Monday, August 22, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


5:45am Wake up. TEST (then eat breakfast).

Get ready for work. (Before getting behind the wheel) TEST.

8:30am/9:00am TEST (to make sure my previous amount of insulin worked well). Eat a snack.

11:00am TEST (sometimes) (to make sure my previous amount of insulin worked well). Maybe I eat lunch now.

If I wait until noon to eat TEST.

2:00pm TEST (to make sure my previous insulin worked well, my numbers are ok, etc).

3:30pm I'm usually hungry for a snack. TEST

4:30pm Get ready to leave work. TEST before getting behind the wheel.

Get home anywhere between 4:45pm-6:00pm depending on traffic and picking Derek up from train.

7:00pm TEST before eating.

9:00pm TEST to make sure everything is working ok.

Anywhere between 10:00pm-11:00pm TEST before going to bed.

Occasionally if I wake up in the middle of the night and am interested where my blood sugar is at TEST.

That's 12 BLOOD TESTS...and this is on a day I'm not exercising. You can add another 3 TESTS or so as I TEST more frequently as it gets closer to my actual workout. After my workout. And, if I'm not feeling well, sometimes during my work out.

What about on days I go low. You know the drill: Glucose, juice, etc. Retest in 15 minutes. Still low. Repeat. Same with a high...Take large dose of insulin. Test in 30-60minutes. Keep testing until back in range.

My current Rx allows for 700 strips for a 30 day period.

You can see why I was upset when I received a letter saying I would now only be covered for
no more than 200 strips/30 days.

After calling my health insurance company, the rep confirmed that it was due to the new health care reform. Insurance companies had to reevaluate certain drugs and cut back.

So, apparently the Food and Drug Administration recommends only testing your blood sugar 6 times a day.
Really? And what does the American Diabetes Association recommend?
What about my endocrinologist who is a Diabetes Specialist, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, Professor and Director of the Kovler Diabetes Center out of the University of Chicago?
What does he recommend?

A LOT MORE THAN 6 times a day!!!!

I'm tired of the FDA approving chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics in our food, but putting limits on me and not thinking its a good idea to take care of my Diabetes.

I'm not scamming the system. I'm a hard working American who has always had a job, so I could make money, pay my bills, and yes, because I have Diabetes, unfortunately, health insurance is a big factor in where I work and what I do.

I test a lot, and it's not always fun, but I'm trying to do the best I can to be the healthiest I can.

The good thing is that this doesn't go into affect until April and my doctor can write a letter stating why he thinks it's necessary for me to test more than 6 times a day.

The letter of medical necessity will be reviewed by the Prescription Research Team and they will decide whether or not my full RX will be covered.

The letter that was sent stated I could still order my full RX, but I would then pay out of pocket for anything over 200 strips....that's $500/month!!!

It was an overwhelming day thinking about all of this and day dreaming about the worst case scenario.
I sent a tweet to the White House before getting into bed. I know, it's a long shot.

Jen Enger (sunnyside_life) on Twitter: sunnyside_life Jen Enger
@whitehouse/usg just got denied coverage 4 basic diabetes supplies ive used 4 22yrs due 2 healthcare reform. Thanks a lot!!!
13 hours ago

I started to cry as I lay in bed thinking, "I'm just so tired of Diabetes".
Derek wrapped his arms around me and said, "Oh Jenny, it's ok. The Bears might win it next year."
Of course I laughed, and through my snots and tears said, "I know, but I just figured I'd cry it out for the both of us."
And before he fell asleep, he pulled me in closer and sang, "Ooooh child, things are gonna get easier, oooh child, things will get brighter."


I woke up to an email from my mom with this quote from Tony Evans:
"When God allows trouble in your life, He has a purpose. Dignify your difficulty by finding meaning in the trial."

I know God is BIGGER than the health care system.
All I can do is pray...and enjoy my husband's bedtime serenades!!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


There's a lot to deal with when having Diabetes.
It's there 24/7 and you can never just turn it off.
My mind is always thinking of the next step, next blood sugar, next meal, amount of carbs, how much insulin to give, how much is already on board, what will my activity level look like today...

To the average on-looker, Diabetes may not make sense, may seem scary, weird even.

So it's situations like this that make me throw my hands up in the air and scream: "As is Diabetes wasn't weird enough..."


My breakfast consisted of a small package of peanut butter crackers and a shot of Kefir. I didn't plan ahead, so I just grabbed whatever I could find in the pantry.


As I got closer to work, I could feel my stomach rumbling and attacking my insides. I debated about stopping for coffee or just waiting and grabbing my favorite tea latte from the cafe at work.

As I pulled into the parking garage it dawned on me that I could get an entire breakfast at the cafeteria for the same price as a Starbucks latte.

So, for $3.85 I picked up a deluxe omelet (with onions, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, and cheese), 2 turkey sausage patties, a piece of toast with blackberry jam, and a diet coke.

I settled into my desk to start my day.
Taking a big cheesy bite of omelet with ketchup... I began to choke.
The bite was just too big and all of a sudden I found myself drowning in cheese as the room spun.

Trying not to make a big scene I did what I could to swallow it all, with the assistance of some diet coke.
It didn't go as planned, causing it all to go in the wrong direction.
My breakfast didn't come out, rather, it went back and then up.
I could feel the ketchup burning in my nostrils and my face felt like it was on fire.


My eyes started tearing up but I remained calm.
For the next 30 minutes,
I proceeded to blow ketchup and bits of egg out of my nose.

The weird feeling in my throat just wouldn't go away and I finally mustered up the courage to do a half snort/half clearing of my throat.
Down came the final chunks of my omelet...up my nose...down my throat...and back into my stomach where it belonged.

I often think I should be exempt from getting "real people sick" like with a cold or the flu.
I spend 365 days a year dealing with managing Diabetes, the least I ask for is to not have to deal with any other kind of health issue.

And today, after spending a half hour trying to rid my nasal cavities of my breakfast I thought....could I be exempt from anything weird like this happening again...
Diabetes is weird enough.

Next time I'll opt for the tea latte.


Friday, December 3, 2010



When I was a little girl,
I went to a signing around Christmas time.
He autographed a picture and I gave him a box of sugar-free candy canes.
I was nervous to meet him,
but excited that we had Diabetes in common.

Whenever games were on cable,
Derek and I would listen on the radio
and crack up at his enthusiastic commentary.
Most times when the games were on TV,
we'd still listen on the radio, just to hear him.

And this morning I teared up,
listening to the news reporters
speak so highly of a great legend who passed away
... Ron Santo.


One of the greatest 3rd basemen to play for the Cubs.
The greatest Cubs fan there ever was.
The heart and soul of the Chicago Cubs.

It's always exciting to see or hear about an athlete with Diabetes.
It's hard enough dealing with wacky blood sugars during a 30 minute run,
or an hour long yoga class.

So, my respect and admiration go out to
athletes with Diabetes who put their bodies through
discipline and physical training
year round, for a living.


Ron Santo was quiet about having Diabetes during the years he played.
Back in the 70's he gauged his blood sugar levels based on his moods.
If he felt he was going low, he would eat a candy bar during a game!
He ended up getting both legs amputated due to Diabetes complications.
We've sure come a long way!

The world definitely knows the triumphs and struggles Santo had with Diabetes
as he's played such a big part in raising money, awareness, & research
with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

It's been a while since I've done a Ron Santo Diabetes Walk-a-thon.
I think I'll do that this year.


Come on Cubbies,
let's win it this year for Ron Santo...
A great man and legend who will be missed by all!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I've always been a little behind.

I didn't really go through a pink/girly/ballerina/princess stage
until I graduated from college.
(Most girls hit that around 5 years old or so).

Now that I've been out of college for 7 years,
I think I know what I want to do with my life,
and where I'd go to school, what I'd study, etc.
if I had the chance to do it all over again.

The first night my mom met Derek (back in 2001) she went home and prayed
that I'd marry someone just like him someday.
We were just friends at the time.

For 3 years
(when Derek and I lost contact due to life getting busy and his phone getting stolen,
causing him to lose my #)
my mom proceeded to ask me what Derek was up to and why I hadn't called him or hung out with him.
It was 3 years late,
but I finally called him to catch up...and we eventually started dating.

A year and 1 week from there, we were engaged

And 11 months from there we were married

We spent a quick weekend in Lake Geneva right after our wedding,
unable to take a "real" honeymoon.

And now that it's 2 1/2 years later, we're jetting off on our official honeymoon.
A quick trip to Miami (yes, for the Bears game)...and then some time in Sanibel Island.

Hey, better late than never!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I was so excited when Cristy from the
North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission contacted me.

They are currently reaching out to diabetic bloggers in an effort to teach the diabetic community about the benefits of sweet potatoes in our diet.

What perfect timing with Thanksgiving coming up, my itch to try new recipes, my constant quest to live and eat healthier, and my new found love for sweet potatoes!

My Sweet Potato Package arrived last week at work.
Was it rude of me to not share my sweet potato biscotti with my co-workers?!?!
I took it home, ate some biscotti, looked over the recipes and drooled, ate some more biscotti, and read the material on the health benefits of adding Sweet Potatoes to your diet, particularly for those with Diabetes.

So stay tuned for more info, some delicious recipes, and good 'ol fun with sweet potatoes!!!

***I may or may have not eaten ALL of the sweet potato biscotti...but I'll never tell***

Friday, November 12, 2010

FRIDAY FAVES: Sweet Potato Fries

There's nothing like a cheeseburger, fries, and diet coke.
Sometimes I just CRAVE it (even if it's from the $1 menu at McDonald's!).
Of course it is better from a sit-down restaurant...with ranch and avocado.

Being on a budget, we try our best to do all of our cooking at home, so we've been excited to have a weekly burger and fries night at home...just us and our trusty 'ol George Foreman grill :)

In working on getting my a1c down, losing weight, and being healthier
in general, I've traded in my cheeseburgers for salmon burgers
(Derek is still sticking with his weekly cheddar bacon burgers)
and instead of french fries,
we enjoy a healthy side of SWEET POTATO FRIES!!!!

I first experimented with Sweet Potato Fries this summer after reading about them on blogs.
I googled a recipe and got to work:
peeling, chopping,
seasoning (olive oil, salt, cinnamon, paprika...), and baking.

The results were tasty, but
after too many run-ins involving my fingers and the knife,
I knew there had to be a better way!

On a random trip to the Jewel, I spotted them...
Sweet Potato Fries,
already chopped, peeled, and seasoned,
in the freezer section!!!

From there, we branched out to other variations
found at Whole Foods
(Chipotle Seasoned, Crinkle Cut, Waffle Cut, etc...)

Prices range anywhere from
$1.89 (Aldi) to $4.39 (Waffle Cut, Whole Foods) per 1 pound bag.
And just when we thought it couldn't get any better,
they arrived at Costco!!!

For $5.89 for 4 pounds, we've found our best deal yet...and it will last us for a month.
That's right, 1 pound of french fries
shared between the 2 of us each week!
(That's for dinner 1 night and leftovers for lunch the following day).

These delicious sweet potato fries have filled me up at meals,
been gracious to my blood sugar, are easy to count out,
making carb counting quick and painless,
and have added health benefits, with wonderful nutrients, and vitamins.
And with Thanksgiving around the corner, sweet potatoes are in season.

Ladies and Gentleman,
please give it up for
my current Friday Fave....Sweet Potato Fries!!!

Happy Friday...
now go enjoy some Sweet Potato Fries!