Diabetes Self-Management Blog

What a great birthday present I got last week. And that didn’t even include the deck, which is now usable, if not finished.

My friend Nancy, who is from Illinois but lives in Germany, called. “Would you please ask Bill and me over for dinner next Thursday?” she asked. Zowie! I haven’t seen her for a year and it’s not looking good for me traveling to visit her this year. Bill — her husband — has a meeting in St. Louis, and she’s tagging along. Amazingly enough, having Nancy come along and visit me was his idea. I never knew he liked me!

My husband keeps suggesting we take them out to dinner instead. You know, to save me from having to cook and do things like find the top of the dining room table. I want to stay home. My foot is healing, but it still tends to throb if I don’t keep it up for much of the day. Also, my dining room chairs are comfortable and I can move to the sofa for after-dinner chat.

Cooking is no big deal. I know how to fix things as I feel up to it and have them ready to throw on the stove or into the oven with little or no further work. For example, I’ve decided on barbecued brisket. I can make the sauce any time and stick it in the fridge. When it’s time, all I have to do is brown the brisket, pour the sauce over it, and stick it in the oven for a nice, slow roast. The same goes for other things: Make the coleslaw dressing in advance and then toss it with cabbage, carrots, and jalapeno peppers, for example. Piece of cake.

(Drat! I forgot about dessert! Got any ideas? Hmmm…did you know that if you put a frozen pie in your own pan, people think you baked it yourself? I keep a pie pan around just for that purpose.)

We could even have coffee and dessert on the deck if I had any furniture out there.

The deck is awesome. Actually, not the deck as much as the ramp. For the first time Sunday, I did not have to maneuver up and down steps to get in and out of the house. I hopped on my scooter in the house and rode it out to the van. My granddaughter put it in the van and off we went.

Monday, I went to a meeting all by myself. I couldn’t take the scooter with me because I didn’t have anybody to put it in the van (I can take it out, but can’t lift it to get it back in). I rode the scooter into the garage, used my walker to get to the van, and took off for a meeting. When I returned home, I used the walker to get into the garage, hopped on the scooter, and rode into the house.

If it stops raining today, I can even scoot over to the grocery stores to get ingredients for Thursday’s dinner.

Aside from those two wonderful happenings, life is a bit frustrating right now. I finished taking my antibiotics and my blood glucose shot up high. Again. It was high before I had the last surgery. Then, the evening of the surgery, I crashed — and kept on doing so until I got my basal rates lowered to where they needed to be to keep my glucose in a good range.

Now I’m doing just the opposite: Gradually raising my basal rates until I find the right formula to keep me going without too many high or low blood glucose levels.

People who don’t have diabetes have no idea just how much fun they’re missing. They think Type 2s only have to take a pill and not eat cheesecake.

Hmmm…cheesecake. That makes a good dessert, too.

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Comments
  1. Dear Jan.

    How to you prepare and cook brisket without having it turn out super tough?

    Second have you ever considered adding metformin to your insulin regime? I am on lantus and a rapid insulin and as a trial I took 2000 mg of metformin a day for 3 weeks. I was a miracle near normal BGs and lost 5 lb to boot. Unfortunately I get so tired on this drug that after 3 weeks I can get out of bed but most people are fine on the stuff. Beware of minimalist doctors the drug does need a minimum daily dose to work.

    Posted by CalgaryDiabetic |
  2. Cheesecake! My wife turned me on to cheesecake as my new favorite dessert - our friend who runs a bakery has been calculating the carbs in her various treats for me, and cheesecake turned out to be an awesome dessert for me - not too many carbs, and all the fat slows down the absorption rate… my friends couldn’t believe that I could eat it. :)

    - Tony Elmquist
    T1 in Maine

    Posted by Skipper |
  3. I do take metformin. Have for years.

    The way you cook brisket without it coming out dry is to bake it slowly (like at 300 for several hours) and with the fat side up. It just falls apart.

    Jan

    Posted by Jan Chait |
  4. The right basal rate formula to go without high or low blood glucose levels is one that keeps you flat normal while not eating at all (fasting).

    The only way to achieve that is to test your current rate for a day without eating, and adjust that rate to fix any drift away from normal.

    I start when my BG at bedtime is normal, showing I got the dinner bolus right. I use NPH at bedtime, and check for normal BG in the morning, adjusting the bedtime dose until I get that right. You can do the same with your overnight insulin pump rate as well, but realize the basal rate probably will need to rise ‘with the sun’ to keep BG normal all night long (check at 3AM).

    Once you have overnight down where BG is steady, then continue fasting in the morning, checking BG every hour or so, and adjusting your basal rate if BG tends away from normal. I take NPH in the morning and adjust it until afternoon BG is normal, but with a pump you can fine tune it hour by hour.

    Once you have your basal dose daily profile adjusted to where your BG stays normal from dinner to the next dinner while not eating at all, you’ve got the formula down right.

    If your BG does not stay normal all day while fasting, then your basal insulin is off, and any excess or deficiency is getting mixed in with your bolus doses for meals. And THAT is going to confound your chances of calculating your meal bolus doses correctly.

    True Basal dosing is the most important one to get right, because it is the foundation everything else rests on.

    Posted by David Worthington |
  5. The DexCom7 and Hypersensitive Sound Alarm (HSA) are things ever diabetic should own. First, I normally write a recommendation only when something is truly amazing and these products are. I’ve had diabetes for 30+ years and have never felt so much control over my health and well being as I do today because of these devices. A year ago, for the first ever, I lived alone. As a diabetic, I was terrified that I would die in the middle of the night from a low blood sugar episode. So, I evaluated all the continuous glucose monitors and determined the DexCom would be the best choice because it offered: 1) the loudest alarm; 2) the longest time that a sensor could be in place (7days); and 3) the cheapest cost. Although the system is amazing and has all the above benefits, its alarm is not loud enough to wake me from a deep sleep (a few low beeps which last only a few seconds). When I first got it, on several occasions, I awoke to discover that I had either been running low (30-40) for more than an hour or high (200+) for hours. I don’t know how many brain cells or clogged arteries that cost me, but I knew I better find a way to increase the volume of the alarm quickly or else I could die prematurely. Luckily, I found another amazing device which amplifies the sound of the alarm so much that it even wakes me from a deep sleep. It can be used with any of the glucose monitors. You can get the HSA device from: . Although it is a bit pricey - it is worth it, because it has saved my life more than once and many brain cells. Now, for the first time, I can sleep soundly and safe, because I don’t have to worry that I won’t be able to hear the alarm. The HSA is a must have if you live alone, travel alone, or ever sleep alone. It is also a must have for parents or caregivers of children or the elderly who don’t want their loved ones to run high all night or be low for hours because you don’t hear the DexCom7 alarm. It is perfect for diabetics who want tighter control of their blood sugar. Since the DexCom and other continuous blood glucose monitor alarms only go off once – then are deactivated by a touch, you can be extremely low or high for hours without knowing. This HSA prevents this from happening, because it wakes you even in deep REM sleep. These devices have easily added 10 years to my life and increased the quality of my life substantially. My insurance covered most of the cost of the DexCom7. The HSA is not covered under insurance, because it is not considered a medical device. However, both were necessary to achieve the level of safety I desired. Frankly, my life and my brain cells are worth every penny.
    Laurie Wright

    Posted by LaurieW |
  6. I just read your past tweet about burnout. This is a very real challenge for me as a Type 1. After 30 years with this it’s not only bg’s but cholesterol etc. The disease never let’s you forget.

    Posted by Kenneth Shipman |

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