Monday, April 20, 2015

A trail race

It's been a long time since I signed up for a running race. It's been at least 2 years probably more like 3. Crazy considering running was my only obsession at that time. I've also never ran a trail race.

Running for me these days is completely recreational. I never run alone. Some times I run every week, sometimes it's once every two weeks and other times it's 4 days in a row. I run with Ryan and with his meet-up group from time to time. I don't take it seriously as it's become just "something I do sometimes" usually because someone else is doing it. I don't run because of the pain it used to cause me in my collar bone. I don't run because I am usually so focused on cycling. I'll save that for another post.

So I signed up for Ryan's trail race. He coordinates the race series where he works and created this gem of an event last year. It got so much interest that it became the biggest event across the board. I coerced my BFF Steph to play with me.

Mr. Race coordinator himself.

Much to every body's surprise the weather was fan-fucking-tastically beautiful. SUNSHINE and WARMTH!

I fucked up though. I fucked up and failed my diabetes. Lately I've been going low every time I participate in physical activity so I padded my BG a little. What was supposed to be a little turned out to be killer. Right before the start I was sitting at 9.2mmol/l and had no insulin on board. Breakfast was mostly out of my system also. I had my shirt stuffed with 2 gels and 3 dates just in case cuz y'know... diabetes. We were trotting along at no intense speed or anything. In fact we were chatting about life and probably annoying all the other folks.

Half way through and my wee jog started to suffer. My lungs felt pushed to their limits and my legs replaced with blocks of concrete.

We turned to go back to the start and I could hear Ryan's voice over the loudspeaker which made me feel safe and comfortable. That's my husband! This is his race! We went past the start/finish to do another loop in a different direction which sucked because we thought we were done! My Garmin was in my pocket. After heading back into the forest I finally stopped to test my bg. First number was 16.9mmol/l (304mg/dl). WHAT THE FUCK? that can't be right, test again and see 15.7mmol/l (283mg/dl). A loud "FUUUUCK" was screamed from me. I stabbed myself in the boob with 3 units of insulin and resigned myself to just fucking getting this shit over with. I was in it now and nothing I could really do was going to make this any less painful. I was thankful I ran with my meter and insulin on me. Yeah, no wonder I was struggling and suffering harder than I should have.

After crossing the finish line I slumped down on the grass. Head in my hands and trying to drown out the noise and hubbub. I considered getting someone to take a pic but then I chose not to. Steph rubbed my back as I fought back the tears. My body hurt so bad. My stomach nauseous. I couldn't even move. I tested a few more times topping out at a whopping 17.6mmol/l (316mg/dl). I don't see numbers like that often so when I do, it feels REALLY bad. I took another 2 units into my quad. A nice big muscle that was just being used to move me through 10km of trails. A muscle that would work in my favour to get that insulin into my system faster than if I stuck it into fat.

I laid down on the barely there brown and damp spring grass. I couldn't think, I couldn't do anything. I was suffering. I looked up to find out I was in the middle of the show as Ryan was announcing the winners. This is awkward. No fucks were really given by me because I was in so much discomfort and pain. We sat there with a few friends while they rubbed my back assuring me it would be okay soon. I hate it when people have to see me like this.

I was in a different kind of pain cave that not very many of the some 350'ish people there could ever fathom.

The race itself was fine! a wonderful and super challenging course! The end feels like a blur to me and there are parts I don't remember at all. Here's the kicker of all kickers.. the results. Now, previously in my years of running I'd be lucky to place anywhere not in the bottom quarter. No shit. Always, the bottom quarter. I've never run a trail race and typically it's just common knowledge that you can't move as quick in the trails as you can on the roads.

I know it's just a small local race but, Officially, I was the 11th female out of 50. Whaaaat?? I uploaded my Garmin data when I got home and had to rub my eyes. My first assumption was that the data was wrong. It lost a signal or something. The Garmin had me at a time of 59:04 for 9.8km making the average pace of 6:01/km. I've never run any race that fast and I officially don't run any more. However, much to my disappointment (not surprise) data was indeed lost. The chip time had us at 60:05 minutes with an average pace of 6:31/km. Okay fine. I guess chip time knows all. Still though, to come in 11th out of 50? In a running race? In a sport I don't even do any more? In not just a running race but a TRAIL running race? Perhaps I need to go back to running. Ryan is convinced it's because I changed my technique last year to a forefoot strike. He could be right.

Post race rest of the day was spent somewhat hungover. The insulin eventually did it's job where I obviously could not. But WHY? why did this happen today? A banana on top of a 9.2mmol/l BG before a hard hour of running should have been perfect!  It wasn't even a very BIG banana. *should* have been does not mean it will. Not today.

I love my BFF for taking care of me more than anything. I really needed her in that moment. It's not often I show these extreme diabetes situations but I'm grateful for having someone there for me. I'm sorry Ryan for collapsing in front of you and you being unable to leave your race director post.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Creative new glucose meter (FRED) in need of feedback

I don't normally do this.

I'm being pimped!

I meet this dude in a coffee shop one day. He contacted me through my blog because he had an idea for a new glucose meter. At first I was like, yeah whatever, I'll meet you. I told Ryan not to worry and that I wasn't going to be murdered but he still worried.

It's not everyday you meet with a complete stranger from the internet. Disregard the fact that I met my husband on the internet!

So this young entrepreneur from my 'hood introduced me to a product idea and I kind of liked it. I more than kind of liked it. I thought it was an innovative idea. Yeah an all-in-one glucose meter that is incorporated into a smart phone case may not be for everyone. Even I had a hard time thinking it was something I would use.

We diabetics like new things but some of us (ME) get really stuck in what works and I've used the same glucose meter for years (and years). GO FREESTYLE LITE!

But I liked the young guy, Paolo, he was eager and a go-getter as they say.

So here I am, being pimped out. I'm sharing these images for him. He has been trying to gain some data and feedback from us, the diabetes online community.

Have a look and send either me or him (pdidonato2 at gmail dot com) your feedback. While you're at it, there's a survey HERE that will take only a few minutes of your time and will provide him much needed info to tailor this invention to what WE would want and use.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

numbers that keep me alive

I did an experiment. Okay it wasn't an experiment, all did was track my insulin usage over a month. I guess that's an experiment if you consider that I don't track shit.

Being on injections means I don't have a fancy digital device recording everything. Pen and paper are my only way of tracking (or the notepad app on my phone). 6 weeks ago I smashed my pen vial while cross country skiing. (Keep in mind I use loose pen cartridges and old school syringes). I fell on it. We were a few hours up north and as much as I tried to make it back home, I was very hungry (4 hours of skiing will do that to ya). I needed insulin in order to eat or else I'd end up sick with high BGs. Not a risk I was willing to take. We stopped to buy some which means I got a whole 10ml vial. At the rate I use insulin, a vial would technically last me 3ish months and since insulin expires after 1 month it's just not logical for me to use vials. It's not "viable" hahahaha! I would throw out more than I would use. Trying to keep a box of pen cartridges refrigerated inside a hot car on the way home wasn't an option either.

So I decided, out of curiosity, to actually track how much of the life juice I use over the month. I took a picture at the beginning of the vial. Then two weeks later we were skiing again in -40C hell. I tried as hard as I could (put a hot pocket in the case with the insulin) but my vial froze. Again, we were hours up north and staying the night so a 45min drive to the nearest pharmacy was our only option and again, another vial was purchased.

Needless to say I gave up on the "after" picture.

Here's what I learned in numbers:

In 30 days:

I injected 120 times. Plus 2x a day for Lantus. Total injections = 160
Averaged 4 times a day. The least amount of injections was 3 the most was 6 (rapid only because Lantus is a given 2x a day no matter what)

I injected 177 units of novorapid, 480 units of Lantus. (I take 8u of Lantus twice a day)
I averaged 6 units per day of rapid. The lowest day was 4 units and the highest was 9.5 units.

If you spread this out over a year the numbers would look like this:
1,440 shots of rapid + 720 shots of Lantus = 2,160 total shots.
5, 310 units of rapid + 5, 760 units of Lantus = 11, 070 total units of insulin.

As always, I have to enforce that YOUR DIABETES MAY VARY (YDMV).

What did I learn from this?
1. tracking anything sucks.
2. I use even less insulin than I thought
3. Insulin pumps will never be an option for me*(1)
4. Fuck I hope I never get curious about doing this for blood sugar readings*(2)
5. I really don't care how many times I stick myself with needles
6. Wow, I really got through many days during the month on 4 units of insulin?!
7. I was able to notice which days were crazy exercise days
8. Because I hate ending on an odd number.

*(1). Let's put it this way, I was regularly injecting 50-60units of rapid acting insulin per day when I was on the pump. I have always maintained a low-ish carb diet to boot so this was even more frustrating.

SIXTY! Sixty units would get me through a week and a half now. I know from my own experience that higher amounts of insulin left me with higher pounds of weight. I dropped 30lbs after stopping the pump. I was a chub. It's no myth that higher levels of insulin is a direct relation to higher absorption of carbs and therefore, more chub. That's as scientific as I can get so definitely don't take my word for it. Yes, the insulin pump accounts for both basal and bolus insulin and it's all rapid acting life juice. I take Lantus now for my basal so a daily TOTAL of Lantus AND basal would be roughly 22 units. Still, a far cry from my 60. Also, not all insulin is created equal. I ain't no gosh darn scientist but long-acting insulin like Lantus and Levemir doesn't have the same effect on the body as rapid shit does. In summary, this is only ONE of the many reasons why I just wasn't into insulin pumps. Clearly, my body was not receptive to them. I know of people who are the other way around. On pumps they take a fraction of what they did on injections, so I know it goes both ways.

I'm proud of my small insulin usage. It makes me feel like I've got some sort of understanding of this fucking disease.

*(2). Ah fuck. Now I want to do the more complicated tracking. Can I do it for one month? uuuuhhhggg... I'm so fucking curious but really REALLY hate it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

You gotta own it when you're me.

What I really wanted to title this post: "You gotta own your farts when you're me." For some reason I think the word "fart" in the title is just slightly not okay.

Sometimes I just want to be a story teller...
This story made me laugh and cringe and cry all while writing it. It's real and honest. I don't like holding anything back. If you ever wondered...YES, this is how I actually talk and think inside my head (and sometimes outside)

I don't know what it is but something feels terrible. Somewhere between my neck and my asshole.

I go about my daily routine and work hours while trying to ignore it. "IT" is making me irritable and moody. Why do my guts feel so bad? It's like they're sick.

There are pain and cramps accompanied by the onset of some of the worst farts you've ever smelled. I'm not even joking. I go for a night trail run with Ryan and a couple friends through the meet-up group. I'm always the runner at the back of the group because running=farting+pooping for me. At one point we stop to decide where we go next and I let rip. I made sure to make it quiet because I didn't know these people all that well. Usually, I just let it *Brrrraaap* around strangers because it's ME. I feel like I should just get this out of the way right off the bat. It's my style, I don't hide my fartitude. If I did my belly might explode. Most of the time people laugh and appreciate my no holds bar way. I enjoy farting and laughing about it. I don't know why people get so embarrassed.

The fart drifted not very far and Ryan turns to me and says "DID YOU FART?" I'm like, "I sure did!" with a smile. I often expect strangers to laugh but, well, they didn't laugh. I'm not sure what they thought but I don't think they like me now (not that they liked me before for all I know). Now I'm that weird chick who farts out loud and OWNS it! That weird girl.

We got home to start the barrage of shit that we have to do in the evening. It's going on 8:30pm. We have to prep lunches for the next day, clean the weasel cage, have showers (in our piddly stupid barely-a-shower-shower with just a sprinkle of hot water and no pressure- OH shitty apartment living). We have to make dinner and unpack followed by repacking for our active lives. We launder a lot of workout clothes I'll tell ya. I was farting the whole way and really, they were just leaking out of me at this point. Ryan was beginning to get annoyed. I kept apologizing over and over because they were the most hideously filthy, vile farts. Something was really wrong inside me. There was NO STOPPING the air biscuits.

The nausea set in and although I made some tasty rice cakes with avocado and tomato, they never got eaten. Instead I made ginger tea, STILL farting.

Shakes, headaches and nausea. Cramps, bloating and major GI distress.

I couldn't sleep. I took Melatonin which is usually idiot proof and I still couldn't sleep. I thought about Gravol but I'm afraid of the gravol induced sleep from the last time. Gravol is too dangerous because I struggle to wake up for lows. Then Ryan made the colossal mistake of rolling over and *BAM*. He tasted my fart and got up to go sleep on the couch. I caused my husband to go sleep on the couch to escape my ass! Talk about guilt.

I dragged him back to bed and waited for him to fall asleep. I clenched my farts into submission. I couldn't fall asleep anyway feeling the way I was. I crawled out to the couch because that's where my dirty no good ass and I belong. It's not fair to him. I still couldn't sleep. The minutes were passing and my ass was gassing, the nausea not going anywhere.

Eventually I fell asleep, I think. I'm not sure. I woke up around 5am startled wondering where I was. I slept on and off for 3 whole short hours.

The pain and nausea were still very much there. I really wanted to call in sick to work. I listened to my meditation app in hopes that it would calm my nerves. It sort of did, for a minute or two. *joy* I went about my morning routine. Coffee was a bad choice but a necessary one given the lack of sleep. I made my green smoothie and proceeded to watch it go gross on my desk at work because I was too nauseated to drink it. OH MY SHIT!!!! I just realized it's still sitting at work under my desk!! ohhhhhhh fuuuuuck. That's going to be pleasant come Monday morning... MAJOR OOPS!

I fought the bags under my eyes. I fought the shakes and chills and nausea. This is my life. This is anxiety and the worst part? I don't even know what triggered it.

This goes with one of my last posts of why I gained weight and how this process works. Anxiety sets in and I stop eating for a long time. Sometimes upwards of a day or two. Looks like my good run is over.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Things you may find interesting. Or not. It's yours to decide.

Here's something curious and weird for a change. Regretfully, I don't remember who I stole this from since I found it in my drafts folder and I'm not sure how long ago I started it. I had to dig into the vault for some of these pics.

1. Four names that people call me other than my real name:

1. Scully (duh)
2. Sweets/Sweetness (Ryan's pet name for me and yes there is a diabetes reference)
3. scullybum, scully-doo, fartybum, skfuckybum, sculls/skulls. Honestly anything that doesn't resemble my first name. I don't think this counts as 1.
4. astrowench. From a long LONG time ago.

2. Four jobs I’ve had: (that aren't my career of choice at present)

Nobody volunteered to be Goldilocks so guess who had to step up?
1. Teaching English in Taiwan
2. Working in an outdoors store selling camping equipment
3. Gift shop in the Holiday Inn (this was my first job I ever had. I was 14 and minimum wage was $6.45/h)
4. Coffee whore at Second Cup in Alberta

3. Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

1. High Fidelity (my all time favourite movie)
2. Edward Scissorhands (my runner up all time favourite movie)
3. Rocky Horror Picture Show (my 3rd place all time favourite movie)
4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tied with A Christmas Story (because best Christmas movies EVER) again I'm squeezing 2 in.

It seems I don't like anything current...

4. Four books I’d recommend:

1. Catcher in the Rye  (because I've always been somewhat damaged)
3. Oh She Glows Cookbook Does a cookbook count?

5. Four places I’ve lived:

Climbed a small hill in Alberta
1. Hsin Chu, Taiwan
2. Red Deer, Alberta (asshole of the province)
3. Hamilton, Ontario. Countless times and locations (and currently) 
4. Toronto for a brief period of time

6. Four places I’ve visited:

Only FOUR!? 

Yeah, we went there.
1. Texas (had to throw a place that wasn't in Asia on there)
2. India
3. Bangkok
4. Tokyo 

7. Four things I prefer not to eat:

1. Meat  
2. Dairy 
3. Eggs
4. Gluten (I guess this is less of a preference and more of a necessity)

8. Four of my favorite foods:

1. Peanut Butter
2. BEANS (all kinds and in all ways, I adore beans)
3. Chocolate. Even milk chocolate. I'm a vegan but chocolate doesn't count ;)
4. Kale smoothies (yes, I'm THAT person every single morning, go ahead and judge me)

9. Four TV shows I watch

1. Biggest Loser (great mindless entertainment on the trainer)
2. Bachelor/Bachelorette (Okay, this is a guilty pleasure of not just mine but mine and Ryan's. BELIEVE IT)
3. Walking Dead 
4. 2 Broke Girls, New Girl and Grey's Anatomy (I'm cheating again and putting 3. Love setting these up while I'm on the bike)

10. Four things I’m looking forward to this year: 

The already completed arm.
1. Not fucking winter
2. Attempting to race again
3. A little bike touring trip with Ryan.
4. progress on my other arm (tattoo sleeve)

11. Four things I’m always saying:

1. I'm sorry I farted and it's bad. (verbatim) TRUTH!! Maybe it's all those beans....
2. Turn the volume down  (....because  sensory overload)
3. I feel sick
4. People are the worst kind of people (I owe the credit of that term to a very old and smart friend)

Feel free to copy and paste this! It's entertaining to write and read.
Sorry to whomever I stole it from!
Oh well.
Fuck it. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

I gained weight and this is actually a good thing

it's time for an anxiety post. 

Are you ready?

I don't care, let's go.

I gained weight. That's a sign that my anxiety has been drastically in control lately. It's directly related for a number of reasons. I've written about my food anxiety more times than I can recall. Hello, I'm afraid of food. I'm terrified of food making me ill because feeling ill equals many of my other fears. I'm afraid of what it feels like to be full so much that I am not even sure what "full" feels like. I'm so afraid of it that I restrict how much I consume in a single sitting to avoid it. Sometimes I eat dinner over the course of 2 hours, Ryan knows this all too well. Especially considering dinner is my most hated meal of the day. I also cringe at the word, "meal". Did you know that? probably not because I'm a strange individual. I also hate the word "snack". Food related words, no shit. 

I don't have any idea why this all started but it's been going on for the better part of 15 years. Scratch that, it's been going on my entire life. Food scares me. I enjoy cooking but the act of cooking makes me feel sick sometimes. Watching other people eat makes me feel sick and so dinners and social situations around food make me less likely to touch anything.

So why is me gaining weight a sign that my anxiety has been my bitch (and not the other way around)? It means simply that I've been able to eat without feeling sick. If I don't feel sick I, I eat comfortably. If I eat comfortably, consumption goes up. Usually my way to live is to eat when I feel well and complete avoidance when I don't. It's almost a fight or flight reaction. I know in the depths of my being that I have to eat as much as I can when I feel well because it could be days of anxiety just around the corner. I've conditioned myself to take advantage of the good times. Since I've been doing so well it's been good times often and so the result is unwanted weight gain. BUT, it's a major sign for me. As much as I hate it I am grateful that I've felt so well for this long. By "long" it's been a couple months. However, I also dread this because I question how long it will last? It never ever lasts. Whether it's a few weeks or a few months it always seems to come crashing down. It's my own doing.

So what's changed? A few lessons I learned at the Psychologist and studying anxiety disorder on my own. I notice now when I feel sick as soon as I eat I ask myself "why?" Did you eat something rotten? hopefully no. Did you eat too much? no. Are you sick? no. I am very aware that my issues are psychological. I convince myself that I've made a mistake either by eating too much or the wrong thing and it spirals out of control. That's kind of what anxiety is in a nutshell. A vicious circle of made up shit. Webster's dictionary definition right there folks, you're welcome.

I have worked really hard to slap myself when I get these feelings. I talk to myself, not out loud but that would be awesome. I tell myself there's nothing wrong with how I feel. I am sure not to tell myself to "just calm down" or "don't worry" because those are sentiments people who know nothing about anxiety say. I use whatever I have in my arsenal to convince myself that I did not eat too much, I did not eat anything rotten and I am okay. I compare myself too in that I see other people eating twice as much as me and feeling fine so this feeling of food in my belly is completely normal. I totally play games with my mind and it's been working.

Sometimes I still lose the game resulting in feeling sick and curling up in the corner in a ball wishing for death. The sick feeling doesn't last as long as it used to because I'm more in tune with it. Knowing that so many of my issues are self inflicted mind games has really helped me. Other things that have helped me lately is that I haven't had to endure any social situations. I use the word "endure" because that's truly what it is to me. Fucking middle of February and we're in a deep motherfucking cold. Nobody is doing things. We're all so sick of winter and angry.

But the result..... unwanted weight gain..... It's just a few pounds. Just enough to make everything fit a little snugglier. But for me and my sensory issues, I HATE and cannot tolerate clothes fitting a little snug.

As long as I know why, I can be better and get back to where I was. I'm a cyclist after-all and strive for the "skeletal person in lycra" look*. Right Becky?!

*I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be skeletal simply because of the benefits on the bike but I certainly don't prescribe to it entirely. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

10 things I love

This is somewhat uncharacteristic for me to write about. No psychologist or therapist told me to focus on the positives or some other fucking stupid motivational saying you can think of.

This was entirely my idea.

10 things I love.

I will be honest, this post has been in the making for a couple weeks. I was sitting at 8 things for so long and couldn't come up with 2 other things. Yeah, 10 measly things was hard because I mostly hate my life. Sure I could have just filled it with extra food items but that would be too easy.

Here we go...
1. Our 4 ferrets. I adore these little guys. They always make me smile no matter what. They're such funny little animals! Unless they're pooping on the floor - which is often. If anyone goes and links to that article about a ferret eating a babies face I will seek you out and throat punch you.

2. Back country nordic skis that Ryan and I got this year in an attempt to find some way to enjoy the winter. Although snow has been scarce this year (except for today being a snow day), it is a purchase we don't regret.

3. This lemon squeezer that makes my smoothie process a bit easier.

4. I give you homemade deoderant. I'm not a hippy but I dislike the chemicals in most deoderants. I also sweat more than most thanks to my awesome anxiety fucker. I've tried the natural kinds but they don't work at all, like serious smelly issues half way through the day. I like how easy this was to make and it works - all day! I used tea tree oil for scent which was idiotic. Next time I'll try something like lavender.

5. Peanut butter and coconut oil rice cake cakes. I owe credit to this creation to my friend Steph. I eat it every single day sometimes multiple times a day. Spread some coconut oil then natural PB or almond butter. I usually use PB because almond butter is fucking expensive. Ryan and I finally made the switch to natural PB from Skippy/Kraft gloriousness. It was a hard transition, we went through much withdrawal but now that I'm here, I'll never eat the other shit again. I didn't realize how much it was upsetting my stomach.

As a coconut oil side note: I ain't one of those coconut oil miracle totting fairy fuckhead tarts. I want to state we use coconut oil because seed oil seems to cause much GI grief and inflammation. We discovered this after months - possibly years - of undiagnosed issues. Olive oil turns arsenic at high heat. Coconut oil is the only non-seed, non-animal oil that is relatively affordable (thank you Costco). Plus it's spreadable.

UPDATE: I'm an idiot and can't remember shit. Olive oil doesn't turn arsenic at high heat, it oxidizes and the benefits are almost completely destroyed. It's not the worst thing to cook with but we decided to use it for cold things and switch to coconut oil for all our cooking (and PB rice cakes) needs.

6. My lip balm of choice. I have 4 or 5 of these everywhere I need them.

7. Probably my favourite tea ever. It's so damn naturally sweet! I only use this stuff because I hate the licorice spice "blends", they can go to hell.

8. This torture device that allows me hours of indoor training. So much better than the stationary trainer. Except when you fall off which I do at least once every time I use them.

9. I've been burning these incense for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I'll burn something else but I could go the rest of my life burning only this. Sometimes I feel like my love for burning incense makes me feel so 1990.

10. Save the best for last! Yes I love him endlessly but what I love a lot is watching him skate. He makes it seem so effortless and it's definitely a sight I hold dear.

Also, I don't admit these things very often but this was quite refreshing to share things I love. It maybe sorta kinda ... coulda possibly with a tiny modicum of decency... uuhhhmm.... cheered me up. NOT that I would just come out and admit that.....  ahem.

Friday, January 30, 2015

migraine + bad low = sick and hungover

It happened last week. It's still worth sharing

This is a difficult story of struggle because writing about rainbows and unicorns with regards to diabetes is just plain boring and non existent.

I rode my bike home from work. It was dark and cold and headwindy. I pushed it because I was leaving work at 6:30pm and I was eager to get home to Ryan. The heavy panniers and the single speed of the steel frame bike are awesome but it does tend to make it a bit harder to push if you want to get anywhere fast. I arrived home and within 10 minutes my vision had completely started playing psychedelic games on me. Sometimes I get this weirdness with low blood sugar but I wasn't low. I tested twice and both times I was 4.4mmol/l (80mg/dl). I wondered if I was dropping from the ride and the vision weirdness was some sort of precursor to a low cuz I was sorta low. I ate some honey and waited. Nothing. All it did was make my blood sugar high. Huh. that's really fucking weird and by this point I'm starting to freak out. Was I somehow drugged? It was kind of the feeling of when you look at a bright light by accident and you're kind of blinded for a few minutes. Except with a side effect of an acid trip. (yes I had some wild days in my past).

It came to me in the shower. It was a migraine with an aura. I get migraines a lot, mostly tension and stress migraines. They rarely get so bad I can't function and I generally have plenty of warning to seek out drugs. So naturally, I googled that shit when I got out of the shower. Bright spots and black spots, zigzags... it was an aura. My head felt fine though. I took an Advil and not long after, the searing pain started. There's not much one can do at this point. I took some gravol to put myself to sleep because I wasn't tired at 8:30pm. Gravol did the trick.

Here's where shit goes off the rails.

Ryans Beeg Alarm is set for 1:30am every night. I don't know how long I was low for but I do remember trying to wake myself up for awhile. It was only 1am and the beeg alarm hadn't gone off yet. I fumble in my gravol induced haze. Fucking Gravol!!! I love it but it turns me into a death sleeper as opposed to my normal mouse-farts-wake-me-up

1.7mmol/l (30mg/dl)

I went to the kitchen because I'm out of Dex. A low of that caliber calls for honey because no chewing. The symptoms set in pretty quick. I remember feeling particularly uncomfortable in my body. My muscles were screaming. I was breathing heavy and sweating. I couldn't get comfortable enough to wait for it to subside. It was just so terribly awful. I wanted to disappear from the world entirely. Every movement took strength I didn't have and time seemed to slow down. 15 minutes later, I was only at 2.7mmol/l (48mg/dl). Ryan got more honey cuz I finished the jar I had. He kept an eye on me and stayed awake. He got me up an hour later and I was at 9.9mmol/l and terribly nauseous. Sugar is my kryptonite and makes me very ill. Most of the time I think this is a cruel joke.

At 9.9 I was tempted to take a bit of insulin thinking come morning I'll be waking up high with another sort of sick feeling to deal with but I didn't. Alas, I woke up at 6am with another low of 2.3mmol/l (41mg/dl). It took me 30 minutes just to get to a sitting up position. Who the fuck ran me over during the night? Coffee, yes... coffee is the answer. Green smoothie? hell no. My dear stomach was upset and disgruntled until 2pm. I worked for hours and hours on zero food and through a terrible nauseated state of hungover-ness. I finally ate something (a single clementine) and pulled out my insulin for the first time that day. As per usual, I had a rough night and took gravol again to settle my stomach. 24 hours of not really eating and feeling hungover. I woke up the next day feeling fine.

Here's the thing with me, one bad low and I'm sick for a whole day. My blood sugar may come back up but I am screwed for the day just barely hanging on.

In retrospect I needed to call in sick. What a fucking awful day of being hungover. What a fucking awful night of everything going bad. My first aura migraine, that was a treat. Nearly dying in my sleep - sure doesn't get much worse than that. A day of feeling hungover when I don't even drink? Wonderful in a stinky nutsack.

I do have a blog post or two that will make you smile that I'm working on. I'm not always all doom and gloom.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Ramblings of a workaholic who doesn't want to be a workaholic

I've got some incoherent psychobabble bullshitterino lame ass mouth farts to spew. I hate the word spew because it's synonymous with nastiness projected from the mouth.

I feel like I'm turning into a kook in all meanings of the word. I should probably google that shit but guess what? I just don't give a fuck.

I'm unhappy and extra un-thrilled about my new job. I work way too much overtime and it's completely uncompensated. This overtime means that my hours in the day are never fucking known. I I never know when I'm going to be released from prison on any individual day. It gets close to 5 and I'm all like, SWEET time to go the fuck home! Then 5 minutes to 5 all hell breaks loose and everything seems to be needed yesterday. Subsequently that dream of leaving at 5 gets popped like a ranky old helium balloon. No big *POP* just a slow leaking stink hole.

I hate not knowing when I get to go home. It could be 6....7....8. There's no end to how late I have to work seemingly everyfuckingday. I draw houses for fucksake. Seriously. Does someone need a goddamn drawing at 8pm on a weeknight?

What does this all mean? My cycling suffers first as always. My anxiety is heightened along with it. It's one thing when I'm on my bike and riding home before 5:30, arriving home around 6:30 and having time to unpack, repack, shower, cook dinner, clean the weasels room and maybe chill out for a few minutes. As soon as I'm leaving at say 6 or 7... all that gets shoved aside. Everything gets delayed. I freak out. Ryan says, "well you just gotta do it." I know he's right but my fucking anxiety just stops me dead in my tracks. Getting home later means everything gets done later and I still need to wake up to go to work at the same time. It's not like I get to go to work later if I work late the night before.

The start of my day is so much more full of awesome and kick-ass compared to the end of my day. (awesome on the left, kick-ass on the right)

To think of coming home and getting on the indoor trainer at 7:30 is making me feel less than stellar also. When I work late my brain is fried. Almost always I come home with a raging headache and a lovely stomach ache to accompany that. All I want to do is curl up in a ball in my jammies and hug a fucking pillow. Every day at work is another popped balloon and I never get more. I know I need to just grow a pair. Ride home at -25C at 7:00pm at night and shut the fuck up. The thing is... my anxiety around my schedule gets exasperated and I become stagnant and unable to move (or think). It's too much for me. Part of trying to learn to live with this Asshole Anxiety (cuz it's like a person) is working within the parameters my brain can handle and it just can't handle that. Call it avoidance, I know. That's what it is.

It's piling up. The pile of shit with regards to my job and the pile of shit in my head. This fucking job..... sucks. My anxiety fucking....... sucks. Just when I thought I was doing something better for my health and my life I feel like it's all gone to waste. So what if my job is closer to home. Working 50+ hours a week and getting paid for 40? Goddamit.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The night I messed up my insulin

I briefly mentioned about my insulin fuck-up a few weeks ago. Here's the story if you feel so inclined. It's not an awesome holy-shit-I-can't-believe-that-happened-story. It's more like a holy-shit-you-stupid-twat-story.

As a needle wielding diabetic, I use two kinds of insulin every day. For those not-in-the-know: I inject my long acting (background basal) insulin twice daily. My rapid acting insulin is the shit I use to bring down highs or inject for food. To get an idea, on a normal day I take anywhere between 12-20 total units of Lantus (long-acting basal) and about 10 total units of rapid over the course of the WHOLE day.

I choose to use syringes and pen cartridges for the size and duration factor. It all fits in my sack of goodies and at the low rate of insulin I use, the smaller cartridges mean it never spoils and goes to waste. Vials would go bad before I ever got a chance to use them up.

On this particular night I accidentally injected 10 units of Novo Rapid when I had intended to take Lantus. It was dark. I was in my car stopped at a light (shut up). I had just stopped at the mall to buy ONE LAST xmas gift on my way home from work on December 23rd. It was the start of 5 (measly) days off work. What gets me is that when I was on the pump and got a bullshit BG of 20 or higher I would routinely inject 10units. NOW, post apocalyptic (pump era), 10 units nearly kills me. I was taking more than three times as much insulin on the pump.

Now normally, I am neurotic about injecting the right insulin because this exact situation has always been a massive fear of mine. I often inspect the cartridge. I draw up the juice and inspect the cartridge again. I inject and then one last time I inspect the cartridge before putting it away.

I'm sure my absent-mindedness, distraction and stress played a role in why I wasn't so neurotic this time.
I looked down as I was about to put the cartridge away and saw the familiar orange top. I'm fucking glad I looked because if I hadn't.... I don't even want to think about it. I screamed, "HOLY FUCK!" in my car while immediately consuming an entire container of glucose tablets (10) before even thinking about how to proceed. It didn't take a mathematician to calculate at an evening carb ratio of 1:15-20g would need to eat 150-200g of carbs in the next 2 hours. 

My game plan, should this ever happen (because it was bound to happen!), is to go to the hospital.I need to make this clear, most people can handle this kind of thing at home on their own. Me? I get nauseous after eating only 4 glucose tabs. 1 juice box upsets my stomach. I get nauseous after I treat ever single low. It's a shitty side effect. Also? I have one glucagon pen and it expired 2 years ago. (shut up again). So seeking medical attention was what I always thought I would have to do.

Lucky for me I live a stones throw from a hospital! OH BOY!!

I drove home and called my girlfriend because Ryan was working late. I thought she could just come over and keep an eye on me and drive me to the hospital if need be. She insisted I go to the hospital regardless (she knows me well). I was also crying and panicking on the phone. I ran inside the apartment and grabbed a bottle of honey before going to the dreaded ER.

150-200g of carbs. I ate 10 Dex and some swigs of honey. I was probably only at 60g and I was already very nauseous. They got me in fairly quick. I was testing my BG every 5 or 10 minutes to keep an eye on how I was trending. This would be the time I wish I had a CGM. My poor fingers that night got destroyed. I was keeping it steady between 6-8mmol/l (108-144) but my stomach was increasingly nauseous and I couldn't take another sip of honey. Time was ticking by. The insulin still had another hour of action. They blew 1 dose of liquid dextrose into me intravenously.

IT WAS THE WORST THING!! Holy motherfucking shit balls. It was painful going in and made me instantly high. LIKE INSTANTLY. I went from 7.1 to 15 (128-270) in less than 10 seconds. Not to toot my own horn (okay I'm going to toot my own horn) but I have had decent control for months now. A BG of 15.0 feels like what a 20 used to feel like. TERRIBLE. I was more sick. My head pounded and I resisted the urge to sneak insulin. The speed in which it shot up compounded that horror.

I sat with my head in my hands and my two friends at my side. I glared at the other box of dextrose the nurse threatened to shoot me up with. I watched my BG come down and within an hour it was back to 6. I sipped more honey and begged not to get the other box. At this point I felt like I could handle it. The insulin was now out of my system and I would deal with the trickle effects of lows.

The doc came in to see me before releasing me. She interrogated me (not meant in a bad way). She asked me a myriad of questions which sounded like she was trying to determine if I did this on purpose and what my handle on diabetes was like. I guess I answered all the questions to her liking because she let me go. She told me not to take my Lantus that night. I'm like, excuse me? You tell me that NOW?! What do you think I did when I noticed my error? I immediately took the 10units of Lantus. She shook her head. I was dumbfounded. That Lantus is for the following 24 hours. If I didn't take it I'd be back in the hospital in diabetic ketoacidosis the next morning. Okay probably not really but you get the idea.

The following day was rough. I didn't eat until late in the evening. I had no appetite and I felt like I was hit by a truck. I guess forcing 150ish grams of carbs into ones body somehow satiates it for days to come. It was a good 4 days before I felt somewhat normal again.

So this was not a horror story but it WAS a lesson. It was something that I knew would happen one day because despite my best efforts, fucking up is human. For the other 703 Lantus injections per year I have it mastered.

"I'm a little teapot" photo courtesy of Steph. Friends are good even in rough situations.

Friday, January 9, 2015

A lifetime of (SH)it

I DON'T UNDERSTAND ANXIETY! but I DO get anxiety (what it is) and I GET anxiety. I get it and struggle with it every damn day. What the hell is it?

It's not even real. It's like a made-up thing with an irrational basis. How can something that doesn't make any sense be so debilitating?

Most of my life up to this point I didn't know it was anxiety. It wasn't as clear as one might think. Going back in my memory bank to my childhood and earliest memories it's all bright, sunshiney and clear (more like miserable and dreary if we want to be totally real here) and fucking obvious. It's so bloody obvious!

Anxiety. It was anxiety that made my first "living away from home in Toronto" experience one of the worst things that ever happened to me. It was anxiety those Sunday dinners at Nana and Poppa's place when I would routinely be found rolling around in a bed in GI distress. It was anxiety when I was 12 and lost so much weight due to nausea and not eating that my parents hauled me around to doctors all with no outcome. It was anxiety at about the age of 18 when I went through another round of GI distress and weight loss resulting in the same way. Doctors upon doctors with no answers. (Again at about age 25).

It's all so fucking apparent to me NOW. 35 years into my life.

It's been with me all along seemingly lurking in the shadows of the depths of my being. Driving me, berating me, darkening my entire existence. Anxiety is unlike depression but similar in some ways. It feels more palpable. Like if only I could just remove that piece...  We should bring back lobotomy or electric shock therapy. I might be happier as a vegetable. Okay so that's an exaggeration because if I was a vegetable I wouldn't know what the hell was going on. Point is, to imagine life without this mangy monkey on my back I don't know what I would do! Probably dance around like those people in tampon commercials. Without a care in the world!! So THIS is what it feels like to be human without the oppression of anxiety? If only I knew what I was missing this whole lifetime. Perhaps I wouldn't walk around looking like I was going to murder someone. Can we say "resting bitch face" to the nth degree? I don't know but that's what people sorta convey to me.

After I got over the initial shock of my every memory being driven by anxiety, I was able to begin living with it. I'm talking EVERY MEMORY. Every single fucking instance that I looked back on. I have the unfortunate ability to recall these moments with great detail as if they all happened yesterday. I can remember specific times in my childhood that still keep me up at night if I allow myself to stew on them. It's a curse of a skill as much as some people envy it. I remember smells and feelings and colours. Like when you wake up from a particularly intense dream but imagine those feelings never go away - EVER, for 30 years... Dreams fade as the day goes on, these do just the opposite. Imagine those memories piling on top of each other creating a veritable pyramid of filth.

I have entered a new world with this realization. I know, I know, knowledge is power (said in a nasally mimicking voice of annoyance). In this new world I am trying to move forward. I'm not trying to shoo anxiety away but find a way to exist with it. Find a way to wrangle it in and keep it on a short leash. I'm learning skillz but they are kind of like throwing a bottle of water on a house fire. 

I'm trying to find my way to less suffering, more fulfilling enjoyment and maybe this bitch face will ease up a little and people won't be so scared of me. It's just my face yo, I'm not actually FEELING that way. Talk to me, you will see.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Diseased, who said diseased?

naaaaah, I'm not diseased.

Shhh... I know I'm still diseased.

I mentioned in my last post that I switched jobs. I finally fell apart with my long commute one day and started perusing jobs online. It was just out of curiosity but y'know how fast things happen. It happened. A job offer happened followed by a resignation happening and then.... my last day of work happened. My departure was with great regret though. The only reason drawing me to this new job was the location, 20km from home. The job itself didn't seem too promising but I needed to give it a try.

That's not the point of this post though.

Social media and my anxiety over the years has caused me to start hiding my diabetes. Most people feel empowered finding online connections but all it did was make me retreat. Every time I go on the diabetes internets I get overwhelmed. It's actually a large reason why I quit the pump also.

I hate starting new jobs and having to explain diabetes. I was putting it off. Then I realized one night while talking to Ryan that this fetid wretched disease has remain unnoticed to my co-workers so far. I relished the feeling (I hate relish btw) of ANONYMITY. I liked it so much in fact that I decided to see how long I could go before fuckhead (diabetes) blows my cover. All it takes is someone hearing the beeps of my glucose meter one too many times or coming by my desk while I'm scarfing back glucose tablets. Or injecting insulin with a syringe - the most shocking to those not "in the know".

(yeah, thats a cute little ferret bum in the corner)

I've never felt so empowered by HIDING something I swore I never would. I was always the flamboyant gay of the diabetes world. Loud and proud. It started becoming a game. It wasn't just the diabetes though. I was hiding being vegan and having celiac. Nobody knew and now I wanted to keep it that way. Please, for just a little bit longer, I didn't want to be judged.
I was normal. I was like..... someone without diabetes and it's been shockingly blissful. I kind of feel like a rebel and I don't give a damn that it makes me feel GOOD.

When you live with this wretched disease you forget what it's like to not feel oppressed until you get a taste of normal.

It's been 2 months. They know I am vegan and celiac. They've seen my tattoos sneak out from under my sleeve. Do they know about fuckhead diabetes yet? Not really. I briefly mentioned it once at an xmas party in a dark and loud room while having a conversation about health. I immediately regretted saying something but the person I was talking to seemed not to notice. Maybe they didn't hear me... I secretly hope. 

Do I ever plan on having that "fucking talk"? Nope. No thank you. Honestly, I really don't give a fuck if there's an emergency. I do just fine as it is. I don't go telling every stranger I see. I don't go telling every person I have more than a 5 minute conversation with. I just don't give a fuck about the "what ifs". If something that bad is going to happen, I DON'T CARE. Since leaving the stupid pump to collect dust in our storage room, I no longer have those visible cues. It's a side effect of injections that I love.

(Pssst..... we're gonna ignore the insulin mix-up ER visit 2 weeks ago for this post.)

Going on 13 years and so far nobody has ever needed to know apart from my significant others and close friends. No, no spin instructors or teachers of any kind. No fucking flight attendants or taxi drivers. The whole world does NOT need to know.

I just want to BE without being someone with a chronic disease even though I am someone with a chronic disease (or two). At least in the eyes of my co-workers. Work has become somewhat of a sanctuary and emotionally it's a place where "nobody knows my name." Also obvious because they all call me Christine. They don't need to know and for now, I'm going to enjoy living in anonymity because it's FUCKING FREEING.