Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Go read this:

Thursday, September 12, 2013


September 11th is an anniversary for me, but not the same as for so many other people.  I remember the same event, but in a different way.  I remember it because it precipitated some events that brought a very special friend into my life.

A number of years ago I was living in Halifax.  I hadn't been there all that long, and I was trying to find some new footing for myself.  I was interested in a kayak-building class.  They gentleman who ran the course was very friendly and generous and had loaned me one of the models to take a paddle with him and former members of the course one evening, so I could see if it was something I really wanted to do or not.  Of course after that fine evening of paddling and burgers and beers and chatting with new and fun people, I signed up.

Shortly before the start date, something horrible happened in a different country.  It understandably freaked out a lot of people.  The other two who had signed on for the class with me both shared the guilt that so many experienced and thus backed out.  I couldn't understand how my denying myself an fun experience could make a difference to the world of hate and politics, if anything it reminded me of the value of enjoying my time here and now.  The Kayak Guy was more than happy to just have the course being the two of us, so that next Saturday I showed up at his studio, and we began.  I can't recall if it was the next day or the next weekend, but one of the the Kayak Guy's friends dropped by to say hello.  I had met him before at the burger and beers.  Oddly, he had never gotten around to trying to make a kayak.  In an almost irreverent chat, it was decided that he'd take over the boat the Kayak Guy had started and do the course along side me.

Thus my friendship with Young Donald began.

At that time he was twice my age; the same age as my mother.  We chatted and laughed a lot and developed a habit of visiting that same pub on an almost weekly basis for a long time.  The friendship has waxed and waned over the years as they all do, sometimes with big gaps, and other times with almost-daily coffees.  There's something wonderful and reassuring about having him in my life.  He's one of those people that I feel will always be there, whatever happens.  He wasn't at my PhD defense, and I wasn't at his most recent (and hopefully last?) wedding, but it doesn't diminish the happiness we felt for one-another on those occasions. I tease him about being old and forgetting that he told me that joke last week, and he teases me even more if I do the same thing.

I've not talked to Young Don in awhile.  I can't articulate the disappointment I feel in myself when I realise this.  I got wrapped up in myself and missed a birthday phone call, and still haven't climbed out of the fog of shame I feel to reach out.  I'm hoping that my resolution I'm feeling here on our anniversary stays strong.  I think it's long past time to make a call, or better... send a letter: he loves getting mail.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Is slugginess or stress?

Last week the on-campus gym was closed so I was a big fat lazy slug.  Yes, I could have probably fit some form of exercising in besides contending with exhaust specialists and their repercussions, but I went full-slug instead.

My blood sugars gradually climbed.

Then this weekend they got worse, oddly coinciding with the boss returning and listing all the things he wanted me to do when we went out for breakfast on Saturday.

I don't have a lot of experience correcting highs.  I've not been at this long, and I've not got a great handle on just how much 1 unit of insulin will lower my sugar.  I also don't know how low is too low to treat when I want to go to bed for the night.

Of course, not knowing what I'm doing and seeing my numbers just go up despite what they used to do when I ate this way, or bolused that way two weeks ago, just makes me more stressy.

I can't think of another PWD who started using in adulthood, like I did.  In my imagination all the pros just adapt to periods of stress or slug without even thinking on it, but I'm flailing in the dark.

I am going to try to take this as an emphatic YOU MUST GO TO THE GYM! sign, and thankfully today I was actually smart enough to pack a change of clothes (not like I forgot yesterday... just sayin')

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to School

I hate this time of year.  I didn't always, of course, when I was younger and still going to school there was always that sense of anticipation and excitement of seeing and interacting with people who weren't in the summertime social circles mixed with the dread of routine and having to get up early for classes.  As I grew older and moved to grad school, September stopped being about a change in routine and more about the campus getting crowded again.  Now that I'm working in a university where the vast majority of the undergrad population is only around when classes are in their "traditional" fall and winter sessions, this time of year is all about quiet seething rage.

I am convinced that the average intelligence of this campus takes a nose-dive right around now.  By Monday there will be massive throngs of meandering "young adults" who can't seem to figure out how cross-walks and street lights work.  They will start to cross when their light turns red.  Stop in the middle of the intersection like startled deer when a car screeches to a halt so as not to hit them and run giggling in all directions and they can't decided whether to complete their crossing or return to their starting position to try again. all this will be exacerbated by a handful of moronic motorists who stop to allow the children to cross despite having the light in their favour.  It's already beginning as the first few kids are moving in, often with their entire family and a carload of detritus aiding in their settling-in process.

Timely passage through the hallways will be massively disrupted as these overly-coifed and made-up mouth-breathers will meander aimlessly, because taking their eyes off their smart phones for long enough to navigate a straight line is inconceivable. Of course there will be the occasional complete jams caused by those who can't manage to amble and read concurrently as some shocking revelatory text (OMG Brad & Clara broke up!) comes in and they suddenly come to a complete halt in order to gape more effectively.

The worst thing, however, is the meat-heads who will now crowd the weight rooms at the gym.  Yes, the campus gym will be open later into the evening, but going in there any time after about 1 or 2 pm will become an exercise in massive self-control of pacing in front of the squat racks and periodically bitching at some ass-hat who insists that a squat rack is required for their dead lifts, or anything at all they want to do with a dumbbell.

Of course, there is still that leftover sense that the beginning of September is the real start of the "new year", and I still find myself with quiet little resolutions in the back of my mind.  This year it isn't about getting to campus earlier for a better parking spot.  This year it's about become more firm and demanding that I get time in the middle of the day to go to the gym.  The pain in the ass of fighting for equipment in the evening is often enough to make me skip a workout, and I don't think that's something I should be doing anymore.  This week as the gym was closed for some pre-semester whatever, I watched my average blood glucose sit higher and become a little more twiggy than it's been in previous weeks.  I also watched my mood turn to shit, and sluggishness and fatigue taking residence.  I think maybe I can argue that people are just going to have to suck it up a little that I'm not constantly here at their convenience and that I have to watch out for myself a little for a change.

Wish me luck on that one.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What is common protocol?

One of the things about being so new at this is that I have no idea what I'm doing.  Well, I have a vague idea, but all the conversations about how to use insulin just led to an overall understanding, but as with anything on is new at, the minutiae is a mystery.  Additionally, it is, from my reading, an incredibly personal and variable thing...

How much does one correction bolus?  It depends...
Does one bolus for coffee without sugar?   It depends...
How many units of insulin is this cookie worth?  It depends...
Can I shoot into my boob?

You get the idea.

I'm trying really hard to get active again.  I managed my first day lifting on insulin quite some time ago, and although I had visions of going low in the gym and either passing out or throwing plates at a yahoo doing too much grunting, it was fairly anticlimactic.  I've seen my blood glucose drop rather dramatically from a lifting session many times, but oddly I've also seen it stay more or less the same.  It's like there's been some weird magical "floor" to lifting-related BG variations, but that wouldn't make a lot of sense, would it?

One thing I'd like to know (and yes, I know the answer is "It depends..." but humour me and tell me what you do) is if one normally would or should go to the gym after having a low they needed to treat?

Monday a student was back from vacation with gourmet sea salt caramel corn and salt-water taffy, and I can't just not even taste it, right?  Normally I'm not a big sugar person, but I want to be polite and I really do like popcorn, so I indulged, failed to bolus correctly, and of course over-compensated when I next ate.  It wasn't a very severe low at all.  Just enough to feel it, and fix it with a couple of glucose tabs.  But then later I wasn't sure if I should go to the gym or not.  I had a hard time gauging how I was feeling, and I guess I was just concerned that my BG was too labile after bouncing from too high to too low.  I'm not claiming it makes a lot of sense, but I'm pretty damn inexperienced with this.  Anyone have any advice or more experience to share?