Saturday, October 22, 2016

When the glucose dust settles

I'm awake but I'm not aware. I'm lounging but I'm not relaxing. I'm really just flopped on the couch more slumped over than anything. I need the couch to support my body that seems to be unable to support itself. When I am low, I have trouble even holding my own head up. I'm a doll - without bones. 

As the world slowly begins to make sense again, I look around and become aware. I don't remember really getting here, in this semi rigid position. There's glucose dust on my pants where I usually rest the tablets in a line. If I snorted coke it would be akin to that. Neatly laid out glucose tablets that help me consume one by one. Carefully placed in quantities of 2. I don't eat them out of the bottle because I can't count or pay attention when I'm low. I remove said precious life giving sugar tablets and line them up on my thighs. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. It's a bad low. A six tablet low. 

I wait rather impatiently for the glucose to get into my body and work it's magic so I can get on with my day. How long has it been? 

But the dust is a reminder that things are not always okay. They will be better, but at a moments notice, there I am with a blood sugar of 2.4mmol/l (43mg/dl). I know this because no matter how low and out of it I am, I always test. I may not remember testing. I do this so I know how many glucose tablets I need. If it's a 3.0mmol/l (54mg/dl) well that's only 4 tablets. 6 would make me rebound high for sure. 

As the push puppet I am while low, the world slowly starts coming back to me and I get on with what I was 
doing before. 

Beets boiling on the stove. At least I had half the mental capacity to turn the heat down, grab the glucose tabs and collapse on the couch. 

Brush off the dust. 

Back to reality. Back to the beets. As if nothing interrupted my life. Only the post low nausea to remind me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

INSURANCE RANT. Canada does not have it made, despite what y'all may think.

I need to rant.

About insurance. It's long, and boring.

Years ago I looked into acquiring medical insurance for myself after leaving a full-time job with benefits for a small-time job without them. I was naive in thinking it would be easy. How dumb could I possibly be? Very dumb apparently. For the most part, they all told me to go fuck myself without using those exact words.

Oh, you have a pre-existing chronic disease that costs hundreds every month? No, sorry, we don't help people like you. Or if I did get a quote, the monthly premiums were outrageous and didn't even cover a tiny fraction of my needs. So I walked away, head down and completely broken. I spent the next year paying for my medical costs out of pocket before finally leaving that awesome job for one with benefits. I get it, I do, from an insurance company's perspective. They wouldn't make any money off me. Perhaps my anger needs to be less directed at the insurance company and more at the government for not being able to provide the basics of keeping those of us with expensive medical conditions alive. OR.. directed at the super high costs of test strips and insulin.

Enter now... I am self-employed and under my husbands work benefits. The coverage isn't perfect but it's better than no coverage at all. I never suspected he would be at that job forever so there's always been this idea up in the air that we would have to figure things out one day. It was him that urged me to quit and persue my own business. Without him and his benefits, this would NEVER be an option because of the diabetes. There has been talk recently about what would happen if he wanted to start his own company one day too, like me. How would we keep me alive?

I am a member of a couple professional associations for my business which means I get discounts on group benefit plans. Two days ago I called to get a quote and found myself right back to where I was about 8 years ago. Nearly crying on the phone and feeling like a fucking failure in life.

I didn't ask for this fucking disease. Nobody asks for diseases. I certainly didn't as for one that would cost me $400-$500 a month if it were out-of-pocket.

I will not hide anything here, the company quoted me over $250/month in premiums for the two of us. And what does that get me? It gets me 85% up to $1200/year in prescription drugs. That almost covers my insulin needs but not quite. It gets me 85% up to $1000/year in test strips and needles. I use about $350/month. Math isn't that hard. That's $4200/year in strips and needles. So through the benefit program, they basically cover DIDDLY SQUAT.

Then I looked into the Trillium Drug Benefit Program here in Ontario. It's for low-income households. However, they determine your deductible based on your previous years FAMILY household income. Well, let's not beat around the bush, Ryan and I brought in a decent amount. Yet even earning a lot of money does not mean we are swimming in it. We are making do but aren't exactly putting a lot away. Our deductible will be around $4000. Again, the math isn't that hard. It's barely worth it. Might as well just move into a tiny apartment, sell everything we own, never take another holiday and spend every spare dollar on MY FUCKING MEDICAL NEEDS.

Canada sucks fucking dirty dicks when it comes to benefits. The government health care supports ZERO needs for prescriptions and the like.

So my options are as such:
1. Earn enough to cough up hundreds of dollars each month for test strips and insulin
2. Ryan has to stay at his job and not persue his dreams so we can keep benefits
3. I give up on my own business and go back and work for "the man" just so I can get benefits and he can then start his own business
4. just roll over and die

I am successful in my business and it's only been a year but not without huge amounts of stress. I'm still in the learning curve and there is a lot to go yet before I can start bringing in larger amounts of money. I still don't know if this is the right thing to do. Maybe it would be for someone without the most expensive* chronic disease in existence. *overexaggerating-butnotreally*

I want Ryan to follow his dreams but what do we do when the time comes? One of us always has to be taking it up the ass from a company to keep me alive? We can't both be successful entrepreneurs? Well that's just not fucking fair.

Or perhaps we make absolute shit dollars and get a Trillium Drug Program deductible that is actually AFFORDABLE. We don't make enough right now to pay out-of-pocket for my medical needs.

In the end, do you want to know how this all makes me feel?

LIKE A FUCKING ASSHOLE. I want him to be passionate and successful. I want us both to be entrepreneurs because we are smart, determined and can, dammit. I didn't bloody well choose this medical burden. And just because we are married and in a partnership, does not make it any easier to accept that:


It's seriously time for me to start hooking myself on the corner and sucking dicks for insulin. I wouldn't be against that. *insert funny "will suck dicks for insulin" meme*

Thursday, August 25, 2016

the 300 club

and no I'm not talking about the American blood glucose value.

Yesterday, Ryan and I joined the 300km club on our bikes. Hang in for the length of this post, as per usual there are plenty of pics to enjoy and a good story.

There's no need to ask who's idea this was because I would never come up with something like this. Ryan, it was his idea. Blame him. I just went along for the ride. OH! pun intended. Yes a part of me wanted to accomplish this but the logical side said "ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY?"

Ryan and I are in there towards the right. WEBSITE

Earlier this summer we embarked on a 200km bike journey for a good cause with some friends. We rode a few 100kms as well as a 100 miler the weeks leading up to it. After the 200 we determined that perhaps a 300 wouldn't be THAT much harder. HA!

We left at 6am yesterday morning and returned at 1am (technically this morning). We had about 14.5 hours of saddle time and 18 hours out all together. I'm never doing that again. We had something to prove to ourselves. "what's the point in a challenge if you're not sure you can do it?" isn't that the point of a challenge? Pushing ourselves to the brink.... otherwise it would just be a long bike ride.

There's no way around it. This was bloody well fucking difficult. I lost count at the number of times I said "I can't do this." or "how are we going to get home?". I know I didn't do myself any favours by going into this with preconceived anxiety about the whole thing. It just seemed so unattainable! Aaaand, I am cynically pessimistic. Sure we did a 200km with friends but it was on an entirely flat route and having the ability to draft was monumental. No, this wasn't just going to be 100km longer than that time. Especially since neither of us has hardly ridden since that ride two months ago. My work life has consumed every bit of me.

I thought I was being resourceful by taping the things to my top tube I wouldn't need right away. Ryan laughed at me and disagreed. He mumbled something about "fashion over function.". Well when all you have is 3 pockets for a 20 hour adventure, they get filled quickly! Come on, most people don't have to carry fucking glucose, a tester and insulin on them. That stuff usually takes up a whole precious pocket to itself!

Sunrise from the escarpment view

I do want to share my diabetes with you because it was bonkers.
NOTE: do not try this at home.
I thought it was weird that I ended up testing almost every hour on the hour. It just worked out like that, totally unplanned. You'll see why I felt the need to test so fucking much as you read through the numbers. Normally I wouldn't have destroyed my fingers like that.

5:45am 6.8mmol/l
- right before departure. Consumed about 1/2 my oatmeal, bolused 2u
7:00am 5.4mmol/l
- ate 1 date and bolused my routine Lantus (8u instead of 10)

Our first stop for coffee.

8:30am 8.0mmol/l (144mg/dl)
- coffee break and I was starving. bolused 1.5u and ate 1/2 my bonk breaker bar (37g carbs). I didn't want to eat the whole thing and risk going high. I knew I had to wait a little bit before eating the other half.
Somewhere along the way I ate the other half.
9:45am 3.7mmol/l (67mg/dl)
- Well, I guess I didn't need any insulin for that bar. Glucose tablets and a date down the hatch
11:00am 4.1 mmol/l (74mg/dl)
- Was feeling a bit off. ate some more glucose tabs and another date
Stopped for a lunch break about an hour later. Ate a few handfuls of tortilla chips with guac. took no insulin.
1:00pm 7.2mmol/l (130mg/dl)
- didn't eat much at lunch so I took 1 unit of insulin and ate half a banana
Ate the other half not long after that.
2:30pm 3.8mmol/l (67mg/dl)
- Oops again! didn't need that measly unit. Glucose tablets and a date
3:00pm 7.4mmol/l (133mg/dl)
- Tested again because we were stopping for another food break. I felt really nausous at this point but took 1 unit and had a handful or two of potato chips and nothing else.
4:00pm 3.8mmol/l (68mg/dl)
- Didn't need that unit either. More glucose tablets, 1/2 a banana
5:00pm 3.7mmol/l (67mg/dl)
- Another date, more glucose tablets and the other 1/2 banana
6:00pm 3.8mmol/l (68mg/dl)
7:00pm 3.6mmol/l (65mg/dl)
8:00pm 4.4mmol/l (79md/dl)
- I had a panic attack here as the realization of how much further we had to go yet hit me. ate the last of my glucose tablets (ALL 20 of them that I had on me!)
9:00pm 4.7mmol/l (85mg/dl)
- still gotta get this shit up. 1/2 banana and cracked open the newly purchased package of fruit chews I had to buy. Realized I missed my Lantus dose. Took 7u (instead of the usual 10)
10:00pm 3.0mmol/l (54mg/dl)
- Pretty massive panic attack on the side of the road. This one was bad. I was feeling SO BAD. Another handful of fruit chews
11:00pm 3.7mmol/l (67mg/dl)
12:00am 3.4mmol/l (61mg/dl)
- there are no words.......
1:00am 4.2mmol/l (76mg/dl)
- we had just got home and I was feeling so sick with nausea that another panic attack settled in.
1:30am 4.1mmol/l (74mg/dl)
- checking to see if the sugar I had consumed made any dent at all. Clearly it didn't.
3:00am 5.9mmol/l (406mg/dl)
- ate 4 glucose tablets anyway
8:00am 3.1mmol/l (56mg/dl)
- ate another 4 glucose tablets
10:00am 6.2mmol/l (112mg/dl)
- FINALLY ate a bit of normal people food - oatmeal. a couple spoonfuls anyway.

Notes to this
I ate 3 bananas, 6 dates, 20 glucose tablets, 1 bonk breaker bar and who knows how many fruit chews (close to almost the entire package). I drank countless bottles of Nuun and had a few chips and some tortillas with guac. I burned over 3500 calories and probably ate a wee fraction of that. Not good at all.

A bit of a mess of what was left over in my pockets. Some nuun tablets that got destroyed from the rain. 2 sad dates and just a small handful of fruit chews. It was a sad state of affairs.

I understand that I would have been in a better place if I was able to get some real food in me. The problem is my nausea. Most of you know and have heard me complaining about my difficulties with sugar. My body doesn't tolerate it well. So consecutive lows will inevitably give me really bad upset stomach. In my normal life at home I try to eat something real once the nausea settles after I fix the low. The thing is, every time I recovered enough to eat something yesterday my blood sugar would just crash again. It was a never-ending shit storm.

Sunset on the road

The ride itself was hard. There were some very beautiful parts but physically, it was difficult. I remember around 120km was when we STARTED the sufferfest. 180 more km is mind boggling. It just seemed so out of reach and unattainable to me when I could hardly envision myself making it a mere 30 more km to the 1/2 way mark! At the half-way point I still had no idea how we were going to pull this off. between 100km-215km we battled with unrelenting head winds. After 200km we officially entered no mans land (for us). Watching the garmin tick up beyond 200 was something I'd never seen before. Subsequently the garmin battery died and I never did get to see it. When darkness fell on the last 85km it wasn't just darkness of the sky. We hit a whole new level of dark within ourselves. I've never come so close to falling asleep WHILE riding my bike before. The last 100 km was pretty rough. It's crazy to think I was counting down 100km.

watch out for endos!

The greatness that is Ryan cannot be understated either. With every anxiety and panic attack I had (and there were A LOT!) along the way about the insurmountable challenge - he never wavered. He was constantly telling me that we could do it. I doubted it the whole time. It really hurt. Every part of me wanted off that rolling machine. It was no longer fun. But really, the "fun" part ended 10 hours earlier. At the half way mark when he noticed the anxiety he said, "Sweets, from here on out it's all up here." and he pointed to his head.

He fell asleep and snored himself awake. "just give me 5 minutes."

And then it started raining (before it turned into pouring) so we pulled into a nasty abandoned gas station on the side of a rather big highway. Not to get away from the rain because at that point it didn't matter but we needed a little break. We were both swerving due to fatigue. Ryan snoozed for a few minutes while I watched bugs and insects skirting all over the place fearing one would go up his nose but not having the energy or wherewithal to do anything about it. Normally I'd choose side roads over this highway but at midnight I was willing to take my chances. It was the most direct route plus we had lights brighter than car headlights. How people do RAAM and other multi-day endurance events is just beyond my comprehension.

That's as far as I could open my eyes. 12:00am'ish in the rain

We got home. I fell apart. Anxiety so bad I could hardly keep myself together. We did it. The two of us. We achieved the challenge we set out to do and yes it was insanely rewarding. I will never do that again though, mark my words. I am glad we did it and for the most part we had decent beautiful weather. I didn't think I had it in me and Ryan helped to prove me wrong. I've been riding for many years and now I can say I belong to the 300 club.

Make no mistake, this is the kind of shit that breaks you down into less of a human being and more of a sack of bones. It forces you to go to the dark places in your mind that you've never been to before. It clarifies that your body and mind can be two separate things merging together somehow in a weird out of body experience. Forget acid and shrooms, Just spend a day riding way farther than you ever thought yourself capable of and see what shapes the darkness brings. I did grow as a being, I'm not sure how else to explain it. Being broken down and put back together again.

It's the end of the day and I have not yet recovered. My shoulders and neck are still aching. I've got chafe where the sun don't shine and a saddle sore. I've eaten very little, had more panic attacks and consumed more sugar due to post exercise lows. Not to mention the lack of sleep and complete brain sludge I was left with. Underneath it all, I'm proud of us. Now if he would just stop coming up with hair-brained challenges.....

Saturday, August 13, 2016

This one time, on a bike trip...

....I stuck a bike pump in my....


My good friend Shelly and I ventured out on a 2-day camping and bike touring trip with a daily travel distance of about 90km. Nothing overly difficult, OR SO WE THOUGHT!

This post is less about the bike trip and more about a "diabetic attack." keep reading.

It was fucking hot. I can't say it any other way. Temperatures were in the 30C's with humidity driving that up into the 40's. We were on fully loaded bikes for hours. We were moving slowly and making sure we were drinking a lot.  With 20km to go before reaching the campground I demanded we stop under that tree up there. I had to get off because I was feeling really sick.

We were both sunstroked. Heavily nauseous, headachey and general malaise. My skin was tingling and I was yawning and tired. Going into the day I forced the pace slower and insisted on drinking a lot thinking we could stave off heat exhaustion. Didn't fucking work.

As we sat there on the side of the road in the middle of fucking nowhere, the realization was becoming apparent. We could not go on. It took us awhile to get to that decision. Thing is, were were literally in the middle of nowhere. I drove an hour from home to Shelly's place where I left my car. We then drove 45 minutes from there where we parked her car. THEN we rode 65'ish km from there. So to get help from family and friends was a colossal favour. My brother came to our rescue and I am eternally grateful for his generosity.

Photo courtesy of Shelly

Then he got pulled over for speeding. Before the cop came to the window, he turned to me and said, "I'm telling him you were having a diabetic attack."


So now I'm trying to quickly come up with what a "diabetic attack" would seem like when I felt perfectly fine by this point, just tired and nauseous. Do I slump over? Do I try to justify what the hell a diabetic attack is?

Then he tells the cop he's taking me to the hospital.


I'm fucking fine. Look at me? Does he think the cop is going to take him seriously? I'm clearly coherent and not in need of emergency care. I'm trying not to roll my eyes into the back of my skull as the cop leans in and looks into the back seat at me. Why would the girl having a "diabetic attack" be squished into the backseat of a pickup truck that is barely big enough for a hamster?

While we were waiting I tested my blood sugar. I had been testing constantly because of the heat, exhaustion and malaise. My bro turns to me and says, "You couldn't have done that while he was at the window?!".

Oh hell no. I am not your sick excuse for speeding. So I guess testing my BG must seem, from the outside point of view, to be somewhat medical and "risky".

I was clearly fucking fine and I'm pretty sure the cop wasn't buying it any way.

the thing is... what the hell is a "diabetic attack" and why does anyone think it's okay to use a term like that? It's my brother. I love him to pieces I really fucking do but I can't help but feel a bit confused and saddened by that whole experience. So that's what you think of me eh?

Look at me in full-blown diabetic attack mode enjoying the beautiful clouds. (Photo courtesy of Shelly)

a diabetic attack..... shakes head.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I always wondered what my family thought

As I round the corner entering my 14th year with diabetes (jebus fuck I'm getting old!), I've found myself pondering a lot more things lately. A recent blog post by Mike inspired this musing.

What do my parents and siblings think? After 14 years? Somethings always separated me from them. I am the sick one. In retrospect even before T1D, I was always kind of the "sick one". I had the most chronic health problems (and still do). But Diabetes definitely makes me feel out-of-place now.

Christmas 2014

Here's the thing, I got diagnosed at 22. I had already lived on my own for a number of years and was in transition from graduating college before jet-setting off to teach English in Taiwan so I was living at home for awhile.

At 22 I still relied on my parents for a lot even though I was fiercely independent and self sufficient. My mum was - and always has been - my rock. But at that time she was a full-time high end business woman (not sure what else to call her) spending hours a day commuting to downtown Toronto. My father was a high school Math teacher with a lot of extra curricular teaching on the side. Both of them had VERY busy lives and weren't home all that much. My sister had already moved out and my younger brother was involved in his own teenage life at that time.

I should preface this next part by saying that although my family is close (including my two siblings), We were never really CLOSE close. Like, we don't talk about feelings and we don't tell each other how much we love one another. We don't really engage in physical things like hugs. We are a close family but we aren't emotional or touchy feely. In fact I'm not even sure the last time I told my mum and dad that I loved them or if I've heard it from them. I do love them and I know they love me but we just don't EXPRESS it.

This has resulted in a persistent state of wonder with me since diagnosis. What do they know about my disease? How do they feel and do they worry? Do they understand the emotional turmoil it has on me? I would assume yes since this blog is public knowledge. Also, they will read this.

I've never had those conversations with any of my immediate family and I'm not sure why. I'm not very private about the diabetes side of me. Look here, it's there in the open for the world to see (and read). I feel so much of it has to do with that not-so-delicate old age of 22 being that I was independent and mostly grown up. My treatment and doctors appointments were attended by me. I don't remember anyone else involved in the choices in insulin, injection doses, doctors and such. It was my choice to go on the pump and subsequently it was my choice to come off it. I've just felt a little bit disconnected from the people who truly know me the best. In all honesty though, I don't really care to talk about it either it was just a curiosity. I feel more like a burden on them than anything else.

Age is a factor. That time in my life is all a bit fuzzy and not just from all the drugs I used to do. I know my mum was there with me the day they pulled me out of the type 2 support group and told me I should be dead. I know she advocated for me in her desperate attempt to research the connection between the Prednizone and the sudden onset type 1. I remember her up all night on the internet (and at that time the internet was in its infancy) trying to find answers and madly searching if she had a case to sue the walk-in doc.

It just sort of all ended there. I love them but I don't know how they've ever felt about having a daughter and sister with such an awful chronic disease. I wish this wasn't a question at all but words about my diabetes have rarely been spoken of. It just feels like diabetes happened to me and life went on without question on the family front. I also know I do a good job at pretending it's not bothering me when really it upsets me MOST of the time. Don't get me wrong, the lack of conversation is probably a good thing. We have more important things to discuss like tattoos and dad's family dinner wine consumption.

That time they all showed up for the JDRF virtual 5km wearing T-shirts hand painted with heartwarming messages. I know they support me.

When a disease alters your entire life, you feel pretty isolated. A disease like diabetes that involves no one else but me makes it hard to see the effects on every one else. I see it on Ryan though, he's got nowhere to run from me, however. Mwahahaha....

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bike touring/camping. Not for the faint-hearted.

Have I got a blog post for you.

In three full days I injected a whopping 5 units of rapid acting insulin where on a normal day I probably take closer to 10 (PER DAY). One of those days I took NONE AT ALL. During those three days I still had loads of lows.

It's called bike touring.

Ryan and I set out for a 3-day cycling and camping trip. Bike touring can be many different things but for us, this trip was about carrying all our belongings and camping equipment on our two-wheeled donkeys. According to my Garmin we covered 358 km in 3 days and spent almost 20 hours total in the saddle. We may have bit off more than we could chew but we like to go all the way when we do things. We knew touring was no joke but I'm not sure we realized just exactly what it would take out of us. We were asleep inside the tent both nights before the sun even went down. We didn't pull out our headlamps once.

Eating potato chips and resting our aching backsides. Approx. 70 km into day 2.

The route Ryan set up was phenomenally beautiful. The first day we rode 100 km on rail trail which was mostly flat and provided wonderful scenery. The second day we skirted along the edge of Lake Erie all day passing through cute little beach towns and a constant view of the lake. The final day we rode the Welland Canal trail from start to finish, something neither of us had ever experienced.

This is my donkey.

Our speeds were pitifully slow due to the beasts of bikes we were riding and all the gear we had to carry. This meant long days in the saddle which was the whole purpose of the trip. We found that somewhere between 80-100 km is where our butts started to scream out in pain. I had a saddle sore from the previous week and this trip only exacerbated that. Note: don't commute in jeans with no chamois. There's a difference between sit bone tenderness and saddle sores. Sit bones feel better after some time off the bike but saddle sores don't just go away. We hoovered ibuprofen and willed that shit to just go to the source of the pain!

3 days of getting jostled around inside my pannier! Look at all those rounded corners and loads of fairy dust!

I annihilated almost an entire container of glucose tablets over the three days. Along with a whole bunch of dates. Even though we weren't moving too fast or putting out too much effort I still suffered low after low after low. I was reducing my Lantus to 6 units twice a day and felt that any less than that was just too little! I probably should have gone less but I didn't want to risk being high. Most of you know by now I'd always much rather be low.

Aaaand... because it wouldn't be a "Scully story" without a bad twist to it.....
(trust me, I don't want shit to happen, it just DOES)

The heat and sunshine took a toll on my body for sure and by the morning of day 3 I was a mess. I had woken up feeling fine. I ate half my oatmeal before getting knocked down with diarrhea followed by extreme nausea. I even had to change my bike shorts because I didn't make it to the bathroom in time :(. We had to delay our departure because I was crumpled up into a ball. GI upset, bowel pain and anxiety. Getting home... the longest and hottest day yet. I don't know if it was a result of the previous two days on the bike and really not eating much at all. I'm never able to eat much when I expend a lot of energy. I spent the first half of this day in a really bad place. The nausea lasted until about 3 in the afternoon, I just couldn't stomach anything more than a few sips of sweetened drink mix. We had to keep stopping in the shade so I could relax for a bit. I took gravol after gravol trying to ease my stomach. I knew small sips of drink mix wasn't going to get me home but in the end? we DID get home and I had hardly consumed a thing.

Just before leaving camp the morning of day 3. Looking at this picture and remembering how I was feeling is going to haunt me.

It got to the point where I felt like my sodium, potassium and electrolytes were all out of whack. I bought a bag of chips and proceeded to LICK THEM. GROSS. I didn't want to eat anything but was trying to get sodium in the most archaic way I could aside from unloading a packet of salt directly into my mouth and risk gagging. This seemed to help a little.

When we did get home I drank two glasses of water with two Nuun tablets in each and 1/2tsp of salt. I calculated it to be 3690 mg of salt! Pretty much the equivalent of almost 2 days worth of sodium depending on which source you cite. I couldn't quench my thirst which had me freaked out that it was more than just dehydration.

So with the blood sugar...
Day 1 I took a couple units with breakfast which proved to be the wrong decision because I fought lows for the first couple hours of riding. The next time I took insulin was the morning of day 3. TWO DAYS LATER. I also had 2 or 3 alarms set during the night to get up and test. When I did take a unit the third morning it proved to be the wrong decision also as I went low while I was super nauseous trying not to be sick. Good combination. I've got diarrhea, nausea and now I was low as fuck trying to suck back glucose tablets. My blood sugar readings were amazing for three days! I was pretty stoked that I had gone that long without any insulin. No, it did not feel like I didn't have diabetes. The constant lows were a steady reminder. I tried to see if I could go the whole three days without insulin and it looks like I could have because I took a single unit half way through day 3 and went low again. I just get so anxious with a BG reading of 10.0 mmol/l (180 mg/dl) but in retrospect I could have just let that number ride and it would have come down on it's own with the cycling.

At one point 1/2 can of regular ginger ale saved my life and brought me back to the land of the living. Not just to fix a low but to settle my stupid stomach.

In the end? We had the time of our lives. It was absolutely amazing. I wish I hadn't felt so shitty on the last day but I'm proud that we made it home. I was certainly doing everything I could to not have to call for a pick-up. I really wanted us to accomplish what we had set out to do.

Selfie stick tricks! Can't believe I managed not to fall while fucking around with getting the phone right all while riding my wonky-ass donkey of a bike.

We make the best team. Nothing like 3 days, 360 km and a lot of ups and downs to make the communal ass pain more epic. I love this man.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Paris to Ancaster 2016

I don't do races any more and rarely do I do events. I've written about this race for the last two years so I felt like it was necessary to continue the tradition. Especially because I got a last minute entry into the event. I still don't like calling it a race. To 99% of the participants it's not a race. It isn't even sanctioned by the UCI so anybody can do it if they wanted. I will direct you to a good friend who was in the 1% of the people racing this thing. He recounts this years race in the most humourous way possible. I laughed the entire time I read it. It's a brilliant read. Thanks Nigel. Go read it, seriously. If anything go read that and don't bother with mine.

I said I wouldn't do it this year but then a week out I felt a bit of fomo (fear of missing out) and started regretting not registering. Oh well. This even sells out months in advance. Low and behold you put that out in the universe and someone somewhere delivers. A friend of a friend was selling an entry literally 5 days before so I snapped it up.

If you read my last two years I haven't had the best time doing this. First year was absolute misery. Last year was an effort to not just fall over and go to sleep due to lack of energy from a rogue illness just days before. I just re-read those two blog posts and the first year was stellar commentary.

I woke up the morning of the event this year giddy for a change. I was riding with two of my friends and the goal was laid out ahead. The goal of "let's just have fun".

Liz and Pete. You'd almost think we were out for a chill Sunday ride on a dirt road with a strange picture of NOBODY else around!

It has been a very dry spring and typically this race is known for it's muddy, wet mayhem. So there was almost no mud to be found. It was very unusual. In fact the biggest problem was dust and not mud. The grossness of dirt road was apparent when I got home and blew my nose. We all had dirt on our teeth.

I found myself mostly just chasing Pete and telling him to wait up. This was the majority of the ride. Nothing but dust because it was so dry.

The three of us spent the entire race together save a few moments of getting lost in the shuffle of the hoards of cyclists or getting cut off and separated in the single track. It took longer than my two previous years to complete mainly due to some local asshole sabotaging the race. Since the route snakes itself through rail trail, dirt road, farmers fields and single track it goes through a lot of private and public property. Roads are shut down for hours at trail crossings and despite proper notification ahead of time, people still get right pissed off. Someone took it upon themselves to fell many very large trees one after the other over a couple hundred feet of public trail. This forced cyclists to slow down to a crawl to navigate the freshly cut trees. By the time we got to that section it was such a bottleneck that we were stopped and moving at a snails pace for about 1/2 an hour. Looking at the Garmin data our moving time was 3:25 but our elapsed time was 3:53. That's a whole lot of wasted time from the logs and the flat! (see below!)

I never get flats.. until I get a flat. :(

Not long after that I got a flat. Well, a "mostly flat". My rear tire had me contemplating if I should try to top it up with my CO2 or just replace the whole tube. It was about half empty. I went with replacing the whole tube just to be safe. BUT, this cost us another 10 minutes or so. Maybe 15.. I don't fix flats in minutes.

The only almost injury I had was getting nailed in the cooter by my bike saddle after hitting a pothole I didn't see. I did say out loud to anyone around me that "I didn't need that vagina anyway".

My personal shining glory was being able to ride up the stupid final hill. The last two years I did the walk of shame. Ryan kept telling me I could ride it but I had been traumatized. So the entire duration of the race all I wanted was to ride up that fucking hill and it had been bothering me. Turns out it's not a hard hill at all. Go figure. First year was awful and last year I wasn't well. What posed the problems this time was all the cyclists around me going so slow and not having the common courtesy to share the road.

I was pretty chuffed with myself for riding up that hill. Actually, I felt pretty strong the majority of the time and was never really riding at my max. capacity for a change.

Liz coming through the finish line with her usual shit eating grin just a little demeaned after getting ass kicked by that hill.

What's even better is the next day Liz said, "I think this is the first time I've ridden with you and you hadn't had to stop for blood sugar issues." She was totally right and it was a reality check from an outside perspective of someone who has spent a lot of time on a bike with me. When we hit dirt road sections I would hang back to test my BG while riding and catch up again. I finished almost all my water. I had a plan of eating only dates and bananas and no sugary shit. I began with a date early on in the ride so as to stay on top of it. I took zero insulin the whole ride and sipped some Skratch. The only time I went almost low was with 15km left to go. I dropped down to 4.4mmol/l (80mg/dl) and that's when I ate two glucose tabs and a few shot blocks (there goes my goal to not eat sugary crap). 4 hours out there with a banana, and a few dates aside from that almost low fix. I felt great the whole time.

This was a total diabetes win. For a change. It's very rare.

All and all it was actually a pleasant day!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Amusement Park Anxiety Attack Is Not Amusing At All

We went away on a little road trip vacation last week. The plan? Huntin' down roller coasters. Yeah, we are 12 years old.

I wasn't thrilled about this trip because amusement parks and roller coasters give me anxiety. I am going to write a whole post on my journey to overcome this specifically another time. It's really deserving of it's own home because it became quite the leap for me.

This story is same same but different (as they say in Bangkok). I had a very long and arduous anxiety attack at a theme park. I'm embarrassed so much that I have to write about it. We arrived at the park in the morning all stoked and ready. I was mentally and emotionally prepared to conquer some fears. I was fucking ready! Except that deep down in the core of my being something was off. It was off from the moment I woke up in the tent that morning. Something just wasn't right. It was the slow build of an anxiety attack that had started tightening it's grips on me the night before as we were going to bed. I woke up multiple times during the night with mild panic but swiftly stifled that shit and stuffed it away.

We rode one coaster and on the outside I was feeling exhilarated and wonderful AND NORMAL. Not moments after walking away with the adrenaline still pumping I sensed the anxiety starting to overflow. The dam had burst. I tried plugging a hole here and there. I tried so fucking hard to tell my brain to shut the fuck up already but I couldn't. I just couldn't. Here we were walking around a fucking amusement park and I'm in absolute shambles. Literally the worst place ever to endure an anxiety attack. I threw some more anti-nausea meds at that shit and patiently waited. I watched Ryan go on ride after ride and all that was happening was my anxiety was steadily mounting and my coping was non-existent. I couldn't escape it. I worked hard to try and get past it but it kept coming in ebbs and flows. Deceiving me with moments of feeling normal only to be shaken down to almost not even being able to move. I was done. It was emotionally exhausting me.

In the midst of said very horrible anxiety attack. I asked Ryan to take a picture to document it for a future blog post. I didn't want to stand up. I didn't want to move. Hands in fists, this is my normal.

We left the park and went back to our campsite. I sat still in almost tears while Ryan went for a trail run on his own. I felt like my body weighed a ton and I couldn't do anything but sit and stare at nothing. I walked a few feet into the forest where I saw a sunny patch and plopped my ass down on the forest floor with my legs outstretched. I stared. I breathed. I thought long and hard. I knew what was triggering this anxiety and it still embarrasses me to my core because it's an absolute fucking stupid reason. I'm not even going to mention it.

The point is, I sat there sometimes with my eyes closed and other times watching the beetles and ants musing about in the leaves and dirt. I really meditated for the first time probably ever. It was so quiet and comforting sitting on the forest floor. Nobody was around. I lost track of time but I think I was there for about 40 minutes. Just still. It felt like 15.

Ryan got back from his run and I insisted we go back to the park for a couple hours before it closed. We did and we had a really sweet time. I can't explain what happened but what I learned is I made it happen. I focused and overcame a day-long anxiety attack which usually would have taken me out until the following morning. That's the first time ever that I was able to sit down with my anxiety and bitch slap it upside the head. I made that happen. I made it stop. Yeah I lost a good 3/4 of the day but the point is, I overcame.

I told Ryan countless times that I have to deal with this. I have to find ways to pacify myself no matter where I am or what I'm doing. I'm ashamed to admit that I rarely have grips on it when it arises in situations like that but I NEED to work on it when it does. I must find ways to address it so I'm not left running the fuck away. Especially on holidays when I don't really have a "safe place" to go to (in my mind and physically).

I'm not sure the outcome would have been the same if I had access to wifi. Being in the US means our phones have no data and we only have access with wifi. Sitting at that campground I felt a little stir crazy for not having my phone to occupy my brain while I endured waves of anxiety. Turns out it was a good thing because it forced me to confront it.

Later that evening.

Friday, April 1, 2016

pre-bolusing and carb allowance

Carbs. Diabetic Kryptonite.

Carbs are how we make or break our hour to hour lives with diabetes. It's what diabetes is all about. There are debates about how fat and protein affect blood sugar. Some people take insulin for something that has no carbs and some people do not. I think it's largely based on the outside factors more than what's in the food. Morning BG rise? Maybe need a unit with that plain black coffee that has no carbs but the caffeine will raise blood sugar.

One thing is for certain, carbs. Carbs are for certain to fuck shit up. All carbs are glucose in their basic state. Glucose raises blood sugar. Insulin lowers it. Eat carbs, take insulin. That's the condensed version.

It's more like this:
Think of carbs -- BG starts to rise -- take insulin (wild guess at how much) long before -- eat carbs -- wait for blood glucose annihilation -- suffer highs or lows based on not taking enough (or too much) insulin or not carb counting properly or not eating as much or too little.. you get the idea.

Lately, I've really come to value the pre-bolus. Most people hate it. Most people get frustrated by it, myself included. It's really hard to take insulin 45-60 minutes before you eat. You have no idea how hard this is! Sometimes you just don't know when you'll be sitting down with that food. Injecting too early and it's tankage right before you eat. Inject 5 minutes before eating? well now you wait another 40. Or you eat anyway and suffer the consequences. The suffering is not something I am willing to cooperate with. If I don't pre-bolus and eat all willy-nilly I suffer. Even just 30-40g of carbs which is a normal meal for me will raise my BG into the teens an hour after eating.

Sometimes it depends on what the food is-I know. Or if you're low to begin with-I know. I hate the pre-bolus with a passion. BUT.... doing this has made the post food spike almost disappear. For me I try to wait at least 45 minutes but 60 minutes is ideal. That's how long it takes for the insulin to start really kicking in (for me). It actually makes me feel like the biggest fucking nerd. I wish so bad this wasn't the case.

Aside from that, how do I like to spend my carb allowance?

I'm not big on baked goods. I really REALLY hate candy and the like. I could spend my allowance on rice and potatoes and I DO eat this stuff in small quantities. What I will spend my allowance on - without hesitation - almost every single time is CHOCOLATE. People think I'm some kind of big health nut when they offer me baked goods (that are usually filled with gluten). I turn it all down (mostly because of the gluten). I evidently get the response "Oh you can't have this because of the sugar." or "you won't want this, you're a super health nut." It's not that. If you DID offer me a gluten free cupcake I'd most likely eat it even if it's not vegan. It's just that you aren't offering me a gluten free one. It's so much easier for people to remember I have diabetes and forget I have celiac disease.

Yes, I am a health nut but I also munch on potato chips, the occasional cookie and my body weight in peanut butter. I don't exist on kale and tofu only.

But chocolate... it almost doesn't matter sometimes where my blood sugar even is. Lock up the chocolate. Lock it up good 'cuz I'm coming for it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Different strokes. Humble beginnings.

It may not come as a surprise to most people but I'm really not a people person. *GASP*!

Yes, I'm one of those introverted types. I'm also a sufferer of generalized anxiety disorder. On top of those, I have some sort of fucking sensory processing sensitivity. In summary, I'm a ball of stress that does better alone and in silence.

So I quit my job. Actually, I quit 6 months ago! A career I have been doing for over a decade at various companies. I had a myriad of quitting reasons. Primarily, my freelance business had been slowly picking up steam and therefore one had to go. I had been dreaming of doing contract/freelance full time for years but was never financially stable enough to take the transitioning risk. For the record, I freelance doing the same shit I did at my job so it's not as big of a leap as I make it seem.

I had been going from company to company with the same measly 10 days vacation a year. Do you know that the standard 2-weeks vacation was implemented in the 60's? I've been working for over a decade and I still only ever got 2 weeks. You can't really do shit with that. Also, I'm sorry but 10 days is not 2 weeks. I recently had next to no sick time (4 whole days for the entire year. That's ONE illness!) and zero other benefits or positive company rewards. I don't think I ever really got a raise. My fault for changing jobs so much though, I know. Sure I had health benefits but I was tired of working for companies who gave no fucks about me or appreciated my expertise and experience. I decided to take my knowledge and apply it to myself only. I was tired of being treated like a shit commodity.

I didn't do this alone though. Without Ryan's steady income and health benefits I would be literally screwed. Thanks expensive diabetes for ruining all the fun. If I didn't need $500/month to keep myself alive it would be an entirely different story.

I honestly don't know what I would do without hoodies. They are my favourite.

The benefits to this?
I have essentially cut down on most of my hella anxiety triggers. Wearing seriously uncomfortable work clothes that would make me twitch during the day. Not having to "put on a face" and pretend to be interested in co-workers weekends and evenings. I don't own make-up so I didn't have to put on a face that way. It's not that I don't like talking to people.... Okay, I don't like talking to people. It's more that it causes me great anxiety. Socializing is something I absolutely dread. Even though I know that avoidance is not the answer to any anxiety problems, I can't help but be happy about it. My anxiety is triggered by so many things related to talking and being around people.

I work better when I can just put my head down and plod away at my own time. In fact, I get more quality work done this way. It's better for everybody involved. I'm less likely to be found curled up in a ball under my desk this way.

Sure, I don't get paid vacation or compensated sick days but that's a small price to pay for happiness and the freedom to make my own schedule. I don't feel work guilt for spending half the day in bed when I'm truly not feeling well.

No, there really isn't any job security or stability. Sometimes I have to hunt down cheques for work that's completed. I have to put aside hoards of money for taxes and in the end I'm not earning as much as I used to. I have to deal with the business sides of things which doesn't bode well for my non MBA brain. But my life is better, finally.

I'm a better person to everybody as a result of this but most importantly to me. It's peaceful and quiet and it's physically comfortable. My hatred for socks and shoes bothers no one! Sitting here in a sweater with the hood pulled up makes me feel content. Bras? what are those?

I don't know how long I will do this. Eventually I will want a decent pay cheque again and maybe I will earn that on my own. For now, I'm considering it a chance to grow and see if I can even BE successfully self-employed. I owe it all to Ryan for encouraging me to take the leap and support us financially while I test it out. Without him, this never would have happened.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Oops, I did it again...

I won't apologize for putting the song in your head as you read this post. I couldn't help myself!

I did it again. OOPS. Twice in 14 months I accidentally overdosed on insulin. It sounds so much more badass when I say I OD'd. What I'm really saying is that I'm a fucking turd sandwich.

It was Monday night (last week). Ryan got home from work and we were sitting there talking about our days when my Lantus reminder alarm went off on my phone. 7pm, like clockwork.

Meter case
chat with Ryan
Syringe.... Cartridge
chat with Ryan
draw up, INJECT
chat with Ryan
Look down and see the wrong insulin on top of everything in my case

pop 1/2 a gravol because I know what's coming.

15 minutes later checking into the ER. I injected 9 units of novorapid. At this time of the night that's close to 225g of carbs I need to consume in a couple hours. I waited until I started to see a drop in my blood sugar before taking my now missed dose of Lantus. JUST IN CASE I didn't fuck up even though I knew without doubt that I did.

I learned a lot about my last visit to the ER for just such a thing. I learned that I didn't want the IV dextrose because of it's horribleness!! It made me feel so sick.

Y'all must know by now I have a very strong vomit phobia. To the point of panic attacks. It's not something I'm proud of and it affects almost every aspect of my life.

The ER on this particular night was a nightmare. I got treated so well the last visit that I wasn't expecting what happened this time. Firstly, the triage nurse was so LAH-DI-DAH that I almost punched him. "I'm running out of time, I don't think you understand the urgency of this, I'm on a clock!"

I got shuffled from one waiting room to another. Bottle of honey in hand trying to count the swigs. We waited for a long time. Probably an hour before a doctor saw me and just shuffled me along to another waiting room. I had a small panic attack when I saw how overflowing this waiting room was. I remember saying to Ryan that I'll probably have to pass out before anybody deems my condition urgent enough.

One swig is maybe a teaspoon (More than that and my gag reflex would kick in). Maybe 10 swigs by now. 1 teaspoon of honey is 8g carbs so roughly 80g. Plus a container of glucose tablets (10x3=30g carbs). Plus two dates is 30g. Okay... I've taken in almost 150g of carbs, only another 50 or so left to go. Panic is subsiding as my nausea increases. I can do this.

My stomach is starting to revolt and I stop sipping honey.
Keep in mind that this whole time I have been keeping my blood sugar just above 6mmol/l (108mg/dl). I tested close to 25 times in the span of a few hours.

They move me to the third waiting room. My BG finally starts dipping below 5 and I swear I can't put anything else in my mouth. I am so nauseous by now that I'm getting the watery mouth and cold sweats. However, because of my vomit phobia this only worsens my anxiety level. I'm crying now. I'm crying because I am fearing the IV dextrose. I am crying because I feel like I'm going to be sick. I am crying because I am so uncomfortable and helpless. I owe it to Ryan for calming me down and taking my phobia seriously for someone who doesn't understand it.

They get the IV in. I beg them not to give me the dextrose. I wanted to wait and see. If my BG dropped below 4 (70mg/dl) I would say shoot me up. I was doing everything in my power. Deep breathing and my go-to anxiety relief game of Book Worm on my phone. I sipped a bit more honey.

They moved me to another waiting room, the 4th one.

I played my game. I breathed. It's been almost 4 hours.

Novorapid starts working in 20-30 minutes. Peaks at 1.5-2.5 hours and is gone out of your system at 4.5-6 hours.

I'm almost past the peak. Nausea is steady but all that shit is staying down.

This whole time I still hadn't seen a doctor. I'm sure if I had fallen over someone would have come but there was no monitoring. They checked my blood sugar twice in the 4 hours and didn't bat an eye when it said I was normal. Yeah, have you seen all the shit I've been eating?! It's normal because I'M making it normal. If I had started vomiting then action would have to be taken. They gave me a heck of a time when I asked to be discharged. "You haven't even seen the doctor!" They said. "I don't need to see a doctor, this isn't something that required a doctor at all in the first place. I didn't come here to see a doctor." I tried to explain that I'm a fucking type 1 diabetic. I accidentally overdosed, it's not rocket science! It's basic fucking math. Too much insulin = many many carbs needed. Me, not sure I can consume enough and keep it down! A doctor would have done fuck all for me. It just goes to prove that I honestly feel the docs and nurses in the ER don't know shit about type 1. I understand it's protocol but I didn't know how to say, "Hey nurse, you're the only medical professional for me. I only need you in my life." 

I dropped to tankage levels around hour 5 and 6 but I was able to correct it with a couple glucose tablets due to the fact that the insulin was just petering out at that point.

Two lesson learned the last two times.

1. Avoid IV dextrose if I can
2. I CAN consume 260g of carbs if I try hard enough. In the end that's how much it took! 260!!!!! needless to say I have a 1:30 insulin sensitivity at night.

Next time? Not going to the ER. Next time? get a new box of glucagon and learn to mini-gluc myself. Next time? Fuck I hope there isn't a next time.

The aftermath?
Tuesday was one of the worst days of diabetes sick I've had. I could hardly move for the entire day. I didn't eat anything spare a plain rice cake. I took so much Gravol I'm surprised my eyes were even open. SO MUCH NAUSEA. From what? From all that sugar in a body that doesn't tolerate sugar.

What have I done to try and correct my mistakes?
I told a few people that if you see me taking insulin, just stop talking.

I put an elastic band around the Lantus cartridge even though I don't think that helps me. It's not about feel and looks because the vials are already different. It's about being so stupid and absent-minded.

I now remove my Lantus, the sharpie and the syringe from the case. I push the case aside. Yes, it's Lantus. Yes, it's the purple one. Yes, the one with the elastic. I'm trying to be mindful and 100% present in the moment. I'm trying to take myself away from all the other tasks and just focus now. twice a day, every day so I never do this again.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The bender continues!

I left off with Ryan and I going on a great 10km run Monday night.

I felt like I was out of the thick of the anxiety and BG woes. I had an apple and peanut butter for dinner and took no insulin for it because of the run. Sidenote: Yes an apple and peanut butter is most definitely a meal!

My blood sugar, however, kept dropping in the evening. I set two alarms. One alarm for 1:30am and one for 2:30am since those are usually the hours where I have the most trouble.

At 1:30 my bg was 3.7mmol/l (66mg/dl). I ate a date and went back to bed. I call dates "carb bombs". A carb bomb should have been enough for a simple low like that. At 2am I thought I was dying. BECAUSE I WAS DYING! 1.8mmol/l (32mg/dl). Honey+couch+patience. Except I don't know anybody with enough patience for what ensued. Here is how it went down after that initial 2am check:

2:40am: 1.8mmol/l
2:50am: 1.8mmol/l
3:10am: 1.8mmol/l
3:25am: 1.8mmol/l
4:00am: 3.7mmol/l! Hurray!

Approximately 2 hours at 1.8mmol/l. I must have taken 6 swigs of honey and nothing was happening. In my mind I was worried. Ryan was out cold because he took something to help him sleep. I considered waking him up in case a hospital visit was in the books. I came so close if that 4am check still wasn't budging. At 4am when I deemed it safe to go back to bed I took a Zofran. I woke up at 7am to a 14.1mmol/l (253mg/dl) What the fuck man?! The honey must have been "slow-release" or something. I guess I should have read the label. I tried to get an extra hour of sleep. Tuesdays are the only days I work somewhere and I was horridly hungover. Any other day I would have taken advantage of the whole self-employed thing and tried to sleep it off. I pulled myself together with so much coffee that my hands were shaking for the first half of the day trying to work.

Then it all went wrong. I was severely nauseous by the time I got home and basically could hardly move off the couch. How could I still be this badly hungover? This set my anxiety off on another acid trip. Fear and Loathing in Scully's body. I took a Zofran and not much changed. I drank ginger tea and took some Gravol and still not much changed. I settled into a long night of rolling around with severe nausea and not sleeping, eating or drinking. I fell asleep at about 3 or 4 and woke up at 6. Still with a really bad upset stomach and very heavy anxiety. For fucksake man. What the hell is going on?

I didn't even know any more if this was anxiety or diabetes induced. Or neither (?!) Or did one cause the other? Was it the precise combination of the panic attack + period + run induced low + blue skies? Typically my anxiety comes on in a cumulative manner. It builds and builds then, BAM! I know anxiety and womanly cycles affect my diabetes and vice versa.

Wednesday morning was still rough. I had about 4 hours to get some work done before Ryan and I had plans to go do something. Wednesdays are his days off so I often make them my day off too. I struggled to drink a couple sips of coffee and water.

Near the 2nd half of the day I was able to eat a rice cake. JOY! It had been nearly 24 hours since I ate anything. Slowly but surely by the end of the day my stomach was finally feeling a bit better. Now I was just fucking exhausted and lacking energy from not really eating or sleeping.

By Thursday I was almost myself again. I even got on my bike for an easy 60 minute spin but I felt pretty awful after so maybe that wasn't the best idea.  On top of that, my BG continued to be high ALL DAY and not reacting to the exercise or insulin. In fact the bike ride made me spike to sickly levels despite having copious amounts of the sauce running through my body. It seemed like I was on a 2-units every 2 hours for 2 days before finally seeing some semblance of my normal.

Oh Diabetes and Anxiety, you think you make a great team.

By trial and error I can usually ascertain that its a team mission. Usually, it's the deadly combination of both and not one or the other individually. Diabetes and Anxiety. D&A BENDER TIME! The perfect storm. Or better yet, the ideal party situation for two misbehaving conditions.

I'm still picking up the dirty laundry and broken glass. A weekful of it!

I'm always up for any ideas at all to not make this such a bad trip for next time. There will be a next time. My life's experiences tell me so.