Yes, I am still alive and well. And still living with type 1 diabetes on a daily basis, even though I have to continually get insulin prescriptions re-written after refills run out because insurances must think that somehow I won't need insulin anymore. I kinda feel like I have been hiding with my head in the couch, oh wait, that is Penny's favorite spot! (See below)
Quick run-down and some potential upcoming blogs:
- Moved back to California in 2015, San Clemente, CA.
- Work in Ecommerce at Stance (www.stance.com)
- Camped out way down the US West Coast from Vancouver, BC to Orange County, CA in a 24 foot U-haul trailer and a tent.
- Founder, co-owner of an essential oil company started while in Candada, Happy Spritz. Michelle, the wifey runs the day to day operations. www.happyspritz.com. One of the best learning experiences in life. (One of the main reasons that TBI hasn't had a post in literally years.
1. Blood sugar anxiety; solutions include west coast drugs, but also alternative methods
2. Dexcom G5, pairing with Iphone 6+
3. Genetic testing and mutations; biohacks
4. Thyroid autoimmune disease, Hoshimoto; pill a day for life
5. Food and supplements benefits
I am applying for permanent residency up here in Canada. Currently, I'm only allowed in Canada for 2 years with my current work permit. Yes, I can get a new one, but permanent residency allows me to live here for 5 years and work with any company. My company is paying for all of the application fees and lawyer preparation, so it's something I am very thankful for.
The process takes a lot of paper work, photos, and finger prints that need to be reviewed by the FBI. The whole process can take up to a year, but everything has been submitted, so now it's just a waiting game. Why am I putting this on my blog? Well, this is not just a blog on diabetes, it's a blog on life and yes I happen to have diabetes. They are pretty intertwined, so yes, there is a diabetes twist. Part of the initial application, I had to state whether I had any chronic illnesses and I had to list diabetes. Mainly because with permanent residency, I will be covered by the government healthcare program and they probably don't want people to be a drag on the system. Since my diabetes is well controlled, I passed the initial screening which is great news.
Lastly, as I was completing all of this identifying documentation, I realized diabetes was causing me to lose part of my identity. How you ask? Well the picture you see above is three different fingerprints I had to submit to the FBI. The crazy part is that with the amount of times I have pricked my fingers over the last 12 years years, my fingerprints are starting to blotch and fade! Think about it, say I test 5 times a day on average, then that means I have pricked my fingers over 30,000 times! I never really thought about this before, but from the picture above you can see the blotching of the prints. A "normal" print doesn't have any blotchiness to it and comes out crisp and clear. This was an interesting conversation with the small Vietnamese man taking my fingerprints when he noticed the blotching. I told him I was diabetic and have been pricking my finger multiple times a day for years. He was surprised that I tested everyday because he said he was also diabetic. He said he was type 2 and mentioned to me that diet and exercise is "berry important,". "Yes", I nodded and agreed.
Finally! After moving to Canada in Jan 2013, I have recently been able to get back on one of the most important devices in managing my diabetes. I was able to bring a three month supply with me when I moved to Canada, but quickly ran out and the last few months have been really tough without it. For me, this is the best device in managing my diabetes. It really helps the mental fatigue and anxiety of always guessing where my blood sugar is or is going to be! Just to bring fact to what might be "my opinion", my most recent A1C was at its highest level (7.2) since I was diagnosed over 12 years ago. Damn, that means I am 30 years old now, yeeouch! However, I am confident that I will be able to get my sugars below 7.0 with the help of my Dexcom G4 by the end of summer. This is actually one of my personal 1 year health goals at work. We do vision and goal setting at work, which is helpful in setting tangible/measurable results by putting them on paper so you are accountable to yourself.
Now that I have my Dexcom back, I have found the best new spot to put it! As you can see in the picture above, the side hip/upper butt has been unnoticeable in all my daily activities, sometimes I even forget that it's there. I was heading to Cabo with a group of friends and wanted to find a discrete spot to put it. I spent a weekend at the beach and at the pool and it sat underneath my board-shorts unnoticeable, even without my shirt on, it was perfect! I'm really stoked that the accuracy was spot on the entire time and it didn't get in the way at all! I was even able to get 12 days out of that sensor too. Yes, there was a lot of food and drink consumed, but was able to keep everything in control and without any complications what so ever!
I usually put the sensor on my abdomen, but there is a lot of flexion there and causes the adhesive to peel too quickly. Another thing with putting the sensor on my abdomen was that I felt weird taking my shirt off at the beach or pool, so I felt like it was tough wearing it in the summer. It also wasn't conducive to hot yoga or doing burpees at crossfit. I have tried the back of my upper arm (tricep), but there really isn't much fatty tissue there, so it wasn't as accurate in that spot and when I put it on my lowerback/love handle area it ends up being really painful whenever I would get into my truck or laid on my back (sit ups, yoga, etc).
Below are a couple other pictures and you can see the remnants of my first sensor on my abdomen (on the left pic). My skin was usually really irritated when I took the sensor off my stomach area. The pic to the below right shows how it looked when I took the sensor off the and it was actually wayyy better too (the skin & irritation). It wasn't very itchy and my skin recovered really quickly, just a tip, tea tree (or melaleuca) essential oil always seems to help my skin when I take the sensor off.
THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE.
First off, I should apologize to my mom, I don't think she previously knew about this and read about it in my last post and expressed her worry. Moms are made to worry, but I should have told her if I hadn't already :) sorry Mom...
During our Canadian Thanksgiving in October, we decided to surprise Michelle's mom in Montana for our long weekend. During our visit, I became really ill with what I thought was food poisoning, but could have been a 24 hour bug. Doesn't sound too bad to the normal person, but when you add diabetes to the situation it can be complicated. Managing blood sugars without the ability to eat or drink anything becomes almost impossible. Adding to the mix, I was lacking my Dexcom continuous blood glucose monitor because to my dissatisfaction my insurance does not currently cover my supplies in Canada (I am working on it). Without Dexcom, my ability to know what was happening in my body was extremely tough. After hours of vomiting, my wife searched the internet and came across another blog that cautioned diabetics about ketoacidosis. I had heard of the condition, but honestly had never even checked for this before. I will hopefully add to the knowledge out there to help others understand the condition.
How does Ketoacidosis happen? It is typical for diagnosed diabetics with elevated blood sugars for extended amounts of time. I have been diabetic for years and am pretty aware of it, so that wasn't the case. Since I started vomiting at around 9pm and didn't stop until 3am, there was a lot of stress on my body. Added complication, I started vomiting shortly after dinner, so the carbs I had already taken insulin to control were no longer in my body. So my blood sugar dropped because I did not have the expected sugars in my body and too much insulin. To counteract low blood sugar, I had to drink orange juice, which led to more vomiting. I was able to increase my blood sugar, but through the sugars I was able to keep down and from the stress on my body of vomiting, it ended up in the 300s mg/ml. I was afraid of taking too much insulin because I couldn't control my vomiting. Probably around 3am, Michelle went to CVS and bought me some fluids along with a box Ketone test strips to test for "Diabetic Ketoacidosis" or "DKA". This is a serious condition and ADA makes it sounds terrible, but I guess that is the reality.
You May Not Recognize Me!
Well hello there, I know it's been awhile and you probably don't recognize me (I hardly recognize myself sometimes). It's still me, I just have a small animal growing on my face now, and haven't decided exactly how long I will keep it. If you ask my family, they will tell you I should've shaved it months ago, which is probably why I still have it. I guess you can say I am a little stubborn.
The last time you heard from me, was back in November or should I say the start of Novem(beard). I work (at Lululemon) with a rad group of guys that threw a little twist on the Mo'Vember (mustache contest) and went all in with full beards instead. December 1st, most guys shaved, but mine somehow stuck around. A lot has happened since the last time we've chatted, but one thing hasn't changed, my diabetes is still trying to run a muck in my life. Just to be clear, my beard may look like it has some secret powers like Gandalf, Santa Claus, or even Jesus (no disrespect, just #beardinspiration, below), but no, it hasn't cure my diabetes, but it has kept my face warm up here in Canada.
Confused? Is it Worth Explaining?
Good morning all! Just thought I would make a post about some recent funny and surprising diabetes experiences with moving and traveling to a new country.
Before I go into it, maybe it would be better to back up a bit. I haven't really ever been too open to others about having diabetes. No, I am not ashamed of it, but more out of the fact that when it comes down to it, I normally just didn't want to have to explain it to people. Yes, it is a pretty personal situation too.
So when TSA asks, "Whoa, is that your phone?" As they are referring to my egg shaped Dexcom, I just kindly replied, "No it is a medical device". As she looks weirdly at me again, I should have just held it up to my ear and said hello. She didn't ask any other questions after that.
Welcome from Vancouver Canada! I start my new job tomorrow morning with a "pancake social" with real Canadian maple syrup, followed by Yoga. Yeah I know sounds pretty odd, but there are fourteen other people starting tomorrow at Lululemon that will be in my "training", and that actually does include fitness classes during the week. Pumped about that!
So how did I get here you may ask. It took and still continues to take some serious logistics. As my best friend, always refers to me as the master logistisizer, so I can handle it :) From trying to figure out some new medical devices, Animas Ping and new Decom G4 (post to come), to stockpiling insulin, the determination of everything I need to survive for a month or two depending on when we find permanent housing. Everything else will go into storage up here in BC. The hard part is what can actually go into storage without breaking or spoiling. Obviously ALL the insulin needs to come with on my carry-on. What about the dogs you ask? Yeah they were carry-on as well.