Saturday, August 25, 2012

You CAN dance en pointe

I've had several dancers emailing me telling me that as diabetics they were told that they weren't allowed to dance en pointe.  What do I have to say to that?  They were misinformed!  Of course you can dance en pointe.  There are many dancers including myself that have danced en pointe and still have healthy feet.  Zippora Karz for one of them!  So there you go, living proof!

The one disclaimer I have is that if your A1C is out of control it probably is best to wait until it's a bit lower before you pull those pointe shoes on.  The reason I say this is that pointe work beats up your feet...a lot.   You want to give your skin the best fighting chance to heal from all the abuse.  So the better your A1C, the better your feet will feel and the better your pointe work will be!  

Typical ballerina feet, take good care of them!
So eat healthy, keep active, watch your A1C, keep a close eye on your feet and tie those ribbons!

-Exit Stage Left

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Feeling a little Famous

Hey everyone!

Since the fall in now underway I can finally share my dance company's website.  It has performance information for all our upcoming shows, plus lots of pretty pictures of modern dance at its finest.
It's just been updated and I am now finally on it!  Yay!
...just feeling a little famous at the moment...

Sanspointe Dance Company

-Exit stage left

PS: I am still working on my Dexcom video, I haven't forgotten :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Diabetes Gadgets Videos: Part 1

Hey everyone!

I've been getting lots of questions related to pumping and dancing (and sparkles) and I think it would be great to share them with the world!  

So as promised, I present to you Part 1 of my 2 part video series about diabetes gadgets.  Part one is about pumping and part 2 will be an explanation on how to insert a dexcom sensor in your arm, by yourself with no headaches!  Stay tuned!

Also, I talk about Groovy Patches in my video.  Check them out!

-Exit Stage Left

Friday, August 3, 2012

Photos of one fantastic duet

Hey fabulous people!
I know, I know, it's been a month and I haven't posted anything.  I bit of a little more than I could chew with my chemistry and math summer courses along with teaching another anatomy class.  I made it through and collected two more A's to add to my pre-med basket but I certainly have missed posting my blog.

I continued to work on rehearsal for Sanspointe's next show and I want to share some new photos with you!  These are from a brand new duet between me and Michelle.  It is full of lifts, and rolls and I was so sore afterward.  I love how the two tallest dancers were the ones lifting each other!  My pump stuck with me through it all though.

Also stay tuned a two part video special I'll be filming while on my short vacation to my home country of Canada.  I just flew into Calgary Alberta this afternoon and am having a lovely time relaxing with my friends.  I'll be answering all the lovely questions I've been getting about my pump as well as how to insert a dexcom sensor on your arm without any help!  Yes, it's possible and easy!

Get excited!

Michelle and I are the same size!  I was sore from all those lifts!

I enjoyed this backwards jump

Michelle and I in my favorite pose.  My knee hurt for days!

-Exit Stage Left

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My New Endo Experience

So this week I had my 6 month check up at my endocrinologist.  I wasn't clicking with my old endo so after I met Dr. V at a JDRF function I knew I had to switch.  He was nice enough to give an appointment pretty quickly and from our conversations he seemed like a nice, knowledgable doctor.  I decided to try him out and if he didn't work for me then I would keep searching for physician perfection.

But I was still nervous.

After shadowing so many doctors it felt weird to be a patient again but I knew my diabetes needed a tune up.  I parked my jeep in the massive parking deck and wandered around until I found an elevated walkway leading to the Kirklin Clinic.  I was lead into what looked like an airport.  I walked by a patient library, a huge pharmacy even a Starbucks.  Each level housed different specialties.  I must have looked lost and scared because another patient took me under her wing and showed me the way around.  

You have to remember that I'm from Canada and when you say the word "Clinic" I think of a small, quaint office with 10 chairs, not a high class hospital with a Starbucks!  Anyways, I was checked in by a super nice receptionist (not many are nice!) and after spending 20 minutes trying, and not succeeding to study, I was taken back by a very nice nurse.  I tried my best to not panic but I always do and my blood pressure shot through the roof.  I told the nurse that I check my blood pressure constantly at the pharmacy and even took photos to prove it.  She just laughed and said that I had "White Coat" syndrome.  Yes, yes I do!  Like a lightening fast ninja she took my blood sugar (104) and A1C.  With a cotton ball in hand I was ready to go.

So far so good I quickly got shuttled back to a nice little examination room.  The nurse told me to sit on the table and wait for Dr. V.  After seeing so many patients choose to sit in the chairs and not on the table I decided that I too, was going to sit in the chairs.  I was nervous already, I didn't want to be stuck up on a pedestal too.  I sat down, pulled out 3 months of records that I had printed off the night before and bounced my leg to pass the time.  

Dr. V came in quickly and immediately I calmed right down.  I shared my story of diabetes up until now and he listened carefully and let me talk.  I just LOVE it when doctors let you talk!  He agreed that the Omnipod wasn't a good fit for me (something my other doctor and I fought about) and even told me that other elite athletes had the same issues as I did.  Hah!  I'm not crazy!  My A1C was ridiculously low.  So low in fact that I seriously suspect that the little A1C machine was inaccurate.  It was 4.2.  How am I still alive you ask?  I have no idea.  Dr. V looked at the huge amount of data I printed out and told me that he was fine with a 4.2 because I don't actually go low all that often, but told me a number like this probably won't ever happen again.  I'm ok with that.  Normally I sit at 5.4 or so.  

So we discussed tweaking my basal rates, poked my scarred up dancer feet, and checked my back fat for any pump bumps.  All good to go and super healthy.  He was worried about my thyroid since I hold onto a lot of water weight and have super irregular periods (too much info?  Whatever!)  Also he wanted to test me for celiac and a whole other host of hormone, autoimmune and whatever he could think of problems.  I'm going in on Friday to donate half my body in blood and hopefully everything is peachy keen and I'm good to go for another 6 months.    

So, I do believe I have reached physician perfection.  Luckily Dr. V is young so I'm guaranteed to have a great doctor for a while.  He listens, doesn't yack about other patients or the weather and wants to negotiate with me on treatment options.  He treats me like an equal.  Plus it's also cool to know that he's at the same JDRF research meetings as I am so we can discuss fun cutting edge stuff.  Like the Varapmill study that I posted about a few weeks ago.  

Well it's the 4th of July and I have sufficiently cooled down after my run.  It's time to hit the pool!

-Exit Stage Left

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rehearsal Photos

Rehearsal was great this week!  We spent hours and hours working on the introduction to our next big show.  It's a slow, mesmerizing piece that I'm really enjoying.  One of my fellow dancers, Shellie, took some photos of me in my favorite movement of the day!  

Also, tomorrow I have my checkup with my new endocrinologist.  He's a great guy and I've met him a few times with JDRF but I'm still nervous!  Gah!

-Exit Stage Left

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's my Birthday and I'll eat if I want to

On Monday I turned the big 25!  I can't believe another year has passed.  This was my second birthday with diabetes.  Last year I had some real challenges dealing with all the junk food and alcohol but this year I think I was able to enjoy myself and be safe too.  

The gang in all their glory
I drove down to Fairhope Alabama to meet up with my family and some close family friends from Oregon.  From there we all spent time at the beach, which was lovely.  
I decided that for a full 24 hours calories didn't matter but carbs still did.  I had Dreamcakes Bakery here in Birmingham make me a cake and they were kind enough to give me the exact recipe for the cake, frosting and filling.  With my trusty friend Calorie Count, I calculated how many carbs were in a standard, big ol' slice.  My cake had 99 grams of carbs!  At least I knew what I was up against!

I also calculated the carbs in my cinnamon rolls beforehand and put the info into my pump's meter so 
I got plush organs as my present!
with the press of a button I could bolus my way back to happy blood sugars.  

Happy 2nd Bday diabetes
Of course I drank too.  I very rarely drink these days but I had to go all out on my special day.  I bought margaritas in freezable bags so that way they had the nutritional values printed on the back.  It's so hard to know exactly what is in alcoholic drinks so anything with a label is good in my books.  
Eating the famous 99 carb count cake!
I drank three of them and lounged on the beach, hoping that Tropical Storm Debbie wouldn't be a downer.  (She wasn't :))  I leaned over to my dad and said, "gee I drank 3 margaritas and I don't feel anything"  Being the good father he was, he made me a long island iced tea.  That did it for sure and I didn't feel so hot after that.  

In the evening we got all dolled up and I drank a bunch of diet powerade to offset the dehydration I had experienced on the beach.  The gang headed out to The Hangout in Gulf Shores and were treated like kings and queens for the evening.  I ate fried pickles, shrimp and rounded it off with my 99 carb count cake.  They were even kind enough to turn on the bubble machine just for us.  I ran straight into the pile of bubbles and thanked the lord that my pump was waterproof.  

I may be 25 but I can still play in the bubbles!
Bolus after bolus, test after test I was able to keep my blood sugar under 200...barely.  I felt hungover and sick for two days afterward but you know what, it was worth it.  The moral of the story is that even if we have to deal with diabetes day in day out we can always have some fun and keep ourselves healthy.  I wouldn't recommend eating like that every day though!
A gorgeous view of the beach

Now it's back to my low carb meals!  This diabetic dancer needs to stay in shape for another 3 hour rehearsal tomorrow.  
This is a video of us playing in the bubbles!  I'm in pink!

-Exit Stage Left