Sunday, December 28, 2008

Diabetes Management is FUN; I sweat playing Wii Fit!

Ok, I have to admit, I wanted the Wii Fit as much as my daughter did for Christmas. She almost has me beat doing the hula hoops, but I gotta tell you the yoga and strength training are F.U.N.

I like that the "trainer" can tell you if you are shaky (not from low blood sugar, but I'd pay extra for that) or imbalanced. The balance board tracks your progress in the form of BMI, weight and balance or posture. It really is a marvel.

I did seven yoga poses and six or seven strength training exercises and then did the turbo hula hoops and got a high score. I was actually sweating a little. Amazing.

NOW, imagine if there was a Wii Fit Diabetes Management Edition. You heard it here first! An edition that let's you put in not only fitness goals, but HbA1C goals, average blood sugar goals and meal planning options. Oh! My God that would be so cool.

What if, it was internet based and bluetooth enabled so you can download your pump/meter and give access to your doctor. Ok, fantasy over, but if Nintendo is listening, get busy! There are 23.6 million people with diabetes in the US alone and more than 230 million in the WORLD!

Woke up thinking about diabetes complications at 3 a.m.

This morning I had a first; worry about the future impact of complications on my body. Perhaps it is the pending New Year and the resolutions that always hover. Perhaps it was my husband, who said that he is sick of sitting in front of the computer and wants to get moving. Perhaps it is the Wii Fit and the fun games that are making me think a lot more about my diabetes and my overall health.

I have three months left of my 39th year. I was in the bathroom this morning and wondered if I need a mammogram now. Making my poached egg, I scrapped off half the butter I was about to use.

I put my CGM on four days ago for the first time in months. I thought the transmitter was about to konk out on me when I had a couple iffy sensors and bad readings, so I tucked it away and feigned self-control by "knowing my body." I have to say though, my blood sugars are darned normal most the time and the CGM confirms this for me nicely.

So, in bed this morning around 3:00 a.m., I started thinking about how my body was aching; really in need of a massage (which I got for Christmas). My ankle was stiff and the more I twisted it and stretched it to try to loosen up, the more I realized I don't like to be in pain, or really even discomfort, AND I don't like taking pills to make me feel better. This led to thoughts about how I'm going to feel if I am in pain all the time because of complications. I actually thought. "I'm not sure if I could live with that." I thought, I hope I get killed by a bus or freak train collision rather than suffer as I get older.
Don't worry, I'm not imbalanced or depressed, but it made me think about how much control I take over my health and life. Where does diabetes care fit into my priorities. To be honest, not very high on the list. My health fits in right about where most people fit it in, between kids activities, work, doing dishes and beating myself up over the things I *should* be doing.

I don't spend an inordinate amount of time beating myself up; gave that up years ago, but I have slipped to the other side to virtual complacence. Don't think that is the best place to be either.

My daughter takes most of my energy, time and stamina. Her diabetes takes the rest. How do I teach a kid to make the right choices, when they aren't a priority for me?

So, the Wii Fit really kicks some butt. I ought do be doing yoga now, but I just wanted to start a dialog about reality, not fear. A little voice in me is saying that I should be more mindful, thoughtful about my choices. That self-care is a high priority, no matter my other obligations. I think the example of the oxygen mask on the airplane is perfect here. If I don't get air first, how can I help my child?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Agave Syrup and Homemade Microwave Popcorn

So I am am curious how many of you have tried Agave Syrup as a replacement for sugar or honey, cause I am a sucker for honey on biscuits and have been very interested in this product. There is an article on Diabetes Health, but it doesn't really list the carbs vs. honey or sugar, just exchanges, which I thought was very out of fashion (using exchanges vs. straight carbs).

Any thoughts on agave syrup are appreciated. I do have one recipe to share that blew my mind. Who knew that microwave popcorn could be made without all the crap packed into the pre-packaged bags? Martha Stewart apparently. A friend with celiac hipped me to this homemade version of microwave popcorn with agave syrup and butter for a kettle corn yummyliciousness (we tried it with Splenda and butter, but would love to try agave).

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Place 1/4 cup of popcorn in a paper lunch sack with a bit of salt. Fold over top of bag and lay on its side in microwave.

Microwave for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, but listen for slow popping or it will burn quick.

Plop a dollop of butter in a dish ( Or smart balance butter that I love) and nuke for a few seconds to melt.

Add some agave syrup and pour over your fresh popcorn and toss (more salt is nice).

Yum! Homemade microwave kettle corn.

Think it buying the prepackaged kind is easier? Fine, but look at the ingredients list and just try to scrape off the stuff inside the bag after popping. Hard to believe we ate this stuff thinking it was a good snack. Also, cost per bag is SO cheap. Frugal and healthy snack!

Happy popping!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Camp Sweeney, Here we come

My girl and I are headed out today for a family weekend at Camp Sweeney for kids with T1 diabetes. The weather is supposed to be spectacular, but I think it is still a bit early to swim in the lake.

Last year my girl (then 6) went to Sweeney for a week-long camp and she spent a lot of time crying. She is very attached to me at bedtime and had a very hard time with home sickness, so this year we decided to do the weekend camp together. Little does she know, this weekend is prep for the three week camp next summer. Her daddy and I need a break!

She'll be 8, turning 9 at the end of summer then, and I figure she'll be over us (Ha!). So hubby and I are planning a trip (in our heads) to the Mexican Riviera, even if it is just for four nights or so. We haven't spent "quality" time alone since she was born. Actually, our last vacation alone was during the Millennium New Year where we went to San Francisco. I was pregnant and didn't know it until I got home from the airport at nearly midnight and peed on a pregnancy test.

My man is starting a new position with UPS as a driver, so he can't travel with us this weekend. He has been clerking there for 2 1/2 years, which allowed me the flexibility to start my own business, as UPS provides full benefits to the WHOLE family not no cost (besides his sweat & blood); he just had to work minimum of 25 hours per week. He has worked nights for as long as he's been there and operated another business from home during the day.

So, this weekend is a test run, prep for future spousal vacation. We'll have two weeks vacation next summer to use and I hope my girl is ready for three weeks of fun at camp.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

FreeStyle Navigator FINALLY Approved

Well, the time has finally come! The Abbott Diabetes Care FreeStyle Navigator Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is finally approved by the FDA and available!

I started this blog when I was admitted to a three month study of the Navigator and I wrote extensively about my experiences over the trail. It begins with my first day and continues through some trials and tribulations over the following three months.

I included lots of pictures of the unit, of the insertion process and it seems that it is virtually the same unit I used in trail, but they updated a few irritating things, like there was no way to escape out of the reports window without waiting for it to time out.

During the trail my blood sugars were more manageable, but it was only in my final week of the trial that I truly realized how profoundly this technology could improve my control. My doctor could see things that would never be seen with 8 tests per day. I had a drop in my A1C of 10 percent during the trail and that prompted me to buy the Minimed CGM when it came out with the Minilink.

I think there are comparable in technology, BUT the Navigator would give me alarms 30 minutes before I was low and that saved me more than once. Also, you have readings every minute, which can be very helpful as you are dropping.

The insertion of the sensor is MUCH better with the Navigator and you don't see this HUGE needle plunging into your belly like you do with the Minimed.

The Co-pilot software was awesome; way better than the Minimed version. I loved the visuals along with the numbers.

I could not find the pricing information on the web, so I called the hot line and held for 5 minutes. They took my personal information first, then told me the pricing would be as follows:

The receiver and transmitter kit, which also includes one box of Freestyle strips, batteries and lancets will range in price from $960 -$1040. The Sensor kit includes six sensors for approximately $360-390. That is $60 a piece folks. Not sure how much I appreciate that without insurance coverage.

If anything, I think this will give Minimed and Dexcom a run for their money, which I hope in turn, brings about sexier and more sophisticated devices from which to choose. I like my Minimed because it is contained all in one unit, but if I were to buy today, I would absolutely consider the Navigator.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Seven Year-old Holds onto her Routines--TIGHT!

I have had diabetes for 24 years and I go through periods of great diabetes focus. Then, I get tired and just can't over think it anymore. My blog hiatus since December is evidence of where I am.

My daughter's care has been challenging. Her A1C is up and our vigilance has slipped because this disease is frankly really inconvenient. Let me say, we still test 10 times per day, but I have been more likely to forget to tell her the carbs for her snack she grabs in the middle of tree climbing. Thirty minutes later I have the flash, "DAMN, I forgot to tell her the carbs!"

She rarely goes too high, nor does she go too low, but she doesn't sit at 100 all the time either. You know the infusion sets are becoming a problem in terms of viability. They aren't lasting as long and I suspect this is due to scar tissue build up. I just gave advice to a dad looking at pumps for his eight year-old and said to be sure to promote site rotation right away; this has eluded us entirely. My girl likes it on her rear and that is IT. Just the thought of doing it on her tummy or thigh sends her into a panic.

I have really noticed how routine and the specificity of that routine is extremely important to her. Getting her to try anything new is just exhausting. We went to the video store on a rainy Saturday and I thought she would really dig seeing the Muppet Show; I remember how darned funny it was when I was a kid. Hys-ter-i-cal! She groused all the way home from the store and FINALLY, half way into the third episode with Gilda Radner, she began laughing. Now she is hooked, but it took two and a half episodes and that is a long time in kid time.

So, imagine me trying to get her to try an new type of infusion set or a new site. It is just too exhausting, so for now Good is Good Enough.

Photo from: