Monthly Archives: July 2013

The 30 Day Affirmation Challenge – Out with the Negative, In with the Positive!

People do not always flourish when surrounded by constant negativity, worse if we are the ones heaping negativity on ourselves. And lord knows there are plenty of 30 day challenges that challenge us physically, but how about an emotional challenge?

I’m up for this, are you?

Progress Is Perfection

I recently wrote a blog that touched on the idea that our thoughts are so powerful, they have the ability to influence our lives in a major way. Often times if you change your thoughts, you can change your life.

Positive affirmations are a way for us to turn thoughts into actions, and into reality. Affirmations are generally defined as something declared to be true; a positive statement or judgment. The more you repeat a given affirmation (whether you initially believe it or not), the more likely you are to come to believe it. These can either be positive (ie. I am a loveable person) or negative (ie. I am bad at my job).

Over time these become deeply rooted in your subconscious, become a part of your personality, and have the ability to have a profound effect on your life. Lucky for us, negative affirmations can be replaced with…

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So I’ve been meaning to write…

It’s funny, I’ve had a lot of things that I’ve wanted to write, but then I end up looking at another amazing blog and before I know it, time has slipped right by me.

First, it’s been three weeks since I was diagnosed.  In that time I’ve been angry, stressed, hungry, cold, tired as all hell, and angry as all hell.  But let’s back track to one week ago.

I was sitting at my desk at work and talking to a colleague who knows that I have been recently diagnosed with the ‘betes.  She’s an absolutely wonderful soul and I really do feel that she actually cares about what I’m going through.  She’s encouraging without giving me the “I have an aunt/brother/sister/cousin/friend/hair dresser/paper boy/etc. that has diabetes, so I know what you’re going through,”  spiel. On the other hand, I do have a colleague who, new to the company, joined in the conversation with us.  Before I knew it, I was justifying what I had,  “eaten for breakfast/lunch/dinner, yes I can eat fruit, I can eat whatever I want, no I don’t drink soda/alcohol” etc. etc. etc.  Suffice it to say, I was in tears before long. 

I mean, I’ve only been an “in the know” diabetic for two weeks.  Sheesh.

But damage has now been done – she went to human resources with concerns that I “wasn’t dealing with the diabetes diagnosis very well.”

TWO WEEKS!

In two (now three) weeks, I’ve been pricking my fingers, learning how to count carbs, struggle with emotions that could rival the swings of someone who doesn’t manage their BS/BG very well, relearning everything I thought I knew about nutrition and you want me to keep a freakin’ smile on my face and pretend that all’s well?  I’ll get there, of course, but not in two weeks!

I was mortified that she had spoken to HR at all.  More so because, I hadn’t even spoken to HR yet.  Thanks for letting that cat out of the bag.  To continue with that same train of thought, I’m also well pleased that said colleague feels the need to not only check out, but comment on, the nutritional value of my meals.  Blerg.

Okay, now that I have that off my chest, on to the “good” stuff!

Since July 1st (note: pre-diagnosis) I have been walking almost regularly to and from work.  Sometimes there’s a little more walking, sometimes a little less, but basically, I’m walking about 40 minutes a day for five days (no, I’m not breaking records here, but I’m not sitting my fat ass on a bus either!).  I’m eating a relatively vegetarian diet.  It needs a lot of work still but Rome wasn’t built in one day either. Oh, and I’ve lost just over 5% of my body weight.  There’s a lot more to lose, but I’m still a loser, and that’s alright in my books.

The lethargy.  It’s still bugging me but after speaking to my pharmacist (I just may have the greatest pharmacist in the world!) and letting her know that I supplement, I asked her what her thoughts were on adding in a B Complex vitamin.  I’ve been taking the B Complex since Saturday and I’m already starting to notice a difference!  I’ve stayed up until 10 (Oooh! Such a late night rebel am I!) the last couple of nights, and managed to get up relatively close to when the alarm goes off.  And walk to work!  There’s still some of that morning fog, and I am by no means bounding full of energy, but I’m starting to feel a little better now, energy wise.

I’m also meditating daily.  I keep being told to keep my stress in check, and I know exercise can do that for me, but there is something to be said for taking some time out just reconnect, in a quiet way, with one’s self.

As weird as this is for me to say, I’m actually looking forward to this coming Monday (woo hoo!  Long weekend!) when the latest “meditation challenge” from Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey starts.

Finally, I came across Lizzy’s Lounge via another blog I follow.  To say that it has become a game changer for me would be to put it mildly.  Lizzy has Type 2.  Lizzy isn’t a medical professional.  Lizzy gets what it’s like to be newly diagnosed and have no idea what to do, where to look for info, rant, cry, and then deal with the ‘betes.  I’ve only scratched the surface (and pricked fingers five times so far today!) of her blog, but some seriously awesome advice has been found.  Speaking in terms that the lay person can actually understand, I must say that this will be one of the many tools in my arsenal to keep ‘betes my bitch, and not the other way around.

So now that I’m at week three, I think this is the first time, in what actually feels like forever, that I have a bit more hope, and bit more… positivity.

Early days, but need to build on that!


Apple Cinnamon Water – Detox and Metabolism Booster!

Oh! Another non-boring water! Now maybe it does detox, and maybe it can act as a metabolism booster, but really, for me anyway, it’s not just plain water.

That makes it far more interesting than the room temperature bottle of Gerolsteiner I have sitting on my desk.

Progress Is Perfection

I don’t know about some of you blog readers, but I’ve often struggled with drinking enough water. For some reason I’ve always found water to just be too darn plain for my hard to please taste buds. I tried this today though and it was absolutely delicious!

Take a sliced apple, cinnamon sticks, and add to a pitcher of water. Leave for a few hours to infuse, preferably overnight for stronger flavors. What you’re left with is delicious cold water with strong hints of apple and cinnamon , without the sugary sweetness of store-bought flavored water. Some websites also suggest boiling the apple and cinnamon first if you would like a more potent flavouring.

Apparently the apple and cinnamon combo help to increase energy, speed up your metabolism, and cleanse your body of toxins. So simple, so delicious, and zero calories!

– Veronica

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Summer Sipper

I’ve been drinking a lot of “boring water”, so this easy recipe for something refreshing sounds like just the ticket!


Hints, allegations, and things left unsaid

I meant to write something yesterday, but I sort of got sucked into a void of reading other blogs and doing little bits of research and then it was off to the market for steak (yes, I’m still eating red meat!) and fresh vegetables.  Before I knew it, I was already beyond knackered and I blissfully passed out in bed whilst watching some sort of program on murder and mayhem.

So in usual rambling fashion, I’ll try to put my thoughts in some sort of cohesive manner.  If that doesn’t work, diagrams may be involved.

Monday night I came home to find out that my dietitian’s appointment for Thursday had been cancelled indefinitely.  Part of me wanted to say that it was okay, that I enjoy eating rabbit food and drinking water endlessly.  I can survive on nothing else, right?

I wasn’t feeling terribly charitable though, and made sure I made my feelings known.  It sort of feels like that I’m the only one taking this diabetes thing seriously.  I’m putting that feeling down to my heightened sensitivity to everything at the moment.

After dealing with lack of a dietician, I then got a call from the dentist’s office.  More confusion about what my insurance covers.  More nonsense that I wasn’t wanting to deal with.  Forty-five minutes and two phone calls later, insurance has been sorted out and a more sensible dentist office has been chosen.  I find, right now, my reserve of time and patience for stupidity is at an all time low.

Dinner on Monday consisted of a bag of popchips and a protein shake.  Not my ideal.

Since being diagnosed first on July 2nd, and then again on July 10th, I’ve been walking to and from work.  I’m actually so ridiculously tired that I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what’s going on around me in the mornings.  Yesterday though, I noticed just how grumpy everyone was looking.  The shocking realization was that I was  probably sporting a similar look, with the exception of me being all red-faced (the joys of being Scandinavian) and sweaty.  I don’t want to look constipated and angry all of the time, and yet, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling.  Okay, not constipated.  I’m getting too much fibre for those shenanigans.

Regardless of my not wanting to be cranky, I was just that.  And things only got worse when I had to rush over for a 12:15 ultrasound appointment at the hospital.

Apparently someone forgot to mention that the ultrasound appointment had been cancelled.  Odd, considering I had called just last week to reconfirm the appointment.  I was asked if I’d like to rebook my appointments and I believe my answer was something like, “Oh hell no!  I’ve had enough bad news already, and this waste of time trip has just been the icing on my cake.  Thanks, but no.”

I was so tired and miffed that, on the way home I stopped at St. Lawrence Market for a juicy steak, fresh, locally grown asparagus and some other bits and bats.  This is a vast improvement over my usual, let’s call for takeaway instead.

This morning had me feeling like death warmed over, except that I was really cold.  My entire body aches and really I just wanted to stay curled up in bed with my cats, a cuppa and either really bad daytime television, or maybe a book.  I complained vehemently that I didn’t want to walk to work today and was finally allowing myself to take the bus instead.

The bus left without me.

It not only left without me, but I saw it drive away.  As much as I didn’t want to, I started walking.  And then a funny thing happened.  Not only did I see the bus that I missed, but I caught up to it.  And then I passed it!  In fact, I actually got to the bus stop I’d get off at for work before the bus.  Take that!

So today I’m feeling a little better.  I’ve eaten real food, I’m not quite so cold, I’m still walking, still eating healthy and I pray that I’m not just in the honeymoon stage with my blood sugar readings.  That’s got me freaked out on a level I didn’t know existed.

Most importantly, I am amazed by this “little” community of diabetics on here that have welcomed me in to a club none of us wanted to join.

Misery may love company, but I, for one, am getting tired of being miserable.


The ersatz diabetic

For the most part, I don’t feel diabetic.

I don’t think I have manic states between super low or super high sugar swings.  I don’t feel overly thirsty and the urge to go potty, but then again, I drink something like two to three litres of water every day, of course I need to pee.

But the lethargy? That kicks me in the arse, knocks me down, runs me over, picks me up, chews me up and spits me out.

Could this amazing need to go for a nap be simply because I didn’t do as much walking over the weekend?  I wasn’t a super star when it came to food choices, but I didn’t eat rubbish all weekend either.

The fact that I’ve been absolutely in a state of chronic fatigue all day is killing me.

Despite having gotten up earlier than normal (read: I got up when the alarm went off), I puttered about my apartment and couldn’t get my, er, “stuff” together to get out of the house to walk to work.  Worse, I couldn’t get my stuff together quick enough to even take the bus.  Nope, I wanted the chauffeur driven experience and cabbed it in today.

Weird thing is, my last reading after breakfast was at 5.7.  My understanding (which is to say I have basically no understanding of this stupid disease) is that a reading like that isn’t bad.  In fact it’s somewhat “normal”.  Top it off, it’s less than my post breakfast reading on Friday in which I ate the very same thing!

Hopefully once I’ve met with the dietician, things will start showing a more marked improvement.  As it stands, I’ve lost 10.1 pounds since July 1st, but tragically have maintained this past week.  Better than a gain though.

Canada really needs to adopt the siesta. *yawn*


For Annie.

This is not a blog about diabetes.  Or at least, the whole of it is not.  It has to be said though that, as someone newly diagnosed, it’s something I’m bound to beat to death.  But really, the goal (“goal” makes it sound so lofty) of this blog is to just be a general commentary on life.

But this post?  This post is about anger and my friend Annie.

I made the “mistake” of going for my physical on June 28th, 2013.  I had to get the complete physical done because, well, I needed my birth control refilled.  No doctor is going to refill without an exam.  And I’ve been kicking myself ever since.

See, I don’t do birth control to prevent me from having babies.  I do it because, otherwise, I’d feel like I was dying on a monthly basis. Getting my plumbing removed seems like an awful extreme step, so I opt for an injection in the butt and I’m gold for three months.

But back to the physical.

I fasted.  I scrubbed behind my ears. I made sure my breath was fresh. I prepared for the obligatory “step on the scale” and the myriad of emotions that inevitably follow after the number is read and recorded. At no time did I prepare myself for a diagnosis of diabetes.

The results of the blood work came back lightning fast.  By July 2nd, the temp. doctor (my “real” doctor is on mat. leave) had labelled me diabetic. Not a cushy “pre-diabetic”. A full on diabetic.  I was angry. I refused to believe her. My fasting blood glucose levels were at 4.4, how could I possibly be diabetic? Diabetes does not run in my family and I am sure I do not wish to be the first person diagnosed with it. Yet after demanding the two hour glucose test, drinking that nasty drink, I am, apparently, diabetic.

Being handed down a life sentence, strange things have happened:

  • I’m angry.
  • I don’t eat a whole lot.
  • My sleep, which hasn’t been great in forever, is getting worse again. Dreams of being diabetic, or discussing diabetes or anything to do with diabetes, have been dominating my sleep. Or have prevented me from sleeping at all.
  • Shame is not something I was expecting to feel, and yet I am amazed how much shame I feel because of this diagnosis.
  • My depression, which had been all but gone for the past year, is rearing its ugly head again.
  • The self-loathing is incredible.
  • I cry and am hyper-emotional.
  • Did I mention I’m angry?

Now I should mention that, in the world of diabetes, I suppose  I am one of the “lucky” ones (there is nothing lucky for anyone labelled with the diabetes tag). I am not being put on any sort of medication at the moment. I was told that “a glucose meter isn’t really necessary for medical purposes.” although I fail to understand the rational behind that statement from the Johnny-Come-Lately doctor that diagnosed me.

In fact, first the fear of God was put into me (saying nothing and leaving me to my own devices to figure this out on my own is crazy, in my opinion) and then I’m told “it’s not that bad!”  Have I missed something about diabetes being a good thing?

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, I can no longer get pedicures, go barefoot – anywhere, cannot wear sandals or open toe shoes, cannot wear shoes over 5 cm in height and this is just talking about feet.

There’s a whole lot of you can’t do this anymore! but so precious little about what I can do. It should come as no surprise to anyone that 25% of diabetics develop depression. You’re not giving us much hope about there being any pleasures to living.

Now let me just say that this is very much early days for me.  I haven’t lived with diabetes. If friends have it, they keep it to themselves. No family members have it. I don’t know a whole lot about it other than it zaps the life out of spontaneity and my fingers hurt all the time now. Oh. And I refuse to wear diabetic socks.

But back to the anger for a moment.

I need to vent my spleen to the universe (or, you know, just here) about how angry this makes me. I’m angry that I wasn’t told what I’m supposed to do with my used lancets and test strips (apparently throwing out bio-hazardous materials in the regular rubbish is frowned upon). I’m angry that I’m absolutely paranoid to eat or drink. I’m angry because my fingers hurt from testing multiple times a day. I’m mostly angry because I’m so angry.

Which brings me to Annie.

I adore Annie.

I met Annie many moons ago, and back then, well if I’m being honest, until very recently, she scared the hell out of me.  Annie’s no nonsense and I like that about her, but I’m chock o’ block full of nonsense, so many times I feel like I’m this goofball fool that she has to suffer gladly (or not). Annie is fiercely strong, independent, smart as a whip, funny, gorgeous and humble.  She’s a total package.

I said to Annie, sometime earlier this year, that she always comes across as having her shit together, whereas I am my own shitstorm. She assures me that she isn’t this level of perfection that I’ve made her seem, but I don’t know. I tend to beg to differ.

Annie runs. I don’t mean for the phone, or a bus, but actually runs.  You know, those crazy distances that us mere mortals think it’s insane to run, Annie does those and I am so wickedly proud of her.

So when Annie took the time to check up on me (I’ve cut myself off from all sorts of social situations be they in person or virtually), I managed to respond with a scathing email that held back no vitriol.

To put it succinctly, she didn’t deserve that.

I’ve realised since then, that I cannot respond to emails from friends because I’m not dealing well with this at all. I am too emotional, too raw at the moment, to be able to respond to emails or texts without wanting to just let the torrent of anger spew in all directions.

I know I need help in figuring all of this out and pushing away people I love and respect isn’t very clever but I don’t know how to handle this.

I’m trying though.  Truly. Apparently, the trick is to keep breathing.


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