The Naked Shower…

Modern advancements in Diabetes therapy have made life significantly easier in most areas and have made it so that someone suffering from Type-1 Diabetes can take greater control of their overall health and ensure a better life span than they would, otherwise. When I think back to my beginnings in the early 1980’s, I find it hard to believe that there used to be so many steps to take for everything and my family was STILL overlooking important details. But I digress…

As with all things in life, even when there’s some good, there’s usually still some bad. And that’s to be expected. It sometimes means that the little things in life that the average person takes for granted becomes something valued and important. Something like say, taking a shower or bathing. Most people stumble into the shower in the morning (or the evening, depending on the person) and just wash up, get out and don’t give it a second thought. For me, the process is a bit more onerous.

In 2015, I started using pump therapy, which means I have a very small, very expensive device stuffed in my pocket at all times. The pump is also tethered to my body through an infusion set injected in my abdomen. This infusion set is basically taped to my body through the use of an adhesive, which keeps it in place and prevents the infusion set from slipping out. What’s more is that I use continuous glucose monitoring, which requires a sensor that happens to be injected in my abdomen or tricep. This sensor is taped down using a special adhesive called “Patchabetes.”

Patchabetes is a fabric-based adhesive that’s flexible and adaptive to wherever I happen to place my sensor. For the most part, it stays firmly in place despite getting cold, hot or having me sweat into it during exercise. The infusion set on my abdomen uses a provided, built-in adhesive that’s a little less tough. I could use a stronger adhesive over the infusion set but given that I can in lip it for little things like showering, getting dressed or using the washroom, covering it with an overall adhesive isn’t exactly ideal.

The issue that comes in and the point of the post’s title, is that showering usually requires a touch of limited acrobatics in order to prevent the steaming hot shower water from melting the adhesive’s glue and causing my Patchabetes to peel off. This will usually lead to the sensor’s cannula popping out, as well. And since the infusion set’s adhesive is reasonably flimsy, hot water will usually make it peel, as well. So when I shower, I need to cover/avoid getting direct water on both of these sites in order to maintain them for their expected lifespan (sensor is 7 days and pump set is 3 days).

Once in a while, I get treated to the pleasure of having either my pump due for a change or it’s time to switch up my sensor. When this happens, a shower becomes a more pleasant experience since I have one less thing to worry about beyond cleaning myself. The sensor replacement is a special treat, since the fabric adhesive tends to soak up more hot water than the infusion set would. But a few days ago, I had the extreme pleasure of the holy trifecta… My pump was empty, my sensor had expired and it was time to shower.

This meant that I could set my sensor to recharge and leave my pump out, so I was able to enjoy a shower without the worry of avoiding hot water on any part of me. The result was a hot, relaxing shower where I got to actually take my time, reflect on my day and appreciate modern plumbing in all of its glory. It’s true what they say; it’s the little things in life. ☯️

Beef Isn’t JUST What’s For Dinner…

It’s a pretty typical scene… The parents work towards preparing a family dinner and everyone sits at the table. One of the children takes one look at their plate and says, “That looks yucky, I don’t wanna eat it…” I’ll give you three guesses as to what he’s pointing at but you’ll only need one. That’s right, he was referring to his vegetables. It’s a pretty common story, one that often carries one into adulthood. I mean honestly, if you put meat, potatoes and veggies on my plate and told me I could only pick two, it’s a pretty clear bet about which of the three would get left behind.

People will often go for the food choices that appeal to their taste and preference, which, on the one hand, makes quite a bit of sense. As an adult, most assume they’ve “done their time” with being told what to eat during their childhood and so, they’ll eat as they see fit during adulthood. Although that concept makes sense in theory, it only carries you as far as what tastes good on your tongue and doesn’t say much for the fact that proper nutrition requires some of the tasteless green stuff that most of us prefer not to have.

in fact, good healthy and proper nutrition requires everything that people who claim to be tying to get healthier avoid. One big one is carbohydrates. On the one side, I try and keep my carbs as low as possible since the more carbs I eat, the more insulin I have to take. Increased carbohydrates can also lead to weight gain, which is a significant pain in the ass to a Type-1 Diabetic in his 40’s who may be trying to slim down the inflated dad-bod. But I the sad reality is that carbs represent a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario, where you need carbs for energy to work out but only the calorie deficit that cutting carbs can bring will lead to weight loss.

For the most part, if I’m eating something and I anticipate working out, I’ll reduce or omit vegetables and carbohydrates since they also act as fillers. Nothing worse than trying to work out and put your all into something when your gut is full and you’re struggling to breathe for two reasons. Although most fitness gurus will agree that the only way to lose weight properly is to burn more calories than you take in, there has to be a balance. You need energy to exercise but you need to reduce the amount of food that gives you said energy in order for that exercise to slim you down.

So, what if you just fight through it? What if you decide you’re an absolute champ and can reduce your carb and calorie intake and just hammer through the effort? There are a number of symptoms and effects that you’ll likely feel as a result, and none of them are pleasant. I found a lovely little article posted by HealthLine.com that covers some of the worst ones quite nicely…

The top one is that you’ll be low on energy. If your take in less than the minimum calories you need in a day, your resting metabolic rate will lower and you’ll constantly feel tired because your body can’t support everything. This can sap your motivation and lead to skipping exercise because you just don’t have the energy? Sound familiar? I may or may not have written a post recently about that very thing. Self-recognizing certain health issues can go a long, long way. But I digress…

Being constantly hungry is another issue. And it plays into the old scenario where you go on a diet and try to lose weight, only to crash and binge-eat on a cheat day because your body is craving the calories you’re missing. It’ll also affect the quality of your sleep. So even if you sleep for eight hours because you’re exhausted from the low energy, that sleep won’t rejuvenate you and will likely be poor, especially if you feel hungry while trying to fall asleep.

There’s a host of other potential symptoms, including irritability, anxiety and constipation. You can click on the HealthLine link above to read further details on all of the symptoms they’ve listed. The reality is that while trying to decide how best to reduce your waistline, you need to be cautious and not reduce your calorie intake so far as to affect the very results you’re trying to achieve. I prefer to keep my meals low-carb, if not only because of the insulin requirement but for the weight loss effort. However, some of the symptoms I’ve described above have been what I’ve been feeling over recent months, which makes me raise an eyebrow. ☯️

A Little Light Before The Dawn…

I’ve always found that old expression, “It’s always darkest before the dawn,” to be wildly inaccurate. I know it’s meant to be metaphorical, but from a literal standpoint, it’s completely wrong. but before I go off on a tangent, today’s post is about more than inaccurate sayings. The winter months bring about a score of issues that the everyday person needs to deal with. Considering the snow, cold, needing to shovel, road and weather hazards and the fact that almost everyone else seems to turn into the world’s worst drivers on account of road conditions (I’m a little bit biased), it kind of seems as though the winter months make it safer and more worthwhile to just stay home and hidden under some warm blankies…

The winter months can be harsh on a person. Since it stays dark for so much longer during the day, it can feel as though one lives in perpetual darkness, especially if your work keeps you indoors all day. Most days, I wake up and it’s still dark outside. I make my way to work in the dark and by the time I typically leave the office for home, it’s either getting dark or full-on dark. This can play havoc on a person’s energy levels and motivation. Contrary to what many of my colleagues would say, a person needs a certain level of daylight in their lives. Not only is this important in order to balance out one’s circadian rhythm but for vitamin D and shit.

The lack of motivation that the winter months bring can affect one’s motivation to do some of the little things through the course of your day, such as working out, spending time with family and ensuring proper nutrition. In fact, most days during the winter, all I want to do is flop down on the couch and binge-watch television for an hour or two before crashing for 12 hours or more. As nice as that sounds, I usually leave the house and get to work around 7 o’clock in the morning and leave work at 4:30 to 5 o’clock, making for a 10-hour day. If I followed that up with 12 hours of sleep, that would only leave about 2 hours of free time per day, which kind of sucks.

It can be pretty easy to allow the rigours of the day and darker, greyer winter weather get you down and keep you from doing what needs to be done to ensure proper nutrition and health. It takes a bit of a push in order to ensure you don’t get kicked in the balls by the winter blahs. And they can sneak up on you without notice. Eat well, exercise regularly and check your blood sugars often. Eventually, the snow will melt, the weather will warm up and weekend coffees on the back deck can become the norm again. ☯️

Whoopsie…

Well, there you have it folks… After 1,036 straight days of posting, I neglected to submit a post to go live, yesterday. I guess it was bound to happen eventually. After I hit my 1,000-post goal, I was left wondering what my next goal would be with this blog. Theoretically, with the height of the pandemic come and gone and the fact I’m back to work full time, there would be few practical reasons for me to keep hammering to write something EVERY day. In fact, achieving my 1,000 was reasonably anti-climatic, with only one or two acquaintances acknowledging the milestone, even through my blog. But I digress.

I’d like to say that this oversight (if it can be called that) was the result of something external that simply prevented me from writing, but such is not the case. In fact, I had ample opportunity to sit at the keyboard and get something on paper (or rather, on screen), I simply chose not to. Oddly enough, when Thursday evening hit, I felt a strange wave of something come over me. It wasn’t quite nausea, not quite dizziness, tinged with an unfortunate feeling of sleepiness. Not tired or fatigued, like after a long day’s work but actually sleepy.

Given that this can easily happen and having a night where one is sleepy isn’t unheard of, I made certain my blood sugars were level and crashed with no second thought given to how I was feeling. It wasn’t until I noticed the following day that this strange feeling had not only remained but appeared to be worsening. I told my wife about it and we discussed some potential reasons behind the feeling. Given that I recently discovered blood pressure issues, I checked that often but it was normal.

Friday nights are usually my night with Nathan, where we watch videos, play games and eat junk food in the basement. Although we still did this, I wound up crashing at about 10:30 pm, unable to stay awake any longer. I slept solidly and had no issues during the night but imagine my surprise when I woke up and checked the time to see it was past noon! I haven’t slept in that late since I was in my early 30’s. I struggled to get out of bed and quickly realized that my bed was in a fog and I could have easily slipped back insert he covers and fallen back asleep. I started to get concerned…

I made my way upstairs and spoke to my wife about it. I still went about my Saturday and ran errands, went out, even purchased a new television for the living room. All the while, I still felt foggy and couldn’t quite put a finger on what was causing the issue. Saturday night was almost as bad as Friday, with my wife unceremoniously putting me to bed when our toddler went down. I woke up around 10:00 am on Sunday morning and we did some running around as a family, followed by a much-needed 2-hour nap in the afternoon.

I basically spent the majority of my weekend sleeping, which really irks me as I usually have workouts and family plans and things I want to get done. Now, as I try and get at my Monday with the workweek starting anew, I still feel the thin veil of this sleepiness but it appears to be passing. Although paying close attention to all things required (blood sugars, blood pressure, hydration, etc) I still have no idea what may have had me so tired and in a funk. Maybe it’s just mood-based. Light knows I’m a moody bastard! Getting medical attention is no longer a promising prospect, given the state of most hospital emergency rooms, so keeping myself healthy has never been more important. ☯️

Unexpected Bumps In The Road…

I’m certainly no stranger to the complications and difficulties that accompany living with type-1 Diabetes. I was diagnosed at the age of four, meaning that I’ve had to live with this condition for over four decades at this point. I’ve learned a lot in those years, going from an ignorant kid who simply thought all he had to do was “not eat sugar” and take a daily shot and I was golden. Multiple complications and coma episodes later, my knowledge and understanding has expanded a bit, to say the least.

These days, I have the benefit of a broader knowledge base, including but not limited to carb-counting, proper bolusing, ratios and exercise. Weight management and frequent blood sugar monitoring are also key, and I have the benefit of significant technology that wasn’t readily available to me in 1982 when I was diagnosed. All of this has made my life significantly easier than what it could be, if these aspects didn’t exist.

As a result, I’ve managed to avoid some of the nastier side effects of Diabetes, such as blindness, amputation and/or major organ failure. This is something that I work hard at avoiding, with only mild issues with my eyes requiring the lovely injections I receive every eight weeks. So for the most part, I’m GENERALLY used to things going my way, with some exceptions that often can’t be avoided but are usually explainable. Except when they’re not.

I’m sure every T1D has been there; your work day is winding to a close, you plan on hitting a solid workout right when you get home and are even listening to some high-octane, motivational music on your way home to get your in the right frame of mind for fitness. You make a brief stop on the way home to grab a couple of things and suddenly, BAM! Your pump vibrates… This happened to me on Wednesday when I was headed home. From there, my evening would certainly NOT go according to plan…

I was walking down the aisle at a local pharmacy, grabbing lip balm for my son, when my pump vibrate that I had dropped below normal blood sugar levels. Although this was a bit of a concern, I figured it would correct itself once I got home and grabbed a bit of fast-acting carbohydrates. I got home and did so, still intent on working out once I had brought my levels up a bit. Unfortunately, life rarely cares about one’s plan and although what I consumed usually kicks in within ten to fifteen minutes, I continued to drop.

At its lowest, my blood sugar levels reached about 2.4 mmol/L. Anyone who recognizes and is aware of blood sugar levels know that I was riding a dangerous line towards slipping into medical distress. In a bit of a panic, I started consuming everything I could get my hands on; jellybeans, gummies and half a full sleeve of candy cane Oreos that my wife had purchased. I hammered hard at the food and ate like a man possessed. Usually I’m all for eating a bit and letting things catch up, but given how low I was dropping, I was concerned the drop would overrun my ability to treat for it.

After about twenty minutes, I checked my blood sugars and saw a 4.1 mmol/L reading, so I was confident my levels were finally coming up. I went to the bedroom to lie down while things levelled out, which I’m grateful for my wife, who understood what was happening and didn’t question why I was heading to bed at 5 o’clock in the evening. Shortly thereafter, I fell asleep and actually napped until about 6:30 p.m. where I woke up groggy and feeling as though I had been hit by a bus. My blood sugars had levelled off at about 11.0 mmol/L.

Probably one of the biggest issues that folks living without Diabetes don’t understand, is how realistically hard on the body it is to have blood sugars go from one extreme to the other like that. The effect includes extreme exhaustion, hence the nap. But finding the get-up-and-go after an episode like that is nearly impossible. And the worst part is that there was absolutely no rhyme or reason behind why it happened.

I could understand if I had missed a meal or had already worked out, that I could expect a low. But this came completely out of left field. And such is the way of it, sometimes. Diabetes is a difficult condition to navigate. All the more reason, as my lovely wife has reminded me, to keep snacks and fast-acting carbs in the family vehicle for just such occasions. ☯️

Unfamiliar Sweat…

As part of my recent decision to try and better myself all around, fitness plays an integral role in maintaining a healthy body and regulating blood sugars. For most people, this can mean joining a local gym or fitness group or working out from home. For me, the latter is preferable because I can do what I want when I want and I don’t have to follow others or wait on people using machines that I might want. Not everybody feels this way though and it would be inaccurate to say that there aren’t some benefits to using an outside gym. yesterday, when i got to my hotel in Saskatoon, I had a bit of free time as the roads were better than I anticipated and I had two choices; kick back and relax before heading to the hospital or hit the hotel’s gym… Guess which one I chose?

Normally, I arrive in Saskatoon, check into my room, unpack my necessities so that I’m not groping around for them when I get back and have lost most of my vision and then make my way to the hospital for what is almost always a delayed process where they’re running late. On this visit, I actually had a couple of hours to spare before my scheduled appointment. I changed into gym wear and made my way down to the hotel’s gym. A reasonable space, I could see it becoming somewhat cramped if there were more than one or two people in it. But, the space had everything one needs for exercise, including free weights, a couple of cable machines and at least one of every type of cardio machine (elliptical, treadmill and stationary bike).

I put in a solid thirty minutes of resistance training followed by about fifteen minutes of fast-paced elliptical to cap off my workout. It was good times, despite the fact that I forgot my Bluetooth headphones or earbuds at home and had no way of listening to music while I worked out. Talk about first-world problems, right? But I got a solid workout in and worked up a wicked sweat, which was nice. It felt good knowing that I had done the workout and wouldn’t squander the extra time. Typically, I don’t get much done prior to my appointment and once I get the eye injections, I sleep it off for a couple of hours followed by some time in the pub, having dinner and a couple of pints to fight off the pain. This was a nice change.

Reasonably, one can hammer out a workout just about anywhere. With only a six-by-six foot floor space, I have a wicked marine workout that uses body weight only and will absolutely kick your ass. By that logic, it could be easily done in the hotel room. But sometimes it can be fun and keeps things fresh, using machines and resources you don’t typically have access to. Every little workout counts and helps contribute to better health, better weight management and better overall blood sugar control. It can be SO easy, finding an excuse not to work out. And the body usually prefers being at rest because it’s designed to reserve energy. But if you can find it within yourself to push a little and hammer through, not only do you get to tell your body I told you so, but it’ll thank you in the long run. Food for thought. ☯️

Sometimes, It’s Worth A Listen…

It’s been a little over 20 years since I tasted my first energy drink. I was the manager of the retail side of a local pharmacy back home and Red Bull had just started to hit serious popularity in Canada. This was before Monster, Rockstar and 5-hour energy started seriously hitting the market, although they wouldn’t be far behind. On its face, there isn’t much inherently wrong with consuming an energy drink. The average 473 mL can usually contains about 100 to 140 milligrams of caffeine, realistically making it no worse than two medium cups of coffee from your favourite coffee chain. And I know people who consume far more than that.

The idea behind something like energy drinks is moderation. The average, healthy adult can safely consume about 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day, meaning between four to five average cups of coffee. Like anything else in life, the words “average” and “safely” get thrown around because it depends on the specific person, their physiology, age, weight, pre-existing health conditions and so on. It’s a little like alcohol; I know people who will start to feel tipsy after one drink. Others may not feel anything after several drinks on an empty stomach.

So why am I bringing this up? Well, ever since that first pull of sugar-free Red Bull, I’ve been in favour of energy drinks on a daily basis. I don’t go overboard and suck back several cans a day but I have made a point that my day starts with one. I usually prefer the flavour and the fact it’s cold over the taste of coffee and waiting for coffee to cool down. It’s allowed me to start getting caffeine into my system right away and without burning my tongue. plus, I’ve usually managed to rationalize that buying a full flat of drinks from my local bulk store comes out cheaper than buying a medium coffee at a drive thru on my way to work, so it’s more financially economical, as well.

But recently I start taking some health supplements that I’ve been hoping would help with fitness, weight loss and make me feel a bit more energized overall. The big problem with caffeine is that it actually tricks your brain into thinking you’re less tired; it doesn’t actually help with the fatigue itself. So, these energy drinks often contain massive amounts of B-vitamins and minerals that, while useful to the body, can often constitute five times the daily recommended amount. Not something I want to necessarily keep mixing with an untried fitness supplement, as they can often include some of these things. So reluctantly, I stopped having energy drinks almost two weeks ago. And here is the story of the carnage that ensued…

In all seriousness, I feel like shit. The sudden loss of all those B-vitamins and all the other “energy-providing” additives have had me floating through my day like a well-dressed zombie. I’ve experienced headaches and body aches, irritability and difficulty in keeping my eyes clear. A wise man probably would have tapered off over time rather than quit cold turkey but I’ve never been one for trying anything only half way. With that logic in mind, I consumed the last can I had in the house and then stopped. Many of the symptoms I’m describing here have now started to pass and are no longer a constant, although most mornings I wake up jonesing for a can instead of the cup of black steam that everyone else seems to partake of.

But, since I believe in balance, I need to point out the positive aspects, as well. I had a colleague who often used to tell me that I always seemed different, mood-wise, when I drank energy drinks. The big issue with this is that one usually won’t recognize their own change in mood. So I can’t say that I ever genuinely noticed. But one thing I have noticed is that I get to sleep easier and my rest appears to be deeper than it usually is. Maybe that’s just a coincidence since I never made a habit of consuming energy drinks beyond mid-afternoon anyway, but it’s definitely been noticeable. Prior to this, I’d usually be up three to four times a night at minimum and that wouldn’t include blood sugar issues or simple need of a bathroom. So it’s been kind of nice getting full nights sleep.

So maybe all of this is simply coincidence. Or maybe this is just something that my new health supplement is helping with, overall. Either way, once I got through the initial issues with cutting out energy drinks, and I’ve been avoiding using the word “withdrawal” but it is what it is, there have been some noticeable changes. And maybe for the better. Perhaps it would have been worth the listen, when my colleague told me I was better off without energy drinks. And maybe I am. Does it mean I’ll never have another can again? Probably not. But it makes for some interesting conversations. ☯️

Croaking In A Winter Wonderland…

Wow, I can’t remember the last time I posted something this late in the day. Probably not since my first year of blogging. Sometimes, it gets a little difficult to figure out topics to write about and as my wife occasionally reminds me, I don’t HAVE to post something every day. Most bloggers don’t, in fact. But for me, it’s kind of a “me against me” kind of thing, you know? Anyway, some of my posts have been pretty self-pitying lately so I thought I’d switch gears and move on to something that’s actually productive. And since it’s cold as all fucking hell in Saskatchewan right now, I can’t think of any better subject than, well… the cold!

The cold weather of winter can have some pretty negative effects on the human body. At its least, the body will fight harder to keep your core temperature warm when exposed to cold temperatures. This will cause to body to burn through its energy reserves, leading to the body getting colder, which can lead to difficulty focusing and thinking clearly in extreme weather. Eventual issues can include the aggravation of existing pulmonary issues, such as asthma. The human body is a wonderful machine that works hard to try and keep you warm in colder weather but there’s no denying that the modern homo sapien isn’t biologically designed for extreme colds, which makes me wonder why we live in Saskatchewan. But I digress…

Despite any other health conditions or the risk of hypothermia and frostbite, dealing with Type-1 Diabetes in cold weather can be a challenge, as well. Considering extreme cold aggravates most pre-existing conditions, Diabetes is no exception. Although every person is different, being out in the cold weather usually tends to cause my blood sugars to drop. This is likely a result of my body working so hard to maintain its temperature. In fact, half an hour of being outside in the Prairie winter clearing a bit of snow from the walkway will usually cause a bigger drop in blood sugars than a full hour of weightlifting or cardio.

This is why it’s so important to keep a solid eye on one’s blood sugars when venturing out in the arctic wonderland. Being on a continuous glucose monitor helps, since it allows me to venture out and have a continuous view of how my blood sugars are reacting. It’s not so bad when I’m at home, since I have immediate access to snacks and fast-acting carbohydrates in the event I drop. Things get a bit tougher if I happen to venture out to go sledding or running. Although I have to confess that running in the snowy weather is not my cup of tea. Another important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. People forget that dehydration can happen almost as easily in the cold as it does in the heat.

Last point I’ll bring up is to be mindful when shovelling snow. I’ve attended a lot of incidents during my policing career of people who suffered cardiac arrest while shovelling. The forcing of the muscles and pressure it places on the chest, mixed with the effects of the cold can make shovelling extremely dangerous under the right circumstances. Take frequent breaks, lift with the legs not your back and if you feel faint or dizzy, be sure to stop and take breaks. The snow ain’t goin’ anywhere. Unfortunately… ☯️

Thermogenic Supplements

I’m a big fan of supplementation. Start a conversation about vitamins and shit in any group and I can promise that it will be divided conversation, almost ALWAYS equally divided. For some, they believe there’s no point to supplementation as it just ends up being something you swallow to crap out the other end with no measurable results. The big problem is that one needs to take supplements for a significant period of time before any measurable results can/would be seen. Plus, since all people are different, supplements may not work as well for one as they would work for another. The other half are the ones that at least take a daily multivitamin or supplement in order to help themselves along in whatever they’re trying to accomplish.

For example, you can take supplements for low iron, lack of B-vitamins or if you spend all your time indoors and never get the opportunity to spend time outside, supplementing your Vitamin D can be a good idea. Actually, I wrote a really good post about certain vitamins, minerals and supplements that explain what individual supplements do and how they benefit one’s body. I’ve reposted it several times and for your convenience, you can read that post here. Despite promising myself that I wouldn’t conform to societal norms and make a New Year’s resolution, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have plans to increase my fitness in the coming year and a part of that is a new form of supplementation.

I recently did some research on some called “thermogenics.” Simply put, thermogenic supplements are intended to increase the body’s core temp, specifically in the fatty tissues, which is supposed to cause the body’s metabolism to burn fat through this increased body temperature. Since I’m not a scientist or medical practitioner, I’m sure there’s more to it than that. But it’s an interesting concept and one can’t deny that something that aids in fat burning sounds far more plausible than a supplement that’s supposed to just make you lose weight. After all, one’s fitness must always include one’s own efforts as well.

According to an article posted by HealthLine.com, “the word “thermogenic” literally means heat-producing.” The article covers different types of supplements that have a thermogenic effect on the body but outlines how the effectiveness of this is hotly debated and there’s no significant evidence that it holds any significant effectiveness. One thermogenic supplement they mention is caffeine, which is ironic. If caffeine was effective as a thermogenic supplement, I’d be a skinny bitch by now, considering how much caffeine I suck down in the course of a day. Of course , all of that will need to change since I have decided to find out for myself and have started taking a thermogenic supplement prior to working out.

It’s only been a few days, of course. But if it works, great. If it doesn’t, no harm, no foul. Seeing the effects of any supplement takes a significant amount of time, usually a few months at least. In the meantime, the same rules of life continue to apply. Stay hydrated, monitor blood sugars and check one’s blood pressure regularly. If I begin to notice anything out of the ordinary, I can drop the whole thing without issue. I’ll keep everyone posted, if and when I see any results. ☯️

Have Yourself A Carb-Filled Little Christmas…

One of the biggest problems one can face over the holiday season is properly calculating one’s carbohydrate intake. And this stands to reason, considering one tends to consume homemade meals and baked goods, alcohol and desserts. This can make it a bit more of a guessing game when it comes to determining how much insulin to take and trying to avoid the unfortunate ups and downs that can accompany a miscalculation. And once you’re on that unfortunate roller coaster, it can take quite a while before you can get off…

When you buy something at the store, you get the benefit of the nutrition label on the back of the packaging that tells you how many grams of carbs that are “expected” to be in a piece of whatever you’re eating. I say “expected” and put it in quotations because it’s always a bit of a crapshoot, even when they list it. For example, I have a very nice frozen pastry I buy that’s spinach and feta-filled. But if I bolus for the amount of carbs it says for the amount I eat, I bottom out faster than you can say hypoglycaemia. With homemade foods like stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies and desserts, the guessing game can quickly become a game of Diabetic Russian roulette.

The difference between the holidays and the average meal is that the average meal is, well… one meal. once it’s said and done, even if you fucked with your blood sugar levels a bit, you get to adjust and correct and you’re likely fine over the short term. During the holidays, we’re usually talking several meals over a few days, mixed with alcohol and sugary products that one might not partake of during an “average” meal. So if you don’t bolus enough or have carbs in your system that act faster than your insulin, you may be compelled to correct sooner than you should to bring yourself back to normal, which is followed by the insulin you ACTUALLY bolused for the meal kicking in and causing you to bottom out.

Perhaps you wolf down more jelly beans than you should, because it’s 2 o’clock in the morning and you just want to go back to sleep, which causes you to slingshot too high again. Wash, rinse and repeat… I’m speaking from experience here, folks. Recent experience, in fact. I spent a good portion of the Christmas holiday playing yo-yo with my blood sugars and the result was a level of exhaustion that made it so that it was anything but a holiday for me. of course, I could have stemmed a lot of that by avoiding the beer and homemade desserts I consumed. But what’s the point of modern medicine and wearing an insulin pump if I can’t eat at least SOMEWHAT like a normal person once in a while?

The important thing to remember is to keep yourself hydrated, both because of the potential alcohol and all the food and blood sugar fluctuations. Don’t be afraid to check your blood sugars often but also be mindful that some foods will require some time to catch up and your insulin may require some time, as well. Your endocrinologist can discuss these aspects with you to prevent your repeat visits on the blood sugar roller coaster. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and you should be able to enjoy them along with anyone else in the family. It may require a few added steps on your part but doing so will ensure that you don’t find yourself in a compromised position during your celebrations. Enjoy! ☯️