Anyhow, I asked Lis atLa Mia Cucina to interview me a while ago after seeing an interview meme on her blog, I'm only just getting around to answering it now due to the exam study. Thanks for the questions Lis, I had a lot of fun answering them. If anyone would like me to interview them, please follow the instructions at the end of this post. Here are Lisa's questions to me:
1- Getting diagnosed with Type 1 at such an advanced age (not that your old, not in the least! hehe I just always thought Type 1's were diagnosed as children?) had to have been a huge shock. I am so proud of you that you don't let it get to you now and that you've learned how to manage it.. but I can't help but wonder - what ran through your mind when you first found out?
You're not the only one to think that Type 1's are diagnosed as children, it seems to be a common misconception. I mean, the disease itself used to be referred to as Juvenile Diabetes (and still is to some extent), so people tend to think it is a childhood disease. The reality is anyone at any age can be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, it's just that the majority of cases start in childhood or adolesence.
The first thing that went through my mind was - "Are you sure?", I'd gone to the GP at my university in a break between lectures and he basically told me I had to go straight to the hospital. I didn't quite believe the doctor as about 3 months before another set of doctors were almost convinced that I had epilepsy (without going into too much detail I had to have MANY tests, including a sleep deprived EEG - turns out I only have sleep paralysis... but that is a whole other story!). I think I actually asked him just how sure he was that I had it and when he came back with "there is absolutely no doubt, there are ketones and glucose in your urine - You have diabetes" it all became quite surreal. I rang mum and she had the same initial reaction as me, the doctors must be jumping to conclusions again, but unfortunately they weren't.
Funnily, the night before I went to see the doctor I was talking to one of my flatmates about how I was REALLY thirsty and just couldn't seem to quench it. She told me about one of her friends who had the same problem and subsequently found out that she was diabetic. When Sarah told me this I laughed it off saying, "If I get diagnosed as diabetic, I think I would have to kill myself". Harsh, I know. But that was my mindset pre-diagnosis, I had the 'diabetic diet' in my mind and with my love of food and cooking thought that there could be nothing worse in the world to happen to me than be diagnosed as diabetic. Obviously, when I got the diagnosis I didn't act so rashly and I have managed to integrate the insulin into my lifestyle.
The first 3 weeks were really hard for me emotionally, the specialists couldn't tell conclusively whether I was Type 1 or Type 2, and due to the fact that I was overweight at that stage, and a little older than the majority of Type 1's at diagnosis, they decided I was Type 2. In those first few weeks I felt ashamed to have let myself get overweight and that my actions (or lack of actions!) had caused me to get a lifestyle disease that is usually diagnosed much later in life than 21. I felt determined to get a handle on it, exercising everyday, and eating healthily, but I soon became frustrated as my sugar levels didn't go down (in fact they climbed slowly up over time and would soar if I even ate an apple - god forbid!). When I went to see the specialists for my first diabetes check up I was so glad when they finally figured out I was in fact Type 1. Being Type 1 not only meant that I would be put on insulin and that my levels would come down, but that the disease wasn't bought on by my lifestyle. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease much like coeliac disease, so the first thing that went through my mind then was a rush of relief - that I couldn't have done anything different to have stopped this from developing.
2- How do you curb your sweet cravings? I know you must indulge at least once in a while - you're human after all! hehe But have you ever gotten a bad dose of the sweet tooth and knew you couldn't be bad? How do you deal? (and yes, that's my last Diabetes question - at least for this interview :D )
When it comes to curbing my sweet cravings, I tend to just succumb to the cravings and compensate for it with extra insulin. My philosophy is to enjoy life and it's pleasures, rather than being depressed and living slightly longer (arguably). This is obviously a different situation for Type 2's.
Having said that, the only time that I would deny myself my cravings is when my levels are already high and I don't want to risk them going higher, or if I have already eaten a lot of High GI foods that day, in which case I would try to curb my sweet tooth with fruit (especially strawberries which don't contain many sugars), yoghurt (which is low GI) or dark chocolate (which has less sugar than milk chocolate, is low GI and contains antioxidants).
3- What is your favorite food that's a local delicacy - that the rest of world might not know about?
That's a hard one! I don't think there are any local delicacies that I have heard of. I think this is because Australia is such a melting pot of cultures that we don't have anything unique of our own. I mean Vegemite (a dark yeast spread - sounds yummy doesn't it!) comes to mind, but I wouldn't call it my favourite food. It is an aquired taste that only Australian's seem to understand though, and I don't mind it on toast for breakfast occassionally.
4- Everyone is getting this question, just because I wanna know! If you were told that you could only have 5 foods and 1 beverage for the rest of your life - what would they be?
Ooooh, this is hard. I mean there are so many good foods out there, and with moderation being my key to health, I can't see me sticking to only 5 foods and 1 beverage forever! But if I had to, I would say;
1. Legumes (I know that is a category and I am cheating a little, but I couldn't choose between them)
2. Pasta (Again, a category, but :P)
3. Mushrooms (Cos they are delicious)
5. Dark chocolate
Beverage: Water, I used to despise water before I was diagnosed, but now I can't get enough of it!
5- You've had a completely stressful week. Your brain is mush as well as every muscle in your body. What do you do on the weekend to unwind and relax.. to rejuvenate yourself?
I've been having a few of these weeks lately, with exam study and all! I like to have some time by myself, or snuggled up with my cat or dog, either sleeping (very relaxing!) or reading magazines (mostly cooking magazines). If I feel inspired I'll cook something yummy.
The other thing that relaxes me may seem a little crazy, but I like to clean my fish tank. I have a 4ft tropical aquarium, it takes me about an hour to clean it properly. Tending to the plants, cleaning the glass, testing the water, removing snails - it completely absorbs me and because I have to finish it once I start it is great because it keeps my mind off other things. There is something about water (the ocean, fish, etc.) that has always interested me, I think I may have been a fish in a past life!
Here are a few photos of my tank, I love to just sit there and watch the fish swim around as well, it is very calming.
The tank is a bit of a mess at the moment as I haven't had the spare hour to clean the tank in the last couple of weeks and some algae seems to have taken hold on all my plants. I'm very close to ripping them all out and putting fresh ones in there, but the algae will probably still take over the new plants as they will be weak.
The two larger fish in these photos are a pair of Dwarf Gouramis. The blue one is the male and his name is Bluey (very creative I know!). The yellow one is the female and her name is.... NO, not yellowy! Do you think I am completely uncreative? Her name is Lemon. Haha. They have attempted to spawn twice now, but no babies. Do you think they just like the practice? ;) I also have 2 catfish which are hiding in the pics (you can kind of see one of them on the bottom of the first photo) and 5 harlequin rasboras, which are small schooling fish, very cute.
Ok, so that is the end of my interview, thanks again Lis for your questions. Now it is your turn! If you want me to interview you:
1. Leave a comment requesting for me to interview you.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Please make sure I have your email address.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.