Thursday, May 14, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week: Changes

Today we're blogging about changes, whether it's medical advances, perception, changes I e made, etc.

Yes, things have changed drastically since I did the urine dipstick to determine my blood sugar or the beef or pork insulin to inject (wow, I AM old!:) when I was diagnosed. And for the meters, pumps, and pharmaceuticals I am sincerely grateful. But I know there has to be more! I don't know about a cure, I mean, of course I have hope. I will always hope. But I've accepted that this is my life, what I have now and how I deal with it all today is all I've got. I can accept that but I don't have to like it!

So change for me would probably be some form of closed loop system. I gave up vanity awhile back and even sported my Dexcom on my belly and my Omnipod pump on my arm in a bikini in Cancun last month without a care in the world. Hell I'll wear all sorts on contraptions if it means I don't have to fear an unexpected low or have guilt and nausea of a cursing high, just a smooth flattened line to a few days in a row, that's a change I have sincere hope will happen someday.

I joke with my family now that I'm like the bionic woman with my two attachments, I'll have to come up with something better if I get to add another few or larger ones to the ensemble! :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week: Clean It Out

Day 3 is about cleaning out, whether something physical or emotional in your diabetes closet. Check it out here. Considering I'm having a difficult time keeping up with daily posts in addition to my day job, family, spring chaos, and training our 3 month old puppy, which is somehow causing major hypoglycemic episodes, so much so that I've got to have a temp basal rate decrease of 30% if I'm home, I'll keep this one short and sweet.

We've all had those random interactions with people regarding our diabetes that are so shocking that even though it happened months, years, or decades ago, we're still retelling the story or at least rethinking it once in awhile. I'm going to try to just let a few of those go, right here, right now.

Here goes...

In college (so here's my decades ago one) a girl I met at a party was chatting with me and shared she was a nursing student and I was prenursing so the conversation headed to why we were considering nursing. I shared my many visits with nurses and doctors growing up because I had diabetes. Her response was, "Wow, you must've been really fat when you were a child."  I just walked away. The next morning I dropped my classes to complete for application to the nursing program and ended up with an elementary education degree.

Several people I've met over the last several years that know me fairly well and get into one of the selling schemes of various vitamins or supplements end up calling me and telling me about these amazing products. They are so great, people have started them that had diabetes and suddenly, poof, they're cured! Shocking that since diagnosis in 1979 I heard every few years, "Just 5 more years and there will be a cure," that none of those medical experts nor the bazillion dollars spent on research haven't picked up a bottle of these miracle vitamins, I'll be sure to send along the memo...

And last but not least, just a few completely ignorant individuals who've shared random ignorant statements such as, but not limited to, "I wish I could just wear a pump and let that take care of it all for me, you're so lucky to have type 1," says a person with type 2 directly to me who clearly doesn't understand the difference or what I do on a moment by moment basis to ensure tight control, or the woman who claims to be an expert in diabetes, a sales representative in the industry, who says, "I'm so jealous of you diabetics, you can just take more insulin and eat whatever you want. Sometimes I wish I could be diabetic." I guess she missed that day of training where she learns that a person who is unlucky enough to not have diabetes makes her own insulin! This one left me speechless, which is rare...

I can't promise I won't retell any of these tales or reconsider what I wish I would've said instead of walking away or ignoring in shock, but I am going to let it go, clean it out, and forgive. Ignorance may be bliss to the ignorant but the other one who has the experience or knowledge, anything but...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week: Keep It To Yourself

Day 2 for blog week, which you can learn more about  here  and find a list of links to others blogging but basically the idea today is to share what I like to keep private about my diabetes and why.

I'm not one to personally share my A1C whether it's amazingly good for me or high because it's mine.   I earned it and my best is different from anyone else's. I'm okay with that and respect that asking someone's A1C is like asking someone's age or weight or how much they make, sort of off limits.

Other than that, it's the small things that happen every day that I don't share with anyone, here on my blog or even in my life. The guilt and shame of high blood sugars even when I can't explain them, the fear of never waking up if my sensor is off and I drop low for some unknown reason, the anger at my body when I'm too low to finish something I've started or to follow through on a promise I've made to my girls. Oh, and the irritation at my mind and this disease when I can't find my strips or lancet device to prick my finger or my PDM w my pump so I can't bolus when I know I need to and the knowledge that my blood sugar is on an incline and I can't stop it! Grrrrr, that really drives me insane and it just spirals sometimes!

I guess when it comes down to it, I really try to keep all the shit to myself. Because I want to be positive and hopeful and optimistic, yes. But mostly because if I started down that path, I'm afraid it would be hard to get back, ever...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week: I Can

Excited to be joining the online community of bloggers who truly "get it" this week for Diabetes Blog Week. Today's topic has a positive twist on it, being I CAN, versus the "you can't" that I remember hearing so often when I was diagnosed in 1979. If I were to write the story of my life, diabetes would be on every page. I cannot tell you when I fully understood the gravity of it all, on me, my family, my friends, my life, but somehow this diabetes became a competition for me and I honestly think it was because of all the things that came with the initial diagnosis...

What I had to do, what I shouldn't do, what I might be able to someday do, and what I simply couldn't do. My parents would have to give me shots, I shouldn't eat any sugar, I might someday be able to have children, and I simply couldn't ignore any symptoms of hypoglycemia, which, by the way, is a huge and complicated word for anyone to handle, let alone a three year old!

And so, the competition was on, who was going to win, me or diabetes? The first competition was when my doctor told my parents and I about this camp that I could go to with a bunch of other kids who had diabetes, too. What? You mean I'm not the only one? Because in my small, rural ND town, I was the token diabetic. You could officially go at age 8. Not fair. I wanted to go now. I did all the things my parents asked and paid extra special attention to handle random "important" things with this disease and I was allowed to go when I was 7! Now, I must be honest, my birthday was just a few weeks after the session ended but still, you had to be 8 to go and they let me go at age 7. Ha! In your face, diabetes!

As I got older, I knew it was concerning, a kid with type 1 diabetes on the basketball team or running track. Small town ND, no school nurse or anyone to help me. But I wanted to challenge this damned disease, challenge my body, myself. So I was involved in sports just like all my friends without their sidekick of diabetes. Then I discovered running and not only did I love it, I was good at it! Distance running! It was work to ensure everything would be okay, lots of snacks packed in places along my ten mile route to ensure I had something just in case. But I was doing it and it felt like I was defying diabetes with each stride and it felt good! So good that running a marathon made my bucket list in 8th grade because I wondered if I could actually do something like that. Had anyone with diabetes ever? Well, of course, I know now, yes, but remember, back in the 80's there was no Google to determine that for sure so in my little corner of the world, I figured I'd be the first to have that goal! :) And I'm happy to report that I can and did run a marathon, too!

Having a family is a big part of my world and when I was diagnosed in the 70's girls with type 1 growing up to have babies wasn't necessarily a guarantee. This is probably the one thing I shouldn't do or maybe couldn't do that resonated with me and my fears as I matured. Like so much of my life, I can't articulate when I understood that but I do remember dating my now husband and the moment I drug him to yet another one of the many "getting to know the family" events and he was playing football with my cousins young kids in my aunt's yard. I saw the joy on his face, the ease he had connecting to kids he barely knew...and I vividly remember wondering to myself in that moment, "Will I ever be able to give him that?"

Well, diabetes, I beat you in that battle, too. Twice, in fact! Thanks to my beautiful healthy daughters, and my husband! :) It's all of these little things and big things all wrapped up that make the I CAN so sweet! The best part of the story of my life is that if you actually read the book or looked at pictures that are scrapped away, you wouldn't read about diabetes and you certainly can't see it in pictures. It's there, yes, it's always there, but as the author I don't give it the title. My story is about all the things I've done, all the people in my life, all the experiences that we all hope to have, and it's all just so good.

So yes, I have diabetes, and although I never would've chosen this club or would choose it for anyone ever. I'm in it. I'm in the club! And no days are easy , it's a battle every day, every moment, but there are so many advances and so much to look forward to, and when I look back at my life and look at my world today, I am so thankful because in my humble opinion, this life of mine is pretty sweet, regardless of blood sugars! I believe it is those struggles that make it that way, and I CAN keep doing this!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Just popping by to share one of the Mother's Day cards I created for my one and only mother. Excited to give it to her tomorrow so sharing with you all before she sneaks a peek!

I used Papertrey Ink's Bigger Blooms to create this one with simple panels. Accented some of the blooms with various enamel dots and there you have it.

Hoping you're enjoying a special day with whomever makes you call family!