Monthly Archives: April 2011

Getting Support for Type One Diabetes

Diabetes is a hard disease. (insert that’s what she said joke)

Anyways, diabetes is a very care-intensive disease and from what I’ve heard and experienced the teenage years are when people give up on caring for themselves.  My doctor told me that those were the years where I would think I was invincible. He was definitely right with that prediction and I was definitely wrong thinking that I was in fact, invincible.

So, what you’re going to need to do is get yourself some support. Some people who realize what you’re going through and can help you stay on track.

Take Jay Cutler for instance. He was diagnosed with TOD late in life, now he has Kristin Cavallari to help remind him to take care of himself.

I have my mom, dad, sister and brother to help me instead of a highly paid reality-tv star, but who’s counting.

I’m not here to tell you what to do, but I am here to suggest things to make your life easier.

Anything from law school to a chronic illness is easier to deal with if you share that burden with someone else.

So, my advice to you is find your own Kristin Cavallari.

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A Flavorfull Interview

A Flavorfull Interview with Alexandra Rogers

Featuring Alexandra Rogers and Abbi Fischer.

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Diet Soda May Not Increase the Risk of Diabetes-Review

Most of you, if you know me at all, know my seriously involved relationship with Diet Coke.

Observe:

This was taken of me when I was in my first year of college and was privileged enough to travel to Georgia to The World of Coca-Cola. This is a place I’d dearly love to visit again. It’s a ton of fun, lots of history, lots of gift-shopiness, and lots of free Coke.

I digress.

Any who, diet soda is my liquid of choice. When I lived in the desert away from all civilization (internet, cell phones, air conditioning) all I wanted was a soda. I had dreams about it. I wrote about it in my field school journal, and I tried to bribe the tribesmen (look under Portfolio and then Afar Man) we lived with to bring me one from town.

Now for me personally, I was never concerned that my love of the DC gave me diabetes. Mine came when I was three from a Series of Unfortunate Events and the obsession with carbonated beverages came after.

But, there has been talk about diet soda causing diabetes.

My take on this, is that it causes more Type Two diabetes as TOD is usually an organ malfunction. Time did a story not too long ago based on a study done on this topic.

The results of the study, and I find this kind of a “DUH” was that people who drink sugary drinks are 16% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. I can only assume Type Two.

Diet soda doesn’t have the sugar that regular soda does, so your body cannot be overloaded with glucose, and your body cannot be resistant to breaking down the ABSENCE of glucose. What they study SHOULD have focused on were the adverse affects of aspartame. That sh*& will kill you.

Actually, I don’t know if it will kill you. There’s a lot of literature out there on how B-A-D aspartame is for the human body and a lot of literature that contrasts that information. All I know, is that I consume mass quantities of it, and I’m still around.

So no, obviously diet soda will not give you a higher risk of “catching” Type One diabetes; not exercising, drinking and eating nutrient dense foods, your personal genetics, and living a sedentary lifestyle in general will.

Until I find some research I believe on the effects of aspartame, drink away my diabetic friends!

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Simple Things

You know, life should be so simple.

It should be as simple as, “Hey (person from school), I really like you. Do you want to be my best friend?”

or “Hey Company, I respect your business and I’d like to work/intern for you. OK? I’ll be there Monday.”

But it usually isn’t.

People find it hard to be that straightforward, or they’re afraid of the response, or whoever they’re asking really isn’t listening. Or maybe sometimes, you’ve asked for the impossible.

So I wish I had a million people interested in my blog each day, so my roommate wishes the bathroom would just clean itself, so my other roommate wishes he lived alone (but just for today), none of those things are just going to happen.

I’m taking this time to be more straightforward.

“Hey me, I”d like you to NOT have diabetes.”

I’m going to take this time to be more straightforward AND realistic.

“Hey me, you have diabetes and it totally sucks. Yes you get down sometimes, yes you can’t eat whatever you want whenever you want, yes you are locked into a certain amount of responsibility BUT that is no excuse to not care for yourself. So, Abbi, what I’d like you to do it take better care of yourself. Value yourself just a little more and work a little harder. I know you can do it.”

Life is rarely as simple as asking for something and getting it delivered.

But every once and awhile, it’s as simple as mentioning to a coworker that you love flowers and then finding a pile on your desk in the morning.

Don’t be afraid to ask for things.

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Before or After? When to Bolus

One of my classes met at the new Union South today instead of regularly scheduled classroom nonsense.

We toured the whole building. It was beautiful, spacious, inviting blah blah blah. It has a bowling alley.

Original_02_union_south_tour11_

Maybe I should say that again: it has a bowling alley.

I frequently get made fun of for saying things are “the best ever” or that a day is “the best day of my life” when clearly, playing Wii for an hour with my classmates will not be the best day of my life in the long run. But, at that moment I truly feel that it is the best time I’ve had in a while.

That may seem like a little aside, but the point is that I’m very excitable. Today was no exception.

I was excited because I got to interview Warren Faidley yesterday and am expecting to interview another Storm Chaser today, I was having class outside of the classroom, I was going to be with people I enjoy, and I really wanted to BOWL.

Because of my excitable nature, I was pretty much bouncing off the walls as it was… and then I saw the ice cream. I had just eaten a full meal, had dessert, and was NOT hungry. But I was excited, and ice cream was there.

Separately those two things are just fine (excitability and ice cream) but put together can lead to issues. My combo led to issues.

Any endocrinologist that I have ever had and I have gotten into arguments about WHEN to take a bolus (shot of fast acting insulin). Their camp is BEFORE I eat. This gives the insulin a chance to start working on the food as I eat it and it lessens the chance that I may forget to TAKE my insulin.

My camp, who used to get the stomach flu every week and would be forced to eat something even when she was vomiting to avoid a low blood sugar HATES those low blood sugars (and is not always great at counting carbs). To combat the possible low, I always wait until AFTER I eat to take insulin so “thine eyes are bigger than thy stomach” thing won’t come back to bite me in the ass. (For you non-TODs that means that I won’t expect myself to eat 60 carbs and take insulin for 60 carbs, but really only be able to eat 30 therefore causing a tremendous low)

BUT the endos are right, I DO forget to take my insulin. This is only in PART because of what I mentioned earlier about weight and mostly because I just forget.

Now, couple that with the uber-excitement I feel over the possibility of bowling and you’ve got a diabetic who has loaded up on carbs and completely forgotten to take any insulin.

At first this is fine, I just get a tad hyper, but as time goes on my eyes get glassy and I start to get listless. Not exactly the bucket of fun I was at the beginning of the tour. If I left this go, it could turn into Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) which could actually kill me. So, funny at first, very sad at the end.

My advice to all TODs and TOD parents, encourage insulin to be taken BEFORE meals. Yes, low blood sugars suck to high heaven, but they’re better than ending up in the hospital (twice) because you let your blood sugars run high and your body couldn’t keep up.

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Taco Bell-This is your future.

This is for you Tyler.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Taco Bell. A lot. I don’t care if it IS only 30-something% beef.

I. DO. NOT. CARE.

But the other evening, I was sitting in Taco Bell on State St., stuffing my face with my fifth taco, and I made an observation.

The messages on the sauce packets… are sort of perfect for describing what will happen to you when you eat Taco Bell every day, or twice in one day, or for a long period of time. They are like little fortune-sauces.

For example:

“I’m single… are you?” -What will happen to me if I continue to eat here twice a day.

“Let me slip out of these wet clothes.” -What happened to me because I spilled nacho cheese over my entire body.

“Why are you staring at me?” -Because I now weigh 700 lbs.

“That’s my ticklish spot.” -My ticklish spot has expanded with my ever-growing physique.

“Is it me, or is it hot in here?” -It’s me. Like I said, I now weigh 700 lbs.

“Guess it’s just you and me now.” -Because no one else will have me. BTW Abbi, you have cheese on your face.

“I have a feeling this is going to go badly for me.” -I thought right. What happened to me because I spent all my time and money at Taco Bell and never got a job or exercised.

“Wait, I want to remember you like this.” -Right before I weighed 700lbs.

“When I grow up, I want to be a bottle.” -Bottle-shaped. Taco Bell goes straight to your ass.

“Dibs on the taco.” -What I scream at everyone around me, which is why I no longer have friends.

So, no I am not passing judgement on anyone who eats Taco Bell. It is a staple in my life.

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Poll!?!

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Abbi’s Song: Part Three

You’re welcome world.

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The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Diabetes

I bought this book from Half Price Books today for $2. (I’m fairly certain you can get this cookbook online for about $1)

As a more-than-full-time college student with two jobs and a family, I don’t cook much. I realize that this probably aids my less-than-healthy lifestyle and decided that cooking for myself would save me money and be another big step towards my 6.5 A1C.

The other thing that contributes to my lack of cooking is a filthy boy roommate who never cleans up after himself and a kitchen the size of a public bathroom stall-but that’s another story.

Anyways, I know this book says “for Children” but come on. College students are like kids; they have the same appetites and I’m pretty sure the same attention span and cooking ability of a 7-year-old kid.

I haven’t cooked anything yet, but this book rocks because it gives all the nutritional information from each recipe. Part of my cooking embargo comes from confusion over carb counting when I make something myself. The prepackaged food I eat has its carb count right on the label.

I’m looking forward to diving in to this book. It has a section entitled “The Pursuit of Normalcy” which I’m all about, and all about for newly diagnosed people who feel as though they’ll never be normal again.

It has a “Getting started” section, a “To Meal Plan or Not” section, “Day Starters” i.e. breakfast which I hate eating, a what to do when you eat at a restaurant, holidays, sleepovers (always tricky), snacks, and VERY importantly Sick-Day recipes.

It’s got a ton of other stuff too, but I’m just getting started.

So far the recipes look easy to make, hopefully I don’t lose motivation!

If anybody has any recipe they want to see me attempt to make and then fail at, let  me know!

An excellent food blogger, Alexandra Rogers,

and I will be teaming up shortly to give you a taste of terrific food that ‘s also great for diabetics! Look for that podcast soon!

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Obsessive Weight Control and Diabetes

Ok.

Once again off list topic but this has been bothering me lately.

When I was younger, probably about 12, I remember hearing for the first time about how women in the 60’s or 70’s used to take insulinDiabetiquette Humalog Insulin

 to control their weight. No, they didn’t have diabetes, but they took shots anyways just to stay skinny. I mean people also used to drink Isopropyl Alcohol but whatever.

I also remember the day I realized that my body didn’t look like everyone else’s. I think that’s a realization most kids come to at some point in their life. Well, ok they are either born knowing everyone looks different or it hits them like a ton of bricks one afternoon at recess during ‘shorts’ season.

Another point that sticks out in my mind was one trip to the Endocrinologist (that link is a definition) after I’d been put on an insulin pump. What I’d done was stopped checking my blood sugars and stopped bolusing for food. I set my basal rate super high so I wouldn’t have to worry about having diabetes. Who wants to remember that fact? Exactly.

Diabetiquette High BS

Well my Endo, Roxy, called me out and asked me if I was keeping my blood sugars high to keep my weight down. Easy question, I was thin, ran consistently high sugars, and was a ballet dancer. This did not occur to me before. I’d heard of insulin keeping weight off but never that being high could keep you thin!

Ah the possibilities.

So, logical kid that I was and also horribly embarrassed by my adolescent body and accumulation of scar tissue around my midsection, my thought was, “Oh shit. If I start lowering my sugars I’m going to get fat!”

Now, more than 10 years later, I still find myself wondering if that’s the case. If I’m able to lower my A1C to the coveted 6.5 marker (which I WILL do, because I’ve decided it’s so) will I get fat?

The adult part of my brain is completely furious with the 13-year-old kid that runs what I eat. How can I say that I was ever fat? Why can’t I accept my body as is? Why does thinking about food make me feel anxious? Why do I hold myself to such an unrealistic ideal? Who EVER told me that keeping a high sugar would help me lose weight?

Well now, I don’t know. Lee Ann Thill wrote a post about this not too long ago. Lee Ann struggled with some of the same issues and I expect many other TODs have felt the same things.

There’s a paragraph in Lee Ann’s blog post where she gives some scary statistics about insulin omission. Many women around my age (15-30) believe and are terrified that they might gain weight if their blood sugars fall within a close to normal range.

Well I’ll be damned. It’s nice to know there’s more out there.

Lee Ann later talks about hating her body because it failed her. (check) She considered herself diseased and broken and not worth the space she consumed. (double-check, I’ve said this out loud). She says she “almost never thought about diabetes” (check again). She also never took her insulin (the check goes without saying).

It is sort of humbling to have your past thrown in your face like that (without it actually being your own past) and it made me realize something.

 Hey, I’m normal.

Lee Ann is doing some fantastic work advocating for Diabetic Mental Health. She says she’s found peace with her body. I can only say that I aspire to be Lee Ann someday. I want health, I want peace, and I want to be there for any other girl or boy that’s been putting themselves through hell trying to convince themselves that they AREN’T normal.

Please check out Lee Ann’s work and PLEASE, if you’re struggling like I am, check out the Diabetic Mental Health link above. (Or you know, contact a doctor)

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