Tag Archives: Blood glucose

Hypoglycemic doozies

The other night I was lying in bed and I couldn’t sleep. I tossed. I turned. I was tired, but my brain wouldn’t shut off. It took about 20 minutes of this before I decided to check my blood sugars. They were 3.4; I should have known.

For the most part our bodies are pretty good at telling us when things aren’t right, and for me, a surefire sign my blood sugars are low at night is when I battle with sleep. And yet, it’s almost always the last thing I check. As far back as my teenage years I’ve been fighting sleep the same way I did the other night. I’d stuff a pillow over my head. I’d get up to go to the washroom 5,000 times. I’d berate the sleep demons in my head. Anything but actually check my blood sugars. Nine times out of 10, they were always low.

This particular evening, however, while waiting for my BG to slowly creep back up, I got to thinking about some of the lows I’ve experienced in the last 26 years. There’s been some doozies.

What? Did you actually think it would be an in-focus photo? Not when my hypoglycemic hands are shaking like crazy!!!

Probably the most amusing one occurred in my first year. My family and I were preparing for an evening out, for what I don’t recall, but I do remember being told to change into warmer clothes. And this is where my memory goes black… apparently I waltzed out of my room, jacket and boots on, announcing I was ready to go. The things was, all I had on was that jacket and those boots, nothing else – stark naked!!!

Fast forward a couple years and my family was no longer laughing with the onslaught of my first super scary low. I had been reading in the school library, when the first signs of a low appeared. Out of nowhere the words started bouncing all over the pages. I squeezed my eyes shut, I squinted, I concentrated real hard, but those words would not come to a standstill. I did nothing about it. I don’t remember the end of day bell, nor do I remember boarding the school bus home. But I do have flashbacks of dump trucks and semis whizzing by me on the busy farm road, and of me running back and forth across the street. The next thing I remember I was waking up in a stranger’s house with three men peering over me!

It turns out I boarded the wrong bus home and passed out in a ditch on one of the main farm commuter routes. A fellow who went to school with my sister, and who apparently enjoyed his recreational drugs a little much, spotted me and thought I was his dog run over! He took me to his house, called an ambulance and the school. When I opened my eyes and saw the faces of three male strangers over me, you better believe I jumped off that stretcher so fast and started screaming at the top of my lungs. (Moms, you would have been proud!)

To calm me down, one of the paramedics promised if I got back on the stretcher, he’d take me to my moms to which I agreed. But the thing is, the farm town I lived in, it’s a pretty small town, and I knew when the ambulance reached the 4-way stop, it had to turn left to go home, but it kept going straight. Wait a second. He told me he was taking me to my moms. My moms isn’t straight, she’s left. He lied. Anddddddd, I totally slugged the guy!!!

When I hit my extremely hormonal and experimental teenage years, there were too many to count middle-of-the-night convulsive lows, caught only by a mother’s intuition waking her up, feeling the need to check on her baby girl.

Years later, while working my first job in the newspaper industry, living in a community far from my friends and family, I also suffered several lows. Paid peanuts, I was forced to make a choice between whether I would buy food or test strips. There was one day when I knew the low was coming on fast, and so I took a swig of the honey bottle I kept stored in my desk drawer, before walking over to the nearby café for something more substantial. As I stood in line and waited, the girl behind the counter asked if I was okay. I shook my head. I walked to the drink cooler. Everything went black. And once again, the paramedics were rushing me to the ER.

Yep, doozies indeed. But none of those – NONE! – compare to the one I had just weeks after Little Ring was born. I didn’t go into convulsions. The paramedics weren’t called. I didn’t go to emergency. But I did have the worst fright of my life.

At the time, my body was still adjusting to its new state of no longer carrying a baby, and of continuously expressing energy and nutrients through breast milk. Little Ring wasn’t yet sleeping through the night and we were exhausted. There were a few nights where I propped the boy on my chest to ensure at least he got a couple hours shuteye.

One night, I woke up in a panic. Little Ring wasn’t on my chest. I whipped the blankets off, I threw my pillows, I pushed Big Ring. I couldn’t get my words out, my hands and eyes were frantically searching, my heart felt like it had a belt around it twisting it tighter and tighter. Big Ring tried calming me. There was no time to be calm. Tears shot out of my eyes. My head filled with the worst thoughts a mom could have. Had I smothered my boy? After what seemed an eternity, I finally looked over to the bassinet next to the bed and saw my sweet baby soundly sleeping.

He was not on my chest. He had never been on my chest. He would never again sleep on my chest. My blood sugars were 1.7. Worst feeling in the world!

Thankfully – knock on wood – I don’t experience much of those these days!

Anyone else want to share some of their low doozies?

24 weeks: Counting down the days

Dear Blood Sugars,

Are you unaware that my birthday, one of my most favourite days of the year, is just around the corner, five days around the corner to be exact, which means we’re in birthday three week time, a time that is supposed to be happy and joyous and beautiful and wonderous – NOT TEAR FILLED! Or, are you just being plain nasty? Because after the week you’ve put me through, I’m having my doubts about you. I’m beginning to think you hate me and I’m wondering why. Don’t keep me in the lurch here, dear BG, I would very much like to know, because then maybe I could tackle your evilness, put a stranglehold on it, kick it to the bloody curb. Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I would like to do. Because right now, you’re making me look bad, real bad, and in case you haven’t noticed, I don’t like to look bad – YOU JERK!


My blood sugars the last few days are so beyond the roller coaster. I’m teased with perfection first thing in the morning only to be sucker punched an hour later with ugly highs. And no matter what I do, they just keep going up, up, up. It’s like they’re spending the entire morning and a good part of the afternoon too climbing the Mt. Ventoux. But then in the evening, after a full days worth of rage bolusing trying to get them back down to reality, then, and only then, do they decide, hey let’s go for a swim, and why don’t we tie a few bricks around Princess’ ankles – see how she survives then. JERK!

And because of those BG spikes, I was made to feel like the worst mom-to-be this morning by the doctor manning the maternity clinic I go to once a month. It’s not bad enough that I’m already super anxious about keeping my little alien thumb-sucker healthy and on the up and up, but to be lectured by this doctor who told me I was “endangering” my baby with the highs (9, 10 and 11 readings) nearly sent me over the edge. Oh and he couldn’t stop there, nooo, he stuck a little jab in when he measured my belly and noted that I was two inches larger than where I should be, stating that all that “added glucose” in me is taking it’s toll.

Take note: I did say I’ve been experiencing highs for three days, not three months! My three-month BG average is more than perfect, so I highly doubt they’re the reason I’m soon to be the size of a hippopotamus. JERK!

I already feel like this and according to all these medical peeps I’ll soon be the size of it too.

And then after all that, after making me feel like I’ve been doing everything wrong, that I’ve been neglecting my baby, that I’m worse than a freaking alcoholic or drug-addicted pregnant chick, he tells me that “truthfully I have no knowledge when it comes to Type 1 diabetes,” and that I would be better off with a high-risk obstetrician.

Uh what? Then why the hell have I been going to this clinic for the past five months, building a relationship with the doctors in this clinic, if they were just going to wash their hands of me? If they had no knowledge of Type 1 diabetes back then, then why the hell wasn’t I sent to a bloody high-risk obstetrician back then? Are you freaking kidding me?

Counting down the days ’til I never have to deal with these jerks again!

Getting really sick and tired of the lack of Type 1 knowledge when it comes to pregnancy! Seriously, not cool.

Sloth in sneakers

Okay, so maybe climbing the Grouse Grind, and drinking beer and eating decadent cheesecake the day before a long run wasn’t the smartest running decision made. The first 5 km felt like my body was twisted up into a million knots and it was not going to untwist kindly, oh no. I was struggling to maintain a constant pace, or even just a good pace, I was slow, oh man, was I ever slow. And my ankles and calves were so super tight, I was begging the running gods to take pity on me. And yet, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. That cheesecake, ohhhhh that decadent Princess-famed cheesecake, was worth every tight step endured.

Loving the post-run stretch.

After two and a quarter years of living in the loft, Mario and I finally had my brother, sister in law and three nephews over for dinner on Saturday. And because it had been so long (my sister in law, who is one of my most favourite persons on the planet, had never even seen our place) I had to roll out the red carpet, had to. And in my world, that red carpet involves cheesecake, a cheesecake that takes 5 hours – FIVE HOURS! – to prepare. It is that good!

This is one of my cheesecakes of yore, I was so enchanted by the most recent cake I forgot to take a picture.

But as with most delectable treats, it came at a cost. Picture a sloth in sneakers, that was me on the Seawall Sunday morning for those first 5 km. And then all of a sudden, I don’t know, it’s like I jetted into a phone booth, spun around a couple times, and came out SuperPrincess! My pace sped up, my muscles loosened up and those aches and pains, gone. The running gods listened! Now, if only the Seawall cyclists (who, I’m pretty sure are the worst cyclists in the world) could learn to follow the rules of the road and NOT nearly take me out TWICE, it would have been a near perfect middle and end run.

Some cyclists need to go back to kindergarten and learn how to share. Just saying…


  • 11 a.m. BG before: 7.4 (1 Swedish berry)
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 13 km
  • Average pace: 6:34 min/km
  • Time: 1:25:24
  • 1 p.m. BG after: 7.8

Did you see that? Blood sugar perfection. Normally when I see my BG anything under 9.0 before the start of a run, I get paranoid that I’ll have a mid-run low and end up slurping back some sugar, but yesterday, I pretty much just let it ride aside from one Swedish Berry. And along the run, I didn’t take any gels, or pancakes or any solid nutrition for that matter, but rather I took my dietitian’s suggestion and diluted juice in with my water, which seemed to work well … although, not really sure how swell it will be once I start hitting the higher mileage. But luckily for me, I’ve got some pretty amazing running chicks, who (I had completely forgotten) had purchased me some Hammer Perpetuem Extreme Endurance Fuel for my birthday last month (along with some super delicious chocolates! Like I said, amazing!) that’s supposed to deliver stable, long-term energy with no stomach distress or glycemic spikes. Sounds pretty perfect, now I just got to give it a go.

Have you used the Hammer line of endurance fuels? What did you think?

And look who I found! Another reason to love the Seawall, great lunch dates!

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?

Goldilocks and the fear

Diabetes Lesson No. 941: Walking is exercise.

After work I met up with my favourite ironchickie for a post-birthday (me) and post-half-ironman (her) walk along the dykes in the Valley. I had planned on testing my blood sugars before heading out, just as I do before all other exercise, but I think the excitement of seeing my dear friend combined with getting lost trying to find the parking lot, and coming across two toddler billie goats lounging in the middle of a dead end road (I kid you not, I thought they were dogs from afar, but as I got closer I saw their furry horns) completely threw me off. And it wasn’t until about 3.5 km into the 5 km walk, when I realized that I hadn’t tested my blood sugars and that I had also not stuffed any sugar-related goodies into my pocket, and that my legs were getting somewhat tingly, which is almost always a surefire sign the blood sugars are plumetting. Sure enough, when we got back to the cars, my blood sugars were 3.1. Yikes! But hey, I didn’t forget my camera 😀

I’d like to buy a vowel please Vanna.

Have you ever met up with a friend and had something you really, really wanted to talk to him or her about, and had ample opportunity to talk to them about it, but then realized, once you’ve departed, that you were so busy talking about other things that you completely forgot to talk about what you wanted to talk to them about. That’s exactly what happened to me today. Because my favourite ironchickie is so super duper fast, like superhero fast, so fast she finished the half ironman in Oliver (on my birthday!) which consists of a 2 km swim, a 93 km bike ride, and a 21 km run, in 5:04:57 (Need I remind you all it took me almost the same amount of time (save 20 minutes) to complete just one marathon?!?!) and won her age category, came in 6th for all women, and 59th overall (out of 785 participants!) I figured she would be the perfect person to glean expertise from on what more I can do in training to better my half marathon times. But do you think I said a peep about it when we were walking along the trails? Nope, we were too busy talking about so much else; evidence of a perfect get together!

Feeding Mrs. Horse and her Billy Goat buddy along the trail.

We were also too busy (or at least I was) freaking out about a potential mama bear on the lam with cubs in tow. I don’t know about the rest of you, but despite growing up on a farm, I am so not a farm girl, and if I saw a bear, mama bear or not, I’d probably pee my pants, start crying , and run … which my favourite ironchickie has told me a couple of times now is NOT the thing to do in the presence of a bear! I would so totally be dinner!


Our walk came to a close with a surprise birthday gift (FOR ME!) of a beautifully dainty, for-one (me!) tea pot/cup printed with butterflies. Ever since my last trip to Europe, where I spent almost every morning of our trip drinking tea out of dainty teacups, I have wanted a dainty teacup of my own. And when I went to my favourite ironchickie’s birthday tea party last month, my eyes practically glowed a bright green as I ogled her teacup collection which was passed down to her by her grandma. Now, thanks to my favourite ironchickie, I have the start of my own collection.

Can you feel the excitement?

We both love butterflies!

Today’s gift makes that three days of birthday gifts, I could totally get used to this … hmm … 12-month birthday anyone 😉

Boulevard of broken dreams

Dear Marathon,
You and me, we are so over. And let me be clear on this, it was you, not me that ruined this relationship. Yes, yes, I know I was the one who sought you out, who longed for your elusive, bad boy ways, but I’ve done you twice now, and both times you kind of sucked ass. I mean seriously, did you really think we were going to last when you repeatedly punched me in the gut for 20 straight kilometres, and joyously cackled when my legs seized up at 30 kms, and laughed at my blister-clad feet, and taunted me with every shaky step I took. Really? Yeah, no. And don’t you try to come crawling back to me with your gold trinkets, because it won’t work, I’m done, I’m moving on … with your half cousin! Who’s laughing now jerk face?
Sincerely, Princess

6:30 a.m. BG before: 8.4 (1 Sharkies)
Temp. basal: -50 per cent (5.5 hours)
Distance: 42.2 km
Average pace: 6:35 min/km
Time: 4:44:24 (chip time)
@45 min: 1 fig newton + 1 DEX. @90 min: 1/2 a racecake. @2:15: 2 DEX (after that, food kind of fell off the map)

12:00 p.m. BG after: 4.8

The upside of this marathon is I shaved 10 minutes and 17 seconds off my Portland time making it another personal best just two weeks after garnering that amazing half PB in Toronto. The downside, I wanted to do better. I started out great, like really great, I was keeping a consistent 6:00 minute per kilometre pace and was on par for a 4:15 finishing time for about 23 km of the race, despite the feeling of blisters forming on my left foot at about 17 km in and the tossing and turning of my belly, which started at about 10 km in and continued right up until about 32 km.

6 km: Running like a kid!

13 km: Still smiling!

20.5 km: Little Miss Speedy Gonzalez caught up and surged ahead like nothing, finishing nearly 20 minutes ahead of me!

The second half of the race, I completely fell apart, 100 per cent. My stomach got worse, the thought of food had me gagging, my legs seized up, I was over-heating, I ran out of water, a couple of the water stations had also run low on water, I was fatigued like I’d never been fatigued before, and with about 9 km to go, I found it increasingly harder to muster up the energy to dig deeper. My pace slowed, my walk breaks lengthened, and I started questioning why the hell I was putting myself through such torture?

24 km: Starting to feel the boulevard of broken dreams

And yet despite me falling apart, and despite my goal of a 4:15 finish crashing and burning, and despite my vow never to return, this marathon had to have been one of the most special races I have ever completed. And I owe it all to the people.

Going into this race, I was skeptical. I didn’t think a small-town event could compare to the likes of Portland or Toronto, not even close. Well, it’s time for a retraction. The smaller race atmosphere had me running next to two guys I had never met and would never have talked to at a big race. But for almost the entire run, we ran together, paced each other, encouraged each other.

Thanks 5451!

And while there weren’t thousands of spectators lining the streets, there were way more than I thought there would be, and not just people cheering on their respective runners, but also people who lived at the houses and farms we ran by: an old guy who lined up water bottles and coke cans on his fence and who himself was perched on his front porch waving and smiling; kids scribbling encouraging messages on the pavement with coloured chalk; hockey fanatics blaring a “score” horn and a recording of fans cheering every time one of us runners passed by. And the most special of all were my cheerleaders!

Mario had mapped out a route for him and his Lapierre to meet me at various spots along the course, which was awesome, and kept me in such high spirits as it gave me something to look forward to.

Lapierre in the country.

At 30 km, when my mind started failing me, I saw this woman bouncing all over the place and across the street from her, I saw this guy buried in the high grass with just his head and shoulders showing and I was like what the hell, I couldn’t figure it out. As I got closer, I realized it was Mario, but why was his back to me, why was his camera directed at the crazy lady across the street? And then I figured it out. MOM!

Look at that sign!!!

At 34 km, my brother and sisters and nephews joined the cheering squad, and my goodness they were so super loud, I could hear them from practically a kilometre back – it was a boost I so desperately needed!

A princess-perfect pit crew!

I had no idea my sister was running after me until I saw the video after 😀

They are the reason I finished this race. They are the reason I kept to my motto: Run like a kid. Finish with a smile. How could I not smile with those cheers? And with my birthday just six days a way (Happy almost birthday to me!) I can honestly say, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect present!

Finishing with a smile!

Thanks guys! Love you to pieces!

Good Life. Good Time.

Ahh Onterrible, we had such hopes for you, high hopes, you teased us with a sunny forecast, balmy weather even, you told me to leave the sweaters at home, to pack my bags full of spring skirts and no-sleeved shirts, and so I did. And then, practically the second we landed down in your land, you turned on us with a crack of thunder and five full days of rain, and not warm rain, oh no, you were filling our boots full of bitter, cold, nasty, miserable rain. And so, dear Onterrible, you shall continue to be … TERRIBLE!!! (Side note: when we landed in Vancouver yesterday afternoon, the sun was hot and blinding, and the Onterrible layers were fast shedding!)

Mario should NOT still be wearing his wool hat in May!

Despite the rain, there were still some pretty great moments to be had visiting with Mario’s family, and with fellow diabetic, runner and blogger Canadian D-gal (more on that tomorrow) and retail therapy – three dresses, a cardigan, girly girl arm warmers and a red polka dot headband perfect for the Tiffany’s Race in the fall! But this blog post, my friends, is all about the race, the race in which I brought home, count them, not one but TWO personal bests!


  • 7:30 a.m. BG before: 15.8 (Yikes!)
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 21.1 km
  • Average pace: 5:37 min/km
  • Chip time: 2:02:20
  • Garmin time: 2:00:24
  • @45 minutes: GU. @90 minutes: GU
  • BG after: 11.1

I had every intention in the world to start out slow, I really, really did. I had planned for at least the first two or three kilometres to run a six minute to a six and a half minute pace, but the second my feet crossed the touch pad and my timing chip was activated I was in full on racing mode. And when I saw my Garmin clocking me at 5:15, 5:00, even a 4:45 at times, I tried to slow myself down, I really did, but my feet were not listening to my head. So, marathon training be damned, I went with it, and for about 95 per cent of the race, I felt awesome.

Along the course, I discovered a few things about myself:

1. I hate the rain. As Mario drove us to Toronto early Sunday morning, I was freaking out. The rain was beating down on the windshield, so hard, and I was having horrid flashbacks of the Portland Marathon where I was soaked inside and out. I kept silently repeating please let it stop, please let it stop. And it did, sort of. It was still cold as hell, the Globe and Mail dude even reported light snow flurries in with the drizzling rain, (of which I don’t recall ever seeing) but the torrential downpour had stopped, it was just a drizzle for the most part, and a drizzle I could handle.

2. I’m competitive as hell. When I couldn’t slow my legs down, and was feeling great at that speed, I decided to go for it. And the second I made that decision, I did not want anyone passing me. If someone tried passing me who I’d already passed, I pushed hard. And every time I came out of a walk break, I pushed even harder to get back to where I was before walking it out. If a walk break came on a downhill sprint, I ran through it and kept on running … that’s what you’re supposed to do on a long, slow, “training” run right 😉

3. Thank God I don’t load up on hydration the morning of the race. Some people may fault me for this, but given that I’ve got a teeny tiny bladder, so small that even the thought of a glass of water or the sight of one rain drop, could have me running to the loo, I’m thinking it’s a good tactic to take, especially after seeing that chick at not even 4 km in, running behind the dumpster, with her shorts already down to her knees before taking cover!

4. I don’t like pace bunnies. They seriously mess with my head. See, I see the one where I think I should be in line with and if she’s faster than me, it pisses me off (see point No. 2 above) and if I’m faster than her, I’m thinking I’m going too fast and am gonna burn out at some point. Where’s a fox when you need one?

5. Energy gels will be the death of me. I don’t know when it happened or how it happened, but at some point my body has decided it does NOT like the gels. It doesn’t like the Gu, it doesn’t like the Hammer, it doesn’t like the eLoad. I took my first gel at 45 minutes in with no adverse affects, but come the second gel, my stomach was revolting. It was churning and curdling, twisting and turning. I still had 3 or 4 km to go and if you’ve ever run with an upset stomach, you know it’s tough as hell. For about 2 km I thought I was dying. But the cheers of the crowds near the finish, and the words of both Mark Cavendish and Eminem telling me to push through the pain, somehow gave me that boost I needed and powered me right to the end.

Like I said, for 95 per cent of this run, I felt awesome. I couldn’t believe I was running this pace and feeling like it was nothing. At 10 km in, my Garmin read 56:01, beating out my previous personal best of 57:47. So when the pukey feeling hit, and I was forced to slow myself down, I was pissed, because before that, I was on par to cross the finish line with a sub 2:00:00 time!!! As it was, my Garmin gave me a 2:00:24 time, which in itself is pretty awesome for me, but alas, the chip time, technically the “official” time, clocked me in at 2:02:20. And as disappointed as I was at first, it was still a personal best, beating out my previous 2:06:00 time by nearly four minutes!!!

Now, how I’ll fair in my second marathon in a little over week’s time (eek!) well, we’ll see…

Compression socks = post-race recovery!