Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Aaaaand please put your lancets down

A wonderful wrap up event. Congrats to my fellow "celebs". Thanks to the staff and volunteers at the local branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association, and, of course, to my dedicated and expert colleagues at the hospital's diabetes clinic. Finally, to those for whom battling/managing/enduring diabetes will continue each and every day--know that I, for one, will not forget this mind-opening and unexpectedly self-reflective experience. Thank you for the opportunity. Onward!

Over and out.


Final Day

I can't say that I'm disappointed that the challenge is over. I was very lucky in my "profile" requirements. All I had to do on a daily basis was remember to take a few candy pills, measure my blood glucose once a day and count and track my carb intake. Based on the fact that most of the participants had greater demands put on their time, I would say I really lucked out - but Im still happy it's over.

Tonight we'll talk about the cost diabetes places on our health system and on the families that are affected as it often exceeds the healthcare plan - if there is one.

I don't have diabetes and according to my blood glucose readings I'm not pre-diabetic. I can tell you that I'll be doing everything possible to remain that way. I've made some changes that will be permanent and I will try to get some activity in on a daily basis. I would say that is my greatest challenge and it will make the biggest impact on my health.

At present there are over 2 million people in Canada diagnosed with diabetes. It is expected that the number could increase to 3 million in the next year. That means that there are a lot of people living with symptoms that should be paid attention to. You can't ignore diabetes and wish it away. Catching it earlier could mean a easier management solution!

Are you at risk? Find out more!

Live it like ya mean it: Week 2

The week from "down under" is over! Gah, you know you have too many assignments when you forget to take any glucometer readings one day, and forget your evening medications the next, not to mention blogging this whole endeavor.

Tell you one thing - if I really were a diabetic, I'd be on the way straight to a complication or two. Sure, it helped to have the record-keeper booklet for glucometer readings, but being a student automatically constitutes unhealthy freudian slips - forgetting to eat, putting off a shower over the weekend, getting only 4-5 hours sleep for 4 days...

One thing that I know will be tricky for me is getting out of the habbit of mentally calculating/measureing how many carbs are in my meals - this morning I felt guilty when I poured a little extra cereal than what I'd been suggested in terms of carb content. Who's to say - I'll probably keep up with the 50 - 60 carbs/meal, but I'll be glad when I don't have to have M&Ms and Sourpatch candies everyday... ugh, yes, there is such a thing as too much candy... me and my sweet tooth have met our match.

Anywhoo, I'm back to work and will see you all at the wrap-up tonight! ^_^

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I been to Fez and back

We had a dinner party on Friday night. Recently, for a present, we'd been given a tagine. This prompted my wife to make all out Moroccan. She did lamb, snapper, and chick pea chili dishes as well. Various appetisers, and a fig tort (I guess you'd call it) for dessert with orange cream (yes, I had some). Made her own pita (which apparently is easy, but it seems to impress people to no end.) There was enough food for the whole of Fez. I spent yesterday eating leftovers.

Having pillaged another country's cuisine, I got to thinking about diabetics in developing countries. So, I googled diabetes in developing countries. This fact jumped out at me:

From: http://www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org/composite-35.htm

"It may seem strange that the developing world, which is often associated with hunger and inadequate nutrition for children, is now experiencing an epidemic in type 2 diabetes, a disease related to wealth and unhealthy lifestyle. This can be explained with the high degree of urbanisation in some countries like e.g. India that have made people adapt the lifestyle from the industrial countries causing diseases such as diabetes related to this new lifestyle. It is also a fact that some people genetically have a higher risk of developing diabetes and combined with great changes in lifestyle this risk has turned to reality for many people in those countries."

At what cost progress? Surely there are the choices beyond the stark dead ends of yesterday's hunger or tomorrow's diabetes?


Friday, November 13, 2009

Thinking About the Upcoming Holiday Season

I've made a few goofs this past two weeks, but nothing really bad ... until last night. Regular meals are usually simple to work around and calculate, but how do you manage a night out?

Last night, after a fabulous Pete's Game, our wonderful producers treated the crew to a after game get-together. It's usually held at a restaurant that serves bar-type munchies and the feast consists of wings, lattice fries, natchos etc. All the goodies you'd expect for a late night get together. I tried to be good and I did restrain myself but it got me to thinking of the upcoming Christmas holiday season.

Years ago I would start my Christmas preparations off with a bake-a-thon of about 150 dozen cookies. (I'm not kidding - this was my gift to family and friends, we didn't keep them all). Add to that the Christmas cakes, fudge etc and you can imagine the temptation all of that.

With holiday entertaining, we also have to consider all of the yummy appetizers, the drinks and long hours of trying to get everything done so that we can have the "perfect" holiday season.

This is a big strain on anyone, let alone someone with chronic health concerns. Stress - whether it be dietary, physical or mental, has a big impact on our health. The holiday season has the potential to be a triple threat to our health. A naturpath was telling me that the few weeks following Christmas are always busy with people who have over done the season and have fallen ill.

How would a diabetic handle the pressures of Christmas goodies, the mountain of pre-holiday tasks and events. Luckily for us, our Challenge ends this week, but for a diabetic, its a lifetime of challenges.

"Over two million Canadians have diabetes and that number is expected to reach three million by 2010" read more ...

This challenge has been a wake-up call for me and I will be watching my choices more closely now. I can make a real difference in my health outcome with some small changes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

time is running out

I would first like to agree with Cheryl on the whole hectic livfestyle and how when you are so busy its hard to find time to have a good healthy meal. I know I am finidng it really hard to eat at the same time everyday 3 times a day. I know there are others who have a lot more hectic lifestyles than mine, but as a student my schedule is all over the place. The lack of time between classes or between classes and work makes it hard for one to have the time to make a proper meal at home. This certainly turns us to want to have fast food. The fast food resturants are all trying to compete with one another to see who has the better healthier choices for the menu. However do you ever wonder if the 'healthy salad' is actually better for you than the regular burger you eat? I know I do, and with all the preservatives that are used, and the healthiness (for lack of better word) of the dressings, it kinda makes you wonder.

As for the rest of the time we have left to get on track with being a person with diabetes, we don't have very much time left. I feel as though I am just getting a hold of the idea when I need to take my pills, take my blood sugar, and how much insulin to take. For such a drastic lifestyle change, it certainly does not happen overnight. I have come to the conlusion that because I have been reading labels the last week and a half, I will continue to do this in the goal of being a healthier person. I went out shopping with my roommate last night, we have both decided to make the healthiest choice when we are choosing our food that comes into the house. No more of the craving food that everyone craves every now and then! I think by having someone who is around me everyday doing the same thing as I am doing will be a good incentive and motivation to keep me going with this new 'diet' and exercise plan.

We only have 5 days left!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Stress of a Hectic Lifestyle

Stress affects everyone and for someone who is ill or has health concerns - it places even more demand on a body ill-equipped to handle it. Health professionals advise us to monitor our stress and find ways to balance our life to reduce the impact stress has on us. Putting this strategy into action can be quite the challenge.

First, I will admit that I do not usually have a hectic lifestyle. I spoke with Betsy on the day we began this challenge about "hectic". My week is nothing compared to all of the meetings and functions she takes part in.

My stress is in not planning ahead so that I can care for myself with healthy options. I know I'm not alone in this otherwise our "fast food" industry wouldn't exist. We tend to go full tilt until we are famished, and then need something to eat "quickly" as we have to get back to what we were doing.

Many food services have revamped their menus to offer healthier choices also including providing nutritional data for those who need it.

I wish when I walked into one of these establishments that I "really" wanted the healthy choice. Why is it that the less healthy is almost always more appealing? Going into a restaurant that deep-frys anything almost guarantees that I'll have a craving for fries!

For me the best choice is to plan ahead and bring something delicious from home. Good plan - now lets see how long it takes for me to implement it!

Now - for those who have have better self-control - here's a handy Eating Out Guide!