Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The timing was perfect

Even though detailing life with diabetes through a blog can seem to the outside world as though I'm writing my very own Dear Deidre column, it's really about finding and connecting with others living with this sometimes bizarre way of life. Hard done by, I am not. 

The occasions when I do feel the 'woe is me' attitude creeping in are rare; usually somewhere in the midst of deepest burnt-out from managing a life-long chronic condition, when no amount of effort seems to land me on the right side of 'optimal' blood sugar range, and no amount of dedication seems to pay off. But a swift and forgiveable wallow in self-pity, subsequent kick up the rear-end and reminder that too long in full wallow mode is what will most likely lead to complications beyond emotional ones, and I'm back on track. 

The Wholemeal Cafe in Takaka, Golden Bay was our pit-stop on today's adventure down under, and the array of glorious-smelling cakes, tasty-looking treats and scrumptious-seeming drinks (think organic Wilky Wonka's warehouse) were beckoning. It was a delight to behold.

I'd already enjoyed three coffees that morning and having eaten lunch and being in a humid part of New Zealand's North Island, all I could dream of at that moment was a cool glass of something delicious.

I scoured the backs of bottles and grilled the server for carb counts, hoping to find just one I could sip on to quench my thirst. 

53g per serving.
35g per serving. 
28g per serving. 
47g per serving. 


For one reason or another, mainly a slip of 1.5% in my last HbA1c, I've been trying to claw back something which looks like control. Although people with diabetes can eat anything they want (ask me if I'm allowed that; I dare you), there are times when I wholly feel that I shouldn't if I really want to see the results I look for. Insulin works in covering most foods well, but juices it does not. And I didn't want a post-drink spike ruining my day and rendering me useless through fatigue as my body tries to rid itself of the unecessary sugar floating around my blood stream. 

After five minutes of trying to find some kind of middle-ground, I sat at the table with my chilled tap-water, feeling very sorry for myself that guava-orange, apple-mango and black currant delight were not on the menu for me tonight. 

Begrudgingly I took out my CGM to check where I was at. 


As if by magic my diabetes decided to play ball, and my current blood sugar of 3.2mmol and falling meant any one of the juices on offer were mine for the taking, and the gentle fall meant I didn't need to gulp it down in a confused and sweaty mess. I could take my time with this.

My sparkling blood orange delight went down just perfectly. And in a moment unlike that of the Shawshank Redemption workers in the 'rooftop at sunset' scene, I had a little happy grin on my face treating this hypo. 

Anna 1, Diabetes 0. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Just one more...

"Just one more look!"

I insist, as we round the corner of yet another beautiful backdrop, stopping at scenic viewpoints to soak up every last inch of this beautiful isle.

"Just one more go!"

I beg, as we zip-lining,swim, kayak, luge and hot-pool our way through our days. 

"Just one more shot!"

I plead, as the camera gets put away after a hard day's work, capturing the whirlwind adventure we find ourselves in.

"Just one more day!" 

It feels like that's all I've been saying since arriving on the shores of New Zealand to fulfill my dream of traveling to the other side of the world.  Never quite happy with the days we had.

Just.  One.  More.  Day.

All too often I forget - shamefully so - that there are corners of the world where children don't wish to travel.  They care not for kayaking or zip-lining.  Fine cuisine and locally made wine are things of an alien world.  What they want - what they need - is insulin.  Without insulin, they die.  Without enough insulin, they can expect to live in suffering.

Two years ago, a group of bloggers in America decided to set out to raise money on Valentine's Day, for children who may not see another, and the outcome was incredible

Just $5 can buy enough insulin to keep a child alive for a month, through the International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child programme, which provides life-saving insulin to the far corners of the developing world.

What if

What if, instead of giving 12 red roses on Valentine's Day this year, you gave 11 plus the gift of having given a child 'life' for a month.  

What if, instead of giving 12 red roses, which may wilt and die in less days than there are flowers in your posy, you gave a child 'life' for a year, and your lover's vase stood empty?

What if every person in the world who could afford it, gave a child life for a month?

The International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child scheme provides insulin to children in parts of the developing world where children don't have the luxury of ticking a box on a prescription form and kicking up a fuss if it is not delivered in 48 hours. 

By donating just $5 to Life for a Child, the cost of just one rose, you could save a life.  

Just one more day needn't be a dream.