Monthly Archives: June 2011

Types 1, they know

The last week has been pretty rough. I’ve been really struggling with my blood sugars, and as I’m sure most of you are aware by now, I’m somewhat OCD when it comes to my BG averages; I like perfection. And for the most part, I’m pretty close to it, but every now again, my BG likes to rebel, take me on a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and serious lows for seemingly no reason whatsoever. Nothing has changed. I’m eating the same foods. My infusions appear to be okay. I don’t have a virus that I know of. But for some jerk-like reason my BG has decided to flip the middle finger up at me.

Previous times, I’ve suffered through it alone. Sure I had Mario and my family to rant about it to, and I had the specialists and the diabetic nurses and the pump manufacturers to send frantic, frustrated emails too, and while for the most part I got sympathetic ears, not one of them, not my husband, not my extended family, not my doctors, nurses or anyone else who came across my path during those raging times knew what I was going through. I always felt alone.

But thanks to this blog, I’ve had the luxury of building up my T1 support roster. And so a couple of days into this week’s roller coaster and the resulting stress which inevitably keeps the wheel turning, I fired off an email to fellow T1 chick Scully at Canadian D-Gal entitled Warning: mini vent inside.

I didn’t have to go into great detail about what was going on, I didn’t have to tell her my exact BG readings, didn’t have to disclose what I’d already checked, or what I’d already done, and I didn’t have to feel sheepish about my own rebellion with the whack load of ice cream I inhaled. All I pretty much had to say was F diabetes, and she knew.

Okay, so I am now totally in love with the phrase Boo Snickles!

And you know, when I got her email and the question about the whole monthly thing (sorry guys) it dawned on me that yes, that could very well be the reason for that jackassedness, which in itself is really stupid because it doesn’t happen every month, just sometimes, when it feels like it. Awesome. But yeah, if any of my family would have suggested that, I would have vehemently shook my head thinking No, no, no, you can’t possibly know a thing about what I’m going through so no, no, no you can’t possibly be right. But Scully, she knows. Type 1s, they know. And having some of them in my corner, well, I don’t feel so alone anymore.

So Diabetes, I will win this battle, I’ve got a force of fierce T1s behind me, and you, my longtime nemesis are going down. Who’s got the middle finger up now? Ha! Ha! Ha!


  • 5 p.m. BG before: 5.4
  • No temp. basal
  • Time: 1 hour of ab-sweating hell
  • 6:30 p.m. BG after: 5.1

Along with my nasty blood sugars, I’ve been pretty darn moody, which I’m thinking is a good sign it’s time to start lacing up my sneakers again and hitting the pavement. So, on the to-do list for this holiday weekend is to map out a training plan for the Tiffany’s half in October! Eeeeeeeeee!

Do you have plans for the long weekend?

Down-up deja ‘view’

Yesterday morning when I woke up I was feeling like crud – like in the sharp sheering, gut-wrenching, ohmygawd my stomach is being ripped apart crud – and I’ll be honest, the last thing I wanted to do was go for a ride. But it had been weeks since our last ride together, in fact I think it was my birthday. We were supposed to go last week but the rain and migraine got in the way of that, and I knew if I didn’t go and then started to feel better, I’d be kicking myself for the entire rest of the day. So, I geared up.

Mario rode towards UBC while I drove … I’ve decided I much prefer starting my rides at UBC rather than riding out to UBC as it gives me more time in the city.

Now, there’s two options for starting this ride:

  1. We ride up Camosun, 81 metres of climbing over 2.4 km
  2. We turn left and ride along Marine, which is like a never-ending road of slight incline, which seriously pisses me off, because it looks flat, so flat I should be making good speed, but noooo, that invisible hill has me going at a snail’s pace for like 500 km.

Mario thought, because I was feeling like the aforementioned crud, I’d choose the so-called “easy” route, and so he turned left right off the hop. But the thing is, despite my huffing and puffing, and my cursing and glaring, I like Camosun. The hill is hell, but it’s a quick hill, and I know once I peak that hill, I’ve got a seriously long downhill coming at me – who wouldn’t choose that route? And so, I clipped into my pedals, turned right and pumped my legs super duper fast, silently giggling at the thought of Mario having to turn around and catch up to me, which he did at three quarters of the way, but three quarters of the way nonetheless. One hill down.

The bottom of Camosun, which by the way, is bumpy as hell to ride down!

Not long into the ride, Mario made mention of us possibly going down the “big” hill to Spanish Banks, but quickly hedged back on the thought, figuring I wouldn’t be up for the climb back up Jericho: 90 metres elevation, 81 metres climbing, 2 km distance. “Well, I’ve got to do it at some point,” I said. And I kid you not, Mario’s eyes instantly twinkled and within minutes we were zooming – I mean ZOOMING – down the big hill.

Before climbing back up, we stopped at Greek Days on Broadway and noodled around for a bit. It was there that I realized, I couldn’t turn my bike computer off and that it was still recording my average pace, which given that we’d been walking – SLOWLY– around for a good 15 minutes, my pace drastically dropped, which totally annoyed the hell out of me. So the entire route to Jericho, I was pedaling as fast as I could, trying to get my pace back up to a decent average. But then, I had to climb Jericho and the pace majorly took a nosedive again. Two hills done.

We stopped at Malones for a patio lunch with our bikes, and I started to gripe about my lost average, and Mario said, “Well, we could just go down the big hill again…” Without thinking it through, I accepted the challenge. Two down/up Jerichos in one day PLUS an up/down Camosun, that’s never before been heard of in Princess history. I so deserved that chocolate chip cookie from Mix Bakery, one of the best bakeries EVER! Three hills done.


  • 11 a.m. BG before: 10.6
  • Temp. basal: -100 per cent (4 hours)
  • Distance: 45 km
  • Average pace: 23.9 km/h
  • Fastest pace: 49.4 (it felt faster)
  • Time: 2:12:36
  • 3:30 p.m. BG after: 8.2
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (2 hours)

And I so deserved half this funghi pizza and a nice cold glass of Belgian beer too!

Just look at that pizza! And the dark beer! Yum! Yum! Yum!


Becoming wine princess

Yesterday was the last of my birthday celebrations … or was it?

A few weeks before my birthday my moms asked what I wanted this year, and I couldn’t think of a thing. In fact, I’ve struggled for the last few years coming up with something, as I can pretty much just buy whatever I want myself … well, within reason, and I don’t think my parents would be so keen on buying me a cute little house on the cute little street in cute little South Vancouver … or maybe they would 😉 And so this year, instead of asking for a present, I asked for their time: One day, just me and my moms and pops, and Vancouver foody shops.

We hit up the Gourmet Warehouse, and Williams and Sonoma, (and a little Anthropologie sneaked in there) and lunch at Granville Island too of course. I walked away with some fun washing dishes gloves, which Mario hopes will encourage me to actually wash dishes (we’ll see!) and a juicer so my hands don’t go all arthritic while making key lime tart,  a mat for drying my wine glasses on, and precious memories.

For some reason, this dish towel totally spoke to me … in my house, it would be the cleanest towel EVER!

Onion goggles = AWESOME!

Forget gingerbread men, we’re so doing ninjabread men next year!

Moms getting dinner at the market, halibut, potatoes, asparagus, grapes and cherries.

Okay seriously, so perfect!

But here’s the thing, one person from the equation was missing. The person who loves to spend hours and hours in these foody and restaurant equipment shops, and who is likely why I myself can lose time in those shops too. My pops got called into work, and couldn’t get out of it, and so it was just a birthday date with my moms and me. But my pops has promised me a rain cheque for a dim sum (yum!) lunch date. And you can bet, I will be cashing in on that belated birthday date thank you very much 😀

How was your weekend?

The power of one

Over the last few months I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of teachers. Some say teachers have no power, they’re just glorified babysitters, and to them, I spit in their face I say they’re wrong. A teacher is incredibly powerful. They have the ability to positively impact a child, to change their life really. They also have the ability to scar them. Power!

For me, 12 years in School District 34, I was lucky enough to have had four unforgettably incredible teachers, two in elementary school (back-to-back) and two in high school. Today, I give special thanks to one of those teachers.

Bradner elementary. Grade 5. 1987-88. Ms. Duma.

It is because of Ms. Duma that my dear husband runs from the room every time I start singing. Not only was she my Grade 5 teacher, she also taught choir and handbells. And it didn’t matter how loud, or how out of tune I sang those Christmas carols, she never shut me up, never banned me from the music room, never tried to dissuade my singing desires, not once. In fact, I am so sure, her conductor signals were telling me to belt it out even louder. And so Ms. Duma, I thank you for my love of singing Christina Aguilara’s I Am Beautiful at the top of my lungs. And deep down, Mario does too 😀

When we were up in the Bruges Belfry, it was Ms. Duma I thought of the second I saw these – biggest handbells EVER!

It is because of Ms. Duma – and a postcard from Peru – that my dreams of travel were first ignited. It was in my year when she and her husband decided to adopt a baby from Peru. They left in May of that school year and while some teachers wouldn’t have looked back, she did. Many times. We received regular updates of her travels, and in the summer break, I received a postcard from her with an Inca woman dressed in traditional attire. It was in that postcard, that she informed me she would be bringing home not one, but two babies! I still have that postcard. And so Ms. Duma, I thank you for starting my jet setting dreams.

And it is because of Ms. Duma that my standards for other teachers skyrocketed. Ms. Duma never forgot her students. Not when she was becoming a new mom in Peru, not when they transferred to other schools, and most definitely not when they were feeling alone and scared in a cold, sterile hospital bed at BC Children’s Hospital. That year, just one year fresh of my diabetes diagnosis and the start of my downward spiral of disease denial, I spent a lot of time in the hospital. A lot. But next to my bed, there was a card, a giant handmade card, the size of a poster board folded in half, wishing me better with signatures and funny comments and drawings from the entire class – at the prompting of my dear teacher. I think, in total, I got three of those cards that year. And so Ms. Duma, I thank you for those warm, fuzzy feelings I got, when I so desperately needed comfort, every time I opened those cards.

It’s been 23 years since I was in Ms. Duma’s class, and thanks to Facebook, to this day, she continues to make me feel like I am one of the most special, talented, beautiful people on this earth. That is the power of an amazing teacher. That is what every classroom needs.

And I am honoured to call this woman, one of my most favourite teachers in the world, whose first name is Ms., my friend.

After 26 years in the same school (how often does that happen?) Ms. Duma is retiring at the end of this school year. Today was her going away party where there were students from all eras, young and old, parents and teachers too all vying for her attention. When I walked through the doors of the hall next to the school (where we used to have potlatch dances!) the first thing I saw was a projection of old photos, and you know which one was showing at that very moment, the one of my class!

Thank you Ms. Duma.

Did a teacher impact you? If so, how?

Recipe for stinky feet

You know, I actually went into Pilates yesterday feeling somewhat remorseful for the shoes I wore that day, shoes I often refer to as Stinky Feet Katie shoes. But upon leaving the studio, there was no more remorse, in fact, I wished I’d rubbed my feet through the cow paddies in my parents’ fields. Oh yeah, every thought of revenge surging through my crying body.

But first, the shoes and my guilt. I don’t know what it is about these shoes, they’re high quality leather, well made, good brand, cute as can be, but they’re also flats, which require bare feet, and anything bare feet plus heat is a recipe for stinky feet. So, before going to Pilates, I scrubbed and scrubbed my feet in the bathtub at my moms trying to wash away the stench as best I could, and even rubbed in some peppermint smelling foot therapy to hopefully mask any remaining reek there could be. And then, just to make sure they didn’t get all rank again, I put socks on – socks! – with Mary-Jane flats … I was seriously channeling little orphan Annie!

And I did it all because I did not want to subject my Pilates instructors with such a funky smell. Pretty nice of me, right. Apparently not nice enough.

I don’t know what the hell I did to piss off my Pilates chicks, but my gawd I must have done something truly horrendous, because their revenge was seriously medieval freaking torture. Remember the rack? Well, that was nothing compared to last night.

This between my legs…

A few weeks ago I happened to mention that I was getting a little bored with the program I’d been on and that I was interested in a change, you know a few added moves here and there, NOT a whole two 8×10 pages of new moves (a good portion of which had me strapped to some wall rack thing!) and had my ankles, calves, thighs and abs all quivering uncontrollably, and my toes and feet and the backs of my knees and hamstrings cramping up into bloody claws … I kid you not, my muscles were so twisted up I was like a freaking crab! As I left the studio my Pilates chick told me to enjoy tomorrow, with a little too much glee in her voice. I was somewhat concerned with the pain I was sure to endure, but when I woke up and didn’t feel any abnormal aches, I started giggling with thoughts of Haha, I’m stronger than that, who’s laughing now? … by noon, I was NOT laughing. Achy thighs. Achy abs. Dammit!

And now I can honestly say I’ve learned my lesson and I promise never, never, NEVER to use the word “bored” in class again


  • 6 p.m. BG before: 9.9
  • No temp. basal
  • 1.15 hour of fire and brimstone
  • 7:30 p.m. BG after: 11.0

Dear Pilates chicks,
I am truly sorry for whatever it is I did to you, please, please, please forgive me, and please show me mercy on Thursday. Please.
Sincerely, a severely sore princess

I better get She Ra freaking abs out of this!

A fishful adventure

My day wasn’t a complete loss yesterday. After sleeping off my post-low migraine, Mario and I headed into the city to wander around Granville Island. We didn’t really have a reason to go beyond wanting to get out of the house, but by the time we left the great market, we had purpose: Paella.

Paella on the barbecue is like Spain on my patio!

I’ve blogged about paella a few times over the last year and a half, but seriously I cannot get enough of this stuff. I was first introduced to it when in Barcelona two years ago and fell in love with its saffron, seafood, smoked paprika goodness, and because I have a husband who loves to experiment with his cooking (or maybe he’s just forced to because I don’t cook at all), the Christmas after that trip, I bought him an authentic paella pan online, Spanish rice, smoked paprika,  jarred saffron, wrapped it up, and voila, the makings of paella. The perfect gift 😀 We’ve had it with seafood and with chicken and sausage, and for last night’s concoction Mario added a twist of prawns with eyeballs and cooked it on the barbecue instead of the stove. Scrumdiliumptious! And just like all the others, this one too had me dreaming of Spain: the colour yellow, gothic cathedrals, Eduardo, tiled walls, Gaudi, Las Ramblas, beer, butterflies, and one of the most beautiful languages ever.

¡Oh España, lo hago con amor!

And because of the seafood, yesterday’s adventure turned into a fishful adventure!

Better crabs in the water than crabs clamping my fingers.

Mussels are key to a good paella.

A blowfish teapot, how brilliant is that?

We weren’t quite brave enough to do the live spot prawns…

But the dead ones, like butter!

Sorry Scully, I cannot resist: Fish heads, fish heads, eat them up yum!

So while my day started out in the crapper, it most definitely ended brilliantly, with full belly and all … although, I kind of totally screwed up the carb count for the rice and ended up with majorly high blood sugars two hours later. Oops.

Do you have a favourite meal that reminds you of past travels?

Romy and Michelle

Happy Father’s Day!

That’s my pops (and moms)!

I woke up this morning with a massive headache – thank you 4 a.m. low blood sugars! – it was a post-low migraine that hasn’t happened in quite a long time, probably since getting my insulin pump fitted 1.5 years ago. And when I stumbled out of bed, I most definitely was not prepared for the sheering pain that had me trying to hold my head dead still, and my hands cupping my ears to block out all sound. I used to get these post-low migraines all the time and would be forced to lock myself in a dark, quiet room for hours until they went away. Drugs were pointless. So instead of going on a road ride (which was pretty much out of the cards anyway given the cold grey skies hovering above) Mario went mountain biking and I crawled under my covers, pillow over head until noon. Not the way I like to start my Sundays!

Last night was my 15-year grad reunion (we didn’t have a 10 year) and in a word, it was, uhm, awkward! Not awkward bad, just awkward. For the most part, I have not seen these people in 15 years, and the last time they saw me, I was a chubby, self-conscious, socially inept, awkward girl. How things change hey … I’m like the ugly duckling who grew into the beautiful swan (too conceited? ;)) I kept thinking it was going to be like Romy and Michelles High School Reunion (which by the way came out just after I gradded). I was totally Michelle 😀

“Oh, okay. Um, I invented Post-Its.”

My two girlfriends (the only ones I’ve really kept in touch with) and I were late showing up to the dinner portion, so we were stuck at the end of the table which wasn’t very conducive to socializing, but it was good for people watching. I kept awkwardly staring at these people (and totally getting caught doing so) some who I recognized, but many who I didn’t, and I kept trying to figure out if they were actually part of our grad class or if they were spouses … name tags, as dorky as they are, might have been helpful. After dinner, we went up to the bar, where the socializing commenced: “Soooo, what are you up to these days … Are you married … Any kids…” and while it was somewhat interesting, it was also eye opening in the fact that unless I’m interviewing someone, I really do suck at small talk. Hello awkward silences! Now, had there been someone in the crowd claiming to have invented Post-its or a special kind of glue or to have shacked up with Hef, well now, that would have been a whole other story 😉


Have you gone to a grad reunion? What was your experience?