30 Day Low Carb Challenge: Week 1

I would like to note that you don’t have to read these. They’re are my documentation of my journey through this challenge and it will be lengthy. Each one will be an entire week’s worth of entries. This is mostly for me to log and read. Thank you!


Sunday, June 21, 2020

For breakfast, I had 3 strips of bacon, 2 hot dogs, 2 eggs scrambled and 2 slices of toast with butter. Usually my tummy gets queasy when I eat this sort of greasy food without rice to control the grease, but this morning it wasn’t so bad. It came out to 33g of carbs. My limit is 45g. Oh but my grandma bought a Boston Cream Cake and I wanted to try a slice so I had half a slice, 1/16 of the cake, and that put me right at my limit: 45g. I was a little upset but at least it wasn’t more than 45g. Also this morning, I had a daytime detox tea which doesn’t say if there’s carbs in it but I should think it doesn’t.

For lunch, I had some hummus and cauliflower stalks with a BBQ Chicken Creations sandwich, again with white bread. That wasn’t so bad. I actually really like the cauliflower stalks and hummus together. Also, I had a Mountain View Stone Cookie as a snack which was a mistake. 200 calories and 29g of carbs in just one cookie!

Dinner was garlic butter shrimp. I was blown away that garlic butter shrimp has almost no carbs whatsoever. The only carbs I had was in the veggie rice medley I had with the shrimp in place of my usual white rice. Good thing my sister had a bag sitting in the freezer this whole time. Otherwise, I’ll be having quinoa as my rice replacement for the rest of this challenge.

In total, I have had roughly 125g of carbs which is a complete plus for the first day! My goal is between 90 and 175g of carbs per day. These are my choices for the rest of the challenge.

Downfalls: The slice of cake and the stone cookie were complete mistakes to have but at least I had them now in the beginning. It can only get better from here. My post-meal blood sugar after lunch was 199mg/dL so there’s still a lot of work to do. We didn’t get to walk the dogs today so we’ll see how walking the dogs can impact everything.

Upsides: I was completely in range as far as carb intake. And with this number, I’m 100% sure that I’m satisfied and not hungry. 80% full is 100% satisfied.

Calories Consumed: 1840Calories Burned: 2327Caloric Balance: +12 (over)
Protein: 80.1gNet Carbs: 125.6gFat: 111.7g

Monday, June 22, 2020

Today was rough. I was so hungry. But my husband made sure I didn’t give in. I had a detox tea this morning. I fasted 16 hours from the night before and that ended at 10:30am. I also had a Herbalife raspberry tea. Before breakfast, I had some roasted red pepper hummus and baby carrots. For breakfast, I had two hotdogs on two slices of bread and some baked fries (skin on). It wasn’t the best breakfast but it’s what we had until we can go to the store again. At least there was no ketchup.

Half an hour later, I got hungry again. I asked my husband if I could have ramen, but he said no and tossed me a protein pack instead. But I was still hungry! So I had some cauliflower and broccoli rice and some leftover shrimp from dinner. That kind of tied me over. I took my dog out for a walk, took us an hour. It was a good walk.

For dinner, my husband made slow cooked pot roast. I had quinoa with my dinner. Wasn’t that bad. I had a pretty decent sized dinner. Lunchtime was hard. It’s only the second day and it really sucked. I have to go out and get more alternatives to the carb heavy snacks in the house right now. I’m going to be week during this first week, I know it.

Downfalls: I had white bread slices again today. I need to get whole grain bread soon. I ate a lot more today just to feel full. I also forgot to take my blood sugar after all the food.

Upsides: I went out and walked my dog which was good. This experience will help me prepare for the next week. I had less grams of fat today than yesterday! I burned more calories today than I consumed so I’m on the path of burning one pound a week!

Calories Consumed: 1697Calories Burned: 2434Caloric Balance: -239
Protein: 100gNet Carbs: 126.8gFat: 82g

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

So today I cheated. Badly. I was craving beef stroganoff and we tried to do it as low carb as possible for dinner but we couldn’t find any alternative noodles for egg noodles ANYWHERE. Not even Safeway had any. So we had to get egg noodles. I also had furikake chicken for lunch. It was so good. But it came with rice and potato mac salad. No alternatives. Considering how much carbs I eat normally, I’m still pretty stoked that it took me two days before I went back to eating rice. However, I can’t make a habit of this. LOW CARB DAMMIT.

Breakfast was two hotdogs, two eggs, and two buttered white toast. We finally got whole grain bread! Today was a bad day but a good one too. We bought some great low carb alternatives. We bought veggie tots and sweet potato fries. We bought a lot of fruits too. We forgot to grab whole grain pasta at Safeway though, so we have to go back because I want spaghetti tomorrow. Either we get whole grain pasta or veggie noodles whichever one we can find. But, at Safeway, we found low carb ice cream! I know this challenge says no ice cream, but it was no ice cream high in refined sugar. Each bar has under 10g of carbs and is high in protein so I think it’s a plus. But we forgot to grab that too, so tomorrow we’re gonna grab those, pasta, and some shrimp, they go on sale tomorrow too.

I’m very upset about today, but I can only go forward from this and do better. I also did go over my carb limit today and I’m really sad about that. I was going to walk my dog today, but I fell asleep and slept for two hours! I’ve been really tired since starting this challenge. I think it’s because I’m not eating a lot of carbs so my body is working harder to burn protein and fats instead maybe. Also, I had diarrhea after eating the furikake chicken. My stomach was so upset with me. Was it the grease from the chicken or the rice and mac salad? No idea but it was definitely lunch that did it for me.

Downfalls: I was weak today and gave in to white rice. I went over my carb limit and I didn’t go out to walk my dog today. Today was bad.

Upsides: I did a lot of walking in the store today while shopping. Dinner was really good too.

Calories Consumed: 1684Calories Burned: 2347Caloric Balance: -164
Protein: 60.8gNet Carbs: 198.1gFats: 72.7g

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

So today was a little better but not by much. I’ve been weak. I had a slice of pizza and a breadstick with two mini cinnamon rolls for dinner. For breakfast, I had fruits and hummus and baby carrots. For lunch, I had a Subway sandwich on whole wheat bread. But I did get some exercise in today which was great.

I must be strong and not give in to the carbs! I’m really upset about it. My husband had been craving pizza while we were on this challenge. Today was just a bad day.

Downfall: I had too much carbs today.

Upsides: I got out and walked a lot while shopping and walking my dog.

Calories Consumed: 1753Calories Burned: 2334Caloric Balance: -82
Protein: 64gNet Carbs: 181.6gFats: 77.8g

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Okay so today we were out almost the whole day. I had simian for breakfast with three medium boiled eggs. It’s not my finest moment, but then I didn’t eat until dinner. Not because I was forcing myself not to eat, but because I wasn’t hungry. But because I missed lunch and didn’t have anything since breakfast, I was hungry at dinnertime and that’s where I lost it.

Dinner was teriyaki chicken and rice with a salad topped with a couple slices of blackened ahi. I also had some sort of salad dressing with it. We ordered takeout from a local restaurant so I’m not sure what the salad dressing was. The plate came with three teriyaki chicken breasts and I didn’t save any of them for later. I am ashamed of that.

My only compensation is that we were out in the sun for most of the day and it’s been super hot and sunny all day. We also walked the dog at the walking park after dinner so we got to walk off dinner a bit. There was no breeze but the clouds finally covered the setting sun so it wasn’t hot and sunny. We did a pretty good pace with my good old girl. We could only do 1.5 laps around the park because she was starting to get tired and panting a lot.

We’re planning to make morning walks without the dog a thing soon. We just have to buy my husband walking shoes so we can get some serious laps in. He only has his work shoes. It’s Hawaii, we don’t usually wear shoes here. Maybe we’ll get to run a bit, too.

Downfall: A lot of freaking carbs today. Too much.

Upside: We’re making plans to be more active. I got a personalized weight loss book in the mail that walks me through the best food choices to make and tips for beginning my weight loss journey. I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to make the necessary food swaps towards weight loss. ALSO, I now weigh 209 pounds. I’ve lost three pounds since starting this challenge. I’m sure it’s water weight but that’s still something.

Calories Consumed: 2203Calories Burned: 2368Caloric Balance: +334 (over)
Proteins: 148.4gNet Carbs: 221.3gFats: 72.7g

Friday, June 26, 2020

Today the cravings were non-existent. I had a blackened ahi salad from the night before for breakfast. It wasn’t that bad. I didn’t finish it so I gave it to my husband to finish. I had one serving of M&M peanuts, I actually opened the share size package and split it in to three servings. All for me of course. Then I tried out my Breyer’s ice cream. It was surprisingly very good and it helped on the super hot day we had.

For a snack, I had a pair of chicken sliders from Market Pantry – Target. They’re pretty good. For lunch, I went to Subway and had a 6-inch turkey sandwich on wheat bread. I couldn’t hear what the guy said but they didn’t have all the options available anyway so I went with wheat. Loaded it with veggies and had a little bit of mayo to make it not so dry.

For dinner, we had spaghetti with whole grain spaghetti noodles. The noodles were actually really good. I thought they were going to taste weird but they were actually really good. However, my tummy wasn’t having all the sauce and it was getting queasy, so I had a scoop of rice to help calm my tummy down. It helped but at what cost?

Downside: I had quite a bit of sweets and starch.

Upside: I ate a lot less than the other days.

Calories Consumed: 1550Calories Burned: 2266Caloric Balance: -217
Proteins: 67.5gNet Carbs: 170.7Fats: 64.9g

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Today was hectic. My sisters, husband, and I went down to our storage unit to find Crystal’s high school diploma so she can apply for grad school in Germany. The storage unit is crowded with crap and there’s no light or air conditioning. It was pretty hot. I sweated a lot.

For breakfast, I had leftover spaghetti and some rice. Not so great. I also had some Hello Panda candies, also not good. After we were done with the storage unit, I had a chef’s salad and hot dog from 7 Eleven not the best choice but it wasn’t completely unhealthy. And we went to the mall and I had a Gotta Guava Jamba Juice, so good, high in sugar.

For dinner, we ordered out and I had some mochiko chicken, white rice, and a salad. I thought I had ordered the mochiko chicken curry but turns out I was wrong. So I had a very carb heavy day but I did get to burn off some of those calories. Not really.

Calories Consumed: 2512Calories Burned: 2546Caloric Balance: +465 (over)
Proteins: 94.4gNet Carbs: 347.8gFats: 74.5g

Overview:

The first week could have gone better. I didn’t stick to the challenge very well and that is completely my bad. And I’m starting to pay for it. My blood sugar levels aren’t going down and now my insulin dosage is going up. It’s very frustrating. I need to try harder next week.

The Journey: Episode Sixteen

JUNE 29, 2020

My first week of this low carb challenge down and it sucked. I did really well the first two days and then I dropped off. I guess I really can’t quit carbs cold turkey like that, but I’m going to keep trying. It’s been especially hard with cravings and eating out. On days where we don’t want to cook or don’t have time to cook, we’d order out and there’s not a lot of low carb options out there. I am trying though, that’s the most I can do. We’re running out of low carb snacks to eat and that’s affected me a bit.

I am very frustrated though. I’m being more conscious of the carbs I eat and trying to lessen them and yet my insulin continues going up. Last night I went up to 80 units and this morning my blood sugar was the same. I’m so frustrated! It’s like nothing I do will lower my blood sugar! Going up on my insulin doesn’t do anything for my blood sugar. It stays the same. Only twice during the first week my blood sugar was slightly within range and even then it was high. AGH WHAT AM I DOING WRONG!!!

Besides this super frustrating and irritating run, I am trying to destress my life. I think this whole pandemic is stressing me out and keeping my blood sugar levels high. Before the pandemic, I would eat whatever and take my insulin at night, then the next morning my blood sugar would be in range, that was at 50 units. Now I’m at 80 units and my sugar levels don’t change. I hate this. I want to go back to work. I want to stop stressing out. I just want my sugar levels to go down.

I’ve gained over 20 pounds since the pandemic started and I can’t seem to lose any of the weight again. It’s not like I can go out and relax somewhere, I’m afraid of catching coronavirus with all the people gathering at the beaches and everything. This has just been very frustrating.

This is just a very negative, ranting post. I’m sorry about that. Let’s see if there are any upsides to all of this.

On the bright side, I get to spend more time with my husband. He might be going back to work next month, fingers crossed. I get to spend time with my sister before she moves to Missouri then on to Germany with her husband. I probably won’t see her for a long while, which is both good and bad. She’s super annoying but she’s still pretty okay to hang around with.

I finally got my iMac to work and can now work on my desktop while sitting on the floor in the middle of the living room. I have a new fountain pen that I’ve been using to journal and that’s been pretty therapeutic. Honestly, I can’t think of anything else. Hopefully things will get better and I’ll be able to take better control of my life. Hopefully.

How to Have a Less Painful Insulin Injection

For all my lovely insulin dependents, are you scared of injecting your insulin tonight because the last one stung a lot? Are you having trouble finding the right place for injection? Have no fear, let me share with you what has helped me take on the fear of painful injections.

First of all, it doesn’t matter if you use a needle and vial or if you use a pen, if you’re dependent on insulin injections, you have to overcome the fear of the injection. If you’re on an insulin pump, I’m not sure if you’re lucky or not, I’d love to know what kind of experience that is to have an insulin pump attached to you at all times.

Before I continue, here is a .PDF file that answers some questions about injecting insulin that I think would be beneficial for all diabetics to know.

The best places to inject is your abdomen, thighs, arms, or buttocks. Injecting in to your abdomen has the quickest dispersal of insulin. You would choose sites 1-2 inches from your belly button in the fatty areas of your abdomen.

Injecting in to your arms and thighs are a slower dispersal of insulin. You should inject in to the fatty part behind the upper arm between the shoulder and elbow or the outer thigh 4 inches from the top of the leg and 4 inches from the knee.

Injecting in to your buttocks is the slowest dispersal of insulin. You should inject into the fatty tissue of the upper buttocks below the waist. Probably have someone you trust doing that.

Your goal is to aim for the fatty layers just under the skin. You need to use fresh needles with each injection to avoid painful injections. Your insulin should be at room temperature; cold insulin could cause a stinging when pushing down the plunger.

Before injecting, relax the muscles in the area you’re injecting in to. Pinch up as much skin and fat you can hold in your skin, then one rapid movement to penetrate the skin with the needle. A rapid penetration is less painful than slow-and-easy.

To help make it even less painful, use a short, thin needle. The thinner the needle, the better. You want to avoid long needles because it could penetrate in to the muscle. Injecting in to muscle is more painful and it could disperse the insulin too fast meaning the insulin won’t last as long as you need it to.

Another tip is rotating injection sites. DO NOT INJECT IN TO THE SAME LOCATION TWICE! This could lead to scarring and pain. Make sure there is at least half an inch distance between injection sites to avoid skin problems. Also, avoid scar tissue, moles, swelling or inflammation, and stretch marks. The thicker or tougher the skin, the more painful the injection. Rotating injection sites also helps the area heal nicer. Generally, you should inject in to the same area for at least 20 days so having 20 different sites in the same injection area is awesome!

To prevent insulin leakages after injection, pinch the skin before injection, rapidly penetrate the skin at a 45 degree angle, and release the pinched skin before you inject. After injection, leave the needle in for another 10 seconds before pulling the needle out, then place a clean finger on the injection site and apply a little pressure for 10 seconds.

As long as the insulin doesn’t come running out of the site like a little stream, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing the insulin that was lost.

A last ditch tip to help minimize pain, you can use an ice cube to numb the area before you inject, just make sure the area is dry before injecting.

I hope this helps you with insulin injections. I know I still experience pain while injecting. Only just now I learned that a quick penetration is better than the slow-and-easy route I’ve been going. I probably should have known this because that is the way my pharmacist gives me the flu shot, like throwing a dart into my arm. The .PDF has illustrations for what areas to inject in to. For the last five months, I’ve been using my abdomen for injections but it has become so painful for me and I have so much stretch marks that I don’t have anymore places to inject so I have switched to using my thighs.


References

Diabetes In Control


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The Journey: Episode Fifteen

June 21, 2020

I woke up this morning and checked my blood sugar, it was 156 mg/dL. No bueno. So tonight I’ve decided to go up to 80 units of insulin. I’ve poked my right thigh as much as I could while keeping at least 1/4 inch distance between injection sites. I just can’t bunch up enough skin and fat to have a less painful injection, I think I should put the injection sites closer together. I’ve only injected four times into my right thigh.

I’m a little nervous about injecting in to my left thigh tonight because I don’t trust my left hand so I have to reach over and inject while making sure my hand stays steady. When it moves too much while the needle is injected it can hurt a lot.

One thing I’m not happy about is that I can’t really tell where I have recently injected. My most recent one still shows sign of the site, but the earlier ones have already started fading. I’ve been thinking about marking my skin with a sharpie or something but then, you know, skin absorbs all kinds of stuff and I don’t want it to absorb ink near my insulin injection site. But I’m afraid I won’t remember where I injected on my right thigh when I come back to it in 4 to 5 days. I’m not sure what I can do about that.

Also, I’m on the low carb diet. Hopefully this will help bring my sugar readings down in the morning with the increased 80 units. Given my sugars have been pretty high lately I’m not too worried about lows on this challenge and with more insulin. However, if I should go low, I will adjust my insulin accordingly. Now I can only get three shots out of each pen. Diabetes is so expensive.

None of my insurance covers insulin but thank goodness for the Lantus savings card otherwise I’d be paying for all of my insulin at once. But I still have to pay $92/box of five pens. Now one box is only good for about 15 days unless I use up the last of one pen and then use some of the next pen to make 80, but that means two injects on that night. Yikes, maybe not.

I need to take better control of my diabetes management. I have to do more indoor exercising for sure. The weather here in Hilo, HI has been all over the place. One day it’s hot and sunny, the next is pouring rain. Some days it’ll start out hot and sunny then end up pouring from noon to dusk or vice versa. So I should rely more on at-home exercise. I should make any excuse to get up and move around too.

I also need to drink tons of water and use the bathroom a lot. Which means we need to buy more toilet paper. There’s a lot I have to and sometimes it feels very overwhelming. So much so that I don’t want to do much sometimes. But even just a little bit of something is better than nothing.

If your diabetes has you down and you’re just overwhelmed with managing your diabetes, don’t give up. Do something, anything, no matter how small. Doing something like drinking more water or drinking water at all, is a step in the right direction. You’ve got this! We’ve got this! Never give up on yourself. Diabetes will make you stronger.

EDIT: I have decided against upping my insulin to 80 units. Since I’ve just started the 30 Day Low Carb Challenge this could impact my blood sugar so I want to see how it goes from here for the next couple of days. Also I have another doctor appointment on Friday so we’ll see what happens.


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30 Day Low Carb Challenge: Introduction

So I saw this post on Tumblr of all places. Someone posted about going on a low carb challenge for 30 days. During the next 30 days, I have to:

  1. Avoid food high in refined sugars
    • candy, ice cream, soda, energy drinks, etc
  2. Avoid fast foods
  3. Avoid white bread and pasta
    • limited to only whole grains
  4. Avoid alcohol
  5. Reduce salt intake
  6. Drink more water (about 125 ounces per day)
  7. More fruits and veggies

To avoid annoying everyone with daily posts for the next 30 days, I’m going to post on Sundays. So each week will have a daily log of what I’ve done or haven’t done, how I felt doing it, and if I’m struggling. Since I would be writing at night and the last entry would be Saturday night, I’d schedule it to post on Sunday afternoon. On the last week it’ll just be two days and then an overview of what the whole challenge was like.

My first day of the challenge is today. If you want to join me, feel free to join. Who knows, maybe after the 30 days I might actually change my lifestyle and diet because of this.

Why am I doing this challenge?

Part of me wants to see if I can even do it. But another part of me knows that I need to do it. My blood sugar hasn’t been within range at all for the last three months. No matter how much insulin I take, my sugar doesn’t go down it just stays the same. I’m too afraid to go up another 5 units of insulin to 80 units. I hope this is what I need to do to lower my sugar.

I have always had a lot of trouble with my diet maybe by taking this challenge and turning it public, it’ll make me more accountable. I don’t want to fail in front of you guys. I’m no punk!

But I have to remember that this isn’t just for you guys, this is first and foremost for me. This is for my health and my life. I have to be able to do this, because if I can’t then, well, I don’t want to think about what would happen next.

Wish me luck guys!

Remembering My Dad

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I know all you dads think you’re the best and your family loves you, and you are absolutely right. Your family loves you, even if they never tell you, they really do love you.

I once heard something from somewhere a long while ago and I can’t even remember where I heard it from, but it’s stuck with me ever since.

“Anyone can be a father, but only a real man can be a dad.”

In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to remember my dad. This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever made. I started crying uncontrollably when I first started.


Brandon L. T. Baysa was born in Hilo, HI on February 21, 1971 to Benjamin and Lorna Baysa. He was the third of four children and the only boy. He attended the schools in the Waiākea district. He attended one semester in college before giving that up and going in to the workforce. At the age of 18, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.


He was a very hands-on person and liked to fix up cars and build things. As far back as I can remember, he would have fixer-upper cars and every weekend or so he would go out in the garage or on the driveway and fix whatever car or truck we had. He had model cars and airplanes that he built from kits and kept them in plastic cases to display on the shelves. We still have some of them.

He loved helping people and made friends fairly easily. He was always going some place to help someone with something. And all the while he would talk everyone’s ears off. He was the podagee of the family and I know I definitely take after that.

A podagee is someone who likes to talk and talk and talk and talk. They have said goodbye to you at least five times in the last two hours and still haven’t left yet. Most of the time it’s meaningful conversation and as they’re just about to finish they remembered something else they wanted to ask you or tell you about and it was definitely because they thought of you not because they like the sound of their own voice. They have two-sided dialogs, not one-sided monologues.

Anyway, he loved my sisters and I. Whatever new thing we were interested in, he would indulge us in it. I wanted to join karate, he made my tonfa when I advanced in the class. I wanted to join soccer, he made sure I went to every practice, he came to every game. He had my sisters join too and he coached them for a few seasons. I wanted to take aikido lessons and when I advanced to the adult class he made my jo staff, wooden tanto, and bokken and he even sewed the bag to put them in.

I was surprised my dad could sew. I found out that for his wedding, he made the sashes he and his best man wore and he helped clean my mom’s veil (she had used her mother’s wedding dress and veil for her wedding).

He was a huuuuuuuge geek. His interests included but were certainly not limited to: Star Wars, Star Trek, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, X Men, and Legos. He loved ninjas, survival gear, hunting and fishing, camping, guns, and pretty much anything outdoors. He even had a couple ghillie suits.

I remember one Halloween, he dressed in his ghillie suit and sat next to a table with a bowl of candy on the driveway and sat really still. When a kid came up very warily because they didn’t know what was on the chair, he’d jump at them and scare the crud out of them. He had to try and convince them to come back and grab some candy.

Later in life, I noticed dad was having complications with diabetes. His legs and feet were swelling and he lost feeling in his feet. He had sores on his body that took forever to heal and he would just randomly bleed. At one point he had to use a walker to get around and then he had to use a scooter. But then it started looking up, he was walking more and he didn’t need his scooter.

One thing I remembered was his insulin injection scars. He would inject into the same two locations on his abdomen every time and it became discolored. I don’t remember how often he took his insulin. I don’t think I ever heard him in pain when he injected either.

In 2014, he looked like he was getting better. He had lost weight and was moving around more and there was hope. But on May 20th, my parent’s 20th wedding anniversary, he came home from dialysis early complaining of a massive headache. I should have taken him to the hospital but instead I took him home. My mom came home from work that night and wanted to spend time with dad but he had fallen asleep. The next morning, May 21st, we were startled awake by my grandma. The world never stopped turning.

My greatest regret was not caring enough. It’s not like the internet wasn’t available at the time, so I could have educated myself, I just didn’t care enough. I was young and carefree. I thought dad was going to be around forever. I thought my dad was going to walk my sisters and I down the aisle. I thought dad was going to become a grandpa. I thought I had time. I never told my dad how much I loved him.

My dad is the reason why I do what I do. Everything I’ve done, I think, has led me to this blog, led me to help people with diabetes. I went to college and got my degree in History, my research skills are on point. After college, I worked at a credit union because I wanted to work with people. I left because I realized I wanted to help people not just work with them. I thought I wanted to help people with their finances, but I really wanted to use my degree. So I became a tour guide to teach people about the history and culture of my island. Then in October 2019, I had a spark. My diabetes was out of control.

I had my first appointment with an endocrinologist because my A1C was 9. He prescribed once a week Ozempic, but I couldn’t afford it. Then in January 2020, he prescribed me insulin. It hit, my diabetes was bad. My A1C was 11 and now I had to take insulin. I was going to end up like my dad. I didn’t want to so I decided to take my diabetes and get serious I should have done that from the start. I started this blog to become more accountable to myself and manage my diabetes better.

It’s because of my dad that I am here. I saw what this disease can do to you when you don’t properly manage it. I saw it take away someone I loved and it doesn’t discriminate who it takes. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, poorly controlled diabetes will take them away from you.

I hope that the information I share on my blog helps to educate those with diabetes and those with diabetic loved ones alike so you never have to go through this. You can see the signs and take the necessary steps to manage it for yourself or help someone manage their diabetes so they never have to go through this alone. Please take this time to hug your children, call your parents, tell them you love them. Tell them you’re here for them.

Happy Father’s Day, dad. I hope I’ve made you proud.

You’re Diabetic, Now What?

Your doctor gave you the dreaded diagnosis. Your blood tests are in and it’s confirmed. You’re either prediabetic or fully diabetic. What is there left to do? Well you could wallow in your own self doubt OR you could take a stand and get your life in order! Let’s go with the second option and take your life back!

For starters, you can ask your doctor the list of questions from the previous post, Questions to Ask Your Doctor. Those questions can help you get started on the right path. Another thing to ask your doctor for are specialist recommendations. Just like in the previous post, Your Diabetes Care Team, you’re going to need some help from specialists, like a podiatrist (foot doctor) and ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Hopefully, if you’re just prediabetic, you won’t need a complete team behind you. Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) might be able to prescribe you some of the usual diabetes medication, like metformin, and monitor your numbers from there.

I’m not going to lie. I wish I had been more on it with my medication when I was diagnosed as prediabetic. Sometimes, I wonder if I would be where I am today if I had taken it seriously. Take this time to rethink your life and get serious with your prediabetes before it becomes diabetes. Don’t skip any of your medications, I promise they help. I know with metformin there are some side effects the first couple of weeks, those are normal as your body adjusts to the medication. It’s not normal if it lasts beyond two weeks, consult your doctor if this occurs.

As a prediabetic, ask your doctor if they can refer you to a dietician to help you get on the right diet plan to curb your appetite and lose weight before things get serious. Losing just 10% of your current body weight can drastically reduce your chances of developing full blown diabetes.

If you’re not so lucky and you’re fully diabetic, there’s still hope. The key to diabetes is never losing hope in yourself. Believe in your own strength and seek support from others. If your family and friends don’t understand or you don’t feel comfortable confiding in them, look for support groups on Facebook. I recently joined one and I have been able to share my support with other diabetic women. We also share recipes and advice with each other. It’s a very supportive environment.

If you ever feel like you need additional support, you can always reach out to me and I’ll be one of your biggest cheerleaders.

Now that you’re diabetic, do not ever let this diagnosis and disease define you. Let this one setback show your strengths and make a difference in your life for the better. It’s a long journey to managing and controlling your diabetes, but you can do this! Remember, your Diabetic Care Team is there to support you. And while I absolutely appreciate you reading my content, don’t let this be your one-stop-shop for information. Let my content guide you to your other questions and find your own answers. I hope my content can help guide you to asking the right questions and lead you on your own path. Remember, no one knows your body better than you do.


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The Journey: Episode Fourteen

JUNE 14, 2020

I’ve been getting pretty frustrated lately with my blood sugar. No matter how high I go with the insulin injection my blood sugar doesn’t seem to change. It doesn’t go up and it doesn’t go down. I’m not sure what’s wrong. Maybe it’s my diet, maybe I’m not doing enough with diet. Maybe I need to go on a low carb diet. Or maybe it’s because I need to exercise more. Maybe I need to do more cardio or more strength training. Maybe I need to do more.

I’m seriously considering upping my insulin from 75 units to 80 units. The only thing is my insulin pens hold about 300 units each which means at 75 units I can get four injections from each pen. If I go up to 80 units I won’t be able to make four injections per pen and that means spending more money for insulin. That’s so frustrating.

The Facebook group I joined shares a lot of low carb recipes and I think I should try some of them as well as change my diet and lifestyle to be more low carb, high healthy fat and protein. That means carb counting and dissecting food labels at the grocery stores now and being mindful of high carb snacks and food. Which means learning about the glycemic index and which foods are okay and not.

I plan to take on a 30-day challenge which will involve going low carb. Here are the rules:

  • No food high in refined sugars – candy, ice cream, soda, energy drinks, etc.
  • No fast food
  • No white bread or pasta – only whole grains
  • No alcohol (that’s not a problem for me)
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Drink more water – about 130 ounces
  • Add more fruits and veggies

I was thinking of doing the 30-day challenge in July but I think I might have to do it sooner than that, which is fine, because it’s just 30 days no matter when they are. I’m not sure if I’m going to do a single post detailing everything or if I’m going to post every day or maybe just once a week with a daily log. Maybe I’ll do that one. One post per week on a specified day with each of that week’s days on it. I think that would be a good way to document my challenge.

I think I’ll start next week Sunday and post on Saturday until the last two days. Well I guess I’m going to go on this journey and share it with you folks to help you on your own journey. If you want to go on this challenge with me feel free to join me!

The Journey: Welcome!

Hey there! I wanna give you a big, massive ALOHA from me to you! I’ve been getting some new followers and I want to let you know I appreciate you *hugs and kisses* so much.

My name is Courtney and I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in February 2017. My dad also had T2 and he passed away in 2014. I wish I knew then everything I know now about diabetes, maybe then I could have helped him through it and avoided being diagnosed myself. But alas, here we are. I want to help educate people about diabetes in an informal, modern way with as much information as I can find. That’s why I created this blog.

The Young and Diabetic has been an eye opener for me. I’m learning more about myself and my diabetes every day because of this blog. All of these topics are basically me answering my own questions by doing the research and finding all of the information I can find. By no means is this all the information out there on any one of these topics, but it’s a start for you, for me, for everyone. This is where we can start asking questions and finding our answers.

I figure if I have all of these burning questions, there are others out there who have these questions too. Don’t consider these posts as gospel, consider them to be your gateway to asking the right questions and finding out more. I firmly believe that one should never stop seeking knowledge throughout their lifetime.

With that said, if you have any questions or feedback, don’t be afraid to message me or comment below! I don’t always ask the right questions and maybe I haven’t even touched on whatever topic you want to learn more about, so let me know! As much as I would love to, I can’t read your minds all the way across the internet.

Also, if you would like to share your own personal journey or story about your own journey with diabetes or your loved one who has/had diabetes, feel free to share your story. Sharing your story could be helpful for others to know that they’re not going through this journey alone. It humanizes our disease. We never have to suffer alone.

If you see any content that you think someone you know could benefit from, please share it with them. Share the content to social media, you never know whom amongst your friends could benefit from this information and possibly save their life.

So until the next time, know that you are loved and that diabetes does not define your weaknesses, it proves your strength! Stay safe out there!

Biggest Aloha,
Courtney ❤

Possible Causes of Morning Highs

Do you ever just wake up in the morning and check your blood sugar only to find that it’s higher than 125 mg/dL? You were sure you did everything right the night before and yet your sugar is still high. Maybe it’s been high for the past week or two and you don’t know why. There could be a reason behind your morning highs. Two theories that scientists have come up with are the Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi Effect. Let’s begin!


The Dawn Phenomenon


Also called the dawn effect, is described as an abnormal early-morning increase in blood sugar – usually between 2AM and 8AM that occurs regularly in diabetics. The occasional high isn’t much of a worry, but when it happens almost every day, it’s an issue.

There is a natural overnight release of counter-regulatory hormones – the growth hormone, cortisol, glucagon, and epinephrine – that increases insulin resistance, causing blood sugar to rise.

High morning blood sugar may also be caused by not enough insulin the night before, low dosage of diabetes medication, or eating a carb-heavy snack at bedtime.

What You Can Do

If you suspect the Dawn Phenomenon, consult with your doctor. Your doctor may make some recommendations to help prevent or correct your high morning blood sugar levels:

  • Avoid carbs at bedtime
  • Eat regular meals (stay consistent with meals per day, times of day, etc.)
  • Adjust your dose of medication or insulin
  • Eat dinner earlier in the evening
  • Switch to a different medication
  • Do some light exercise after dinner, like walking, jogging, or yoga
  • Change the time you take your medication or insulin from dinnertime to bedtime
  • Use an insulin pump to administer extra insulin during early-morning hours

Personally, I have moved from taking my insulin at a set time each night to within one hour of falling asleep. Once I start feeling tired, I inject my insulin. So far my levels have been lower than when I take it at 9:30pm.

The Somogyi Effect

Also known as the rebound effect, is another possible cause of high blood sugar in the morning. Not all scientists believe this effect is real, but it happens when blood sugar levels drop too low.

If a diabetic were to take insulin without a bedtime snack or inject too much insulin, their blood sugar levels may drop during the night. The body then responds by releasing growth hormones that trigger sugar levels to go back up causing blood sugar levels to be high in the morning.

The Difference Between the Two

The biggest difference between the Dawn Phenomenon and the Somogyi Effect is that the Somogyi effect includes a decrease in glucose levels causing hypoglycemia which is then followed by a rebounding hyperglycemia.

The easiest way to find out which one is causing your high glucose levels in the morning is to record you blood sugar throughout the night. Take your sugar before bed, then again at 3AM in the morning, and then once more when you wake up in the morning.

If your 3AM reading is low, there’s a likelihood that the Somogyi Effect is the cause. If your 3AM reading is normal or high, then it is likelier to be the Dawn Phenomenon that caused your morning highs.

The only way to be sure is to do this process of at least three readings each night for at least one week. The longer you do it, the more familiar with your body you become. Then relay this information to your doctor and they will be able to work with you to correct these morning highs.


References

Mayo Clinic
Medical News Today


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