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05/12/2016 12:24

Sure, ho! ho! ho!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho-ly shit it is almost Christmas.  Not to sound too Grinch-like however to be totally real, sure, are parts of Christmas that I would love to keep from coming.   Are you coming up to the point where you look at the list of Norman Rockwell type items on your Christmas to do list and kind of just shrug?  Who is going to do all that stuff?  How in the wide world will it get done on time?  What if most of it does not matter in the least iota?  Please don’t get me wrong…I actually love Christmas (if I can catch my breath )the pure Christmas spirit versus the less than magic other world nonsense.  My job is to not get sucked into the nonsense.  Some days I wonder how that would look.  Does that mean that it would be better not to set foot inside a mall?  Realistically speaking that seems unlikely yet I could sink my heels in & make some parameters my positive thinking self says.  It could mean just 1 trip to the mall with a comprehensive list & completion of said shopping by no later than December 15th.  That is my plan this year so please wish me luck just like I am sending you luck too. 

In turning over my wall calendar to December I felt hit with a not so great feeling.  Look at all those days already spoken for…appointments for my bratty diabetes & appointments for our son and other stuff all over the first couple of weeks of this month.  Rats!  The word “simplify” comes at me in neon lights in my mind.  It is exactly the right time to get the right attitude about what matters & what is silly nonsense.  I don’t need to listen to the thoughts in my mind about what an ideal Christmas looks like.  My messy, beautiful real life holidays are enough.  They are more than enough I realize.  In the front of my mind it is great to know that any picture of perfect has been erased etch a sketch fashion from my brain and that does not mean that I suck at entertaining or all the rest of it.  I am going to enjoy guests & heaven forbid I am going to let Mr. Costco help me out with goodies…something that I would have never given myself permission to consider in previous years.  Also it is ever simmering on the front burner of my brain that every stinking day every single day and night is being recorded for my next 2 visits to the Endo.  That means that I cannot put diabetes management on the back burner over the Christmas season like frankly I have in the past.  This year the brat of type 1 has made its point of insisting on being looked after compliments of my last scary lab results.  Okay, diabetes, you are the one that is finally giving me permission to get more assistance & more simplification finding short cuts for the holidays because the time & effort needed to manage the hell out of diabetes this time of the year is brutal.  Something has to give.  The fun cannot be what has to go.  The fussing over decorations & food though could get largely eliminated without shortchanging fun.  It is beyond a gift that finally I have begun to embrace the fun of being unapologetically myself.  That means that when I am a total klutz & drop stuff (especially in public) I get to laugh.  It also means that if company shows up I am not going to judge myself as less than if what I have on hand to serve as an appetizer is bagel bites or whatever.  Finally I am just plain okay with not being the cat’s ass entertainer.  It is about the sense of community after all & I know I have missed out on that by being a Martha instead of a Mary.   More & More I have found myself in natural situations with other gals & admitted to being one flawed human.  Then we have laughed & others have shared their feelings of being flawed too.  The definition of being flawed varies for each of us.  Take a bad mood that I might have.  My husband will always say there are very few people out there that would ever pick up on one of my bad moods.  He says that my bad moods are better than a lot of other people’s good moods.  Well, that is a relief.  That also means that I get to be exactly myself.  How great that feels.  I don’t suck if I admit to being far from perfect & refusing to participate in that myth. 

Time is short so that means that things have to start getting stroked off the holiday to do list.  I don’t want to get to be a super curmudgeon by trying to do it all.  Who is this myth who is pulling off the doing & having it all?  That sounds like a pet unicorn to me.  There may be an intersection of “me too” that adds to a sense of community by letting the cat out of the bag about our real selves.  If we are not loved for who we really are then what is the point anyhow.  When I first met my husband we were teenagers.  I have always had a love of reading.  One of the books I noticed his parents had on their bookshelf was “You’re Okay, I’m Okay.”  The myth starts there.  I rarely feel like I have my shit together much less like I am okay.  I have fleeting moments of joy but not really a sense of okay.  Then it dawned on me that none of us are likely okay anyhow yet who wants to be merely okay…surviving anyhow.  The joys of life are indescribable & the lows of life in my experience have led me to where I have become comfortable in my own rascally skin.  Some people never get to that point so I am grateful.  It is very cool that without fail whenever I have spilled the beans about not being okay, not being or having or approximating anything other than a chaotic, messy beauty within my life others have been frigging relieved.  The jig is up.  I don’t think I can have it all by the world’s standards.  That’s okay, the world’s views have proven to be upside down in my experience.  I have nothing to prove because I just get to be unapologetically myself whether it is the holiday season or anytime of the year.  I do give a tip of the hat to type 1 for getting me to that point sooner.  When you literally fight for your life every day you “get it.”  I have had 5 very scary lows in the night during November.  That had to get my closest attention & I got my resident process engineer on my team to help me out because I don’t want to me an idiot & not ask for help that is so available.  Sometimes I need the extra brain power to figure the shit out of the stuff that is baffling about diabetes lows & highs.  Thankfully I have not had a night time low for a couple of weeks now so hats off to my resident mathlete.  I hate math but math saves my life.  I don’t have to pretend to be an Einstein.  That is what the math gurus are for.  The point is that night time lows can literally be deadly.  It has to scare the hell out of me.  It does not mean that I choose to live in fear though.  I just have a healthy respect for the power of insulin to do good or harm.  When you are hit with life & death choices & responsibilities you “get” what is bullshit aka nonsense & what is of any value at all.  The great news is that by writing this story, I have accumulated enough contributions to my swear/coffee jar that I can easily go out to my favourite coffee haunt for a double espresso later today.  Do I have time for that?  Who cares!  I am going & have zero guilt about that.

What is on your Christmas list?  In the early years of life with type 1 diabetes I would idealistically hope for a cure for diabetes.  Of course I hope for a cure always all year long but I don’t wait for it to be fully engaged in life.  And well, my own Christmas list now is pretty down to earth.  There are the usual list of too many books because I love, love, love to read.  I also love the smell & feel of books.  As an aside when I was in university I made several trips to the rare book section of the arts library to simply smell those books.  It was awesome.  I probably looked like I was stark raving mad but I am just fine with that.  Okay & the other thing that is on my wish list honestly is gingerbread & lemon cupcakes from Kelly’s gluten free bakery.  They are only available in December & they are my favourite favourite & I have a lot of favourites from that bakery!  I feel like a little kid when I eat that cupcake.  It is a lemon cupcake with lemon icing & spices & then a wee gingerbread man cookie on top.  The coffeecake cupcake is a close second favourite with the espresso in the cupcake & icing & a wee cinnamon sugar donut on top.  That bakery makes the best espresso I have ever had.  Hopefully I will make the nice list because my mouth is watering thinking about my favourite bakery.  Speaking of books, I have read at least 6 new books in the past month.  Thankfully, I was given the gift of speed reading so when I go on a learning binge via books, I can accomplish a lot of reading.  I don’t know what I don’t know so I embrace being a lifelong reader.  If you are looking for a wonderful book for a gal on your list, one book that I enthusiastically encourage you to give is “Carry on Warrior, The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life.”  When I read it I felt like I was listening to a dear girlfriend share the real deal & provide a big nod of sisterhood giving us each final permission to be exactly ourselves.  There is enough fake stuff out there so how utterly refreshing to have all the veils removed & realize once & for all that real is messy beautiful big time.

Merry Christmas Battle Buddies.  Whatever your holidays look like may you be the hero of your story.  Let go of perfect which is a messed up myth anyhow.  Oh & get as much humour infused into your holidays as possible.  Last week my family sat down to watch “Christmas Vacation” which is one of our annual traditions.  There is so much humour in real life so let’s go right ahead & laugh our asses off.  As always I am cheering for you.

Smiles,   Saundie

Have a gentle Christmas season & celebrate the meaningful every day.  Please join me in not participating in the nonsense that myths are made of…trying to do & be it all.  Be unapologetically yourself.  Listen to your very own laugh.  As a wise loved one says to me all the time, “If you think you don’t have time to take a 30 minute walk, take a 60 minute walk instead.”  Well, I will take a walk to the local coffee haunt for that double espresso.  Merry Christmas & may the new year be filled with hope, love & laughter for you xo

The next story sharing will be on Monday January 23rd.


21/11/2016 10:30


What do you love best about yourself?  Is there also something that you feel is a work in progress within yourself?  Are you beating yourself up over having that work in progress?  Do you sometimes find that there are some activities that seem so easy for other people to do & yet are brutally difficult for you?  We are each beautiful originals so we will each answer our own questions.  Emphatically, I urge you & I to stop beating ourselves up if we are working our guts out already, doing our best day in & day out.  In that same spirit, I also urge all of us to celebrate one another & ourselves daily.  There is already enough turmoil, division, criticism, nastiness, and worse out there in the world so let’s just go ahead & do that thing that may just be the most difficult yet simplest thing in the world…give ourselves a freaking break.

A couple of weeks ago I shared my heart about a fear come true about my diabetes lab results.  It was difficultly easy to share that.  I wear my sensitive heart on my sleeve so I feel everything at 100%.  And I stopped apologizing for this trait within myself years ago.  So many times I have also shared with you that the most difficult word in the entire English language for me is the word, “no.”  Once a recovering doormat, always a recovering doormat I suppose would fit for me.  The doormattery (yes, yet another made up word) for me is a work in progress that I am guessing realistically I will be saddled with my whole life likely along with type 1 diabetes.  (Other than we are continuously promised that a cure for type 1 diabetes is always perpetually 5 years away…insert curse words about that).  A neon light shone on my lab results causing me to feel (at first) full of fear.  I let myself feel that fully at 100% for 3 days & then I gave myself a gentle yet stern talking to.  I told myself that I was done beating myself up about those results, that it is a new day every day & I have cleaned the slate & reset the current 3 month time period to try new strategies in managing the bratty type 1 diabetes that I live with.  I am not anyone’s victim ever & nor am I a victim to type 1 or any disease.  For sure I got knocked on my ass with the last lab results but I did not stay down & I will always get back up.  You make sure you keep getting up too.  Don’t beat yourself up though. 

With the determination of a giant & the feistiness as well, I got back up in an elbows up kind of way with the new strategies for combating diabetes.  Despite our efforts in diabetes management we can get stinking rotten results.  That just sucks big time.  We cannot feel sorry for ourselves though.  We need our strength to fight, fight, fight diabetes day in & day out & night in & night out.  It is freaking exhausting literally.  One of the things that I began to add into my strategies every single night is setting my alarm for 2:30am to check my blood sugar because my blood sugars are erratic especially at night often.  Sometimes it will be sky high & I make an insulin correction & other times I am lucky I checked my blood sugar because I am low, low low & this could prove to be dangerous or even fatal.  It is difficult often to get back to sleep so sleep quality for the vast majority of us living with the brat of type 1 diabetes sucks.  I guzzle even more coffee during the day.  Instead of waiting for my beloved double espresso at 2pm, now post 2:30am wake up call strategy, I award myself with that espresso closer to 11am.  The 2:30am wake up call via my alarm clock has been a difficult easy thing to do.  It is easy because a startling alarm when you are sound asleep jolts you up for sure & it is also simple to do because I need this information in more ways than one in the middle of the night to help me make real time decisions (be they ever so groggy) as well as decisions to affect how my morning blood sugars will likely look.  It is of course no fun waking up & it cheeses me off when I see either a low that I have to treat by eating sweets at 2:30am then wait & retest my glucose levels & it also irks me even more when I see a lousy high blood sugar result for no sensible reason.  A high blood sugar feels like a fail..an F to me.  I wish I did not feel this way however on purpose I do not beat myself up over it.  There are 2 more major changes that I have made as well to diabetes management that are proving to be game changers for me.  One is analytical & the other is lifestyle related.  The analytical change is led by my resident engineer husband (byoe…bring your own engineer).  It is not an accident that I married this calm, cool headed, logical, brilliant brained husband who scares the hell out of most people yet has the heart of a gentle giant.  As fiercely independent as I am I decided recently that I would suck it up buttercup & ask that guy for some brain power where blood sugar control is concerned.  The guy does process engineering for a living for crying out loud & boiled down to its lowest common denominator blood sugar control in my mind is a process control issue.  I just plain don’t know what I don’t know yet most of us know someone who does know what we need to learn or assist us with.  Sometimes I just get out of my own way & freaking ask for help.  I don’t like needing help & I find it difficult to do a simple thing like ask for help.  The thing is that once I asked my resident engineer to lend me his brain power that guy has made some remarkable discoveries that are helping me make better decisions & better decisions are well better.  That guy downloads my glucose data every 5 days & we sit down & look at every time block in the data & he translates a bunch of mathie stuff to me.  I am still the decision maker.  The first week we downloaded the information I filled up my swear jar I will confess because I was sure that I was going to see my average blood sugar numbers trend down because I had ramped up my glucose test from 10 a day to 15 a day & had changed out all my basal profiles.  Here’s the sucky part though…the swear inducing part…that first week my average glucose results were as high as ever although I was working my guts out without cease.  Then I got back up faster than the last time & got determined to try new strategies & tweak basal & bolus & be a student of those glazingly boring numbers charts & make decisions & know that sometimes it takes even greater effort & time to see the desired results of changes.  I am steadfast that I will always try at 100%.  If something matters to me, it matters to me at 100% period.  Being the healthiest person within any diagnosis matters to me at 100%.  The lifestyle related change I have made affects my diabetes management hugely.  Remember, I shared with you that I am a confessed recovering doormat, a peacemaker, a people pleaser left to my natural state of “me”ness.  Please don’t get me wrong, being a peacemaker and someone who loves to care for others is a wonderful attribute.  My traits though are far beyond that.  I gave up being a real, live doormat a couple of decades ago & it was an easy decision & difficult big time in practice to this very day.  When I don’t stand up for myself & instead let myself get taken advantage of, don’t stand up to voice the truth I feel like crap & when I feel that way I beat myself up.  As naturally difficult as it is to do the simple thing of using the word “no” in a sentence it does not get any easier for me ever.  I am getting a lot of practice getting better at this though ironically since determining that the word “no” was going to be essential in my ongoing diabetes management.  If I say “yes” & then silently suffer the vast consequences the stress rises & so do my blood sugars predictably.  The price is too high to be a doormat in more ways than one.  We can get braver or we can get smaller to the point of being nearly invisible.  It is a choice & I choose braver.  Although I began practicing being brave versus being a doormat a couple of decades ago it is still very much a work in progress.  I admire people who can just plain say no without a thousand apologies & a plethora of reasons behind the simple word, “no.”  Here’s the big take away though that I have learned & that is that when I say no to the things that I need to, I get to say a big yes at 100% to the things that truly matter.  I don’t want to be all caught up in a web of nonsense that leads me to get sicker than sick in silence.  The word “no” for me equals bravery when it is used when needed.  Of course I wish it were easy for me to say.  And for sure I wish diabetes would cooperate as well.  Since neither are easy, I just plain choose brave, strong & of course deposits into my swear jar when needed too.

My heart’s hope for you is that you find the simple, yet difficult things that make sense for you that lead you to being the healthiest beautiful original that you can be.  Be brave.


Saundie :)

Be gentle with yourself, be brave & don’t beat yourself up.  Get around the encouragers in your life.  Then go ahead & be someone else’s encourager.  That is how positive change in this world starts to work.  The next story sharing will be just after my 9th year Diaversary (that celebration not of diabetes but the fact that I am still alive is on November 29th) on Monday December 5th.  Be brave on purpose!


07/11/2016 01:55

It was 9 when the Shit Hit the Fan!

 November is officially worldwide diabetes awareness month each year.  Man, those of us living with diabetes though are aware of this disease every minute of every day whether we are awake or sleeping.  Diabetes takes no prisoners so to speak.  That is what I already knew intellectually & now I get that in every sense of the word given that it is 9 for me & the shit has officially hit the fan.

My swear jar will continue to fill.  Unapologetically I am just plain, raw me especially this month & even more so this week by choice.  Do I want diabetes to break me or have a break through (you know it can either break you or you can bend with it & have a strengthening break through).  What I am choosing to never do is give up hope in any area of life. 

On November 29, 2016 I will be very aware that it will be exactly 9 years ago that I got the shock of hearing those words from the doctor, “you have type 1 diabetes…”  As I have shared with you on several occasions, I researched every reputable resource right away to find out what this meant & how I could fight the invisible monster known as type 1 diabetes.  I read the stuff that scares you shitless like the complications & the willful, feisty, determined me vowed to do everything, everything, everything within my rascally power to reduce the chances of having to face diabetes complications.  My diabetes management is as imperfect as I am however I can say with 100% truth that I have tried with all my might to be responsible in daily management.  Some months I have lived like a robot.  Those were times before I went onto my insulin pump.  One A1C was a gorgeous 6.1%, my all time A plus score.  I lived like a total robot with very little fun (& lots of sacrifice of things I loved) to get that 6.1%.  For me that was not sustainable because well, I am not a robot in fact.  I don’t want to miss out on the best parts of life so that I can impress myself with an A1C that cost me being fully me frankly.  Each one of us are beautiful originals so our A1C’s will be different.  The other thing is that in order to get that 6.1% I gave up a lot.  I gave up invitations to events & tried to control my world by putting a bubble of protection around it.  Every bite I ate was towards that nearing a non diabetic score on paper during that time frame.  I did not feel fully alive.  I remember not laughing much.  I decided to be fully alive emotionally, spiritually, physically & stop living like a robot & my A1C went up yet usually it landed under 7% so that was great with me.  Again, your A1C is your own.  There are different factors that each one of us live with so my goal is going to be different from yours & vice versa. 

When I have gone for my 6 month labs & endo & nurse appointments I have been fortunate.  I have received those comforting words, “you have no complications & your lab work looks fine.”  I have had a few A1C’s come back around 7-7.2% & my endo & I know I have worked my guts out & I share what has been going on in my life & then I just renew my efforts to work towards getting myself below 7% & that usually is where I land A1C wise, say around 6.7-6.9% with responsible management yet lots of fun stirred in as well.  Diabetes management has for the most part has been within the top 3 priorities in my life & it needs to be at least for me because complications scare the hell out of me.  Why wouldn’t they.  That is why hearing the words; “your labs look good” each visit has been priceless & comforting beyond words.  I have said it before yet I feel compelled to add in again that I am fortunate to have an extremely outstanding endocrinologist.  We go over results from the lab as a team as well as the colourful charts that my husband does up for me that are generated by 360 software for my soon to be obsolete insulin pump (Roche is out of the market for insulin pumps).  Since I am an artsy fartsy I usually don’t get most of what the graphs are saying but math is the language my engineer husband speaks .  I usually would pause to say, “byoe!” (bring your own engineer!)  My husband is a process engineer so he really gets the job my pump & I try to do towards blood glucose control.  I am fiercely independent & most of the time I take charge of 95% of my diabetes management pretty much by myself.  That means that the vast amount of the time I don’t ask for help from anyone.  I do graciously & without hesitation however accept help in generating the 6 month report in preparation for my endo. visits from my husband.  I used to ask him as well to do the math to see what my A1c number was going to look like.  He has been pretty beautifully accurate.  I don’t ask him to do that anymore though because the blood lab that I go to now lets the patients see their own blood lab results within 24-48 hours.  I like seeing that report.  It takes the guess work out of what the numbers will look like & I get to see if there are any flags & when I see none (other than the absurd sentence in it that I may have diabetes) I feel comforted.  I can breathe deeply again.

For nearly 9 years I saw pretty similar lab results.  On October 28th I went to the lab & expected to see similar results again.  Sure, I was expecting to see something like a 7.2% this time because during October two of our sons had the flu & then I got it so you can imagine that my diabetes management was not near the top of my priorities unfortunately.  I saw the escalated numbers sticking their tongues out at me from my glucose meter accordingly during October.  I did my corrections & tried to settle the brat of diabetes down with poor success.  To my credit I kept ketones away & did not end up in the hospital which is always my goal.  I am a proactive person by nature & I hate the hospital, the smell, the look of it, everything.  Anyhow, who likes the hospital anyway so I score points for managing flu well enough for it not to turn into an emergency.  How about the months of September & October this year.  Was diabetes in the top 3 priorities?  Not for me I sadly admit.  Those months were hell with stresses at one of our son’s schools with as I mentioned face offs galore as well as girl related hormones.  Adrenaline shot through my veins Monday through Friday & that created high blood sugars galore & I saw those on my glucose meters.  Realistically, I knew that I was not going to see an A1C this time under 7% but I thought I would be close.  I was after all still doing 10 blood tests a day & making  insulin corrections day & night.  Diabetes does not care though.  Diabetes does not afford itself to be put near the bottom of the list of priorities while other areas of life are placed at the top of the list.  I learned that I cannot afford to let the bullshit of life get in the way of my diabetes management.  The price is too high.  My lab results were available for me to look at on line on October 30th so I had a look.  As the results sunk in, I literally felt like I was going to throw up.  My A1C was the second highest only second to the day I was first diagnosed…within .2% of my initial diagnoses.  My eyes made their way down beyond the A1C which was still a shock to me.  I actually wondered if my labs had been switched…classic denial.  Next, the flags appeared.  This time it was not the ridiculous one saying that I might have diabetes solely.  Of course that was still there but more revealed themselves…complications or what I call at nine the shit hitting the fan for me.  Nine years into this sucky disease, I got a kidney flag.  More medication, more labs, more intensive diabetes management, more endo visits, more nurse visits, but you can bet your ass that I will on purpose also find a way to get more fun & laughter into my life.  More feeling of big brother watching…which as a fiercely independent person I hate big time.  For me the flags not only mean all the above but they mean that my 6 month visits to the lab & my health care team now are going to be every 3 months.  Every single day of diabetes data is going into my A1C to be seen because A1c’s as you know cover off a 3 month period of time.  That means for me that every stinking day I feel obsessed with the numbers going into my A1C because I am going to be seen every 3 months.  Okay, to be an adult about it, I get it that this plan is for my own good.  I am more than my logical self though.  I am an emotional being with feelings as well.  Yesterday afternoon after I had my endo. follow up I broke apart as in I got raw with feelings & cried it out with a safe person that gets me & gets what diabetes does to a person holistically.  I let myself be vulnerable & real & yes I sure did swear about diabetes.  Then I got to my fears & I cried my heart out.  For sure I am strong but I am also human.  For me I have to break apart at times like this & fully feel it all & then break through to the other side ready to fight with all my might & manage the hell out of diabetes again as a stronger warrior than ever before.  I don’t bury my feelings & slowly implode in on myself.  That is bullshit.  Everyone has struggles, everyone.  Some people choose to sweep it all under the carpet because it is a hell of a lot easier than facing our deepest fears.  Will the fears go away just because they are denied?  You bet they won’t.  My heart’s hope for you is that you have at least one person in your life that you can open up to with full realness & raw pure truth & receive support. 

The story continues.  All of our stories continue.  I got the wind knocked out of me.  I swore, cried & gave voice to my feelings & today I woke up warrior girl again but possibly a gentler version of myself.  I don’t have to fight this bloody disease alone.  Okay, so I relinquished about 5% before, and now I am going to get more help so I will submit to sharing at least an additional 5% of the burden.  In determination I will sift through the areas of my life that there are hills that I am dying on that I am banging my head against that I will simply need to let go.  And I will also sift out the bs external behaviours of a handful of people & do more walking away from that with a simple, “that is not okay.”  I have to fight diabetes & have to have enough energy for that day & night.  That is the reality.  The nonsense stuff is not going to take care of me if my health continues to deteriorate & I refuse to give power to bullshit.  I choose instead better health & I plan on slowing down the progression of the flags on my labs. (slowing down the now decline of my kidneys)  I have the best reason to do that in the world. On a more positive note, the one super unexpected bonus on my lab report is that my cholesterol numbers are perfect for the first time ever so my nutrition & exercise program are receiving an A plus from me.  Life is precious.  I plan to be the rascal heckling each of our sons after their post secondary graduations, dance with each of our sons at their weddings and in the meantime be the healthiest version of myself within any diagnosis every freaking day of my life.  And I plan to laugh more…at myself at favourite comedic shows and more.  I will be fully present for the stuff that matters.  That is the story.  My heart’s hope is that you write yourself a happy middle & end too.

Smiles, Saundie

In the spirit of releasing another 5% of the diabetes burden, I did something during my last endo visit that I have never done before.  I asked my husband to take a half day vacation day from work & go with me to the endo visit.  I could see that I was about to get some pretty bad news.  Thankfully I knew I did not need to choose to face that alone.  I decided to let someone who totally gets me & what life with diabetes is like carry part of the burden.  It was difficult to do because I am stubborn & fiercely independent.  I thank God for those rare people who get us, get that the struggle is heavy & they show their love in action.  The thing that I have come to learn is that those that love us can sometimes feel quite helpless as they see us struggle so giving up some of the load to carry together is actually strengthening to relationships in that way.  We are meant to help one another.  As always be gentle with yourself.  The next story sharing will be on Monday November 21st :)



17/10/2016 11:05


Have you found yourself in countless situations that are just natural progressions of either proactively or reactively trying to get someone else’s or your own needs met?  It can at times feel like we are firefighters of sorts fighting a huge forest fire where we get one fire put out & another one pops up a mile away.  Worse still, can your hopes be high (maybe even idealistic at times) of working out a situation respectfully & in a win- win kind of way & yet find yourself in nothing short of a face-off? 

As I have shared with you many times, I love watching hockey.  You know my favourite team & the excitement I have each time I get to anticipate a game the Habs are about to play.  The whole game is important.  That is the same with life thank goodness.  Sometimes the player in hockey who is facing the other team during a face off will get the puck & dominate the puck to the point of scoring or neither team manages to score even in a whole hockey period.  Sometimes when it is really exciting the underdog of sorts who did not get the puck in the face off manages to later regain the puck & score.  Sometimes during the game there will be a penalty.  Since I am a Mom & a softie anyway, I really do not like the part in any hockey game where the players fight with one another & I cannot stand to see a player hurt.  That is someone’s son after all.  I find hockey exciting but the face off is only part of what goes into what takes place during the game.  Anything can happen.

Anything can happen in life.  That is true of health and most other aspects.  None of us expected that moment in time that stood still when the doctor said, “You have type 1 diabetes.”  The thing I remember about that moment is asking myself silently, “what does that mean for my life & for my family?”  I am a lifelong learner & as feisty as I am I know that I do not know what I do not know.  I will always be an enthusiastic learner.  I learned as much right away as I could get my hands on, my eyes on & my ears on.  I figured that if I was stuck with type 1 either until there is a cure or more likely my lifetime I was going to see what I was facing off with.  Some days diabetes care & reindeer games as I call them for comic relief dominate my day.  Those are the days where my blood sugars are sky high & my goal (pun intended) is to keep ketones away so things do not escalate into an emergency situation aka a trip to the emergency room.  And then there are the days where it is a case of how low can you go with blood sugars bottoming out usually out of nowhere (I say so many times in my case due to either hormones or profoundly out of this world stress…not everyday stress…the big stress that comes along on occasion versus frequently).  I try to manage diabetes proactively as much as possible.  That is really my philosophy while living my life to be proactive the majority of the time.  Troubles that we don’t anticipate will come up in life however I don’t want to be putting out additional metaphorical fires. 

The cool thing about what I have learned along my journey so far is that experiences in one area of our life often translate into others.  It can give us the strength, comfort and abilities needed in other face offs in life.  In hockey of course you expect the face offs.  In life we may or may not be prepared for face offs.  Some situations that we think are straight forward & simple can turn into a knotted up ball of yarn to put it politely.  Advocating I have come to learn is as natural to me as breathing.  I add an emphatic thank goodness!  It does not matter if it is a group or an individual there will be times that we face situations where we hit a brick wall waiting for us during some of life’s face offs.  My mind cannot fathom the minimalist or brick wall brain.  It would seem that in those cases all roads lead to the word “I.”  Recently an unexpected face off reared its ugly head outside of diabetes.  When I advocate I do it with all the credible knowledge that I have learned so far.  For sure others are welcome to present his or her position & views & knowledge & opinions.  They deserve my attention & the right to expect that I am not a knucklehead that goes into any human interaction with the goal of winning a round/a battle or the war.  I want to work peacefully.  Who wouldn’t?  How about those situations when someone wants to simply unload on you though & really have no intention of trying to reach the best solution together.  How about if the other person just wants their own way?  Does this remind you of any age development that should be long past?  It is exasperating to run into this mindset don’t you find?  How about if you are advocating for someone with either a physical or other diagnosed & valid challenge?  The stakes are high.  Maybe you are even the voice for a vulnerable person who needs you to be a strong, empathetic, soft, steadfast voice for them at times.  At other times you may be a fierce no nonsense voice or the voice of reason or the voice of protection.  Have you had anyone question the validity of a diagnosis that you have?  In the instance of type 1, has anyone ever questioned that as being a real thing?  I will share that whenever I have told anyone that I have type 1 they have never said to me that they don’t think that is a valid diagnosis or does not exist.  Type 1 however can very much be an invisible “365” & of course I choose who I bother to tell that I live with it in the first place.  I have had plenty of situations though on the other hand where I have shared that I have type 1 or any of the other “365’s” & had people at times refuse to inconvenience themselves in the least.  In other words, “yes, I know you have type 1 however that is your problem so just as long as it does not interfere with…fill in the blank.”  In some situations the only way that a person’s hard headedness seems to change is when something happens to them.  That is something I pity because it is a missed opportunity for human connection.  I don’t feel sorry for myself & of course I can easily stand up for myself given that God made me with an abundance of feistiness to last me a lifetime but it does cheese me off to no end that there is such an abundance of knuckleheaded behaviours out there with no room for empathy, human kindness, truthfulness, integrity, and thinking about others.  A wise mentor shared with me once the following “you can’t get enough of what you really don’t need.”  When you are faced with the knowledge that life is fragile through too many close calls to count you get it straight in your mind & heart I have found to know what matters, what is a crock & what is real & what is deceit.  For sure I have a real life list of allergies as lots of people do but the one that I would add to the list is that I am allergic to people who like to cover their asses & play what I call reindeer games (deceit).  For a good long while I let time alone handle people like that.  Usually over time that kind of behaviour becomes unclothed.  With the years going by though I have now reached a point in my ramped up advocation & feistiness to simply respectfully call people out immediately on these behaviours most of the time.  It was Winston Churchill that said, “You have enemies; good, it means you stood for something.”  I will not be remembered for being a half alive flake of a person that is a certainty.  You do not need to be a parent to get what I am about to say next.  It is an upside down world out there with quicksand galore so to speak for our children.  Children are vulnerable & need us to be their voice at times…times where something cya or deceitful or most especially is harmful or potentially harmful is concerned.  It is as easy as knowing that we would help rescue any living being that was about to drown.  How about where emotional health is concerned?  Is that a real thing?  You know what I am going to say!  Of course it is.  What about other diagnoses for children outside of the physical ones?  Are they as real as the type 1 diabetes that I live with & every bit as invisible?  Yes they sure as hell are!  Over the past 7 years just as easy as breathing, I have been advocating for someone that I love for his invisible “365.”  It took a few years to get to the diagnosis but the “365” was neon bright & there for me to see for the past full 7 years even 3 years before the formal diagnosis.  Some people describe moms as “momma bears” when it comes to their children aka cubs.  My husband likes to share through hyperbole the sketch by Monty Python the rabbit.  It is all cute & cuddly & yet you get close up & find out that it is not merely a cute, sweet little creature but also a fighter.  Being a fighter of sort is against my nature.  I gravitate towards peace but along the way I have learned that peace is actually a verb.  I have learned that I have to protect our peace & at times to even fight for it.  It is not passive.  Most of the time it is as simple as knowing that there are certain things that I need to do day in & day out to walk towards greater peace.  Some days I fail with an exclamation mark!  The point is that in one form or another advocating is likely part of life.  I want the absolute best world for our collective kids & one another so yes, active advocating & doing something to serve our world is ever in my future.  Of course I neither wish nor want my son to live with an invisible (and hugely invalidated, misunderstood) “365” or you &I to live with type 1.  We do though & I am not a fan of denial so my job is to make life the best it can be with or without challenges.  Since I have type 1 which is so much of the time an invisible 365, I get to go to a level of deeper, purposeful empathy with my son & others naturally.  I get to be their voice.  I want to be a vessel to help.  If we don’t help one another what is the point?  This past week I walked into an undesired face off.  Yes I am that bunny from the Monty Python sketch.  When I love someone or many someones, I love with all my heart.  That is how I was made.   Half hearted or half assed stuff behaviours of the world are not okay.  Yes, it is out there but I am not going to turn a blind eye to it & choose to do nothing or just complain about it.  I might not change other people’s views on what they consider to be a valid diagnosis or to be more empathetic or even give the slightest damn.  It is not about statistics to me.  People’s lives & hearts are not statistics anyway.  If I help one person it will be worth it.  In the process my heart hopes that our sons see that no matter what goes on in our upside down human world they have choices to connect & help others & to stand up for anyone who needs a voice.  As always, all of us do not give up ever. 

My heart’s hope for you is that you have someone in your life who stands beside you on those days that really suck where someone in your life casts your real & valid challenges aside.  Invisible challenges are still present.  We all have struggles.  There are times when most of us can think back to a time when someone stood up for us & how that felt.  Let’s remember that & let’s pay that forward by standing up in a compassionate, respectful, active, kind way as often as humanly possible for one another.  Remember that feeling when you were a little kid & an adult placed you on their shoulders & you felt tall, protected & that all was right in the world.  Me too.  We can be a part of that again both by being stood up for as well as standing up for others.

Smiles,  Saundie :)

Be gentle with yourself.  I will be back to share another story on November 7th.  As in life as in hockey, the one who appears to be the underdog (maybe the bunny type from the Monty Python sketch) can show the spirit of a champion.  One case in point was illustrated dramatically during the last game of the most recent World Cup Hockey.  The Canadian team was short handed & went on to not merely kill off the penalty, they went on to score & win the cup!  Be that bunny when you need to for yourself, for others, for this world!


19/09/2016 01:41

Playing By the Rules

Have you ever felt like your voice is just being heard by some people as though it is the teacher’s voice from the famous “Peanuts” cartoon?  If you have tried to advocate, educate, explain countless times about the experiences we share while dealing with the ups and downs of blood sugars then you may be nodding your head in unison with me today.  Maybe there are times when we think that people that are around us (& by extension life with diabetes) are not just nodding their heads politely but they understand the things that we relay to them.  What about when we find out that this is far from the truth?  How does that make you feel?  Since we are each beautiful originals our answer to that question will vary.  There are times when we may feel frustrated (exasperated) by this, or sad or alone and many other emotions.  If we have been advocating & educating people around us for years then we may choose a stronger word to put a voice to our emotions when all that is heard at times is that teacher’s voice from “Peanuts.”  (Enter my swear jar)

For 2 weeks my blood sugars have been especially berserk which is saying something.  If you live with type 1 diabetes you know all about the zig zagging of blood sugars from one day to the next & at times even from one hour to the next.  You also likely share the mini or bigger panic that comes along with dramatically unstable blood sugars because these can easily turn into a dangerous situation.  Although I consider myself to be a glass the right size kind of gal, I am no Pollyanna.  More than anything else in my life, when it comes to diabetes, I call a spade a spade.  If I am having profoundly unstable blood sugars I will tell those people that are around me that need to know about this in plain terms.  The idea is that then those specific people will either give me some space or support.  The point is that then they will know that during those berserk blood sugar waves I am not going to be myself.  I am basically at a point now where I feel sick & tired of pretending to be Suzie Sunshine when I am nearing emergency blood sugar numbers.  And frankly I believed that at least a small, trusted circle of people who  know me very well( that I have so openly shared my diabetes experience with) understood most of what I have been describing.  The disclaimer is that I know with all my being that their hearts are in the right place thankfully.  In the sting of the moment though how disappointed I found myself feeling recently with the realization that all my educating about diabetes has fallen far short of resulting in space or support when the chips were down.

Last weekend was the final baseball tournament of this season for our youngest son, Alex aka “the alligator”.  It has been a wonderful experience for our son playing in this league for the first time.  His favourite positions are short stop, first base & catcher.  He loves baseball.  He loves playing it & watching it & practicing & talking about the Blue Jays (his favourite team) & Kevin Pellar (his favourite player on the Jays team).  Alex is the only player on his team that tucks his pants into his socks old school & likes to have his glove ready “for work.”  He gets a serious look on his face in the outfield & a tiny, understated grin when he is waiting to go up to bat.  He is a rule follower in life in general & of course this carries through to baseball.  I have found myself learning about baseball rules that I had never paid attention to prior to this season.  Kids are so cool to watch in so many ways & the sociologist in me cannot help but be reminded about how natural it is for kids to be immediately comfortable making new friends for the most part.  It took no time at all for our son’s teammates to become buddies.  They were so encouraging with one another & cheered one another on every game.  Adults it seems take a bit of time to let our guards down & get to know one another.  I found myself most of the baseball season quietly cheering the team on in a muted voice literally with accompanying subdued clapping.  By season’s end though the parents also had gotten to know one another & felt comfortable around each other which was wonderful.  By the time last weekend’s tournament arrived all of the parents were cheering loudly together & it was a blast.  The best part was that the kids on the team were thrilled beyond measure with the collective cheering of the parents & family members. 

You know what does not play by the rules consistently?  The answer is a resounding “type 1 diabetes”!  The getting to bed after a late evening game  & getting up at the crack of dawn for the next tournament game did of course not agree with type 1.  After the morning game, my blood sugars climbed to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro metaphorically speaking.  When it comes to things that are important to our sons I suck it up & carry on sick or not & the tournament qualified for this.  Once I got home I began drinking water like a fish to try to keep ketones away.  Then I did insulin corrections & “suddenly”(insert many curse words) nothing happened to bring the sky high blood sugars down.  The blood sugars instead stuck their tongues out at me & climbed from 17 to 22.5.  (Canadian measures)  “Crapatate”, I thought to myself because the last game of the season & tournament were to begin in 45 minutes which meant that we needed to leave the house in 20 minutes allowing zero time for insulin corrections to do anything helpful whatsoever.  My experience is that usually when my blood sugars rise about 16 (Canadian measures), I feel like I am about to turn into Mr. Hulk…you know angry on steroids.  It is a sucky feeling especially when you are not by nature an angry person.  And then there is the additional sucky physical stuff that goes along with extremely high blood sugars like nausea, exhaustion, thirst, stomach pain, and more, more, more.  I told my husband that my blood sugars had gone to 22.2 & that I would need some major space for at least an hour to try to force the blood sugars down, down, down.  You know that feeling when you are holding it together & give yourself a mini pep talk like, “hang in there.”  Yes, that is the one I gave myself only with swear words inserted because 22.2 sucks big time.  And yes the number scared me into doing even more blood tests which is saying something since I already do 12 blood tests a day.  My fingers look pretty nasty from all the extra pokes from last weekend.  That also is just part of life with diabetes.  It is not the worst part to me.  The worst part is that diabetes tries to rear its ugly head during the most inopportune times.  Sometimes it is not possible to take the best care of myself like having the luxury of resting when blood sugars sky rocket.  I am not alone in that.  Type 1 diabetes is complicated.  Things that send blood sugars high & low are so extensive & vary even for a given individual don’t you find.  No, type 1 most certainly plays by no rules.  What works one day will not necessarily provide the same results on other days.  Opposite results may occur in fact.  For instance, I know that during extra stress I will not know whether I will be sent into a profoundly high blood sugar or a dangerously low blood sugar.  The only thing I know during those times is that I have to monitor my glucose testing even more closely & respond accordingly.

Once “the alligator” & I arrived at the ball park, Alex went on ahead to join his team & warm up while I tried to hang out in the parking lot willing myself to be camouflaged somehow because I felt like I was going to hurl & pass out.  Silently I hoped with all my might to be invisible & not meet up with anyone I knew at least for a short time.  No such luck came my way.  Within a couple of brief moments a vehicle pulled up right beside me & parked & out came folks with their hearts in the right place ready to cheer Alex on.  Why this game of all of them my raging blood sugars shouted silently.  I decided that I would come clean right away about feeling pretty sick due to sky high blood sugars.  The response I got was less than ideal of “well you look fine.”   Then the follow up was, “hopefully you can get your insulin pump fixed so that you feel better soon.”  What?  What? What?  Their hearts were in the right place yet I felt perturbed & alone.  I felt alone with diabetes.  And I felt Hulk mad due to not only the 22.2 but also with the fact that these folks have known me 2/3 of my life & I have educated them extensively about type 1 & blood sugars & insulin pumps & life with type 1.  I thought I was being heard but no, it turned out that I must have instead sounded like the teacher from the cartoon “Peanuts.”  It would have been awesome to have received either space or support but sometimes it just does not work out that way with some people in our circle.  Then it dawned on me that really my experience is that the moments of support that I have felt have most often come from either battle buddies living also with type 1 or my husband & children who live with me & by extension type 1 every single day.  There are a tiny group of dear hearts that neither live with me & or type 1 & yet somehow against the odds lend support & space beautifully.  Thank goodness for them.  This is what I chose to focus on during the moments of frustration like the ones that I felt last weekend.  Type 1 as we know only too well is an invisible disease for the most part.  I hope we all do look fine of course but looking fine and feeling fine are 2 distinct things.  There are times that I would like to scream from the rooftops that just because I have an insulin pump it does not mean that I don’t have to continue to work my guts out when it comes to diabetes management.  And I am managing a disease that is complicated & does not play by the rules.  My insulin pump is not malfunctioning when my blood sugars are terrible.  There are a zillion factors that affect blood sugars.  That is life with type 1.  I cheered my heart out for that grinning 9 year old “alligator” & his team.  In the excitement I suppose the insulin corrections decided to kick in so within 2 hours of the game my blood sugars had gone from 22.2 to 3.1!  You talk about feeling like something the cat dragged in.  I got to inhale 2 packages of bunny gummies & wait 45 minutes after the game in the parking lot feeling like I had gone through a mudder marathon.  Yes type 1 definitely sucks most of the time in my experience & sometimes it sucks majorly.  This was one of those sucks majorly times.  What did not suck is that despite all of that I was present for important moments for our son.  He will not know or remember his mom’s sucky blood sugar numbers from any given day but he will remember that his mom was at every game cheering him on with a wink & a smile. 

My heart’s hope for you is that no matter what curve balls diabetes throws your way you have both space & support during the times that count the most.  And as always I am cheering for you out loud with a smile & a wink.

Smiles, Saundie  :)

Be gentle with yourself always.  Please focus on the dear hearts who whether they "get" it about type 1 or not somehow against the odds give the gift of space & support at exactly the right moments.  Let's save the fight for diabetes.    Whatever you need to today from space to support & everything in between...that is what I wish for you.  The next story sharing will be on Monday October 17th.                                                                                                        



29/08/2016 01:13

Because I don't want to be a Doppio

As a fun disclosure I would like to share with you that I am doing something that I have not done before.  No, it is not skydiving or zip lining or anything adventurous like that.  Instead I am out of necessity (or poor planning on my part) writing without a single drop of coffee in my rascally system this morning.  And apparently I am being cheerful about it according to friendly feedback.  A homemade protein shake in tow & off I went flying out the door for an early morning appointment at the detailing car shop to have my new vehicle protected against stone chips.  After driving a van previously for 17 years I remain more excited than most people almost 2 months after purchasing a new non van vehicle so I am still washing it by hand & keeping it shiny & strategically parking in the back forty when I go to the grocery store in the hopes that it will not get dinged.  I decided to wait at the shop while my vehicle is being completed.  Last night I planned that I would pack up my tablet so I could write.  Of course I envisioned being caffeinated too but well you know that snooze button has a life of itself almost gravitating itself to me like a magnet begging to be pressed over & over again.  Ergo, no coffee & surprise not a coffee shop in walking distance.  Here endeth the obsessing over that which is not.


For the past month I have been on the lookout for reasons to be grateful on purpose.  Every day I make it my mission to be thankful about something & it is usually pretty easy.  As my health has declined & the medical appointments have ramped up again I have gone into super protection mode as far as my attitude goes.  The things to be thankful about are still very much there however when we don’t feel well it can be more difficult to wipe the fog from our eyes to notice the things we are usually grateful for.  That is my experience at least.


Turning over a calendar can be a big deal or not.  In tearing off the month of July & seeing August I was reminded diabetes style that yikes here I go again.  All my blood test numbers beginning in August, September & October are going into what seems like big brother watching mode because these 3 months will record my A1C for my next Endo. appointment.  I have not done an at home A1C test since my last Endo appointment which was 3 months ago even though I had made a personal goal of checking my A1C once a month.  Luckily it was kind of a silent goal I had imposed upon myself.  Honestly I have not wanted to see the A1C number that would be rearing its ugly head via my at home A1C testing kit.  It is not so much that I want to live in denial.  It is more a case of knowing that I had the deck stacked against me & I tried with all my rascally might to manage diabetes.  Diabetes kicked my butt as far as high blood sugars for weeks on end.  It was sort of a domino affect though since inflammation had been happening big time in my joints compliments of PA which I am following up on.  It did not seem to matter how many corrections & updating of my basal profiles & adjustments to my bolus...I just did not get in range for weeks.  That can feel pretty damned discouraging & you know that only too well if you live with type 1 and or any other chronic beasts.  I have been & continue to be determined however to make the very best of every day & my life no matter what life throws my way good or bad. 


It can be great fun to reward ourselves once we have completed something that we know is good for us yet such a pain in the butt to do.  In the case of diabetes, going for lab work to find out A1C results as well as the 2 follow up appointments (one with my endo & the other with my diabetes centre team) qualifies big time as good for me actions yet also qualifiers for a reward afterwards.  How great is it that one of my favourite coffee shops seems to be well located for each of these appointments.  As a funny sidebar I still get highly amused when I go to the lab & notice how grouchy the general audience is there because most people are fasting before testing.  Although I admit to being a fully fledged coffee hound I sure hope that my friendly disposition & ability to hold off on my caffeination are not affected to the point of being miserably behaved towards others.  I am 3 hours late for my caffeination so far this morning for example & several people have commented on what an enthusiastic morning person I am.  Imagine if I were properly caffeinated then...I could likely lift my vehicle onto the overhead lift with my will alone ha ha .  The first thing I do after I go to the blood lab is stop for a double espresso & it tastes like the thing that dreams are made of because I have had to practice delayed gratification & plus I feel I have earned it big time by having to be poked by a bigger needle at the lab.  My Endo’s office is conveniently located across the road from one of my favourite coffee spots.  After those appointments I look forward to a yummy double espresso as well.  If the appointment has gone especially well I even treat myself to a gf & df peanut butter cup because chocolate & peanut butter are the perfect marriage of flavours to me.  My diabetes centre appointment is always scheduled a week or 2 after my endo appointment & how about that...this same coffee shop is right in the building.  It is a ground hog day experience (reference the movie) if my follow up goes better than usual.  The last couple of appointments have not qualified me beyond the double espresso.  I admit that I am way harder on myself than any medical professional ever has been.  I set lofty goals & expect a lot from myself especially where my family & health are concerned.  I feel like a little kid awaiting a trip to the ice cream shop once I come out of my labs, endo appt and diabetes centre appointments.  I am one profoundly big time lucky rascal because I have an exceptional endocrinologist as well as diabetes centre team. 


One of the things that I have learned along the way is that life can get heavy for anyone.  When you live with type 1 and or other 365s the load can get big time heavy.  I don’t want to be constantly weighed down especially on my outlook on life so I choose things to be grateful for each day as well as little things to look forward to.  I like to plan little celebrations of the “hey you made it through” that kind of moments.  It helps a lot.  I knew at the time when I could not walk for several days right on my calendar birthday last month that I would still celebrate & by George I could choose my own birthday date this year ha ha.  If things go well, I am targeting a day in September to celebrate another year of being 29.    The plan is to go to my favourite teahouse all dressed up...maybe even wearing a fancy tea hat with a full tankard of insulin in tow & enjoy a yummy lunch & of course dessert.  Oh, and my favourite coffee shop is across the road from the teahouse so for sure I will stop & get a double espresso for the drive back home.  I am a doppo that way...a doppio for my coffee that is. 


It looks as though I have inadvertently put myself through a psych experiment because it is T plus 4 hours since I would usually have had my coffee & I am shocked to experience just how good of a mood I remain in.  Maybe for me it is not so much the coffee but rather the looking forward to savoring it that is the treat. It is a surprise to me that is for sure. 


Being grateful every single day on purpose as well as having things to look forward to in the future has made all the difference while I climb out of this summer time valley of challenges health wise.  Speaking of climbing, one of the things that I have missed the most is my fast walks down to the lake & back in my small corner of the world.  I am getting closer to being able to make that a reality again.  And I remind myself that my very favourite season of the year is autumn so I am highly motivated to be rehabbed to the point where I can do these walks with the leaves crunching cheerfully under my caffeinated feet by then!  In the meanwhile I am about to get my doppio (double) espresso because I don’t want to be a “dopeo” (yes, another made up word for my ever expanding collection) this afternoon aka falling asleep because adventures albeit them ever so tiny are awaiting. 


My heart’s hope for you is that when life gets heavy you have a long list of gratitude’s & a plan as well for wee things that you enjoy looking forward to.  And yes, sometimes celebration dates & diabetes don’t magically cooperate at times.  For Pete’s sake, reschedule those celebrations but never, ever, ever cancel any of these joy-filled days permanently.  A calendar is a guidepost for everyday life but just because something wonderful falls on a sucky health day does not mean that we have to say goodbye forever to that celebration.  Reschedule that celebration!  Create more celebrations I say!  And as my Dear Heart Dad so beautifully said via a timely & lasting quote by Annette Funicello, “life does not need to be perfect to be wonderful.” 


Smiles,   Saundie :)

As always be gentle with yourself.  Continuing the theme of rescheduling celebrations...today is my husband's & my anniversary & yes, it is also being added to the list of rescheduled celebrations out of necessity yet it will be so sweet to look forward to enjoying this as well in autumn :)  I remain hopefilled about having the best autumn yet this year & I am stirring in a healthy helping of feisty determination & willpower to try to make that happen.  Don't we all need a constant influx of hope & determination most days!  My Dad has it right though with the quote he shared over 6 months ago.  Life is indeed messy & still it is pretty wonderful by choice most of the time.  As always I am cheering for you on the good days & the not great ones doubly so.  xo

The next story will be shared on Monday September 19th :)



08/08/2016 01:56

Random Fun, Funnies, Rascal Observations

Do we take life on in a haphazard kind of way or as a created purpose?  If we admit to being human then maybe just maybe it is a little of one and a lot of the other.  


The last few weeks I decided with abundant tenacity to create, observe, grab and appreciate any and all levity available around me.  It was an exercise in stubborn willfulness because it could have been super easy to have fallen prey to feeling down lately because my health has been profoundly uncooperative and just plain sucky.  Instead of concentrating on that and giving that power my determination has been in favour of finding things to laugh about.  Who does not love to laugh right?  It of course did not make the sucky health go away however it did provide a rejuvenation of strength.  If we get to the point where we realize that the hand life has dealt us is less than desirable then strength for the fight I believe makes the difference between becoming a victim or champion of our own stories.


Why is it that so often when we are down for the count from a health perspective that the narrative that replays in our minds is the message of defeat automatically?  The recording may include things like “there’s no point” followed with a number of optional actions/reactions.  It may be composed of “no point in leaving our room, our home, showering, trying, getting dressed, getting off the couch, exercising, staying in touch with friends”, and an infinite list of other important yet counterintuitive activities to participate in especially with our minds screaming how pointless they are.  I find that I battle the line between pushing my already wiped out body beyond a humane level and nearly giving in to the “what the point is there” argument a negative mindset produces when I am especially not well.  Do you remember as a kid finding a really steep grassy hill & rolling down it?  The fun part was the rolling but once you hit the bottom sometimes it was a thud & of course you had the uphill walk back up if you wanted to roll again.  In a parallel adult world I am attempting to choose to do a sort of the rolling down part & adding in humour instead of the emotional thud and bottoming out & of course the uphill climb is one we do daily if we have a 365 (chronic illness or many).  


It can prove to be a balancing act between being enthusiastic towards life & not being a faker I find.  I don’t want to turn into a complainer who is a pain to be around & yet I also don’t want to have to pretend for everyone's benefit that I am fine when I am not.  That is a balancing beam don’t you find?  So often our loved ones have their hearts in the right place when they give us encouragement like rest up, take better care of yourself, and other oft heard phrases.  And then there is the strange question posed from others countless times enquiring if we are all better.  Since there is no cure for the 365s that is a baffling question to me.  Still though I remind myself that those that care for us truly have their hearts in the right place.  Maybe some of our loved ones even feel helpless at times & at a bit of a loss as to what to say.  That is where I just try to search the heart of the loved one & cut them a break if they say something strange & unhelpful & silently forgive them.  Okay, okay, okay, levity please time…


If you are a parent you will likely relate to what I am about to share with you.  There are so many days that I would like to freeze the clock because I feel as though I blinked & my little boys have grown too fast.  I remember each time my husband & would bring home one of our 3 sons from the hospital after they were born someone would say to us to enjoy every minute with our kids because they grow up so fast.  That is true big time.  The balance between giving to our kids, looking after type 1 and the other 365s and the other aspects of life can gobble up an entire day leaving little to no time to recharge.  Somewhere along the way to parenthood the message that it is selfish to take a wee bit of time for ourselves each day to recharge has been cemented. Guilt is a heavy emotion & can direct us to behave in ways that are less than nurturing for ourselves.  On Civic Holiday Monday, I decided to ask my husband to hold down the fort at home while I carved out 2 hours this morning to go out to the coffee shop to write.  I don’t even try to write when our sons are home & in this case that means for the entire summer other than today.  So here I am sitting here enjoying a double espresso followed by my green tea chaser listening to my downloaded French cafe music with a goofy smile on my face.  Instead of living in a haphazard type of way I am choosing more & more in big & small ways to live with rascal intention.  I choose to be neither happy nor unhappy as these are fleeting emotions largely based on something outside of myself.  I am choosing to admit that my health has been sucky but I continue to pursue good & great food for my soul.  And I am attempting (with limited success) to let more stuff aka pointless shit go.  It continues to drive me up the wall when people try to complicate the simple but I am trying with all my rascal might to remember what matters & what needs to be quickly discarded in terms of feisty over reaction (internally) so that I don’t feel the need to implode\explode\over react.  That is very much a process.  As a bit of a humorous aside currently in the coffee shop there is a guy seated across the room with his cell phone having a fully fledged tantrum yelling at something he read somewhere on his device.  The sociologist in me is highly amused & the human being in me feels badly for him.  He is at the coffee shop by himself in a lovely relaxing surrounding & is not decompressing to say the least.  Public meltdowns are pretty awkward especially when an adult is the one tantruming down.  We all get stressed out so how great is it to choose to decompress in whatever way works best for us.  Whenever I play my French Cafe cd at home my husband & sons joke about that.  It is gentle music that lifts my spirits though.  Music is powerful & I am sure that you have many artists that lift your spirits too.  


Laughing at myself has been added to my list of humour sports.  There are occasions that I have found myself in directionally challenged situations.  That is just a fancy way of saying that I have learned to be mindful of planning out my driving routes to densely populated cities in my wee corner of the world.  I affectionately refer to my driving routes as “goat paths” because I really only end up on major freeways by mistake.  Last month I arranged to pick up a friend from a city about 45 minutes drive via a goat path I have driven many times.  Everything was going smoothly until I went to take the usual exit & arrived to find it completely blocked off with a suggested detour via a very major freeway.  That was an unwelcome surprise & I decided to gather my wits in a nearby neighborhood (posh area with a couple of neighbors who kept a close eye on me ha ha in case I was casing out their homes ha ha ha) & use the gps of my new vehicle to figure out alternate routes.  For some reason my gps would not work so I just decided to try a different route that I hoped would connect up.  It did work thankfully however I was really not sure how it would work on the way back since the route goes in a different jog each way.  With my friend in tow however I announced that we were in this together & said this could be an adventure & we both just laughed.  Somehow it went better than I thought it would on the drive back & so now I have yet another goat path...yay.  My driving adventures\strange adventures continued later that week when I had one of what seems like an infinite number of medical tests outside of my town.  Since I have numerous medical appointments in this particular city that I have never driven to about an hour away from my home I decided that I would map out a goat path to get there.  As I drove along this path I experienced a slow country drive & counted it as a win & an opportunity to enjoy listening to my eclectic music playlist.  The exit\entrance into the city however provided an interesting challenge for this rascal when I literally had to go through 4 rare roundabouts.  Once I arrived at my appointment with 1 minute to spare I felt like a bit of a broken biscuit emotionally from the circles of nonsense...completely unnecessary complexities of driving those roundabouts.  Some urban planner must have just wanted a challenge...insert curse words.  My swear jar became heavier that day & during subsequent appointments.  Thankfully my husband offered to drive me to these appointments after the first experience.  He also offered to take me to Starbucks on the appointment dates for an espresso which is a huge deal since he is not fond of that coffee spot to say the least.  He & I have had this sweet banter back & forth pretty much since our sons were born of what qualifies as a date & what does not.  Over the years we have gotten a laugh out of this banter.  Trips together to the doctor don’t count as a date but if there is a stop for a fancy coffee it does count & stuff like that.  Picking up the car from the mechanics does not count as a date nor does grocery shopping & stuff like that I like to remind him ha ha.  You just have to create laughs where you can right.  


My love of coffee & tea are no great secret.  One of my favourite shows years ago was the Gilmore Girls & the coffee references in that show are plentiful.  I add myself to the excited crowd of fans who are thrilled about this November since several new episodes of this show are going to be released.  In the meantime I took the opportunity to watch a few episodes of Jerry Seinfeld's show, “Comedians in cars getting coffee.”  I tried watching with my husband & our oldest son who is a huge coffee fiend.  While I found lots of laughs in the show my companions didn't see it.  I guess I am just more eager to laugh ha ha.  


Although I like to think that I am an open learner honestly it has been humbling to be a student of someone who is nearly as young as our oldest son.  Type 1 high blood sugars over the past 4 weeks in particular have been trying to kick my ass.  I have been tweaking my basal profiles & readjusting bolus rates & correcting the hell out of my blood sugars never quite arriving anywhere near the ballpark of my blood sugar goal.  To complicate things the inflammation going through my body over the past 3 weeks has been beating me up from the inside out from the psoriatic arthritis like I Have never experienced before.  My young PA mentor gave me wise advice & that was that if I keep pushing myself especially when I am having hellish pa flare ups then the recovery time will be a week or more.  He told me that he has learned to slow down during flares & in the end he gets more done & he told me to do the same.  I have a tendency to overdo so this is tough however little by little I am cooperating with sucky pa flare ups.  I admit that I hate the fact that it is taking me about 4 or more times longer to complete activities each day by slowing the physical pace down.  The reality though is that I obviously hate it more not being able to use my feet at all.  I am fiercely independent so this is tough tough tough asking for even the slightest help from even loved ones profoundly close to me.  The great news is that although it has taken me several weeks, finally the indescribable joint pain especially on the bottoms of my feet is tolerable.  I found the slowing the pace down, letting nonsensical bs go, finding things to laugh about on purpose and a couple of pain remedies have helped to alleviate the 10 out of 10 pain bringing it to more like a bearable 5 out of 10.  In addition to humour when I have been taking sit down breaks I have been thoroughly enjoying an outstanding series co-produced by the loveable Tom Hanks on various decades in history.  This week my breaks have been enthusiastically filled with episodes of “The Seventies” & if you haven't watched any of these documentaries you are in for a treat as they are beyond well done.  Previously I had caught one episode of “the Eighties” decade & one of “the Sixties.”  Next summer “the Nineties” will be released & I am confident it will be every bit as amazing.  “The Seventies” is especially interesting I am finding …  If you are looking to schedule in a wee bit of gentle time be sure to catch some of the episodes.  You will love it.  It is a massage for the brain too & far removed from the crap of the borage of reality brain numbing shows taking over the air waves I believe.  The jury is out whether sitting down with my husband to watch an episode of this series qualifies as a date or not ha ha.  


My heart's hope for you is that you find humor, enjoyment and food for your soul & fill yourself full of what truly matters on purpose.  Life can be lived haphazard or on purpose.  We have that choice.


Smiles, Saundie

As always be gentle with yourself.  The next story will be shared on Monday August 29th :)


18/07/2016 12:32

Gone is the Blissful Ignorance (Again)

The past 10 months have been far from a picnic in the park.  We all go through struggles & when we reach out in support, encouragement & genuine care it makes a huge difference in my experience.  If I could choose 2 themes for the thoughts flooding my brain over the past number of months they would be:  come back blissful ignorance & eff the box.    Amongst the frustrations & turmoil of life I have leaned in & grabbed joy filled moments on purpose.  I would have surely lost my perspective & a good portion of my sanity otherwise.  A wise mentor of mine many years ago gave me some advice that I will benefit from for the rest of my life.  She told me to “choose the hill to die on.”  She knew then that in all probability my feisty nature although very much in check back then would surely grow over time.  She is about 12 years older than me & tried to pass on some wise advice that I try to heed.  All she was getting at was that it is easy to get bogged down with battles to fight in life but some are worth standing up to & for & others not so much.  She knew that it would be pretty easy to get wiped out if attempts were made to fight every battle big & small along life’s journey.  That was before the tyrant of type 1 diabetes & the subsequent 3 other autoimmune diseases entered my life so I really try diligently to choose my battles but the ones I choose I am all in for!  How about you?

The battles I do not shy away from include health advocation, anti bullying & a few other causes that I am passionate about.  If someone says something ignorant about a health issue I will correct the person assertively, politely & with humour when appropriate.  For instance the list of crapatate nonsense that most of us have heard about the causes & cures of & for type 1 diabetes is long & smells of the steamy brown stuff.  “Can you eat that?”  The response is my head is, “Does it have poison in it?”  If it does well no, otherwise come on already right.  “You ate too much sugar & got diabetes” is another one that raises my dander & blood pressure.  Sugar did not cause it but believe it or not sugar can save my life just like this morning for the zillionth time I feel like saying with an exclamation mark.  Why do people make assumptions & then convince themselves that they are experts about other people’s health I wonder.  And if some words sound similar it is yet another excuse to make incorrect assumptions I have experienced too many times.  I don’t bother telling many people about the autoimmune diseases that I live with.  Only a small circle of dear hearts get it I find.  Nine times out of 10 if someone learns that I have psoriasis for example they give me a judgmental look and or spiel about how I should not have been basically an alcoholic.  What?  No, I am far from an alcoholic & no I do not have cirrhosis but rather psoriasis & I indulge in alcohol on average 1 drink a month if that.  These are the individuals who get the autoimmune disease of psoriasis (genetic predisposition) mixed up with cirrhosis of the liver. (Also this is a handy time to also point out that cirrhosis can occur for reasons other than extreme alcohol consumption since even babies get that condition.) How annoying.  I just keep doing my small part in educating & advocating for a handful of autoimmune diseases.  Then I try to keep my sense of humor in general.  And yes, I even try to choose the hills to battle on in check semi successfully.   The thing that I feel through & through is that no matter what people’s misconceptions or total rudeness or ignorance an autoimmune disease is not a dirty little secret.  I will not hide out or feel less than especially for things that I did not bring about in any way.  The hand of cards that life has dealt sometimes appears to be not the best possible one yet there are joys as well mixed in that outweigh the bad stuff by infinity. 

Last week I found that my often understated feistiness was multiplied or kind of on steroids so to speak.  There are times when I feel like I may just implode if I don’t get my feelings out.  Have you felt that way too?  One of our sons has been going through an especially difficult time with bullies.  The things that these boys are saying are beyond hurtful & heartbreaking…things like calling my son a “retard” & “loser” & many more including hurtful things about my son’s birthday party & gifts. One boy in particular tried to absolutely ruin our son’s birthday & try to cause misery.  I made sure that our son was nowhere near these bullies especially on his birthday.  I wish I could build a permanent shield around him.   I shared some words with friends last week when really as a parent I just felt so beside myself.  Here are the words:  “If only I could build a bubble filled with love that could not be pierced by the sad realities I would in a heartbeat for our son…your heart gets broken in union with your child when they are left out, judged, mocked, insulted & hurt.  This world is not inclusive…that is just a nicely packaged crock of bs that is a form of propaganda to help the masses feel fine about unacceptable behaviours.  For all the parents of kids who are pushed to the outside of so many activities my heart is in union with yours.”  Although society goes on & on about differences are to be embraced, there is so much apparent division & vicious behaviour in the world. 

By nature I am an upbeat, enthusiastic person with the glass is exactly full to needed attitude but things can get to anyone.  What some people take for granted becomes a huge uphill crawl for others.  There have been numerous times that I have shaken my head at the level of declining courtesy.  Even the words “please” & “thank you” are in short supply.  What the heck happened?  It goes downhill from there.  Over the years I have helped out with kids’ reading programs with enthusiasm.  Before we read a word I teach the kids about manners.  It might be a drop in the bucket yet it is something & in my mind I don’t have a right to complain about anything in life if I don’t figure out & action solutions.  Next to lack of manners, I really cannot stomach hypocrisy or fake behavours.  I do choose to battle on that hill perhaps a bit too vigorously at times.  My husband has even at times “forgotten” (on purpose) to tell me about certain meetings until they are over because he knows I will be super feisty in the face of nonsense, over the top ego & hypocrisy.  Here’s the thing that occurred to me last week in my feisty overload.  It is that I truly feel like there are a lot of parents out there fighting the same battle that my husband & I are.  It is like we are each isolated though in our battle.  We are advocating our hearts out for our kids with specific needs that are not getting met by a mile.  We are in it alone though I feel.  If we could find a way to band together something might actually change.  Individually though it feels pretty dismissive & there are often times when I have felt the message of “yes we see the challenge but just make it go away & fit into the box of our definition of normal & by the way we accommodate everyone.”  My inner response it “eff your definition of normal & your jamming any person into a box.”  I remember feeling like I was a freak of sorts around the “normal” healthy people on a parallel sidebar when I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Where are the other people living with this I wondered at the time & I sure knew that I was not the only one.  It felt like it though for nearly 2 long years.  Then I sought out battle buddies living with type 1 & alas realized mercifully that I am not alone in this.  Somehow I will figure out a way to unify with parents going through similar things with their kids being tormented by bullies by other kids as well.  It is not okay for kids to abuse other kids.  To feel different can be painful and or the most natural thing in the world.  When my insulin pump goes off in a room full of people with no clue about the dodgy pancreas (blissfully unaware of how supportive their working pancreas not making noise) I just laugh now.  So what I think to myself.  This will not make me an outlier.  Kids though may find themselves feeling like they are on the outside looking in.  I know our one son feels that way often & he is a natural born social person so it stings when he is left out.  Our one son has suffered from hateful words from other kids and so much more that again; I just want to surround him with a bubble of protection.  I am sure that is how other parents feel going through similar struggles. There are many of us out there going it alone hoping that we can change this flawed world for our children.  Some days I feel like the best I am doing is applying & reapplying an emotional band aid.  You will be seeing me on that battle hill for the foreseeable future.  What is the alternative?  I would never have imagined that this once painfully shy rascal (me) would grow up to be a voice, an advocate and a person to say as many times as necessary, “that is not okay.”

Just over a week ago theme number 2 of this writing piece came into play once again.  It is the reoccurring theme of “I can no longer be blissfully ignorant.”  If you live with type 1 diabetes you may have felt that way when you found out about the diagnosis.  I know I felt that way.  This time around I was at the rheumatoid arthritis specialist for my first visit.  A previous specialist had given me a provisional diagnosis of psroaisic arthritis.  I kind of thought at the time that sounded like a sucky thing to get stuck with but I did not bother to google the worst case scenario or look into it.  All I knew was that I was being referred to yet another specialist & sent for more tests.  And I also knew that many of my joints hurt like hell to a lesser or greater degree on any given day.  The reality of the situation or the bliss bubble got popped for me during my RA specialist appointment last week when the doctor described all the complications that could come my way from this additional autoimmune disease.  I kind of wanted to cry but I didn’t.  Kuddos to me because I wanted to.  It can morph into a disabling situation & I don’t know yet how much permanent damage has occurred to my body yet so that scares the hell out of me. For the first time in my life last weekend I could not walk for over 3 days.  One of those days was my “29th birthday”  (again).  This is the part of the story where I assure you that a day on the calendar does not matter to me in the least.  The celebration matters however I will be rescheduling my birthday once I feel much better. In the meanwhile I am keeping busy which is no stretch at all since I have our 3 sons home with me for the summer & we are just doing up lots of adventures…things that are close to our wee corner of the world that are old fashioned kid fun.  I have a whole list of fun for us to have.  Eff the box, eff the popping of yet another bubble of bliss too.  Eff more tests & the hectic traffic jammed roads back & forth all summer long & the waits in the waiting room & then the waiting room within the waiting room (why do doctors do that with the 2 levels of waiting rooms?)  Here’s where the bliss remains…it is in knowing that I love my family & friends with all my heart & soul, that I am more than my sucky body & I will also fight to my last breath to protect my kids as long as I live.  And along the way we are going to stick together as a family & I am going to hug them & love them (my husband too of course & furry daughter dog) & reach out, lean in and anything else that it takes to grab all the joy there is.

My heart’s hope for you is that you can jump over obstacles or go around them or pole vault way over it.  The good stuff is on the other side.  Maybe we are always on the other side anyways…we are if we grab joy.

Smiles, Saundie :)

As always be super gentle with yourself.  And when necessary bring on the feisty super powers!  Choose your hill.  The next story sharing will be in 3 weeks on Monday August 8th.  The plan is to infuse some much needed humour into the next story.  Humour is medicinal. 




11/07/2016 15:13

Wobbly & Unsteady Footing

“Change is never easy.  You fight to hang on.  You fight to let go.”  (Susan Ford-Whitten) 

Change can be both exhilarating & scary.   Perhaps it depends upon the transition itself, our personality style or the point in our lives that it comes about.  It may feel complicated or profoundly simple.   My experience is that often change presents itself when I have become too comfortable.  The major exception to this however is health.  There is no rhyme or reason most of the time for changes in my health because I work my guts out trying to be as healthy as possible.  (Other than I drink too much coffee & intend to continue that).  During university one of my counseling courses included the completion of a personality test.  Simplifying the results I have just enough angst about change to make life interesting.  My personality is nearly equal parts extrovert & introvert & I kind of float in between the two at times & amalgamate the parts other times.  I love sharing time with dear hearts & I also love my alone time.  I thrive on both.  How about you?  With my extrovert personality parts I look forward to change, meeting new people, and welcoming adventure & more laughter.  The introvert within me however screams “no no no!”  It is the part of me that wants everything to stay the same.  It is the portion of me that finds saying goodbye to anyone or anything deeply difficult.  To be frank I did not believe that I would allow myself to get too comfortable at any stage of life but it can happen ever so gradually…it almost snuck up on me I suppose.  As I grow older I am more cautious about who I spend time with.  A mentor once told me that “we become most like the 5 people we spend the most time with.”  That stuck with me & as much as possible I try to nurture a circle that builds one another up since I believe there is already far too much division in the world.  That is not to say that anyone in my circle is similar to me.  Everyone is a beautiful original & I have learned along the way that you can totally disagree about many things & still remain super friends.  The outgoing characters in my circle are tremendous fun & the more reserved dear hearts are equally dear to me.  Losing a friend is like losing a piece of my heart & over the past few years too many dear hearts have taken the pathway without end far too soon.  (In heaven).   Along the way in life I stopped saying goodbye at all to friends & instead at the end of a visit simply say, “To be continued.”  Life is full of change & we can choose to embrace it or deal with it kicking & screaming right?  I do a lot of both.  Over the past few months people that I felt a sense of camaraderie with & thought they would be around the corner for the foreseeable future suddenly have received transfers very far away from my wee corner of the world.  Things feel like they are tilting & my footing does not feel that sense of comfort anymore.  Why are these people leaving I wondered sadly.  How many times do we ask ourselves why something is happening & kind of receive a question mark of an answer?  If we live with type 1 diabetes & other 365’s perhaps the answer we received upon diagnoses was a big fat ugly question mark.  I learned to stop asking myself why my health had taken a nosedive because all the potential answers created more turmoil within me than peace.  I want peace so I gave up asking why me as far as my health goes.  Life is not fair but it is a beautiful mess & I choose gratitude for the big things (not things at all but love & people).  I am not so sure that I am at a point yet though to give up the question of “why is this person leaving?”   On the results of my personality test I received an off the charts score on people-centered introvert & people-centered extrovert.  The point is that either way I care massively about people & relationships versus tasks & stuff.  As a humorous aside for sure I married my opposite personality style since my husband is an off the charts task oriented person.  He is a person of few words with strength, compassion (few would get that about him ), intelligence, leadership & is one of the hardest workers that I know.  Thank goodness for balance.  He does the keeping calm thing & I do the emotional thing & together it is a nice recipe of balance. 

Most of us are all too familiar with the popular saying, “it doesn’t rain, it pours.”  That is how changes are happening in my life right now & I feel a wobbling footing like I am walking on large pebbles along a shoreline in high heels.  Part of change that bothers me is that it feels like the end of a chapter.  You know that feeling when you are reading a book that ends & you wish it hadn’t & sort of say, “now what?”  Or maybe it is a film or tv series that comes to a conclusion & it feels like a wee bit of a letdown.  There are so many things in life that we just plain don’t want to see come to an end.  The things on the list will be a variety of things at different times in our life.  The thing that I realize about myself that is a bit jarring is that even the things that are not exactly great for me I fight when it comes to change.  There have been a few friendships that concluded although I hung on far longer than I should have.  Those particular friendships involved a level of emotional toxicity that was not good for my well being but I never throw in the towel on anyone.  Those few friendships however somehow were removed mercifully largely due to relocation geographically.  All of that is very much in the past.  The friends now that are being relocated are people that were a positive influence in my life so the reason they are leaving seems to be met with the answer in either the form of a question mark or to make me break free of my comfort zone & welcome new people into my life not as replacements of course but just to be more open to change.  That is a work in progress.  Some days I just want to put all my family & friends in a big bubble of protection & freeze the clock. 

My favourite hockey team as I have shared before is the Montreal Habs.  The 2 players that I am very impressed with both on & off the ice are Carey Price & PK Subban.  Both these young men give back with profound generosity their time & monetary support to the community.  It always brings a smile to my face remembering the news story with a short video clip of the day that PK Subban stopped his vehicle in a small Montreal suburb, took out his hockey stick & joined in a game of street hockey with a group of awed young neighborhood kids.  My oldest son, Matt shared with me that PK Subban’s Dad came to his high school last year.  PK’s Dad is a motivational speaker & our son was deeply impacted by the experiences that were shared that day.  You can imagine the response of fans of the Habs upon learning of the recent news that PK Subban has been traded from Montreal.  Who would have seen that coming?  Naturally I remain a steadfast fan of the Habs however I will be cheering on PK as well no matter what team he is on.  I suppose that helped me to look at my friends who are out of the blue being transferred as well in the same light.  I will continue to cheer those friends on as well in their new geographic areas.  Who knows when or if our paths will cross again but I get to continue to cheer even from a distance.  During a speech recently PK Subban shared some thoughts that have staying power.  He said, “Am I a hockey player or am I a guy who plays hockey?”  He continued by saying, “I am a guy who plays hockey because I need to include other ways of giving/meaning so that long after I have finished playing hockey I still make a difference in the world.”  For a young man of 27 years old that is pretty fantastic especially.  A lot of people tend to identify with either their job title or some other title & it becomes too much of them.  For instance what happens if that title goes away?  How does one identify then?  Sometimes I even relate that to diabetes & even diabetes advocation in my own life.  Am I a diabetic…um no way.  Am I a diabetes advocate?  Yes, but that’s not all & if diabetes were to go away not only of course would I be dancing in the streets with my fellow battle buddies but I would advocate for something else. 

Change feels wobbly to me.  How about you?  Do we embrace it or fight it?  It is going to happen no matter what.  We are human so we do the best we can at the times of change.  We don’t need to critique or beat ourselves up.  I like to tell my inner critic to shut the hell up as often as possible.  It’s okay to cheer for yourself really.  It’s okay to be extroverted or introverted or a combination.  It’s even ok to admit to being an extroverted hermit who socializes some days from the comfort of one’s home via social media.  It’s okay to embrace the adventure or take baby steps.  There’s a fabulous song out with the lyrics “you be you & I’ll be me.”  In the spirit of a baby step towards change, a couple of days ago I did something that I had not done before.  It was nothing big at all.  I walked our middle son, Brian over to our local youth centre.  He chatted non stop during the walk & thoroughly enjoyed this small few moments in time together.  After I dropped him off I walked back a different way through the building which is also a recreation centre & arts centre.  During the walk there was magnificent artwork depicting scenes of nature especially local waterfalls displayed on the walls of the entire hallway that I went down.  I stopped & took in each piece of art & felt deeply peace filled.  Ok, change is good. 

My heart’s hope for you is that as much as possible the changes in your life are viewed through the lens of adventure. 

Smiles, Saundie :)

As always have a gentle week.  In this ever changing world may you find yourself in the middle of some of the most awe inspiring adventures.  Next Monday's writing is already percolating in my coffee logged brain :)




04/07/2016 12:58

"C" is for Caffeine

Let’s journey back in time just a tad briefly.  A number of us will remember the loveable puppets from Sesame Street.  Each character seemed to have a composition of a specific personality style.  The budding little social scientist in me recognized the variety of personalities being depicted in the show.  I find it fascinating to listen to people’s stories & appreciate the original beauty within each individual from the gruffest personality style to the sweetest of the sweet.  The introvert & the extrovert are equally cool to be around.  When I was a young girl I was painfully shy so having a few super outgoing friends as well as the quieter pals was awesome.  I learned & continue to learn from everyone within my circle.  Getting back to the memories of childhood shows & specifically the characters in Sesame Street brings me back to the Cookie Monster, Mr. Snuffaluffagus, Grover & The Count.  Since I admit to being in love with cupcakes (gluten & dairy free out of necessity), of course the Cookie Monster is a star in my view.  When I decide to have the occasional cupcake it is guilt free & every bite is a delicacy.  As an aside, one of my favourite cupcakes is called the coffee break cupcake.  It has a mini cinnamon donut on top of a coffee infused cupcake with espresso icing…yummy.  Since I love, love love teahouses I usually arrange a special afternoon tea at my favourite one at least once a year.  Most times when I am there you will spot the table of ladies who deny themselves dessert it seems out of peer pressure.  I don’t have friends like that thankfully.  By goodness if I feel like freaking having dessert it does not cross my mind for a nana second that any of my friends would think less of me.  The hilarity of watching a table full of ladies out for lunch each saying they could not possibly consider dessert never gets old.  Come on…the portions truthfully in the teahouse tend to be petite so I cannot imagine that anyone is possibly truly full.  I feel like sending a plate full of scones to those tables but instead I do the Canadian thing & remain polite & reserved on the outside.  Life is too short in my mind for reindeer games or worrying about what your group is going to think about you.  Friends don’t make you feel uncomfortable I believe if the friendship is real.  If the friendship is not real then what the heck point is there to that I wonder.  Grover is the outgoing one & although I am far more reserved than that character I sure love having friends who bring that burst of fun energy everywhere.  How about the Count?  Our youngest son is a mathie & loves to do recreational math.  He is a bit of a Mr. Crabs too since he loves to accrue money in his savings jar & count it & save it for special stuff.  He loves to count things.  We need the counts of the world that’s for sure.  Do we dare speak of Mr. Snuffaluffagus?  I can to this day hear his voice in my mind & the sentence he used often of “Oh bird, I am not feeling very well today.”  Being a human can mean that there may be times where we channel our own inner Snuffaluffagus’ too.  Although I am by nature an upbeat, enthusiastic glass full kind of rascal I do not deny that some days suck.  What do we need most when we or someone that we cherish is having a Snuffaluffagus time of it?  How about acceptance, a hug, no platatudes & sincere encouragement even if there are no words used at all.  It is no fun feeling like an outsider.  Most of the time I am the only person with type 1 diabetes but I refuse to feel like I am on the outside of anything.  I wear my pump boldly with no hesitation on the outside.  Type 1 is not a dirty little secret.  It happened & is no one’s fault & I do not need to cower from life in any way because of it.  I don’t slip into dark alley ways to do blood tests or do corrections, etc.  For sure I have had a few random people give me the harry eyebrow for testing in their royal presence.  Get over it is my mantra about that. 

A few weeks ago our youngest son & I got to go to a Toronto Blue Jays game.  I love to create uncomplicated fun outings whenever possible.  Driving to & in Toronto to me is an instant recipe for a blood sugar surge or plunge so the GO train is a fabulous stress free way to do that commute.  On the way down to the game my blood sugars were too high.  If you live with the troublemaker of type 1 you know that feeling only too well of even fun outings causing blood sugars to soar.  I did my correction while riding the train & getting the intell from Alex our son about all the player hitting averages.  I added on a temporary basal & then prepared to just have kid fun.  The small town girl remains in me to this day because a trip to Toronto still makes me feel very excited & that excitement was contagious to our son aka the Count as well.  Once we got off the train we decided that we fancied some hydration…an iced drink for the Count & a double espresso for his rascal mom.  Then we walked over to the Rogers Centre & stopped off at the snackbar before getting to our seats for the opening pitch.  The count logically got a bottle of water & a pail of popcorn & the caffeine junkie rascal got a coffee.  I swear I have the power to adapt to even awful coffee when needed because I just love coffee.  In university I even enjoyed vending machine coffee yikes.  I have only been to 3 Jays games since being diagnosed with type 1 & every time I go I have this yikes feeling going through security with my insulin pump, fast acting sugars and extra infusion site in my purse.  I worry about how to explain this foreign looking stuff to security.  Every time I have gone through security seamlessly & onetime the officer said to me simply “I love the sticker on your insulin pump.”  The game was a nail biter & stand up out of your seat many times with the end score being 10-9 for the Jays.  Pardon the pun…Alex & I had a ball there & he had his glove out throughout the game optimistically awaiting a fly ball.  The walkabout that Alex & I had & then final jaunt to the train station did a number on me…a number I did not want to see starting with a 2 by the time we were seated for the return trip home after the game.  Thank goodness for those 2 wee bags of bunny gummies that brought my blood sugar back up by the time our train arrived at our home station.  Silently I said an “eff you diabetes” with that brutal low blood sugar crappy feeling & outwardly continued the fun banter with our son the count.  Nothing was going to ruin our kid fun day least of all diabetes.  The letter d does not stand for diabetes but instead for determination, double espresso & delight.  The f word is feisty in our house.  And c…well c is for caffeine & for sure I run on it & I make no apologies for that ha ha. 

My heart’s hope for you is that you stay the course & have some old fashioned kid fun as often as possible.  And for crying out loud have the dessert on occasion…bolus for it & then just enjoy it guilt free responsibly. 

Smiles, Saundie  :)                                                                                        

Have a "Grover" kind of week & as always be gentle with yourself.  Next Monday's writing piece is entitled, "Wobbly & Unsteady Footing."



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