The Adventures of Now

exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic


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Riddle Me That: A1C Drop

A1C_3

Do you see that 8.4???

Now some may read that as : 8.4?! What are you doing, eating chocolate cake for dinner every night??

I wish.

I read it as : 8.4?!!! WAHOOOOOOO!!!!

For a little comparison, my last A1C level was 9.7

And that was during the summer when I was at my most active / training for a marathon.

So riddle me that. 

My A1C level drops to the lowest I can remember it ever being and it’s while I’m at my heaviest weight and least active.

I can not explain it.

And that’s no dainty little drop either given my levels seem to have been permanently stuck above 9.

Which means the secret to perfect blood sugar control in my life has yet to be revealed.

As the doctor wrote : “needs work”

Well, I’ve been “working” on this for the past 24 years.

I have an appointment with a doctor at the Joslin Clinic (despite my hesitation) coming up in April, one that was recommended by a friend of a friend who works within the pediatric unit.

As part of their all-inclusive package I’ll also get an eye exam and 1:1 meeting with an educator. Sounds like fun.

(ohhhh flashbacks to the DE who basically wanted to strap me to a chair and insert an insulin pump right then and there – she was a real winner in empathy) 

I also have an appointment with another PCP  – one that looks more at the root of the issues at hand vs. just the systems.

I’m ready to look past just the numbers and start digging around to what’s really going on with my health.

The new office even has doctors focusing on sports therapy!! I’ll be looking at some other sports doctors options before I book an appointment …plus should probably start working out again first. But it’s still a nice idea that it could be all in one practice. #itsthelittlethings

So I can look back and try to figure out what brought my A1C down but realistically – I’m not so sure I’ll figure it out.

Fickle silly little disease.

Quick, hand me a pen so I can add “A1C under 9” on the goal list so I can cross that shiz off!

Until, you know, I get the next round of blood work done.

Better make that a pencil.


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Adventures of Cambridge: Part 1

Last Friday evening around 10:30pm marked my arrival to Cambridge, MA. By 1:30am it was no longer a road trip with  my dad and all my stuff….I was officially in my new place.

Let me just tell you, unpacking a van and carrying everything up to the 3rd floor is a whole heck of a lot easier than carrying it down from the 5th and trying to figure out how you’re going to cram it into an already stuffed vehicle. Especially when those stairs from the 5th floor are plentiful and narrow and steep and the new one is a simple wide spaced two flights with landings in between.

It was a looooong day. It started with running around the UES to drop off donations (yes, I should have done it the week before), pick up last-minute items and clean up the apartment at 10am. I owe my dad a big thanks on that one – because of course I had more stuff than I accounted for which made it quite the accomplishment that we (he) fit it all in. Then again, doesn’t he remember picking me up from college from freshman year at college ? Or better yet, when he would pick me up from my mom’s house and I would have a large suitcase, a backpack, a duffel bag and some extra bag full of dolls or crafts or sports stuff……when I was only going to his house for 3.5 days…in the same town! I was no  two-two like Karen Brewer

… I  shuffled my stuff back and forth, want to have options. Should have taken it as a chance to learn outfit planning early on.

Anyways… it went smoother than I anticipated given that taking a load of laundry up 5 flights had my arms aching and me huffing the other day. I got a bit of kick back in to my step as I brought loads down. I tend to make moving on myself a lot harder than it needs to me. Like walking 12 blocks with a bag full of books (thick books like Harry Potter and Fountain Head) to donate early in the morning. The fact that I went low during that trip alone was a smack to the forehead reminding me I should have cut back on insulin. With no food left  it was few pit stops for candy and coconut water through out the day.

When we arrived to Cambridge, a solid 5 hours later than planned, I had to meet up with the new roomie to grab the keys. By that time it was established that we would need to grab me some snacks and juice to have on hand for the evening. As we started unloading and the clock soon approached midnight I started panicking, not knowing if anything would be open. Sure there were tons of people out walking but my street (I guess they’re not called blocks anymore) is residential. I used to have a 24 hour CVS an avenue over.

With a yelp search I spotted a Starbucks that was open until midnight but we were quickly approaching that and only half way unpacked. Then I located a 7-11  … those have to be 24 hours I exclaimed. Silly as it is, I felt a little safer. So I stocked up a few bars and a coconut water. And then proceeded to binge on them once hunger kicked in and our weird diner dinner wore off.

Oddly, the one thing I did manage to pack from the kitchen was two bottles of honey … boy am I glad for that.

 

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I went low in the middle of the night, finishing off the rest of my food supplies. Waking up a little on the low side, barely functioning and having to figure out where there was a cafe (and is it cash only ??), the next morning I was grateful for that honey to give me a little boost.

Sounds dramatic and silly, yes? It is, but it’s also a lesson that I’m going to have to plan a little better in Boston. I’m not able to run downstairs or a street over for juice if I run out of glucose tablets. Going low in the middle of the night with no food is no joke …. especially when I was dropping all day with the uptake in activity.

 

So adjustment # 1 : not having a convenience store, let alone a 24hr one, on your block for emergencies

 

First week in the books, bring on the adventures!

 


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Drink up Buttercup! {#missionhydration}

Fact: I’m terrible at drinking enough water on a daily basis

Fact: A large percentage of my daily beverage consumption comes from Iced Coffee

Fact: I sweat. A lot. Often.

Fact: I don’t wear hats (protecting my head from heat exposure)

Fact: It’s hot out (being summer and all)

Fact: High blood-sugar can increase thirst

All those facts point to one very obvious conclusionDehydration is a serious concern for me this summer – especially while training for my first marathon(!!) .

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I know that the actions I make outside of running will have a large impact on my training, therefore, I’ve been trying really really hard to start chugging. Ok sipping. A lot . Especially before my long run.

Since Memorial Day / training started I’ve carried a water bottle with me for every single run and am embracing the water fountains in central park.

That said, this whole #missionhydration thing is still a work in progress.

During last Saturday’s long run I drank water and stopped at fountains. After the whole phone debacle, I was finally left rushing home un-stretched and thirsty – far from the parks fountains. Luckily I actually had some cash on me (rare occurrence)  for a water bottle outside the park which I killed before I reached my apartment.

I threw a water bottle with Nuun in my bag – along with the container for later fueling. Smashed that on the train (I usually dehydrate myself during travel in fear of having to drag all my stuff to the bathroom).

But then came the iced coffee and it wasn’t until the early evening that I started back up with the water – even acknowledging that I should be drinking something but putting it off.

During last Sunday’s UGS/Athleta run I had my trusty side-kick water bottle with me, skipped the Honey Drop drinks for Hint Water that was offered (love when they include diabetic friendly options!) but that went  for the Iced Coffee (so.good.) straight after. Ran some errands mid day, taking the drop in humidity as a chance to walk some blocks (because I think my feet can travel faster than the bus – they can’t – especially in 90 degrees). Stopped and got some Arizona Iced Tea Vitamin Enhanced drink thing … too sweet ..when does that every happen?? Indulged my new trend (that I’m trying to drop) of a Powerade at Target.

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So why am I telling you every drink that I had over last weekend?  Because shortly after I got home from Target and a few other errands I came home and crashed. Not in the I’m so tired, so sleepy, my body wants a rest way. More in the I’m a little light headed (and this has nothing to do with blood sugars) I just need to lie down kind of way. From that point I went through a steady stream of Nuun tablets, with only an appetite for baby carrots (water food) and laid in bed for the rest of the day (this is where pinning is awesome!).

Now here’s the weird part  – as I was about to go to bed my roommate came home so I stayed up chatting for a bit. An hour later as I turned off the lights I was wide awake. So I turned them back on – and never went to sleep.

I can drink coffee and take a nap right afterwards. I realized afterwards that some of the Nuun tablets have caffeine but there’s no way it would keep me up ….all night.

Something I also faced last Sunday was  delayed hypoglymica (low blood-sugars) …. I’ll do a post as I research it more and my experience with it but basically exercise can still “be in your system” for 48 hours prior affecting your blood-sugar.  Granted with an off appetite, lots of fluids & exhaustion  I wasn’t making the smartest decisions, both in meal choices and insulin calculations. However, it was the confirmation to (finally) start dropping insulin dosages  – something I’ve been playing around with all last week and into this.

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Are you good about staying hydrated?

Favorite tips / tricks to drink more? 

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Fueling: 6/30

BS: 77 @ 6:15a

– 2s bread w. SB (no honey) [34 carbs] + 2 chomps @ 6:30a –

Insulin: 3u @ 7:07a

– 7 mile walk / run –

Felt great during the run despite the heat.

BS: 201 @ 10am

Alternative could have been to skip the chomps and aim at 27-30 carbs + coconut water throughout run. 

Because of the whole phone debacle it was an hour before I got home.

BS: 212 @ 11:15a

Had (flavored) greek yogurt and vitamuffin before rushing to catch a train [40+ carbs].

Did same insulin formula as in the past – 10u.

Had the perfect summer lunch put together by a friend :

Salad with chicken & avocado + fruit salad. Midway of eating it I went to 51 @ 1:32p. So I had to slices of bread (16 carbs) + GT. (stupid blood-sugar ruining a perfect meal)

Laid out in the sun …. 68 @ 3:36p. Went for the OJ

95 @ 5:02p (they’re going to have to up the number of strips I get …)

We went inside for fruit salad + chips and salsa (and I was really mindful of how many chips).

298 @ 7:06 … WTF ?

Was reminded to alway make sure you have enough insulin before leaving the house … I had 3 units. So not cool when we’re baking!

We went to a diner for dinner  – I went for Omelet / skipped the carbs.

Then I gambled and did insulin once I got back to the city at midnight without doing a blood test first (which is just stupid) and went low (duh).

Aside from the late night, I felt like it was a really balanced day (I finally had that cupcake once I was near insulin) I was annoyed to have Glucose Tablets & Orange Juice crash the party.

And that is a day in the life of a (/this) diabetic.


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Run: 6/27

First run with the garmin!

  Garmin Forerunner 310TX 

And proceed to delete the data when trying to transfer. #technologyfail 

Goal: 4m – warm up, 5k , cool down …..I hit something around 4 miles in 45+ minutes

Path: upper & lower reservoir

Intensity: kept first 1/2 mile light but felt weighed down from the start. Went to pick up the pace for 5k but was a rough run – had to slow to walk 2.5-3. This one gets chalked up to stupid fueling / everything impacts a run. 

I was 166 @ 3:37p … cool, a little high but usual for the afternoon – leave it alone. Only I didn’t…I had dried fruit and plenty of it. This was a reminder that just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’ll work for me, oh and moderation. I also had an equal amount (read: a lot) of almonds because I wanted a snack. Fast forward to 6p, getting ready for my run (should have met to run with TFK since I was free) and my bloodsugar is over 300. Sigh. Had to do insulin but can only do the ratio with starch carbs vs. the natural sugar of fruit. So I had my standard PB & toast. Went into this run feeling a little nutty. Came out at 124 (perfect)! But I was feeling those fueling decisions. This is a 24/7 prepping/planning/calculating – every decision counts. One good one : I should stop buying dried fruit, stick with the fresh. 

Injuries: left knee felt achy all day randomly. Fine during run but old pain going up stairs afterwards….realized later on it was hinting at some IT Band issues. 


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Gym: 6/21

I had planned to do my 4 miles after yoga Thursday night last week. 

That planned failed. 

Just as I dropped all my stuff and started up the treadmill I got the feeling that I should do a blood test.  

113 – perfect!

Just not for doing a run when my insulin was still going through it’s 2 hour peak. 

But since I already started the treadmill I decided I was going to knock out (a slow) one mile. 

And then I packed it up and went home. 

Packing up did not include glucose tablets or a wallet … if it had I would have fueled or run into the CVS near by  – I was determined to get my run. So much so that I debated running home, fueling up with some chomps, waiting out the 2 hour peak and going back for the remaining 3 miles. Then I sat down when I got to the apartment and that whole idea vanished – I was in for the night. 

So my first run cut short from blood-sugars …. I’m sure there will be plenty more runs thrown off.