Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Energy & Guilt

Will someone please explain to me why I wanna run rampant when my blood sugar is way out of whack and want to sit on the couch like a bump on a log when it's in-range?

So my struggle to eat healthier at home was made a little worse because I'm staying with my grandparents for a few weeks while my aunt's out of town. My grandma doesn't speak English at all so it makes it difficult to explain why I'm eating the way I am. All she can garner is that I want to lose some inches around my waist. However, because she's my grandma, all she ever wants to do for me is cook. Then, every night when anyone in the family calls, she tells them all about how I'm refusing to eat her cooking.

A few months ago I felt guilty for eating so much and now I feel guilty for eating so little. Despite this life being mine to live and enjoy, I like making my parents and grandparents happy. The little power struggles over eating make it hard.

So what foods do you eat that give you more energy? What are foods that are supposed to give you energy and don't? Any healthy happy mood foods?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Free Pass Cause of D

I was diagnosed in May when I was in the 4th grade of school. It was just after NJ had instituted state exams for periodic education tests in the 4th, 8th, and 12th grades.

Because I was in the hospital when they were giving the exam, I got a phone call from my teacher while I was laying in the hospital bed watching daytime soaps informing me that not only was the ever awesome Mary Tyler Moore a fellow Type 1 who was living with the disease, but also that I didn't have to worry that I was missing 3 days of sitting through 6 hours of testing.

No silly #2 pencils.

No little filling in circles within the lines.

No writing three 5-paragraph essays based on pictures.

AND No making it up later!

It was pretty awesome as a 9-year old to rub that in my friends faces two weeks later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Pain = No Gain

So I've made it 10-days without diet coke and mostly healthy eating (see wicked unhealthy weekend [and I swear I'm not REALLY a new-englander])... Surprisingly that's the really easy part as long as I can put down my foot with my family/pick healthier choices when I'm out with my friends.

Exercise, however, never ceases to be hard. I started out sticking to mostly in-door workouts (the Wii fit or Riding the Wave [cheesy yes, but it's burning calories]) because of the weather. Plus, trying to make sure I'm doing it right helps to distract from the pain more often than not.

Unfortunately, coordination is not my strong suit. I feel like as I start a work out I'm coherent and strong and focused and then the longer it goes on the more my brain seems to lose concentration. My arms and legs end up going every which way until I look like I'm doing the chicken-dance.

I always imagine that this fuzzy brain feeling has something to do with diving blood sugar numbers, but that's NEVER the case. It's always stable/coasting or much higher than I expect it to be. It's a blue moon when I need to treat a low while I'm exercising.

So I wonder: How do you keep your focus when working out? How often does that fuzzy brain feeling set in while you're exercising? and most importantly, does the big bad D make you less coordinate?

ALSO: Any recommendations for protein powder without artificial sweeteners / sugar?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Climbing to Better Days

So this weekend was amazing. Partly because my parents were out of town (thus, I managed to find my ever absent social life) and partly because my friends make my world go around. I spent Friday night into Saturday night in Boston and then manage to catch appetizers and a movie with one of my favs from CT further up into northern MA.

BUT all of that ridiculousness along with very little sleep and father's day meant that I slept for about 10 hours over two evenings. I also haven't worked out since Friday afternoon or eaten quite as healthy as I originally planned. Not a lot of vegetables or fruit those two days...

Boston on Saturday was pretty awesome because I forgot that there was the Stanley Cup Parade. The city was a madhouse even though we went in just after the parade had ended. My buddy J and I grabbed some mexican food mear the downtown crossing stop (fajitas are fairly healthy) and then walked to Mass General (about a mile). We wandered around the hospital and checked out the Ether dome, which is where Ether and modern anesthesia were really "discovered". We walked another 1.5 miles in the 90-degree weather to the Back Bay T-stop and rode back to his place to soak in some AC while watching an episode of project runway.

My bro wanted to hang out for a little bit (needed some sisterly advice), which required a little navigating of Cambridge with a dropping BG and driving with glucose tabs. After that we grabbed a cheeseburger sub from this cool place called Pizza Vazza. I decided the sisterly thing to do was leave the fries for him to chow on later.

Back in the car to drive an hour North towards NH, I finally arrive sans BG issues to my next destination. My friend S and I grab our tickets to see The Art of Getting By. Since we had an hour to kill, we chilled at some place called Joe's and noshed on some yummy ahi tuna chips that were delicious and low carb. The movie was not quite were we expected, but I loved when Freddy Highmore said he was allergic to his own hormones. I totally feel that as a diabetic.
The super fun part was when I realized my pump ran out of insulin in the middle of the movie. There were extra supplies in the car but I wast exactly down with doing a site change at midnight in the dark of my car. I injected some insulin the old fashioned way but I was worried when it just oozed out of my skin. Two shots later, I ended up with way too much insulin on board. It worked out in the end with lots of glucose tabs but it wasn't fun by any means.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Doctors!

Today was the first day towards feeling better about my health care team.

First, a little background: My last doctor (Dr. Not So Awesome) was a very nice endocrinologist who grated on my nerves. I had picked her randomly out of a insurance line up because she was the first on I found taking new patients near where my parents new locale. She was like a little diabetes machine...for older patients. While she was okay that I was on a pump and she wrote the prescription for my CGM, she didn't get it or like it AT ALL. She didn't understand the college thing and the crazy schedules. After 2 appointments, she decided to shrug me off and into the arms of her nurse practitioner (NP), who was better by all means but not anything spectacular. The NP ignored the numbness in my hands without even giving me a possible cause (carpal tunnel, anyone?), but she was otherwise bearable. So when I visited Dr. Not So Awesome in March and she proceeded to berate me and talk to me like I was a child, I ended up angry and crying in my car. At that moment I realized that with all the stress in my ridiculously busy and career-oriented life, my Diabetes doctor should not be stressing me out.

I drove home and decided that I needed to get back to someplace that accepted technology, understanding, and support. That's why I called up an outpatient Joslin Clinic. I went to one for 6 years in NJ and I knew that their attitudes were what I needed.

My new Endo is leaps and bounds better. I was a little wary because of her thick accent, but she was astounded by how well I take care of myself. Flattery is the key to good reviews (jk). She was actually sincere when she said I was one of the good patients. My HbA1c on their rapid test was 6.2, which is pretty much where I wanted it to be. She didn't want to change anything about my basal rates or bolus ratios. She told me to keep relaxing and exercising and to see her at the end of the summer.

The only kind of scary thing that we spent a few minutes discussing was the extra 15 or so pounds I've gained in the past 2 years of graduate school. She said that if the exercise doesn't help with loosing those pounds and increasing my insulin sensitivity, I may need to go on metaformin. Apparently, with my family history and my new luggage that I'm trying to lose, insulin resistance may be playing a role. She said not to worry about it just yet through. Still scares me a little bit. More meds? I have a hard time remembering to take my daily vitamins everyday. Bolusing is usually a little more memorable cause that blocky pancreas (MM pump) is attached to me and it happens at random times. Anyone have tips for sticking to schedules?

Climbing Swirls of Frozen Yogurt

So yesterday was the first sunny day in NH for a week, aka my first week here. I was actually disappointed because it was the first day I had plans to do something fun.

I woke up and watched two YOU CAN DO IT! project videos and cried three times (Yes, one video made me cry twice). Motivated myself to work out for 30 minutes trying to a little more yoga and strength training instead of aerobics (must built muscle, must speed up metabolism).

My afternoon was spent managing the drive into Boston. I went to visit my younger bro for much needed sibling video game time. We played through the first 3 chapters of the co-op of Portal 2 over...3 hours? I made the mistake of meeting my friend at his apartment, which required me to drive through Cambridge in the middle of rush hour. Apparently, he works 2 T-stops from where my brother goes to school. Silly Boston!

My buddy and I decided to grab Thai food followed by frozen yogurt. This was easily the largest meal I've eaten in a week. After SWAG bolusing and re-bolusing, my blood sugar crept up twice past 200 according to my Dexcom (Eggy to the rescue...). Sometimes, I get worried about over-reacting to the Dex. I keep bolusing and bolusing without checking how many lingering units are in my body (active-ins). Anyone have any tips for checking how long active ins actually stay in and effective? My doctor had me set my active-in time to 3 hours wayyyy back when and I have a feeling it's changed. Post-prandials only seem to check I:C ratios...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Parents Just Don't Understand

Patience is the key when living at home. Unfortunately, it's been less than a week and my patience is already wearing thin. My mom wants me to start organizing stuff in the house and chucking stuff. I am cute and smart, but I am not a minimalist. I'm their kid. I like my stuff. She proceeded to wander around my bedroom for 5 minutes poking and prodding the boxes. "Why did you buy a yoga mat? I have one downstairs." I know I could have parents who don't care, but right now, I'd like them to just be a little more understanding instead of inquisitive. Stress doesn't affect my blood sugar or mood at all, right? (exit sarcasm)

Today, I managed to get up and convince myself to eat some light breakfast (greek yogurt and a banana). I followed that up with some phone calls and apartment hunting online. Broke a sweat with 30 minutes on the Wii after confirming that the result of the number on the bathroom scale wasn't my imagination (because technology never lies). More water instead of soda or juice [Day 2]. I nibbled on a veggie burger between some slices of cabbage and managed to get only a smidge of the condiments on my pjs.

Mowed the lawn for my dad (aka he watched while I did most of it instead of going to the gym as he originally intended). Emptied the dishwasher. Watched alot of crappy tv. I can't seem to find anything to motivate me to explore NH especially when I have to wear an extra layer for warmth.

All in all, the monitoring and substituting food seems to be sticking and helping. Dexcom hasn't been alarming high all day and it's actually at an appropriate number before I'm going to bed. I've managed to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep for the past 4 days. Now to try a regular and preferably normal sleep schedule. Time to close the laptop and catch some zzzs.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Foods in Old Places

So I've moved out of my own apartment and into my parent's house for the summer, which means that I'm wayyy out of my comfort zone of living on my own. The first full day here, I was baffled as to what to eat for breakfast or dinner or a snack. I don't mean to imply that my parents don't have food in the fridge or a pantry full of edibles.

The problem is that it's not what I'm used to. There isn't a bowl full of apples on the counter or carrot sticks in the fridge. Despite my long standing gig with Diabetes, my parents don't quite understand that I've gotta watch what I eat. Food is their thing. They play with it and buy strange new things at the grocery store. They cook up odd combinations and insist I try it. They love putting things on my plate and watching like hawks til I swallow. When I come home for a weekend, I usually let it slide and play the food games. Whatever lands on my plate ends up with lots of SWAGed (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) dual wave boluses and lots of crossing my fingers.

Since I'm going to be staying with them for at least 2 months, I can't let that cycle continue. My recent strike against the extra few pounds and lack of breath while I exercise means that I'm looking for healthier ways to eat. In May when I saw my nutritionist, she recommended I add more protein to my diet. I know I have to cut back on the junk food and the carbs, so to encourage myself to at least snack right, I went out on a vegetable binge.

I picked up some multi-colored sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, and red cabbage. As soon as I got home from the grocery store, I washed all the vegetables. After that I proceeded to cut them all up in snack sized morsels, which led to my new found love of fresh pepper chips. Just good old fashioned fresh bell peppers cut into little triangles. The celery and the cucumbers were sliced into sticks. All of them made it into serving-ready tupperware containers in the fridge.

The cabbage is for during the week to replace bread on my sandwiches and burgers. I tried hot dogs in romaine lettuce a few months ago and it came out splendidly so I'm crossing my fingers on the red cabbage. All the colorful vegetables are supposed to add more vitamins into my day!

For the sake of protein, I picked up greek yogurt and low fat cottage cheese. I managed to eat a half a cup of cottage cheese while sitting on the the couch watching movies on this cold NH day. May need a way to make it more tasty, because it was awfully salty. Will have to experiment with spices and get back to you. Cinnamon may be the key...

Hopefully this revamping along with my pledge to drink nothing but water, milk, and juice instead of diet coke will speed my body's metabolism up. The 1.5 miles of biking should help too. Progress is key. Day 1 down.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I am...
  • Type 1 (for what I guestimate is 14 years)
    - No major complications (yet)
    - Slightly tingly extremities now and again
    - Self diagnosed with work induced carpal tunnel
  • Early/Mid-20s
  • Female
    - 3 Brothers (which makes my understanding of gender roles completely screwy)
  • Pumper
    - Minimed Paradigm
    - Dexcom (aka my egg)
  • Mild Technophile
    - HTC Aria (aka my very abused link to the world)
    - HP Tablet PC
  • Avid Rock Climber (thus the blog title)
    - Indoors (2 years)
    - Outdoors (3 years)
  • Biomedical Engineer (starting my PhD in t-minus 3 months)
    - Biomechanics
    - Physiological Modeling
  • All Over the North East of the U.S.
    - NJ for most of my past years (and the next few)
    - CT for all of my undergraduate and my master's degree (6 years)
    - NH (my parents moved further North about 3 years ago)
  • In Love With Bullet Points
I'm starting this mostly for myself as a motivator. I am making a promise to take better care of myself. Plus, as an engineer, I only get to write lab reports and grant proposals. Gotta use my writing skills before I start to lose them. Since I've got a summer break til I'm in school for another 4 years, I also need some way to bide my time. Come on back for more!