Monday, September 23, 2013

Super-Elite Club

I love when people post photos of their CGM graphs.

I feel more connected with people when they do. Especially the new Dex G4 graphs, because I can look at their graph and gauge how that person felt, physically at any point during the time at which the photo was taken. It feels like an intimate glance into someones life.

For example the other day I felt like this:

And just by looking at that you probably know that I was pretty tired, maybe rage-bolused and was a little frustrated. But it's like it is code that only people living with diabetes can decipher. People who are affected by diabetes (Type awesomes, d-parents etc) can certainly understand what the waves mean and why they happened, but only our super-elite club truly knows how someone feels on days like that.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Diabetes in the news

I took a brief blogging break. I had some personal stuff to do, and now it is done and dealt with and I am back in the saddle!

It's been an exciting time here in Nova Scotia. Our provincial election has been called (which had been on the line for a long time). That may not seem like a big deal to diabetes, but this past year, thanks to public pressure, Nova Scotia government put in place a plan for young people with diabetes to have access to provincially funded insulin pumps, depending on their financial need. (up to age 19 eligible for full coverage, up to 25 supplies only). It's not an amazing plan, the financial requirements are very stringent, the age limits make no sense and it took a LONG time and a looming election to get off their asses and live up to the promise made at election time.

It was a tireless effort trying to get the NDP to commit to the very promise they made. It took demonstrations, trips to political party offices, meetings, petitions, and a lot of wasted press time. It was tiring. But it happened, and I am grateful the ball is rolling.

The NDP again committed to developing further a diabetes action plan. Almost 100k Nova Scotians live with diabetes (99% T2) so the plan is important considering the size of our province.

However, the Liberal party has also committed to a diabetes care plan, including the extension of the pump program to include people up to age 25. Lovely. I guess T1 goes away at 25, or at that age we all magically have $7k to throw around.

Mix in our disastrous employment rate after post-secondary, and the student loan debt the average working adult over 25 doesn't make sense. No parties are doing enough.

No parties are answering questions with solid answers.

I won't be voting NDP because of the disaster of a few years they have caused my province (outside of the pump program.)

I may vote liberal, but I have yet to hear back from my representative. My NDP representative has ignored me. It's a trying time, trying to be engaged is HARD.

Moving right along.

Is there anything worse than a national diabetes association using the term "diabetes-friendly"?

Today the Canadian Diabetes Association posted the following status:

"What is your favourite diabetic-friendly recipe?"

This could mean so many things and it means nothing at all at the same time. For an organization that is supposed to be on our side, fighting the same fight we are against misinformation, misguided public information and stigma, they are failing miserably. This term is offensive, and archaic plain and simple. That term should have been washed away when we realized that people with diabetes don't need to have two starches, one protein, one fruit, one fat and as many free choices as they want at a meal.

It has been questioned by a few advocates, and it remains unanswered. I just sent a tweet out to a few local employees, one being a communications person who I admire. I hope that I can at least open a dialogue on why the verbiage for the CDA needs to change.

In other, other news:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I felt unsafe

Trigger warning: I talk about rape and consent in this post.
This is not a diabetes related post.

It's not just here, it's everywhere.We saw it when the world clucked its tongue at Miley Cyrus for her performance but hardly miss a breath when Robin Thick sings about "blurred lines" of consent.

There's, what I am going to boldly call, a social revolution waiting to happen and I think Halifax is a great launching point for it. Perhaps it's my eternally optimistic world view that sees all of the horrendous press about female sexuality as a way to show that people can be inherently good, and we can change for the better once we are educated.

Then I log on to my computer and I read this opinion piece written by a woman. As I read through it before heading out for the afternoon, my stomach was in my throat. It's a disgraceful piece, opinion or not. I let it sit in my brain as I ran with my dog at the park. I tried to think about why Mary may feel that way, but I started to realize that I have friends who feel that way, I have family who have made comments on Facebook not too far off from what Mary said.

It made me feel bad.

I chased after my dog and realized that I was wearing a low cut tank top leaving my cleavage exposed, and then I felt unsafe. Because, if Mary can spew the hate she did in her article and so few people see issue with it, even the Chronicle Herald prints it, then there is definitely a wider bubble. It isn't just Internet trolls who say these things, real people truly believe that women should not be dressed scantily because it's basically asking for it. I gathered my things and threw my sweater on, because I didn't want to pass a Mary and feel the heat from her eyes.

I came home and saw that a fantastic local blogger posted a response to Mary. Please, take the time to read Allison's post here

I already wrote about how I think that society as a whole needs a shift. I wrote about it in response to the Rehteah Parson's case back in April, you can see that here

Here's the thing; it isn't MY job to make sure someone doesn't judge me for wearing a low cut top at the dog park. It wasn't Rehteah Parson's job to say no to multiple young boys when she was so inebriated she was vomiting out a window. It isn't a female university student's job to wear a long dress or pants because some dudebro can't keep it in his pants. It's not our job as women to protect ourselves, it's everybody's job to control themselves.

Why are there still people out there chanting about not needing consent, like we saw at Saint Mary's University this past week? Why is Robin Thick getting away with a song about blurred lines of consent but Miley isn't given a pass for dancing to that song?

It's because of people like Mary, and that needs to change.

Please, Chronicle Herald, stop giving hatred like Mary's a voice.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Carbs and Weight(s)

Yesterday, I read this great article on That site is a really wonderful female-written feminist humor site that gets me giggling a lot.

They have a regular column (can it even be called that?) about fitness written by a Nicole Cliff, in which the author describes her personal journey to being super strong as a woman in a world where we are expected to be slender. To be honest, I don't know what the author's body looks like, and I don't really care. What she does is wonderful and her dedication to her fitness is inspiring. The website strays away from talking about body weight and body image primarily because it's shitty for most women, no matter what their size.

Or, in a quote from the article: "We have made the deliberate decision not to really talk about things like body image and weight on the site, because there’s already so much of it out there, and even when it’s well done, it just generally becomes either an echo chamber or bums people out, and we’re happy with that choice, but it’s also something I don’t want to completely ignore in our fitness coverage, because the universe is as it is."

So basically it's awesome. However one piece in the article really made me think.

"It’s 5000% times easier to put on muscle while feeding yourself properly. You don’t have to eat Gummi bears, just lots of wonderful food. And that can be a hard thing to do. If you’re used to having some kind of internal calculator for the food you put in your mouth, whether it’s points or calories or carbs or what, deliberately eating a little more than you “need” can be hugely emotionally difficult" 

It's so true! It's why I think Weight Watchers is awful, calorie counting apps are hurtful, and why carb counting is just so damn hard to do sometimes. Because if I am eating 70 grams of carbs and 30g of fat with 25g of protein in a giant ass bowl of beef fried quinoa and eggs, vs a big mac...Weight Watchers and calorie counting apps will see them relatively equal! (I know Weight Watchers claims they're different because it's points, and veggie dishes are generally free yadda yadda). Don't get me wrong i still eat shit food. I am not here to tell people how to eat because that's up to them and them only to make that choice, but to read this information it really put into light why I am struggling with the sheer AMOUNT of food I have to eat to build the muscle i want which will in turn maybe or maybe not burn the excess fat I have.

Carb counting is not something that we as people with diabetes can just...stop doing. It's something that we have to not only constantly do, but do really well. Our life quite literally depends on our carbohydrate balance vs. insulin.

It's all such a touchy subject, and I think the article just explained it all so well. Go ahead, I am done, read the article here :)