and must be altered. I cannot push myself sometimes (given certain circumstances) because I have diabetes. My friends and students used to ask me if I was a surfer (I guess I kind of look like a surfer girl) and being that I am deathly afraid of the ocean (saw Jaws at the perfect age of 10) my response was always that I was a land girl and loved running. I would tell them "you can't die running." SO very ironic that now I have a disease where if I am not completely prepared that yes I could absolutely die running!! Such a pisser!! So I've learned to not be so stubborn and that there are certain times where I cannot push myself even though I used to. So, does diabetes have me???

I had a great run 2 days ago....then comes yesterday. I left for a 1.5 hour run and my BG was 74. I ate half a purefit bar and had no insulin on board and took 39 grams of carbs with me along with my mini meter that I always take on my runs. 30 minutes into the run (30 minutes out) I went to check my sugars. My meter wasn't working! Crap!!! I guess all the rain from the day before messed it up so now it doesn't work. I didn't feel safe to keep running. I ate 8 grams of carbs thinking that I probably wasn't low but not being able to check and see exactly where my sugars were at I did not want to chance it. Part of me (most of me) wanted to keep going but the diabetes side of me said "no idiot, turn around and go back." So that's exactly what I did. I turned around and walked back. Keeping myself calm the entire way....working on my zen breathing:) When I finally got back to the house I was 207. See, I knew I was going to be high but what can you do? I felt frustrated but I understand that that is a part of my disease. There are certain chances you just can't take.

Then today happened!!! I ate lunch around 12:30 and went out for my run around 2pm. I was 247 when I left...I thought to myself...perfect because I probably don't have that much insulin left on board...I didn't take a whole lot of insulin at lunch anyway. But I didn't check to see how much insulin I did have on board and didn't eat anything before I left. I ran out the door with 31 grams of carbs and my other tester. I was planning on running 1.5 hours. 45 minutes out (5 miles from my house) into my run I felt a little funny and checked...OH Crap... 41 .... Okay that's not good! I stopped to walk and ate all 31 grams of carbs immediately! I walked for 10 minutes in this random neighborhood in Charlotte NC where there are NO STORES nearby (I always take money with me). I checked again.... 42 ....GREAT!!! As I contemplated what to do I walked past a house that had about 5 cars in the driveway. This is my only option! I rang the doorbell and explained to the woman that opened the door that I was diabetic and that my sugars were low and wondered if she could spare a glass of juice. She quickly understood and told me that here father was a diabetic and invited me in. I drank 16 oz of lemonade and ate a large flour tortilla....all together about 90 grams of carbs. 10 minutes later I felt better and was at 104. I thanked them profusely and ran out the door to finish my run. They offered to drive me home or let me call someone but I insisted that I would be fine. I checked every 15 minutes for the last 45 minutes of my run... 134.... 137.... 141. I knew I would be fine and by the time I got home (2 hours later) I took a shower and was at 178.

All of this is to say.... yes I have diabetes, and yes, sometimes it has me but mostly it doesn't!! I will never let these incidents and learning experiences stop me from being me!! What will I do tomorrow? Be more careful, plan a little better and go out for a 2.5 hour run! So there you stupid will never have me!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Numbers like a pro!!

So I haven't really been training the last few weeks because I sprained my ankle pretty bad back in June and then a few weeks later I got pretty sick for about a week. I went to my Endo at the beginning of July and my A1c was way higher than it has been in the past. I definitely was not happy about that. fault, right? Last semester I was up and down way more than normal mostly because I was being irresponsible and eating things that I definitely shouldn't be eating. Well that appointment was another wake up call in accepting this disease. Since that appointment I have pretty much cut out all sweets. Which sucks because I have such a sweet tooth but it just isn't worth it. I haven't bought sweets when I'm at the store and the sweets I do have I have kept self control and only eaten a couple or one thing at a time....that's really good for me. I even turned down wedding cake a couple of days ago...multiple times! I hate looking at my meter and seeing numbers over 200...I hate it. It is such a downer psychologically. So I've cut out most sweets except when I'm low and even then I don't over do it anymore. Even if I'm starving I only take the minimum I think I need to just bring my numbers back to normal. It has made such a huge difference!! My average numbers on my meter when I went to my endo on July 2 was over 200!!! Terrible!! Since then, my average over 30 days is 165, for the last 14 days is 144, and for the last 7 days is 140!!! Much better:) And I am happy to say that those numbers do not include very many lows...I have had my 45 and 50's here and there but not as often as before when I was averaging over 200.

I'm so proud of myself and feeling this way is way better than the feeling I get when I eat a piece of chocolate or a piece of cake. So back to my original story....

This last week I have really picked up my training again since I sprained my ankle. I ran about 7 miles yesterday morning and then later yesterday afternoon road about 50 miles. I woke up at 74, started my run at 59 but ate half a luna bar and had no insulin on board. Half way through my run I was 154 so I took .2 units. I ended my run at 153. Later that morning I was 93. Before I left for my bike ride that afternoon around 1pm I was 140 with no insulin on board (I don't change my basal rate when I exercise...I only have one basal rate... 0.45 units/hr). 50 minutes into my ride I was at 83...I ate 16g of carbs (2 clif shots)...50 minutes later I was at 95...I ate another 16g of carbs (2 clif shots)...50 minutes later I was at 96....I ate the last of the clif shots (2 of them). I got home and did a couple of things around the house before I checked again and I was at 74. It's amazing how much better you feel with normal blood sugars. I'm trying to get out of the habit of starting high with insulin on board and then potentially and pretty commonly going low. I felt great during and after the ride....a little sunburned but that's only because the ride took an hour longer than I originally thought it would. I feel great after....went down to 60 last night but hey....atleast it wasn't 45:)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bleeding Everywhere

Okay so is it just me that finds blood everywhere now? I used to just find stains in the arm pits of my white tanks and t-shirts now it's stains all over all my clothes. Sometimes I check my sugar and its fine then 10 minutes later I find blood everywhere. My shirt, all my fingers, my pants etc.... dern!! Then I also find that I pull out a site and it bleeds forever!!! OMG what the heck!!! I guess it comes with the territory:)

Saturday, April 18, 2009 of the biggest factors!

So today I did something that I haven't done in a really long time. Talked myself out of doing a group workout because I felt intimidated. Living in San Diego there are many group weekend bike rides to choose from. I wanted to do a group ride that would be challenging so I picked a smaller group to go with. When you see 50-100 bikes in packs together...well to me that doesn't seem like the kind of workout I'm looking for. So I went with a smaller triathlon training group called Breakaway-training. What the heck was I thinking. I wasn't really thinking...just excited until I got about 1 mile from the meeting spot and I began to talk myself out of it. So then 2 minutes later I found myself circling the parking lot checking out the 5 people that were there with their bikes. 3 men and 2 women....the men looked to be mid 20's to mid 30's and in incredible shape. These guys looked like they not only raced in many triathlons a year....they looked like they probably WIN the race. So as I drove home in shame I came up with this top 10 list....

Top 10 reasons I shouldn't feel Intimidated....

10. They have probably had their bikes longer than 3 days
9. They have probably ridden more than 4 times in the last 10 years
8. They probably knew what a bike jersey was longer than 2 months ago
7. They probably didn't start their period last night...making them super insulin resistant and throwing their BG/insulin ratios off.
6. They probably didn't wake up with BG at 216
5. They probably knew how to pump up their tires this morning...and their pump probably wasn't brand new
4. They probably don't have riding optics that are 10 years old and held together with duct tape
3. My speedplay pedals and tri shoes are super cool and I have not fallen off my bike yet
2. They probably didn't have to worry about taking the right amount of insulin, making sure they had plenty of extra nutrition and trying to calculate their BG response for the morning ride.
1. My triabetes bike jersey is way cooler than theirs!!!!

Hey...atleast I got to the parking time I'll be really ready!

BG: 356...ugh! And now begins the recovery for what I had bolused for considering the ride I was going to do! I'm getting out there today....on the bike....then a run...but just not with a group. Me and my thoughts and the road....I'll do without the intimidation for a while til I build up a bit more experience and confidence.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Figure out the Mystery....And STOP Comparing!!!

Okay this I don't get...There are days that I wake with what is considered to be perfect numbers....any thing between 80-120. And I feel so tired, exhausted and thirsty....and then there are days that I wake up at 200 and I feel like a million bucks. There are days when I'm going for a run and I range between 120-150 and I feel like energy! And then there are days that I am doing a killer work out on the escalator stairmaster and I could put it on full blast and run up the stairs but my blood sugar is at 180. To me it's seems to be mostly about...Are your cells getting the sugar they need or not? You could wake up at 80 but your body is barely getting what it needs....or you could wake up at 176 and you have plenty of sugar on board to fuel your cells. Just a hypothesis I have....

I am obviously new to this disease and will be learning for many many many years to come but I have finally figured out that, even though many aspects of this disease are a mystery, I have got to get over this constantly comparing my life now with what my life used to be before diabetes. I have got to figure this thing out as I go in the current moment.....NOW! There is no comparison! So stop it, Heather, Stop it!!!! But it's so difficult sometimes. I used to get up early, have two cups of coffee and go on a 14 mile run with no food or gel or sometimes any water. My friends would call me "the camel" because I rarely drank water on a long run. I'm not saying that I had good habits before diabetes but they were indeed habits. I used to eat whatever I wanted and drink whatever I wanted and could get up the next day and run a marathon. I ran a 3:45 in Boston with what seemed like little effort the day after celebrating with my family and having way too much wine the night before.

So I guess if I am going to be making comparisons...then diabetes is a good thing. I have gotten rid of alot of my bad habits that were mostly likely abusive to my body and I have stopped taking my health and how I feel for granted. I think way more about what I put in my mouth and the exercises that I do on a daily or weekly basis. I have to constantly think about how what I'm doing will affect my blood sugars....And overall...that's a good thing!

So pilates classes and yoga classes have gone well the last few days. I've driven up to LA three days in a row and have taken a total of 8 pilates classes along with a short run, a medium run, and 2 hot yoga classes. This morning I woke up at 88 and was so damn thirsty....It's weird to be thirsty in the morning when I have had no alcohol whatsoever in days. Obviously it's just from dehydration due to all the intense workouts. My trail run on Saturday was horrible....I felt like such an out of shape loser....I couldn't even run the entire 7 blood sugars were 112 when I woke tea instead of coffee and no food....113 before the run...I ate half a luna bar and no bolus.....half way into the run I was at 155 so I did a small bolus (.25 units) but at that point it was too muscles were getting no energy and were already exhausted...I ended my run at 146 and felt completely defeated. Mostly because the last time I had done that run was with a couple of friends and I owned it!!! But that was also before I had diabetes.....Stop comparing!!!!

Until next time....blood sugar 130:)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Finally I'm a blogger....

After weeks of saying that I was going to start my blog I finally sat down and did it....And the timing couldn't be more perfect. I have decided for myself that Sunday (Dec 21) is my first day of training for the Ironman AZ 2009. I can't keep using the excuse that I have a year to train...because a month has passed and now it's almost exactly 11 months to train. I have my next two weeks completely planned out. I'm on vacation from teaching for the holidays so I'll be using that time to get into a training routine before school starts up again in January. My goal over the next few months is to build my base until March when our entire Triabetes team will meet in Tucson and our Ironman training officially begins at the Diabetes Training Camp. So for the next two weeks I will be combining workouts of hard core pilates, yoga, running, swimming, lifting and biking. I have planned (atleast for the next 2 weeks) to do 3 of each a week with one day off for recovery and rest and sanity. Runs are the easiest to get in...I just walk out my front door. Swim workouts will be mostly at my brand new 24-hour fitness that's near my house. Bike workouts...hmmmmm....Well, considering that I don't even have a bike yet (they are soooooo expensive), for now my bike workouts will consist of spin classes and the indoor exercise bike. Lifting will be easy and yoga will be for my mental recovery and because I hate to stretch. The hard core pilates is a different story...I'll be driving to Los Angeles 7 times over the next two weeks to get these workouts in. I'm taking classes (three 40-minute classes back to back) but I am also training to become a part-time instructor at the pilates plus studio that is opening in La Jolla in January. I'm super curious to see how my blood sugars do...

This Sunday is hard core pilates and yoga....I'll be leaving at 6am to drive to the Pilates Plus West Hollywood studio to take a 9:30, 10:15, and 11:00 class....then I'll drive back to Encinitas to walk my dog and catch a 4pm hot yoga class. I'll keep you posted and let you know how it goes....stay tuned.

Well I just got off the phone with a Type-1 friend of mine and somehow I got talked into going on a trail run tomorrow...~7 miles. I haven't run in a couple of weeks so I'm kind of nervous....the first words out of my mouth were "I'm not going fast!!" And it's cold here right now....43 degrees in the morning! UGH!!

Until next time.....blood sugar 134 :)

PUMPing INsulin...

PUMPing INsulin...
June 6, 2008...Day 2 on my Animas 2020