Sunday, February 27, 2011

Missing: Meter

The other day at the gym I forgot to bring my lock. So, thinking about what a person might want to take I brought my wallet, iPod and iPhone with me as I worked out and left my bag of clothes and shoes in the locker - thinking who would steal my clothes.

However, I also left my meter in the change room and once I got home I realized that one thing was missing from my bag. Now, it's possible that I lost it from the walk from the gym to my car, but I highly doubt it.

This was incredibly disappointing to me! I really enjoyed the USB meter that I got at slipstream and now someone had taken it thinking it was some kind of MP3 - well surprise to them when they try and plug their headphones into the blood tester, or turn it on and see my most recent blood sugar (hope they feel bad)

Anyways, being as sad as I was I called the gym to let them know and they said they would keep an eye out, I also called Bayer (the maker of the the meter) to let them know about what had happened (you never know). Anyways, the lady on the phone pretty much guaranteed that I would not get a new meter because they are "$100 and Bayer Canada is definitely not giving them away for free - and oh by the way how many times do you check your sugar?" in which I should have responded with, "well now, never because someone STOLE my meter..."

Well to my surprise the next day a Bayer Contour USB meter was delivered to my house via Purlator. I guess Bayer wanted to trick me? or just wanted more of my money through buying their strips....


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You Saved My Life!

Sitting in class if you need a pen more than likely your neighbour can lend you theirs, if you standing in line at Tim Hortons and you need a dime, more than likely the person standing behind you will lend you one. However, if you're diabetic and you hear that little low battery beep, who in the world are you going to ask "do you happen to carry triple a batteries to school with you?"

Thankfully when I heard that beep today and looked down at my pump - I had two options to either deal with it and go without a pump for two hours or ask my handy new found diabetic friend Michelle! I contemplated on asking because I didn't want to seem as unprepared as I was for this circumstance, but it turned out the reason she had so many batteries with her was because she was in that situation a couple weeks ago.

So, of course I had to add in the cheesy line, "you saved my life" as I thanked her and thought to myself - how weird is this someone that I can just depend on...(not that I am going to start borrowing/taking all her stuff) but it's a relief to know that there is someone in the room who actually has all the same stuff and knows what it is like. I know that I am definitely willing to let her borrow/take anything from me - we diabetics must stick together!

It was just a good feeling - almost like being back at slipstream! P.s Hank put together an amazing video of slipstream that I want all my readers to check out!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Blame it on the Diabetes

It is easy to blame things on diabetes. If I have a headache I assume that something is wrong with my sugar, if I have a stomach ache I think my sugar must be high, if I am feeling hyper once again I am off to check my blood sugar.

Everything in your life as a diabetic becomes part of your diabetes. If your child was running around wild throughout the house you wouldn't think - I better check his sugar.. or if you had a headache you wouldn't assume - oh there must be something out of whack with my sugar. These things just happen, yet when you are diabetic you seem to think you have managed your diabetes wrong and now you are suffering the consequences.

We think we know this, we think we have our lives separated from our d-life and our social life. But, there is no divider and believe it not more then likely that headache is from your sugar dropping too fast or rising above normal and that uncontrollable laugher is probably a result of your 19.3 blood sugar.

Normal, regular people don't have to check their sugar at times like these because a. no one is telling them too and b. they don't need to know. For some reason all those little moments that you had when you were 'normal' are different when you are 'diabetic.' Not a moment will ever be the same when you are diabetic - trust me.

Sometimes I look on the bright side of things for times like this - I have access to tools and people that can help me stay healthy and with that I know exactly what my body is like and what it does and I can see patterns - that is something most people can't do.

Even though sometimes when we are laying on the floor holding our stomach, tears in our eyes, laughing at stupid jokes and continue when the stupid jokes stop - we hope that our sugars are not out of whack -they usually are and that is alright! (because it's funny at the time...)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

21 days.

In 21 days I have had diabetes for two years. Two years... I can't believe that it has been two years. On one hand it feels like I have had this all my life - I honestly cannot believe that I used to be able to eat candy and not have to worry about it. But, on the other hand it feels like I just found out I have diabetes.

I think that this disease had made me live. When I think of all the things I have accomplished in the past two years I wonder how my life would have turned out if I hadn't been diagnosed. No one wants to be told they have anything. No one wants to have to watch what they eat, take extra precautions, people just want to live life the way they want and when someone is handed an obstacle that all gets thrown out the window.

But, when it's all thrown out the window you can rebuild and start a new life. Of course old things make it through, but really, you begin something new. You build a new lingo for things that others won't understand or may think is strange. To me everything is sugar, I constantly say, "how much sugar does that have?" or "that has a lot of sugar!" or "I have to check my sugar" everything is sugar.

You learn to accept it and live with it, yeah I talk about diabetes like it's the hip thing to have now a days, but that is proof that I have accepted the fact that I have to live with diabetes every single day, every single second, minute, hour, special occasion etc. Diabetes doesn't turn off, so I had to realize that and deal with it.

My life isn't the same since being diagnosed, but that doesn't erase the past or predict the future.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Quit!

Okay, I hate quitting; however, I could not take it anymore - I was so hungry! There comes a point when you know you just need certain foods at certain times and this was the time - I needed food that was not vegan - I just wanted to eat.

So, I made fish and a baked potato and added butter - it trust me I did feel bad for quitting and announced it the entire house, followed by me having a piece of cheese and yelling, "I AM EATING CHEESE!" I was not going to come on here and lie, so I basically let everyone know I had stopped and don't really plan on continuing, BUT I will make myself that yummy spinach salad, eat the same breakfast with the almond milk (until it's gone) and make those good sweet potato fries!

I realize it was short lived, but hey I tried it! Once I let Brian know I quit - he quit as well. Once I told Michelle I quit - she encouraged I go out with a bang and get candy, chocolate the works... so I did....

Even though the food I was preparing was healthy - I did not find it filled me and it did not hold my blood sugars which in turn led to a few lows - which can be rather annoying. I look forward to going to the store and making more creative meals that do involve meat and dairy because that's just my thing!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Me + Food

This is the second day that I have attempted being vegan and it was once again a success. Even though this is only the second day I miss my dairy and meat including fish. I completely acknowledge and understand people's motives for going vegan and respect that! If anything they deserve a pat on the back for being so aware and motivated!

I am planning on continuing full on 'veganing' until dinner time Friday night. Which I know isn't a full seven days; rather, only 3.5 but I know that going home for the long weekend will not work with this and honestly I have learned so much from this already that I am willing to carry over meals I have enjoyed without meat and dairy to my regular diet.

As far as blood sugars they have been good, but I wouldn't guarantee that, that is in direct relation to no meat or dairy. Of course what I eat reflects my blood sugars, but also what I do reflects it and I have been going to the gym the past two days.

More then ever I have been faced with realizing what I eat is important. It is important in so many ways - when I eat it isn't about making something sitting down and just shoving it in my mouth. I have and ever since being diagnosed have had to think about what I was eating. I had to make calculations in my head and think about whether or not it was going to hold me over for two hours or drop me into a low quicker than I could react. I have had to look beyond the label and figure out whether or not it is good or bad, worth it or not worth it.

Being diabetic makes you look at food as carbs not as apples, oranges, cheesecake or tarts; diabetics see 15 grams, 35 grams, and holy crap, 100 grams.

So, with that, I have to enjoy what I am making to make it worth the calculations and preparation and I think with the idea of veganism in my head - I can make my regular diet work and look good.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bring Colour

Day one of the vegan challenge and I have survived! I was so scared that it would be a total flop the first day - too tempted by food around me, but I managed to stick with the rules. I actually had fun with thinking of meals that did not contain meat or dairy products and when I decided to make a spinach fruit salad, I was excited to go to the grocery store and look at other fruit and vegetables that were available.

I think that this challenge will open my eyes to a lot of things; however, I do not for see myself stopping meat and dairy all together. I do enjoy milk, cheese etc. but doing this challenge - only one day in, I have realized how I badly I need to give my body more variety.

I often go without the fruit or vegetables because it's boring to just boil frozen carrots and broccoli and top it with cheese whiz. But, so far I have realized that vegetables are important and don't have to be boring.

Today I prepared myself three meals that were tasty and made me feel great - as in I had no regret. I even went to the gym today with energy to run. Okay, this totally could be in my head, I mean it's not like eating healthy one day can benefit you that much, but whether or not it's in your head or real - if it's a healthy pursuit then let's dream!

I know that my friend Brian has hopped on board with the Veganism; however, he was out of ideas as to what to prepare! I think this challenge has allowed me to think outside the box - so for the first time I made sweet potato fries which I rolled in extra virgin olive oil and baked in the oven and they were delicious!

Hopefully throughout the week I can become more creative with my food and enjoy more of the pretty colours food has to offer - often our plates look way too bland.

So, I look forward to tomorrow - see what it brings me!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Grocery List

I printed off the grocery list from Oprah's site and headed off to Zehrs to begin my challenge. Who knew that the first obstacle would be sorting through all the food items to find things that looked a. appetizing and b. within a good price range.

It seemed that either the food looked inedible or was so expensive I couldn't comprehend why. So, in my grocery cart, I added some familiar foods such as trail mix, apples and peppers and some unfamiliar things like almond milk, soy yogurt and steel oats. I couldn't get up the courage to buy any tofu. . . . like I picked it up, and put it back down.

The biggest worry I have is that I may not have bought enough food, but knowing that at any time I could quit I did not really want to buy too much. This may be really good for me since I do not eat as much fruits & vegetables as I should.

For right now I already give vegan people credit because first of all it's an expensive, lonely world and no one really understands. So far the majority of reactions to my experiment is that it is stupid and why am I doing it! And this isn't even a complete overhaul - it's simply just an experiment.

So the food is ready to go and the challenge starts tomorrow and will either end or continue on next Tuesday - we will see.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Challenge Me!

Okay, I cannot believe I am going to attempt this because I know it won't last long; however after watching Oprah's show on Veganism, I am going to attempt it. WHAT? I know, I am going to attempt to not drink milk, eat meat, and all that other stuff that I eat all the time. (Let me just say, I just had a sip of milk as I wrote that statement...)

Anyways, on Oprah they talked about the benefits of going vegan and personally I know that hardly anyone I know is Vegan and are living health lives, but hey, why not give it a shot and see what all this hype is about it. I would hate to 'bash' something without trying it. Please also note that just because Oprah said this, isn't a good enough reason to do this.

My reasons for trying this is because of the benefits it has provided for people. I have researched it and found that a lot of people look at it as a cleansing method - so we will see? Having diabetes should not get in the way of this; however, could it benefit my sugars? We will see. I am also anemic; therefore I will be making sure to take my pills!

Basically you can find the ins and outs about being vegan on the Oprah site:

This is an experiment in my eyes and I am looking for people to join me (Wow, I sound like Oprah!) I will start on Tuesday because I know that people will not want to start on Valentine's day with me. If you are willing to try with me then let me know! We can go through this horrible challenge together!

So, I am looking forward to hopefully seeing results!


Friday, February 11, 2011

The Diabetic's Purse

I do a lot of moving around, London by week, and Brantford by weekend. I go to all different places in between and with that I have to be prepared for anything. I don't know if anyone has ever taken a look inside the purse or backpack of a diabetic, but if you haven't you would be surprised at all the junk we lug around with us.

An unprepared diabetic is in for a lot of trouble because even though food seems always readily available it is not so much when you are on a highway with no exit for 100 km, or when you are writing a midterm, or when you are up in the mountains! I am sure my point is made - you never know when there actually will not be food available! Therefore diabetics have snacks beyond snacks (that hopefully they didn't eat before they actually needed it) and they probably carry Dex4 tabs which to anyone else look like giant Sweet Tarts.

With that there might be a couple vials of insulin! I do not know how many times I thought I had enough insulin in my pump and then ended up having to reduce my pump to about 50% in order to keep myself from running out. Not a smart diabetic - really I should always make sure I have insulin, or that I'm are within a nice range of a pharmacy where I can beg for insulin!

Strips, strips, strips those stupid things that just get everywhere, on the floor on the counter - so much that your roommates have named them your little minions. Those strips do eventually run out, even those 100 strip bottles. Pretty sure I have ran out of strips more than anyone else and it is always at the worst times!

Also, I don't know about anyone else, but when I forget to bring my meter places - I begin to panic. As if I would have checked my sugar 10 times in the hour that I was gone out, but hey all of a sudden I think I should check my sugar and know what it is because for some reason I now feel odd (i.e panicked...) So that is something that you will also find in a diabetics bag! Maybe even a couple? I personally carry both my USB meter and my meter that talks to my pump.

Another thing is those sanitize pads that if you have a pump you probably use to clean your skin before putting on a site. I don't believe it is the end of the world if these are not used, but I always carry a couple on me just in case! But most importantly pumper or injector, either or, the diabetic probably is carrying the stuff that helps them receive the insulin! This could be a site, needle tips, syringes, batteries etc.

So, now that you know some of the things that diabetics are carrying every single day - imagine these diabetics going to the airport! Ha!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Yes, Fire.

It's official I have registered for the Warrior Dash ( and I am pretty sure that it will be the hardest thing that I have yet to overcome! Not only does the 5k obstacle race of a mud pit under barbed wire - it also has a section that you have to jump through fire...yes, fire.

I have also registered my parents who agreed to sign up (Don't worry I didn't just sign them up without letting them know) I did not give them much time; however, to think about what they were signing up for (like a good saleswomen).

I know that I should probably start training for this race - but I am not too sure how I could do anything different in my regular routine to accommodate for this race. It is not like there are any fire pits in the area that I can start leaping over; however, there is a junkyard down the street that I could practice the "junkyard jam" portion in.

I am really excited about this, like all the other events I sign up for because it allows me to challenge myself. I love that I was introduced to all these different events because it adds a little more spice to my life story. In the future I can tell my grand kids, "Yeah, Grandma did the Warrior Dash.. and she jumped through fire..." It's just that exciting!

It is truly all about getting out and active and having a good time doing it! If you hate gyms and running mindlessly on treadmills that find a fun way to get out and burn those calories and get some fresh air!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Sorry, you don't know me..."

"Sorry you don't know me, but I see you have a pump." - Okay by a raise of hands (not that I can see them or anything) who has said this to some stranger you saw at the bus stop, in a lecture hall, waiting in line at the mall, in the bathroom, at the zoo? I am sure everyone has said it at least once and if it wasn't a pump you saw it was an injection pen or a meter.

We all do it and most likely someone has said it to us. I know that last year I had a girl say, "HEY YOU HAVE AN INSULIN PUMP!" right in the middle of class as I handed in an assignment. But, do we cringe and get embarrassed (well maybe if you are afraid of being called out in class) but most of us get so excited that we have found one of our own that were are already getting into detail of when we were diagnosed and how.

Normally I can be pretty shy when it comes to randomly walking up to a stranger and pointing on something on their body. But, when I see that tubing coming from under their shirt leading directly into their back pocket, I know that I am about to make a new 'diabetic' friend.

Today, as I was waiting to go into the classroom I looked over and there it was, a black medtronic insulin pump hanging off a girls front pocket. I don't even think I thought twice, before I knew it was I patting her on the arm saying, "YOU HAVE A PUMP! ME TOO!" pulling out my pump from my back pocket - as if I wanted to prove it with evidence (because you know all those people that just act like they have diabetes . . . .)

She actually already knew I had a pump since we had to embarrassingly tell the class one interesting thing about us and of course I said I wear an insulin pump (because that's interesting!) well apparently it wasn't rare either in that class. Anyways, we began to talk about when we were diagnosed and when we got our pumps and it was just a good start to my day.

From now on, I guess if I hear a b/g reminder sound or a low battery alert - I can't assume it's me.


Sunday, February 6, 2011


I have always been a really creative person. I love doing things that I know I can make look pretty and fun, so when we are asked to do a Powerpoint in school - I am your go to girl. My creativity comes in many different forms like scrap booking and be able to make up parody songs on the fly.

Lately I have been extremely creative, always thinking of things I can do. Luckily there was a project to be done that involved a power point, so I took care of that. But, other than the power point I have been playing around with diabetes parodies. As much as diabetes is a serious disease I know the fun side of being type 1.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Summer's Bucket List

This summer/spring's bucket list is growing quickly. Since being diagnosed I have packed my summer weekends with crazy events and I wouldn't have it any other way. I had never felt such a sense of accomplishment until I began getting involved in these events and can hardly wait to keep on doing them for the rest of my life.

I am looking at doing a couple things right now first being the Beach Volleyball Tournament which is in Toronto. Although I am not too great at playing the game, it was so much fun last year with my family and friends and 50 or so other diabetics and their friends and families.

The second thing is the Mud Run! This will be my third mud run, and I clearly praise them! They are a great way to have fun while running and the biggest reward at the end is the huge mud pit! The third thing is the give-it-a-tri triathlon! I did this last year and I am looking to improve my time since I found it so difficult last year.

The fourth thing is so exciting I can barely contain myself, it's called the Warrior Dash! This 5k obstacle course race is filled with some pretty scary obstacles that will be sure to test my endurance and insanity.

So look forward to reading about all my events, as much as I look forward to doing them! Also, if you are interested in doing any of the events let me know! You don't have to be diabetic - just have to like one. haha!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Diet Pop Obsession

We all have our fix or our go to food/drink when we need that sense of relaxation. For some this comes from coffee, tea or alcohol. But, for a good chunk out there I believe it comes from diet coke. The reason I believe this is because I am in fact obsessed with diet coke. This may stem from many different things, but after spending a weekend up north with diabetics I feel like this could possibly be a common obsession.

Diet Coke has 45.6 milligrams of caffeine in it and when comparing that to your average Starbucks Grande Coffee (16oz) which has 330 milligrams of caffeine in it - Diet coke seems to rank better. However, those that are obsessed with diet coke - may not be just drinking one or two cans per day.

Now, I admit, I drink about one to two cans of diet coke or diet pop a day. Since I live on my own I don't always buy it because it can get pretty pricey, but I somehow manage to get myself a can, i.e roommates. Being obsessed with diet coke may stem from my mom (sorry mom!) who drinks diet coke probably once a day, but diet coke could also stem from my diagnosis of diabetes.

Who wants to take insulin for milk, juice or regular pop? Especially if you are on the pen injections you don't want to be stabbing yourself for hydration and of course I always get, "why don't you just drink water!" but I am, and after awhile water isn't what I am craving or wanting at all. The fact is that I can drink a diet coke without checking my sugar or giving myself insulin.

So I am curious! Is diet coke one of your obsessions?


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sincerely a Misunderstood Diabetic

At slipstream big papers were laid out on tables all around the Core. The papers each had a label such as food & nutrition, relationships, etc. and with that we could all go around and write down how we felt about each, if we had a question about something or an answer.

One of the ones that stood out to me (although they all did) was the Rants, Raves and Rages page where we could all therapeutically write down the frustrations of being diabetic. Although there were things that went along the lines of hating the actual motions of being diabetic the page was more so about how the public views type 1 diabetics - if they even know what type 1 diabetes is.

Before I begin, I note that we are all ignorant about other diseases that don't directly affect us. However, when you are faced with a disease I think you gain a certain empathy for others that are going through struggles. I feel like the disease we are given is a gift, we then start to plan for a bigger, better life and hope that we can pass on this new found freedom per say to others who are living average lives.

Almost every day of a diabetics life they encounter false labels. "You're not fat?" "You're diabetic! My cat is diabetic!" "Can you have this? It has sugar?" "Oh, you must have really nice skin because you don't eat anything bad!" "Diabetes will kill you." "Why are you eating that?" "I thought only old people had diabetes?" "You I have diabetes, I understand because I have an allergy!"

These statements are said to us all the time, and I know there are like 1000 more, not including the way people look at us in regards to mentioning we have diabetes, seeing our pump or us prick our fingers. We are constantly being judged for something that we had no control over and know that is nothing what anyone gives us credit for.

After realizing that so many diabetics out there are misunderstood and are faced with ignorant question after another and for us to all get together and talk about it and write it down was refreshing.

I am trying to get a movement out there about breaking the labels, stereotypes and overall dumb questions. Hopefully soon you will be able to upload your frustration via video blog to educate those around us, that your cat being diabetics is not similar to me being diabetic.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tighten Up

At any doctor's appointment or D.E.C appointment you attend you are usually if not always told you need to tighten up your blood sugar or you COULD tighten up your blood sugar. I know that for me, I would easily brush this off because who in the world has time to tighten up their blood sugar. Personally, I juggle school, work (sometimes), homework, and a personal life and I feel like this is pretty common among my diabetic friends.

For awhile hearing the word, "tighten up your blood sugar" made me think of lacing up skates. First of all skates are uncomfortable and sometimes it can be uncomfortable trying to manage your blood sugar because it does not come natural to have to think about your body in those terms (plus it's not natural to walk on blades). When we tighten skates or have our skates tightened for us - we leave no room for movement. The doctors want us to pretty much have no movement in our blood sugars and as all diabetics know that is not impossible.

No matter how hard I try I will never have perfect blood sugars like the Endo's want. I will not be able to tighten my blood sugar to the point of no movement. The fact is that I live with diabetes every single day of my life not just the day I see the doctor.

We can all strive for perfection, but perfection does not mean happiness or success. I personally have been trying to maintain good blood sugars, but I do not expect to never reach the teen's. I know that my body is always changing, I'm always moving and I am living life not by how tight I can make my sugars, but how exciting I can make my life.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Don't You Wish

Don't you wish that the inspiration you gained from the weekend could be explained to others who weren't there? As much as we try to explain how it feels to be up there - nothing comes close to how you actually felt and feel.

After being at winter slipstream I feel alive and at what moment I felt that - well there was many. I recall specific moments where I began to live a little bit more and smile a little bit more. The first experience was on the first night when we got to know each other. I kept thinking, "wow, these people are all diabetic and know matter what I say they know exactly how I feel." I also was thinking how individual I feel at home with my pump and meter and how now I feel 'normal' within this group.

The second moment occurred during the challenge course. Which looked impossible, but of course was not. Four of us had to climb up the pole, stand together on the top and then we leaned back relying on each other. When I got to the top, (knowing at the back of mind I was going to accomplish this) I felt alive. I felt amazing, looking down below, above and beyond. I felt like I could do anything and will do anything.

Another moment was when I went skiing for the first time ever in my life. To add to this brand new experience I was in the dark and on a frozen lake. On the way back I was for the most part by myself focusing on gliding without falling - and at one moment I stopped and just smiled. It felt good, just standing on skis, in the dark, with the stars, on the lake, smiling. I began to think, "Wow, if I knew diabetes would take me here, I would recommend this disease to anyone!"

The following moment came shortly after in the core. As we drank hot chocolate and talked about diabetes, travel, adventure and family amongst one another. It was absolutely amazing, and I stayed up until 2 a.m just talking about things that I could never talk about otherwise for that long.

Then at 2 a.m as I was walking back to my cabin alone, I looked up at the stars - that were amazing and once again smiled, knowing that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now with my life... I was proud of myself and proud to be a diabetic.

There were many moments like this throughout the weekend, but these are the ones that stood out the most to me. I am sure other diabetics at slipstream have moments similar to these that occurred during the weekend.