Education is a huge part of living with diabetes. Unfortunately, many people with type 2 diabetes are diagnosed then leave the office with little or no education.
If they are lucky, they’ll get back to their doctor’s office for a session with an educator a couple of weeks or a month later.
But what happens in-between? Imagine the questions!
What can I eat? How do I use this blood sugar meter? What do these numbers even mean? It’s paralyzing.
So my clever friends at mySugr have come up with a solution.
Introducing mySugr Academy.
The first course (10 levels with animated videos, articles, tips, challenges, and more) is geared towards type 2 diabetes. We have type 1 stuff on the roadmap, too.
We hope this online diabetes education tool helps fill the gap between diagnosis and initial education, and maybe even proves to be a powerful supplement to traditional diabetes education.
I’d love to know what you think! I’d also love to know more about your diagnosis/education experience. Please leave a comment, or send me a private message if you prefer.
Happy World Diabetes Day!
A Cup or a Glass?
I don’t drink many carb filled liquids (unless I’m low), but sometimes a tall glass of milk really hits the spot.
But I often don’t give much thought to whether I’m drinking a cup of milk, or a glass of milk.
There’s an almost automatic association of 12g cho when I drink milk… maybe it’s a holdover from the old days of exchanges.
If I only poured 8 ounces of milk into my glass that would be just fine. 8 ounces is 12 grams of carbs. But I can see from this picture that I’m often pouring at least 12 ounces, maybe more!
Do I need to do the math on what an extra 4 ounces of milk does to my carb count (it’s an extra 6 grams)? And that’s if I stop pouring at that 12 ounce mark, which I don’t think I normally do.
Looking at this etched glass and thinking about my milk drinking, it gives me one of those “wait…what?!” mind-blowing moments where I realize I’m consuming way more carbs than I thought (see also: Measuring Handfuls).
Measuring my food has always made me a bit angry. There is something unnatural about it and it gets under my skin at a very deep emotional level. Unresolved issues? Yeah, you bet. I have diabetes…
One strategy that makes sense to me is using measuring tools periodically to help remember what a serving size looks like.
So it’s not using measuring tools all the time (and triggering my unresolved emotional issues every time I eat), but rather using measuring tools a few days each month to make sure my “serving size creep,” or the tendency to inflate how much I’m dishing up and eating, isn’t getting out of control.
For example, every time I pour a glass of anything, I’ll be thinking about this marked measuring glass.
Give a Like
I spent a day at Asante HQ* last week with a group of amazing diabetes brains, and among them was one I hadn’t met yet.
Danica has rocked diabetes on YouTube for a long time, so I was really excited to see that she would be there, too. But the poor thing was feeling under the weather most of the time we were in town. She was still able to take part in the meetings and offer really great advice. I was totally impressed.
She seems to have a good head on her shoulders and works hard to share her story. She’s also in nursing school, which I think is great.
Danica has a LOT of great videos on her YouTube channel, and I just want to help make you aware of another great resource for people living with diabetes.
*Disclosure: I am going to work with Asante on a regular basis above and beyond the purpose of this specific meeting. Asante Solutions paid for my travel expenses and lodging for this visit to their headquarters.
3 Winners! Diabetes Carb Control Cookbook!
Bestselling author, Nancy S. Hughes, shares her latest book with you!
Diabetes Carb Control Cookbook features over 150 recipes with exactly 15 grams of carbs per serving.
Featured on the American Diabetes Association’s online bookstore – ShopDiabetes.org, this book sounds like a must have if you love cooking and keeping an eye on your carbs.
The sweepstakes runs until 11:59 pm central on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014.
What does the FDA need to know?
The FDA will host a discussion between the diabetes community and senior FDA leadership from both the drug and device groups.
The topic? What does the FDA need to know about living with diabetes?
The discussion will be available via live webcast from 1-4pm ET (registration details coming soon).
The event will include a live panel of patients, both T1 & T2, and representatives from ADA, JDRF, and diaTribe.
As a community, we have a huge opportunity to present the many challenges we face each day, and it’s important to let the FDA hear YOUR opinions and make sure they’re part of the discussion.
Please consider sharing five minutes of your time to complete the survey. You’ll be making a huge difference in the world of diabetes.
The survey is only open for about FIVE DAYS – so please, do not procrastinate!
She gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk about giving yourself credit for how well you’re managing diabetes (even if you think you’re not).
We introduced my giant mug within the first minute, which should make my colleagues at mySugr smile. They witness that mug way too often (lots of video conferences), and it was a big topic of discussion when I started with them. 🙂
Shout outs to:
- my favorite “You Can Do This” shirt. I think I have this shirt on for almost every online recording. I wear it everyday (true, if only slightly exaggerated, story)
- Children with Diabetes
- #DSMA Twitter Chats (the live chat’s happen on Wednesday nights, 9pm eastern, but there’s almost always activity on the hashtag).
- Sebastian Sasseville and Outrun Diabetes
Have you heard of Nuun? I used their products for my big bike ride in 2012 and during my half marathon training this year. They are big on hydration and replacing electrolytes without added carbohydrates and sugar.
Drop a tab into your water bottle, and you’re good to go. No thinking about insulin doses or blood sugars. That’s a bonus in my world.
New Products and Giveaways
Nuun was kind enough to send me a handful of goodies to give away. I’m excited because there are some new products that I haven’t seen before, and we get to have multiple winners! Yay!
- Nuun All Day Hydration (multi pack) – Vitamin enhanced drink tabs for all day hydration and zero sugar
- Nuun Original Flavors (multi pack) – Electrolyte enhanced drink tabs
- Nuun New Flavors (multi pack) – Electrolyte enhanced drink tabs
- Nuun Energy (1 wild cherry) – Vitamin B & caffeine enhanced drink tabs (3g cho)
- Nuun Energy (1 lemon-lime) – Vitamin B & caffeine enhanced drink tabs (3g cho)
- Nuun Energy (1 cherry limeade) – Vitamin B & caffeine enhanced drink tabs (3g cho)
So we get SIX winners this time! I love it! 🙂 Thank you, Nuun!
Be sure to check out their product page for more details on the above prizes.
Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation message if you’re a new subscriber! Thank you and good luck!
My quarterly endo appointment brought news of the highest A1C I’ve seen in six years. More than six years. Ouch.
I actually got a peek at the lab results a day or two before seeing the doctor, so I had a head start on the emotional trauma and troubleshooting. I think this was good because I wasn’t completely shell-shocked when receiving the news, and I’d already started troubleshooting by the time the doc and I spoke about it.
Why so high?
Reviewing the past few months I can name at least three things that are different and unhealthy. I want to take a short look at each of them and talk through some thoughts on changes that I hope will help.
Lack of exercise
A few months ago I completed my first half marathon. On a scale of one-to-amazingly-hard, it was pretty much off the charts. But I worked hard during training and had a lot of support from many of you (thank you!). Unfortunately, I hurt myself during one of the training runs and was diagnosed with proximal hamstring tendinopathy. Basically, I hadn’t focused enough on proper running form early in my training, and as my mileage increased and I fatigued, my form fell apart, and boom – I tweaked something. My hamstring.
Or what I thought was my hamstring!
I ran the race injured, and after the race, I stopped running. I think it’s pretty normal to take a break after a big event, and maybe especially so with an injury … but not for this long. But every time I tried running again, it hurt. Even playing basketball was pretty miserable, which is a really bad sign.
I went from running 2-3 miles, or more, then playing basketball, 3, 4, 5 days a week, with a long run mixed in there somewhere, to suffering through one basketball session each week with my buddies on Saturday mornings.
So for the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time not exercising.
I know – who isn’t stressed these days. But for some reason, I was really feeling it.
No major issues, but I’d been feeling like I wasn’t getting the right things done, or that I didn’t have enough time to finish things, or that my work wasn’t the quality I wanted, or that I wasn’t getting back to people fast enough, or, or, or…
There are a million things any of us could add to that list. Stress is funny in that when I give it any room inside my head it just goes on a rampage. I have to make a very conscious decision to say “NO” to the things that aren’t important, or that I just can’t do, and focus on what I can do. And be very clear about not stressing out about the rest of it.
I need to follow my own “NO STRESS!” rule…
What’s one of the best stress relievers?
Shorting my sleep
I need 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night. I’m damn sure I need more than the 4-5 I’ve been getting for the past few months. That’s been the norm until I crash hard every 4th or 5th night. It’s a bad thing when your 8-9 hour nights are sporadic, and your 4-5 hour nights are regular.
Everything suffers when I short myself on sleep. You know what I usually notice first? High blood sugars and stress levels. Imagine that.
This has a lot to do with being stressed and trying to do too much (or too much of the wrong things). I often stay up into the early morning hours working on stuff, but my productivity is severely hampered because I’m tired. But I think that I need to just “push through this last task” or “get this last bit done” before turning in for the night.
I need to recognize that I’m more efficient, productive, healthier, and happier when I’m getting the sleep I need.
What’s one thing you can do to improve your sleep habits?
About the exercise
It’s clear that exercise is a huge problem area, and is also a big part in the other two – stress & sleep. But how can I exercise if I’m still so uncomfortable from the injury?
My endo asked if I’d like to see a physical therapist again, and I immediately said yes. In fact, I walked directly from his office on the 5th floor down to their office on the 3rd floor to schedule an appointment. A week later, there I was.
I spent about an hour with the therapist. After trying a million different stretches and poses and lifts and pulls, the therapist twisted my legs like a pretzel and I finally did a stretch that hit the spot that has been bothering me – and it felt amazing!
I’ve been doing exercises and stretches for three months trying to find that spot and nothing worked! Because I’ve been targeting the wrong thing. It’s not a hamstring issue at all – it’s piriformis syndrome (affectionately known as runners butt)!
Now I have correctly identified the issue, and have a plan – complete with a set of physical therapy stretches and exercises.
It’ll take a bit of time to feel better, but I’m so thrilled to have found the right problem and to have a plan of action. I can already tell I’ll be feeling great again in no time.
I have no plans on running another half-marathon, so don’t even ask. My goal now is to get back to where I was feeling my best, and that was running 2-3 miles before playing basketball. There’s no good reason to do more than that.
Hopefully, this will help with the sleep and stress, and everything together will help nudge my A1C in the right direction.
I have to admit that I chuckled a lot trying to think of safe, but somehow still slightly inappropriate “runner’s butt” images to use for this post. In the end, I wimped out. I hope you’ll forgive me.
As always, I’d love to hear from you guys. Stress tips, sleep tips, productivity tips, and runner’s butt tips, let me know if you have any words of wisdom for me!
I’ll Read it For You
Are you on the move? Let me read this to you…
I love talking about medical id bracelets and jewelry. I’m a big advocate for wearing medical ID of some sort and will talk about it any chance I get.
I am almost paranoid about wearing mine, and often wear both a medical ID bracelet and necklace. I once realized I didn’t have them on and an audible <gasp> escaped my lips.
Medical ID is Important!
I know you may think you don’t need to wear medical ID. I know you may think you’ll never be caught by a low blood sugar you can’t handle.
I hate to break it to you… but diabetes plays dirty and is one of the sneakiest things I’ve ever experienced. As soon as you think you have everything under control, then you don’t.
Please, please, please (please!) make an effort to protect yourself by wearing some sort of medical ID.
ONEIDA Medical ID
ONEIDA has made a business out of medical ID jewelry and keeping people safe for the past fifty-plus years. Since the early 1960’s they’ve been involved in helping to alert others of a special medical condition when the person in need is unable to communicate.
They were kind enough to send me a bracelet to check out, and I love it so far (disclosure: I received the pictured medical ID bracelet and engraving from ONEIDA Medical Jewelry at no charge).
My experience with medical id bracelets is that they take a beating and need to be replaced every so often. There are two ways they wear out for me.
First are the mechanical parts. The small connecting links on my bracelet between the plaque (the part that gets engraved) and the links – these are usually the literal weak links in the chain and can break when it gets snagged on something.
Second is the engraving on the plaque. When it becomes hard to read because it’s worn down, it’s time to start shopping for a new piece.
The great folks at ONEIDA Medical Jewelry are giving away a $50 Gift Certificate to one lucky winner and a surprise bonus offer to everyone who enters (that means we’re all winners – w00t)! Enter below, and share with your homies for an even better chance to win.
If you’re a new subscriber to my mailing list, be sure to check your email inbox for the confirmation message (and confirm), or you’ll miss out on the surprise bonus offer. We don’t want that…
If you’d like some new medical ID jewelry, a.k.a. Diabetes Bling, please toss your name into the hat for the sweepstakes. And if you don’t win, please consider doing your medical ID shopping with ONEIDA.
Update/Edit: Kris recently sent me a message to let me know what he chose with his gift code. Check them out, they are pretty awesome!
Thanks much to everyone for participating!