Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Diabetic Ballerina Dances

I've had numerous requests to post videos of my dancing but I was hesitant as I don't have any videos since my surgery in August.  Having said that I have several videos of my pre-surgical self in various ballet, modern, class and choreography works.  So, here is the old me.  The quality of the video and the dancing isn't top notch but believe me, now that I'm healed from my surgery things are going quite well.  Once I've built up some new videos from this season I'll share them with you!

Here is A Diabetic Ballerina Dancing!  Enjoy!

-Exit Stage Left

Friday, February 24, 2012

A humorous sidestep from Fierce Footwork Fridays

This week we were lucky to have the evening off so my fellow dancers and I enjoyed a pilates class instead.  Man, I forgot to breathe this week!  Too much of standing over cadavers in the anatomy lab and studying curled up in a little ball.  It feels so good to move again!

Anyways, I desperately needed to do something other than dance or study so I created a humorous, Diabetes Meme!  I needed to laugh a bit this week anyways!  I couldn't find one for diabetes so I thought I would take matters into my own hands and create one to share with the world...If the world hasn't already gotten sick of meme's yet, which I don't think it has.  


-Exit Stage Left

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Art of Snack Packing

Happy Blood Sugars on the Go!  Also known as “The Art of Snack Packing”
I have always wanted to talk about my schedule.  It’s really it is.  I wake up early, cycle to my labs at UAB, study for a few hours after that, then hit several classes like Anatomy, Chemistry, Statistics or Swimming.  After that I cycle home as fast as possible to get a few workouts in to maintain my body for dance.  On top of it all I have ballet class and rehearsals during the week and on weekends.  I work 7 days a week.  I’m not complaining though, I absolutely love my classes, workouts and ballet.  I do happen to enjoy being busy but it can take a toll on my diabetes management.  
As an aside I told my Endocrinologist one day that my Apidra was going cloudy before its 28 day expiration date and he did a bit of a freak out and switched me to Novolog.  He wondered that if my Apidra was kicking the bucket so soon in the vial, perhaps it was dying even faster in my pump.  So, it’s been a rough week with the switch.  You would think it wouldn’t be a big deal but my timing is all off!  I had lots of lows into the 40’s and high’s into the 200’s.  Yuck!  Not my normal routine at all.  Which makes my blog this week even more relevant.  I needed to be prepared so I would have a fighting change of keeping happy blood sugars while I’m on the go with my crazy schedule.

I'm sure everyone has their "go to snacks" but maybe you haven't heard of mine.  I hope you enjoy these little snackies and if you have any cool suggestions for me, please let me know! 

I present to you...”The Art of Snack Packing”

I like to make sure I have a food representing a fat, a protein and a carbohydrate with me wherever I go...Yes, my backpack is HUGE.  

Fats help keep my blood sugar stable and are great for when I have just recovered from a low.  It’s a small snack that’ll stick to my ribs and hopefully even out the low I just experienced.  I use little peanut butter packs, cashews or almonds in plastic baggies and soynuts.  Soynuts do have some extra carbs and protein in them but they’re just so darn yummy.

I have an addiction to protein bars.  I’ll admit it.  I pick ones that are under 200 calories, around 15-20 grams of carbs and 15-20 grams of protein.  They also have a few grams of fat in them but I don’t mind.  After I’ve properly treated a low with glucose I’ll usually reach for a protein bar to give me a bit of a boost that will last.  They taste so good I have to make sure I don’t over treat my low!  They’re also useful for after my workouts or when I’m running to another class. These bars have the shelf life of uranium and pack well!

Finally it’s time to get your carb on!  I like glucose tabs because they’re pretty exact and I can dose effectively without emptying a whole box of cereal into my mouth.  I like Glucopouches for when I am severely low and am having problems chewing.  I use Sharkies for when I need to keep dancing and my Dexcom is buzzing like a bee on steroids.  Sharkie pouches contain A LOT of carbs...30g per teeny tiny pouch and I’ve been guilty of launching my blood sugar too high after downing a few pouches.  I also love GoGo Squeeze applesauce.  No spoon needed!  They contain 15 grams of carbs and in my world I can count them as a fruit exchange!  

Treats, where would I be without them?  Here are some of my favorite portable pouch cookies.  Two cookies contain 160 calories and 20 grams of carbs and look oh so cute.  
So fabulous people open up your purses and backpacks and stock up on some foodies for on the go!  You won’t regret it, I promise.
-Exit Stage Left

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beetus Buddies!

I just had a fabulous evening.  My dear friend Kim, who I met at DTreat this summer, came to Birmingham to visit me!  As an aside, I must explain DTreat before I continue.  DTreat is a diabetes camp for Type 1 diabetics aged 18-25.  We all gather together for a very special weekend filled with tears, validation, laughs and most importantly making connections with people who truly understand your struggle with this disease.  
Kim and I, full of pizza, rockin' the beetus

Kim was one of my beloved roommates who turned into a beetus buddy for life.  She made me laugh, on average, every 30 seconds and she was the one who really kickstarted me on the path to owning my diabetes.  After my diagnosis I felt as if diabetes wasn’t really a part of me.  That is wasn’t my own, and if it wasn’t my own I could distance myself from it and not let it hurt me.  This way of thinking didn’t help, as when push came to shove I wasn’t strong enough to stick up for myself, take ownership of my own disease and put myself first.  Kim showed me how to own my diabetes through her example.  I remember her saying “Look Catherine, we’ve got diabetes and that makes us more awesome than anybody else!!!!”  
So this evening was a bitter, cold evening but inside the warm, cozy kitchen of the Mellow Mushroom Kim and I were reminiscing and charging up our diabetes batteries.  It brought me a great sense of calm to see her pump match with mine, have her check her blood sugar with me and have her back me up as we played the “diabetes card” to get our pizza to the table faster.  By the way, it didn’t work at all!  Erin, Kim’s sister came with and she was a blast to meet.  She isn't diabetic but she’s still pretty cool anyways.  

I thought I should explain the photo.  My iPhone kept taking pictures with orbs in them due to a spec of dust on the lens.  Kim and I thought it would be funny to post the orb picture anyways and say that "the orbs of diabetes had chosen us!"  Yup, we're just that awesome.  
We all pounded back our own loaded 10 inch pizzas and talked diabetes the whole evening.  After having a severe low in the morning that ruined my day I was happy to devour an entire pizza even if it meant being a bit higher when I went to bed.  I loved being able to just look at Kim and go “You get it!”  My pump even had an occlusion in the middle of an extended bolus but I felt pretty comfortable at my diabetes friendly table.  I didn’t need to take a shot as I was able to get home and change my site before all hell broke lose.  By the way I’m holding steady at 147mg/dl as I write.  After all that pizza I am ridiculously happy with that.  
It’s so important to have a beetus buddy, or two or twenty!  To have someone who knows what a high and low feels like and doesn’t judge you.  That relief from having someone there can really help propel you forward and motivate you to keep hanging in there with diabetes.  I think that’s why the Diabetic Online Community is so important as well.  The more connections we have the more ways we can share about treating lows, dating, inserting sites, dealing with stupid people’s comments and a million other things.  I love having online beetus buddies but I also like having my real life ones as well.  So if you’re lacking some real life beetus buddies go volunteer at JDRF or the ADA or start a group at!
We are never alone in this struggle.  The difficulties that you experience are experienced my many other diabetics all over the world.  As my favorite Canadian TV show host Red Green says “Remember, I’m pulling for ya, we’re all in this together”
-Exit Stage Left

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fierce Footwork Friday

Today I finally got through an entire ballet class en pointe without my feet hurting!  Hooray for my calluses have returned.  In celebration I present an action shot for Fierce Footwork Friday.  

For all of you Tally Gear Fans note the black tummitote belt around my waist with my Dexcom and Ping securely tucked away.  I look like every other dancer!  

-Exit Stage Left

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fierce Footwork Fridays

Good evening fabulous people!

For this Friday I was caught stretching while checking my Dexcom after rehearsal.  There was a lot of beeping today and a mild low of 64mg/dl during company class but I took care of it and kept on dancing.  

To make this weekend more of an adventure, one of my fellow company members had a concussion this week.  So I stepped in for her role and it was something in complete reverse of what I normally do!  I had to be flexible with my choreography but also flexible with my diabetes too.  

-Exit Stage Left