The things I never thought. My Nike 15k recap, running with type 1 diabetes + other autoimmune fun

 

 

Source Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

Source Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

The Nike Toronto 15k took place a few weeks ago and I need to share with you some surprises that happened along the way. This was a great experience from my own personal health perspective in dealing with multiple autoimmune disease fun.

1. At the water stations, they provided Nuun. I have never used this before at a race but realized quickly that I needed it. According to the packet, each Nuun tablet has 13 grams of carbs, but was each tablet used per drink? I have no idea.

Lesson: Check to see what is offered at the race stations and try it out beforehand. My stomach doesn’t welcome everything with open arms so I lucked out that taking it in went smoothly.

Also, check if they water the carb drinks down (common practice). That can also mess up your calculations while you are pounding the pavement. Be assertive. Sometimes companies don’t like to admit how much they water down drinks but usually when you say your medical well being heavily depends on knowing this information (and it does), you can usually get a truthful answer.

2. Since I was on an island (Centre Island), it meant cooler temps with the water surrounding me. Add some nasty rain and chilly wind and it equalled out to be quite the bg dip before the race started. I downed a ton of carbs but nothing seemed to bring my levels up so I started a lot lower than I would have liked.

Lesson: Think of ALL weather factors and basically be a came and pack all your food, super extra food, if possible.

3. Take lows in stride. It’s easy to get frustrated quickly when you look down and see your CGM says….

Lesson: Enjoy the experience and think of it this way: You are running a race. Some people would never get the chance to do this, yet here you are, feeling the buzz of thousands around you getting active and building a sense of community. STOP AND TAKE IT IN.

Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

Running where the planes take off! How cool is that!? Source: Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

4. Okay, if I can help it, I rather pee in the bush than wait in line for the few port-a-potty’s that are out there on the course. I did not look as carefully as I had thought and when I crouched down a thorny needle-like plant went right into my inner thigh. Once I was done I quickly pulled up my pants and kept running but it hurt. A lot. Eventually it either fell out or I became numb to the pain. Either way…

Lesson: Pee carefully.

Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

Nike Women Toronto Facebook Page

Overall, the race went well. I had to take some of my other neuro medication the night before (which makes me feel super lazy and feeling ‘hungover’ the next day) so I was thrilled with my efforts. And once I got into the groove… I took the time to stop and smell the roses.

XO,

Jess

 

Animas Canada has kindly chosen to support me with the Dexcom CGM as I continue to train for triathlons, cycling and running events. I believe in full transparency and appreciate that Animas Canada does not review or approve my blog posts. Please read the full disclosure here

Review: 7 day Dexcom continuous glucose monitor trial

7 days with the Dexcom condensed into a 15 second video.

Read about Day 1 with the Dexcom here Knowledge= freedom. This past week I made several discoveries, the most major being that in between midnight and 4 a.m., my blood glucose levels go LL Cool J on me. Dawn phenomenon= blood glucose spikes at the end of the night. After 4 a.m. things go back to “normal” and I wake up around 6-8 mmol/l (108-144 mg/dl). The rest of the nights brought similar results, although not as drastic. I would have NEVER KNOWN about this without a CGM.  How long has this been going on? Will I feel better when I eliminate night-time spikes? Is it finally long-lasting insulin time? Is my pump shopping going to become a reality soon? The week-long trial has sparked a lot of questions. I’m going to my endo armed with all the data I’ve collected. For the week I managed to get in running, yoga, NTC fit workouts and ballet. I couldn’t bring myself to try swimming as my goggles got stolen a few weeks ago and I wouldn’t be able to swim knowing someone could snag Dex.

My workout lows dramatically decreased and I believe that’s because I could see when I was heading south and could correct before things got bad. Whether it was thrift shopping, studying or eating out, Dex and I were inseparable.

And with the pretty graph as proof, I confirmed that brown rice sushi is heaven-sent. Check out Shawn Shepheard and I’s sweet bg’s post-Japanese chow down. Exact same #’s too!     Have to admit I was sad to lose Dex on Sunday. But I’m so grateful. So grateful for the trial. So grateful for the knowledge I gained during the week. Now it’s time to meet with my health team and find out what’s best. J © t1dactiveliving.com All rights reserved.

CGM ON. Day 1 of my Dexcom continuous glucose monitor trial

Sunday. At Starbucks. Jacked up on an iced coffee, I put on my first continuous glucose monitor.

Read my last post on CGM’s here.

Ready, set, watch bg’s

It takes two hours to get the Dexcom running and I can tell you it was a LONG wait.

After driving home, I paced, stared at the screen and ogled at this little device now sticking to my body.

 

The perfect distraction was all the messages I got on social media. Within minutes of posting about my Dexcom trial, one woman offered to mail me Skin Tac (she was in the UK!), and so many others gave great tips such as…

  • not to panic if I see the “???” sign on the Dexcom as it will usually correct itself and that it does not mean something is wrong
  • to stay calm and not stress about getting used to a new device
  • not getting discouraged with seeing the full bg picture during physical activity
  • eat realistically
  • being aware of sweat/water, tight vs. loose clothing and what kind of beating the device will take for various kinds of activity

FINALLY, it was time! Two back-to-back bg’s with my regular meter to calibrate and then poof. It was working.

 

Within the first 15 minutes of putting it on, I had a slight low. It was REALLY NEAT to see as I treated, what was happening with my bg’s. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon just marveling at it.

 

CGM’s are just amazing. I’m extremely thankful that I have access to this type of amazing technology, even if it’s just for a week. Some people will never get to use one or even have regular access to insulin for that matter.

I’m going to enjoy every moment of this.

Excited to document 7 days of CGM,

J

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My first infusion site! Pump & CGM Shopping continues…

A constant game of catchup.

As an adult diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 29, I feel like I’m behind.

The majority of people I know with t1d have been living with it since they were children or teens. Pros.

Is it second nature to them? Do they remember life before this?

I’m still utterly confused and overwhelmed.

Example: Before I go to a d-related event, I often hop online and go through the same routine.

…the list goes on. You’d think by now I’d have it down pat. The fact of the matter is my brain has been super fried since diagnosis. Information doesn’t stick well and I get a deer-in-the-headlights look and feeling.

My new t1d friends have shown me nothing short of complete understanding, yet I still have a need to sound like I know what they’re talking about (or at the very least, sound a little less like an idiot).

Is this what it’s like to be diagnosed so late in life? As an independent, fully self-sufficient person maybe there’s this pressure  inside myself to “know it all” since I have the resources and mind to.

I don’t though. Not even close.

Meet the pumps & cgm’s

Choosing to pump is a big decision, as is what pump you’ll use. To make the process less daunting, I’m slowly trying to familiarize myself with the technology.

I got around to meeting with Omnipod and Animas last year to get a feel for their products. See my blog post on that here.

This time around, I contacted all four, adding Accu-Chek and Metronic to the list.

Sheldon Smith from Metronic came over to my house yesterday and I tried on my VERY FIRST infusion set.

On me right now is the Metronic Silhouette infusion set (I did manual insertion) as well as the Quick Set on the other side of my abdomen. Both were far less painful than I had imagined.

Luckily I had ballet class last night, the perfect place to start testing out these bad boys. All that bending, twisting and jumping. Here’s my Instagram post.

 

I’m going to beat up all these demos and give them a taste of my active lifestyle.

Trying to appreciating the process,

Jess