This is my blog…nacho blog


#WordlessWednesday Help me choose a new bathing suit

19 options – which one is your favorite for ME and why?

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Searching for Hope

This headline had me up most of the night, steaming with anger and crying for my brother. The time has come where I can’t stay silent any longer. While we’ve told our stories to multiple news outlets (locally WCAX & WVNY/WFFF and nationally through NBC News), I’ve reached the point where I want to scream it from the rooftops in hopes someone will hear me and help us find justice for my brother.

I should start by saying, it hasn’t been a good year for children in Vermont, specifically those under Department of Children and Families (DCF) care. In February, Dezirae Sheldon, 2 of Rutland, died from head trauma she allegedly suffered at the hands of her step father. This was AFTER she was returned to that home with two broken legs that were allegedly caused by her mother. This little girl’s story breaks my heart – as does any story of a child who is abused by the very people who should be protecting her.

In April, Peighton Geraw, 14 months old of Winooski, was allegedly murdered by his mother. A DCF worker had been in the home an hour before emergency medical services were called. There was an uproar that two kids died within two weeks whom DCF should have been taking care of. There have been several other cases of child homicide in Vermont this year but for my own sanity, I can’t get into them here right now.

Here’s the thing. To me, DCF is set up fail. Not only are they “woefully understaffed” but they receive so little support from our state, our government and our residents. A child dies at the hands of their parents and everyone points a finger at DCF. No one looks at the fact that DCF can’t just pull a child out of a home. That’s up to the courts – who ultimately made the decision to return Dezirae to an abusive situation that ultimately cost her her life. And for all we know, the DCF worker in Peighton’s case was petitioning the court for his removal – but an hour is just not enough time to get that done. DCF has all the responsibility, none of the power and now shoulders all of the blame.

My experience with DCF couldn’t be more different. The support they gave my family as we brought Mark home, through a year of fostering, being present at his adoption, coming to his funeral and still checking in with our family is something I will forever be grateful for. What’s failing our kids is the legal system.

There have been no trial dates set for any of the people accused of killing any of these children. Including my brother. If you read his autopsy, the cause of death is homicide. No one has even been charged in his death, even though only his biological parents were present (by their own admission) when the abuse that ultimately took his life occurred. As a matter of fact, his biological mother has had at least three more children after him (all were removed from her care and parental rights terminated) and from what I understand, Mark was not the first child removed from his biological parents “care.”

We met with AG Bill Sorrell in March  to discuss whether or not we had enough information for a case. The problem wasn’t proving that Mark’s injuries happened or caused his death, but WHO perpetrated those actions. He was kind and concerned. He listened to our stories, looked at our pictures and explained they were doing all they could to build a case. He promised to keep us in the loop. We left allowing ourselves to feel some hope that justice would be served for our little Markie. But in July, the AG had the victim’s advocate working our case (he couldn’t call us himself or arrange another meeting?!) break the news that because they couldn’t prove WHICH parent actually caused the injuries (even though not only did he have a TBI from being shaken, he had other healing wounds from breaks to his clavicle and leg)they couldn’t proceed with a case. So lemme get this straight. Someone shook this 5 week old baby so hard it caused a skull fracture, waited 72 hours to get medical attention, signed a DNR and ordered him extubated and THEN fled the state? How is that not BOTH parents’ responsibility? How are they not both at fault? But that’s not how Vermont law works. Only one can be charged with the abuse and death while the other is considered an accessory. And there is no law allowing both parents to be charged and allow a jury to decide which parent did what.

It’s disgusting. And disturbing. And now, even though he couldn’t help us, AG Sorrel is going to defend DCF, which is his job. HOWEVER, if he can find a case against them and reason that this man should get a payout, I don’t even know what I will do! First off, where was this father when his daughter’s legs were broken? Where was this dad when that poor girl was returned to that home? Where has he been since her death in February? And now he comes forward and Bill Sorrell thinks he might have s a case against the state? And what will he get from this case? MONEY! Not justice – that will hopefully be awarded when Dezirae’s step father finally has his day in court. It sure won’t bring her back – just like getting charges filed against Markie’s bio parents won’t bring him back. But the message being sent now is that DCF shouldn’t get involved either because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

We have a duty to find justice for these kids. But if our government can’t help and our legal system won’t help – what other options do we have?! I don’t know if anyone has the answer. I know I don’t. I know I have rage and an immense amount of sadness. What I need is hope. Hope that we can stop these monsters from killing their own children. Hope that justice will eventually be served. But that hope is fading for me and I don’t know where to find more. For now, all I can do is get this anger out of me and let myself believe that hope will find its way back to me. I apologize for the disjointed nature of this post. I’m sure I have left out details and missed some facts but if I didn’t find a way to assuage this anger, it’s not healthy. So here are the inner workings of my brain laid out before you in all their glory. XO

No One Calls Me a C Word and Gets Away With It

So for anyone that missed it, Ryan and I decided to take a mini “honeymoon” to Albany for the America East tournament at the beginning of the month. Shortly after we arrived and realized how ghetto not just our accommodations were, but the entire city, we decided it was not anything resembling a honeymoon at all. But we made the most of it. Our team lost (they were robbed. Another story for another time). 


Prior to these getaway, I’d never used Yelp though Ryan swears by it. After being very disappointed in our experience at a restaurant we visited within an hour of getting to town, I decided I couldn’t NOT tell people about what happened. So I started an account and I wrote some reviews:


2 weeks ago


Was in town for the AE basketball tournament and decided to check out this place for beers when we got into town since it was across the parking lot from our hotel. Waitress was friendly as we ordered 2 large Coors Lights. After 5 minutes she asked us what we ordered. She stumbled A LOT. I watched several people get walked in on while using the restrooms because the doors apparently didn’t lock correctly. Waitress grabbed my debit card off the table and proceeded to go INTO THE BATHROOM with it and was gone for almost 10 minutes before she returned for my signature! Needless to say I cancelled my debit card, didn’t leave a tip (as a server for 10+ years I don’t do that often but this was warranted) and will tell anyone who will listen not to go there. To be fair, I didn’t try the food but even the pictures of food on the menu looked gross so…

To be fair, I did two other reviews that were much better experiences:




After a TERRIBLE experience down the street at another restaurant, we decided to check out Smokey Bones. We’ve frequented the chain before but this was our first time in this location. Casey & Sylvia were super friendly and it was much appreciated. We ordered just some apps and some beers. It was so great we went back Sunday after our beloved UVM lost in the AE tournament to drown our sorrows. Casey remembered us and was just fantastic. I don’t plan on coming back to Albany any time soon but if I do, I’ll be in!


Wish I would have had more time to explore the menu but my husband and I had somewhere to be so we just ordered some nuggets and fries. I was please but he found the nuggets and sauces to be bland. Quick and super friendly service. Would love to try again!

As you all know, I am the first to speak out when I have a FANTASTIC experience with a company or person and also if my experience is really bad. I was very touched when I received a message shortly after my review went up from the manager of the restaurant. With his name and personal cell phone number should anything happen with my debit card. it didn’t, but that peace of mind was fantastic.

So imagine my surprise when I was notified I had two new private messages on Yelp this weekend. Here they are:


Cheap ass

Between Jaja J. and Jess B.

Jaja J.

Un-Block User


No tip? Not $1? You couldn’t part with $1? You are a cunt. If you were a server, you would never do that, unless you are a total cunt. I hope you got an STD from your motel sheets.

Your debit card

Between Jaja J. and Jess B.

Jaja J.

Un-Block User


You are mean and funny. Why are you so focused on the bathroom? You must not have been enjoying your company, or vice versa, ad you seem weird. What did you think the waitress did w your debit card in the bathroom? Seriously, what went through your head? Btw, the motel, not hotel, is a haven for prostitutes. So your debit card in the bathroom while she was probably making a call to her babysitter, and or freshening up wasn’t as nearly bad as the things that have gone on in the bed you slept in.


Naturally it stung a bit at first – I mean what did I do to this chick? Then I was pissed and not only did I block her, I reported her directly to Yelp (she had other very hateful reviews of other Yelp users on her page). Then I noticed she looked A LOT like the waitress we had that night. So I messaged that manager back and let him know the user name of the person bothering me and offered to forward the messages to him if necessary. 

Yes, we stiffed a waitress. Who didn’t do her job. Who expects to be paid for a job that wasn’t done well? I mean you had ONE job – bring me two beers. We were the only table in the bar that night – how hard of a request was that? I didn’t mention in my review that not only was I 99% sure she was drunk but I watched her try to take a man into the bathroom (my seat faced the bathroom for those of you wondering like Jaja J what my fascination was) There was also a thought that she could take ALL my money because who the fuck knows what she did with my debit card in the bathroom?!

Anyway, I had to share this because I find it funny and a perfect example of how NOT to use sites like Yelp. Especially if you were my waitress because I just emailed your boss and demanded you lose your job. Happy karma boomerang to you! xo






Dear Miss Manners, Where Are YOUR Manners?!

A D friend posted a link to this article yesterday on Twitter. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.

 I know that if you read it you know that I am FUMING! I very much wanted to write a response then but I couldn’t see clearly enough through my haze of anger and disappointment to formulate a cohesive and appropriate response. Twenty four hours later, I’m going to give it a try.

 First off Miss Manners, no one wishes more than I that managing my diabetes was as easy and unobtrusive to others as taking a pill. Trust me on that one. Getting a drop of my blood from my bruised and calloused fingers 6, 8 even 10 times a day is not something I do for fun. Neither are the multiple daily injections I used to take (NINE shots, EVERY DAY) or the insertion of my insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor. They are something I do to stay alive.

 Managing diabetes isn’t fun. Or easy. And by telling your readers that we should go into a bathroom to take care of our failed pancreas (that is by no means our doing by the way) you are telling us we should be ashamed. Well guess what, I’m not.

 I’m proud that I understand my body better than most people I know. I’m proud to educate those around me about diabetes and how it effects my everyday life – which it does. Diabetes management consumes so much time. In the seven years since my diagnosis I would guess diabetes management has consumed WEEKS of my life. That is not an overstatement. I’m sure if you spoke with anyone who had diabetes before posting your response you would have known that.

 I’m grateful that many of my fellow PWDs used your comment columns to educate and not attack. That’s why I’m proud to belong to a community such as the DOC (Diabetes Online Community). We know anyone not living with this disease or being around it on a regular basis simply doesn’t get it. And that’s OK. We’ll teach you.

 What I won’t do? Go into an unsanitary public restroom to manage my condition in order to avoid making someone else uncomfortable. Especially when time is of the essence as it so often can be with diabetes. I’m not even sorry if the sight of MY blood or a needle going into MY skin bothers YOU. When you are responsible for keeping yourself alive, you do what you have to do. Especially with a condition like diabetes where a situation can become an emergency faster than you can blink. You wouldn’t dare tell a breastfeeding mom to go into a public restroom to help others avoid discomfort, please remember that before offering the same suggestion to other people for whom it does not make sense.

 So Miss Manners, I beg of you; next time you have a reader ask a question about how to respond to someone with a medical condition may I suggest you do some research on said condition before answering in such a way that you not only appear insensitive and ignorant but also alienate MILLIONS of people in our country who struggle with a disease that can be tempestuous at best.

 An aside to the commenter who said that I can explain to her children why I’m doing “weird things to my body”, happily. Because obviously you aren’t open minded to realize people are fighting battles every day that you can’t even begin to comprehend. I’m happy to help your children open their minds and expand their horizons because clearly you are not. These “weird things” I’m doing to my body, it’s keeping me alive. I don’t like it any more than you – trust me – but a diabetic’s got to do what a diabetic’s got to do. And what a diabetic doesn’t have to do? Ever? Is apologize for taking the best care of themselves they can – whatever that happens to mean.

We Eloped!

By now you’ve probably seen somewhere in the Social Media Stratosphere that yes, Ryan & I eloped this past weekend. It was intimate. It was magical. It was PERFECT! Many people were surprised (ok, I think MOST people were surprised!) and while few have offered their opinion on why (no, I am NOT pregnant!) I’m here to give you ALL the details, including the why.

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I noticed Ryan began to shut down at any mention of the wedding. We’d gone from planning a small intimate beach side ceremony with a a reception for 200+ the week after, to eliminating the big party and only having a ceremony for about 20 on Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA. Yes, we would save A LOT of money by not feeding 200 people but it was still going to cost us a few grand for that party for 20.

Ryan and I have been planning on THIS being the year we make the leap to homeownership. Our lease is up on Halloween and we don’t plan on renewing it. Instead we are going to be ready to purchase a home and if we’re not quite there, we have a six month plan to get there (because if moving in with your parents is part of the discussion then you need to make sure there’s a solid game plan!). After some badgering on my part, Ryan informed me he was concerned about not only being able to afford a wedding and a house in the same year. He wasn’t even sure how we would afford the wedding part. I assured him that I meant it when I said, “I just want to be married to you. I will marry you in city hall on my lunch break in my pajamas if it means I get to be your wife.” So we talked a bit more and on Black Friday, we picked up our marriage license, peeked at a calendar and decided January 18th was going to be our day.

This was hands down the hardest secret I have ever had to keep. I wanted to shout from the rooftops that Ryan, the man who wouldn’t admit we were a couple until AFTER we moved in together, was ready to marry me. He was as ready as I was to pledge our love to one another until the end of time. The problem was, not only could I not tell our secret but I had to tell a bunch of lies too! As you can imagine over the holiday season we saw SO. MANY. PEOPLE. Friends and family alike kept asking how the wedding planning was going. I had no choice to but to lie, but it greatly pained me.

So I spent the next six weeks planning our elopement. Ryan was an active & willing participant in the planning but between his traveling and the fact that he just wanted me to be happy, he didn’t have too many requests. Well, besides doing it inexpensively. Because I’ve been a part of so many weddings over the past decade, I knew exactly where to splurge (PHOTOGRAPHER!) and where to scrimp (accessories like jewelry and shoes). I also had so many contacts and was able to call in a bunch of favors. We’re both incredibly lucky to have so many people that love us and are willing to not only help us out but keep this tremendous secret. Here’s a breakdown of what we spent. There won’t always be dollar amounts because some of the vendors are friends and gave us deals I would rather not advertise. I will tell you the whole thing came in under a thousand dollars.

I got my dress, shoes, bra, earrings, shawl and both of our wedding bands on eBay. For $120 total. My friend Katie, who does alterations on formal wear as her full time job, kindly took some time out of her busy schedule of also being a mommy to 2.5 year old twins AND a 5 year old to give me the hem I needed at a price I could afford.

We got our BEAUTIFUL flowers from our friend Dennille at Village Green Florist. She was phenomenal. She was great to work with, easy to contact and when she had to tell me just a few days before that she couldn’t get peonies after all, I was grateful for her honesty. When we showed up to pick up the flowers on Saturday afternoon, I was blown away. I actually think the bouquet she put together was even prettier than the one I chose! And Ryan’s boutonniere had me fawning over it all night. It was SO CUTE!

My friend Steph and her sister Leslie came to my house to do my hair & makeup as a gift for us. Steph is INCREDIBLE with makeup and hopes to one day open up her own makeover shop. I have yet to have anyone but my sister do my makeup and like it. Until my wedding day. It was my first successful smokey eye and I felt unbelievably beautiful. Leslie just began cosmetology school but the chignon she gave me was ABSOLUTELY what I was looking for. I have NEVER felt as beautiful as I did that night. And when Ryan finally got to see me all glammed up he actually jumped and his eyes got big. He was as happy as I was which I was had hoped for.

We found our JP on the City of Burlington website and decided she was the one because how the ceremony went and what we paid was up to us. So Ryan & wrote the ceremony during a roadtrip to visit our niece and we paid her $50 for the less than 5 minutes it took for her to marry us. She was fantastic and when we got outside and joined hands, I was giggling. She looked at us and said, “you guys are going to make ME cry!” I took that as a big compliment!

We were married at Hotel Vermont. What a GORGEOUS venue! We’d originally planned to marry in front of the fireplace in the lobby but it was crowded and loud so our JP suggested we use an outdoor firepit. So yes, we got married outside in Vermont, in January. I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Halfway through the ceremony we noticed a small crowd had gathered behind us and they clapped and hugged us after the ceremony was over. When we walked back into the hotel the bar erupted in applause and a kind stranger even sent us a bottle of champagne (THANK YOU!). They charged us nothing to use the venue in exchange for us eating dinner at the restaurant there, Juniper. Neither of us had really eaten all day and I still wasn’t very hungry when it was time for dinner. So we ordered a couple different plates to share. We had a steak tartare starter and some fried chicken and french fries as well. It was DELICIOUS!

And our photographer. I could go on and on and on about how much I love Kate. We met her at the wedding of a friend a few years ago and the three of us just clicked. We had been working on booking her as our photog for the beach as it’s close to where she lives. She gave us an amazing deal because she said she knew we would help her create beautiful photos. When I emailed her that plans had changed, she still wanted to be a part; even though she lives 3 hours away. But she drove those three hours, took some of the most amazing photos I have ever been a part of and then drove 3 hours home. She wouldn’t let us buy her a meal or a hotel room and she gave us a CD with 43 images that she worked on while we ate. I almost think she enjoyed the night more than us – but I doubt it.

We did have whoopie pies for our wedding dessert made by our friend Carrie of Nibble or Nosh Bakeshop. These were another wedding gift from a kind friend. Ryan chose S’mores and I chose Salted Caramel. By the time we finished dinner we were exhausted and full. So we went home and put on our PJs – by 9pm! We saved the whoopie pies for breakfast the next morning and that was a glorious plan! Nothing tastes as good as chocolate early on a Sunday morning when you’re still riding the high from a perfect wedding! It was also a great thing to do before we hit send on the email telling our families what we had done. We had many phone calls and emails Sunday but everyone was thrilled for us and supportive of the decision we made. I was worried someone would be upset or disappointed but that was not the case at all!

The night was perfect. It was better than perfect and I may need to create a new word just to convey how much I loved every detail. At the end of the day no matter how much money you spend or drama you live through in the planning process, you still end up husband and wife. Ryan & I had always been more about the marriage than the wedding and this was the perfect way to illustrate it. Yes, I would have loved to have our families there or finally get to dance to “our song.” But at the end of the day, Ryan is my husband and NOTHING could make me happier than having him legally obligated to spend the rest of his life with me 🙂

Without further ado, here are some images for your viewing pleasure (more to come in the next few weeks!)



My Farewell Letter

As some of you know, I gave my notice at my current job last week. I will be starting a new job, in a new industry, next Tuesday. I am beyond excited. Anyone that follow’s my Twitter feed knows that I LOVE my job but I HATE the company I work for. Or more specifically WHO I work for. Before I leave on Thursday I will be sending this email to the man who made me want to leave this job. I wanted to share it with you. Why? Because it’s a free damn country and I can do what I want! LOL! Anyway, I’m posting it here to give you an inside track into what went wrong in a job I can see myself in forever. But my pride can’t be beaten and I know I’m coming out of this on top. xo



I wanted to take a moment or two to reflect on the last year and a half since I began my employment here at ****. I’d like to first say thank you for the opportunity to work for a company that I believe in and that I will always remember. I was welcomed here with open arms and I will never, ever forget that. It felt like coming home. Maybe that’s because of my father’s printing background and how the smell of ink will always bring me back to running around press rooms as a little girl. Maybe it’s because I felt my skills surrounding social media and writing were so well used right away in my employment and there was such trust involved all around. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason but I do know I saw myself growing old at ****. I thought I had finally found a career path. And now, I’m leaving. Sounds strange after all the reasons I love this place. For that reason, I feel like I owe you an explanation.

My basic reasons for leaving here are not what many people’s motivation would be. It’s not for more money, better hours, superior benefits, more prestige – even though my new job does offer those things and then some. I am leaving **** because since shortly after my arrival my eyes were opened to the inner workings of this company. My self esteem and self confidence have taken big hits in the last several months and I learned a very long time ago that NOTHING is worth losing myself for. Not money. Not a job. Not anything.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here only because, it doesn’t really matter anymore. But I will give you a few examples of issues that arose or incidents that happened that left a bad taste in my mouth so that maybe you can get to a place where your employees respect you and actually look forward to coming to work and getting their jobs done.

  • When we had that big meeting about smoke breaks months ago, the biggest thing any of us said was that if you made this rule it would be followed IF the rule applied to everyone. It NEVER HAS. Your sister, and a manager, take several smoke breaks EVERY DAY. Your employees are not stupid regardless of how you feel or what you tell them (yes, you told me I was stupid one day. I will remember that for the rest of my life as well) and if you think this has gone unnoticed? You are wrong. This is a common theme here. There is a vast array of favoritism and as long as it continues you are at a high risk of losing good employees.
  • You have some incredibly hard working employees. While it’s nice to get a bonus around the holidays, it’s also nice to be told you’re doing a good job the whole year round. This place is SERIOUSLY lacking in appreciation. I think because to you, appreciation equals money. Yes, money is nice. No one ever has enough and everyone is thankful for more. But you’d be amazed how much a “Way to go!” comment can accomplish. Just knowing your hard work isn’t going unnoticed means a lot. Yes, a lunch for your employees once in a while would work too. It’s amazing how little it takes to raise workplace morale and how much of a difference it makes. And YOU don’t get to be the one to decide if your company has a morale problem. If your employees are mentioning it, you’re already losing them. And saying, “Good job TEAM” when you should be saying, “Good job Jess” says a lot. Another example? I worked really hard to bring in ****’s business knowing I would get no benefit from it other than giving me more work and therefore job stability. I did it anyway. And I fought to keep them happy. This was never once mentioned by you until AFTER I gave my notice. That’s sad. And too little, too late. I sent tens and tens of leads to **, *** and **** & just a “thanks” from them was nice. And one last thing on this subject – if you promise your employees a prize for completing a certain task (i.e bringing in 100+ new customers in a fiscal year) and you don’t follow through? They WILL remember. And they will stop trying so hard to please you.
  • Lastly, the straw that broke the camel’s back? The Flash Report. After months and months of feeling like I was being disrespected and underappreciated you then made me feel as if I wasn’t trusted either. And that’s just sad. If you feel someone is taking advantage of you – take care of the problem. That is was a GOOD supervisor/manager etc would do. Not punish an entire group of people. The fact that our presses are booked out 7-10 business days tells me your CSRs are getting their work done. Micromanaging only ever accomplishes the opposite of what you set out to do. And until you fully understand what EACH of your employees really does all day (hint, as a CSR I did A LOT more than enter orders and make cold calls. Also? Cold calls are NOT a CSR job, it’s a sales job. If I wanted to drum up business for you I would expect to be paid a commission on it) it will always look like a lot less when written on paper. I’m not writing down that I answered the phone 27 times, spoke with several customers for 10+ minutes and responded to over 100 emails – on top of entering 15+ orders, submitting 20 quotes for update, followed up on 6 quotes and 2 new orders. I’m all for being held accountable for my work but the orders I enter every day and the emails I send every day – both of which you track anyway through internal measures – speak for themselves. The day you (well, ***** through you) announced this report was the day I started looking for a new job. I was done at that moment.
  • Oh yeah, taking away our hour lunches was just unnecessary. I have a better handle on my workload than anyone – especially you. I worked through lunch or took shorter ones regularly before you enacted that policy. The only thing it made me do was to make sure I took every minute of that 30 minutes you so graciously allowed us to have away from the pressures of this desk and this job to collect my thoughts and prepare myself for the second half of the day. I never worked through my lunch again after that unless I was making up time for leaving early for an appointment and such.  


 I do believe you are a good person with a kind heart and that’s why I wrote this email. I knew if I sat down to tell you this I wouldn’t be able to get everything out for fear of hurting you. But at the same time, I feel I owe you this explanation. I owe it to the wonderful coworkers that I will miss so dearly who feel they can’t speak up for themselves or are ignored or degraded when they try. I owe it to myself to leave here with a clear conscience and my head held high. With all that said, I again would like to thank you for the opportunities I had here. I wish you nothing but the best in the future for this company and for your family. I will miss seeing your wife and laughing with your daughter and hearing about all of your son’s adventures living his dream. I very much plan on staying in touch and hard feelings are not my intention. I truly hope you can see that.


**** Identifying details have been changed to protect the innocent

Working on my A1C

Anyone with diabetes (or anyone who is involved in the life of someone with diabetes) knows it’s all about numbers. It’s about targets & ratios & calculations. It’s about carb counts and blood sugar logs and the greatest number of all? The Hemoglobin A1C. Now, i must say all those other numbers are important so that you can achieve a goal A1C – you must be diligent about correcting & maintaining blood sugars in the optimal range. You must accurately count all carbs & bolus appropriately. There’s really a lot of “must”s & “should”s but when it comes down to it, I put FAR too much stock into what that particular number is every 3 months. My feelings on my A1C have waxed and waned over the years. Sometimes I’m able to smile and be proud. Other times I view it as a reminder that diabetes is a daily struggle and I use it as motivation to do better.

When I was hospitalized for DKA back in June, my A1C was an 8.4. Not optimal, but not my worst (that would be in the 9s). I was only 7.4 at diagnosis and got down to a 5.8 within the first three months (I credit the divorce diet, a honeymoon period and an amazing amount of dedication to my new routine for that – where can I find those things now?! Well except the divorce diet – fuck that noise!). And now I’ve begun making that number super important again. Because Ryan & are talking about babies. Not immediately mind you, but it’s not a decision to be entered into lightly. We have our age to think about (we’re both RAPIDLY approaching our mid 30s), the fact that we’re getting married next summer (I would like to do the get married/have a baby thing in the traditional order. Not because I judge people who don’t, but because it’s what we want for US.) and then of course, there’s diabetes. Getting my body ready to have a baby isn’t an overnight decision.

I discussed it with my endocrinologist for the first time about 4 months ago. So that would be ultimately two years before we’re ready to start trying. We discussed A1C goals (she wants under 7, I want under 6.5) and then I’ll be sent to the High Risk OB to discuss conception planning. SO naturally, I have begun paying much closer attention to my numbers on a daily basis. Below are some things I have done, am doing or will be doing to attain the best A1C possible – while still maintaining a “normal” lifestyle (aka, I’m not going to drastically change meal plans or exercise plans to something that it not able to be maintained long term. Consider it the difference between Weight Watchers (a lifestyle change) and a yo-yo diet (a quick way to achieve a goal but not easy to maintain for a long period of time)). Maybe these tips can help you. Maybe you can suggest things I’m not doing or should be. Tell me what’s worked for you in your struggle to achieve YOUR perfect A1C.

Carb counting – in an effort to be more realistic about both serving sizes and how to bolus correctly for my food, I am measuring it. Every meal I eat has my carbs carefully measured out – yes, with a measuring cup – and I’m finding it’s making a pretty big difference.

Pre-Bolusing – I have never gotten into the habit of taking insulin BEFORE I eat. Yes, it makes sense to have the insulin working before the carbs hit my system but I always had a problem with that. You see, my eyes are MUCH larger than my stomach. Therefore, when I sit down with a plate, bolus for everything on it, then only eat half – I’m fucked. I worked with my endo and now I bolus for 50% of what’s on my plate 5-15 minutes before I eat. Then when I’m done I bolus for anything additional not covered by the prebolus. I’m finding this is helping me not ride the glucoaster so much (and also has relieved a lot of nausea issues resulting from high BGs and blood sugar spikes and dips). Overall, another win.

Fingersticks – I just upgraded to the Dexcom G4 sensor and I LOVE it (review coming soon!). But even with this 24-7 glimpse of my blood sugars, I am still averaging anywhere from 6-10 fingersticks a day (I refuse to call it testing – I can’t pass or fail a fingerstick). For some reason, these numbers make me feel more accountable. And the biggest difference I’ve found for them is…keeping my kit in the bathroom overnight. I’ve discovered that I am more likely to test during the night if my glucometer is in the bathroom. I have no light in my bedroom during the night and I’m not going to turn one on & wake Ryan up to do so. Instead, I’m usually up AT LEAST once in the night so it’s nice to get that reading – especially if it’s high I can get it moving lower while I sleep instead of waking up in a fog and chasing it all morning (or all DAY sometimes!). And it makes sense since if my sugar is high I’m going to wake up to use the bathroom more anyway. I have done more middle of the night fingersticks in the last 2 months than I have in my 6 years with diabetes combined. It’s amazing – and I can tell it’s helping!

High/Low Tolerance – I’ve been having some issues with lows for a few weeks and just did some basal changes with the help of my endo. Once I even out again (why does changing your basal rate by just 0.10 unit make things freak the fuck out for a whole week?!) I’m planning on changing the alarms on my sensor and my BG targets on my pump. Right now my sensor is set to alarm “high” at 200 and “low” at 80 while my BG target on my pump is 80-130. In the next few weeks, I plan on changing my high alarm to alert at 180 and my low alarm still at 80 (I LOVE sitting in the 80s and wouldn’t want my sensor to alarm all day because of it). I’ll set my pump targets to 80-100. Really tightening up my thresholds will allow me to get tighter “control” over my blood sugars and therefore reflect in my A1C.

So that’s where I’m at. Do you think my plan will work? I’m waiting to hear back on my next appointment date but I’m anxious to see a new A1C result. According to reports I’ve run using my pump and sensor data, I’m under 7. Let’s see if I can keep that up – or even make it better before my next check in! xo