Monday, August 17, 2015

Random thoughts during a heat wave from a diabetic on legal drugs

This is a long intro … the diabetes stuff comes in a afterwards …. I normally post at ... but wanted to take a break from that ... and post here for a change of pace (and bigger screen to read my words on as well ).

I’m temporarily a bachelorette; while my DH (darling husband) goes off on a last minute work trip that cut our holiday’s abit short where finally we were getting things unpacked from our move back at the end of June.   I had him take Sock Monkey (SM) with him … so at least SM can enjoy the various “ports of call” that the Challenger 650 is taking them to across the pond.  You can check out the whereabouts of SM at my Flickr account!

Sock Monkey hanging out on the wing of the Challenger 650 he's travelling in
 While I am missing my DH, especially while coping with my little black cat Mia, who underwent a large cyst from her tummy (who I just discovered now is pulling on one her 20 stitches … she made a strange cry … and I leaped out of my chair to see what she was up to).  She now will be forced to wear her Elizabeth collar for the remaining 10 days … sorry kitty kat … but I didn’t fork out almost $800 to bring save you from using 1 of your 9 lives.   Between giving her meds, and like just now, watching/listening to her (I’m a wanna be Cat Whisperer did you know that?) – things are pretty busy.  I am now realising that handling both diabetes and motherhood and everything else that entails having “kids” … I’m not sure if I could have done it.  You were right Mum to tell me to “never have children” … no wonder you started going grey before your time!! I caused it.  Waaaahhhh.

Don't I look cute in my Elizabethan collar or what?
(WARNING - the above paragraph contains A LOT of fun You Tube videos besides silly dribbles of info that is coming out of my adult company starved brain.  Please watch at home in case you are at work … I don’t want you to get the boot out the door).

Now to get onto my main reason for putting my thinking cap on and getting around to a dblogging again since life will eventually settle down in new town, pussycat, etc.  

Yesterday, on a hot and humid day (we currently have a high heat warning) … I ventured out, not by bicycle/foot as I normally do, but via stinky machine … 4 wheel car.  I’m lucky that I don’t really need a car to get around, that was one of the reasons for moving here.  Everything can be walked to / cycled / skateboarded – the benefits of living in a small town.

Now you think you’d see a lot of fit people here? Right?  Sadly, not so.  It’s kind of scary coming from Montreal where I lived it wasn’t something I saw much of.

Of course, where do I go, to escape abit of the heat and humid and duties at home?  WalMart.  The place I swear I hate to frequent if I don’t really have to since they’re forcing a lot of the local businesses to close up.  Sigh.  So, in this case, no malls to walk around in that aren’t an hour’s drive away means … I have to do my “window shopping” in a big box store.

I wonder up and down isles, looking at things to pass the time (hey I need a break from the "kitties").  Talk to a woman who moved from BC to here, and her distaste of the water we have here where we both live (I was looking at the SodaStream at the time, and asked her and her sons about it … the things a question can blossom into).  The water here is highly chlorinated / fluorinated (but I’m researching that with no answers to ascertain oui/non/maybe so).

I then proceeded to look at the various foods contained behind the freezer doors.  Remember, I do not eat prepared/mass produced food too often.  It’s a novelty for me to look at the percentages of fat/carbs/salt in these foods.  I was amazed at what I saw, and thought “OMG … no wonder some folks here are the way they are … this food is EVIL).  The one thing is, food costs here are less expensive than in Montreal … so I don’t really get it.  Even worse, I am seeing so many overweight people or folks using electric scooters, etc.  Some of it is due to the aging population here or perhaps health reasons that mean they cannot walk properly, but I see young folks using them, scary stuff.
Next it was the baking isle.  I still haven’t found the time again to bake my own bread since moving, and the cost of a nice baguette is $1.00 (we go thru’ 1 a week – we aren’t big bread eaters) and is actually a lot less than in Montreal … so factoring in my time, electricity to bake the bread, it’s sadly cheaper to buy mass produced. 

I noticed a woman, probably about my age, looking at baked goods.  Like her, I was overwhelmed by the choices.  I was looking at the carb count and just about fainting.

I said to her, “There’s too much to choose from!” (my mind whirling at Red Velvet cupcakes)
Her reply, “I know, and I’m a diabetic”.
And I said, “So am I, but I can cheat, I’m on insulin!”

From there, I found out she is on insulin.  She only takes it when she has to so she doesn’t go low.  Her doctor told her to keep her blood sugar (#BGNow) levels between 10-13 mmol/l (180-234 mg/dl) and she was used to having readings in the 30’s (540).

I tried to stay calm, as I told her about my CGMS (and the cost just made her eyes go HUGE when I told her along with my 5.1 / 92 #BGNow reading … too low for her) and also showed her Ziggy my insulin pump.  She had never heard/seen these devices.  I started to think a) how long has she been diagnosed; b) who the heck is her flipping doctor; c) I wish I could take everyone I meet into my home and help them. Sigh.

It’s really tough for many of us, when we come across folks like this.  And where this really hits me today, was reading David Edelman’s latest dblog promoting the book “Thriving With Diabetes” that he’s co-written with Dr. Paul Rosman .  If I could hand out this book to everyone I see that needs to take action with their diabetes health … I would (in my dream world I’d be a philanthropist and a CDE and a ….).  

So?  My next book I'm putting into my reference library here at home?  Need I say more!!!


  1. Anna, you make me cringe and my flesh creeps when you talk about people like the woman you met. I just can't believe that people like that are walking around, still oblivious to the consequences of her actions keeping her BG levels at such high levels. Goodness knows who her doctor is, but he or she,certainly doesn't have much of an idea of helping a person with diabetes. Mind you, some of the blame has to lie with the patient themselves. Surely they read up on all the diabetes information they can, and get a 'fair' view of what happens. I have to say that I spent the first three or four years in ignorance. My education consisted of pamphlets put out by the diabetes association showing meal 'exchanges'. No one ever told me what a reasonable sugar level was, and there was nowhere to find info like there is today with the internet, diabetes websites and forums. All the books I read then, were out of date, with the same ideas of 'no sugar' in any kind of foods, but never mind the carbs.....anyway, you know all the rubbish you can pick up about diabetes, and filtering out all the good stuff takes a lot of reading. I hope this woman finds someone who will help her, maybe her doctor will leave and be replaced? ...there is always hope.
    cheers, Joan.

  2. Oh I would have had such a hard time keeping my mouth shut! What the hell is her MD thinking? She's apparently lacking very basic accurate guidance on what her bg levels should be, how to adjust her insulin dosing and why and how to count carbs. I wonder how often she tests herself and what she does with the results. There are people too paralyzed with fear to attempt to educate themselves. She must be one of them.

  3. Sadly we tend to guage out health by how we feel. Most of us can tolerate a headache and a bit of pain.The fact that you cannot really feel high/low blood sugars or don't know what the symptoms are puts most people at risk for more complications. The health system we have in Canada is a patchwork of federal/provincial money misspent on bureaucracy with politicians and big pharma in the mix.So it boils down to those who want to take care of themselves usually push back at the system and get the attention required. The others who do not fall through the cracks and end up at the hospital/clinic wondering why their health has deteriorated so much.

  4. An update on the blog above .... since posting this ... my little hypo aware black cat Mia .... has gone over the Rainbow Bridge ... it's been very hard ... I miss her ... and am trying my best to cope with everything else going on in my life right now. Ducking fiabetes and the other crappola that comes with being a human on this big blue marble ... where's my straight jacket??


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