Friday, August 31, 2012

Vetting the Pump: T-Slim

Technically, I have no idea what I am called in the Diabetic community as a person who receives insulin through shots. I am sure there is cool lingo, but I am not privy to it. My next step in the Diabetes journey is to switch to an insulin pump. As you know, that requires conversations with my endo and some research on my part. I love a gadget, so this is no sweat. First, I am drawn to this - Tandem T-Slim.

It looks so modern! 

I don't even feel capable of discussing pros and cons of insulin pumps because I have never had one. However, I can share what I have gathered from others.

Pros: Slim. Touch screen. Carb Calculator. 
Cons: No Continuous Glucose Monitor capabilities. Does not sync with any meters. 

I am definitely going to ask the doc about this bad boy at my next appointment. It is I'd like for some people to vet it before I do. 

Does anyone use a pump and love it? Does anyone know anything about this pump? 

 - the pump illiterate. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mind, Body, Soul - Mondays.

It's Monday. But, when you are unemployed, Monday loses its stigma. I love Mondays. All my shows come back! Mondays are also my day to check in with myself and make any necessary phone calls (for prescriptions, appointments, etc.) I also check for jobs and update my blog. Monday is always an exercise day. This Monday is the perfect time to do "Mind. Body. Soul."

Mind. In keeping with current events, I thought I'd toss in some political stuff. In truth, before I loved fashion and fitness, I loved politics. I loved it enough to choose it as a major at age 14. My relationship with politics has been a rocky one. Following it from the outside as a naive teenager was one thing, but gutting it as a field of study unleashed a cynicism in me that not even law school could rival. So, we've got these two parties. With my political views, I'd be ostracized from both. So, I dance in the middle, bending and molding to align with a platform for the next presidential election. I get tired of bending and molding, especially when the candidates themselves are bending and molding to suit the campaign timeline. That's why I know I could never go into politics. While I am aware of all the gaming, spinning, and manipulation that goes on, I have never been able to warm up to it. So, I'll play along. I know for whom I am voting. I know why. But it should feel honorable, and it doesn't feel that way right now.

Body. Y'all, I don't know about your fitness week, but mine was so fun! I mean, rooftop yoga? C'mon. How many folks can say they "ohmmmed" on the roof of the Peabody Hotel? Well, judging by the numbers, quite a lot. This week also contained (1) 3.5-mile run, (2) 3-mile runs, (2) 30-minute bike rides, and (1) 3-mile dog walk around Shelby Farms. What was it missing? Pure Barre. This week, I return!


Soul. I've been thinking a lot about what music does for my soul. I can attribute a lot to my parents, and a love for music is definitely one of those things. Since before I can remember, I was listening to CDs in the house, attending local bluegrass festivals, and even catching shows inside Cat's Music. What I am most thankful for is a love for all types of music. Well, I could do without Opera. I am not nearly mature enough to appreciate it. I don't know about how anyone else finds good music, but I pick up a lot by watching shows and movies. I'll hear a lyric, look it up, and find the artist. I remember three instances while watching my typical television shows when I had a soul-stirring moment. I really love when a song selection fits a scene's drama. Here's the three -

Dawson's Creek. 
I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders

Pretty Little Liars
Suggestions - Orelia has Orchestra
The O.C.
Hallelujah - version by Imogen Heap 

A fun find at Home Goods - Sugar Free flavors :)

Lunch for Dinner is my new craze.
I do it instead of eating at restaurants. 
Think - turkey bacon, banana peppers, pickles mustard, ruffles, cheese, grapes, and yogurt!


I made the perfect pumpkin spice latte.
Substitutions = Truvia + Coconut Milk

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dexcom Tutorial

This post is actually a month old. It has taken me this long to figure out how to blog a video. When I received my sexy dexy, I was all over YouTube to figure out how to use it. So, I thought I'd join the " how to" club.

Things to note before watching:
I hate everything about hearing myself.
Failed attempts at humor are used to mask the awkwardness of it all...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's up, Doc?

So, I mentioned that I got a physical on Friday, right? Well, everything checked out alright at the appointment, but I was waiting on some blood work. I got it in the mail today, and all signs point to a healthy me! I was expecting to get an a1c test done at my last endocrine clinic visit, but I did not. I did get it at this physical. On the sheet, a non-Diabetic's normal is < 5.6%. When I was diagnosed, I was at over 12%. Now, I am at 6.2%! I am so happy. You know how you used to love getting Progress Reports in school simply to know where you stand? That's how I feel. I feel like my teacher just handed me an A. Because I am diabetic, < 5.6% is not quite feasible, so for my illness, I am doing well. This test is your 3-month average of blood sugar levels. Keeping it at a certain level helps ward off the long-term complications of the disease, such as damage to the blood vessels (eyes, kidneys, etc.) I will continue to do what I can to keep it as "normal" as possible. All of the other blood work came back great as well (triglycerides, thyroid, cholesterol, etc.) Nothing appeases encroaching anxiety more than a positive progress report on my health!

Andrew cooked our new staple, spaghetti squash. He also added vegetables, including kale. He is now a self-proclaimed "health junkie", which makes things very easy for me :)

You may also notice that I am playing with the design of both of my blogs. I may change it yet again, but work with me while I experiment.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Update - Lake, Anxiety, and Blogging.

Happy Monday, everyone! I don't know what you all did to unwind this weekend, but I had a great time with friends at the lake. My grandparents have had a lake house at Pickwick Lake for years. Recently, the house was struck by lightening and was torn down completely. For the past year, the house has been in construction and is finally useable! I enjoy experiencing weekends out of town and Diabetes not getting in the way. I left my Sexy Dexy at home, so I wouldn't risk losing it. All day Saturday I didn't have to take any Novolog. I wasn't aiming for it, but my eating patterns fell into a rhythm where I was maintaining normal sugar levels without it. In fact, I woke up at 59 Saturday morning. That's low for me. That's probably low for anyone. My basal dose has had to be steadily decreased because I have a trend of waking up below 70. I have gone from 15 units to around 10 units. Because I woke up at 59, I didn't give myself insulin at breakfast. I needed those carbs. By the time I was ready for lunch, I was in the 90s and my carbs came from a sandwich. I knew that wouldn't bring me up too high without insulin. For dinner, I had a chicken/feta/spinach burger (no bun) and a little bit of chips and dip. It was an interesting situation. I am back to giving myself insulin because my days are starting off much higher than 59. I don't know why this happens. Maybe I am still in the "honeymoon phase" where my body is still producing insulin on its own, so I don't require as much from shots. Diabetes or not, it was a great trip :)

In other news, I have had a second bout with panic attacks. I wrote about the last time I had one, which was about two months ago. These are not frequent, but they have happened twice. They have happened for similar reasons. If I start to focus on a strange breathing pattern, heartbeat, or worry about being low (even when I am not), my body tends to overreact. The physical feeling is one of heart racing, strange breathing, and lightheadedness. In truth, I feel as though I may faint. Because fainting is another huge fear of mine, the panic seems to perpetuate. I brought this up at my physical on Friday to my doctor. He gave me a prescription to deal with it if it ever comes on again. I think having access to the medicine will make me feel better. I took a Mental Health Law class during my second year of law school, and I remember my professor telling us that many of us in the room will experience some form of mental health issue. Touche, sir. I don't believe that mental health issues should come with a stigma. They are real and common. I am not ashamed to share my experiences with anyone. It is what it is, and there are things you can do to help yourself. I am going to try some alternative approaches to keep my stresses at bay. In fact, there are a lot of free podcasts on meditation that simply bring your mind to a more peaceful place. Also, I keep promising myself I'll try a yoga class. Now is as good a time as any.

Finally, I recently read a blog entry by pbfingers that gave a lot of great tips for bloggers. One tip I had been wondering about for a while. How are these fitness bloggers creating their own workout lists? The answer was right in my dashboard - Microsoft Excel.

It will take practice, but I think I can do it! It will make fitness blogging a lot more fun for me!

Also, my cousin introduced me to a great band, The Lumineers. Check them out. Also, the Mumford & Sons album drops in almost one month! Pre-order it on iTunes!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Favorite Time of Year

I have always loved the mystique of the Fall season. Let me list the ways! No, really. Let me.

pumpkins. pumpkin spice lattes. jeans. warm colors.
sweaters. boots. layers. football. basketball. tailgates.
low humidity. school year starts. leaves change.
bonfires. running weather. halloween. thanksgiving. 
sam adams. nutmeg. cinnamon. gourds. farmer's market.
new tv seasons. the nosedive to christmas. rustic decor.

Like I said, Fall has always had a certain magic in my life. As my last post referenced, I used to love the back-to-school jitters. I would plan my outfits for the whole first week and organize my school supplies way too far in advance. I always got a fresh haircut and new make-up. Now that the school chapter of my life is over, I still think Fall is amazing. The whole landscape starts to look more like a painted canvas. I hope that all of you find as much joy in this particular season as I do. Not to mention, it has the absolute best fashion of all the seasons.

In honor of Fall coming, I decided to cook something new. My friend, Colleen Hogue, shout out! is one of the healthiest eaters I know. She told me about spaghetti squash and how it can be used instead of pasta. Imagine my glee seeing as I had not had pasta since my diagnosis. I didn't even care to attempt the carb journey. On Saturday, while at the farmer's market with my mom, she bought me two spaghetti squash (squashes?). Today, I endeavored to cook it. 

Spaghetti Squash. 

How I prepared:
The squash: Slice the ends off and cut into long halves. Remove seeds. Bake on 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Let cool. Pull out the inside with a fork (it will string).
The sauce: I combined butter, white cooking wine, olive oil, garlic salt, and basil in a pan. 
I cooked zucchini and squash in the sauce. 
I removed the veggies.
I added more of the sauce ingredients to the pan and tossed in the "spaghetti". 
But, Jordan, what did you measure? 
Nothing. I don't know how to cook. 
I do know how to play. 
Spaghetti Squash  = 10 carbs. per cup. 
And my heart smiles. 

I cooked the seeds in butter and cinnamon. Not too shabs. 

The whole meal = the spaghetti squash dish + one slice bagel thin (whole wheat) with 0-calorie spray butter, garlic salt and melted muenster cheese + fruit (grapes, strawberries, blackberries). 

Monday, August 6, 2012

20-Year Milestone

Folks, for the first time in TWENTY years, I am not going to school. Therefore, my August seems empty. I see all of these pictures of people going back in their "back to school" clothes, and I flashback swiftly to the Chimneyrock days when my mom would walk me to school. Then, I flashback to my Mt. Pisgah days when Andy Smith and I would goof-off at the bus stop. I remember starting Houston Middle and looking older and larger than everyone else as a 6th grader - yay puberty.  I remember starting high school like it was yesterday. I remember leaving for Knoxville. I remember coming home to Rhodes.  I remember the anxiety of starting law school. This August, I am simply busy remembering. Nothing brings on a quarter-life crisis quicker than realizing that you're getting too old to keep going back to school. It's time to get over it, and ship out some resumes.

Today, I ran with Nike+. That is a pretty cool information tracker, and it will definitely suffice until I buy a new Garmin memory stick. I broke my other one. It was a hot 3-miler, but I had my August playlist to carry me through it. Motivational lyrics came from Phillip Phillips' "Home" -

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Thanks, Phillip. I needed that around mile 2. Remember a few months ago when I posted about weight gain and yada yada? Well, I weigh on Mondays, and I weigh the exact same now as I did then. Talk about stubborn! So, I am back to logging what I eat and my activity. Some people love printables, but I decided to make my own in Microsoft Word. It keeps me feeling creative anyway. I'd be glad to e-mail one to anyone who wants one. 
It's Monday! Cheers to a new week :) If you're one of the lucky few students or teachers starting a new semester, enjoy it for me! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

What is Halle Berry?

I can definitely understand why Halle Berry can frustrate many Diabetics. Is she Type 1? Type 2? Type 8,674? Misdiagnosed? Misinformed? Lying?

Jordan, what are you talking about? Several years back, there was a story circulating that Halle Berry had cured her Type 1 Diabetes. Well, that's fancy. That is a statement which is, at best, irresponsible. I haven't been Diabetic for very long, but it is obvious to me that there are a ton of gray areas. I'll admit, I harbor a fantasy that I have been misdiagnosed. I'll bet I am not the only one. Hey, maybe one day they will tell me I don't need this insulin anymore because I am actually Type 2.  Let me just tell you, it's not happening. This insulin that I take saves me every single day, so I think we are in it for the long haul.

I'll try to cut Halle some slack. That being said, Type 1 isn't some fallout from a bad lifestyle, so switching to a healthier lifestyle isn't going to make it go away. It may make management exponentially easier, but it is no cure.

No matter which type Halle Berry has or had, she is one of my fitness inspirations. Apparently, she is a follower of the 5-Factor Diet/Fitness plan. I'll read the book for you and let you know what the deal is with this plan. After all, I have a lot of free time on my hands right now. After watching 800 episodes of Pretty Little Liars, I should probably do something productive.