Category Archives: Saradventures

Posts about the adventures I go on. And oh, do they happen.

I’m going BIG this time.

Currently I’m taking Human Nutrition in preparation for nursing school. As part of the course, of course (see what I did there?), we are required to do a nutritional analysis. This means logging every bit of food and every minute of exercise to an online site where our teacher can access it and then analyzing our results.

We have to do it for 4-6 weeks. I’ve been doing it honestly for two weeks, and let me tell you I am not happy with what I see. I’ve also been toying with the idea of going gluten and dairy free and forgetting the red meat for a long time now. I’ve decided to implement these changes into my diet between now and Thanksgiving. The goal is to see how I feel, see if some of my issues clear up, and see if I lose any weight (with my slight insulin resistance, I’m not sure this will happen).

On top of that I’m attempting to work out one day on, two days off at the gym including weight lifting for the duration of the month (Thanksgiving is exactly 30 days from tomorrow. That’s crazy). I am pretty excited about this. After a shopping spree at the new Hy-Vee in Springfield (if you’re from the northern part of the Midwest you know about the wonders of Hy-Vee), I am set with gluten free essentials and a healthy amount of fruits and veges that I am hoping will get me though the next couple of weeks. It really is going to be a “detoxification” process, because I am pretty sure my body is addicted to processed sugar and artificial sweeter and caffeine. Not to mention salt, but the sodium question will not be addressed this time around. I’m resolving to only eat out once a week, so that means with my family birthdays upcoming I may have to skip out on some after church meals on Sunday.

Here are some things I jotted down during nutrition class this evening, things that are always on my mind but may be implemented in steps rather than all at once:

Food Plan:

Goal: 10 servings of fruits and veges a day (note: these are goals, not requirements). This is to implement more fiber in my diet.
Goal: no red meat, gluten, or dairy products except for greek yogurt for the protein content.
Goal: balance carbohydrates and protein
Goal: drink at least 64 oz of water a day.

Exercise Plan:

Goal: Start doing yoga again (for stress relief, because tonight my nutrition teacher said belly fat can develop as a result of stress! I didn’t know that!).
Goal: One day on, two days off regular exercise plan for a month.

Other Thoughts:

Limit diet coke intake (yeesh!)
Green Tea (yum and good for you)
Fish or tuna twice a week (tuna is fish, but it’s whatev)
try to eat a few carrots daily for eye health
Try to replace sweet tooth to crave fruits instead (this sentence doesn’t make sense, but you get the gist)
Monitor Blood sugar levels (duh)
eat at least 4 times a day, try to equal amounts (ie no big meals, just several small ones).

And finally, the logging that needs to go on for both my sake and my nutritional analysis:

  • Food Intake
  • Exercise
  • Blood Sugar
  • insulin intake
  • water intake
  • hours of sleep
  • waste output (gross! But necessary)
  • pedometer

I make plans like this c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y.

And I always sincerly hope that I will keep it up, but hopefully this time the added motivation of my required nutritional analysis (and being able to explain how much better I felt at the end of it, maybe I’ll get bonus points!) will keep me motivated. I mean, how much of it, besides food elimination, isn’t just healthy habits to have?


The Biggest Thing

The biggest thing that I am looking forward to maybe actually be able to stick with is the exercise. I have a gym membership, and even though two days off, one on may not be the recommended amount of exercise, it’s still a hell of a lot  more than I put in now, and the ultimate goal is to switch to five days of cardio and three days of weightlifting once I’m used to this less frequent plan.

Can you help me out?

I’m going to attempt to post on facebook and twitter regarding my progress, and of course, use my blog as November will be a big blogging month for me anyway. What I need is support and encouragement. If you have a success story, please tell me! I’m not trying so much to lose weight as to feel better and improve my overall health. What do you think? Too much at one time, or do you think I’m doing well? Do you have any suggestions?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional! My blog is not intended to be medical advice. I have a health care team that is supervising me in my undertakings. If you plan on drastically c hanging your diet, beginning an exercise routine, trying to lose weight, or undertaking any other kind of health-related lifestyle change, it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning. 


Helping Joplin

I spent almost three full years living in Joplin, Missouri. When the tornado hit, it was really close to home, both mentally and physically.  Joplin is about an hour west of my hometown, and typically storms that hit Joplin move on to Springfield, so I was paying close attention to the storm (I’m kind of a weather nerd) and heard about the tornado immediately.

The first thing that went though my  head was that I wished I was already a nurse so I could be there as soon as possible to help people. Honestly, I’ve been teetering between becoming a teacher and becoming a nurse for a few weeks. This disaster pushed me over the edge. I’m officially going to become a nurse, no matter what it takes.

So the true purpose of this post is to tell you guys about my experience helping Joplin on Tuesday. People keep asking me how I felt and what it was like, and quite frankly it was indescribable. You can’t explain how it looks in person. Every house in the 3/4 mile wide strip is demolished. Every tree is missing leaves and branches. A week and two days later, we were helping people recover belongings and move debris to the street for removal. The town seems to still be in shock.  We didn’t go many places, but we could see the high school on the way to our site. The only reason I recognized it was because I had attended some of my ex-boyfriend’s brother’s baseball games there and remembered a few of the features still standing – which isn’t much.

One thing that struck me was that I found diabetes supplies on the ground around the first house where we worked. The homeowners were not present for that one, so I had no way of knowing or asking who had diabetes and if they had enough supplies left. I found a liberty medical box, a sharps container, and an empty test strip box. As far as diabetes supplies go, for now Joplin seems to be set. There are a few distribution centers around. The Springfield ADA and JDRF sprung into action immediately in this area. I am proud to live somewhere with organizations with that kind of foresight.

Right now, I’m still kind of digesting it all. I go back the next two days to volunteer for the Red Cross. The main thing I can gather from this whole ordeal is hope. The community at large, the Ozarks, the Four States, the City of Joplin, the state of Missouri, and the United States have been extremely supportive and Joplin thanks you for that. The city workers were sure to tell every volunteer they saw about their gratitude.  I am proud to live here in a part of the country where people care so much about their neighbors.

If you want to help Joplin, please consider making a donation to the Red Cross, the United Way, or the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Do a google search on these terms and you will find ways to donate. Thank you in advance.

Sarah Jane

The Long Awaited Travel Anecdote, Part 2

Lunch in Denver

When I left you yesterday I was just arriving at security in the Salt Lake City International Airport on Christmas Eve, 2010.

I had heard a lot about the issues with the full body scanners, but after reading this post by Sarah Knicks, a friend and fellow blogger, I wasn’t afraid to step into the scanners if I saw the words “L3 ProVision” written on them.

I walked through the metal detector holding my pump in my hand. They always try to tell me I have to put it through the X-ray machine before I tell them it’s an insulin pump, so I usually just say, “insulin pump” as soon as the TSA agent looks at me.

This was a busy day at SLC International, being Christmas Even and all. The agent kind of freaked out and started calling a bunch of people on his radio. “Insulin pump, what do we do?” “Do you know what we do with insulin pumps?” I tried to explain that I could go through the scanner, because of the brand it was, but they did not want me to, for fear of getting sued I imagine. Finally, even though I had walked through the metal detector without setting it off, they decided the standard operating procedure was to go ahead with the pat down.

It actually wasn’t that bad. Uncomfortable, yes. Awkward, yes. A little invasive, absolutely. But the woman was positive and making holiday small talk with me, so it wasn’t that awkward. Plus, I was prepared and aware that this might happen.

This whole process took less than 20 minutes. I was on my way to my gate. I had to stop and pick up a diet coke, a magazine, and some gum, my standard flying necessities. After that, I actually had about 30 minutes to wait before we began boarding!

I went ahead and gate checked my bag because I’m just that cool. Plus, I got to board early for doing so, and since I had a window seat I thought that would be just fine.

While I was sitting and waiting to board, I heard over and over on the news channel that blares on all of the televisions in airports that an airplane had skidded off the runway in Jackson Hole, WY. I knew that the storm we had just experienced was headed for the midwest. This was not comforting.

Wacky Guy wearing antlers at the Frontier podium in Denver

I got to Denver without incident, except declining the Frontier Airlines cookie (formally the Midwest cookie) because of high blood sugar and nausea, I assume because of stress. When I got to the airport I had a delicious salad with fries and started my three hour wait for my next flight. Again, seeing on those hundreds of TVs that an airplane had skidded off the runway in Jackson Hole.

Finally, my flight for St. Louis took off. I sat next to a nice woman who never asked about why I had electronics on during the “Please turn off your electronics” phase (read: pump and CGMS were sitting on my lap). Once we got to the St. Louis area, we could not see any lights on the ground. We were told we were beginning or descent, and we still could not see any lights on the ground. We heard the landing gear release, and we still could not see any lights on the ground. Finally, no more than 1000 feet above the ground, we saw the lights and the runway. Covered. In. Snow.

It happened very quickly, the mental freak out and the grabbing of the armrests with all  my might and the nervousness and the fear that came after hearing about a silly plane that skidded off another runway all day while landing on a snow covered runway. My mind did not have time to work out the logical explanations in my hed: If this was dangerous, we wouldn’t have taken off in the first place, this plane is very heavy and will come to a stop, ect. All I could think about was that plane on the airport news channel. But almost before it had begun, we had slowed down and were taxiing to the gate.

I turned on my phone and texted my mom. It turned out they had just gotten to the airport, meaning their three hour drive had turned into a five hour drive due to snow. “Great.” I thought.

Remember how I had gate checked my bag? Well, Frontier doesn’t bring them back up to the jetway like other airlines do. They make you go to baggage claim at your destination. We waited forever for baggage claim. My plane had landed at 5:45 and we left the airport closer to 7. We actually did make it home by the 11:00 service. Waiting for my bag had given the snow just long enough to move out of the area, and since we were driving west and the storm was moving east, our drive was relatively uneventful.

So yes, I made it home for Christmas. But the story doesn’t end there. I still had to make it back to Utah! Tune in next week!

The Long-Awaited Travel Anecdote – Part One

I’ve been home for a week and a half and have yet to describe my experience flying this Christmas to my blog readers.

I guess I’ve been telling it to so many people that I got kind of sick of telling it. If you follow me on facebook or twitter you probably know the gist of what happened. I have been told numerous times that it sounds like a bad holiday movie.

So here goes.

On Tuesday, December 22, I was very nervous. It had been snowing all day, and the three days before that, and it was supposed to continue snowing until Wednesday evening. All day at work I got little work done because I was continuously checking the weather and the status of my flight. I was supposed to fly out of our very small local airport. They don’t have the technology to fly out in snow and fog the way bigger airports do.

When I got home from work they still had not canceled my flight. I packed and was planning on staying up all night because I prefer to sleep on planes, and I can’t unless I’m really tired. So, I continued checking the flight status, and around 2am it came though as canceled. I immediately called the airline and they put me on the same flight for Christmas Eve.

I didn’t have to wait as long the next day because the flight was canceled around 8pm because of a dense fog warning. Again, as soon as the cancellation flashed across my laptop screen I called the airline. They said they could put me on the flight for Christmas day but I said No. I asked what they had available out of Salt Lake City.

I wound up flying out of SLC not into Kansas City but into St. Louis. This was fine because St. Louis and Kansas City are about the same distance from my hometown. I also couldn’t get a return flight until Thursday the 30th instead of Sunday the 26th as originally planned.  However, my flight out of SLC was at 10:20 am on Christmas Eve which meant I had to be there around 8:30. 

It takes about 3.5 hours to drive to Salt Lake City from where I live, on mostly 2-lane roads. All this in the middle of a dense fog warning. 

Fall Fog inside the monument. What I drove though was much thicker, and it was dark outside!

So I left my house about 4:30 in the morning, resounding to pay for parking because it was too last-minute to ask anyone to waste their whole day AND give up their right to sleep later than 3:30 am in order to drive me to the airport.  I was hungry, so I decided to treat myself to an egg McMuffin and pulled into our (surprisingly 24 hour) McDonlads and ordered.

I didn’t have my wallet.

I didn’t. Have. My. Wallet.

After checking that I had everything 4 or 5 times, I didn’t have my wallet! What the heck? So I drove as fast as I safely could back to my house, 30 miles from McDonalds. By the time I left for the second time, it was 20 after five.

Then I hit the fog.

I probably drove a good 40 miles going no faster than 35 miles an hour (in a 65 zone) until I found some semi truck tail lights to follow. Then we got up to a good 50 miles an hour. Luckily I didn’t see any wildlife along the road. I expected the fog to be worse in Salt Lake City (it usually is, they have this giant lake there), but it was actually clear when I got there. I made it to the airport at 8:50.

But then I had to go through security.

Travel anecdotes continue tomorrow!

Well, We’ll See.

So, as I am scheduling this ahead of time, by the time it posts I will know wether or not my flight has been canceled today. However, I will simply leave you with this link to my good friend Mike’s blog, which expresses how I feel about the weather we’ve been having:

Parody of “Let It Snow”


Safe travels this week. It’s going to get pretty nasty lots of places. Darn Global Warming.

Three Days To Go

Three days until I’ll get to experience the wonders of traveling with insulin pumps and CGMs and newfangled security measures. I’m not really nervous about it, because of course I’ll take the pat-down over killing my pump and CGM transmitter any day. But today I read an interesting account of Sara Knicks’ experience with the scanners which lead her to some important information.

Two types of scanners apparently exist on the market. One of them, called the  L3 ProVision scanner, actually doesn not use the x-rays that might harm our pumps (“our” meaning “belonging to us people with diabetes”). So, if your airport and your checkpoint uses these types of scanners, you can actually go through the scanner with your medical devices on. Score! I am still not positive that the airport in my small town will even have a scanner, but I am nearly positive that flying back, being that I will be going to a bigger airport, I will have to deal with this stuff.

Even if I have to get patted down, I’m not super worried about it. As I mentioned before, I experienced this the first time I flew with my pump and CGMS, and it wasn’t a big deal. But the lady was very nice and the airport wasn’t really busy, so that helped.

Traveling with diabetes is stressful enough without airport security. And yes, I could just unhook my pump while I go through the scanner, but I will not be removing the transmitter from my CGMS. There’s too much risk of knocking the sensor loose and causing it to fail, thus wasting money on the sensor. And I won’t fly without Dexcom, because with the stress of travel having a close-to-real-time idea of what my blood sugar is doing is pretty essential to avoid highs and lows.

My four-day trip home will be over too soon, I already know. But I already have some get togethers planned with friends and, of course, family. I am pretty excited that I get to go to Christmas Eve service at church, since I haven’t attended church in forever due to working every Sunday. Family is so important to me, especially around the holidays, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to spend this holiday with my family.

What are you doing for Christmas? What is your diabetes travel plan? Do you do anything specific every time you travel (besides test-then-drive)?

Thanksgiving Hike

So, how do you tame those Thanksgivng blood sugars? I’ll tell you how I found out… my friends and I decided to go for a two mile hike in 20 degree weather! Pictures:

Starting out on the trail. There was some snow. It was so pretty!

Me looking dorky

What's that up there?

ANIMAL TRACKS! Mule Deer, specifically. Or Reindeer?

The Payoff!

More Payoff! Gorgeous!

We found a rock my neighbor calls "CD Stack Rock"

We decided to climb it!

surfing sandstone?

Thumbs Up.

Starting Blood Glucose: 223

Ending Glucose: 82.

Nothing short of awesome.


Yesterday, this wasn’t enough food. I was low all day, ate through all this food, and still had to be spotted by a coworker for a soda.

Hopefully today, with the -10% basal, this will be enough food.

More updates on my actual job later this week. I’ve been a busy little bee, but put my mom on a plane home yesterday. She arrived safe and sound. Now I have to fend for myself out here in the wild wild west.

Expect pictures and updates soon!

The Much Anticipated Update

So I didn’t really realize it’d been a week since I’d updated. I have much to share.

Last week I went to the Endo. She didn’t have much to say except that she thought I was doing well and she encouraged me to up my symlin dose from 45mcg to the full 60. She also mentioned that I would be a candidate for upping the dose to 120mcg if I felt like the 60 wasn’t working. I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet…it makes me feel like a bit of a failure because I know she is wanting me to move up to 120 because I’m showing signs of insulin resistance. I’ve got to get my act together soon or I could wind up with the cursed double diabetes.

That aside, I had two job interviews this week. Here comes my next bit of exciting news. I have officially decided to work in Utah at Dinosaur National Monument for the next six months on the same internship program that I worked for last summer, through the Student Conservation Association. I’m reporting next Saturday. Holy Cow! It happened really quickly and I am fantastically excited.
What does this mean for project 417diabetes? Well, for now, I am hoping to work on it remotely and get it up and functional by the end of September (meaning with members and plans in place). I’m going to need people on the ground in Springfield to help me out with advertising, so if you live in the area and would like to help go ahead an email/comment and let me know.

Thanks again guys, you are all awesome.

Happy dinosaurs!

Photo Credit: NPS archives, click for link