Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rattled

I have a confession. Diabetes never used to scare me. Never did I let it get in the way of things I did. But lately I have been scared.

When I first got my Dexcom back in December and I realized just how often I was going low without feeling it, especially when sleeping, I was dumbfounded. I was lucky then that my liver would kick in and would stabilize me a little bit.

In the quest for extremely tight control, by the recommendation by my health care team, I started to use metformin with my insulin regime. Metformin is usually used in type two diabetics, to put it loosely one of its functions is it slows the excretion of stored glucagon in the liver to prevent major spikes in bg. combining it with my insulin has really helped me. In fact since I started it my average blood sugar post prandial has dropped from 12.4-7.3.

But it has a negative effect: My liver just doesn't correct my lows as quickly as it used to. I guess? I am no doctor, nor do I work in the medical field so this is mostly based on Google. Ugh why did I google all of this?!

Anyway I misplaced my Dexcom receiver on Saturday and have yet to find it. I lived for 23 years without one, so surely you think it shouldn't be a big deal. I didn't think so. I thought I would find it quickly and so be it.

Anyway, on Saturday night I had a low. One of those night time lows that rattle you. I woke up at 3:21 drenched in sweat and feeling completely panicked: I was low. Really low. My mouth was numb, my face was cold, I was seeing spots. Stupidly, trying not to wake T, I ate 10 glucose tablets in two large mouthfuls and laid still in bed just smoothing the sugary paste into my gums with my tongue. Once I swallowed them I staggered out to the kitchen, and grabbed my meter to check and it rang back 1.8 mmol/l (32 mg/dcl). I knew I had 40g carbs in my system, but I needed more. I made a peanut butter sandwich and poured up a big glass of milk. I ate it all and went back to bed. When I woke up I was 7.2 with a  massive headache, a mouth that tasted like something died in there and blurry eyes.

Look, I try not to let this stuff get to me. Shit happens and we move on. But I haven't quite been able to. For some reason I can't shake it. I have had trouble falling asleep the past few nights, and throughout the night I have woken up at least 3-4 times to check my blood. Each night if I am below 7, I will reduce my basal quite a bit. I don't like waking up around 8, 9 or 10 but I DO like waking up. So what's a girl to do?

I just really hope I find that Dexcom. It's a security blanket. I want to maintain tight control, but I also don't want to start caving to anxiety at night time. It's just even scarier because I don't have the option to buy a new one. Not even if I want to. Why Health Canada and Dexcom haven't worked this out yet is beyond me, but once I have had a taste of the control and comfort it provides me I can't understand it.

This isn't really posted to scare anyone. I just wanted to vent about the anxiety low blood sugars at night have caused me lately. Does anyone else get this? Any tips for combating it while I search high and low for my Dexcom receiver?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Missing: Dexcom Receiver

Yesterday morning I had my Dexcom Receiver next to me on my computer desk.

I got up, went to get changed to take the dog for a walk and left without my receiver.

I came back and I could not find it.

30 hours later...I still can not find it.

It's in my house...but where? I am so stressed out over this. It's so important to me. I use it to maintain my health.

I woke up at 3:30 am with another one of my scary lows that I felt but only because I was 1.8 mmol/l (32 mg/dcl).My Dexcom was catching them when they were 4.0. I don't feel low until I am under 2 and that receiver was helping me so much.

I just need to find it. I have moved all of my furniture checked every crevice. Oh.

oh. oh. oh.

Can someone look with fresh eyes for me?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

May 2: JDRF Fundraising kick Off

For the month of May most of my blog posts will be revolving around my team, and the Halifax JDRF walk to Cure Diabetes. This year I was asked to be the promotions chair on the walk committee. It has not come without its challenges, mainly because I thought it would be a great idea to take that on, buy my first house and also take on a lot more responsibility at my work place, captain my team, all while working 40 kms away from everything and running a carpool. Smart? We'll see.

Our Adult Onesies walk team is SERIOUSLY lacking in the funds department! We are mostly T1 and Type Awesomes walking to show that diabetes doesn't go away once we are adults.

For anyone local: our major fundraiser will be next Thursday, May 2 at the Lower Deck Pub in Clayton Park. Here is the poster we have printed and put around:



Our Auction will have things like: Paintings, a set of crystal wine glasses, a rug-hooked center piece, a cake from Marble Slab creamery, a purse and wallet set, Kitchenaid Mixer attachments, a kitchen spice and tupperware basket, hand painted cheese board and more!

We will be selling 50/50 tickets, raffle tickets for two tickets anywhere Westjet flies, 1/2 price apps, drink specials and of course TRIVIA!

We will have a lot going on, but it's really important we do well. We have a HUGE fundraising target.

Here's my fundraising page.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Carb Counting

Last night I decided to break my no-deep-fried-food-for-awhile-because-your-stomach-hates-it streak and go out with a few friends to a local pub.

Normally when I go to a pub I will order a nice big salad with chicken and a big beer. I will feel totally satisfied especially if someone shares a few french fries with me! But last night I saw one beautiful thing on the menu. This item trumps everything for me. It's perfect. It's salty and crunchy, greasy and well..it's deep fried pickles. When I see that on a menu I zero in on it. I want it. I wanted it, so I had it.

I upped my basal, pre-bolused for a wild guess of carbs and enjoyed it. I enjoyed every last bit of it. It's definitely not something that should be on a regular menu for anyone, but it's that once in awhile treat that you just cant deny yourself.

I had a great time chatting and everything was going well. I got picked up at the pub (since I had had a beer) and was on my way home when I felt weird. I wasn't wearing my Dxcom at the time so I thought the nausea was just my body's normal response to the greasy food and decided to let it pass. 30 mins later I noticed myself trying to focus on what was being said on the TV. I was trying to make words out.

I checked my blood and to my surprise (50 mg/dcl):


So I totally misjudged the carbs in that one!

Ah well, better luck next time. :) I regret nothing.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

23 Years

Today marks 23 years living with diabetes.

I almost forgot to be honest. I remembered as I was brushing my teeth to go out and simultaneously reading my twitter feed. The first thing I did was text my parents for a moment of mutual congratulations, then naturally I turned to social media to announce everything to everyone ever.

I remember when I was diagnosed I took one unit of Humulin N insulin and one unit or R or regular. Like these:



I remember rolling the insulin between my hands and making sure the cloudy insulin wasn't chunky.

These were state-of-the-art and cutting edge technology:







Here is a spread from my friend Lara's collection of pokers and meters over the years. My collection would be much the same. FYI those glucose tabs are from like...1995 also...that monojel was AWFUL. I hated that stuff. I always chose dextrosol. I would also like to mention that all of those lancets are a small drop in the bucket of lancets we collect. I mean..I don't think I have gone through that many in 23 years.


My meals were carefully constructed around the exchanges menu. I could have 1 fat, 1 protein, 1 starch and one fruit choice. Sometimes there would be a milk choice. Everything was very precise.


A lot has changed over the years. If you would have asked me, my family or my diabetic friends if we would be wearing completely portable device that gave us insulin that started to work in 15 minutes and we had the ability to control every drop of insulin that goes into our body I would have looked at you like you were nuts.

I have had a lot of cold medication. This may or may not make sense.

Donate to my JDRF walk, won't you?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Love, Hope, Optimisim

I can't wrap my head around anything that has been happening since the Boston Marathon. The anger, the fear, the hatred that has to go through someone's head in order to blow other humans up.....the torture and anguish. Agh.


I just have this to say as I read through hate filled posts about those who did the bombing, and the news reports, and the speculation and just...the pain and loss everyone is feeling:

You can read more about Jack Layton and why I idolized him here.

I have the flu. I have had it for three days. I am not pleased. I feel tired and achey and have had next to no appetite. I have been running low and rebounding real high. I missed two days of work, but I had to go back today. I couldn't just lay around any more. It was a tough day. I ate my lunch and I broke out into a cold sweat and had to leave the lunch room for some fresh air and lightly sip my diet gingerale. I just want this bollocks to be done with! /whine

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dove

The proof.


I don't really have much to say about this because when I thought about how I would describe myself I would be somewhere between a bridge troll and a very large boulder.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Slowly, slowly

"O snail
Climb Mount Fuji,
But slowly, slowly!" 
- Kobayashi Issa


Image from here
When Kabayashi Issa wrote that haiku, he captured the changes we have to make to our lives to improve them all on our own. Everyone knows that making massive, life-altering changes just don't work. We have to slowly incorporate small, lifestyle changes so we don't shock our systems into a downward spiral of feeling like a failure.

So as I sit here with my bruised finger tips and blood stained hands (literally, I have checked that many times that the blood has sort of stained my fingers.) I wonder why, when I have been making so many positive, that my body decides to just throw me a curve ball.

Dearest body, I am trying to love you more. I am trying to care for you, and treat you like you deserve. I am trying to nourish you the best way possible with fruit, vegetables, minimal processed shit, less blood sugar fluctuations, more water. Less saturates fat more healthy fat, less carbs more protein. The list goes on. If I am "supposed" to do it, I am. I am exercising more, I am caring more, I am trying to love myself and my body.

But dammit. 

I had a hang of things. My Dexcom charts were in range for days on end. But something happened, night times became out of control. I am talking blood sugars between 14-20 while I need to be sleeping. Even thinking about ANY carbs and my sugar sky rockets. I correct with my normal correction factor which worked perfect before, and nothing.

Slowly, slowly I up my basals and play with my corrections, and slowly, slowly I consider turning around to have a seat at the bottom of the mountain. I am exhausted from slowly, slowly.

"Oh snail! 
Take me with you
On your shell
For I am tired, and feel like hell"
-me. just now.



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rehteah Parsons: It's about us.

This is not a blog post about diabetes. I can't even focus on the minute details of my mini vacation this past week enough to blog about it. That post will come in time.

Right now I need to write. I need to get this off my chest and into the other of millions of opinions on what has brought the Internet and a lot of people in my community to their knees.

Trigger warning: This post discusses rape, sexual assault, depression, trauma, anxiety and all the really hard shit people deal with.

90% of the visitors to my blog come from the United States. 5% Canada, 3% Australia and the other 2% are spread mostly between the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. These stats may not seem important to you yet, but be with me on this: because this will be familiar to you. No matter where this computer screen is, you will be able to relate this post to someone or something in your community, county, province, state, country. It is us. This is how we have shaped the world and it is up to us to change it.

The local, national and now international news is reporting a case of a 17 year old girl who committed suicide, and passed away on Sunday in my community. Her parents had to make the decision to pull her life support after her hanging herself on Thursday. Rehteah Parsons lived through more in her 17 years than most of us ever will, and none of us should ever have to. You can read her father's blog post here. Go, read it. Read every word of it. It's dripping with anguish and pain. It's not an easy read for anyone. He describes her as a great, caring person. He seems like the ideal father, not perfect but doing whatever he can for his loved one.

Rehteah Parsons was (allegedly, but I use that term only because it's "responsible" to do so) raped in November of 2011 at the age of 15. She was a child. She was a child who was drinking, as 15 year olds in our society do, and with "friends" as 15 year olds tend to be. She was vomiting drunk..ok sometimes 15 year olds over-drink and friends hold others' hair back and everyone goes through a hangover and that's how high school life is.

But then she was raped. (I am dropping that stupid alleged word. It's my blog. I truly believe she was raped.) She was raped by 4 boys, and during this there were photos taken, emailed, tweeted and Facebooked all over her school. And not only did those spineless pieces of shit do that, but then other spineless pieces of shit began to torment her, and explain that she was the one in the wrong.

She went to the police and that made it worse. It took the police months to even interview the pieces of shit who raped her. It was a downward spiral. I am not here to re-tell her story or the news. Just Google it. It's everywhere. It's disgusting. It's tear-inducing and nauseating.

Taking a step back from the nitty gritty details of this, trying to look at everything, the worst part for me is that the details of her story are not surprising. They are not as shocking or one-off as they should be. It happens. It has happened to my friend, it has happened to your friend, it happened to that girl from high school. We all know someone yet we still live in a society and culture that is ok with letting things slide.

Our legal system is based on archaic morals and standards, it is not worthy of our trust and this is a prime example of why. Our police force is swamped with stupid, money wasting issues like marijuana busts, and speed traps. Our resources are being funneled in the wrong direction.

Our school teachers are overwhelmed with children who are out of control, they show no respect because the consequences of acting out are so minor that it would barely sting. Parents have to work longer hours to make ends meet, there are a lot of single parent households that can not make ends meet, so structure and discipline at home have to come after getting basic nutrients into a human to survive.

Our school administrators are so caught up in contracts on where to spend vacation, and how much the next vehicle will be that child pornography floating in the hallways of one of their very own students simply goes un noticed.

A child who was raped, bullied, tormented suffers from depression, anxiety and is desperate ( you can find her twitter account and pick up how desperate she was) for help is ignored by those who should have been there. Her parents (very obviously) did their absolute best but two people could not change the whole system for their daughter.

So many people are mad at the political parties, administrators, police and more.

But here's the thing, it's our fault. We, as humans, and functioning members of society made it this way. We laugh when people make fat jokes, we share images of people that were snapped without their knowledge to make a joke, a point that we are better than them. That we know more than them. That without us as individuals the world would be so bad that nobody else would be able to function. We as humans think a simple "get back in the kitchen joke" to a woman, or "men, am i right?" joke about stupidity are ok. We as a society have accepted that our police just don't do what we need them to. We have accepted that mockery and a good "burn" is better than a compliment. Hell,w e can't even accept a compliment without feeling weird! We have accepted that un-realistic expectations of women is how the world works. We have accepted that some religions just don't "agree" with homosexuality.

In fact, we as humans have buried the fact that sex and sexuality is part of our condition, we have accepted that being ashamed of part of being human and hiding sex is what we are supposed to do. We don't teach children about sex and rape and what is right and wrong young enough because they are being sheltered.

Guess what? This whole story comes from us. It's our fault. We created this mess and it's up to us as a society to pick of the pieces. I hope as the days, weeks and months unfold human kindness and understanding prevails, that our ability to accept the awful becomes less and more people make small changes.

This isn't just a woman's, men's, race, political, education or religious issue. It's a human issue.


For more information on Reteah Parsons here are some links:

Facebook Group
Anonymous' Press Release as of April 11, 2013
The Twitter hashtag #OpJustice4Reteah
Google Search
The Rehteah parsons Story in Context- The Coast Newspaper, Halifax

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Declined



I have a lot to say, and a lot of feelings about this message, but I will make this word "less". Less than 12 hours after my phone interview with them, they have decided that I am not worthy of peace of mind because of a diagnosis I had absolutely no control over. Here's a big FUCK YOU to the Canada Life Assurance Company, the senior Underwriter who had to ask if I took insulin (despite being clear that I have TYPE ONE) and another big FUCK YOU to diabetes. That's just the kind of day I am having,.

Monday, April 1, 2013

No carbs before noon.

I tested out eating fruit for breakfast again. I guess that's a no then....back to eggs and cheese!