Monday, June 27, 2011

Mr. Diabetes

Thanks to all who put up with me & diabetes. Who is diabetes you ask? Well of course it is that little guy that clings on to me and never lets go, 24/7 through weekends and holidays - you know that guy!

Diabetes isn't something you ask for.  It's not like you text me asking to speak to diabetes, but hey! in some circumstances he does answers. He answers with his mean streak or his moody side.  Diabetes can show up at anytime you know that night when I just woudn't stop annoying you - that wasn't me that was diabetes.  You know that time you thought I was crazy laughing all the time so much I had to leave the room well sometimes diabetes can't control himself.

So you know diabetes, Mr. Diabetes and his side kick Mr. Pump. They work together, but don't always include me in their plans.  They plan to go high when I plan to go out and they plan to go low when I plan to sleep.  Either way Mr. Diabetes has got it figured out when the least appropriate time (if there ever was a time) occurs that is when he will act up, his sidekick has the same mentality - "I will run out of insulin when she is late for work or when she is just about to go to  bed after a long day."

Mr. Diabetes never sent me a friend request rather he just added himself to my friends list.  He has got to be my most expensive friend, always wanting me to buy him things like insulin, test strips and dex tabs.  He can be terribly needy like I said he wants to be acknowledged 24/7.  But his sidekick is just as needy and the only reason is sidekick is around is because his ex friend syringe was becoming a hassle.

I guess it would be rude not to thank Mr. Diabetes in some way or another. After all he introduced to me to all his friends and the wonderful people that his friends also cling too like Chloe, Jenn R, Jen, Meredith, Stephanie, Imran etc.   At least I know they have a Mr. or Mrs. Diabetes friend too.

Overall I guess Mr. Diabetes and his sidekick aren't that bad maybe it is because we have grown so close or because I am dealing with Mr.Kidney Infection who seems to be a bigger pain in the butt than Mr. Diabetes. Either way, I will manage with all the friends I make along the way.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

5k of Support

Today was the Walk to Cure diabetes and I can hardly believe that that was the third one I participated in. I am starting to feel like an old diabetic. Not sure new to the game anymore.  However, it was nice seeing some familiar faces on other teams as well as seeing the great support I receive from my family and friends that walked with Team KK!

I am so proud of our team no matter how much we raise because with every dollar we may be  closer to a cure, but with every person that comes out we have already reached the support and love that we need.

I haven't been blogging lately, but that is pure just being busy and a little bit of having nothing to say, surprisingly.  Everything this year seems to be going much faster than any other year - is it true the older you get the faster that days go by? If so, I wouldn't mind going back in time!

I am really excited for the summer however, it means I get to spend more time with Clinton and the family. I would totally say Michelle; however, since we are living together next year I can't see how we could hang out 'more' this summer.

I want to say a special thanks to those who came out to the walk today as well, Clinton, Abby, Dad, Mom, Brenden, Michelle, Joanne, Mark, Luke, Amber, Aunt Lisa, Matheson, Nancy, Zoey, Buddy & Reese.

Also a huge thanks to all those that donated and a special thanks to Shannon Maheu and her family for holding a JDRF garage sale and also collecting money!  Thank you everyone!


Thursday, June 16, 2011


Diabetes wasn't always a part of my resume.  I knew nothing about diabetes, nor cared to know more about it because it just wasn't part of my life.  Of course if someone had told me about their diabetes, I would be very interested to know how they live etc. however when something doesn't directly connect with you, we often become ignorant.

I know that there are so many other diseases out in the world and it hurts to know that children, teens, adults and seniors suffer every day and battle such diseases.   Being diagnosed with diabetes has opened my eyes to an entire new world - a world that isn't so care free and beautiful.  Yes, of course we can all live a beautiful life; however, we find great understanding of the world around us when we realize how lucky we are to be living the way we do and that there is so much out there that we can do to help.

I would't say my life is hard by any means.  Despite living with diabetes I am a healthy twenty year old girl who is educated, creative and motivated.  I live well in Canada and should never complain, but who doesn't complain every now and then?

For me, my biggest concern is managing my diabetes in a way that won't hurt my future.  It seems that finding that perfect blood sugar is much harder than any doctor seems to think.  I'd love to have an A1C of 6.5, but who has the time and skill to manage diabetes perfectly every single day.

For me, each day is a new start to my diabetes management and the odd time I will be totally excited that I didn't go over 8 while other days I am cursing diabetes because I didn't go lower than 15.  It is just the way diabetes works and sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Diabetes is a lot of work, but it is totally manageable. I am really appreciative of my pump and all of the new research, medication and tools that are now provided for diabetics.  I guess I can say, if I was ever going to be diabetic this was a good time to jump on the bandwagon.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Brand New Book

We hear it all the time that we are about to embark on a new chapter in our lives, but by now I think I am about to begin an entire new book of my life.   In the past two years I have gone through more than what I could have ever imagined for myself. It seems that the saying, 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,'  really has become a prime motto of mine.

Today I headed to London to pick courses and make a time table for my next year of University.  The previous day I had graduated from Fanshawe, talk about closing one door and opening another!  Although Kings is small compared to the main campus of Western, I felt a sense of maturity just walking into the building, I was now a university student!

As time goes on I begin to realize that I am capable of so much and that diabetes is only a part of me.  I think I am walking proof that diabetes is not an excuse to back down nor an excuse to give up; rather, that extra push to try hard and motivate those around you.

I am really excited for this new 'book' of my life, I know that it will be full of great success stories as well as stories of hope and determination.  Of course I am expecting bumps in the road; however, I am prepared to conquer them with all that I have.

Diabetes may get a free education out of me, but I won't let it take me off course.


Monday, June 13, 2011

The Tape Issue

The most annoying part of wearing a pump sometimes has nothing to do with the pump itself; rather, the site.  The site is the white patch that is stuck to my stomach (sometimes people's arms, legs or back) it is stuck with an adhesive much like a bandaid - just white.   The site is there because it holds the tubing inside of my stomach which I put in with a 13 mm needle.  

Because of all the sun I have gotten in the past little while I think that that is the reason my site refuses to stick to my stomach.  I had went through three sites within a matter of a couple days simply because it wouldn't stick.  I tried all kinds of tape, duct tape, medical tape and finally a large medical bandaid.    I just changed my site again today and hopefully my stomach is done 'peeling' and will allow my site to stick because wearing tape and bandaids on top of the site is incredibly annoying. 

I still have yet to venture out into new spots to put my site in like my leg, back or arms.  I most likely will go to my side then to my back before I try my legs or arms. I never  even gave myself regular needles in my arms/legs before.  I simply stick to my stomach because it is comfortable and now after 2 years of needles  I am too scared to try anything new.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Pros & Cons

It has almost been a year with my pump - I can't believe it! I have been living with diabetes for two years and have been wearing a pump for a year!  When I think about all the needles I took for that entire year at times I am thankful that I found the pump earlier than most could.

To me, my insulin pump is more about convenience than anything else. Not having to take four + needles a day is a relief and being able to snack etc. without worrying about pulling out the needle and preparing it is great.    However, at times my pump is something that I absolutely despise about myself because it is on my 24/7 and let's face it anything that you have to keep on you for that long isn't going to always be your best friend.

When I was talking to Clinton about it the other day he kept reminding me that my pump could potentially add years to my life since it is more exact and persistent. No matter how hard I tried to say, "WELL, you don't know that!"  he kept telling me that in the end it is much better for me.  Always reminding me what is best for me and that I can get through whatever life throws at me.

For now, I am not ditching the pump after a year, I am trying hard to embrace having it and at times it is totally easy to do!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Mud!

On Sunday my family got all dressed up to get all muddy!  We left early Sunday morning to head to Toronto to enjoy our third Mud Run!  This year we met up with two other diabetics, Dylan and Stephanie, both apart of Connected in Motion.

Finally after three years the weather was great - sunny and warm.   We ran around the 5k trail into mud slides, ponds and fields!   I am not sure of what our timing ended up being, but we stuck together and had a great time doing it - meeting Dylan after the race.  

I love doing these types of events because not only are they active, but they are also so much fun!  The next event to look forward to is the Warrior Dash which is in July! This one will also be 5k, but it will made up of obstacle courses!

I need to get out and running, but with such warm temperatures outside, I need to wait until night! I am hoping to get to running 2-3 times a week at least!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Slack Days

We all find it hard to stick to things - we set goals for ourselves with determination and motivation, yet eventually decide it just wasn't 'practical' or 'for them'.   With diabetes I can't simply give up, well I could, but the result would be devastating. The facts are that I have to stick with diabetes no matter what it throws at me and as unpractical diabetes is, I have to stick it out.

For almost 19 years of  my life I lived as a non-diabetic.  There was no routine of checking my blood sugar or giving myself insulin - I had no idea that around the world people were doing this and that one day I would be joining them.   When I was diagnosed I was extremely strict with what I did and eventually that wore off.   I am not the 'perfect' diabetic and anyone that claims they are perfect at being diabetic - simply are lying.

Slowly I found a routine that fit me and also accommodated my diabetes because like mentioned before that cannot go without attention.     Some days I feel like going back to when I was eighteen and non-diabetic and that is when I check my sugar a little less and guestimate insulin dosages - YES! It happens, I admit, but don't let me be the only one who has these 'slack' days.

Getting back into routine usually comes from uplifting visits with other diabetics or going to the d.e.c, but in the end I know I will always fall into the routine that best suits both me and my diabetes.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Good Advocate!

Today I had my diabetic education centre appointment (D.E.C) at the hospital. I go pretty much every three months and it is an hour appointment. I really enjoy going to these appointments because the nurses are always so excited to see me and I feel very comfortable telling them/asking them anything and that's the way it should be.

At a lot of the diabetic events I go to we talk a lot about being a good advocate for yourself.  Knowing what you deserve and not attempting to deal with anything less.  This rule can apply to anything in life really -  but when it comes to your health it is important that you are working with a team that cares about you and can at least understand that you are human not just what they studied in University.

For me, my health care team is great and I wouldn't change them for the world on the other hand a lot of people including myself have found a disconnect with their endocrinologists, yet don't both to do anything about it because you have an awesome team in the D.E.C anyways - at least that is my way of thinking about it.

At my appointment we printed off all my charts and looked at them; however, since it was mainly focused on my past vacations it was incredibly unrealistic to judge.  In the last week I suspended my pump enough to equal one day - ONE DAY! Unbelievable! But hey, what's a girl got to do with an un waterproof pump!

My A1C was higher than I thought, but since it is mainly based around the last month I don't have too much to worry about since it is back to regular eating patterns and regular types of activities.  Hopefully in the next couple weeks I can get everything back to normal and let my pump know we won't be going through any time changes or suspending for multiple hours for awhile.

It's time to settle back into reality and focus a little more on diabetes management!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I am back from Mexico (I was back on Saturday night) and it is all back to normal. I will be starting work tomorrow and from then on more and more shifts - I'd say full time starting July until end of August (then it's back to another year of school!)  I had a great, sweaty time in Mexico, it was incredibly hot, but lots of fun!

Overall as far as blood sugar goes I can simply say the words, "all inclusive" and know that the blood sugars weren't so good.  It is incredibly hard to carb count with food that you are a. unfamiliar with and b. have no portion control. My blood sugars were for the majority pretty high and I only went low once and it was strange because my pump was off for a couple hours.

I don't believe that the high blood sugars were because of having my pump off for swimming however, because when I did have my pump off and wasn't eating my sugar was pretty decent (I was doing physical activity though like swimming/water volleyball.

I think that as the week progressed I got more annoyed about having a pump that wasn't waterproof because even though it would be annoying to wear a pump in the water - for things like just hanging out at the swim up bar - it wouldn't have been such a bad idea.  Ah, 4.5 more years and I can get a waterproof one?

Either way that week I was pretty annoyed with my pump in water and out. I am finding it annoying to wear clothes with especially dresses - it just is so uncomfortable.  I am not completely thinking of going back to needles, but sometimes I want to "lose" the pump.

Having Michelle in Mexico was great - she is great company and a hilarious friend and the best part is she has got me covered. For both trips (Aspen & Mexico) she packed me DEX in her backpack without me even asking about it. What a good friend!

Now it's back to reality, but it's super hot here now so a little of Mexico has followed me back. Tomorrow I have my DEC appointment and thank god they are nice women because my blood sugars are CRAZY.    I have some explaining to do - or none at all - depends on understanding they are. I am only human!