The Color Run

I ran in The Color Run here in Perth last Sunday – 17th of Feb and it was TOTALLY FRIGGIN AWESOME!


It was like some hippy rave – The happiest 5Klm Run!

Now if you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I have a love/hate relationship with running. Click here and here for an update. Running for me just seems like the ultimate fitness challenge and the perfect battlefield to match up against the Big D. Just doing it is a magnificent accomplishment in training Diabetes to live with me but to do it well , like totally smash it and keep the BG’s balanced feels like a total SMACKDOWN in the octagon of Diabetes UFC.

And on Sunday… I totally brought it. My blood sugars did not budge below 6.5m/mol or above 7.5m/mol the whole day.

Before the Run

That’s me on the left and my fellow runner on the right.

I ran at least 4klm out of the 5klm – running a few minutes and then walking a minute or so to catch my breath. I have run in the HBF Run for a Reason for the last 3 years but because of the stable blood glucose levels it didn’t feel as hard.

The big difference between this run and runs that I have done in the past is two things.

Nerves – I wasn’t nervous or anxious before the event because I knew what to expect – having done similar events before - and nerves and totally wreak havoc on the BG’s.

Hydration. Insulin will not absorb properly into the blood stream if you are not adequately hydrated and keeping blood sugar near normal will result in improved strength, speed, flexibility and endurance.  Extra sugar in the blood stream limits ours red blood cells ability to pick up oxygen in the lungs and transport it to our muscles. This can cause fatigue and limit cardiovascular capacity. (Resource – Think Like a Pancreas – Gary Scheiner. Click here for his website)

happy proud and filthy

Exhausted and Filthy!

So here is what I did the day before the run and the morning of. Of course, you might be different so don’t treat this as gospel.

The day before: I drank 2L of water, 500ml of Coconut Water (click here for all the magnificent stuff that this does) and 500ml of Powerade Zero Sugar. I ate two bananas throughout the day – along with other normal meals and for dinner I had a low fat, low GI dinner of Free Range pork fillet (don’t get me started on the factory pork industry), steamed sweet potato and steamed green vegi’s. I went to bed early and had a good sleep.

On the day of the run: I ate a banana at 6am with normal basal insulin dose and drank 200ml of pure coconut water. At 7.30am I ate a slice of Soy and Linseed bread with organic peanut butter (only peanuts are listed in the ingredients - not salt, oil and sugar like the others) with a half dose of basal insulin and drank about 500ml of water. I reduced my insulin pump by 40% about 20 minutes before the run lasting 1.5 hours to cover about 30-40 minutes after I had finished running.

I checked my BG about 5 minutes out from running, after the third color zone (3klm), after finishing and then about every hour after that for a few hours.

And like I said… It was AWESOME!

Color Run finished

Little Miss Sunshine

I am fabulous at motivation. Motivating myself I mean, not other people.

I have come to realise and accept that I am still that over zealous excitable person I was when I was a kid. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth but rather a rather fabulous pair of rose glasses. It sometimes borders on painfully annoying – not for me I might add – and dorkish pleasure in the positive regardless of how uncool it may appear by the onlookers in the ‘Whatever’ department.

And it comes in handy when I need a little motivation but can have it’s drawbacks when I need to focus. I like too much stuff. I want to do EVERYTHING! And I wanted to have done it already.

I have signed up for The Color Run – Perth. Check out the clip here! – it is super cool and with every klm you walk or run you get showered with a bright colour! JDRF is the official charity for the event which is also super cool !

The thing is… I have been so motivated to start training. Downloaded a heap of cool apps to help with the running, managing diabetes and managing diet and have spring cleaned my kitchen and my nutrition.

I just haven’t gotton around to doing much training and I can help but wonder – channelling Carrie again – Why?

Exercising with Diabetes is a royal pain in the arse. Unless you do it all the time then it’s easier as there are not too many fluctuations – sort of. (Yes. I know I need balance) Exercising with Rheumatoid Arthritis is another royal pain in the …. Kinda all over actually and I only have early stages.

Motivating myself and getting excited about health, nutrition and exercise is the easy part. It’s the fun part. But having to plan your workouts around meal times – so that I don’t have to eat too much extra to exercise, blood sugar levels and pain levels can be a real drag. The only way to do it is by recording everything. Data. Data. Data. Knowledge is power and it can improve things immensely from not have a zillion lows or highs to feeling better – and less pain.  And it’s not just the data collecting, it is also the crap you have to take to the gym or out for a run – blood glucose metre, glucose, phone and ID – just in case.

It just makes me want to lay down for a while just thinking about it. Ugh. It isn’t like rushing home from work, chucking on your gym gear and working out. The thought starts a long time before that and if you have a low when you get home from work? Well, that just screwed everything up. And if your high? That also just screwed everything up.

I know that it’s worth it. And I know I can sometimes want to everything all at once and do it with precision. Which is why I am just going to follow some of Ginger’s Diabetes Experiment ideas from her book and just focus on one block of time at a time. Monitor say 12am to 6am basal rates for a week and what a morning workout does. Then I’ll do 6pm to 12 midnight and what evening workouts do.

It’s only 4 weeks until the run and I know I won’t be running the whole thing because I’m not prepared. But maybe this small measurable achievable plan will help me find balance and continuity so that I don’t have to keep going through this as I will be a super fit amazing diabetic triathlon wonder woman doing adventure races and saving the world from poverty and hunger!

Yep. There is that 10 year old me – Little Miss Sunshine, cheering me on with bad singing and a happy dance.

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

I know a lot of diabetics who don’t take all that stuff with them and everyone is different. I would just rather be prepared so that I have everything to take care of myself and if it got to the point that I couldn’t then the person finding me sweating, passed out in the loneliest place in the gym knows the deal and who to call. I say this with humour – strangely – but the seriousness is on the edges of the words still. I have a tendency when I am low to go somewhere quiet and away from people getting all up in my face which is a slight Diabetes hazard.

Why I write about my health – #NHBPM

Let’s make November: National Health Blog Post Month. We’ll blog about health every day of November – raising awareness and our spirits as we close out 2012. Click on the link to find out more or go to :

Day one: Why I write about my health

I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I was diagnosed 6 and a half years ago at the age of 30.  Writing my blog and being open and honest – sometimes maybe too open and honest :) along with being vigilant with testing my blood sugars I believe that I am Training Diabetes to live with me. One prick at a time.  I want to share my experiences about living with Type 1 Diabetes and life in general in hope to inspire and motivate myself and maybe I can drag a few others along with me for the ride.

And even though I write about my sometimes ill-health, I like to think that overall I am writing about my healthiness And how being a Diabetic has pushed me to pursue overall fabulous health. How being a Diabetic has given me a fresh set of eyes. Challenge what boundaries that seem to be set out for me because of my health and create a new set of rules. Rules that I can live with. Rules without restrictions. Essentially, No Rules.

With every word that I toil over and type - I am inspiring myself to dream and create my reality.

JDRF Walk 2012 – Hips, Heat and Blisters

The 7klm JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes was on last Sunday at Burswood Park in Perth. It was another great turnout of both people and the weather. Actually, walking in the sun got quite hot but I couldn’t complain because my 69-year-old Mum in law who has an injured hip walked the whole 7klm’s without a peep of complaint.

Thank you to my wonderful husband who just shows me support effortlessly and tirelessly. Thank you also to my amazing Mum in law who has also given me much needed support over the years and will do the walk year in and year out. Thanks!

Here are some pics:

Me and my Mum in law

The beginning of 7klm

All done!

Replying to all the messages of support! Thanks everyone!

The walk was great fun and a lot of money was raised for JDRF.  I am used to walking that distance but I got two huge blisters (size of 50 cent piece) on the bottom of each foot! and Wow! the next day, my feet were red-hot and tingling! I could barely walk. My blood sugars were dancing around, no ketones though, so my DE thought it was caused by the pain rather than infectiomn. I had to ice them to bring the heat down and pop a few antibiotics as a precautionary measure though as the redness was a little manky and gross. These are the things sometimes that really suck about being a Diabetic. Diabetic feet issues is not something to take lightly. On a positive note – I had an RDO today so didn’t have to go to work.  I was able to keep off them, keep them cool and keep my blood sugars down. Oh! and catch up on a few episodes of True Blood :)

iBGTest – There is an app for that – iBGStar

I cannot tell you what I think about the soon to be released iBGStar Blood Glucose monitor without telling you where I have been. Or rather, what other BG meters I have used and why.

I used the Optium Xceed for a number of years. This was recommended to me because of their ketones strips. They are the only metre on the market in Australia at the moment with blood ketones strips. But I have heard on the grapevine that Abbott only hold the patent for the blood ketone strips until sometime next year. When that is finished I wouldn’t be surprised if all BG meters have that capability.  I liked that it had individually wrapped test strips, not so much from a hygiene point of view as simple ease in storing used strips in a little pocket of my case. It is much harder and messier to do when they are not wrapped up. The meter itself was easy to use-but they all are aren’t they-and the screen was easy to use. In all honesty, I didn’t really use the ketone strips all that much. The ketone strips have a short expiry date and the few times I went to use them I had found that they had expired. It is important to note that I rarely get sick. I purchased the cable to download data from my meter but just never got around to it. I am not exactly a computer/gadget person, so plugging it in and waiting for it to download wasn’t particularly something I wanted to do.

I then starting using the Accu Chek Mobile . It is one complete unit. The finger pricker is attached to the side of the meter (you can remove it – but why?) and instead of individual strips that you load manually it uses a cassette of 50 test continuous tape. It was the strip free factor that got me interested. What I didn’t like was how long it took to load the next test and also how loud it was. You wouldn’t think that the noise factor-think jet engine starting up- would come into a BG meter until you need to test in a meeting, seminar, wedding, movies or where ever else it is quiet and you don’t want everyone to stop and stare at you. The meter has options to tag the test eg: before/after meal etc which is very good. After a while though, I did not use this option because I didn’t download the information anyway. Once again, plugging in to download the information just did not get done. It made it on my To-Do list but was never ever was ticked off. All this aside, I do really like this meter because of its lack of bits and pieces. I commute to work each day with a one hour drive. I can test quite safely with one hand using this meter (Not that I am recommending this-I am usually in a traffic stand still when I do this-please drive and test with caution:) and when I am exercising it is a lot less fussing around with strips and prickers. This is even more an ease when I am out and about on my bike. I just grab it from my bike pouch (sometimes I stop riding and sometimes I don’t-once again, ride and test with caution:) I can test with almost one hand and not needing to lean the meter to play around with strips etc is a godsend during these times.

So then I come to the iBGStar.  Other than how small it is (smaller than my USB thumb drive, it can be plugged in and used from my iphone and also on its own) what I love most about this meter is that it downloads all the data with ease. By using the iBGStar app it saves everything automatically. No USB cables into the computer. No mucking around. No fuss. If I use the meter on its own (not plugged into the iphone) it can hold up to 300 readings and the next time I plug it into my phone it downloads in seconds. And it is as easy as plugging my phone into its charger. Perfect. I was a little hesitate in going back to the strip way of testing but it wasn’t a problem. When I use it unplugged (from my iphone) it doesn’t make a sound and because the meter itself is so small it seems less cumbersome. When I use it plugged in it has really cool graphics as it is testing which makes testing seem kind of fun! Not just for the teens either. I think we all love playing around with our iphone apps don’t we? And as for the messy strips? I just stuck a sticker on an empty strip canister to show that this is my used strip bin. Overall I have found the iBGStar meter very easy to use, fun to use and more importantly, because one BG reading is only a snapshot, the automatic downloading and graphing of data via the app has made me feel more on top of my diabetes. I love this meter and will continue using it!

But seriously, why do I need to choose only one meter? I am a modern women in a fast paced world with modern technology! I don’t! I can have the best of all worlds! So with that in mind, I have decided that I will use the iBGStar meter and app for the majority of my tests and the Accu Chek Mobile for when I am out exercising. With the iBGstar app I can manually add readings (as well as insulin bolus and carb counting a meal times actually which I may have to tell you about another time) . Adding just one or two readings into the app after exercise is much less hassle than downloading stuff on the computer. And this way I can keep my little gym bag fully equipped with glucose tabs and meter without having to take the meter out. Which also means that I don’t have to remember to put the meter into my gym bag too-something I have forgotten from time to time. And more importantly, I can collate all of my BG readings in one simple app. Love it!


Blood, Mud and Vomit

As I am off in Bali.. Yay!! No phone or internet!!  (Can’t wait to tell you all about it)….. and has just reached it’s 1st Birthday! I have re-posted one of my very first posts in case you missed it….

I am really unsure how I can articulate my experience of riding in the Dwellingup 100 2011 – 14klm mountain bike event. You see, my emotions along with my blood sugars rose, dipped and sprayed in a variety of rainbow colours.

Excitement – I woke up earlier than my alarm clock and before I even opened my eyes I knew it was going to be a good day. Excitement fluttered in my belly and I checked and re-checked everything I had packed the night before. I re-packed extra juice boxes, sports gels, hydration fluids and muesli bars. I have been looking forward to doing this!

Calmness – On the hour and a bit drive I checked my blood sugars to make sure that I was on track. I had eaten a bowl oats with berries and a tablespoon of yoghurt. Nothing too much for my stomach because I really can’t handle exercise with anything in there but of course I need to reduce my insulin pump at the right time and eat something (juice/gel) before the event.

Mortified – What the hell!! Why is my blood sugar 17.8 50 mins out from the start time? It must have been the nervous excitement that increased cortisol and adrenalin levels which in turn made my bg rise. Oh no! what do I do?

Panic – I’ll give myself a little squirt of insulin. I can’t ride 14klm’s with a bg of 17.8. Not only would it make me feel like my legs are moving through mud it could actually cause ketones. This has happened before where I exercised and it made me feel so nauseous. It is quite dangerous.

Sheer panic – 15mins out from starting and my blood sugar read as 5.1…..WTF!!! My heart rate started to rise. I needed to eat as I had insulin in my system. This much of a rapid drop in bg also (for me anyway) has a bit of an emotional response too so tears started welling up in my eyes and smashing down some puree fruit and muesli bars I told my husband that maybe I couldn’t go. (Oh! did I mention that I was doing this event on my own…in the bush…and I have never done anything like this before!)

Embarrassment – My husband knew how much this meant to me and as he was tenderly brushing the few spilled tears off my cheeks he strongly reminded me why I wanted to do this and how upset I would be if I didn’t. He walked me over to the starting line and pointed out the motorbikes that would be following us as it was a participation event and they wouldn’t want to lose anyone in the bush (My man – aka Captain Safety) We pricked my already bloody finger tips and phew! they were on the rise, insulin pump was reduced. Then Captain Safety started to chant my name and when the ride began he ran alongside me taking pictures…. I. could. have. died. This was a hardcore MTB event man!

Terrified – This was so much harder than what I had thought. It was a participation event and was supposed to be guided (well, it was at the beginning and the end – but I was somewhere in the middle and didn’t have anyone around me. Probably the only person out there that shouldn’t have really been out alone in the bush. The tracks were steep and fast. There were thin single tracks and they were winding in and out of trees. There were logs to ride over and rocks to jump over. It was terrifying and it was FREAKING AWESOME!! (Picture a crazed women hanging on to a bike – not riding – just hanging on for dear life with a grin from ear to ear as she flies down a mountain weaving in and out of trees and over logs with a thump!)

Mindful – I stopped at each half hour mark to check my blood sugar and I didn’t budge from 5.1. However, I did eat fruit puree and sports gels at each half hour So basically the riding was some serious sugar burning action!

Nauseous – Yes, with all of that nervousness, excitement, sports gels and fruit puree I hurled a multi color splash of vomit out there in the middle of the bush. Thank goodness no one was around me to witness this at the time… I felt better, but all that sugar that I hadn’t consumed (Spelling it out - it was no longer in my body) did worry me a little so I had a little more gel.. Mmm, not something that I would recommend on a normal day.

Thrilled/exhilarated/Happy/Joyful/Proud – I was filthy, muddy and my fingers were bruised and bloody. But when I crossed that finish line at 1 hour and 25 minutes my smile took up half my face! That was possibly one of the coolest things that I have ever done! My bg at the end was 5.1 which made it all the more sweeter. Kiss that Diabetes!

Go ahead, make my day

As I am off in Bali.. Yay!! No phone or internet!!  (Can’t wait to tell you all about it)….. and has just reached it’s 1st Birthday! I have re-posted one of my very first posts in case you missed it….

Her face glowed with a indescribable aura! It absolutely radiated! Her cheeks flushed and her eyes sparkled like the sun off the ocean on a sunny clear day. I caught her eye and for a moment and I had a feeling of deja-vu. Or had I met this person before? I caught her eye again and I peered in closer.

I smiled at this person in the mirror and welcomed her back….

It has been exactly three months since I have last done any exercise. I am by no means an athlete or even just a very fit person. I used to be reasonably fit before Diabetes knocked on my door but now I found it the one thing that made balancing my blood sugar the hardest. But the last three months has been different. I was waiting around to have my EPS ablation (where they burnt that SVT out of my heart so that my heart didn’t go into overdrive) and it just got into my head. In a massive way!

With balancing my thoughts between monitoring my heart rate and monitoring my blood sugar my inner dialogue during exercise roared FEAR and SELF DOUBT so much at me that I couldn’t hear the self motivating thoughts I was trying to focus on. You know those thoughts when you ar trying to push yourself through that last 10 mins or the mountain climb in spin class? Mine range from single power words like; Stronger. Faster. Leaner. to the humourous; I think I can I think I can!  to the more profound; There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. But they have been a mere whisper of late. Until now!

I pulled out my mountain bike a few days ago and armed with my heart rate monitor and enough juice to feed a classroom of kindergartens at recess I set off on a little 4klm ride. Wow! How I have missed this feeling! The next day I did an 8.5 klm ride along the beach in the glorious spring sun and tears quite literally made my eyes glisten. The way exercise makes me feel is fabulous! The way it makes me feel so alive! The way it makes me feel like I have diabetes by the scruff of its neck against the wall laughing in its face, ” Go ahead, make my day”….

Surrounded by idiots

Continued from – Public Hospitals Suck Eggs (Click here to view)

The view from my window is as grimy as the light fighting to get through it is dull. The colour is that of flat, warm beer and the faint smell of this place is as nauseating. The concrete metal monster that is slowly being built outside my window is littered with men wearing fluro tops and hard hats. It must be cold outside because I can see their smoking breath as they yell instructions to each other. The ground has a slow grumble of a bass drum whilst the metal against metal clamoring is more like a cymbol crashing its way into my brain.

I am mortified that this is one of our states largest public hospitals. The staff here have as much patient care and empathy as someone forced to be here on a work for the dole scheme. I can hear them talking in the staffroom and I’d rather hear the banging of construction rather than their banging on about their weekend/weight loss/gain and that they cannot believe it is Monday again. Sarcastic laughter, bossy questions and a cringe worthy voice of one particular nurse is grating on my nerves like fingers down a chalk board.

The careless nature of how they dealt with the cut (from the electrodes being ripped off) on my shins and the fact that they are talking about it and me (oblivious to the fact that I can hear them!) down the corridor from this tiny room makes me feel forgotten. Or worse, disregarded.

That is until the Sleep Scientist that is going to perform the series of Nap Tests on me walks through the door.  My experience with her is the complete and utter opposite of that I have encountered so far. First of all she looked me in the eye when she walked into the room, introduced herself and SMILED!! She SMILED!! Yes! God damn it! I am being sarcastic in case that was missed on you dear reader. This blessed angel hospital worker SPOKE to me as if I was a normal (Shh.. don’t tell) breathing human being! She understood that I was bored out of my skull, uncomfortable with all the leads attached to me and tired. Yes! Tired! The nap test was excruciating as just as you fall asleep they come in and wake you. Then you have to sit there for an hour and a half and not fall asleep. You may think I am being dramatic. But until you try it, I urge you to reserve your judgement.

Another moment of tender patient care that she did was she did something that ‘wasn’t her job’. She looked at my leg which was slowly developing into an angry, swollen, oozy scab and went over to another ward to get me some Iodine swabs. She then asked the Manager of the Sleep Clinic to come and have a look as she felt that maybe they should review their techniques.Then they apologised to me. Something that the other staff didn’t blink an eye at. But an apology or recognition for something gone wrong is just what you need sometimes. It’s not like they can change it. But they can say sorry for it having happened.

That is all that I wanted. Someone to give a crap

I posted some photo’s on Facebook (or see two photos below) and you will see how that little incident has developed into a raw, infected wound that looks more like I was attacked by a rabid dog. I ended up taking a day off work to see my GP to get some antibiotics and a day and a half of 200% increase in my basal rate as my blood sugars would not go below 20mmol. Cuts and abrasions for a Type 1 Diabetic is actually quite a serious issue. Thankfully my blood sugars have come down but….

Worst of all….. I am about to go to Bali so it totally wreaked my plans of having a fake tan!!

Thank you to the wonderful Sleep Scientist who showed me so much empathy and patient care.

This photo was taken just after the Electrodes were taken off

This photo was taken three days later after a day and a half of blood sugars in the 20′s and taking antibiotics

Feeling like a tool

I am taking part in Diabetes blog week which runs between the 14th of May until the 20th of May.. You can check out more details from here if you like.

Today’s topic is:

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

Isn’t it funny how you feel like an absolute tool when you are asked to say something nice about yourself. Ask me something that I would like to change or to do better and I could come up with a whole list of things in a blink of an eye.

Anyway, that is not the task at hand…. Mmmmmm….

What I do spectacularly for my Diabetes care is my blood glucose checks. I don’t have a CGM (continuous Glucose Monitor) as it is too expensive (Here in Australia? I don’t know the price difference but maybe it is also a Diabetes culture difference. It doesn’t seem as popular here as it does elsewhere…. I digress…. Maybe another topic for another day)  So, what I do well is that I do check my blood glucose quite regularly throughout the day. I get great comfort in knowing what is happening, albeit it is just a snapshot of what is happening and unlike the CGM you cannot see if it is trending up or down but.. damn!!.. it really is hard to allow myself to be happy and proud of this hey!

 Okay! I TEST MY BLOOD GLUCOSE WELL…. and I am proud of that.

The best and the worst

With the HBF Run coming up in 6 weeks time, I just wanted to re-post this blog I wrote last year.

I have decided to take part in the Juvenation Blog Carnival:

 The topic for the 11th of November is: Best Diabetes Day

and the topic for the 12th of November is: Worst Diabetes Day

The first thing that springs to mind when I think about what is my best Diabetes day is when I ran the 4.5klm HBF Run for a Reason race in 2010. I did it again this year but when I ran it in 2010 it meant a lot more to me. You see, exercise has always been a struggle for me since I have been diagnosed. Being diagnosed at 30 and being quite active in my pre-d life meant that going off to a spin class or boot camp was a totally different experience. I had no idea until I had some pretty scary lows that it totally put me off exercising for a few years. Anyway, in the lead up to the HBF run I trained and battled my way through the highs and the lows (both emotionally and with blood sugar levels) and came out much stronger in the end. To be honest, even before diabetes I wasn’t much of a runner. So when I ran that day, albeit my cardio wasn’t really up there yet but with my husband by my side as my ‘diabetes support’ grabbing my hand and testing for me so I could just concentrate on breathing (was all I could manage) and finally crossed the finish line I felt triumphant! In hindsight, I think it enabled me to eradicate the boundaries that I had unintentionally put on me since being diagnosed and therefore was a real turning point in my life with D.

Isn’t it terrible…. When I think of my worst diabetes day a flurry of occasions pop to mind as opposed to the 2 or 3 of the best days. Was it the day that I only had two glasses of wine but felt so ‘drunk’ and sick and I didn’t realise that this was because my blood sugar’s were so high and not anything to do with the wine? (I had only been diagnosed about 2 months previously) Or what about the day that I passed out in the kitchen from a low only to wake up a few minutes later and started guzzling Coke Zero as if that would help my situation!? I could think of many more but I suppose when I hate diabetes (Mmm hate is a strong word but it is appropriate) is when for no rhyme or reason your levels are stupidly high only to go low on the day that you need to be really on top of your game and need to drive across town in peak hour and back again. These type of days suck BIG TIME because they leave me feeling exhausted, cranky, overwhelmed and well… like an epic failure.