Molly Monday Blog Takeover: Hi!

Molly Monday Blog Takeover: Hi!

Hi everyone! I am Molly. You know my huMom (doggy language for female human), Suny. She is usually tapping away at the keyboards, instead of paying attention to me…. or Judd (I say this begrudgingly).

My Mom found me after my first family got separated and taken to lots of other places when I was a baby. Little did I know where I would end up. I thought my new family was crazy. I had a bossy older brother who always seemed to get more attention than me (or so I think). I joined a pack of dogs that just never learned to listen to me. I had to teach them a lesson or two. I am Morkie, hear me Roar!

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Watching over Suny makes me tired, don’t worry I got your back!

 

Well, a few years ago, Suny began acting weird. She was tired and she stopped playing with Judd and me. I knew something was wrong. It took a long time but I think she went to the Vet a couple of times and I think she finally felt better. After that it seemed like I could tell when she was about to not feel good. I’m not sure how I know, because Judd thinks I am crazy, but I began telling Suny that something was going to happen.

I  am not sure if that was a great idea. Now apparently, I have a new job. I think its an important job. She tells me that I need to tell her when she is about to not feel well. Sometimes I want to tell her that I can’t read her mind, but hey, we morkies will do anything for treats.

My huMom is important to me. She loves me and I love her. I guess I am ok with taking care of her because she takes care of me.

I can’t wait to get to know you guys more!

Till Next Time,

MollyMonster DaD

PS. Do you like my professional initials?

PSS. Mom says we are going on an airplane. What is an airplane? Do I need to be worried?

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Introducing Molly: My Diabetes Alert Dog (In Training)

Introducing Molly: My Diabetes Alert Dog (In Training)

It was one night 6-8 months after my diagnosis and within the first month of using my insulin pump, I’m in a deep sleep and I am rudely awakened by my morkie Molly. Molly may be MollyMonster during the day but she is typically a good sleeper at night. Her bark was very alerting and I thought that something was very wrong with her. The moment I got up I knew there wasn’t something wrong with her, but something very wrong with me. The first thing I did was to check my blood sugar, and I don’t remember what it was but it was shockingly low, maybe in the 40s or even 30s.  I dipped into my stash of low-food and recovered. In the middle of all that I did check on Molly and found she was calm and back asleep once I started to recover. I made note of it as being odd and just brushed it off as probably making weird noises or movements because I was low.

Molly cueing a low before work and waiting patiently while I corrected.
Molly cueing a low before work and waiting patiently while I corrected.

Well, the above scenario continued to happen randomly, and most of the time it was because I was going low. Every once and awhile she would jump into my lap and just incessantly lick my face even with a lot of scolding. She was persistent. I started listening. She was cuing me when my sugars were waaaaay off, before I even noticed.

I spoke with my friends, who are also dog trainers (Good Dog! Dog Training) , and are the people who take care of Molly (and her brother Judd) during the day while I am at work. We started talking and concluded Molly had the tenacity and personality to be a great service animal, my own diabetes alert dog. She is definitely unconventional and definitely been a challenge in changing her from just pet to working dog.

I became very diligent in getting her to cue more accurately and sooner and she is doing it more often and more accurately all the time. She accurately cued me at work (she is a therapy dog too!) the other day when I went very high during a continuing ed class.

Well why the post, right? Well Molly is officially taking over the blog on Mondays, the world of a DaD from her perspective. Cheesy, but certainly fun. I want to show you how we are training together and how she is doing out in the world. And anyways, who doesn’t love her feather trademark?  Keep your eyes peeled for her posts on Mondays!

❤ My Sweet Regards,

Suny

Molly and I (and my trademark crazy curly hair)
Molly and I (and my trademark crazy curly hair)

PS – She is traveling with me as a service animal for the first time this week. Watch us on Facebook when she takes over the page for the weekend!

5 Things I Learned by Ending The Ultimate Reset Early

5 Things I Learned by Ending The Ultimate Reset Early

The 5 things are ahead, I promise, but I think its important to give you background. The Ultimate Reset is not your typical “cleanse”. You aren’t starving, you’re eating whole healthy foods and supported by very specific supplements. The only “extreme” part of this regimen may be the fact you have to eliminate caffeine, fast food, meat for two weeks. This may be extreme for some, but it really wasn’t too much for me, at least I didn’t think.

Week 1 and Week 2 were pretty smooth. After the first 3-4 days of withdrawing from caffeine, I enjoyed the food, the supplements and the regiment The Ultimate Reset offered.

Going into Week 3, which is purely vegan, and very little protein. The basis is that proteins are harder to digest and part of revitalizing your system is to decrease your protein and focus on the dense nutrition found in the vegetable based meals. (I will be using them throughout my meals now!) Three years ago, this worked beautifully. I was mildly hungry but nothing crazy and very tolerable. It was a beautiful thing.

Now, as a diabetic on insulin, I already knew this would serve as a challenge. My body not only doesn’t make insulin sufficiently, but its very resistant to the insulin I make and give myself. The high fiber vegetables are super healthy but without protein and complex carbohydrates I have to manage to carbohydrate ratio more effectively. I attempted to decrease my basal and increase my ratio (less insulin overall) and I found I was rebounding highs after meals, with no logical sense.

I returned my ratios back to where they were and I had severe lows, forcing me to correct with 30 grams of pure sugar via glucose tablets. This is a medical condition that I couldn’t ignore, I HAD to correct. Unfortunately the 3-4 days in Week 3 served as very stressful. This was NOT fitting into the framework of what The Ultimate Reset was meant to be.  The Ultimate Reset was to “rest” your system and my system was certainly NOT resting. So I ended it early, and I am TOTALLY ok with this decision. I claim success in this program because here are the 5 Things I learned from ending the Ultimate Reset early.

1. Water = Energy

The Ultimate Reset required me to drink a gallon of water a day. I drank distilled water mixed with Himalayan salt. This replaces the minerals lost in the distilled process. Over the last three years, I lost the habit of drinking sufficient water, and mixed it with a coffee and diet soda habit to maximize my energy and turned into an energy zapped black hole.  Come 10:30 AM and 3 PM I was reaching for a snack or a cup of coffee.

Once I adapted to drinking this much water, I realized I can now tell I was THIRSTY! There is a difference between thirst and hunger. As I guzzled my water, I realized, by 3 PM I was still full of energy. I really do think much of this increase in energy is being sufficiently hydrated.

How I will continue: I will drink at minimum 3L of water a day.

2. Caffeine Addiction is REAL

Those first 4 days were awful. The headache was unbearable. I managed to push through and I am SO thankful I did. I feel free of the chains of caffeine. I am not dependent on caffeine as a stimulant. I am already energized (See #1 and high nutrient foods).  If you are addicted, I suggest decrease your caffeine gradually over a week or two to avoid the misery I experienced. Caffeine has a purpose in your health but the dependency should be avoided.

How I will continue: Limit my caffeine to my pre-workout on days I workout and 1 caffeinated drink a week. The rest will be decaf.  The withdrawl was so real that I refuse to get addicted again. Chemical dependency prevents thriving.

3. Nutrient Density vs. Portion Size

Once I got through most of week one, and my body was absorbing high densities of nutrients through my meals, my portion sizes naturally decreased. It was amazing. It was as if my body knew that it had received sufficient amounts of food and would make me feel full.  Again, it was after “cleansing” and breaking the cycle of mis-interpreted signals my body was sending, it finally figured it all out. It was a beautiful thing. Eating high nutrient density foods (ie. colorful vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates and proteins) helps you read your body more accurately.

How I will continue: Maintain my high nutrient density foods for 80-90% of my meals during the week. I also will combine the different types of foods to maximize processing and managing my blood sugar effectively.

4. Sugar = Water retention

So I weighed myself on Sunday (end of Week 2) and I was down 7 pounds in two weeks. That was a HUGE success. Over the next 3-4 days of major corrections in my sugar and swinging highs and lows, I retained over 3.5 pounds of water. I know calorically I did not eat enough to gain that much weight. It was EYE opening to realize how much sugar (I had to correct with a lot throughout) impacts my weight.

How I will continue: Avoid processed sugars and pure sugar unless I am low.

5. It is okay to modify

In all the fitness programs I help Coach and those I participate in myself, I am the hugest advocate for modification until you can master the move. I HAD to make specific modifications such as drinking a full serving of Shakeology in Week 3 to make it to noon without a severe low. I added to dinner to avoid lows at night. I live alone, it scares me to go low at night. What I should have also done is added some protein, either via soy, or lean grass fed meats. I think this would’ve made my full 21 days more successful. Making it to Day 17 was success for me. I broke my bad habits, and opened up my eyes on managing my sugar more effectively. Wouldn’t you call that success?

How will I continue: Modify everything I may feel to be too extreme in for my blood sugar. It is ok to serve the needs of your body. That is thriving. That is one of the CORE basis of thriving, to honor one’s temple that God has given us. My pancreas may be broken but I can feed my body effectively to manage it.

 

The Ultimate Reset is truly Ultimate. I loved it, and hopefully can redo it with better planning for Week 3 in 6 months to a year.

 

My *Sweet* Regards & Thrive On,

❤ Suny

 

Disney World: Blood Sugar Management At Amusment Parks With My Insulin Pump

Disney World: Blood Sugar Management At Amusment Parks With My Insulin Pump

Disney World is one of my most favorite places to go. It is truly a magical place. It can also be one of the trickiest places to manage one’s blood sugars. Whether you are Type 1 or Type 2, managing how your blood sugar rides can be tricky during periods of different activity, such as amusement parks.

First, lets talk about the stress. Try organizing your family, get to the amusement park, find parking, find transportation/walk to the park gate, fight the crowds, buy your ticket, stand in another security line and then maze through the crowds to just enter the park. Is your blood sugar high yet? Wait, maybe its low because of all that walking/activity.

Recently, I brought my parents to Disney World (see first sentence) for their first time. It was a fantastic experience. I have been to Disney World quite a few times and I actually have a nice routine down after having experience a few blips.

Activity = increased sensitivty to my insulin, which in turn means faster lows if I do not manage them. Well, one of the strategies I employ in managing my blood sugar at Disney World is set a temporary basal. I determine the % my basal rate is by certain factors: how long I will be there, how much walking I will do, how hot it is and how readily accessible I will be to food. This time, I totally forgot to do it, in the hustle and bustle of getting to the park I forgot to set a temporary basal rate.

This was the result:

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Well, 8 glucose tablets later (my favorite kind of tablets) my sugar was safe and we were on our way to eat lunch. I set my basal rate to 25% for 9 hours to account for the rest of the day. I bolused like usual and enjoyed a burger for lunch, cotton candy, a dole whip and beef nachos and bolused accordingly. My blood sugar remained 150-170 all day. Perfect for me. Some may say thats a little high, but for me, it creates a cushion of not crashing. As always, consult your doctor!

Basal rates are so important to me. I use them heartily. I use them for 3 hours during workouts, during inactive periods, when I am sick, and for Disney. I adjust basal rates for more or less depending on what I need. It is fantastic!

For my fellow insulin users but use pens, I suggest tucking away snacks such as peanut butter crackers, or other snacks with carbs with protein/fat. They will hold you steady. Always make sure you have your glucose tablets or correction tools as needed. It is definitely trickier with injections, but it sure is possible. That is for the NEXT Disney post…

How do you manage your blood sugar in places like Disney World? What about my T2ers on meds, or managing with lifestyle?

My Sweet Regards,

❤ SB

Doing Dreams….

Doing Dreams….

dreams

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. I have many strengths and weaknesses. One of my strengths is that I am a natural planner. Once I know where I want to go, I can reverse-engineer a plan rather effectively. My weakness? Believing my plan is effective and putting it into action. I have a major weakness in putting my plan into action.

Here is a perfect example, this blog. I have a vision for this community I want to create. I envision certain components and want to work them hard. In fact, I’ve shared my vision to multiple people, and every single person got excited and said that it was a fantastic idea and that I needed to make it happen. This kind of affirmation doesn’t usually come with all my ideas, but when it does, I need to do this. My vision includes uniting diabetics together, equipping them with the education to be able to advocate for their own care. I also want people to realize that there is normal in the day to day life of a diabetic. There is no shame, no hiding, no stigma. I want to start that here. Here is the question, why am I stalling?

I am second-guessing my actions. One of the major ones are the topics of my blog posts. When I get an idea, I think ,”Oh this is great!”, then I go to write it and then when I finish, I don’t publish it. Why? Because I think its not good enough or important enough. Well guess what? If I want to create that normalcy and show and educate people, I need to write. I need to write on any topic, and every topic.

I am writing this for my own accountability. If you’ve read it this far, you’re awesome. I am facing my demons to put action towards big dreams of mine. What are you doing to put into action, towards your dreams? Your goals? Do you even know what you want to do? It doesn’t have to be diabetes related, but do you have direction in your life? Find it, it is very rewarding.

My Sweet Regards,

❤ SB