Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Honest About Burnout

So I spent a good bit of time dithering last night on whether or not I wanted to post about this.

This is not something I like to admit.  Or discuss.  Or really think about.

I've talked before about my battles with, as Kerri would say, wicked burnout.  I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this.  We all do.

I was doing ok.  Yes, my D care is far from perfect, but I feel like I've been making progress.

Until a couple nights ago.

It snuck up on me.  I never saw it coming.  Then WHAM, out of nowhere, burnout.  Slapped me upside the head and has been kicking my butt the last couple days.  I quick look at my CGM graph shows how little I evidently care.

I have spent most of the last 48-hours above 200.  And it's not my infusion set, or my insulin, or hormones, or any of that.  It's my fault.  There is nothing else to blame.

My old habits are rearing their ugly heads.  Two nights ago found me staying up way too late, sitting by myself on the couch, totally pigging out.  Here I go again.

Before I found the DOC, food was my coping mechanism of choice.  This is not a good thing when you have diabetes.  Sigh.

I thought I'd conquered this demon.  I thought I was done with all of this.  Apparently not.  Because that night, my CGM finally woke me up at 4am with a bg of 408.

408?  Seriously, Jess?  What the fructose is going on here?  Get it together!!!!

Yesterday didn't involve any 400s, but plenty of 200s and 300s.

I really didn't want to talk about any of this.  Because I am ashamed.

But I decided that being honest was more important.  Reading about the things other people struggle with helps me tremendously.  So I figured that maybe sharing this might be able to help someone else.

I still don't like talking about it.  And my endo appointment is in about three weeks, so I definitely need to get my act together!  I've been working really hard to get my A1c down, and I don't want to blow it now!

I am scared.  I never want to go back to that place where I was before the DOC.  Today, I am picking myself up off the floor, and am going to try it again.  I know I have my family and friends and all of you cheering me on.

I can beat this burnout.  Things are different now.  I have more support.  And the apathy isn't there.  I'm ashamed, and I'm scared, and I know this is a good thing because it means I actually give a crap.  I care.

I'm planning out my meals tomorrow, and I'm going to stick to it.  And I'm going to the gym after work.  The burnout and emotional eating is NOT going to get the best of me.  You can do it, Jess!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Last week, I couldn't WAIT for Friday!

Is this unusual?  No, not exactly.  But I was especially anxious for Friday to get here for one particular reason...

photo courtesy of Colleen.

This was my second "official" D-meetup (unless you count the time Barb and I were at Panera for three hours and closed it down...then it's the third)!  Myself, Barb, her dear husband Jon, Mr. Bob, and Colleen.  Colleen, it was lovely to meet you! Wish you lived closer.  And Scott, we missed you!

And we went to Gates BBQ.  Yum!!!!

I am so very blessed to have four--count 'em, FOUR--other DOCers here locally.  It's such an incredible feeling to get together and talk to them face to face.

But here's what I really want to talk about.  Barb has really become a dear friend of mine.  She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  So, now not only does she have the D to worry about, but cancer too.

Barb is looking for someone else out there who has dealt with both Type 1 Diabetes and cancer.  If you know anyone, please let me know or contact Barb through her blog or Twitter!  Please pass the word!

And please go read Barb's blog.  It's inspiring.  She is handling all of this with such grace and hope.

She is my hero.

Friday, March 25, 2011


So I wasn't planning on writing a post today, but I had a total facepalm moment this morning.

You know, a moment where you want to either slap yourself or hide because you did something incredibly dumb?

I was getting ready for work this morning.  I was trying to manually enter a meter reading into my pump to calibrate my CGM while simultaneously getting my makeup out of the cabinet.

Bad idea.

Of course, I drop my makeup on the tile floor of the bathroom and it breaks.  Powder foundation flies everywhere.

So I cease the attempt to calibrate in order to deal with the mess (did I mention I was in a hurry?).  But instead of hitting the "Esc" button on my pump, I accidentally hit "Act."

Crap.  Did I just do that?  Did I really just enter a CGM calibration of less than 20?  This is REALLY BAD (insert stream of cursing here).

So now, I'm panicking.  I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS!  I immediately forget about the makeup, and turn my sensor off.  I then turn it back on, and start the sensor over.

Whew!  Now, I have no idea what would of happened had I left it alone.  It probably would have been ok.  I hope I would've gotten a calibration error message.

But I didn't have time to find out. 

Bottom line: I suck at multitasking.

Tonight, I need to stop and get more foundation.

Oh, and clean up the bathroom floor cause I didn't have time to do it this morning...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The past few days have been rather frustrating.   My blood sugars have been stuck.

Usually, when they're stuck, it's on the high end.  But the past few days, I've been stuck on the low end.

And I HATE that.

image credit here.
I absolutely HATE lows.  They scare the crap out of me.  On Sunday, I bolused for breakfast, went low, and didn't bolus for anything else I ate all day until a small one at dinner.  Then there were overnight lows. Thank God for my CGM.  Same thing on Monday.  And yesterday.

So now the basal testing will commence.  Making myself wait a few days was REALLY HARD.  I wanted to make sure it wasn't some kind of fluke thing.  All my info has been uploaded too, and my CDE should call today with her suggestions.

I have no idea why this is happening.  Maybe it's the changing weather?  Maybe it's the fact I'm actively trying to exercise multiple times a week?  Maybe there's not a reason.  Who knows?  I'm trying to just go with it and not drive myself crazy trying to figure out why.

We all go through periods where are bgs are stuck at number that scare the living daylight out of us.  For me, that's low.  I read an amazing post from my Twitter friend Dustin's blog about the numbers that scare him.

Reading Dustin's story helped me feel better about the whole situation.  Life with D can be terrifying, plain and simple.

But it could always be worse.  Basal rates and insulin to carb ratios will be played with.  I will get this figured out.  Thanks for all the support!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

So J and I moved into our house about a year ago.

We still have a ton of boxes left to unpack (shocking, right?).  Last week, we purchased a mattress for the guest room.  Which is currently full of boxes.

So this weekend, J and I decided to get some spring cleaning done.

Papers were filed, boxes were sorted through, things were put in the donation box or the trash.  Whew!  Exhausting stuff.

Part of what I sorted through was a couple boxes of D supplies.  Now, remember, we just moved a year ago.  Why on earth do I still have all this stuff?

Seriously?  I really moved all this crap?  Why?  So here's what I found:
  • empty Quick-set boxes
  • empty reservoir boxes
  • Minimed supply catalogs circa 2006
  • an empty IV3000 box
  • an empty Skin-Prep box
  • Minimed computer software circa 2005
  • oh, and this stash of expired Sof-sets from who-knows-when

Now there were a few things I was excited to see:

Two 50-unit syringes (yay, I can add them to my current backup stash of one...), a Sof-serter, and an unexpired reservoir.  Woohoo!

But what I was most surprised to see?  This:

Three meters!  Count 'em, three!  Now, this does not count my UltraLink or my backup UltraSmart.  One Accu-Check Aviva and two BD Logic meters.  Didn't even know I had them.

Isn't it amazing what you can find?

So I cleared out all the trash (yes, I recycled the paper products) and wouldn't ya know, there's a lot more room in that closet.  And I feel like I actually accomplished something this weekend.

Please let me know if you (or someone you know) is in need of one of these three meters (the Aviva and Logics) or a Sof-serter.  I'd love for them to go to someone who can actually use them.

And I'm so using that long-lost reservoir on my next set change!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just Visiting...

Today, I have the great honor of visiting my friend Kim's fabulous blog Texting My Pancreas for a guest post.  Head on over here and check it out!

While you're there, be sure to check out some of Kim's posts if you haven't already.  She's pretty amazing!

Thanks, and have a great day! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011


I wasn't expecting to feel so emotional about all of this.

Yesterday was the beginning of JDRF Government Day (well, days).  I knew it was coming, and had been looking forward to reading tweets and blogs from some of my favorite DOCers who were lucky enough to be able to participate.

So my day yesterday was completely unproductive.  I spent the day following the #JDRFGovDay hashtag on twitter, reading tweets from Kelly, Kerri, Scott, Kim, Scott, Mike, Allison, Cherise, and Kelly.

Thanks, guys, for tweeting!  It made those of us who couldn't attend feel more involved.  And even better than the tweets?  Video! JDRF Advocacy live-streamed one of the blogger roundtable discussions with some of the aforementioned people (view the video here).  Seriously--you should watch it!  I've also been promised the other roundtable (with more of the aforementioned) will be up on YouTube soon.

I was feeling very irritable and tired yesterday (I blame the time change), and actually wasn't sure if I wanted to watch the webcast.  Wasn't really feeling up to it.  But I decided to watch it anyways.  Boy, am I glad I did.

I was surprised at the strong emotional reaction I had to the discussion.  It was wonderful to see and hear some of these DOC people I consider friends.  To see their faces.  To hear what they had to say.  At moments I laughed.  Other moments had me in tears (K2 and Cherise, I'm looking at you).

When it was over, I felt so encouraged and empowered.  Yes, the JDRF has shown a staggering lack of support for adult T1s in the past.  But it seems like they're really moving in the right direction.

Reading tweets last night about the presentation from JDRF CEO Jeffrey Brewer was the icing on the cake.  I was out to eat with my husband and parents, and was THIS CLOSE to bursting into tears in public.

I was so inspired, I spent the evening watching this video of Dr. Aaron Kowalski talking about the Artificial Pancreas Project.  It made me feel very hopeful for the future.

Life with D is REALLY HARD!!!  To see the JDRF finally giving some support to us grown-up T1s is truly moving.  It caught me off guard.  I really was not expecting the emotional reaction I experienced.

So thanks to all my DOC friends for participating in Government Day and keeping us posted.  Thanks to JDRF for reaching out to adult PWD.  And thanks to everyone who's involved in Government Day for advocating for us.  For me.

I'm looking forward to more tweets and blog posts in the coming days about it all.  And yes, I'll keep the tissues handy.

*to become a JDRF Advocate, visit their site, Please do it!*

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Should Know Better

So.  About last night...

Well, Wednesday night, technically.  I went to the gym. Yay me!  30 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minute walk around the track.  Was feeling pretty good about myself. 

Get home. Check bg and it's 193.  A little high, so I take the correction suggested on my pump.  And you know what, my stomach kind of hurts.  I've had some trace and small ketones after working out the last few times.

So I go check, and that stick turns an ugly shade of purple.  PURPLE? SERIOUSLY?

Large ketones?  Umm, I couldn't tell you the last time I had large ketones!

By this point, I have the urge to both vomit and cry.  Ugh!

Thankfully, before this I had hopped on Twitter to ask other PWD's about post-exercise ketones.  This was before I knew they were large, however.  Now, I hopped back on, totally freaking out.  Typing like mad whilst chugging water at a superhuman rate (which is exactly what I felt like doing since I wanted to vomit--NOT).  And yes, I was sure my set was fine because I was coming down.

image credit here
DOC to the rescue!  Oh, I also had a total meltdown and called my mom at 10:30 at night balling my eyes out.  Sorry mom.  And thanks.

So, thanks to my mom and some great friends, I was able to figure out the most likely cause of my ketones.

Flashback to Wednesday afternoon.  At work, I pigged out on some food I probably shouldn't have eaten.  This resulted in a SWAGfail (though I was still in the low 200s).  So I wasn't hungry later that evening.  Idiot moment number one: I went and worked out without eating anything.  Sigh.  Yes, I really did that.

Idiot moment number two: haven't been drinking much water lately.  Didn't take any to the gym either, so I'm sure I was dehydrated.  Yes, I really did that too.

Ergo the large ketones.  So even with the urge to vomit, I choke down a Luna bar, followed by more water.  And wouldn't you know, the ketones were gone within the hour.

I'm generally not a big fan of the generic tan color, but boy was I happy to see it on that ketone stick!  Whew!  Was ready to call the endo on call at the hospital, but relieved I didn't have to.
So lesson learned.  I will make a point to drink more water (especially on workout days) and will never go to the gym without eating again!

So big thanks to my mom, who always makes me feel better.  And thanks to all my Twitter friends, especially Scott, Abby, Scott, Dana, and Ashley.  Thanks for helping me calm down and figure this out.  And for not judging me since I should know better.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I've mentioned before how wonderful and supportive my husband is.  In addition to all of that, he doesn't complain about me spending copious amounts of time on Twitter, and listens to me ramble on about whatever posts by fellow bloggers were fantastic on a given day.

This may take the cake.

My previous post titled Note To Self! is about me leaving blood smears around the house.

Last night, we had the following conversation.

Him: "There's blood on the lightswitch in the bathroom."

Me: "Oops, sorry about that."

Him: "Do you want me to leave it there so you can take a picture?"

How could I not post a pic after that?  So here you go:

Thanks for being so supportive, honey! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just Do the Next Thing

I love the Diabetes Online Community (DOC)!  Words cannot express how much you all have inspired and helped me since I found you a few months ago.  You.  Are.  Wonderful.

I love chatting with people on Twitter and reading other D-blogs (please check out the list to the right).  As I've blogged about before, I've been trying to work my way through some wicked burnout.  Some days are good, some days not so much.

On days when my bgs behave (like my no-hitter), it feels like I'm making progress.  On days like yesterday when I'm stuck on the glucoaster, it feels like I'm going nowhere at all.

Right now, I'm feeling stuck.  I know I've made progress.  I know my next A1C is going to be lower, at least by a bit.  At the same time though, it feels like I have so far to go.

Before I found the DOC, my averages were terrible.  I was running in the upper 200s and 300s ALL THE TIME.  Most of this was due to my emotional eating.  I've struggled with that for a long time.  I'm still struggling with it.  If I'm stressed or upset, I eat junk, SWAG bolus, and wind up stuck high for hours and hours.

I did it to myself yesterday.  A bad bg day made even worse by my decision to pig out on peanut m&m's.  My CGM graph was not pretty.  And then the guilt sets in.  I'm a terrible diabetic, why did I do that to myself, etc...

Today's going better.  So far, I've resisted the giant bowl of candy at work.  So why do I still feel like I'm failing?

I read about other people who have their CGM high alarms set at 180, or even 160.  Seriously?  Mine's at 200.  I can't even imagine setting it at 160.  That's a pretty darn good 2-3 hour post meal bg for me.  On my no-hitter day, I went into the 170s, but I still counted it as a no hitter because I didn't trip my high alarm.  It still counts, right?

And A1C's in the 5s and 6s?  Yikes!  I'm just trying to get in the lower 7s right now.  I can't even imagine having an A1C that low.  That's incredible to me.

I'm just venting here.  This is not meant to make anyone feel badly.  I DO want to know about my friends' successes and celebrate with all of you! I mean that!  Please don't stop sharing them with me!

Sometimes, I just feel like I'll never get there myself.  Like I'm doomed to fail.  Now, I know that's not true.  My last A1C had come down a little.  Overall, I'm eating healthier.  Though I'm still struggling with emotional eating, it's not as bad as it was.  I've lost ten pounds in focusing on eating to try to keep bgs in check (mostly).  I'm not seeing 300 very often.

All of these things are huge successes for me.  But today, for some reason, it doesn't feel like enough.  I still have moments of burnout; moments where I feel like giving up and craming everything in sight into my mouth.

On days like this, my mom always tells me to just do the next thing.  Just take that next blood sugar.  Just give that one correction.  Just treat that one low.  Just count the carbs in this one meal.

So just do the next thing, Jess.  True, I've got a ways to go, but look how far I've already come.  That can be tough to rememeber.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Faves

It's Friday!  Hallelujah!

Today, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite posts from fellow D-bloggers this week.  They made me smile, cry, and sometimes both at once.

Which makes me think, "I like smiling! Smiling's my favorite!" (if you don't get the reference, I'm not sure we can be friends).

Anyways, here they are, in no particular order...

1. Holly blogs about being Overwhelmed.  We all have a lot to handle each and every day.  Sometimes, it feels like you just can't cope with anything else.

2. Mike writes about his amazing Type 3 in his post My Wife Is Awesome.  Also features my most favorite YouTube video EVER!  You have to watch it!

3. If you've ever battled with your insurance company, you'll love Jacquie's post about The Five Stages of Health Insurance Grief.  Thanks for sharing, friend.

4. A good doctor is hard to find.  George writes about some hope for No More Sawblades.

5. And finally, Simon gives some DOC love in his Letter To My Endo.  Hilarious and hearfelt!

Well, that's it for me!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Things That Make Me Smile

Some things just make me smile!

So I know some amazing kiddos at a local elementary school.  Turns out, last Friday, they had a hat day at school.  As you may (or may not) remember, hats are generally a no-no at school.

So why the hat day, you ask?  Well, it was a fundraiser.  For what, you ask?


image credit here

Turns out there's a T1 girl who attends the school.  Her family organized the fundraiser.  The kids could wear a hat to school for a day if they made a donation to JDRF.

Those kids raised over $600 in one day!

So thanks, kids!

Warm fuzzies!