Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It Takes a Village

"I checked to see if you were breathing twice in the night. Once before I had fallen asleep, and the second I woke myself up to check. I looked over and watched the covers raise up and down and I knew you were alright. " 

This isn't something you want your loved one to have to say, but knowing that they did, is both heartwarming and tragic at the same time.

K.S Photography
This past weekend something was in the air, my blood sugars were ridiculously high for a ridiculously long time. Despite a complete change of my site, insulin and the whole shebang, I still was trudging through the brutal highs, feeling less than human with zero patiences and zero ambition. While this is awful for the person dealing with the highs, I'd argue is it pretty brutal for those around the said, high person.   I am sure we, as type 1's with high blood sugar, are nearly impossible to reason with or even speak to without getting us all riled up (for what appears to be no good reason).

The first night of high blood sugars, I must have gotten 5 complete minutes of sleep. I had to visit the bathroom so frequently, I was considering moving my blanket and pillow in there.  I woke up feeling like garbage, and had a breakdown at the grocery store because I couldn't find macaroni salad for a party we were going to.  I literally had zero energy and felt like I was walking in a weird fog.  I was checking my blood sugars and watching them barely budge, it would go down a few and then up another couple a few hours later. Like an awful teeter-totter that I just couldn't get off.

I once again changed my site, and new insulin and checked frequently until it was time to go to sleep.  Mike asked if I should stay up, but I knew that that meant staying up for awhile, there was no way insulin was going to drop my 28 mmol/L blood sugar within the next 30 minutes. For anyone that has had a long period of high blood sugars,  knows that your 'care' begins to slowly float away. I just wanted to sleep, I was pissed off at my diabetes and I was done dealing with it.

Thankfully, Mike was not done with dealing with it. He was worried, and checked on me in the night.  It hit me in the morning (when Mike said he had checked if I was breathing) that it takes a village to take care of one person's diabetes.  When we feel like we literally cannot, someone can and most importantly, someone will.

Kayla


Monday, September 18, 2017

On The Go: CONTOUR® NEXT ONE

It’s always a good thing when you realize that your diabetes supplies simply fit into your lifestyle as though someone had kept that in mind (which I am sure they do!). For those that live with type 1 diabetes, the battle of having to remember, carry and use your diabetes supplies can be hard when you’re the type of person that is busy or just never stays in one spot!


Having a meter that is small, yet packs powerful technology is not only convenient but in my opinion an absolute must. The CONTOUR® NEXT ONE by Ascensia proves that you can have it all. A meter small enough to stick in your pocket to avoid feeling like you have to lug around extra weight. It is also a meter that connects to your smart phone so you can easily view your results in a hurry and later analyze them to understand your blood sugar trends. How impressive would that be to bring to your doctor's appointment or better yet, to email to your doctor in advance? Finally, it is also a meter that uses smart light technology, which alerts you through the flash of a coloured light whether your blood sugar in in range.


For those like me that are constantly running around, this meter is the perfect way to keep yourself on track with testing your blood sugar and to be able to later review your blood sugar results via an app on your smart phone.


Learn more about the Ascensia CONTOUR® NEXT ONE at www.contournextone.ca.










This post was sponsored by Ascensia Diabetes Care Canada Inc., but the thoughts are my own.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cheers to the Best Friend Who Has Seen it All!

A good friend knows all your best stories. A best friend has lived them with you! 

Girard Photography


For those of us that find a best friend in life, we know the value of having that special person. As we get older, we grow more and more appreciation for this person as you realize just how much of an important role they've played in your life and continue to play, through not only the good, but also the painful moments.

I am lucky. I am lucky that I found my best friend in my late teens, just a couple years before being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, before the really, really bad breakups and before the more positive things in my life, graduating, moving into my own home, getting my puppy and of course now as I embark on the next chapter of my life, marriage!  I am happy because this person has gotten me through all these moments, good and bad, she has been there right beside me. 

For those that have followed my blog since the beginning, you will recognize the name, Michelle.  That is because she literally has embraced every moment of this journey I am on.  She walked the diabetes walks,  she sat in the audience during my speeches, she's carried glucose tabs in her purse and she's fed me while I was on the floor in a really bad low.  She was there when I was first diagnosed and she continues to be supportive in all that I do.  I know, as my maid of honour, she will likely being bolusing, treating and checking in on me on my wedding day. 

For those of us with any kind of illness, we know that it can be hard sometimes to find the time for friends, or to keep up friendships. Showing your appreciation for those that have seen it all, is so incredibly important.

Kayla 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Diabetes & The Dress

My Wedding Dress Shopping Entourage at Sophie's (KW)
I always envisioned where this blog would follow me.  I knew that eventually I would be blogging about diabetes and getting married, but it feels so wild to be here, right now in this moment talking about it all. It's really happening! I'm getting married!

My stress levels have been fairly minimal, the odd thing I will get caught up in, and stress about, but eventually it rolls off my back and I am feeling O.K.  My blood sugars react to stress like glue to paper so, I know that once my stress begins, managing my diabetes becomes even harder.  And, to be honest, sometimes I have neglected to even worry about my blood sugars because I am so caught up in my other things to do. Finding balance has always been hard for me. I have a hard time evenly spacing my attention on diabetes and all else that goes on.

My pump has been on my mind, as I started looking for outfits for various occasions, engagement party, bridal showers etc.  I always think, Where will my pump go?  How will I get access to it when I need it?

For our engagement photos, I simply just sat my pump aside for the photoshoot because I knew that some way, some how that pump was going to make an appearance and I felt like I didn't want anything of this shoot to remind me of my diabetes (not because I don't like that part of me, but because diabetes IS always there, and I felt like this was an opportunity to have a moment to celebrate myself and Mike) PLUS, we may or may not have gotten a bit wet in the lake, so I didn't want to risk breaking my pump.

The ultimate test of wearability with the pump came with trying on WEDDING DRESSES! First of all, I was so excited that I thought my blood sugar was low and had to test before even going into the store. My nerves were all over, jumping with excitement at a moment every girl dreams of doing.  I sat my pump aside as I pulled on the beautiful dresses one by one, not worrying about where my pump would fit into the equation. Just enjoying every moment of wearing something so beautiful.

It wasn't until I said YES TO THE DRESS  that I acknowledged, I will have to make room for the insulin pump as I see fit.   As much as you don't want to have to worry about diabetes in all these amazing life moments, it has to happen, however,  it doesn't have to take away from the experience!


Kayla

Friday, July 14, 2017

That Guilt

I can't be the only one who sometimes feels like it's too hard to focus on one thing without neglecting the others.  It seems to come and go, that motivation to perfect a certain aspect of your life whether that's your tidiness around your home or your blood sugars - it truly is hard to do it all.

Sometimes I find myself feeling guilty - I should be checking more, I should be running more often, I should do be better.  That guilt sits on my mind heavy as I embark each day promising myself, I'll check more, I'll sort through my closet, and I will get that task done today.  Each night thinking about what I set out to do and didn't even come close to accomplishing or even worse, what I didn't even TRY to accomplish.

As a person living with a chronic condition, it can be hard to not feel guilty about your own health 24/7.   With diabetes, I am constantly being put on a scale, by myself each time I check my blood sugar and see a number flashing back at me.  While that number represents a moment in time, for me, it sometimes serves as a reminder that I should have made better food choices, I should have checked sooner than later and a reminder that this stuff is hard.

Kayla

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Maybe You Were Having a Bad Month

"Maybe you were just having a bad month..."


Yesterday I had my endocrinologist appointment and I was looking forward to going because my a1c was the best it had been in forever and I had been wearing a CGM for the past couple months, so I knew that when my pump was uploaded, a beautiful graph was going to be printed.  I continue to work hard at managing my diabetes with the idea in mind of future family planning, my own personal health and just feeling GOOD.

As usual, while waiting in the doctor's office I hear the knock followed by, "Hi my name is _______ and I am a resident."  I am used to the whole spiel and even though I want to just see my own doctor and get out of the office and on with my day, I go through the whole process where they ask you a lot of questions, try to wrap their head around type 1's and our desire to get really into our own health matters - and me ultimately wanting to yell I am the CAPTAIN NOW! 


I wanted to bring up my thyroid test because previous blood work showed it was elevated, but the most recent blood work it was back within range. I was curious to ask my own doctor about it but brought it up so that it was written down in the Resident's notes (that I assume she relays to the doctor).  I also wanted to mention that I sometimes feel anxious but haven't for a couple months and was unsure if it was due to the thyroid or not.  I have never brought up that I was anxious to any doctor, frankly, I was anxious about saying I was anxious. 

Then I hear it straight from the residents mouth,

"Maybe you were just having a bad month..."

With a quick sentence the topic of anxiety was brushed off the table like nothing was said. I was back to where I started, why did I even mention it?

In my head I instantly thought, a bad month? 

If I broke my leg could I credit that to a bad month?

If my blood sugars were constantly high, could I credit that to a bad month?

If I had constant headaches, could I credit that to a bad month?

Are heart attacks, asthma attacks, insomnia, seizures, strokes... all due to bad months?

When will this discussion become serious? When will they listen?


Kayla 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Numbers

Diabetes is about numbers and not always the obvious ones.

It's about the number of juice boxes you wake up to after a night of lows.

The number of minutes it takes away from your day, distracted by numbers of carbs, blood sugars and site changes.

It's about the number of times you've passively said, "I'm Okay" when you feel like screaming inside.

The number of dollars spent on test strips, lancets, and vials of insulin.

It's each number of tears you've cried, pats on the back and the number of times you kept going when you thought you couldn't anymore.

Diabetes is about numbers and not always the obvious ones.