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.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

He Asked, I Answered!

Something I love about this blog is being able to see in words how my life has balanced itself out.  To see those moments when I felt completely defeated, or those moments where I was over the moon with excitement.

I have documented my first week of diagnosis, to my celebrations of diaversaries.  I have detailed my trials and tribulations though College and University and breathed a sense of accomplishment when I completed both my diploma and my degree. I have documented the fears and challenges I faced while training and eventually climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and I have shared my gratitude for those fellow type 1's I have met along the way. I have shared my heartbreak during tough times in my life when relationships ended and family or friends had passed on. I have opened up my life story, one chapter at a time, diabetes related or not.

Today, I add a new chapter by announcing my engagement to my beloved Mike.  He came into my life in 2014 and we decided on forever May 22nd 2017. With this comes so much excitement as planning a wedding and being a bride has been on my mind since I was young.  Mike has been one of my biggest supporters in all of my endeavors, including diabetes.

He has been there through my highs and lows, he has picked up my numerous empty juice boxes, rocket packages and test strips and he knows that while diabetes is not easy on either of us, we both can make it manageable and work along side it along our journey together.

I am ecstatic, and so happy to see this chapter unfold.

Kayla



Friday, May 19, 2017

Blog Week 2017: More Than Diabetes


More Than Diabetes 

Let's wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with.  Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU.  If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can.   Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes, because there is more to life than just diabetes! 


Stepping back from diabetes, what is my passion?  I love to write, which I am sure isn't a surprise.  I love to create.  Whether that involves writing or not, I am passionate about creating something that doesn't exist, or at least taking something that exists and recreating it in my own way or fashion.  Mike laughs at me because anytime I am about to bake, I have the recipe up on my laptop screen, but I rarely ever follow it. "I am going to just figure it out..." I love to see what I can do on my own without having to rely on anything else.  I think that's how a lot of my ideas evolve even within the diabetes community. I am a go-getter. 

I am also passionate about my dog, which I am sure is also a given.  I have so much love for him and other shihtzu's - seriously.  I grew up with a dog from grade 6 onwards, and when I moved out on my own and finished University, after a really crappy breakup, I decided to get my own.  Cola, has been my absolute life-line and stress reliever. 

I love helping in the community and being apart of something.  I am passionate about helping others and going out there to make sure everything is just perfect. I am incredibly detail oriented so party planning, gift giving, all of that stuff, is totally my thing.  My friends and family know that I am the one to go to when looking to organize an event.  I am a planner and I am passionate about planning, and curating things just so.  My brother laughed at me recently because I said, "in my next life I think I will go to school to be a prop/set designer" he responded with, "look she's even planning her afterlife." 

Diabetes is obviously a huge part of my life and of course when people ask my passion I often respond with 'DIABETES ADVOCACY" But when it comes down to it, I do have many passions, loves and hobbies that I incorporate into my diabetes and how I cope and handle with the card I have been dealt. 

Kayla