I am an Endless Legend

This morning I scan Facebook for motivation and laughs.  I hate the news. Rarely do I search out news.  I am skeptical in its presentation versus reality.

Within the search, I find this.

Seb’s video motivates me.  Focus on today.  Small steps.  That’s all I hear.

Tonight I find a hoodie with my Maiden name which has a saying….

“I am an Endless Legend.”

And I feel like I can be a Super Hero.  Yep that’s right.  Click on the link to see what motivates me to write about it.

http://www.sunfrogshirts.com/DOUGHTY-3254-White-29514080-Hoodie.html?23035

My maiden name is Doughty.

Today our temps reach above 0C.

I am closing in on living with Type 1 diabetes for 40 years.  Exercise, activity, healthy eating and keeping myself in shape and healthy is important to me.

BUT, It’s been a rough few months exercise and otherwise for me. Winter and I don’t get along as far as energy and ambition.  The month of February in Ontario was the coldest on record since 1875.

Word on the Weather Network is temps will reach upwards of about 6C.   It will feel balmy if it is true!  No wind would be nice too!  I haven’t heard about the records set for wind this winter but one must exist!!

Today I work from home finishing up some Admin that’s been driving me crazy. The sun shines bright all day. The bright sun gleaming through the windows blinds me at times. Despite that, I embrace the intensity of it.

Suddenly the hope appears with the time change and the increase in the intensity of the sun.

About 5pm, I take a break from the Admin work I focus on all day.  I put on my ear buds and hook up my music. I make my way to the ‘super mailbox’ up the road to get our mail. It feels so good to get out.  I can’t stop looking to my left, smiling at the sun as it made its way down the sky to sleep for the night.   Today, I am thankful for the gift the sun has given.

I wish the roads allowed for me to put on my running shoes and go, but I can’t stand wet feet…and not good for the well being of them either.

Knowing I can’t let this time go, I take the ‘long’ walk home.

Thankfully, we live right off the Trans Canada Trail…it is just a few minutes walk from our home. I am excited to make my way there as soon as the snow melts and puddles aren’t ankle deep to get my running gear on and go…for miles and miles.

Despite the fact I wear my Blundstones, to keep my feet dry tonight, I want to run so bad. It is so hard not too.

In anticipation of this, I find a post on FB of a T and hoodie that include my Maiden name…and I fall in love. So, I ordered a few work out T’s and a hoodie.

And one for my Dad…cause if it wasn’t for him….I wouldn’t be an Endless Legend!

What do you do to motivate yourself to move?

P.S. Pink is my favourite colour…of what I ordered, I picked a bright pink tee…and I while I wear my fav colour I will remember while I am running or lifting weights…. “I am an endless legend.” for so many reasons.

Travelling with My Pharmacy

DBB Huchay Cusco Blog

There will a few posts/Blogs about my travels to and within Peru.

BUT..

I feel this post in particular is a huge one and is pressing upon me to prioritize even though it’s not in order.

We spent Christmas Eve in Agues Calientes. We planned to climb Machu Picchu Christmas Day.

I became very ill with a very high fever and ultimately sinus congestion, sore throat, fatigue among other things.

I am proud of the way the situation turned out as I recovered very quickly compared to most times I experience this. My husband questioned if I should take part in the venture to Machu Picchu but I insisted despite feeling down and out I would not miss such an amazing opportunity. This is a chance in a lifetime!!! And so we did.

With that being said, after we returned to Cusco a few days later we made plans to take part in a two day trek up the Andes mountains, through the Peruvian Tundra. We would then be hosted by a family overnight before descending back down the next day to another town a few hours away from our starting point.

We reach an elevation of 15,100 feet. Understanding that breathing would be a challenge at the best of times, I am overly concerned that with my congestion and swollen throat it would present greater issues.

On our way to the drop off point 1 1/2 hours away by jeep, I ask our guide to stop at a pharmacy to buy cold medication to help keep the symptoms from being too overwhelming throughout the climb.

As I walk into the pharmacy I take note this is the very first lesson I learn.  Never assume I can go away for 2 weeks and be healthy the whole time. I usually pack cold medications, gravol etc for those ‘just in case’ moments.

This is the first time I didn’t take my personal pharmacy with me. Sigh.

Our guide Henry takes me into the pharmacy in Cusco. I tell Henry in English that I need an anti-histamine/anti-inflammatory. I expect something along the lines of Advil Sinus & Cold or Buckley’s.

After the Pharmacist asks Henry a few more questions in Spanish….”Is it altitude sickness?”…”No, I had a very high fever, sore throat and sinus congestion.”…He recommends a product.

I take a ticket to the cash booth/dispensary at the front of the store. She gives me the box of medication. I am so relieved I will have the meds to help with the congestion, I don’t consider that I didn’t tell the pharmacist I have T1 diabetes OR that I took time to read the ingredients.   At this point I don’t make the connection that Dexametasona (in English “Dexamethasone”) is a steroid!!! I mean, come on, I am a Nurse. I should know the 5 R’s!!

AND I can’t buy a steroid over the counter in Canada! For good reason!

I am told to take one pill now (it is 7:30am) and again at supper. I can take it twice a day for a few days.

Within an hour I can feel the relief. I am overjoyed….until…

Fast forward to that evening and into the overnight…AND the next day…my blood sugars begin to climb…and climb…and climb.

I take insulin corrections like drinking water with no change. Not even a flicker in my Continuous Glucose monitor display. My finger pokes confirm all is not right within my diabetes world.

I reflect back on when we arrived in Cusco. Within a day I was setting temporary basal rates on my insulin pump for low blood sugars and now??? I am insulin resistant in the Andes Mountains??

I play scenarios in my mind. Is it the altitude? Is it dehydration? Is it the anaerobic feedback from the intense activity which leads us to experiencing burning leg muscles, shortness of breathe so bad our lungs are burning?

When I work out at the gym and do intense heavy weights my sugars spike. When I do hill training when I run I get the same effect. Is this the same?

At this point I haven’t made the connection yet that the cold meds contain steroids.

I do think that in part, the intensity of the climb did cause an adrenalin surge that did cause my need for more insulin….pair it with an exogenous steroid in my cold meds and here is a recipe for blood sugar disaster.

My key take away?

Bring my own cold meds and pharmacy.

If ever in an emergency that I require medications while in another country, make sure to tell them I have diabetes.

If and when I decide to ascend to 15,100 feet (or higher), take note and act that if it feels anaerobic, increase my insulin rates to accommodate to it.

No doubt it is a tough balance to achieve but I wouldn’t want to throw my hands in the air and not keep playing the game. Next time I want to improve on this experience. I accept my sugars will never be perfect in these situations especially, but, I will do my best.DBB Dexalor

Obvious

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Obvious

The tabby cat in the picture is Oscar. Yes, he is wearing a cast. He broke his leg in our basement shortly after we moved in to our new home last June. How? We have no clue. Young Oscar just wanted to be cuddled & cared for by our 12 year old Midge. How did Midge sense that Oscar needed some down time & snuggling to heal? Who knows. BUT…it is obvious to anyone looking at the picture that there is a cat with a cast. Something is wrong with him. Shortly after this photo op the cast fell off. For the cost of re-casting & the misery we caused him by doing so we decided to let him heal without it. He limped & hobbled around for several weeks, obvious he still had something painfully wrong with his leg. It was difficult to watch. Today you can not tell he broke his leg just a year ago. Does it hurt him still? Does it ache? Maybe. But as cats do, unless it is serious they can’t, won’t or don’t have the ability to communicate that. They act like all is normal. They keep to themselves & prove they can rebound from the impossible.

I hear time & time again the frustrations of people living with diabetes. Where is the cast, the seizure, the wheelchair, the appearance that tells those around them they have a chronic condition that somedays can make them feel like they’ve been hit by a bus? Aside from having a hypoglycemic seizure what are the obvious signs that one living with diabetes has had a series of highs or lows that have left them feeling like they want to be cuddled & cared for until they feel better? Words can only express the experiences one has. How can bystanders relate?

The frustration for many is to call into work or not go to school because they had 2 low BG’s in the night, woke up really high in the morning & just want to nap a few more hours to get the sugar back on track & clear the cobwebs out of their head. This is near impossible if one wants to continue to be a productive member of society….which is the expectation…because diabetes is not obvious. To the contrary, many living with diabetes attempt to hide it from others, compounding the exhaustion of managing it & recovering from the times of variability that come with it.

There are pros & cons living with a ‘not so obvious’ disease.

We hear about the cons all too much. Let’s focus on the good. Consider anyone living with diabetes that are in the spotlight & those that achieve many feats but have not gained the recognition. Examples which I encourage you to Google & research…Team Novo Nordisk (a team of cyclists competing in various events), Chris Jarvis (Olympic Rower & founder of iChallenge), Sebastien Sasseville (1st Canadian with T1 diabetes to summit Mount Everest, completed the Ultra Marathon Sahara race & 5 IronMan races to date), Chloe Steep (Founder of Connected In Motion), Steve Richert (Founder of Living Vertical), Kerri Morone Sparling (Six Until Me), Shawn Shepheard (Sugar Free Shawn), George Canyon (Country Music Artist), pilots, doctors, nurses, pro sport & not so pro athletes, trades, heavy equipment operators…these are just a few. There are so many it would seem like you are reading the Census in the book of Numbers in the Bible….but far more exciting!!

By living with a ‘not so obvious’ disease, people with diabetes accept that because we appear as ‘normal’ we want to supersede normal, we want to communicate that despite living with a not so obvious chronic condition we can & will accomplish whatever is put before us. We want to prove we are different in a good yet obvious way. Sometimes to the point of achieving near superhuman achievements.

Is that a good thing? I have heard time and time again from many..”I am thankful for my diabetes because I am healthier living with diabetes then if I didn’t.”

Many living with diabetes see themselves as healthier as those who don’t because they become more aware & pro-active in their health. Initially one with diabetes becomes healthier & begin to set goals beyond what they knew existed by no choice of their own but ultimately by the drive, strength & tenacity that become product as a result of the benefits they experience by living that way.

There is an obvious that surfaces by living with diabetes. That is the incredible accomplishments & outcomes that result in living with the not so obvious.

Can’t Get Enough

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Can't Get Enough

Blueberries, yum! Lately, I can’t eat enough.

For 1 1/4 cup of blueberries there is only 18 grams of carbs. The same serving size has 3 grams of fibre. Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and fibre.

The beauty of blueberries as well as other favourites such as raspberries & strawberries, unlike some fruits, do not have a dramatic spike in my blood sugar.

In researching the benefits of blueberries, all the advantages sound incredible, but many of these contain words such as “possibly”, “may” and “can”. Some study samples are small and show possibility but research is ongoing. With that being said, I won’t go into possible benefits.

What do I do with blueberries? For breakfast, after warming them up, I add them to plain Greek yogurt, chia seeds and flaxseed. If I am making Oatmeal Protein pancakes, I cook them into a syrup like reduction in the sauce pan. I don’t add sugar or artificial sweetener, which I never use anyway. If they are fresh, I add a bit of water. I love adding them to Nutrition Shakes.

With Shakes, I just go with the flow as far as adding ingredients. I keep track of carbs and fibre so I take the right amount of insulin for it. Below is the one I threw together yesterday. It tasted like dark chocolate with a hint of sweetness.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1 1/2 cups unsweetened, chocolate Almond Milk
1/2 banana
4 tbsp Manitoba Harvest chocolate hemp protein powder
1 tbsp bee pollen (check with your Dr before eating this, if you are allergic to bee’s or are pregnant or nursing DO NOT eat)
1 tbsp unpasteurized honey with propolis (check with your Dr before eating this, if you are allergic to bee’s or are pregnant or nursing DO NOT eat)
1/4 cup Aloe Vera juice

I have posted a few recipes containing blueberries on Pinterest. Looking forward to trying them out!

“The secret of …

Quote

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” – Mike Murdock

In today’s society we are encouraged to break out, be stimulated, think outside the box.  We are told the less routine we adhere to the more abundant our life will become.  Becoming comfortable is to lose the opportunity to become a better person, to grow and expand our mind and soul.

In many aspects, breaking routine is without doubt a great thing.  Spontaneity can break one out of the doldrums, keep the mind sharp and create excitement.  

With respect to living with diabetes, having routine is essential.  It is proven that testing your blood sugars, taking your medications and insulin injections at the same time each day will increase your chances of success.  

To take it further, creating a routine with regards to healthy eating, meal and snack times is also of great benefit.  By pairing your medication or insulin routine with your meals and snacks, you will notice an increase in well being…once you are settled into your routine, ironing out the wrinkles.  After all, we are very personal in our diabetes.  Although we live with the same diagnosis, we are all unique in how we adapt to certain routines.

One last commitment which needs to be incorporated as part of your daily diabetes routine is physical activity.  The benefits of physical activity are as great as adhering to a routine with your medication, insulin and eating.  

The Centre of Disease Control cites the following as benefits to physical activity: 

By creating and committing to a routine, I hope this will enable you to live life with Diabetes Beyond Borders.

 

A Rural Girl Falling in Love with the City

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A Rural Girl Falling in Love with the City

I had lived in the country since the day I took my first breath. After a 6 month stint living in the city in 2009, the kids & I moved back to the country. In 2011, I decided that it was best for me to live in the city again.

It has been quite a transition.

When I first considered moving to the city I was working more than full time hours in pharmaceutical sales & running two kids around before & after school for activities, friends, sports & jobs.

My rationale in moving to the city was less drive time, more family time, more me time. By living there, potentially, I would save at least 30 minutes a day driving one trip into town, one way. There were many days in a week, I was driving into town at least 2 or 3 times. That did not include the 70,000 kilometres in a year I drove with my career. Less drive time meant more time at home, more time to do the things I love to do, less time sitting stationary in a vehicle. This would enable me to create more time to commit to the small details in life I missed allowing me to decrease my stress level. More time off the road also meant I could focus on looking after me. As with most mom’s, wives & women with demanding careers, I was last on the list of people I took care of.

I had a dilemma. I had enjoyed living in the country. I love the space, the peacefulness, seeing the stars in the sky, listening to the coyotes cry at night, the loons call on the lake, the tree frogs singing in the Spring. When I wanted to de-stress, move and ‘get lost’ in nothing, I would put on my running gear, hook up my iPod, put my sugar tablets in my pocket & run. The scenery was plentiful, the running routes endless.

My naivety of living in the city prevented me from understanding the unique benefits it entailed.

Over the past 2 years of being an urban dweller, I am now coming to an understanding of how great it is. My love is growing more than I imagined.

In purchasing our two homes, the ‘must have’ was that it was to be near downtown. We love to go out for dinner. Peterborough’s Downtown dining district is unique with a wide variety of gastronomic options, social and dining experiences. We wanted to be in the heart of the city. The home we live in now is a 20 minute walk downtown, 30 minute walk to the North end. The major mall in our city, although at the other end of where we live is a 40 minute walk. There isn’t really anywhere in the city that we can’t walk to. With backpack on, I am feel like I am making a difference in many ways. The fun part is that there is no one way to get to a destination. There are trails, side roads, main roads, parking lots.

This is the city I have known since I was born, but now that I am walking it I see, I didn’t really know it.

There are days I don’t get in my car. If I need a few groceries, I put on my back pack and walk to the grocery or bulk food store. This serves many purposes; economically, socially, environmentally & most importantly, my holistic health with regards to my diabetes and well being.

The days I need to drive for my business, I now find it enjoyable, cranking up the tunes & thinking about nothing but I also find it extremely exhausting. I reflect back on how I did the miles I did over 7 years, day in and day out.

Although both driving and walking long distances leave me feeling tired, I now notice that there are different feelings of tired. In recognizing these differences, I’d rather feel tired from a walk around town then a drive to Toronto and back.

I am most excited now as we build another new business. This new business entails a store which my Samoyed Husky “Samson” and I will walk 30 minutes each day to ‘work’ and back.

Life is simpler and less stressful. This country girl is converted.