Monthly Archives: April 2012

101 things in 1001 days

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days. (Inspired by Allison from Low Snacks and Lip Gloss)

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date: April 26th 2012    End Date: January 22nd 2015

Personal Health and Wellness
1. Establish a weekly workout routine
2. Run another 10K
3. Run in a half-marathon
4. Have A1C less than 6.5
5. Be able to do 25 perfect push ups
6. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day for one month
7. Take dance lessons
8. Become more toned
9. Go a month without fast food

Travel and Entertainment
10. Visit Florida
11. Visit London
12. Visit Jamaica, where my dad’s side of family is from
13. Take a Euro. Trip
14. Visit Trinidad
15. Visit New York City, where I was born
16. Visit Las Vegas, NV
17. Go on a Catamaran cruise
18. Attend a performance at the Frank Collymore Hall
19. Attend a festival
20. Go on a picnic
21. Attend a concert
22. Visit all of the monuments around Barbados
23. Visit the Barbados Historical museum
24. Go to a cricket match
25. Go sing karaoke
26. Attend a blogger meet-up
27. Go bungee-jumping
28. Take an island safari trip

29. Go horseback riding

30. Go on the submarine

31. Ride a jet-ski

32. Visit Harrison’s cave

Creativity and Education
33. Paint 1 painting a month
34. Take a photography class
35.Take a pastry class
36. Take a web design class
37. Learn and use new word every month for a year
38. Learn to drive
39. Learn to type
40. Learn to swim
41. Learn to sew
42. Learn a foreign language
43. Learn to play poker
44. Create a comic strip
45. Learn how to create the perfect smokey eye
46. Become better-educated about wine

Culinary Skill
47. Learn to make the “perfect” chocolate chip cookies
48. Create a signature drink
49. Learn how to make a traditional Barbadian dish
50. Bake a pie from scratch
51. Make a pizza from scratch
52. Host a dinner party
53. Learn proper knife technique
54. Plan a weekly menu for 2 consecutive weeks
55. Make at least one recipe from a cookbook at least once a month

Purchases
56. Buy a exercise game for my Wii
57. Buy and take care of a plant
58. Buy a camera

Organization and History
59. Document a “day in my life” in photographs
60.Scan old family pictures and make a photo-book
61. Frame and hang my best paintings
62. Consistently log all of my blood sugars in my log for 6 months
63. Organize my closet
64. Organize all of my photos

65. Organize my art supplies

66. Send out Christmas cards to arrive in time for Christmas
67. Organize my blog posts into categories

68. Organize my music collection

Random
69. Sing in the rain
70. Enter a contest
71. Attend church services for a month
72. Mail a letter to a pen-pal
73. Do something special for a complete stranger
74. Read one new book every month
75. Finish a crossword puzzle from each day of the week, but not necessarily from the same week
76.Get involved with an organization that is important to me
77. Plan a girls weekend for my best-friends and I
78. Stop apologizing for things I shouldn’t apologize for
79. Get my passport
80. Throw a birthday party
81. List 101 things that make me happy
82. Find something to make me laugh every day for a month
83. Host my first art show
84. Write a business proposal
85. Get in the habit of writing thank you cards for even the most mundane things (just to blow people’s minds lol)
86. Change jobs
87. Write a living will and have it notarized
88. Host my blog
89. Be more outgoing
90. Read the entire Bible
91. Take a train somewhere
92. Find a mentor
93. Become a mentor to someone
94. Write consistently for 6 months
95. Volunteer for something
96. Enter a pageant
97. Start modeling (again)
98. Meet another d-blogger
99. Build my self-confidence
100. Play a sport
101. Inspire at least one other person to start a 101 things list

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A Funny Thing Called Hope

My Endo - Dr. G

It’s amazing how the moment that I was so terrified of, became a moment of joy and hope. I basically spent the last couple of days worrying about going to the Endocrinologist on Tuesday. Don’t get me wrong, I like him a lot when it comes to anything BUT my diabetes management. Yesterday, I got a call from his office that ended with my appointment being rescheduled for today…Three days early! WHAT!!!!

So there I was sitting nervously in the doctor’s office, waiting for him to say those awful, dreaded words:”Let’s take a look at your numbers” My horrible numbers that were all over the place. I began to ask myself, “Will he see how hard I am trying and the fact that I wrote everything down? What if he only focuses on the negatives… Will I lose my chance of ever getting the pump?”

With sweaty palms and a racing heartbeat, I watched as he went through my log and began writing notes on a piece of paper. He then turned and looked at me, showed me the numbers I had written and asked, “What do you see? ” Umm… “I see (horrible numbers… the lost chance of you prescribing a pump… my life flashing before my eyes…) high numbers?” I answered and held my breath. He explained that I was getting rebound hypers (high readings) from all of my hypos (the low ones) and that if I got rid of the hypos, the hypers should go as well.

There was no ‘What are you doing wrong?’ No blame or hurt. Instead he said that  he was impressed… He told my mom that I was maturing. He believes in me. I felt like I had won the lottery! Amazingly, although I was already self-motivated from before this visit to finally gain control of my diabetes. Now, I feel on fire and I know I can do it! I got the validation I needed that all the hard work I have done so far is actually showing. I guess the funny thing about hope is that you can find it where you least expect it.
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April 14, 2012 · 11:54 pm

My Diabetes Really Hates Going To The Doctor

Sometimes my blood sugar does not seem to want to co-operate with me. I have an appointment with the Endo in less than a week (well actually in six days but who’s counting) and I was hoping to be able to proudly show my log book with perfect glucose numbers in it and he would then say, “Well Steph, I think you’re ready for the pump!”

Apparently, Big D missed the game plan! My goal was to have my

SEELOW, BRANDENBURG - AUGUST 08:  Country doct...

bloodsugars under 7 mmol/L. Which was going pretty well until this week. Now however, my meter would blatantly show you 12s, 15s and even 20s. Seriously? What happened to all of my pretty 5.2s and 6.6s?

Hmm… Maybe I am stressing a bit (which would explain the high readings). Hmm… I know… I’ll call in sick. – Eh, Doc I can’t make it on Tuesday… I’m under stress caused by having to come in for a visit. – I don’t know about you but I don’t think that will work -_-

My diabetes must really hate going to the doctor lol.

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Quotation Inspiration

Well, I’m still playing catch up but oddly enough the task of catching up has me unusually inspired. Basically, that’s what’s day two of HAWMC #2 is all about: Inspiration.

Quotation Inspiration. Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and free write about it for 15 minutes.

My favorite quote is actually a poem that I heard in the movie Coach Carter, which goes like this:

Coach Carter

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.We were all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,Our presence automatically liberates others.”

How can something like this not inspire you? I used to think that my deepest fear was failing but then I realized that I knew how to fail (and I have failed so many times in the past). It was winning that was new and different. Winning meant change. When it came to my diabetes, I avoided any kind of attention and didn’t manage myself as much as I could to fit in. However, it was the day I took control and decided to stand out that I finally realized that my story was much bigger than just me. It could be an inspiration for many others.

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Time Capsule

I know that I am a bit late to be starting the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge or HAWMC  but I was searching for some inspiration and found it. Technically, I should be on day 11 But I decided to start at the beginning with day 1.

Day One: Health Time Capsule: Pretend you’re making a time capsule of you and your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112. What’s in it? What would people think of it when they found it?

In my time capsule, the first thing that I would probably add would be the stuff I could never live without such as the three amigos – my glucose meter, test strips and poker (aka lancet pen), insulin and my pens. I would probably include pictures of my first diabetes camp and of my friends and family, they all give me the inspiration I need to go on each day. At camp I learned that I was not alone and my family and friends offered me the support I needed during the rest of the year. Next, I would add my favorite diabetes books, the first one is a guide to being a teenager with diabetes, the second one is a calorie/carb-counting book and the last would be a cookbook with blood sugar friendly recipes. The final touches would probably be measuring cups, a medic-alert ID, a packet of Splenda and a jar of peanut butter (the first comfort food that I was allowed to eat after my diagnosis but it’s healthy).

My capsule would be complete. Filled with the tools I use for managing my diabetes. As far as what would they think about it, I can only imagine but I guess it depends on how far advanced diabetes care and technology has gotten by then. I do know this much, the first meter that I ever had now seems like a dinosaur and that was  from only 8 years ago.

What would you put into your time-capsule?

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Evolution

Ginger shares a moment with my granddaughter P...

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s post – The Love in Evolve. I want to offer an answer to the question: How does one get over the hurdle of fearing change and onto evolving?

Well your evolution depends on you. You have to consciously accept the responsibility for your personal growth and development. You have to decide that enough is enough and step out and make the change. In a Les Brown video, he talked about a dog on the porch, crying because it was sitting on a nail. The obvious solution to the problem would be for the dog to get off the nail. When Les asked the dog’s owner, “Why doesn’t the dog get up?” the owner simply replied that the nail wasn’t hurting the dog enough.

Are you hurting enough? Or you do constantly complain about something that you can change while doing nothing about it? If you’re that dog on the porch, I want you to love yourself. Get to know everything about yourself; your good qualities so that you can strengthen them and your bad so that you can change them. The next step includes building your character, improving your attitude, gaining the proper information, surrounding yourself with quality people and ensuring that you create a positive outlook on life and evolve to be to person you want to be.

To some this may seem like a daunting task and I have to admit that it is not something that you can do in a day, a month or a year. It’s a forever endeavor but YOU ARE WORTH IT!

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The Love in Evolve

Yesterday, I went to a farmers’ market with my mom where the unexpected happened – amidst the vegetables, homemade bread, organic sausages and crafts, I found the inspiration for this post written on a t-shirt of all places. It had the word ‘evolve’ written on it with a backwards ‘L’ highlighting the word Love. There’s literally love in evolve. Wow… now that’s some deep stuff. So what exactly does it mean to evolve?

Evolution basically is about the gradual process of developing a certain characteristic, usually to make you better or stronger. It is about growth and the journey of growing. However, evolving is never easy because it involves change. Most people have some degree of fear when it comes to change and hold on to their traditions, sometimes even to their detriment.

So how does one get over the hurdle of fearing change and onto evolving?

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Testing

SEELOW, BRANDENBURG - AUGUST 08:  Country doct...

Testing. Why do I hate you so? I have to admit that I absolutely despise checking my blood sugar. I have been trying to figure out the reason but I am still at a lost. You see, I don’t mind the blood, the poker doesn’t hurt that much (most of the time not at all), it only takes 5 secs to read and yet I feel pure, unadulterated dread when that time comes. Maybe it is the fear of knowing that it is not where it should be at that point in time. I tend to feel like my number. If my meter says I am high, I start to feel that way even though two seconds before I was feeling fine and it was probably high then as well. Maybe it is the routine of it all – taking it out, testing, waiting and maybe freaking out, fast forward two hours later and repeat.

What ever the reason I have decided to take the plunge! To take a trip on the wild side. I am going to test before and after each meal, before I go to bed and at 2am. I printed a log sheet from Accu-Chek  called a 360 degree view tool that allows me to chart my readings into a graph. My first testing goal is to stick with this at least until the 17th. That is when I will have to see my Endocrinologist. I hope he will see all the hard work I’ve been doing and really consider me as a candidate for the insulin pump. Even if he doesn’t, I will have a better idea for how my sugars are trending.

That is the real reason to test. You want to be able to see how well you are staying in your target zone. Testing can show you the effects of food, exercise, medications, illness or stress have on your blood sugar and alert you of a high or low. It puts you in control. Well, I’m off for now to do a bedtime blood sugar test .

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Mom, This One’s For You

Yesterday, I was focused on heartbreak but today I would like to thank the person who has been there for me though thick and thin – my mom.

Thank you for taking me to the doctor, after school that day. Thank you for asking those hard questions when I was too stunned to know what I wanted to say. You were my rock when we went to the hospital and the doctors were finding great difficulty putting  IVs into my tiny arms. With each ‘ouch’ you soothe me and said that everything would be okay.

Thank you for taking time off to take me to camp. It was there I found so many others who were just like me and you found friends too, other parents just like you. Diabetes became your mission, your cause and you did all you could to make a good camp better and help spread awareness. You wanted others to know that it could  happen to them.

Thank you for changing your life to make my transition so much easier like replacing all the sugar in the house with Splenda. You knew how left out I felt not being able to eat like other kids and you found many substitutes such as sugar-free cookies and diabetic ice-cream.

Thank you for dealing with my nasty mood-swings from either high or low blood sugars when I would scream angry words like ‘I hate you!’ but you knew that they weren’t true. At times I knew you would get frustrated, though you tried to understand but being a parent of a young diabetic is more than most can stand.

Thanks for crying with me when I was frustrated, or sad. Yes, there were times I needed you to be my rock but you were also my teddy bear. I knew I could confide in you. There will times I when I felt like giving up and with a tear-stained face you dried my tears, held me close and told me that you wouldn’t let me because you knew I was stronger than that.

You always saw the person that I could be and diabetes didn’t change the potential that you could see. Thanks for reassuring me that everything would be okay. Through the good times that we had as well as the bad, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, you have stayed through it all and I just wanted to thank you.

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Why I’m Crying

Heartbreak is a hard thing for anyone to deal with but when you are diabetic it can seem ten times worse. However, you can’t stop everything you are doing, eat a ton and sulk like you see in the movies. Your diabetes needs to be managed and you have to do it unless you want to add DKA to your pity party. Stress, in any shape or form, tends to raise my blood sugar levels higher than the Empire State building (or Central Bank for all my Bajans) and thats no joke, especially when you are trying to lower your a1c.

So today when the guy that I wasn’t sure I still liked, reminded me he was leaving and moving over 4000 miles away – I felt sad. I was heartbroken. Why is it that it is only when something is gone that you realize how much you really do miss it. It is like growing up before my diagnosis, I never liked anything sweet but after I would gaze longingly at my friends sno-cones and the snack table at the end of each school year filled with sodas, cakes and ice-cream. When I could have them before, they were never that appealing and the same is true with this guy… kind of.

So here I am with a tear-stained face wondering why am I crying. Is it because he is leaving…. (Seems like an awful lot of tears over a guy that I’m not sure I still like that much if you asked me)  or is it because my blood sugar is a bit high? (I tend to get overemotional with high blood sugars, either really angry or really sad.) Whatever the reason for my tears, I now have to focus on bringing down this high reading. An extra shot of insulin, a bottle of water and a comedy (laughter is always the best medicine at times like this). Hopefully, today won’t undo my whole week.

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April 4, 2012 · 4:08 pm