Sunday, November 25, 2012


Chapter 4 – Next Destination Colombia

We arrived to Colombia on Friday August 10, 2012 at 6am. Upon arriving we got greeted by my two aunts and my cousin. It felt good to see them again and of course to be back where I was born after all I felt like I needed the break.  Monday came by and I was ready to go see my family doctor, he turned out to be an acupuncturist.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a Chinese medical practice or procedure that treats illness or provides local anesthesia by the insertion of needles at specified sites of the body.

The acupuncturist, Master Chang turned out to be really friendly and so did the other doctors that worked with him. They told me what my Chinese sign was, a dragon.

The Dragon symbol according to Chinese astrology is a symbol that represents the Chinese emperors. Dragons are born to be leaders and also masters of ceremonies. And because of this, every Chinese parent hopes they have a Dragon child. Dragon people get things started and keep them moving. We are feisty and gifted with power and luck. Most people look up to the Dragon.

The first appointment.

On the first appointment not only did I find out I was a dragon in the Chinese calendar but also I got to get poked by the needles I got some on my head one on my ear that hurt some throughout my body and feet. Then my needles got connected to a machine that gave small amounts of electricity, turns out I had to wait about 30 minutes with this on each session, also I got about a bag of serum through an IV ( i=intra or into and v=vein). My procedure continued it was twice a week I had to go do it for the first four sessions.

Alcohol and My Diabetes

*As quoted from the Clinical Practice Guidelines “as a general rule there is no need to avoid alcohol because you have diabetes”.

The time I had in Colombia was a blast however not only did I get to be treated by the acupuncturist but I also got to spend time with my family and friends. While I was there I also found out that I could also drink again but in a different manner. I now know I can still have a beer, maybe three… and my sugar won’t go below 4 mmol/L (72 mg/dL). I would also advice you to eat before you plan on drinking and check your blood glucose to monitor it. I should warn you please consult with your doctor before drinking and read more into it before you do. Will have a chapter later on about the subject.

The Cucumber

After my third visit Master Chang told me and my mom about a cucumber from Thailand that one of his patients used to “cure” or in other words help with your diabetes by keeping your blood glucose on a normal target. He gave us this orange like cucumber that had seeds and told us it was a gift and to make sure we planted the seeds so we were able to get more cucumbers out of it.
The trick with this cucumber is that you can only do it for nine days no more. In Canada this cucumber is called “Bitter Melon” below you will find the procedure.

The Bitter Melon Water

* Get the bitter melon at your grocery store this melon looks green.

* Cut one piece and boil for about 20-30 minutes.

* The boiled water that you used should be enough for drinking three times a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner or bed time)

* Make the water every day and drink it for nine days each month this will help control your sugar levels as it will clean your blood.

The last day of my treatment finally came a week before I was leaving Colombia and they decided to do acupuncture once again and this time they decided they would clean my blood through the IV. They took some of my blood out and injected it to the serum and again I had to wait for the little bag to be drained.

Was the trip to Colombia worth it?

Yes! I relaxed and it’s always god to go back home. Also I found that acupuncture does seem to work for me since my blood sugar were at a normal range while and after my treatment. I would recommend any diabetic that’s having a hard time with their diabetes to go to an acupuncturist. I also got some natural medicine before I left.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

CHAPTER 3 - Out of the hospital and a new life

Chapter 3 - A new begining

I got back home from the hospital on Friday July 13, 2012. My blood was still around 14 mmol/L (252 mg/dL) still above normal, but I was ready to move on and change the ways of how I ate.

The first week wasn't hard I did after all know what I had to do to get my sugar down if it got too high, I started exercising again but not as much as I used to. I would run for 30 minutes now instead of two hours and I would check and see if my glucose was high or too low. My diet changed, before I never really worried about having breakfast and would eat whatever I wanted later on through out the day. Now I had to worry about having my 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and supposedly I had to eat my 4 - 6 carbohydrates in each meal but along with that came more and more insulin I had to inject.

What are Carbohydrate Foods? 

*from DHR David Thompson Healthy Region

Carbohydrate rich foods is what turns into glucose (sugar) after you eat them, Carbs are important part of healthy eating habits.

$ Spending Carbs $

Men 4-6 carb choices per meal                                   Women 3-4 carb choices per meal
        1-2 carb choises per snack (if eaten)                                1-2 carb choices per snack

1 carbohydrate choice = 15 grams of a carbohydrate

This meant that for every meal I needed to inject 4-6 units of humalog insulin every time I ate not counting if my glucose was higher than 10 mmol / L (180 mg/dL) I would have to inject a bit extra, and of course my 28 units of lantus before bed time.

What's working for me

Well, after I was out of the hospital I did try the chart above and wondered if I could still eat and be satisfied with not so many carbs. I was injecting a lot of insulin and I wasn't happy.

My parents and I wanted to have a second opinion from someone else. I still felt annoyed by having to inject my self 4 times a day (3 every meal and 1 before bed time) I was going thorugh a lot of insulin it seemed. My dad called our family doctor in Colombia (a natural path) so he advised me not to take that much insulin for more than 100 days and that if I could go that would be great so he could put me in treatment. "In the mean time while he gets here, he should try to drink 'bird seed milk' that will help him lower his glucose" - he said to my dad.


Bird seed milk is a milk that is made out of cannery seed called Alpiste.

* As defined by

What is it?
Although many are familiar with canary grass seed as food for their bird pets, few know it to also be of great benefit for human consumption. Canary grass seed is one of the most powerful and nutritious seeds on earth because of its high content of enzymes, vegetable protein, amino acids, and antioxidants. Its antioxidant properties are very close to those found in Vitamin C. As for its protein content, 5 tablespoons of canary grass seed contain about 9 grams of protein. It is also contains many enzymes, of which lipase is the most abundant.
What are the benefits?
Because of its high enzymatic content, canary grass seed helps to reduce the inflammation of internal organs such as the liver, kidney and pancreas, which has proved to be of great help for people with diabetes and cirrhosis. In some cases, diabetes can be completely eliminated with the constant consumption of canary grass seed.
Canary grass seed is also helpful in weight reduction. Because lipase (essential enzyme in the digestion of fats) is the most abundant enzyme in this wonderful seed, it helps to clean veins and arteries from harmful fats, as well as getting rid of fat deposits in the body, leading to a reduction of obesity and cellulite.
The properties found in this seed also kill bacteria in the urinary tracts, thus reducing UTI’s, as well as kidney and gall bladder infections.

The Way I make it.

Take 7 tablespoons of Alpiste and pour into a cup.
Pour water into the cup and leave over night (usually 8-12 hours)
In the morning get rid of the overnight water and put the seeds in the blender.
Add fresh water into the blender (I usually get 2 L).
Grind the seeds.
Percolate the mixture into a jug. And only consume the milk and not whats left of the seeds.
Serve a glass and have one for each meal.
Store milk in the fridge other wise it will go bad.
Try to drink all the milk the day of and always make a new batch every day.

Did it work?

So we followed the doctors advice on this and we searched for the canary seeds, we found them and started to make the milk daily. I drink 2 Liters of it every day and it seems to be working for me. My glucose seemed to be normal but I was still injecting the Humalog every time I ate.

***CHAPTER 4 - Next Destination Colombia OUT NEXT SUNDAY NOV. 11, 2012!!!***


-Thanks for taking time to read my blog.

Camilo Calderon

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CHAPTER 2 ( Learning about Diabetes )

Chapter 2

"Don't you worry, don't you worry child, see heaven's got a plan for you."*Quote from the song "Don't you worry child - Swedish House Mafia (ft. John Martin)" 

Upon arriving to the hospital we went through emergency it took about five minutes for them to put me through, I didn't really think about why they put me through before the other people that were there before me. In the emergency room the nurse put an IV on my left arm. I was also low on potassium and my cholesterol was higher than normal. They took blood samples and in about an hour or so one of the emergency doctors came into the room and told me without thinking it twice " I'm sorry but you have diabetes".

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition of elevated blood sugar where the part of the body called the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or your body does not use properly the insulin it makes (type 2) to meet the body's needs or the pancreas does not produce any insulin  (Type 1). This is usually caused by (what I have researched)  sometime when you get sick your immune system doesn't recognize the beta cells (the cells that store and release "deliver" the insulin the pancreas makes for your body sugar so its not too high or low) and therefore they get destroyed by your antibodies. Then the pancreas stops making the insulin your body needs. Insulin is important because it moves glucose (sugar) into the body's cells from the blood. If you have either glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used as energy.

* Part of the definition from

Diabetes? I thought, HOW CAN I HAVE DIABETES!!?? The doctor told me my sugar levels were between 28 and 30 mmol/L (or 504 mg/dL and 540 mg/dL)  in the past three months. Normal blood sugar levels in both women and men without diabetes, are between 3.9 mmol/L and 6.1 mmol/L (or 70 and 110 mg/dL). They asked me other symptoms like if I ever had gotten headaches, felt without energy... etc, and all  I said was no only thirst and peeing a lot, I was after all running for 2 hours after coming home from an 8 sometimes 9 hour shifts. I had lots of energy.

The days after I got Diagnosed.

Finding out I had diabetes really shocked me, since no one in my family had it I was never worried about getting it. It was really hard, I cried right after the doctor had told me, not afraid to admit it. I remember the first thought that came into my mind was why me God? I felt angry and in denial. I guess I felt angry because it happened to me, someone that was born "normal", and angry because the doctor that told me I had this condition said it to me without caring. I felt they just told me straight up without considering how I was going to feel, and with no other family member by my side, (they let my mom come in after 30 minutes they had told me) it really is hard news to take in by your self.

I grieved my diabetes for the next 3 or 4 days. The next day I got transferred to a room where I met people that had it worse than I did. The first patient I met was in for surgery on his foot. We talked and he told me about his nephew and the different things he did not to let diabetes interfere with his day to day life. I also met some nice and helpful nurses which gave me various print outs and helpful information on the subject. Later that afternoon I met a doctor who apparently was going to look through my case up until I left the hospital. I was also expecting the nutritionist the following day.

That Friday, she came in the morning with her "student" doctor and asked me how I was doing and kept asking me if I had any questions. How can I have any questions? I thought. They haven't really explained what is going on or what diabetes means, how can I ask questions on something they haven't really explained. I was just angry and frustrated and didn't really care about asking anything so I would always said no. After they left I waited the whole day in my room for the nutritionist that was supposed to come and see me to teach me about how I should eat with my new condition. She finally showed up at 3:30 pm to only say " it's too much to learn under one day so ill come in on Monday and I will teach you most of it". She handed me some print outs with information and explained a bit.

On my 4th day my doctor never came to check on me all though I did see her doing her check-ins with other of her patients, the only person that came by was the student doctor accompanied by another student doctor. On Sunday they both came in again and told me I was going to see another doctor the next day. The day was going okay up until one of the nurses came in and said "Oh the doctor said you were low on potassium so we are putting 4 bags through the IV".  Having potassium put in me was the worst feeling, they were putting it through with no serum. I felt fine for the first 5 minutes then my whole arm started to feel as it was burning from the inside and it started to hurt a lot. I called the nurse and told her to stop the potassium because it felt like it was burning my arm. She said "That's the way the doctor told us to put it through" Me "Yeah it's really painful you should check and see if it can get mixed with serum or something because my arm hurts" she checked came back and said it was fine.

How it all works

Monday came along and my readings were still between 15 and 17mmol/L (270 and 306 mg/dL ) I felt impatient because I wanted to leave. Finally at about 2:30pm my nutrisionist came and showed me how to read the lables, told me how to adjust my insuline to my carbs (1 unit of humalog per every 15g of carbs) my new doctor (the diabetes doctor) finally came the next day and she explained how a functional pancreas works.

A person's pancreas makes insulin, the insulin then gets "delivered" through your body when we eat. Making the glucose (sugar) levels not go up or down and it keeps the blood sugar at normal.
For a person with type one diabetes the pancreas stops making insulin. This is due to the fact that when your immune system attacked your beta cells most or all get destroyed so if there are no "deliveries" for all this insulin to be put through your body there is no insulin coming from the pancreas.

I got started with two different kinds of insulin that Tuesday, there was a fast acting one called Humalog and long lasting one called Lantus. The Humalog the short acting, was the insulin I would have to inject every time I would have to eat so that meant breakfast lunch and dinner. The equation was simple. I would have to inject 1 unit per every 15g of a carb. Males are supposed to have 4 - 6 carbs per meal where females only need 2-4 so that meant I needed to poke my self with 4 or 5 units for 4 or 5. The Lantus the longer acting lasts about 24 hours and it acts as a "background" insulin. Also since my blood was still above the 10ths I had to lower it. Let's say if my sugar reading was 14 that afternoon I would then have to divide that by two so 7 (extra units) plus the 3 carbs totaling 10 units of Humalog before each meal. We were trying to get my numbers down to at least a 6-8mmol/L before I was able to go home.

The next day my doctor gave me permit to leave the hospital for a couple of hours. It felt good being out of the hospital for a couple hours I got to see my dogs. The nurses were really pleased I grieved finding out I had diabetes really quick and of how I showed signs of wanting to learn how to treat it and still go on with my life.

On Thursday I got my first blood tester it was a OneTouch Ultra 2. "Seems simple" I thought. All you have to do is put the test strip in the tester and wait for it to turn on and ask you for your blood. I think pricking my finger with the lancet is the worse, sure it doesn't hurt but you know your finger is going to get pricked so it makes it even worse. My "kit" came with a little pouch 10 lancets and 25 test strips. I also remember I got my first set of pens, one for my Humalog and another for my Lantus. I learned it all pretty quick I think once you find out you have this condition the best thing a person can do is learn and pick up stuff on the subject and try and move on. Sure diabetes might be part of your life now, but it doesn't mean you can't have a fun and normal life.


Friday came along, and the nurse informed me I would be going home.

-Thanks for taking time to read my blog.

Camilo Calderon

Friday, October 19, 2012

CHAPTER 1 - Welcome to my Blog! Let's get acquainted.


Who am I?

Once again Welcome to my blog. My name is Camilo Calderon the oldest from three children, I am from Colombia (South America). I have been living in Canada for most of my life now (since march 2001). I'm 24 years old and I'm a Type 1 Diabetic. Been diagnosed since July 04, 2012.  I have decided to finally share my story to all my friends, family members and fellow newly (and) diagnosed diabetics through this blog of how diabetes came into my life. I will also share with you fellow diabetics how I handle it and how it has opened my eyes on how to take better care of myself, so lets get started.

Chapter 1

Everything is not what it seems

No one wants to hear they have diabetes, at least it never went through my mind that I would one day have to poke my fingers to check my blood and be on top of it as I am now, never did I know I would have to poke my self and inject insulin every time I ate. Back when I was younger I used to see this girl in school always poking her self at lunch and always thought to my self " I really feel bad for her she has to poke her self, she must be diabetic" without realizing what diabetes really meant to the person.

This is me back in April 2012.

That's right I was in prison, hahaha just joking It sure felt like it tho. Back then my weight was 198 Lbs! I used to eat what I wanted when I wanted. I'm not going to go ahead and lie, say I didn't eat my weekly burger or sushi or junk food once in a while, but I was sure (boy was I wrong) I had a good going diet and there was nothing wrong with the way I looked I was a happy individual and didn't think much of what people might've thought about on how I looked. I am also working in the Hospitality and Tourism industry where we all know food is well pretty much everywhere you look so being around food didn't help my bad eating habits. 

My Symptoms?

Blurred Vision

Back then, I was lately feeling stressed and my vision started to get a bit blurrier than usual for about a week back in May. I blamed it on my stress so when my vision went back to normal I didn't think of it much, later that week I got strep throat ( I think this is when my diabetes really kicked in) for about a week I was able to eat barely nothing, but I wanted to make the change (with losing a few pounds) and started to hit the treadmill for 2 - 3 hours daily after work. Then the real symptoms started, I'm sure we all experienced different symptoms well this is what I got.

Crazy Thirst, Peeing more than usual?

Back then I used to think my crazy thirst all the time was due to exercising so much, oh yeah I thought I was only getting dehydrated and that there wasn't anything too serious going on. I remember I was thirsty every 2 or 3 hours and I was always either drinking soda water or mostly literally pitchers of water every now and then. The peeing was also starting to worry me, I was making trips to the bathrooms more often than I used to normally. I remember our 5 gallon water container that lasts a family of 5 a whole week only lasted about 4 or 5 out of the 7 whole days. My sister blamed me from drinking most of it but I never realized I did since most of us were drinking only water.

Losing weight 

I lost 20 pounds in about a month and again it could've been the exercising and all the water I was drinking back then. I went from 198 to 178 just like that, so I was feeling good about my self.

Back in June - July


Finally, July came and so did my birthday on the 3rd, I started my day at 11 am when a friend of mine invited me for lunch and a movie at lunch we got subway and the sub came with my cranberry juice and a bottle of water for "later" in case I got thirsty in the movie, well by the time it took us to get from subway to the theater   (2 minute drive) I had finished the water and most of my juice (like 1/4 left). we went in while in the movie I made 3 or 4 trips to the washroom and I was also filling up the water bottle each time. When we got out of the movie I felt thirty again, this didn't go unnoticed as my friend asked me why I was thirsty again I blamed it on the exercise.  

Later that day I went out with the family had couple beers and my so called usual "Sampler" from Tony Romas with fries, beans, coleslaw and rice ... hmmmm ... haha back into topic, had 2 6oz glasses of water and went home fine or so I thought. That night as many others (since May) I was getting up and drinking about 2-3 liters of water before I went to bed.

The next morning I woke up at 7 am and finally had a day off to go to the doctor's office to see what was going on first thing my mom said to me at around 10 am was  "you look really pale you should go to the hospital instead you don't look good"  Me - "I know mom, I think there's something wrong I've been up since 7am and the thirst seems to have gotten worse, now its not every 2 or 3 hours I'm thirsty every 15 minutes since I've been up."  Mom- "that's it we are taking you to the hospital!"

To the hospital we went.

-Thanks for taking time to read my blog.

Camilo Calderon