Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just Be

As I was driving to the pool at 6am this morning I passed by the bagel shop where we often gather before a long bike ride during the summer months. For a moment, I wished I was back in one of those June mornings, hanging around with good friends getting ready to ride long on a hot summer day, instead of driving to the pool on a freezing cold morning! I find myself doing that alot, wishing for moments back that are far gone. Take today for example, I'm wishing it was the first of my 6 days off of work, instead of the first of my next 4 on. I guess I'm lucky that there are so many great moments in my life that I'd like to go back to, but I don't want to waste anymore energy living in the past. So today my New Year's resolution was born, to live more in the moment be grateful for now, great family, great friends, great health. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Running Low!

Well, I did the 5k with my friend 2 weeks ago and we crossed together, just as I promised her. It was quite an amazing experience to be with someone at their first race ever. Everything was so new and exciting to her and when she crossed the finish line, she cried. I guess it was her journey there that created those tears, but they were so heartfelt, and it reminded me the power of exercise.

Everyday I'm out there I feel lucky. I think about all the patients and people I have come across that only wish they could do half of what we do. That's where I got my saying, We Get To Do This, my friends laugh, but when were out there suffering, I'm always screaming that! So even last week when my blood sugar went to a all time low of 24 while I was running, I just reset my game plan and shortened my run. Yes, that is right, 24---I knew I didn't feel right so I said to my 2 friends about 3 miles in, I need to check my sugar...23...recheck...24---oh shit, 8 miler not happening today-I ate my 3 packs of sharkies approx 100gms of carbs, and carried on till the 5 mile mark where I called it a day, with a ending sugar of 60. My two babysitters stayed with me, that is how I felt, I could see they were concerned but I didn't want to ruin their run, I told them to continue on, but my BFF actually followed me home. I truly felt like I was 8 years old and had a babysitter, but I secretly thought it was cool that I was still running with a sugar of 24! Anyhow, what prompted this horrible sugar, well more of my ridiculous behavior. I started with a sugar of about 360, bolused 4 units and turned my basal off, well I am learning all too quickly that I really can't bolus anything more than about 1.5 units before a run. (Thanks Anne) Gee, you would think I was new at this shit, I mean, I've been diabetic since age 14, have finished 15 marathons, 3 ironmans, 2 50k's, but the truth is, I kind of lived in denial of my diabetes. I hardly ever checked my sugar and would just always be happy between 200-300, oh... I'm lying maybe it was even higher, I hardly ever checked. How dumb, I know. When people would say to me, "I didn't know you had diabetes.." my usual response was "oh no I don't, I have the pump, it's my portable pancreas" and I would laugh. So this journey toward normal sugars while exercising and living is continuing to be a challenge, but I've never been afraid of challenges it's part of what drives me. Reading my Triabetes teamate blogs has helped too, realizing that we all go through this, but, some really seem to have it figured out much better than I, so I am learning, and aspiring to be more like them. I am also happy to report that my sugar detox is going pretty well, other than a run in with buttercream the other day!!! I've lost 3 pounds and we are almost through these holidays!

Well I'm off to sleep before work tonight, yes working on Christmas Eve 7p-7a, but hey I'm looking on the bright side, time and a half after 11pm! Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I ran with a old friend yesterday. We've been running together for a bit over a month now. Our lives have been so parallel, but at times we lose contact. We were in the same homeroom together all 4 years of high school, and probably never uttered a hello. Then about 12 years ago I left the oncology(cancer) unit and transferred down to the ED, where she was my preceptor. ED nursing was a bit overwhelming at first, it was an entire new world. She was patient with me and gave me confidence when I lacked it. I was amazed at her brilliance as a nurse, and aspired to be like her. Two years later, when I was ready to enter the cardiac/trauma rooms, there she was , ready to be my preceptor and mentor me once again. Through our years in the ED we formed a bond, many of my true friends, I have made from that ED. Saving and losing lives together brings this sort of trust, I really can't explain it. It was my favorite time as a nurse.

She and I unfortunately also had another thing in common, our brothers. Both addicted to alcohol, in my case, drugs and alcohol. They were both thorns in our mother's sides always causing some kind of pain. Then 3 years ago, my brother took his life on Christmas Day- how sad, I watched people fight for their lives in that ED and he just takes his. OK... SO I'M STILL ANGRY! Here's the sad part, 2 years ago, her brother commits suicide also. A truly unfortunate thing that we both now have in common, but it's there, another bond. I remember a few months after her brother died she asked me how I handle it so well. You see, my dad killed himself 12 years ago. So I'm like the expert at surviving this shit! I told her I run. It is probably no coincidence that I did my first marathon a year or so after my dad died. Endurance sports bring a beautiful pain to your life. Crossing finish lines after suffering, now that is living! I want to be the opposite of my dad and bro-they were weak, quitters in life, I am not!!!

Well guess who starts working out this year, my friend! She started in January and has already lost 50 lbs, so a bit over a month ago, I call her and tell her she must come run the "magical forest" with me. I know, she will understand and appreciate it's peace and beauty. I encourage and push her and hopefully give her the confidence that she gave me so many years ago as a nurse. I can see that she is learning to love running. I know that it is healing from the inside out, AND I almost have her convinced to sign up for a marathon!!! She is up to seven miles now, and she will run her first 5k on Sunday. I vow I will run it with her and leave my ego behind. We will run side by side no matter how long it takes, two survivors!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fraudulent Detox

Day 3 detox- So here how my workout goes, I wake up sugar 266 and I bolus 5 units cause I'm gonna eat 2 packages of oatmeal again before our 12 mile trail run. On my way to trail, accucheck says 299, I bolus 2 more units. DUMB MOVE! I don't know why I have this ridiculous behavior, I mean who takes 7u before running 12 miles. Yup, captain dumb dumb right here! I feel like I'm playing a video game and I'm the main character who just keeps getting destroyed by hitting the wrong buttons over and over. It was easier to exercise with high sugars!
Well I leave my basal off, mile 3 sugar is already 112, F---in great, it's gonna be another one of those runs, where I eat more calories than I burn. By mile 9 I have eaten 5 bags of sport beans, red,pink,orange, I'm popping them like tic tacs eating the rainbow, another 500 useless calories, at this rate I will keep Jelly Belly in business. I mean, I feel like a fraud, I'm supposed to be trying to detox off this crap and I'm forced to eat it during this run. Maybe I purposely sabotaged myself because I was going through withdrawal!!!!

On the bright side, it was a beautiful snowy day and we made the first footprints in the trail, I ran with a sugar between 80-128 the entire run and never felt low, I just kept pounding the jelly beans and life was good! We'll see what tomorrow brings!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

So I'm on day 2 of detoxing off of candy! The morning after I wrote my last blog I frantically tried to erase my fat gut picture! I thought "Oh my gosh, did I have a sugar low when I posted that-what the hell was I thinking!" Well being the idiot I am with computers I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it. The proof of all the Halloween candy was staring right in front of me AND the rest of the world, there is no more denying it, it's time to get serious again. I nervously got on the scale, something I haven't done since October when all this self destruction with candy started.
SH--! 147lbs, I figure, I have nothing to hide from all of you, my dad always said "Pictures don't lie!" Although Ironman is a year away, the truth is I don't feel as good when I'm eating crap-and my sugars are all over the place, and my weight is out of control, so now 2 weeks before Christmas I will call it quits with the junk. A brilliant move on my part, as good as wearing my shirt backwards!
So today was a good numbers day-never did my sugar go above 211-and I ran the magical forest run again!--(that's what I call our 8.5mile trail)--Someday I'll explain.
When I woke up my sugar was 130 , I ate two packages of oatmeal(60 gms carbs) and bolused 3 units over an hour. I ran with half my basal 0.35u and ended with a sugar of 160! The same friend who I always run the trail with said today-"I think I like it better when your sugar is all over the place, I couldn't keep up!" Now that's what I call magical!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Dec 4,2008--I have many love hate relationships, the bike being one of them. I hate getting ready to get on it, I hate riding in bad weather, I hate all the preparation to get on it, but once you've started and it's a nice day out and you're with good friends, well then, of course it's easy to love.
Most recently, since September, I have a new love/hate item. My CGM- I've never been a numbers person, probably why I've never been as disciplined as I should be with checking my sugar. Until recently, that is. When I first started reading the triabetes blogs and realized that people actually do workout with "normal" sugars, I realized I had a awful lot to figure out. I've been at this endurance stuff for about 10 years now and always have exercised with sugars in the 200's. I know, I know-some of you are gasping, but I'm more afraid of going low then being high. Well until recently it was normal for me to start out with a sugar of 250'ish then sometimes end much higher than that. Now since my CGM, I'm learning that I perform and feel better around 130-150! Here's the love/hate part-I hate the size of the needle, I hate that when working out indoors I can't get it to stay on much longer than an hour, I hate that my insurance company will allow me to only have 10 per month, I hate wearing another attatchment, I hate that insurance companies won't pay for all type 1's to have one, I hate when it wakes me up in the middle of the night to calibrate it, I hate to calibrate it, I hate when it tells me I have a 136 sugar and my accucheck tells me my sugar is 408! Yes that happened this morning. So here is how my morning played out-wake up my cgm says 136, my accucheck says 408-technology sure is not perfect- I bolus 7 units because my bolus wizard tells me to bolus 11 but I'm getting ready for a 8.5 mile trail run. I eat 4 tootsie rolls and a Halloween sized package of dots, down a cup of coffee made with skim milk(hey gotta cut back somewhere) and head to the trail to meet my friend. I check my sugar on the way with my accucheck, losing faith in the cgm, and I get 456-I bolus 4 more units. I keep my basal rate of 0.7u/hr on until mile 3 when i start to feel low, my cgm says 296 and i don't have a accucheck with me-I turn my basal rate off and continue on. I get to mile 4 and I'm definitely low my cgm says 196, I eat a package of shot blocks anyway. My friend says to me," Boy you sure are having alot of problems with your sugars lately, you never used to go low last year." She's right, trying to exercise with a normal sugar has been a challenge, and I'm sure it will continue to be until I lay off the candy that makes my sugar go to 400, and I try to figure this game out. So anyway by mile 5, still feeling low my cgm says 117-all I know is sugar is dropping quick-I eat my 2 packs of sport beans and hope for the best. Mile six feeling good cgm says 130 and stays pretty consistent until 8.5miles.
So here is the love part, I get to my car and accucheck says 145 cgm says 140-I love it when it works like that, I love when it wakes me from sleep with either a high or low reading, I love that my insurance company will pay for any of it, I love that it is helping me to take better care of my diabetes, I love knowing that someday they might actually perfect it!
The first picture is obviously my fat gut with my cgm on which wirelessly transmits my sugar readings to my minimed pump, the second picture is the needle and charging device.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

BoldINTENTION: Performing an action for a specific purpose
December 2,2008 - 9:53am I have been up over 24 hours now, but I have intended to start this blog since I returned home from my first Triabetes weekend, now over a week ago. I will not go to sleep until this is started! Intentions sometimes get lost in life, we all have good ones most of the time, but can easily lose sight of what's important. Well let me start by saying that my intention this year was to take the year OFF from Ironman....but then, this amazing oppurtunity happened and I was chosen to be one of the Triabetes captains. My intentions changed quickly. How could I let an amazing adventure like this pass me by, so here I am, ready to dive in to another year of endless hours away from from my family, training, sweating, stinking, chafing, puking, yeah, you know all the glorious stuff that goes along with this sport. (I would'nt have it any other way.)
After meeting my Triabetes team last week, I already felt like I had a new family. Twenty something years on insulin and never have I ever been around a dinner table where 15 people pull out accuchecks--OH MY GOSH I THOUGHT- "I FOUND MY PEOPLE!" In a very short fun filled weekend I learned to love each one of them already, and can only imagine what this year will bring, and how much I will learn. (MAYBE I will even give up candy-one can dream, can't they?)
Well I'd love to write more, but my cgm is beeping 357-uh oh-maybe too many tootsie rolls, and I need to get some sleep before work again tonight. So my intention to start this blog is now complete, I hope you will follow myself and all the triabetes team captains on our journey to Ironman AZ 2009!
Because OUR intention is to complete 140.6 miles and although each one of us has our own individual purpose for finishing a race like this, I think we can all agree that the main purpose is to show other type 1's like the spirit of Ironman says "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!"