Monday, February 13, 2017

Sherlock Holmes Is On The Case

Invisible illnesses are not easily detected.  Although they often leave strange clues, sometimes those clues seem to point toward something else.  The illness continues, masked behind the guise of another ailment.

It takes a highly skilled detective, like Sherlock Holmes, to gather the clues and piece them together to solve the puzzle.

This past weekend has been a bit rough.  I haven't been sleeping well the past few nights, mostly due to battling high blood sugars (from needing an increase in basal insulin and chasing protein) and not being able to fall asleep until late into the night.  Almost like insomnia.  I'm trying to shake it.  There's also been a lot of anticipation.

My lab work results were delivered.  I had no idea what to expect...good news?  Or bad news?  Was I infected with parasites?  Was my gut leaking horribly?  Was I allergic to something else?  Was I missing something?  Were my efforts doing anything worthwhile?

Dr. Goodyear led me back to his office and we exchanged pleasantries.  He then started by going over my blood lab work.  He had written notes and circled figures on the page that were of particular interest to him and, ultimately, me.  First was my CRP - high sensitivity marker.  This is the test that indicates the risk of potential cardiovascular diseases by measuring CRP, or C-Reactive Proteins, which are proteins in the blood which increase when general levels of inflammation are present in the body.  At my last appointment, my result was 3.5 (high risk).  Today, he was pleased to tell me my levels had dropped to 1.4 (low side of average risk).  Once I get it below 1.0, I will be at low risk and that is our goal!

He then went over my thyroid labs, since he wanted to make sure I was getting the right dose of Armour.  Free T4 came back at 0.7, slightly low.
Free T3 came back at 2.9, on the low side of normal. 
TSH came back at 0.45, which was right where he wanted it. 
He said that since my results came back low that I was getting a tiny bit too much, so I'm going to cut back my dose from 45mg twice a day to 45mg in the morning and 30mg at night.  This will also help my pills last a little longer.  Then came some big news. 

My thyroid peroxidase antibody levels - the antibodies that were attacking my thyroid - were nowhere near where they had been before! 
My initial result was 610 (super high!). 
My next result was 394, if you remember. 
Today...they were 52!!!! 
I was in shock!  I could not believe they had come down so much in just a year! 

"It's testament that what you've been doing is working!" he said. 

I grinned ear-to-ear as he asked if I had any other questions before he moved on.

To my gut health test. 

Questions?  What questions?  Keep going!  I want to hear more of the story!  What happens next?

Infections are a negative.
There is slight inflammation (no surprise there, for either of us.  My whole body is dealing with inflammation and, since the immune system is primarily in the gut, it's only natural to expect inflammation there).
No digestive insufficiencies.
A few slight imbalances.
A low diversity association of gut bacteria but relative abundance.

What does that all mean?

Basically, I am lacking a little bit in the Good Bacteria Department, but I have no issues in the Bad Bacteria Department.

My lactobacillus came back lower than he would've liked, so his recommendation was to add a probiotic to my supplementation regimen.  It should help balance things out so that my good bacteria has a chance to thrive.   

He then said I was negative for any parasitic activity, which was a huge relief!  It felt amazing to know there weren't any extra pieces to the puzzle we had to address, or mysteries to solve.  Some simple probiotics, which I had been wondering about anyway, seemed to be one of the answers I needed.

He also suggested that it might be possible that the gut inflammation could be caused by something I'm eating.  The 4 main food culprits are soy, wheat, dairy, and eggs, so he said to try a 3-month elimination diet with one of those foods and slowly reintroduce it back to see if I notice any reactions to it (he said I would know if I was having a reaction to it). 

Since I'm already avoiding wheat and I rarely eat soy (although I will pay close attention to labels to be sure), we decided I should start with dairy, since that's a big part of my diet (butter, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese).  I agreed to give it a try so that, as soon as all of the dairy products that are currently in my fridge have been devoured, this next puzzle piece can be checked.  I will instead search out dairy alternatives - almond milk yogurt, ghee, goat's milk cheese, etc.  Who knows?  I may even find some new food items I like!

This health journey has been one mystery after another.  It took me 20 years and several doctors before I found my Master Detective.  If you ever find yourself needing a good detective to help you get to the bottom of a case of invisible illnesses, I cannot recommend Dr. Goodyear enough.  He has been amazing in helping me get to the bottom of my health issues...even ones I didn't even know I had!  I'd say he's a real Sherlock Holmes!    

Monday, January 16, 2017

Finally Moving Forward Again

Today I went to my holistic doctor to get lab work done, including for my thyroid.  I also ordered the gut health test that I started today at home that will tell my doctor a lot more about the state of my intestinal health, etc.  Once I complete the test and send in the kit, I'll get the results back in 4 weeks.  Praying that this will shed more light and give me more answers so I can continue to heal my body and stay on track health-wise. 

I'm continuing to see good blood sugars and I'm hoping to get my R insulin doses figured out so that I can eventually wean myself off Apidra.  Turns out my new insurance does not cover Apidra but I can get a vial of R for $25 at Walmart without an RX, so I'm not worried.

I'm still working on my nutrition schoolwork and it's going pretty well.  I'm almost through The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin and it's quite eye-opening.  I'm really enjoying everything I'm learning.  (Anything health-related that you see me posting on Facebook is from my nutrition schoolwork.  Just trying to share some of what I'm learning with everyone!)

I'm also enrolled in a training course for students who are learning how to proofread for court reporters.  I am planning on starting up my own work-from-home business doing this and I just finished the first level of training.  I'm preparing to enroll in the second level and continue with my work.  Step by step, I'll get there!  Pray for me as I work toward this goal.  I am really excited but also a bit nervous as I've never really been in business for myself.  I want to work as unto the Lord and do my best in everything I do.       

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why Cheating Is Not An Option

“You’ve earned the right to splurge a little.” 
“You deserve a little reward.”
“It’s okay, a little splurge won’t hurt.”

Have you ever heard these before?  Maybe they were said to you.  Maybe you yourself have said them.  They’re fairly common among dieters, especially anyone who’s trying to lose weight.  Unfortunately, they’re not the helpful pick-me-ups we think they are.  

Most people say things like this to praise dieters for their good work in sticking with their weight loss plan.  They do well and stay faithful to their eating plan for 6 days of the week, and “treat” themselves on the 7th day.  However, this sort of behavior not only hinders those dieters from accomplishing their goal, it also sets them up for more and more trouble in the future. 

More temptations.  “Just a little bite of this sweet thing won’t hurt…even though I’ve had one already…”
More excuses.  “I work so hard to stick to my diet.  Another little treat won’t hurt.” 
More slacking.  “I should have 2 cheat days instead of just 1.” 
Less faithfulness.  “I know I said I’d cut back on my cheating, but this will be the last time…promise.”

Personally, I get the feeling that some people think my low carb diet is a fad, or a short term modification from which I can deviate every now and then.  I suppose I should stop using the term “diet,” since it automatically carries such connotations.  To be clear, I follow a low carb lifestyle the same way I am committed to an exclusive, heterosexual marriage.  I vowed to remain faithfully married to my husband for life, no exceptions.     

Think about it.

Does staying faithfully married for X number of years give me the right to cheat on my spouse, even just once?  No!  In the same way, cheating on my low carb, gluten free lifestyle, even just for one day, or one meal, would wreak havoc on my system and make me feel awful.  It’s just not worth it.

I’m committed to my way of eating.  I’m committed to my spouse.  I don’t deviate.  I don’t cheat.  I don’t splurge.  I stay true and faithful.  That’s what commitment is.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  

I’ve come too far to fall off the path now.  I’d be throwing away everything for which I’ve worked so hard.  I successfully made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I will continue on this low carb lifestyle for the rest of my life, through every season, through pregnancy, through sickness and health.  It is key for me in regaining my health.  I’m pretty sure everyone wants me to continue to feel my best so I can spend and enjoy lots of time with them.  So that’s what I’m going to do.  

And if I ever feel the urge to splurge? 
It will be low carb all the way. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Today's appointment

Today's appointment went pretty well.  I wasn't sure what to expect as far as my A1C was concerned.  Turns out it went up a little.

A1C:  5.8 (120 mg/dl)

Carrie asked how things are going, if there were any changes, etc.  All clear and good.  Lab results came back normal for everything.  She asked about my Armour dose, pointing out that my TSH is low, and explained that holistic doctors usually run it low on purpose while treating T4 and T3.  I'll ask to have my thyroid labs tested by Dr. Goodyear in January, but I trust he knows what he's doing since TSH is meaningless on its own.

She also mentioned Tresiba and said if I was interested I could try it.  It's supposed to last longer than Levemir, and I've heard good things about it from other diabetics.  But I'm not sure yet if it would be something worth trying for myself.  I'll do a little more research first; for now I'm happy with the way Levemir is working for me.

I've pretty much figured out that the protein spikes are giving me the most trouble.  I'm constantly chasing them with Apidra and going as high as 180 sometimes.  I have decided to try regular insulin as Dr. B suggests and see how that works.  It's supposed to more closely match the protein rises I see when I eat.  Protein is something for which I have to give insulin, contrary to popular belief.  This is due to gluconeogenesis, the process by which protein and some fats are broken down into glucose.  I think with some trial and error and a few tips from Dr. B's book I'll be able to nail it down.  Then hopefully I'll be able to get my A1C down to 5, or into the 4s!            

Monday, December 12, 2016

How To Treat A Low Without Rebounding

Last night I got to try out my new treatment for lows.  I purchased a bag of pure dextrose from Amazon and it arrived the other day.  I've heard that dextrose works faster than the glucose in sugar cubes, which I've been using up to this point.  Here's what happened:

At midnight, I went to bed at 130 and took a 1 unit correction of Apidra along with 6 units of Levemir.  At 1:17am I was 107, and at 2am I was 94.  I typically check 2 hours after a correction to make sure it brought me down enough, and last night it did.  I went to sleep until about 4:45am, and checked my Dex to see that he was telling me I was low.  I checked and it said 58.  I hopped out of bed, grabbed the bag of Dextrose and a measuring spoon, and figured out how much I needed to eat.

Graph from Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution book

On the bag of dextrose, it told me that 1 tsp = 3g carbs
Since 1g raises my blood sugar by 5mg/dl, that means 3g raises my blood sugar by 15 mg/dl.  I figured that in order to go up to the 80s (30 points) I needed to eat 6g, or 2 tsp.  I waited and tested again at 5:09am and 5:24am.  I was 74, then 80.  So that tells me that my blood sugar rose by 22 points in 36 minutes.  I went back to sleep and woke up at 8am for my Levemir shot.  I was 92.  (I took 5 units this time, as I figure the extra unit at midnight might've been responsible for the low.)  As the graph shows, my number went up and stayed steady after I treated my low.  

If you know how much a single gram of carbohydrate affects you and you don't have a ton of insulin in your system, you can accurately treat lows without rebounding into the 200-300s or higher.  Low carb makes this possible.  The Law of Small Numbers rules.  Fewer carbs = less insulin = smaller mistakes.  It's just common sense.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Diabetes Personified

"If you could personify your diabetes or that of your loved one, what would it be like?  What would it look like, what would it say, what kind of personality would it have?  Use your imagination and feel free to use images, drawings, words, music, etc. to describe it." 
I've been sitting on this topic for a while.  I was originally going to write about diabetes personified as a horse, but I've changed my mind.    I have NO CLUE what could adequately personify diabetes.  Maybe I need to take a different approach.  Instead of thinking about something that already exists, maybe I need to create a personality for diabetes that's all its own.  Kind of like I do with my cats.  That's fun!

I frequently refer to my Dexcom as "Dex" and he has his own personality, which is totally separate from Diabetes.  Why don't we see what kind of a history Diabetes has...then maybe that will help us name and shape him.

The word diabetes comes from the Greek word διαβαίνειν (diabainein), meaning "to pass through," or siphon.  This term was used in the early 1st century by the Ancient Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia.  The condition was recognized by the "excessive discharge of urine."  (Appropriately enough, this was one of the symptoms that I experienced when I was diagnosed.)

Additionally, the Latin word mellitus was added to Type 1 diabetes to differentiate it from Type 2 diabetes.  Mellitus means "honey-sweet," due to the sweetness caused by excess sugar in a newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic's urine.  Type 2 diabetes is called diabetes insipidus (insipidus means "tasteless") because excess sugar is not present in the urine. 

I think if I had to name my Diabetes, I'd probably go with Si (short for Siphon).

Si is a character.  I've know him for pretty much all of my life.  I was not happy when he decided to become my life-long friend.  In fact, I viewed him as an enemy for about 18 years.  He was always making things difficult for me.  Or rather, I didn't know how to be a good friend to him.  He kept trying to tell me he didn't like all the sugar I was eating.  He'd send my blood sugars up sky high and I'd get frustrated with him (not realizing it was actually my own fault).  I couldn't understand why he wouldn't respond the way I wanted him to.  He had his own agenda, and it wasn't mine.  You could say he was sensitive.  Hmm.  Sounds like someone I know.

Here's an example conversation I might've had with him in the past.

Si ogles the mound of rice topped with beef and potato stew in my bowl.  "You're not really going to eat all those carbs, are you?  There must be 150 grams in that bowl!"
"I'll bolus for it.  I'm hungry, and this stuff is good!"
"Yeah, good luck with that.  Tell me how you feel afterward."
"Fine, I will."  I bolus and devour the whole bowl.  "Time for dessert.  I think there's one more serving of pudding in the fridge."
"More sugar?  You're asking for it."
"I'll bolus.  Quit your whining."
2 hours later...
"455?!  Why am I so high?  I bolused!"
"Told you so.  Now you have to correct."
"Ugh!  Why didn't the insulin work the first time like it was supposed to?"
2 hours later...
"79?  I'm low!  Now I gotta raid the fridge!  Why'd I eat all the pudding?"
"You're actually fine..."
"Where's the food?  I need SUGAR!"
"Sigh.  Maybe someday you'll learn.  You're going to get sick of this roller coaster and, when you do, you'll realize I'm actually your friend."

Turns out he was right.  I got sick of the roller coaster.  Si has shown me that he can't tolerate carbs.  I was doing so much harm to my body without even realizing it.  Si has helped me research and implement a better, healthier way of eating, which has also taught me to be even more careful about what goes onto my body, not just into it!  I'm more in tune with my body's needs, sensitivities, and strengths.  I don't think I could've done any of this without Si.  I wouldn't have cared enough.  He made me care about the body God gave me.
Now our conversations go more like this:

"Lunch time!  How about some hot dogs, an avocado, some pecans, a cheese stick, and a Bai drink?"
"Sounds good to me," Si nods in agreement.  "That's lots of yummy low carb foods."
"Should only need half a unit or so, maybe 1."
"Yesterday was great.  We stayed in range for most of the day."
"Yup, might need to take less Levemir overnight though.  We went into the 60s twice."
"You need to crack down on those protein spikes, too."
"I know.  Think we should try R for that, Si?" 
"Couldn't hurt."

Now I think I'll let Si say a few words.


Hey, guys.  Just wanted to say a few quick words.  Rachel's an awesome young lady.  I hope you know I've never meant to hurt her.  I just have some specific care requirements, which I understand are hard to fulfill when you're not properly trained.  Rachel did the best she could given the circumstances and the inadequate care she received from medical teams throughout her life.  I'm so proud of her for stepping off the roller coaster and taking charge of my needs (and hers).  Rachel and I are both pretty sensitive so I think we make a pretty good team.  I only wanted what was best for her.  It has just taken her a little while to realize that.  But now that she has I have seen so much growth in her, so much strength and commitment to taking care of me and herself.  While I can't really pinpoint an exact cause for my appearance in Rachel's life, I know that my friendship with her was not an accident.  I've helped her to grow as God has willed, and I know she'll continue to grow and help others as much as she can (because that's who she is and what she's like).  If you don't know her that well, I think you should give her a chance.  And don't be afraid of me.  I'm not contagious.  And I won't bite.  Much.  *wink*

Sunday, November 27, 2016

I am so thankful and have so much hope

I'm starting to have some inkling of how the Israelites felt after wandering in the desert for 40 years waiting for the Promised Land. 

Lost.  Confused.  Depressed.  Hopeless.  Abandoned.

I didn't have to wander nearly as long, but I still wrestled with all of those feelings.  I wandered around the bottom of a dark pit and almost gave up because I thought there was no hope.  No light.  No good could possibly be in store for me.

But I was wrong.

It was in my darkest moment that the Light of the Lord shone the brightest.  It was when I finally realized my dark pit was of my own doing that I knew I needed saving from myself.  It was when He told me His love would save me, if I chose to accept His gift of salvation, that I knew there was forgiveness.  It was when He reached out and turned my life around that I knew I was not forgotten.  Not abandoned.  Not without hope.

Everything made sense.  Everything felt right.  Everything was washed clean.

This was the start of something new, something beautiful.  I stepped off the path of destruction and onto the path of life.  My mind was renewed in more ways than one, and it continued to learn and grow as I absorbed new knowledge and wisdom.  I realized that anger toward God was a sin.  I blamed Him for allowing me to have diabetes, not realizing that He was planning to use it to bring good into my life.  I only chose to be selfish, to see it as an unfair punishment instead of as a tool to be used for a greater good.

Once He led me off that path of selfish bitterness, I started to see some of the reasons why I had been given such a condition.  And not just one condition, but three.  My eyes were opened to the truth: experience helps us grow and relate to others who are in the same place.  Who have no hope.  Who see no life apart from their misery.

The greatest testimonies are the ones that God orchestrates.  And He orchestrates them all.  Your testimony is no worse or better than mine.  It has been crafted by His hands for a purpose only you can fulfill.  If you see a need that you can fill, fill it.  If you see a dark pit that you can reach down into, reach down into it.  The person at the bottom needs light in their darkest moment, just as I did.  They need hope in a hopeless situation.  Don't doubt that you could be that person.  You are ONE with the Light of the World; you are not just a small flicker.

Diabetes is not a death sentence.  There is hope.  There is life, and it doesn't have to be a short, agonizingly painful life.  Complications can be prevented.  Health can be restored if you are ready to commit to what it takes to love your body and care for it.

"For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church."  (Ephesians 5:29)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

National Diabetes Awareness Month 2016

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  Lots of people are doing different things to raise awareness.  I thought it would be fun to make this little chart.  
Since I usually test 10+ times a day, the number listed should actually be doubled = 74,240 finger sticks since I was dx'd with Type 1.  I have no clue how they figured out the Hours of Sleep Lost...I don't keep track of my sleep hours and didn't put anything into the page when it made this for me.  I'm sure I've lost months, maybe years, worth of sleep because of diabetes but I have no clue exactly how many.  At any rate, I hope this helps people see how much of an impact diabetes has on a person's life.  It's a rough, 24/7/365 disease that can kill quickly or slowly, depending on when it's discovered.  

I had my annual eye doctor appointment yesterday.  There were no significant changes, only slight ones in my vision.  I don't need new glasses, though, so I may just keep the ones I have.  Doctor said to keep up the good work with my numbers, which I certainly intend on doing.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Lab results

Last week I had blood drawn at my holistic doctor's office.  I also had a body comp done.  The results for that came back just fine...everything looks good.  Today I got the results of my blood work back.

Vitamin D is perfect, thanks to the supplements I've been taking (10,000 IU daily).  It came back at 82.1 ng/ml (optimal range 30-100 ng/ml).  My metabolic panel is all in range - liver, kidneys, potassium, sodium, etc. are all great!  No red flags anywhere. 

Still working to bring down inflammation, and the next step is to take a gut health test to see where I need help healing my gut.  That will also aid in reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar control.  The only thing is that the test is $900 and we're still trying to scrape the money together.  I'm not worried about it, though.  I will do everything I can to be as healthy as possible, especially as we plan for the future and having kids.

    "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Jesus knows the pain of our diseases

"Mankind was created to walk in divine health as he walked in obedience to the Lord. It is only from his disobedience that sickness and disease came upon him. ...Jesus never sinned and never had sickness until He became sin for us and then took our sickness and disease that we might have His righteousness and health." - Biblical Naturopathy, Rev. Bill Yeary.

Jesus was sinless His whole life.  He never experienced sickness or sin while He walked on the Earth.  He took on our sins and bore them for us as if He had sinned, but He was perfect and holy.  The sins and diseases of the world went with Him to the grave.   

Growing up I never felt like Jesus could understand what it was like to have Diabetes (or Celiac or Hashimoto's). After all, He'd never had them while He walked the earth. I'm amazed everyday by what I learn about Him...and I can see that He DOES understand because He took upon Him not only each and every one of our sins, but also each and every disease when He died for us on the cross. That's how much He loves much He wants us to be free from the disease of sin and death in body, spirit, and soul.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."  Hebrews 4:15

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I love/hate insurance

Insurance.  Everyone seems to have a love/hate relationship with it.  It's been pretty much great for me this year (except for not covering my holistic doctor) but now BCBS isn't going to be offering policies in my area for next year, so I have to find a new company. 

I love BCBS, and I'm really bummed to see them stop offering plans.  But it's not their fault.  Obamacare has completely messed up the insurance market.   

I'm trying to stock up on as many of my meds as possible in anticipation of high out of pocket costs for the beginning of 2017. 

Did you know that without insurance, I'd have to pay $636.99 for 2 vials of Levemir (2 month supply) and $77.78 for a month supply of my Armour Thyroid meds?  (With insurance, I got them for free today!)
I pay $55 a month for test strips, $13 for syringes, and $ for Apidra (when it's not free).  Not to mention all of my holistic supplements ($250+)! 

How do they expect us to be able to afford to live with these unreasonable prices?  We're not made of money, and I don't appreciate being charged an arm and a leg for medications that keep me alive!

Please, Lord, provide us with another good insurance company next year!   

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ChocoRite for Days!

While my husband and I were on vacation a few weeks ago, my father-in-law ordered me some ChocoRite bars, since they didn't have any in our local stores.  Unfortunately, they didn't come in time for me to enjoy them on our trip but they came yesterday!  I received the ChocoRite Milk Chocolate Bars and the ChocoRite Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I was excited to try the Peanut Butter Bars and I wasn't disappointed!  They taste like big Reese's!  I think they are my new favorite flavor!  The best thing is that these bars don't affect my blood sugar, and they aren't just for diabetics!  Anyone can enjoy them!  I think they're a much healthier choice over commercial chocolate products.  They come in 3 other yummy flavors:

ChocoRite Dark Chocolate Bars
ChocoRite Milk Chocolate Crisp Bars
ChocoRite Dark Chocolate Almond Bars   

Check them out for yourself and let me know what you think!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

(This post contains affiliate links.  I receive a small percentage for each sale.)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Why I Love Low Carb

This was my dinner last night:  Lemon Butter Chicken, Buttered Asparagus, and low carb Cheddar Garlic Biscuits.

Doesn't it look yummy?

I love low carb for so many reasons I don't even know where to start.  Maybe I should make a list...I love lists!
1.  No more blood sugar roller coaster!
2.  Yummy, healthy, real foods!
3.  New foods I've never tried before - asparagus, avocado, cauliflower, flax seed, almond and coconut flour, unsweetened almond milk, etc.
4.  New recipes!
5.  Online support groups!
6.  Reaching out to people who need help!
7.  Empowerment!
8.  Overall health improvement!
9.  Opportunities to make a difference in the diabetes world!
10.  Being a light for Christ by proclaiming His name through my journey!
11.  Being a role model for family, friends, and strangers!

Good health starts with you.  I wish I had realized this sooner in my diabetes journey, but I'm grateful that no matter how long it took me to learn this truth, God was faithful to bring me to this point.  Mistakes are the only way we learn, whether we make them ourselves or we watch others make them.  If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting.  Don't go insane.  Change what isn't working and try something that others have found to work for them.  If it doesn't work for you, tweak it a bit until it does, or try something else.  If it works, stick with it!  Don't look back except to remind yourself how far you've come, and why you don't want to go back.

Low carb is the only way I'll go from here...high carb can stay in the past where it belongs.  My future's bright and sunny - I know I'm doing what's best for my body.  What is your body telling you to do?  What can you do to change?  Don't be might be the best thing you ever did.

I used to eat over 300g of carbs a day.  Now I eat less than 40g.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Home A1C

Today I checked my A1C at home.  It's been 3 months since I had it done in my endo's office and I won't be seeing them again until December, so I'm taking a home A1C test in between visits.  The results:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Back in Business!

My Dexcom order arrived today, which makes me thrilled!  It's just in time for our trip this weekend! 

Along with the transmitter I desperately needed, I also received 3 boxes of sensors (12 total) and a new pink receiver with Share.  I don't have an iPhone though, nor does my husband, so I don't think the Share aspect will get used when I have to switch my old receiver for my new one.  I did ask for one without Share...I wonder why they still sent it? 

Regardless, I'm happy to be back in business!  The 2 hour warm up period just started so around 6pm I'll have readings again after 11 days.  Now to start packing up everything we'll need for our trip! 

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Last week my Dexcom gave me the low transmitter battery alert.  I quickly put in an order for a new one, but I'm still waiting for the diabetes supply company, my endo, and the insurance to process everything.  I'll also be getting a new receiver since my old one is out of warranty.  It's still going strong though so I'll keep using it until it dies.  I can't believe it's lasted me 2 years already with no problems!  :)  I've been really blessed, and I've done my best to take really good care of it.  Guess that means my hard work has paid off. 

I hope to have my new transmitter before we leave on vacation next weekend.  I really hate to be without it.  Thankfully, my low carb lifestyle means I don't have to worry as much about highs and lows all over the place.  I feel completely confident in my ability to keep my blood sugars stabilized.  I just like having the extra constant "vision" my Dexcom gives me.  It makes things so much easier. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A1C graph and Chocorite Affiliate!

I made a graph showing how my A1C has improved.  I've literally cut my A1C in half!  It took a little over 2 years but I did it!  My next official A1C at the endo's office won't be until December but I'm going to take a home A1C test in September to see how I'm doing.


I recently went in to my local Walgreens to pick up some Chocorite (I haven't had any in a while!) and was disappointed to find out that they were no longer carrying it!  I went to their website to see if they had any other retail locations nearby and stumbled upon their affiliate program.  I signed up and am excited to be one now!  Here's my link:
I get 10% of each sale when you order through my link.  They have so many yummy options - even some new ones I haven't tried yet!  I really hope to order some soon!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Holistic Lab Results

On Tuesday I got the lab results back from my holistic doctor.  He checked my thyroid, thyroid antibodies, and Vitamin D. 

He said my thyroid levels are looking good, so he's going to keep me on the Armour Thyroid as I have been for the past 3 months.  Yay!  It's been a while since I've found a dose where I could just STAY and it works! 

My anti-TPO antibodies have come down from 610 to 394, which is good!  That means the anti-inflammatory supplements are working and I need to keep taking them to get it down even more. 

My Vitamin D levels came back low (at 39, and he wants to see them around 90), but I'm really not surprised as I know I'm deficient and I haven't been taking supplements regularly. 

He prescribed me Vitamin D to take and I hope to order it soon.  I also need to order refills of some of my other supplements, as I've run out of a few of them, but I haven't had the money to re-order yet.

He was really happy to hear that my A1C is now 5.6, and said that he'd like to see me under 5.5.  I told him I'll be taking a home A1C test in September and hope to be kicking it down close to 5.0 by then.  I will be getting my labs re-checked with him in 3 months so I just have to keep doing what I'm doing!   

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Day in the Life - July 5, 2016

I promised y'all a "day in the life" post a while ago (4 months!  yikes!), and I've finally picked a day to share.  Starting at midnight, here's how things went on July 5, 2016:

Midnight:  Took 7 units of Levemir (long-acting basal insulin), along with my nighttime supplements.

1:09am:  My blood sugar was 100.  I went to sleep.

8am:  My alarm went off for my morning Levemir shot.  I checked my blood sugar and it was 85.  I took 7 units of Levemir and tried to fall back asleep but couldn't so I just lounged in bed.

10am:  My blood sugar was still 85.  My stomach was growling so I got up and ate a yummy breakfast, including a low carb breakfast cookie, a mozzarella cheese stick, an avocado with Himalayan Pink Salt, and a Chocolate Praline Fat Bomb, along with a bottle of sugar free flavored water.

11:30am:  Calibrated Dex with a blood sugar of 99.

12pm:  Took my Armour Thyroid medication.

1:08pm:  Checked Dex (as I do often throughout the day) and noticed that my blood sugar had been trending upwards since around noon.  Blood sugar was 124, so I took 1 unit of Apidra via an IM injection.

1:56pm:  Blood sugar was 98.

3:35pm:  Blood sugar was still 98.  Dex showed steady at 99 (almost a unicorn!).  I made myself my second meal:  3 hot dogs, 5 boiled asparagus spears smothered in Kerrygold butter, and a Molokai Coconut Bai drink.

4pm:  Took 7 units of Levemir, as well as 0.5 unit of Apidra (IM) for food.  I then sat down to refill my weekly pill box and noticed I was almost out of Armour Thyroid.  I called the pharmacy and ordered refills for my Armour and Apidra prescriptions, then went back to filling up the pill compartments.  Then I took my 4pm supplements, drinking down plenty of sugar free flavored water.

This thing seriously helps me keep track of all the supplements I'm taking!

5:26pm:  Dex buzzed HIGH with a blood sugar of 120.  Finger-stick confirmed blood sugar was 123.  Decided to give insulin another 1/2 hour to leave system before re-checking and correcting again.

6pm:  Dex showed 119.  Blood sugar tested at 113.  Blood sugar seemed to be coming down somewhat so I decided to wait it out to avoid over-correcting.

6:42pm:  Dex buzzed again at 120 (HIGH).  Blood sugar tested at 110.  I decided to do another 1/2 unit correction while I figured out what to make for dinner. 

(This is a prime example of why I don't correct based on Dexcom's readings.  If I had done a correction of 1 unit instead of 1/2 unit I would've gone low!  1 unit brings me down 50 points, 1/2 unit brings me down 25 points.  So at 110, if I had taken 1 unit thinking I was 120, I would've dropped to 60 instead of 83.  I wait 2 hours in between correction shots given as an IM because they start working faster and leave my system faster than regular subcutaneous shots given in non-muscular locations.  I have to constantly think ahead about how things will affect me.) 

The Rule of Small Numbers for the win!

7:30pm:  I finally chose to make Lemon Butter Chicken with Cheesy Broccoli for dinner.  I pour myself a tall cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to go with it.  Dex was showing 106 with a slightly downward-angled line.  It has been 40 minutes since my shot and I can start to see it working.  I also just received a text message alerting me that my Apidra and Armour prescriptions are ready for pickup.  I'll have to get them tomorrow.  

8:06pm:  Dex reads 92.  Blood sugar is 79, according to glucometer.  Dinner has already been put on the stove so not much longer before I can eat.  I can already tell I'll be doing a delayed bolus, as veggies and protein don't usually kick in right away.

8:55pm:  Dex 89, finger stick 81.  Dinner is finally ready!  Hubby and I sat down to eat and watched an episode of 24. 

9:40pm:  Dex alerted 122 (HIGH) and trending upwards, blood sugar was really 112.  Again, appearances were deceiving!  Dex made it look like I was higher than I really was.  This caused me to debate between taking 1/2 a unit and 1 unit; I figured 1/2 unit would be the current safe amount, as I could always give more later.  I then realized that I wanted some of the low carb chocolate pudding I'd made yesterday.  (Mmmm...yummy!)  I took 1/2 unit and ate my pudding.

10:51pm:  Blood sugar is 116.  (Dex shows 125, gradually coming down.)

11:35pm:  Dex prompts for calibration (for the second time).  I test and put in 128.

11:55pm:  Dex is now showing steady at 123.  Two hours have passed since my last shot, so I figure it is safe enough to do another 1 unit correction of Apidra along with my 7 units of Levemir before bed.  I grab a bottle of water out of the fridge and take all of the bedtime supplements in my pill box, including my Armour Thyroid.  

Here is my Dex graph for the day:

And that, my friends, is just one day in the life of a Type 1 Diabetic.  
Unfamiliar terms:
Dex = Dexcom CGM
IM = intramuscular; given in the deltoid of the upper arm
Apidra = rapid acting insulin, used for meals and high blood sugar corrections, as needed
Levemir = long lasting insulin, used for basal rate to keep blood sugars steady while in fasting mode.  I take in 3 small doses every 8 hours (at midnight, 8am, and 4pm).

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

20th Diaversary

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. 

I can honestly say I never thought I'd see myself where I am today, or that it'd take 20 years for me to get to this point. 
  • The point of wanting to take care of myself.
  • The point of complete and total surrender.
  • The point of achieving normal blood sugars.
I've learned a lot in these past 20 years, and I'm immensely grateful to God for allowing me to learn all the lessons I have faced (and for living through them!).  By His grace and good will, I'm on the path to better health.  I actually care deeply about how I take care of myself, unlike my could-care-less younger, immature self.

I have to be my own advocate.  No one else is going to advocate for me.  No one else knows my body like I do.  No one else can live my life...I'm the only one who can.  I make the ultimate decisions about my care.

I have to be pro-active about ensuring the foods I eat won't cause me harm.  I have to be pro-active about ensuring that I get adequate insulin.  I have to be pro-active about ensuring the high standard of my health care.

Having diabetes has caused me to grow in so many ways. 
  • I recognize my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and I desire to nurture and protect it as best I can.
  • I recognize that there are lots of foods (even ones that I absolutely LOVED) that are not good for me or my body, and I have willingly given them up in order to keep my blood sugar from spiking.
  • I recognize that achieving normal blood sugars is the only way to ensure the prevention of future complications and secure the good, long life I want to live.
Priorities.  Surrender.  Achievement.

In that order.

If I had not set my priorities in place, I never would have been willing to surrender the things I needed to sacrifice.  If I had not sacrificed the things I once loved but were unhealthy for me, I never would have achieved normal blood sugars.

Discipline did not come easy.  It was a long, hard road but, in the end, it was well worth it.  I am now closer to my goal than I ever dreamed possible (I used to believe it was impossible!) and it's all thanks to God's patience, mercy, and grace.

Diabetes has shaped me in so many ways I don't know who I'd be without it.  I don't remember living without it, other than remembering the feeling of my whole world crashing down on me.  I was too young to understand the Lord's plan to refine and mold me into a more holy vessel, a cherished daughter.

I believe that having one autoimmune disease opened the door for me to be more trusting of Him upon my two most recent diagnoses of Celiac and Hashimoto's.  All three are connected, lifelong conditions, but because of my spiritual growth over the years, I was able to handle things better when they showed up on my doorstep.  I had answers, and I was already well on my way to treating my conditions with the care they needed.

I pray now that as I move forward toward the future and, Lord willing, child-bearing, that I will continue to praise Him on the hard days and easy days, and that I'll never forget the salvation He extended to me in my darkest hour.  Thank you, Lord, for using Diabetes to show me my need for you.    

Happy 20th Diaversary, me!  

"For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well. 
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them."
Psalm 139: 13-16