Saturday, May 18, 2013

How Creative Can You Be When You Have 4 Paws?

Click  Diabetes Art - Saturday 5/18 to read more great blogs on this subject!
This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense. Do some “traditional” art like drawing, painting, collage or any other craft you enjoy. Or look to the literary arts and perhaps write a d-poem or share and discuss a favorite quote. Groove to some musical arts by sharing a song that inspires you diabetes-wise, reworking some song lyrics with a d-twist, or even writing your own song. Don’t forget dramatic arts too, perhaps you can create a diabetes reality show or play. These are just a starting point today – there are no right or wrong ways to get creative!

I've always taken part every year in the Diabetes Art Day that Lee Ann Thill who blogs at The Butter Compartment is the brains behind  - and we are her pupils I feel sometimes - as we learn to express ourselves in this yearly event.   Except I was on a 3-week holiday when it was held in February - so I missed out on it this year - boo! hoo!.    It's almost like being a kid again when I've taken part in that event it's great to see some of the other great creations that are done.  It's like SOOOO amazing!!!  

When I'm not taking part in events like that - one of my favourite ways of expressing myself - is to create clothing with material that you wouldn't otherwise see in the big box store.  I'd hoped last week - in order to take a picture of it completed - I was all set to make this simple dress (my fav thing to wear tends to be lose - complete with pockets to stuff an insulin pump into - complete with little hole in the side seam for the tubing). The material I have is a beautiful blue with splatterings of purple/turquoise (the picture below just doesn't do it justice).  Except,  it's a type of material that I've never worked with - very light and silky.  So, putting in pockets maybe out - so much thinking is having to go into this project  - along with deciding if the inside of the fabric will look better on the outside than on the inside of the dress (now you see what high fashion designers go thru' when they're presented with their material choices - decisions - decisions).  

Oh the artist in me sometimes makes me scream - as I want PURRFECTION.  For some of you who don't create your own clothing - you're probably saying ... ahhhh just go to a store and buy it ready made! Well, for me, a fasionista in her mind - I like to have some things that just can't be found made enmass!

On top of my being slow to not get started is if the weather EVER gets warmer (officially here in Canada - this is Victoria Day Weekend or Stompin' Tom Weekend and the beginning of planting and warmer weather). So far, we've had some cool days - even with snow flurries in May!!  I mean, come on, I want to get out of my winter woolies NOW!!!
Winter Woolies - how to look in style in Canada
So, all I can show you - is the material - tilt your head to the right - since for some reason - Blogger has changed my Android phone picture side ways.  Stretch the neck muscles - work it, work it, work it!

Now off to start deciding on what pattern to use .... 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Welcome to my wild imagination for a diabetic service animal!

I really disliked  like the  topic for today’s Diabetes Blog Week topic – which is called Freaky Friday.  It’s supposed to be like the movie – but instead of switching bodies – you have another chronic disease instead of diabetes.  Personally, to blog about having another disease really left a bad taste in my mouth (hey – having halitosis is nothing to laugh about).  In away – I sort of wrote the same thing in my blog on Thursday’s Diabetes Blog Week subject of “accomplishments”.  So, sorry Jane of Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE and Bob of T Minus Two  - your topic SUCKS – but we’re all entitled to our own opinion right?

So, here’s my take for the Diabetes Wild Kingdom Wildcard topic which is - what is the ideal diabetes service animal? Think beyond the obvious and be creative in explaining why your choice is a good one. For example, maybe a seal would make a good service animal - it flaps its flippers and barks every time you get a good blood sugar reading! (Thanks to Tristan of Based on a True Story for this topic suggestion.)

Originally I had thought choosing the shark would be a good idea.  Did you know that they can detect the tiniest blood drip from more than a mile away?  This is due to their brain being two-thirds dedicated to smell, even uninjured fish that aren’t bleeding, get the shark’s attention.  Now, imagine having a shark as your hypo/hyper awareness service animal.  Cool eh?   So here I am, showing up at party with Rocko – in a tank beside me on wheels . He’s wearing some punk rock style collar around his neck (he loves AC/DC)  - he would be a cool shark that’s for sure.  Imagine the reaction of my mates – my telling them he’s my BFF for detecting my highs and  lows in my blood glucose.   They eye me with a weird look in their eyes – but it’s okay –I'm used to that – since I've always been ahead of my time.   Wait, he’s eyeing the plate of sushi with raw tuna (drool) – he’s smiling (yes - sharks can smile) – as he sees one of my friends licking their lips/fingers  – ohhh! OHHHH! …. I’d been warned about this by the trainer - he's jumped out of the  ….

I then quickly changed my mind on that – since then he would be probably leap out of the tank – gobble up all the fish appetizers – and maybe more – and embarrassing me to all hell.  Plus the other thought of maybe he might go the way wild animals can go sometimes.   In the beginning they are pets –bit then they attack their owners due to some little glitch in their noggin’.  I’m having vivid thoughts of Rocko forgetting what he’s supposed to do – sense my blood sugar –  bite off my hand and more of me – as I sleep at night with my hand accidently falling into his tank beside my bed. 

I know, I know, what causes me to have such a vivid imagination?  I have no idea – too much Ovaltine as a child?

So, my next thought as I did my research on animals that have great sniffing ability was to go with something simple.  A rat – nice and portable – fits easily in your hand/shirt pocket.  Giggle – I think he’s escaped – I feel something squirming around my waistline.  

Okay - back to the selling point of having a rat.  Did you know that like dogs, they can be trained to use their best sense of smell in stereo with each nostril working independently?

Now, I know some people freak out at the mere sight or even mention of a rat.  My Mum is a good example there – she hated my gerbils as a youngster and I’m lucky to have been allowed to have them.  Especially when they escaped their cage from time to time (I had to let them be free once in a while Mum).  Rats are actually very clean little things, despite many peoples concept – did you know that?  Also, they can be trained, like dogs,  since they smell with each nostril individually.  So while Ben detects for my blood sugar level going into the low/high zone of no return, he can also detect that piece of cheddar cheese close by with his stereo nostrils … wait … it’s a trap!!!  Oh, oh, there goes Ben (who set up that trap??  Mum, are you reading this???) 

It also doesn’t help that I have a love for cats –so now I can  see it wouldn’t work out.  So maybe I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board on this.  I thought I had it all figured out!
Night, night, sweet dreams Ben

Thursday, May 16, 2013

You’ve Come Along Way Baby!

Day Four of the 4th Annual Diabetes Blog Week - We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn't matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you've done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you've mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)

I've had diabetes since the early 60’s.  For some people I met, when they hear that date, they say … “Oh my God you poor thing!”.  It’s like, what do they mean?  I’m alive and kicking with all the advancements that are available to those of us who can afford it – otherwise I probably would have kicked the bucket many years ago – as my endo back in the 70’s had forewarned me … “You won’t live past 40”.  Of course, that was after I’d been in a coma for a few days, due to my stupidity as a teenager of not taking my diabetes seriously – going into DKA.  Live and learn, and luckily, I lived thru’ it and never had issues with DKA since - ever (I detest hospitals with a passion).

The one thing I have found.   Having diabetes  has made me better able to understand/more compassionate of other people who are going thru’ health problems of their own.  In my opinion what they are suffering from is sometimes far worse than my diabetes.  Mine looks simple compared to what they are going thru’ – but then maybe it’s due to having had diabetes so long, accepting challenges of the roller coaster ride we’re all on. 

For example, I have a friend who has been battling MS for the past 10 years.  Like myself, their disease has no cure.  Sadly Canada ranks as one of the top places for this disease, which I only discovered when doing my usual research that I do for all my blogs I compose.  They  had to quit work last year – are now on disability which helps abit since they’re still putting kids thru’ university.  it's tough but they are trying to cope with life as best as they can.  Sound like a familiar tune that we diabetics go thru'? 

So, when they feel down, I get what they are going thru’ – and we actually try to laugh over how annoying our health issues are – and get cracking on with things as best as we can (e.g. like taking my Porsche out for a spin on the back roads .... FAST – while they can still are able to drive).  Like myself, they are determined to not let their disease get the better of them, and are hanging on with the hope that like many of us diabetics – a cure will be found.

NB: To read other blogs on today's topic - Click on -  Accomplishments Big and Small -Thursday 5/16  - you'll be amazed at what is being churned out today!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memories in the fast lane of a diabetics life

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere.... your or your loved one's diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of 
Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.).  To view more blogs on this topic - you can go to -  Memories - Wednesday 5/15 


Once again, this is a really difficult hard to write about - and being stumped is taking me away from the time to read everyone's blogs so far (why isn't there a 26 hour day???).  Having had diabetes so long, my memories I guess have become faded, especially when it comes to diabetes diagnosis, bad low, bad high, successes, etc.  Maybe if I’d been diagnosed later in life – my memories might be more intact – but perhaps other T1D’s diagnosed from birth or like myself – just starting school – how many of us can really remember how to compare our life with diabetes against “normal” (this maybe something I quote a lot during this week of the Diabetes Blog Week).  I’m having a serious thought right now that maybe I’m not cut out to blog about diabetes – because all I want to write about is fast cars, clipping my claws, and enjoying a glass of wine <lol>

A memorable diabetes day?  Hmmm, this topic is really stumping me, since I've lived with diabetes since I was a young child that I can't really distinguish a diabetes memory from a "normal" nondiabetic memory - to me this is life - not distinguished by my disease.  Perhaps I shuffle the bad memories into a dark segment of my sponge brain?  I try to keep that as teeny tiny a space for crap like that as possible I guess.  My grey matter has more uses for storage than that I'm afraid to say.  So, instead I'll bore you to death on my technique of nabbing someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with - thru' the ups and downs of trying to cope with life.  Chose wisely my friends ...

I think one of my most memorable days is the day my husband accepted my marriage proposal and not really knowing what he was getting into with a whack job diabetic gal like myself (hey – hypos make us such exciting folks to be around right?).   Yes, I, a woman, proposed to my fiancé - not the other way around.  I'd been forewarned by a former boyfriend, that it would not go well, but I stuck to my guns and proceeded to plan ahead for the happy occasion. 

The fact that he accepted my tossing the engagement ring box at his head (I was terrible at baseball with aiming) at the Pioneer gas station is proof in the pudding.  I was attempting to understand why my brother – who knew what I was doing that wintry sleet filled night in December – would loan me his 1986 Mazda RX7 with the gas tank at EMPTY.  It was running on fumes by the time I got to my soon-to-be-betrothed in downtown Ottawa – late – and I had never filled up the gas tank before on my brothers car (oops – maybe that’s why he left it on Empty for the times I snuck it out for a spin?).   I was a jumble of nerves with what I was about to do, and his Dad, who had no idea what was going to happen when I arrived,  and being the camera clicking fiend he was, wanted to take pictures of us in our finery.  I wanted to get going – and propose – before arriving at the Christmas party that my company was having - I was on a mission!

I’d obtained a beautiful diamond signet ring from a 2nd hand shop for my betrothed - only the best for my main squeeze.  I had practised on my knees to some of the engineers at work (I think I had bruised knees and holes in my tights from this). Saying -  “will you marry me?”.  Sadly – one friend – Amitabh said “yes” – but all he really meant was “I want the ring” with lust in his eyes like Gollum.  A few of my mates from work were also doing the same thing – asking their beloved ones in the hand of marriage that same night – before heading to the party.  Birks was making a good profit that night for engagement rings!  Our plan was to all meet up – and show off the hands of our fiancé/fiancée.  Pressure or what?  

Well, the good thing, he accepted, the others accepted, without hesitation.  I think he was abit surprised, not by being knocked up by a box up the side of the head, but knowing how I was sort of anti-marriage - that I'd actually pop the question.  Meeting up with all  my mates at the party later – each girl and one guy (mine) held up their left hands - gleefully excited – we partied like it was 1999 and still are!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Petition to ban the wearing of mullets in Montréal

Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), so today let’s pretend to write our own. 'We, The Undersigned' - tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change? (Thanks to Briley of inDpendence for this topic suggestion.)

WE, the citizens of the city of Montréal petition the city to ban the mullet hairstyle onto our Metro system.  It has been discovered that people wearing a mullet cause increased giddiness and confusion amongst Metro users – who sometimes have dropped off the platform onto the tracks with disastrous results.  As well as creating havoc on the stairs as people try to get a good view of the mullet wearing person – it is highly unsafe. It has also been noted at the Port of Montréal – many flocks of seagulls gather around these people – causing havoc for cyclists and innocent bystanders walking by.

The history of the mullet goes back over 4,500 years, to the time of the Great Sphinx (more information on other mullet conspirator’s can be found at the following website link to broaden your knowledge of the seriousness of this hairstyle - ).

We propose that the city of Montréal enforce this rule immediately – with the possible enticement of a $20 amount of money to help fund the cost of a good haircut.  Any assistance in helping set up this program will be readily available from the undersigned below if need be.

Click for the We, The Undersigned - Tuesday 5/14 Link List - hopefully their petitions will be less serious then mine  <lol>

Monday, May 13, 2013

Doctor Doctor Give Me The News!

It's the 4th Annual Diabetic Blog Week - today is Numero Uno - and the topic is ... Share and Don't Share:  Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see?  (Thanks to Melissa Lee of Sweetly Voiced for this topic suggestion.)

I've got the Robert Palmer tune going thru’ my head as I start to compose this – which is the title of my blog – what can I say – I am a sap for songs from the 70’s. 

It’s funny, my endo knows that I write about diabetes and often I will tell him about the latest and greatest things that have come across my desktop that sometimes he doesn't even know about (I mean he doesn't just deal with diabetes – but other endocrine disorders).  He’s got a lot that he has to retain in his brain – in order to be up on the latest and greatest – so if I – the advocate diabetic can launch myself into the patients chair and tell him some new stuff – that’s as good thing – right?

Sometimes though, and I’m lucky here, I have more than 15 minutes to spend with him which as the topic discussion states above is the norm for most medical visits (in / out – Thank you Mam).  We actually at times get into a pretty good discussion – to the point that I sometimes forget to really talk about what is bothering me – I am blabbing on about this and that – and it’s like – walking out to the parking lot realising – “Oops – I forgot to mention this!”.  Oh well, there’s the next 6 month visit, I’ll “remember” then <lol>.

I know for myself, here in the province of Quebec and probably elsewhere that finding a good endo is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Or at least that is how I am finding it since I started to look around for an endo that understood what insulin pumping was all about.  Since I’m self-taught on the device (which I’m still taking a holiday from since January 2013 due to my dislike of how Animas Corporation has treated it’s 2020 owners) – what I’ve always dreamed of is having an endo that knows about insulin pumping.   I had found a highly qualified endo who is involved in diabetes research along with pump technology a few years ago – but when they saw my A1C - they said it was was too low for any of their patients (mine was 6%)! Showing them my BG readings from my meter to show them I don’t have many hypos to account for that number – did dick all for me – they wouldn't take me on as a patient.

The current one I have was against my going on a pump, so much so, I went behind his back to obtain one, and then in the end, he had to sign the papers to allow me to purchase one.  I just wish that he would take the time to not just go over how wonderful my A1C’s are – since I don’t feel this gives the complete picture of your overall success with your control.   The A1C number could be low due to a lot of hypos – which isn’t a good thing.  If my endo would only take the time to look over my blood sugar (BG) readings – that would help him determine where adjustments need to be done (less basal, figure out the correction dose number for correcting high blood sugar, etc.).  I did hand him a print out just once – from my pump / blood meter – but he just glanced at them and said he didn't need to see them, because my A1C is good – scream!!! 

I guess I've never really actually whined about this to him, because both he and I know, I can do this myself, I’m my own advocate of my diabetes health but then I worry about his other patients that aren't like that – who rely totally on him to give them the numbers.    It’s times like this that if I had a higher education, and he had the money, he could hire me as his assistant to help with newly diagnosed diabetics to get them on the right track – to being their own health care advocates – and not letting diabetes rule their life but the other way around.

Hear me roar! Mew!
To read other blogs on today's topic -  click for the Share and Don’t Share - Monday 5/13 Link List.