Let Time Be The Judge…

If you walked into a karate dojo today, it would be pretty fair to say that you wouldn’t be proficient the following week. If you joined ballet or dance today, you wouldn’t be able to stand on point or start competing the following week, either. Important things take time and this is especially important as it relates to one’s health.

People these days are all about the right here, right now. Immediate gratification is often the expectation, and we live in a society where everyone is plugged in and always looking for something that will help them melt fat, slim down or build muscle. But like endeavour, the results won’t appear quickly. And even when do appear, it’s important to keep at it.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting home after a long day and flopping down on the couch with a cold drink and binge-watching something on television. It’s easy, right? Humans as a whole will usually prefer to take the path of least resistance, much like the course of a river. But health and fitness REQUIRES that you step off the path of least resistance and persevere on the harsher path.

Recently, I started to dislike the way I looked. This can be attributed to a number of things, including indulging in a less-than-favourable diet, consuming beer and alcohol and allowing my fitness trends to slide off the rails, where I would go full weeks without working out. It’s okay to take the occasional break, but not when it’s to the detriment of your overall health and fitness. And not least of all, is the constant adjustment to my system from exercising consistently to being more sedentary and vice versa…. It plays hell on the blood sugars!

My point is, I took a few very simple steps to start doing something to slim down a bit. I don’t think I need to explain that as I get older, weight becomes harder to shed and Diabetes control becomes more important. But all I’ve done is chit back on my carbohydrate intake and alcohol consumption, increase my intake of fluids and have started working a few small fitness challenges. It’s taken a while, but I’ve managed to shed almost ten pounds over the past couple of months, the results of which I’m starting to see (in small doses).

A pair of pants I purchased four months ago that fit decently are now loose enough that the waist band folds over when I cinch my belt. A golf shirt that six months ago pretty much drew the eye directly to my gut now fits comfortably and I’m wearing it right now, as I type. It’s small difference that come from persevering and not giving up. There will always be days when the couch is calling, but if you push through and get that workout in to maintain your consistency, you’ll eventually start to see the difference. Slow and steady wins the race on this one…☯️

Shared Responsibility…

I found something while cruising through Facebook, something I do very rarely nowadays as it seems to have become a forum for people to argue about their respective opinions. But one of my long-time friends posted an image that I know has been circulating, and it felt important enough to warrant my sharing it here. Here it is…

It’s a pretty short read, only a few paragraphs, but it illustrates an important point. The past year and a half has created a rift in society. Not that there hasn’t always been rifts, but this is something special because it’s world-wide. I’ve seen people first-hand, who have refused to wear masks when REQUIRED, not requested but required by law to do so. The constant debate from anti-vaxxers is becoming real old, especially when paired with the fact that a certain level of the overall population needs to be vaccinated in order to stem the spread of the virus.

And yes, we can debate the issue of whether it prevents you from catching the virus and how it works in relation to the variants and all that good stuff until we’re blue in the face. But ultimately, it doesn’t change the fact that as responsible, civilized people, we have a duty to not only ensure our own safety and well-being, but doing what we can to ensure the safety and well-being of others, as well. This reminds me of this other image I found, posted by one of my other friends on Facebook…

I’m ashamed to admit that my personal view has led me to unfollow people online that I’ve been friends with for a decade or more. Sometimes, the negativity, conspiracy theories and arguments simply get to be too much. And obviously, the choice to get vaccinated and wear protective equipment, masks or otherwise, is a personal choice. But when the the choice of whether you do or don’t affects the people and world around you, can you ever, truly say that it’s ONLY personal? And can you live with the choice if you know you’re affecting the rest of the world? I don’t have an answer; I’m just one voice among billions. But it’s definitely food for thought…☯️

Let The Energy Flow Through You…

There’s no denying that keeping your energy levels up throughout the day can be challenging. Diabetes makes that challenge even greater, since uncontrolled blood sugars and Diabetes complications can lead to sleepiness, grogginess and apathy. But Diabetes aside, there are a number of things that one can do to boost and improve their energy levels throughout the day. And just to be clear… I don’t mean “energy” as it relates to what makes you a person and keeps you alive. I mean one’s ability to keep on trucking when the afternoon slump gets to you.

In order to gather an appropriate list, i consulted articles from two of my favourite websites: HealthLine.com and WebMD. After consulting these articles, I picked out my top five as it relates to what’s easiest and manageable in what I consider to be a typical day-to-day existence. These are subjective of course, so take these with grain of salt. Alright, here we go…

  1. Drink More Water And Cut Out Booze: Considering I’m a guy who likes his wine… In fact, I enjoy my “adult beverages” a fair bit after a long day at the office and after my workouts. But the reality is that hydration plays a key role in keeping one’s energy levels up. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. In fact, drinking cold water has shown some promise in helping with weight loss, since the body has to work to warm itself if you drink cold water;
  2. Sleep More Or Improve The Sleep You Do Get: If you’re anything like me, your 8 hours of sleep can often leave you feeling drained and that fuckin’ alarm seems to go off right about the time I manage to fall into a deep sleep. Some common practices include avoiding screens and doing something relaxing as part of a good pre-bed routine. And don’t be afraid to take a nap. Naps are underrated. Just remember not to let it linger too long, as it can interfere with your actual sleep patterns;
  3. Eat Healthy: This one is pretty subjective, since every person is different in terms of how their body responds and functions based on diet. I’m not a big believer in fad diets. They work for some and not for others; same as any other diet. The problem is that you only typically hear about the positive outcomes. The bottom line is if you include plenty of vegetables, of different varieties and lean proteins, you’re good to go. Keep your total carbs down (not eliminated, just reduced) and you’re off to the races. Ever feel exhausted after having a plate of pasta? Those carbohydrates are absolutely horrible…
  4. Exercise More: If you’re exhausted, get up and do something. It probably seems counterintuitive, but doing something physical will increase blood circulation, which will absolutely pull you out of your funk. Exercise will also help with your blood sugar levels and overall well-being. As I’ve written about on previous occasions, living things move. Movement brings energy. Energy promotes life. Wash, rinse and repeat. You can’t live without movement. Sedentary people who sit on the couch all day with always seem lethargic, and for different reasons. Anything is something more than nothing. Start by stepping away from your desk and taking a ten-minute walk. Have a routine where you work out for 20 to 30 minutes of intensive exercise, every day; and
  5. Calm The Hell Down: This one should be pretty obvious, but reducing or eliminating stress will go a long way towards helping you boost your energy levels. Experiencing constant stress will usually sap your energy and leave you feeling drained at the end of the day. This is where the other side of my life kicks in… meditation, exercise and martial arts can go a long way. But whatever works for you in reducing your stress is gravy! Work out on a punching bag. Cross-stitch. Whatever.

All of this goes hand-in-hand with monitoring and maintaining good blood sugar levels. Even if my intention was to provide a list outside of the Diabetic realm, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that high blood sugars will usually leave you feeling exhausted and sleepy. And suffering a low will have you craving a nap once you correct it. Especially if you over correct. But whether you have Diabetes or not, the above list is guaranteed to help you maintain or boost your energy levels and help you get through the day without needing that second cup of coffee. or in my case, the fifth or sixth… ☯

I Regret Nothing…

Oh, yes. I regret nothing. I’ve written several posts on this topic because I feel that it’s important. And it keeps coming up in some way, shape or form. The most prominent question I get asked is if I ever wish I hadn’t been diagnosed with Diabetes. Really? One would think that asking me if I would have preferred to grow up without a dangerous and difficult to manage auto-immune condition would be redundant. But the question has been posed more times than I can remember. Sometimes, I think people lack content to discuss and ask questions just for the sake of asking them. But I digress…

It’s okay to wish for something. Do I wish I never developed Type-1 Diabetes? Of course. Do I wish my brother hadn’t passed away at the age of 18? Obviously. Would I have preferred not to go through the personal and professional difficulties I’ve dealt with in the past three years? Oh, you damn right! But as I’ve often said before, it’s important not to live a life of regret. One can easily spend all of one’s time looking towards the past and regretting some of the choices and situations that have happened to them. The problem one faces when doing this, is that they fail to live in the now; and there’s a lot of life you can miss when you’re busy dwelling on the past.

Another important aspect to bear in mind, is that every situation one has been through, good or bad, has ultimately contributed to the person one has become. And there’s really no negative aspect to this. If you believe in who you’ve become and trust that you’re a good person, then those events that you may otherwise regret have likely helped forge you into the strong, capable person you are. If you’ve become a bad person, there’s always the ability to make a change, going forward (unless you’re totally fuckin’ evil and don’t care. I know a few people like that).

“ I Am The Master Of My Fate, I Am The Captain Of My Soul”

– William Ernest Henley, Invictus

I’ve been an admirer of William Ernest Henley’s poem, “Invictus” for years…. Poetry is always open to the reader’s interpretation (unless you have a pretentious art teacher who feels she needs to force her perspective on you) but I always felt that this poem demonstrates how no matter how difficult or rough life gets, one needs to persevere and push through, keeping a firm control of one’s destiny. As romantic and hopeful a thought that may be, that’s rarely the case. As I’ve often said before, life rarely cares about one’s plan.

We may be the masters of our fate, but fate deals us the hand and we’re usually stuck playing the hand we’re dealt. That may seem a bit of a negative perspective and it certainly isn’t meant to be. But it all comes down to the old saying about sometimes you just got to roll with the punches. This is often the only way to be the “master of my fate.”

Do I ever look back and wonder how life would have been for me, had I not been diagnosed with Diabetes? Absolutely. Not a week goes by where it doesn’t cross my mind. And I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up while reading about the medical researcher in Alberta who has found a promising treatment that could reverse Type-1. I’ll believe THAT when I see it, but I can’t help but feel that I may have grown up to be a significantly different person if I had never had Diabetes. After all, Diabetes forces one to develop perseverance, tenacity, an unwillingness to quit and a will (and need) to keep fighting.

I sincerely believe that those qualities would be lacking, if my life hadn’t turned out the way it has. Maybe with the ability to eat anything I chose as a child, I would have become obese. Maybe I would have developed an affinity for sports and become a jock, potentially bullying people much in the same fashion as the hated hockey players I had to deal with in high school. There’s no telling how different things might have turned out. This is why one can’t allow oneself to regret. You gotta learn from it all and keep going. ☯️

Booze Is Bad, Mm-Kay?

If none of you have ever watched South Park, you may not get the reference in the title. There’s a character called “Mr. Mackey,” and he’s big on using the line, “Drugs are bad, mm-Kay?” If you have time to Google or go on YouTube to hear how he says it, you’ll get why it’s funny. But i digress…. Today’s post is about alcohol, as it relates to Diabetes and the difficulty that can be associated with trying to enjoy an adult beverage without sending blood sugars and one’s overall system into fits.

I don’t usually endorse specific products, services or items here, besides talking about my pump and the fact that it’s manufactured by Medtronic. It’s a little hard to hide that fact and STILL talk about it, which is why I allow it. But in general, my blog isn’t a platform to advertise for others. But when it comes to my personal use and review of something, especially if it makes Diabetes easier for me.

As most Type-1 Diabetics are aware, consuming alcohol can be a difficult concept for a number fo different reasons. If you’re a beer drinker, you need to consider the amount of carbs you’re consuming and be able to bolus accordingly for them. The biggest issue is knowing how many carbohydrates are in any particular alcoholic drink. For example, the average 355mL can of beer contains between 6 to 12 grams of carbs. Interestingly enough, “non-alcoholic” beer contains anywhere between 9 to 17 grams of carbs, as well.

Wine is certainly a better option, considering some of the anti-oxidant aspects and the fact that an entire bottle of red wine is only between 10 to 14 grams of carbohydrates (not that I’m suggesting you drink an entire bottle at once, mind you). And keep in mind that pure spirits that haven’t been mixed with anything else have absolutely no carbohydrates. There are some exceptions, of course. Because why would life be simple? Here’s a chart by Diabetes.ca for some basic reference.

This brings me to the product I tried last week…. While visiting my in-laws last week, my mother-in-law introduced the above-shown product as “something new” for my father-in-law to try. He had a can, but preferred his beer. I decided to try one, since it boasts zero sugar and zero carbs (a discernment that ins’t always made). I tried a can and I have to say that considered its ingredient content, it was pretty good. It became my vacation go-to beverage for my week away.

Sitting at 5% alcohol content, this is a vodka-soda drink that’s light, refreshing and easy to drink. There were a variety of flavours that included lime, lemon, raspberry and grapefruit. I tested my blood prior to drinking the first one and was sitting comfortably in the 5’s, and was still sitting in that range after two cans and a couple of hours’ elapsing. I was tickled pink (the vodka MAY have had something to do with that) and it was nice to find something that ACTUALLY allows me to enjoy a drink without affecting my blood sugars.

The can you see above is one of a case I purchased once we got back home to Regina. Sitting at 7% as opposed to 5%, these come in three flavours: black cherry, blackberry and raspberry. they’re pretty good and the added 2% DOES make a difference. But I once again, they seem to have no measurable effect on my blood sugars, which is nice. While looking for a case of this stuff, I realized that there are a few of these drinks that fall into the same category. I’ve spent so much time getting on the “making fun” bandwagon against White Claw, I never stopped to recognize that a can of the stuff is only 1 gram of carbs!

Anyway, I wanted to offer up this brief review of this product. As anyone with Type-1 Diabetes is aware, enjoying a drink is painful at the best of times, so this is definitely a helpful aspect that allows T1D’s as much normalcy as possible. One simply needs to remember all the other fun details, such as the consumption of booze ties up your liver as it processes the alcohol, so it can cause your blood sugars to drop, carbs or not. No matter what your plans or what you’re drinking, remember to make certain to check your blood sugars regularly and have a safe plan for administering some fast-acting carbs if needed. ☯️

Pain Is All In Your Head…

No, really. That’s not just a title…. Pain really IS all in your head! That’s not just me, trying to act like a tough guy. Pain is basically the body’s way to let you know that something is wrong. Either you have a visible or unknown injury, you’ve caused damage or something has caused damage to you, or you’ve been exposed to something that causes damage to you tissues.

According to an article by Medical New Today, pain happens when a signal travels to the brain for interpretation. Once there, the brain sends back a signal telling the body to respond. I’m paraphrasing there, but you can read the article. The point is, something hurts you, a signal is sent to the brain, the brain says, “that’s not good, stop doing that” and your body respond by feeling the unpleasant sensation we know as pain.

For most pains, like touching a hot surface, our body has a reflex system that forces us to pull our hand away from the heat source. This can apply to a number of different sources of pain, but I don’t want o dive too deeply into this aspect. Like I said, you can read the article. The article describes the types of pain as acute or chronic, with the former being sharp, intense pain that goes away shortly and the latter being long-lasting in some way or another. Both types have sub-types of course, because nothing is ever simple.

According to another good article that I found on HealthLine.com, the types of pain can be described as acute, chronic, nociceptive, neuropathic and functional. The articles describe all of those types in detail, so once again, I won’t get into it, but you can read the article. The important ones to remember are nociceptive and neuropathic, especially if you have Type-1 Diabetes.

Nociceptive pain is the one that’s caused by injury. Cuts, bruises, tissue damage… that fun stuff. This can be important for someone with Diabetes because those wounds need to be treated quickly and may have difficulty healing, depending on how well your Diabetes is controlled. Since folks with Diabetes are also prone to infections, treating and caring for nociceptive injuries becomes doubly important, from a health standpoint. It’s important not to ignore these types of pain.

Neuropathic pain is particular to folks with Diabetes as well, since it’s caused by nerve damage, which can be a side effect of Diabetes. Neuropathic pain is particularly unpleasant and since it’s associated with tissue damage that the patient generally can’t test themselves, almost always requires medical intervention. Other conditions can cause it, as well. My father has a degenerative spine, which causes neuropathic pain that’s also chronic, meaning he is in a constant state of pain. To add insult to injury (no pun intended) he’s also Type-1 Diabetic.

But now that we have the science stuff out of the way, let’s discuss the types of pain that you CAN ignore… Are there any? Since pain is the body’s way of telling you there’s something wrong, should you really ignore any of them? My thought is that there are forms of pain that you can work through. For example, if you’ve had a particularly rough workout, you’ll feel “the burn,” or an aching of the muscles.

When you workout, you cause micro-damage to your muscle tissue. As this damage is healed, you can experience passive aching and bruising and that fun feeling of being unable to use those muscle groups to do little things like, oh, I don’t know… get out of bed gracefully without looking like your limb has been lopped off in a bad Monty Python sword fight. Have at thee! This type of pain is temporary and will usually pass on it’s own, but you can certainly help it along by maintaining good blood circulation to those tissues, eating an appropriate diet containing protein and fibre that help heal and build muscle tissue and even icing.

If it’s particularly bad, you can wuss out and take something over-the-counter, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. But those are bad habits you don’t want to start unless you really have to. If any pain resulting from fitness is sharp, debilitating and isn’t going away, you may need medical attention. Muscle and ligaments tears are no joke and can sometimes be mistaken for an after-workout burn to some people. Whether internal or external, an injury requires medical attention is there’s blood involved, seeping out or pooling beneath the flesh.

Other situations that would require immediate medical attention are bone protrusions, whether they break the skin or not, hanging appendages (like an eyeball popped out or something) or paralysis of a body part. Learning and recognizing the acute pain associated with things like a heart attack, or “referred” pain. This means something like sore neck and arm when experiencing a heart attack.

Hopefully, your workouts aren’t extreme to the point where you’re dealing with protruding bones and heart attacks, but knowing the difference between these types of pain can mean the difference between maintaining one’s health or facing some serious problems. Different people deal with pain in different ways, as everyone experiences pain differently. What seems like a passive after-workout ache to one person may seem debilitating to another. So, it’s important to know your limits and how you experience things.

Pain is all in your head. Literally. This doesn’t mean that certain levels of pain can’t be managed and others should be ignored. The healing of injuries can be difficult for Diabetics, so it’s important to pay close attention, clean and bandage any injuries you get and get to your health professional if they don’t heal within days. Eat well, exercise regularly and keep your blood sugars in check and healing will be all the easier. Have you ever noticed that those three things (diet, exercise and blood sugars) are repeated through most of my posts? It’s almost like they’re important, or something…. ☯️

Longer Life Or Happier Life…

There’s a particular trend that seems to take place where people usually fall under two groups: those who take their health and fitness in hand in order to be healthier and live a longer life and those who claim to only live once and they’d rather spend a short time being happy, enjoying the many indulgences of life. Although the latter would seem like the easier way to go, it doesn’t necessarily equate a happier life; especially when you’ve been “living” your happy life and time and health has caught up to you…

I’m a big fan of the occasional indulgence. Many of you may have read about my occasional meal that contains enough carbohydrates to kill a small army. Although I make an effort to control my carbohydrate intake, sometimes a person’s just gotta have their damn burger! But outside of wolfing down a patty of meat with cheese, toppings and a soft, toasted bun (great, now I’m hungry) I try to focus on lean proteins and salads in order to help control my overall weight, energy and blood sugar levels.

Having enough discipline to maintain ones health is not always an easy thing. But uncontrolled Diabetes can lead to a host of very unpleasant and debilitating conditions that will make your shorter, “happier” life more torturous than it needs to be. When you consider blindness, loss of limbs, organ failure, not least of which includes the kidneys (you may have heard that you can’t live without these) circulatory and heart issues, it rather seems as though throwing caution to the wind is an unreasonable way to live.

I used to have a friend back home… I say “used to” because I haven’t spoken with him in almost 20 years and if I’m being honest, I don’t even know if he’s alive. But I remember he used to take really bad care of himself, eating sugary goods with abandon and never testing his blood sugars. He was in his 20’s and had been diagnosed as Type-1 early in his teens. I’ve seen this trend a lot; where a diagnosis late in life can be more difficult since the person has already developed bad habits.

I was diagnosed when I was 4 years old and my household was already pretty limited diet-wise, due to my brother. So I can see where he was coming from. But I was the manager of a local pharmacy back home and we had a special on soda products (I’m sure you know where I’m referring to). He walked in and grabbed a cart. He grabbed four, 2-litre bottles of sugared cola and added them to his cart. I walked over to say hi and asked him if a family member had sent him out on an errand. He replied that no, the soda was for him.

Free choice is also an important aspect to a happy life, folks. And I hate feeling the need to ask a question of someone that borders on being intrusive. But a once-over of my friend showed him to be pale, sweating profusely and looked as though he hadn’t slept well in weeks. He had his hair cropped close enough to his scalp that I could see scar tissues from the bed sores he developed from his many Diabetic comas. Based on his current condition, I could tell he was running extremely high.

I asked him if he felt he should really be drinking that stuff, to which he replied, “It’s all good, man. Just gotta take more insulin.” Oy vey… Are you serious? I totally get that one should be able to eat what they want in relation to taking insulin. After all, that’s kind of the point. And that’s what a non-Diabetic body does. But what about miscalculations? What about consumable products that may not necessarily match up with the carb levels indicated on their nutritional labels? There’s a HUGE margin for error.

Not least of which is the aspect that all of this can be aggravated if you have a shitty or non-existent control of your blood sugars. That was the case with my friend. He had no control over his blood sugar levels and was always running high. I can’t imagine the pain he was in and the uncomfortable existence he was in. Maybe in his mind, since he was suffering anyway, his indulgences were his only little form of happiness. But it’s kind of a “chicken and the egg” scenario…

They say we only have one life to live. The problem is that no one knows for sure. That being said, a person owes it to themselves to try and take the best care of themselves and their health as possible. Not only do you deserve a long, happy life but there are ways to be happy without letting go of your fitness and eating like a trash receptacle. Enjoy the “occasional” treat and know how to bolus properly for it. Exercise consistently but don’t look at it as a chore. Do something physical that you enjoy. I LOVE cycling. And it’s excellent cardio and exercise. It doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to break the cycle of apathy.

Diabetes doesn’t discriminate. And while you may lie on your death bed claiming you got to enjoy yourself for the short period you lived, wouldn’t it make more sense to live twice as long AND be able to say you enjoyed yourself? Even controlled Diabetes will still shorten your lifespan. If you give Diabetes an open door, it’ll squeeze its way in and mess you up. And like the image above says, not only will it kill you, it will hurt the whole time you’re dying. Take care of yourselves. ☯️

Stress? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Stress…

You guys may recall that I posted a video back in May after my first doze of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. I posted the video in the hopes that it could be of assistance to other Type-1 Diabetics who were considering doing the smart thing and getting vaccinated against the virus. Now, I’m not here to debate the merits of vaccination or to argue about what any individual person’s choice may be. Based on my life and my thoughts on the matter, vaccination was a smart thing for my family and I. I have no regrets.

Without writing out the entire content of the video I posted, I’ll briefly describe what happened after my first dose. I walked into the pharmacy about ten minutes before my scheduled appointment. My blood sugars were relatively normal. Bear in mind, I wear a continuous glucose monitor. I get the injection. Less than an hour later, my blood sugar spike to above 22.0 mmol/L! A couple of important details to point out include the fact that it climbed from a normal range to that level in about an hour and that it happened SO fast that my pump didn’t even register and have time to set off the “High” alarm at 14.0 mmol/L like it’s programmed to. Still with me? Good.

I’m used to having things screw up on me on occasion, so I drank some fluids and slowly bolused and brought my blood down to a normal level before going to sleep. It wasn’t until a week later when I was at the pharmacy filling out one of a bajillion prescriptions, that the pharmacist asked me about any symptoms after receiving the vaccine. I told her I hadn’t suffered any symptoms that I knew of. My blood sugar had spiked, but nothing vaccine-related. She was shocked at the spike and asked me fill out a form for the health authority as she felt it may have been a side effect of the vaccine.

It took a few weeks for the health authority to get back to me, but their determination was that the spike in blood sugars were a result of “stress associated with getting the COVID-19 vaccine.” Wait. What? Are you fuckin’ kidding me? So, I’ve been getting near-constant injections and needles almost since the cradle, I’ve had scores of vaccines and immunizations and I used to work a job where my life was genuinely in peril on more occasions than I can count, and you think getting this particular vaccine “stressed” me out? What a joke! By that definition, why didn’t everything I listed above cause a massive and rapid spike in blood sugars? None of it ever has…

I was pretty pissed off at this response and I made it clear to the caller, who wasn’t a doctor or health professional but simply passing on the information to let me know I was good to get my second dose. I explained that I was in no way stressed about getting the vaccine and that the health authority’s assessment was inaccurate. In fact, besides being a little tired I was quite relaxed and chatting with the pharmacist while getting the vaccine. I explained that I felt that it would be foolish to write this off as something trivial, considering Saskatchewan has somewhere near 100,000 people with Diabetes and it could potentially be dangerous for someone with less control than I have. The caller assured me that everything was documented. Great.

I can just imagine that if I DIDN’T wear a continuous glucose monitor and had as much experience as I do with managing my own blood sugars without an ER visit, the night would have turned out quite differently. I would have easily gone to bed, given that I was sleepy from the extreme high. Without any monitoring, the pump would have continued with nothing more than the base rate of insulin and I could have faced some dire results.

According to article posted by Diabetes UK, “common ingredients in the coronavirus vaccines include sucrose (a type of sugar) and salt.” Well, ain’t that a bitch??? That would have been nice to know. The article carries on by later indicating that the body produces an immune response because of the vaccine. The “body needs energy to produce this immune response, so it may release some extra glucose (sugar). This is what leads to your blood sugar increasing.”

Setting aside the fact that I can’t help but feel that this is something that perhaps I should have been warned about, the combination of existing sucrose in the vaccine (however minute the amount) mixed with my own body’s immune response resulting in the release of glucose into the bloodstream is what resulted in my spike in blood sugars. I would have liked to assume that the health authority should have known this. Unless the immune response is what they meant by being stressed. Who the hell knows?

I attended Coronavirus Vaccine 2: Electric Boogaloo, last Friday and this time I was ready. Extra Gatorade and fluids were available and I watched my blood sugars like a hawk. I’m happy to report no issues, besides the typical crap one feels after getting any immunization. I felt exhausted for a couple of days afterwards, but since I made a point of incorporating my meals around the vaccination, there was no reflexive release of glucose by the liver and my blood sugars stayed consistent. But this just goes a long way towards making it clear that when I complain about how Type-1 Diabetes affects EVERYTHING, I’m not exaggerating. ☯️

Vacation, Why Not? Day 3

The day started out pretty nicely; waking up in a cozy hotel room with “Just For Laughs Gags” playing in the background on the television. The day is especially chilled, with a combination of smoke hanging in the air and a light rain falling. We had the choice of a complimentary breakfast or $8 off a full breakfast. Considering the size of me and the fact I’m on vacation, which do YOU think I chose? If you think I would be satisfied with a muffin for breakfast, you haven’t been paying attention…

I had a work commitment that I couldn’t skip, despite being on vacation, but as soon as it was done we were off to do some light shopping. We had a watch belonging to my mother-in-law to repair and a couple of clothing items I needed, as well. (And wanted). After those few shops, we opted for an easy snack-based lunch of a soft-baked pretzel. Yes, it’s high carb but this is a vacation, damn it! And I have a fresh infusion set in.

Look at that fat bastard!

Our afternoon turned out to be a tribute to the level of relaxation that should come with being on vacation: we took a 2-hour nap. And it was glorious. Now, if you’ve read some of my posts from way back, you know that I’m a huge fan of naps and consider them to be integral to good health. And this one was no exception. I woke myself from the occasional snore, but slept pretty solidly before my wife’s alarm went off.

We had supper with my wife’s sister and her new husband. And in keeping with my personal policy on not photographing or naming people without asking first (for various reasons), I’ll limit this paragraph to saying we had a fantastic meal and some good conversation and were all carb-loaded and exhausted by the time we left the restaurant.

Then, we capped off our night with some cable television in the hotel room, coupled with some gaming on our devices and reading. Wild couple, right? To be honest, a vacation is only as fun as the company you keep. And I think I can speak for both of us when I say that my wife and I have had a great few days. Tomorrow, we head back to Kindersley to see how much of grandma’s house our boys destroyed. We’ve missed them, but it was definitely good to get away for a few days and recharge our batteries.

We still have a few days of vacation left, which will be used to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday and kick back a bit before travelling back to Regina. I promise that the days that follow will go back to some regular content. But it was nice to have a few days to relax and to chronicle those few days. Everyone needs a bit of time to rest and recharge. ☯️

Vacation, Why Not? Day 2

The morning started the way one would expect when not sleeping in ones own bed; with children waking in a strange environment and seeking out mom and dad. My wife and the baby shared a bed in one room, while I used another. Nathan has his own room at grandma’s. The baby woke early but might have almost gone back to sleep, if not for Nathan’s insistence to come “help” the baby off the big bed and off they went.

After a much-needed infusion of caffeine, my wife and I hit the road for the almost three-hour trip to reach Saskatoon where I would be getting my bimonthly eye injections. Not exactly the ideal couples getaway, but we got to do a fair bit of stuff when we hit the city. The ride up was uneventful, with some good conversation and the mandatory road trip stop at Tim Hortons for coffee. The Smokey air was a bit of a grim reminder of the wildfires burning in the north.

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant before walking the central area of the city prior to my eye appointment. It was a welcome change with only silence and calm guiding our actions. A far cry from the usual “I’m hungry” and “I need a potty” that usually accompanies our two little rug rats. Although we missed them, we were quite certain they were having fun with grandma and grandpa on the farm. Plus, my wife’s mother hadn’t texted or called in a panic yet, so that was a good sign.

My eye appointment went as well as one could expect it. You know, for having steel needles jammed into ones eyes. My wife took advantage of my appointment to enjoy a brief nap. Then we had supper at my favourite watering hole: Finn’s Irish Pub. We shared an appetizer platter and some fried and I had my customary burger and pint (I may or may not have enjoyed a highball as well, since they were on special).

We capped off the evening with a soak in the hotels whirlpool, where we met some interesting people and got hear their story. Every once in a while, some random person feels compelled to chat with me. It’s kind of neat. Then we curled up in the room for some Big Bang Theory and a horror movie. This is actually starting to feel like an actual vacation…☯️