Friday, September 30, 2011

Off to the Fair!

we are going away this weekend.  it is the 150th Anniversary of the town where my mother was born.  the place i spent every summer of my childhood.    it is also the weekend of the town's Fall Fair.  there will be a parade.  there will be floats.  my family will be on a float.  the float represents our family and all its generations.  my cousin built a child-size replica of the home my Grandmother made for her family that will be the main exhibit on the float.  i am excited to see it!  we will all wear t-shirts made for this event, with the family name on them. 

i am sooo looking forward to this weekend.  we will get to visit with family i haven't seen for a while.  we are taking our grandchildren with us.  it is a 4hr. drive.  hmmmm....  :0/

i haven't been to this particular fall fair in 28yrs.  as a child we went every year.  i have wonderful memories of this event.  perhaps that is why i LOVE fall sooo much!!

the smell of hotdogs, and candy floss.  apple cider.   the 4H club's animal exhibits.  the booths filled with pies and jams, and all things homemade.  quilts, and blankets and baby clothes. 

the sounds of the animals.  the cows mooooing, the chickens clucking.  goats and sheep baaaaing!
(love my animal sounds! heehee)

AND....the rides!!  the ferris wheel, that i thought was sooooooo HUGE as a kid.  the one i rode probably a thousand times!  (perhaps a slight exageration!).

i can't wait to share all of this with my grandchildren.  to create for them a memory, a little like my own.  to walk for a bit down memory lane.  to think about my Grandma (whom i miss dearly) for a while.  to introduce the "city kids" to the country for weekend.

hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  i'm sure i will!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweat Meters

As a Diabetic of close to 37 years, rarely does my body send out those little signals.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  The shakiness, the confusion, the tingly lips or tongue.  Feeling tired, sweaty and/or hungry.  The slurred speech.

For a few months now, my D-team and I have been trying to keep my blood glucose level at about 8.0mmol/l in hopes of regaining some of those signs.

So far my body has declined the invitation, for the most part.  I mean it is never quite there.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  I'm fine with that.  The only way I can tell is that feeling of tiredness that overcomes me.  Like I could just lay down and have a nap.  It could be 11am or 4pm and suddenly I can't keep my eyes open.  I test and sure enough.  Looking back at me is a number like 3.9mmol/l, or a 2.5mmol/l.    At night, my only hint (and it's not really my "hint", it's my husbands) is that I sweat.  And I mean sweat!!  Like I've run a marathon!(and I'm not the least athletic).

As gross as that sounds, I thank God for that.  On many occasions that has been the clue that rouses my husband from a dead sleep and prompts him to wake me up and ask "are you ok?"  If I answer, he suggests doing a blood test.  Then he goes downstairs to gather the sugar bowl.  Yup straight up.  Right from the bowl.  Mmmm.  Or juice.  OJ works best.

If I don't answer, he has been known to call 911 on more that one occasion.  I now have a Glucagon Kit, and thankfully haven't had to use it.

Soon there may be a way to predict lows before they become serious. 

The "Sweat Meter", developed by researchers at the University of Oslo and the National Hospital of Norway, can detect, with minimal invasion, variances in sweat patterns that occur when the body's glucose reaches critically low levels.

You wear an electrode on your skin which monitors yours sweat patterns for changes in blood sugars.  It would then send an alarm via text message to your Smartphone BEFORE your blood sugar gets too low.   

This is still a few years away, but how cool would that be?    This may be the answer that helps put a  stop to the lighting of any more blue candles. 

To read the full article click here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

give an inch ~ take a mile

diabetes is sort of like a small child to me.  it cries when its hungry(low), it throws a tantrum when its mad(high).  it sometimes sleeps throught the night, and other nights it wakes up with terrible nightmares.  if i treat it as my child, and listen when it speaks to me, i find it a much better behaved little thing!

yesterday we visited family. it was a birthday celebration.  and, like a child at a birthday party, D was allowed a little freedom.  most of my boluses were SWAG's.  things like pizza for lunch, and a veggie and fruit tray out for grazing.  burgers and fries for supper, with wonderful apple blossoms for dessert.  and throw in a Bailey's on Ice for good measure!

overall, not the best choices for a diabetic.  however, I CAN eat whatever i want.  and i thoroughly enjoyed myself.  and you know what?  i think my child did too!  she behaved well all day.  stayed well within her limits, and didn't throw a single tantrum!  some say "give a child an inch and they'll take a mile".

my child took her inch and was quite happy with it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

test driving

i just want to apologize for the crazy state of my blog the last few days.  i have been trying to decide on a look for it.  when i started this thing, i wasn't sure if i would keep it up.  i was positive that no one would even read it.  i couldn't imagine that i had anything worth saying. 

well it seems that, while i may not write everyday, KD is here for the long haul.  i like blogging, and i love reading all your posts.  i enjoy lurking, and i try to find a new blog every day. (sounds like i have a lot of time on my hands!!)

so i thought that since i was here to stay, i should probably make an attempt at having a theme of some sort.  i went online and searched for free backgrounds and headers for blogs.  there are lots of them out there.  i found that it is sort of like buying clothes. or a car. you have to try them on,  see how they fit. take them for a test drive.  and so the search began.

the background has been frilly, and striped.  it has been pink, blue and kinda orange. i have played with cupcakes, and flowers. even birds.

i think simple is best.

i am not a frilly, pink kinda girl.  nor am i cupcakie (although i do love to eat them!).  flowers and birds are fine for some.  i love to smell them(the flowers, not the birds). i even throw bread out for the birdies in my neighbourhood to munch on.

still, i think simple is best. i know i have said it before, and it's true. 

so i am done trying on skirts that don't fit.  and frilly shirts that make me itch.
i test drove the different sites, and found a *car* that i like.  hope you like it too!

thanks for your patience.    :0) 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

School of Thought

When talking to my dietitian about fiber, i become slightly confused.
"Always subtract the amount of fiber on the label from the amount of carbs.  Unless it is less than 5grams.  Then don't worry about it.  But you can also subtract the sugar alcohols."

Uh huh, sure.

So i decided to go online and see what i could find out about this whole "fiber" thing.

Here is what i learned:

~~Because dietary fiber does not contribute to elevating blood sugar levels, nor does it provide energy, it can be safely subtracted from the total carb count provided on the label.

~~Only the sugar and starches are available to be converted to glucose to be used by the body for energy.

~~Fiber does, however, help eliminate fat and cholesterol from the body.

~~Using available, or "net carbs" to track your carb intake, allows you to better understand the impact those carbs have on your blood sugar levels.

So that being said, why then, do I sometimes subtract the fiber, and other times not?  Is that why sometimes when I eat something, say my favourite bagel, I get different results?  Do I sometimes subtract and other times not?  Likely.  Would it not make much more sense to just do one thing and stick to it every time?

After more searching and reading, there does not seem to be just one school of thought.  it seems that there are plenty of schools, each preaching teaching something different.

Here's my thought.  I think that I will subtract the fiber, all of it.  Not just when it's over 5 but always.  I will do this for a week.  I will write down what i eat and the total carbs minus the fiber.  I will keep track of my blood sugars.  Then, after 1 week, I will do the exact same thing, but I will NOT subtract the fiber.  I will do this for 1 week, and at the end of that I will compare things.  I will note each time i have a low, or my sugars are high. 

Keeping in mind that I will not likely be eating the exact same things each day for 2 weeks, this is not a "true scientific experiment".  But for me, it will be close enough. 

In the meantime, let me know, if you will, whether or not you subtract the fiber from your carb count.  I'd be interested to know how many of you do or don't.

Thanks for your input.  I'll post the results in 2 weeks!

Friday, September 16, 2011

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

This week, September 12-18, 2011 is Invisible Illness Week.

check it out  and join in. 



30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is:  Type 1 Diabetes
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:  late 1974
3. But I had symptoms since: early 1974
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is:  going from 1 injection to MDI's to a Pump
5. Most people assume:  i have to watch what i eat
6. The hardest part about mornings are:  dealing with a High BG
7. My favorite medical TV show is:  House
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:  my Pump/Meter
9. The hardest part about nights are:  worrying about a Low BG
10. Each day I take 5 pills & 0 vitamins, as well as a never-ending supply of insulin!  oh ya, and occasionally candies as medicine!!
11. Regarding alternative treatments I:  usually read about them and disregard
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: the invisible one i have.   it can be invisible when i want it to be, or as visible as i choose to make it.
13. Regarding working and career:  i would like to work towards educating newly diagnosed diabetic children~helping them realized the sky is the limit and there's nothing they can't do.
14. People would be surprised to know: that with Diabetes you can do whatever you want to do, there really are no limitations.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been:  my "new reality" is 37yrs old!  not sure i remember the "old reality".
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was:  actually live as long as i have.  doom and gloom was the story when i was dx'd  in the 70's
17. The commercials about my illness:  not many commercials regarding Diabetes on Cdn channels.  and the ones on the American channels all seem to pander to type 2's.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:  eating without thought
19. It was really hard to have to give up:  i guess when i think about it, i never really "gave up" anything.  i have gotten married, had 3 children, worked, travelled, partied, and  generally enjoyed life as much as any of the non-PWD's that i know.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is:  being more interested in healthy cooking and eating, oh and blogging!!
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would:  relax, enjoy the day, and eat without the math!!
22. My illness has taught me:  many things including patience.  (read waiting for the illusive CURE that is always just "around the corner')
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:  "Are you sure you can eat that?  Can I offer you something else?"  yes i can, and no you can't!!!
24. But I love it when people:  treat me like they would anyone else.  no questions about anything D-related.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:  tomorrow is another day ;)
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them:  YOU CAN DO THIS!!
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:  how much people don't understand about it. 
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:  bring me popsicles (my 5yo grandson~he said they make him feel better so he thought they would make me better too!)
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because:  the louder we speak out about them the more people will understand the struggles involved, and the things that need to be done to help find a cure.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:  as if my disease and what i have to say is important and in some way may help someone else.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

i don't even want to talk about it

ssshhh.....i'm whispering. 

do you ever have those moments when you're afraid if you say "it" outloud, whatever "it" is, will hear you.  i'm having one.

i am pretty sure that if i was wearing a Dexcom, it would look like this....

over the last few days my blood sugars have been so "in range" its scary!!
i mean, i have been measuring my carbs on my trusty little scale, and i have increased (or maybe it's decreased) my morning I:C ratio from 1:8 to 1:7, but whatever it is i am liking it!  my basals have all stayed the same, and the rest of my settings haven't changed.  all i know is whatever the reason,

 i don't even want to talk about it!!

Friday, September 09, 2011

a slice of heaven

for many years i skipped breakfast.  i know, i know, it's the most important meal of the day.
it seemed that when i was on MDI's and being a scared diabetic (more on that later), my fasting blood sugars were always high, so i would bolus and then skip the eating part.

nowadays i eat breakfast each and every morning.  some days it's poached eggs on toast, or perhaps an english muffin, toasted with cheese whiz or cream cheese (my favourite is herb and garlic!).  i have even tried steel cut oats (yuck!).

my aim is to keep my post prandial BG's fairly normal and within range.  most days i fail.  not sure if it is the carb count on the package of english muffins, or if it's just how my body reacts to these foods.

my grandkids love pancakes.  i was never a big fan of pancakes.  i mean i like them well enough but i always considered them a messy undertaking.  about the only time i made them was on Pancake Tuesday.

not so anymore.  i make them almost daily now.  my grandkids would eat them everyday,  and by BG's love them too!  for some unknown reason, they seem to be the one breakfast food i can count on to deliver within-range BG's.

i don't put syrup on them.  not even the "sugar-free" kind.  i eat them with peanut butter.  they are delicious!!

mmmmm...a slice of heaven!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy New Year!

i love September.  to me, September is always the beginning of the year.
as a kid, i loved the whole going back to school thing. 
new clothes, new books, new binders, new pencil crayons.
old friends i hadn't seen all summer.
new friends i was about to make.

when my children were old enough for school, i enjoyed September even more!
after all the shopping for clothes, and shoes, and backpacks, and supplies. after all the arguments about being old enough to walk by themselves, or ride their bikes, about staying for lunch or coming home, i still loved September.

a tradition started many years ago by a friend of mine and myself.  once the kids were deposited, and the goodbyes said,  we would hit the closest Tim Hortons, and sit, drinking coffee, and enjoying the quiet!  5 kids, all in school.  ahhh, the quiet!  then we would take a stroll through the mall, browsing at "grown up" stuff like kitchen gadgets, and handbags, shoes, and even maybe a quick stop at the travel agency, to pick out our dream trip.  then we would go to East Side Marios for lunch! 

tomorrow my grandson is going to school.  Senior Kingergarten.
he is not happy.  he says he would rather just play all day.
i can't really say that i blame him.  he is just 5, after all.

i will go with my daughter to drop him off.  we will say "goodbye" and hit Tim Hortons for a coffee.  then we will go to the mall and browse the shops.  perhaps grab a travel book to pick out our dream trip.  then we will go to East Side Marios for lunch.  we will, however, have the little miss with us.  it may not be as quiet as it once was, but the tradition will continue!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, September 01, 2011


today is September 1st.  it's Diabetes Art Day!  Leeann at The Butter Compartment is the inspiration behind this wonderful idea.  this is my first attempt at Diabetes Art.  i decided to make mine a permanent addition.  i have thought about this for a long time, and decided that today, September 1st, would  be the perfect day to add my "art". 

my permanent "art"

the inspiration

did you partcipate?  go check out the beautiful artwork submitted by other DOC members!