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DiabeticallyYours

Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Archive for the tag “family”

How do you reward yourself?

When I was younger, if I’d have a great report card, my mother would get me the shirt I’ve been wanting, or the video game that just came out. Sometimes, she would even take me, alone, to the restaurant and it would be our night out, just the two of us. When I would help her around the house a few weeks in a row, she would reward me by taking me out to the movies or another night out to the restaurant. This was our treat. This was my reward for being productive or for achieving great things.

5 years ago, my mother passed away and I’ve made a discovery very recently (actually about a few hours ago) while I was listening to my weight loss coach. She was talking about rewards. “How do you reward yourself?” she asked, and I kind of shrugged, not really knowing the answer.

“Reward for what?” is all I could answer back.

She kind of smiled and I started to realize where she was going with that. “You’ve kept the house clean longer than you should’ve. You’ve worked out six times last week instead of three or four. You’ve surpassed yourself in something. How do you celebrate this? How do you reward yourself?” and I already knew the answer.

“Sweets. Chips. Something that tastes good.”

And it’s true. If I would step inside a supermarket and see something I shouldn’t be eating during this weight loss, like a peanut butter chocolate cup (Or Reese’s Pieces) or even chips I haven’t had in a while… If they are on special, I’ll think back; “Do I deserve this? Of course I do! This week I was awesome with this and that so I deserve it.”

So in order to reward myself because of something I’ve done, I’ll sabotage it right back by eating something I ‘enjoy’. Chocolate. Chips. Skittles. Ice cream from Cold Stone. High calories intakes, all the time, every time. The biggest thing would be to go to Boston Pizza and think that I ‘deserve’ the food because I’ve been great at something.

I have not learned how to reward myself properly because I let my mother do it for me.

It’s as simple as that. And so, starting today, I’ve decided that in order to reward myself, I need to put goals. When these goals are reached, I will indeed reward myself. It can be food, but healthy one. It can be things for around the house, but not expensive, and nothing useless.

Something that will make me happy and will leave me feeling happy after I obtained it. Fast food usually has a tendency to make me feel bad after I eat it and then I step back and wonder “Did I really need this?”. So, as of right now, I am setting goals for myself.

Goal # 1 : At every weight loss every week (so, on wednesdays); I get to eat a low fat Subway sandwich. They are delicious and healthy. No side orders, just the sandwich. And believe me, it’s a treat for me! I absolutely love them.

Goal #2 : when I reach my 5% weight loss for my goal; I will get myself a nice material from Fabricville to make a pretty tablecloth.

Goal #3: When I lose 20 lbs from my weight loss start; (Well, I’m not sure yet).

I’ll have to make a goal list and write down things I want to do when I reach those goals.

Oh. As for today’s weight-in? I’ve lost 3.6lbs. I am 2.6lbs away from my 5% weight loss.

I think I can lose that in one week, what do you think?

And how will you reward yourself today?

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#DBlogWeek – One great thing.

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

This is kind of funny actually, because it makes me think about my brother Vincent and something that happened when I visited my father last week. It made me realize that I was somewhat of a pro at guessing Carb counts. And I’m pretty sure it takes a diabetic to do that, right?

When I go over to my father’s place, I don’t necessarily chose what I’m eating and most of the time I have to guess how much carbs there are in one meal in order to make the input in my insulin pump. Was that half a cup of rice or is there more? That meat marinated in a carb-loaded sauce all night… We go out to eat often… And that’s always a guess!

At home, I rarely have anything full of carbs, let alone ice cream or chips or even donuts. When I go over there, it’s Ice cream heaven. My brother Vincent is staying at their place for the summer because he works with my father when he’s not in college, and my step-mom buys so much ice cream, the freezer’s full. Yes, Vincent is an Ice Cream lover. No, he is not diabetic. But I am, and temptation is bad! One night, after a day of outside activities and fun under the sun, We had those Drumstick Ice cream cones – The Caramel ones – and they, were, GOOD.

So as I push the bolus button on my pump, I ask my brother “How many carbs are in one? 35? Check on the side of the box for me please.” And so he answers with “37! Clooooseee!” And then I have to ask “Fibers? Like 1?” and there was 1g fiber. So, 37 – 1 = 36. Pretty close for carb guess!

You know what he did? High five’d me for guessing right. Ooooh, Vincent, you’re a funny guy!

But I guess I am an awesome carb guesser. And for that reason, my blood sugar readings are often accurate even when I go out to eat.

Vincent feeding my son Aaden a yummy Oreo Ice cream sandwich. Mmmmmmm.

Tiny post, big impact.

What’s YOUR reason?

 

Children’s mighty strength, parent’s broken heart.

When I went for blood tests last friday, the hospital was jammed pack. Mostly with old people and pregnant women as usual. I don’t stay very long or wait for my name to be called because of type 1 diabetes. When I am fasting for 12 hours, I get the privilege of cutting through the line and have my blood drawn as quickly as possible. I do get mean looks though. “Why is she going through? Isn’t she going to pick a number? They let her in and I’ve been waiting for 30 minutes!” I know that’s what they are thinking because if I wasn’t type 1 diabetic and know about my condition, I would probably think the same if I would see someone “healthy” cutting through the line.

“Sorry, my pancreas is busted. For life. I get priority.”

Sometimes, there’s a line and I need to wait behind other people while we wait, and I remember one time, clearly. While my mother was still alive, she would go with me every single time. I was old enough to drive and go by myself, but she would insist on driving me and be by my side. And one time as we were waiting in line, there were people talking in front of us saying how “Blood tests every two weeks is soooo much stress” and my mother would say something along the lines of “Well my daughter has at least 5 injections per day. For life.” The people would look at me and turn around, their conversations cut dry. Of course, my mother didn’t want to insult them, or even make it awkward for me to stand there, all eyes on me, wondering why I had to use needles 5 times a day.

And I remember my diagnosis, my mother crying next to me, seeing her as white as snow when they had to draw blood from me for several tests. No, not tiny vials, big jars. I had never seen this much blood drawn from a single person in my life, and while I was fascinated that I could live without that much blood loss, my mother would wait outside my hospital room and cry, comforted by my newly diagnosed with Crohne’s disease roommate’s mother. And I would tell her not to cry, that I was lucky to have been diagnosed on time (With a BG of 42 mmol… or 756mg) and that I would live. You have to know that I lost a sister when I was 17 and so my mother was having a mental break down. Would she lose another child? Would she become childless and go insane?

Now that I am a mother, I know exactly what she was feeling.

So back to the blood tests. I was sitting down, waiting for the nurse to come to me and do her magic, when a mother walks in with what looked like a no more than 2 years old little girl, and about 5 years old little boy. They both look fine, so I assume the woman didn’t have any babysitter and had to get blood tests done. But then she tells the little boy to sit on the chair. And he looks scared. Not petrified, but scared enough that his face goes white really quickly, but he still manages to keep his cool. Then the mother asks him if he wants his little sister sitting next to him, “to help” she says. The mother looks as stressed as she can, but tries to keep cool for her children.

My nurse comes, I extend my arm, she does her magic, but my eyes are on the little boy.

A nurse goes to him and explains the purpose of the instruments she’s using. He knows, I can tell. He’s been there before. And while I’m thinking to myself “It doesn’t hurt, it just pinches a little” I still remember how I felt seeing a big needle and my own blood escaping my body. So my heart goes for him and I feel my eyes fill up with water because I am now imagining my son sitting in that chair.

The little boy starts to cry as the needle goes in and all I want to do is go over there and hug him tightly and tell his sister, his two years old sister, that she’s very brave to want to help her big brother. And I want to hug the mother and tell her she’s strong and that everything is going to be alright.

I hear the nurse tell the little boy “It’s okay to cry sweety, don’t be ashamed, when we’re hurt or scared, we cry, it’s totally normal.” And while she’s drawing blood from him, she’s talking to him telling him that he is strong, that he’s lucky to have a little sister that loves him so much, she helps him.

My blood tests are done, I get up, grab my backpack, put on my sweater, give one last look of empathy to the little boy and walk out the hospital. I don’t know if he was diabetic or if the blood tests were meant for something else, but now tears are falling down my cheeks because I am SO glad it wasn’t my son sitting in that chair.

And a father walks towards me, talking to his little boy, saying “You’re not gonna cry, right? Please promise me you won’t cry.” And my empathy is gone, in an instant, as they come by me and past. I hear the little boy say “I promise.” But I can feel the fear in his voice.

Children cry, it’s totally normal. But as the little boy cried, I felt the mother was even stronger than anyone in the room. And probably even stronger than the father who walked past me.

Weight loss journey: Weight-in #4

One month in the making. Have I made it to my goal of losing 20 pounds? Sadly, no. I found that it was very difficult, especially with diabetes, to keep away from the “points”… The Calories. With a low comes orange juice and snacks. Glucose tablets don’t work fast enough for me and cost much more than a pack of 8 juices in the end. I’m glad to have found out through the last weeks that having my husband around didn’t impact my food choices! When we ate out, I always had something healthy when usually I would be inclined to go to McD’s or have an A&W mama burger. Topped with their onion rings of course. And even though it smells delicious, I want to taste freshness, not grease indulged food. That, and Aaden is a big motivation as I don’t want to share a burger with him, so I pick something healthier like a cajun chicken wrap with two choices of salads.

I trained this week more than I did last week. Bob Harper killed my arms this week. And my knees have become weaker but that’s another problem that goes along the lines of my carpal tunnel syndrome waking me in the middle of the night despite the wrist brace. And sharp pains in my joints that I associate with possible arthritis. At 30. Awesome. Who wants to meet a girl who didn’t care about her body enough that at 30 she’s got the body of a 70 year old’s? Don’t look too far, you’re reading her blog!

Whoa there nellie, let’s not get -too- negative! Focus on the positive, right? That’s what I tell myself when I step on the scale lately. Last week was zero loss. This week; one pound. 205. Still a loss, I know, but it gets discouraging to see the scale glare at me with it’s digital numbers of hell. Of course it’s 11 pounds gone, and this actually marks 5% body weight, also gone! Something I should be celebrating. Why am I not happy with the number? Why do I keep stressing myself out?

I had a conversation yesterday with my husband as we were eating at our favourite vegetarian restaurant, and one subject became another and lead to him telling me that I am stressed all the time. I don’t enjoy (Or well don’t look like I am enjoying) my days. If something’s not done, like the dishes or laundry, I go into interior rage mode and fume from the inside. And I have to work on that. I want everything done in one day, and sometimes, I don’t realize that it’s at my son’s and husband’s cost. I need to find a moment and relax. Accept the fact that I am not a “supermom” or “super wife” and that I should take things lightly. Well, most things. I need to find a book that will somewhat teach me how to do those things. I need to chill out on several things; cleaning, moving, packing, daily chores, missing my family, losing a long time friend, accept major change… And never -ever- let my husband and son down. Those are the most important people in my life, the ones that matter most.

At least I’m aware of what I need to change, right? Step 1, denial… Step 2…

What is step 2 anyways?

This moment yesterday was one of the few where I just stopped doing everything I was doing and smiled. Enjoyed the fact that my son is the most wonderful thing to happen to me. Ever.

The strength of a non diabetic husband.

I don’t mention my husband a lot in my blog, unless it’s to say that he’s working for my son and I really hard, gone weeks at a time. But I feel the need to take at least one blog post (this one) to brag talk about him.

His name is Aaron and he is Taiwanese. GASP. Interracial couple! No wonder why Aaden is so cute, right? Aaron is actually from the United States, Wisconsin to be exact. Me being from Canada, the french province of Quebec no less, makes you think “Oh, they’ve met online!” and you’re right. But we didn’t meet on a dating site nor FaceBook, we met on an online game called Guild Wars, being in the same guild, doing quests and missions together… Until out relationship grew, decided to meet offline and he bought a plane ticket to come see me. Then I decided to sponsor him as he moved here with me. Long and expensive process, but very worth it.

I want the world to know that I’m head over heels in love with this man. I want to shout how much I’m lucky to have him in my life. Through thick and thin he’s stuck with me; my mother’s cancer, her death, my depression after her passing, the process of getting my new insulin pump, my tough pregnancy with Aaden… Every step of the way, he had a shoulder for me to cry on, a smile to keep me going, a juice box for my lows to be fixed.  And then my father got him a life changing job that would require him to be gone weeks at a time, working on hydro dams, far off into the north in different provinces. He missed Aaden’s birth. He missed Aaden’s first steps, his first birthday… And even though he misses us (and we miss him) he is working his butt off for us. 7 days a week, 77 hours of work per week. To bring in the money for us to live well, for me to be able to enjoy my insulin pump and not go back to the horrid shots. My husband, through everything, has always had a smile for me, good words of encouragement, even when I would cry on Skype and he couldn’t hug me, comfort me, he in his own way would find a way to be able to anyway.

The fact that he is so in tuned with my diabetes shock me sometimes. I say “Juice.” and he knows I’m low. If I’m low, he knows the confusion and anger I’m projecting isn’t personal. He drops everything he’s doing in an instant and comes to my rescue, my hero in shining armour. When I had highs during my pregnancy and that I would spend sleepless nights, testing every hour to bring it down as quickly as possible, crying over the fact that I didn’t want to hurt Aaden as he was being created in my womb, he would sit next to me and tell me everything was going to be okay. When I cried when I got my pump because I thought my mother would be so proud of me, he held my hand and squeezed it gently, letting me know that he agreed in silence. When I would realize I almost had no insulin left in my vial, he would get dressed and go to the drug store in a heart beat. I would test, I’d see a 2.3mmol (41mg) and I’d tell him the number, he would run to the fridge to grab me a juice box. He’s not diabetic, but he understands the numbers. He learned, to be in tune with me. To understand me, and be part of my diabetic life.

Taken from Type 1 diabetes Meme Facebook page.

Did I mention that my husband is going to turn 23 in june? Young to have all this put on his shoulders, but he stuck with me, all these years. And I’m so very thankful for him.

Oh yeah, he is also coming back TODAY! For a few weeks before the has to go back. But not to worry, I will be blogging just the same.

Our wedding day, October 2008

5 likes and dislikes about being a diabetic mom!

A fellow blogger suggested I make this post after the 5 likes and dislikes about being a mom. Great idea! And I’m sure other diabetic moms out there will be able to relate! If you’re diabetic and don’t have kids, here’s what you can be expecting later in life about being a mommy!

5 likes:

  1. Healthy lifestyle! Having a baby gave me a great reason to take (better) care of my diabetes. I need to be as healthy as I can to be there for him later in life!;
  2. Are you a couch potato? Not anymore! Running after your toddler will have your BG drop often! At least in -my- case…;
  3. Healthy foods! Watch those carbs, eat more vegetables! Before being diabetic, I would eat anything, really. And Probably would give Aaden a “HappyMeal” much more often. Now that I know what foods can actually do to him, because of what I’ve learned as a diabetic, Aaden has a healthy lifestyle!;
  4. Amazing snacks! Seriously. When I’m low, I tend to look for anything high in carbs. Now, I tend to grab snacks I buy for Aaden, which in turn are pretty delicious and healthier!;
  5. A reason -never- to give up. Sometimes, as most diabetics will feel, I get really bummed out. Angry at life for giving me this disease. Not getting up in the morning sounds like a great idea… But when you hear your child babbling in his crib in the morning, laugh with you during the day and fall asleep in your arms at night, you’ve truly have found a reason to never, ever give up.

5 dislikes:

  1. Hypoglycemias. On their own, they are manageable. With a screaming kid clamped to your leg, it’s extremely infuriating;
  2. Pump users, warning! Aaden thinks the transparent tube that sometimes is dangling out of my pants is an amazing toy and tends to yank on it often;
  3. Dangerous wandering test strips. Sometimes I don’t realize it but I’ve dropped a used test strip on the floor. Aaden likes to taste everything that’s on the floor. Yeah, you know where I’m going with that;
  4. The fear that he might become diabetic. Sure, anyone could become type 1 or type 2. But being diabetic, your child has even more chances. I really wish Aaden to stay healthy, always.
  5. Pregnancy. I hated my pregnancy. The whole thing. Gaining 62 lbs, having to take 50 units for breakfast instead of 6, constantly having to readjust my insulin intake because of continuously raging hormones… Not cool!

What about you? If your a diabetic mom, I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you’re not a mom yet, what are your fears and expectations?

Raspberries on the cheek!

Vegetables; our friends but…

… Definitely not my son’s friends this evening.

I came back from my father’s today and didn’t know what to make for diner, really. So I cut up many veggies (Carrots, Cauliflower, broccoli, onions, asparagus, red kidney beans, corn, etc…), mixed in broth and spices and it was delicious! The only thing is my son won’t eat it. Even if I mash the veggies, or mix it with other things. Usually he LOVES veggies but tonight was a no no for him apparently. Anyway.

For about 10g of carbs for a whole bowl, it’s one of my favourite thing to eat nowadays. Trying to lose weight isn’t really easy for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m diabetic or I’m not eating the right things, but this soup will help I think. (I made a big batch!) My next weight in is tomorrow, and I’m anxious to see if my walks made an impact at all, but when I was at my father’s, we ate a lot… So I’m thinking I didn’t start it right! This week though, I will HAVE to work on it really hard.

The fact that I’m moving more is making me low more often, so I am drinking juice to fix these lows but at 90 calories a juice, I’m just packing the carbs! It’s a vicious circle isn’t it?

What tips can you give a type 1 diabetic trying to lose weight?

 

The insulin-less morrow.

Hey there fellow bloggers and trusty readers!

After my post from last night, I wanted to leave you with an update before I leave for the weekend and not lead you into thinking I might have been seriously hurt from the lack of insulin! To my surprise, I actually woke up with a reading of 5.4 mmol! (That’s a 97.2mg). Doesn’t stop the fact that I could have side effects from not having insulin in my body for a long period of time (I suspect the head ache I have is related). But when I woke up I had an e-mail from a concerned follower and blogger. I don’t know if he wants to remain anonymous so I will only be linking back if he allows it! (And he did! Thanks Scott E.!Not so anonymous anymore! Haha!) And, even though I realized some few things that I should have done instead of just going to bed like that, without insulin for most of the night, it made me feel good! To know that there are people out there with and without the same disease and they care enough to send me a warning message, to be safe, tips on how to act during that period… Things I would have followed if I hadn’t read this email this morning but last night, when he sent it!

No, instead of checking my e-mails, I read The hunger games (Almost done the first book) to keep my mind off of the situation. Was I just evading it? Trying to ignore it instead of taking action? I know for a fact that If my husband would be there, he would have run out in the search for a 24 hours drug store! but he’s at work and I’m alone with Aaden and the last thing I wanted to do was to wake him up, dress him and go look for a store, then have to constantly wake him up by going in and out of the car… I should put my health first, I know, but sometimes I don’t think rationally!

Anyways, I’m fine, and yes don’t worry, I’m getting ready to go out and grab that insulin vial before I get ready and leave for the weekend! I’ll be fine though, and I’ll be back!

Read you soon!

~Valerie Anne

5 likes and 5 dislikes about being a mom!

I couldn’t start with saying “5 things I love and 5 things I Hate about being a mom, because hate is a big word and a no-no in the parenting dictionary. To me anyways. So I am going to list 5 things I love and dislike about being a mother!

5 things I love:

  1. My son’s smile. It has the power to instantly kill the anger/impatience inside of me. It’s that amazing!
  2. Learn to be a new, better person. My son brought me all those new, great qualities, such as patience and more mature. Thanks Aaden!
  3. I am more active! There’s no way mister Aaden will allow me to sit on the couch for more than 15 minutes at a time! He needs to be entertained!
  4. Seeing my son’s progress. It’s amazing to see how quickly he learns simple things like getting off the couch without hurting himself, how to mimic  fish or a pig, hold his own bottle!
  5. The unconditional love coming from this small being who is part of me. A random hug, a cling to my leg when he feels lonely or hurt himself. He knows I’m his mommy and that’s the best feeling to me!

5 things I dislike:

  1. Changing Diapers. Tons of diapers. And my son fights whenever he needs to be changed. Poop. Everywhere. (Sorry for the graphics!)
  2. You pick things up, within a 5 minutes range they are all back on the floor. Toys, clothes, more toys. Everywhere.
  3. Constantly worrying. What’s this bump from? Is this a rash? Is it bad? Is he hurt? Why is he crying? Is he hungry? Did I feed him enough? And the list goes on…
  4. Sleep with one eye opened. I know this will happen even when he’s 16. I can’t stop it, it just happens! Wake up in the middle of the night, he’s not crying, but just in case…
  5. Losing friends. Some people can’t deal with you being a parent, so they slowly become distant. They’re not ready to hang out with you and have their conversations cut off multiple times because I need to take Aaden away from the heater, away from the video games “Don’t do this, Don’t touch that!” And the random crying for lack of attention.

I’ll soon make a new entry about things I like and dislike about being a Diabetic parent. Because yes, there ARE things I like about being a diabetic parent!

What’s your likes and dislikes?

 
This following video I made a while back and Aaden was about 9 months old and younger.

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