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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rewarding oneself for good disease management.



I feel like I experience burnout more often than normal, due to the fact I am managing two autoimmune diseases instead of just one (well, technically I'm managing three, but the first two require much more work/daily diligence than the third). How I keep myself motivated is with little rewards. I don't like to reward myself with food treats, since my hips get mad at me (as does the double chin that suddenly appears). So non-food treats is where I turn to. I don't want to blow out my monthly budget on a treat, so I find inexpensive treats. Like what I bought today!

Today, I treated myself to some new jammie shorts from Target. Two were clearanced out, the other two were on sale. Four pair for a grand total of $25. They are so comfy! The secret is to buy all pj bottoms one size bigger than you actually wear, so they aren't tight-fitting on your waist or tummy. Plus, I don't like tight waistbands rubbing my CGM or insulin pump off my stomach/back while I sleep. That's urrritating.

Do you reward yourself for good behavior? How do you keep yourself motivated?

What's in my Bag



Here goes. An unedited look inside my ginormous bag. I'm curious myself to see what's hiding down deep.

I need a bag that's big enough to fit, well, my life. This bag is London Fog. It's red and shiny. I have a love for all things (fake) patent leather.

We'll start with the outside pockets. Each one houses one roll of glucose tabs. Nice hiding place, eh?

Inside: Hobo wallet, Glucagon Emergency kit, ReliOn glucose tabs (geez how many of these do I have in this purse???), small pink leather food journal, grocery shopping list from 2 wks ago, MAC lipglass in Clear, Curel Hand & Cuticle Therapy (not sure this is gluten free but am cautious not to put hands near mouth when using), 2011 calendar with a cartoon yoga chic on the front, orange-inked felt pen, individual Crystal Light packet in White Grape, MAC lip liner in Subculture, a dime, Aquaphor individual sized tube, Dex4 glucose gel in Berry Blast, MAC lipgloss in Viva Glam V, Bountiful, and Instant Gold, MAC lipstick in Twig, Softlips chapstick in Sugar Cookie, black ink pen, and the black-and-white polka dotted makeup bag houses my Omnipod, lancet, strips, Novolog and all things diabetes. Found in inside side pocket: "Love, Express" sample perfume, small scissors, ponytail holder.

My purse still has a ton of room in case I need to carry a book, my Filofax, magazines, bottle of water, or food. I heart this bag. And it only cost me $45 at Sam's Club!!! Bargain.

Damn Good Chili for diabetics and/or celiacs


Need a yum recipe for dinner for yourself and/or family? Or how about need a recipe that is SAFE for anyone in your life who has a food allergy to one of the top 8 allergens? This recipe is SOGOOD. It's also lower carb. This recipe is always a hit, regardless of my audience. It's easy, it's tasty and (drum roll) it's HEALTHY!!! I got this recipe from my non-insurance covered dietician at Nutritional Weight & Wellness here in Minneapolis. She created a meal plan for me that is healthy for both my diabetes and my celiac disease. I love all of her recipes, but this one, it's amazeballs. I'm sharing it with you, even though I had to pay a $200 office visit charge to get it (aren't I nice?). It makes a big batch and for you single peeps you can freeze it if you can't eat it all.

Top a bowl of this with sliced black olives or sliced avocado for a healthy fat. My hero dietician doesn't want me eating dairy, so no cheese or sour cream on top. I do top it with an extra splash of Red Hot, tho (salivating). Hurry up, crock pot!!!!!!!

Here's the recipe:

2 lbs ground beef or turkey (I used turkey this round). Brown in pan, drain & set side.

1 T. olive oil
1 C. onion- chopped
1 C. green pepper(I forgot to buy one, so it's not in my current batch)
2 cloves garlic- chopped
Heat olive oil in pan and cook the vegetables until tender.

Mix the following ingredients in a big bowl:
2 T. chili powder (I use all McCormick's seasonings b/c they are gluten free)
1 t. cumin
1 t. oregano leaves- dried
1/4 t. Tabasco sauce (I use Red Hot cuz that's what's in the fridge)
6 medium fresh tomatoes- diced
1 (15-16 oz.) can organic tomato sauce (I use Glen Muir or whatever it's called)

Throw everything together in either a big pan (heat to boiling, cover and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally) or in a crockpot (throw on for a few hours on high or low, until all ingredients are broken down).

16 oz. can kidney beans-drained and rinsed
10 large black olives- sliced (optional)
avocado- diced or sliced (optional)
Add kidney beans after chili has cooked for 1 hour. Serve topped with olives or avocado.

My dietician recommended eating this on top of a serving of green beans instead of rice in order to keep carb count low.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who eats dry mix???

As a diabetic celiac or celiac diabetic (poTAYto/poTAHto), eating gluten-free while couting carbs is just a part of my life. My diabetic side of life is used to reading serving sizes and carb counts. My celiac side of life is used to scanning labels for gluten and cross contamination risks.

I made these gluten-free brownies the other day. You can imagine my surprise to see the "serving size" on this packaging. 3 tablespoons of DRY MIX????? HUH? Who eats dry mix? How much brownie is that? Now, I know you may say "But Nikki, just read right below it. It says there are 12 servings per container, so just do the math." Okayyy, except that on the box, (not pictured) it says "Makes 16 brownies." ???????? I do have a food scale, but I don't know if when they say "37g" for serving size if that, again, is measuring something else, like dry mix. I have no idea. I ended up guess-bolusing for around 31 carbs, based on the carbs listed on the box.

Has that ever happened to you? I think there should be a mandatory protocol for determining serving sizes on food. It should always be in weight (oz, grams, lbs) of the FINISHED product. None of this dry mix BS. Stoooooopid.

ERROR


Last night's awesome message. Annoying!!! It stayed that way for a few hours and then it fixed itself. Whew...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Random


I hate putting this thing on. I love having the security a CGM provides, but being afraid of needles, it can take me HOURS to get up the nerve to put this thing on. Sometimes, I'll have already removed the adhesive backing and have it stuck on me, but I am too afraid to move forward, and I'll walk around (the house, not in public) with the entire contraption stuck on my belly until I feel I can finish the process. My endo told me I am his only diabetic patient who is a needle-phobe. Can that be true?

Today: wake up weight: 118.0. Didn't eat on a good schedule today and didn't eat all that healthfully. Bkfast: 2 egg whites with Mrs. Dash and pepper, 1 pc. gf toast and 1/2 avocado, decaf coffee with soy creamer (love soy creamer, yum yum)and sugar alternative. Skipped lunch; ate breakfast too late. Dinner: left over gf pasta from previous night's dining out. (A rarity; the last time I ate out was the night before Easter.) Snack: pumpkin seeds and no-sugar-added apple sauce (pre-measured to 15 carbs). Trying to get weight to 115. Guess I'll have to incorporate more exercise, sigh.

I need to call my insurance company tomorrow. I got a call from my pharmacy tonight letting me know my insurance denied my test strips refill. Argghh. They don't think I need to test 6 times a day anymore, or 200 strips per month. Firstly, I actually test 8.3 times per day, on average, according to my dr, so them having to pay for only 6 of those should seem like a bargain. Besides, they've paid for 200 per month for the last 17 months (since when I was diagnosed), so why do they randomly decide to deny me? No idea. The pharmacist, a nice older gentleman, was quite annoyed with them. I told him not to worry about it; this wasn't the first time and I'd deal with the insurance company tomorrow.

On a happy note, I got my August 2011 Diabetes Forecast magazine in the mail today. I pretty much will sit down and read it cover to cover. I'm sort of a magazine junkie; I have subscriptions to Whole Living, Glamour, Self, Diabetes Forecast, Delight Gluten Free, Living Without, Diabetes Self-Management, Everyday Food (came free with the Whole Living subscription), All You, US Weekly and Gluten-Free Living. I think that's all of them. US Weekly is great for my celebrity smut fix; that's my reading material for the morning coffee. And Diabetes Forecast and Gluten-Free Living beat out the rest of them for which ones get read first. I rarely skip any articles in these. Many magazines have good recipes for food I can't eat- either too carby or has gluten in it. So I usually skip over the recipe sections of the non-medical magazines. Anyways I was reading Diabetes Forecast today and read through the section where readers submit feedback about the previous issue. I wanted to tell a few of those readers to go have someone pin their tails back on (channeling Eyore), because their comments seemed unnecessarily negative, kind of over the top. Personally, I think it's great to have a magazine that is focused on this disease. That every article and advertisement from cover to cover is specific to me. That's how I feel with my gluten free magazines, too. I'm so happy to have magazines entirely dedicated to diseases that affect my life 24/7. That provide updates, recipes, ways for coping and most importantly, a sense of community. I enjoy these mags much more than my girlie magazines because the girlie ones usually have many sections that have nothing to do with my life (hello, have you seen the price of the clothing in the fashion sections? Sweater, Marc Jacobs- $1,250. REALLY???? Who is their target audience, anyway???) Sections about parenting (cuz I have no kiddos), marriage advice(nope, not married), fashion (can't afford what they are advertising and it's ugly, anyway), 20-somethings who sleep with their bosses/guys they just met at the bar/ their best friend's boyfriend and then write in to the advice columns wondering why their relationship didn't work out, etc. etc. I get that their relevance has to cover a wide base of readers and that these articles are helpful to different populations. I'd rather spend my time reading info that's relevant to me.

Anyway, enough randomness for one night.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Artificial Pancreas, Here I Come


The visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN turned out to be a very interesting visit, indeed. As is standard Mayo Clinic practice (at least at the one I go to), you don't get to pick the time, or the date, of your appointments. If you want to see a physician there, you send a request either online or by calling them. The request goes to a review committee, who then sends a notification to you in the mail notifying you when your appointment is and with which doctor (the specialists pick their own patients based on their specific interests/emphasis or delegate to associate specialists). It can get tricky when you have more than one appointment on one day; they do the best they can to get them lined up, but it doesn't always work. As was the case today. I had fasting bloodwork at 8:00am, but then didn't see my dr until 1:30. Ugh. I killed time by walking around the Mayo campus and then walking to the Barnes & Noble they have on campus. Walking is no small task when you have to carry your ginormous purse, a backpack full of crap for the day, and a cooler of food. And being diabetic. And it's hot outside. Having celiac disease makes finding safe food to eat almost impossible, so my cooler was packed with my breakfast, snacks, and a lunch.

Anyways, despite the fact I had an A1c done a week ago at my other clinic, the Mayo endo also ran the test. 5.9. I like this one better than the other one (6.1). My eosinophil cells are still high. I have a disease of the white blood cells (eosinophil cells), but that really doesn't mean much to me right now b/c I have no symptoms and they are not recommending any course of treatment (whew). So whatever.

But that's not the interesting part.

The interesting part was at the end of my 1.5 hour appointment, when the endo told me that they (Mayo) are beginning their trial study of the artificial pancreas later this year and he said I am a good candidate. Would you like to try the artificial pancreas, he asked. It involves an inpatient stay, followed by outpatient visits regularly. All charges are covered by the NIH, since they are sponsoring the study. I felt like I was getting proposed to. OF COURSE! I said with excitement. So, I meet with him in October for details.

I walked away there with more questions that I was too excited to think about at the time, for example, I have pretty good control right now, how will this thing affect it? What if it malfunctions and unloads a whole batch of insulin? If a pump malfunctions, you can turn it off. How do you turn this thing off if it goes haywire?

He said they are programing some sort of physical activity detector in it, so it can adjust your insulin to your exercise routine. Nicccceeee. Although since I myself have not been able to determine this, I am highly suspect that a piece of technology with no knowledge of, well, ME, can guess it correctly. Guess I need to do some research on the JDRF website about the artificial pancreas.

I also learned today that for some odd reason, my pancreas has started to produce some of its own insulin. Why and how, they have no idea, but my C-Peptide test confirmed it. There's no way to preserve the functioning or know how long it will last, but hey, I'll take it. He thought up 3 possibilities that may be supporting the insulin production: 1) the fact I was put on an insulin pump 1 week after my diagnosis (promoting tight control right away), 2) getting my other two auto-immune diseases diagnosed and under control likely helped my diabetes to be somewhat more manageable and 3) my pretty strict adherence to a carb-controlled diet has helped me to maintain good control, or at least has helped make it more predictable. I'm trying to be careful not to come across as giving anyone advice, because I know how individual diabetes is. I'm just saying what I do that seems to be working for me. Nothing fancy here, but as I've mentioned in previous blogs, I eat pretty much the exact same carb counts for each meal, and always eat a carb with a protein and with a healthy fat, to help prevent spikes. So for example, I eat 30 healthy carbs for breakfast every day. The same food for every breakfast. Boring, I know, but it works for me. And then I eat about 30-45 carbs for lunch, and again at dinner. Again, I stick to similar types of meals. I know this wouldn't work for every diabetic and I know most ppl would rather blow their brains out than eat the rigid diet that I eat. But I do it out of sheer desperation to help manage an unmanageable disease and for me the payoff has been worth it. Although I still have days where I fall off the food wagon and eat like total crap. It happens. But I just get right back on the next day.

Anyway, it was a good day at the Mayo. Can't wait to see what they tell me in October!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mayo Clinic begins 7am tmrw morning.....

Today was a good day. I forced it to be. Nothing was going to get me down today. I ignored the fact it was 104 degrees out (actual temp), ignored that with humidity, the temp felt more like 116, and ignored the fact I'm on a strict budget, and went shopping anyway.

It was fun meandering around the stores, with no aim or purpose.

I was also happy that my tooth problem resolved itself over night (whew!) Which totally made my day.

Tomorrow I have a full day of testing and appointments at the Mayo Clinic to check my Eosinophilia disease and my Type 1 diabetes. Then I report to each doctor tomorrow to go over the results of the lab.

I'm keeping a positive outlook even tho I feel pretty nervous.

I'll be checking in by writing some new blogs as I get new information, so you might see a few different blogs from me tomorrow.

Wish me luck/keep me in your prayers. Y'all are in mine, too! Enjoy your days tomorrow, kittens! Make it a great day!

Check back with me tomorrow morning....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My teef hurt

I need to start having a weekly blog entitled "What was I thinking??"

Last night I made a bad decision.

As I was cleaning out my bathroom's linen closet yesterday, I found my old teeth bleaching trays. Low and behold, there were 3-two year old syringes filled with teeth bleach still in the box. Well shoot, I thought. I should see if these still work. I mean, their old, but at worst they've probably lost their potency. So, before bed, I loaded up the teeth trays with bleaching solution, actually, I used EXTRA solution assuming it had lost it's potency, shoved them in my mouth (yay the trays still fit!) and laid in bed to read. I'll just leave them in until I shut the light off for the night; maybe an hour or so.

Fast forward to 7am this morning when I woke up to tooth pain. One tray was still in my mouth and the other was lost in the sheets. I felt like every tooth in my mouth had a toothache. I couldn't breathe through my mouth. I went into the bathroom and read the instructions, which stated to not leave the trays in longer than 2 hours. Good job, Nik.

It's now evening, and it's been a long day of not being able to chew, drink hot or cold beverages, or take a deep breath in through the mouth. I've been running my tongue over my teeth all day as a confort mechanism. I took some ibuprofen (which did nothing). I just now bolused for a piece of toast (which I barely toasted to make it softer to bite into) and guess what- I can't bite into it. So I tore a corner off and shoved it in my mouth, and ended up almost swallowing the bite whole because it hurt to much to chew. In fact, the only meal I've successfully eaten today was breakfast, when I made scrambled eggs and waited for them to be room temp to eat them. And each chew was made slowly and with planned intent. I keep singing the commercial for Tums, but substituting the words Dumb, dumb dumb dumb DUMB! Srsly.

All that pain, and my teeth don't even look whiter.

Gah!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Bedside Table.





This is where I keep my buddies. Sam the CGM sleeps ALWAYS by my head so I can hear the alarms. He tends to lay next to my SNUGGLE pillow. My glucose meter is kept on my bedside table, as it looks every night. Pink lamp, jade health charm, Sunset with God nightly devotional, hand/foot cream, and silk rose arrangement. Sometimes I'll leave room for a cuppa tea.
I don't know if others sleep with their equipment right up there next to you. For me, I feel safer knowing I'll hear it if it's by my head. We're doing ok here at bedtime tonight; according to Sam, I'm sitting at 104 (Glucose meter confirmed bg was 107). A little higher than where I like to go to bed with, but I'll leave it alone instead of bolusing it down into the 90s. Since I wake up a little in the 90s or 100's I like to start a little lower at bedtime because it always goes higher by morning.
Do you guys have a routine routine or your diabetes, or if you are a caretaker, are there specials steps you take? Just interesting to me and would like to hear from others so I have something to compare myself to!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rx: FUN

Today was filled with appointments. I scheduled as many of them as I could in one day to get them over with. This morning started out with a check up with my primary care doc. Quite possibly the nicest, most sincere, genuine doctor I've ever met. He even asked me how my social life has been handling all the medical diagnoses (fair to partly cloudy). He asked me how I've been sleeping (would be better if I wasn't checking my BG at all hours of the night). He actually PRESCRIBED me to have more fun with friends throughout the week. Not in a funny way, either. He was genuinely serious and scheduled an appointment for August for me to follow up with him to make sure my social life (read: emotional health) has improved. Defensive, I told him I DO have fun... I have my t.v. shows that I watch, I go for run/walks with the dog, I'm reading like 7 books simutaneously and I even told him about my new Kitchen Aid mixer. And then I heard myself talking and made myself a loser sign with my hands. His prescription was well-taken, and he also sent me on my way with a new Rx for a mild sedative to help me sleep.

Next visit was 2 hours later, with one of my endos. Let's get this right out of the way, my A1c was..... 6.1! Hurray! During the appointment, he decided it would be best to scale back on the daytime basal rate, to help prevent the lows I've been having in the afternoons. I gave him my spreadsheets of bg readings, food logs, a print off of my PDM settings, and a page of things I've noticed with my bg over the past 2 weeks. Overall, he said he rarely sees diabetics who have as tight of control over their bg readings as I and that he has no other suggestions except to lighten up a bit with the control (read: CALM DOWN, WOMAN! QUIT WITH THE TYPE A CRAZY BEHAVIOR! LIVE YOUR LIFE!) Okay, I see a theme here goin' on with the doctors. Point well taken.

The final visit of the day was the dreaded eye exam. I don't like getting my eyes dilated. The eye doctor looked over my medical history and then said to me "Somebody has an auto-immune problem," Yeah, no sh* buddy. Good eye. (ha). The eye exam was over 2 hours long. In the end, yes, I still should be wearing reading glasses, yes my Rx has changed a bit and I should get a new pair of glasses, but the great news is I am showing no further signs of eye damage. The blood vessels in my eyeballs are lookin good! Yay!

After the appointment, I hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was now after 8pm. My bg was hollering at me heyyyy, I'm hunnngggrrry. I stopped off at the grocery co-op and picked up some brown rice tortillas and a german chocolate cupcake. I came home and made some baked chicken, chopped it up and threw it in the brown rice tortilla with some avocado and some mayo and chowed down.

Now I'm just staring down the cupcake. It's fate is sealed.

On another note, how has everyone else's A1c's been doing? We're family here; no judgment. YOU ARE IN A SAFE PLACE! Got anything else on your mind today? DM questions/concerns, Celiac questions/concerns. Feel free to bring anything you want forward.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two Diets, One Life: Managing Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes.


Today is my 1-year anniversary for Celiac Disease. One whole year! Wow, did that go by fast. One year ago today, my celiac disease diagnosis was confirmed with an intestinal biopsy. I had 100% villous atrophy, Marsh stage 4 celiac disease, meaning maximum damage to my small intestines and immune system. I began juggling two diets beginning that day- diabetic and celiac. It's been one full year since I've had real pizza, bread, fast food, pasta, cake, cereal (including my beloved Cream of Wheat and Lucky Charms) or anything from Starbucks. Sigh. I can't believe it's been a year.

Adding celiac disease to a 5-month old type 1 diabetes diagnosis was incredibly overwhelming. It added an entirely new element of management to an already-difficult diabetes diagnosis. You see, when you ingest any trace amount of gluten (even teeny amounts from cross-contamination), it damages the small intestines, which in turn messes with the amount of insulin you need daily because your body cannot absorb nutrients from your food or insulin. For example, because your body did not absorb the 50 carbs of food you just bolused for, you end up with extremely low blood sugar as a result. As the intestines heal, your insulin needs change. It makes managing your t1 diabetes difficult, like a moving target. And it makes avoiding gluten crucial- right down to making sure your waitress doesn't touch bread with her hands then touch the straw that she's now putting in your drink.

In the Summer 2011 edition of Delight Gluten Free magazine, there is an article entitled Two Diets, One Life: Managing Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes. Finally! An article for peeps like me! This article is written in an upbeat, inspiring fashion. In case you can't tell from the picture, it's a chick looking into an empty fridge. That's definitely how you feel sometimes. One paragraph reads: "So how does a patient keep up with the demands of both diseases? Here are three major tips for a happy and healthy gluten-free and diabetic-friendly lifestyle." I was so excited to see this article and read the happy and healthy tips that I didn't mind paying $5.20 for it at Barnes & Noble.

I've been counting down to today for a long time. It's the final one-year anniversary mark for my disease diagnoses. T1 diabetes: 2/6/10, Grave's disease 4/10/10, Celiac disease 7/13/10. I can move on now.

Wish me luck- I get my A1c checked tomorrow, 2pm. Not sure what it's going to be. Last one was 6.0 in March, but that was with a strict, daily diet regimen. I mean, I have worked hard overall to keep it lower, but you know, you have those days that you just bomb out and give up. Since my last A1c I've had 3 holidays (Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July) and my birthday, all excuses to eat horribly. You think of every one of those incidents the night before your A1c test. I know that my A1c shouldn't determine my level of self-esteem, but I'm only human. A higher A1c will feel like a failure. A failure of that magnitude with stress me out and make me crave chocolate, which in turn with spike my bg. Do you see the hopeless cycle here?????

Well, time to go. I'm going to continue watching my dog trying to attack a moth on the other side of the window...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The newest addition.



I broke down today and purchased a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It was an inevitable purchase, really. As a celiac, I can't eat regular bread/muffins/cookies/baked goods. If I want to purchase a loaf of gluten free bread (none of which are low carb either), it will cost me between $6-$10 a LOAF. A loaf that is smaller than the normal bread ones.

I want to start making my own bread and muffins, number one because of price and availability, and number two because I want to control what ingredients are in it (I can make it healthier and higher in fiber). The problem is that no mixer can hold up to gluten free dough, which is tougher, thicker, and feels like it weighs about 10 lbs. My last hand mixer (bless it's little heart) tried hard to mix through the gluten free dough, but alas, it let off a horrible burning smell and died mid-mixture. RIP.

Everyone (celiacs, at least) has been telling that I need to get a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, the seemingly only mixer that can stand up to gluten free dough. But who wants to drop $350 on a mixer??? But that's exactly what I did today. I bought the cadillac version with the big-a** 425 watt motor. It's huge and even looks mean. I mean, seriously, it looks like it could kill someone. It's got personality and I plan on naming it. I love it.

Human Behavior

It's very strange to me when random people come up to me and ask me about "that thing on my arm." Like today at Target. I was totally engaged in reading the back of a mustard bottle (to check for gluten) when I hear someone say "Excuse me." I look up to see a man in a Target uniform. "Can I ask you what that is on your arm?" I explained it was an insulin pump. "I thought those had wires. My so-and-so/inlaw/friend/cousin had one of those things but he wore it on his waist and it had these wire things (as he demonstrates with his arms what the wires looked like)." Yes, I replied, I have the wireless pump that you can wear in different areas. "Oh... is that new? I haven't seen that before." Yes, it's not brand new, but newER I guess. He mumbled something else, which didn't register with me. I must have had some sort of look on my face, because he said nicely "Sorry to have embarrassed you. Thanks for talking with me." I tried to shake off whatever look I had and said Oh no, it's no problem. Have a good day.

This is the 2nd time in a little over a week that a random person has come up to me to ask me about "the thing on my arm." It doesn't bother me, just takes me by surprise when I'm not expecting it. I guess there have been times when I've seen someone in a store who maybe has visible scars from an accident or maybe has a limb amputated and I wonder what happened. But I don't think I'd ever approach them in a store and ask them. I guess it made me wonder if the people that asked me about my pump actually did know what it was, but just wanted to tell me their story about someone they knew that has diabetes. Maybe as a sign of support?? I dunno. It doesn't bother me. I am just curious about why people do that. Do others have people come up and ask them about their pumps?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Green light for oats.


This may not seem like a bfd (big freaking deal) to my T1 friends, but to my celiac friends, you may well understand my excitement.

A year ago on 7/13/10, I was diagnosed with celiac disease and my GI doctor told me to eliminate oats from my diet (bye-bye morning oatmeal, oatmeal cookies, granola and granola bars w/oatmeal)for at least one year. So depressed! Well guess what. I just received a vm from my gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, giving me the green light to start incorporating small amounts of oats back into my diet. There are restrictions, tho: 1. it must be certified gluten free oats, 2. no more than 1/2 cup serving per day. I'll return for another biopsy of my intestines in a couple months to see how they are handling the oats.

Oh how I've missed my morning oatmeal with coconut milk, walnuts and cinnamon on top. Don't get me wrong, the quinoa flakes I've been using in it's place have been pretty darn good. But I LERRRRVE oatmeal and am praying that my intestines can tolerate them going forward. I love that I can still get excited over seemingly little things!! I went out right away and bought some Udi's granola, the cranberry one. They have so many flavors I wasn't sure which one to get.

Mind you, I'm still diabetic so I still gotta track the carbs. I get 1/4 cup for 19 carbs. That's not a whole lotta granola. But still a nice snack. I'm pre-measuring the servings out into my snack-sized ziplocs tonight for nice grab-n-go snacks! Yum.

New hope for people who've had Type 1 diabetes for more than a decade.

This was the header of the article in Minneapolis/St. Paul's newspaper a couple days ago: Way to Reverse Diabetes? Drug Shows Promise. Naturally, it caught my attention.

It states:

"An 80-year old drug used to protect people against tuberculosis may help reverse Type 1 diabetes, the most severe form of the disease, in patients who have had it for years, an early study in the six atients found.

The medicine, known as bacillus Calmette-Guerin or BCG, killed abnormal white blood cells that interfere with insulin production in the pancreas, said a study presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Diego. Patients getting two small doses four weeks apart showed signs of restored insulin prdouction for about a week, said Denise Faustman, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory.

While many researchers are looking for ways to stop Type 1 diabetes in newly diagnosed patients who still produce some insulin naturally, there are few options for people who have had the disease for more than a decade, she said. The findings suggest it may be possible to regenerate the critical pancreatic cells, she said.
"The trial effectively is showing for the first time that the pancreas can turn on briefly after the first wave of killing the bad T cells," those that attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, she said. A second, larger trial is in development, she said.


Here's more about the trials: http://bcgclinicaltrials.com/default.aspx

Interesting and hope-inducing!