Let’s get physical: working out with a CGM

IMG_8456-1I’m off the market.

Officially attached… at the abdomen?

2015 is going to be filled with lots of races but with the added bonus of a continuous glucose monitor.

I did a summary of the Dexcom after a week trial last year in April. Read it here. Now I’ve got one- and am ready to train this season.

Any workout tips for a newbie to the CGM world?

 

New year. New season. New CGM. Let’s get started.

Xo,

J

Animas Canada has decided to support me in my athletic journey with a CGM. 

I believe in full transparency so I’ve made a disclosures page on my site which clearly states this sponsorship.

 

 

 

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How can we help people with diabetes in a social media world?

I feel grateful that I grew up in a time where Facebook didn’t exist.

Twitter wasn’t a word and a ‘double tap’ could at best mean two faucet handles in a bathroom sink (one hot one cold, anyone remember?).

I can’t imagine all my silly decisions and “lesson learned” moments being so readily available for my peers and the world to see through social media.

Now this is going to make me sound old, but the power of words has also taken a different turn. People young and old can say whatever they want without it ever being traced back to them. There’s a loss in accountability. It’s one thing to tell someone (as they stand trembling with tears in their eyes) that they are ugly, worthless and that they should die, and quite another to do it behind a screen. Both are horrid though. I don’t need to tell you how bad cyber bullying has gotten.

Imagine what life would be like if people spoke as they wrote online? smh. <–that’s stands for ‘smack/shake my head’

Technology is a wonderful tool, but it also makes an impact we have yet to fully understand for the younger generation.

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I see this all the time on all channels: a toxic combination of relentless anger, resentment and dark depression about living with diabetes. Someone made an incorrect assumption about diabetes, attack! Oh they didn’t specify type 1? Attack!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s annoying and of course feels personal when someone is miseducated about diabetes. Unfortunately blasting someone online doesn’t go very far even if you’re trying to educate them. Being hostile doesn’t set the tone for someone to open up their mind to what you have to say. From my observation, it’s an unfortunate cycle that never seems to end.

It’s saddening to read what seems to be a manifestation of pain, but it’s also a window into the minds of what some of these young people are going through. 

Maybe these angry diabetics aren’t REALLY angry and are exaggerating. Maybe not. Either way, it’s a cry for attention and they are screaming every which way.

Being on social media has opened me up to a world that I’ve never lived in before, and it’s scary. A world where some don’t take insulin because they are too embarrassed to do so in public. The burnout, ignoring diabetes for months on end, the shame, the guilt.

I understand fully that in real life, people are also more quick to complain and not as ready to celebrate the little joys in this world. I get that. But that doesn’t deter from the fact that it’s still a problem.

 

How do we educate the younger generation into a world of acceptance, responsibility, and a little less anger towards the uneducated and ignorant? How do we promote peace, understanding and use social media for good? I don’t claim to know the answers but what I do know is talking about it openly is the first step.

A lot of this is already happening but I think it needs to happen more. We need to talk to our health care professionals, diabetes companies, caregivers, teachers, anyone who will listen about what it’s like to live with diabetes (of any kind) in a social media world and what we observe.

There are fantastic resources online such as the DOC (Diabetes Online Community), live chats, and wonderful systems of support which need to be acknowledged. Wonderful bloggers and organizations are out there educating, supporting and providing much-needed help in the cyber universe. How do we harness all this good? By telling people about it.

We need to be more open-minded and learn how these kids are growing up with diabetes in a world consumed by social media.

© t1dactiveliving.com All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

My DSMA Blue Fridays photoshoot- the opera gown

We’re getting fancy today for Blue Friday!

This opera gown is very comfy and classic. Comfort for me is very important when watching any kind of show. I don’t want to be shifting around or bound up tight.

Every Friday we wear blue to support those affected by diabetes. If you’re catching any kind of theatre, consider wearing a traditional dark navy for the occasion.
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What blue are you wearing this Friday?

J

I’ve walked through a colon. Seriously. Colon Cancer Awareness Month

I was reading my usual t1d blog favourites and came across (Probably) Rachel’s new post about colon cancer. Her father was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at 46. He fought for four years before he passed away at age 50.
It got me thinking, “What do I know about colon cancer?”

Answer: Nothing really.

Then a lightbulb. I actually walked through a GIANT INFLATABLE colon before.

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada tours an enormous blow-up colon in malls, health centres, anywhere really. People can actually see, touch and walk through the inside of a colon and learn more about how this part of the body works.

Giant Colon Tour features Dr. Preventino, a fun loving puppet doctor that’s featured on TV screens inside. For photos, click here.

Here’s a short, great video on ANOTHER giant inflatable colon by Growing Bolder.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some great information on National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month here.

Here are some facts from their website:

  • Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
  • Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer include blood in or on the stool (bowel movement), stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away and losing weight and you don’t know why.
  • You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, then keep getting screened regularly until the age of 75. Ask your doctor if you should be screened if you’re older than 75.
Please spread the word and ask your friends and family if they have been screened.
Background photo courtesy of Rachel Kerstetter.

Background photo courtesy of Rachel Kerstetter.

Running on empty. Meter reliability in the cold.

My doctor: “Ditch the meter when you run.”

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My Contour USB meter has shown below 2 mmol/L (36 mg/dl) over a half dozen times mid-run these past few months. Once it said below 1 mmol/L (18 mg/dl), blog on that here.

I’m fully aware that meters are not 100 per cent accurate. 

The question: Am I really that low or is my meter being extra wonky in the cold?

  • I’ve tried pretty much everything to warm up my meter while running. Still reading bad lows.
  • Seems like no matter how many carbs I eat, I still can go really low when running. I don’t take any insulin with my meals before running (I’m on humalog-short acting insulin ONLY with meals, hello honeymoon!).
  • Often don’t feel my lows during runs (hard to tell with being numb/sweaty already). This equals danger.

Nurse says those dangerously low numbers could POSSIBLY be right and not the meter being off in the cold.

Times I’ve seen numbers below the 2’s (around 36 mg/dl) I usually pop 4-8 Dex 4 tabs. After 15 minutes my blood sugar is typically 4-5 mmol/L (72-90 mg/dl).

Tests afterwards/done running altogether don’t run high (over 10 mmol/L or 180 mg/dl).

My nurse said that means I just MIGHT be burning all those carbs and really that low. She said she’s seen people who have high functionality with such low numbers. At the end of the day, we don’t really know.

Narrowing down the problem

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My doctor and I tried testing my bg’s when I wasn’t running, at a time I knew my numbers would be stable. Test indoors, then put the meter outside, wait, and test again. It produced error messages.

New plan: Create a loop so every half hour I’m passing my house. Run inside. Test. Continue on.

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I’ve learned through this process that just ditching the blood prick accessories really messes with my head.

The plan was to run a slow, steady pace which I usually do, but I just couldn’t. Not feeling the weight of my diabetes stuff made me nervous. I ran faster, which meant higher bg’s. Pain crept up on my left side, which it usually does, and I ignored the pain and just kept trying to push. My foot was exploding with agony. I ended up limping and then walking parts of it. I was scared and just wanted to get home! I had glucose tabs on me but I hated that feeling of not having my stuff on me. I’ll have to get an extra meter to carry around with me when running even if I won’t use it.

Just changing the route and testing inside? Not as easy as it seems.

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Test 1: Run one loop. 

Pre-run 5.7 mmol/L (102 mg/dl). Lower than I’d like pre-run. I usually take carbs if I’m at this level but now I can’t remember if I did this instance. Pretty sure I did.

Post-run 7.2 mmol/L (129 mg/dl)

Test 2: Run two loops instead of one.

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Pre-run 10.2 mmol/L (183 mg/dl)

First loop: 5.4 mmol/L (97 mg/dl)

Second loop/run end: 6.4 mmol/L (115 mg/dl)

So does that prove the meter is wrong? Don’t know if there’s a concrete answer to that.

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There’s lots to learn, adjustments to be made and miles to run. Running is one of my huge passions and I refuse to give it up. It’s still early in the game.

So I come to you, more experienced #t1d athletes, what has been your experiences with winter running? I’d love to know your story and any tips. 

Every day I’m learning more about being active with type 1 diabetes. This journey has taught me to become more dedicated to my athletic goals and at the same time, to let go. No matter what I do, sometimes my bg’s are just not going to co-operate.  I’ve got to be okay with that. I’m pushing harder to reach certain achievements, but also learning to enjoy the process.

I have the ability to lace up my runners and go out on the road whenever I want. There are people who don’t have that luxury. That’s a perspective I’ve gained more and more after being diagnosed.

Yes working out can be difficult, but I can so I will.

See you out on the road,

J

Tips on winter running: 

  • Put your meter inside your glove. Keeps it much warmer.
  • Use the empty case of Listerine Pocketpaks to carry your test strips
  • ALWAYS carry some kind of fast-acting carbs with you
  • Wear some kind of medical identification
  • If you are running solo, leave your estimated time of arrival and route for a loved one. Also write down what you are wearing in case of emergency (saw this on Instagram, what a great idea!)
  • Let the people you train with know you have type 1 diabetes and the signs and symptoms of low/high bg’s

Scully gave me the first two great tips in a previous post. Thank you Scully! Check out her blog here.

My DSMA Blue Fridays Photoshoot-After 8 sequence dress

A multi-blue, after 8 sequence dress. Big shoulder pads and even bigger sparkle.

Every Friday we wear blue to support those affected by diabetes. It’s called Blue Fridays and it’s all the rage! Enjoy the blinding photos.
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Have a look at the other thrift store dresses I tried on:

80’s secretary dress with pleated skirt

Rose Spanish style dress

Modern silk evening dress

I’ll have some new Friday fashions next week.

What blue are you wearing this Friday? As sparkly as this?

J