Change the World – DBlog Week

This will be my first year particpating in #DBlogWeek,  I am a little apprehensive. What can I contribute to this big online world of witty, charming, smart and funny dblogs? This seems to be a recurring theme in my life. After 30 years with Diabetes and so many lessons and accomplishments along the way, I still have this sense of not being good enough. I wonder if this is because I grew up being different, never having good enough blood sugars, and being told about all the things I couldn’t do and would never do? 

I’ve heard it said that FEAR can either stand for Face Everything And Recover or Forget Everything and Run. I used to do the latter a lot. Today, however, that’s not how I roll. So here I am, contributing despite what my inner critic tells me and although we can never “recover” from T1D, we can try our best to focus on the blessings in our life. Like the DOC for example. This community has made me feel part of something bigger than myself and picks me up when I’m feeling down. Just like D camp did for me when I was 8 years old. Last night I found a box of keepsakes that my mom saved for me and in there was my certicficate from Camp Huronda for my first self-injection () and also my kindergarten report card from June 1985, 7 months after being diagnosed.

It reads:
“Cori-Ann, you have not let your illness hold you back. You have made a fine effort this year. I’ll miss your cheerful ways. ” (before that it also says that I enjoyed my part in the rhythm band and had a good sense of beat. And that I worked hard in the gym… lol). 

So on that note, I’d like to say that if I could change the world, yes I’d obviously cure Diabetes. But since that’s not available at this time, I would ask that we all stay cheerful and and not let Diabetes hold us back from anything in life, that we keep dancing to our own beat and work hard at the gym (WITH NO LOWS!!).

 report card






So I haven’t blogged in a year or so… whoops! But I am really feeling like I want to connect with my diabetes people these days.
12 days ago I started the #100happydays social media challenge on my facebook page. I’m loving it. I really do try to look at all the blessings I have in life so this was a good fit for me. Even on those days when my bgs are like a roller coaster, I am emotional from a spike, or just feel like throwing my pump off my balcony, there is always something to be happy about!
This morning I came up with the idea to do a #100happydaysdiabetes challenge for the Diabetes Online Community. Can I actually find things about diabetes to be happy about for 100 days in a row??
As I ask myself this questions – all the negative, sad thoughts I have around D just came crashing in! Ughhh!
But I think I can do this!
Not that I have any readers right now (other than my mom and sister-in-law, who aren’t on social media) but if you do happen to stumble across this post – and want to join me – please do! I would love to see what you have to share!
I’ll be posting the pics for the challenge on twitter ==>> @coriannh

Day 1 goes to making some great friends through the power of social media, the DOC (and words with friends) Me and Joanne at Disneyland last year!


Broken Pumps, Planning for Vacations and Tweet Chats

DC Detox update: Minus my five day trip to visit my bestie in Nashville, I have successfully broken the daily DC habit. I am no longer drinking one every night at home. I will always save DC as a treat that I have when I go out with friends and on vacation (hey I don’t drink alcohol so for now, I am reserving a place for DC in my life – just not an addiction to it!)

Broken Pump: Sunday night after eating a 1/2 cup of whole wheat pasta I grabbed my pump off my hip and robotically pressed the buttons to bolus for my carbs. The screen froze on the enter BG screen. I pressed the buttons repeatedly, waited, pressed, waited pressed. Removed battery, put battery back in…. BUTTON ERROR! Removed and replaced battery a few more times and.. surrendered. Called 1-800- MiniMed.”We are going to have to go ahead and send you a new pump ma’am”, the nice man at MiniMed tells me. “Ok, sounds good!” I reply. Then I head to my supply cupboard and dust off a syringe and whine to my husband that I have to give a needle and do you know how much I hate giving needles!! I’m sure this sounded kind of weird coming from a person who has been getting needles for most of her life. This was at 7:00 pm. My pump arrived at 9:00 pm! That’s pretty amazing service don’t you think? And although it happened at a bad time after eating a bowl of pasta (this is another reason to bolus before eating, but at least I got to enjoy my meal instead of knowing before and perhaps trading it in for a carbless dinner). Also, I had just returned from Nashville the previous Tuesday and am heading to Mexico this Sunday, so really, I am pretty impressed with my old pump’s timing and consideration for my stress level, that it broke at a pretty good time. That being said, I should probably take Medtronic up on the loaner pump offer for my trip to Mexico in case this one does decide to take a swim in the ocean or have a button error. Leading to my next point…

Planning for Vacations: Spontaneity does not really exist when travelling outside of the country with Type 1. However, I do have a pretty good routine set up now and a huge safety net, knowing that MiniMed is worldwide and hopefully could get a pump to me. The CDA also provides a great checklist on their website www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/living/guidelines/travel/. I am also travelling to Mexico with my husband, my mom and my brother’s family (including my 3 yr old neice who is also a T1). So between my travelling drugstore of antibiotics, pain releivers, nausea meds, extra supplies, extra bg monitors, extra batteries and so on, and my sister-in-laws AND my mom being there too. I am positive we will be covered. I am really looking forward to this vacation. It has been an extremely busy year and time with my hubby and family has been a little thinner than I’m used to!

And last but certainly not least: Tweet chats!!! Last night I opened up Twitter to tweet a pic of my 5.5 pre-dinner BG and I stumbled upon the canDOC tweet chat! It was pretty exciting for me because I have always just missed these in the past or been a lurker on other ones. Being that this one was with my fellow Canadian PWDs and it had just started, I thought I’d jump in! It was a very cool experience. The topic was “Stubborness”. Something we can all relate to. The Nigeria DOC and the Great Britain DOC joined in the chat too! Connecting with the DOC from around the world is a very cool feeling!  So after a Sunday evening of higher BG’s due to broken pump syndrome, Monday was an excellent day. I had in range BG’s, a 5.5, I connected with the DOC and to top it all off…. I won the #BGBINGO contest!!!
This is life with Diabetes, one day can be completely awful, and the next can be rainbows and unicorns!! Here’s to many more Rainbows and Unicorns!

Hasta Luego





DC Detox

Today is Day 4 without Diet Coke (DC) in my life. I feel bad mentioning the brand name, because as a diet cola drinker, I defended, praise and bragged about my diet cola of choice. It is the best tasting on the market if you ask me. However, there is just too much information out there today (most of it from my friend Amanda – who has turned into probably the healthiest person I know and will probably live to 200 and my mom who has started the war on aspartame back in the 90’s before it was trendy) about the negative effects of this bevy.

I cannot remember my first drink. It was probably at the hockey arena, where most of my childhood was spent hanging out with the other hockey sisters, or maybe it was at a birthday party when my friend’s mom wanted to make sure I had something to drink too. Either way, it gradually started to creep into my life. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, I guess drinking this brown fizzy liquid from a can was considered healthy. Wow, the power of advertising!

I am pretty sure as an adolescent that I was not addicted to DC. I remember drinking other things too – like Diet Sprite and Diet Gingerale. I guess bottled water hadn’t been invented yet (hard to imagine). I think it was in my twenties that I really became exclusive with DC. It was the perfect mix, the perfect popcorn companion, the perfect end to a busy day at the office, etc etc etc. I don’t want to glorify DC but as a PWD, this was MY treat! In my mid twenties, I decided to cut out alcohol (I just felt that it was not a healthy choice for my overall health and well-being), and soon after that I also quit smoking (which is the worst thing anyone can do for themselves and even more so for a T1.) Yes, I was a little rebellious back in the day. Anyway, my point is, the reason I hung onto to DC for so long is because “It was the only thing I had left.” That was my reason. I loved it. I still do.
Another justification for not ditching DC was “I only drink 1 a day”. Not including weekends.

There has been a lot of media lately around diet drinks and how they prevent weight loss. I work out 3-5 times per week and eat a very healthy diet. So I decided it is time. I have been talking about quitting for a few years now and the list of reasons why I should became longer than my list of reasons to keep drinking it. Here is my list:
1. aspartame is the new smoking (there could be a another list under this reason)
2. prevents weight loss
3. bad for teeth
4. causes water retention
5. bad for skin
6. causes hyperactivity
7. so that my friend Amanda will stop sending me emails about how I am poisoning myself
8. and because anything that I HAVE TO HAVE, and will send my Hubby to the store for an emergency DC run if we run out of, is not good. I do not want anything to have that kind of control over me!

So far it has not been as hard as I thought it would be. I had a headache for the first 2 days but it seems to have passed now. I purchased grapefruit flavoured Perrier, to replace the physical habit and have been enjoying Greens+ everyday (which was an acquired taste). Coincidentally, on Monday I started a free 21 day meditation online and the theme of the course is “Perfect Health”. Day 1’s focus and centering thought was “I commit to living perfect health”. How perfect was that for my second day into my DC free life?

I am sure there are many T1’s in my shoes which is why I wanted to share this post. I hope that one day, when I actually get some fellow PWD followers (not that I don’t love my current fan base – xo ) that I can inspire them to kick the habit too! And a big thank you to my mom and Amanda for encouraging me to say goodbye to DC.




This week I was chatting with my friend at work at the end of the day and she was telling me that she has to throw her lunch out and that her husband would be upset if he knew she was doing that. What does this have to do with Popples and diabetes? Well, it reminded me of some now funny stories (at the time it probably added to my parents worries though, sorry about that.)
Back in the old days when we had to walk uphill both ways to school, multiple daly injections, insulin pumps and carb counting were not heard of. When I was first diagnosed at age 4 until at least age 8 or so it was 1 injection in the morning and a very regimented balanced diet of starches, proteins, fruits, fats and extras. 3 meals and 3 snacks.
My snacks consisted of a juice box and digestive cookies or arrowroots. Ew! I didn’t like my snacks, but if I didn’t eat them my parents would not be happy with me so I had to find ways to get rid of them. One day when my dad was walking me to school he said he was shocked when out of the corner of his eye he noticed a ditch full of juice boxes and digestive cookies!! Clearly as a 6 year old I didn’t think that one through now my my brother knows why i always dawdled behind…).
As I grew older and with my parents onto my tricks I had to get creative. This is where the Popples come into play. If you’ve watched the video you will see that these little guys were the perfect hiding spots for gross snacks!! I’m sure if my mom were to look in the attic she may find a Popple full of snacks from 1989! Sorry again.
This week my niece turned 3. I really wanted to get her a Popple but sadly they don’t make them anymore.
And then I realized that today’s generation of T1’s don’t have to go through all the trouble of throwing out and hiding snacks, they can simply choose not to bolus! And on her birthday she can have cake (WITH ICING!!! And ice cream!!).
Since I couldn’t find a Popples I bought her a cuddle puppet blanket instead and will have to wait until she’s older to tell her about the old days and how good us t1’s have it today with all this fancy technology! I am so grateful for this technology and the flexibility it gives me. Unfortunately it is not a cure though.
Wouldn’t it be great if by the time my niece is my age she can tell stories of how back in the old days she used to have Diabetes but they found a cure!?
So here’s to the future – a cure for T1 and maybe the return of Popples too!!



Spare a Rose Save a Child


Although I only have one follower at this point, my sister-in-law (thank you), I wanted to write a post today for this amazing cause. Spare a Rose Save a Child http://bit.ly/SpareRoseSaveChild

In June 2011, my sweet, little, innocent 15 month old niece was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. After some time to let it sink in a little I wrote this (knowing I would one day post it on my blog).

“Reading about the new Disney Character Coco and Denise Jonas’s involvement and how young kids just want to relate and identify with someone, I start to cry. It’s been just over 1 month since my now 17 month old niece was diagnosed with T1. When I first heard the news from my brother I tried to be positive and strong, reminding him that it is not the worse thing that could happen. Our whole family had to relive this ‘nightmare’ happening to us again 28 years later. For the first time I knew what it was like to not be the one with the disease.My heart broke in so many pieces, knowing first hand the road my sweet little muffin would have to walk down. So many thoughts and feelings went through my head during those first few days – denial, shock, anger, all the typical phases of grief. A strange thing was happening to my entire belief system. Thoughts, feelings, emotions and deep-rooted beliefs began popping up that I didn’t even realize I had buried. One thought that went through my head a few times the morning after the diagnosis was that “My perfect little baby niece was no longer perfect and it wasn’t fair!” Immediately, maybe even before this thought was finished, my protective Auntie voice piped up in defence “Yes she is still perfect!! And nobody had better ever try to tell her or treat her differently!” Then it dawned on me, had I always thought of myself in this way, less than perfect, different, disabled, damaged, not good enough? A slew of emotions came up for me that day and for the first time I was able to talk to my inner 4-year-old and tell her that everything would be okay and to love herself and know that she IS perfect just the way she is, non insulin producing pancreas and all! It was at this time that my energy shifted toward my own diabetes and to my nieces. I imagined my niece 20 years from now updating Auntie Cori on the latest advancements and technologies in the Diabetes world.

Our family realized that it was good thing that we knew about Diabetes, and we also realized it was not such a good thing that we knew about Diabetes. We knew that a PWD could live a normal healthy and long and happy life and we also knew about the risks involved.

To be completely honest after I left my mom’s care and she started to let to go and let me spread my wings, I put diabetes on the back burner for a long time. I still checked my BG, and gave my insulin and saw my team, but I rebelled, diabetes was something I tried to hide as much as I could. In my early twenties I decided to start Pump Therapy after my volunteer gig at JDRF. I would go through phases of focusing on my health, but I was definitely not 100% committed to it. It took me a few more years to get back on track. From what I understand, this is typical of that age group. After I left the care of the Diabetes team at the hospital for Sick Children I was under my own team for a few years. Eventually I stopped rebelling and I started exercising, seeing a new team, and slowly started “trying” to be a better PWD. Just this past January at my bi-annual endo appt. I vowed to touch base with the Diabetes Centre on a weekly basis, sending in my bg results, recording my food and exercise etc., in an effort to lower my A1C. February and March went by finally in April I had to see the DC to have a government form filled in for my Pump coverage. We made a few changes to my rates, checked my A1C…Meh… I was still really not into recording my food and boluses on a daily or even weekly basis. My next appt with my Endo was scheduled for Friday June 10. My thinking… I still had lots of time to get it together before that appt. It just wasn’t what I wanted to spend my time on I suppose. Can you blame me?

My niece was diagnosed on Monday June 6. My thinking changed. Now I knew what it felt like to be a person who loved a person with diabetes and not just a person with diabetes. Now I wanted to be a role model for my niece and do anything I could to be the healthiest I could be. What a journey of the heart this has been for me over the past month. Although this disease is not the most fun thing to have and not the easiest to manage and although you can never take a break from it, I have found over the past month that the amount of good news out there about it is very refreshing, especially for my mom who 28 years ago was preached all the things her daughter could not do. Today there are a lot more people living healthy long lives with this disease, today complications do not have to happen, today technology is SMART! Today there is a massive online community of PWD sharing honestly about life diabetes lessening the burden and feeling of isolation more than ever, Today Disney is featuring a character with Diabetes and Pop icons like Nick Jonas and his mom are advocates for this disease! Today there is no reason feel less than or imperfect in any way! Today there is HOPE!”

And today, there is no reason why a child with Type 1 diabetes should not have Insulin!
The thought of another little princess like my niece not having access to insulin is something I can not wrap my head around. Just the other day I was stuck on a flight for an hour and my site that I had changed earlier in the day was not in right, I was not getting insulin. It is an awful awful feeling, your lungs feel heavy, it’s hard to breathe, your mouth is pasty, your whole body feels like a bag of mud, you just want to sleep. I cannot imagine not having insulin. Yes, life with diabetes is not always easy, but at the end of the day I am here, living and enjoying an amazing life because of Insulin! I am so thankful to Banting and Best for inventing this treatment!

I am going to send my family this blog post and the link to the “Spare a Rose Save a Child”. This is an amazing project that needs attention, just like many other Diabetes causes. I hope that no child with diabetes anywhere will ever have to go without Insulin.

Thank you to the founders of this project, for seeing a need and making a difference!


My first post…

It has only taken me two or more years to start this blog. I have been waiting until everything is perfect. Until it looks pretty, until I have time to maintain it, until I have a perfect A1c.

I have a feeling many fellow PWD’s feel the same way, always aiming for perfection. Well this morning I had that perfect number and later today I had the complete opposite. (As I write this post from my hotel room I am waiting for my BG to come back down to earth) That perfect moment I am waiting for does not exist with Diabetes. It is ever changing and unpredictable at times.


I just read my favourite blogger’s daily post and was inpired to action. (Thanks Kerri and Erin http://sixuntilme.com/blog2/2013/02/islands_and_insulin.html)

I am inspired everyday by the amazing stories and experiences I read in the DOC and finally, the perfect time has arrived!

Awesome wake up call #diabetes #5.5 twitter.com/coriannh/statu…

— Cori-Ann (@coriannh) February 12, 2013