Monday, January 31, 2011


We hear it all the time, "That's impossible" or "I am only one person - what change can I bring?" and these statements are made all the time about things that are not in anyway stable and can be changed. We seem to think that our ideas are impossible to get out there, but at the same time we say it's a small world isn't it?

Thanks to Chloe Steepe and her gang because they didn't believe that diabetes education was stable. They scooped diabetics right out of there D.E.C chairs and placed them on a sandy volleyball court or a big pile of snow or maybe right in the middle of a giant mud pit.

And with that all these diabetics have a chance to take their little or big ideas of diabetes and put them on the table and make change. Slipstream has allowed diabetics from anywhere and everywhere to feel connected and feel like their ideas are far from impossible.

During Slipstream we had plenty of time to share our ideas of what it is like to be diabetic, what activities or events we are participating in and what we would like to see happen. Listening to everyones ideas was exciting because it widens your concepts, personal ideas and thoughts. From this we learn and then our ideas become even greater.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

So Can You.

As I stare at this blank screen I know that I could fill the page with words beyond words of how my weekend went. I have learned so much that I have a feeling that I will not be at a loss of words for awhile on my blog.

This weekend 40+ type 1 diabetics went up to Haliburton for a weekend of activity, inspiration and connection. This event was put on my Connected in Motion - which is the group that I do all my events with. The group of diabetics although individual outside the slipstream were all very much alike within it.

Even though we had our own little and big stories of triumph and inspiration we all were constantly beeping, pricking, pumping, checking, Dex4 tab binging and injecting together. No one gave anyone any weird looks for pulling a pump out of their bra or pant pocket. No one asked them if they could eat that because it has 'sugar' in it and no one asked them what the difference between type 1 and type 2 is.

My experience will have to be shared within several entries because it was almost an endless learning curve I was on. I learned and gained so much from this experience. Although the weekend seemed shorter than ever - so much was jammed packed within it.

I got to talk about my diabetes in a way unlike no other nurse, doctor, friend, parent, teacher etc. could ever understand. I got to stay up until 2 a.m talking about what finger I poke the most and the crazy things I do when I am low.

Most of all I got to hear stories from people from all walks of life that completed marathons, traveled around the world and entered to do a Death Race... Every single person was an inspiration to me because I knew that what they had accomplished can also be accomplished by me.

This weekend was not just about getting away from those crazy non-diabetics that are in our life, but it was about learning to accept your diabetes and know that you can live above and beyond with your disease - all you need to do is look around slipstream and know that they did it and so can you.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Still, I find myself thinking about that meeting. Why it made such an impact one me I do not know. I do not suffer from an addiction (unless we consider how much diet pop I drink...) and I do not really know anyone that suffers from addiction personally.

Yes, we have all seen intervention and we just find it interesting how a person cannot stop - and still I have no idea what type of challenges they face. Yet, I find myself taking more than anyone can ever imagine from that meeting last night. More than I can describe - and let me tell you how glad I am that Michelle came, because she truly understands what I mean by this indescribable experience.

Now, it is true, no matter how hard we try to put ourselves in other people's shoes we will never know. Unless you have gone through the exact same problem, obstacle or hurtle - you will never know how it felt. But, since we are empathic humans (most of us at least) we can understand and believe in what that person has to say.

With that said, no health professional, nurse, professor, parent, best friend etc. will ever know how a diabetic feels. Yes, of course they can empathize and maybe come incredibly close to what that diabetic feels, but truly only other diabetics can know what it feels to walk in that person's shoes.

Why? Well, even though these people may be in our life constantly and may have been the biggest support you have ever had, being a diabetic or anything for that matter is something that only a diabetic can know. It is easy to give it a name, tell the symptoms and treatments, but it is impossible to feel what it is like to live that life.

This same view is shared by alcoholics in fact... which makes me really think about the connections humans make. Humans are diverse and many of us have friends of different upbringing, backgrounds, ages etc. yet, we probably have that one person or many people that are just like us or have gone through a similar situation.

I can hardly wait till I am in a room of fifty diabetics who knows exactly how I feel. Know what I mean when I say things like, "I hate when I have to prime my pump or sometimes I guess my sugar instead of actually checking it and usually that seems more accurate..."


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Everyone has a Story

People have told me that I am inspiring through my dedication to diabetes and outreach to those around me; however, I never understood why I could be so inspiring when this seemed so simple to do. Diabetes was a part of me that could not be changed and writing and participating is my therapy away from insulin.

I am always inspired by others for various reasons, for example: I am inspired by Clinton and his dedication to his hockey - his motivation is one to be inspired by and gives me strength and believing that I can accomplish anything I set my mind too.

It was not until last night did I realize that inspiration does not just come from those who have accomplished a million different things and went public about it; rather, inspiration can come from the basement of a church during an A.A meeting.

Now, the reason I went to this was for a class project in my Form of Addictions class. I will not disclose information about what happened in this meeting; however, I will let you know how this meeting completely inspired me. I took Michelle with me - since I was nervous, but I know that Michelle took away a lot from this meeting as well.

The important thing was that we did not have to be alcoholic to learn and get inspired. The personal challenges that these individuals go through are outstanding and the ways that they cope and find strength or even more amazing.

I learned that you should never give up. You should never stop trying - just keep going. But, most of all I learned to wash away all the stereotypes and stigmas that are placed on these individuals because everyone has a story.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Busy Bee

Where have I been? Well, truth is I have been extremely busy with school, the gym and everything in between. It has been a busy January and the busyness will not stop until the end! But, keeping busy is something I like to do, so I am not complaining.

This month I have been trying hard to go to the gym as much as I can and with Michelle, it has been a lot easier to hold to it. We always treat ourselves to the sauna after - which is half the motivation to be there.

I have discovered that the sauna has given me many health benefits that I am aware of. First being my overall mood, second my sugars and third my skin. It has been very relaxing as well. I suggest it to anyone that has access to one or thinks that it may be right for them.

Overall my January has been pretty awesome, I have been to the Leaf Game in Toronto with Clinton, and will be going to Brad Paisley concert on Thursday with my family and then it is off to Slipstream with Connected in Motion!

I couldn't have planned for a better January!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Butt in Motion

So as expected the gyms are overcrowded with people who have set goals to get in shape or lose a couple pounds. I really hope that all of these people can maintain their goals and find success; however, I have a feeling that once February hits the gym will start to get a little less crowded.

Today I went for a little run and I hadn't really ran in awhile and it was such a nice feeling. If you are a runner, you know what I am talking about. I never would have classified myself as a runner and really I have a hard time classifying myself as anything. But, running is a big passion of mine. I may not be that great at it, but I love the feeling of running.

I also did the StairMaster and that was hard work! I don't recall stairs being that hard to climb, but apparently these are some pretty crazy stairs. Tomorrow, Michelle and I are going to spin class in the afternoon and I am hoping to get to the pool as well.

Before I know it, I will be doing all the crazy events with CIM . . . oh wait, that's in a couple weeks! Well, I better get my butt in motion!


Sunday, January 9, 2011


You know the saying, "you would forget your head if it wasn't attached." Well, same pretty much goes with, "you would forget your pump if it wasn't attached." This is very true - when my pump isn't attached it's pretty easy to forget to re-attach it.

I unclip my pump when I have a shower or when I change and sometimes, you get that little feeling of freedom and forget all about your pump! Well this happened to me last night. It wasn't until I woke up at about 7 a.m did I realize, "hey my pump is on the desk!"

I probably went to bed around 3 a.m so for about 4 hours I was pump-less and you would think my sugar would have been high being without insulin for that many hours, but nope! I was a nice 5.6 when I woke up at that time.

So, I know it's really bad that I wasn't wearing a pump for four hours, but this makes me believe that I possibly still have some insulin on board... maybe I am not fully diabetic yet? who knows!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Type Three

There are friends that you see every now and then, friends you see once in a blue moon and friends that you see every other day.

There are friends you share your secrets with, friends you tell your gossip too and friends that you simply just catch up with.

There are friends that have known you forever, friends that you just met and friends that were your friends and weren't your friend and then become your friend again.

All of us have friends that we can lean on, friends we can count on and friends that we can call up with a favour. Even if that friend is related to you by blood or not, that special person is without a doubt a part of your life and even if that relationship ever were to end - they would always be a part of your life.

I have had many different 'best friends' and many different friends in general. Friends I met in elementry school, friends I met at birth, friends that I met at Fanshawe...friends from all walks of life. But, as many people know I have one friend that has been without a doubt the most amazing friend.

Now, everyone that is reading this under the breath probably said, "Michelle," but you're wrong.... hahahaha! Just kidding, you're without a doubt right. Michelle has been an outstanding friend in the past few years that I have known her. She is really a unique person in many different ways and she has been a huge part of my diabetes life.

I do come with instructions - a manual perhaps. I am unlike any friend she probably has ever had. I am always inviting her to crazy events and she is always agreeing to tag along. We inspire one another and encourage each other. We could text and Facebook throughout the entire day and still have a million things to talk about.

This Christmas I gave her something very special. A pump! Okay, so I didn't get her a real pump because she isn't really diabetic - but I gave her a blue Medtronic pump that is actually an alarm clock. It looks exactly like a pump - it's incredible!

This pump is very real looking and beyond that it has a lot of meaning behind it. Michelle is like a 'type three' diabetic. She would never let someone misrepresent diabetes, she is always educating others. She enjoys being around other diabetics and loves learning from them. She is aware of my highs and lows. She's pretty much diabetic!

So, to everyone else, I may have just given her a pump, but I know, and she knows it was given to her for a very special reason. Like a friendship trophy perhaps!


Teenage Heartbreak

In my unravelling youth class we talked about the things that were the best and worst part of being an adolescent. It really made me think about what possibly could have been the ultimate best thing and ultimate worst thing. For my assignment I decided not to focus into particulars; rather, a general outlook of my best/worst times.

For me, my adolescents wasn't really that great and I think many people can agree. It's like the whole prom idea - we build up these things so much that when they come around we are expecting more than it could ever possibly bring. For me, I had a lot of difficulties finding what I wanted and what I needed. I never felt good at anything I ever did and still to this day I find it hard to pin point my strengths to a tee.

Despite at times feeling like the world was going to end because of a stupid fight or break up, I can look back now and think, "wow, that really made me who I am." Not to say that the stupid fights made me believe in stupid things and fight for stupid things, but from those heartaches I really grew up.

Now as I was exiting adolescence my life came to a bigger halt than when I entered it. This was when I was diagnosed right at eighteen going on nineteen. I could see the stairs up to adulthood, but before I could take my first step I was given one more challenge. This challenge made me grow up and look at all the problems that I had previously went through and know that all of those combined is going to help me get through this.

Yes, I was going to have to be hospitalized, I was going to have to learn how to give myself a needle, and I was going to have to get used to seeing my own blood at least four times a day. But, I can safely say that my adolescence prepared me for this. Somehow I was able to stay strong and remain faithful that I can get through this - I can get through anything.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Drunk Diabetics

I am not much of a drinker and being a twenty year old and living in London - you'd be surprised how much I do not drink. I don't know what it is, it's not like I had a bad experience, but overall it is something that I only do on occasion.

However, when it comes to New Years I was feeling good about drinking and having a good time! Of course that would be great if I didn't have diabetes to worry about. Okay, okay so I don't worry too much about my diabetes, but at some point during the night of drinking the diabetic or the diabetic's wonderful boyfriend needs to become aware of this.

So, alcohol will lower blood sugar. Therefore, you can eat! Well, that sounds awesome because when does a diabetic get a "get out of insulin free card" - like never! So, all that pizza, chips and crackers are yours for the taking. The problem occurs when you aren't holding down the food that you had been taking to keep your sugar stable. i.e the late night hangover....

Being on an insulin pump is great because you can play around with your pump in order to help stabilize yourself without having to eat. I personally recommend not trying to adjust your pump while under the influence - not that I did this, but I can only imagine what type of calculations drunk diabetics could come up with.

This comes more so into play the next day when you're feeling, "under the weather." If you aren't eating you are at risk of going low and not only that, but the alcohol you had the previous night can still lower your blood sugar the next day.

It is SO important that you let someone know or a couple people know that you are diabetic. Hopefully you have someone there that already knows this because I couldn't imagine being solo, drunk and diabetic.

Don't assume your pump will take care of things because it will not. It's not replacing your pancreas completely because without you in control it has no one to listen to and therefore will do nothing. It's important to educate the people that are close to you about your pump for times when you cannot even think of what does what.

All in all, my New Years went great. Despite drinking more than usual I had someone (Clinton) to take care of me. Someone who knows me, my diabetes and my pump.

Happy 2011!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Isn't Easy

Living or being friends with a diabetic isn't always easy. After all diabetics have their mood swings and sometimes they come without warning. Diabetics will raid your cupboard and fridge and yes, we tend to pick the best thing you have - we just don't settle for something plain we like the chocolate dipped, sugar covered treats you've been saving.

It isn't easy to live or be friends with a diabetic because not only do you have to worry about our general health, but you have to worry about the little extras that diabetes brings. The sugar lows and the highs. Even though most have it controlled - it can slip away from us without a sign and then the responsibility will be left in your hands.

It isn't easy because there is so much knowledge behind diabetes. Even if you think you know it all, we will teach you a new thing every day. However, there are people out there that enjoy living with diabetics and love being friends with them!

Those people are troopers because they are willing to learn and take care of their friends. They put up with the highs and lows and know exactly what to say and do.

I have people just like this in my life. That are constantly asking questions making sure that they know how I feel and what is going on. They personally deserve more credit than I can ever give them.

So if you're diabetic and have people around you that put up with your craziness, moodiness, and unpredictability than give them a giant thank you!



Okay, it's a new year and it's time to crack down on my blogging. This may have been the longest time that I have stepped away from the keyboard; however, I was very busy like most people at this time of year.

With no school or much work for the couple weeks I had off, I made sure that I got as much time as possible with the people around me. But, like expected the time has come to a quick end and tomorrow I head back to London.

Over the break my sugar has been pretty good. With a few lows here and there and a couple highs I would say that I did pretty well considering every bowl and platter in my house and others are filled with squares, chocolate and fudge.

Now we will all go through withdrawal and get back into a regular routine and hopefully burn off all those extra calories that we collected along with our presents. I plan to go to the gym again like before and make sure that I stick with yoga, since that is my absolute favourite (and now I have a new yoga mat!)

Before we know it Christmas will come around once again and we will all wonder where the time has gone!

So Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy New Year! Now let's get back into our regular routines!