Whirlwind

So…I finally have a chance to sit down, relax, and breathe again!

This has been the most stressful fall of my life, which is why my blogging has fallen by the wayside.  I’m working full time, taking 2 unviersity courses, working part time doing volleyball reffing, and trying to maintain a healthy social and home life (read: not get mad at, attack, or kill my boyfriend).  September and October were insane, so I’m finally getting some down time and feeling a lot of stress come off my shoulders.  It’s been intense.

With all this stress though, comes another issue.  Burnout.  And not just with my mental or social health.  Nope, this includes diabetes.  I haven’t been checking, dosing or even paying as much attention to it as I should have.  Sometimes I just didn’t feel like it, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t spare the time, and others it was just because I knew I wasn’t going to like the numbers that I saw and I didn’t want to deal with that.  As a result, my A1C has gone up.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good number and for that I’m thankful but I still don’t like it.  I know I can do better, but I just haven’t felt like it.  Ignoring it is easier than dealing with it but I need to get out of that mindset in order to keep myself healthy.  It’s just so damn hard sometimes, and the added stress hasn’t helped. 

The moral of the story is it’s time for me to get back on track.  I have the tools and support I need to do it, I just need to get my butt in gear!  After all the Halloween candy is gone.  (Kidding)  (Sort of.  😛 )

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Old Habits Die Hard

A question I get a lot, from people with and without diabetes, is what it was like to be diagnosed as an adult.  The other diabetics I know here were all diagnosed as kids, so they have a completely different perspective than me.

I’ve thought about it a lot, and I think I’ve finally figured out what it is about it that makes it different.  Being diagnosed as a kid (from what I’ve understood), diabetes is just a part of who you are and what you’ve always known.  The treatment and the habits that come with it are instilled at an early age,

As an adult,  I had 26 years to develop my own habits (both good and bad) and it’s really hard to try to change them now,

I know I’m supposed to test before I drive,

I know I’m supposed to test before and during activity.

I know I’m supposed to pre-bolus 15-30 minutes before a meal.

I know I’m supposed to count every carb I eat and dose appropriately.

While I’m pretty good at doing these most of the time, I also regularly forget.  Particularly the driving one (my bad, and I’m trying to get better I swear!).  I have to break all of my old habits before I can make new ones.  That’s easier said then done.  When you’ve spent 26 years being able to drive or eat whenever you want, it’s very hard to remember the new things you’re supposed to be doing.  For me, this is the biggest difference between an adult and a child diagnosis, and it’s what makes an adult diagnosis hard.  It’s not better or worse than a child diagnosis, it’s just different.  At the end of the day, we’re all in this together, and that’s all that really matters.

 

Good times.

So what happens when a group of Type 1 adults get together to hang out?

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Thanks to Alanna of LifeonT1 for taking the picture for me!

Madness!  So glad I’ve found this amaing group of people!  Also, falling off at 27 hurts more than falling off at 22…or maybe its just the lack of beer! 

Merry 2013!!!

So I meant to write this sooner, but I’ve been laid up with a bug for the past few days.  I haven’t been this sick for a long time and I’m really not a fan!!  However, my blood sugars have thankfully been nice and stable so it’s one thing I haven’t had to worry about.  Also, Halls have sugar.  In case you didn’t know – cause I sure didn’t!

Anyways, Christmas is over again for the year and I had a marvelous vacation!  I left the boyfriend back here in Halifax (in plus temperatures and rain, I might add), while I hopped on a plane back to Alberta and my family.

ImageLittle piece of Northern Alberta heaven right there!  Where they were having the coldest Christmas is 20 years.  Not even kidding.  Temperatures were ranging from -38 to -42.  I went outside for 2 minutes after a shower one afternoon and my hair froze.  True story.  But it was still awesome and amazing to be home and see all of my friends and family that I haven’t seen since last Christmas.  For most of them, this was their first time seeing me since my diagnosis so there were a lot of questions being thrown around.  I also had the chance to talk to my uncle who has Type 2, and it was nice having someone to talk to who knows what’s going on!

I had a blast.  After that it was a trip to Edmonton to see all my friends there and for New Years celebrations.  May have partied a little too hard, as this picture adequately describes me and a friend the next day:

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Courtesy of theberry.com

 However, I had a lot of fun, celebrating with some amazing people that I don’t see often enough! Love and miss you guys!  And in case you’re wondering, singing rugby songs on the way home from the bar makes the walk go much faster…and may cause random strangers to start serenading you with Brittney Spears from their balcony.  True story!

All too soon, I was on my way back to Halifax where I was attacked by this nasty bug.  Jerk.

On the diabetes front, my blood sugars were a mess all holiday, partly from all of the food and treats, and partly from me being in denial about them being high.  16?  No big deal, I’ll just take some insulin!  Damn you A&W milkshake!!!  I did finally realize though, that I now have to start with insulin again for most meals.  I saw my old Dr when I was home, and he gave me a stern talking to about my control.  The man has been treating me for 20 years and I have a whole lot of respect for him.  I needed that, and it’s got me focused again on maintaining good control.  I also now have a special note on my file with him that says I can have an appointment with him anytime, even if it’s same day.  Did I mention he’s amazing???

So my pancreas is starting to slow down again.  But I’m handling it so far, and with the addition of pre-meal insulin, it’s been holding steady.  Here’s hoping it continues!

2012 was an interesting year, and so far 2013 is looking to be the same.  Besides my fundraising efforts for the Canadian Diabetes Association, I’ve also started school again this winter part time!!!  Crazy?  Perhaps.  But at least it won’t be boring!  Bring it on 2013!

I’m leaving you with my favourite picture from this holiday season.  The Northern Alberta traffic jam:

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Yes that’s a real picture.  Came upon it going to a friend’s house.  Only in Northern Alberta!!

Giving Thanks

So today wraps up the Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada; a time to get together with family and friends and feast on as much food as humanly possible.  With that being said, this was my first holiday as a diabetic so it was a little different.  Even though I’m still honeymooning, I was a little more responsible in terms of how much and what I ate.  Different, but not that bad.  With this diagnosis, I really started reflecting on everything I’m truly thankful for this year, even more so than past years.

Things I’m thankful for:

1.  My life. 

I am extraordinarily thankful to be living in a time and a country where I have relatively easy access to the tools I need to effectively manage my disease.  Had this been a hundred years ago, I likely would’ve been dead or very, very sick right now.  So I am grateful for being able to get up and have dinner with friends today.  If circumstances were different, it could’ve been completely different,

2.  My family.

  Even though they’re thousands of miles away, completely across the country, just talking to them on the phone instantly improves my day.  Especially my sister (she’s my favourite!)  It’s hard to be so far away from them, but I know that they love me, and they’d do as much as they could for me, no matter where I am.  They’ve been extremely supportive through this diagnosis, and I try not to worry them too much.  But I know they always will.  And I love them for that too.

3.  My friends.

Here in Halifax, or back in a Alberta, I have some of the most amazing friends a girl could ask for.  They’re supportive, fun, ridiculous, and have helped me through both good and bad times.  I fully believe that your friends are family that you choose.  Here in Halifax they’re amazing because they’ve taken the place of my family during holidays, so I don’t feel so alone.  And in Edmonton they always welcome me back with open arms and a cold beer.  And to all my friends overseas, I miss you guys like crazy and hope to see you again sometime.  One of my favourite Thanksgivings is still the one I spent abroad, with people who didn’t celebrate it, but still chose to celebrate with me.  For that, I owe them the world.

4.  My boyfriend.

Warning: the following is extremely sappy.  Read with caution!

What can I say, he’s an amazing man!  He was holding my hand when the doctor told me I had diabetes, and stayed with me all through my hospital stay the next night.  He never left my side that whole time.  He came with me to education appointments, helped me to stock up and organize supplies, and talked me through giving my first injection (although he later admitted to laughing at me in his head the whole time!).  He’s a lovable, sarcastic asshole, and I couldn’t be happier to have him in my life.

So that’s what I’m thankful for this year.  Call me sappy and sentimental, but I’ve had a slight change in perspective the last few months.  So take some time to think about what you’re truly thankful for, and take the time to appreciate it.  Trust me.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Goals, they are a changin!

Yesterday was a big day for me.  After two years of work, through all of life’s ups, downs and distractions (including a diabetes diagnosis) I finally reached a milestone in my training.  5 chin ups!  In a row.  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was close before I got diagnosed, doing about 3 in a row, and when I got sick I thought it would take me another long while before I got close again.  But here I am, almost 4 months after diagnosis and I pulled myself up over that bar 5 freaking times!  Cue excited music, and in my head happy dance! 

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I wish my happy dance was this cool…

This also makes me happy because as of this week, my goals have officially changed.  I found out that I no longer qualify for the powerlifting meet I wanted to do (they changed the qualifying numbers and I came up about 30lbs short…damnit!!) so I found something else to work towards.

A 10km run.

In Iceland.

No, I’m not kidding!  I signed up to be a part of the Team Diabetes fundraiser for the Canadian Diabetes Association, so I agreed to raise at least $6100 for them, and they’ll fly me to Iceland to participate in the event.  I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland, and if I can manage to go while raising money for diabetes, then all the better!!

ImageNow here’s the kicker…I hate running. 

Actually, that’s not fair.  I don’t hate running, it’s just not my favourite form of activity.  As I’ve mention numerous times before, I love weight training.  There’s just something about lifting heavy stuff that makes me feel so amazing, healthy and powerful.  Running makes me feel like I’m going to die.  My sister was always the runner, not me.  So to do this is going to require some extra dedication on my part.

Because I didn’t just sign up for the race.  No no no no no.  That would be too easy.  I also set a time goal for myself (obviously I’m an idiot).  I ran the Bluenose 10km race here in Halifax last May, and I managed to do that in 1:04:32 or something like that.  So for this one, I’m aiming for 55 minutes or less.  Who does that???  Answer:  Crazy people.

So now my fitness goals are going to be working on my endurance and running speed, while trying to maintain strength (after all, the Nova Scotia provincial powerlifting meet is in the spring!).  I’ll be keeping my time in the weight room as well as now adding runs in when I can.  Sounds like fun eh?  I’ll let you know how it goes. Just so you can laugh at my expense.  I’m not above a little self deprecating humour!

 

Also, if any of you would like to make a donation to myself and Team Diabetes, please click here.  Every little bit helps!