About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A New & Improved Version of Yourself.


QUINOA CONFETTI SALAD

I'm pretty excited to incorporate a dairy-free diet plan into my current regime. At the suggestion of my dietician, I completed a 30-day dairy detox, and felt amazing afterwards. But I started missing dairy, like cheese and lattes, so after the 30-day detox, I incorporated it back into my diet. But shortly thereafter, I started to notice that I was feeling sluggish, more mucus-y, and my seasonal allergies got worse. I'm not intolerant of dairy and I know I'm not allergic to it (I was tested twice this year already), but I just feel better without it.

The night before last, I attended a gluten-free/dairy free cooking class. The recipes were not only fantastic, but easy to prepare and healthy! Above is a picture of one of the dishes I made today that I learned in my cooking class. If you are interested in more gluten-free/dairy free recipes, I use www.angelaskitchen.com. (She is who taught the cooking class).

As I've gotten older (and probably due to the t1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease diagnoses in the past year), I've really become interested in healthy eating. Having an auto-immune problem, I choose to stay away from non-organic fruits and vegetables and have almost exclusively switched to grass fed or organic meats and eggs. I buy non-GMO products, I steer clear of high fructose corn syrup. I also started juicing last month (mainly vegetables, as fruits spike my bg).

I haven't drank caffeine in probably 15 years, either. I'm glad I don't rely daily on caffeine like so many of my friends!

Now if only I could permanently eliminate the cravings for sugar, in particular my decaf caramel lattes... The cravings make me feel like a drug addict.
I'm working on it!

There is always room for a new & improved version of yourself. I'm a work in progress!

What are your health goals?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Letter to Dr. B.- Diabetes Blog Week #2

Dear Dr. B (endocrinologist),

You were the lucky doctor rounding that weekend at the hospital in 2010 when I was admitted for a new suspected type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Oh yes…lucky you. I understand that I was in denial, that I argued with you and told you that you were wrong, (I might have even called you stupid) followed by complete ugly-cry sobs. You even put in my medical records that “patient does not want to talk to me right now,” “patient may need additional time to come to terms with her new Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis.” At one point, you wrote in my medical records that I was begging you to give me more time—a week at least—to go home and let me think about things before I had to start taking care of my disease (you said no, you big jerk).


When I refused to give myself injections, you told me I would be dead in a couple weeks. I stubbornly said “So be it.” You said FINE, I’LL give you injections- every day- here at the clinic until you can give them to yourself.

You personally even called me at my home before my appointments to make sure I’d actually show up and reminded me of the importance of getting the insulin injections. Some of the appointments I showed up for, others… I didn’t. You even left me voicemails when I saw you calling and refused to pick up the phone, saying “Nicooooooollleee. You had an appoinnnnnntment todayyyyyyy. You need to take this more seriously and come in.” I was just too terrified of needles.


You told me I was the worst patient you had ever had in your entire history of being a doctor. And I told you I’d make you a better doctor because of it. (and I really did, you have to admit). You even took a picture of me on your iPhone so, as you put it, “you could show your wife and family what your worst patient looks like.”
In the end, you appealed to my insurance company to cover an OmniPod insulin pump, pleading with them that I would die without it – literally- due to my inability to do the shots myself. Miraculously, they covered it.


I just want to thank you, Dr. B, for being more patient with me than I could ever ask for. 2010 was the first year of diabetes and I sure didn’t make it easy for you. I lived in denial most of the year. I felt so bad that by Christmas time, I bought you a bottle of wine and a box of truffles as a Christmas gift/thank you/survival kit for putting up with me.


And when you sent me a Christmas card in return, you thanked me and wondered how I knew JUST what you needed. It reeked of sarcasm (and possibly wine stains?)


So much has changed since then. It no longer takes me 6 hours to poke my finger and change my pods. Look at me now! Now I am mentoring some of your other hellion patients who are –gulp-just like I was. Who saw that coming…??

Anyway, thanks Dr. B.

With Warm Regards, your "FAVORITE patient,"
Nicole

D-Art



Here's my 1st entry for Diabetes Blog Week. Sorry, I'm not much of an artist!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Broccoli- Looks innocent, doesn't it?








For Easter, I got together with a few friends, and we had reservations to a local restaurant here in the Twin Cities. Being a dutiful Celiac, I called ahead and spoke with the manager, who ensured me they have practices in place in their kitchen to prevent cross-contamination for those who have food allergies (or for peeps like me, who have Celiac Disease). They also provide a full, gluten-free menu.



When we arrived, I advised our server about my gluten allergy (NOTE: although Celiac Disease is not an allergy; for all intensive purposes that is how we Celiacs explain it to the wait staff at restaurants, as it's more understandable than trying to explain that we have an autoimmune disease, and that ingesting even trace amounts of gluten- wheat, rye, barley or oats- will cause immediate damage to both our immune systems and our small intestinesand cause inflammation throughout our organs). Our server brought out a gluten free menu for me, and my friends are awesome and supportive and also ordered off the gluten free menu, just to help prevent confusion or cross contamination at our table. Being diabetic, I tried to order something lower carb, so I steered clear of the gluten free pasta offerings. I decided on a ribeye with steamed broccoli and a side salad sans croutons and the house gluten free italian dressing.


Sounds safe enough, right?



Fast forward a few hours, when the stomach ache I had experienced immediately after dinner turned into vomiting. Vomiting throughout the night, and into the morning, along with severe stomach bloating and cramping. Yep, I had been glutened.



Being glutened spins my entire body out of control; my blood sugar went uncontrollably high as my body was trying to rid itself of the gluten. Unfortunately, gluten is absorbed into my tissues and the damage can take years to be reversed.



Was it the sunflower seeds? I had wondered if they were purchased in bulk by the restaurant (bulk items are a no-no for Celiacs, as many bulk items have a gluten anti-caking agent added to them). Was it the seasoning on my steak? Had someone with glutened hands handled my plates? I just wasn't sure.


I called the restaurant the following day and advised the manager of the situation (not because I wanted a gift card, because trust me, I won't be eating out again anytime soon. I see why Celiacs tend to avoid eating out). The manager did some research and called me back. We think we found the offender, and it was NOT what I expected. Turns out, the kitchen had steamed my broccoli using water that had previously been used to boil regular (gluten) pasta. Gah!


The one food that I thought for sure was the SAFE food, steamed broccoli, turned out to be the culprit.



The manager was extremely apologetic and advised he was sending me a gift card for my next meal. It was pretty presumptuous of him to think I'd come back. Once that fear is in your mind, it's hard to get it out. The gift card will be re-gifted to someone else.



When it comes to food allergies, it just takes one person in a large restaurant staff to make a mistake. As a diner, I do my best to talk to the manager ahead of time when the reservations are made, and call again the morning of the reservations, and to eat at off-peak hours so the kitchen and wait staff don't feel rushed and make a mistake with handling my food. But no matter how careful you are, it can still happen. And because gluten has no taste, there's no way for me to know until AFTER I've eaten it and the internal damage is already done.


I almost can't believe it, but it's true - I hate having Celiac Disease more than I hate having T1 diabetes.