Thursday, May 30, 2013

Woman of Steel

This year I set a goal to complete two triathlons and one Tour de Cure.  Last weekend, I completed the first of those triathlons.  A good friend of mine, Lydia, has done the Woman of Steel Triathlon twice before and really wanted to do it with a friend this year.  Teresa and I wanted to do it with her but Teresa's schedule made it so that she decided to do the Splash and Sprint in Bountiful the week before. I was quite excited to participate in this all women's race.

The week leading up to the triathlon was wonderful, warm weather.  Then it decided to rain, and rain, and rain!  I was getting really bummed out about the weather and then I just decided that there wasn't anything I could do about it so I wasn't going to worry any more.

Friday I made this great list of things I'd need because I had to work that day and I was worried about being able to remember everything when it came time to pack up.  I followed my list and packed up my car and gym bag carefully.  I took a nice bath and finished shaving, Justin came over and tightened up my breaks one more time.  I filled up my tires and loaded my bike then painted my fingernails and toes. LOL!
 My sugar going to bed was perfect, like 103 or something.  I didn't sleep really well, but I didn't sleep terribly either.  I checked my sugar at like 1 am and it was 95.  I ate two glucose tabs because I felt low.  I probably should have skipped those because my sugar was like 220 when I woke up. There's this weird thing that adrenalin does to my blood sugar on race day.  No matter what I do,  I can't seem to get enough insulin.  And that's weird, because you'd think with all of the "activity"...

 I took a shower, tied my hair back and got dressed.  I ate my breakfast and bloused for half.  Then all of the sudden I had to go to the bathroom really bad.  LOL.  As I was pulling up my suit, I ripped out my pump site.  I had 5 minutes until I wanted to leave so I hurry and thew in a new site.  I was kind of glad because I really wanted an arm site just to make it easier during transition.  This turned out to be a pretty bad mistake.  I often have absorption issues when changing my site.  Usually though, when I put a site in my arm, I don't have these issues.  This time, however, I did.  This site hurt pretty bad when it went in.  I think it must have gone straight into the muscle instead of the fat because of how bad it hurt.  It also wasn't absorbing well and my blood sugar was rising rapidly.  I was nervous about dropping due to the prolonged amount of exercise so I didn't take too much insulin.
to do list- helmet not included 

my gear, night before.  helmet not included

weather forecast was about spot on

getting psyched morning of

I left the house at 6 o'clock and drove me and my bike down to the American Fork Recreation center.  Traffic was nonexistent on Saturday morning so I got there pretty quickly.  Parking wasn't too bad that early (6:20) and I was glad for that.  I got my gear and headed over to the transition area to set up.  They marked us with our numbers on our arms and our age on our calves.  Transition spots were predetermined by number, I found my spot and it was awesome.  I was on the second row, the second bike in.  The only downside was that I was close to the entrance which meant I was far away from the exit.  As I was setting out my gear, I realized I had forgotten something very important.  MY HELMET!  AHHH!!! I couldn't believe I'd forgotten something so important.  It was really funny because as I was making my list, it never occurred to me, as I was driving down, I was reviewing my transition in my head and it never occurred to me, it never crossed my mind until I unpacked everything and was all set up.
my set up,  helmet not included

from the pool to transition

I called Colin and he was already out of the shower.  I let him know that I had forgotten my helmet so he was ready to bring it down to me.  Whew!  Lydia came and she got all set up.  We had a little bit of time to get nervous before the race meeting started.  My swim coach, Nichole Beckstead came and I was really glad to see her.  She and her husband Brad were marking participants in transition and cheering on their people.  Colin brought the helmet down and found a place to park.  Then we all headed over to the pool to get lined up by times.
Lydia and I before the race

There was this woman who was asking everyone  her times.  She was super rude about it but I tried not to let it phase me.  I really wanted a good seat for the swim since that is my strength.  I decided to seat myself under 5 minutes.  In reality, I can probably swim the distance (300 Meters) in about 5:30 but I didn't want to get caught up in the bottle neck.

Before we got into the water it was cold.  Really cold!  And all I was wearing was my suit.  So, I was glad that I was toward the front of the line so I could get in the water.  They had swim about 12 seconds apart so that was nice and we weren't all right on top of each other.  I had to pass one woman but no one passed me.  I was the 21st person out of the water and took 1st in my division.  I was so excited about that.  My time for the swim was 5:40 I think.  The only thing I regret about the swim was that I didn't get the boys' attention and they missed my swim completely.  they were looking around for me and my friend Lydia told them I was long gone.

My first transition took me way too long.  I was pretty nervous and a little woozy but definitely better than the I Can Tri.  I had thrown my towel on the fence so I grabbed it and dried off as I ran to transition.  During transition I put on my shorts, shoes, socks, and helmet.  Then I realized my jersey wouldn't fit over my helmet so I had to do that part over.  Then I checked my sugar and it was 345.  I was pretty pissed about that because I can perform so much better when my sugar is lower.  I took some insulin and grabbed my bike and headed out for the course.  My transition was about 4 minutes, I'm aiming for halving that next time.

I could tell dad was taking my picture so I sat up a little and smiled for the camera.  ha ha ha

I like this photo because my dad is there in the yellow coat cheering me on.  

The bike started out kind of rough.  Mainly because of my sugar.  But also because there's a huge hill right off the bat.  I did okay though and kept on pushing.  I took in as much water as I could.  As I got to to the top of the hill and came to the flat before the down hill I was feeling pretty good.  Downhill was awesome and I saw my mom, sister, niece, and dad cheering me on right at the corner.  That was cool.  I came around for the second lap and there were Colin and the boys.  They caught a few pics and I was off on my second lap. The wind had really picked up and it made that hill pretty rough.  I dropped my water bottle but it was empty by then anyway so I just kept going.  I saw my family again and came in for my second transition.
I did the bike in an hour flat.

My second transition went better I think.  I checked my sugar and it was like 280ish.  I took a little more insulin, I think and changed shoes, dropped off my bike and helmet and off I went.  The run went pretty good for me.  I hate running and am no good at it but I was able to push through and keep jogging almost the entire way through.

About a mile before the finish line, the weather got even worse and it started really raining.  I really didn't notice it too much though, just kept on running.  At the finish line, my mom, dad, sister and niece were there again.  They are such great cheerleaders!  It was so cool to see them there.  Poor guys though, it must have been freezing in that pouring rain!  I did my run in 35 minutes.

My total time was 1:48.  I was hoping for a little bit faster but I'm not at all sad about how anything (except the transition and the blood sugar) went.  I came in 8th in my division!

Help Stop Diabetes

In 2 short weeks, my brother and I will be riding in the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure.  We have been training hard for this 25 mile ride and we're pretty excited to do it together.  Thank you so much to everyone who has donated already.  We lack just a little more than $150 to reach our ultimate goal.  Please stop by and donate if you can!  Thanks so much!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Basal Pattern A

So I've decided to use the basal patterns feature on my MiniMed Revel pump.  Every time I go to my endo with a pattern A setting, he asks me why it's there and what I use it for.  I don't think he's being critical, just wondering when I'm using it so that he can adjust my basals accordingly.  The REAL reason I have a pattern A is for my period.  Sorry guys, it's true.  And, it's a perfectly good reason to USE the thing.  So, I'm going to try to explain why/how I use it now and what I'd like to do with it in the future, to see if I can improve my control. 

It seems that come that time of the month, I need a little less insulin.  If I don't decrease my basal, I'm going low constantly.  I'm a little afraid of lows.  And, I'm way afraid of gaining weight.  So to compensate for the lows I either end up consuming too many calories, or aggressively adjusting my basals, causing chaos weeks down the road.

With a pattern A basal rate for this special time, I find I don't worry too much about adjusting my basal rate and then spending the next three weeks with blood sugars which are out of control, wondering what my old settings were, trying to remember them, and ending up having to re-do the entire basal process over again.  So I just switch over to pattern A and then back after a week or so.  Works wonders!

Another trick I've FINALLY learned is a little thing called WRITING IT DOWN.  Hello, Jen!  But seriously, I'll write down my original basal rates, the changes, and the dates the changes were made.  Genius I tell you.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thyroid the back story

I've always had issues with my Thyroid and didn't feel that my Endocrinologist was properly treating that aspect of my endocrine issues.  So I sought out a new doctor who would take some more time on my thyroid and leave my diabetes up to my regular doctor.  I did a little research and decided on two local clinics.  One clinic didn't take insurance, so I went to the other one.

Some of the symptoms I've struggled with having low thyroid are typical, and others, I didn't realize were because of low thyroid.  Here's a list from Web MD, suffice it to say that I have MOST of them.  

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Symptoms of hypothyroidism may be vague and can often mimic other conditions. They may include:
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dry hair and hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Greater sensitivity to cold
  • Slow heart rate
  • Swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

The clinic that did take insurance, we'll call them "Fancy Thyroid Place" came highly recommended.  I knew a lot of women who have their thyroid treated there.  So, I booked my appointment for Fancy Thyroid Place and showed up not really knowing what to expect. The lobby looked like a spa and all of the employees dressed in black- felt like a fancy spa.  Anyway, I met with the doctor and right off the bat he was pretty rude to me.  I tried so hard to keep an open mind and I feel like I did eventually warm up to what he had to say.  We agreed to get some blood work done before making any changes to my regimen.

I had my blood work drawn and scheduled an appointment for three weeks later to have a look at things.  He opened up my file and right away said I had Hashimotos (hypothyroid) and that I needed to be gluten free.  He went over the rest of my thyroid numbers with me, told me they were all out of whack and wrote me a prescription for a different thyroid medication.

I took to the internets asking for help with this and was surprised when an endocrinologist friend told me that Hashimotos and gluten free don't necessarily need to go to there.  I wanted to be a good patient though and so I cut out gluten and started taking the new medicine.  I corresponded with this doctor friend a little more and she advised me that the medication this Fancy Thyroid Place was giving me, wasn't really a recommended or trusted treatment.  So.  I really had some decisions to make.

I kept with it and did the follow-up blood work about a month later.  In the mean time, I felt.  like.  crap.
I wasn't sleeping as well, I just wasn't myself.  But I sure was trying.

Follow up blood work suggested nothing.  Basically no change.  So in the end, I quit this doctor and went back to my old treatment plan.  And back to eating wheat.  (for a while at least).  See the continuation in these posts: New Country, New Doctor (part 1) and Part 2: New Doctor, lots of Test