Nov 02 2014

What Diabetes Awareness Month Means to Me

It’s that time of year again…November. November is diabetes awareness month

Today’s Blog Post: What Does Diabetes Awareness Month Mean to Me?

This month is special to me because I feel united with others. Because diabetes is such an individual experience I spend most of my time feeling alone. I’m often the loan diabetic in the room or the lone “diabetic that prioritizes management” and because of that I enjoy embracing all that November has to offer. The diabetes walks, the stories shared by others, the educational seminars, the concern…in short, the attention.  Finally, the seriousness of diabetes gets its fair shot at getting everyone’s attention.

 

I enjoy talking about diabetes with others and during the month of November I get to do that more often.

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Oct 11 2014

Getting Ready for the Big Blue Test!

I am going to do the Big Blue Test this year and my goal is to do it EVERYDAY!!!

If you’re diabetic, please join me and HUNDREDS of other diabetics who will test their glucose, workout for at least 14 minutes, then test their glucose again, and log their results. If you’re not diabetic, please support me and others by giving us encouragement. Diabetes is a 24/7 chronic illness and sometimes we get burnt out with thinking like a pancreas. Your support is appreciated.

As an inspiration, I did the Big Blue test this morning after waking up to an abnormally high reading and here are my results.

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I woke up 177 (should be less than 130)

I went for a brisk vigorous walk for 30 minutes

I tested again and I was 101

 

I am so encouraged!!!! Exercise is just so darn awesome! If an apple nature’s candy, exercise is nature’s medicine.

For more information about the Big Blue Test, please click the logo. For every person that logs their glucose readings from Oct 20th – Nov 19th, a $1 will be donated. 

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Sep 10 2014

Diabetes Blues

I came into 2014 with the diabetes blues. It gets us all at some point. I’ve worked so very hard to get myself on a routine, to keep my glucose levels low, but nothing I was doing was working any more.

While others had warned me about Diabetes Burn Out, I hadn’t expected it to last so long. But it has.

I am, however, working my way out the funk.

One meal at a time.

One trip to the gym at a time.

One dosage of Metformin at a time.

Because I am determined to be the master of my fate.

I am determined to keep on fighting.

I see where those who don’t work themselves out of the funk end up and they are my inspiration.

Every person who has died too soon,

gone blind too soon,

lost a limb too soon

are my inspiration to get back in the game.

To not stay down when I’m living the Diabetes Blues.

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May 16 2014

We Had A Good Thing (My 1st Poem About Diabetes)

Although I’ve been writing poems since I was 12 years old, this is my first poem about diabetes.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think about it–I put my heart and soul into it.

If you want the link, it’s https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3rZAvlaty4

Apr 28 2014

Great New Book on Diabetes Burnout

Yes, I am a diabetes blogger. Yes, I talk about diabetes all the time. But the truth is…diabetes is completely exhausting at times. To have to ALWAYS think about what your pancreas is or isn’t doing is another full time job and sometimes I just want to quit.

And, I’m not alone.

We do quit. Some for an hour, some for a day, some for weeks.

We just need a break.

Fortunately, the majority of us work our way back into the groove.

I have been dealing with burnout for the past few months and so I was eager to see that Ginger Vieria’s latest book Dealing with Diabetes Burnout is now available for pre-sale. Oh what Joy!!

I hope you’ll join me in reading it!

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 10.40.23 PMHere’s a sneak peak of page 98…

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Apr 01 2014

The Color Run…So Much Fun, but NEVER AGAIN!

The Color Run in Abu Dhabi was amazing!

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The Color Run is a run for the entire family. Big kids and little kids alike can enjoy a 3 mile walk with a smile. It’s like a street party. The winners of the color run are not the people who finish first, it’s the people who get splattered with the most paint. Some people lay down, roll around, dig in buckets, and do whatever else comes to mind to make sure they finish the race without any clean spots.

I had planned to do it in 45 minutes, but that plan went out the window very quickly. The first station was yellow and that’s where I realized that you can’t keep a pace when people are laying on the ground in front of you and others are tossing paint on you.

 

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So, after the yellow station, I decided…”what the heck, just enjoy the walk like everyone else.”

At the blue station, I went for it!  I figured what better color station to stop at and have a party than at the color of diabetes advocacy and awareness.

 

IMG_1598As much fun as I had why wouldn’t I do it again?

Because that paint ruined my Brooks running sneakers and the inside of my car. The paint stained everything it touched. I was able to wash it out of most things, but not everything. Only if they supply shower stalls, would I consider it again. So be warned, if you decide to do the color run…wear shoes you care less about and change ALL your clothes before getting in the car.

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Dec 21 2013

You Only Get One (a non-diabetic post)

As the year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the choices that I made in life that have landed me here. Here in this place in my life, here alive on this day, here in this location, here at this stage of life. Here, in every sense of what it means to be here. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, and psychologically. I am here because of a series of choices, or moments in time, where I either make the right decision or the wrong one or the one that was right for me at that point in time. So, at the close of 2013, I find myself thinking about the moments in time I have been given.

We only get one.

One moment in time.

We get one moment to make a decision that may positively change our lives forever.

We only get one moment to love, to love without hesitation, to be all in.

One moment to forgive,

one moment to forget what you’ve forgiven.

One moment to allow someone to love you.

One moment to wrestle with your brokenness and fix it.

One moment in the spotlight.

One moment to shine, to laugh, to share the burden that a friend is carrying alone.

One moment to start a workout routine, to begin your book, to travel to that place you’ve wanted to visit for years.

One moment to open a savings account and actually save, one moment to celebrate the life you’ve been given, one moment to dance for no reason.

 

It may seem as if you have moments again, but you don’t. Ask anyone who has lost someone and they’ll tell you. They had just one moment to say “I love you” for the last time, just one moment to laugh or cry with that person, one moment to let that person know just how important they are to them.

We get one first moment. When we don’t use that moment correctly, it is a choice, a gamble, and a hope that we’ll get that moment again. But you never get that first moment again. If you are lucky you get one moment at a second try, but the same moment is never reincarnated.

 

As I reflect on 2013, I can see in the review mirror some pretty sad and low moments, but also so amazingly exciting ones too. I learned that I can’t control the storms of life because they are coming no matter what my choices are, but I can make sure that I cherish all the beautiful moments in time I’ve been given.

Dolphin Watching a beautiful moment in time

Dolphin Watching was one of the beautiful moments in time I had this year

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Dec 03 2013

Review of Glucerna Advance

I have been enjoying drinking Glucerna shakes for the past two years. Until now, my favorite has been the Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes. I drink them on my busy mornings as a breakfast replacement. They are perfect for when I am in a rush and need something tasty, filling, and quick. 

 However, in the UAE, I have only been able to find Glucerna in the can.

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Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

Once you have had liquid Glucerna, the powder mix does not stand a chance. For example, the pictures of “Exhibit A” and “Exhibit B” are of the canned power mix that I bought two months ago. It remains almost full because I have only used it twice. Which is why I was completely excited when Ben Murray contacted me about trying the latest Glucerna shake…Glucerna Advance. 

I received two chocolate and two vanilla. I only tried the vanilla since I don’t like the taste of chocolate (You’re in dismay huh? I get that all the time. You read it correctly, I don’t like chocolate. But think positively…that means there is more chocolate in the world for you).

I drank the first one by itself. It was okay, but I like the taste of the Glucenra Hunger Smart Shake slightly better.  The vanilla in this one seems more subtle in comparison. I drank it as a breakfast replacement and my blood sugar was fairly stable (I was impressed). The Glucerna Advance has “carb steady” in it (CARBSTEADY ULTRA is a slowly digestible carbohydrate blend designed to help minimize blood sugar spikes). Before the shake I was 139 and two hours later I was 130. I thought that was pretty awesome. I’ll trade the bold vanilla flavor in one shake for the reduction in spikes any day.

For the second taste test, I decided to follow a recipe that was printed on the enclosed letter. DSCN2648 I have never used Glucerna to make a smoothie (although I enjoy making smoothies), so this was right up my alley. The only thing I was missing was the flaxseed (haven’t found any yet and didn’t bring them with me to the UAE).

DSCN2615I didn’t have fresh strawberries, so I used frozen ones.

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DSCN2623DSCN2624The smoothie turned out pretty good. I liked it much better as a smoothie. But, I started thinking…I wonder if it’ll taste even better if I add a few pieces of mango to it?  I’m a Florida girl who grew up with two mango and two avocado trees in my backyard. Any chance I get to had mango to something, I take it!

DSCN2637I poured the smoothie back in the blender, added a little mango, and…

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WHOOP THERE IT IS!!!

(Yes, I know that’s completely old school and NO ONE says that anymore, but if you know what I mean then you’re old school too. LOL).

 

Glucerna Advance as a Vanilla, Strawberry, Mango Smoothie ROCKS!!!!

 

 

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I was not paid for this post. I did receive the Glucerna products used in the post and a lunch bag. Although it is adorable, the free lunch bag did not influence my review. Thank you Abbott and Ben Murray of CooperKatz. IMG_9728

 

Nov 16 2013

The Diabetes Walk that I Didn’t Walk

I was so excited about attending my first diabetes walk in the UAE. Walk 2013 was going to be my moment to triumph. The doors opened at 2pm and I made sure that I was there on time.

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I am ready!

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I saw a bike challenge and thought that it would be a good idea.

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…but I was wrong. The challenge was 10 minutes and it was a 2 mile incline. Doing this in the 2pm desert heat, before the race, resulted in me having a slight heat stroke. I was SO sick. I needed juice for my glucose but there was NO juice in sight. I also needed to get out of the sun, but there was no place to rest in the air condition.  So, the medical team had to treat me with a hydration concoction while sitting on a golf cart in the middle of the heat.

My advice for the planning committee is to always have juice available at a Diabetes walk. Exercise burns sugar and after a 5k race, many might need some.

I have learned that walks or races that involve being left in the heat are not good for me and I must never assume that a diabetes walk would have items to raise one’s glucose levels, so prepare my own stash of supplies.

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By the time the race began at 5pm, I had to say goodbye. Perhaps, if I am blessed to attend again, I will arrive just moments before the race starts so that I am not exhausted by the sun and dehydrated.

Nov 09 2013

My First Run

A few months ago, with the support of my husband and my friend Amy, who lives in Qatar, I decided to participate in the Dubai Women’s Run (5k). 

Training for the 5k was a little more challenging for me than for those who can follow the Couch-to-5k app. My training went like this…

Step 1: Walk for 30 mins at a moderate pace. Check glucose. Oh shoot, I am low. Stop. Eat some apple slices. Walk the rest of the 5k. Don’t worry about how long it takes, just finish. It took more than hour, huh? Well, at least you made it.

Step 2: Spend days/weeks moving from a 30 minute glucose check to 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, check glucose. Walk the rest of the 5k at a moderate pace, don’t worry about the time, just finish. Made it in an hour.

Step 3: Walk for 1hr while maintaining good glucose levels. Don’t worry about the kilometers, just walk for an hour.

Step 4: Try to finish 5k in under an hour while maintaining good glucose levels.

 

That was how I trained and it was based upon that training schedule that I set a goal of completing 1k in 15 mins.

 

Yesterday, at the race, I made my goal!! I feel great! I completed the 5k in 45:55 (that is 14:46 per kilometer).

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The lineup started at 6:30am and the race began at 7amDSCN2045

Sun rising…

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I checked my glucose before the race began 

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There were so many people there (over 3,000)

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Tegla Loroupe the Kenyan track and field legend opened the race

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Trying to find my friend Amy in the crowd

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I found her

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This is the look of determination. All I saw was the finish line and nothing else mattered

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The end, I felt like a champ

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…and I have a medal to show for it

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Checked my glucose immediately after crossing the line and getting some water

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Met some other ladies along the way.

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The course.

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What an AWESOME experience. I never knew a race could be so much fun. And, it was a for a great cause–Breast Cancer Awareness. 

 

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