Totally Unscientific Poll – Type 1 Diabetes, Coxsackie, and HFMD

I am NOT a scientist. I hold no degrees in any sort of medical or biological field. I’m just curious about something.

Recently, some new articles have come out linking the Coxsackie B virus with causing type 1 diabetes, but in doing a quick Google search on “coxsackie type 1 diabetes,” it looks like researchers have been studying this potential linkage this for several years, only now it’s suddenly getting more attention. Hopefully because we are getting closer to a cure? I can dream, right?

When my daughter was a little over a year old, she brought the lovely Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) home from daycare to share with us. If you read up on HFMD, you’ll notice it’s a Coxsackie A virus.

So cute and so little! This seems so long ago, not just 1.5 years.

If you look closely, you can see some of the HFMD red spots on the bottom of her foot. She got over it quicker and had much milder symptoms than I did.

Usually, only kids under 10 get HFMD, but I was one of the “lucky” adults who caught it. I had the tell-tale brief fever, then WHAM. It felt like I was hit by a semi truck of fatigue, I got some teeny red spots on my hands and feet, but the worst symptom was the gigantic blister/set of blisters that formed in my throat and made me feel like I was swallowing sharp kitchen knives for 3-4 days. It was awful. Made eating and drinking almost unbearable.

Anyway, the reason I bring that up…..I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 21. The fact that I got HFMD as an adult probably means I did NOT get it as a child and had no immunities to it. If I HAD gotten it as a child, would it have helped me combat getting type 1 when I was 21? OR, if I had gotten HFMD as a child, would it perhaps have triggered type 1 in me at *that* age instead of waiting around until I was older?

The poll below is completely voluntary and anonymous. I’m not writing a book or some grand scientific journal entry, I’m just wondering what other people may know/may have experienced anecdotally (is that  a word?) with the coxsackie viruses and type 1 diabetes. If you have time to answer the poll, or even just comment with your thoughts and insights on this blog post, I would greatly appreciate it!!

Wordy Wednesday – My Body

This week’s installment of Wordy Wednesday is brought to you in 2 parts by My Body.

1. I’m still recovering from almost a week of vacation in Florida that involved somewhere around 20+ hours worth of being in the car. Two-and-a-half year olds make car travel…interesting. On top of that, My Body really didn’t like being mushed up in a car for hours upon hours at a time….I have 3 cricks in my neck and shoulders, my upper back feels like someone has it in a vise grip, and if my feet want to just go ahead and fall off, that’s OK – because they have been hurting and aching for weeks now that I’m not taking Meloxicam for my plantar fasciitis anymore.

But one of the highlights of my trip to Florida, that made all the aches & pains worth it, was getting to hang out in real time and in real space with Christel from theperfectd and her lovely daughter and father. Read her blog post linked there – I say “ditto” to all that. She is awesome, and we would most certainly be friends if we had met up in life outside of diabetes and the DOC. And our kids were so stinking cute together, even when they both defied nap-time.

Nom nom...cookies!

Cookies BEFORE lunch?
Why, yes, I believe you should!

2. This song by Young the Giant just fits. (Amazing how you listen to songs and suddenly they have diabetes-related messages to share?) Despite My Body telling me “no” over and over again, I will never quit in this struggle against diabetes. I most certainly want more.

Stop, the train is ridin down to the station
where you lived when we were school kids
Hey, the rails are caught now
And I am falling down fools in a spiral
Round this town of steam

My Body tells me no, but I won’t quit
Cause I want more, cause I want more
My Body tells me no, but I won’t quit
Cause I want more, cause I want more

Stop the train is riding down to the station where I lived
When I was a cool kid
Hey, is it my fault that the fallen embers burn down in a spiral
Round your crown of thieves

My Body tells me no, but I won’t quit
cause I want more, cause I want more
My Body tells me no, but I won’t quit
cause I want more, cause I want more
it rides out of town

Oh, it’s my road, it’s my road, it’s my road
It’s my road, it’s my road, it’s my road

And it’s my war, It’s my war, it’s my war
His eyes are open
His eyes are open

Oh, cause I want more, I want more
Want more
His eyes are open
His eyes are open

(Hey, hey, hey)

My body tells me no but I won’t quit
Cause I want more, cause I want more
My body tells me no but I wont quit
Cause I want more cause I want more
It rides out of town

~”My Body” lyrics by Young The Giant

The Internet. Love. Hate. Religion. Politics. Health. The ACA. Mean People.

My brain is still reeling from being completely overwhelmed with…I don’t even know – astonishment? Confusion? Disgust? So many emotions and thoughts that even the title of this blog post couldn’t cover everything I wanted it to be about. Let me work out the chain of events, and maybe that will help pull it all together.

I’d just gotten through reading and sharing a couple articles about the ACA (Affordable Care Act) on my 15wait15 Facebook page that were written by Karmel Allison on asweetlife.org. I don’t know her personally and haven’t read much of her stuff – just happened to read some today and found it interesting and share-worthy.

I saw a little (but not much, I admit, I got bored) of the President’s Rose Garden speech about the ACA. Then I see posts pop up from people in the DOC about Karmel Allison being the women who nearly fainted while standing behind President Obama as he was talking about the ACA and glitches in the online marketplace website, etc.

Interested now, I cruised on back to the speech, read the article that someone had linked, watched the video, then did what I usually do with all articles I read online – read the comments underneath. I wish I hadn’t.

Just a few snippets here – click on the link above to read more if you dare.

  • The-Monk Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:26pm “That’s called rotating the Latino’s so it looks like there are more in the camera to impress any Latino’s watching.That or her ObamaScare health policy Doctor put her on the wrong meds and she’s about to die.”
  • drattastic Oct 21, 2013 at 12:26pm “Junkie, still in bad share after her latest abortion.”
  • rickc34 Oct. 21, 2013 at 1:18pm “It was all that concentrated evil Obama aka son of satan puts out”

…and those aren’t even some of the worst comments. I can’t bear to give any more of them added attention. My heart just broke. THIS is how people choose to respond to this? Some poor woman looks visibly distressed, needs to leave the podium behind the President, and you assume the worst? You take to the internet to bad-mouth her, tout conspiracy theories, and say horrible things about her, all because she appears to be aligned with the current President of the United States, and you do not like him/his policies? Shame.

I hope that those people realize now that she is a Type 1 diabetic, who is *pregnant* for Pete’s sake, so she could have had a low, been dehydrated, felt woozy, who knows. I’m sure it had nothing to do with BEING ON NATIONAL TELEVISION STANDING BEHIND THE PRESIDENT or anything like that. Gosh, I think my own sugar just dropped a few points from my brain going crazy thinking about that. And pregnant??!! Geesh! Forgot blood sugar and bodily control then.

My thoughts still aren’t quite organized, and I’m still so angry I could spit nails, but here’s what I have to say, take it or leave it:

  • Shame on anyone who relished in her discomfort, called her names, assumed it was staged, used it as a stepping stone for their own political hate-filled agenda.
  • The internet makes it oh-so-easy to have diarrhea of the mouth/fingers. Think before you comment. Pretend that person is standing next to you in THE SAME ROOM. Would you say that comment out loud? The internet has served to encourage a League of Extraordinary Bullies, and I hate it for that, almost as much as I love it for connecting me to the community of people called the DOC. The dichotomy does not escape me.
  • I don’t care what your religion or political leanings are – it’s no excuse for verbally assaulting someone else on the internet (whether you know them or not!), or anywhere else for that matter. I try not to judge, but in my opinion, you purposefully saying/doing hurtful things means YOU are a mean person. And I will not associate myself with mean people.
  • I try very hard not to discuss religion or politics online anymore, not even on my personal social media pages. It is too polarizing, and there are people I love dearly who will say things that make me want to scream, and I bite my tongue instead. I just don’t understand why we can’t all have different beliefs and opinions, and still get along and find common ground? You don’t have to be my best friend, and I don’t have to be yours. We CAN have different beliefs and thoughts on religion, or politics, or child rearing, or anything else of a million different things that make us individuals, *without* it resorting to being mean-spirited and hateful towards one another.
English: Love Heart symbol interlaced

Love Heart symbol interlaced (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All that to say….I guess it all comes down to having mutual respect for one another in this world. I’m not sure that exists anymore – certainly not on a grand scale, and that makes me very sad.

There are precious few things that will offend me or cause me to blow up in anger – if you hurt me or someone I love, physically or emotionally,  you can expect a fight. If you are out in the world hurting other people/animals physically or emotionally, or doing things that could lead to them being hurt, I will defy you. (I can’t go too far down the rabbit-hole here. I eat meat, I know animals are killed for it, there are many other social issues that impact people, etc, but hopefully you get the gist of what I mean here.)  Otherwise, we can live in relative peace and harmony no matter who you are, what you do, what you believe in. I have done my best over the years to help people and help animals. Note: I am not guiltless – I know I have emotionally hurt people in the past, and I am sorry for that. I was young and stupid at one point, too. But I grew up and learned better. Tried to make better friends, better choices, and learn from my experiences. I like to think that Emily Dickinson was onto something when she wrote:

“IF I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”

Could you imagine a world where THAT was what people were concerned with instead of punching people in the internet-face with their own hate-filled speech and rhetoric? We are so far away from that kind of “helping” place, it’s pathetic.
I’m so tired of it. I can’t think about this anymore. I need to go give my daughter a hug.

Some posts/comments from others around the DOC about this follow. So many others have expressed what I feel as well, but in far better ways. I think it’s safe to say,  we’re all pretty riled up.

Wordy Wednesday – Where’s My Umbrella?

My Little Pony - Parasol

It’s been raining and dreary around here, and I’m not feeling very blog-writing-inspired. To keep me on my toes, it looks like someone’s been busy finding new homes for her My Little Ponies in places other than in the toy box. Good thing this one has an umbrella cutie mark. (Her name is Parasol, get it?)

Getting Rid of Plantar Fasciitis

I’m really sick of my feet hurting.

I recently stopped taking Meloxicam, which is an excellent NSAID that helped me get through walking in THREE 5k’s within a week of each other the beginning of September.  But I was having all sorts of weird gastro-intestinal issues, so I started phasing things out that weren’t needed in the hopes of getting my intestines and stomach back to reasonable performance. My gut has settled down quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, so maybe it was just a prescription drug cocktail problem (of my taking Meloxicam on top of Metformin everyday) and not the dreaded gluten allergy/celiacs issue. Jury is still out on that one, and I’ve done nothing yet to pursue testing that possibility.  One thing at a time, people.

Back to my current pains…last weekend, I was limping along after sitting down too long (joints get cold, stretch the inflamed fascia back out, pain ensues), and I mentioned my foot pain to a family member who’s in her 60s and has had foot problems as well. She said, “Oh, plantar fasciitis? Well, at least that will go away.”

I very quickly corrected her. I’ve had plantar fasciitis since 2005. Closing in on 9 years now. I’ve done a plethora of treatments – shoe orthotics, physical therapy, night splints, tens unit stimulation, cortisone shots, acupuncture, NSAIDs, pain creams, lost weight, never go barefoot, never wear shoes without arch support, and my wonderful husband gives me a foot massage almost every night. My. Feet. Still. Hurt. And hurt terribly 80-90% of the time. Even worse when I over-work them by walking a lot or being on my feet for too-long stretches.  I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. Is it because they always stay inflamed because I have such crappy circulation in my feet and they can never seem to heal? Is this one of those “stupid diabetes” things?

The sad thing is, I want to exercise more, and my favorite forms of exercise involve walking and hiking. I’d love to someday actually *run* some 5k’s instead of walking them. Sure, I know I could do an exercise bike, or go swimming, but they are just not my favorite, and it’s tough to get motivated to do something you really don’t enjoy, when that will take valuable time away that you could spend with your family, your friends, or doing 8,000,000 other things that you’d like to do.Stupid feet.

I’m still up in the air about subjecting my feet (and blood supply) to the questionable PRP – Platelets Rich Plasma treatment that my podiatrist has mentioned. But really, I’ve sort of run out of options. Staying on NSAIDs indefinitely is NOT feasible, even though my feet felt the best they have in years for the 2 months I was taking Meloxicam. Granted, I still had *some* pain, but it was on a scale of 2 or 3 instead of 8 or 9.  Having pain every-single-day, on top of dealing with diabetes crap, really wears me down (despite the demeanor of happiness and positivism that I try to keep up as a good front for the people around me. I don’t want to be a Debbie downer.)

I’ve taken the stance that no matter what, I just have to keep on going. But I would love to hear from other diabetics that have had issues with plantar fasciitis – and even moreso, would love to hear from those who have suffered with it for years but then finally found relief. Please, someone, tell me the secret!

Pregnancy Diet Plan with Type 1 Diabetes

No, I’m not pregnant. Although, I desperately wish I was, that ship may have sailed.

Regardless, I’ve been chatting with a lot of d-friends lately who are looking into the getting-pregnant-business, and they have been asking about pregnancy diet plans.

Below is what my endo’s nutritionist gave me, and it worked like a charm every day that I followed it. And by “charm” I mean: relatively reliable and consistent good blood sugars within a range I could handle at that point in my pregnancy. Blood sugars are ALWAYS a moving target, but pregnancy makes that even more of a challenge. It felt like I was changing basal rates and insulin-to-carb ratios almost every week.
As we all know, your body and diabetes may be different, but this is what I went by, and this worked for me. I am connecting this with Type 1 diabetes because that is what I know, however, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be applicable for a Type 2 or gestational diabetic as well – as always, you should consult with your doctor to discuss what is best for you as an individual.

Everything in ( ) is examples for that meal – you may obviously swap it out for things you like & different stuff each day – these examples are using the Diabetic Exchange lists. I was a little cavalier and didn’t quite stick to it 100% of the time. When you are pregnant and crave a chicken quesadilla, you must have a chicken quesadilla, though it may not mesh exactly into the options for food at dinnertime.

But to this diet’s credit – my HbA1c’s were fabulous throughout the 9-ish months of pregnancy – 5.2, 5.7, and 5.9 respectively. AND my daughter came out with no issues whatsoever (despite my fears throughout the entire 37 weeks that every high or low blood sugar was killing her. If I could do it all over again, I would do my best to NOT be so stressed out, and instead just relish in the ability to BE pregnant.)

Breakfast
– 1 protein (one egg)
– 1 starch (one slice of whole wheat toast)
– 1 milk (1 cup skim milk)
– 1 fat (1 tsp margarine or 1 piece bacon)

Morning Snack
– 1 protein (1 oz. cheese)
– 1 fruit (1 small apple)

Lunch
– 3 proteins (3 oz. lean turkey)
– 2 starches (2 slices whole wheat bread)
– 1 milk (or 1 fruit) (1 cup plain or lite yogurt)
– 1 fat (1 tbsp diet mayonnaise)
– 2 vegetables (1 tomato / 1 cup raw broccoli)

Afternoon Snack
– 1 protein (1 tbsp peanut butter)
– 1 starch (6 crackers)

Dinner
– 3 proteins (3 oz cooked chicken)
– 2 starches (1/2 cup pasta, 1 slice bread)
– 1 fruit (1/3 of cantaloupe)
– 1 fat (1 tsp margarine)
– 2 vegetables (tossed salad with tomato)

Bedtime Snack
– 1 protein (1 slice cheese)
– 1 starch (1/2 English muffin)
– 1 milk (1 cup milk)

Česky: Pizza

Pizza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notes & info links:

  • I had terrible morning (really, all day) sickness throughout my pregnancy, up until the day I gave birth. The ONLY thing that kept me from retching all day was making sure I ate something every 3 hours. It was like clockwork, and I could almost biologically tell you when it had been exactly 3 hours because I would start getting nauseous.
  • Near the end of my 1st trimester, my husband and I went on a cruise. It was amazingly beautiful and relaxing, but my most favorite memory is eating a piece of PIZZA almost every night around 11pm so that my blood sugar would stay stable throughout the night. I AM NOT KIDDING. Pizza!! It was an historic event of perfect blood sugars with relation to that usually-nightmare-blood-sugar-causing food. (This only happened in 1st trimester and beginning of the 2nd. During the crazy-insulin-resistant-3rd trimester….pizza was off the table.)
  • There are tons of resources out there around pregnancy with Type 1 diabetes. Before I really engaged with the breadth of the DOC, I chatted a lot on the boards at  http://www.diabeticmommy.com/
    TuDiabetes also has forums and groups filled with women looking to get pregnant, currently pregnant, or post-pregnancy who can be great sounding boards for questions: http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/diabetesandwomen
  • And for those of us who face infertility (diabetic or not) and issues with just getting pregnant in the first place: http://www.resolve.org/