Monthly Archives: May 2010

NYC Part 1 of 4: Insulin pump violated at Sea-Tac

Just five days and New York City is back in this Princess’s good books! It may have been a whirlwind trip, but my goodness, it was an amazing trip that felt way longer than just five days. Because Mario and I had been to the city previously, and had already done a lot of the touristy type stuff, this time around, we really just wanted to take in the city and experience it (somewhat) as a New Yorker would … it helped that we both have friends living there to show us how 😀

We ate a lot of good food, spent time in Manhattan, SoHo and Brooklyn Heights, ran through Central Park with the masses, drank beer at true, New York, hole-in-the-wall bars, discovered my Liz Lemon at Rockefeller Centre, embraced anti-Bush rebellion on Broadway, took in the lights at Times Square, navigated the subway system (all by myself!!!) and last, but certainly not least, made my belly oh so happy with a slice of Junior’s cheesecake … yum! My new goal in life: recreate that recipe!

Administering a BG correction in Times Square

This was the first time for me traveling with the insulin pump, and it was quite the eye opener. It all started at Sea-Tac Airport. Normally we would have flown out of YVR in Vancouver, but the straight cost was about $500 cheaper to fly out of Seattle, which is only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from where we live (we didn’t take into account, however, the additional costs of things like gas, accommodations, food, luggage fees and fatigue).

When I went through airport security, I left my insulin pump attached to the waste band of my jeans, and of course it set off the alarms. I didn’t really think much of it, though, I mean it’s obvious it’s for a medical condition – it is attached to me after all. I just thought I’d have to show them it, tell them what it was, and if need be show them the doctor’s note I have in my wallet (which I’ve had in there for about five years now and have never had to use). But no, it was a heck of a lot more complicated than that. First a guard directed me to “caress” my pump (what the heck is that?) and then she swiped a white wand thing all over my hands and my pump and checked the wand’s swab in a computer for some sort of terrorist-like chemical I’m guessing. Then she patted me down, and hard, over my infusion site, which hurt like hell. Once she was done with me, I was moved on to another guard who proceeded to take everything out of my carry-on bag and purse, and wiped the wand over my camera and blood glucose metre and shoes, and cell phone, and opened up the canister holding my tea, and the jar holding my vitamins, and the bottle holding my test strips and the box holding my insulin  – and meanwhile I’m sitting there looking all guilty like, and thinking, geez, it sure was a helluva lot easier traveling with traditional needles, something you’d figure would set off alarm bells, but never did.

Old school but simple - traveling wise that is!

So, after all that frustration, I decided on the way home, to test the system. After we checked our bags at JFK, and were just about to go through the security check, I removed the pump and stuck it in my purse. And I got through without a hitch. I didn’t get stopped, I didn’t get patted down, my bags didn’t get checked. I was in and out in a matter of maybe 30 seconds, not the 15 minutes it took at Sea-Tac. Note to self, on future trips, take the pump off to save the hassle.

Another traveling lesson learned

What kind of traveling tips do you live by?

Because we didn’t get home until 3 a.m. last night, I’m still just resting up my eyes and feet (ohhh how they need rest, and some major TLC) and saving my energy for a possible bike ride tomorrow and a run on Monday. Going to watch The Messenger tonight; love Woody Harrelson!

I hope you all had a great week. Stay tuned for more of my New York recap tomorrow.

New York, New Yorrrrrrrk

Well folks, I’ve picked up my backup insulin, test strips and sugar tablets (half stored in my suitcase, half stored in my carry on (just in case one gets lost)) and my bags are packed and I’m ready to go.

Let's go already!

My laptop will be coming with me but I’m guessing that my days and nights will likely be far too jam packed with friend visits and sightseeing and yummy eats and David Letterman (yep, we got tickets – and it’s a good thing Mario answered the phone because I so would not have known the answer to the skill-testing question) and Broadway, and shopping in SoHo, and lunch dates, and dinner dates, and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, and, this so deserves a double mention, visits with long-missed friends! Hey, it’s the Big Apple, how could I not be busy?

So enjoy the week without me and be prepared for an NYC recap upon my Saturday return.

¡Hasta Luego amigos!

Thigh Thingy not my kind of thingy

Hello holidays! Oh how I have missed you!!! The second the clock struck 5 p.m., I was officially declared holiday bound – YIPPEEEEE!!! Mind you, I am so NOT prepared for the trip. I’ve got clothes strewn all over my bed, and have been half-heartedly trying to decide what to bring. I am notoriously an over packer; you never know what the weather’s going to be like, or what outfit may fancy me, or what outfits are going to suit the same pair of shoes. These are tough decisions.

I’ve been told it’s going to be comfortably hot, which would usually bring out all the skirts, however, when I got hooked up to this pump thing, I didn’t really take into account how I was going to wear it with a skirt. I’ve gotten comfortable with it being clipped onto the waistband of my jeans, but a skirt’s a whole other story. I like to see my curves when wearing skirts, not a big bulge sticking out at the side! I do have an Animas Thigh Thingy that’s made out of spandex and that I purchased when I first got the pump, thinking it would be good for running and sleeping, but turns out it wasn’t really good for either … the “one-size fits all” was a little snug. I got the thighs of a speed skater! And it’s not good for my skirts either, because I got it in black – totally see through under light coloured skirts!

I took a trip over to Fabricland after work to see if I could find something to make a nude-coloured thigh thingy of my own, but good golly those fabric stores intimidate the heck out of me. I walked in circles for a while, before pretty much running out of the store. Mission failed 😦

And my clothes continue to lay disheveled all over my bed. But one thing’s for sure, my running shoes and Garmin are already packed – I will be running in New York!

Still not 100 per cent in the cold realm. I’ve still got a tickly cough and the feeling of a small lump in my throat, but I think I’m on the mend … I hope I’m on the mend. I really, really, really do NOT want to be one of those people who hack all through a flight. Ugh.

QUESTION FOR MY RUNNING PEEPS:
A girlfriend of mine just started running and she’s been experiencing tight, burning pain in her calves just minutes into the run. She says it feels like they’re seizing up, forcing her to walk and stretch it out, but the stretch makes it worse. She asked me for some advise, and the only thing I could come up with is possible calf fatigue, but by the sounds of it, it seems worse than that. If anyone else has some advice or recommendations, she would greatly appreciate it. We thank you in advance 🙂

Off to pack … or just continue to stare at my clothes!

Pizza, chocolate, ice cream, oh my

Why is it that when you get sick, and you put physical activity on the back burner, in favour of health-inducing rest, your body goes into massive comfort food craving mode? Well, at least mine does!

We’re on Day 2 of having a burning dry throat, a belly sucking cough, and nasty grodies flying up – and no running, no elliptical, no weights, no yoga, no nothing. Oh wait, that’s not true, there has been something … homemade barbecued pizza, chock-a-block full of gooey cheese and pepperoni. It seems, this most ill-timed cold has caused me to push my more healthy eating options, such as say salmon and salad aside, in favour of the ooey, gooey, yummy, hmm-hmm-hmmm comfort food. My blood sugars so love me right now; note the sarcasm!

If you look hard enough you can see the veggies under all that cheese!

The pizza wasn’t my only comfort of the day. Oh no, when I was feeling especially sorry for myself and couldn’t find some spare comfort chocolate in my desk drawer (how on earth that happened, I do not know) I went and loaded up on chocolate at the European deli just down the street from my office – but it’s the good stuff!

Mint tea + chocolate = perfect remedy

And after dinner, well, I may very well have indulged in some more Haagen Daz … but it’s not my fault, Mario went and bought some more. I couldn’t possibly say no, now could I.

These may not have been the healthiest, wisest choices, but hey, I’m stuck at home, I’m not running (which is really starting to annoy the heck out of me) and I’m sure – in my drug clouded head – that the gooey pizza, the creamy chocolate, and the cooooooooool, soothing ice cream is the perfect common cold cure. I’m going with it 😀

And on the upside, I have a sexy sounding raspy voice, AND Mario and I were finally able to sit down and plan some of our New York trip … SoHo shopping, here I come!

Brooklyn Bridge, check. Broadway, check. SoHo boutiques, check. Katie and Caitlin, YIPPEE!

What remedies do you use to get rid of a cold?

Cocooning instead of running

Oh what a sad, sad day yesterday was for us West Coast hockey fans. It was Game 6 of the second round series between Vancouver and Chicago. Chicago was up by two games, and the Canucks had to win to push the series to a Game 7. And I had to watch. But I had a school board meeting to cover (they so did NOT plan that meeting with hockey fans in mind). No worries, that’s what laptops are for! I lugged the laptop to the meeting, set up CBC’s live feed in front of me (I was working, really, I was ;)) and was just waiting to stifle the excited cheers, but alas, it was more like eye-rolling groans. In a deja-vu like game (May 11, 2009, the Canucks were in another Game 6 must-win situation against the Blackhawks!) the Canucks were brutally ousted. 5-1.
Single tear exiting the eye 😦

But on the upside, I’m currently winning the “Real Man’s” hockey pool – and still have 6 out of 10 players in the running!

Oh look, I'm allowed to heart you again

I really wanted to do a run after work today, and I was planning on heading out to the trails as I’ve been told they’re a great combatant against the wind (because of the tree shelter) but, it seems, the wind broke me first.

On my way to work this morning I noticed that I couldn’t break free of this ongoing feeling of having to clear my throat, which quickly turned into an annoying scratch, which further evolved into a dry cough. A cold? Noooooo!

I so blame wind!

I ran out to the pharmacy and loaded up a basket full of zinc lozenges, echinacea tablets, vitamin c, Cold FX, Buckley’s – you name it, I pretty much had it. When I took it up to the pharmacist, she gave me this Oh you poor, little brainwashed child look and informed that none of those things have actually been proven to rid a person of a cold. I told her I was desperate. She told me rest and liquids. I compromised and walked out with just the Cold FX … I was pretty sure I still had some vitamin c kicking around somewhere in my desk drawer anyway!

I then booked it over to Starbucks for some tea. Now, normally I’m a black tea drinker, I like my straight chai and earl grey, none of those fancy fruity flavours. But today, I had no choice, I had to go herbal – Tazo Calm Full Leaf it was. I put in about a teaspoon of organic blackberry honey, and oh my goodness, I kid you not, this tea was like a mint garden, with a touch of sweetness, dancing around in my mouth! Yummmmm! I may very well be a convert!

Yes, I have been brainwashed!

The cold (if that’s even what it is) is not in my chest, so technically I could have probably gone for a run and been okay, but with New York just days away, I didn’t want to risk it. So instead, I’m getting reacquainted with my couch, the Haagen Daaz in my freezer, and the backed up TV shows on the PVR: Amazing Race finale, maybe a little One Tree Hill, or Grey’s Anatomy, or How I Met Your Mother, or Big Bang Theory … I told you it was backed up!

A little peanut butter might even help. Hey, you never know – and it just so happens that Early Morning Run has a fancy peanut butter giveaway! Check it out!

Garmin Part 2 – in ragtime

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Mr. Garmin. A couple of days ago I regaled my love for the Garmin and its stats and maps and pace indicators, and everything else. Well today, I’m turning the tables. Every time I strap on the ol’ Garmin and head out for a run, instant frustration  fills my insides. What sort of frustration? you ask. Satellite frustration!

Because I live in an area populated with condos stemming from all directions, it takes quite awhile for the satellites to kick in. For about 15 minutes before a run, I’m having to walk back and forth, along the street, with my Garmin positioned upwards on my wrist, and with me sometimes having to wave my arm high in the air, all in the hopes of catching a glimmer of a satellite, but it usually doesn’t kick in until I walk up onto the crest of the overpass, and even then, I can’t go up too early, because then that too will inevitably fail … it’s like an old beater, it needs to warm up. I could probably rant on for pages and pages, but you know that saying, a picture speaks a thousands words? Well, I’m betting a video speaks a million:

TODAY’S RUN:

OTHER NOTABLE INFO:

  • 6 p.m. BG before: 4.6 (3/4 cup orange juice, no bolus)
  • Warmup: 15 minutes walking
  • 10 minutes stretching
  • 7 p.m. BG after 7.0

I am so ready for these gusts of wind – that make me feel more like a rag doll than a runner – to turn into warm, comfortable breezes. Why is it that these tornado-like currents always seem to appear in the last half of a ride, like yesterday, or the last half of a run, like today? All through the run my calves were tight and fatigued, and I felt like I was just clomping all over the place. The tightness definitely had something do with yesterday’s ride, and the clomping likely had something to do with the wall of wind I was pushing through.

What techniques do you use to get through strong wind?

Cycling into Make Believe

To all the mothers, moms, mas and (as my brother likes to say) muddas out there, HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!!! I don’t know about you guys, but my mom is pretty top-notch! I wasn’t exactly the easiest child out there, getting whooping cough at three weeks old, appendicitis at three years old, and then the long and sometimes rebellious life of diabetes at nine. I’ve sometimes wondered how, over the years, she’s managed to always be by my side, and always know when I’ve been in need. A few times when she was on holidays and I’d be shipped to the hospital for some diabetic reason or other, my mom always made it to my bedside within hours … I remember once she told me she came home on a jet, just for me. Another time, when I passed out in a ditch on a busy farm road, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance (apparently I slugged the paramedic … I was only 11!!!) I remember the doors opening and my mom standing there right outside them, waiting for me. When I was a teenager, I had a few emergency low blood sugars in the middle of the night, and for some reason, don’t ask me how, my mom had some kind of freak “mother’s intuition” to go and check on me … same thing when I broke my wrist a few years back and was in the emergency ward all alone, somehow (again, I don’t know how) she knew I was there, and knew that she had to be there with me. And on the day of my wedding, she was my rock. And on top of all that, she’s just a really great person to talk to!

Love you mom!

Love this pic of my mom as a teenager

Sunday is usually a run day, but Mario and I mixed it up a bit and went for a ride instead – to go and see my castle! Yes, this princess has her very own castle.

So a few weeks ago, when I was driving to work on my hour-long drive, my eyelids started getting all heavy and droopy, and it didn’t matter what I did – chew gum, drink tea, blast the music, slap my cheeks, talk to myself – I couldn’t keep my eyes open. So finally, with just about 15 minutes left of the drive, I pulled off the highway intending to park my car, but as soon as I got off, it was like I got a second wind. And really, how could I not with the beauty all around me. I was in farm country, an area that I don’t generally frequent in the community, so my eyes were darting back and forth, all over the street, picking up new sights, like the big blue silos, and the luscious green open-field pastures, and the the orchard of trees, and the red, toy-like barn, and – A CASTLE!!! I slammed on my brakes. Did I really just see a castle? Yup, I did. And ever since, probably about three or four times a week, I’ve been getting off at that same exit to go and see my castle – it makes me feel like I’ve just been trolleyed into The Land of Make Believe … I keep waiting for the pink platypus to show up!

P.O.P's royal wave

So legend has it, well recent legend, that is, that the woman of the castle had always wanted to live in a castle, so her husband, being the amazing husband that he was, decided to build her a castle, but then halfway through the building process he died, and left her to raise their two sons. As her boys grew older, though, they stepped up and finished the job of building the castle for their beloved mom! What an amazing story for mothers’ day, hey. Makes me smile just thinking of it.

Today’s ride was the longest ride of the season (for me, that is) and we were just booking it on our way out, averaging about 26 km/h, but on the way home, a complete other story – riding straight into a nasty, push-you-over kind of headwind that was slowing me up massively.

Sugar tablet pick-me-up after a 2.8 bottom out – ACK!!!

We stopped at my girlfriend’s “hippie” farm for a halfway-there break and some nice chats in the sun (we may have gotten a little diverted, which some might call getting “lost”, going out there, even though I’ve been there a ton of times … but it wasn’t my fault, nope, not at all!) And nearing the end of the ride, with just about two km left to go, we stopped at Birchwood Dairy for a scoop of Chocoholic ice cream – a reward for making it through the wind 😀

Chocolate yummmmmm!


TODAY’S RIDE:

  • 1 p.m. BG before: 8.8 (2 stoned wheat thins, no bolus)
  • Distance: 59.58 km
  • Time: 2:34:34
  • Average speed: 22.9
  • Fastest speed: 37.2
  • 5 p.m. BG after: 5.0

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com