Sunday, March 19, 2017


Yesterday Mike and I went shopping and I happened to witness the fun moment where a thirteen year old girl didn't want her mother picking out her clothes.  As I looked at the clothes on the racks, I couldn't help but listen as the mother-daughter pair stormed around the store. The mother threatening to not buy anything and head home, and the daughter complaining that the mother never let's her pick what she wants to wear.  The mother trying to make things better, holds up a black sweater with a popular logo on it and the girl screams, "THAT BRAND ISN'T COOL ANYMORE!"  I remember those days of my mom not letting me wear certain things, or straight up telling me something did not look good, cue in the days of orange foundation. I so badly wanted to just tell the girl, 'listen, your mom is right...' but the more I watched the mother-daughter duo go in and out of the isles, the daughter walking faster and away from the mother as the mother yelled, Don't walk away from me!'  I began to realize, you know what, my diabetes is just like an angry thirteen year old girl.

My diabetes is usually angry at me.  Even when I remotely try to be nice to it, it somehow finds a way to test my patience.

My diabetes is always complaining about my choices.  Remember the time I gave myself a cookie, ONE COOKIE, and I spent the next two hours regretting something that I treated to myself.  Or, I take myself on a nice walk and what do I get in return?  a low blood sugar that sends me back home.

My diabetes changes its mind, of what it prefers and what it doesn't.    There are times when a bolus of 3 units for a meal is perfectly fine, same meal the next day, and 3 units just doesn't cut it.   THIS CARB RATIO ISN'T COOL ANYMORE! 

Lastly, my diabetes seems to have its own opinions and mind of its own and the more I try to come to terms with how my diabetes works, the more I want to just work with it and not against it... I want to understand it, but I also don't want it to take away from me, whether that's my sanity or ambition to keep going on.  Diabetes isn't actually a teenage girl, it can be a lot of things and honestly, sometimes I feel like that angry teenager rather than the mom.  But, regardless, sometimes as we watch our blood sugars rise & fall we have to find that middle ground where we can try to make things work, we try to compromise, but also take a stand, that we will not just give in.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Low Blues

There are two extreme sides of blood sugars, the highs and the lows.  Anything in between is all good, no sweat... but when you find yourself on either end of the spectrum, you're bound to feel some pretty awful feelings and I am not talking about physical symptoms right now, but mental.

Today, I am going to focus on the mental aspect of low blood sugars because after a ROUGH night of five low blood sugars and a few during the day today, the feelings are raw.  I am about to share a part of diabetes that is often masked with positivity and that 'we can do it' attitude from my end.  But, here it goes. 

 I am mentally and physically exhausted.  Since putting on a sensor, I have changed my diet drastically to keep that daunting line of blood sugar within the two targets.  I have gone fairly low carb in order to make this happen and the results - AMAZING. I have been able to stay within the target lines with ease, except the time I slipped up and had a cookie . . . but to be honest the cookie was out of stress this morning (yes I ate a cookie for Breakfast) and even though it was delicious I paid the ultimate price with a high blood sugar that lasted HOURS.  

Anyways, back to my emotions. After getting hardly any sleep, constantly waking up to a screaming alarm telling me I was low, shoving rockets into my mouth as I was half asleep, wishing diabetes would...leave, today I woke up less than refreshed.. in fact I am pretty sure I felt more refreshed pre bed time, than post.    I had to be out of the house by 9 a.m and after the 'cookie accident' I began to get frustrated with my now high blood sugars.   

 Like seriously body, you wanted sugar all night, 
and then I generously give you a cookie and you betray me like that! 

As I rage bolused and bumped my pump up to 150%, within a couple hours I was trending down and by lunch time I was at my ideal blood sugar. Then it was all down hill from there, low after low, treading water just to keep my blood sugar stable and not plummeting. I am sure it was my fault for stacking insulin, but I was frustrated.  I wanted to punch diabetes right in the face.  I was tired.

By 8:00 p.m I was so low I felt myself becoming less like myself, trending down arrows and a low suspend shouting at me from my pump. I wanted to cry.  Mike watched as a smothered peanut butter on everything (yes, I know PB is low carb, but you can smoother it on carbs and it's delicious)  and I am sure he knew that I was frustrated because I am pretty sure I yelled at him... but regardless, in my mind I felt so completely drained. So over trying to keep myself within those lines. So tired of eating for the sake of feeling normal.   

Diabetes totally drains you.  It can make you literally go crazy, low after low after low, you start to not want to treat it and that's the scariest part.    The catch is that once you start to eat and your blood sugar begins to come back, you start to feel more like yourself...but it's getting to that point that takes the work.  


Monday, March 13, 2017


People may wonder why every year, people with type 1 diabetes choose to celebrate their diagnosis date.   In the 'diabetes world' it is known as a Diaversary.  I learned early on in my diagnosis the importance of celebrating the date, not because we are celebrating that we were given this diagnosis, but rather we are celebrating that we have made it this far.

Today is about giving myself credit for the work I have put in. It is about embracing the technology and mind set that has pushes us through each day that diabetes has rears its head at us.  It's about acknowledging the support systems that have lifted us up when we felt like we couldn't do it anymore and it is about finding the good in the otherwise daunting disease known as type 1 diabetes.

Today, I am thankful for my family and friends that have stood by me and encouraged me to keep pushing. I am thankful for those friends who carry sugar on them, who make sure I am O.K and for those people in my life who have lend a shoulder for me to lean on.  I am also thankful for all the opportunities that diabetes has given me. It has allowed me to find a passion for helping others, writing and travel.  I am forever grateful for the people I have met along the way and continue to meet because of diabetes.

We cannot always predict the future, and at anytime life can change drastically like mine did eight years ago today, but we have the choice to accept it or deny it and that will greatly have an impact on our future.

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Work Of Art

This above is a work of art, painted by my blood sugars.  This right here is me trying my absolute hardest to stay between the green lines (3.9 mmol/L - 7.8 mmol/L) but clearly riding an unfortunate rollercoaster while trying to do so.  This is diabetes. 

Often enough people assume that diabetes management is about taking your medicine, watching your diet and working out. After all that is sort of how we solve a lot of health issues, we take our medicine, do what our doctor prescribes whether that is rest or walking 5 km a day and that's that. Diabetes management is multi-faceted.  We are expected to look, feel, and act like normal human beings all while trying to keep between the green lines.

It's not easy.  I have spent the past 2.5 days really focusing on my graph. Listening to the alarms of highs and lows and trying to act before it gets too wild.   It is absolutely amazing to see what foods send my blood sugars to the moon (Pasta!) and what foods have little to no effect (Apples!) and also to see how regardless of what I do/eat sometimes my blood sugars just do their own thing!  

This illustration is how my body is running, it is the ride that I am aboard (and cannot get off) and it all goes on while I try to balance my life.


Thursday, March 9, 2017


What does the word 'control' mean to you?   The word control is thrown around the diabetes world like glitter. Everywhere we go people ask . . .

 "do you have your diabetes in control?" 

"those complications won't happen to you because you're in control right?"

"you need to control those sugars!"

"you should try x, y & z, you'll have way better control." 

And while we nod politely, we question whether or not we are in control? Who is in control? Because some days diabetes feels in control and I feel more like a passive passenger who wishes the driver would turn the air on because it's getting hot back here....

I personally do not like using the word control, and maybe I've used it before without noticing, but I'll blame that on the fact that control is one of the primary words used for diabetes both socially and medically.  We expect that our blood sugars are in control if we want to drive, if we want to  have children, even if we want to use the elliptical at the gym (warnings for people with diabetes everywhere!)

Diabetes is a disease that requires 24/7 care. It requires a whole bucket of guesstimating and a four leaf clover for good luck.   As much as we strive for 'control' sometimes no matter what we do, diabetes fights back with vengeance. If we got through the day without eating the entire pantry, or having to run our insulin pumps at 150%, does that count as control?  

Each day is a different story and some days are better than others. What control means to one person, may not resonate with another.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: Contour Next One

I had the opportunity to try out Ascensia's Contour Next One blood glucose meter along with the smart app that comes along with it! I used the meter for a week (and have continued since) and here are things I absolutely love about it!

1. It was super easy to connect to my smartphone

I am not one for having incredible patience... in fact I like things fairly quick, like microwave quick. This app was super easy to set up and it didn't require a whole bunch of information to get started. Also, the fact that it syncs on its own and I don't have to manually do anything is a big bonus!   I have used apps before, that require a lot of information which adds up a lot of time. This app is quick and easy to use!

2. The graphics are so simple, so pretty!

This app was designed very well! It's easy to read, easy to understand and I find it is actually quite encouraging.  Your blood sugar readings are in big font, the graph of your past blood sugars is lined nicely above... everything about the layout gives you the quick facts (what you actually need to know) on your smartphone.

3.  The meter is easy to use plus has a new feature called smartLight Technology!

This meter is very compact, which makes it awesome for throwing in your clutch or pocket. Also, it also allows you to do second chance sampling!

The other added feature to this meter is the smartLight technology, which gives you a marker of how your blood sugar is, by way of shining a light, green, yellow and red, and I can assume that you know what each colour would indicate.  While the coloured light feature seems a bit extra for someone who is able to read their blood sugars off the meter, I can see this feature being a great marker for those that are older living with diabetes who may require extra notice of blood sugars and their meanings as well as children with diabetes!

This post was sponsored by Ascensia Diabetes Care Canada Inc., but the thoughts are my own.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Managing Stress with Diabetes

For those that do not live with diabetes, you may notice things happen when you're stressed. Maybe you are more forgetful, your hair falls out, or you've gained a couple extra pounds.  All of this can happen when we stress our bodies and mind out and it's not a surprise that when you live with diabetes, stress will also effect your diabetes.

I don't mean to brag, but I am pretty good at stressing myself out...I have always been a fairly anxious person, even as a child.  It took me a long while as a child to be brave enough to leave my mom over long periods of time and I often worried about things like getting lost and people breaking into the house as a child.   So, as an adult, while those specific fears have faded, they're replaced with anxiousness about other things.

While I wouldn't say my stress levels effect my day-to-day life greatly, it seems to be reaping havoc on my blood sugars.  I have almost doubled my insulin intake this winter. I am at an all time high for insulin dosages.   As I have been working on various ways to lower my stress such as taking baths, going for walks/the gym, taking time to go to stores I love,  giving myself projects to work on and visiting with friends .... it can be relatively hard to calm my mind and my body.

Managing stress and diabetes is difficult, you get all the symptoms others get with stress, but also the issues with blood sugars or motivation to care for yourself.  It takes a lot of mental talk and commitment to focus on how to be less stressed; which, is much more easier said than done.