Lulu to the Rescue!

One of the things I was struggling with in training for my run (WHICH IS IN 23 DAYS!!) was how in the hell I’m going to carry all of my necessary diabetes supplies.  For a run on any given day, I’m usually carrying a meter, strips, sugar, lancing device, and cellphone (I don’t take insulin with me as I’m generally only gone about an hour).  It’s a lot, especially for someone who didn’t even carry a purse before I got diagnosed.  Needless to say, I hate carrying extra shit around and I hate things bouncing in pockets even more.

I bought a Tummitote from TallyGear, and although it’s a great product it just didn’t work for me.  I’m not sure if I bought it too big or if the material was just too slippy, but it ended up hanging really loose around my waist and driving me nuts.  Lots of bouncing…not cool.  So I’d been trying to search for different options.

Going back to mine and the boyfriend’s trip to Alberta and Edmonton, I found my solution!!  And it came in the most unexpected way.

I was in Lulu Lemon buying my sister her birthday present.  Ordinarily, when shopping for workout clothes, I usually make it a point to avoid going there (for everyone who doesn’t know, it’s a store that specializes in yoga and workout gear).  They have really nice stuff but it is RIDICULOUSLY expensive and I can’t bring myself to spend that much money on their product.  Or so I thought.

Anyways, I was browsing through their stuff waiting for my sister to decide on what she wanted when I discovered this:

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Yes, that’s a sports bra with POCKETS!!!!  POCKETS!!!

I grabbed one and immediately ran to the change room to test it out.  In went the meter, strips, lancer, tube of dex and my cellphone.  Cue lots of jumping and fake running and putting on my shirt to show my sister and boyfriend my lumpy boobs…needless to say it was a pretty good time!  Everything fit and held nice and snug with no bouncing around, and aside from the aforementioned lumpy boobs everything was perfect!  So I paid the exorbitant price and I was on my way!

On another note, you know you have diabetes when you get this excited over something with pockets…true story.

I’ve used it for a few runs and I absolutely love it!!  It keeps everything together and compartmentalized (a tube of dex fits nicely in a small pocket in the cleavage!) and there is absolutely no bouncing around.  And because there’s a barrier between your skin and the items, sweat isn’t as big of an issue.  It’s made going out for runs a whole lot easier and much more convenient.  It’s been a fantastic investment!  And if the bra fits…

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Buy it in every colour!  Thanks Lulu!

*I was not asked to provide a review.  I just bought a product that I love and wanted to share it with all of you!!

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.

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.

Montreal, Yoga, and Diabetics in the Wild!

So this past weekend I was in Montreal for work.  What was I doing?  Taking a yoga instructor course!  That’s right, my job is pretty sweet sometimes!

We’ve had clients at work asking for yoga classes for a long time now, but we’ve never had anyone certified to teach it.  I’ve been looking into it for a while, but every course I found was a year long, and super expensive ($3000…no thanks!).  But I finally found this course which was considerably cheaper, and one weekend.  It’s tailored mainly towards yoga in a fitness setting (ie a gym) as opposed to a full on yoga studio. For where I work though, it’s perfect!

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for myself for a while too.  I’ve always liked yoga, I just never got out to do it much because it’s relatively expensive, so this way I can practice on my own with confidence.  Also, as a diabetic, I read somewhere that your flexibility can decrease over the years because of the disease.  No thanks, I like to move!  Also, it will come in really handy for balancing out all the weight training I’ve been doing, so that I’m not walking around like a meat head.  That’s just not cool!

So it was two full days of yoga, practicing poses and teaching them to the other participants.  It was awesome, and I took so much away from it!  I’m really looking forward to teaching it.

It was also amazing, because I got to go to Montreal for it.  If you’ve never been there, you should go.  It’s a fabulous city!  It feels like you’ve gone to another country, it has a completely distinct culture and feel to it.  And there’s so much to see and do!  And eat!  I may have indulged in pizza, poutine, and crepes!  And not just any crepes…a crepe with nutella, Bailey’s and walnuts in it.  Oh yes.  It was incredible and definitely bolus worthy.  I was doing enough activity that it was keeping my blood sugar nice and stable.  Another bonus!!

At one point in the class we were talking about diabetes, and one of the other participants spoke up about it, saying she was a Tyoe 1.  I’m not gonna lie, I may have had a “be my friend be my friend be my friend!!!!!!!!!!!!” moment.  Kind of like this:

friends

 

I’d like to think I was slightly less creepy, but there’s no guarantee about that.  She was pretty cool about it though, we had a chat about pumps and pump programs (she’s from Ontario, where they have a really good one) and about being active with diabetes.  She was super sneaky though, until she brought it up, I had no idea.  I hadn’t seen her test or bolus or anything, but then she didn’t know I had it either.  Apparently diabetes comes with ninja skills?  That would be a good way to make it more bad ass.  Seems to work for George over at Ninjabetic – I’ve been reading his blog for a while, and I’m pretty sure I want to be on his level.

 

Bolus so sneaky you didn't even see it!

Bolus so sneaky you didn’t even see it!

 

All in all it was a fabulous weekend, diabetes behaved itself, and I learned A LOT.  Suffice it to say I’m exhausted.  But it was well worth it!

Logging

I’m not the most organized person in the world.  On any given day you can walk into my office and see a scattering of post-it notes with random words, names and phone number all over the place.  Half the time I can never remember what they’re even there for!  And the stuff I don’t write down…there’s a 50/50 chance I won’t remember it again.  The kicker is that I’ve somehow convinced myself that I don’t need to write things down, I’ll remember it for next time.  I’ve become very good at misleading myself!

When I was first diagnosed, I was very good at writing and logging every blood sugar and every meal.  Amounts, number of carbs, insulin dose, you name it.  I was on top of things!  But as time went on, I started to let it slide.  Little by little I just stopped doing it, and my logging fell to the wayside.  This was especially true in the honeymoon period.  Blood sugars were perfect, no insulin was needed, and I could eat almost anything!

But now it seems like the honeymoon is coming to a  close.  Blood sugars are a little more erratic, more insulin is needed and I’m noticing differences with what I eat.  This has been going on since early January.  However, I still wasn’t logging.  I thought I was doing fine, having the occasional high but basically keeping everything where it should be.

Last week I got the appointment notification for my endo.  And we all know what that means:

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Courtesy of Type One Diabetes Memes

That’s usually me the night before my appointment, running around trying to remember and record and cursing at my meter when there’s more than one reading for “after meal”.  So this time I decided that I would start logging early.  I went back 3 weeks, and have been keeping it up with about 3 weeks to go before my appointment.

As I was going through and doing this, I realized something.  I haven’t been doing as well as I thought I was.  Where were all these 8s, 9s, 10s and 12s coming from????  Which then got me started worrying about my A1C, which is getting tested next week.  I know these numbers aren’t that high compared to other T1’s out there, but they are for me which is stressing me out thinking that my pancreas is slowly dying again.  On the other hand, I’ve also found that the logging is keeping me more accountable to myself, and making me think harder about about any diabetes decisions I make.

So I’m going to try to keep it up.  I need to know what’s going on in my body so I know how to best care for it.  Here’s hoping I can keep this part of my life organized!  Do endos accept post-it notes instead of logbooks??

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Analyze this!

 

 

January craziness

So, January has been really, really crazy so far. I was sick for a while (much better now, thank God), I started 2 university classes part time, I’ve been trying to organize a fundraiser for the Candian Diabetes Association, and I work in health and fitness in January (’nuff said).

So I finally have a breather to write an update!

I haven’t been in the weight room much, as I was sick and that took a lot of my energy; and at work my lifeguard certification is up for renewal so that means I’ve been spending a lot of time in the pool! They’ve recently changed the standards for being a lifeguard so I have a lot of skills to work on! My first day in, I was exhausted that night. I slept like a rock. I’ve discovered though that my bloodsugar has a pretty substantial drop from swimming. So much so that a carby snack is required before hopping in. It’s a nice change of pace to the training though!

As mentioned before, I’ve started two university classes this semester, my first classes in 3 years! I’m trying to upgrade my GPA to eventually apply for a Masters and it’s been pretty busy so far. One class is on Monday nights and the other is online and both have quite a bit of reading. Throw that on top of a full time job, and volleyball officiating most weekends and you’ve got a very busy Ali! Social life? What’s that?

In diabetes news, I’m back on pre-meal rapid acting insulin. It’s working well so far, and is keeping highs at bay and I actually haven’t had any crazy lows yet. I’m feeling much better now that I was over Christmas. I also got some interesting bloodwork back. Before Christmas I went for my c-peptide (to see if my pancreas is producing insulin) and and anti-GAD (one of the antibody types). My c-peptide came back at 639, with a normal reference range of 298-2,350. According to the paperwork, it’s levels typically seen in fasting patients. But I wasn’t fasting. This was after a meal. So while my pancreas is still producing insulin, it doesn’t look like that much. I also found my anti-GAD results from diagnosis, and that was at 54.8, with a normal range of less than 1. So there are some antibodies. What does it mean? I have no idea. My guess is possible LADA but we’ll have to wait and see what my endo says at the next visit. Hopefully I get to see her soon cause I have a lot of questions!!

So that’s my life right now. Lots going on right now to keep me occupied. In the meantime, please send tea (coffee = ugh in my world). I need all the caffeine I can get my hands on!

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!!