Attempts at Perfection & It’s Failures

“Have no fear of perfection – you will never achieve it.” – Salvador Dali

I can’t get my head around it.  Does anyone with diabetes who is motivated in their management think they can’t achieve perfection?  Yes I said CAN’T.

As a Person With Diabetes I think that not only can I achieve challenging feats beyond my day to day life, such as ascending the Peruvian Tundra to over 15,000 ft BUT I can also achieve perfection with my diabetes.

As a PWD I know that this mindset is superfluous.  BUT, I still want to pursue it, just in case I can achieve it.  You never know, right??  Isn’t that a great goal to set and pursue. Almost like a cure, really.

BUT….yes, I said BUT…I am reminded of how the attempts of trying to be all that to my endocrine system and diabetes management isn’t that simple. Even after coming into 40 years of living with diabetes and being a Mom of a PWD for 14 years.

I am reminded on our flight to Peru, no matter how hard I attempt to make my diabetes perfect, I cannot.

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Upon take off I am aware of the potential impact the air pressure can have on my insulin pump delivery.  The rule of thumb despite there is not total clinical evidence with regards to this is to disconnect on ascension and descending. Why?  The talk of the town is that upon take off the pressure can change the delivery of insulin to cause a low blood sugar. During the flight the pressure change can create air bubbles resulting in missed insulin after landing.

I have experienced this throughout the past 14 years of travel on an insulin pump but was not aware of the ‘talk’ that circulated about this until the past few years.

So, whether clinically relevant or not, I decide to take heed to try and avoid this.

We are prepared for take off at Pearson.  Status quo.  Prior to boarding I check my Continuous Glucose Sensor.  All is good in my diabetes world.

As the plane positions itself for take off on the runway I disconnect from my site with the intention of reconnecting within a few minutes after the rapid ascension is complete.

I am excited.  I am thinking about our trip, the flight which is 21 hours with stop overs.  In my mind I am running through what we packed versus the list I print and check off.  I am nervous.  I am landing in a city that has an elevation of over 8,000 feet.  I am worried after the stories I am told of elevation sickness.

The airline steward serves our snacks.  I give it to Steve.  Packed full of gluten. I don’t need a snack anyway.  I’m not hungry.  I look at some magazines.  I do a Word Search.

Several hours pass by.  I start to feel like the Sahara desert lives in my mouth. My stomach feels like a brick made a home in it.  My chest feels heavy.

I question these feelings.  Why?  It feels like I am high.  How come?  I don’t clue in to check my sugar though.  I attribute it to the elevation, the dry air, the excitement.

The steward comes around again.  Offers snacks.  I pass mine onto Steve’s again.  Maybe if I eat and drink a ton of water I’ll feel better.  I take one of my gluten free bars out of my bag.  I bolus, I eat. I feel like crap.

Is it the flight?  The cabin pressure?  I just can’t make sense of it.  Obviously my brain cells are not firing on all cylinders.  Doesn’t being on guard all the time with managing diabetes do that to a person?

Then…I get an itch at my site.  And so I scratch. It is so itchy I must lift my shirt enough to place my hand under so I can make skin to skin contact to find satisfaction. While scratching I realize my tubing at my site is flopping back and forth….I am NOT attached to my site.

I forgot to re-connect after take off.  That was 3 hours ago.

In my effort to achieve diabetes management perfection, I fail.

Now, forgiveness is mine. I am so insulin sensitive that I only end up with a BG of 11 mmol/L.  I check for ketones as well.  They measure at only 0.3.  So…I correct for the gluten free bar and basal rates missed as well as a small amount for the trace amount of ketones.  It takes several hours to come down and even though my sugar is only 11, I feel like I’m on the edge of DKA.  I  know what it’s like, I’ve been there.

We land in Peru and I am almost in target.

After that incident I make a promise with myself.  Disconnecting on a flight to achieve perfect blood sugars is not a goal I wish to achieve.  For what I wish to achieve I fail.  I avoid a potential low but instead end up high and feeling terrible.

What’s the lesser of two evils.  I can’t answer that but I will tell you I will no longer disconnect my site.

Eden’s Journey – Tips, Tricks & Must Have’s

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Eden's Journey - Tips, Tricks & Must Have's

Below is more of Eden’s Journey to exercising and losing weight in a healthy way. Eden lives with Type 1 diabetes. She has a goal to be in tip top shape for her graduation from University in May. Help support and encourage Eden as she shares with us her journey. Today Eden shares tips & tricks that have worked for her & may for you as well. She recommends a “must have” piece of equipment that will encourage & support you when exercising!!

“Okay as I promised, I am going to talk about how I have handled my blood sugars at the gym ha ha. Now I am sure a lot of people struggle with this. You get a low and you don’t want to eat because you want to burn calories and it becomes pointless, or you do not want to go high and have to take insulin to bring it down etc etc etc. It is honestly a battle for some, and it has been for awhile with me. I have noticed in the last 2 weeks since I have been working out so hard, I have struggled with this. I would work out and go down to 3 or lower (obviously not good).

Here are a couple tips that seem to work for me.

1. If you know you are going to work out after a meal, eat a carb during that meal. I find yams are a great thing to eat, and healthy for you. They do not have a huge amount of sugar, and metabolize well. I usually bake mine with a bit of olive oil for 10-15 minutes till they are soft…so good. I also tend to eat a lot of Ezekiel brand products (they have no gluten or flour!). Do not be shocked when you go to a store and see a loaf of raisin bread for $5.99 at Sobeys! The loaf for me alone lasts usually2-3 weeks. I recommend their products; they seem less heavy on my stomach and work well with my sugars.

2. If you are working out during a time where you did not have a meal within the hour, I usually eat a small banana before my work out and a kiwi after. I only do this when I know I will be burning 500 plus calories. Sometimes this is needed for me, but everyone is different.

3. DRINK LOTS OF WATER…Most people seem to think there is a magic pill, there is! It is something that is free and at your disposal all day long. I bought a bottle that’s big enough for my “8 glasses a day.” I found that you instantly feel more refreshed, have more energy and needless to say my skin looks like it has a nice glow to it ha ha. Seriously drink your 8 glasses and I can guarantee with a bit of exercise you could lose at least an inch or two in one week !

I am by no means a doctor! These are tips that seem to work for me, and maybe they can help you. I have had to do a lot of figuring out of this stuff on my own.

Here is a pic of me at the gym last week with my low blood sugar 😛 I thought every post needs a picture!”

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Be Ware!!! Nutritional Nightmares

Attached is an article posted in The Toronto Star.  It’s easy to believe that a food item listed as Vegan, Organic, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Healthy, Low Fat, Fat Free is good for you.  Many products sold with these labels are, but as we read in this article, there are products touted as such but aren’t.  I urge you to read the ingredients listed, the Nutritional Facts on the packaging or go on-line or ask the company about gaining access to this info.