#happydiabeticchallenge : Diabetic Essentials

1. The obvious choice for my number one: INSULIN.

2. And for me, the life changer, DEXCOM.

3. SUGAR should be on me at all times.  Sometimes I fall short of being responsible and on top of making sure it’s always with me.  But lucky for me, it’s always worked out, and I’ve always been able to find enough sugar to come back from low blood sugar hell. I’m putting a fresh pack of Mentos in my purse NOW.  I swear.

4. Daily EXERCISE.  I know this habit has helped me live a healthy diabetic life for nearly 25 years.  No complications.  And I hope to never have any.

That’s my short list of the absolute essentials in regards to my Type 1 diabetes care.

Blood Sugar Roll Call

I’m not totally sure what is meant by today’s topic put out by the #happydiabeticchallenge – I guess I’m suppose to shout out my current blood sugar?

Here’s mine right now:

That looks great, but let me tell you- had you seen me about an hour ago at the dog park, it dipped (I think) more than this graph shows, and I was NOT looking so good then.  I had to cut me and my boy’s time out there a little short because I was feeling like crap, as it took a while to get back above that magical 65/70 spot that makes all the difference. I had candy with me, but I HATE eating crap to treat a low.  So instead, I ate half a Larabar.  Way healthier, but it also takes a lot longer to bring my blood sugar up. Fortunately for me, I’ve got a patient dog. He was happy to take a load off while we waited for me to start feeling human again.

And if we could go back even further and look at the past 24 hours of that graph, you’d see I also got out of my “desirable” range (WELL above it, in fact) for no reason yesterday afternoon before dinner.  I brought it down, and felt pretty good about where it was at when I went to bed.  But around midnight, that bitchy blood sugar had a mind of it’s own and shot back up around 150 and hovered there all night.  I like to sleep through the night with a lower blood sugar than that and usually I do, but lately, that’s not the case.

(*Note.  I took a screen shot of my Dexcom readings for the 24 hour period to put here, but when I tried to post it, or import it into photos on my computer it said due to security reasons, I was not allowed to do that. Sorry there’s no graphic here. )

So I sort of call BS on this Blood Sugar roll call.  Saying what my blood sugar is in ONE moment, does NOT tell the full story of even a 24 hour period.


Biggest Supporters

Day 6 of the #HappyDiabeticChallenge: “Biggest Supporter”

The obvious answer could be, FERMIN!, my husband.  Because it’s true- he’s great.  He knows a lot about my diabetes and if I ask him to help me with something related to it, he will. He’s supportive enough.

But you know who is truly the best support team I have?

My loyal companions, Lucy and Ricky.  They support me by walking with me every single day.  Miles and miles and miles and miles.  Rain or shine.  And they’re always happy to do it.  And that daily ritual has a very positive effect on my blood sugars and my sensitivity to insulin.

Also, I’m pretty sure they know when my blood sugar hits an extreme low.  They seem to get up in my face when I’m low. They probably smell a difference in me or something.

If I’m not feeling good, they’re more than happy to lay around with me as long as necessary.

The best companions, and the best supporters a girl could ask for.




Sleep. Please Come Back To Me. I Miss You.

Seriously.  This has got to stop.  I’m not sure when it first started, but I haven’t gotten a solid night’s sleep in I-can’t-tell-you-how-long.

I don’t know what’s causing the problems.  Although like just about everyone, I have some anxiety,but it’s not what I’m thinking about in the middle of the night.  Maybe hormone fluctuations have something to do with it, but fortunately, if hormones are a part of this, they are NOT affecting my blood sugar.  And for that, I’m grateful.  Anyway, it’s not clear to me what the problem is between me and sleep.  But lately, it hasn’t been a symbiotic relationship.

I don’t have a problem falling asleep, but staying asleep the duration of an entire night?  Forget about it.  I usually go to sleep around 11:30/midnight, and wake up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed around 3:30am.  I toss and turn.  Finally fall back asleep after what seems like about an hour or so, and then it happens again around 5am.  And there’s just no way I’m the kind of girl that likes to start her day at 5am.  Nor am I the kind of girl that functions well on a mere 5 hours of sleep.

I’ve tried all sorts of remedies- mostly natural, and even some not natural because lately, I’ve gotten desperate!  Here’s a list, off the top of my head, of the things I’ve tried to help me stay asleep during the night.

*warm baths with epsom salt (baths have always been a ritual of mine, but lately I’ve added in epsom salt and lavender oils)

*avoid screens (tv, computer, phone) as bed time approaches

*no caffeine beyond 2pm

*ear plugs and eye mask

*sniffing/rubbing on my temples some mix of essential oils that was given to me labeled “for sleep”

*this supplement that has melatonin, l-theanine and botanicals

*a magnesium supplement

*Ambien (Yep.  I’ve heard scary stories about Ambien, but again- I’m now desperate enough to try just about anything that might help.) (And yes, I’m going to write a blog post on this, specifically, soon.)

If any of these things have helped, it’s been so subtle, I haven’t noticed.  I still wake up around 3 or 4am feeling wide awake.

I’ve been listening to podcasts, and reading articles about how to get a healthy sleep routine going.  I’m taking any and all recommendations.  The new idea I’m trying this week that I just heard some sleep doctor talking about is: get OUT of bed if I’m not sleeping.  He said we need our brain to associate the bed with SLEEP (or sex), not with tossing and turning.  So, if you wake up, his advice is to go to another room, keep the light low, and do something like read until you feel tired enough to go back into the bedroom and fall asleep.  I’ve tried that for the last few nights, and while I like getting in the extra hours of reading, I’m not sure it’s helping me change my sleep routine. In fact, I fear that it might be ingraining that 3am wakeup call even deeper into my book-loving brain.

Like I said, my sleep issues don’t seem to be directly hurting my blood sugar control or my diabetes in general.  BUT, it’s well researched how vital sleep is to our overall health.  Lately, I’ve had problems with my shoulder (supposedly tendonitus), my hand/wrist (supposedly carpel tunnel) and neck pain in general.  I’ve said out loud, “I feel like I’m falling apart all of the sudden.”  And when I think about my sleep- or lack thereof, it makes sense that this would be the case. SO: It’s important to me that I figure this out.  My goal is to start sleeping a minimum of 7 hours each night. Right now, that sounds very lofty.  But it’s just sleep I’m talking about here.  SLEEP.  Something I love.  Something I want.  Something I need. I CAN DO THIS.


I’m taking all tips, recommendations and advice if you have any to offer.