Friday, June 24, 2011

A Diabetes Gold Star

Last week, I had my three-month endocrinology appointment, which was technically a five-month appointment thanks to scheduling issues on both ends.

Dr. K was pleased that I had lost some weight and I had great bloodwork returns. Most important, though, we were both excited to see that over the last two appointments, my A1c had dropped by 1.5! Which means I am almost at my goal of under 6.5. All in all, I gave myself a gold star for the appointment. I take my appointments seriously, and I'm a people-pleaser, so I frequently leave Dr. K frustrated and have a pity-party car cry on the way back to work. Walking out with a positive report is always a relief!

As for 5k training, we have been keeping it up this week despite the stormy weather. The muscle strain I mentioned last time is feeling better, and I hope it will be completely healed soon. I've been able to up my distance, anyway. Anthony and I have decided not to do the 5k this weekend because neither of us feels ready yet. It's summer, though, so I'm sure we'll find one in a month or so.

I tried typing this post from my new iPad 2, but couldn't get it to load pics or scroll correctly. The iPad is not Blogger format compatible, I guess. It's a hand-me-down from my mom, who won it in a weight-loss competition at her school (she's an educational aide). She is uncomfortable with the Apple foreignness, so I inherited it. It arrived just in time for my laptop cord to melt through and start throwing sparks. Yeah, fun stuff.

I've been having fun playing with the iPad. It's a pretty cool product. Especially the ridiculous options in the photobooth app...this kaleidoscope photo goes out to all my fellow type 1s, who, I know, love Diet Coke as much as me...

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Peroneus What-us?

As you may have read here before, I'm training for a 5k. All has been progressing well and I am actually starting to make some gains!

But, last week, I started to have some soreness in my lower legs which has progressed into a searing pain and tightness this week. It pops up about 10 minutes in, and sticks around until I stretch it. Which means I'm stopping to stretch every five minutes or so. The pain is not my calf, not shin splints, but on the outside of the leg, between the ankle and knee. There is no discernible swelling or heat, so I'm thinking it's just a strain and not a tendon problem. And while the immediate pain stops shortly after running, it feels fatigued pretty much constantly, in the same way your arms muscles feel after doing a lot of reps.

After some speculation from Anthony that there IS no muscle there to pull, I turned to my next-trusted research source, Google, and I learned that the muscle is called the peroneus longus. It controls eversion (lifting the pinky-toe side of the foot) and plantar flexion (like pushing your gas pedal). And, ouch ouch ouch, pushing the gas pedal on the way home after a run hurts!

Really...leave it to me to strain a muscle no one's ever heard of! My calves, hamstrings, quads, etc. all feel great, but this odd side-stabilizing muscle is killing my training!

I am trying to work through it at a slow pace, but am definitely going to have to put the 5k training program on repeat for a couple of weeks. I'm also icing after runs, which seems to give some relief.

There are some specialized stretches for the longus that I am trying to do a few times a day and extensively before running.  Yoga stretching and rolling onto the outsides of my feet are practically the only way I can feel a good stretch in the muscle, but it does seem to help a bit.

Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of discussion hits for this type of strain. It seems like it will lessen within a couple of weeks with rest and care. While this is a frustrating set-back, hopefully it will clear up soon so I can get back to pushing myself! I still don't enjoy running, but I am enjoying seeing gains and reaching new milestones.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Hard Out Here for a Pump

After weeks of rainy, stormy weather, we had a weekend of sun and hot hot heat. And it seems to be here for the season, finally!

Summer entered with a bang just in time for Memorial Day Weekend, during which Anthony and I did lots of yard work, golfed, partied and generally spent a lot of time outside in the 90+ degree sun. In other words, we were sweating our asses off for the better part of three days!

As a type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (cgm), this presents a whole set of problems the average person doesn't consider. This weekend's sweatfest caused me to lose a four-day old cgm sensor, which just seemed to melt off my leg, and caused a pump infusion site's adhesion to lose its sticky, which meant I was leaking insulin. Luckily, I guess, insulin smells weird, so I noticed pretty quickly.

Another consideration is the effects of the heat on the insulin being stored inside the pump and then transferred to me. If I let the pump get too hot or expose it to too much direct sunlight, the insulin can start to go bad by losing its potency. Think of leaving a beer out in the hot sun then re-refrigerating it...eww, right?

So, how does one get around these issues? Usually, if I know I'll be outside and sweating, I'll just unhook my pump and leave it somewhere cool. On beach vacations, I'll leave it shaded in a purse or insulated bag next to me. If I'm not being physically active enough to keep my blood glucose in the normal range, I'll go reconnect for a few minutes and give myself a bit of insulin to get by. As for the cgm and infusion sites melting off due to heat and sweating, there's not much you can do to prevent it. I tend to lose three or four sites every summer to this issue, and since the hubby and I are being decidedly more outdoorsy this year, it's bound to happen more often.

Anthony and I are still going strong on the Couch-to-5k program, now in week four. Week three seemed like a breeze, but bumping up to five-minute runs plus the new 90-degree weather has made this week's jump a little more difficult. We're planning to do a 5k in Huntington at the end of June, intimidatingly called the WV 5k Championship. It says the race is for runners of any skill level. I hope so, but the name alone is scary!