Monthly Archives: November 2013

15 months: Oh, the places you’ll go!

Oh child,

That look you give me, you know the one…

The one where you’re about to open a drawer that’s off limits, or you’re about to climb from your chair up onto the desk, or up the book shelf for that matter…

The one where you’ve spotted papsy’s remote, or mama’s book, or the keyboard – all within speed crawling reach…

The one where mama keeps screwing up what you want no matter how many times you point and say dat. Dat! Dat! Dat! …

The one where papsy doesn’t give you a bath right after dinner, or where mama doesn’t grab for your night-time book as soon as your pajamas have been zipped up…

The one where you put a clean diaper, or a dirty dinner plate, or a book on your head and say “HAT!”

The one where you’ve just stood up so determined to toddle the entire length of the condo, or to reach for the special books atop your dresser, or to grow just one more inch so you can open the bathroom door…

The one where you walk those shaky steps to mama, arms stretched out as wide as they’ll go, and collapse full body in, awww sound effects and all…

The one, every single one of them, that says, Mama, I may drive you batty at times, but I love you just the same…

Today: 15 months of Little Ring love.

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Safety first 😀

All she needed were pom-poms

The other day I ran past a little girl, about two or three, who was skipping alongside her mom.

“She’s running!” the girl announced. “Why is she running?”

“Because she’s good at it,” said her mom.

I looked back at the girl, with my rosy, wind slapped cheeks, and gave her a huge smile before picking up my pace and continuing on my way. About 10 or 15 minutes later, on one of my turnarounds, I heard that carefree, joyous voice calling again. This time, the girl was pumping her legs fast on the swings with her mom pumping beside her.

“Look! She’s still running,” she said, giving her mom a play-by-play worthy of the Olympics.

Again, I smiled, before focusing in on my form and picking up my pace.

Another 15 minutes passed, and I was on my final leg of the run, I was growing sluggish, I could feel my blood sugars plummeting, I just wanted to be done. But then, across the lot, there was that girl again.

“I want to run too!” she announced as she pointed in my direction.

I looked over, and there she was, her little legs pushing her forward as fast as little legs can go, her arms frenetically waving from side to side, up and down, and her belly full of giggles. Instantly, my belly filled with giggles, my face erupted into smiles,  my energy burst, my legs sped.

It was only 7 km, but thanks to that girl, it was one of the best runs I’ve had in months.

You’re never too young to be a cheerleader!

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SUNDAY’S RUN:

  • 1 p.m. BG before: 10.6
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: none
  • Time: 38:42
  • Distance: 7.04 km
  • Average pace: 5:30 min/km
  • 2 p.m. BG after: 2.6 YIKES!!!

This is diabetes

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Over the years I’ve heard time and time again low blood sugar episodes being compared to inebriation. And, maybe because I’m not on the outside looking in, but rather the person in the moment, I’ve never related to that comparison. Sure, there are a lot of similarities – irrationality, unpredictability, blurred vision, slurred speech, passing out – but drunkeness, at least in the moment, is often viewed as fun, exciting, thrilling. Whereas hypoglycemia, for me, is more akin to full body failure.

It can last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.

My brain in a fog, my eyes desperately trying to catch the words maniacally dancing on the page.

A part of me deep inside watches from the sidelines, desperately crying out for help. But the words don’t come out. What does is nothing more than a mumble, or a hate-filled cranky mess.

I’ve burst into tears, I’ve thrown things, I’ve said things no one should ever say to the people they love – all because the one word I need, that’s right there in my brain, I can’t verbally grasp.

Help.

I want to put my head down. I want to shut my eyes. I want to sleep. I can’t.

I need sugar, fast acting sugar, I take a swig of orange juice. I should wait, at least 15 minutes, but my body screams for more. I open the fridge, the cupboards, my desk drawer, my wallet and fill my mouth full of cookies, chocolate chips, peanut butter, crackers… More. More. More.

I’m sick. I want to puke. My body can’t handle the sugar overload. As my blood sugars take a turn upwards, the headache ensues.

The raging headache, so fierce I can’t move my head, I can’t open my eyes, I can’t think. Make it stop. Please. Make it stop.

I’m at home. I’m at work. I’m at the playground with my son. I’m on a run. I’m in my car. I’m shopping. I’m taking a test.

There is no stop watch. There is no vacation time. There isn’t even a lunch break.

This is diabetes.

* This post was part of a collaboration between a few of us T-1 bloggers to show the story of diabetes beyond the finger pricks and needle jabs. The above is just one part of my disease.

Other posts by others with diabetes on how diabetes feels:
Canadian D Gal
Running on Carbs
Jeff Mather’s Dispatches
Alberta Diabetic Girl

Cooking up Brussels

October 13, 2013:
Cook’s Country  – October/November issue
Brussels Sprouts Salad

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Please excuse the ugly bowl, my family is much too large to be served by my pretty bowls

Last month’s cooking challenge was a risk, a HUGE, Brussels sprouts kind of risk!

Not everyone loves Brussels sprouts, in fact, I think most people actually hate them. (Weird, I know!) But I love them, like really, really, really love them. My moms loves them. Big Brother loves them. Big Ring loves them.

And so, for this month’s challenge I decided to take on the Brussels sprouts. But not in your traditional steamed buttery yumminess you typically find them in. Nope, I made a salad. That’s right folks, a Brussels sprouts salad! Risqué indeed.

When Big Ring pulled out two bags FULL of Brussels sprouts, four pounds worth, it took all of two seconds and a bulging of my eyes to realize that maybe I’d chosen the wrong dish to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. My gawd, I thought, I’ve got to slice all of those! That’s gonna take forever!!! Well, not quite forever, just three hours. THREE HOURS!!!

By 45 minutes into the stemming and trimming process, I was sprouts cross-eyed, seeing double sprouts, everything in my peripheral was  sprouts green, and I’m pretty sure my wrist was feeling the effects of  sprouts carpal tunnel. I decided to take a break, and move onto the next step of slicing. But just to make sure I was on the right track, I took a peak at the recip And that’s when I learned I’d just wasted 45 minutes. You see, when I looked at the ingredients list, it said the Brussels sprouts needed to be trimmed. I didn’t know how to trim Brussels sprouts, so I Googled it and found a YouTube tutorial telling me I needed to cut off the hard part at the bottom and remove the dark green leaves around the sprout. But had I looked at the entire page the recipe was on, I would have found an America’s Test Kitchen step-by-step trimming tutorial in which it shows all I had to do was stem the sprouts, not remove outer leaves. Oh frick.

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“You know what the number 1 rule of Amazing Race is,” said my dear husband, secretly I’m sure knowing it would irritate the heck out of me:Read the clue! Pay attention to detail!” Every episode I’m practically yelling at the TV screen at the teams who don’t read the entire clue, who don’t follow all the steps in the clue, who don’t pay attention to detail. They deserve to be penalized, I say. And I guess, I, too, deserved that 45-minute penalization. D’oh.

By the time I had finished thinly slicing each and every one of those taunting, tormenting, troublesome sprouts, I was pretty close to swearing off my once beloved holiday veggie for life. My hands were tight, cramping, gripped into a slicing shape long after the knife had been pulled away. I wanted nothing more than to just quit this recipe, dash off to the nearest grocery store and pick up something I know would have been edible… a statement I could not yet promise for this one.

The money already spent, however, kept me on path. I whipped up the vinagrette, which was fairly easy aside from the shallot tears, then mixed it in with the Brussels sprouts, and then proceeded to shred the gouda, chop the dried cherries, and toast the pecans. (Thank you Big Ring for buying pre-chopped pecans; one less step.) Then, I begged for the best.

I was worried.

If this recipe was just for Big Ring and I, it wouldn’t have mattered so much if it turned out awful. But because I was feeding it to my entire family (or at least those brave enough to try cooking from my hands) and because there are a few of us around the table who very much love our sprouts, I was freaking out the whole drive over to my parents’. This was the first recipe challenge where it wasn’t just Big Ring and Little Ring as my guinea pigs. Risqué indeed.

I placed it on the table and called it “slaw.” What people didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them right 😉 I saw my parents, brothers, sister in law, nieces, and even a couple of my nephews pile it on to their plates. I took in a breath and waited. And then, it came:

  • “Who made this salad? It’s excellent.”
  • “I need this recipe.”
  • “Well done.”
  • “I don’t even like Brussels sprouts, but this is really good.”

And then, it was my turn. One bite. Two bites. Three bites just to be sure. HOLY YUMTASTIC!!! This was really, freaking tasty!!! Wow! The sprouts weren’t rabbity at all, they had softened up quite nicely from the viniagrette, and the smoked gouda along with the cherries and pecans gave it that extra powerful oomph of goodness. But would I do it again?

Only if I bought pre-sliced sprouts, which thanks to my sister-in-law I now know is an option.

Yum! Yum! Yum!

Fun fact about Brussels sprouts: They originate in Brussels!!! I never once associated Brussels sprouts with Belgium until this recipe when I realized the Brussels in Brussels sprouts was capitalized. My family has roots in Belgium; no wonder I love this veggie so 😀

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Not Brussels, but Bruges.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and sliced very thin
1 cup shredded smoked gouda
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries

1. Whisk lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until incorporated. Toss Brussels sprouts with vinaigrette and let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
2. Fold in smoked gouda and pecans. Add chopped dried cherries. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 8

Woman • Warrior • Princess

Not running for about month didn’t kill me physically, but it did mentally.

Following my half marathon I took a break, an extended break. I hadn’t planned on it, but my lovely Brooks Ghost 5s were DEAD, and the replacement New Balance sneakers I had in waiting (that I won a few months ago) were a major disappointment. Just one run in them and my feet were aching for days. It took until last week to find the perfect shoe: Saucony Ride 6.

These sneakers were smooth and cushiony, they hugged my curves and arches, they didn’t have any irritating, obtrusive, protruding cushions or pads that I could feel. The moment they were slipped on to my size 8.5s, it was as though I was the running version of Cinderella! But these shoes, they were no boring, clear, glass slipper, oh no, these gals, they’ve got glow-in-the-dark pizzazz all over them, snatching the eyes of every onlooker we pass.

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These shoes scream “FAST!!!

So, with perfect shoe on foot, you’d figure I’d be raring to go right? Wrong. I’ve run twice since acquiring my Sauconys. The first run on Friday was pretty decent, just a shake out the legs, get the muscles moving again kind of run, nothing too strenuous, and nothing that should have had me second guessing any follow-up runs.

Yet, when I woke up this morning, the last thing I wanted was to slip into my running slippers. It was grey. It was cold. It was early. My blood sugars were low. I had no energy. My stomach was off. My butt muscles were achy. My shoulder was sore. Every excuse you could thing of went off. And they nearly won the battle.

I was supposed to run after breakfast, before Big Ring went to road hockey, but the low blood sugars kept me in. I told Big Ring I’d run in the afternoon instead, which is usually a running death sentence. If I don’t run first thing, I’ll usually come up with more excuses not to go.

Which is exactly what I did, came up with probably about 10 or so, and honestly I have no idea what finally pushed me out that door, but somehow my sneaks and I ended up running the roads. I’m not gonna say it was a brilliant run, because it wasn’t. My body felt fine, aside from my shoulder screaming at the 25-minute mark; my pace for a second run back was pretty freaking awesome in my books; and while my breathing was laboured, it wasn’t to the point of keeling over. But my brain, ohhh that finicky, evil brain of mine, was waging a war in my head telling me to STOP!, telling me THIS ISN’T WORKING!, telling me IT WOULD FEEL SO MUCH BETTER TO WALK!

Friends, I fought back. Channelling my inner Queen Elizabeth, courtesy of Cate Blanchett, I shouted to that demon as loud as my inner voice would go:

“I, TOO, CAN COMMAND THE WIND, SIR! I HAVE A HURRICANE IN ME THAT WILL STRIP YOU BARE IF YOU DARE TO TRY ME!”

ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE
The brain backed down 😉

And with a carrot (by way of my Rings walking up ahead) at the end of the run dangling before me, I gave those sneakers a good running right to the end!

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The best get-your-butt-moving motivator!

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 3 p.m. BG before: 5.6
  • Carbs: 2 biscuits (19g) no bolus
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Time: 30:03 minutes
  • Distance: 5.46 km
  • Average pace: 5:27 min/km
  • 4 p.m. BG after: 6.0

Here’s hoping my next run won’t be so hard to conquer.

Channeling Eminem

Guess who’s back…

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Back again…

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Princess’ back, tell a friend…

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Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back…

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 8:30 a.m. BG before: 8.2
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: none
  • Time: 27:59
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Average pace: 5:36 min/km
  • 9:30 a.m. BG after: 5.0

 

 

Battle of the pumps

Ohhh Animas, you had so much going for you. Just a few short weeks ago, you were the front runner pump for replacement, but unfortunately, yesterday’s mishap, well, that was a bit of a kick in the credibility teeth.

So there I was standing on the street, waiting for the traffic light to change, when all of a sudden I heard the clank of something falling next to me and felt a tugging at my belly that quickly turned into a full-blown yank. When I looked down – holy freaking bejezus! – there was my pump hanging in the breeze – HANGING!!! – with nothing but my skin keeping it from crashing down to the ground. What the???

And the clank, well that was half of the pump’s clip lying on the pavement, completely removed from the pump, and my waistband for that matter, where it belonged. It broke. Again. For no apparent reason other than the fact Animas clips have been shoddy from day 1. Seriously, they’re like the Ikea of insulin pump clips!

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Too bad.

This December, I’m up for a replacement pump, and in the four years I’ve been with Animas, I’ve gone through four pumps, two meters, and too many clips to count. I’ve waterlogged the so-called waterproof pump; cracked a meter after it slipped out of my hands on to the cement; have somehow caused the pump to power down and revert back to factory settings, etc., etc.. And every time I’ve had an issue, I’ve called the toll-free number and every time a replacement has been en route within hours – clips included.

There is no doubt Animas is top of the line when it comes to customer service. But product quality, that’s got to count for something too right.

So, now the question is, which pump will be my next pump???