Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mr Sun, Mr Golden Sun....

Sounds like the beginning of a Barney Song.  I know, sure sign that I am domesticated, and have had children under my roof for well over ten years now.  Never really liked Barney(The big Purple Dyno)but sure loved how he magically transformed my overly energetic toddler (who is now a teen) into a trance, almost like I shot her with a blow dart with paralyzing poison. 

I am once again in a pondering mood. I do believe I have an Attention Deficit Disorder, not yet Diagnosed, I can only focus on one thing for so long before I lift my head up to look around, stare out the office window and day dream. 

Well I am happy to say, the sun has finally started to peer through the clouds, only sporadically but I'll take it.

This post is inspired by a few patients I have seen lately. Who all conclude that the winter has been excessively long, and even though the calender indicates it is spring there is an enormous amount of snow remaining.

Basically I seen the sun, and it inspired me to write. I also got a very nice email from a fellow who recently purchased a "Photo Therapy Lamp" who has diabetes and a great sense of humor.

I posted on my other Blog,  Diabetes Mind Game about suffering from the winter blues in my post titled, What's up with SAD?!

It's has been a tough winter, and I am just glad the season is about to shift. Spring is a great time of year. It is the time to do your "Spring Cleaning" a time to set goals! I have never been a new years resolution kinda guy, but spring is a time of change.

As usual what does this have to do with Diabetes?  I think lots!  People start to get more active, out door activity increases, more activity means re-calibrating our insulin according to different routines.

It is a time to reflect and set new goals, a time of change.

Based on our  last A1C results, we need Spring(in our step), we need change, and we need to get off our hineys and get outside!

Here's to Spring, the Sun, and better A1C's!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Top 10 List: Cursed Food

My list of food items that make it next to impossible to control blood sugars.

1.  Cold cereal --- No matter what we do it never works.

2.  Popcorn --- I love it, but my fasting doesn't

3.  Pizza --- Yup, still digesting three days later, kidding, but not far from the truth

4.  Chinese Food --- Hungry an hour later, and impossible to guess the carbs not to mention the rebound

5.  Alcohol --- Okay,  but who can stop at two? When I'm over the limit --- it 's low then high later

6.  Casseroles --- Unless I measure and count all the ingredients; which I humbly admit I do not, so my sugars suck later on. 

7.  Buffets --- nothing more to say, other then, bolus, upon, bolus, upon, bolus......3-4 peaks later, it's a       major gamble on predicting blood glucose, and I always lose my bet

8.  Late night Binging --- any item, your choice, nothing like an insulin peak when your body doesn't need it!

9.  Fast Food --- Just refer to 3 and 4, same deal different meal

10.  All items that are difficult to measure or "eye ball" --- You all know the ones....

Have a great day! 

PS:  Feel free to add to the list

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Diabetes Holding You Back?

It Shouldn`t. 

Do you feel like some days this bloody disease dictates your every move, you likely feel that no matter what you tweak, no matter how well you measure you are often left with the weird, "where`d that come from" reading. 

Well, welcome to being a PWD or a Parent managing a PWD.

It's not for the faint of heart, it's not for the weak, and its not for the lazy.  Diabetes requires determination, courage, humility, a desire to never ever give up and a whole lot of work. 

As any of my regular readers know, I am surrounded by diabetes.  Literally. No exaggeration. It did indeed almost push me to the brink, or completely off the deep end(mentally). But something strange happens when you fall.

You pause. You look around. You ask yourself some key questions that only you can answer. Like, how did I end up here, how can I get back up, who can help me, and then finally how can I improve and persevere?

Another thing happened to me. I realized that diabetes is only one aspect of my life. It's like the dreaded question you get from people at a party, so, "What do you do?" Use your imagination to answer that.

It is not what you do that defines who you are.  Seriously, Diabetes does not define me, it has certainly influenced many things in my life like;  lifestyle, job choice, interests, hobbies.  But it is a part of me, like my job. It is what I do, not who I am. I am a father, parent, son, brother, citizen, etc...

I am trying to shift my thinking, so I apologize for the philosophical discussion above and below.

I am grateful for my life. I am grateful for my family, I am grateful that diabetes has had a positive influence on me, and my life choices.  I think I value health and love the miraculous human body because at a young age something went wrong with mine.

I have to re-frame this chronic disease in a positive way in order to work with it, instead of working against it, and viewing it as a burden.  This is how I plan to manage my family's diabetes. 

I think in light of the world calamities currently taking place, it kind of puts it in perspective.

Diabetes is what it is, and you can only do the best you can. We aren`t dealing with tsunamis, or a government that wants to bombs us. When compared to these disasters it makes you appreciate what you have, which is what we need to focus on, not what we don`t have (which is a functioning pancreas)

Diabetes is what it is. A burden imposed onto us to deal with with out our consent. We either deal with it or we don`t.

I refuse to let diabetes hold my family back! 


Monday, March 28, 2011

Diabetic Family Vacation!

Me and Rowan, eagerly awaiting our A1Cs
To the Endo`s Office.

All three of us went to the Endocrinologist today for a 3 month check up. Well the appointments were for the kids but who`s counting.  They did my A1C too.

Scary, I know!  I haven`t been a good PWD as of late, too much snacking, not enough shaking!

I was prepared to get into some trouble as I knew the last 2 months have been, well a little on the crazy side.

My wife is now working full time(started 6 weeks ago)and I know we haven't recorded enough data to analyse trends. My agenda for this visit; get a Rx for apidra for our pumps, and for Dareians MDI regime.

We brought the Watchdog along for the ride. First stop reception, check-in, then wait. (Only 10 min) For the record, they were Helpers.

Next we meet with the Dr(Endo)We discuss Rowans diabetes, and decide to tweak her Breakfast Pump Ratios to give her more insulin to cover her breakfast.  Physical exam, good, she is growing. Discussed hypo unawareness, and still waiting for her to grow out of it.

Next up Dareian, one word record keeping. Record keeping and more record keeping. Dareian forgot her logbook in the Van so I jotted down her numbers on a pad for the Dr to make an effort to analyse. Crazy numbers. Lows, highs, rebounds, even some in the 30's(multiply by 18 for USA) crazy and I had no idea, as I would ask her and she'd say her sugars are good. So we decided; it's time to starts doing daily records to assess her sugar trends, food, activity etc. Physical exam done, some skin questions, referral to a dermatologist, and onto the next team member.

The dietitian. She asked the usual questions about carb intake, ensuring we are feeding them an adequate amount of nutrients and calories for growth and development. I liked this portion, as we all got our A1C results, something tangible. I was not surprised at the deteriorated A1C results as we'd all jumped up a full percentage point. Literally like stepping stones

Me - 8
         Rowan - 9
                       Dareian - 10

I expected an increase but not a full percentage point.  Crappy, we need to focus as a family and get it together people!

Then we met with the Social Worker, each had a chance to vent. Rowan about how she wanted to leave and get something to eat. Dareian about goals, and improved record keeping. Me, about no coverage, debt, and
my small break with reality a few weeks ago where I hit rock bottom.

Now the Nurse, "Any questions?" I responded "Nope, pretty much covered everything, just need the Rx" She gave us some Apidra, and we closed the loop at the reception desk by re booking in 3 months.

All and all a decent visit but I know we have some goals to set and improvement to display to these folks in three months or I am going to feel like I am going to visit the principal or an angry coach at half time if we don`t get our crap together.  

During the apt I'm all ready, gung ho,"fired up" Mr Motivated, now I am back at home wondering from what energy source I am going to draw from to improve all of our A1Cs. I already feel tapped out, the well
hath run dry(trying to sound wise, I know it isn`t working, oh well)

We shall see. I have a meeting with the Chief Operating Officer today, we'll write up a group plan and hopefully bring those A1Cs down a couple of percentage points for each of us.

I will definitely keep you all posted, in well, 3 months. 


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why Blog?

"Me at the office"
I feel it is necessary to let any readers that stumble on my site, or any regular readers to understand the motivation behind my blog.

I recently lost a nights sleep, um last night, because I was posting on a forum and offended some folks by linking my blog into the comments.  I was way to eager to engage people to come read my content here.  I appreciate that I was corrected however I was sleepless last night worried they would boot me off the forum. I was very happy that they didn't. 

It was a terrible night. Today I woke feeling a tad blue.  Thinking why do I blog? 

I do it for a number of reasons.  I am, what I would consider a very new blogger, hence my stupidity and inappropriate linking on the forum site. I have only been doing this "Blog" for a few months.

Why did I start?  I was searching one evening for a way to feel supported online, feeling kind of isolated and not supported with my own diabetes and as a parent with 2 type 1 kids. So I googled, and clicked onto a blog called Six Until Me and I read it with total awe.  I emailed the author Kerri and she emailed me back.

That was when I realized; maybe I could share some of my experiences with the online community.

I wrote my first post It Started with Me Now There's Three.  When I wrote the post it felt good, I mean to put thoughts to screen. I also realized I kind of enjoy writing. But most importantly, I felt like I was contributing and sharing (hopefully) useful information with the diabetic online community.

I value the blogs, posts and discussions I have read, and how it made me feel validated, and not so alone.  I was, amazed to hear that others had multiple kids with diabetes, and that people were living healthy lives despite their diabetes. 

I have come close to calling it quits a few times, see Mirror Mirror on The Wall? or Ring the Bell Already!

But then I receive a comment or two saying "Thanks for sharing, it was really helpful" I inevitably feel driven and compelled to share my thoughts, experiences, and all things related, and sometimes unrelated to the world of  Diabetes.

If I only touch one person, or make someone know they are not alone, if someone reads my post and thinks, "I totally went through that"  If I can relate and support and share,  then this is my calling. I will do this as long as it feels worth while to others.

If I did it only for myself I would write in a private journal.

Have a great week-end. I want to say thank-you for reading my posts, I want to say thank-you for all your inspiring and thought provoking comments. I also want to thank those who have inspired me!

This is Why I Blog. 


Friday, March 25, 2011

Help or Hinder?

I am once again in a pondering mood.  A good one,
but  a pondering one nonetheless.
"Actually took while writing this post"

I had a flashback to when I was in university, and my wife and I were seeking out student housing. There was a sign behind the counter of the "Student Housing Reception Desk" that, to this day sticks in my mind.

It said "Failure to plan on your part does not necessitate an emergency on my part"  So we approach the counter, and of course the attitude behind the counter matched the sign behind the desk.  I remember thinking why even post that in your office, and of course I am sure those folks had to deal with numerous self righteous students who were egocentric and who repeatedly harass the receptionist  to solve their problems "yesterday" because everything is an emergency.

Anyhow, over our years, or life, we come across all sorts of people. Some are helpers and some are hinderers. What in the world am I getting at?  Well I guess we shouldn't let the hinderers(I know it isn't a word) drag us down.

For instance:  You need to return an item to a store, you can get one of two types of people. One, the person who make it easy, does the exchange and gives that discount because when you bought the item it was double the price, or you can get the employee who makes the process agonizingly difficult, calls the manager refuses to even consider giving you any discount.  Person 1 helper, Person 2 hinderer.

This also applies to Physicians, Nurses, and the variety of team members you may deal with  in your quest for information, an appointment, or simple regime change for yourself and/or your child.

I touched on this issue  a bit in a previous post Are You Courteously Assertive where I explain a terrible experience I had trying to initiate a better treatment plan.  Huge Hindrance to say the least!

When a person asks me for something at work I think; how can I facilitate this and make it happen?  A helpers attitude. Which makes me think that those other types(the hinderers)must think; what can I do to make this request not happen? 

I guess the whole point to this post is beware of the hinderers as they will try to prevent you from getting the best for you and or your child with diabetes. Be it; a disgruntled receptionist or nurse, or a large company(insurance or otherwise) telling you there is nothing more they can do. 

Don't buy it!  Keep seeking until you find that helper, because they do exist.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Exorcise the Demons - Out of Your Head!

"Me, Pre-Work-out, getting ready to
perform the Excorism"
I know,  a crazy title but I just can't help myself.  Before you all think I have completely lost my mind, I actually did a few weeks back but that is not what this post is about.

I have always known that physical activity was good for you, and also great for diabetes long term control and health prevention.  But lately, I exercise for a completely different reason.

I totally do it (exercise) to clear my head, it is absolutely, unequivocally the best medicine to increase your mood.  Sex is good too, but next to that exercise is the only activity that release all those cool natural hormones. Endorphins, Serotonin, etc....I am not a biochemist I just know physical activity totally Rocks.

"Sky isn't grey, but this is my office
window view"
Hence the crazy title. I go bonkers, crazy, like I am possessed by some angry demon if I don't exercise every other day.  So I completed two in a row (workouts that is) and wholly crap I feel great, my fasting was under 6 both days, and my mood has been elevated, despite the grey sky's, and busy schedule.

"My oldest Gets finicky about her pics but here is
the Tiny Type 1, also exercising"

Last night my daughter was a bear (My oldest Type 1) and she complained about feeling tired, no energy.
So I said to her, "Lets go for a workout"  She said, "Okay"  I think I should really emphasize that her mood was really labile, exceedingly grumpy, yelling, eye rolling, you get it....Anyway

We proceeded down stairs to the home gym or I guess now it can be referred to as the family den, not my man cave.

Her and I blasted through  6 - 6 min rounds. Like sprints, jogs, walks, elliptical, boxing and some medicine ball training.  I knew what the activity was doing for my mood but I asked her how she felt after, and she said "I feel great!"  So good she actually decided to vacuum her room(unheard of unless delegated by us), do some laundry, and not do any more yelling. 

Her mood was totally reversed, and we got to hang out (bonding time!)  We chatted about her diabetes control, diet, exercise, managing, and how she was doing.  Good bonding.

Even though our heads weren't spinning around, there was no projectile vomiting,  and we really weren't possessed;  exercise is a definite mood booster, and head clearer! 

What is your exercise regime?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top 10 List: Diabetic Thoughts about Sugar Levels

"What's Your Sugar?"
Something a PWD always has their mind, that is Glucose Levels.

1. Wonder what my sugar is?

2. Is this ache or thingy diabetes related, because my sugar's been high?

3.  Am I hungry or is my sugar low?

4.  I am so tired, must be my sugar.

5.  Wonder if I should eat that(cake, pie, donut) what's my sugar?

6.  Am I thirsty or is it my sugar high?

7.  Gee I have to pee again, whats my sugar?

8.  Gee can't seem to get it working(use your imagination) must be my sugar

9.  10 more reps, wonder what my sugar is?

10.  Am I cranky or is it my sugar?

I know there are many more so feel free to comment.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Diet-Betes? What is the Best Choice?

"So many choices"
All right,  I must revisit this topic, as I find myself "Flip-Flopping" in my mind as to what is the best diet for Diabetes.

I have talked about the "The Food Guide" I have discussed eating more natural in my post "The Diabetic Caveman" and really stirred up some serious discussion on Tudiabetes Discussion Forums by posing my question and post titled "Pro Carb or Low Carb?" the big debate.

I am sure most of you have heard from others with minimal knowledge related to diabetes the following statement:  "So your on the diabetic diet, eh?"  and, I am sure your response is as variable as Charlie Sheen's erratic behavior.

 I respond by saying "There is no such thing as a "Diabetic Diet" and because I am mouthy(opinionated) I usually add my two or three cents worth of information. 

But this "Flip flopping" got me thinking; since there are so many diets on the market, and it is a bit of a "past time" for me to read up on them, what is the best diet for diabetes?

One of my older posts, actually the most popular thus far, titled  "Pro Carb or Low Carb?"  touched on the Low Carb Diets on the Market and how research makes a point for them being an effective method to control weight, blood fat levels, blood glucose levels etc.

However,  there is also research indicating the opposite, that eating vegan, and or a "The Food Guide" type diet also creates weight loss over time.

I personally don't adhere to a low carb diet. I do go on low carb kicks, but can't seem to adhere to the diet long term. When I say low Carb I am talking 30-50 grams per day.

Recently I tied a Natural "Caveman Type Diet"  Basically if you can shoot it, pick it, pluck it, and it is unprocessed you can eat it.  With a few exceptions of course.  This was also hard to adhere to.......I'll blame my kids this time. 

The hardest part of any extreme diet is adhering to it. Consistency is key. But in my house full of little people, I find it extremely difficult (hence blaming them above) to be consistent.

I enjoy, popcorn, ice cream, and other high carb choices. I do agree that it is difficult to control Blood Glucose readings when I consume copious amounts of Carb(greater then 30).  If you have read Dr Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution" where he talks about the law of small numbers it does make sense. Actually makes a lot of sense but it's very rigid and extreme.  I'm talking 30 grams of carb a day extreme.  Man I just can't do that!

I just read today that the American College of Sports Medicine doesn't endorse any diet that is less then 1800 Cal for men and 1200 for woman.  More data to chew on. 

As stated above I also look at the government food guides.  Are they onto something?  Is it really as simple as eating a balanced meal, 25-30% calories from fat, 50-60 % from CHO, and the rest protein. The old calories in equals calories out formula for weight maintenance.

It got me thinking; man this sure is confusing, even to someone who understands basic human nutrition.  No wonder people are confused about what to fill their plates with.

I didn't even touch on the GI(Glycemic Index)of foods, which is also a commercial diet and numerous others, hormone, alkaline, blood type, lots of fad diets. I remember one diet my mom went on and all she ate was cabbage.  That was a stinky time in my life, but goes to show you how people do silly things.

Is it as simple as calories in equals calories out?  Or is it more complicated then that?  I just know what I observe and read.  For instance; since the agricultural revolution and mass food production there has been a direct correlation with obesity and a heavier over all population.  However, this is can be explained by lack of exercise, more sedentary jobs and lifestyle, TV remotes, etc.  Likely a combination of both. Who knows?

As a Type 1 Diabetic I'm left to ponder; what is the best diet? 

Well I am still really trying to figure this out.  I think it depends on personal tastes and preferences.  I also find one common theme.

That is; eat less, eat balanced, eat natural and don't forget about protein.

But I say it is what you do 80% of the time that counts.  So bloody hell have a piece of cake would ya!

I will have to write another top ten list, so I think the next will be top ten tips  tricks to diabetic eating.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wanted - Diabetic Child to Feel Low

"Our baby"
Now if you read this and don't have Diabetes the title looks really bad, and please don't call the authorities.

I am not referring to a mood state of low. I have posted many a times regarding the same issue (my kids hypo unawareness) and here we go again.

We pick her up from the park (she was with her two older sisters) and load them into the van. We perform a routine check and........

Ready for this 1.2 mmol.  If you live in the US multiply by 18.  Yes I know, I gasped, as my wife scrambled for a juice box which she inhaled. I peeled into a 7-11 to grab more juice.

I was so disturbed, and shaken by this low that we just sat in front of the store in shock, of course,  nursing the sugar back up into a safe range.

Like no sign at all.  She did not look sweaty, she wasn't shaky, didn't feel hungry, actually told us she felt fine. Her natural complexion could land her a roll in a vampire movie, but what the hell. And yes we double checked the reading.

Then my wife turned to me and said, "I am so glad we picked her up when we did." If we were 10-15 minutes later the outcome makes me nauseous to ponder.

"Medtronic Sensor"
I went to the pharmacy this weekend and they now stock medtronic sensors,  $220 for 4 of them.  I think it's time. But those cannulas, which I've sampled are like the ones they use for tissue biopsies, BIG MO FO's.  I did read online that they are coming out with smaller ones in the USA so maybe by the time Rowan's my age we may get them. Also still waiting on the Dex for goodness sake.

Once again we had a very close encounter with a potentially deadly outcome.

Just needed to air this and get it off my chest. Just checked her she is 10 mmol and I am okay to sleep now.

I feel selfish complaining, when people are fleeing their countries for fear of being shot or poisoned by radiation. It does keep me humble, but nevertheless it doesn't make my worry any less.

I love my kid, more then myself, and the thought of not having the technology due to financial reasons, or because it is not child friendly, really chews me up inside.

I have started to prey again and I hope and prey that she soon starts to feel and sense when she is low. Please GOD, help me out here.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Are We Falling Through the Cracks?

Before I proceed, I am not writing this to offend any Type 2 PWD as I believe this is also a serious chronic illness that takes much effort to treat and manage successfully.

I have simply had this post on the edit shelf for a while now and would like to air it.

We persistently get slammed by the media about diabetes, how it is out of control in modern society, how the numbers are staggering and numerous other sensationalized claims. The problem is they are generally referring to Type 2 Diabetes.  Which in why I am writing about the topic.  As it is my opinion that media needs to clarify the differences, and the public needs to be aware that there are two distinct types of diabetes, and 2 distinct disease processes taking place.

 Instead Type 1 PWD fall through the cracks from a media perspective.  Even looking at my own community  I notice;  more support groups, classes, and options for Type 2 diabetes then for Type 1 diabetes.  It is my opinion that this is largely related to the public's misconception of the two different types.

To give you an example of how the media can screw things up; remember Oprah's show a few months back, that was blogged about and discussed online, whereby they(Dr Oz and Her) failed miserably to differentiate between the 2 types of diabetes.  More recently there was a huge uproar from a Dr in the USA who runs a fitness club who grouped the two types together, and blamed type one on lifestyle(he retracted the article immediately) These two scenarios are obvious examples as to how the public is susceptible to these blanket media statements grouping diabetes into one common disease process.

 Frankly it's down right irritating.  I have considered(if I didn't have five kids to feed) starting a nationwide road show to tell people the difference.  We(Type 1's) wake up one day and wham, our pancreas is no longer in working order, so we require lifelong insulin to live. It is autoimmune, nothing lifestyle related.

I pulled some information from a 2009 Type 1 Diabetes Facts and Statistic Hand from the JDRF.

  • Diabetes affects 246 million people world wide
  • Expected to increase to 380 million by 2025
  • More then 2.4 million Canadians suffer from some type of Diabetes
  • Over 240000 people have type 1 diabetes
There are other cool stats at The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation if you're interested.

So to look at the above numbers as usual the stats are the same as they have been in terms of the difference in prevalence between type 1 and type 2 since I was a young diabetic.  90 % or more Canadians have Type 2 or other type of diabetes and 10% have Type 1.  So I get it, since we are 10% of the total population of diabetes, are  more resources are allocated to type 2?   Maybe it is just easier to group us together based on the 10% number, who knows?!

But i do feel, and know that governments, and the general voter may or may not know the differences and decisions are being made regarding allocating funds for coverage etc.  Like tests strips, insulin, pumps, etc.

To me it's a no brainer!  We Type 1 PWD could do nothing to prevent us or our loved ones from getting this disease.  Nothing, zilch, the big zero.  We could not prevent it by changing lifestyle, losing weight, eating less sugar as a kid, it had nothing to do with breast feeding, or not using oregano in our sauces. 

So to me,  funds should be allocated completely differently for type 1 diabetes compared to type 2.  Not saying Type 2's don't deserve funding, not at all, this is a major health issue, but what I am saying is that Type One Diabetes Is Uncontrollable in its Onset, so we should be covered, period.

Media and Politicians, need to understand this concept, and educate people about diabetes correctly.  For goodness sake people just google type 1 and read about it, then google Type 2 read about,  before discussing it publicly.

Wait a minute, maybe I should start writing to the editor?!  Sorry just had an epiphany. 

In the meantime, as I know all PWD do all too often, we have to educate friends, strangers, and others who have no understanding of the distinct differences in Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.

The problem with the spot light being primarily focused on Type 2, is that Type 1 people tend to fall through the cracks.


PS:  Let me know your thoughts, from other areas of the globe especially. Or if you feel I am totally in left field.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Diabetic Sacrifices - Trading French Toast for Eggs Sucks!

I was totally bummed this morning.  Let me explain...

My wife and I are finally able to perform the morning launch sequence(aka getting the kids out the door) in unison which is much better for everyones mental well being. However, we still need to get up that extra fifteen minutes, then again as my wife would say, even if we did get up earlier the kids would find some way to squander the time away and we'd be wasting our time redirecting them and keeping them on task.

Apparently two of our kids have ADD/ADHD, which we were in denial for along time about.  But when compared to the undiagnosed kids it is obvious who needs more structure and redirection especially in the morning when all are groggy and half asleep. Add to this two type one kids and a toddler, well, if you read my blog or have your own crazy house-o-kids then it's pretty hairy.

Anyway back to me and my seriously bummed out incident. 

So as I was performing my short order cook duties, cooking Alpha Ghetti for the lunches, making french toast, and scrambled eggs for breakfast, and my wife was whipping up wardrobes and hair styles for our five girls.  This is how it went down....

We yell, "Come sit down for breakfast" they all come stumbling into the kitchen, "go sit down I said, as they are wandering to the four corners of the family room and not the table. I say "Grace,  grab some forks, and Abby, sit down already, geez go get some socks on (let you guess the one with the above Diagnosis)" All the while the Goob(3 yr old) is attached to my pants telling me about her my little pony and asking for a drink.

We finally all sit down, it is 8:30, and time for departure is 8 min give or take a minute or two.

"Rowan, did you test you're sugar? Like I asked."  As she has syrup dripping down her figures. Up from the table, wipe the hands, test the sugar, phew, 5.6mmol(multiply by 18 for the USA) program the bolus, even though I should have done this 20 minutes ago, oh well doing the best we can here.

Finally, I grab my testing stuff, insulin, etc and sit down to my delicious looking plate of scrambled eggs and french toast. Test and 22.5 mmol. Ahhh man. That sucks, I was so looking forward to the french toast. I felt like a pouting little kid being told I couldn't eat the candy. But I knew I had to give up my french toast.

I glance over to my wife and ask, "you wanna trade my french toast for your eggs?"  She knew, and said okay, we swapped and I wolfed down breaky to  get all where there needed to go on time.

I am obviously still bummed about the french toast, but at least I know I made the right choice because 2 hrs later my sugar is 5.8 mmol.

The sacrifices us PWD have to make I tell ya!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Work Due Now?!

"A reenactment of the Blank Screen"
"Dad it's due tomorrow, not Thursday"
Ah crap!  as I mumble WTF in a Yosemite Sam grumble under my breath, I know not very parental of me, but just telling it like it is. 

Alright, mom did the last two book reports, now it's my turn.

So I crack open the laptop, and start writing a mock letter to Steven Spielberg to pitch the book my daughter just read as his next potential blockbuster. It was part of the list of book report options. Sounded fun at the time.

My Daughter's job was to read the book, and take summary notes so when project time came we'd sit down and do it.  Why don't things ever just pan out smoothly as I envision they should in my minds eye. Why, I ask, oh why?

So, we sit down together, and start the report. I start us off in the obvious way, Dear Mr Spielberg.......

My wife is rooting through drawers looking for scrapbooking pages, Nick knacks, and cool lettering for the presentation portion of the report.

Abby and I continue writing.  We tell Mr Spielberg how great a book this is and how it would be a hit.  We explain the main characters and who should play them.  We finally after two hours finish the report.  Went pretty smooth, right?   Wrong.

Abby, jumps up and says let's see if we can print it.  When she did this she unplugged our 6 year old Mac Book with no rechargeable battery and the screen went black.  I immediately knew we were screwed. I said shit!(and maybe a few other choice words), rebooted the computer, waited, waited, and only the first paragraph appeared.  I said;  In  a compressed, I'm going to explode tone of voice, Abby please leave.  I felt bad after.  But shit, I had to retype the whole damn thing. Argh, I was pissed at the machine more then Abby, accidents happen but why, oh why at midnight!!!

After another 60 minutes of intense memory recall, and close to 1 AM,  I finished. My wife and I drank warm milk. The letter to Steven was complete. FINALLY, and saved, multiple times during the second composition.

"My Brain on Homework"
This has nothing to do with diabetes by the way, I just realized this now.  There is some proof that if you over use your brain you can have a low blood sugar, which I had, since the brain uses glucose as it's primary source of energy.  Hmmm, I definitely over used my coconut that evening.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Case of the Missing Diabetic Test Strips

Call in the crime scene investigators, or the drug sniffing dogs because we have 3 strips for 3 diabetics for 24 hours.  No pharmacy is open what do you do.....?   I know I always sound so dramatic!  But seriously.  Last night this was the predicament we were in. 

First we search the crime scene.......nothing.  Nothing in the pockets, purses, backpacks, under beds, pillows, bed side tables, NOTHING. 

Next, we narrow down our suspect list.  Me, since I continually revisit the crime scene, Dareian, who is notorious for loosing all types of diabetes devices, pens, insulin, etc, then sweet little Rowan. 

It can't possibly be me, or is it?  I rechecked the backpack and work bag.  I even checked my "Man Cave" nothing, what the hell.  I can always find a spare. 

Next, Rowan.  "Honey do you have any strips in your backpack or down in your room"  She replies. "No"  "Did you maybe forget some at school?" a quick, "No"  I say "Crap what are we going to do with 3 strips until Monday morning" Thinking, normal people wouldn't have to think of this crap....then I took a breath, used my latest Jedi Mind Tricks to calm my emotions. 

Next suspect.  "Dareian, do you have any idea how we went through 300 strips in 7 days, and please tell me you have some stashed somewhere in your room, bags, or clothes"  "I think I have a couple of containers in my locker at school"  I say....after taking a deep breath(thought=mood=behavior) "You think!, you do realise that we have 3 strips for the next 24 hours"  "Sorry dad, I forgot to bring them home" 

I proceeded to vent to my wife.  "Well what do we do?"  The answer was obvious.

Crime scene was evaluated, the suspect identified, but we still had no strips.

We saved them for the one who can't feel her lows.  So, that's what we did.

Needless to say I wasn't too happy not knowing what our glucose was for 15 hours.  Ironically when I tested at work, my sugar was 5.8 mmol, imagine that.  We all survived and we will hold the sentencing hearing tonight after dinner for the convicted.


Time to ration

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Top 10 list: Diabetes time wasters

"One thing we can't escape, that is time"
1.  Pharmacies, why it takes 20 minutes to print a label and slap it
on a box I'll never know.....

2.  Waiting for your Dr to see you even though your appointment was 45 minutes ago

3.  Lab work, same as above, you have an appointment, and yet still have to wait....on an empty stomach to boot 

4.  Waiting to see if your sugar is  going to trend down from a super high

5. Cancelling a workout cause your sugar is too high or posting one if it is to low

6.  Driving all the way back home cause you forgot your supplies, or your kid forgot theirs

7.  Treating and waiting for your suger to rise, really sucks at 3 AM

8.  Yearly drivers medical, time waster and money sucker

9. Time spent explaining the difference between type 1 and type 2

10.  All the thinking involved in calculating carbs, corrections, and doses, site changes and all other critical thinking that involves diabetes management. 

What are our Diabetes Time Wasters?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Meet the Diabetic Watchdog

"The Vampire & Her Watchdog"
Had the opportunity to interview a very important person in my daughter Dareian's Life.

Here is the Interview with the Vampire's Watchdog:  Brianna

Trev:  What's it like being friends with Dareian dealing with her diabetes?

Brianna: It's like being friends with any other friend but you have to watch what she eats, and how she acts.

T: Do you worry about her more then your other friends?

B: Yes; if she doesn't remember to take her needles or test her sugar or whatever, I remind her 

T: Do you think Dareian's a good Diabetic? 

B: Most of the time, but sometimes she forgets stuff and I have to remind her to do things like  count carbs, test her sugar and only occasionally take her insulin. I let her know I am there to watch her, and say things like, "Dareian, take your needle, or don't forget your tester, if she's coming over for a sleep over."

T: Would you like add anything else?

B: I contantly nag her about it! That's why she does well with her Diabetes.  She is fun to hang out with, just a typical kid.

T: Thanks for talking to me about your friendship with Dareian, and thanks for being her Watchdog.  

After the interview we watched Dareian's Soccer Team kick major butt!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Shoveling a Driveway in a Snow Storm

"Obviously Enthused About Snow"
This is what it's like raising children.  Totally, 2 steps forward 4 steps back.  Well at least from my perspective. 

We arrive home from hour 9 work day.  Enter our humble abode to trip over backpacks, 5 pairs of shoes, 10 mittens, jackets, and other paraphernalia.  Deep breath, count to ten.  Ironically the hall entrance is equipped with at least 30 hooks, and shoe shelves, but these are completely underutilized.  I proceed to boot the shoes and other items out of my way in order to get into the entrance and shut the door.

The kids slowly surface from different areas of the house, all saying their various individual greetings.  "Hi Dad, hey dad, how was your day dad?" and the like.  My teen is situated in the TV room, engulfed in a music video, surrounded buy a number of used dishes.  The dog comes booting around the corner, wanting me to acknowledge her existence.  I say, "Hey Guys"  and then the delegation ensues.

Something like this: 

"Dareian, turn the TV off and collect the dishes, and tidy up", while I think in my head, "crap what a bunch of slobs"

"Grace, you and Rowan tidy up the front entrance, and please try to hang up your coats when you get home next time"

"Abby!, Abby!, Dareian where's Abby?"   Abby makes herself scarce and hides as she has clued into the fact that when a parent arrives home, work awaits. Dareian replies in her un enthused teenage way, "Upstairs?"  Abby comes barreling down the stairs, "Ya Dad!"  I delagate the kitchen and dishes, and off she goes.

"Rowan Enjoying the Snow"
I let the dog out, and while everyone is going about there assigned chores, the yougest one, aka the "Goob" is dumping out the entire basket of clean clothes upstairs, and applying makeup to her barbies. Usually around the time I chime in and ask all the kids where the goob is.  "Don't know, I think she's upstairs"  I immediatly know she is into something becasue it is errily quiet. Sure enough, I discover the above scenerio.

Then I think to my self, raising kids and cleaning house is like "Shoveling a Drive Way in a Snow Storm"

But I love each and every one of them.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What is Your Locus of Control?

"Not the topic I'm referring to"
No I am not referring to "Locusts" from biblical times. 

But what the heck is "Locus of Control?"

I suppose a definition is in order:

Defined by the American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary:

"A theoretical construct designed to assess a person's perceived control over his or her own behavior. The classification internal locus indicates that the person feels in control of events; external locus indicates that others are perceived to have that control."

Normally having a healthy internal locus of control is equated to successfully managing a chronic disease like diabetes. You take responsibility for your management, it is the "if its meant be its up to me mentality".

"This is the Locus I'm talking about"

Not sure if I am qualified at this current time to be discussing this, but I have made it successfully with out complications for 28 and 1/2 years.  That has to count for something. 

Anyway, if you believe you are in control of your diabetes management then your more likely to successfully manage it. If you believe that your control is solely based on your teams instructions, and external influences then your control will likely falter. When you feel out of control, and lose that internal drive or locus of control diabetes control slips. Case in point, see my post from Diabetes Mind Game, Momentary Lapse of Reason and it is obvious what happens when that internal control is lost.

In a nutshell, having a solid "Internal Locus of Control" is a major key to long term success in managing any chronic disease process.


PS:  I recently got a new mirror, need to be refurbished.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Interview with a Vampire - Dareian

"Common Site"
She feels like a vampire always drawing blood.  

Here is her interview:

Trev: How did you feel when you found out you had developed Diabetes?

Dareian:  I felt scared of what would happen in the future. I felt like I was now part of the family group of diabetics. I felt like I could handle it. I learned in the second week to take my own injections.  I felt like people would think I was weird, when actually nobody really noticed.

Trev:  How do you feel now about diabetes?

Dareian:  I feel like I need to handle a little better. Like, the novelty has worn off.  I am more slack now, but still do what needs to be done to control my sugars.

Trev:  What are you good at?

Dareian:  I am not good at measuring carbs and that sort of crap---oops can I say that. But I am great at staying active in sports and always take my insulin.

Trev:  How important are your friends in managing your diabetes?

Dareian:  I have one good diabetic watch dog.  She reminds me to check my sugar, take my insulin, watch my diet, and is notorious for asking, "what's your sugar?"  She feels bad and will not eat food when my sugar is high. She is a great friend!

Trev:  What is the most irritating thing about diabetes?

Dareian:  Not being able to have what other people have, spontaneously. But this doesn't really stop me.  I hate the feeling that my sugar is raising and damage is being done like when trapped in class once, I forgot to take insulin, and wanting to be discreet I waited until the class ended.  I just wanna be like everyone else.

Trev: Do you feel diabetes holds you back?

Dareian:  Nope. I do soccer, track, sleep overs, and have learned to eat and do what you through changing your insulin and eating habits.

Trev: What would you tell a newly diagnosed diabetic?

Dareian:  You can still be the same person, and do what you like to with diabetes. You can accomplish anything with diabetes!

Thank-you Dareian, for the great info.

Your Welcome Dad, now you have to help me with my history assignment tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall?

How we view the world is often a reflection of our inner state of mind.

How we are feeling. What we're thinking. 

If our thoughts are clouded with darkness and despair then the world is viewed through this lense.

If our thoughts are happy and hopeful then this in turn is how we perceive our world.

I guess it could be argued that emotions=thoughts=behavior. The end result is often not the desired outcome.

Emotions are strange things. They are suppose to signal us when something is wrong or something is right. They are sometimes, subtle, sometimes intense, and sometimes just plain difficult to tag a word to describe it.

What to do with them is the tricky part. Deal with them, shelf them, deny them, write about them. What is the best approach?

I guess we are all raised, and therefore wired differently. We all deal differently with our emotions. We come from different family upbringings. Our brains are hardwired differently. We may have done counseling and downloaded software to handle our emotions differently, but often revert back to what is innately familiar to us. What we learned as a child, young adult.

How we deal with our emotions is a huge predictor of success, in my opinion. The easy route is to be a hermit, live alone, never have to deal with any emotion. Status quo, no stress....

However, a fulfilling life is one filled with love, partnership, interdependence, and a continuous drive to self reflect and improve.

The only relevance this has to diabetes, is the fact that when thoughts are dark, mood is low, diabetes control tends to be left last on the list. I suggest not putting diabetes as a last priority, however, this has been my experience. It is necessary to be mentally healthy to manage diabetes.  Just the way it goes.

The reflection in the mirror is a dark one today. Hopefully with a little Windex, and some time, reflection, understanding, the reflection will improve.


PS:  I know this is a melancholy blog. Until I get a new mirror, my posts will cease to exist.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Letter of Resignation

Dear Diabetes.

I am writing this letter to inform you that I've had enough. I have been in your company for 28 years now. I have faced many challenges and learned a lot about my self through our experience together.

I have learned to be brave. I have learned to handle my fears of what can happen when I refuse to abide by your rules and rigid guidelines. 

Early on, the time with your company was difficult. I hated you. I hated the fact that I was different and that I worked for you 24 hours a day. You were a terrible company to work for. 

I learned to accept your management style over time. I learned about the company of "Diabetes" I understood your methods, what I needed to do to survive in your organization.  It was a challenging journey to say the least. 

When I look back, I am grateful that your company introduced new technology, as this gave me the tools to succeed. 

I learned to multitask, be assertive, knowledgeable regarding health. I learned to not be hard on my self when your company made sudden changes. I guess I am a better person in a lot of ways thanks to my experience with you.

However, I regretfully inform you that I must move on. Seek new opportunities.

Consider this letter, a formal resignation from the Company (Diabetes) as of.....

Wait a minute, I forgot, I don't have the option to resign.  That makes me sad....