went for a walk today

May 4, 2012

I went for a walk today. By myself, with my iPod. That shouldn’t be a big deal, except it sort of was.

Background: About a year ago, I had to get some serious dental cleanings–underneath my gums, with laser treatments, because the gums had just begun to recede a little and possibility for infection was high. I have never had any cavities, and have always brushed and flossed, so I was surprised and not thrilled about my gums getting all sensitive (moody gums! who needs that?). That’s when I first learned about the connections between diabetes, heart disease, and gums. Criminey. Like we need one MORE diabetes-related complication to worry about.

My amazingly awesome dentist (I mean it, he’s wonderful) let me know that I couldn’t have the treatments while I was trying to get pregnant in case the fertility treatments actually worked, and by the way, all the fertility hormones I was taking were likely causing the problems with my gums and making the risk of gum disease even HIGHER. That’s JUST what I wanted to hear. EXCELLENT.

But I could appreciate the idea of not battling the hormone-intensive insulin resistance for 6-8 weeks, the amount of time needed for 4 extensive gum treatments and recovery. So I decided to pair the dental work and break from extra hormones/stress with some extra attention to my BG and taking care of myself, and thought what the hell, let’s throw some exercise in there as well just for fun.

I should explain–exercise has NEVER been fun for me. I have regularly exercised at a few times in my life, and the only time I didn’t absolutely hate it was when it was related to doing something else that I loved: marching band practice in high school, for example, or multi-day DisneyLand vacays, or other walking/touring vacations. I was doing those things because they were activities that I loved, and the exercise just came along with it. I could endure that as long as I had the other, better things to do for me.

Exercise to make my body more fit, healthier and feel better? Hell, no. I’ve also struggled through many a time period trying different exercise programs, plans, classes, videos, whatever, and hating the daylights out of it, and quitting almost immediately. I never enjoyed it. Ever.

So this decision to move my body through space and time with the only intent being “taking care of myself” was a big deal for me. I was prepared to hate it the same way I’d hated it all the times before. But I decided I was just going to try it, with no expectations and no big goals attached to it, other than just getting myself out the door and doing it.

I decided I would make it as easy as possible for myself. I would just walk, in our lovely cute neighborhood, in the morning before A. and Ms. Diva got up. I wouldn’t take either of our big dogs, because they sniff and ponder and pee and meander, and that’s annoying when I just want to move.  (did I just say that?) And I wouldn’t worry about how long or far or fast or anything I was going. I’d just go outside and start.

I loved it. LOVED it. That’s so cray-cray, I can’t even believe it. Truth.

So, I kept going! I walked about 30-40 mins. every other day, and then every day, and then I started going a little faster. Running? Sure. I was happy, so very happy. The endorphins lasted pretty much all day. I started losing weight. My insulin requirements kept going down, down, down. I was drinking apple juice for lows several times a day. Insulin resistance? Pretty much gone. I went through nearly 3 months like this, and was a changed woman.

Then sometime in mid-June, I woke up, put my feet on the floor and felt like someone was poking sharp knives up through my heel. Damn it. Hello, plantar fasciitis. Really? REALLY?!?

Hello, primary care doc. Hello, podiatrist. Hello, online searches for self-care. Hello, physical therapy and ice packs and stretching and new shoes and new socks and sleep splints and…and…for 6 months. Meh.

No more walks. I switched to a gym, rode exercise bikes, turned my iPod up really loud to drown out my pissiness at my right foot for hurting so much. Then I got bored with the gym, and the winter darkness and rain began, and life got back in the way and work got intense and so…the exercise stopped.

I walked for things I had to do, with Ms. Diva, with the family/dogs, to run errands, for events, etc. We went to Disneyland in the fall, and my foot made it through that okay. By this spring, it stopped feeling like it had shards of glass all up in it, and just ached sometimes. But I wasn’t walking for me anymore.

Lately, I’ve had enough of that. I’m not doing fertility treatments, it’s spring, the sun is out, the weather is gorgeous, and it’s time. I need this. I need to think again about taking care of me. Just for me.

So I went for a walk today. No running (although that would be my dream again someday), no expectations, just walked. Lady Gaga, Depeche Mode, U2, Joan Jett, and me. It ROCKED.


d-superpower (#HAWMC day 3)

April 3, 2012

If I had a superpower, it would be knowing which factor(s) played the most prominent role in whatever random, crazy-ass blood sugar (RCA BG) is showing up on my meter at that point in time. Hell, I’d like to be able to tell which factors were responsible for ANY type 1’s RCA BG! Wouldn’t that be so awesome? No more guessing! No more frustration!

Because, on any given day, some RCA BG shows up (let’s be real, sometimes there are more than one per day) and then I get to play the type 1 “Many Questions Game” to try and figure out what happened, and what to do next. Between equipment malfunctions, type 1 malfunctions, and regular life malfunctions, the number of factors playing a role is huge. Here’s a sample of an RCA BG situation of mine:

3pm. Meter says: 269 mg/dl. Dexcom says: 250 with 1 arrow going straight up ^, meaning the trend is that it’s rising at 2 mg/dl per minute. And the questions start piling up in my brain:

  • Did I eat lunch?
  • What time did I eat lunch?
  • How many carbs were in my lunch?
  • Did I bolus for the carbs in my lunch?
  • Did I SWAG (scientific wild-assed guess) the carbs in my lunch?
  • Did I correct for whatever BG was before lunch?
  • Do I have any IOB (insulin on board) now?
  • Is my pump tubing blocked?
  • Is my pump infusion site bloody, blocked or otherwise malfunctioning?
  • Did my pump site get disconnected?
  • Is my pump site getting too old?
  • Did I refill my pump with insulin this morning?
  • Did I use a new insulin infusion set?
  • Is my pump site in scar tissue?
  • Is my insulin at the end of the bottle, when it can get suspicious for some odd reason?
  • Was I low this morning and turned my basal rate down or off for a while, which F’s up the hours afterward?
  • Was I low this morning and turned my basal rate off, and did I forgot to turn it back on?
  • Did I forget to check earlier this morning for the stupid dawn phenomenon, and correct if it was high?
  • Did my dawn phenomenon go even higher than it usually does this morning?
  • How much caffeine have I had today? Have I had more caffeine than usual?
  • Have I exercised in the last 4 hours? 8 hours? 12 hours? 24 hours?
  • If I did exercise, what kind of exercise was it? aerobic or anaerobic? For how long?
  • Have I gotten up from my desk in the last several hours?
  • Did I eat something in the office kitchen when I was passing through earlier?
  • Did I bolus for whatever I ate, if I ate something?
  • Did I test before I ate, if I bolused?
  • What day of my cycle is it? One of the days each month when I need to crank the temp basal up? (Hello, PMS/insulin resistance!!)
  • Am I stressed–about work, about life, about anything specific? More stressed than usual?
  • Stressed about anything other than this high BG?!?!
  • If I am stressed, what amount of stress am I having and what’s my stress correction factor? How many insulin units per how much stress? HOW does one measure amounts of stress to allocate units of insulin for it?!?!

I got exhausted just typing these questions, nearly as badly as if I were dealing with them right now. With my superpower, I’d know both WHY the RCA BG was whatever # it was, and I’d know WHAT TO DO to fix it immediately and so it didn’t happen again. What a relief that would be.

No. More. Random. Crazy-Ass. Blood. Glucose!

For the wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (#HAWMC) prompt for Day 3: Superpower Day. If you had a superpower – what would it be? How would you use it?

belated saturday snapshots for Dblogweek

May 17, 2011

This weekend, we took a visiting college friend who had never been to San Francisco into the city to do all kinds of touristy things that are fun for locals too (even if they won’t admit it). Even though it’s been a few years since we lived south of the Golden Gate Bridge, the crazy urban details that mess with t1d management come back immediately.

It’s damn near impossible to know how much, how sporadic, or exactly how intense the city traversing is going to be, but it’s always there: The long slow incline up certain hills in Chinatown; insane inclines like Lombard and the south end of Masonic; the quick sprint needed to grab the 8x Stockton bus; and the power walk around Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.

I’d never “done” the city with a continuous glucose monitor before. It certainly helped, but I still had to guess how much to decrease the temp basal rate and for how long. I also had to SWAG a lot of the awesome food we had, from the yummy chicken veggie skewers in the Haight to the fresh sample at the fortune cookie factory, from the delish Ghirardelli chocolate at G. Square to the comfy clam chowder in a Boudin sourdough bread bowl. Despite my best efforts, I still had to chug the juicy juice–while riding the cable car and hiking to the awesome parking space we found on Lombard, among other places.

Anyway, we had a touristy kind of ball and so did our friend. Of course I took a ton of photos, a couple of them with the D all front and center. First time I’ve ever done that, and it was kind of cool.

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