I am a list person! For me, they are energizing, profitable, and heck… just lots of fun! This list, is not one that will be crossed off, but rather laminated and used for wallpaper in my house!
Ben and I were driving this weekend, and he helped me come up with a list of things I have been doing lately. I am sure I will need help to remember them! I also hope that they will be a to other diabetics out there longing for a lower a1c reading. Mine went from 8.7 to 6.7 in 6 months! Big news for this “most-of-my-life-in-the-double-digits” girl!
I made lots of changes in these areas…
- I changed it every 3 days instead of waiting until day 4 or 5. This means I used more supplies, but the absorption is much better this way.
- I used new areas for my pump instead of the same stomach locations; again, this also allows for better absorption.
- I made use of both the “dual” and “square” bolus options.
- I made adjustments to my evening basal rate. I did not need a doctor to tell me what I was seeing was a pattern. I trusted myself and did it!
- I faithfully wore my Continuous Glucose Monitor! In the past, I would take it off and plan to put it back on in a day or two. I NEED the constant feedback. I would only take it off if I had time to changes sites RIGHT THEN. If not, I did not take it off!
- I changed the “low” and “high” settings on my CGM so I am notified the minute things start moving in the wrong direction.
My Highs & Lows!
- I only correct with Skittles, and occasionally a spoon of peanut butter. Before, I would use a “low” as an excuse to eat anything I had been eyeing up in the kitchen.. now, I only allow myself to use Skittles because I can predict how my body will respond to them.
- My body has slowly become more used to the 70-90 range. Before, I would correct if it were headed into the 70s. I now feel pretty comfortable there, and feel no reason to correct, especially if a meal is right around the corner.
- I have read about health and diet recently. Literally, thousands of pages… the most helpful have been a book called “Trim Healthy Mama” by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett and also the “500 Low Carb Recipes” cookbook by Dana Carpender. I also read a few doosies concerning low-carb living, but I won’t mention those!
- I had a total epiphany about the correlation between blood sugar and diet. It’s so simple, I don’t know why I never realized it before: if I don’t eat high carbs, my blood sugar can’t go high. (Take a moment to laugh if you’re diabetic… because you know that there really is not way to say “can’t” about high blood sugar.) I can’t prevent it, but I can at least have the science on my side!
- Armed with this knowledge, I decided to eat generally low-carb, including little low carb switches. The list merits its own post… so come back for that!
- I try to limit myself to 30 carbs a day. Generally spaced out evenly: 10, 10, 10 at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- I do not snack on carbs. Only at meals.
- I do not eat carbs after 8. For me, I have learned that if I eat any carbs late at night, I WILL have high blood sugar at night, regardless of how much insulin I take.
- No food vacation days. Before, I would say I probably took a little diabetes diet hiatus about once a week.. it just is not worth feeling sick!
- I started weighing and measuring my dinner as I make my lunch.
- I round up with I count carbs.
- I am also trying to take insulin early if I know that I will be enjoying something higher in carbs than I usually have.
- I keep almonds or walnuts in my purse for snacking
- There is more to say on this, but I will stop here for now… :)
- Celebrations being so prevalent in the past months, I had to rethink how I celebrate.
- I had my first cookie exchange without eating a single cookie. Whew.. that was rough! I almost stayed home. Glad I didn’t!
- I can remember the two Christmas cookies I allowed myself to enjoy: a Scottish Shortbread Cookie and a round little powdered sugar shortbread morsel. Can you tell I love shortbread. Please don’t ever bring Sandies to my house. I will not be able to contain myself.
- I tried to tell people ahead of time if I thought that I would need something different to eat or if I would not be eating at a gathering. Sometimes this is appropriate, and sometimes it is unnecessary.
- I tried to not think of the holidays in terms of food. I actually went to my Grandma Drendel’s house without eating her thumbprint cookies. It was hard! So hard, but I knew that ONE would not be enough. But you know what? I still had a wonderful time with my Grandma Drendel & family. I don’t need special food to celebrate! I need special people! :)
- One word: BEN! He has been my biggest cheerleader throughout this whole process! He literally said to me as I was trying to make wise eating choices, “Bri, if we spend all of our savings on groceries so you can figure this out, then that’s what we’re gonna do. Get what you need!” He has trusted me and supported me, and he is one of God’s most supreme gifts to me.
- I have joined many diabetic Facebook pages. They are SO helpful. I wish I had found these about… oh, ten years ago.
- My only true strength is Christ. Anything right I ever want to do is from Him. I am elated when I consider Him, grounded when I look to Him, and strengthened when fall before Him.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. Ps 115:1
This list is long and fractured, but it is some of the things that have been helpful for me recently. I really needed to write some of them down. The more I write, the more solidified it becomes in my heart. I hope to continue to chronicle the journey. I have been learning so much! I can’t wait to share it with you!