Wednesday, November 23, 2011

cards and calls full of wishes

today in my mailbox (both snail and e) i found cards! 

first off, i received my postcard from Lee Ann Thill's WDD Postcard Exchange!!  i am soo excited!!  it is from another Type 1, who is 22, living in Boston MA.  she was diagnosed 10yrs ago today!  Happy Diaversary Stacy! (i will post a pic once i find my camera!)

secondly, today is my birthday!  my inbox and Facebook are crammed with Best Wishes!  i am very appreciative of these, and grateful to be able to celebrate this day.  it has been a very stressful year, healthwise, so i feel blessed to be surrounded by my family and friends and their love and support.

my phones were alive with activity also! text messages from my daughter, son-in-law, and friends. my home phone was ringing with calls from my parents, and my son and daughter-in-law.

thirdly, back to my real mailbox.  in it were birthday cards from my Aunt, my neighbour, and several friends.  thank you all for remembering. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

monday's meal

today i've decided to write about my dinner. 

once summer is truly over, my whole dinner menu changes. i start to think about casseroles, stews, homemade soups, chili's, things i like to call "one pot meals". comfort foods.

it's not really winter here yet.  today was cool and kind of gray.  we had a sprinkling of snow last week that lasted a couple of hours.  they are calling for cooler temperatures and perhaps some freezing rain/flurries tomorrow. 

today, my mind was on comfort foods from my childhood.  i am about to admit something.  something that is hard for me to admit.  I LOVE POTATOES.  yup, potatoes.  boiled potatoes, potato salad, baked potatoes, potato skins.  mashed potatoes, fried potatoes.  mmmm and scalloped potatoes.  i love scalloped potatoes.  probably a very un-D-friendly potato dish, if ever there was one.  butter, flour, potatoes, onions  all cooked with milk till bubbly and soft.

today i did something a little different.  i added hot dogs.  sounds a little weird right?  well when i googled "hot dog potato casserole", there were hundreds of recipes.  i read a few different ones.  basically they are all the same.  scalloped potatoes, with chopped/sliced hot dogs.  

here is my version of       HOT DOG POTATO CASSEROLE

  • thinly slice about 5 potatoes and 1 onion.
  • put in pan (i used a wok) and  add about 1inch of water.  bring to boil, and cook for about 5 minutes.  drain.
  • melt 3 tbsp of butter in pot over med heat.  add 2 tbsp flour, about 1 tsp of paprika, salt and pepper.  stir constantly while adding 2cups milk.  stir until thick and smooth.
  • put about 1/3 potato/onion mix in bottom of 2 quart casserole.   slice about 4 hotdogs in half lengthwise and lay on top of potato mixture.
  • add more potato mixture and top with more hotdogs.
  • top with remainder of potato and then pour milk mixture over top.
  • cover with shredded cheddar cheese (about a cup) or whatever cheese you have on hand.  even cheese slices would do.
  • bake for about 45min in 400' oven.
    you could add peas, or green beans, or mixed veggies. brocolli would be good too.
i don't have a clue as to how many carbs or calories are in this dish.  i had a fair sized bowl and swagged for 57gr of carbs.  BG before eating 6.4  BG 4hrs after eating 5.1 

i call that a success!!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

falling off the wagon hurts ~ caused by schedule overload!

it seems i have fallen off the wagon.  i was going for 30 days of blogging with NHBPM.  clearly, i didn't make it.  i feel bad.  sort of like i let myself down. 

life got in the way.  that sounds so lame, but it's true.  some days it just doesn't seem that there are enough hours.  i was off work (my night job) for a week.  i still had kids to look after during the day.  my housework is so far behind i may never get caught up!  i have family coming for November  birthday celebrations on Saturday, and i work Saturday morning.  i will spend most of Friday morning (before work),  and late Friday night (after work!) preparing for them. 

today i went to my first ever visit with a chiropodist.  he seemed surprised that i had never seen one before.  he went on to tell me all the horror stories about diabetics and their feet.  he did, however, jokingly say that i had probably heard it all before.  overall, my feet are not in bad shape.  i do have to change my footwear, and perhaps consider orthotics in the near future.  the visit was well worth the $45.00 it cost me.

i stopped at my Canadian Diabetic Assoc. office this afternoon.  i picked up a bracelet and a lapel pin.  i have been wanting these for a long time now, but they never had any available.  while i was there, i was talking to the woman about a few different things.  one was my visit this morning, and she mentioned an information session on monday.  i may attend if i don't work.  the other was volunteer opportunities.  it seems they need someone to do supermarket tours.  since i work in a grocery store, she thought this may be something i would be interested in.  and i am!  i really am! i think it would be an awesome opportunity, and i really want to do this!

now i just have to figure out exactly how to fit this into my already overloaded schedule!

Monday, November 14, 2011

World Diabetes Day

today is my first World Diabetes Day.  yes, i have been a diabetic for almost 37 years, but i had never heard of WDD before.

i wasnt much involved with Diabetic things.  i did not go to Diabetes Camp as a child.  i did not (and still don't) know any other diabetics in real life.  i know they exist.  i read their blogs! 

today i am wearing blue.  i have participated in the Big Blue Test,  worn blue on friday's, mailed my postcard,  

today i am going to eat a cupcake with blue icing as a tribute to Sir Frederick Banting. 

  • Born: 14 November 1891

  • Birthplace: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

  • Died: 21 February 1941 (airplane crash)

  • Best Known As: The Canadian doctor who discovered insulin

  • Happy Birthday Dr. Banting!  and Happy World Diabetes Day!!

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    is it just me?

    just wondering if this is just a "me" thing.  sound weird?  i know.  well, when my BG is getting high, i get this weird sense of smell.  i know, weird eh?

    yesterday morning, my fasting BG was 7.8.  not bad.  i had a toasted bagel with butter, and a coffee with cream.  bolused for 28gr of carbs.   a little over an hour later i start to feel, off.  not sure how to describe it.  it seems to start with a smell.  sort of like cleaning products, but not really. 
    i check my blood and it's 13.0.  HOLY HANNAH!!  that's a huge spike in a short period of time. 

    my DEC once told me that the "smell" is ketones.  so i get out my metre and check.  0.1
    BG metre says not to correct so i dont.
    2hrs later all is well.  BG down to 6.4,  and i noticed the smell diminishing as my BG fell.

    today, same thing.  normal range fasting, huge spike after eating (different food though).  weird smell.  no ketones.  BG dropping after about 2hrs. 

    i think i will need to either change my breakfast choices, or do some basal testing.

    but the whole weird smell thing? 

    is it just me?

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011

    this morning, as i sat here in front of my computer reading blogs, i was thinking in the back of my mind of what to post for day 9 of NHBPM.  i haven't really been following the prompts, as i haven't been blogging that long.  for instance, today's prompt, My personal brand.  i don't really have one.  i don't even know if people really read my blog (ok so i know some people do ).  my point is,  i just say what's on my mind.  what's happening, what's bugging me. 

    i was reading a post by C.  the story is about burnout.  we all know what that's about.  it was time for her endo visit.  C was prepared to be honest and upfront about her feelings.  about how those feelings were affecting her diabetes care.  sometimes that's hard for us.  #'s are not something we're real comfortable with.  they make us happy. they make us sad.  they anger us and sometimes they make us fight.

    the part that really pissed me off was her endo's attitude.  i mean it REALLY REALLY angered me.  it brought back a memory.  one i thought was truly buried.  her experience was so like one i had had.  and all that buried, hidden, forgotten anger came bursting out!

    how dare that dr. judge her?
    how dare that dr. presume to think that we can pull ourselves "out of it"?  does she think it's like getting stuck in a snowbank?
    does she think threats work?
    how dare she try to relate her getting up at 5:45 to jog because she knows "it's good" for her, to all that we do for ourselves every minute of every day, ALL THE TIME?!!!

    i think it's time we became teachers.  no, no, not advocates or educators, but teachers.  back to the basics.  holding seminars for endocrinologist's.  not all of them.  just those like the one in C's post.  like court ordered anger management classes, for ENDO OFFENDERS.  run by diabetics.  type 1's, type 2's, LADA's.  parents of CWD's.  perhaps even a few type awesome's for good measure.

    we will teach them how it really is. 

    the first thing they will have to do is choose.  from a hat.  which type of diabetes will the hat bestow on them?
    secondly, they will be required to live that life for a month.  everything that life includes.  the shots, the pokes, the pills.  the highs, the lows. (and i'm not averse to giving them a little shot of "real" insulin just to prove a point!).  they will have to count carbs, figure out corrections,  wake up in the middle of the night to check BG's.   do everything we have to do, including keep logs.  real logbooks.  not fake one's to make us feel better, so they wont yell at us.

    they will have to go for lab work and come meet us to "go over" it. 
    we can then decide how best to "treat" them.  teach them how it feels to be belittled, humiliated, and to feel as if our efforts aren't enough.  give them some of their own bitter medicine.

    see how they feel.  how fast do you think they would run to the nearest St. Cinnamon for a great big cinnamon danish? (that's a whole other story! )

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    Tuesday, November 08, 2011

    which is it? fact or fiction?

    today's post is sort of a game.  i will tell you a couple of short stories.  i promise they won't take much time.
    your job, dear readers, is to tell me whether you think they are fact or fiction. 

    some may make you laugh, some may sound familiar to you, others may illicit an OMG! can it be true? response.  in so saying, here we go.

    #1  it is early in the morning.  still dark outside.  husband has left for work some 2hrs ago.  i am roused by a buzzing sound.  thinking it is my cell phone, i answer it.  "hello? hello?"  the noise continues.  minutes go by. BZZZZZ  BZZZZZZ BZZZZZ.  my daughter comes in the room and tells me to "shut off the alarm mom!!"  i stare at her, looking afraid and hold out my cell phone.
    "i dont know how!!"  i cry, tears rolling down my cheeks.  it is then she realizes i am low.  it seems i cry when low.

    #2  saturday afternoon.  i am out doing errands.  the streets in our town are busy on saturday afternoons.  my daughter, then about 5 years old is with me.  i wake up in the hospital emerg.  it seems i was driving erratically and a taxi driver noticed and tried to slow me down.  he radioed for another cab to help.  they got me stopped and called for police and ambulance.  they went through my purse to get my info.  my 5 y/o wouldn't give them any information because she "wasn't allowed to talk to strangers"  it seems i had over $1400 in my wallet and at first they thought perhaps i was OD'ing.  truth is, i was supposed to deposit about $700 rent money, but instead i withdrew $700 instead, totalling $1400.  all while in a low BG stupor.

    #3  i am sitting on the steps inside my backdoor.  the door is unlocked.  my kids are due home from school any moment.  i see them coming up the driveway so unlock the door for them.  they cannot get in.  i cannot open the door.  the concept of turning a small button is beyond me.  they run down the street to get my friend and neighbour.  she comes with them, and after many minutes of her yelling through the door instructions a 6mth old could understand, i finally get the door unlocked.  paramedics are called once again.

    #4  we are expecting company.  family from out of town are visiting.  i am busy all day trying to get organized.  not an easy feat with a newborn and a 2yr old.  the toy room is a disaster.  husband comes home from work, sees something in my face only he can see.  the conversation goes like this.  "kim you're low. you need to stop what you're doing and get some sugar into you."  "no, i'm fine.  i just have to get this straightened up."  "no, you need to stop and have a cup of tea." " what's wrong with you? can't you SEE I AM FINE!   i'm almost done"  next thing you know i am on my face in the middle of the playroom.  Damn you diabetes, and damn you husband for being right - again! LOL

    so now, after reading these blips in time, are they fact or fiction?   real excerpts from my life with D, or are they just fictional pieces, meant to entertain?  you tell me.  and i will let you know if you're right!

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    Monday, November 07, 2011


    this is a blue circle.  it is meant to represent DIABETES.  but how well does it work?  i have this circle as part of my MedicAlert tattoo. if i were travelling outside canada, and experienced a severe low blood glucose which required medical assistance, would the wearing of this blue circle mean anything to anyone?  if they couldn't read english, would my tattoo have a hope of helping anyone help me?

    last wednesday, i had surgery on my hand.  while talking with the pre-op nurse one of the questions was "are you wearing any jewellry?"  to which i answered "no".  she looked at me, knowing i was diabetic and said "no medic alert?"  i told her that i had a medic alert tattoo.  she asked to see it.  her daughter is also diabetic and this sparked her interest.  after looking at it she asked me what the circle was.  at this point the advocate in me wanted to jump up in amazement.  but because of the circumstances and the timeframe involved, i kept my answer short and to the point. 

    "this blue circle is the international symbol for Diabetes.  much like the Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer, it should be recognizable by all medical personnel the world over.  in fact everyone needs to know what this little blue circle means."

    i was actually shocked.  how could a nurse, whose own daughter had type 1, not recognize it?
    and what does this say about the rest of the world? 

    it has been around since 2006, but in all honesty i just found out about it perhaps a year ago.  how are we going to get this little blue circle out there?  how can we make it as big as that pink ribbon?  or bigger? i am not sure how i am going to go about it, but it definately is something i am going to work on.

    i feel that diabetes, in my community, doesn't get enough attention, and i plan to do something about that. 
    i want to know that someday, while travelling in oh, maybe spain, or greece or even france or italy, wherever i go, that if God forbid, i am in a situation where i cant speak for myself, my tattoo will say what needs to be said.  AS CLEAR AS DAY.

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    Sunday, November 06, 2011


    according to wikipedia the word "ouch" may refer to:  an interjection that denotes pain.

    so in that case.......OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!!!

    since my surgery on wednesday, i have been pretty much been doing everything i can with one hand.

    i prepared hors oeuvres for a little cocktail party we attemded last night. (okay so i dumped a box of some sort of cheese filled puff pastries on a cookie sheet and stuck them in the oven.)

    i sang into a microphone while holding my drink in my right hand and wacking my cast on my left thigh.

    i am becoming quite skilled at doing blood tests one-handed. (and by this i mean lancing the good finger on the good hand with the good hand!).

    i can type with one finger on my right hand almost as fast as i can using both hands and all fingers.

    i made cabbage rolls roll casserole, and did the dishes without getting my left hand wet at all. (well perhaps just a tad.)

    but now i am suffering.  yes the ouchies have set in.  i  think i will hang up my good hand, (but not before making a nice cuppa tea) and relax with a good book.  or perhaps i'll watch a movie with my daughter. 

    putting my bad hand to bed.  night night. 

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    5 things that changed my life

    todays NHBPM post is to list 5 things that changed my life and how.
    so after lots of thought,and many re-writes! (i started this on saturday but finished it today), here goes!

    • my diagnoses
                     being diabetic at 12 yrs old.  no longer being "like" every other kid.  the strict schedule of
                     testing, taking my shot (just 1 a day back then), eating at the same time EVERY day.
                     no being able to do what i wanted when i wanted like i used to

    • getting married
                     now doing this on my own, without my parents being in charge
                     not really doing a good job of it, not realizing my choices would have dire consequences
                     later on

    • having my children
                     small people depending on me.  trying to stay on top of everything.  going from 1 shot to 4
                     a day. not realizing that i should have placed my health needs first so that i could be a
                     better mother.

    • becoming a grandmother
                      understanding that in order to live to see them grow, i had to make changes in my care.
                      not wanting to jeapordize them, while they are in my care.

    •  undergoing triple bypass surgery at 48 years old
                       finally realizing that years of neglecting my health has to stop.  taking "ownership" of
                       my disease for perhaps the first time.  making myself #1.  getting my insulin pump.
                                                                    finally being happy within.

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    Friday, November 04, 2011

    this thing called blogging

    so blogging.   not something i ever considered doing.  and yet its something i do.

    when thinking about my post for the day, i usually start with the title.  it's the first thing i type.
    somewhere in my mind there might be an idea for a picture lurking.
    pictures are usually the last thing i decide on, except in this case, where that came right after the title.

    i mostly just start talking, and see where it goes from there.  although, there have been times when i actually did some research and wrote things down on a piece of paper in point form.
    as for the proofreading, that kinda happens as i go.  i rarely use spell check.  i just double check everything.   right now i am typing with one hand (see here for the reason), so the error rate has increased drastically!  i must be extra diligent! 

    once my post is finished, i usually hit "preview" and see how it looks.  at this point i read the whole thing through and decide if it reads okay.  sometimes things get changed.  occasionally i feel a picture is needed.  back i go and i add or edit.  i preview again.

    then i hit "publish post".  then i hit "view blog" to see what others see.  and that's it.  i just started the twitter thing and don't really have a clue how that works, so i didn't know i could add it to that.  nor did i think of adding it to my facebook.  seems there is lots to learn about this social media thing!

    (oh and you may have noticed, i am not a fan of CAPITALS! LOL!!)

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    Thursday, November 03, 2011

    to me, from me

    hi kim,

    today you are 18.  you are young and have your whole life ahead of you.    you're thinking "i know, i know"  but really, listen up.  this is important.  the road you are about to embark on is long.  it is full of bumps and potholes.  you will take a few wrong turns along the way.  there will be some wonderful things out there for you.  moments that will take your breath away. 

    ~you will get engaged
    ~you will get married
    ~you will have 3 wonderful, healthy kids
    ~you and your family will move from the city to a smaller town, far away from family and friends
    ~you will witness the birth of your 2 amazing grandkids


    ~you will continue to abuse your body by eating things high in carbs, and drinking too much
    ~you wont test, you wont take control, you wont worry
    ~you believe that if it ain't broke, why fix it

    but it is broke.  you just dont know it yet.

    if you start listening NOW there are things you can avoid.  i dont mean to nag, but seriously, PAY ATTENTION!!

    you need to find a doctor.  one you trust.  one that really "gets" diabetes.
    you need to start testing NOW
    you need to eat better and slow down on the junk food and alcohol
    you need to quit smoking TODAY

    if you don't i can guarantee you these things:
    • you will start losing feeling in your feet
    • you will get pains in your legs when you walk, even short distances
    • you will end up having laser surgery many, many times
    • you will have blocked arteries in your legs, requiring a stent, which wont work
    • you will end up having an aortic biphemoral graft at 42 yrs old
    • you will endure months of heartburn that will turn out to be something much worse
    • you will have triple bypass surgery at 48
    these things i can promise you.

    if you dont believe me, you wont live to see your beautiful grandson and granddaughter grow up.
    you wont live to see your youngest daughter graduate from college, or your son get married.
    you will break the heart of the man who has known and loved you since you were 16yrs old.

    it's up to you. 
    YOU.CAN.DO.THIS.  you just have to try.  wont you please?

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    Wednesday, November 02, 2011



    last night i didn't sleep well.  my mind was in overdrive.  i was thinking about the morning.

    i was scheduled to be at the hospital at 6:30am.  surgery was set for 8am.  i was thinking about my last surgery.  10 months ago.  triple bypass.  i was a little nervous about this one for some reason.

    the alarm went off at 5.  after very little sleep, i got up and started to get ready.  simple clothing.  easy to get on over a cast.  hmmm i should have got a haircut.  oh well.

    no coffee.  nothing to eat.  only small sips of water with my pills.  insulin pump set for -40% basal.
    say a few prayers and off we go.

    the hospital is only about 7 minutes from our house.  there was a lot of fog this morning.  made for a slow drive.  more time to think.  and pray.

    we arrived at out-patient surgical and met with the nurse.  after several hundred questions (some regarding my diabetic tattoo), i was gowned and waiting.  my name was called and i said my goodbyes to my husband.  he knew i was a bit worried, and he put on a brace face but i think he was a little scared too.  

    i met with the anesthetist, who reassured me all would be fine.  into the OR i went.  it seemed a wee bit odd to be walking into the operating room on my own 2 feet.  and jumping up onto the table!  all my other surgeries have  had me being wheeled in on a gurney and transferred to the table by hospital personnel.

    after the IV was inserted, the dr. gave me a little "cocktail" and the next thing i knew i was waking up in recovery! 

    i made it!!  nothing bad happened.  i didn't have a heart attack, i didn't stop breathing.  none of the things i was worried about happened!  THANK GOD.  my prayers were answered.

    so now i just have to figure out how to get my pill bottles open once my husband goes to work in the morning.
    and how to change my granddaughters diapers.  or make lunch for the kids.  LOL!

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

    Tuesday, November 01, 2011

    bacon and cupcakes

    today is november 1st.  the first day of Diabetes Awareness Month.  the first day of NationalHealthBlogPostingMonthThe Big Blue Test starts today and runs until the 14th.  the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange is the brainchild of Lee Ann Thill.  there are lots of things going on in your local area to get involved in as well!

    there are soooo many things going on this month. 

    it is amazing to me that this time last year, i was not aware of the DOC, and all the wonderful people associated within.  i don't remember being aware that november was Diabetes Awareness Month, nor that November 14th was WDD!!!  how could i have been so.......unaware??

    around this time last year i was working with my new endo and the team at my DEC.  i was considering getting a pump.  i was finally acknowledging My Diabetes, and taking ownership.  but i was still so ALONE. 

    it wasn't till, probably february, that i found the DOC. it was totally by accident, and i am so glad i did.  it happened that i was looking online for other people who had gone through triple bypass surgery.  i don't remember exactly what i typed in the search bar.  perhaps it was the relationship between diabetes and heart problems. but it brought me to the DOC!

    this time last year i didn't realize that people celebrated their Diaversary's.  i didn't realize people actually "met up" with other diabetics.  or that they opened up their hearts and lives and let others in. i knew nothing about unicorns and glitter, bacon and cupcakes.

    and so, this November, along with celebrating my 49th birthday, i will be celebrating my 37th Diaversary.  i will be sending out a homemade postcard to another PWD, testing my blood and telling the world the result, wearing blue every friday, and trying to writing a post everyday! 

    November is the most wonderful month of the year!!!

    This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: