Hello My Friends, Colleagues, Family, and Polite Acquaintances!
This is a personal communication from me, Tamara… (so it’s a long one, juicy too)
At long last, spring is upon us. This means we have so much to look forward to: longer days, warmer sunshine, fragrant fruits and vegetables, and the JDRF walk-a-thon also known as our annual hike and picnic event!
Every year, when I draft these messages inviting you to walk with my team and encouraging you to donate to finding a cure, I try to share with you the realities of Diabetes. Basically, I want to help you to understand why your donations and efforts are so important to me…. and your friendly neighborhood diabetic community.
It occurred to me that you all know that I have juvenile diabetes AKA Type 1 (my pancreas does not make insulin)
you all know (more or less) what juvenile diabetes is,
you all heard about how I was diagnosed,
This year, I thought I would share with you what it is to live with Type 1 Diabetes. This will perhaps give you an idea what a cure for diabetes means to me.
A Day of My Life –starring Type 1 Diabetic Me
3:45 AM I wake up from a deep sleep. Still in bed, I check my alarm clock and realize it’s not yet morning. I mentally quiz myself as to why I woke up
Did I have a bad dream? No, that’s not it (I think I dreamt I was flying, that’s awesome)
Do I have to go to the bathroom? No, I’m OK
Am I low? I better check.
I swing my legs over the side of the bed to sit up. Immediately I start to feel dizzy and weak. I grab my glucose meter, a strip of plastic is sticking out of it (I prepared it the night before so that I wouldn’t have to fumble and get one out and try to put it into the little slot when/if I need to test in the middle of the night, like now). I prick my finger and a drop of blood beads at the puncture. I apply it to the strip. The machine beeps a reading of 2.4mmol/L. This means I am having a low (because the number is under 4.0mmol/L). I grab a tube of Dex4 tablets from my night stand (watermelon, my favorite) and shake out 3 tablets. Crunching, I lie back down on my pillow and try to figure out if my low is due to a mistake I made.
Did I over inject for my cookies and tea, the package said 20g of carb, I injected 2.0 units of insulin, but was there fiber? How much fat was there, I think it was 7g of fat, not enough to affect my dosing… Do I need to adjust my basal insulin? Am I getting too much insulin in the middle of the night? Was it because I had a harder workout? I fall back asleep
5:45 AM The baby singing through the monitor gets me up. It’s morning. I get out of bed and prick my finger, dab the drop of blood onto a fresh test strip to check my blood sugar. A glorious 5.2mmol/L. Excellent! Over 4.0mmol/L and under 7.0mmol/L, it’s time to eat! For breakfast, I prepare 1/3cup of Oat bran (20g of carbs) with 2/3 cup of unsweet vanilla almond milk (1g of carb) and a cup of strong black tea with 5 tsp splenda (1.5g of carb) and about 2 Tbsp of almond milk (0g carb) . I count it as 20g of carb and inject 2.2 units of insulin as per my breakfast ratio of 1.1units for every 10g of carbs
8:00 AM I’m at the office booting up my computer. I carried baby, gym bag, purse, lunch bag, and briefcase to the car (2 trips to the car half a block away and back up the stairs into my house), dropped the baby off at daycare, walked across the employee parking lot to my office then over to the kitchen in the office to get a cup of tea: 2 packets of sugar twin (0g carb) and about 2 tbsp of the lactose free 2% milk (0.5g carb), so I neglect to inject for it. I prick my finger, dab the drop of blood onto a fresh test strip to check my blood sugar. The machine beeps 4.8 mmol/L, very good, yay me!
10:00 AM Snack time! I pull out Ziploc bag with 10 baby carrots and a low fat baby bell cheese (6g of carb) so I inject 0.6 units of insulin
11:45 AM The plan is to leave in about 20minutes to go to the gym for a lunchtime run and some light weight training. I prick my finger, dab the drop of blood onto a fresh test strip to check my blood sugar. The machine beeps 4.0 mmol/L. So I pull out a protein bar (16g of carb, 4g of fat, and 15g of protein) and it’s chocolate coated, yum! I polish it off (embarrassingly quickly, but come on! It had chocolate on it) and drink half a bottle of water.
1:15 PM Back at my desk. Fresh from my shower with my cheeks flushed red. I prick my finger, dab the drop of blood onto a fresh test strip to check my blood sugar. The machine beeps 5.8 mmol/L. Yay!! Lunchtime! I earned the right to eat this lunch! And it looks like I got almost 30 e-mails to read through. Perfect!
For lunch I have packed my usual: 4 cups of salad (2 types of lettuce, spinach leaves, and endives), 1 small can of Clover Leaf tuna pre-seasoned sun-dried tomato and basil (2g carb and 4g of fat –the carb counts differ by brand), 4 Tbsp Kraft light Zesty Italien dressing (that’s 4g of carb and 2g of Fat) and for desert 1 ½ cup of sliced strawberries (15g carb) with 3 tbsp low fat ricotta (2g of carb) sprinkled with 2 tsp Slenda (1g of carb)and to wash it all done, a massive cup of peppermint tea with 2 packets of twin (og carb) I add it all up to 25g of carb and inject 3.3 units of insulin as per my lunch ratio of 1.3 units of insulin for every 10g of carb.
3:30PM I’m not exactly starving but am becoming very aware of the muffin I brought for a snack. It’s a Zucchini ginger muffin, one of my favorites! It clocks in at 15g of carb and 4g of fat. What the hell, I could do with a nice strong cup of coffee (my colleague Cris has brewed a little extra for me to partake ...he’s a good man!) I prick my finger, dab the drop of blood onto a fresh test strip to check my blood sugar. The machine beeps 11.4 mmol/L. Dammit! But hang on, I still have some insulin in my bloodstream from lunch, so to fix this, I need to inject an extra 0.8units of insulin (and the thought process starts, was I overly generous with my portion of fruit? Was it the dressing? Was it an air bubble in my last injection??? Was my work out too hard?) But the thought of the muffin pushes all the other thoughts away. I opt to inject for it anyway because Cris’ office is down a long hallway and up a flight of stairs, so maybe that’s enough to get things moving a bit. SO I inject 1.2 units of insulin as per my afternoon ratio of 0.8 units for every 10g of carbs.
4:30PM Time to leave the office and go pick up the baby. So before I drive home, I prick my finger, dab the drop of blood onto a fresh test strip to check my blood sugar. The machine beeps 7.2 mmol/L. I’m good to go
6:00PM Dinner is served. The baby and I go wash our hands, and I hoist him on my hip so that we can check my blood sugar. Using one hand, I prick my finger, dab the drop of blood onto a fresh test strip to check my blood sugar. The machine beeps 3.2 mmol/L. What? The baby eagerly yanks the used strip out of the meter and drops it into the bright yellow ‘used medical waste’ container, I pop a Dex4 tablet into my mouth (the new tropical fruit flavor, yum!) The baby tries to pry my mouth open to see what I have dared to eat without offering him to taste. Dinner is steamed tilapia with my husband’s secret marinade and capers, ¾ cup Quinoa (35g of carb) and ¾ cup of steamed broccoli with sesame seeds (15g of carb) The dinner is 50g of carbs but since I’m low, I inject only once I’ve eaten, 5.5units of insulin as per my dinner ratio of 1.1 units for every 10g of carbs. My sweet tooth start to tingle though, so I eat 2 squares of Lindt 75% Equador chocolate 6g of carbs and I inject 0.7units of insulin
9:30PM On the sofa watching a few episodes of Community (that Chevy Chase!) and Modern Family. I want desert. So I decide to check how much leeway I left myself for desert. My guidelines are 150g of carbs, hmmm, I’ve eaten 130g of carbs, if I include the protein bar). I prick my finger, dab the drop of blood onto a fresh test strip to check my blood sugar. The machine beeps 6.0 mmol/L. Yay!!! Desert! I opt for the same pack of cookies I had the day before. 20g of carbs. I decide to inject properly for it 2.0 units of insulin (as per my late evening ratio of 1.0 units for every 10g of carbs) and make a mental note to explore If I go low in the middle of the night again…
SO, dear readers, I’ll have you know that this constitutes an excellent day! Sometimes I wake up thirsty because my blood sugar is too high and I need to give an injection of insulin to fix. Sometimes I go low in the middle of my work-out and have to stop for a bit until the Dex4 takes effect and I can continue. Sometimes high blood sugars follow me around all day, leaving me wondering if I’m fighting off a cold or infection. Also, I am a good diabetic, because I check often. That’s my tactic to make sure that I minimize my odds of diabetic complications years down the road (like losing my eye sight, compromised circulation in my legs and hands, strain on my kidneys…)
Bang for your Buck
When you sponsor me for this walk-a-thon, your donation goes to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund). To give you an idea of the types of cures JDRF is presently exploring:
Developing an artificial pancreas -a device that combines continuous glucose monitors with insulin pumps, joined by a computer algorithm, to deliver insulin when needed based on glucose levels,
Various areas of research from stopping the immune response to regenerating and replacing beta cells…
You bring your friends and family to walk with you on a lovely Sunday morning, in a beautiful park. You meet great people, you breath fresh air, you walk, and then they feed you! You get a lunch bag loaded with good stuff and we all sit down and have a picnic and catch up like we haven’t since the year before.
It’s a great morning of activity for the kids, by the way; face painting, inflatable games, entertainment music, the walk( obviously), David’s tea will be there.…. and fun fun fun!!!!
Personally, this walk-a-thon is one of my favorite outdoor events. I don’t even care if it rains because I’m so happy to be outside, plus I have beautiful rain boots that make puddle jumping really run….BUT IT WON’T RAIN!
The future of Diabetes Research –starring you
1. Please sponsor me. I am aiming to raise $10,000 this year for Team AMG and friends.
Click this: http://jdrfca.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.donate and type in my name
So far I raised $176 from the AMG book fair and from donations. (thank you Marcia!!!)
Team AMG has raised $361
SO, clearly, I need your help to reach this goal. You could also give me the funds in person as a cash or cheque. My office is all the way at the end by the windows near Danielle and Janelle’s candy dishes. (By the way, the candy’s are on average 7g of carbs each. I would need on average 0.7units of insulin to eat one :-)
Please join my team and come walk with us!
Click this: http://jdrfca.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&eventID=1015&teamID=20206
So far, we are a team of 8 people. A few awesome colleagues, some with their families (thank you Josie!), my husband (he hasn’t missed one yet), and my friend Sandy (you’re fabulous, thank you!)
The Walk : Details
Centre de la Nature parc in Laval
901 avenue du Parc
Sunday June 12th, 2011
Registration starts at 8 :30AM
The walk starts at 10:00AM
FYI: there will be a free shuttle from the Cartier Metro station every 30minutes starting at 8:00AMI end with a final reminder to LOVE YOUR PANCREAS! Love it good for everything it does for you that you don’t know.
And we’re off!