Monday, October 3, 2011

Vacations, Stress, Sick and Amazing People


I love them. Who doesn't?

The past 3 years we have taken family vacations down to Myrtle Beach.  An old childhood favourite of ours and now that I have a niece and nephew, going to the beach has a whole new meaning to it.

I always look forward to morning runs on the beach.  I get up and sit in front of my window until the sun starts to rise and then I hit the beach.  I wear my running shoes because barefoot running freaks me out, even on the beach.  I have to go a bit slower due to the sand, heat and high humidity.  Though I do love sleeping in sometimes, the best part about vacation is the opportunity to go beach running because it's something I don't get at home.  Oh and watching the sunrise over the ocean.

2 days into my holidays and I realized I had been struggling something fierce to keep my blood sugars up. It felt like I was always taking too much insulin and constantly having to consume carbs soon after eating.  All day every day.  I couldn't figure it out at first and then it hit me.  Stress.

The complete LACK of it to be exact.

I had to half my bolus amounts and eat more.  I still needed snacks that I didn't have to bolus for.  I would even nibble throughout the day and my blood sugars almost never rose above 7mmol/l.  It's not like I was particularly active in fact I'd say just the opposite.  Spending large portions of the days vegged out in my beach chair with the only physical movement of my toes playing in the sand.

Who drinks hot coffee on the beach? THIS girl.

Stress is an evil beast.  I have a lot of stress in my life like a lot of people.  I have heavy emotional stress, money stress, work stress.  On top of the stress, my biggest problem is not being able to deal with it.  If I could ease it somehow I think I would be a little less high strung.  And after a week of having near perfect blood sugar (as well as going through an entire bottle of glucose tablets) I know that stress is the culprit.

How do I ease stress in my everyday life?  Could I have beauty blood sugars if I took away the stress? Imagine how healthy I could be!

Yeah okay not exactly a lot of pictures of me because I am the picture taker usually.  But here, this proves that I can wiggle and have fun too sometimes.  I am showing off my new bathing suit.  One that actually contains the girls.  My family got tired of pointing out my exposed nips.  I really did just say that.

On the topic of lots of lows I did have one.  ONE major bad low.  I was gallivanting in the ocean just playing around on the boogie board.  My mum was sitting in the sand at the shore.  Within about half a nanosecond my whole world changed.  Holy fuck, I was all of a sudden super low.  I plodded out of the water, dropped the board and stumbled to my beach chair.  I had one of those Dex4 emergency 4-tablet holders.  Naturally I fumbled trying to test my blood sugar first.  Why do we always do that?  AGH!!  We know when we are low.  Just eat the fucking glucose already.

It took me 3 test strips and I actually don't remember what my meter said.  The sunlight, the USB meter, the low.  Mum came and sat down and noticed what was wrong.  I was slumped, head in hands waiting for glucose to hit.  It wasn't hitting fast enough and I was sweating and shaking.  "I need more" was all I could mutter out of my numb lips.  She reached into the bag and handed me an apple squeezy.  Something we carry for the kids.  I sucked it back and waited some more.  I felt very close to passing out.  It was really horrible, I won't lie.  The rest of the week I took less insulin to avoid that again.

Towards the end the family shared a stomach bug.  First my bro-in-law who passed it onto my niece.  The poor girl she is a couple months shy of 3 years old and was the sickest she's been in her entire life.   I wished that someone would come and take it away from her.  How could her little body handle all that turmoil?  The last day it started hitting me half way through the day as I was doing what I do best, sitting in my beach chair half asleep doing crosswords.  The day got progressively worse and by the time we sat down for dinner at the most insanely overwhelming restaurant possible I knew I was done for.  Two bites of my salad and it didn't taste like food.  It was just something that didn't belong in my mouth - my body's way of saying "don't do it".

That night was a bit of a blur.  Because I have such a strong fear of vomit I made friends with Gravol.  Gravol is like the Canadian version of Dramamine I think.  All I know is that it knocks me the fuck out.  I had to do something I've never had to do before.  Ask for help.  How would I test my blood sugars if I'm lost in the land of Gravol?  My mother, my dear mother was there the whole way.  She came in and helped wake me up every couple hours so I could test.  She even looked at the number and helped me determine that everything was okay.  I've never had to ask for help like that.

 We were to be loading up the cars in the morning and making the long trek home and I was NOT looking forward to that.  That evening as I laid in bed with my laptop it felt like my world was just turning to hell.  I felt that bad.  I asked for help online.  I needed to talk to someone.  You know what?  I owe quite a bit to a couple ladies.  "The Mascara Fairy" who helped talk me out of a dark place.  Few people know who I am referring to.  This woman is magical though and encouraged me over and over to "just smile".  I don't think she knows how inspiring she is.  Thank you Fairy.

Another beautiful person who came to my rescue when I asked for help both with my sanity and with being sick with diabetes was Alexis from Justice's Misbehaving Pancreas.  I think this woman rocks the world.  You'd think I'd know about how to handle high blood sugars, ketones and a stomach bug.  I don't really.  I always thought that if you show ketones and high BG that the goal is to get the BG down with insulin and the ketones will go away.  Not so much when there is a virus at bay.  Ketones when sick are different from the ketones you can have as a result from only high blood sugar.  I learned you can be low with ketones.  I learned this because I experienced this over the next day and a half.  Thanks to that wonderful woman for teaching me something I should have already known. Thank you Alexis from the bottom of my broken pancreas.

I just noticed all the bad stuff I have been writing about here.  It wasn't all bad.  In fact most of it was fan-fucking-tastic.  Here are a couple adorable pictures:

My wonderful sis with my niece and nephew.

Grandma and nephew having "a moment" together

One of those pictures that you can look at everyday and will always make you smile.

Nice catch dude!

The beach is one of those places where I feel completely at peace.  I LOVE the beach.


I love that he's pinching his nipples!  Such a boy!

Next post? Making it home and working with what I had in an attempt to get that last long run in before the race.


  1. Have I told you how much I enjoy your photography? I do!!! These photos are truly gorgeous. Want to come along with me and my family on our next vacation? I'd love for you to capture the moments. ;)

    I grew up in upstate NY, and while we never made it down to Myrtle Beach, I think every one of my friends went there every year. We used to travel your way and vacation in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa.

    Stress, stress, stress -- it's the devil, isn't it?! I'm glad you were able to get away from it all.

    Sorry to hear the stomach bug struck! Vacation illnesses suck! So NOT the way you want to be spending your holiday! I'm glad your mom was there to help.

    And speaking of helpers, gotta LOVE the Mascara Fairy and Lexi!!! :)

  2. The one day I cruise all the blogs and here is your post!

    Omg the pics are amazing!! I want to eat him up seriously, and umm my lil one still pinches his nips wtf? Lol

    I'm so glad you're feeling better and no need for the thank you, I honestly am so happy I could be there for you!

    Sorry the trip was rough but looks like you made the best of it. You rock!

    PS: umm I have the same bathing suit issues :)

  3. Aww.. based on these samples, I can't wait to see the rest of your pictures. I'll bring my laptop next weekend on thanksgiving!

  4. Glad you got in some good runs. Glad the fairy hooked you up. Love the pics. Sorry it was so rough.

  5. First that you said "the girls" and "nips" in the post!!! You know me. I always "go there" first.

    Now...onto the grit. Damn girl. That low sounded horrible. AND. Me too. I have the most RIDICULOUS TIME asking for help. I have put Joe and I in some dicey situations b/c of it. I am not proud of it. I am working on it. It is an issue for sure. Please give your Mom a hug for me and tell her "thanks" for keeping a watchful eye over you during that night. xo

  6. Ah, hypoglycemic minds. I never want to "inconvenience" other people, and I always want to know what my blood sugar actually is before I treat even if my body is screaming "You need sugar now!".

    Aw, that is so sweet of your mom. Your photos are amazing, and where can i get that blue nail polish?.....


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