Thursday, January 31, 2013

DSMA Blog Carnival:Striving for....

This post is my January entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/january-dsma-blog-carnival-2


New Year with Diabetes : Striving for _______ in 2013!

I am not making the normal fitness or A1C goals this year. My A1C is down to 6.3 (as per an A1C now test at Winter Slipstream) and that's right where I want it. I am still cycling and learning my limits and that won't stop.

Nope. My striving this year will be focused on thinking about myself, and not just Diabetes-wise. I spend a great deal of time reflecting on how my actions, words and thoughts may affect those around me. I stress out that I may be putting someone out more than I stress about my own well-being. This isn't a bragging post. I see that as a very undesirable personality trait.

Basically I want to stop caring more about how other people feel than about how I feel.


I think this is a totally reasonable goal. For example, I just turned the A/C up in my office space and didn't ask anyone because I am sweating to death! It's a small step, ok?


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Bullies are like sandpaper: they're rough and abrasive. The bullied will prevail by being smoothed out and shined up.


I saw something similar to t his somewhere in my readings lately (I honestly can't remember where, and I also can not remember the exact wording.)

But it's true. Keep going.

Monday, January 28, 2013

It Takes a Village: Slipstream 2013

slip·stream 
n.
1. The turbulent flow of air driven backward by the propeller or propellers of an aircraft. Also called race2.
2. The area of reduced pressure or forward suction produced by and immediately behind a fast-moving object as it moves through air or water.
intr.v. slip·streamed, slip·stream·ing, slip·streams
To drive or cycle in the slipstream of a vehicle ahead.
Photo courtesy of Mike Last Photography. Check out Mike's work at www.mikelastphoto.com
 
It takes a village to create a Slipstream. It takes a village to create a community, as one person you never know if the vortex of wind left behind you is enough force to keep another person going. As one person you never know if your footsteps are clearing a path for someone coming up behind you. When you build your community, and you have others to support you when you need it, or you have others to follow you when you can lead you are never truly alone.

Ice breakers. Photo courtesy of Meredith Miller

This past weekend I attended the 5th Annual Winter Slipstream event put on by Connected in Motion. I had intense feelings and expectations for the weekend. I was incredibly nervous as it had been years since I had been in another camp environment, especially where I was not leading and facilitating. It had been years since I had been in a group of adult T1 diabetics who generally were kind, caring and overwhelmingly positive about diabetes. I had my reservations, but my goals are changing and I wanted to challenge myself to be a student, I wanted the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone and facing my fears of new people judging me. 

Image Courtesy of Meredith Miller

I have intense fears of people judging me because of my weight, I know this is mostly in my head so I am working on it. I always think they will judge me because of how I look without knowing that no matter what I do, this is me because of my other health stuff outside of D. So yeah, going half way across the country to spend a weekend with incredible (mostly) athletes all living with diabetes was a big deal for me. Huge. I didn't sleep Thursday night due to anxiety actually. But I did it, and I am so glad I did.
Action shot. Image courtesy of Meredith Miller.
 
Something happens when a group of people with diabetes get together. The outside world tends to melt into distant thoughts and there is an intense focus on creating your community in the moment. At Slipstream everyone is encouraged to step out of their comfort zones (and just being there was doing that for me!). For some people stepping out of your comfort zone is being suspended 40 feet above the ground on a ropes course, for some people it is playing in the snow, for some it is admitting your blood sugar is high or low. No matter what your comfort zone was at Slipstream, you were dragged out of it by the collective Slipstream created by the other amazing people there.

Uhm. Broomball "champs"?

I discovered I have an deep passion for playing broomball, even if I ended up knocking over more people than scoring. I discovered that walking alone in the woods and hearing people laughing so loud they "are going to barf" (actual quote) is one of my favourite sounds. I discovered I CAN eat salad for every meal and still be happy. I also discovered that after a few beverages, running down an icy hill will probably lead to me falling hard on my butt, but laughing too hard to feel it (until a long-ass flight home the next day). I learned that some people bolus for every 100 calories of protein/saturated fat and that sleeping with wool socks on is the best idea ever.

Photo Courtesy of Meredith Miller

Photo Courtesy of Meredith Miller. Temporary Insanity courtesy of....


I am trying to think of a deep and meaningful way to wrap this post up. But only one thing comes to mind:

I just think that if I ever see a grown man in a children's chicken costume it will be too soon. (Because nobody can top Luke.)

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your Slipstream, this community is something really special.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Talk to the hand

This is kind of me right now. Kind of.


So this weird thing has been happening with me lately. I check my blood before lunch which has been nice and stable all morning according to my Dexcom, it rings up between 5-7 (my target) and I sit down and eat a nice meal. I bolus as I am eating and then about 10 mins after I eat (so not enough time for my insulin to start) I plummet. I talked about a particularly bad day when this happened last week.

It hasn't been disorientating lately, but It has made me question how to go about making sure I don't crash as I am eating. This is absolutely silly to be honest. I hover 5-7 all morning and then BAM! my body is getting fed carbs so it crashes? It doesn't make medical sense. But really, what does with this disease?

Anyway. I ate. I guess I am not low now, my meter says 4.2, Dex says 78 with a sideways arrow. But yeah I have those 8 frickin units of insulin on board since you know I ATE MY LUNCH.

I need a nap.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

48 things and more

I haven't updated in a week. geez.

But, as you may be able to tell, there was a reason for that. Please welcome the new look of Life on T1. I am still ironing some kinks out with the blogger platform and seriously considering switching back to Wordpress, but for now this is my look. It's the start of building my personal brand, I am also working on a few presentations and educational workshops to further my advocacy, and once those are complete I will start to promote myself.

I want 2013 to be a big year for me personally and professionally and I am the only one who is in charge of that. But sometimes....I feel like I am living a double life. My corporate job can be difficult at times and negative, but it pays my bills so I can do things like Blog on my fancy laptop, pump insulin, drive my car, attend Slipstream....I feel like this passion for advocacy work is starting to bubble so much, I may explode. Shockingly, since I have felt more purposeful as I started being a vocal advocate, my work life balance is more....balanced and even tipping a bit on the life side. So really, I can't complain.

Cherise wanted people to answer this meme for her. Well:



1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Nopers.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Every time I see a sweet baby animal video. Seriously. (this morning)
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Depends on the pen i am using
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Barffffffffffffffffffffff
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
One furbaby
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I think so.I hope so. Yes. I want to say yes.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Yes. Too much.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
I think so. I hope so.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Absolutely not. This is for crazy people.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Fruit Loops, or you can skip the processing and just give me a bowl of straight up sugar cubes.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
I do not have shoes with laces. Except sneakers and even them I just had to think if they had laces. So uhhh
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
I am extremely strong emotionally, physically? YIKES.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Barrrffffffffff
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Height.
15. RED OR PINK?
Pink
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My body
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My grandmother. She was such a beautiful person who taught me so much. Also I have a few friends I hardly ever see.
18. WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
Patience. If I think of something I want or need I need it to happen right away.
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Silver loafers.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Spicy pork, kimchi & steamed rice.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
My coworker guzzle gingerale.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Magenta
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
The Mr., homemade bread, Island Margarita hand lotion from bath and Body Works. Vanilla anything
24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?
Pretty important
25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Mountain Hideaway....near a waterfall
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Uhhhhh I went to a hockey game over the holidays and drank 4 beer, so that one.
27. HAIR COLOR?
Brown
28. EYE COLOR?
Blue
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Nope
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Sushi, Korean Soup so spicy I cry, chicken fingers, and grilled cheese
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Scary. So scary I can't sleep :)
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Drive
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Purple
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer.
35. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Cheese. Or Cinnimon Rolls
36. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Do I have to? Bicycling whatever that is.
37. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
TV
38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Miss Pelegrineo's Home for Peculiar Children
39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
My work one is a bbb one, at home I use my lappy.
40. FAVORITE SOUND?
Steel drums, the ocean.
41. FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
I like classic rock, or "alternative" rock
42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
I went to Italy!
43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I am an amazing cook.
44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Sydney, NS
45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Halifax
46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
White
47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
Blue
48. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?
This is a cop out question. I didn't mind, but you should really have something soul searching to end off an Internet meme, no? Ok here you go:



You've been meme'd


Thursday, January 10, 2013

I am vulnerable.


Today I had a low that hit me like a tonne of bricks. My CGM didn't catch it. In fact, I had just eaten a relatively carb heavy meal 30 mins prior. My bg before my meal was 6.4 (115) and I ate 50g carbs, gave my 8 unit bolus and carried on.

As I walked back to my office, I felt a wave of nausea. It subsided pretty quickly so I put my things in my office and dashed off to the bathroom before the next person in line went on lunch break. As I was washing my hands I looked in the mirror in the work bathroom and everything just started to feel....fuzzy. Things wouldn't focus right. I turned towards the opposite wall and stood for a few seconds trying to remember where the paper towel was kept. As I pumped for the paper, I got really annoyed at how loud the dispenser is an even gave an audible aughhhhh because I needed more.



So I walked back to my office. Or at least I assume I did because I came around sitting in my chair staring at a meter reading of 2.6 (42). It took me a second to realize that it was low before I emptied 5 glucose tablets into my mouth and methodically started to chew them. As they turned into a paste in my mouth I thought I better double check my sugar, and it rang up 2.0(36) this time. I stuffed two more glucose tabs in my mouth and started chewing on a piece of licorice I found in my desk (yeah, gross and yeah, I must have a huge mouth and a huge dentist bill.)

As I started to feel more stable I pulled my Dexcom reciever out of my bag and it said 99. So I guess it showed I was lower then my lunch sugar but still. It had been 18 days since I inserted my first sensor. 18 days! I pulled it. My first sensor is done if it is reading 60 off, and I will re-start one tonight.

More like 39 amirite?

Farewell sweet sensor. You did good.


So I am now 5.0 (90), and comfortable, albeit a bit hungover from that 7 glucosetablets-twopiecesof licorice-and 50g carb- hour I just had. But it was a swift reminder that even after 23 years living with Diabetes, it can still sneak up on us.

 I was reminded of Scott Johnson's Post here about his experience with passing out. And Scott Brenner's post about how his daughter, Arden, felt low but her CGM read that she was ok. You can read that here

Sometimes Diabetes makes us vulnerable, no matter what the experience level, type of diabetes or situation you are in. We have to watch out for ourselves and each other.



Despite this experience, the Dexcom has been a real savior.

I started to recognize what my lows feel like before they were "lows". I started to be more sensitive to highs, resulting in two blood sugars over 10 in the past 18 days. I have definitely had more lows (work in progress!), but I have slept through the night most nights without a low!

So I am pleased. I am still trying to find sensors that I can afford. I have had a few very generous offers to sell me some sensors, but I can't afford a lot of money to go towards them unfortunately, because as of right now it is a luxury. So again I will say if you have any Dexcom Seven plus sensors that are not being used and would like to sell them for a small price please let me know! If you have expired ones I will even give them a try!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Birth of a new D-Kit

I was going to send out birth announcements but I am poor, so here you are, doc.

The birth of my new D-kit. I have outgrown my (much smaller) one featured here Because let's be honest here, the Ping Remote is MASSIVE in comparison to the tiny iBGStar.

Anyway, on the count of three you can all say "awwwwwwwwwwwww" and send me presents in congratulations via email.



I am sure I will be getting one of those roll-y bags soon to cart everything around. This is very pared down since I was trying to make space in my kit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The war of the sick 2013.

The stuffy nose, watery eyes, throbbing head, fiery throat. Aching so bad my teeth hurt, my hips creaked and no matter which way I squirmed I felt waves of soreness radiate over my body. 3 boxes of tissues, two boxes of Advil Cold and Flu, and one sick day used at work and I think I am winning this battle.

It was a valiant effort fought by my foe. It came on with great fury stealing my breath, appetite and ability to see straight. Its burning fever left me no choice but to spend a day sipping tea and compulsively checking my blood sugar between rounds of video games and episodes of The Office on Netflix.

But I am winning. The last soldiers are gasping for their last breath as I shoot them out my nose onto the sandpaper they call tissues, every time I wash my hands I laugh maniacally internally as I have won again.

Ok maybe that's a wee bit dramatic. But yeah, I had the cold/flu the past week. It was a bad one, but not the worst. I am just starting to get my head back. My sugars were low the entire time, which means I drank lots of juice which may have actually helped me fight the virus in the end.

T laughed at me as I came home with a flat of juice boxes from the Grocery store. However, he laughs no more as I have gone through 1/4 of them.

I know it's commonplace that blood sugars go high when sick but not me, my friends, not me. My 14 day average on my meter is 6.4 (121) and my Dexcom tells me it's somewhere around 89-90. As you can see...i was low.

So as I come out of this battle licking my wounds, I will be readjusting my basals and cringing at the thought of drinking another box of apple juice.

I did, however some how manage this graph last night. It's just beautiful. A work of art, really. (This was about 25 mins after I finished my 40g cho breakfast)

Can I get a what what for that flat line?

 what whaaaaaaat.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Experiment: Does CGM affect my A1C?

Okay.

I decided that I wanted to do an experiment. I had one test left on my A1C now Self-Check meter and I just started my Dexcom 12 days ago, so I figured I would give this a go.

My starting point for my A1C is 6.8 (! that's great for me, considering this time last year it was 8.5).



So after 3 months, will my A1C be lower?
What about my body weight?
Will my food choices change?

Let's start this journey. For the next three months I will be posting musings about my thoughts on what the CGM did for me that week.



I know that A1C is only a number and it really doesn't represent everything to do with diabetes care, but I think this may be important. Especially for when it eventually gets approved in Canada and I have to fight with my insurance to cover it ;)

(For non d-peeps: A1C is a measurement that can help a person with diabetes figure out what their average blood sugar has been in the past 2-3 months. The recommended number is below 7.0%....so I am just under that.)


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Diabetes is Expensive

Picked up two of my four diabetes-related prescriptions today. And this isn't counting pump supplies. I am so thankful for private insurance reimbursements.


I get this money back. It sits on my credit card collecting interest for almost 30 days, but I get it back. I will see it again. There are so many people who do not have the amazing luxury I have . Also, it's totally cute that my pharmacy tells me all about insulin on the receipt :)

Oh and yes, I am switching back to my Ping remote from my iBGStar. I will tell you why later.