Tag: daily living

Just write

It’s a long story (that’s what happens when you haven’t posted in eleven and a half months), but I was on a 36 hour round trip adventure with my mom to Southern California and back and we needed something to listen to on the drive when we got sick of Christmas carols. I suppose I should mention that this was about a month ago. I typically listen to podcasts on long drives, but most of them are serialized (unintentional Serial pun) so it wouldn’t really be fair to my mom to make her listen.

Instead, I downloaded the audio version of an autobiography that actually happened to be almost exactly the length of our four hour drive. At one point, the author was talking about advice she received about writing when she was feeling stuck. One of the most important tips was just to put in time every day and write. No editing, no researching, no social media, just time sitting in front of the computer writing.

I turned to my mom as the book was wrapping up and said, “she makes me want to start writing again.”

I stopped because I thought didn’t have time, but there are always a few minutes a day to write a few thoughts down. I stopped because I thought didn’t have anything to say, but anyone who knows me in person knows that can’t be true. I stopped writing because there are a lot of aspects of my life that aren’t appropriate to share about online, but there must still be moments of wonderful that are worth sharing.

More than anything else, I’ve realized how dangerous it is to think that my voice doesn’t matter.

So, I’m going to start writing again.

What’s my motivation

(almost called this post – We don’t need no stinkin’ badges)

I hope I’m not the only person who remembers the Sprite commercial from the early 90s about motivation.

Along with my diaversary, I just passed my one year anniversary of moving across the country. When I left Florida I weighed about 25 pounds more than when I had arrived there 7 years before. Over that amount of time it doesn’t seem like a lot of weight, but I got to a place where I was just not comfortable (or happy).

Slowly but surely I am making my way back to a place where I feel healthier and better. Changing my diet has helped a lot. Changing my environment has helped more.

why self trackAnd with that, there are a variety of ways I have been monitoring my path back to health (Kim wrote an excellent post recently about self-tracking and there was an excellent video chat about self-tracking with the MedicineX crew that took place recently as well.).

Designers suggest there are multiple reasons why people wear self-tracking devices. There are multiple reasons why *I* have tried self-tracking devices. I’ve tried, and I’ve tried, and I’ve tried. But I can’t find the motivation to keep using most of them. I just don’t get the point.

shine badges
I earned a few extra “points” on JDRF Walk Day in November.

The information I get back from them is just not enough to inspire me to keep using them. I can’t integrate them easily (or mostly, at all) with the information I get from my pump and CGM and it’s all I can manage to get a doctor to look at the reports just from those.

And maybe I get my fill of self-tracking and feedback I get from my Dexcom. Maybe it is more than enough to have access to self-tracking information every 5 minutes from a device that is inserted under my skin for weeks at a time and from poking my finger to make it bleed and sticking it on a meter several times a day. Maybe it is asking too much of myself to track anything else.

 

 

On that note, as much as I try to avoid the feeling associated with my CGM results, there are days that staying within the lines makes me feel happy and successful and seeing too much yellow and red (outside my range) makes me feel upset and frustrated with myself.

The colors on my Dexcom are like little badges that motivate me. As I found out at the MedicineX conference last year, badges are designed by those who create self-tracking devices precisely to motivate the user.

how badges workbadges motivate

I set a goal, I reach that goal, and I get a reward – even if that reward is just an extra icon on an arbitrary graph.

In the end, is there really any difference between icons on a graph, a tick mark on a scale, an old pair of pants fitting again, or an A1c result at the endocrinologist’s office?

A few shots. Snapshots.

Today’s Diabetes Blog Week topic was inspired by the diabetes365 project. Well, I am actually attempting that project this year, so today seems like a perfect place to share my progress.

I have completed 138 days, which means there are only 227 days to go.

If you want to see the details of any of the pictures, you can find them all on this page.

One day at a time

It’s Diabetes Blog Week – a great awareness event created and organized by Karen who writes the Bitter-Sweet Diabetes Blog. She has put together an amazing list of participants so this week you have an opportunity to get over 90 perspectiveson a single topic every day this week! Unbelievable!

Our assignment for today was to describe a day in the life of diabetes. I noticed on Twitter last night (Sunday) that a lot of people were having trouble coming up with what to write. I was relieved to find out I wasn’t the only one. I think part of the problem was that we may have felt pressure to write about a ‘typical’ day with diabetes so that anyone who is reading our post can relate. There is only one problem with that – there is no typical day with diabetes! 🙂
So instead of telling you about a typical day, I will tell you about the randomness that was yesterday.
I guess you could say that the ‘day’ started with my last blood glucose check before I went to bed. At 1:45 am, I rang in at 69 mg/dL. At many other times of day, I may have ‘played it by ear’ depending on how much insulin I had on board or how close it was to a meal time. Considering this was as I was headed to bed, I had to do something. Like it or not, I treated it with a peanut butter Twix that I dosed for all except about .2 units of the recommended dose and went to sleep.
My pump started beeping at me – well vibrating actually – before I went to bed that the reservoir was almost empty. Perhaps I rely too much on the 20 or so units I know I have after the pump reads empty, but I ignored it and planned to refill it in the morning.
I woke up at about 9:40 to get ready to go to church. It was one of those mornings that nothing goes right – all horrible excuses but I couldn’t find anything to wear, the person I was going with overslept, I would have to pay for parking and I didn’t have enough cash, etc – so I didn’t end up actually going. I also apparently did not check my blood sugar this morning until 11:14 am, at which point I was 140 mg/dL.
I refilled my pump and ate breakfast. I was supposed to meet people for lunch at Panera at 12:30, so eating at 11:15 was not ideal. I knew I would probably only be on the peak of my post-breakfast high by the time I sat down for lunch but I was so hungry I knew I couldn’t wait any longer to eat.
Just as I predicted, when I sat down with my lunch at Panera at 1:03 pm, I was 221 mg/dL. According to the bolus wizard, I still had almost exactly the right amount of active insulin left to correct the high, so I basically just dosed for my lunch. I had a ham and swiss sandwich on rye and a small bowl of the mac and cheese. I don’t eat mac and cheese anymore because pasta, diabetes, and I just don’t get along but I just can’t seem to resist it at Panera.
It always seems like the to-do list is longer than the weekend, and this weekend was no exception. It is a friend’s birthday today, so I was on the hunt for her present. There were a few stores around the lunch place, so I started there and eventually ended up down the road at Target. Doesn’t everything end up at Target?! 🙂
I am going to be totally honest with you now. I probably should have used my meter in between running all my errands, but I ‘felt fine’ so I didn’t. My next blood glucose check was not until 5:27 last night, and I was 123 mg/dL. A great result – but there should have been at least one test between 1 pm and 5 pm, considering how much driving I was doing. I had planned to have a little snack at that point (have no food in the house so needed to grocery shop before dinner) but I got distracted and forgot.
My next result was only 30 minutes later. I had finally decided to have a snack and was a little curious to see if I was ‘up’ or ‘down’ from the last time. My meter showed 142 mg/dL, which could have been about 20 points higher than my previous test, but based on the horrible standards in meter accuracy, it could have been almost essentially the same number.
I had a friend coming over around 8 pm to pick up a gift I found for her today while I was birthday shopping. She is leaving the country to go on a trip similar to my Haiti trip, but she won’t be back until June. I found a great journal with a map of the world on the cover in the clearance section of Anthropologie, and I knew I had to get it for her.
Anyway, I gave myself from 6 – 8 pm to clean up the disaster that is my apartment. That included transferring months of ‘sharps’ I had been storing in a grocery bag on my dresser into a sharps container hung on the wall in the common lounge of my living area. It was empty when I started, and I have to remember to call them tomorrow to tell them it is full. Oops!
I ended up talking a while to the friend who came over and then spent over an hour talking to my mom about some craziness that is going on at my work. When I finally hung up with her it was after 11 pm. Did you notice I never mentioned going to the grocery store or having dinner? That’s because I hadn’t done either yet.
I thought about whether or not it was too late to eat. I have about 5 pounds or so that I am always trying to lose, and eating so close to bedtime is not a good idea for weight loss. I decided to check my blood sugar to see if that would have an impact on my decision. When I found out it was 72 mg/dL, I knew I would have to eat something. I ended up getting some fast food – a decision I will probably regret tomorrow.
I sat down a little after midnight to finally start writing this post, officially ending this day with diabetes.
So – that was my day with diabetes. A day unlike any other. But, really, aren’t they all?!
P.S. Did you notice I never used the ‘t’ word (test) in this post. You can fail a ‘test’, but you can never fail a blood glucose ‘check’ or ‘assessment’. Remember not why, but what now?

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