Monday, April 30, 2012

word cloud


Word Cloud.   a picture is worth a thousand words.  For today’s post we’re going one further and putting your words into an image, a word cloud or tree representing YOUR health focus, interest, or passions.  Write down some of your favorite topics off the top of your head or review the tags in your blog post for some surprises.  For some examples on layout check out www.wordle.net.

Let me begin by saying that thanks to HAWMC,  I am becoming quite computer savvy! Well maybe savvy is stretching it a bit, but gee, I figured out Pinterest all by myself, and now, thanks to today's prompt, I managed to create,  and cut and paste or some such thing in my Paint program to enable me to have it show up here, on my blog!   

And voilà!!  Here is my word cloud!   `

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Blue Chair



Six Sentence Story. In this day of micro-blogging – brevity is a skill worth honing. Can you tell a story and make it short and sweet? What can you say in six sentences? Will you give your post a title, beginning, middle, and end – or do something different entirely? You’ve got 6 sentences: be creative, inventive, and direct; this may include being generous with punctuation. Good luck!

The young girl sat in the cold blue chair beside the door in the Doctor's Office, a tear silently rolling its way down her cheek, as her mother and the Doctor, heads bowed together, spoke as if she wasn't even there.  "If she looks after herself and follows the diet, gets plenty of exercise, tests regularly and takes her shots, she'll live to be at least 30, maybe longer if she's lucky."  They continue to talk as the young girl thinks to herself, "30, that's only 18 years from now, there isn't enough time to do everything I want to do, like finish school, get a job, get married, have kids, grow old."  She lifts her head, her eyes wide, scared, and says to the Doctor, "That's not long enough, isn't there a cure, won't I ever get better?"  The Doctor told the young girl that they were working on a cure, but it was a long way off, at least 5 years down the road, perhaps longer.  Well, she thought, 5 years wasn't so bad, she could do that, she could wait that long, but what she didn't know was that she would still be waiting 37 years later.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

the first time........

The First Time I Write a post about the first time you did something. What is it? What was it like?  How did you feel beforehand (nervous, excited, anxious), during, and after?  What did you learn?  Was the first time the last time too? Why or why not?


The first time ever I saw your face that orange (hahah! bet you're singing!)

okay, sorry, let me start over.

The first time the nurse brought an orange, a syringe and a bottle of saline into my hospital room, I thought she was a little crazy.  I mean really, what was this all about?



Well, as she explained to me, this was my practice material.  I got to practice giving the orange a needle.  I could do this as many times as I needed to for the next day, in order to get ready to give myself a needle.  Oh boy.  Was I really going to have to do this?  I was kind of hoping that maybe, perhaps, a nurse would just pop by the house on her way to work every morning and I wouldn't have to worry about this EVER!

However, being as I was never really one to shy away from trying something new (well perhaps public speaking),  I figured I could try.  The nurse showed me what to do.  The skin of the orange was supposed to mimic real skin.  The orange was ripe and looked good enough to eat!  Oh wait, that would have been a fruit exchange!  See I was learning!  The saline was the "insulin" and i had to learn how to fill the syringe to the correct dose, flick out any bubbles, insert the needle into my skin, pull back the plunger to make sure there was no blood, and then PUSH all that life-saving "juice" into my leg (or arm or stomach or butt!).

Oh that poor, poor orange.  I sat in that room, poking that poor thing over and over.  Filling it with saline until it was about ready to explode!  All day, again and again.

The next morning it was time to do it to myself.  Could I do it?  Would it hurt?  Would I bleed?  I didn't know, but I was ready to find out.  I had accepted the fact that I would be doing this every single day until I died (in 18 years or so) or until they found a cure, whichever came first.

The nurse came in, carrying her little tray.  The syringe laying beside the vial of insulin.  It's bright orange cap looking to me as thought it was saying "dare ya".  I sat there remembering all the things they had taught me.  The order to do all the steps.

  • pull back the plunger to the desired amount of insulin
  • insert into vial and depress
  • flip bottle upside down and pull back plunger filling syringe to a little more than you need
  • flick the needle in case of bubbles
  • depress bubbles, if any, back into the vial
  • pull again to desired amount of insulin
  • remove needle from vial
  • wipe area with alcohol
  • pinch skin
  • quickly insert needle tip into skin
  • pull back on plunger a little to check for blood
  • push plunger steadily all the way down
  • remove needle and wipe with alcohol
  • place cap back on syringe
OH MY GOD!!!  I DID IT!  ALL BY MYSELF!  AND IT DIDN'T HURT, AND I DIDN'T BLEED, AND I DIDN'T FAINT!!!

That day I learnt that I could do it even though I didn't think I could.  What I didn't know was that I would still be doing it 24,576 pokes later.  Let me tell you, these have been a long 18 years! (see that? that was sarcasm! LOL!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

sometimes it's the little things


Your Top 5. For today’s post we’re making a list of our top 5’s – whether they be for your health condition or your Health Activism.  Take some time to think about your experiences and develop your top 5’s – the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus and the 5 small victories that keep you going.


While sitting here at my dining room table, and thinking over today's topic, my mind is flitting all over.   I can't seem to focus.  I am feeling a little stressed. 
I have to work all weekend AGAIN.  I have so much to do indoors.  Talk about spring cleaning!  Oh my!  It is one day before we have to file our taxes.  Am I ready?  Almost.  I bought ink for the damn printer last night.  Printed out a bunch of stuff that my daughter needed and then went to print out the one form I needed and guess what?  The printer goes on holiday!!  That's right.  There is a message on the screen that says, "Problem with ink cartridges".  And the stupid light is blinking and the whole thing won't shut off.  I unplugged it and plugged it back in and it continues to blink.  I walk away.

So, back to today's topic.....

Top 5 most difficult aspects of my disease

5.   Finding time to download my pump and look for patterns
4.   Staying away from the junk food
3.   Eating less carbs, or maybe I should say less bad for me carbs
2.   Eating more good for me carbs
1.   Getting regular exercise

Top 5 small victories that keep me going

5.   Lowering my A1c
4.   Losing a few pounds
3.   Regaining the feeling of going low
3.   Having more energy to play with the grandkids
2.   Knowing that I am doing everything I can to stay healthy
1.   Being part of the DOC and knowing I am not alone, and I CAN DO THIS!

now if only I could get my windows cleaned and catch up on the dusting and vacuuming!
     

Thursday, April 26, 2012

poke, poke, poke and so it goes


HAWMC Day #26: Health tagline. Give yourself, your blog, your condition, or some aspect of your health a tagline. Make sure it’s catchy!

I've been at this since 7:00am!  It's a tough one.  After hours of reading tips on coming up with a tagline, and reading others taglines,  in between getting breakfast and one 6 year old ready for school,  I think I finally have one. 

At first I was trying to come up with a tagline for my blog.  Well that just wasn't working.  Then I decided to work on one for Diabetes.  That one seemed to be a little easier, but so many things about diabetes were running through my head. Then I started thinking about how long I have had diabetes.  Hmmmm.

Thinking....thinking....thinking.....AH HA!!

diabetes - 24,576 pokes and counting (not including finger pricks!)



                              

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"5 to Drive"


 Third person

Think of a memory you have – and write to recreate it. But, inside of going into it as yourself, go into the story as a narrator. Describe your memory using the third person as if you were a character in the story instead of the one telling it. As you write, use as many sensory images (sights, sounds, textures, etc) as you can. Don’t use “I” or “me” unless you include dialogue in your memory.

OK, so I have a memory from about 18 years ago.  The event should have been a real wake-up call for me. 



The day was Saturday.  The roads were very crowded.  The warm days of summer bring a lot of tourists to Peterborough.  It is a tourist destination.  With the Peterborough Lift Lock attracting tourists from everywhere.  It is the largest hydraulic lift lock in the world, built in 1896. It is quite amazing!  The Little Lake Music Festival draws a huge crowd every Saturday evening.


Kim was having company that night for dinner.  There would be a BBQ, and the kids could all go for a swim.  From the backyard, they would be able to hear the music from the Festival, and later, after dark the kids would be able to see the fireworks display.  It was going to be a good day.

With errands to run, Kim and her 4 year old daughter Cassie jumped into the car.  They would do some banking, and pick up the groceries for that night's BBQ.  A pitstop at the Wine Shoppe before heading home was also on the list.

Kim pulled the car out onto the main road, which  was busy as usual.  She made her way to the bank.  There was a lineup at the bank machine, and after waiting several minutes it was her turn.  Cassie grabbed an envelope, and pretended she was a grown up doing her banking, chatting away to her bear that came with her wherever she went.  Once done, they climbed back into the car, intent on getting to the grocery store, and getting that job done.

Driving down the road, Kim began to feel a little funny.  She thought perhaps she was just a bit hungry as it was nearing lunch time.  "Well I'll just grab some fries for us at the Meals-to- go section and we can munch as we shop" she thought to herself, as she continued to drive to the grocery store. 

As Kim's blood sugar continued to drop, her driving became more erratic.  Slipping into the next lane, back into her own lane.  A cab was following her and was starting to get a little ticked.  He pulled around to pass her, and again she began to drift into his lane.  He wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but he thought perhaps she was drunk.  And to have a child in the car!  WOW! What kind of person would drive drunk with a child in the car! 

He quickly got on his radio and called his dispatcher.  He let him know that he was in front of a drunk driver and was going to attempt to make this person stop.  The dispatcher proceeded to call the police, who advised him to tell his driver not to approach the person in the vehicle but to wait for their arrival.  They were on their way. 

The cab driver pulled in front of Kim and started to slow his car down.  This of course caused her to slow as well.  The police were on the way, you could hear the siren screaming out.  Traffic continued to flow past, but now people were trying to pull over to the right for the police. 

Kim's car was now blocked into the right hand lane, with everyone else pulled over for the police.  By this time, however, she was barely conscious.  The cabby was standing at her window, which was open, and he noticed she was sweaty, and not making much sense. 

The police officer arrived and parked beside Kim, essentially blocking her in.  He got out of his car and made his way to the window.  He noticed the little girl sitting in the back, looking rather scared.  He tried to ask Kim her name, and if she had been drinking.  He didn't smell any booze, but that didn't necessarily mean anything.  He asked the little girl what her mommy's name was, but looking him right in the eye she said "My mommy told me not to talk to strangers, and you're a stranger". 

He noticed Kim's purse on the seat next to her.  Opening the door, and reaching across, he grabbed the purse.  He grabbed the wallet out of it and noticed a large amount of money in it.  He got out her license and ID and noticed a little card tucked in there.  "TYPE 1 DIABETIC" was written on it.  He asked the little girl if her mommy was Diabetic and she nodded her head, still not talking.  The officer proceeded to call for an ambulance.   He asked Cassie if she knew her phone number.  He told her that her mommy was sick and he needed to talk to a grown up at her house to help her.  She finally coughed up the info, and the policeman contacted Kim's husband.  He made arrangements to wait at the car with Cassie until he could get there, but the ambulance was on its way. 

"Beep, beep, beep"  What was that noise?  Where was it coming from?  Kim opens her eyes and looks around.  White curtains pulled closed.  Something on her face.  Feels like she is suffocating.  An oxygen mask.  Suddenly Kim is fully conscious.  The beeping is from the IV that is attached to her hand infusing her with glucose.  "What the....? " she says outloud.
How did she get here?  Where was everyone?  A doctor? A nurse?  She struggles to sit up.  She is trying to remember what happened.  "We were going grocery shopping.  I felt hungry and wanted french fries", she thinks to herself.  But then what?

Had she killed someone?  Was Cassie alright?  Oh my God, where was a nurse?  She needed answers!!  With that the curtain opens and the nurse comes in.  "Oh you're back in the Land of the Living I see.  You've given some people quite a scare.  I'll go get them for you"

Suddenly her husband and daughter are there in the little cubicle.  His face tells a story as she looks at him.  He is both angry and glad at the same time.  Angry that she "let herself get low"  but glad that she is awake and going to be fine.  Cassie looks at her mommy and says "I told the policeman our phone number, he was a nice man mommy"

The tears start to stream down Kim's face.  The realization that she could have killed this sweet little girl, and others as well hits her.  She is embarrassed, and scared.  She knows that she was feeling hungry, but now understands that that feeling was the beginning of the low that would hit her.  Not all lows feel the same.  She tries to tell her husband this, but he is still of the mindset that Diabetics should never get low.  They can prevent it and she should have known better.  This is the speech she was dreading.  He just didn't get it.  She had tried to explain it to him.  How sometimes she didn't feel the lows.  How no matter what she did, it just didn't seem enough.  The numbers were never right. Sometimes it felt like a viscious circle.  Get low, eat, go high.  High, low, high. low, like a rollercoaster.  There were days she wanted off this ride! 

Once the nurses had decided that her blood sugars were back in range, and she had spoken with the doctor,  Kim promised to meet with her own Family Doctor later in the week to see about what could be done to help her manage her Diabetes better.

After leaving the hospital, Kim wrote a letter to the cabdriver, thanking him for saving lives that day.  And to the policeman for his kindness to her daughter,  and calling the ambulance. 

It was the policeman that told her about the "5 to Drive" rule, at the hospital that day. He said that his brother was a diabetic and that was what he did.  She promised that she would follow that rule too. 


It took many years for me to "follow" that rule.  Back then I was still invincible.  I still thought that I could tell by the way i felt, what my blood sugar was doing.  Testing was not something I did very often.  I have learned since that testing saves lives. These days though, I am very much in controld of this monster.  I will not drive without testing first.  I do my best to keep my numbers in range.  I still ride the rollercoaster, but it's not as scary as it was back then.

 I still laugh at my daughter when I remember her boldly telling the policeman that he was a "stranger" and she "couldn't talk to strangers". 

I hope that in telling this memory,  it serves to teach everyone that it is imperative to test before driving, and always keep some glucose in your vehicle.  Whether it be juice boxes, or Glucose Tabs, whatever, just make sure there  is always something there.  And if necessary, pull over and test if you start to feel funny.  The life you save could be your own.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Balance in Life with Diabetes


Health Mascot. As a Health Activist, your voice is prominent within your specific health community. A mascot is associated with a distinct group or team. Branding your voice with a mascot can be an imaginative and gratifying activity. Here, you can pay tribute to your favorite mascot or you can create an original character. Ensure, whichever you decide to go with is related to your Health Activism. So for today’s prompt – give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual!

For those of you not familiar, my condition is Type 1 Diabetes.  When thinking about today's prompt, I was a little stymied.  We all know that the DOC has it's mascot's.  Cupcakes, Unicorns, even Bacon could be considered the DOC's mascots.  But for myself, diabetes has never been about any of these things.  Don't get me wrong, I've eaten my fair share of Cupcakes, love bacon, and have even sung songs about Unicorns.  But what is Diabetes about to me. 

Well, I guess, after many years, I have finally figured out that it is about Balance.  Yes, balance.  It's sort of like walking a tightrope.  Picture yourself, way up in the air, standing on a wire, wind blowing, stuck half way between two incredibly tall buildings, sun shining down.
(photocredit)
Living with Diabetes is a balancing act.  Whether you are the diabetic or you are a parent of a CWD, it is all about balance. 

  • balancing carbs with insulin
  • balancing exercise with food and insulin
  • balancing anxiety and stress
  • balancing glucose
  • balancing hormones
  • balancing basal rates
  • balancing sleep
  • balancing life
This is going on 24/7/365.  It is never-ending.  It almost becomes something you don't really have to think about.  And so you slip.
(photocredit)



  As Diabetics, it happens to all of us at some point.  Try as we might, we  will slip. But that's okay.
We just have to find Balance again.  For some of us it takes longer than others.  And that's okay too.

So here is my Symbol. 
(photocredit)

This is the triform. In Waldorf education, the familiar head, heart, and hands, or thinking, feeling, and willing, is represented by this simple triangle.  It is simple, but holds everything I need to remind me of how it all comes together.  I liked this too, because the triangle is surrounded by the Blue Circle.  So for me this is what i am trying to achieve.  Balance in life with Diabetes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

a game of hide and seek



Health Activist Choice Day 2! Write about whatever you like.  Take today to write about whatever your heart desires.

Today is a yucky, rainy day here.  The sky is grey and it is supposed to snow.  Up to 8cm is called for.  There have been a few flakes, but no accumulation yet.

I am having an indoor day with the grandkids today.  We were going to go grocery shopping but i will do that myself without their help.  After lunch will be quiet time for the little one, so perhaps that will work.  Their aunt is home today, so she can stay with them.

First on my list of groceries today will be eggs.  You're probably wondering why I think you would care.  Well here is the simple answer.....in picture form.

Aubrey's idea of Hide 'n Seek

found them!

oops, hide 'n seek is a rough game

and it makes a girl thirsty!



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sudoku anyone!!







Today is day 22 of the HAWMC.  We are nearing the end.  I am so freaking surprised at myself.  I never thought I would get this far.  Not selling myself short, but things sometimes happen, and you just don't get to write.  I have even gone so far as to start my post the night before, if i happen to have some time on the computer, so as not to be so rushed.  For example this post.  I looked at WEGO's prompt for today last night.  I knew that today would be an incredibly busy day for me.  We were up early this morning.  We planned a road trip to visit my husbands brother.  He has MS.  His wife passed away a little over a year ago, and he lives in a nursing home.  He lives 2 hours away from us, so we try to get there every other month or so. We are his only family.  He does have family on her side, and they are very good to him.  They visit him often and he joins them for things like Christmas dinner and such.  He can order the van to come pick him up and take him wherever he needs to go in the town where he lives.  Today we took the grandkids and our daughter with us.  Things being as they are, we actually haven't been to see him since Christmas.  We are long overdue.  

I also had to work tonight at 5 so I thought it best to see if i could pull together todays post last night.  And I did!  I was going to post it early this morning before we left, but i couldn't copy and paste the HAWMC daily header that i have been adding to the top of my post.  By the time i got home this evening it was too late to do it before i left for work.  So here it is,  9:41pm and I am finally posting!!

For Day 22,  we were to visit http://thingsweforget.blogspot.com   and come up with our own sticky note, and talk about where we would post it. 

So here  is my Post It Note. 


I am thinking I would post it on my fridge.  I would see it everytime i went to open the fridge door.  It would remind me that Diabetes is a puzzle.  And like Sudoku puzzles, never the same twice.  It takes careful planning to come up with the right combination, so that everything comes together.  Some days the puzzle seems easy and other days not so much.  We just keep plugging away at it.





Saturday, April 21, 2012





I am determined to post every day.  I may not follow the daily prompts from HAWMC but I am picking from the Early Bird Bonus prompts.  Today's prompt is MADLIB.  Apparently I am to go to http://www.languageisavirus.com/cgi-bin/madlibs.pl and enter nouns, verbs, adjectives etc and generate a random poem.  I tried.  It was ridiculous.  I must be doing something wrong 'cause it just made NO SENSE.  So instead I have decided to write about my Daily Schedule.  Not exciting, but at least it'll make sense!!

6:20am      alarm clock goes off - hit snooze button
6:25am      alarm clock goes off again  -  hit snooze button
6:30am      alarm clock goes off once more  -  hit off button and get up to check BG, bolus if      
                  necessary,  hit the shower
7:00am      enter kitchen, and make coffee   I LOVE MY TASSIMO COFFEE MAKER SOO MUCH
7:02am      turn on laptop,  start reading blogs,  decide on the days topic,  check bank balance, pay
                  bills,  you get the idea
7:40am      kidlets arrive!!  work begins (i call it work but seriously some days its just plain fun!)
8:00am      turn on TV and watch Caillou (one of my granddaughters favourite shows) 
8:30am      make breakfast for everyone.  one thing, and one thing only - not different things for
                  different people.  everyone has pancakes, or scrambled eggs, or toast or cereal.  none
                  of this i want toast, no i want cereal - we all eat the same thing.
9:00am      walk Cam to school (tues and thurs) OR let kids watch tv or play on computer while i
                  clean up breakfast mess.


okay so this is getting really tedious!!!  and i'm only at 9am!  i fogot to mention the time brushing teeth and washing faces and hands after eating, or the getting on of coats and shoes!  maybe i should re-visit the poem idea.  hang on, i'll be back in a minute


okay i'm back!   so i went searching for a poem generator that made sense.  i found this site, and i came up with this...

DIABETES ~ an acrostic poem
      by Kim

DOESN'T EVER LET UP
IS NOT INVITED
ABSOLUTELY SUCKS!
BUT IT WON'T WIN
EVER
THERE WILL BE A CURE
EVENTUALLY
SOMEDAY 

In a Perfect World.......



Once again, i have decided to change things up a wee bit.  i am not following the HAWMC's day 20 prompt.  i have chosen another Early Bird Bonus Prompt. 

"In a perfect world.... write about one thing you wish you could change.  it can be your own life or the world at large."

WARNING....MAY CONTAIN PICTURES THAT WILL HURT YOUR HEART!

On April 1, 2006,  at 6:32pm, my grandson was born.  His birth was extra special for me because my daughter had invited me to be present at his birth.  If you knew her husband, you would understand why.  He cannot stand the sight of blood.  In fact, he has been know to pass out when he sees it. 

We were very happy that after a very long labour, this wonderful little boy had finally arrived!  Both sets of Grandparents were allowed into the room to meet the little man.  He was being welcomed into the world while the nurses fussed about.  Nobody seemed to notice that the baby wasn't really crying or that he was a little blue.  We were just happy that he was here. 

Suddenly a very large, brusque man entered the room.  He abruptly took the baby from his other  Grandmothers arms and laid him on the warming bed.  He examined him from head to toe, listened to his chest, and then quickly brought him over to my daughter and her husband and said "You better kiss him, he has a long road ahead".  He handed the baby over to her, and left with one of the nurses.  The other nurse quickly asked us all to leave the room.  My daughter asked if I could stay with her and the nurse said yes.  At this point we didn't have a clue what was going on. 

Then all hell broke loose.  The nurses were rushing in, the Doctor right behind them.  They took the baby away and started hooking him up to all sorts of equipment.  He was put in an incubator, and the Doctor explained that he was born with a congenital heart defect. It was called Tetrology of Fallot with Missing Pulmonary Valve. He would be on a helicopter within the hour and flown to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. 

at birth
Well the panic sets in.  The shock.  We have never heard of this condition. What  can be done?  Will he be okay?  OMG!!  My poor daughter was just a basket case.  Her and her husband were clinging to each other.  What to do? 

It was decided that my husband, and my son-in-law would drive to Toronto, and meet the helicopter there.  My daughter was being moved to a room, and would have to wait to be discharged later that day. 

And so it began. 

Later that day, after my daughter was discharged, we drove to Toronto.  It was a hellish drive. 
When we arrived we were taken upstairs, where that little boy was hooked up to everything imaginable!  He looked to fragile under the bright lights in the NICU.  No one was allowed in to see him without first gowning up and masks.  He was very agitated, so touching was to a minimum.  Oh what a sight.  Arrangements were made for them to stay in Toronto, as long as was needed. 

at Sick Kids (they rock there!)


After 2 weeks, it was decided that he could come home.  He would have to have surgery to correct the numerous defects in his tiny heart, but that would happen down the road.  Probably when he was about 9 months to a year.   He would be slow to do some things. If he had any episodes of turning blue they would have to rush him to Emergency right away.  He would be followed closely by the Pediatrician that saw him the night he was born. He would need medications for his heart and liver, but he was coming home!   We were ecstatic!!!
his 1st day home!


When he was 11 months old, my grandson underwent open heart surgery to correct the defects in his heart.   It was scary, and none of us knew what to expect.  The hours dragged.  Finally the Surgeon came to tell us it was over.  He was going to be fine.  He was a little trooper!!
poor little guy =(


He will have to have more surgery as he grows, because the valve they created from another part of his heart, does not grow.  Right now they are looking at about age 9.  He does everything every other kid does.  He runs,  he plays lacrosse, and baseball.  He skates and swims.  He is my little hero!!
skating in the backyard this winter


In a perfect world, no one would have to go through this.  No child would be born with problems of any kind.  Parents would never have to see their child suffer.  Cameron is lucky.  His problems can be fixed.  There are many children out there in the world who will never know that. 

We count our blessings every day.  And we pray. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (and it's not Sidney Portier or Katherine Hepburn!)



Today's HAWMC Day #19: 5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why?

Oh boy.  When I read today's prompt, i immediately started thinking Dinner Party!!!  I LOVE DINNER PARTIES!

Once a month, for the last 5 years or so, a group of friends have gotten together at each other's homes for a dinner party.  The theme for the evening was based on a different culture.  The hostess supplies the main course, and the guests bring the h'ordeuvres, side dishes, dessert, and wine.  All dishes were homemade (nothing frozen or boxed with the exception of the wine perhaps!).  We have had meals from many different cultures.  Indian, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Moroccan, Lebanese, Portuguese, and Thai to name a few. 

The guests remained the same, with few exceptions. 

This dinner party would have to be different.  The food would not be the highlight, so much as the guests.  Who to invite??  5 people.  Either living or dead.  Living and dead.  Hmmmm,  this is harder than I thought. 

First on the list would be my Gramma.  She passed away in 1986.  I miss her alot.  She was a big part of my life.  I think it would be awesome to sit with her and just catch up.  She worried about my Diabetes and I would like to show her how far I've come!

Second would be my father.  He passed away when I was 2.  I don't remember him really.   I hear stories sometimes from my mom, but I would like to meet him.  To see what it was that attracted her to him.  To find out what we share in common besides brown eyes and brown hair.

Third person would be Dr. Frederick Banting.  I would love to meet the man that invented the elixir that saves so many lives every day!  To be able to show him how far things have come since that first young boy,  Leonard Thompson, was given insulin that saved his life! It would an honour to meet such an incredibly gifted and generous man. (oh and there would be cupcakes for dessert for sure!)

The fourth person would be Dr. Rene Favaloro. Dr. Favaloro, the son of a carpenter and a seamstress in a working-class town, had gone to the United States from Argentina in 1960 to undertake postgraduate work in thoracic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. There, in 1967, he performed the first heart bypass operation, on a 51-year-old woman. It is said that he gave up a $2million salary at the Cleveland Clinic, to return to Argentina, where he worked to improve the training of heart specialists. He opened his own clinic where he treated the poor for free.

Last but not least,   I would invite Sir Paul McCartney.  My husband is a huge fan, and I think it would be awesome to see these two interact.  I'm sure hubby would just about die if I told him his music hero was coming to our house for dinner!! 

Well there it is, my list of dinner guests.  Now if you'll excuse me,  I have a menu to prepare!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

He crossed his legs the way men do,

HAWMC Day #18: Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 without stopping.


i have had a book sitting on my kitchen table for a little bit now.  i have not started reading it yet.  it seems that although i love to read, i just dont seem able to get into it lately.  i used to read daily.  i could wolf down a book like a peanut butter sandwich.  gone in one sitting. 

since my bypass surgery last year, my brain doesn't seem to be able to keep focused on what i'm reading.  i have been at the same book now for months.  i got it for Christmas and i just can't get into it.  reading blogs is different, they are quick and each story is different. 

so this morning i opened the book on my table called The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve,  and flipped through it. i turned to page 159 and scrolled to the bottom of the page.   my fingers landed on this sentence...

"He crossed his legs the way men do, an ankle resting on a knee." 

i immediately pictured Dr. H.  he is the doctor that i saw a couple weeks ago regarding my kidneys.  very nice man.  as he was talking to me, that is exactly how he was sitting.  sort of relaxed and appearing to be very at ease with himself.  not at all like he was the "doctor" and i was the "patient", but more like we were just old friends, having a chat. 

i think he got the feeling from me that i was a little nervous.  i mean seriously, what else could be wrong with me.  diabetes, neuropath, retinopathy, blocked arteries, high blood pressure, high cholersterol, triple bypass surgery.  now my kidneys are bailing???  WTF?!

after explaining in RPL (real people language) the results of the labwork that i had done 3 weeks before, i was feeling alot better. 

he explained that the protien in my urine, was not "a big deal".  the number was twice that of a non PWD, but still within manageable range.  there was some slight damage to my kidneys, but not to worry,  that's why he was on the case!  he was sending me for an ultrasound of my kidneys and bladder so that he would have something to compare them to later down the line.  he said that in fact, my kidney function had improved since this time last year, prior to going on an insulin pump. 

the whole time he was talking to me, i never felt that he was talking down, or belittling me for my awful diabetes management in the past.  we talked about getting more exercise, and he was glad to hear that i have basically abolished salt from my diet.

as i was leaving he told me that he realized that diabetes was hard work, and he said i was doing a great job.  that i should keep doing what i'd been doing and he would see me in july.

all things considered, it was one of the best Dr's appt. i've ever had!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

bad pancreas

todays prompt was  what’s a lesson you learned the hard way? Write about it for 15 today.

well i think i've probably talked about that before so i decided to go with one of the Early Bird prompts.

i chose to do the Mind Map, and i must say, it wasn't as easy as i thought it would be!  it was fun though, and it made you really think about how all these things are connected in some way. 

so without further ado, here is my MIND MAP OF THE BAD PANCREAS



Monday, April 16, 2012

i'm board




i know, you're probably thinking i don't know how to spell.  well for the most part, i do.  i'm sure there may be spelling errors here and there throughout my blog but i am a little anal when it comes to spelling.  sometimes i find spelling errors in books i'm reading, in the newspapers, in magazines and i want to call the editors and let them know they need new proof readers.   but i digress.  =)

when i say "i'm board" what i'm actually saying is that i have a account at Pinterest and i actually figured out all by myself how to create a board and "pin" things to it!  usually, when i am stumped by computer things, i call on my daugther to help me out.  however, when it came to Pinterest, she was clueless!  since Pinterest is new to me, there isn't much on mine, but i feel a new addiction coming on!

since todays HAWMC post is to "create a pinterest board for your health focus. pin 3 things. What did you pin?  Share the images ina  post and explain why you chose them."  that is what i did. 

to see my Pinterest board click here

the first picture is my tattoo.  as i've mentioned before, i never wear a medic alert.  i have one, but it goes on a chain, and the chain is broken, and i can't be bothered to go buy a new one.  i figure chains break, but my arm will always be attached. (barring any unforseen dismembering accident!)

the second picture is my pancreas Animas Ping insulin pump.  i love it!   it's green, my favourite colour.  i don't know how i ever lived without it! 

the third picture is of course, my insulin.  my life blood.  without which i would die.  my friend and my enemy. 

i like this Pinterest thing.  i think it's kind of cool.  if you have an account, send me a link. i'd love to take a peek!







Sunday, April 15, 2012

thats just how i roll


HAWMC Day #15: Writing with Style. What’s your writing style? Do words just flow from your mind to your fingertips? Do you like handwriting first? Do you plan your posts? Title first or last? Where do you write best?


i don't think i have ever really thought about "how" i write.  i've thought about "why"  and "what" but not "how". 

sometimes if i'm thinking about something or have read something i may jot down a note to self about the topic for future consideration.  i don't normally actually sit down and write out a post on paper first.  that's not to say that i haven't done that, especially if it is a serious topic, or i really need to gather my thoughts.  but even then it's just point form.

most of my posts start with a title, and go from there.  quite often though, by the time i'm done, i go back and change the title. 

when i first started this blog about a year ago, i didn't really know what i was doing, having never written anything quite like this before.  i used to journal, but i never really kept up with it.   perhaps that was because it seemed a little boring.  no feedback.  although i'm not sure i really expected people to read this, it always amazes me when i get comments.  i get really excited to think that there are people out there who read what i write! 

usually, the words just kind of go from my brain to my fingertips.  i do however find myself talking it out in my head as i type.  i'm doing that right now!  does anyone else do that??  do you find that weird?  oh well.  sort of like i was talking to a friend over a cup of coffee.

i sit at my laptop, which is setup on my dining room table and i look out the window.  the window looks out across the street at a little chapel.  it's a quite corner, but sometimes that helps when i get stuck on an idea and am not sure how to put it to "paper".

i try to write from the heart.  to just write like i talk.  i hope i never get too technical or boring.  i hope that someone would let me know if i did!  =)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Dream Day






so for today's post,  i am closing my eyes and envisioning my dream day.  some of you may be thinking that i am probably thinking of a day without Diabetes.  well that isn't so.  since the big D has been with me forever, i really don't know what i would do without it.  nope, my day still includes good ol' D.  and by good, i mean D is behaving and allowing my to have the Day of My Dreams.

to start, let me say that it is very rare that i get a day ALL.TO.MYSELF.  very rare indeed.  i believe my Dream Day would not include others.  no husband, no grandkids, no kids, nobody.  listen, i love them dearly, really i do, but this is MY day.  i see them every day, even weekends sometimes.  well my husband i see every day obviously, but the others are always underfoot.  sounds like i am complaining right?  well i'm not really.  it's just that i work ALOT, and need a "personal day".  a day to just do whatever i want.  a mental health day, of sorts.

on this day, i get to sleep in.  i crawl out of bed at some hours later than normal.  i wrap my cozy housecoat around me and go downstairs.  i leave the bed unmade.  coffee is a must.  i love my Tassimo <3   i will test and bolus for breakfast.  nothing fancy, just coffee and a skinny bagel (made by PC and lower in carbs than other bagels) with herb and garlic cream cheese. 

after breakfast, i will lounge around, perhaps do some catch-up blog reading.  i can't help it, it's a habit  =)

you may know that i have been taking classes in watercolour painting.  i find it very relaxing, so i will probably spend a few of my alone time hours doing some painting.  i have been watching videos on YouTube to get some tips and lessons on different styles of watercolour painting.  it has become quite addictive!

there is a lovely little Italian deli-type shop a few blocks away.  i think i'll get myself ready, and go for a walk.  they make the most delicious sandwiches!  you name it, they make it.  they are huge, and the price is very reasonable. 

after my walk, i will make a cup of tea, and perhaps take a little nap.  naps are good.  some nice music playing in the background.  sounds sweet!

upon waking from my wonderful nap, i am feeling rejuvenated!  i love to cook.  i also find cooking relaxing.  so i wander to my kitchen to make something tasty for dinner.  since i am only cooking for me i will prepare some of my favourite dishes.  french onion soup, poached tilapia with dill and lemon, steamed asparagus, and salad with mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette.

for my evening, i will park my butt on the couch, and watch all the movies that i have been wanting to see.  there are quite a few so i may be up real late!  thank goodness for VOD (videos on demand)!

i will drift off to sleep, tv and lights still on, smiling and feeling totally relaxed,  rested and ready to go back to "real life" in the morning. 

p.s.  you may have noticed that i barely mentioned diabetes,  but just so you know, i did all the testing and bolusing required, and D behaved quite admirably during my Dream Day!  and so now "real life" is about to come back and i'm off to work.  but tonight i am going to help a very dear friend celebrate her 50th Birthday!  

have a great day everyone!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Island of Life




i remember playing this game as a kid.  you are stranded on a deserted island.  what 10 things would you need  to survive?

as an adult,  i have played versions of this game that are a little different! (alcohol may have been involved!!)  what 10 cd's would you bring with you?  what alcoholic beverages would you bring with you?  which 10 actors would be on the island with you?  your 10 can't live without foods? 

never during this game, did we ever think of the "real life"  things we would need if, indeed, we were stranded on that island.

and so, after careful consideration, here they are.
The Top 10 Things I Couldn't Live Without on the Island of Life (and George{Clooney that is}, if you're reading this I apologize, but on this trip I had to leave you behind)

  •    My Husband (he's been around forever, i might as well keep him!)
  •    My Family (they inspire me!)
  •    My Friends (both old and new!)
  •    My Pump (and all it's paraphernalia)
  •    Insulin
  •    Meter
  •    Test Strips (a never ending supply!)
  •    Clicker (with unlimited lancets)
  •    Sweet Tarts and/or  Juice Boxes
  •    Batteries (tons of them, all different types, cause i never seem to have the right ones!)
What are the 10 Things you Couldn't Live Without?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

today i looked in the mirror and......



todays prompt from WEGO Health is Stream of Conciousness Day.
start with this phrase: “Today I looked in the mirror and…” (Or another sentence you come across.) But sure to – Keep writing. Don’t stop for 15 minutes. Don’t edit. Post. Go!


today i looked in the mirror and i wondered how i got here.  i guess what i mean by that is...i don't know.  i am going to be 50 this year.  how did this happen?  where was i when all this time passed?  so many things have happened to me over the years.  i became Diabetic when i was 12.  i ignored that for many years.  i met my husband when i was 16.  i married him when i was 19.  i had my first child when i was 20.  my second at 22 and my third at 27.  i moved away from family and friends when i was 26.  new city,  new jobs, new friends.  life was good!  my 3rd child was born here, in our new city.  financial times were tough, but it's only money after all.  children grow and leave home.  they begin lives of their own.  when i was 42 i went to our family reunion, and ended up with an infection in my toe.  this led to cellulitus, and hospitalization.  this was the beginning of the road to my eventual open heart surgery.  i look around me and i am thankful for what i have.  i have a nice home, i have benefits to cover my medications.  i live in a province that assists it's diabetics to live healthier lives by covering pumps and supplies for every age group.  i have a loving family, and we are very close.  my grandchildren are at my house every day!  they give me the encouragement i need to take better care of myself, and they don't even know they are doing it!  without them, i may still be neglecting my health.  i may not have asked my doctor about what i thought was heart burn.  i may have just continued to "treat" with antacids, and suffered the "massive coronary" that the doctors said i barely avoided. 
i looked in the mirror this morning and realized i am very lucky.  lucky to have found the DOC and met the amazing people here.  i guess i got here through sheer stubborness!  and i can only hope to have another 50 years in which to enjoy the many new and exciting adventures that lay ahead!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the evolution of me




today is Day 11 of HAWMC.  i must say i am amazed at myself for getting this far!  today's prompt was 




Theme song. Imagine your health focus or blog is getting its own theme song. What would the lyrics be? What type of music would it be played to?

and although i love music, both listening to and singing, i just couldn't come up with a theme song for my blog.  i struggled with ideas last night.  i even asked my daughter to help.  nothing seemed to click. 

so instead i chose one of the Early Bird prompts.   



i used to be young but i'm not anymore

i used to be thin but i'm not anymore

i used to be sick but i'm not anymore

i used to be ignorant but i'm not anymore

i used to  be angry but i'm not anymore

i used to be afraid but i'm not anymore

i used to be sad but i'm not anymore

i used to be unaware but i'm not anymore

i used to be shy but i'm not anymore

i used to be alone but i'm not anymore!!

i used to be quiet but i'm not anymore!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

time ticks on............


Day 10 of WEGO Health Blog HAWMC's challenge asks you to write a letter to your 16 year old self.

Instead, i decided to write the letter to my husband, who at the time was my 17 year old boyfriend.




Hey you!

so i decided to write you a letter.  this is not the typical "love letter" that a 16 year old girl writes to her boyfriend.  now before you get all freaked out i am not breaking up with you. 
i am writing to you from the future, so you kind of have a heads up on whats in store if we continue dating. 

you already know about the diabetes, but what neither of us know is the toll it will take. 
we will get married, have kids (3of them!!) and move to another town.  things will be difficult at first with no family or childhood friends nearby.  jobs won't be easy to come by and we will have struggles.  doctors are also hard to find.  we are in the midst of a huge shortage of doctors in our town.

money is tight and the drugs i need to manage my diabetes are expensive.  sometimes i have to make decisions based on what i think is most important.  the decisions i make eventually come at a cost to myself.  but because i feel fine, i pay no attention.

time ticks on.

eventually,  in 2001, after 27 years of living with D, i will go on MDI's (multiple daily injections).  up until that point i had only been doing 1 needle a day.  at some point, a countdown had begun in my body, and things were happening on the inside that the outside was not aware of.

my eyes start to betray me.   i need laser surgery because of Retnopathy.
my legs and feet start to betray me.  Diabetic Nueropathy has begun.
then my heart has had enough.  Triple Bypass surgery. 

all this and i'm not even 50 yet!

but it's not all bad.  we have an incredible family!  we are close, and supportive of each other.
3 great kids, a great son-in-law and daughter-in-law,  2 wonderful grandchildren.  we have awesome friends and through it all we still love each other. 

you are strong, and when it all comes down to it, you are a big old softy.

you are my rock, and i hope, after reading this, you choose to stick around.

it'll be a helluva rollercoaster ride, but you always did like the rides at Canada's Wonderland!

love,
kim (from the future)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Keep Calm.......

HAWMC Day #9: Keep calm and carry on. Write (and create) your own Keep Calm and Carry On poster. Can you make it about your condition? Then go to (http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/) and actually make an image to post to your blog.


So for those of you reading this for the first time, my condition is Diabetes. 
Diabetes is a tough disease.  There are various reasons for this.  Most of which we have no control over!  There are times in all of our lives when we feel like giving up.  When we are tired of doing math for every little thing we eat. When the math we do doesnt work.  When our glucose levels just don't play fair.  And so for this, we need to be reminded that we are not alone.  That  WE CAN DO THIS.



So if you need to, feel free to copy and post it on your fridge, or your bathroom mirror, or wherever you need it!  I know I'm going to!!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

it's not about the pop, it's the colour of the pump



todays prompt from Wego Health is to try writing script-style (or with dialogue) to recap an awesome conversation you had this week. 

well the number 1 conversation i had this week, was with the surgeon who did my dad's pacemaker operation.  when she told my mother and i that all went well and he would be fine, that about tops the week for conversations!

but then, running second are the conversations i have every single day with my grandchildren.  some of them are sooo funny.  some are sad, and some are so serious it kind of floors me.

this week Cameron, who just turned 6, came up to me in his usual manner, and said to me,

"Nan, can I talk to you?"

"Of course you can Bud, what's up?" says I.  he sounds so serious that i am expecting some monumental question.  something of great importance.

"Well, I was just wondering..."

"Yes, what where you wondering?"

"Ummm, I was just wondering if I could have a drink?  Maybe some of that pop that you've got hiding in the fridge."

Cameron doesn't get pop very often.  He is usually quite content with juice, maybe a cup of tea in the morning.  Water and milk or chocolate milk are high on his list, but pop is not something he will ask for often.

"Do I have pop in the fridge Cam?  I didn't think there was any in there."

"Yes there is Nan, you know the one,  the Diabetic pop"

the "Diabetic pop" is actually a bottle of Coke Zero.  ever since he was little he's called it Diabetic pop instead of Diet Pop. 

"Ah, yes, the Diabetic pop.  Well I guess you can have a little glass."

"Thanks Nan.  Ummm Nan?"

"Yes Cam?"

"If I drink your Diabetic pop, will that make me Diabetic too?"

"No honey, drinking my pop will not make you Diabetic."

"Oh that's good, cause i wouldn't want to have a green pump like yours.  Green is not my favourite colour you know."

in the end, it's not so much about the kind of pop.  it's more about the colour of the pump! oh the worries of a 6 year old!!



Saturday, April 07, 2012

entering the unknown



HAWMC Day #7: Health Activist Choice! Write about what you want today.

I was going to pick a topic from the Early Bird choices, but instead i decided to just write about...i don't even know what!  LOL!!

i will tell you about my week.  on monday, i had the 2 grandchildren for the day, as always.  things went well.  no fighting.  nothing remarkable.  i worked monday evening at the grocery store as per usual.  i have worked every monday night since the beginning of the year.  literally!  the only monday i've had off was for Family Day in February,  but so did everyone else so it doesn't really count!
 
Tuesday was quiet.  1 kidlet in school, the other playing nicely on her own for a short time.  no work tonight.  i tried to do some painting but without success.  there were 4 weeks without a class and the last week i missed because she changed the day, and i am unable to change my days off or switch shifts.  which sucked.
 
Wednesday i am minding my own business.  i gave the kids lunch and was just cleaning up their mess and eating my own lunch when the phone rang.  it was my dad's cell # so i figured he might be in town and dropping by for a visit.  nope.  i answered and this is what i hear....
"hello kim?  it's your mother"

now my mother doesn't know how to use a cell phone, so immediately i am alarmed.  she goes on to say that my dad is in the hospital.  but don't worry, says she,  he's going to be fine.   he went to the doctor in the morning because his blood pressure and pulse rate were a little low.  the doctor did an ECG and then another and told her to drive him to the hospital right away.  the Vascular Surgeon would be waiting for them in Emerg.  my dad would need a pacemaker put in right away!!
so my mother drove the 45min to the hospital and after some tests and paperwork my dad was whisked off to surgery.
 
she called me at 12:50pm and i told her i would be there ASAP.    I arrived at about 1:40.  my youngest daughter was home so she was watching the grandkids for me.  i had to stop for coffee, at my mother's request.  we sat there for about another hour, and then there he was.  being rolled down the hall on a gurney!  the nurse said something about being discharged from emerg so i thought that meant he would be admitted.  nope.  apparently having a pacemaker inserted was just outpatient surgery.  home he goes. 

i must say, i was a little shocked.  how did they know this pacemaker was working properly?  did they realize these elderly people (my mother's 70 and dad's 71) live 45 minutes from the hospital?  how is it possible they were sending them home?  well according to the surgeon, his pulse and heart rate have improved.  he must go to the cardiac clinic the next day to meet with a cardiologist.  and on friday he must come back to the hospital for some lab work to see if the coumadin is working properly. 

still seems weird to me.   on friday we were supposed to go to my parents but instead the whole fam damily came to my house for Easter Dinner instead. and all seems fine.  he is a little slower than i am used to.  looks a little frailer.  but i think they are both still in shock.  he has to take it easy for  a couple weeks.  no lifting anything.  he can sit at the computer, he can hold a coffee cup, but no driving, no reaching over his head.  no carrying anything, not even a bag of milk.  golfing is out for a while.   

my son has been going over every day to help them with whatever they need.  he only lives about 10min away.  i am thankful for what he is doing.  he's says "they are the only grampa and gramma i have so of course i will do this for them."  this makes me proud.  

if you lasted this long, thanks for "listening".    HAPPY EASTER!!

p.s.  after all this, my grandson ended up with strepthoat, and the baby has chickenpox!!!  Lord give me strength!!  i'm gonna need it!
.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Health haiku


Today is Day 6 of HAWMC and it is poetry day.  Haiku.  
                                you know     ~     5syllables/7syllables/5syllables

i used to write poetry when i was young, but Haiku was not my style.  my daughters once found
some of my poems, written when i was about 16 or so.  they found them hysterical!!  i admit, they were the ramblings of a young girl in love (or hate or whatever the emotion of the moment was!).

one was actually about my dead fish.  i went to a Beatlemania concert with my then boyfriend (now husband) and came home to find the fish on the floor.  he apparently jumped out of the bowl, landed on the air duct/heater, and i think the air conditioning froze him to death.  of course hours out of water probably didn't help either.  poor Socrates.

anyway,  i will try my hand at haiku. 

sleep, poke, read, pump, eat
poke, read, pump, eat, again and again
will it ever end?

diabetes is
a never ending battle
consuming my day

hope is what i have
today, i will live today
with hope for a cure

i sit at the park
counting carbs for the pigeons
what is wrong with me?

"can you eat that pie?"
and i ask "why? is it bad?
is it poisonous?"



and there you have it....my shot at Haiku.



Thursday, April 05, 2012

does this look like the DOC??



today's post is an Ekphrasis Post

"Ekphrasis

One particular kind of visual description is also the oldest type of writing about art in the West. Called ekphrasis, it was created by the Greeks. The goal of this literary form is to make the reader envision the thing described as if it were physically present. In many cases, however, the subject never actually existed, making the ekphrastic description a demonstration of both the creative imagination and the skill of the writer. For most readers of famous Greek and Latin texts, it did not matter whether the subject was actual or imagined. The texts were studied to form habits of thinking and writing, not as art historical evidence"

so to do this we are to go to flickr.com/explore. The webpage automatically generates a random photo and we are supposed to look at the image… the color, composition, style, details, location. What feelings does this evoke in me? am i reminded of anything significant in my life? Can i imagine myself in the photo? Can i relate the image back to my health topic?

Below is the picture that popped onto the screen when I logged onto flickr.com/explore. 

bolts of cloth…depicts the DOC.  each one different and yet the same. like us.  type 1's, type 2's. old, young, we're all the same.  the hand.  reaching out. could be any one of us.  we are searching for something. friendship, understanding, a sense of belonging? the body is the heart of the the DOC. the heart is Diabetes.  it has no face, because diabetes has no face.  it could be anyone.  the person sitting on the bus next to us.  the small child being pushed on the swing at the park.  the mailman, or the girl ringing through your groceries.

together we are strong.  we lean on each other.  we hold each other up.  WE CAN DO THIS!!