Living a Level Life with Level Foods

Living a Level Life with Level Foods - A yummy alternative to breakfast!

I love breakfast. I mean seriously, think of all the yummy things you can eat for breakfast.. fruit and yogurt, oatmeal with a little peanut butter, eggs & bacon, toast. (OK this is making me hungry)

Rachel enjoying a Level Foods Shake in my Car

I love grabbing a Level Foods Shake and enjoying it in my car

But sometimes mornings can be a little stressful. Especially if you have diabetes. “Oh no how could I have just realized I have only 20…

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22 February 2014 ·

Wait

With 14 years with diabetes under my belt, I’ve had my fair share of “bad days”. Most of the time I just take care of the issue and move on. I have never been one to let diabetes hold me back. But sometimes it has its way of keeping me from doing what I want to do, and that really gets me down.


I’ve just finished with classes for the day. I walk to my car thinking about all of the homework I have yet to do tonight and its already 6:30. As I approach my car I fumble with my keys and unlock the door. I go searching in my bag for my glucometer and test before the keys go into the ignition. 63 mg/dl. That means I need to eat a snack and wait until I am able to drive the 30 mins home. image

Waiting. Diabetes makes me wait. Its so crazy how long 15 minutes feels when you’re sitting in one spot waiting for a number on your meter to read above 90. 

Another test says I’m 70. 15 more minutes, 15 more carbs. I could have been home by now.

While I know it’s important to wait, to be safe, all I want to do is throw caution into the wind and just pull onto the road. I don’t I wait.

It’s crazy how a disease that made me grow up so fast, causes me so much waiting. 

I wait to test. I wait to eat. I wait to drive. I wait to start homework. I wait to walk. I wait.

Another test permits me to go. 30 mins later and I can drive home. 

While Diabetes can be frustrating from time to time. It’s just something us diabetics deal with. I promised myself, I will live every day with this disease and every day I will make sure that it won’t hold me back. 

I will live out my dreams, meet my goals and accomplish amazing things. Diabetes sits in the side-car, I sit in the driver’s seat. 



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6 August 2013 ·

Chronicles of the College Diabetic

There are many times when I feel like nothing can hold me back. (i.e. Graduating College, Getting a summer internship, full time job etc. etc.) However sometimes I do feel a bit “stuck”. 

At school my life is pretty fast paced. At every second there is something that needs to be done. Whether it be taking notes in class, working on a project, finishing homework, sleeping, I feel like there isn’t enough hours in the day sometimes. image

I get all caught up in the day when suddenly I get that feeling. The short, soft scream in the back of my mind that I only hear when my blood sugar is dropping. As time passes my mind starts to fill with an anxious feeling and then I know I’m dropping.

So I test, and yes I’m low. Now what? I ate the last of my snack an hour ago and I’m currently in the middle of a lecture. I can leave but what then? Walk around campus until I finally find a vending machine or make it to a cafeteria. Yes that’s it I’ll go to the cafeteria. 

I begin one of my more dangerous walks to the cafeteria while rocking a 53 mg/dl. Yeah, low brain talked me into it and I instantly know is was the wrong decision as I feel my legs turn to jell-o. 

I finally make it and B line to the soda and check out while the cashier briefly thinks I’m crazy as I make it up the counter, half the soda gone. 

By the time I finish the soda, and my blood sugar begins to rise I contemplate walking back to class. When finally I can stifle low brain and decide to hang in the cafeteria for a while until I bounce back and feel better.

When I get to class, its just ended and I’m covered in sweat. 

It makes it a tad difficult to keep up with class when you body is constantly distracting you. Luckily this past year I’ve had some great professors and met some wonderful friends who help me keep up. 

I guess its just part of the being Diabetic thing.. 

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Do you have any crazy low stories? 

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30 July 2013 ·

Even Diabetes has Benefits

With classes coming to an end soon and summer rearing its beautiful sunny head again I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to tell you about my new diabetes plan here at my new university.


At the very beginning of this school year, back in August, I notified my friendly local Student Support Services office about my diabetes. They are a group of wonderful people who are there to help students like me to have a backup plan if anything were to stop us from completing school work. This includes, homework, attendance, tests, tardys, the whole kit and kaboodle. (Yes I just said that….)

At any rate they helped me come up with a plan (that I will outline below) to help me get through the day to day stresses of being a college student with diabetes. (Oh so much of that stress thing). All I needed to do was get a note from my Endocrinologist and have him fax it to their office. Easy as pie (well as easy as pie can be I suppose, maybe that was the wrong analogy)! 

image Anyway something really cool that the Student Support Services at my university does ( and it may be done at yours too you can check with them), is that I was able to have priority sign up for classes. Which of course is a HUGE deal at a little school like mine. Classes fill up very fast!


The reasoning for this priority was that I am an approved ADA (American Disabilities Act) Student. Although I am not 100% sure what that means I don’t really ABSOLUTLY have to have this priority registration, it is really nice to have. This way I can schedule classes according to my schedule and work around lunch and dinner and what not. That is really nice for a diabetic because this semester my lunch is at different times every day, making it super hard to figure out basals and what not. So really this is a huge BENEFIT to me.


I think it is really great that my university offers this type of support for me and it makes me feel a lot better about that whole stress situation!


If you are in need of some Support Services at your University, ask around and see if you can get the number to your own local Student Support Service office it’s really a nice thing to have at school. For more information check out College Diabetes Network, they have a lot of nice information about caring for diabetes at school and your rights as a student with a disability.


You can also check out the American Diabetes Association’s resources as they also have a lot of information on this topic as well!


And of course feel free to leave a comment question or concern below in the comment area! (I read them all!)


Here is my Diabetes plan here at university:


  • Ability to take breaks to eat a snack to alleviate low blood sugar

  • Ability to reschedule exams in case of diabetes emergency as this affects ability to finish exam

  • Excused for diabetes-related absences


I also have the Student Support Services e-mail all of my professors for the semester to let them know. ( I used to do this myself but it is much nicer to see it come from a school sanctioned office rather than just a student)

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Today’s Question of the day is:

What Glucometer do you use?

Answer by visiting the humaBLOG Facebook page or on Twitter! 

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18 April 2013 ·

It’s Time for a New Year

image

Hello everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted any kind of blog. I needed a break to get school work done and work on some other projects (updates soon).

I wanted to check in as it is the last day of 2012 and share with you my New Years Resolutions for 2013.

First lets take a step back into New Years 2012. At this time last year I had 3 resolutions.

1. Knock my A1C Down a few Points.

2. Become more organized.

3. Lose some weight.

I accomplished 1 & 3.. Let’s just face it I will never be organized.

1.) My A1C this time last year was 7.5. By February of 2012 I dropped to 7.2! It was great, I was feeling great but was also battling quite a few dangerous lows. That’s when I had my emergency unconscious low and it was scary. After recovering from that I was afraid to be aggressive with insulin doses. As a result my A1C is currently 7.4. Which isn’t bad but I was a bit disappointed.

3.) Back in December of 2011 I weighed a little over average weight for my age and height. I didn’t feel healthy and I felt really “weighed down”. I worked hard and exercised and watched my calorie intake and I am pleased to say as of today I lost 14.3 pounds this year! It really feels like a great accomplishment. Even though I now have a obsessive habit of weighing my self daily it feels great to see lower numbers on the scale.

I have developed a new relationship with my body this past year and I feel great about it. I plan on keeping all of last years accomplishments going!
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This brings us to this years goals. (Drum Roll Please!)

1.) Bring that A1C down even more.

To be more specific lets say by the end of this year I want to be at a 7.0 or lower.

2.) Keep a decent GPA

Something that I don’t talk much about online is my new obsession with being on honors. Oh it has been difficult balancing Diabetes, school, and work, but I believe I can do it!I started at a 4.0 and slid down to a 3.75 and I want to either boost it back to a 4.0 of keep what I have.

3.) Eliminate Meat from my diet.

Honestly I don’t think that this will be a very difficult one for me. My relationship with meat has been pretty negative for a few years. I just haven’t been too fond of too many meats lately. I think eliminating most meats will be okay but there are a few I do love. (I’ll miss you bacon!!)

There are the three! I will keep you updated as to how these are going. I want all three to be successful so much so admitting my defeat may be difficult. We’ll see how it goes.


Wish me luck! Have a great New Year’s Celebration.

If you feel so inclined, let me know what your New Years Resolution is this year in the comments below (or send me a link to your blog I would love to share!)

Happy New Year!

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31 December 2012 ·

I am a Zombie

Hi Guys! So long no talk (well type on my part).

School has begun in full swing, and I love it! As you may already know, I have transferred to a new school this semester. I was at a local community college and received my Associates degree in Graphic Design (yay!). Now I am on to pursue my Bachelors and I am so excited for what I will learn in the next 2-3 years! Can you sense my excitement?!

Anyway, school has made me so busy I sometimes forget what sleeping 8 hours feels like. But it is totally worth it.

As far as my blood sugars and diabetes goes, well I think I am managing. Since my severe low episode, I knocked down my insulin flow quite a bit. My blood sugars haven’t suffered too much by the change since I walk ALOT at school.

However my A1C has risen just a little bit. 6 months ago I was at a cool 7.2% A1c rating. Last Tuesday at my 6 month Endocrinologist check up I was at 7.4%. Not too bad, but now where I wanted to be at this time. (Grr)

Oh well, I get there eventually. I am trying to learn not to push myself so hard. Sure my friends at school may be able to skip lunch or just live on caffeine for 24 hours (although not healthy for them either), I know I can’t.

I am trying to find new ways to carry some type of food on me. I pack my lunch most days (eating out is expensive), but I am looking for some “non-perishable” snacks that will fit into my book bag with ease. (Any suggestions?)

At any rate, with strict deadlines and piles of homework blocking my view of the sunlight, its nice to say that this weekend begins “Fall Break”.

Maybe I can STEP away from my computer for a while!

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7 October 2012 ·

I feel Inspired

Maybe it’s because my first class at my new school is almost complete and I am going to have a mini break. Or maybe it is because I am very very very close to reaching my fundraising goal for my local ADA walk. Or maybe its because I haven’t had an allergic food reaction in a few weeks. Or maybe it’s just that I am experiencing a ROCKING blood sugar right now!

Whatever the cause may be I am feeling great, awesome, fantastic, spectacular, wonderful and mostly happy. I am so happy when I think about the future and I am so proud when I think about the past.

Recently (July 21st) I celebrated a very special anniversary. 13 years of testing my blood sugar, giving insulin and counting carbs. I have had diabetes for 13 years now. How crazy is that? I can remember the day I was diagnosed like it was yesterday. I can’t believe it’s been 13 years already.

My blood sugars are great and I feel healthy. All of which is probably why I am feeling so great. But also I am proud of what I have done to get to this spot. Testing my blood sugar way more often then I used to. Taking and adjusting insulin doses like a pro (even though sometimes I have no idea what I am doing). Also I have been single-handedly dropping my A1C a couple of points at a time steadily for about 7 years (since I switched to the pump). Ultimately I feel proud of how hard I work and I am beginning to see the outcome of working hard.

I have been doing much “soul searching” lately. As you probably know by now, I have just graduated my community college and I am on to my university where I will get my bachelors degree in graphic design, interactive media, and marketing. I am all too excited for the day I get to walk across the stage in my cap and gown and accept my degree. I am also pretty excited many more things to happen both before and after graduation.

I am excited to learn new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. There are so many plans in my head and I cannot wait for them all to happen. It feels as if my patience has grown so much just in these few months of summer. I am looking forward but there is no rush. I am soaking in all the good of now and enjoying the prospect of my future in the horizon.

I couldn’t ask for more. I am feeling wonderful and I just wanted to share. If , while reading, you find yourself unhappy. Take it from me, it gets better and you will be so very happy when it does. Just keep working and you will make it!

All to which I must say YOU CAN DO THIS!

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3 August 2012 ·

I’m all Updated

Well Hello! Would you like to read an update on my life? OF COURSE YOU WOULD!

Recently I have been so busy that I have trouble finding time to sleep (I do miss you sleep). Next week is my last week of school before the BIG TRANSFER! I am so very excited and nervous and many more emotions about the big jump. But it will be so good to know that I have made it half way through my secondary education!

Also another huge event in my life is coming up! I have been officially hired to Diabetes camp as a camp counselor. This will be my 5th year on staff and my 14th year at camp! Crazy! I am so excited and I just can’t wait to get moved into my little half cabin and meet all of my new campers! I wait for the week of camp all year round and I am so excited for this year!

I also renewed my license (I know mundane, right?). It is the first time that I have renewed it so I got to go to the “Big kid” horizontal license. When I got there to renew I was told that I needed to get a doctor to sign some paperwork WHOOPS! I totally forgot about that, and my license expires the next day! I made it to my doctor’s office and the very very very nice people who work there helped me to get everything I needed within about 5 minutes. THANK YOU! Any way I got my photo taken, eyes checked, and was issued my brand new ID! Yay!

I’m not sure if you are following me on Twitter (because of course everyone is right?), but if you do you might remember me mentioning that I have stopped drinking soda. Well its been about 3 months on soda strike and I think that I have gotten healthier. 

I have lost 11 pounds as of this morning and I am feeling great. I have no caffeine headaches as I expected to have and I have found a new found love for good old water. water is really all I drink all day and I don’t feel bad about drinking it at all. 

Anyway, I am feeling so wonderful, and healthy, and excited. So many emotions, I know. But Many things are coming to an end and many to a beginning for me lately and I am so excited to continue moving forward!

Consider yourself updated.

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4 May 2012 ·

Are we there yet?

Wow Wow Wow! My last post brought so many new viewers to my little homemade blog! First I want to say Welcome! Second I want to apologize for this post. I usually try to write uplifting and or funny commentary about my life as a Type 1 Diabetic College student. However this last week, well month really has been so very stressful and I hope it all begins to slow down soon.

If you have been following my blog for a while you may know that I am smack dab in the middle of a transition in my life. I am currently studying Graphic Design at a local community college. Its been great really I love it. I have learned so much and developed some great skills.

But now it is time for me to graduate and move on to a four year university and finish my degree. I am so so so so excited about the transition. I really can’t wait to begin course work. But I am still preparing.

Thus begins stressor #1:

This last semester I have only one required class for my degree, Earth Science. Its not just Earth Science, but its Weather and Climate. You might be asking, what the H E double hockey sticks does Weather and Climate have to do with Graphic Design. The answer is nothing. I just need this class to graduate.

Being a very visual and creative person, I am really struggling with this Earth Science course. Every week I hope just to keep a passing grade. I am working hard and pouring everything I’ve got into this class and I am receiving below average scores. Whatever, I don’t care about the grade as long as I pass.

Now we go to stressor #2:

As a Graphic Design major, I have to take art classes, as expected. Also in order to begin classes at my new University I need to submit two portfolios. One contains all of my art work throughout my college career, while the other contains all of my design work throughout my college career. Both need to be submitted by April 1st and of course I have only now just begun working on them. Well I am about 97% complete with all the work on both. I just need to deliver it which I planned to work on today until stressor #3 occured.

Stressor #3:

Recently I have been having issues falling asleep. One night I couldn’t get to sleep until 7:00AM. It really began to be ridiculous. At this point I am thinking that maybe I am a Zombie. I decided that it was probably sinus headaches and pressure that were keeping me awake.  So I began taking some Benedryl just so I could sleep! Yes that is in fact me! Halloween 2009

Of course it worked, I was asleep finally but I would be out for almost ten hours and that just didn’t feel good. So last night I didn’t take any. Instead of watching TV until I passed out like I usually do I read a book until I felt tired. I finally fell asleep naturally and before 1:00AM mind you!

Then this morning I woke up with that feeling. If you’re diabetic like me you know the feeling. Sweaty and hot, confused and fuzzy, and hungry oh so hungry. I check my BG to see that it was of course 44 mg/dl. So I made my way to the kitchen in my zombie like manner and ate some cereal. Maybe too much cereal only Zombie Rachel would know.

Anyway, my BG came up fine and I went back to bed for just a little while longer. Until I woke up again with another feeling. Thirsty so so thirsty and sick to my stomach. Oh here we go with the Hyperglycemia now. Check my BG to see a nice and juicy 301 mg/dl on the tiny LCD screen of my meter. “Lovely” I said as I got up to change my site (as I was running low on insulin anyway) and finally took a 9.9 unit bolus of insulin.

I lied in bed writhing in stomach pain and clenching my water bottle like my life depended on it. When an hour went by I checked again to see that my blood sugar had raised to 398 mg/dl! “Come on diabetes, give me a break here” I took another high unit correction and waited until it slowly dropped to 200.

That brings me to now writing this post. Still feeling sick to my stomach and wondering if I should just skip lunch all together. I am so baffled on why my blood sugar didn’t drop with the first correction. Usually high dosed corrections bring me crashing down but not today.

I have had thoughts that possibly stress is bringing it all on. I have a few more stressors that I have not named above that are adding to the mix as well. I have had interesting affects on my body because of stress in the past.

Last semester during the months before finals I noticed that I had not had a menstrual cycle. This went on for about 3 months and I was getting very worried. The day after my final exams were completed I began a menstrual cycle and everything was back on track.

Another time stress has affected me was last year at camp. It was my first year as a Senior Counselor at Diabetes Camp and Inner Rachel was FREAKING OUT. I was responsible of a group of campers and for some reason this year Inner Rachel was beyond worried about everything. (I even had a dream during camp that the cabin was on fire. Fire is one of my biggest fears) Because of all this stress Inner Rachel was sticking in my mind My blood sugars were elevated the entire week and I had many bouts of high to moderate ketones, despite all the water I was consuming. It was so weird because I have never ever had high ketones in my life. As soon as I got home from camp everything went back to normal.

Stress does weird things to me. So really I wish it was summer so that I can just relax and have some fun in the sun.

So are we there yet?


Also thanks for listening to me whine! More blogs to come next month!

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21 March 2012 ·

My Hectic Week

Well last week was definitely been a crazy one. I guess we’ll start at the beginning. Well two weeks ago my little sister had an upper respiratory infection. So of course last week I got my lovely little sisters germs. So this last week I have been so sick. One thing that really sucks about being sick now that I am in college is that sometimes I have to go to school even if I feel so horrible (diabetes related included). But it’s even worse when I stay home from school. I missed one class last week to go to the doctor to get medicine, and I had much homework this weekend. It was crazy. 

Speaking of crazy let’s go back to last week when I was going to the doctor. When I was headed to school afterward I got pulled over. Yeah, that was spectacular. I’ve only been pulled over twice in the 5 years I have been driving but it is never that fun. Now I didn’t get ticketed or any of that but I was late for school and I missed my first class.

Okay enough of the whining, when I got home from school that day I had something awesome waiting for me in my mailbox. I walked up to my house and instinctively reached into the mailbox to find a nice large envelope with my name printed on it. I ripped it open to find that this envelope held my acceptance packet to my transfer university. I was so excited I read through the whole thing twice. However the excitement of the packet was softened only a little when I discovered how much work I have yet to do.

See I was accepted to the school, and the college of art and communications. Now I just need to be accepted into the graphic design sequence. Which means that I need to send in my portfolio. I also have to petition to graduate from my current college and get my next semester of classes ready. I have quite a bit of time still but I just feel overwhelmed by it all, and I just can’t wait.

I cant believe this is finally happening. It feels like I’ve been waiting and working so hard. When I graduated from highs hook it seemed so far away, and I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. I am so happy that I found my passion and that I found my school. I am going on a great journey now and I’m ready for my next step in the journey. I can’t wait!

Well that’s been my week. I’m so sorry, but I really needed a break last week from blogging and what not. But I’m back! Diabetes related blogs will be back this week!

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17 October 2011 ·

About Me

A really cool blog, by a really cool girl, telling really cool stories about a not so cool disease called Type 1 Diabetes.