Day 46 – Around Nice, but not actually in Nice

When I decided to stay in Nice, I was mostly interested in being on the coast and seeing some of the places around Nice. Don’t get me wrong, I’d heard nothing bad about Nice, but really it seemed like nothing more than a giant vacation town.

So in the morning I was off to Monaco. I had planned to take the bus to Eze, then to Monaco, but turns out that on Sunday, the bus doesn’t run, so I had to change plans. Not a big deal. Train to Monaco it was.

The train runs past a bunch of smaller towns between Nice and Monaco, which I was scoping out for a good beach. Super easy train ride with really nice views on the way.

Luckily, Monaco is a tourist hot spot to arrive via train. The tourist information is right in the station, making getting a map very simple. I figured out the route I wanted to take, heading to the harbor right away. The station is in the middle of the hills around Monaco, so the walk was all down hill. A great start, never fun to know what you’ll be hiking up on the way home.

The boats in the harbor were insane. I mean, maybe to see one or two, okay, but tons of them. And the water was absolutely clear. Some of these boats had their little attached/stored on deck run-arounds that are bigger than the boats most people own.

Just one of the many. Showing the "small" run around tied up.
Just one of the many. Showing the “small” run around tied up.
Not quite as large, but can you see the massive number of "smaller" boats?
Not quite as large, but can you see the massive number of “smaller” boats?
See those rocks through the water? That water is many, many feet deep.
See those rocks through the water? That water is many, many feet deep.

I wandered around a bit. My original plan had me here in the afternoon, which probably would have been preferable. The town is a bit dead in the morning (I think it was 10 when I got there). Got up to see the famed Monte Carlo, and was sadly unimpressed. Good thing I was there in the morning though, looks like there’s a dress code to enter when people are playing. You have to pay to enter the casino, which is stupid, but I had to see what all the fuss was about.

The one the only.
The one the only.
I've never been anywhere where gambling wasn't allowed 24/7.
I’ve never been anywhere where gambling wasn’t allowed 24/7.

The rooms are pretty, but nothing to write home about (so I’ll full fill that statement by writing nothing here as well).

Wandered around a bit more. Really found nothing of huge interest to me, so I headed down to where the Monaco Grand Prix starts. Mostly just for shits and giggles. A lot so I can tell my cousins I was there.

Looks like not much most of the time.
Looks like not much most of the time.

Then I hit up the grocery store, because anything is cheaper than buying food and drinks AT the beach. Normal food wasn’t so bad, but they had a huge section of imported food. I guess they want all of their super rich clients to be happy. Because they’re all obviously shopping at the grocery store.

That says 7.45€. For a jar half the size of home. Ouch.
That says 7.45€. For a jar half the size of home. Ouch.

Food collected and I headed back up to the train station. For anyone ever looking to improve their calf tone, take a trip to some hilly place and walk a lot. It’s doing wonders.

I decided to stop at Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Don’t ask how to say the first part, I have no idea. The second part means that the train stops at the Mediterranean part of town, not the hill side where lots of things are. Which is a huge deal, not something you want to mix up if you are aiming for one or the other. It’s quite a hill. Luckily, when looking for the beach, the sea is where to be.

Mostly I was aiming for a beach outside of the main town because I hate when it’s super packed. This fit the bill just fine. Definitely not empty, but it’s not like someone was within touching distance on either side.

The beach. Very nice, almost sand, but more like tiny rocks.
The beach. Very nice, almost sand, but more like tiny rocks.
Yachts off in the harbor area. They must be just HUGE. Probably way cheaper than getting a spot in Monaco, and still very close.
Yachts off in the harbor area. They must be just HUGE. Probably way cheaper than getting a spot in Monaco, and still very close.

Turns out I should have taken a better look at the wine I grabbed. I completely missed the dry to sweet scale. I’d grabbed a very sweet wine. Absolutely not what I was looking for for my picnic and chilling on the beach. Probably won’t do that again.

Everyone owns these umbrellas (top picture above) and brings them to the beach with them. I didn’t get it when I got there, but after an hour or so, it makes perfect sense. If nothing else, it will shade your things for you.

This was my first encounter with the topless-ness I’ve heard so much about. I was a tad shocked at first, as American culture (or perhaps English speaking culture) is very anti-topless-ness. Anyways, when in Rome…. which is all fine and dandy but I’ve grown up with no sun exposure to such areas. And can you imagine getting sun burn on such sensitive areas?! Sounds very painful and therefore I’m rather cautious.

This was where I gave up on my awesome Enlite sensors. The one I had in had been rocking for a couple days, but with the sweat and water, it just wasn’t really holding on, which sent it off to crazy number land. I thought about putting one in the next day… but how was that possible, I was always (really, always) sweating. That doesn’t make for good adhesive contact.

Caught the train back to Nice, hit up my hostel for a quick shower, then headed off to find some place with wifi and air conditioning. It’s surprisingly rare to find AC, even for some place that gets plenty warm, and my hostel definitely didn’t have it. And the room was TINY. So I decided my next stop, which was only two nights in Nimes, should be moved to a hotel in the center of town. The hostel wasn’t particularly convenient, and I needed a break from the lack of space and sweaty nights. That and other chores completed, I headed back to catch some sleep.

Day 28, 29 and 30 – The farther afield areas of Holland

Day 28

DSCN5539haarlem

I decided I would boogie out of Amsterdam and go spend the day in Haarlem on the way to Rotterdam, where I was staying for the next couple nights.

I will say, walking around in the drizzle, which is pretty much because the air is at 100% humidity, with all your stuff, is not fun. Made even less enjoyable by the fact that I totally ate it going down the stairs leaving my hostel. Luckily, my bag broke my fall, but broke nothing else inside. Just some bumps and bruises. I’m sure the one on my elbow will be pretty.

Off to Haarlem. Luckily trains here are super easy. From Amsterdam to Haarlem is roughly 30 minutes, and trains run all the time. It makes it easy when you don’t have to worry about showing up at the right time to catch a train.

I got to Haarlem around 10, and the place was deserted. Like, I thought I was in the wrong area. Which would be totally possible being that I had no map other than my phone. However, I found the giant church in the square, so I realized I must be in the right area. I took a wander around the church, which is a nice classical Gothic church.

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The food stand in the square totally makes the picture here. There are restaurants all around the sides of the square, with all this outdoor seating. Amusing to me on a day when no one possibly wants to sit outside.

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When you let people walk all over your tombstone, pretty soon it gets worn enough you can’t see the letters. It seems that the entire floor of the church was tombstones. Interestingly, the brochure here described that you had to be rich in order to be buried in the church. When you bury people, they decompose. Decomposing things smell. This could be where the term “stinking rich” comes from. Or that was the brochure theory anyways. I thought it was logical.

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The organ in the church was giant. And they have all these chairs lined up, but the place was empty for my visit.

I then grabbed a coffee at one of the previously mentioned cafes around the square. I needed some place to warm up. By the time I was finished, it was mostly not raining. Therefore, I wandered around town some more.

I finally got to see a bridge in action.
I finally got to see a bridge in action.
They were saving the front of the house... but nothing else. So odd.
They were saving the front of the house… but nothing else. So odd.
A windmill, which was rather in the middle of town.
A windmill, which was rather in the middle of town.
The least square windows I've ever seen.
The least square windows I’ve ever seen. I wonder how they open them.

And the picture from the top, which is an old gate to the city. After all the wandering around, I grabbed a sofa/bench seat at a bar and read my book with some wine. Then off to the train to head to Rotterdam. This train ride takes you through the tulip fields, and would have been extremely gorgeous if it were spring.

My hostel in Rotterdam was in an extremely weird building complex. It was built as part of an architecture challenge. Rotterdam actually had a lot of interesting architecture things.

Those yellow things are the houses.
Those yellow things are the houses.

Each little cube was designed to be a separate house. You access them by a stair, and then there are three levels inside, with 100 square meters inside (~1000 sq ft). They have one that is open for viewing to demonstrate how you would live. Not sure I really liked it. A lot of wasted space inside, and tiny stair cases to get up and down.

The hostel was in a bunch of connected cubes. It had apparently been a school in a previous life. In the picture, it’s the taller cubes on the right. Once in your room, it didn’t seem as completely odd.

Day 29

I chose Rotterdam because it was close to Delft and Den Haag, which I wanted to visit. Off on the trains I went. Luckily the Hostel is like 500m from the train station. Very convenient. (The picture of the cubes was taken standing outside the train station)

 

DSCN5567delft

It decided to be a very nice day for my Delft visit. I started off with a climb up the tower of the New Church. Mind you, new means it was built in the 1200’s, or started then. They just name things as they make sense, so this was the new church because there was already a church in town, now called the old church. Super inventive.

The stair case up was tiny, thankfully there were not many people climbing up or down when I went. Early is key here. If you go through the pictures, you can see the space you get to walk around at the top of the tower. So thankful there weren’t a lot of people up here. It was already a tad terrifying. And I can’t imagine doing the stairs if I was any taller, even I had to duck at some spots.

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After I got out of the tower, I wandered around the market. This is a bit like the farmers market, and I just happened to be heading to Delft on their market day. If I could buy things for eating at any point beyond immediately, I would have ended up with so much fruit.

A bit of wandering around town, a stop in the Old Church (because my ticket was good for both), a stop in tourist info, and then off to the Royal Delft Factory. It was a nice day, so I chose to walk.

The tour was by audio guide, which can be nice. It started with two short movies… for which I was the only one in the room. As you go around you can see the many different types of things they make. Royal Delft is mainly the blue painting on white, but they’ve made many other designs over time and they have them all on display. There used to be a ton of factories that made delftware, but this is the only one remaining. You get to see them hand painting the pottery in the tour. These people really are artists, I can’t imagine recreating the painting so it’s the same on all of the pieces. Check out the pictures where you can see the giant replica of The Night Watch in tile. There was also a giant cow hanging out in the factory. You pretty much get to walk right through their active production area, they just have signs saying please don’t touch.

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Off to Den Haag next. I was really going to see Madurodam and The Netherlands’ Parliament. Madurodam was sadly disappointing to me, mainly due to lack of information about the recreated buildings. I could recognize some of them, but others I had no clue. Some had signs, some didn’t.

One of the big things to see in Den Haag is the Peace Palace, so I decided to check it out. Which would have worked better if it hadn’t been 6pm already. Closed.

DSCN5584

Next off to check out the Parliament. I will say that the USA probably doesn’t win the “prettiest government buildings” award.

DSCN5594

DSCN5597

DSCN5596denhaag

Out through the archway pictured above, and you run into a giant plaza. And it was PACKED. You could hear the dull sound of chatter all the way across the plaza. I figured this wasn’t exactly a hot tourist spot, so if all the tables are full, the food can’t be bad. Stopped for a meal. Thankfully, the salmon I had totally made up for the last place I ordered salmon. It was delicious.

Just look at all the people.
Just look at all the people.

 

Day 30

I was going to wander around Rotterdam, because I was planning to stay until the mail came. I had dropped my pump in Amsterdam, and emailed Medtronic’s Benelux office in the hope of getting a new clip. 40 days without a pump clip was going to be a pain. It hadn’t shown up on Thursday (Day 29), so I figured I had enough time that I could hang out in Rotterdam for the day on Friday.

Shout out to Medtronic for awesome customer service all around the world. I ended up getting TWO pump clips, all gratis and mailed to my hostel! They’re clear, which is pretty cool to me as all my old ones have been dark grey. Not that anyone but me sees it anyways.

I was planning to just wander around and check out some of the architecture things mentioned on my map. In the process, I ran into a nice man on the river front walk. He and his young daughter were heading on a boat cruise that takes you out to see some windmills. Realizing I really didn’t have any better plans, I decided to tag along.

DSCN5608

DSCN5618

It was a slow boat trip, but fun none the less. Quite a pretty area. The boat drops you off and it’s a 20 minute walk out to the windmills (Molen, which is mill in Dutch). Back on the boat and back to Rotterdam where I then went back to my hostel, collected my mail and my things, and off to another train. I’m learning that train rides make great meal times, and there is almost always a grocery store very near the station.

Got to Brussels safe and sound, except I totally forgot to download any maps or where exactly I was heading. I did however know where the tourist info places were, so I figured I’d pop in a grab a map. Too bad they all closed at six and I got in around seven. Luckily I haven’t been using much if any of the data my mom set up for my phone, so I went ahead and pulled up the map and off I went. After getting to the hostel, I realized I probably should have gone with the metro option. 3km is farther than I really want to walk with my things. Oh well. Still alive.

 

Packing for my Europe Trip

Let me start by saying this is going to be a long post. There’s lots of fun stuff in here (at least to me, so sorry for everyone else who doesn’t think packing is fun). I’m heading to Europe in 3 days, and I’ll be gone for 66 days. My itinerary was detailed previously here.

I decided I should pack a couple days before I leave, to make sure everything actually fits. I’m a very classic “well, maybe I need this” type packer. Usually this isn’t a problem because I’m packing in a carry on for a weekend. This time, I’m packing in a carry on for 2 months. This is something I’ve never done before.

To get started, I read lots and lots of blogs that I found from pinterest. I’m wishing now that I’d actually pinned a couple of them along the way instead of just looking so I could direct you to much better lists than mine. When I was reading, I thought people were crazy for being able to pack in 30L bags; now that I’m done, I realize if I wasn’t diabetic, that wouldn’t be a problem.

Everything

I’m using an Ospry Porter 46 as my main bag. My coworker offered to loan me one, and once I saw it, I knew I had to have one. The upside is the newer bag I bought (2015 version) has an awesome space for laptops and other small bits in the front that previous versions were missing. It took me many many stores to find someone that had this bag in stock, so I’m sure I’ll see many other on my trip.

My shoulder bag/purse is a North Face bag that I found at Marshalls. I saw it and was in love. No idea what it is any more. I’ve been using this as my purse for the past couple months at home and am pretty sure it will serve me well on my trip. The purple insulin cooling thing will be going into my carry on (it functions best with air circulation).

Now on to what I’ve managed to fit into these bags. It will be interesting to see what I come back with in comparison to what I’m packing now, so I want to be sure to document what I’ve packed.

Let’s start with the easy things. This is my travel outfit. Going with the “wear your largest items” idea.

Travel Clothes

  • Sweatshirt (An oldie but goodie, won’t be too sad if it goes missing)
  • Maxi dress
  • Scarf (it’s solid grey on the reverse side)
  • Tennis Shoes (I hope to run while I’m gone and was told by enough people I need to bring them for walking around, we will see about that as I go)
  • A set of underthings

Purse

Lots of good things in this bag. I wanted to call it a carry-on, but everything is a carry on this trip. Some things have numbers, the others are too obvious to need them. Roughly listed left to right, top to bottom.

  • Book (From a little free library near me, to be returned to one abroad. Or some other book exchange.)
  • Headphones (yes, they are giant. I figure worth it for good sound and noise cancelling-ish.)
  • The small bag packed previously with back up diabetes supplies (1)
  • Meter with extra lancets (2)
  • Lip Balm (3)
  • Padlock (3) (I’m also locking my bag, but that’s too flimsy for a communal locker space)
  • Honey Stinger (3) (delicious fast acting sugar that’s easy to carry)
  • Mini Moleskin books (4) (for on the go notes, handing things to people, etc.)
  • Camera
  • Wallet (this one isn’t coming with me, but one will be)
  • Moleskin journal (with pre-trip notes, also intended to be used as a trip journal)
  • Item 5
    • Pens
    • Eyeliner
    • Mascara (those two items are it for make-up for me)
    • Mini mag light flashlight (I’ve heard I’ll need this, it’s small so I may as well bring it)
    • Body Glide (never know when you’ll need it, nice to have on hand)
  • A small coin purse (6) (I use this for money in places that use a lot of coins – pretty much everywhere but the US).
  • A shopping bag (7)
  • Baby wipes (8) (Good for showers without a shower, cleaning up messes… lots of things)
  • Sun Glasses
  • Reading Glasses
  • Travel Wallet
    • Passport
    • EuRail Pass
    • Hostel International Membership Card

This makes for a pretty full bag, but that’s okay.

Now moving on to the main bag. This is what’s in the outside pockets, one at the top and the front pockets.

Outer Pockets

Left Picture:

  • Swim Suit (1) (packed on the outside because stop number one is the Blue Lagoon)
  • Computer (2) (a light ultra book)
  • Empty Envelopes (3) (to keep all the things I want to keep from places I visit)
  • Grid it organizer (4)
    • Fitbit charger
    • Travel power charger and travel power thingy
    • iPhone charger cable
    • Camera charger
    • Wall connector (this one is from Apple, with changeable connectors that I’ve had for a while. Everything uses USB power, so I’m only bringing this one wall charger)
    • Computer charger
    • Plug converter (you can’t see this because it’s grey, it’s only for my computer charger)
  • Printed prescriptions (5)
  • Printed copies of the celiac cards I talked about here (6)
  • My toiletry bag (7)
  • Randoms (8)
    • Deoderant
    • Comb
    • Pepto container (with pepto and ibuprofen inside)
    • Toothpaste, toothbrush, floss
    • Stick sunscreen

And on the right is the contents of the toiletry bag (a small sea to summit bag).

  • Bandaids of many sizes (1)
  • Q-tips (2)
  • Mirror and rubber band (2) (rubber band for using the hanging hook with things that are too-big for it to fit on – which is almost every thing)
  • Nail things and razor (3)
  • Moleskin (4) (can you tell I’m worried about blisters?)
  • Antiperspirant (5)
  • Other Drugs (6)
    • Decongestant
    • Antihistamine
    • Imodium
    • (All things I hope to not need)
  • Shampoo and Conditioner (7)
  • Bag and Ziploc for liquids and TSA (8)
  • Other liquids (9) (All GoToobs – can someone explain why the orange one is bigger than the rest when they say the same size?)
    • Face lotion (orange)
    • Face wash (clear)
    • All purpose soap (green) (for laundry)

And finally, what I’ve got in the main part of the bag. Most things are packed inside packing cubes, but there are a few pockets on the inside of the bag as well.

Main Pocket

  • Blue ebags – previously packed diabetes supplies
  • Shoes:
    • Flip flops for showers
    • Black Toms
    • Birkenstock Sandals
  • Rain Jacket (1)
  • Travel Towel (1)
  • PJs (2) (consisting mainly of work out clothes for quick drying)
  • Sink Stopper (3)
  • Elastic clothes line (3)
  • Flip Belt (4) (for running and perhaps hiding things under my clothes)
  • Pink Medium ebag packing cube (I thought I would be using multiple of these, oh was I wrong)
    • 1 pair jeans
    • 1 pair leggings
    • 1 pair shorts
    • 1 knee length black skirt
    • 1 black tank dress
    • 1 bright pink tank dress (need to have something other than black!)
    • Extra bra
  • Grey small packing cubes
    • A
      • 8 underwear (wayyyyy too many to most light packing people, I know)
      • 4 pairs socks (also probably too many, but most are cotton and will be slow to dry)
      • Work out clothes
        • 1 t-shirt
        • 1 pair capris
        • 1 sports bra
        • 1 headband
    • B
      • 2 tank tops (1 cotton, 1 tech fabric)
      • 1 t-shirt (cotton)
      • 1 extra bag for dirty clothes
      • (this bag isn’t full, space for fun things I buy on my trip!)
    • C
      • 2 long sleeves (1 cotton, 1 smartwool)
      • 2 3/4 sleeves (1 cotton, 1 tech fabric)
      • 2 t-shirts (1 cotton, 1 tech fabric)

I’ve got a mix of tech fabrics and cotton because I wasn’t going to buy all new things, and don’t want to look like I’m totally walking around in exercise clothes. We will see what I think about this as I go.

I layered all the things into my bag, and took pictures to show you in case you don’t believe this would all fit in the bag!

PackingEuro2015

Diabetes things took up a lot of space. It will be interesting to me to see if I replace all the things I use on the way with new purchases. I’ve got a couple items in my bag that I don’t intend to keep for the entire trip (they are on the end of life and will get tossed most likely… too used for anyone else to ever want).

I am sure everyone will be able to identify everything I’ve packed pretty quickly and will probably recognize the new items I pick up :).

I’ll toss up links to some of the items I bought specifically for this trip as I determine if I actually like them. No point in sending you to “my favorite item” unless it’s actually my favorite! For things not bought for this trip, chances of me finding a link are probably zero so I hope no one is lusting after them.

Whew! I’m impressed if you made it all the way here!

66 Days of Diabetes Supplies

Have you ever wondered what two months worth of diabetes supplies looks like? Well now you can see.

I did a “test pack” two months ago to see how much stuff I actually use. Turns out I had a pretty good guess already, and didn’t change much from that packing to this packing.

I’m sure I could get by with a lot fewer things, particularly if I decided to not use my pump or sensor. But I have decided that I am going to continue using both, assuming all goes well and nothing breaks.

This is everything I'm bringing
This is everything I’m bringing (let’s ignore my extremely poor spelling)

My packing list is the following:

  • 30 Infusion Sets
  • 27 Reservoirs
  • 10 Sensors
  • 600 Strips
  • 5 Bottles of Novolog
  • 10 AAA Batteries
  • Sensor Supplies
    • Lots of Tapes
    • Insert
    • Charger
  • Back-up Supplies
    • 15 Syringes
    • 1 Bottle of Levemir

Not pictured is 2 meters and associated pokers and strips, as well as things that are currently attached to my body which is a sensor and transmitter and pump.

I’ve got 3 of the slim ebags that I used to pack all this stuff into, plus one small bag that I’m using for an easy to access option to hold one set of everything. Packing is always an art. Sensors on the bottom, infusion sets and strips next, topped off with all the randoms and reservoirs. The insulin went back in the fridge to be packed closer to leaving. It will be packed in a Frio Insulin Wallet to stay chilly.

Pump Supplies

My little bag of extras
My little bag of extras

The end result was more compact than I expected, also heavier than I expected.

Neat and Tidy!
Neat and Tidy!

Up next is packing the rest of my bag! That will probably be more difficult as everything is subjective and almost nothing is a “need”.

 

*These are amazon links because I think the products are cool. I’m not someone who has the amazon advertising deal or anything fancy.

Dblog Week – Day 7: DOC


Today is the final day for Diabetes Blog Week 2015. I may not have succeeded in getting my posts up on the correct day, but I did get them all up!

The final topic is:

The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it’s held every year. So let’s help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week. Share a link to a new blog you’ve found or a new friend you’ve made. Or pick a random blog off of the Participant’s List, check it out and share it with us. Let’s take some time today to make new friends.

These may not be blogs that I just found from Diabetes Blog Week, but I certainly haven’t been reading diabetes blogs for long so they’re all pretty new to me. I’ve come to the realization that I really need to hook up a blog roll on here. Maybe that will be my next addition. I was proud of myself for finding a picture to get up this week. Baby steps.

So these are blogs I’ve been cruising around and have been participating in DBlog Week. I am in serious need of some time to check out all the posts from this week. I am really excited to see everyone else’s perspectives.

Running on Carbs – It was fun to find someone else who curls and runs

typeONEderful – Really, the blog title just totally hooked me

Happy Medium – Who doesn’t want a medal for rocking diabetes?

Now I’m sure I’ll find so many awesome posts when I get a second, and I haven’t done any justice to the shear number of posts that have gone up for Diabetes Blog Week. (I’m often 70-100 on the link lists!)

This week wouldn’t happen with out Karen over at Bitter-Sweet, so a big shout out thanks to her!

I look forward to sharing what has been keeping me so busy this week and how it all turns out.


 

Check out all the other awesome posts here. Hopefully you find out some new blogs to follow!

Dblog Week – Day 6: Favorites


Today’s topic is all about blogs!

If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written? Is it diabetes related or just life related? If you are a new blogger and don’t have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?

I definitely think that I fall under the “new blogger” bit here.

The first thing that got me thinking about starting a blog was my upcoming trip this summer. Of course, I hadn’t booked or scheduled any of it when I started this blog, but I was hopeful. I figured if I want to blog about my trip, I should probably figure out how it works before I actually leave.

Then I was searching around trying to figure out what else I might possibly want to put out in public for the world to see. I was also trying to figure out what could possibly make my blog special. So I googled diabetes and traveling blogs. I didn’t come up with very many so I thought this might be a good start. Of course now I’ve found oh so many more than I did back even two months ago. Things like #dblogcheck and this DBlog Week have really opened my eyes to many other diabetic bloggers out there.

When I first started this, I also saw all these people that seemed to have diabetes “figured out”. I’d see their awesome flat lines on Dexcom sensor and was like, well, that’s not me. So I thought there might be a chance some people would be interested to see a view from someone who’s not got it figured out. Of course, once again, the longer you lurk around blogs, you notice that no one has it perfect!

There’s not many people who blog about curling, for good reason. There’s generally not much to blog about and it’s a pretty small circle of people (especially in the US). Knowing myself however, I knew there was no way to completely avoid the topic of curling with my life. Therefore, there’s a tiny bit in here about that as well. I’m sure this will take a larger portion when it gets back to being the normal competitive season. It doesn’t help though, that curling is no where near a full time job, and curlers aren’t celebrities, so no one tends to care much about what we’re doing 🙂


 

Thanks for following along. Check out everyone else here.

DBlog Week – Day 5: Food!

Today is all about FOOD.

Taking a cue from Adam Brown’s recent post, write a post documenting what you eat in a day! Feel free to add links to recommended recipes/shops/whatever. Make it an ideal day or a come-as-you-are day – no judgments either way.

I guess I’ll go the crazy route, and post my real food for today, which pretty much chronicles exactly what you shouldn’t eat. Simply because this is NOT a healthy day, but it sure was tasty! Mostly pictures. Except the things I forgot to take pictures of.

 

Got to work to find this on my desk. What great coworkers. Starbucks Flat White.
Got to work to find this on my desk. What great coworkers. Starbucks Flat White.
My Daily Yogurt with Granola. Tasty with some protein.
My Daily Yogurt with Granola. Tasty with some protein.

And now… On to the even more fun parts.

Someone is in charge of treats for our monthly meeting. Today was cupcakes. Extra impressive because they had gluten free cupcakes for me.
Someone is in charge of treats for our monthly meeting. Today was cupcakes. Extra impressive because they had gluten free cupcakes for me.
You didn't think they only got me one cupcake did you? Oh no. Two. Demolished.
You didn’t think they only got me one cupcake did you? Oh no. Two. Demolished.

I forgot to take a picture of my salad that I ate for lunch…. at 3:oopm. Those cupcakes were filling!

Pad Thai from my favorite thai place. I was craving this yesterday and didn't get it. So tonight the boy and I got take out. (Gotta go large photo here)
Pad Thai from my favorite thai place. I was craving this yesterday and didn’t get it. So tonight the boy and I got take out. (Gotta go large photo here)
And a couple of these bad boys to finish off the evening.
And a couple of these bad boys to finish off the evening.

Well. That was my day. I hope your’s was as good 🙂


 

Check out what everyone else eats here.

 

Dblog Week – Day 4: Changes

Today’s Topic is all about Changes. Full prompt below.
Today let’s talk about changes, in one of two ways. Either tell us what you’d most like to see change about diabetes, in any way. This can be management tools, devices, medications, people’s perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing. OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes. Were they expected or did they surprise you?

It may surprise people that I’ve been through as many changes with diabetes as I have. I’m 26. That’s young right? You’d think there’s no way I could have gone through many changes with my diabetes, but with the speed technology changes, I’m glad I have seen improvements in Diabetes care.

I was lucky enough that there was meters when I was diagnosed, but let me tell you: the drop of blood was GIANT. I got to experience the fun of the range test strips where you put the blood on, wait a minute, wipe it off, wait a minute, compare the color to the bottle when I was at camp, because electronics weren’t yet able to withstand the heat and humidity. Now a test takes 5 seconds and an absolutely tiny drop of blood, which always makes me think about how bad it used to be, when I can’t even manage to get that tiny drop needed.

Insulin was N and R and you had to remember to mix it clear before cloudy. Back in the day diabetics were way before their time and had to eat those 6 meals a day (3 small snacks and 3 meals) at predetermined times of day, with a set type of food for each one. Before carbohydrates were totally understood and meals were determined by the type of food you ate, 1 protein, 1 starch, 1 dairy, etc. But if you think about it, 1 dairy could be a glass of milk, or cheese, which don’t have the same carb content! No wonder control was not a thing.

I managed to figure out at a young age that I had to eat after getting insulin, so if I didn’t like what we were eating for dinner, I would just refuse until my mom would feed me what I wanted. My mom figured out pretty quickly what was going on and I didn’t get my insulin until after I ate the meal that was served. Smart her. I was lucky that she figured out some things like carbs being what really mattered, not exactly the composition of your meal (relatively speaking).

Switching to Humalog was HUGE because you didn’t have to wait as long to eat. I mean, thinking about it now, I don’t think it’s fast enough, but it was way better than before.

Shortly after Humalog came out, I got my first pump: a Minimed 508. I was super excited (partly because my big sister had one, and who doesn’t want to be like your big sister). A pump was exciting, but my biggest memory is spending the entire first day in the nurses office at school because I couldn’t get my blood sugar up. To think how precise we can be now with doses is crazy to me.

I was excited to try lantus the first time. I don’t remember if it was a pump break or a broken pump, but the idea I could take one shot and it lasted all day without peaking was fun to try. I’d gone straight from NPH to my pump (not something to complain about for sure).

I’ve now been using a Minimed/Medtronic pump for ~15 years. I haven’t wavered in brand because at my last update, there was still roughly two options and sticking with the same was easier. Now I see all the new things other pumps can do and it’s getting really exciting. I’m not so sure about some features, others look amazing. We will have to see what I decide to do come my next pump update.

I gave the first Medtronic sensors a go back years ago, and had plenty of them, insurance covered them, but they made me cry when I put it in (and I’m usually a push the button and keep going person, not much hurts). Therefore, they started collecting dust (if you see yesterday’s post, you can see that I just finally got rid of the old expired ones). I was very hesitant to try the new Enlites, but I’ve been happy with them so far (other than the fact I have an old pump so they time out in 3 days).

I would love to try the Dexcom sensors, but at this point just can’t bring myself to carry another device. It’s exciting to see more sensor pump integration and new pump forms. So many new things to try.

The one thing I would really like to see change (besides this whole having diabetes thing) would be to see sensors talk directly to phones. I use my phone for everything else already, why not have my sensor data on there. It would also be very nice to see pumps get a lot smaller. You’d think with all the sweet tiny electronics we’d be getting near a pump that is the size of just the insulin you have to carry around.

No matter what, I’m happy that there are people out there working to make our lives better.


 

Check out everyone else’s posts on this topic.

DBlog Week – Day 3: Clean it Out


Today’s (Yesterday’s Two days ago’s, because I’m running really late) Topic:

Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out. What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out? This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to. Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?

I have this bag that I used to use every time I took a trip to carry my diabetes supplies. I got tired of using it because it was too big for what I really needed, but did I do anything other than stash it under my sink in my bathroom? Of course not. Take a look at some of the beauties I found in that bag (the bottom two pictures in the collage).

Diabetes Hoarders Unite
Diabetes Hoarders Unite

Do you SEE those glucose tabs??! Gross. I’ll let you know the expiration date on those bad boys is 2010. The strips aren’t a whole lot better, 2012. Please note there are pen caps in here. I haven’t had a current pen prescription in a couple years. Those strips also make a small appearance in that cabinet… And to think, I’ve only lived in my condo for two and a half years, and I’ve cleaned out my diabetes supplies once since then (can you imagine how old the stuff I actually threw away would be now?). I do seem to have kept a meter I’ve never used, and have no intention of using. But at least I got rid of the horribly old, never going to use infusion sets when I cleaned things out before.

No picture for this one, but I will admit my worst diabetes clean out is always those pesky strips. I can be standing next to the trash can, and yet the strip will go back in the meter pouch. I’m blaming this one on my high school, which allowed me to carry my test stuff with me in class, assuming I would not put anything with blood in the trash cans. So those things just multiply like crazy.

I can only imagine what is still hiding at my mom’s house. I do seriously wonder if we still have my first meter. Or the bag I used to use (called my Red Bag, because it was a red, bag) which has been all over the place. I guess I will have to look next time I’m out at my mom’s. I can’t believe we’d have kept it through the move though. Of course, you never actually know until you look.


As always, check out everyone else’s posts here

And my previous DBlog Week posts Day 2Day 1

DBlog Week – Day 2: Keep it to Yourself

Today’s Topic is Keep it to Yourself. The entire prompt is the following:

Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?  (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone.  There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects.  Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won’t tell them.)

I think of myself as a pretty open book, so it took a little thinking for this. This thinking lead me to realize that while I consider myself an open book, there’s actually a lot of things I don’t share. It happens to be that most aren’t diabetes related.

But I thought a little harder down the diabetes route and realized that one of the things I do not share with people is my real time blood sugars. This is something I wont share in real life, but would probably share at the drop of a hat if someone asked online. Probably because online is slightly disconnected from real life.

I think this came to be from an experience when I was younger. For those who know me well, there are some things that over time become a “tell” about what my blood sugar is. These “tells” tend to be related to my mood and temper. I don’t remember now if I told these friends, or if they figured it out themselves, but blood sugar can have an effect on my mood. There came a time where I was acting in the “right way”, and of course, my friends were bugging me about it being related to my blood sugar being low. This was absolutely not the case and my mood/actions etc. were due to something they had done. Of course trying to explain that doesn’t go well when you’re already annoyed at whatever it was they did.

Therefore, because my blood sugar being related to my mood was used against me once, I now just won’t tell anyone what my blood sugar is, therefore making it harder for them to ever connect it to anything.

Basically, it boils down to not wanting to be judged by my blood sugar, but judged like a normal person. Whether they are right that my blood sugar is screwing with my mood or not.


Check out other posts about today’s topic here.

Check out my other DBlog Week posts: Day 1