Monthly Archives: August 2012

misreading a1c results.

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I dreaded my last endo appointment just a little bit. My A1C had been consistently decreasing over the past year, and I’ve been very happy with that (however not at my ultimate goal). The past six months have been really trying, though.. and I felt as though I hadn’t really been giving diabetes my best shot (so, so sorry for the awful pun). I hated to think about hearing my doctor tell me that my A1C was higher than it was the last time I had it checked. That always feels like such a huge step backward. I was expecting a 7.5.

When she finally came into the room, my doctor asked me how things had been going. “Not bad, but not great,” I replied. I told her that I thought my A1C would be up a bit, what with  OmniPod experimentation and and a dose of plain ol’ exhaustion.  She smirked at me and showed me the paper where the nurse had written my new A1C. “Does that look like a 6.9 to you?” she asked. “Yes! It does! Oh my god!” I said.

I couldn’t help but to shed a few tears of happiness. She gave me a tissue and explained to Husband that sometimes we, as diabetics, put a lot of emphasis on our A1C results. She told me to not be so hard on myself, and that I should keep up the good work. It was quite encouraging to have gone down, even if it were the slightest bit (7.1 to 6.9).

Today, I was going through my online lab results to try to find my medical record number (it’s five freakin’ characters, so I don’t know why I don’t just memorize it). I clicked on the A1C result and scrolled down. Are my eyes crapping out on me? Is that a 6.4 I see?

We had both misread the number the nurse had scribbled on my file. Or maybe the nurse needs her eyes checked and she read 6.9. Or maybe the nurse also has diabetes and she was low while she was writing my result down, and that’s why it was all shaky. Or maybe she actually just has bad handwriting. No matter what had occurred, I had actually come down further than I thought. I feel like a kid on Christmas. I have never had an A1C as low as 6.9.. and now I’m at 6.4?! I can’t stop smiling. What an awesome mistake to make! I feel like Husband and I should go out and celebrate all over again. Any excuse for celebration, right?

In all reality though, I do agree with my endo. We put too much emphasis on our A1C’s. It’s an average of the PAST, not a forecast of what we are capable of in the future. Hopefully my future will consist of good health and happiness. Surprises like this never hurt in helping to keep my chin up and focused on my diabetes, though.

eggplant & goat cheese ‘lasagna.’

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A while ago in this post, I talked about how I wanted to focus  on eating healthier, lower carb meals. So far, so good! Husband and I have been trying out new recipes thanks to MeeMaw & Pops (my Mom and Dad), AllRecipes.com and PoorGirlEatsWell.com. Just a few of my faves.

While I was making our last grocery list (I normally try to shop for two weeks at a time – once per pay period – although I’m promising to start hitting up the Durham Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays!) Husband requested some type of lasagna. I say ‘some type,’ but I really think he wanted regular ol’ lasagna. My blood sugars cringed. When I was little, red sauce always made my sugars shoot through the roof. So tackling red sauce AND pasta seemed a bit contradictory to my new low-carb lifestyle (now Cake’s ‘Rock and Roll Lifestyle’ is in my head).

I searched the interwebs to find something to satisfy both his stomach and my diabetes. Here’s what won out:

Eggplant & Goat Cheese Lasagna
1 large eggplant (sliced, 1/4 inch rounds)
11 oz goat cheese
1 jar of garden veggie pasta sauce

And that’s it. Basically, all you do is:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Put a layer of sliced eggplant in the bottom of a greased 9×13 glass baking dish.
  • Then layer about 1/3 of the pasta sauce.
  • Then crumble 1/3 of the goat cheese over it.
  • Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients (I also added garlic)!
  • The recipe doesn’t say to, but I did sweat my eggplant (ha, sounds like I had a crush on it) before I layered it.
  • I also didn’t use a full 11 oz of goat cheese, because I’m cheap and I wanted to use it for another recipe, too. And it still tasted fabulous.
  • After you assemble your dish, bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (until it’s bubbling).
  • If my directions are too rambling and confusing, please, see the link above.. 


It’s a seriously simple meal that tasted delicious. I really dig eggplant, because it’s pretty filling, but also pretty low carb (26.1 grams for a whole 1-1/4 lb. eggplant), has a low-glycemic index, and is high in fiber if left unpeeled (18.6 grams per 1-1/4 lbs), according to this site.  Nothing fancy, but husband and I were both satisfied. Pretty cheap, too. We both had a nice sized helping and were able to have it for lunch the next day, too. I paired it with a salad, and that was that.

Before dinner, my sugar was 140 mg/dl. I took a correction of 0.8u and bolused for 18 grams of carbs (probably had about a cup worth of eggplant). I had craisins and a higher-carb dressing in my salad, which accounted for about 12 or so grams of carb, the rest was my best guess for the eggplant. About two and a half hours later, I was 104 mg/dl, with no spikes on the Dexcom (or Seegum, for CGM, as I call it). Next time, I’ll try to avoid so much of the scientific wild ass guessing (aka SWAG bolusing). I’ll also try to remember to take a picture.

Your diabetes may vary, though. If you try this recipe – let me know what you thought, and what it did to your post-prandial!

one lonely strip.

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oops.

Does this ever happen to you? One lonely strip? I have to admit, it’s happened to me more than once. Which is why I started to carry a back-up pouch filled with: an extra bottle of strips, insulin, ketostix, a pump set, an alcohol swab, a skin-tac wipe, tegaderm, a battery, a penny (for battery changes)  and a needle. But, the back-up pouch is only useful if I remember to fill it after I drain the supplies. It currently only holds a needle, ketostix, and a penny. And my meter case currently only holds one strip. Shit.

I work until 7:30 tonight, so superhero diabetes-helper magical husband is bringing me a bottle of strips. Sometimes he just sparkles 🙂

It makes me feel SO irresponsible when I do this. I try not to let my co-workers find out that I’ve forgotten something that’s so crucial to my diabetes management, but I live a half hour away from my job.. so it’s hard to just sneak out and grab a new bottle. So now, with husband coming to save the day – I will try to convince myself that this is nothing but another bump in the road. As my mom would say – “This too shall pass.” And it shall. And now, I will forgive myself (and start to refill my back-up pouch when necessary).

C’mon Kids, Get on the Bus.. Just not with Me.

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I’ve been at my current job for over a year and a half – I’m a recreation professional at the moment (more on that some other time). When I was hired, I was told that by the end of my first year, I would need to obtain my Commercial Driver’s License. “OK,” I said. Didn’t seem like a problem at all. (Besides the fact that it makes my Mom laugh just thinking about it, I guess because I’m 5-foot-nothing and look like I should be riding a school bus). The point of our department having this requirement is to ensure that we have enough drivers to tote 150 kids around during day camp each summer. We also do some driving for a professional leadership school in the area. Currently, there are 4 full time staff members and 2 day camp staff that have a valid CDL. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s not an essential function of my job.

So around my one year anniversary, I began to look into getting my license. I read up on the test criteria and I even drove a school bus through a parking lot! Without hitting anything! Buses are huge. During my studies, I read that… “A client is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person: …Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control (North Carolina Commercial Driver’s Manual, version July 2009).” Oh. I definitely have diabetes mellitus. I also can’t deny living with insulin.

So I made calls. And I sat on hold for someone important to answer my questions. And I got hung up on. And I made more calls, to explain my situation and see if I could still obtain this license. In the end, I was granted permission by some lady over the phone to get my CDL. Does her opinion count? Not sure. But she said yes. One small victory!

After I got done reading this manual, I started reading into my own thoughts. Sometimes, it’s hard to be realistic with myself. There was something in the back of my mind that was telling me to re-think my fight with the NCDMV. Why? I welcome you to my stream of consciousness:
“What do I do if I start to feel low? Yes, I have a Dexcom and it helps identify trends – but it doesn’t prevent lows. While getting my A1C under 7, I’ve had increased hypo unawareness, which I didn’t really have when I accepted this job (thus agreeing to get my CDL). No big deal, I pull the bus over ANYTIME I start to feel low and I check, then correct. What? You say that the Day Camp Director had to have police block off the first lane of the highway to get the bus off of the shoulder of the road last week? You don’t think they’d do that for me every time I needed to check? That’s abuse of police? Oh. I guess  another problem would be consistently delivering these kids to the movie theater late. I’d be like the most hated person at the Recreation Center. So maybe I could just run my sugars high?”

See, but I’ve worked too hard for that. It’s hard for me to put myself first sometimes – but do I really want to put my own health on the back burner for something that isn’t pertinent to me keeping my job?

I just feel like I shouldn’t do it. It’s different than driving my own car around. I drive a freakin’ Prius, I can pull that sucker over ANYWHERE and test my sugar. It makes my mind race to think that I could make a bad decision with 60 kids’ well-being in my hands, all because of a low blood sugar. It could ruin my life, not to mention other people’s lives, if something happened.

I cried to husband. I talked to my doctor, and finally, I talked to my boss (I even consulted you fine people at TuDiabetes.org – check it out here). This was the hardest decision I’ve made in a long, long time – but I’m not going to get my CDL. Luckily, my boss is somewhat understanding of this disease, as she is a Type 2. She had no problem with  my decision.

My heart still aches a bit about this situation. I’ve never been the one to let diabetes get in the way of anything. I simply think of it as putting my health first. If I was willing to let my sugars go a little haywire sometimes, maybe I would get my CDL. But I’m not willing to do that. I want to have children of my own someday (soon-ish). I want to watch them grow up. I want to live happily ever after with husband until all of his hair falls out.  To stay on my A1C winning streak, I need to stay consistent and concentrated.

Some people might critique me for this decision, and that’s okay. To each their own. I think that some people could easily and comfortably get their CDL – and hell yes for them! But, your diabetes may vary, and right now – this is the way my pump is swingin’.