Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Review: The Freedom Broker


I was asked to read The Freedom Broker and do a review because the protagonist of the story has Type 1 diabetes. I was a little hesitant at first because action adventure is not my favorite genre to read. However, K.J. Howe did a great job of drawing you in within the first few chapters. I will forewarn you that there will be a few minor spoilers in this post, but don't worry, they won't give too much away.

The Freedom Broker begins slowly giving you as many details as it can about our protagonist (Thea Paris) and our other main characters.  We enter the story with Thea on a rescue mission and a quick glance at the fact that she is diabetic. She uses a Dexcom (a continuous glucose monitor) to make sure her blood sugars won't be affecting her mission. She checks her numbers privately letting the readers know that she keeps her condition under wraps for fear of people looking at it as a weakness, which as a diabetic I am sure we can all relate to at one point or another.

As the story continues Howe begins to introduce more of our main characters including her brother Nikos our antagonist, Rif a family friend, her father Christos, and a few others. You immediately are drawn in as you learn that Thea's father (Christos Paris) has been kidnapped with little to no clues about who is behind it and why. As she begins to investigate who the kidnappers might be the plot begins to thicken. We learn her brother was kidnapped 20 years earlier leaving his relationship with his father strained and that this kidnapping thwarted his own plans of kidnapping and killing his father. There is a large oil deal happening in Kanzi where the opposing company doesn't seem to be playing by the rules. Her father's right hand man Peter Kennedy is hiding something, but we don't learn what that is until later in the story. And last but not least, an US Federal Agent (Gabrielle Farrah) brings in the help of the Greece Police Chief (Maximus Heros) who has a tragic past. It is a little confusing as you are learning who each of the characters are and how they are intertwined with the story, but as the story begins to climax you learn how everyone is somehow connected to each other and who is responsible for Christos Paris kidnapping.

While Thea is on her search for her father she gets into an alley fight, a plane crash, an explosion, and finally a rebel takeover. She manages all of these things while keeping her blood sugars in line. That might be the only part of the story I had a hard time with. Thea's blood sugars are immaculate throughout the story with a low here and there. As a diabetic I know that it's rare to have a perfect day especially if I am in a stressful situation. Thea constantly uses her Dexcom to check her numbers, but never has to calibrate it with an actual finger stick and never worries about it making too much noise. As I was reading I realized I wasn't sure if she used syringes, an insulin pen, or an insulin pump. It finally is revealed deep in the story that she used syringes which again was amazing for Thea to have as tight of control as she did with her blood sugars. Thea as a diabetic didn't quite make sense with the story it felt more like a sidebar, you never really felt like it was the thing that made her, well her. She had so many great things as a character, that seemed to come from more of her life experiences, begin raised in a wealthy household, losing her mother at a young age, being in the room with her brother as he was being kidnapped and not being able to stop it. Nothing screamed I am who I am because I have Type 1 diabetes. Which honestly could be something a reader with Type 1 may appreciate, but for me Type 1 was such a big deal in my life that I believe I am who I am today because of it.

I honestly loved the book and recommended it to my hubs the minute I finished the last page. It felt like I was watching Mission Impossible or the Bourne Identity. The twists and turns and trail of bodies kept you on your toes and made it harder for you to figure out who the actual kidnapper was going to be. The Freedom Broker is for anyone, even someone like me who prefers science fiction.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sleep


Sleep is something that I love. It's vital to so many different things like, blood sugars, weight management, verbal filters, you name it and I am sure there is an article out there talking about how sleep affects whatever that is. Since becoming a mom (even during pregnancy) sleep has become a thing of the past. No matter how much sleep I am getting I feel like I am running on empty by the end of every day. What has been the most interesting about this, is how my blood sugars have been affected.

Middle of the Night Lows
For some off reason I will wake up in the middle of the night and be wide awake for no apparent reason. Then, one night I decided "hey, since I am up might as well check my numbers".  I know this should always be the first thing to pop into my mind basically anytime, but it's just never been the go to for me. It always seems to take me a few times for something happening to think maybe it's diabetes related. I grabbed my meter and checked my numbers, and the number 43 flashes on the screen. I have gone low so many times since becoming a mother that my body hasn't been signaling to me that I am low other than waking me up and getting me interested in whatever Mythbusters are doing in the middle of the night. I guess this one is more how diabetes is affecting my sleep.

Insane Highs
If only this was as cool as it sounded. Unfortunately, with being so tired my diabetes care has completely gone out the window. Not by choice by any means, It's just some days I think I bolused for what I ate for lunch and then when I see that 400 or 500 on the screen realized I didn't. Or that somedays I try so hard to eat anything I can grab quickly that I just start to shove things in my mouth to get some form of nutrition in my body and then later see the repercussions. Now, seeing the word HI on my meter has become a normal thing sadly.

Weight Management
Now this and Insane Highs can go hand in hand. For some reason on the days that I am exhausted all health foods go out the window. I will look in my refrigerator and see an apple or everything to make a quesadilla, of course the quesadilla wins hands down every time. I started to track everything I eat and realized that on days that I am tired I eat way more calories and way more crap food. Days that I have the mental capacity to think about the things I am eating tend to go over better and my scale isn't crying under the weight of me.

Verbal Filters
What do I mean by verbal filters? Well, most people tend to have a filter before they speak, I sometimes have a great filter and other times things slip out. Overall I think I have decent control of it, but catch me on a day when my kid won't nap and I am running on fumes and you will definitely understand what I mean by this. My hubs notices that I am not very nice because I just say it exactly how I want to say it. I find myself yelling at the cars around me to get the F*** out of my way. Or I just begin to talk to myself about nonsense in the grocery store and hope people think I am talking to little man. I guess this should be named Crazy Lady instead of Verbal Filters, but without sleep, I just don't care to take the time to think before I speak or don't realize that I have just said something until a minute or two after the words have left my mouth. And then all I can think about is Eff, I am supposed to be an example.

I love to sleep. I need to sleep because it affects so much of my daily life, how I mother, how nice I am to the hubs, how much I care about others around me, oh, and the most important reason I wrote this post my blood sugars. So if you are diabetic and lacking in sleep pay attention to what that is doing to your diabetes management. You might find it's the key to a current trend in your blood sugars.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I'm Back...Hopefully


I was so excited to share my adventures of motherhood with you when I first brought home my little man, however, the real world set in and I realized getting on my computer to check my mail, let alone to write a post was a difficult task. I am seven months into motherhood and finally getting the hang of it, well most days that is.

Before I became a mom I thought handling my diabetes was hard, then I got pregnant and realized it gets harder to manage, and then I had my baby and learned that the idea of managing a newborn and my diabetes was a far stretch. Thankfully my endo has been amazing when it comes to working with me. She has given me grace where I need it and has helped me to focus on the good things I am doing with my diabetes management, like checking my numbers all the time, instead of focusing on the fact that I forgot to give myself insulin at every meal a few days before.

My head is all over the place and focusing has never been harder. I have to keep reminding myself to focus on all things diabetes because if I don't take care of myself, I could miss out on my little man and that has been the biggest encourager when trying to manage my diabetes accordingly. I am doing ok, my A1c is back in the 7% zone, which kind of bums me out considering I was in the 5% zone during pregnancy. But again, I am trying and that is all the matters.

I am excited to be back on my blog and sharing stories with you about living with Type 1 and all that comes with it. Trust me there are some stories to share.