Adventures Ahoy!

So I’ve made mention in the past on this blog that I’ve been involved in a fundraising initiative with the Canadian Diabetes Associan, called Team Diabetes.  What it involves is an individual fundraising on behalf of the organization, and if you reach the goals they set out, you  are sent to an exotic locale to compete in a race of varying distances.  It’s an awesome idea, and one that’s used by a few different charities as well.

Well guess what…

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Between September 2012 and July 2013 (approximately 10 months), I met my goal and raised just over $6100 for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Holy shit!

Me!  I did that!  With the help and support of my amazing friends and family, both here in Nova Scotia and back in Alberta.   The really amazing part? of that $6100, only about $1500 came from organized fundraising events.  Meaning that the rest, around $4600, was entirely personal donations.  I’m literally blown away.  To everyone who helped me out, I can’t thank you enough, and I love you all.  I couldn’t have done it without your support and I am so grateful.

And now for the big question…where am I going?

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Reykjavik, Iceland!!

I’m so excited it’s not even funny.  Iceland has been on my list of places to go for a few years now, and I’m stoked!  Especially to do it now, with diabetes, while raising money for diabetes.  I’ll probably be one of those people who cry crossing the finish line.  Not even kidding.

While I’m not doing the full marathon (my body was NOT built for 42km thankyouverymuch), I’ll be doing the 10k distance of the Reykjavik marathon.  The only running I’ve been doing lately is for rugby so I have to start putting on some miles.  I did 7k on Saturday, even though I only meant to do 5…apparently my route planning skills are a big fail.  Things to work on.  I have to do it soon though, I leave in 6 weeks! 

Holy shit…I’m going to Iceland in 6 weeks.  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheating

Back from vacation!!  I spent two gloriously stress free weeks back home in Alberta, enjoying the weather (all the rain seemed to miss us when we were there), eating whatever I wanted (there was camping involved…need I say more?) and catching up with all of my family in friends.  Needless to say it was a great time, and updates will be provided in the next post.

Today, I want to talk about cheating.  I didn’t cheat on my diet (becasue I don’t follow one!  Winning!), a test or on my boyfriend.

No, I cheated on my endo.

*GASP*  THE HORROR!!!

I know right?  I’m a monster!  Here’s the story.  When I moved to Halifax from Edmonton I left behind a GP who had been my doctor for 20 years.  He’s amazing and if I could I’d refer everyone I know to him.  I got a new doc here in Halifax, who is also very good, and he’s the one who diagnosed me with diabetes almost 2 years after my move.  I also have a fabulous endo here who I really like, and who works for me.  So no complaints about my team here, they are really awesome.

However, when I was home last Christmas I went to see my amazing GP, Dr. S.  I actually called him the day after I was diagnosed when I went to emergency and he called me back.  Did I mention he’s unreal?  Anyways, while there he said he wanted to send me to an endo in Edmonton and after I gave him my vacation dates, I got a referral notice for July 4.

So during our vacation, I went to see a doctor.  Fun right?  Got to the clinic, got in right away and sat down to have a chat with him.  Oh my God, this man was amazing.  Very smart, to the point and no bullshit.  I’d seriously consider moving just to see him.  We sat down in his office and the very first thing he says is “What can I do for you?”.  That threw me for a loop.  Isn’t he supposed to tell me what he’s going to do?  Weird…  And get this…he didn’t look at my logbook.  He actually took my meter and downloaded the info onto his computer to look at the graphs and other info.  That was awesome, because as I’ve mentioned before, I hate logging.  This way he got to see all my info, not just the time slots the books ask for so he got a better picture.  My bloodsugars have been wonky lately, waking up with numbers in the 8’s, 9’s and 10s (and that was before all of the vacation food started happening) so it was perfect timing seeing him.  When it came to changing my insulin, the first thing he asked me “What do you think you should do?”  A doctor is asking for my suggestions?  Weird weird weird!!  I said I thought we needed to change my Levemir, and he said I was right.  His suggestion was to increase it by one unit every night until I had two mornings in a row with blood sugars below 8.  I started at 3 units…and so far I’m up to 11…eeek!  My sugars have been much, much better which I’m very happy with. 

So that’s my story of cheating on my endo.  Although I really value my team here, I was very grateful as well for the chance to have a second opinion.  I really really liked this endo, but I figured I would when Dr. S recommended him.  When you trust your GP, you can trust his referrals.  I wish I lived closer so I could visit them more often, but until the next time I still have a strong team here I can rely on.  I’m a lucky girl! 

Cyborg Seminar

So yesterday, I had an appointment at the endocrinology department here in Halifax.  It was a seminar about how to become a cyborg!

Ok…slight exaggeration…not a cyborg seminar…a pump seminar!  Close enough though right? 

When I firsrt got diagnosed, I wanted nothing to do with the pump.  I think the first words I told my CDE nurse was “I don’t have to get a pump do I?  I don’t want a pump!”.  Granted I had just gotten out of emergency very early that morning and was ridiculously tired and stressed, but still I didn’t want one.  Partially because at that time, I thought it was a a surgical procedure.  Silly, I know, but at that point I knew almost nothing about diabetes management.

Now?  After being exposed to the DOC, and meeting other diabetics using the pump, I think it would be a really good option for me.  The biggest thing for me would be the ability to adjust insulin delivery around exercise, as well as being able to adjust my basal rate to get rid of my early morning BG increases.  It can be a very useful tool, and as such I’m starting to do my research!

The seminar was hosted by the unit’s CDE nurse and dietician.  The nurse presenter was actually my first CDE when I got diagnosed, so it was good to see her and catch up.  They spent about an hour going over pump basics, and a little bit of nutrition.  The funny thing is, I already knew most it, thanks to all the blogs I’ve been reading!  They kept it very basic, which was good, as I still learned some stuff and had the chance to ask a few questions.

For the second hour, we got to talk to the pump companies.  Here in Canada, we have 3.  Medtronic, Animas and OmniPod.  All three are really good options, and there’s something about all of them that I like.  I wish I could take those parts and combine them into a super pump!  So here’s the rundown:

Animas:  A waterproof pump, and comes with a remote that allows you to dose without pulling it out of wherever you’ve stashed it.  Good for when you’ve got it somewhere like your bra and don’t want to take it out, and allows dosing to be discreet.  There’s talk of their new pump being released in Canada soon with constant glucose monitoring (CGM) technology integrated into it.  That would be really cool!  Until then though, it’s a very solid pump with the only drawback being no CGM.  But they’re working on it!

OmniPod:  The big thing about the OmniPod is that it is a tubeless pump.  Both the Medtronic and Animas pumps have tubing attached to them to infuse insulin.  OmniPod is just a little pod that sticks to your skin and goves insulin right from there.  The fact that it’s tubeless is a huge thing for me.  There’s no worries of  catching your tubing on anything, as well as the potential to keep it attached during a rugby game instead of going without insulin for the duration of the game.  The drawback?  It’s relatively big.  The infusion sets from the other pumps are pretty flush to the skin, whereas these stick out quite a bit.  Their new generation ones are supposed to be a lot smaller but I’d have to see them first.  Until then, they gave me a fake pod to stick to me to see how it feels and how it holds up with my lifestyle.

Medtronic:  Medtronic has something that the other pumps don’t have: a  CGM system.  Where this would be so beneficial for me is during activity.  I teach fitness for a living, so to have something that allows me to track what my blood sugar is doing without testing would be a huge advantage.  For me, it’s definitely the biggest draw for their system.  However, they don’t have a remote like the Animas and OmniPod systems do, so all deliveries have to be made from the pump.  A minor inconveniece, and one that could easily be worked around. 

So the seminar was well run and very informative.  I also liked having the opportunity to talk to the pump reps and ask all the questions I wanted (and there was a lot!).  For now though, I’m sticking with needles.  I had a brief chat with my old CDE and we both came to the conclusion that since I’m still honeymooning and using very little insulin (maybe 10-15 units a day) that now is not the right time to start pumping.  It’s nice to know what my options are and I look forward to the day when I might be able to join the pump club.

Rugby, Take One

I hurt.

I had my first rugby game in 2 years last night.  2 years!  Diabetes struck at the beginning of the season last year so I decided to not play and just try to get my body in line again.  So this year I’m back!  And apparently my body forgot what the sport feels like…it got a nice reminder this morning!

I got to go in just after halftime, so I got about 30 minutes on the pitch (each half is 40 minutes).  I was at prop, in the front row of the scrum (which is basically a rugby faceoff…YouTube it!) so there was a lot of impact on my shoulders and upper back and neck area throughout the game.  That’s where I’m feeling it the most today.  Good thing I’m not driving cause shoulder checking is NOT comfortable right now!

I had a blast though!  I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I got on the pitch.  Scrumming felt strong, made a good tackle or two and had a couple of runs.  Definitely some kinks and rust to work out, but that will come as the season progresses!  There’s lot of games to be played!

Diabetes wise, it went ok.  When I got to the pitch I was sitting at 7.9.  A little low for me for that type of exercise (plus I still had some insulin in my system from supper) so I had 2 glucose tabs and an apple sauce.  By the time I went to go on the pitch at half, it was up to 9.2.  Beauty.  I gave my coach my d-bag and told him to bring it out when play stops, which is pretty much only if someone scores or if there’s a nasty injury.  Once I got on, there were no stoppages like that, so I played on for the full 30+ minuites.  After the game, I was sitting at 5.8.  Just over a 3 point drop in 30ish minutes!  So I had 2 granola bars and apple sauce (no bolus) and was at 8.2 when I got home an hour later.  Had another small snack so at 9.5 before bed. A 2am check had me sitting at 6.3 and I woke up around the same as well.  I have to try to find a way to stop it from falling so quickly on the pitch.  Maybe pair it with more protein?  Just eat more?  Have a bottle of Gatorade instead of water?  Lots to consider and experiment with!  

So glad to back playing!  Even with the extra diabetes stuff.  I missed hitting people!  Also, I am loving the post match freedom to eat almost anything I want!  That is never a bad thing!

One.

Going through my day today, I had this niggling feeling in the back of my head like today was important and I was forgetting something.  I couldn’t think of it, and pushed it to the back of my brain.  15 minutes later, it hit me. 

May 29.

Today is my one year diabetes anniversary. 

Holy shit.  One year ago today, I was crying in my doctor’s office, knowing nothing would ever be the same.  A little dramatic maybe, but that’s how it felt.

Looking back now, I can barely even remember the actual date (possibly because deep down, I knew what was coming).  All that thinking that nothing would be the same?  Lies spread by fear.  Lots has remained the same.  There’s just a little more planning involved. 

I’m not going to lie and say it’s all be lollipops and rainbows.  It hasn’t.  I’ve been stressed out of my tree on more than one occassion, and I know it’s going to happen again.  That’s why I choose to focus on the positive. 

Because of diabetes, I have been introduced to a fantastic and inclusive community, both online and in real life.

Because of diabetes, I have a new found respect for my health and active lifestyle.

Because of diabetes, I have become  a better label reader, and a more informed consumer.

Because of diabetes, I have started fundraising for the Canadian Diabetes Association (and have raised $3800 to date!)

So there are positives that I’ve come across this year, and those are what I focus on, not the negatives.  I’ve always believed that you have two choices in life:  smile or cry.  I choose to smile.

So this afternoon I’m going to go out and enjoy some of the rare Nova Scotia sunshine, and push this day and its relation to diabetes to the back of mind.  Exactly where it belongs.

Ruck and Roll!

Springtime is upon us here in Halifax, so that can only mean one thing.  Rain, rain, and more rain.  As a transplanted prairie girl who’s used to dryer springs, I’m sure you can imagine how well that goes over (hint:  NOT GOOD).

However, with the arrival of spring comes the arrival of something much more exciting.

Rugby season!

 I went to my first practice on Tuesday and boy was that intense!  I haven’t played in over a year, as I decided to take the season off last year due to my diagnosis.  So I was a little intimidated coming back into it.  I’ve been letting my exercise slip over the past while as a result of some nagging injuries and a rough mental period, so I was also worried about that. 

I’m not gonna lie, the fitness portion kicked my ass.  The coach who runs it is actually related to Satan.  True story.  It was hard, but I managed to keep up pretty well and I felt really good after!  It’s during the exercise that I hate it.  Then it was on to passing and contact drills.  Hopefully this is the year I finally learn to pass properly, but I’m not holding my breath…  Contact went well, considering I haven’t hit anything in over a year, so it felt good to ease back into it with some simple drills.  Tackling is going to be a whole nother animal though! 

It was odd though, thanks to the training I have been doing in the past year, I felt stronger, faster and more confident in practice.  This is my fourth  summer playing, and I feel like I’m finally understanding the rules and the strategy involved (slow learner much?).  That in and of itself feels really good. 

Our first game is in less than two weeks so I hope I’m up to the challenge by then! 

Diabetes might be a bit of a challenge though…pre-practice BG was 4.4.  Shit.  2 glucose tabs and an apple sauce (~20g of carb).  Halfway through it was 5.1.  Not bad, keep going.  At the end, after a 2 hour practice it was 4.6.  2 glucose tabs and another apple sauce, as well as a granola bar when I got home (no bolus), to end the day with a 7.1 before bed. 

I have a feeling I’m going to be needing to keep lots of extra carb on hand…if there’s anybody who’s played team sports before, what kind of system did you use?  I’m going to be needing some help on this one so any advice would be greatly appreciated!!