Category Archives: Random Extras

New Years Schmew Years.

It was brought to my attention that I missed a HUGE opportunity by not posting anything about:Holiday Collision Diabetiquette

1. Thanksgiving

2. Christmas

3. New Years Eve

Yeah, I get it.

BUT the holidays are over.

If you’re like most Americans you have just finished The Cycle:The Cycle

It also happens to be the time of year when a lot of this happens:facebook Diabetiquette

Now if you’re me and the majority of people you used to date are recently engaged, married or pregnant your first thought is, “Dear God. That could have been me!”

If you’re like most normal people, seeing your friends and family parade their good fortune around could really bum you out. Big time. (Yes, we know it’s not their fault and they have a right to share their happiness. Blah blah: I don’t want to hear it.)

Somewhere between your “Day of Regret and Shame” and your “Self-Induced Depression over current state of Body” you might decide an extra gin and tonic, or another helping of mashed potatoes, or another cookie… or an entire gingerbread house would taste REALLY good.

SPIT IT OUT! IT’S POISON!!!

Caution Sadness Diabetiquette

No, I’m kidding.

But I do think it’s important that emotional eating is brought up.

Me? I’m an emotional puker. Anyone who knows me can corroborate that story.

I’m not saying that being an emotional puker is better than being an emotional eater, but around the The Cycle being one is definitely going to pack on fewer calories than being the other.

In my short lifetime I have heard many older/wiser folks complain about holiday weight gain or say, “Watch out for the holidays!” as though they’re a monster who sneaks in while you sleep and forces fudge down your gullet.

I don’t think it’s the holidays that should be “watched out” for but I do think the accompanying stress, loneliness, money-anxiety, family-anxiety, anger, feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt should be kept under watch. Those are the big ones: the pound-packers. The chubby-makers. The fat-factory. Man there are a LOT of fun ways to say that.

Emotional eating is eating for any reason other than being hungry. So you aren’t getting the tummy rumbles and

light-headedness that come from being hungry, instead your ex-boyfriend from middle school just got engaged to his uber-peppy fitness trainer girlfriend of 6 months and it suddenly feels like a good idea to eat ALL the spaghetti.

Short Version:

It isn’t.

Long Version:

It isn’t.

There is an idiom floating around in the universe that goes something like this, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”

This is true and The Cycle is prime family time. This isn’t to say that your family (and not your friends) are the only people who can stress you out, but your family knows you very well and your extended family thinks they do so they usually bother you best.

Eating when you are not really physically hungry leads to extra poundage on your person. Now add all that extra special, extra terrible-for-you holiday food within easy reach and you slam right into “Self-Induced Depression over current state of Body” which if you’re an emotional eater–and you are, will probably cause you to eat MORE.

Another cycle for another graph.

sodahead.com

sodahead.com

The point of reminding you that you can’t choose your family is this: there are going to be things and people around you who will make you anxious. It’ll be difficult to avoid them.

I think it is more important to recognize the things that trigger the response of emotional eating. That, you’ll have to do yourself with some quiet reflection. I don’t offer quiet reflection here.

If you cannot or do not want to figure out what triggers you, at least know the signs of emotional hunger vs. physical hunger.

Physical Hunger:

  • Empty stomach feeling
  • Tummy rumbles (or growls but that’s less cute)
  • Being dizzy, tired, light-headed
  • Cranky, can’t concentrate

Emotional Hunger:

  • Happens in an instant
  • Crave one specific type of food. Like bacon.
  • It is hunger that you have to fix IMMEDIATELY or else.
  • You feel guilty when you’re done eating.  (I mean soul-crushing guilt, not the giggly “I’m out with my GIRLS! Oh my God, we’re so bad -winky face-” guilt.)

I’m not going to say it won’t be hard to kick the emotional eating habit. It will take a lot of strength and time and patience but the payoff could be HUGE.

Not to get too touchy-feely but I think Socrates advised us to, “Know thyself.” I mean, he said it in Greek but whatever.

Also, it might have been a NUMBER of other Greek gentlemen, like Pythagoras, but I thought he was more in to triangles than philosophy. However, if it was Socrates I get to use this cool graphic I made:Socrates Know thyself diabetiquette

Point being: I might still be the girl who gets really annoyed at work and says, “I need bacon,” but now I know why.

And finding that one emotion-food has made it easier to find others. It’s also made it easier to be annoyed and say, “I need bac–k scratches when I get home.”

Your best bet is being prepared. That, and not being too hard on yourself at Thanksgiving when you eat the whole pumpkin pie because no, you STILL don’t know what you’re going to do after college even thought it’s been 5 years.

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I’ll never let go, Jack…

Thinking about The RMS Titanic fills me with a weird mix of emotions.

titanicuniverse.com

My thought progression usually goes like this:

1. Oh man, I haven’t seen that movie in so long.

2. I wish Rose had said, “I will physically let go of you, but I will never mentally release you.”

3. Physics always wins.

4. That ship was huge.

5. There were real people on that ship.

6. I can’t believe so many died. I can’t imagine how terrible that was.

7. Now I’m picturing the sounds, the smells, the unrelenting cold…

8. Bummer.

9. That ship looks creepy now. Water ghosts?

10. I wonder if both of them (Jack and Rose) could have survived?

BAM! That brings us to October 2012. Myth Busters has settled my mind, they COULD have survived.

I am going to be honest with you, this Titanic talk is only vaguely related to what this post will be about which is being supportive.

absolute-tech.co.uk

I talked about getting yourself a support system before but I don’t think I properly conveyed how important it is, as a partner, to BE SUPPORTIVE.

If your child, or friend, or partner has diabetes (type one or two) I think it is your responsibility to support them even in the most simple of ways.

Some might disagree with me and say that it is only the diabetic’s responsibility to take care of him or herself. That’s fine. We don’t have to agree on everything, but I am judging you and thinking that you’re kind of an a-hole.

catspictures.net

 If it helps, think about someone with alcohol addiction.

 I’m a little foggy on the exact steps but I’m fairly certain that if an alcoholic went through all the trouble of realizing their problem, admitting they need help, and going to some type of rehabilitation or meeting and continued to hang around with their “old drinking buddies” in bars or where ever that it would SEVERELY stunt their personal growth and make it almost impossible to change.

It is the same with diabetics.

For someone who is recently diagnosed with TOD or TTD a major lifestyle change is in order. Gone are the days of eating candy by the pound, refusing to exercise and being carefree.

Let me share an example:

A coworker of mine’s wife has TTD. Her TTD has progressed to the point where she needs to take insulin injections. Her doctor has requested she lose weight which she is unable to do.

Her husband routinely comes in to my office and complains about how much ice cream/bread/potato chips/bagels/cookies she eats and then is genuinely surprised that she cannot lose weight and has to take injections.

luxecoliving.com

Are you freaking serious? I ask him every time he complains WHY he doesn’t simply stop buying the cookies/cake/ice cream so it won’t be around to tempt either of them.

He responds with, “Why? I can eat it so why should we get rid of it?”

wastingyourlife.com

This, of course, fills me with two things:

1. Rage.

2. A quote from Wayne Brady on Chapelle’s Show which I won’t write here but I will link to a video: Wayne Brady Chapelle’s Show. Go 10 seconds in.

Now I don’t actually say what I’m feeling because I’m from the Midwest, but I feel it hear it really loudly in my head on repeat.

Instead, I try to calmly explain how difficult it is to make these large changes in a world driven by food and sitting in front of computers (I realize this is ironic coming from me) and suggest that next time he does the grocery shopping maybe he should NOT buy the junk food. Not only will it remove the temptation but his wife will see that he is supporting her. Maybe that little burst of support will be the tiny extra push she needs to be healthy.

Something as small as knowing your partner has your back can make all the difference in the world.

powerfulstrongman.blogspot.com

I am going to have to defer to a different married couple for an example of what good support can do.

The husband was diagnosed with TTD. He decided to start eating healthy and exercising.

Both of them threw themselves completely into helping each other. They buy healthy food, she packs him a healthy lunch filled with vegetables, they walk together, they bike ride together. She only eats healthy foods now as well.

It was never a question of WHO would have to give up what. It was just unconditional, loving support. And it works. They are both healthy and happy. They look 15 years younger than their real age. The husband’s TTD is more than in check.

It changed the game from “newly diagnosed diabetic” v. “my former lifestyle”, “my family’s lifestyle”, “advertising”, “the world” to a more simple “us” v. “the old us”.

freechickenwings.blogspot.com

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

So if Rose had supported Jack more would they both have survived? Thanks to Myth Busters I think that answer is yes…

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Things I Wish People Would STOP Telling me about Diabetes

I started writing this: Things I Wish People Would Have Told Me When I Got Diagnosed post and then I stopped.  

People told me SO much stuff when I first got diagnosed, and so much stuff throughout all 20+ years of doctors appointments, support group meetings, nutritionist talks, and diabetic counselor discussions  that I just stopped listening.

Changing gears then, here’s a short list of the topics or phrases I wish lay people (not doctors or nutritionists) would STOP trying to tell me:

1. You can’t eat that!

Excuse me? I’m 24. As long as it’s not poisoned please refrain from shouting “you shouldn’t be eating that!” at me while I’m trying to enjoy my tiramisu. I am fully aware that my body cannot handle copious amounts of sugar, that’s what my insulin pump and carb book are for.

2. Diabetes is chronic.

Thanks, I claim that on my taxes every year.

3. Diabetes is nothing to joke about!

Yes it is. However, the absence of your sense of humor is nothing to joke about.

4. You’re just like everyone else! (Not to be confused with: You’re normal!)

Oh give me a break. This isn’t the hour of Barney I used to enjoy on Saturday mornings, this is real life. That statement implies a commonness.

If you were to say to me, “Abbi you have brown eyes, you’re very common!”

I’d say, “You’re right good sir! Please continue to share your wisdom!” But you didn’t. You’re generalizing things and pissing me off.

Last I heard all people didn’t check their blood sugars, carry around glucose tabs, wear insulin pumps, take insulin injections, etc etc.

I LIKE being different. Don’t take that away from me because it makes YOU feel better.

5. You’re normal!

I know.

6. They’re going to cut your feet off!

Oh really? I wasn’t aware you could predict the future. I guess if you COULD, you’d know I’m planning on dying waaaaaaay before they cut my feet off.

7. Diabetes is a serious disease.

In the words of James Woods:

“I get it. I got the concept.”

8. Maybe they’ll be a cure in your lifetime…

Maybe. I’d feel more confident about it if you didn’t say it with those big stupid puppy dog eyes which tell me you don’t believe it. And honestly, stop getting my hopes up. I feel like that’s just another one of those things people say to make themselves feel better, especially if they aren’t personally involved in some type of diabetic research.

9. You should really be doing that this way. (Or some variance)

I don’t walk around changing your “your”s to “you’re”s and “to”s to “too”s so please don’t think because your pancreas works properly that it makes you an authority on how many times I should check my blood sugar.

10. It’s so great how well you’re doing!

What? Did I just get dumped? Am I a recovering alcoholic? I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the good feelings, but be aware how condescending this can sound depending on your tone of voice.

11. Check your blood sugars.

Check yours.

12. What’s your AIC?

Do you even know what that is? If you can’t tell me the word that precedes those letters/number, you don’t need to know and you certainly don’t need to judge.

As childish as some may seem, these are my top least-favorite things to hear about or surrounding diabetes.

Any to add?

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Blame it on the Alcohol

We are doing this.

We are sitting down and having the talk.

“Ok, so I know we’ve been hanging out a lot lately… and I mean, like, and if not that’s totally cool but, I wondered what you thought about us, like, dating…”

No, no not THAT talk.

This talk:

People drink. Adults should be the only ones (according to USA laws) but that’s not always the case. And people, whether legal or not, drink irresponsibly.

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m not here to tell you what to do so drink or don’t drink, just don’t be an asshole about it.

Coincidentally that is also my life philosophy: Do it or don’t, just don’t be an asshole about it.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re 21 years of age or older. Let’s also say that you have diabetes. Fantasy over right?

Tell me about it.

So, you’re of age and a TOD and you’re either out with friends or sitting alone in your room, in the dark watching Breaking Bad or playing Soul Calibur (the GameCube version because it’s the best) and you have a couple. By “a couple” I mean alcoholic drinks.

Your body starts to digest it shortly there after.

First, where does it go?

Mouth, Pharynx, Trachea, Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine (where the Pancreas, Liver, and Gall Bladder help out), Ileocecal Valve, Large Intestine/Colon, and Rectum?–damn near killed ’em!

Now, what happens?

Your saliva actually starts breaking down the sugar to start. And loved ones, that’s what alcohol is when you get right down to it, sugar, and not the useful kind. That’s why Dietitians call it “empty calories”. Protein and Carbohydrates hold 4 calories per gram, Fat holds 9 calories, and Alcohol holds 7. It’s less than fat that’s true but think of how many drinks you suck down in an hour versus how many Volcano Tacos you can eat and you’ll see their point.

A series of muscles and magic pushes your food around but what breaks down the sugar?

Enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts. They break your fat into fatty acids, your proteins into amino acids and your carbs into sugar.

In “normal” people, when their bodies encounter glucose their pancre-i secrete insulin. In TODs, well nothing happens. If you have a partially functioning pancreas you’ll get some insulin but it won’t cover everything you’ve eaten.

Let’s get back to the alcohol.

When your body metabolizes things, it’s really converting it to another substance. When your body metabolizes alcohol, it’s making it non-toxic. I don’t know if any of you have ever played around in a lab or have peeled your own skin off and put it under a microscope “just to see”, but adding alcohol to cells destroys their integrity.

Same with drinkable alcohol, that’s why your body converts it, else you would die upon drinking.

Enjoy the dead wombat to your left.

Depending on your nationality (not kidding) and/or weight and body composition, your body gets good feelings for a while from breaking down the ethanol.

Of course, then that ethanol starts to feel like poison and you want to die a little.

Luckily (and I mean that sarcastically) diabetics already have trouble with metabolism.

The thing about alcohol is, is that it’s really easy to drink.  The more you drink, the easier it is to forget about things like carb counting and you can end up either not taking any insulin or taking too much.

I have done both.

If you like to drink to the ridiculously unhealthy point of passing out, you better make sure you have a friend around who ISN’T intoxicated and can watch you for alcohol poisoning AND low blood sugar.

On the flip side, you can also fall into a coma because your blood sugar is too high. If you’ve had enough that you’re falling down drunk and haven’t taken any insulin, chances are pretty good your sugars will shoot up and you actually could “take a coma” instead of that nap you wanted.

 Actually, click this link and look under the Diabetes heading. It sums up what I just said, but better.

So how do you drink responsibly with diabetes?

Well you can just not.

Or, you can make sure you’re checking your sugars before you start and that you have a Designated Diabetes Watcher with you while you do. Or, you can promise yourself not to have too much and actually keep that promise. (That’s what I usually do because then I don’t have to depend on anyone else which means EVERYONE has fun… usually. Unless EVERYONE shares drinks that night and then two weeks later EVERYONE has strep throat.)

Make sure your DDW knows how to use your glucose meter, knows where your Glucagon is if you have one, knows how to give injections or use your pump, and is dependable in general.

If you can’t find a good one, be prepared to look out for yourself.

There are certain types of alcohol that are “better” for you than others, as far as carbohydrates go.

Examples: dry red wine has less sugar than a sweet white.

Vodka and light beers are usually safest. Liquors are usually the riskiest. Amaretto, for instance,  has 25 grams of carbs in 1.5 ounces. That is NOT a lot of Amaretto and almost 2 carb exchanges. This is fine if you know what to count for, but if you don’t your blood sugar can jump up really quickly.

Similarly to greek yogurt thing, additives are what you have to watch out for. The vodka is good but the orange juice and Amaretto you mixed it with adds tons of carbs.

So, moral of the story: keep your wits about you! (If not your wits, at the very least a liquid scale so you know how much you’re drinking.)

That is kind of the anti-alcohol mantra, but you were one of the chosen ones. And with great power comes great responsibility.

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Catching ZZZ’s

I’m sure this goes without saying, but sleep is IMPORTANT.

Last night I got between 3 and 4 hours of sleep due to some “domestic” arguments in the apartment below me, some drunk people next to me, and the rest of the apartment complex trying to get those people to shut up.

I was expecting this to be fine when I woke up at 7am and started getting ready for work but I was wrong.

As it turns out, I fell asleep on the bus and almost missed my stop. When I got inside the hospital I consumed more than HALF my daily calorie allowance. Before 9am. Yes the Egg and Cheese McMuffin was delicious and yes, the Strawberry Cream Cheese Croissant made me remember why I like to be alive… but now for the rest of the day I have about 400-500 calories to burn.

This is NOT ideal.

So: sleep is important for regular people and, as these things go, it’s even more important for diabetics.

First, I’ll go through the reasons from Harvard Health:

1. Memory

You  know how you feel after a night of no sleep: drunk. And you know what you remember from the night of being drunk: nothing. That doesn’t need a whole lot more explanation.

2. Metabolism

Lack of sleep alters hormone levels that tell you when to eat. When you’re sleep deprived, your body knows it needs to be awake and it knows it needs energy. So it tells you you’re hungry. And then you eat 900 calories before 9am. See Taco Bell post for the dangers of that one.

3. Safety

Sleepy people fall asleep. While doing things you need to be awake for.

4. Mood

Sleep deprived new parents are some of the crabbiest people I have ever met (no offense). It’s the same for non-new-parents. Anyone who is tired and in a good mood has probably taken some kind of mood-altering drug.

5. Cardiovascular Health

Less sleep = more stress. Stress is bad for your heart. Also: diabetes is a heart disease. Any extra stress put on a heart that is working too hard to begin with is bad news. As a diabetic, your heart needs to be attended to and getting enough sleep is an EASY and EXCELLENT way to not add stress to your life.

6. Disease

Getting too little sleep affects how your immune system works. Let me give you a hint: it doesn’t make it work better. The same with heart disease, sleep is an EASY way to help your body work properly. Give yourself a chance to be able to fight off the infections that you’ll be more prone to anyways with your diabetes.

Second, let me break it down for you:

Sleep will lift your mood, keep your weight down, and help keep your diabetes under control. Don’t add to your body’s stress by keeping it from resting.

Thanks Harvard, for spelling that our for us.

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Apologies and Thanks

I wanted to take a few sentences to thank the few, the proud, the followers of this blog.

I know I haven’t been posting much lately but with summer vacation coming up, I AM BACK.

Sometimes the people you think will always be there for you completely let you down, and in ways you didn’t even imagine.

Keep people in your life who keep you sane, who DON’T tell you that you’re crazy, and who speak honestly with their hearts. Those people are rare and will be a constant support to you in your lifetime.

Emotions and diabetes can be tricky to manage, and when both of them aren’t being taken care of, it’s a recipe for disaster. Be kind to yourself. Take the time to know that you’re ok. Life is easier to manage when your diabetes is managed, and diabetes is easier to manage when you’re protecting your life.

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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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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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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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