Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A beautiful weekend in Skaneateles, NY

My very good friend, Claire owns a horse boarding, training, and riding lessons barn just outside of a quaint little town called Skaneateles (pronounced Skinny Atlas), New York.  Scott and I, with dogs in tow, spent the weekend visiting Claire, her friends, and her fabulous business.  We left DC at 3 pm, and surprisingly didn't hit too much traffic.  We got to Claire's place at 11 pm - just enough time to get the grand tour of her charming-despite-the-lack-of-furniture farm house, let our dogs and Claire's dog (Dallas) get to know one another, clean up their messes, then fall head first into bed.

Saturday turned out to be a lazy, rainy, and chilly day, though not nearly as cold as I was expecting.  In my memory, Claire talked about pre-Halloween snow storms, but in reality it was in the low to mid 50's all day.  (Claire assured me that while snow isn't too uncommon before Halloween, my memory was quite faulty).   

That evening, we met Claire's beaux, Rob who was a great conversationalist and really fun to meet!  After a scrumptious dinner and a trip to the local bar (since it had something Claire's house doesn't - a TV to watch the World Series on), we wound up at a friend of Claire's to watch the rest of the game and crashed at around 3 am.

The next morning came early!  The same friend who lent us the TV and couch for the game happens to also own two glider planes, and he picked Scott up at 8:30 to go for a ride.  You may or may not know, but Scott is an avid aviation enthusiast and dreams of getting his pilot's license some day, so he was super excited!

The highlight of my trip (apart from the great people we visited and met) was a horseback ride through the New York country side in gorgeous 70+ degree weather.  It was strikingly beautiful, with a bright blue sky and mountains in the distance.  I rode Geronimo- a giant black and white spotted Friesian/Draft horse with a head the size of Rhode Island.  Scott looked like a pro on Ransom, an appaloosa gelding with a long history of being a good trail horse. 

Thanks, Claire, for a fantastic weekend!  We look forward to seeing you and all of your friends next time you're in DC!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Checking in

3 weeks ago, I made a big list of things I've been doing to improve my health.  I'm checking in now to show my progress.

  1. Staying on top of diabetes management - this includes many blood tests per day, accurate carb counting, and scheduling and going to my doctor apointments every 3 months (and getting bloodwork done in advance so we can have something to talk about).  I've been testing 10-15 times per day and running LOW for the first time in a long time.  Also I'm faxing my glucose readings weekly to my endo for basal adjustments.
  2. Being aware of my thyroid symptoms and proactively getting bloodwork done to make sure my dosages are on track.  I had my thyroid tested, and it turns out the exhaustion I was experiencing was NOT because of my thyroid - my levels were perfect!  
  3. Eating healthier - We recently switched to Organic produce, dairy, and (when we can find it) meat.  I'm also making smarter choices when I order out, and we're eating at home more often.  This week, I haven't eaten out at all.  This is primarily due to the new budget we created, but I still count it in the "health" category because I've been eating better overall.
  4. Eating breakfast - I eat a healthy, balanced breakfast every day now, usually consisting of a hard boiled egg, some fruit, cheese, and water.  Yep, still eating my healthy breakfast, and this week I've added a yogurt to the list mentioned 3 weeks ago.  Last week I just had toast with peanut butter, but that's because we didn't have the other stuff (whoops)
  5. Drinking plenty of water - We recently got stainless steel bottles that are 100% BPA free, and mine can hold 1L.  I keep it at my desk and do my best to down 2 of those in a day.  Usually I only get through 1 - 1.5, but it's way more water than I used to drink.  I've consistently been drinking 1 litre a day, but only sometimes make it through 2.  This is an area where I'm still working.
  6. Not drinking other stuff - I've given up soda.  Can you believe it?!  I was a diet coke junkie, and now I drink almost exclusively water.  That's gotta be healthier, right?!  In addition to water, Scott and I bought some fancy green tea leaves from Teavana and some blueberry tea from Whole Foods.  We mix those together and I have about 1 cup per night, but sometimes I skip it.
  7. Minimizing the amount of "sweet stuff" I eat.  I'm a sweetaholic!  My favorite foods are buttercream frosting and caramel.  And I have seriously reduced the amount of sweets I have in a given week.  This is helping with #1.  In the past 3 weeks, I think I've had 1 cookie.  Total.  In THREE WEEKS.  And it feels good to not be controlled by the sweet stuff.
  8. Avoiding artificial sweeteners.  Those things probably aren't very good for me, so I'm trying to give them up.  Which means cheating on #7 is a lot harder. Check and check.  No artificial sweeteners in 3 weeks either, except for the occasional diet coke I've had (2 in 3 weeks, I think?)

Things I'm not doing that I should be:
  1. Exercising!  I don't do this...ever.  I have a gym membership, I just need to use it. Still pretty weak here (get it?  because I don't go to the... nevermind).  We went once and I enjoyed it.  Now I just need to drag my lazy self back there.
  2. Logging my blood sugars.  How do I know if I am doing a good job if I can't watch trends?  I suppose I can't.  I am currently researching meters with good computer interfaces that allow me to upload my data and it does the graphing for me for easier analysis.  Hopefully I'll find the right meter for me that will make this process easier.  Logging has always been a struggle for me.  I must admit, I'm doing an AWESOME job at this!  I've started using an Excel spreadsheet that Kevin created and I've been logging not only blood sugars, but also what I eat and when I exercise (ahem, see #1 - not much logging required right now).
I have to say, I do feel healthier.  And I never feel guilty over my eating habits anymore, which is a really great feeling!  And, as a bonus, I've lost almost 5 pounds.  I'm not doing this for weightloss, but if it happens (healthily), I'll take it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Because my doctor said so, that's why!

My insurance pays for 90% of my insulin pump AND continuous glucose monitoring supplies, which is incredible.  They pay for most of the medical supplies that I need, in fact.  But recently, when my doctor prescribed enough test strips to test 10-15 times per day (because that's how many I need to test to maintain tight control), my insurance decided that I only need to test at most 8 times per day.  What?!  The insurance company gets to decide what's best for my daily medical treatment, not my doctor?  I wasn't prepared to have a war with my insurance company, and I hope I don't have to.  I may be switching insurance companies soon, but even if I don't do that, I hope a letter from my doctor outlining why it is medically necessary for a diabetic patient to test her bloodsugar 10-15 times per day to achieve optimal (or at least darn good) control will suffice.  Let's hope.  Geez.