Thursday, July 31, 2014

Five Point Fives

When I was at Friends for Life a few weeks back I learned a new diabetes expression.

Five point five.

At first I didn't know what it meant. I overheard a few people saying things like "he's a five point five" or "you hang out with a lot of five point fives".

Being a fan of the art of figuring things out on my own, I didn't ask what they were talking about. I tried to guess.

Why would one person be a five point five and another person not be one? What makes someone a five point five?

It wasn't a gender thing. Or a height thing. Or a body shape thing. Or a shoe size thing. At least it didn't seem to be.

Any guesses?

Perhaps it's easier if you see it written as 5.5 rather than five point five.

Someone who is a 5.5 is someone who doesn't have diabetes. It's a funny thing to call them but makes sense because every time you check their sugar, even after a tray of maple fudge and baklava (mmmmm, maple fudge and baklava!), their blood sugar will be 5.5. Or thereabouts.

(Oh, and apparently my American friends call these folks ninety-nines. Same idea, different system of measurement). 

Being a five point five isn't a bad thing. At least I don't think people were saying it was. I certainly don't think it is. In fact 95% of my friends are five point fives so, if it's a bad thing, I'm so oh elle in the friend department.

I think that I'm going to add my own little caveat to the definition. For me, a five point five is someone who doesn't have diabetes but who also recognize that some people do have diabetes. They might not get all the ins and outs of it but they know it exists.

So I'm happy to add five to fives to my vocabulary but I'm making a point of distinguishing between them and the folks I like to call the don't get its.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Unplanned Tempos

Tuesday morning was a tough one for getting up and out of bed at 5:15.

I just wasn't feeling it and would much rather have stayed in bed for another 75 minutes.

"Get your ass up!" said that sometimes helpful, often annoying, voice in my head. "And be quick about it, Doug has a busy day ahead of him and needs his sleep."

I grumbled in my head and tiptoed off to the bathroom, not even bothering to argue with myself that I too had a busy day and could have used my sleep. Instead of arguing, I was making up excuses as I went. Don't even worry about running all 7k. Just do 6k. You prefer even numbers anyway. Heck. It's been a few weeks since you've have an honest to goodness 'easy week' so maybe you should just do 5k. Blah blah blah. Thank goodness I've mastered the art of making excuse while completely ignoring them and doing what I know I should be doing.

I pulled on a t-shirt instead of a tank top because the air coming in the window was chillier than it should have been for a July morning. I ate a date and stuffed some emergency carbs in the zippered pocket of my shorts. I opened the door, shivered, crossed my arms across my chest and shuffled to the end of the driveway. I looked both ways just in case someone else was up, started my watch and headed off.

The first kilometre felt the way it always feels. Slow to warm up. Breath a bit laboured. Legs sluggish and cranky. I kept going knowing it would get better. My watch beeped and I saw 6:35 pop up. The time it took for the first kilometre. Typical for me.

The second kilometre felt the same. My watch beeped and I saw 6:33 pop up. Typical metronome pace on a typical Tuesday morning run.

I kept going and realized I was feeling better than I thought I did. Certainly better than I felt 13 minutes earlier. Perhaps it was the cool morning air? One kilometre later I saw a 6:30 pop up. That's funny. I don't usually get faster every kilometre.

I wonder if I can do it again?

I tried to pick up my pace just a bit. I didn't want to go crazy and then blow up before I finished but a little part of me was curious to see if the early morning speed workouts I had been doing had improved my ability to pick up the pace a bit and hold it.

The next kilometre was 6:28. Good. Let's speed it up a bit more.

6:18 for the fifth kilometre and I was feeling better by the minute. I didn't even have to convince myself to keep going. I just wanted to. Down one street, around the corner, up another street.

The sixth kilometre took 6:11 and it included the only hill on the route. Nothing crazy but I usually lose a few seconds on it. I don't gain them. I even timed the light well and didn't have to stop. Usually timing it right means I get to stop but I was in no mood to lose my rhythm.

The last kilometre felt great. I knew I was tiring but kept going knowing it was almost over.


Not bad for a tired girl who almost didn't get out of bed.

Looks like Tuesday mornings might become tempo run days.

It is true you know. The only runs you regret are the ones you don't do.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Stymied Sensor

Yesterday's blog whipped through the weekend rather quickly because that was all I had time to write. Now that I have a few more minutes, there are some things I would like to revisit. Specifically in the diabetes department.

I've been working at figuring out how to keep my blood sugars fairly stable while I play golf. Golf is different than swimming or running and, as a result, I'm learning all over again. There are a few diabetes challenges when I play 18 holes.
a) I'm doing 4 hours of walking and carrying golf clubs so it's a lot of low intensity exercise which I'm not used to doing.
b) It's usually really hot out so dehydration is always a risk
b) I get hungry and need to have a snack partway through. If I don't I'm a shaky mess by the end that has nothing at all to do with diabetes. I'm just beyond hungry.
c) I don't want to take insulin if possible on the course because, in combination with the activity, it usually leads to a yoyo of lows and highs that involve me eating way more than I want and feeling sick or not being able to eat even when I'm starting.

After a bit of trial and error I've worked out a system that seems to be effective. I don't do it when I play 9 holes but I do when I play 18.

(This is where I add the reminder that your diabetes may vary and my experiences are my own.Add to that the fact that I'm not a doctor and you'll realize that doing exactly what I do is probably not the best way to handle your diabetes. If you even have diabetes.I guess I should add that your golf may vary too so don't be copying my golf technique either)

I lower my basal rate by 40% 90 minutes before we start. I set this temp basal for 4 hours which means that my regular basal rate kicks in before the golf game ends. I do my best to make sure my blood sugar is mid-range (6-8) before I start and that I have no insulin on board from a previous meal. I have a small snack before we head out (ex. a banana or an oatmeal cookie). No insulin for the snack.

I check Rose after every hole to catch highs or lows before they happen. Once we finish 9 and confirm that we are indeed doing all 18, I will have a Clif bar. If my blood sugar is hovering a little high (10+) I will have half the bar and if it's a little lower (under 8) I'll have the entire bar. No insulin.

The carbs in the bar do battle with the exercise in my legs and it usually results in my staying between 6-9 for the back nine.

On Sunday, I got to test this system on faith. I lowered my basal insulin as usual. I was 6.9 at the start of the 10th hole so I pulled out my Clif bar and ate the entire thing. I teed up and hit my ball. My shirt which was rather sweaty from the heat twisted against my side and I felt my sensor pull out as I hit the ball. I mean entirely out. I lifted my shirt and it was hanging there limp and unusable. I did not have my glucometer with me because Rose is so consistent that I never need it on the course.

Option 1. End the game.
Option 2. Trust my system and my ability to sense when I'm high or low and carry on.

I carried on of course. I felt fine the entire way. I made sure to drink a lot of water to help avoid dehydration-induced highs and I kept checking in with myself to see how I felt. We finished and I guessed I was 8.5. I was 9.0. Perfect.

By the time we got home and I showered, it was 8pm. If I put in a new sensor I would have to wait two hours to calibrate it and I knew I was too tired to stay up that long so I went to bed without a sensor. Probably the second time I've done that since last November. I used to sleep without a backup system all the time but, now that I've gotten used to it, it's a little disconcerting to think that the only thing that will wake me up if I'm low is me.

I checked at 1am and I was 9.6. I took a modest correction bolus and woke up at 6:30am with a lovely 5.0. By 9am my new sensor was up and running and the comfort of being able to look down and see how I'm doing was back.

It's nice when the diabetes gods play nice.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Weekend

Today's blog is a little short on words.

My excuse is lack of time. But lack of time means that we just finished a wonderfully active weekend so I'm not particularly bothered by lack of time.

Friday I left work and we headed directly to the golf course for a lovely 18 holes. Followed by dinner. And then bed because it was late and we were exhausted.

Saturday morning started off with a nice run. The sun was up but it was cool with a refreshing breeze. Life doesn't get a heck of a lot better than that - especially in July.

The rest of the day involved an afternoon spent with my best friend from my University days. Three solid hours of laughter is good for the soul. Follow that up by dinner with two newer but no less wonderful friends and suddenly it was 9pm again.  

Sunday morning, we hopped on our bikes for a 90-minute ride with our cycling friends. I followed by the 40-minute workout that I wrote about last week (arms, legs and core muscles were all burning by the end of that). A quick lunch and shower and we were back on the golf course for another 18 holes. Followed by steak and red wine.

And somehow it's 9pm on Sunday night and I have nothing written for Monday.

I'm perfectly fine with that.

See you all tomorrow!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Week in Review

  • I played golf on Monday with my lady friends at our favourite 9 hole par 3 course. This time last year I was working hard to break 50 on that course. A month ago I was struggling to get under 46. On Monday I got a 39! 

  • At the end of a team meeting this week we were asked to answer the following question: name something in your personal or your work life that you are working on 'letting go'. My answer popped immediately into my head. "I am working on letting go of the instant anger and frustration I feel when someone says something entire asinine and insensitive in response to my saying 'I have diabetes'." My shoulders and neck tensed as I said this which made me admit that perhaps I wasn't as far along the 'letting go' path as I'd like to be. 

  • I did my new favourite 6x800m interval run yesterday morning. My neighbour came out just as I was heading around the block for my third 800m. "Going for a run?" she asked. "Yep" I replied. I returned 4 minutes and a few hands full of seconds later. She looked at me and said, as if disappointed, "Oh, that's all you're going to run?". "No" I replied. "I just ran 800m. I've already done it three times and I have three more times to go". Her eyes widened and she said "you're crazy!". I grinned and headed off again for number four. When I got back I asked jokingly if she wanted to join me on number 5. "I don't jog" she said wistfully. "Neither do I" I replied. I don't know if she got the running humour or not but I grinned and she grinned back so we're good. 

  • It was a little cooler than is typical for a Thursday in July so, after my intervals, breakfast and shower I pulled on my jeans, compression socks and running shoes with orthotics and headed off to work. I am almost embarrassed to tell you how good my legs felt after a few weeks of sandals. Their sigh of relief at being so spoiled was audible. 

  • I changed my pump site and put it higher on my abdomen than I usually do in search of some fresh real estate. In fact it's less on my abdomen and a bit more at the bottom of my rib cage. It felt fine going in and worked just fine but started hurting a few hours after being inserted. I've done this before and the pain was familiar. As was the stubborn response that immediately popped in my head. "Suck it up princess. It's only four days. You just changed it and you're not going to waste $20 changing it again if it's working just fine." Sigh. 

  • I made my favourite home alone dinner this week. Quinoa, steamed kale, roasted sweet potato, goat cheese, olive oil and soy sauce. It was so tasty that I was almost entirely ok with the fact that we were out of black beans. I had to buy the world's biggest sweet potato because that was all that they had at the store. I had visions of it taking 2 hours to roast. As I stood at the counter I had the brilliant idea of slicing it into 1/2 inch slices, drizzling olive oil over the slices and roasting it that way. It took 30 minutes and was delicious. That, my friends, took me at least ten years to figure out. Maybe next time I'll do beets too. I was so amazed at the potato discovery that I went completely wild and stirred a bit of sriracha sauce into the quinoa. 

  • I went for bloodwork on Tuesday in preparation for my upcoming appointment at the Diabetes Centre on August 7th. I got back to work and my cell phone rang. It was the Diabetes Centre calling to reschedule for October 7th. Fabulous. My bloodwork is going to need to be dusted off by the time I get there. 

  • I go through a swim suit every few months thanks to the wonders of chlorine. I am currently wearing a red one that I like very much. I also have a red swim cap that I got from a triathlon last summer. It has my race number on it and I like it very much as well also. I'm not usually that colour coordinated at the pool but I have been wearing red for a while now and feel very 'swimmer' when I do. On Monday, partway through my workout, my swim cap split. Right up the middle of my forehead. I sighed a sigh of sadness and pulled it off in the ten seconds we had between sprints. I used to swim all the time without a swim cap so I figured I'd finish the workout sans problème and dig out an old one for my next workout. Within seconds I realized we had a problem. My hair is all different lengths now and half of it fell out of the elastic in about five seconds and was all over my face, I discovered that water does not flow past my head as smoothly without a cap and it kept churning up my nose which may sound totally bizarre but I swear it's true. I had to lift my head higher to breathe and I was slower as a result. I cannot believe I used to hate swim caps. I also had to spend an extra ten minutes in the shower trying to comb out all the tangles from my hair. Never again she said. Never again. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

If Running Were Like Golf...

Imagine for a moment if other sports were like golf.

If running were like golf, you'd start off running fairly well but, after a little while, you would second guess how your feet should land at each stride. And then you would feel that something was not quite right so you would tweak how your arms swing but that would lead to you having to adjust the amount of bounce in your step which would lead you to wonder if you really should wear those shoes for that run when these shoes might work better if you tie them just right. And then, after a few weeks of self-tweaking, you'd have to pay a pile of money for a running lesson because you had completely lost the ability to run from one end of the driveway to the other without falling down twice and then running head first into the garage.

If cycling were like golf you would only be able to cycle at certain times of the day. And you would need at least three other people to cycle with you. If you didn't have a group of four, a nice man you may or may not know would ask if you minded very much if rider A and rider B might join you on the ride. And it wouldn't matter how fast they could or couldn't ride or how well they climbed hills, whether they had completed in Le Tour de France or whether they still had training wheels on their bikes, the etiquette of the game would dictate that you should embrace these two new cyclists as friends and agree to spend the next four hours with them.

If swimming were like golf they would keep moving the black lines in the pool so every time you went they would look slightly different. The length of the lane would change a wee bit from day to day. The ropes lining the lane might shift slightly. Swimmers would stand at the end of the pool (in groups of four) and debate the exact distance from one end to the other now that the lines had moved five inches to the right. They would eyeball the distance, they would pull out their iPhones with their fancy distance-measuring apps and then they would carefully select the correct swim cap to wear to maximize their distance/speed ratio for that length. At the other side of the pool they would turn around, eyeball or gps the distance back, remove their green swim cap and put on their red one which might be their lucky cap, it might be the one that helps elevate their legs just that fraction more or it might be the one that cuts through the water all that much better. All this would be done with the utmost seriousness and everyone would keep score on how they did and what swim caps they used.

Golf, thank heavens, is in a league of its own. The minutes you stop enjoying in and start trying too hard, it falls apart. The minute you start thinking too hard about any part of it, the whole thing disintegrates into a mess of water hazards and bunkers.

But when the sun it setting on a summer's eve and it feels like we are the only ones out on the course, it's the most beautiful place to be.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Next Issue = Sore Abs

Alright I admit it. I like magazines. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of 1000+ page novels and other reading commitments but I do enjoy spending an afternoon lazily flipping through pages of a magazine looking at the beautiful photography and reading the short and easily digestible articles. 

Have you heard of Next Issue? I love it! It's a monthly subscription service that allows you access to a wide variety of magazines on your reading device. In my case an iPad mini. The range of magazines is pretty broad and you can pick the ones you're interested in. At the moment I have 31 different magazines I get every month but I can change that any time I want. There are probably just as many I don't get and they are adding more all the time. 

Thirty-one magazines. And some of them are weeklies. Think about that for a minute. 

I love it because I can explore magazines I wouldn't ever go out and buy and would never subscribe to. But, since they're included in my subscription, why not? I read golf magazines, cooking magazines, news magazines, financial, running, fashion and health magazines. I have National Geographic and The New Yorker. I have things for the days when I want to look at pretty clothes and nail polish colours, things when I need some workout inspiration, financial encouragement or news bites. Thanks to Next Issue I am never at a loss for things to read. 

And imagine how much more fun it is to fly when you have all those magazines at your fingertips! 

So the other day I was catching up on a few issues of Prevention magazine. One of those magazines that I had never even heard of before Next Issue and would probably never buy. It's a combination of articles like how to get in touch with your pet's emotional side intermixed with how to increase the amount of iron in your diet and a smattering of tips and tricks for how to strengthen your calves. 

I was flipping through it in bed the other night and came across one of those articles that shows a few different exercises you can do at home to strengthen your core. You know the ones I'm talking about. They have tiny photographs of a lovely looking model doing all sorts of seemingly easy poses using a kitchen chair, broom and cans of soup. I usually flip by those in a hurry to get to more substantial articles. 

This time I didn't. 

I stopped and read the intro article. I studied the 14 exercises. And I thought "I can do that!" 

In fact I took it one step further and thought "I want to do that". 

See, I'm a big fan of cardio-type workouts. I swim, run and cycle regularly. But I don't have any strength training in my routine. I used to lift weights at the gym years ago but haven't in a long long time. The workout that I read was designed to strengthen the core muscles as well as arms, shoulders, butt, legs etc. There were 14 exercises that you do for one minute each and then you repeat the entire cycle. 

Thirty minutes. 

I can do that. 

So on Sunday morning I put on my sadly unused yoga top and shorts and headed to the living room. I pulled out my yoga mat, my elastic band thingie and some hand weights I used to use (8 pounds each because those were the lightest I had). 

I worked my way through the workout and was dripping by exercise 4. Shaking by number 6 and unable to completely do the last few. I collapsed on the mat for a few minutes at the end of the 14 and then convinced myself to do a second run through. It was a little easier the second time but nowhere near easy. Thirty minutes later I was a weak, humbled, soaking mess of my former self but I was grinning from ear to ear. 

"I'm so gonna hurt tomorrow" I said. 

By bedtime I was actually a little disappointed that nothing hurt yet. I thought I must have worked some muscles hard enough for them to hurt. But nothing. I went to sleep feeling oddly bothered by the fact that I felt fine. I woke up around 3am having to use the ladies room. I was lying on my stomach so I quietly began to push myself up but quickly stopped. Bloody hell - my abs are killing me. Instead of pushing myself up and clambering out of bed I gingerly rolled myself out. My abs hurt, my legs hurt and my butt hurt. 


It's been a long time since I've felt that familiar ache of a tough muscle-burning weight training session. I forgot how much I used to enjoy that. 

I'm giving myself a few days to recover and will be doing it again on Thursday. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Would You Rather...?

My little sister likes to play a game called "Would You Rather?". It works particularly well on long car rides. It involves asking "Would you rather" and then giving the person two choices that they must decide between. The choices can be related - or not. They can be serious - or not. But the choices we choose often lead to animated discussion that start with "why would you ever pick that option? That makes no sense."

Here is one example from the last game: Instead of having two arms and two legs would you rather have four arms or four legs?

We debated the merits of our choice (four arms naturally because that way your 'feet' would also have opposable thumbs and you could do all sorts of cool things) versus her husband's choice (four legs naturally because legs are much stronger than arms) for a good part of the afternoon.

I'm feeling in the mood for games. Anybody want play "Would You Rather" with me?

 1. Would you rather be high every time someone offers you your favourite dessert so that you can't have it or would you rather go low after every big buffet dinner so you have to eat even though you're full?

2. Would you rather do every half marathon race in the rain, or into a headwind?

3. Would you rather get stuck in an airport for two days because they cancelled your flight at the beginning or at the end of your holiday?

4. Would you rather be forced to play a sport you hate once a week for a year? Or not be allowed to do an activity you love for a year?

5. When you tell someone you have diabetes would you rather that they insist on telling you about the latest miracle cure that you should try or telling you about their aunt who died because she too had diabetes and just didn't take care of herself?

6. When you're golfing would you rather get an eagle (two under par) when you are playing alone and there is no one to share it with, or get a double bogie (two over par) when you're playing in front of a crowd of people?

7. Would you rather fix a flat tire by yourself or call someone to pick you up?

8. Would you rather have the perfect summer day when your'e stuck in the office or have it pour rain all day when you're off?

9. Would you rather have a reduction in the cost of your diabetes supplies or would you rather receive a financial incentive for doing things to take care of yourself (exercise, healthy eating etc)?

10. Would you rather have type 1 diabetes or would you rather be cured but, in exchange, you have  to draw a different autoimmune disease out of a hat?

11. Your turn!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Analyzing Diasend Trends

A week and a half ago I wrote about the excitement I felt when I discovered that I could upload data from Rose to a website called Diasend. 

I talked about how I could analyze the data to my heart's content - looking at daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or even 90-day trends in blood glucose data, insulin data etc etc etc. 

I posted a few graphs from my original upload. Like this one: 

This was a graph showing my blood glucose readings over a one-month period. My average (the red dots) at every hour of the day fell in between the high (10.0) and low (4.0) blood glucose ranges I aim to stay within which made me happy. I didn't drop much below 4.0 when I did go low which was good but I was not particularly pleased to see how high I my blood glucose numbers went some days. 

After seeing that graph, I made a few adjustments to my basal rates. I increased them starting at 5:00pm until about 4am. I didn't increase them by much. Just enough, I hoped, to get those highs a little less high without causing more lows as a result. 

On Saturday, I uploaded data from the past 9 days from Rose to Diasend. Here is what the last week looked like. 

If you compare with the first graph you'll see that the red dots are still in a pretty good range (not too high - not too low). The highs I was having late at night and in the early morning have decreased.  

I have gone lower than I would like around the 2am mark as well as around the 5:30pm mark. The afternoon one shouldn't have anything to do with my original basal changes but I'm keeping an eye on it. I may need to lower my afternoon basal rates a bit. 

So I made a few more tweaks and have increased my overnight basal just a bit. Not back to where it was before but probably half way. 

Let's see what this next week holds. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Double Arrows and a Lotta LOWs

I put in a new CGM sensor yesterday morning at 8am. Zombie Rose had lasted 17 days and then, without warning, died a final death on the bathroom counter. So I put a new one in and, at 10:00am, Rose was buzzing away telling me to enter two blood sugars to calibrate.

I did and went back to work at my desk.

I have heard rumours, or perhaps rumblings. that the first day on a new sensor is not particularly accurate. That it takes a day or so for the sensor to 'marinate' as it were before the numbers are a little more reliable.

I've only ever experienced wildly inaccurate readings on the first sensor day once. They were all over the place - telling me I was climbing or dropping when I wasn't. Telling me I was 5-6 numbers off from where I was. I Things did settle after a while but, as it turns out, it's actually more annoying to be told wrong blood sugar numbers than to not actually know your blood sugar numbers.

Yesterday was one of the craziest crazy rabbit blood sugar days I've had in a while.

I calibrated the new sensor at a time when my blood sugar should have been fairly steady. I think it was pretty steady at 10am but, at about 11am, the wheels fell off the cart. Between 11am and 7pm (when I'm actually writing this blog) I had double down arrows 3 times. I dropped below 3.1 twice. I skyrocketed to 13 and then dropped back down to 2.7.

I kept double checking my numbers on my glucometer and, despite all of the ups and downs, Rose was pretty accurate. Particularly on her first day.

I kept thinking it was just her but no, I really was riding some pretty wild waves.

So much so that, for the first time in living memory, I had to sit in the car for 20 minutes after doing groceries to let my blood sugar climb above 5 so I could drive the five minutes it takes to get home. My blood sugar hit 5 and I started the car. Within five minutes I had double up arrows telling me I was 7 and then 9 and then 11. Twenty minutes later I had double down arrows that didn't stop until I hit 3.0 again.

During that particular wave I had no insulin in my system other than my basal rate. It is not the first day of my period which is the typical cause of such wild fluctuations. I did not eat anything out of the ordinary. I was not stressed or getting sick. I had not done any unusual physical activity.

I've gone back to swimming regularly but does it make sense for my body to react to that increase in activity by having lows after I've been swimming 5 times?

Rose at 7:30 last night. Double arrows again. You can see in the middle where I dropped so low she kept alarming "low" without actually give me a number. That's when I sat in my car munching on glucose tabs and hoping my frozen fruit wouldn't melt before I got home. Then you can see where  I spiked up to 10 within fifteen minutes only to drop back down to 3.1. 

It's frustrating. I've eaten three healthy meals today as well as about 500 calories of pure sugar. Fabulous.

I dropped my basal rates at bit to see if that helps. Yesterday might have been just a fluke but I sure as hell don't want to do that again any time soon. I'm sure Rose doesn't either. It can't be fun to have to vibrate so much or to set off the 'you are below 3.1' siren in public places. I'm sure it embarrasses her as much as it does me.

Right Rose?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Building in a Bit of Rest

I've been back in the pool for two weeks now. I swam twice last week and I'm in shape to get three swims in this week.

I've gone from survival mode to slow and struggling to I can handle it and finally, yesterday, to I think I'm back.

I'm not back to my best ever swimming form by any means but I no longer feel mild panic when I hear the workout. I just buckle down and do it.

Yesterday was a pretty hectic workout. There was a lot to do and very little down time.

Our warmup alone was 1500m of swimming, kicking and pulling.

Once that was done, our main set was a total of 25x50m. Some were fast, some were build and some were 'easy' but all of them were on one minute.

As soon as that was done I was told I had to do 2x100m fast on 4:00.

"You want me to swim 100m twice in 4 minutes?" I asked.

"No, I want you to swim 100m as fast as you can and then take the rest of the 4 minutes to rest. Then I want you to do it again" I was told.

"So if I swim 100m in 1:45 that means I have 2:15 to rest?" I asked.


That is a ton of rest.

At the top of the clock I pushed of and I went all out. I figured I had a lot of recovery time so there was no point in saving myself. I hit the wall in 1:42 which, for me, is pretty zippy. Considering I've only been back swimming for two weeks, that was really really speedy.

I then stood at the side, sipping my drink and relaxing for over 2 minutes. It felt weird. It felt luxurious. It felt good to completely recover.

When it came time for the second 100m I had enough energy to give it my all and I did. Arms and legs were churning from one end to the other. I hit the wall in 1:37.

I had knocked five seconds off an already fast time. Simply because I had two minutes rest.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday W'oundup

I was feeling a little bullet point-ish when I sat down to compose Wednesday's blog so here is my Wednesday W'oundup for y'all.

- I swam 10x100m on Friday morning. Eight of ten of them were done in exactly 1:47.

- I swam 10x150m on Monday morning. Despite pushing hard on some and feeling slow on others, eight of ten of them were done in exactly 2:47. Consistent much?

- When Dexter was a big part of my life (I miss his cute little smile so much!), I had a special name for him when I resurrected him after 7 days. Zombie Dex was his nickname when he woke from the dead on command. Now I have Rose who is a little more dainty - although she can be a tough cookie when she needs to be. She is currently 15 days old which means she's been resurrected twice. What do I call her? Zombie Rose? Seems a little too unladylike for the wee lassie. How about a tribute to Zombies? I could call her Buffy? Or Willow?

- 18 days ago I got my nails done for Friends for Life. At my mother's suggestion I decided to try bio gel nails and then, instead of regular nail polish that chips in two days, I went with the super duper  shellac nail polish that is supposed to last for weeks. Well, 18 days later my nails look the same as they did the first day which is amazing considering they have survived hours of chlorinated water as well as the general banging around that my nails undergo every day. The only problem is that they are growing out and there is now a few millimetres of bare nail growing in. Now I need to figure out how to safety remove said bio gel nails with shellac before I end up gouging my or someone else's eyes out accidentally. These puppies are getting loooong.

- Doug took me to the golf course on Monday night to practice. Practice my chipping and my putting. I probably hit 100+ chips and putted close to that much again. I got pretty good by the end.

- Doug took me to the golf course on Tuesday night to play nine holes and practice what I practiced. I played really well on 6 of the holes. I played horribly on three of them. My score ended up the same that it always is. Consistent much?

- I just finished the latest book in the Outlander series. For anyone who knows what I'm talking about and who has also read said book, please tell me. I'm desperate for someone to hyper-analyze the book with. So many things happened. So many things to agonize about. And who is excited for the season premiere of Season One? Anyone??

- My ear buds finally bit the dust a few weeks ago. I am on super budget mode as we save for a trip this fall so I am only spending money on thing I need (like bills, groceries and toothpaste). Earbuds don't fall in that category so I've been running to the beat of my panting breaths and pounding feet. It was weird the first day. Less weird the next. Now I really enjoy the quiet.

That's all folks. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Recovery Time

It's no secret that one of my running goals is to get a wee bit faster.

It's also no big secret that I am very happy to get up and run my familiar morning routes at my familiar morning pace over and over again - not getting any faster for it.

Three weeks ago I made good on the promise I made to myself and I sacrificed my Thursday morning comfort run for my first interval training session in probably three years.

I ran 6x800m intervals around my neighbourhood. I pushed hard and ran at a pretty brisk pace. I loved it. I felt stronger. I felt FAST!

That Saturday I headed out for a 10k run and slogged my way through from start to finish. I stopped twice to walk. My pace was slower than it has been in a long time and I spent the rest of the day feeling pretty worn out.

I blamed it on the heat.

Two weeks later, I did my second Thursday morning interval workout. Another 6x800m. This time all but one of the six repeats were faster that all of the ones I did the first week. And yet they felt a wee bit easier. Not easy but easier.

I was pleased with the progress.

Two days later, on Saturday morning, I set off to run 10k. I was excited to see if I'd be able to run the distance even a minute faster than I usually do.

Imagine my surprise when, for the second Saturday in a row, I struggled. My pace started off slow and stayed there. My legs were heavy and sluggish. So much so that I ended up running 9k instead of 10k because I just didn't have it in me to push for another kilometre.

This time, it wasn't hot out.

This time I think I figured it out. I think my Thursday-morning interval runs are wonderfully exhausting workouts that push my legs to the point where they don't recover on time for a Saturday long run.

I wonder if my legs will adjust after a few more of these workouts or if I'll have to think about switching the intervals to Tuesday mornings instead.

And, since this week I plan do to my first hill workout in forever on Thursday morning, it may mean another tough Saturday slog is in my future.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Welcome to Your New Reality

Type 1 diabetes is often referred to as juvenile diabetes despite the fact that it can strike anyone at any age. This name is one of the many things that contribute to the misconceptions surrounding diabetes.

It leads many people to think that children get one kind of diabetes and it's not their fault and adults get another kind of diabetes and it is their fault.

Last week Doug and I were out golfing. One of the other golfers spotted me checking my insulin pump.

"Oh, is that a pedometer?" they asked.

"Nope" I said, "it's my insulin pump. I have diabetes."

And then I waited for the response. Typically, I would hear something like "oh, I know someone who has a pump" or "my aunt had diabetes" or "how does a pump work?" etc etc.

I don't usually get a look of horror followed by a "wow, that means your diabetes is really bad". It wasn't even a question. It was a statement of fact. My diabetes is very bad. Therefore I must wear an insulin pump.

I responded with a tight-lipped but polite "actually it doesn't mean that at all. My pancreas doesn't work and I need to take insulin in order to live. I just use a pump as a way to get insulin. I could just as easily use needles". I certainly did not expect to hear "yes, but that means that your diabetes must be really bad" in response.

Now I was frustrated. I understand that most people have no idea about diabetes and I don't expect anyone with no experience with it to be an expert. So, while the first comment was hurtful, I don't believe it was intended that way. Once I explained things, I would have hoped that they would have listened and made an attempt to understand. Or at least ask questions. The second comment went from being unintentionally hurtful to something worse. They were judging without knowing and doing it to my face without apparent care for how I might feel about being judged.

The third comment was the final straw for me. "My cousin has diabetes. She really doesn't take care of it. She is on a pump too and it's really bad."

I responded with "the worst thing about diabetes is how unfairly people are judged. You don't really have any idea what your cousin does or doesn't do to take care of herself. Everyone assumes that, if someone has diabetes, it's their fault. Often it's not. And even if someone's lifestyle did contribute to their getting diabetes, it doesn't give anyone the right to judge them."

For anyone who knows me, saying that directly to someone, particularly someone I don't know well, is as close to boiling over that I get. I was furious. I was hurt. And I was grateful for the dark sunglasses that hid the tears of frustration.

As we walked on to the next tee, me struggling to get my emotions under control and her apparently oblivious to the turmoil she created, a voice popped into my head.

It said: welcome to your new reality.

I am no longer a 28 year old newly diagnosed 'juvenile' diabetic.

I am now an almost 40-year old person with diabetes. A person who makes a point not to say "I have type 1". I say "I have diabetes" period. And I am now of an age when people begin to develop type 2. Which means that the assumption more and more is going to be that I have diabetes because I did something wrong. And I am on insulin because it's really bad.

I have a feeling I am going to be spending more and more time trying to teach people that a) the fact that I'm on a pump is awesome, not awful and b) that it's just not ok to judge people, no matter how much someone thinks they 'know' about diabetes.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Public Shaming

I woke up way before the crack of dawn on Wednesday morning. In fact, it was still so dark I put the outside light on when I left so I could walk down the steps without tripping. Night vision is not on my list of superpowers.

I went to the pool and was on deck 2 whole minutes before the clock struck 5:30am.

In our digital world I feel like saying 'the clock struck...' dates me even more than saying that I know what a rotary phone is and I know how to use it. 

I slipped into the water and sighed. It's been too long since I was a regular pool goer. I knew my body was going to suffer during the workout but I knew it would also love it and want to come back for more.

We warmed up with a typical 1000m swim, kick, pull combo and then found out what our workout was going to be.


The first four 100m were on 2:00
The next four on 1:55
The next on 1:50
And the final four on 1:45
No breaks in between other than whatever number of seconds you had before it was time to go again. No stopping.

I had a good idea how it was going to go and it wasn't going to be pretty. I pulled on my goggles and thought: "here goes nothing".

I did the first four no problem and they were all between 1:46 and 1:49 giving me just about 10 seconds rest. Enough to catch my breath and take a sip of Nuun.

By the end of the first four I was already tiring and my speed was slipping. The next four were all about 1:50 and I barely had time to turn around before we had to leave again. I decided during number 8 that there was no way I could do the next four in under 1:50 so I would just do them as fast as I could and, if the rest of the group got ahead of me, so be it.

When I hit the wall after number 8, our coach suggested that I, and another girl, do the last 8 on 2:00 rather than the original 1:50 and 1:45.

Oh thank heavens!

My body was not used to swimming so much so fast and 2:00 seemed so much more reasonable.

We rested for one minute and then took off. I did five in a row and they were all 1:50-1:55 which didn't give much time to rest but gave enough that I could do them all in 2:00. After 5 I decided to take a quick break. I rested another minute and then finished the last 3, all under 2:00.

We then cooled down for 500m bringing the total distance swum to 3100m.

I was pretty exhausted by the end but kept up better than I thought I might after so much time off. And I was all set to get back in the pool on Friday. In fact I announced it to the ladies in the locker room "I'll be back on Friday. See you then!" to which one responded. "You'd better! If you don't I'm shaming you on Facebook."

Swimming friends are the best aren't they? Super supportive and totally willing to resort to threats when needed.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Diasend and Other Things I Didn't Know

Have you ever felt out of the loop? Like everyone else knows something and you don't?

I've had a few of those moments in my life. Some were minor. Like when I was in high school and everyone was talking about Bee Oh. Or B.O.?  Or Beo? I had no idea what B.O. meant or what it was. The internet did not exist yet so Google was of no assistance. B.O. was not in the dictionary (yes of course I checked). And everyone else seemed to use it regularly in conversation so I felt ridiculous asking.

One day I figured it out. It just popped into my head and I solved it. Kinda like Sherlock would have. I was so excited that I wanted to tell people how pleased I was at solving yet another awkward teenage mystery. Except that, if I told them, they would know that I didn't know. So 20 years later I'm coming clean on my blog.

I, Céline Parent, did not know what B.O. was in high school.

And if you're reading this wondering what B.O. is, I'm not telling. Sometimes it's more fun to figure things out on your own.

Other moments of discovery are a little more major.

When I was in Orlando I asked a few questions about my Animas Vibe pump. When I was using the Dexcom, I had been told that there was a software that would allow me to upload all of my blood sugar readings but that it was not approved for use in Canada yet. So the best I could do was look at what had happened in the last 24 hours.

When Rose arrived, with the continuous glucose monitor built right in, I assumed (silly me) that I still could not upload that data. While in Orlando, I asked when that software was going to be approved because I was really interested in looking at my blood glucose trends. I mean I have a device that measures my blood glucose every five minutes. All day every day. Think of how useful it would be to  see trends over days or weeks. Or different times of the day.

Turns out that I've had the power to upload data from Rose all along. It's a completely different program when uploading from a pump than from the Dexcom. So I came home from Orlando, signed on to the website as instructed, went down to the basement and found the cable I didn't realize I had and, within a few minutes, had the last month's worth of blood glucose data on the screen.

By data I mean all of the readings from my continuous glucose monitor. And all of the insulin I've taken. And the number of carbs I eat at every meal. And every finger prick result. Screen after screen of data that I can look at and sort daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly.

I emailed the Diabetes Centre to ask if they hard heard of this miraculous new tool? To ask if they would be willing to look at those results rather than have me write down all of my numbers for two weeks.

Apparently they had already heard of it (whaaaaat?) and many of their patients have been using it for a while now.

Bloody hell.

I guess it's one of those things that everyone assumed I knew and, since I didn't know, I didn't know enough to ask.

Well now I know. And I can't stop looking at the numbers. They're fascinating.

Here is just one example of how cool this is:

This is a graph of blood glucose readings from the last month. The red dots are the average every hour of the day. The green line is the range I have set as 'acceptable'. I'm pleased to see that my average at every hour of the day falls within the range I've set which is a low of 4.0 and a high of 10.0.

I'm also pleased to see that I haven't fallen too far below my low threshold of 4.0. I'm not so happy about the fact that I have gone pretty far above my high threshold. Particularly before lunch as well as late in the evening.

This is my basal profile. That means how much insulin my pump is programmed to give me every hour of the day. This does not include the insulin I take when I eat or when I'm trying to bring down a high blood sugar.

I looked at the first graph and compared it to the second. I then changed some of my evening basal rates to try to bring down those night time highs I have been struggling with. It's only been two nights so far but I can report that my high alarm did not go off once - nor did my low. So there is the first improvement. I'll work on the pre-lunch highs next.

This is my favourite thing so far. It shows what percentage of my blood glucose readings fell within my 4.0-10.0 range in the last month. Turns out that 77% of them fall in rage. Even better, I have only been low 3% of the time in the last month. I'm not as happy with the highs but am already working to get those down. 

This is such a powerful tool and it tells so much more of the story than my 10 times a day finger pricks used to. Now I have 288 blood glucose checks per day, every day.

My goal in the next month? Get the highs down without increasing the lows. Having a CGM and this wicked software will certainly make that goal a little easier to meet.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Back to Life...Back to Reality

Friends for Life 2014 is over. I just have to get over it and move on. Good things must come to an end and all that jazz.

I have to go back to my regular life where people wear watches on their wrists rather than green bracelets.

Back to reality where I work for a living. Where I have to figure out carb counts because no one else will do it for me. Where no one leaves bowls of emergency carbs in each room just in case I need them.


Yesterday I got up early and went for a run before work. It was hot. My body felt stiff and sluggish. I set off with a goal of doing 7k. By the end of the first kilometre I was struggling so much that I had dropped that to 6k. By the end of the second kilometre I had dropped it to 5k. By the third, I was back up to 7k. Not because I felt any better. Not because my pace picked up. Because I wanted to do intervals on Thursday morning and I knew my body and my mind would do better if I pushed through  on Tuesday and did the distance. I ran 7k as originally planned and the last two actually felt like they should have.

This morning, I will have gone swimming by the time this post is up. The second swim in 5 weeks. The first one in July. It will be tough. I will be slow and sluggish. I will be tired and probably be ready for bed by lunch. But I want to go swimming on Friday and the only way that will go well is if I push through on Wednesday and remind my body what it means to be a swimmer. By next week I'll be good to go and within a few weeks I will (hopefully) have regained a semblance of the speed I used to have.

I'm back to having my regular breakfast shake and my body feels better for it. Fibre is important. Just saying'

I'm back to making my own lunches and eating serving sizes and foods that my body and my insulin routine are used to.

I'm back to eating dinner early enough to see what my blood sugar is going to do before I go to bed.

I'm back to one coffee every morning. And perhaps a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Routines are comforting and easy enough to slip into.

But it doesn't mean I don't miss the craziness of sharing breakfast with 2000 other people. Or dinners that start at 6:30pm and end at 9pm. Or having desserts with both my lunches and my dinners. Because with those things came the people I shared them with. The Animas crew I got to hang out with. The strangers I met. The kids who made me laugh with their quirky charm.

I'm back to reality but a little part of my apparently stayed in Florida and has no intention of coming home.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friends for Life 2014 - the second half

The second half of Friends for Life was even better than the first.

Faces that were strangers were becoming familiar. Shy smiles exchanged on the first day turned into broad grins by the third as the same people kept crossing paths with me. I never did learn most of their names but our eyes met and we seemed to share a feeling of kinship.

When I got there, I thought I would seek out people like me. Athletes. Adults. Pumpers. CGM'ers. Diagnosed in adulthood. Doing most of it on our own.

Instead, I felt myself drawn to families. To parents of little kids with type 1. To siblings of someone with type 1. To hopeful moms sitting alone in the session hosted by JDRF where they talked about the quest for a cure. To dads siting at the back of the room who told me about their grown daughters with Type 1 that they still worry about. To groups of kids wearing orange or green bracelets all hanging out together. To teenage girls who seemed to hide every sign of Type 1 but who wore their green bracelets in plain sight. To others who kept their pumps in plain view with the tubing hanging out for all to see.

The first day of the conference I played spot the famous people. I spotted so many people whose blogs I read. Most of them probably have no idea that I read them. Or who I am. I recognized them from their photos. I recognized their children and their partners from their photos. I felt like I knew them all already. I wanted to go up to them, say hi, tell them how much I enjoy reading their stories and then ask to take a photo with them as proof that I did indeed meet them.

I didn't.

I discovered that I didn't want to talk to people I already felt I knew. I wanted to meet the quiet people. The ones who don't write about their T1 lives. The families with five foster children who were all there because one of the kids developed T1 in January. They wanted to come to the conference and learn more about what the future would hold. The D-mom who hid her T1 from everyone, who had two children but had always wished she could have had six. The college student who was there on her own and who joined me for breakfast when I was sitting on my own. She taught me that there is more than one place to put a CGM and I taught her that she's not the only person who sweats a lot and struggles to keep adhesives attached. I wished I had talked to her on the first day rather than the last. She was pretty cool.

On the last day, I hugged the moms I met the first morning and I wished them and their families well. We may meet again next year. We may never again cross paths.

At 4am on Sunday morning I walked the quiet halls of the hotel to the lobby. I climbing into a taxi to the airport and looked out the window at the dark streets as we drove. I saw no green bracelets at the airport. I saw no green bracelets on the plane. I saw no green bracelet when I arrived in Toronto. I don't remember the moment when I saw the last green bracelet but it was some point on Saturday night as I headed back to my room to pack. If I had known it would the last - I would have stopped to thank them. I didn't and so I didn't.

I got home and wore my bracelet for the rest of the day. I just wasn't ready yet to take it off - frayed and battered as it was.

I didn't think I would want to wear my illness so clearly on my wrist. I didn't think it would be so meaningful to see others do the same. I have known for years the importance of the Diabetes Online Community. Until last week, I never knew the importance of the Diabetes 'In Person' Community.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friends for Life 2014 - the first half

Friends for Life is already half over. It's hard to believe and yet not at all surprising. Time usually flies when one is having fun and the more fun one is having, the faster it flies. 

I arrived in Orlando on Tuesday morning. The trip was as easy as it could be, made even more so by the fact that I was on the same plane as the famous Shawn Shepheard from the Diabetes Champions Network and Sugar Free Shawn. He is a wealth of knowledge, hilarious and ridiculously easy to talk to - a great combination in a travel buddy. Especially one that I only met two weeks earlier.  

Tuesday afternoon was pretty low key. Travel, check-in, unpack, explore the Orlando Marriott Resort, watch Belgium beat the US in the World Cup game and enjoy a delicious hamburger for dinner while chatting it up with the Animas gang. 

The best part of Tuesday was getting my famous green bracelet. As soon as I had it on I couldn't help staring at people as they walked by, checking out whether or not they too wore the famous green symbol that showed they were part of the tribe.  

Got my green on! 

Wednesday is when things really began. 8am was the First Timers coffee where we joined a room-full of families, couples and individuals. People with T1 are easily spotted by their green bracelets. First times are just as easy to pick out of the crowd.

One glance and you know I have Type 1, am a first timer AND come from a place called Canada. 

I met one couple who had adopted five children. One of them developed Type 1 in January. All seven of them made the trip to Friends for Life. Seven orange bracelets. One green one. Such a powerful message of the importance of having a support team.

Shawn and I spent most of the Wednesday together. We went to two sessions on Social Media led by the famous Scott Johnson and Kerri Sparling. We explored the expo, taking photos with Sebastien, showing off our Animas Vibe pumps to anyone who asked to see them and trying out cool things like Glucolift glucose tablets (which are hard to get in Canada). 

I tasted-tested all three. Cherry was by far my favourite. 

I raced Sebastien. I felt bad beating him. I mean I have pretty fresh legs and he's been running 40k a day for months now. Probably not a fair fight. 

If I could have described my 'ideal' day at a Friends for Life conference, Thursday would have been it. I got up early and headed down to the fitness centre. I ran on a treadmill for the first time in almost five years. Forty-five minutes later I was drenched in sweat, I had run almost 8k and I felt great. Well great except for the 5.5 with double down arrows the Rose started warning me about. A Larabar and a quick shower later, I felt better and headed down for breakfast. 

After breakfast, I went to a session about Autoimmunity, Celiac and Type 1 diabetes. The speaker was Alessio Fasano and he was brilliant. He was obviously a very intelligent researcher and he could have presented his information using highfaluting mumbo jumbo but he didn't. He presented the research with such wonderful simplicity and eccentric charm that he had me completely enthralled. I took five pages of notes, guffawed more than once and left, an hour later, with a brain full of knowledge about the factors that, when combined, can trigger an autoimmune response that leads to the development of Type 1 or celiac. 

I also headed across the hallway afterwards to buy his book and take part in the Celiac research study. 

Helping out the research project AND checking to see if I've developed celiac since the last time I was tested four years ago. 

After lunch, which I spent with some of the cool folks from Connecting in Motion and Riding on Insulin, I went to a session on the Bionic Pancreas presented by Edward Damiano. Ed's son was diagnosed at a very young age and Ed committed himself to creating a bionic pancreas on time for his son to go to college. His son is going to college in the fall of 2017. If you want to watch something really cool, check out this video on the research they did in 2013 at a summer camp. 

The project had stalled for the first time due to funding issues. They need to raise funds to finish building the bionic pancreas and, if they want to have it ready on time for to meet Ed's 2017 deadline, they need to raise the funds by September 1 2014. So if you want to help, please consider donating to the Bionic Challenge. 

I met a whole bunch of bloggers whose stories I read every morning while I have my breakfast. It turns out that some of them read Running on Carbs which feels a bit surreal. I went to the You Can Do This booth and added my personal motivational message to the choir. I made friends with the Dexcom folks and I got a copy of Kerri Sparling's new book. 

I spotted a whole bunch of people I had read about or that I know from their online presence that I haven't yet found the courage to walk up to. There are still two days so I may yet do so. 

I'll write about the second half of this great adventure on Monday. In the meantime, Happy Fourth of July to all of my new American friends. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Zip and the Gang are Going to Florida

Hi kids! It's me Zip. The fitbit.

Omigoodness I am SO excited. Céline, Rose and I are going to Florida today.

We are apparently going to a conference. Called Friends for Life. It's all about diabetes.

Céline is trying to convince me that there are going to be tons of people with diabetes there. She said that they have some sort of super secret way to spot the other people with diabetes. Green bracelets or some sort of thing like that. And people who aren't lucky enough to have diabetes but who are lucky enough to love someone who does get to wear orange bracelets. I asked what happens to the people who don't have diabetes or love someone who does but she didn't answer me. I'm trying not to worry about it.

She is also telling me that there will be other Roses and Lucky's and Dexters there for me to talk to.

I wonder if Rose, my Rose I mean, will be jealous if she sees other Roses. Or if she will think it's fun to compare notes. Maybe the conference is for her too. So she can learn how to be a better pump. Or learn a few tricks for being the best blood sugar monitor ever.

Céline tells me that we're going to spend a lot of time in 'sessions' and talking to people but she promises me that we're going for a run or two (outside if possible but it's apparently really hot there). She tells me that there are three (three!) pools at the hotel so she'll be going swimming too. I'll be safely tucked away in her pool bag though since I'm not that strong a swimmer. Rose is - she's a wicked swimmer and is happy to hang out in the water all day.

The weirdest thing though is that Céline keeps talking about these really big mice. They are apparently the size of humans. They wear white gloves. And they talk. By talk I mean English, not mice gibberish. Their names are Mickey and Minnie and apparently they live not too far from the hotel. Céline said that they and their friends are really cool and we might be visiting them. She's talking about a place called Downtown Disney that has shops and restaurants and other cool things and said we might spot the mice there.

Mickey is apparently on the left. Minnie is one the right. Although rumour has it that she also wears red dresses with polka dots. 

The second weirdest thing is that Céline got her nails done for the trip. She picked a bright red colour because, she said, it's the colour red of the Canadian flag AND it's the colour of Minnie's dress. And then she got white dots painted on some of her nails. She said Minnie would approve.

I think the whole thing is rather strange but who am I am to say? I mean we are also apparently getting into a big bus with wings and are flying through to air to get to Orlando. If that actually happens, I'm happy to believe in talking mice who wear red dresses with white polka dots every day.

I'll make Céline take a lot of pictures and write every day while we're there. See you soon!!

Oh, and Happy Canada Day eh?