Monday, December 3, 2012

Life Outside D...Part 1

Phew! The National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge is officially done. I had a lot of fun completing the challenge and I enjoyed spreading some awareness about the disease. At first, I wasn't sure how it would be received by my non-PWD's  readers, but I got quite a few comments from friends and family about how they looked forward to the pictures!

Although I feel that advocating for diabetes awareness is important, it's nice to take a break from it, especially now that the Christmas season is upon us. Alanna Swartz over at Life on T1 has decided to start a series of posts about her "life outside D". She's encouraged others to follow along so I've decided that this is a good a time as any to share some of the other parts of my life with my readers.

My life can be boring, people! You've been warned!

This past weekend was spent getting some Christmas treats ready for the season, as well as catching up with friends. The boyfriend and I headed out to the country to visit friends of ours and to bring along some gifts to their 3 adorable kids! It's something we do every year and we really look forward to it. The kids open their presents with us and it's always so fun being able to spoil them and to see how excited they get with their new toys!

Saturday I ran a couple errands and then spent the afternoon making homemade Christmas snack mix. There are numerous variations of this mix out there. I usually make this every year and it makes a nice big batch that can easily be taken along to parties and family gatherings during the holiday season.

Supplies. Check!
Ready to eat!

I picked up a couple Christmas tins at Dollorama to store the mix in. It's tastes so good, but is so bad!!

I also put up a couple decorations over the weekend. Nothing major, but just enough to make it feel more Christmasy in here!!

Over the last few weeks I've been getting back in to a more consistent gym routine. I typically used to only run while at the gym but have decided to start throwing in weights 4 days per week. A close friend recommended a good program by Jennifer Rankin that helps to build muscle. I've altered the program slightly because this girl is ripped and I'm only just starting out.

Here's what I did Saturday at the gym:

30 minute run
Overhead Press: 20x15 / 20x12 / 20x10
Upright Rows: 20x15 / 20x12 / 20x10
Lateral Raise: 10x15 / 10x12 / 10x12
Rear Delt Flyes: 10x15 / 10x12 / 10x10
Full sit up on stability ball x 30
Bicycle Crunches x 12
Hope everyone had a good weekend!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 30: CURE

This is my final entry for the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge.

These are pictures of me before and after my diagnosis this year.
Not much has changed by looking at these pictures.
But I remember everyday what it's like not to have diabetes. It's fresh in my mind.
I lived a normal, healthy life for 29 years and...
 I just want it back.
If you would like to help find a cure for diabetes, please follow this link to the Canadian Diabetes Association and donate. The CDA funds research and programs to help improve the lives of people in your community living with diabetes.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 29: Advocate

This is my entry for day 29 of the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge!

We're almost there! November is just about over, but the awareness and advocacy needs to continue always! I tossed in 2 today because I think this is something that's really important.

Photo's credit: Google


Day 28: Stockpile

This is my entry for day 28 of the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 26 & 27...

These are my entries for days 26 and 27 for the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 24 & 25...

These are my entries for days 24 and 25 of the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge.

Ok, so I didn't really know what to do for this one. The unicorn is the mascot for the diabetes online community. Here is my cat, dressed as a unicorn.

This is a snapshot from last winter. I believe it was -30 celcius that day. But Cassie and I had a good walk at the dog park none the less.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 23: Carbs!

This is my entry for day 23 of the National Diabetes Awareness months photo-a-day challenge!

Yeah, that's right. That's KD and ketchup! One of my favourite meals before I head in for a night shift. Lot's of yummy carbs in it too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Days 19 to 22:

It has been a busy past few days and I have definitely neglected my photo-a-day challenge. Anyway, without further adieu....
New and used strips. I tend to find strips kind of everywhere.

My friends and I....we get each other.

I loathe how much diabetes costs me.

I am a Diet Coke girl through and through.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 18: Bolus-worthy!

Here is my entry for day 18 of the National Diabetes Awareness Month photo-a-day challenge!

Snickers cheese cake! Had this last night for dessert at a friends place!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Days 15, 16 & 17:

Here are my entries for days 15 through 17 for the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge...

Surprisingly, I didn't have any failures on day 15. But that's not to say I haven't had my share of them over the last little bit while I work on adjusting my doses.

My 3 day graph on my iBGStar meter. Makes me a little blue. Still some high readings.

Here's something random and non-diabetes related for a change.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14: Today!

Today is November 14...World Diabetes Day!

We haven't seen the sun here in Winnipeg in what feels like ages. So, what a nice surprise today when I woke up to a beautiful sunny day with a blue sky!

The international symbol for diabetes is a blue circle. This symbol was originally designed when the United Nations formed the resolution for diabetes which is a campaign to address the diabetes epidemic that is set to overwhelm health care systmes around the world. The circle is meant to symbolise unity, which is required to make a difference. The colour blue was used as it represents the sky and the UN flag.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 13: Meter

Here is day 13 of the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge!

My iBGStar meter! I use this about 4-8 times per day, pricking my finger each time.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Days 11 & 12

Here are days 11 and 12 of the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge!!

Ok, it's not a cupcake, but it was just as good!!

Friends and family; with me all the way!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Days 9 & 10....

I got a little busy this weekend with work so I didn't get a chance to post on Friday. So here are day 9 and 10 of the National Diabetes Awarenss month's photo-a-day challenge!


Day 10 is "Low Treatment" this is kind of gross but when I'm really low I spoon out PB and then put a squirt of chocolate syrup on it! So good and works reasonably fast!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Garage Sale!

I had a chance to clean out my little diabetes stockpile today. I've accumulated a lot of different strips, meters and pen needles as I tried to figure out which supplies I liked best.

I have extras of the following items and won't use them before they expire. If anyone would like them, please  send me an email or a message on Facebook and I will pop them in the mail for you!

150 Ultra Blue test strips for OneTouch compatible meters. The box of 100 still has the seal on it. They expire May/13

50 FreeStyle Lite test strips. Expiry is July/13

BD Ultra-fine pen needles. 4mm/32 gauge. There are 35 needles in here and they're still sealed in bags.



Day 8: SPARKLE!!

This is my entry for day 8 of the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge...

I got this little baby just yesterday!! I feel like a kid on Christmas!!!
For those of you who are looking at this thing and wondering "What the hell is it!?", it's the new iBGstar meter which is designed to plug into your iPhone, ipod touch or ipad. There is an app that works with it and it is amazing for tracking all things diabetes!
I don't want to give too much away just yet because this little gem deserves a post all her own!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7: Gear

Day 7 of the National Diabetes Awareness month photo-a-day challenge!

This is what I carry around with me on a daily basis. Meter, Delica lancing devise and strips; basal and bolus insulin and pens; tiger balm, hypertension meds, vitamins, and glucose.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 6: Feet

This is my entry for Day 6 of the National Diabetes Awareness Month photo-a-day challenge!

Getting back on track with my excercise regime to help avoid complications!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5: Bullseye....?

This is my entry for day 5 of the National Diabetes Awareness Photo-a-day challenge.

This is about as close as I got to a nice bullseye of 6.0 mmol/L. Still working on adjusting my basal insulin.
The trial and error continues....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 4: Oops!

This is my entry for day 4 of the National Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day challenge!

In terms of diabetes, I didn't have any screw up's today. This picture is from a while ago and was a huge screw up on my part.

I had gotten off a night shift at 7am that morning and had my usual bowl of cereal. I fell asleep around 8am and woke up on my own 2 hours later sweating and shaking. My only guess is that I still had active insulin in my system when I took more for my cereal which resulted in this low.

This is one I won't soon forget. I was home alone and felt close to passing out. It scared the crap out of me!

*  *  *  *  *  *

If you have a chance, I encourage you to take a look at this post (Click Here). Alanna at "Life on T1" had her friend Sara do a guest post on her blog. The post is a list of 30 things you should know about diabetes. It was super interesting. There were things on the list even I didn't know. It's also good if you don't have diabetes because it helps explain some myths, which helps spread awareness about our condition. You know, because it's diabetes awareness month!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3: Fingers

Here is my entry for day 3 of the National Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day challenge.

These are my 3 favourite fingers for testing...they never fail me!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2: Prescription

This is my entry for day 2 of the National Diabetes Awareness Month Photo a Day challenge...


Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's D Month!!

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month!!

Time to spread awareness about the ups and downs of diabetes!

I've decided to take part in a photo-a-day created by Abby Bayer who guest posts on Six Until Me with Kerri Sparling. Here are the topics for the month....

And here is my entry for today...Struggle.

Boy, hope those ginger snaps were worth it!! (My mom is totally going to freak when she sees this. Don't worry, I've got it all under control!)
Check back all month to catch every photo!
If you're following along on Twitter, the hashtag is #ndam and #ndamphotoaday

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Big Blue Test

This was my entry for the Big Blue Test today. This is a program put on by the Diabetes Hands Foundation and it helps prove that physical activity can help reduce a diabetics blood sugar by 20% after 14-20 minutes of physical activity. You submit your results on their website and if they reach 20,000 entries by November 14/12, then $100,000 will be donated to diabetes organizations that provide life saving supplies and services to diabetics in need.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Steel Magnolias - Revamped!

So, just about everyone in the DOC has been talking about the remake of "Steel Magnolias" on the Lifetime Channel for quite some time. It aired in the US on Sunday evening, and up here in the true north on Monday evening. I finally got a chance to watch it yesterday and am excited to post my opinions on the new version.

I think some background info is needed first though...

Anyone that has watched the original should remember that the main character, Shelby (played by Julia Roberts), had T1 diabetes and against her doctors and mothers (Sally Field) wishes, decides to have a baby. She then passes away near the end of the movie from complications due to her diabetes. There is a famous scene on the day of her wedding at Truvy's Salon where she has a low blood sugar episode and convulses and is given a glass of orange juice to treat her low. This movie is one of the only movies that depicts someone with T1; well, other than the Babysitters Club Movie but let's not get into that now.

Lifetime has now re-made the original version and has cast an all African-American cast. It's a great cast really - Queen Latifah is Shelby's mom, M'Lynn, and she does a fantastic job. She truly is a talented actor and I wish she would do more dramas. Shelby is cast by Condola Rashad who has done work on Broadway. Overall, I really enjoyed the movie, which I wasn't expecting. I love the original, and still prefer it, but Lifetime did a really good job with re-creating it. They stuck to the original script almost word for word. There are a couple slight changes, such as M'Lynn's break down after Shelby's death is moved to a scene in the beauty salon a little while after her funeral. I have heard that this is more true to the original play and was changed in the Hollywood version of the movie.

In terms of Shelby's diabetes, they added information to her condition which I think was really important. In the beginning of the movie it is explained that Shelby should not have a child due to her kidney disease, which we assume is related to her diabetes. In the original it is simply implied that because she is diabetic, she can't have kids which is not true. Also, Shelby's low seems more true to real life. Although I found Julia Roberts acting in the original scene very good, Condola Rashad's depiction of the low is more realistic. In reality, if Shelby had been having the convulsions that she had, it is not realistic that some orange juice would fix that as quickly as it did in the original and it would have taken her longer to recover.

It occurred to me while watching it that this was the first time I had watched this movie as a T1 diabetic. I've watched this movie a million times throughout my life; I love it and cry every time. But this is the first time I've watched it since my diagnosis in February of this year. It's not that I was ever avoiding it, I just never had the opportunity to see it this year. This definitely altered my view on the story. Obviously, the movie is way more relatable to me now than it ever was. I understand that the true meaning of the story is the relationship between the women, but watching it this time as a diabetic made me notice more about Shelby's struggles. I have lots of fears of the complications from diabetes, even when it is managed well. I also fear that I won't be able to have kids even though I know lots of T1 women who have had healthy babies. It's always something that weighs in the back of my mind.

In summary, I say the remake was well done. If I had to choose, I would still pick the original only because I love the cast and it's very nostalgic. But, on the other hand, I love that diabetes has been portrayed in a more accurate light in the remake.

If any of you missed the premier, there is an encore this Sunday, October 13th!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

A1C> 7.1

This past Friday I had an appointment with my Endo to go over my 2nd A1C results and to review how things have been going for the last 4 months.

**For my non-D readers, every 3-4 months I see my Endo. About 2 weeks prior I get blood work done which tests my A1C level. This level is a 4 month average of my blood sugars. It's like a diabetes report card. An A1C of 7 is average and is what we typically strive for. Because my body's needs and insulin levels will continue to change throughout my life, these tests and appointments will help me to ensure that my diabetes is being managed well. I've updated my "Glossary" tab to reflect this info.

My first A1C result back in May was a perfect 7.0 . I was more than thrilled with this as it was my first follow up since being diagnosed, back when my A1C was 10.

I was nervous going into this appointment because my blood sugars have been a tad off as of late. I posted back in August (See HERE) about how my blood sugars hadn't really gone back to normal since our little summer vacation. My 30 day average on my meter was sitting at 9.0 mmol/L and I have been having quite a few highs and no lows at all.

Anyway, I was happy to hear that my A1C was 7.1!!! It was a nice relief but I was still worried that without getting on top of these blood sugar issues that my next A1C would be even higher. Over the last 4 months, the first 2 months were REALLY good and I think that's the reason that my A1C wasn't affected as much as I would have expected.

My Endo discussed with me where and when I was noticing the higher blood sugars. I explained that it seemed to mostly be my fasting blood sugars that were most affected, as well as the ones later on in the day.

We came up with two theories for this. The first is the most obvious, and it was that my pancreas was most likely running out of the very little insulin that it had left. That's right non-D folks, us diabetics can/do still make our own insulin however our pancreas does not make enough of it to help balance out our blood sugar levels. As years go by, my pancreas will continue to get more and more lazy which will require me to take more insulin to compensate for this.

Anyway, the second theory has to do with my lack of physical activity as of late. Prior to our vacation at the end of July, I was running 4-5 days a week and was feeling fantastic. I have not been able to get back on track with working out since then. This may be resulting in the higher blood sugar levels.

My Endo suggested that I try and get back on track and see if that does the trick. If not, she suggested I need to try and adjust my basal insulin by 1 unit every week until I get to a level that I'm comfortable with.

October Goal:

Three, 30 minute cardio sessions per week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Change up!

What do you think of my new design?

You may or may not have noticed that I have been randomly playing around with the design settings on my blog. I just couldn't seem to come up with something I really liked. Then I discovered that there are a ton of sites that offer free Blogger design templates so you don't have to stick with some of the boring ones that are offered on Blogger.

I got this one from "The Cutest Blog on the Block". They have a TON of awesome designs for every occasion and style!

I think this one represents kicking diabetes ass!!

And, I promise I will leave the design alone for a while!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A couple things I'm obsessed with right now...

I'm always looking for new foods that I can toss into my meal plans. I'm definitely boring a creature of habit in terms of what I eat. I tend to stick with a lot of the same foods until I'm sick to death of them, and then I start switching it up.

The first thing I'm super obsessed with right now is CINNAMON!!! I've started adding it to all kinds of stuff. I especially love it added to vanilla yogurt, I also toss in some strawberries or kiwi. I love that it adds sweetness to whatever you're eating without the added sugar!

I've been looking at adding some new staples to my breakfast routine and have rediscovered my love for waffles!! My mom makes the best waffles ever but now I've been stepping up to the plate in my attempt to recreate them. For my birthday I got my own waffle maker so I've been doing up big batches of waffles and freezing them. In the morning I just pop them into the toaster oven for 5-8 minutes and they're ready to go! I've discovered new ways to eat them so it feels as though you're eating something a little different every day. I got a lot of these ideas from Courtney over at The Petite Athleat. This girl puts everything on her Paleo waffles! I just stick to the regular recipes  (switching out the sugar for Splenda of course). I'll put a fried egg and salsa on my waffles, vanilla yogurt with fruit is also a good substitute. And then there's old reliable - butter and sugar-free syrup!
Protein shake, waffle topped with fat free vanilla yogurt, strawberries and kiwi!

One of the things that I struggle most with in terms of eating with diabetes is eating on the run. This is almost next to impossible for me now, but I wanted some quick items I could grab and eat on the way to the gym or on the way to work in the morning. Most of the mainstream granola bars at my local grocery store are loaded with sugar and have very little fibre. I came across these great bars at Costco. They're called "Nice & Natural" and there are 24 in a box for about $12. The box contains 3 flavours - Rich Peanut Butter, Pomegranate Almond and Simply Sweet Seeds. They're all natural, low in sodium, 5g each of protein and fibre and only 5-9g of sugar depending on the flavour. They taste really good and work well as an in-between-meal snack. They won't fill you up for long but do the trick.

Next, I wanted to find something quick that would actually fill me up somewhat. Scully over at Canadian D-Gal raves about her Cliff bars so I thought I would give them a whirl. I picked up mine at Costco again because they're quite pricey at Safeway and they only sell them per bar. I got a box of Cliff bars for just under $15. I was originally worried when I bought them because they have on average 20g of sugar per bar. I don't really know how much is too much sugar in a snack but it seemed a little high for me. But, I bought them anyway because Scully seems to know what she's talking about and if she recommends them, then I'm game too.
So, it turns out I LOVE these bars!! First off, they taste amazing!!! My box came with Crunchy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip (to die for) and Chocolate Almond. Second, they fill me up big time! I can have one one my way to work and be good for a couple hours. I would highly recommend them and even with the 20g's of sugar, my blood sugars stay totally stable after I've eaten one.
I'm always looking for new meals and food ideas.
What are some things that you love tossing into to your meal plans?
(** Please note; I have not been contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post and have not been asked to promote their products. I have found these products all on my own after scouring grocery stores for hours on end reading nutrition labels. **)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September DSMA Blog Carnival

This post is my September entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

In an effort to blog more, and to get some more original ideas, I've decided to start participating in the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy's (DSMA) Blog Carnival. Every month there is a new topic to blog about and you have the whole month to get it done.

September's topic is "post a picture of your (or your loved one’s) diabetes bag or gear "...So, here it is!!

This is what I used to lug around when I was first diagnosed. I used everything the way it was given to me. I very quickly learned that this was taking up way too much room in my purse for more important stuff. So, I decided to downsize and keep everything in one little bag....

I managed to snag this little gem at Shopper's Drug Mart. The local store by my place was undergoing some reno's so they were blowing out a bunch of products for dirt cheap in order to make room for their new displays. I got this little make up bag by Quo for $3.00 and now see it for $12.00! I love that it's long, so it fits my insulin pens quite nicely. I also keep my Bayer USB meter, test strips, lancing device (I still use the OneTouch Delica), weekly vitamins (Vitamin D, multivitamin and Metamucil capsule) tucked in there.

I've accumulated a lot of different meters, pouches and supplies. I use this 2 drawer plastic organizer to store all my extra supplies. The left drawer is for all my insulin needs, and the right is for all my testing needs. I could probably do with getting a second one as it's gotten pretty cramped in there!!
So, that's just a little peak at how I keep my diabetes management a little more organized!