Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blood and Sugar

What is it about seeing your own blood?
That drop, a ruby, right there on your finger tip.
And after you've tested. What do you do?

Suck it. Stick your finger right in your mouth,
as if five years old again with a boo boo.
And the slight taste of yourself?

What is that uncomfortable sweetness?
Blood and sugar, going together.
From hand to mouth, from mouth to hand.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Out and About - Day 3

Well - I did better today. I remembered lunch, all my meds and after my regular work day was done I was off the the Pete's Game!

I volunteer with TVCogeco and before the game we get together for talk and a pizza dinner from our meal sponsor - Boston Pizza. This was going to be a real test for the blood glucose and I was very curious to see the results. I actually prefer a vegetable pizza and last night our selection included my favorite Greek pizza with feta cheese. I told myself I'd just have 2 small pieces - but ended up eating 3 and 4 cactus chips with a touch of dip.

I had to test 2 hours after the meal and this worked out to be 2nd intermission. I was surprised to see my test results come in at 5.6. Our target range is 5-8 for 2 hours after a meal. So - pizza really is doable - yippee!!

Another thing. Doing a test in a public place is quite an eye opener. It took me just a few minutes and in that time I had three ladies asking me what my reading was and saying "good for you!" That means of the few people in the room at the time - at least 3 of them have had diabetes touched their lives.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Live it like ya mean it: Day 3

Today was much easier - I didn't have morning classes, so I could take my time with counting carbs and whatnot... though I did have a fit when I discovered we were out of bread for a sandwich at lunch. Oatmeal (sans maple syrup this time!) to the rescue!

Other than that, I think I'm starting to get the hang of things in terms of portion sizes at the right time of day.

Now I just have to get that jog into the mix and I'll be pretty much set... I think. (:

The Dog ate my meds!

As a novelist, as a communications professional, I don't ever blog. Never have. Just don't put myself out there like this. Usually. This is here goes...

My embarrassingly fat lab-cross-ridgeback, ate my meds. My fault. Left them on the counter after I'd gotten home very late last night from the hospital. He loves ju jubes. Frankly, he loves everything. I'll pretend from here on in, or something.

I'm eating well so far. But then again, I always do. My wife is a former food-writer and restaurant reviewer. Spoiled, I am. We had an Israeli cous cous stew thing tonight.

Been too busy to get to the wellness centre since Monday. Hopefully tomorrow.

Yeah, yesterday was a complete right-off. I put in a 14 hour day. Skipped dinner until 9pm (stale egg salad sandwich and an old muffin...all I could find at the Hospital at that time.) I didn't blog. Didn't test. I'd hate to think of what would have happened to me if this was real and I acted that way. How do people do it?

Just took my blood sugar. The prick didn't phase me. (They never do.)


"Calculating the Shake"

Arrived at Pappas Billiards to pick up a ticket for the "100 Mile Feast" prepared by 'The Movable Feast' for November 21 at the Camp Kawartha/Trent Environment Centre. Could not resist stopping for lunch of a delicious cheeze-burger and vanilla milk-shake! As a Type I Diabetic, I had to calculate the grams of carbohydrates and then inject a sufficient amount of insulin before eating, to ensure it was in my bloodstream by the time food was absorbed. I never before thought so systematically about my favorite drink. How lucky to have a society where insulin is available. What is the cost? See fellow-blogger posts!

"Walking the Talk"

To beat Diabetes, or fight it back, we all need to get active and stay active. Ten thousand steps a day? How much is that? Arrived at the Kawartha Branch of the Canadian Diabetic Association to pick up my pedometer. I thought I was very active scooting between events every day. But "gas miles" don't equal "foot-steps" so I am nowhere near 10,000 foot-steps a day. As Head Coach of Special Olympics Soccer this summer, at least I was running the field. I need to pick up the pace again. New Goal!

Changing Bad Habits - Day 2

I used to skip breakfast and then feast on a muffin or toast and coffee around 10am. Thats about the time that all things would settle down - the kids were at school, I had finished several tasks and I finally noticed that I was really hungry. As "breakfast" was more of a brunch - I didnt need lunch but I would have a small snack in the afternoon and then look forward to a big dinner.

Now, I eat a good breakfast and dinner, but I sometimes get so wrapped up in work I forget the lunch time. Even though I work from home its still a struggle to take the time for lunch when Im in the middle of a task.

Usually I plan ahead and make something that can be readied quickly - if I don't its too easy to keep working through. This week I didnt leave enough time for that so planning will be the key to keeping regular meals on track.

My blood glucose readings have been good. As I test once a day, I was instructed to change the times of day I tested.

Its Thursday and that means I'll be at the Pete's game tonight. We have our regular pizza dinner with the crew before the game at 6pm. I usually have 2 small pieces and Im very curious to see what that does to my blood sugar. Im going to test 2 hours after the dinner meal tonight. Second intermission should fall in that time frame. In the real world, you have to do what you have to do - so lets find out how easy that really is ....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Live it like ya mean it: Day 2

Wow... planning went down the tube.

Breakfast was simple and carb-appropriate, lunch would've been perfect if it weren't for the suprise! sugar blast in 1% chocolate milk and supper... yeah... that's where everything was thrown to the winds.

I received a surprise update about an annual general meeting I was to attend from 5-6pm, which meant I'd miss a timely dinner and my supper meds (took 'em when I got home)... but when free pizza is involved with general meetings... Yes. I legitimately forgot I was now diabetic, and probably ate 70 - 100g of carbs worth of pizza dough. >.< This does not bode well for my adherence capacity.

But enough of my personal doom n' gloom. As promised - a breakdown of costs for what I would have to pay if I did have Type II diabetes.

Test Strips = $100 / 100 Strips (approx) - $1 per
Strip Lancets = $20 / 100 Lancets (approx) - $0.20 per

Lancet Test Strips = 2 Strips per day x $1 per Strip x 365 days = $730 each year for Test Strips
Lancets = 2 Lancets per day x $0.20 per Strip x 365 days = $146 each year for Lancets

For 2 Weeks, this would've cost me $28 for Test Strips and $5.60 for Lancets if I don't mess up or succumb to curiosity and use more than 2 strips/lancets each day for testing. Now, this is JUST strips and lancets - I have no clue what the price-point for Asprin + metformin + lipitor + altace + acanda + gluconorm + diamicron + anuvia ON TOP of the $33.60 I'd be spending for JUST the 14 days. I'm not as bad-off as I could be (as a student), but even if I were earning 50K a year, I would not lightly spend $3000 - $10 000 on test strips, lancets and a grab-bag of pills because in a couple years, I won't be covered by a drug plan unless I have some sort of full-time job with a union or OHIP. Oh, and I'd be SOL for help from the government because I'd have to either qualify for welfare (which I don't) or be 65+ yrs and require professional assistance in some faculty to go about my activities of daily living (which I'm quite certain I'm still a healthy 21 yr old), so... yep, you guessed it! No government drug funding programs for me!

... there goes the mortgage.

"Briefing" - and we're off!

I'm Type I diabetic - and my world suddenly changed! How was I food shopping before? How many carbohydrates did I eat? What was my blood sugar? Things were about to change quickly. We're off!

Up and Running

Sarah has me up and running on my "Celebrity Challenge" blog.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Live it like ya mean it: Day 1

Oookay... only the first day and already I've almost forgotten to take my "metformin" once, I've realized with a grumble in my stomach that I seriously need to do some shopping... and any plans I may have had about going for a jaunt around the track have thoroughly been subjugated by my most recent 6am morning (I shouldn't complain - I've been used to 5am mornings for the past 2 years or so). Quite the "authentic" participant, ne? Well, at least I'm Type II managed by meds sans insulin - the cute little green pillow would've prompted many a giggle had I had to poke it with Na solution.

I have to admit - I'm enjoying using the glucometer, even though that's just my inner techy talking. I've even figured out which finger is the best choice for "milking" (yep, gettin' technical here). I'm thinking that by the end of this week, my finger will feel very much like an abused peach, despite how pleasantly fine the lancets are.

On the topic of blood and glucometers, its' definitely a visual way to show how much of a sugar junkie a person is when taking a reading after a meal. This morning's reading was (understandably) high after a bowl of oatmeal & maple syrup at home and a plate of fruit with some yogourt, juice and cheese at this morning's event kick-off. Yeah... not gonna do that again... maybe... um... yay for tostitoes and salsa!

Looking ahead, I know I'm taking this event pretty lightly on the first day in terms of what the CDA is trying to illustrate. Tomorrow I have lecture, and will have about an hour to navigate my way through "Company A's" sorry excuse of a balanced (and affordable - NOT!) diet from the Cafeteria, to rinse n' repeat Thursday and Friday. I will probably have to invest in a bagged lunch soon to leave my monetary investments in peace while meeting my Dietitian-approved (most excellent!) dietary suggestions to keep my islets happy and the rest of me healthy. Oh yeah... did I mention that the "pills" look like a fresh haul after Halloween? I'm not kidding - 5 "pills" at breakfast, 3 at lunch and one each with supper and evening snack. Now lets see if I can remember which colour of "pill" is supposed to mean what when I take 'em with me.

Anyway, tomorrow, I shall break down the numbers about how much I've guestimated my portion of the Challenge would've cost had this been real-life, and not a fluidic portmanteau. Trust me, it beats a Stephen King movie.

Living with Diabetes - Day 1

My profiles has me as a Type 2 Diabetes that is managed through diet and exercise. Additional health complications now have me taking medications for cholesterol, blood pressure and arthritis. At present - no insulin is required.

The first blood glucose reading was within acceptable levels and the meter provided was simple to use. The meter is provided without cost to the patient, but each test strip costs about $1. There is also the cost for the lancet - and these cost do not include any medication. Most will test multiple times per day to monitor their blood sugar.

I really did think I wasn't going to have too much trouble with the diet aspect of this challenge.
We have already made lots of changes to our daily food intake due to my husband's illness. After I started to log and count my carbohydrate intake I realized how blessed I am that I don't usually have to do this on a daily basis. The balancing act of including enough carbs is a lot more difficult than it first appeared.

Today I missed lunch due to a crazy work schedule as I didn't plan ahead. Although I may not suffer any harm in doing this - it could create some very real issues to a diabetic person.

Maintaining a consistent level of carbs in the meals & snacks is going to be very challenging but extremely important in order prevent the deterioration of the pancreas - and therefore requiring insulin.