Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: Contour Next One

I had the opportunity to try out Ascensia's Contour Next One blood glucose meter along with the smart app that comes along with it! I used the meter for a week (and have continued since) and here are things I absolutely love about it!

1. It was super easy to connect to my smartphone

I am not one for having incredible patience... in fact I like things fairly quick, like microwave quick. This app was super easy to set up and it didn't require a whole bunch of information to get started. Also, the fact that it syncs on its own and I don't have to manually do anything is a big bonus!   I have used apps before, that require a lot of information which adds up a lot of time. This app is quick and easy to use!

2. The graphics are so simple, so pretty!

This app was designed very well! It's easy to read, easy to understand and I find it is actually quite encouraging.  Your blood sugar readings are in big font, the graph of your past blood sugars is lined nicely above... everything about the layout gives you the quick facts (what you actually need to know) on your smartphone.

3.  The meter is easy to use plus has a new feature called smartLight Technology!

This meter is very compact, which makes it awesome for throwing in your clutch or pocket. Also, it also allows you to do second chance sampling!

The other added feature to this meter is the smartLight technology, which gives you a marker of how your blood sugar is, by way of shining a light, green, yellow and red, and I can assume that you know what each colour would indicate.  While the coloured light feature seems a bit extra for someone who is able to read their blood sugars off the meter, I can see this feature being a great marker for those that are older living with diabetes who may require extra notice of blood sugars and their meanings as well as children with diabetes!

This post was sponsored by Ascensia Diabetes Care Canada Inc., but the thoughts are my own.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Managing Stress with Diabetes

For those that do not live with diabetes, you may notice things happen when you're stressed. Maybe you are more forgetful, your hair falls out, or you've gained a couple extra pounds.  All of this can happen when we stress our bodies and mind out and it's not a surprise that when you live with diabetes, stress will also effect your diabetes.

I don't mean to brag, but I am pretty good at stressing myself out...I have always been a fairly anxious person, even as a child.  It took me a long while as a child to be brave enough to leave my mom over long periods of time and I often worried about things like getting lost and people breaking into the house as a child.   So, as an adult, while those specific fears have faded, they're replaced with anxiousness about other things.

While I wouldn't say my stress levels effect my day-to-day life greatly, it seems to be reaping havoc on my blood sugars.  I have almost doubled my insulin intake this winter. I am at an all time high for insulin dosages.   As I have been working on various ways to lower my stress such as taking baths, going for walks/the gym, taking time to go to stores I love,  giving myself projects to work on and visiting with friends .... it can be relatively hard to calm my mind and my body.

Managing stress and diabetes is difficult, you get all the symptoms others get with stress, but also the issues with blood sugars or motivation to care for yourself.  It takes a lot of mental talk and commitment to focus on how to be less stressed; which, is much more easier said than done.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I Imagine

It's hard to believe that I lived eighteen years without diabetes, much longer than I have had diabetes.  The weirdest part about it is that I barely remember what it was like to not live with diabetes.  I see old home videos of me, finding chocolate easter eggs at Easter, not even thinking twice about what that meant for my blood sugar or health.  I see pictures of me at my birthday parties, pizza slices, orange pop and chocolate cake, and wonder, wow, I really could just eat all that and not even worry!

I started to think of the things that would be amazing if diabetes was ever to be cured (not holding my breath) and this is what I thought of:

1. I could eat without consequence 

Okay, so any human who eats junk food has consequences, which would be weight gain etc. However, literally everything that I put in my mouth I have to think about how it's going to play a roll in my blood sugar, which ties into everything else, including mood, energy etc.  I imagine what it would be like to go out for dinner with friends and order something without thinking, 'oh my gosh, I am going to need half my vial of insulin to cover this..."

2. I could sleep without fear or interruption 

I am not scared to sleep, but I am often faced with so many obstacles when trying to get a good night of sleep.  There is rarely a night that I am not up for....

a. a low blood sugar...
b. a high blood sugar (having to use the washroom...)
c. my pump vibrating for who knows what reason...

I imagine sleeping a full night without having to get up nor worry about diabetes.

3. I would have so much more brain space for other things

I literally think about diabetes so much. From checking, correcting, forgetting, calculating, eating, carb counting... you name it, it's on my mind.

I imagine that if I didn't have diabetes, I would have so much more concentration and energy to think of other things and get more things done.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Invite Positive

It's February, the month of love and the hope that there will be more sunshine than last month! January felt like a super long month for me. I have no idea why,  but it was cold, dark and gloomy most of the day and it was incredibly hard to keep motivated.

I love how a new month seems to always kick everyone in gear, the only trouble is, the first of the month always seems to be everyone's tell-tale of how your month will go, even though, I am pretty sure that it actually has no connection.

This morning I had a meeting downtown, and while I was super excited that the sun was shining through, I had been up super early because of a low blood sugar, then fell back asleep, then woke up again, so my mind was all over the place.  I got ready, brushed off my car, then scrapped off my car (the ice is the worst!)  and went on my way. Of course there was steady traffic all the way there and I was running behind thinking, "is this the kind of month it is going to be?" 

Upon arriving a paid for parking, and walked into the meeting a few minutes late, but relieved it was nothing too drastic, for those that know me well, I am hardly ever late. In the back of my head, still figuring out if this was destined to be good or bad month, I thought, wouldn't that be awful if I got a parking ticket.  While that occupied my mind, I left as with three minutes to spare on parking meter and drove off, thinking well maybe it will be okay.

I think this is sometimes how we approach diabetes as well.  We wake up in the morning...(or several times during the night) and we determine what kind of day it is going to be.  We have a high blood sugar pre breakfast, which makes us choose eggs over cereal, and we dread what will come next.  It is sort of setting ourselves up for failure, because I believe once we focus on the negative, we are bound to fall into more negative scenarios.

While we cannot control it all, I think that we do have some control over what we invite into our lives, whether that be 'bad' days or 'good' days.   Being late is bound to happen, running out of coffee could be a possibility (scary one at that..) but this doesn't mean that the day is ruined or broken. This month I am going to try and invite positive into my life.