The Everyday Life of a Type one Diabetic

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When the Insurance Calls the Shots – Part II

When the Insurance Calls the Shots – Part II

This is long overdue, but I wanted to follow-up to the post last summer when I was forced to switch to Novolog after 14 years of using Humalog. I was definitely nervous and a bit scared to make the switch, but the changeover went pretty […]

Essentials for a Type 1 Diabetic Emergency Kit at Work

Essentials for a Type 1 Diabetic Emergency Kit at Work

How many of you T1’s have had a bad low or high at work before? Have you ever thought about what you’d do if you found yourself having one during an emergency situation at work?  If you had to shelter in place, evacuate the building, […]

When the Insurance Calls the Shots

When the Insurance Calls the Shots

Have you ever been forced to switch insulin brands? For 14 years, I’ve had the freedom to use Lantus and Humalog insulin without any pushback or interference from the various insurance companies I’ve had along the way.  It’s been great!  I have fine-tuned my blood sugars and treatment plan based on Humalog’s peak activity time of 2 hours and knowing that after 4 hours, it’s no longer in my system as active insulin.  I’m the type of person who gets really comfortable with a routine and I don’t really like change…especially when it comes to anything diabetes!  (Old man Turner over here…lol!)

 

So, when my doctor’s office called me last week to tell me my insurance company was forcing me to switch to Novolog for my short acting insulin, I was irate! My doctor appealed their rejection of Humalog, but the appeal was denied by a team of doctors (employed by the insurance company…seem fishy to anyone else?).  Their explanation: Humalog and Novolog are equivalent short acting insulins and are interchangeable in managing Type 1 Diabetes.  My question to this, how is it ok in any form of reality for insurance companies to dictate the type of insulin I should be using?  How do they supersede a doctor’s authority and recommendations?  I am blown away by how that’s allowed in our society.  All to save $20 on a 3 month prescription of insulin…really?!!  (sorry, rant over…let the optimism begin!)

 

What my insurance company doesn’t realize is that I’m a research chemist…research and chemistry are what I do for a living. So, I dove in with researching the two brands of insulin to see if, in fact, they were the “same” and interchangeable.  Turns out, they’re not identical and they definitely perform differently.  Here’s what I found: their chemical composition is slightly different (I won’t bore you with the chemistry details here), which has an effect on the peak activity time.  Humalog reaches peak activity faster than Novolog, which is reflected in the dosing instructions of each.  Humalog should be taken 15 minutes before a meal or right when you finish a meal.  Whereas Novolog is recommended to take 5-10 minutes before a meal, or right when you start eating.  I know from experience with Humalog, if I take it before my meal, I will end up with a low shortly after I finish eating.  If I take it half way through or right when I’m finishing my meal, I don’t have that post-meal low.  It will be interesting to see how my body responds to Novolog and when I should take it to avoid erratic blood sugars.

 

Having a Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM will hopefully make this transition a lot smoother. I plan to document it every step of the way so I can share how my blood sugars are affected.  Here’s a snapshot of my blood sugar stats over the last 90 days, taken from Dexcom Clarity:

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If you’re like me, numbers are ok, but graphs tell the full story…so here’s a graph showing my daily average blood sugar over the last 90 days:

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I have to try Novolog for 90 days and if my control is worse than what I’ve had with Humalog, the insurance company will allow me to switch back. So, I’ll be tracking my progress using Dexcom Clarity and comparing it to my last 90 days on Humalog.  It should make for a nice side-by-side comparison.  I look forward to sharing my progress with you!

 

Has anyone else been forced to switch insulin? How were your blood sugars affected by the change?  I’d love to hear from you and any tips you might have for a smooth transition.

Seasonal Insulin Ratios

Seasonal Insulin Ratios

The weather is changing in Michigan and for those of us with Type 1 Diabetes, that means changing carb-to-insulin ratios as well…it does for me anyway. The first few years of having diabetes it was tough to pick up on yearly or seasonal trends because […]

Green Bean & Radish Skillet

Green Bean & Radish Skillet

With every meal we have, we try to have a fresh veggie side dish to go with our protein. Frozen veggies and butter can get stale and bland… so we try to maximize our time at the farmer’s markets and can/freeze any extras for dishes […]

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini | Typeonerevealed.com

Well, well well… would you look at that beautiful, HEALTHY plate? I’m back this week and I left the sugar in the cupboard.. for now. It’s Fall. I bake a lot all stinkin’ day.

Neil and I love Italian food and anything with a good meat sauce. We swap out noodles for low-carb veggie noodles all the time and I wanted to share one of our favorite low-carb recipes: stuffed zucchini.

Start with browning a pound of ground beef, onion, garlic and mushroom in a skillet. Once browned, drain and return to stove on very low heat. Add in your favorite marinara/pasta sauce. We use my canned sauce or an organic marinara. Throw in some fresh basil and some cracked black pepper.

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini | Typeonerevealed.com

While your meat sauce simmers, cut your zucchini lengthwise and scoop the guts out. Yes, that’s the technical term for seeds and mushy stuff.

Place the zucchini on a foil-lined 9 x 13 pan and place them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove zucchini from the oven and spoon in your meat sauce. I really load them up because I want a good sauce to zucchini ratio. You can top with sliced veggies or cheese (for those non-dairy folk like me).

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini | Typeonerevealed.com

For those who do love cheese, top with your favorite shredded cheese and bake for another 35 minutes or until zucchini is just soft, but not mushy.

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini | Typeonerevealed.com

Mine usually take anywhere from 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the zucchini. When the cheese is browned and bubbly, they should be ready.

Low-Carb Stuffed Zucchini | Typeonerevealed.com

RECIPE

1 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 jar of pasta sauce of your choice
1 cup shredded cheese (any kind)
4-5 small zucchini (or 1-2 large)

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, onion, minced garlic and mushrooms together. When the beef is done, drain and return skillet to low heat, adding in the pasta sauce and stirring well. Add in fresh basil and cracked black pepper Simmer while you prepare zucchini.

Cut zucchini length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a 9×13 foil-lined pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Remove zucchini from oven and scoop in meat sauce. Top with more veggies and cheese of your choice. Return to oven and bake another 30-40 minutes or until zucchini is soft, but not mushy.

Enjoy!

 

Taking Off the Mask at Work

Taking Off the Mask at Work

I have a question for all of you Type 1’s out there in a working role: Have you told any of your coworkers that you have diabetes? Do they know what the signs and symptoms of lows are? Do you have a place at work […]

Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream | Dairy-free

Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream | Dairy-free

Hey guys! …. I’m back with another dessert recipe.. Just your average D-wife here trying to derail all the diabetics out there. Nah, just kidding. But, I DO have a good reason for it….It’s guilt-free! It’s no secret diabetics are just like everyone else. And […]

Super Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce

Super Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce

This weekend we celebrated Neil’s 30th birthday and he requested a caramel apple bar instead of a birthday cake. He loves the Fall season and everything that comes with it… the cooler temps, football, apples and pumpkin flavored everything.

I laughed that the very first recipe I post on our blog is basically runny sugar. But, one stigma that we are trying to overcome is that diabetics can’t  have sugar. Yes, they can have it. And they do. A diabetic will turn down cake just like a non-diabetic will. It’s a treat!

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Also, we are both gluten and dairy free due to my autoimmune disease. We try to eat as healthy and non-processed as we can, which challenges me to try to make my own versions of my favorite foods at home. Regular, store-bought caramel is not only loaded with corn syrup and ingredients you can’t pronounce… it also has dairy.

So, with that said, I wanted to share our healthier caramel recipe that is junk-free… but definitely not sugar-free. These ingredients were easily found at our local grocery store and the recipe is fool proof.

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I was on a mission for quite some time to perfect a homemade caramel recipe that not only tasted good but could be stored easily. I also wanted to avoid any artificial sweeteners or dairy. After a few attempts and tweaks I think I’ve got one down that is seriously the best caramel I’ve ever had. Even my non-gluten-free/dairy-free family really liked it!

Super Easy Caramel Recipe | Typeonerevealed.com

I tested this recipe using both full-fat and lite coconut milk from the can. I also tried using salted and unsalted butter and both versions are great! Using a lite coconut milk just means you will need to boil the water off longer,  but it turns out amazing either way!

Key notes about this recipe:

  1. Patience is key… I boiled my caramel down for at least 35-40 minutes, especially with the lite coconut milk (more water). Just be sure to stir frequently and keep your eye on it.
  2. This caramel is fun to experiment with! I used vanilla extract, but you could use a little almond or maple extract to really jazz up the flavor. I also tried different butters, honey vs maple syrup… etc.
  3. You can also add coarse sea salt for a salted caramel flavor.
  4. This recipe is a dark brown color once reduced. Once you store it in the fridge it turns a milky color but the consistency stays the same. It won’t harden on you which is great!
  5. I used mostly coconut ingredients… but no, it doesn’t’ taste like coconut. It’s a delicious caramel flavor!

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This caramel is a great addition to:

Apples or fruit
Coffee or chai tea
Ice Cream
Baked desserts (brownies, magic bars, cookies)
Cheesecake
Anything… really.

RECIPE

1 can coconut milk (I used Thai brand)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey (I prefer raw honey if I use honey)
1/2 cup Coconut palm sugar (I used Madhava brand)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted, your preference) or coconut oil

Optional:
1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon maple extract (in place of vanilla)

Super Easy Caramel Recipe | Typeonerevealed.com

Add coconut milk, honey (or maple syrup) and coconut palm sugar to a small sauce pan (smaller the better) and mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat right away to medium, or to a slow rolling boil.

Watch the mixture closely so that it doesn’t boil over. I had mine boiling for close to 40 minutes until it thickened enough to be a true caramel. At that temperature it will be thicker but not too thick. Keep in mind it will thicken a bit as it cools. Once it’s thickened enough, remove it from heat and add the butter and extract right away. Mix well and set aside to cool.

Once it’s cooled to room temperature, pour into a container and use right away or store in the fridge.

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We hope you have a chance to try this recipe! It’s so worth the effort!!

Enjoy!!

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas Week 1

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas Week 1

Hey friends! I wanted to share with you one of the key components to staying on track with our meals: meal planning. I’ll be sharing  meal plan ideas weekly (straight from Pinterest) from now on in hopes of inspiring you to try out some newer, […]


We Don’t Do Normal… And That’s Ok

We Don’t Do Normal… And That’s Ok

I’ve been in the diabetic world for 7+ years now. It’s hard to imagine life without constant blood sugar checks, needles, test strips everywhere and the occasional paralyzing fear. I can tell people all day long that Neil and I have a normal marriage… but that’s a lie for two reasons: 1. There is no such thing as normal. 2. Diabetics don’t do normal.

In high school, I could sleep through a category 5 hurricane. I fell asleep anywhere, anytime if I was tired. Today, if I hear the “beep” of his blood glucose monitor, I immediately sit up and ask “what is it?”. If I know his sugar is plummeting and he has a few units of active insulin still in him, I somehow manage to rally through the tiredness and stay awake until he is stable. I can tell just by looking at him if his sugar is low. He has little signs/quirks that I can read to determine where he’s at on the spectrum… and more often than not I am right. I wake up and feel his skin when he’s asleep, I pop up when I hear his CGM alarm blaring and I can run like Forrest Gump down a flight of stairs clearing a 15 lb cat at 3 am to get that juice box he needs.

We can’t do normal activities without a lot pre-planning because he wears an insulin pump… a very expensive one at that.. and if it gets damaged or wet, we’d be in trouble. In fact, almost everything we do takes a lot of pre-planning. Meal times, infusion set changes, date nights, physical activity… you name it.  This drives the non-planners in our family nuts, but I’d gladly trade cards with them for a day. This is what the D-life is like. And since I am a type A personality with administrative gifts, I take this part of our lives pretty seriously. I manage everything from budgeting for the cost of durable medical supplies to meal planning 7 days at a time to keep us on track.

You see, although Neil has type one diabetes, I by proxy, live it too. There is no I in team. It’s us, we, together, team. There is no such thing as a normal, diabetic marriage. The reason I was so on board for starting a team blog with my husband is to show the multi-faceted world of care giving as a spouse. There are things a caregiver needs too and often those things are not easily found. For example, there are days when I am so absolutely exhausted from staying up through the night doing hourly checks and I just want to chat about my fears. Although they try, the people around me just don’t understand it like my fellow D-wives/husbands do and the advice is often cliché. There’s an unspoken alliance when you meet other diabetics and their significant others. My hope is to create a space where we can come together to talk real life struggles and hopefully celebrate the good numbers too.

My husband has type one, but he also has so many other things going on to fill his resume too. I want to celebrate those and always cheer him on when life gets hard. I think as spouses, we all have that goal. But, I want to cheer my fellow caregivers on too. I raise my glass to all of you hardworking, supportive, amazing caregivers out there. The ones who never complain about getting up for middle of the night lows, comforting the pain of diabetic neuropathy, picking up prescriptions, giving injections and the thousand other things you tackle everyday!

With that, I welcome you to our new blog built specifically for type one’s and their families. As a caregiver, I will be spilling my guts about my fears, hopes, trials and thoughts on topics like marriage, faith, fitness and cooking.

Thanks for checking out our blog!

Have a great day!

Steph


All Time Favorites

Essentials for a Type 1 Diabetic Emergency Kit at Work

Essentials for a Type 1 Diabetic Emergency Kit at Work

How many of you T1’s have had a bad low or high at work before? Have you ever thought about what you’d do if you found yourself having one during an emergency situation at work?  If you had to shelter in place, evacuate the building, […]

When the Insurance Calls the Shots

When the Insurance Calls the Shots

Have you ever been forced to switch insulin brands? For 14 years, I’ve had the freedom to use Lantus and Humalog insulin without any pushback or interference from the various insurance companies I’ve had along the way.  It’s been great!  I have fine-tuned my blood […]

Seasonal Insulin Ratios

Seasonal Insulin Ratios

The weather is changing in Michigan and for those of us with Type 1 Diabetes, that means changing carb-to-insulin ratios as well…it does for me anyway. The first few years of having diabetes it was tough to pick up on yearly or seasonal trends because […]

Supplies, Gadgets and Insurance, OH MY!!!

Supplies, Gadgets and Insurance, OH MY!!!

One of the first things I had to get used to when I was diagnosed with Type 1, 13 years ago, was how much “stuff” came along with it.  It was a bit overwhelming, but over time, I learned how to manage it all.  I […]