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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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Entries in Carbs (4)


Prep Pad

So there I was, surfing the Interwebs, and I saw this video...

Introducing Prep Pad from The Orange Chef Company on Vimeo.

I was intrigued, and so I set out to learn more. My advanced Googling skills quickly led me to The Orange Chef, makers of the Prep Pad. I watched a few more videos, read about the product, and decided that it may be a huge leap in how I count carbohydrates for Arden. A few phone calls later, the makers are sending me a scale so I can give it a try and write a review.

The review unit should be arriving at my house in about two weeks, then I'll put the scale through it's paces and let you know what I learn. 

Based what I've seen and the conversation that I had with Michael from The Orange Chef, I'm more than excited to see what it can do. 

This is just the tip of what Michael says the Prep Pad can do but... Imagine you make a dish at home, just enter the ingredients as you go and the scale (In conjunction with it's companion iPad app) retrieves a bevy of nutritional information about your concoction - and it saves the information so that the next time you make the dish, all you have to do is call it up, weigh your serving, and the carb count is at your finger tips. This thing may completely change how we count carbs in our home cooked meals. Fingers crossed. 

This is not a paid review. I'm not receiving a free unit... I just thought that if the Prep Pad works as advertised, it may really help a lot of people who count carbs everyday. We'll find out soon.


Wait, you can Google Carbs?!


A huge thank you to Manny Hernandez for finding this gem on Google!

So it turns out that Google knows about carbs! All you have to do is enter a food name followed by the word 'carbohydrate', then through some weird Internety voodoo magic, Google returns a ton of useful information and options. It even works on your phone's mobile browser!


Thanks again to Manny for finding and sharing this Googlerrific wonderment!


Super Bolus, I Fear You No More

I just couldn't take it anymore. I'd count the carbs perfectly, pre-bolus at exactly the right time and still there are certain foods that require another bolus an hour later. On the surface you would think that I wasn't administering enough insulin but that couldn't be because every once and a while the bolus would work - but not usually.


Example: Movie theater

Arden is a nacho and popcorn lover at a movie, and we see our fair share of movies. Most times, I measure, count carbs and bolus only to watch her DexCom G4 point it's arrows to the sky before the second act is over. Then I spend the rest of the afternoon dropping random measurements of insulin on the number in an effort to get things back to a desired level without going too low. Sounds like a bad Price Is Right game, doesn't it?

Then it just hit me a few weeks ago, we have a CGM, why am I erring on the side of caution and chasing highs when I could be living on the edge of glory with Arden's DexCom G4. Suddenly, I felt stupid. All of this time I was playing scared when I know that's how you get hurt. Time to put my head down and run through a few wood be tacklers. (Sorry, my metaphors are all over the place today)

So I looked at that food on Arden's lap, counted carbs and then added every drop of extra insulin that I ended up given her at the last movie. My new thought, "What's the worst that could happen... she starts to get low, the DexCom catches it and we throw back a fast juice box and catch the fall".

That's exactly what happened

We watched Star Trek, Arden munched on her snacks and about an hour into the movie Arden's DexCom line had never wavered, her BG was 118 and steady. This was either going to be the perfect amount of insulin or too much. About fifteen minutes later, "Beep, Beep, Beep", 92 one arrow straight down. No big deal I thought - then I leaned over and said, "Here Arden, drink this juice". Twenty minutes later the CGM line was steady at 88, Arden was able to graze her remaining popcorn without worrying about bolusing and her BG never fluctuated, even hours after the movie had ended.

All of these fancy diabetes gadgets and I was using them to chase numbers instead of staving them off. I know that this sounds scary to many of you and I know that it takes time to find your comfort level, but please believe that on the day that you gain that level of comfort... this is all going to seem so much easier. Sadly, you can't rush that day to come, but it's so worth getting to and it makes me incredibly happy to know that you will all be there one day with me - kicking type I diabetes in it's annoying ass.


Why can't I count carbs?

Some days I can't count carbs, not the easy ones, not the ones that are printed neatly on the wrapper - the other ones. The ones that you measure, weigh and eye up in a restaurant. There are days when I feel like they're may be no one on this planet worse at it then I am. 

The other times, I am the man! Last night for example, Arden had a girlfriend spend the night, great girl, very polite, even brought a gift with her. She arrived during dinner because of poor planning on our part... Chinese take-out. I of course had recently given Arden a monster bolus and we had only just begun to eat when she arrived. Maybe two minutes after Arden's friend sat down, Arden decided that she was finished eating. She was excited to run and play but there were carbs that weren't accounted for. I told her that she needed to eat a little more rice to cover the insulin - Arden declined, politely and then her friends says, "I brought cookies, she could have a cookie!".

Kelly looks in her bag and pulls out the cakiest, sweetest looking cookies that I had ever seen. Without missing a beat and it should be noted that these cookies are not a mainstay in our house, I said, "26 carbs, I bet they are 26 carbs". As you can see they were...

My question is this. How can I, at times, be so spot on and at other times miss so badly? It's frustrating to say the least. I measure and count and get all of the math right and still bad results. When I finally come to the conclusion that perhaps basal rates or insulin to carb ratios need to be adjusted - we experience three perfect days in a row. 

School day breakfast

Arden has the same breakfast everyday, she is not a huge breakfast food lover and often defaults to cereal which drives her blood glucose sky high. It took me weeks to figure out the proper prebolus/extended bolus mixture but now I can keep the spike to a minimum. Except on the days when my it inexplicably doesn't work.

Last week she ate the same thing everyday. Four of the five days her BG was 170 before recess, 135 after recess and before lunch (lunch is after recess so it's perfect). Good pre lunch number, safe range for recess and the insulin was finished before the next bolus. Except on the fifth day, on that day with all the circumstances the same, Arden was 65 before recess.

I know that there are many constants with type I diabetes. I'm not looking for answers, more just sharing about it to let you know that this is normal. If you are new to all of this, you will definitly experiance moments when you feel as if you are doing everything completly wrong - you are not. Even those of you who have been managing type I for years will have days when everything feels out of control and that's normal as well.

Step back, take a deep breath and start again. Most of all, please know that all of this is normal, diabetes normal.