Wednesday, October 14, 2015

12 of 12 for reals

I remembered the day on the day and during the day for a change.

It was Thanksgiving here in Canadaland. Not that it matters much. I quit my job to do full time freelance/contract work so holidays pretty much mean nothing to me now.

 1. I started my day finishing up a bit of work while Ryan went to the skatepark with his buddies.

We then went on a little adventure to a secret DIY skatepark in the city.

2. Ryan found a silly concrete covered log.

3. While I found a new ride

4. I finally blew the dust off my digital SLR camera

Next we went exploring at an old abandoned theme park. There wasn't much left of it at all but Ryan always finds something weird to skate anywhere he goes.

5. Like an abandoned tube slide. He went to this park a lot as a kid but I don't ever remember going. This slide looks like it would have been a shit ton of fun in it's hay day.

6. no caption necessary

We then explored a little more in the area.

7. Does the pic count when I've stolen it from someone else? Thanks Ryan. 

From here we snuck our way into an old abandoned hotel. It looks like there was once a fire. The whole place was creepy as fuck

8. It smelled really bad also.

9. peeling paint from the fire I pressume.

10. The hotel pool wasn't really swimmable

11. One of the fun parts of using an SLR camera. This one is still blurry but I was really just fucking around. Those are Ryan's ghostly legs and feet.

12. The "entrance"

13. I had to add one more for the creep factor and because it makes the pictures 13. It's October after all. Perhaps next time I'll make more of an effort to get some none blurry photos. We didn't go downstairs. We've seen enough Walking Dead to know where the zombies are.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

With the good comes the bad

Whenever I'm out cycling my motto is always, "What goes down must come up". It's because I'm not very good at climbing hills. I look at routes based on how much damn climbing I have to do instead of focusing on the awesome fun descents. It's just the way my brain is wired.

The GOOD run! Nice splits, decent paces.

A few days ago I headed out on the trails for a run. I went to a spot nearby and did a route that I always love doing. I was alone and without music or even my phone. Just me, some water, a couple GU's shoved in my sportsbra and my glucose meter. I started the run with a BG of about 10 (or 11, I can't remember). I had no insulin in my system and hadn't eaten anything in awhile. Half way through I tested and was 5.7. A lovely number, yes, but not when I have another 5km to go. I downed a GU. Once I got home and chilled out for a bit I tested again and was 6.0. I'd say that's a perfectly executed run - diabetes wise. I was pretty happy with that. No tankage later in the evening and a smooth night also. Happy.

The next day I went for a run with Ryan. Different trail but virtually same time, same conditions. No insulin on board and hadn't eaten for awhile. Tested with an 11.1 before we left. Did nothing because 10km trail run was supposed to take care of that.

SUPPOSED TO. Because it did the previous day.

The BAD run. You can see at 4 km where we slowed down. On the map it's where we started backtracking the shortest route out instead of staying in the trails as planned.

I was struggling a bit because of the 9.3km rather hard run I did the day before. I don't run often and I'm certainly not up to par with day after day. My legs were aching. I couldn't catch my breath and was slowing to a walk up even the smallest hills. Something ain't right. About 4'ish km in I tested. 15.6. All the squirrels in all the forests must have heard me scream "FAAAACK".

"Are you going to take some insulin?" Ryan says.
"I can't, it's at the car." I say.

Not too long before the struggle became more real than I had intended. Look how happy Ryan is! I wish we could stay in that lovely moment.

We both know immediately that our run is over. We're the farthest from the car now. My brain starts spinning. What the fucking fuck fuck? No insulin in my system. No food before the run. Hydrated regular. It was a regular day, nothing out of the ordinary. I wasn't stressed or tired or anything. My stomach is in pain. My body is in pain. I'm nauseous. I try jogging it out for a bit in hopes that movement will have an effect. I test again. 15.9.
"It's over." I say, "I can't run any more, I'm just shuffling as it is."

Ryan offers to run to the car at breakneck speed to get my insulin and come back. I said no. Whether I inject now or 10 minutes from now I'm still looking at 1.5-2hours before I'll start coming down.
I choked back a few tears. Why didn't I have my insulin on me? Because yesterdays run was so beautiful and set up just the same. Of the amount of times I need insulin during exercise is pretty slim. Again, not like it would have mattered. I was in it deep now.

I know for some people that might not seem that high. YDMV (Your diabetes may vary). For me, this is my red zone. Anywhere above 14 or 15. If I see a double digit starting with a 2? I'm probably dead.

I slump into the car and test again. SEVENTEEN POINT FUCKING ONE. Well fuck!!!!! I jab my quad with 3u of insulin and fall into a puddle of tears.

"have you ever seen me cry because of diabetes?" I asked Ryan.
"No, I don't think so." He replies.

I hurt. Every muscle in my body feels like a knot. My stomach is so tight and nauseous. I'm frustrated because I don't know if this could have been avoided and I've totally ruined what was supposed to be a beautiful fall trail run with Ryan. He comforts me. I know he wishes he could help. Sometimes I wish he could help too.

The worst part? I know I'm going to be in this world of hurt for a couple hours. We got home and I curled up into a ball on the couch. The tunnel always seems so long and dark when I'm feeling like shit.

2 hours later I finally saw a number starting with a 10. We were getting ready to go out. Less than 30 minutes later and still no food in my system I started feeling sick again. BG blasted up to 16.4.

NOW I'm ready to throw myself off a bridge. What the fucking FUCK is going on?!

On our way out. Hours of high blood sugar and a breakdown into tears. Frustration. Coping not going so well.

Some coffee, more insulin and a couple hours I am finally back in normal land where I remained. I have no explanation for what happened. Both my insulins were fresh out of the fridge within a week and both were working fine before and continue to work fine after so it wasn't that.

I had two runs in two days. One was so awesome and amazing and the other was utter hell. Guess which one sticks out in my mind? Yeah. cynically pessimistic me.

Monday, August 31, 2015

13 years and a lifetime more to go. Fuck Diabetes YO!

I wrote this more than a month ago and then sat on it like a lazy fuck.

13 years…

I don’t often recognize the day I got diagnosed. I should say I don’t often recognize it OUTWARDLY. I always know inside.

Ryan and I were rock climbing, camping and trail running up  north for the weekend. As we were packing our gear

I said, “huh. Tomorrow’s the 19th eh?”
Ryan, “Yup.”
Me, “I’ve officially had diabetes for 13 years and I’m still alive and kicking.”
Ryan, “……..
I actually can’t remember if he said anything but that basically summed up the conversation.

A few moments later the thought was gone but not forgotten. At least not in my head. Whether I want to admit it or not it’s a rather huge turning point in my life and those memories will never fade of my diagnosis. 13 years later I still feel cheated as a result of HOW I got diabetes and furthermore, HOW I was so poorly treated those first two months.

Maybe you don’t know my diagnosis story, here it is the shortest point form possible that I can muster. All dates are assumed but generally speaking it's pretty fucking close:

July 1st 2002: Canada Day long weekend rock climbing up in Tobermory with friends, get loads of poison ivy
July 17th ‘ish?: Go to walk-in clinic fearing need for medical treatment of the poison ivy that is still raging a war on my legs
July 17th pm: Start an aggressive dose of prednisone
July 18th am: Wake up unable to see clearly
July 18th pm: Get emergency appointment with my optometrist, eyes have changed an entire diopter overnight. She tells me either A)pregnancy (NOT A FUCKING CHANCE) or B)Diabetes
July 18th pm: See GP, emergency appointment, get lab req for blood work
July 19th am: Lab work
July 19th pm: Back to the doc, doc tells me “some kind of diabetes. Eat only protein and fat while avoiding carbs.” Doc does not refer me to an Endo nor does he give me pills or insulin. He also does not book a follow up appointment but sets me up to join a support group in a couple months. A1C was normal because of sudden onset pancreatic demise.
July 23rd: Leave for 9 days of backpacking on the West Coast Trail in British Columbia. It was my College graduation gift. (still no insulin or glucose meter. Just the directions to not eat carbs)
July 25th: Get emergency evacuated by helicopter from the WCT after 3 days into the 9-day trip. I couldn’t see because my vision was FUCKED. I had new contacts for the new prescription but the intense hiking lowered my bg so rapidly that the new stronger contacts were way too strong and my old contacts were also too strong. With vision as bad as mine I was literally BLIND.
July 26th:  Buy my very first glucose meter in Victoria BC, still have no idea how to use it. Fly home a few days later.
July 26th – September 10th: Try not to die. No insulin, No follow up doctors appointments.  Spend every day feeling like SHIT. I don’t’ remember this time very well, it’s all a blur. I do remember always seeing 20+ mmol/l or “HI” on my meter 24/7. Drop down to 110lbs. I was most likely in the early stages of DKA for the entire 2 months.
September 10th:  support group at the diabetes clinic for patients with type 2. One very concerned nurse pulls me out of the class and tells me I should be dead after 2 months without insulin.
September 11th: I return to the clinic and learn how to inject insulin through tears. I remember this day because my boyfriend at the time and I were watching a 9-11 1 year anniversary memorial on TV.

That's my story.
Here I am now, 13 years later and more bitter and jaded than ever. I am happy in my life more now than have been and that's partially to do with how I manage my diabetes and partially nothing at all to do with diabetes.

It consumes my almost every thought and determines my every move. Sometimes Ryan asks me what's wrong because I often look so concerned. Resting Bitch Face? haha. More like Resting Diabetes-is-on-my-mind Face. Him asking me has forced me to think about it and usually when he asks me I realize I was just thinking about my minute to minute diabetes management. Being with Ryan has made me realize how much diabetes consumes my thoughts because he genuinely cares enough to ask. Sometimes a string of thoughts just upset me. Maybe I'm a little high and I just ate something. Maybe it had a bit of carbs maybe I question how much insulin I took. Maybe we want to spontaneously roll around the neighbourhood on our skateboards and I have to get creative by shoving gels or fruit chews down my bra.  Maybe I don't want to carry my glucose meter but I'm afraid to go by feel alone. 

It's motherfucking endless. The thoughts. The all-consuming problem solving that has to happen with each morsel of food and each second of passing time. How it all seems so hard just to keep myself alive and how deafeningly silent it can be.

Ryan asks and these days I speak. Often endless ramblings that may or may not make sense but he gives me the open forum to spew my problem solving methods. I've found solace in speaking out loud even if he doesn't entirely get the minutia of it.

Another year passes. Another few hundred shots and thousands of blood sugar tests. Vials upon vials of life sustaining insulin. It happens. Diabetes happens while intermingling with real life.

I  never forget the way I got diabetes. It will always be a cause and effect to me. Something outside caused me to now have diabetes. If that something was taken out of the equation, would I have diabetes? A question that I'll never know the answer to. I hold grudges sometimes and I've been holding a very bitter one for 13 years now.

Fuck diabetes. Seriously, FUCK DIABETES.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sensory Overload

I often have a really hard time explaining to people what sets my anxieties off. I tell them loud music and too much input. I tell them that simply talking is painful and hard. The thing is, when it comes out of my mouth like that I just feel like a twat. I sound like a bitch and people really don't understand how these things can even be triggers.

I complain that the music is too loud. I complain that I can’t hear. I complain that the light is hitting my eyes and hurting my thoughts. I'm telling Ryan to "turn it the fuck down please." I can't hear a word you're saying with noise distractions and I get visibly agitated. Twitchy. I hold my head a lot and it upsets my stomach. I'm not even joking. 

And then one day I’ll be driving in the car with a friend with all the windows down because it’s hot as balls and the AC in my car is broken. We’ve got the music up loud and she's still trying to talk to me. I'm driving and paying attention to the road. I can’t hear from the wind and the music and the talking. I nod like I know what she's saying. I respond with "yeahs" and "mmhmms" and "I know rights!" but I don't actually know what she's saying. I am in complete sensory overload. I need a quiet place where nothing exists.

I haven’t gone into much detail about my sensory processing issues and this won't be very deep because it's hard to talk about. No doctor has ever told me this, but a very good friend suggested I do some research into HSP (Highly Sensitive Person, aka: Sensory Processing Sensitivities). What I discovered was the key to my ENTIRE LIFE up to this point (and only getting worse the older I get).

My hearing is sensitive. My smell is sensitive. My tactile touch is sensitive. My eyes are sensitive. What this means is that what is normally tolerable for most people is painful for me. More so than the usual annoyance and irritation. If it’s loud I feel like crying because it not only hurts my ears it hurts my head and I can't think. If it’s too bright or too dim I get frustrated really easily. I hate shoes and socks and there have been times I've come home and thrown my socks right in the garbage because they pissed me off so much. I don’t like things on my feet and almost all clothes are uncomfortable to the point of freaking out. I just hide it really well. It’s a different level of discomfort that sends me spiraling into migraines and tears. When I am under sensory overload I go into a heightened level of anxiety which can quickly lead to panic attacks. Sometimes the visual and auditory overload are all too much and I just can't stand it.

Back in the sweltering car with my friend:
I have a momentary twitchy freak out and turn the music down after trying to pin my hand under my butt so as to not grab the fucking dial but it’s too late. My throat is sore, my stomach is turning and my head is pounding. I try to just breath. I have a pair of ear plugs in my centre console and I’m doing everything to not shove them in my fucking ear holes. Secretly I’m telling her to “just stop talking, please, just stop talking.” I'm fine if I don't have to reply or if I don't actually need to hear what you're saying. I'm great at listening! It’s the hottest fucking day of the summer and we just rode 130km. I’ve been with her ALL DAY talking. I feel disgusting sweating in the car still wearing my goddamn soupy chamois bib shorts and all I want to do is GET THEM THE FUCK OFF ME.

How do I tell her to just Shut The Fuck Up without telling her to STFU? I don’t and that’s exactly why. I like her. She’s quickly become one of my close friends. I’ve enjoyed our day together and the ride but my limit has been reached and I’m falling off the edge. I just don’t know how to even say this. I told her I was going to write this. I've explained a bit of about my anxiety and issues and she's really open-minded. That doesn't change how I reacted in the moment.

It’s really not you… it’s totally me!

I don’t know how to get through life avoiding every event and outing. How do I say “no I won’t drive to that place and ride that event with you because by the time we get home I’ll be in sensory overload and inevitably have an anxiety attack…”? 

I can't say that. 

So I go, I enjoy what I can and when I get home, I decompress for a long LONG time.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Bringing it back orange

Let me get something straight right off the bat. I really have a love/hate relationship with glucose tablets.

Let me count the ways why I love thee:
-Easy to eat. Even when chewing is difficult they dissolve in your mouth
-Easy to count. I line them up on my lap. 2 at a time in my mouth (no more or danger). They are carb countable too. Oftentimes a juice box or a package of fruit chews is just a touch too many carbs. 4 Dex is 16g carb.
-transportable and huge shelf life. I have them everywhere.
-nothing but glucose. Again, juice and candy have other shit I just don’t want. Simple glucose means it’s doing only what it has to do, get my blood sugar up and not make me fucking fat
-small. Sometimes (okay almost always) I get nausea and it’s always easy to put down glucose tabs
-cheap. Well, relatively cheap. A bottle of 50 is $8.99. So… 18cents a tab. 72 cents to fix a low, $1.08 if it’s real bad and $1.44 if it’s beyond bad. It’s common for me to kill a bottle a week.
-temperature stable. They don’t melt in the heat or freeze in the cold

And why do I hate thee? Far fewer reasons
-taste. Terrible gag-inducing taste.
-waking up with the “zacklies” (when your mouth tastes “zackly” like your ass). This is a cheater answer cuz all middle-of-the-night bg fixes leave you with the zacklies.
-the glucose dust that gets on everything
-the fact that people think it’s nasty and then they get put into the “medicine” category which I guess they kind of are
-when my stomach just can’t take another glucose tab
-although they are pretty temperature stable they are not waterproof in their carry cases and glucose tabs ARE made of sugar so water is kryptonite
-they don’t actually taste good at all. Pure glucose has a nasty sweet kick that no candy does. It’s almost a metallic taste.
-so few flavours I can tolerate

WHICH brings me to the point of this post. Grape is all I’ve been able to tolerate for a couple years now. Also tropical fruit and sour apple BUT 95% of the stores don’t fucking carry those two flavours and the ones that do are really out of the way for me. SO FUCKING IRRITATING. Raspberry? Kill me now. Watermelon? I’ll slit my wrists. Orange… oooooooh… wait, what? So I saw the Orange bottle sitting there all cute. It said, “pick me, pick me!” It said, “You have been so vehemently against me since diagnosis, why not give me another try?”

Remember ye olde BD square glucose tabs? The only glucose tabs that you could buy in the only flavour that existed? Yeah, I swore I’d never touch another orange glucose tablet again in my life. So I bought it on a whim. The next low I was pleasantly surprised at how non-violent a reaction my mouth had. No, in fact it was accepting of said orange’ness. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t LOVE it either but I didn’t spit it out and curse the diabetes freaks. So when I killed that bottle I bought 2 more.

I’m sure it won’t last long though before I’m just plain sick of them too. I give it 10 bottles maybe. Shit that’s 500 glucose tablets? FUCKING DISGUSTING RIGHT?! Yeah, but that’s diabetes. At the time of writing this I’m already on my 3rd bottle in less than a month.

Who knows maybe I should rush out and grab a bottle of raspberry and watermelon and see how my tastebuds fare. I’ll wait for my instinct though because the thought is making my stomach churn right now.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Pictures on the 13th

I wanted to start doing 12 of 12's again. For those not in "the know" that's where you take 12 pictures on the 12th day of the month. Alas, I am anything but ordinary because the 12th kind of came and went. I took one picture the whole day. I was beyond busy at work and had to haul ass on my bike to get to a meeting on time after work.

Needless to say it was a flop but I really miss taking a days worth of photos! Never fret! I am an "against the grain" kind of person. So on the 13th I documented my bike commute to work (and home). It's more than 12 pictures. Even a few selfies thrown in for good measure. I hate taking selfies by the way.

Welcome to my 21km bike commute to work (and a couple pictures on the way home)

1. bike. road. speedy.

2. a small path I take to avoid roads

3. More of that path in the morning sunlight

4. SELFIE? whaaaaaat?

5. I always love old row houses

6. I use almost entirely bike lanes or routes designated for bikes

7. This may be hard to see but it's a mountain bike pump track IN THE MAKING and I get to ride past it twice a day every day. Some of the local mtb advocates rallied for this to be built and here it is! I seriously can NOT wait to play!

8. Just some more road, more bike lane.

9. Major construction has left me finding detours in some areas and this is one of them.

10. Starting to get out in to the boonies a little more.

11. This one has a story. Half way to work I started feeling really nauseous. I assumed it was anxiety because... well... anxiety. Then it got worse and worse. Eventually I stopped and checked my BG. I was high right before I left the house so I took a smidgen of insulin. I guess it was a bad idea because my BG dropped so rapidly it caused nausea. I wasn't low (yet) but had gone from an 11.7 (210) to a 4.6 (83) in 20 minutes. I literally gagged back a package of fruit chews (should have chosen the glucose tabs in retrospect) and very super slowly continued to work. I felt terrible. As my BG came up the nausea slowly dissipated but still left me nauseous until mid morning and gross the rest of the day. At the time I took this pic I was feeling particularly awful. I was curious what the grimace on my face looked like. 

12. random no hands shot

13. This is a jam factory and I hate the jam factory. Every day, depending on which way the wind is blowing, I have to ride through a putrid stench. I don't know what they make in there but it's not always jam. Jam wouldn't smell that bad. Some days it smells like acidic rotten tomatoes not unlike the odour de vomit. The smell this morning didn't do my nausea any favours.

14. Home stretch. Er... work stretch (?)

15. Shadows. need I say more?
I realized after looking at this pic I have a lot of accessories on my bike! bell, lights, bottle, lock and panniers. I'm like an accessory whore.

16. On my way home now. Headwinds were intense, they always are going home. This creek is near where my Nana and Poppa used to live and we would play here for hours as children. It's been a dry summer.

17. Barbie generated quite the attention on facebook when I posted this caption: "Barbie had the bad kind of diabetes and lost both her legs (and the bottom half of her body). Must not have taken care of herself"

18. Finally, a daily reminder of the things I don't miss about commuting to Toronto and the justification for taking a less-than-stellar job closer to home.

I'm thinking about doing this again in the winter if I can keep my hands from freezing off. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tankage. Sick. Hungover

Last week was a tough week for me. I had a string of really REALLY bad middle-o-the night BG crashes. It felt like nothing I could do was helping and I couldn't prepare for it. My activity, stress and hormone levels were as normal as could be. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until something was out of the ordinary.

I am prone to nypos (night time hypos). I always have been. I've mentioned before that Ryan wakes me up every night despite me begging him to turn off that goddamn 1:30am alarm. For a few nights I was hitting the low 2's (40's). Usually before the alarm and often and again at about 5am. Super annoying.

Then I hit 1.9mmol/l (34mg/dl) at about 12:30am. It was literally only 90mins after falling asleep. Blood. Sugar. Massive. TANKAGE. I usually use honey at those kind of lows because chewing is just stupid.

A few days later I hit a 1.7mmol/l (30mg/dl) again at 12:30am. This one was so bad I can't even...
Why am I not waking up like I used to?!

I got to the kitchen, found honey, swallow, stumble to couch, pass out. I rolled over and crawled back into bed at 2:30am and was only up to 4.8mmol/l (86mg/dl). Holy fuck. Did you read that? 2 hours to get to 4.8... At this time I was so sick and nauseous I took half a gravol and hoped to science I didn't tank again. I was terrified to go back to sleep and more terrified taking Gravol because it knocks me out so hard.

I knew what was coming for me! Does anyone else get this shit?
A bad low like that means that I am going to wake up 100% with a fucking hangover from hell. It happens all the time now and often during the daytime lows too just not as bad. Sugar upsets my stomach in a disgusting way. It makes me so sick I can't even describe the discomfort. What saves my life makes me want to kill myself over and over in a torturous murdering way. I HATE SUGAR! It's a cruel joke that brings tears to my eyes.

When I woke up to go to work in a gravol-induced haze I rolled over and took a Zofran and Advil and laid there. This is how I start my days when this happens. I don't waste my time with bringing much of a lunch to work and certainly don't waste my loving efforts on my breakfast smoothie. What's the point? it's just going to spoil. Bananas and rice cakes it is. Off to work I went. It wasn't until 1pm that I attempted to eat anything. I still rode my bike to work albeit slow as fuck because I'm so tired of something like this making me drive. I worked for hours trying to hide the hideousness that was going on inside my head and body. I was wrecked from lack of sleep and damn well nearly coma'ing. I've gotten so fucking good at putting on a face.

Advil and Zofran. Magical mystery buddies

I spent the day taking Zofran and Advil every few hours. This is how I've learned to get through the day. It's the only way I can function.

Is it the sugar? is it the low? What the fuck is it that makes me so bloody hungover beyond words? I wish desperately to call in sick but if I called in sick every time I'd probably get fired.

Some days I am working through the worst hangovers that you can't even imagine and you'd never even know.

The next few days I was afraid to sleep. I started setting a 12:30am alarm since that seemed to be the magical hellish hour. I was setting 3 alarms a night out of fear.

I don't know if it was just that week or what. Knowing what I know about diabetes I guess the fucking planets were aligned. They were aligned to try and murder me in my sleep. Thanks diabetes.

For the record, No, I don't have a continuous glucose monitor. Well, I still have my old Medtronic one but it's obsolete and only integrated with my old pump. Yes, I wish I had a cgm. No, I can't afford it out-of-pocket and no, insurance will not cover it. So yes, I have no other option.

Now I have to beg my Doc to write me a somewhat permanent script for Zofran even though she refused last time because it's the only thing I can take that allows me to function.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

They call me Nancy and Debbie

My name is not Nancy or Debbie but more often than not I am them!
I'm Debbie Downer and Negative Nancy!
But really I'm like Debbie+Nancy=Scully. It's not math people, it's reality.

The other day I was in a coffee shop and noticed the dude I ordered my tea from had a massive tattoo on his forearm indicating Type 1 Diabetic with all the fixins. As he brought my gigantic green tea over (which I wasn't really going to drink any way), I asked him if he had type 1 which made me feel like an idiot. Captain fucking obvious. Like who the hell would tattoo something like that on their forearm? Of course he said "yup." My response?

"SUCKS, doesn't it?"

He looked at me with a crooked smile of someone who fucking gets it. He looked at me with a touch of "that's refreshing" in his eyes. Or at least that's what I imagined him feeling and he said, "yeah... yeah it sure does!"

and I walked away without saying another word. I wanted to make a statement, not have a long winded conversation.
That's me. Why? Because it's how I feel in a downright honest-to-goodness way!

I am the party pooper when it comes to diabetes. I am the Honest Ed (Toronto reference, sorry folks). I am the non sugar-coating freakhead. You want the truth? you come to me. You want to wallow in whatever it is you're wallowing in? I'll talk about it. Wanna gossip about someone you don't like and I also don't like? Let's have a pow-wow. You won't find me sitting around saying how much of a "BLESSING" it is to be stricken with such an awful fucking disease. I hate it more than anything when people call this disease a blessing. Fuck that shit. If you think it's a blessing than you're lying to yourself.

Every day is a struggle to some degree. As my diabetes gets older, it has more drastic side effects and symptoms of highs and lows. I have been suffering more than I used to, believe it or not. Yes I realize that I could be on my own in this one but it's as if it's getting worse. So you can't blame me for my negativity. Most of my bad lows leave me absolutely wrecked for the day and it's awful. (next post for sure.)

Why don't you tell us how you really feel Scully? Well fuck, I already did! I HATE diabetes and I'm okay with that. I'm not a miserable person at all I'm actually quite content (outside of T1D). Sure I met a few good people but y'know what? We meet good people every day in this world. Diabetes or not. Has it taught me to be a stronger person? Sort of. Would I have grown to be a strong person anyway? Probably.

It's made me more of a negative person though. It's made me more bitter and agitated. So when I meet someone that lives the same hell as I do, damn straight I'm gonna throw it down in my brutally honest way. IT SUCKS DOESN'T IT?

Cuz y'know what? I always get the same response. A genuine smile of someone who get's it and a whole-hearted agreement.

Friday, July 3, 2015

My Sharpie is my app

I have figured out some bizarre ways to not kill myself with diabetes. Some of my lessons have been picked up from other diabetics and others are my own creation.  This one is mine and for all intents and purposes it’s completely archaic.

In the age of smart phones, apps and technology I have found myself sinking farther and farther away from it. Just yesterday I expressly rolled my eyes at a couple of young ladies using one of those selfie-stick-pole thingies. I called it something like “really stupid”. Okay let’s be honest, I said it was “fucking retarded”. I turned to Ryan and said, “I’m totally gonna be one of those crotchety old ladies that just doesn’t get new things.” I quickly followed that up with, “scratch that, I already am that person.”

The thing I have the most trouble with on injections is not having a record. With the pump I could just go in and see when and how much insulin I took. When you inject, once it’s in your only recollection is your mind. When it’s something you do 8’ish times a day it becomes quite the routine and I find it easy to forget. This mostly pertains to my twice daily Lantus injections. There have been so many times where halfway into the morning I do this fucking jerky squirrel move. I sit up straight out of nowhere, cock my head to the side, look up into the magical ceiling and ask myself, “did I take my Lantus this morning?”

How would I know?

Wait until blood sugars went super wonky? Sometimes they go wonky anyway. Risk it and take a late dose which would then result in a possible double dose? Listen, I’m trying to NOT kill myself here. I find the Lantus to be so routine that I forget I’m even doing it.

I used the reminder app on my phone but the alarm drove me crazy. I wanted something that I could “check off” twice a day but would also send me a little nudge of a reminder without a vibrate or a beep. I played with 3 or 4 apps and alarms before I conceded that technlology just isn’t the way to go for me. This has been the story of my life lately. Sometimes I’m on the move or in my car or fuck.. whatever and the idea of having to unlock my phone and open an app was just far too convoluted for me. Just having the alarm wasn’t enough because there still wasn’t any recording of whether or not I TOOK the insulin.

I toyed with the old school paper and pen idea but it would have to be small enough to fit in my meter case with my syringe and two insulins or there’s no chance I would ever use it. I know me well. I found a mini sharpie marker and started putting a little “x” or happy face on my hand with each lantus injection (twice a day). Since the doses are administered approximately 12 hours apart it was long enough that the marker would wear/wash away but also long enough that I could see it and be reminded should I question my own self.

That didn’t work because Sharpie just doesn’t wash off fast enough and I ended up with marks all over my fucking hands.

So that’s when I came up with this. It sure ain’t perfect but hell, it’s working! I'm only posting this so I can showcase my awesome paint skillz yo.

Saturday and Sunday are the pinky and ring fingers on my other hand.

With my mini Sharpie that fits in my case, I put a wee dot on my finger. Each finger has a day and each day has a morning and an evening. The dots wash off a lot faster and are slightly less obvious. No matter what, I have forced myself to make the dotting a habit. If I chose to one morning not use it then how could I trust myself? It had to be a thing that happened with every single Lantus injection. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve saved my own ass. Sometimes it’s less than 5 minutes later I look around and wonder if I’ve taken my Lantus. The reassuring feeling of looking down and seeing the stupid dot has made my life so much better. It takes the guess work out of it and means that injecting Lantus can go back to being a routine habit I don’t have to think about.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The familiar is comforting no matter how bad it is

I go through life with anxiety. Some days or hours (or weeks or months) it’s more prominent than others.

I go through phases where I feel like the mastermind boss with anxiety firmly squished beneath my thumb. I get a false sense of security out of this which makes me feel invincible even though I know it’s fake. Like a fist bump of epic proportions inside my imaginary mind if nothing else but temporary.

It never lasts. I know this because it’s still here on and off throughout my entire life. I have memories as a small child. If I could remember my first few years of life I bet it would have been there too.

So I've mentioned before how empowering it feels when I hit pockets of existence without debilitating anxiety. I live it up like a college student fresh out of exams for the summer while staying at the parents’ house with no expenses other than booze and drugs.

The ultimate freedom.

I'm coming off what feels like a few solid weeks of stifled anxiety. I hesitate to say “anxiety-free” because one with severe generalized anxiety disorder does not simply become anxiety-free... EVER.

The familiar comes back to haunt me slowly at first until it stops me. I sensed the nausea and discomfort which caused more nausea and discomfort. I continued to push through it as if it wasn't even there. As if I was WILLING it to give me a few more days or hours without it’s fucking presence. You’d probably be surprised at how bad I feel sometimes and yet on the outside you’d never even know. I have become supreme at hiding it from the outside. It persists. I try my Jedi mind tricks with it. By that I mean some of the skills I learned through cognitive behavioural therapy which really are just Jedi mind tricks. Perhaps if I believed them to be true they wouldn't be tricks but I have a hard time forcing myself to believe that which I feel is irrational.

I don’t even know the trigger.

Anxiety is an asshole with too many fucked up facets. I can rarely nail down the cause unless I am in a situation that is obvious. Like in a group of people in a social situation surrounded by food. WORST FUCKING NIGHTMARE. As in, not sitting quietly at my desk plugging away seemingly unaware of the world around me. 

It still creeps in. I ignore. It stops creeping and starts screaming. Okay, okay you little fuck face, listen here! You’re like a bad goddamn boyfriend who is an arrogant self-serving control freak that’s inconsiderate to the world around him. Shit, that’s my ex-husband in a nutshell. I wonder if learning to live with anxiety is like living with my ex. Perhaps I need to exercise a loss of will and give up on any semblance of self confidence. It seemed to work for years with him, until it didn't of course.

The thing is, the anxiety is familiar. It’s so familiar that it’s almost comforting in a way. Oh, you again. Yeah, I know what I'm in for. I know I need to get my stash of ginger tea and Zofran while not counting on being able to eat much for the next while. Two days? Two weeks? Two months? How long this time? At least I don't need to make lunch for tomorrow.

It’s an eerie feeling when badness washes over you and you’re all like, “yeah, so what?”. Welcome home I guess. It's uncomfortably COMFORTING. I don’t want to be here but I can’t run away from myself.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dblog week day 6 - linkity links

Today's prompt is:
If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written?  Is it diabetes related or just life related?  If you are a new blogger and don't have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?
Dear Laddie get's the credit for this one.

I'll be honest, I'm not overly psyched about this topic mostly because it requires too much thinking. What motivated me to start a blog, hmmm, probably just the desire to connect. I could see so many others sharing and connecting and I wanted that too. I was going through a rather messy separation/divorce and was an emotional fucking ticking time bomb. I needed something to put my thoughts into and had been lurking the diabetes blogosphere for quite awhile at that point.

My favourite blog post by someone else is hands down THIS one by Jacquie. It's from many years ago and I still think about it.
I also adore THIS one about the crazy rabbit from Celine. These posts are pure genius.

As for me myself and my bloggy blog, I've been writing this thing on and off now for 5 years! holy shit... To top it all off this is my 500th published post, that's a bit coincidentally timed. I have to state "published" because I currently have 35 unpublished posts.

To get a "best" idea of popular posts I'll have to go into my stats.
If you ask the stats, my most popular post and not just by a landslide but by a fucking insane amount of page views is my "Rockets vs. Smarties" post. I wouldn't even recommend clicking the link. It's so lame the pictures are even broken. I wrote this in August of 2010 and it is still the post that gets the most page views. 20,780 to be exact. The next post down only has 1923. So, that tells me that people are VERY curious about Rockets and Smarties. Also, I think it just comes up at the top of the google search when you type that in. But seriously.. over 20,000 page views? bananas.  Now that I've got the words "rockets vs. smarties" and another picture I bet this is going to get a bazillion page views now too. 

The next two posts down that got the most hits are:
My hatred rant about the VerioIQ blood glucose meter.
Another device rant about Medtronic insulin pumps.

After reading those two posts.. it's no wonder I'm so anti-device, anti-diabetes technology and anti-flashy shit. I've had nothing but bad luck with it all.

My favourite posts are my old 12 of 12 posts. I really loved the 12th of each month when I would take 12 pictured during the day and post them. I stopped doing it a long time ago and sort of feel like starting it up again. Alas, most of the older pictures are gone (basically anything before December of 2012) because I'm a fucking idiot stick and accidentally - okay not accidentally. I deleted my google cache without knowing all the pictures were linked to my blog. I'm an idiot.

So that's what I've got. I can't think of my favourite post because I don't really keep track of anything. All I've got to go on is stats and I guess they speak for the blog. Those stats say that people are really fucking interested in Canadian vs. American Smarties... Y'all are a bunch of candy freaks out there!

For more posts on today's topic, go HERE.

Friday, May 15, 2015

D-blog week day 5 - a day of food

This is probably the post that got me to do Dblog week at all. Not only because it was recommended by my favouritist blogger Katy but because it was cool.

The premise? document a day of eating. YESS! something that requires a day of pictures is my favourite. I was all stoked and then the day just ended up being super busy and super boring. 

How do you know when someone is vegan? don't worry, they'll tell you.
I'm vegan and due to celiac disease I have to keep a gluten free life.

The morning started at 4:40am when my alarm went off. I dragged my ass out of bed by 5. I am studying for an exam next week so I'm squeezing in study time wherever I can. This means no bike commuting which means I am in one hell of a shitty mood.

It started with a plain rice cake with some coconut oil with my cold brew black coffee. I don't "eat" breakfast until much later so in order to keep my stomach from revolting with gut rot and coffee jitters I have to put something down there.

8:00am BREAKFAST on the way to work/at work. Most mornings it's a green smoothie. On special occasions when I have prepared beets I have this gem. It's boiled and refrigerated beets (about 2 medium beets), one frozen banana, 1tbsp of ground chia seeds, 1/2 scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder and a mixture of unsweetened almond milk/water. Drinking this delights me with red pee and a magenta poop the next morning!

My Fitness Pal says its 60g of carbs which is GIGANTIC-O-SAURUS but my body feels different about that number. I used 3 units of insulin and still ended up low. Pre injection this would have been 10 units of insulin and still end up high.

10am middle of the morning slight low BG

10:15am the low is worse than I thought so I downed a handful of jelly beans for faster action. I followed it up with a unit of insulin to now cover the bar which wasn't going to hit until a bit later. Oops. fuck you diabetes. Fuck me for not taking in fast acting carbs to begin with.

12pm. I take a late lunch because... I don't know. Because the afternoon goes by so fucking slow. I ate half of my carrots before taking a picture. Steamed and refrigerated. Cold soggy carrots are my favourite way to eat them. If they were raw I would be doubled over in pain a couple hours later so steaming them is my only option. 

2pm. This is my lunch pretty much every single day. My co workers actually make fun of me for eating the same thing. Those diabetics out there will understand why. It's a bean salad I make at the beginning of the week with lentils, chickpeas and fava beans with some sesame oil, balsamic, garlic and spices. I then throw a bunch of grape tomatoes, a layer of 2tbsp of hemp hearts and a whopping load of nutritional yeast. On top of that is as much alfalfa and pea sprouts I can cram in. I use more sesame oil and balsamic vinegar as a dressing or on days that I have prepared ahead of time I make either watered down tahini or watered down hummus dressing.

My Fitness Pal says my lunch is 30g of carbs. I suppose that's right. I often pre-bolus 30 minutes if I'm a little high or post bolus if I'm a little low. Usually 1.5-2u of insulin.

I had a red apricot. I don't remember when

This makes most people laugh. Yes, I bring a container of emergency peanut butter wherever I go. It holds 2-3tbsp. I do this for work because all day long I super duper crave peanut butter. Like to a dangerous level! I used to keep jars of it at my desk but had trouble restricting myself. I would eat the whole jar in a couple days if I allowed myself. If I don't bring it with me, no joke, I'll come home and go straight to the jar with a spoon before even taking my shoes off. At least this way, I get my fix and don't turn into SERIOUSLY CRAZY PEANUT BUTTER OBSESSED INSANE-O.

9:30pm. Yes, this was "dinner" and super late. LAME! A rice cake with some coconut oil and mashed up avocado. I didn't even have the patience to put some sliced tomato which I often do. I usually cook and I love cooking. However after I got home I went out for a run with a couple friends to burn off some of the stress of the day. I haven't been exercising because of studying and I was going to explode. I was in a fucking rotten mood. After getting home and preparing for the next day it was pretty late, I didn't even have a shower after the run. We had no time to really cook and I just needed something to stick in my belly before I went to sleep. Oh this was also after another handful of jelly beans as a result of another low.

Rice cakes are a staple around here. They are a platform for pretty much everything. I like them instead of gf bread. 

I'm bummed I didn't get a chance to display some delicious cooking but, well, this is the day I chose so be it.

Y'know what? Let's pretend I cooked THIS tonight ;)

There, that feels better. 

Thanks Katy!

For more posts on this topic, go HERE.