Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Boxing Madness!


For boxing day Clinton's family was visiting their relatives in Toronto. Of course the idea of shopping came quickly to my mind, which we ended up doing. We went to the Eaton's Centre and it was busier than I could ever have imagined. I said to Clinton, "I am bound to get a sugar low." Since there seems to be a trend in my sugar going low while shopping.

To keep my sugar from going low, Clinton and I shared a smoothie. It seemed to work out because around lunch time I was an 8. It was really chaotic but a lot of fun! After going to the mall we went back to Clinton's aunt and uncle's house.

It was the first time there that I asked for a diet pop of some kind and they didn't have any. It seemed weird to me but I realized a lot of people don't just have diet pop around or even just pop. It through my off a little I must admit. I drank water instead and at supper time just shared a regular 7-up with Clinton.

I don't know why I assume people will have diet pop but I guess because I am usually around diabetics I have become used to having things around me that I am able to have!

Either way I got around the obstacle by drinking water and taking insulin for a shared 7-up with Clinton!

Kayla

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho!


This was my first Christmas being diabetic! Today, my family came over and we ate a great supper and opened presents. Thankfully we didn't have too many snacks out at our house so nothing really tempted me.

It was a lot easier than I thought since using ratios allows you to eat as much as you truly want. But once Christmas is all over and done with I will definitely will have to get back on track with eating properly.

It was nice to have my all my aunts and uncles over along with my cousins and Grandpa and Grandma. They all have been extremely supportive throughout my diabetes and I couldn't be any more thankful for that.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Kayla

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve


For Christmas Eve we went to Clinton's family Christmas in Burlington! It was a lot of fun and thankfully everyone there was aware of my diabetes. Clinton's Nana Moe is awesome at making sure that I am okay.

Her husband, (Clinton's Papa) was a type two diabetic and that is where she learned the ins and outs of diabetes. I can remember sitting with her at Hockey, previous to being diagnosed, and she was telling me how her husband hated having diabetes. So when she found out that I was diabetic she was really upset about it all.

It was a little tricky to manage diabetes there because rather than supper we had hot appetizers, but before the hot ones there were cold ones, and before that there was chocolate. It was a little hard to think about how much insulin to give myself and when to do so.

I ate a small amount of cold appetizers than before piling up the hot appetizers I tested (12) and then took insulin, 6 units. Just to be sure.

I was correct and when it came time to checking my sugar later on, it was normal!

A successful Christmas Eve it was!

Merry Christmas

Kayla

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Work it Out


Since this is Clinton's first week off in a long time, we are going to the gym together. I must admit that I don't accomplish much fitness at Fanshawe since there is not much time so now that I am on break I have been trying to go to the gym.

Clinton is used to tons of physical training and he decided to put me through an intense hockey workout which just about killed me. Half way through this I had to take down some sugar pills to insure that I wasn't going to pass out. It was funny how easy some of the workouts were for him, not so much myself.

I really admire Clinton's dedication to fitness and hopefully it will rub off on me more. I really do try and stay in shape and know how important working out is not only in general but also because I am a diabetic.

I know that if Clinton was able to spend every night at the gym with me, I'd be fit in no time but that just isn't possible with his schedule and mine; therefore in Clinton's words "work out just as hard as I'd make you if I was at the gym with you" is what I need to be thinking.

Hopefully in the summer I will be able to start running again and going to the gym more often!

Kayla

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two Worries


I found two mysterious bruises on both my big toes. I was stepping out of the shower and noticed a black mark on my toe; however, I just thought that there was dirt on my toe. It wasn't until later did I realize the 'dirt' was not rubbing off. Once I wiped off the red nail polish I realized that both my big toes have black marks on them.

I am not sure where I got the bruises. I did notice they were in pain just after wearing heels out to the bar many weeks ago but I could not see anything to be worried about since my nail polish masked the bruises.

I have to watch my feet being diabetic and these bruises are worrying me a little bit. I will keep nail polish off of them for awhile so that I can keep an eye on them and hope that they're going to heal quickly! The good thing is that they no longer hurt.

Kayla

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dessert Eater


I had my first family Christmas party of the year this weekend and also the first Christmas party as a diabetic. To say the least it's not the best time of the year to be diabetic, with all the mash potatoes, punch and desserts . . . it is hard to resist!

However, I am thankful for my dessert eater, named Clinton. I am sure it's not a flawless system but I do get to eat desserts without my sugar rising out of control. Clinton lets me have a bite of whatever he has, that way I get a taste of it and don't end up eating the entire thing. The flaw in this is that I start telling Clinton that he's hungry for pie or a square when really he isn't.

In a way I am glad that I have some guard that forces me to not eat as much, and saying that diabetes isn't even that much of a guard for me, I must admit I am still sneaking snacks every now and then, but hey it's Christmas!

I still have three other Christmas parties to attend and I am sure by the last one I will be much too full to have to worry about my dessert eater!

Kayla

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One or Two



What's the true differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

I think at times people can get confused at what the difference is between the two different types of diabetes. It is easy to get confused and honesty, before being diagnosed I was unsure about the differences as well. But part of my dedication to my blog comes with giving people the knowledge and awareness of both types of diabetes. In this blog I wish to achieve a simple understanding about diabetes and the differences between type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is the disease that I was diagnosed with on March 13th 2009. Sometimes this type is called Juvenile diabetes, simply because it usually occurs in people that are under twenty years old; however, people older than twenty can still be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The myth here is type one only happens to young people, this is false.

A type 1 diabetic's pancreas is attacked by antibodies which leads to the individual to be insulin dependent for the rest of their life. Out of the entire population of diabetics, only 10-15% are type 1.

The most common type of diabetes is type 2. These individuals are usually heavy set or older, usually people are diagnosed with type 2 when they're over thirty five but like mentioned in my last note, the age is becoming lower and lower. Causes of this type of diabetes is much different from type one. Type two diabetics may be producing a lot of insulin in their system but their body is not using it properly, but this is often controlled by diet and exercise. Eventually type two diabetics will need to take either oral medications or insulin, the myth being, if you take insulin you're type one. This is incorrect.

There are many confusions about both types of diabetes and they are often crammed all together under the big word of diabetes. I realize that both of the diseases are similar in some ways but being a diabetic, I want to ensure that people are aware of the absolute differences.

As cancer has many different areas so does diabetes and it's important for the distinction to be made, not only for personal knowledge but also to be aware since many of us know and love many diabetics in our own lives.

Kayla

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mystery


It's truly sad to know that more and more young people are getting type two diabetes. Unlike type one diabetes, type two can be prevented, especially if you're young. We can't always prevent what happens, but we can make choices.

I realize that I didn't have a choice on whether or not I got type one diabetes. I wish that young people who are at risk for diabetes would learn how to take care of themselves, or at least be taught how to take care of themselves because there is nothing fun about living with diabetes.

I hope that with my blogs I can inspire people to get active and practice healthy eating habits so that they can help reduce their chances of not only getting type two diabetes but many other diseases. Life can be unpredictable but with easy changes to our lifestyles life doesn't always have to be completely unpredictable.

I can't imagine being a young obese child who has type two diabetes but I know that it is happening out there. Diabetes is rapidly growing and like my Grandma said, it was never this way before. Could it be our environment or our lifestyles?

All I know is that being a type one diabetic, I don't know what else I could have done to avoid this. It seems no doctor knows why I got this disease. Without a single person in my family tree having type 1 diabetes, it's a mystery for now.

Kayla

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Head to Toe


Today I had a low; however, I can't tell you how low. All I know is that I was lifting the groceries onto the counter at Zehrs and before I knew it I could barely lift at all. I couldn't even concentrate. My body felt extremely warm and I began to sweat. My mind couldn't decide what to do, and believe it or not there was nothing around me to grab to eat. I left the cart and the stuff on the counter and headed for the nearest drink or snack, and I found a Caramilk bar. I let the cashier know and began to eat it, in hopes of feeling better.

The cashier commented on how much I was shaking and I felt rude because I couldn't really talk to her. All I could think about was feeling better. I can only imagine that my sugar must have been in the 2's and I am not sure how I didn't notice. I recall her asking how many bags I wanted, but then just figured it out for herself. I felt like I was going to cry.

After the bags were in my cart and paid for I went to my car to unload them. Still shaking head to toe but eating the rest of the chocolate bar, I believe I bought one of those king size ones. I sat in my car after and tested my sugar, I had finished the chocolate bar by now and it was 4.3, so I waited for the chocolate bar to kick in a little bit more. I began to drive home, feeling much better.

It was a scary low, mostly because it came so unexpectedly. I know for sure that I can't push lunch any later than 2 if I don't plan to have a snack!

Kayla

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hot Chocolate!


A large hot chocolate without whip cream has 62 carbohydrates which to me translates to 4 units of insulin, the same amount I usually take for breakfast, lunch or supper. It is a special beverage that warms the hands of so many people, and personally last year I can't even imagine how many hot chocolates I consumed watching Clinton's hockey games.

After being diagnosed with diabetes I pretty much gave up and said, I can just have some Cheerios, eat tuna sandwiches all the time and have crackers for snacks. But, let's be honest, that fad only lasted about another week after being diagnosed and I was on to another craze, I believe it was oatmeal. I pretty much eliminated things from my diet that I thought were impossible, one being hot chocolate.

Once hockey season rolled around, watching people order hot chocolate so care free made me feel like an alien. A black tea, a water or diet pop was the only option I felt possible for me, yet I never truly thought about taking insulin for a beverage that had a little extra sugar in it. I made a decision that I wouldn't take insulin for just a beverage unless it was on a special occasion. So thus far at all the hockey games I have been too, I have not had a hot chocolate!

Today, I had my first hot chocolate of the year. After finishing one of my lasts exams of the term, my friend Maria and I spent some time together and I treated myself to hot chocolate. Let me say, it was delicious. I was also given a free cookie, since the lady took awhile making it, I took five units of insulin, it was worth it.

It's nice to indulge every now and then and besides how wonderful the hot chocolate was, it was nice to spend time with Maria, who is extremely supportive with my diabetes despite only knowing me for 4 months.

Kayla

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snacking


As Christmas quickly approaches I have begun to think about what it is going to be like. This will be my first Christmas with diabetes and I think by now I should have nothing to worry about. However, there are so many temptations around Christmas and it's a holiday that lasts a lot longer than a single day.

It's hard for me to resist snacking, the only time that it is pretty easy is when I am surrounded by people who are very aware of my diabetes. When I am the only one that knows I am sneaking a snack, I don't feel as bad. I have learned that despite me, 'ok'ing it, my diabetes is definitely not okay with it, and it tells me this by raising my sugar up.

For some reason, despite knowing how much sugar is in something, I am always shocked about how much snacking effects me. I am slowly learning that snacking is not always a free bee with diabetes, I sometimes need to just take a needle.

I would say that's the biggest difficulty that I have noticed. I don't like not being able to just snack like everyone else because sometimes you just want something small. Sometimes your sugars are too high to have an insulin free snack, so you have to take an extra needle.

I will definitely be experiencing many different things around Christmas and I am looking forward to the challenge.

Kayla

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Term


It is coming down to the end of the term and I am going back home on Friday for almost a month. I am really looking forward to it. I have to say that I am extremely relieved that this past term has been a smooth run. Not only for school but for my diabetes.

Before moving to London, I really had worries. I often spent time just thinking about what I was going to do. It upset me and scared me that I wasn't going to be able to manage my diabetes and school. I wasn't sure what it was going to be like. Luckily I have amazing roommates. They are extremely understanding and I trust in them to help me when I need the help.

Another great thing about being here is the great friends that I have made thus far. They all are very aware of my diabetes and support me. Along with the teachers that I had, they have also been supporting.

I am glad that I am able to experience school and diabetes. Being able to document it is also a great way to possibly help people that are going through similiar situtaions. I am looking forward to the second term and sharing it with you all!

Kayla

Monday, December 7, 2009

Candy Store


I miss candy. I miss being able to eat as much candy as I want. I miss being able to pick up something from the candy store without hesitation. It's funny how something so simple can be missed so much. It's not that I can never have candy, it is just now candy comes with responsibility. I have to know the facts behind the candy before eating it unlike before.

I am sure we all have our food that we could not live without. For me, there are many different things but I have always enjoyed candy and chocolate. I often think, of course my love for candy is filtered by diabetes. I know that candy isn't exactly good for you, and we all, diabetes or not, should eat it in moderation; however, it is a lot easier said than done.

As time goes by I am sure living with less candy will become easier. In fact I spent Saturday in Niagara Falls, the Hershey's store was there along with many other candy stores, that I insisted we went in. I refused sample fudge and didn't purchase a single thing. I didn't feel left out or upset, I just knew that I couldn't indulge as much as others. Of course there were times where I wish I could have over indulged but I believe I did well.

Since I am mostly around non-diabetics I want to make sure that they feel comfortable around me. I don't care if people around me eat candy, chocolate or big carb food items. It doesn't bother me. I especially want to make sure that the people that I spend the most time around aren't depriving themselves in hopes of making me feel better. I honestly want people to feel comfortable and not feel as if I am any different than them.

Kayla

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Good Feeling


It is really unbelievable when I think about how much Clinton has done for me. As everyone knows, Clinton is my boyfriend, whom I've been dating for over a year now.

We had only been dating 5 months when I was diagnosed with diabetes and soon as he found out, he truly kicked it into full gear. He hasn't stopped surprising me with his interest to learn more about the disease and to help me in any way possible.

The fact that since day one he has been checking labels for me, looking for products, asking questions, and researching is amazing. I think that it's important not only for me but for anyone else who has someone in their life like this to recognize their effort and support.

It's the little things that these type of people do for you, that make you wonder how you got so lucky. The simple example of there being only a couple chocolates left and Clinton won't eat them just in case I need them.

Clinton to me is inspirational. He inspires me to push hard, be strong and never say never. I would hope everyone can find this person in their life, whether it's their best friend, spouse, or even a close family member.

I know that Clinton would go above and beyond to make sure that I was okay, he has proved that throughout our relationship. That's a good feeling.

Kayla

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We Can Fix This


I have learned something huge. I have learned that once you are a part of something, you know something, or trust in something you become a part of that. As for me, I am part of a diabetic community. It is a bond that cannot be explained but I often speak of it. Diabetes is something that I know and when someone misrepresents diabetes it puts a great deal of frustration on me. I know that others can agree.

It can be anything, if you know everything there is too know about hockey, and someone tells you that all hockey players are violent, you're going to want to tell them they're wrong. It will frustrate you that they are misrepresenting hockey players in general and despite there being some cases of violent hockey players it is a generalization about all hockey players.

I can think of many personal examples but one comes to mind right now. My sister, Abby, text me today to clarify what type of diabetes I had. After writing, type one, she instantly wrote back saying her teacher is dumb and believes that you can only get type one when you're born and that's it. Therefore this teacher was insisting that I had type two diabetes. This throws me back, here a teacher who has quite a bit of power in her own right, is giving false information. Not only is she sharing this with those around her but with my sister who personally knows a type 1 diabetic.

Honestly, when will it be known that if you don't know about something don't preach it. Diabetics are working hard to help people understand diabetes. We want to make sure people are aware of the differences between type 1 and type 2, yet shows like Dr.Oz and Tyra never, ever clarify if they're talking about type 1 or type 2.

How does a person know this if no one is telling them? How can we inform the public when the people with power are going against us. Type 1 diabetics can and will stand up and say, this does not apply to us! We are not fat, we couldn't prevent this, we are healthy.

I will do everything in my own power to help people better understand diabetes. I will stress the differences between type 1 and type 2. I don't care if it's annoying or repetitive. I want people to be able to correct those who are ill informed. When a person states, "obesity is on the rise, along with diabetes," I want them to state, "along with type two diabetes " not just diabetes in general. These are facts that we have managed to manipulate and be okay with, when really things need to be better researched and put forward.

Let's make this change happen. You don't have to be diabetic to help inform the public about the differences about diabetes. We can all work together to stop the conversation of, "I have diabetes," "but you're not fat?" We can fix this.

Kayla

Monday, November 30, 2009

Branch of Support


It's a weird feeling being in a room with a bunch of people alike. A crowd of people that knows what you're going through, how you feel and where you are coming from. I have had a couple experiences where this has been the case. A group of diabetics all together, a feeling as if we all know each other some way or another.

At the George Canyon presentation it was neat to see all the people, mostly children that are always dealing with diabetes. Some so young, that I could barely grasp how much information that they know at such a young age. I often wonder if I was diagnosed much earlier, what it would have been like. My parents would know much more about the disease and would have had to help me much, much more. Not that they don't help me now, but at least at my age dealing with diabetes I can do partially on my own.

I am so appreciative of those who are young with diabetes. I am amazed by every single child that is living with this disease. Candy is a child's best friend and when you're young that's what the world revolves around. I recall going to the candy store with friends at lunch and loading up on candy, or at birthday parties getting a huge loot bag full of candy and chocolates.

Children with diabetes are unbelievable, and every time I meet one, or see one I feel like giving them a giant hug. Here I am, nineteen, diagnosed at age eighteen and feeling pressure and fear when dealing with my diabetes, how do they ever manage at their age.

Any diabetic out there that was diagnosed at a young age, and now are a teenager, adult or senior, you're also amazing. You have went through so many different stages of your life and here you are to talk about them all. You have battled so much, so much more than I will ever know as a diabetic now. Your strength is admirable.

For those who have just been diagnosed like me, I know that there is hope and support. After awhile we will be much like the rest but right now we seem alone and scared. I believe that after a year of this disease the days won't seem as hectic and the rules won't seem so rigid. I think that for newly diagnosed diabetics there is an enormous amount of support out there and I would happily want to be considered as another branch of support.

Kayla

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumpin'


In a small room, type ones and their family sat in their chairs waiting for George Canyon to arrive. Animas, a company that makes insulin pumps gave helpful information to families interested. There were tons of snacks lined up, crackers, cheese, fruit and vegetables as well as drinks of all kinds. The majority of the room was children, I'd say under the age of twelve but there were definitely a handful of older type ones.

My mom and I sat in the front, I pretty much insisted. Of course with that George many a number of remarks about me, one asking what I wanted to be when I was older and another about the fact I didn't raise my hand when he asked where the teenage type ones are. Oops, I didn't realize I was still a teenager! It was fun though, George really is very kind and you wouldn't even know is success from music just talking to him, it must be because he has type one diabetes! (haha)

This was the second time I met George, first at the Hamilton Warplane museum and second in Brantford. It was an amazing experience and previous to this event, a pump wasn't in my mind but now I am definitely thinking about getting an insulin pump.

What really convinced me was when George said, "I think this can add years to my life." For some reason that really struck me. The pump although not perfect is much better than the method I use now, (four needles a day, 3 of bolus, 1 of basal) so it's possible that with better care and more accurate judgements that I could be living a much healthier life.

I wouldn't be surprised that by the summer I am writing about my brand new pump. I am thinking about a pink one. I think, for me, it would be a step in the right direction as far as giving me the healthy and long life I want and that everyone wants.

I told Clinton last night, likely the only thing that is holding me back is the way that it looks. Carrying around a GPS like object all the time, with a tube coming off you, as if you were a robot. People will notice it, some people won't but it was the idea that it wouldn't be 'normal.' However, if I needed to wear a brace, needed to have a cane or wheelchair, I would but because with diabetes I have two ways of getting insulin, needle or pump. I am choosing needles. So to convince myself, I must forget about those needles and think as if the pump was the best and only option for me.

Kayla

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Love & Support


It's November and I've already been thinking about next years Walk to Cure Diabetes. I had so much fun doing it last year that I can't wait to do it this year. I want to go much bigger, and really make it a huge success. Hopefully I am able to work with Fanshawe to help Team KK double the amount of money we made from last year. Can we raise $5128? We can defiantly try.

I hope that I can get as many or more people than last year. I am sure that I can. I really will never forget that day. It is truly hard to explain how amazing I felt and how well my team came together. It's just an all around good time with friends and family.

I know that of course not everyone may get to experience this particular type of love but I am sure that you've given this love to someone else. Whether you're walking, raising money, or just giving support, you really are doing more than you think. No matter what a person is battling, it's important that we are there for them and support them. I am lucky that since day one, I have had this love and support.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Passing By


It is crazy to think of the number of people that flash before us daily, monthly, yearly. Of course we always see the same people, the people we know and have known for awhile but think about those people that pass by us, hold the door for us, even the people that you happened to be waiting in line in front of.

These people each have their very own unique story in some how become part of your own unique story. They become a part of your memories perhaps, you may forget them but you may have learned something from them. If you liked their hair colour, maybe you tried it, if you overheard their joke maybe you told it. I think everyone we meet makes an impact on our life, whether tiny or huge.

There are many people in my life that have made an impact on me. Some impacts are minuscule while others are enormous. Some people in my life have left, but leave a scar. It doesn't matter what you think of a person, how much you know about a person, they will always be a part of who you are today.

On March 13th I was past by a lot of people, I saw a lot of faces and overheard a lot of conversations. Pretty typical, anywhere we go this happens. I happened to be in three specific places that day. First I was at home. I was sitting on the couch, the love seat, on the right side. The phone rang, it was the nurse, I needed to go to the doctor's office.

I can recall yelling to my mom. I don't think I saw her just before I got into my car and left. I remember walking into the office, telling the secretary that I had received I call. I was put in the waiting room, for hours. Back and forth, back and forth, from room to room. The room was a baby room, there was a scale to weigh a baby, pictures of children on the walls, a chart I remember reading about what your baby should be doing according to age. I met a doctor that day, I don't remember his name.

A nurse there, whom I've met many, many times often peeked in and out on me. I was in tears, but no one ever offered a hand or help. The doctor acted as if I wasn't in too much of a serious situation. Those others in the waiting room I assume went home after their appointments. I went home too . . . to pack.

I only remember one specific person in the waiting room in Emerg. at the Brantford General Hospital. I assumed she was a drug addict, she looked burnt out, aged and gone. She was sitting behind me with wrapped arms, spaced out and shaking. I don't know what ever happened to her.

I can recall going into a smaller room, a lady checked my blood pressure and then I was sent into a bed in the actual emergency room. I remember a black Christmas like ball in front of my area, I can't exactly remember but I think it was number 6.

A nurse was there, her name is Katie. She walked into the area I was in and told me that she didn't mean to step on any toes but if I was interested I could look at a website. This moment happened to be a changing moment in my life. The website was Connected in Motion. If you have followed my notes, you know very well, that Chloe Steepe is the founder of this. Chloe Steepe is someone I look up too. I owe so much to Katie, and I never had the chance to tell her just how much she had changed my life from that point on. I had no idea that the simple task she did was going to change me. I finally after 8 months got to thank Katie last night.

After my parent's left the hospital, Clinton sat with me until I was transferred, his attempt on leaving failed, as I balled my eyes out saying, "Don't leave me here." We still joke about the people that we heard around us that night. The lady who constantly said, "hello, hello, hello!" to herself and a man who was telling his sick mother about all the spicy food Popeyes has. These people will always be a part of me, those their impact small. They are a memory Clinton and I share.

Once I was in my room, I remember the old lady that I shared the room with Marie. She was a sweet lady who kicked out my guests a few times or so. When I was first in my bed and didn't know who was beside me, I instantly thought back to the drug addict. I was scared she was beside me the entire night.

There were so many people that have made an impact on my life. The point I was trying to make is that, we pass by so many people each and every day. We don't always think about how much they are making an impact. We don't really think about what their story may be. We honestly don't have the time or the energy to hear them all, to think about them all, but we can try.

I want to just take a second to thank Katie. A job is a job, but when you go beyond in order to help, it's beyond amazing. Such a simple gesture has changed me so much. Thank you Katie.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fingertips



Last night as I got ready to give myself insulin, prick my finger and jump into bed, I paused. Before pressing the trigger to allow the sharp needle prick my finger I stopped. I really thought about what I had to do. Why I did it and how I felt about it?

It seems like everyday I do the same routine. I pull out my meter, a strip, I press the button and allow the needle to hit my finger tip and bleed. When it doesn't bleed enough, but I try it anyway, it tells me there is an error, I have to pick another finger and poke. Sometimes I have to milk my finger, massage it just to get enough blood. This is when my fingers go numb, they sting. I often get asked, "does it hurt?" I always say no.

My fingers are tough, marked with red dots. They are young but strong. Without testing there would be way to much guessing and I would eventually fall apart. My fingers are vital, they tell me truths and give me answers. My blood drips from these fingertips more than five times a day, by March 2010, at least 1825 times.

My fingers are more than pointers and ring holders, they are my life.

Kayla

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Factors



I don't know what it is, but my blood sugars have been normal for the past week. Knock on wood. I have been amazed with myself, not going over 10 for over a week now. What could it be?

There are a few different reasons that I can think of. First of all I have been trying to eat a little better even though it's really hard right now to have good proportions in college. Another reason this may be happening is because I increased my Lantus, long lasting insulin. I have nearly doubled units since being diagnosed but I think that was expected. Another reason could be the ginseng! I have read studies that ginseng reduces blood sugars, but supposedly they have only done studies for type 2's. I wasn't even aware I consuming ginseng until Clinton pointed out "More Ginseng & Caffeine" on my Diet Pepsi bottle. I have been drinking it a lot and for some reason since then my sugars have been pretty good. I had my lowest bed time blood sugar, 5.0, I have ever had last night. But of course this could just be something I factored in that has nothing to do with my diabetes, but who knows?

I am just happy that my blood sugars are in check, especially as the term is winding down and my schedule is becoming increasingly busy. The most important thing for me is to reduce my stress as much as possible because I know for a fact that causes my sugars to go crazy.

As long as I have the great support that I have had all along I can maintain my healthy lifestyle. Anyone can!

Kayla

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Less


This morning, I didn't feel hungry. It can be hard sometimes, when you're not hungry but diabetes insists you eat. This morning it worked in my favour, my sugar was a bit higher than average, 9, so I managed to pull off eating 24g of carbs yogurt until lunch. This meant one less needle for the day. Of course this rarely happens, and most mornings I rush to the kitchen to get breakfast, but there has been times on occasion where I get to skip the insulin.

It's funny to think that I used to be able to eat without taking any needles at all. It's strange that, that was only 8 months ago. Now, I feel weird if I don't have to take a needle. I often find myself envying those who can eat whenever they want and eat whatever they want.

I am surrounded by people who just dig in, as I get out my equipment. If only it was easier, if only diabetes would allow a couple days off even just one less needle.

Kayla

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Extra Baggage


You truly know how different you are when you’re trying to arrange your belongings in a clutch, having to make room for not only your wallet, lip gloss and cell phone but also your meter, needles and a snack. I think it can be a little stressful, and it shouldn't be.

I have found a way to fit all my stuff in the smallest of clutches. I have learned that bringing a chocolate bar as an emergency snack at a bar isn’t the best idea, it melts. I have also learned that no matter where I go I have to be in tune with my diabetes because it’s not going to give me a night off.

Last night, I went to the bar with ten other girls. I let my two roommates know that I had candy in my purse and asked them to please insist I have something to eat if I began acting weird. The biggest question was, “how do I know you’re not just drunk?” and unfortunately all I could say is, you will just know. In hopes that they would just know, I had my own responsibility to uphold. I know when I am low and I know when I am high, in most cases. I need to be aware.

I recall checking my sugar in the bar. Someone said, “ew!” another said, “what is that thing!” I found it amusing that people had no idea. It’s not their fault. I hope that I possibly allowed them to realize what diabetes was about. That people with disease don’t hide away from the world. We live it up.

It was funny when someone said, “What does 14.4 mean?” and I laughed and said, “bad news...” I quickly said my sugar is high but it’s okay because the alcohol will lower my blood sugar.

Although it felt a little hectic knowing I had to carry a little more baggage than the rest of the girls, I had a great time, and like everything I do, I learned from it.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Same Story


Diabetes happens around the whole world and I think for me, every time someone messages me from somewhere beyond Canada I realize just how much ground this disease has covered. It's not happening just here, it didn't just happen to me. I am not the only one.

I find it so weird, because most diabetics have a similar story to tell. It's after the diagnosis their stories differ but before it all went down our stories are much more alike. We all had to use the washroom more than average, we all had thirst, we were all diabetics in the making.

Here I am, sitting in my dorm room, testing my sugar, I can't grasp how many other people are doing the same thing. It's hard to imagine that people in the U.S are doing this, that people in Australia are managing this, and that people in China are coping with diabetes.

It is so funny to me, I mentioned it before. When someone adds me that is diabetic, we instantly have a conversation to engage in. It often feels like we have been friends for awhile and that despite living thousands of kilometres away we feel as if we know each other. How can this be?

People that are blond don't assume another blonde is their best friend, people that are Caucasian doesn't feel as if they know every Caucasian in the world. Why does a disease make people so familiar with each other? How is this bond created?

Personally, I believe it's beyond the label of the disease. Simply just because you're blonde doesn't mean you will click with another blonde because you don't have the same experiences, maybe a few but not likely. Being diabetic is beyond having diabetes. If that makes sense. People that have diabetes can relate to others with the disease because somewhere along the line we all had these life changing experiences. We have all had low sugars, high sugars, bad days, good days. It's something about living a life of injections and pricking that we instantly know their story.

I love being a part of the diabetic community. There are so many people that I have met from it that there is no way that I would turn back time and choose a different life. It's not like I choose this but if there was a choice, I'd decline. Those are strong words, but I speak from my heart. I truly believe that these people who have entered my life because of this disease are meant to be a part of my life. Every single person who is a part of my life means something different to me. They have taught me something about myself that I wouldn't have known otherwise.

I want to sincerely recognize diabetics, living all around the world, thousands of kilometres away with the same story.

Kayla

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sweet Treats


Movie theatres are filled with food and drinks that aren't healthy for anyone. For me, it's hard to see someone drink an extra large cup full of regular pop. Being very involved with counting carbs I instantly tally up the number and can't help but gasp. Not to mention all the other things that people are shoving in their mouths as they watch their movie.

Here is some numbers to maybe make it seem more real, or at least give you an idea what's going on in my head every time food is present (mind you these are approximate to the size you recieve in the theatre):

Six cups of movie theatre popcorn, 40 g of carbs.
5 cups of regular pop: 135 g of carbs.
A package of candy (Gummy Bears): 65 g of carbs.

Now that's a total of 240 grams of carbs, and even though you may be sharing this with a friend this is more than most people digest in one meal. Carbs may mean nothing to those who don't have to count them, but for me, digesting 240 grams of carbs means giving myself 16 units of insulin. If this doesn't make you think just how harmful the food we digest is, think about the calories. Approximatly 899 calories.

I know no one likes to read or hear this, and this is probably why when we are sitting at a table we turn the packages away so we don't end up reading the facts. The thing is, if we knew what we were eating chances are we wouldn't eat it. A bag of gummy bears doesn't look bad, and even if you do read the nutrition guide it's not going to tell you what the facts are for the whole bag, maybe not even for half the bag. These are the kind of things I have to look for.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not angel in nutrition. I enjoy eating some of these foods but I can't neglect insulin. It's so eye opening to know the facts behind the foods we eat so freely without worrying. If anything we are worrying about the calories rather than the extreme amount of carbs in things like regular pop and candy.

These numbers are very real. The damages these foods have to your body are real. I think that as a society people need to look at these labels with care, and realize an almost 1000 calorie, 240 gram snack isn't normal and isn't good for you.

Good ahead enduldge but be careful.

If you want an easy way to see what's in your food go to: www.calorieking.com

Kayla

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simple Words

After celebrating a wonderful World Diabetes Day, I am proud to say by midnight last night I successfully reached my goal of 100 hands for Helping Hands.

It was such a great moment to know that I reached a goal that at times I thought would be extremely difficult. Although the group is still open and I still welcome more hands, I want to thank every single person who put their hand up.

I know that it seems like a simple deed, a hand is just a hand. To me, your hand is support. Each hand that is posted, 104, means something different to me and to many other people. Some people posted their hand with their love ones in mind and although it seems like simple words written across hands of many different shapes, sizes and colours, behind them has a strong meaning, memory and feeling.

I think this project was especially important to me because when you are living with a disease, illness or just going through hard times, it's nice to have a hand. For any day of the week where you feel as if the world is against you or that you're the only one, all you have to do is glance through the hundred hands and realize you're not alone.

I guess some people don't understand my philosophy or why certain things are important to me, and I respect and understand that. It isn't for everyone but it's definitely for me.

My World Diabetes Day will never be forgotten, it will be a day that I will always celebrate.

Kayla

video

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Celebration


Happy World Diabetes Day Everyone!

Today is a busy day for me. I have company coming over to celebrate the occasion tonight much like many other diabetics that I know are doing. At first when I decided I wanted to have a party I wasn't sure if it was a little too strange of an idea. After realizing how big this was, I knew I was doing the right thing.

Around the world, countries light up special monuments blue. I would love to one day see one and now knowing that the Niagara falls is being lit up I will defiantly head there next year. I think it is one of those things that brings diabetics all around the world together to let each other know we are not alone.

To me, it means triumph and power to those who may feel lost in the disease. It's not an easy disease and it is a 24 hour battle. Babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults, seniors, you're not alone.

For World Diabetes Day I want my guests and people who look at the pictures to realize how important support is to me. Without my close friends and family I wouldn't be as successful with diabetes. Like mentioned many times this isn't something you can do alone.

I want to reflect today about some key things that have happened over the past 8 months and since being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes:

The first symposium I ever attended was in Hamilton. It was the first time I ever saw Chloe Steepe, previously hearing about her in the emergency room. It was one of those days that I think to myself, if I didn't go where would I be today? I also met Anne Martin that day from JDRF who has been amazing to me since day one.

Doing the Mud Run had to be one of the most exciting things I have ever done and I can't wait for next year. Michelle, Clinton, Mom and I all participated in the Mud Run in Toronto with Connected in Motion. Our shirts were empowering themselves with, "Down and Dirty with Diabetes across them."

Team KK, the amazing team that was created for the Walk to Cure Diabetes 2009. With out all of you, I wouldn't have had such an outstanding team. Team KK inspired me to be more,do more and really allowed me to continue on. This team made me realize just how much the friends and family I have love me and support me.

Seeing George Canyon was an amazing experience that I shared with my Aunt Lisa. It was amazing to hear a celebrity tell their story about living with diabetes. Also to sit with other diabetics made you realize that your day to day struggle is shared by many.

Speaking at Fanshawe about diabetes was very inspiring. Just being asked to do something like that made me extremely happy and excited. I really took that moment in and realized how lucky I am to be where I am today. Without Melanie Baker I wouldn't have gotten such an amazing experience like that.

Going to special events with tickets provided by JDRF has really been fun! First were the tickets to Canada's Wonderland that Sam and I enjoyed. I then recently got tickets to see Radio City Christmas Rockette which was a great time that I shared with my Aunt Lisa and Grandma.

I also want to reflect on my three biggest projects, my blog, scrapbook and Helping Hands group. I really take pride into these three things and I am so lucky that I have people interested in all three of them.

This blog of course has been running since March, and I try very hard to write every day but of course like everyone else, I have busy days.

The scrapbook is a collection of everything I mentioned previous plus more. It is something that I love to take around to the hospital, family gatherings and when I have friends over.

My group Helping Hands, was started in October and now has 184 members and 84 pictures uploaded. It really is inspiring every time I look at a hand.

There are so many other things that diabetes has given me and that I would love to reflect on. I must admit I reflect about diabetes often.

Today is a day of celebration. Celebrate diabetes for the good things it brings you, hope, inspiration, and love.

Kayla

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thirteen


Friday the 13th.

If you're superstitious you probably are being extra cautious today, maybe you're not even going out at all. For me, I am debating whether or not Friday the 13th is lucky or unlucky for me and honestly I wasn't really looking forward to today.

The last Friday the 13th we had, was in March. Which means, that the last Friday the 13th we had I was hospitalized for a blood sugar of 24. This lead to me being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that day as well.

So the obvious conclusion would be Friday the 13th are unlucky for me. I always said that. I always would tell people, "I was diagnosed March 13th.. it was Friday the 13th." People would act scared and say how creepy it was but I started to think last night about it possibly being a lucky day for me.

It wasn't like I was in a coma that day. I wasn't really sick or close to my death bed. In fact I felt great that day, and I was pretty giddy sitting upright in my hospital bed. If it wasn't for the doctors and blood work I would have had a pretty basic Friday the 13th, but if I kept going on and on without getting help those first options could have been very much real.

Could Friday the 13th be the day I was saved? Did I get diagnosed at the perfect time before it all started to hit me? How much weight could I have went on losing without seeking help. It makes me wonder, just how lucky Friday the 13th is.

I think that the stigma around the day is strange. Why people from all different places know that it's a haunted day yet most of us carry on with our lives. I am sure there are many other days of the year that cause people bad fortune and sadness.

But I don't think my Friday the 13th is bad anymore. After realizing what diabetes has brought me, so much good rather than bad. I seem to believe that today will be a good day. If I am positive like I was in the hospital this very same day exactly 8 months ago, than I can proceed through the day without the haunting number 13 following me around.

Diabetes is in no way unlucky to me and neither will be the day I was diagnosed.

Kayla

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Radio City


Last night I went to the Radio City Rockette Christmas Spectacular in Hamilton. I was lucky enough to get free tickets from Anne Martin who works for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.) I decided to bring my Aunt Lisa as well as my Grandma.

The show was really great! There were a lot of neat routines and my favourite was the toy soldiers. There was a moment when I looked around and realized how much diabetes has given me. I have had so many different opportunities and experiences from this disease that if I could have prevented it and continued living the way I did, I would never want too.

It's funny how people laugh when I say diabetes is the best thing that has ever happened to me. They think that I am insane and that I am just making excuses because I got it and there is nothing I can do about it. But they're wrong. I can do something about diabetes. Of course I can't get rid of it right now but I can work with it and it works with me. I think of diabetes as a part of me but I am in control.

It's just amazing. It's nice to just take a minute and be thankful for what you have. I don't do it often enough. I don't think anyone does it often enough. So take this opportunity, before continuing on with this note take a minute remind yourself what you have.

I hope that you took the time. I know I did. It's easy to forget how much we have and looking around the Copps Coliseum last night watching the show it hit me.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Searching for Lantus


Last night I was on the search for Lantus. Lantus is insulin that I take at night around 10:30 p.m. It's my basal insulin which I think of as background insulin. Throughout the day it constantly drips into my system to keep it moderated while before meals I take Nova Rapid which is my bolus insulin, this insulin spikes when I consume food only.

The reason why I was on the search was because I ran out. I took 20 units of Lantus at 10:30 and then threw out the pen. My Lantus pen is disposable after a certain amount of uses. After going to my fridge and peeking into the lunch bag where I keep all my insulin, I realized the only thing in there was Nova Rapid.

I am sure you can imagine how I instantly felt. I couldn't believe I wasn't prepared since I am almost always prepared when it comes to having all the diabetes stuff that I need. I often have boxes of strips just in case as well as a couple metres, and here I am with the most important thing of all missing, insulin!

I instantly panicked. I realize I could have found a pharmacy but I knew it would be a hassle since I have no written prescription and they would have to get it as well as deal with my insurance. For some reason at that moment I just needed to know I had it. Insulin is my life, seriously.

I talked to a couple other diabetics about the situation. My friend Mitch told me if worse comes to worse take Nova Rapid every hour, even throughout the night. That made me think, why didn't the doctors tell me this? You can't expect diabetics to be on top of things all the time, just because insulin is our life line doesn't mean we can't leave it behind!

I instantly thought of contacting the diabetic that I met here a couple months ago. I tried hard to get a hold of him but no luck until his friend came online and helped me out. It was midnight and I was walking over to his residence to get myself some insulin. However, despite having the same type of insulin it wasn't the pen like mine, rather a fancier pen like that of my Novalin-Pen 4. I would have to wait the next day, as in today, to go over there at 10:30 p.m and give myself a shot there. It was complicated and because of fluids probably wasn't the safest despite having our own needles.

Instead I called up my mom, and begged her to bring my insulin this morning. So thanks to her I now have some Lantus to use for tonight and the stress of it all, is gone. Like I mentioned before, stress is not good for me. To say the least I got barely any sleep and all I could think about was my insulin.

I know now, to make sure that I am always prepared but as you know just as well as I do, it's hard to stay on top of things. I find it hard just because I have so many different things right now to stay on top of without even including all my diabetes problems and gear.

Kayla

Monday, November 9, 2009

Perfect Blood Sugars!


It feels like I can't have a day with perfect blood sugars! For once in my life I want to have a day between 5-7 even though they do say that I can be between 5-10. Today I have stayed within the 7 range thus far and that puts me in a pretty good mood.

Diabetes is hard to manage, it seems pretty simple, eat healthy and exercise but there is so much more to it than that. I feel like it's a constant game about how much insulin to give yourself for a meal. Of course they give you a ratio, mine is 1 unit per 15 grams of carbohydrates, however; this isn't the case all the time.

So many different things alter your blood sugars besides food. For everyone I am sure it's different. I find that stress and mood play a huge factor on my blood sugar. If I am having a lot to get done in a short time, my sugars will be high. If I am put into a difficult situations or I am overwhelmed my sugars will drop. Ask Clinton this, anytime I am in a store and I am given a choice or have to pick, I often go into low blood sugars. I went low in Target one time, waiting for my mom to tell me if I could purchase something, another time I went into low blood sugar when I was at the bulk barn and had to pick candy for cupcakes. Now it's a joke that shopping makes me have low blood sugars, dollar stores especially.

It's difficult to manage diabetes when things that are hard to control effect your blood sugar. Sometimes different foods take longer to digest, such as pizza. So you may find yourself giving the correct amount of insulin but it doesn't peak appropriately to when your pizza is actually being digested.

But I must admit over the past couple months I haven't been as strict with myself, but I made a promise that I would. I need to help my body and leaving it without the support it needs is not a good idea. This can lead to diabetes related complications and that's not an option for me.

I think the biggest thing with diabetes is for people to understand that it's not just about what you eat. It's also about what you do, how you feel and think. It takes so much time and effort out of our daily lives than people without diabetes can imagine. We are constantly thinking about our disease because everything around us constantly is altering our blood sugars.

Kayla

Sunday, November 8, 2009

3 Million People


World Diabetes Day is November 14th.

What does world diabetes day mean to me?

World Diabetes Day is a mark in the year that reminds us all of those that are living with diabetes. By 2010 more than 3 million people will be living with some form of diabetes. It could be your neighbour, friend, mother, classmate or you. Diabetes is a disease that effects so many people, people who don't even have the disease themselves. Parents take care of their diabetic children, teachers provide help for their diabetic students and most of all best friends provide support for their diabetic friend.

This year is my first time celebrating World Diabetes Day, and I am sure for a lot of my friends and family this is their first too. Unfortunately it takes someone close to us to be touched with a disease or illness in order for us to celebrate an occasion such as this, of course that's not always the case. I will be the person with the disease if you will celebrate and remember this day. You don't have to do anything special, but just don't forget.

Diabetes isn't something you can avoid, at least we don't know this yet. Type 1's didn't overeat, or forget to exercise and they eat too much sugar. We are not obese, unhealthy or fat. We are just like you, we ate wise and exercised, it just happened.

World Diabetes Day is more than important to me. I am celebrating it with good friends. I planned a party and I wish that I had a big enough place to fit everyone that has supported me throughout this time. I would have to rent out a gymnasium to fit all of the people that have given me a hand, words of hope as well as opened their heart up to me. To all of you, I thank you for being there for me.

I know that November 14th 2009 will be a day full of love, support and fun.

Kayla

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Not Average


Today was one of the first times that I skipped having lunch and also had a late supper. At first I thought it would be a big challenge but my blood sugars worked with me well throughout the day.

Today, I took my sister to see Justin Bieber. We thought we would just have to show up at 10 a.m get a wrist band then come back for 4 p.m to see him; however this wasn't the case. Instead we showed up at 9 a.m then waited in line outside from then till about 5:30 p.m. It rained, hailed, snowed and the temperature had to be only 3 degrees Celsius.

Fortunately we brought some snacks but unfortunately we didn't bring mittens, blankets or hats. Abby only had a sweater on and I was just wearing a pretty thin coat. So we were freezing!

My blood sugars stayed pretty normal throughout the day, and I think it is because of the snacks that we had while we waited, by the time we ate supper about 7 p.m my blood sugar was 9, which is good considering I had no supper and only snacked throughout the day.

Overall I really learned that nothing can hold back a diabetic. There is no reason why we can't do something that other people can do, and it's all about experimenting. Checking your sugar is probably the most important thing when dealing with a day that may seem unsure or not average. It worked for me, so I know it can work for anyone else.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November

With World Diabetes Day only 10 days away my goal of collecting hands is becoming more and more exciting. My group on Facebook, Helping Hands has 108 members thus far and I have 26 hands collected. This is a lot but not yet close to the goal of 100.

World Diabetes is November 14th. I never personally knew this until recently. I wonder why? I wonder if companies are doing anything to celebrate diabetes month. Do people know this is diabetes month?

I want to make it known that November is the month to celebrate diabetes. Although many diabetics out there would say every month, day, minute and second is about diabetes. November allows not only diabetics but people that support them get together and really think about this disease whether it be type 1 or type 2. I think that diabetes should be told about. I don't think that hiding this disease is going to prevent it from happening.

Can we buy products that support JDRF or other diabetes related foundations? Correct me if I'm wrong but I know a lot of other diseases that appear to have more public awareness. I shouldn't really say much because in reality I have not done research but I wish that I had known about this disease a bit more before I was diagnosed with it. I wish that people that are at high risk for diabetes or know someone with diabetes would just take time to listen and get involved.

I think this November is different from any other November I have ever experienced. Since being diagnosed people are very much aware of my dedication to providing support and involvement and if it takes me multiple Novembers to make this change known than so be it! I will work towards this goal not only in November but ever single month, day, minute and second.

All I ask is for your co-operation. I honestly can give it my all, which I try very hard to do, but in the end the support from you, friends, family and peers are what make my dream possible. I know that too someone who has not been exposed to a diabetes may find this unimaginable and pointless but too me, I see a light at the end of this and I am not willing to back down.

This November I am asking all of you. My friends, aunts, classmates, uncles, boyfriend, mother, sister, father and neighbours please work with me this month to help make a change. Diabetes has given me a reason to do more, try hard and really work towards something that many believe is impossible.

We can make it possible.

Kayla

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Safe?


I read an article today titled, "Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Safe?" It seems that, that would relate to me because anytime I am given a, "No Sugar Added" treat the nutrition guide is bombarded by words like Sucralose and Aspartame which are in fact artificial sweeteners that are currently proven safe.

I rarely eat treats of this nature but I must say Diet Coke is my drink of choice. Not that I'm drinking cans and cans a day but I do tend to drink maybe one a day or at least 5 out of 7 days. It seems like I rather drink something that doesn't raise my blood sugars like milk would or juice. Plus diet pop is really easy to just grab and go.

I am sure a lot of people are this way, diabetic or not. But of course, people claim bad effects about drinking diet pop and using artificial sweeteners. What's a diabetic to do?

I try to avoid these products, since they do tend to my stomach hurt, not diet coke but the chocolates and hard candies. It's clearly not 'good' for you considering the symptoms I get when I eat such products but it makes me wonder, when will they make something safe for diabetics to enjoy?

Okay, so I realize I should be eating healthy and having a real chocolate bar is fine as long as I take insulin. But I can't wait for them to create a product, a snack that diabetics can eat without any worry. That will be the day.

To read this article go to:
www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/are-artifical-sweeteners-really-safe

Kayla

Monday, November 2, 2009

Diabetics of the World


I've come to realize that although we live all around the world, different cities, countries and homes there is a lot that is familiar among us. We may not eat the same food or have the same morals but there are people out there that share our battles and triumphs.

I learned this through diabetes. It seems when I was first diagnosed or I should go back to when I first started having symptoms of diabetes, I thought I was all alone in this world. I was the only one who had to use the washroom every half hour, the only one who lost weight without complete reasoning and the only one who felt alone and scared.

It first occurred to me that I wasn't alone when I got the chance to sit down with Chloe Steepe ( founder of Connected in Motion.) After hearing her story of how she was diagnosed I felt as if she was telling my story. This happens all the time now, someone will talk to me about diabetes and it's like we instantly know each other. There is a connection between us, and it doesn't matter that we may be 1000 of kilometres away from one another.

I am sure this relates to lot of different things not only diseases but interests and hobbies. However, having diabetes is scary and you often feel like this is a battle you just can't fight alone. "When will my sugars be normal," "Why do I have to give myself insulin!" "I'm sick of this disease!"

When you realize that there are people out there, so far from you, that are following different laws, living in a different manner than you but they are completely on the same path as you, it's amazing.

Support is absolutely the biggest part of having diabetes. It seems every diabetic I meet is amazing. Okay, that's bias but truly. Type 1 diabetics, to me, know that there is a cure out there. They are willing to do more than sit and pout. We take action and try hard to fight this disease that has changed all of our lives in many different ways. Diabetics stick together. We are a team. We don't let diabetes tell us when our end is, we fight for every second.

To me, being diabetic is more than a label for announcing my disease. Being a diabetic is part of who I am. All around the world, there are these people, diabetics. They live in all parts of the world, they have different morals and values, diabetics are diverse. Yet we all can come together and make a change, how beautiful is that?

Kayla

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Diabetic Tomorrow



Halloween is like one of those dreams where they're scary but there is a part of the dream that makes you extremely excited and thrilled. For me at least, this year, Halloween was a dream.

This was my first Halloween as a diabetic. Thankfully I'm nineteen and going door to door collecting candy wasn't on the to-do list; however, eating candy was definitely on the list of things to do. How could I not have candy?

Clinton and I decided we would make some Halloween cupcakes for the party we were going to that night. We headed to the dollar store and the bulk barn to stock up on candy and cake mix to make the, 'spooky' cupcakes.

Wow, is all I can say, as I walked up and down the isles of the bulk barn. So much candy was packed into the little plastic containers in which you can take as much as you want and put into plastic bags. Jelly beans, gummy bears, macaroons, so much candy. I read the odd label, just curious at the carb count. 99 g, 75 g, 100 g.... I couldn't believe it. I automatically associated it with insulin. Almost 7 units of insulin for not even a cup of candy. My head was spinning and my legs were shaking. Wait, could this be a low?

I was excited, it seems odd. My legs were shaking intensely and I checked my sugar with hopes of a possible 5.0 or even a 4.5, so that I could at least have a little piece of candy. To my surprise I was a 3.9 or if you're American, 70 mg. Clinton told me I could pick anything but to be quick. Quick? When I'm low, I think not.

I skimmed up and down the isles, panicking, just overwhelmed. Clinton kept saying, "I know you can't pick but please just find something." I grabbed the metal shovel and poured gummy frogs into a plastic bag and we rushed to the counter to pay. I thought it was just good timing but Clinton I was faking so that I could have something. I had a meter to prove my low.

After all was said and done and my sugar had climbed back up we began on our way to make the cupcakes, which only lead to more sugar coated experiences. Licking the bowl, trying out the candies, the whole bit. Before I knew it my sugar was 19. Of course! I kept telling Clinton, I'll have diabetes tomorrow but today I just want candy.

I know it's horrible to say something like that, but I just couldn't help it. Halloween is hard! There are candies in bowls everywhere, people giving you little plastic treat bags of candy and everyone is talking about candy. How can I, someone who eats one mini chocolate bar and spikes up, not want to try some of this candy everyone is talking about.

I think for that one day, Halloween, I didn't do too bad. Of course I had extremes on both ends but I managed them quick and effective. Since I said I'd be a diabetic tomorrow, which is today, I will start again, back to my good habits.

Kayla

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bodies Agenda


After dealing with high sugars due to a mixed schedule I am fully aware just how my body wants to work. My body doesn't want to work the late shift, nor does it want to be forgotten and my body definitely does not like to start early.

Since my schedule was pretty mixed up the past couple days my sugars have been as well. It seems I've fallen into a routine breakfast, lunch and dinner are all usually around the same time, and once that routine is broken my body knows.

It's the simple mistake of letting myself push lunch till 2 p.m and then eat supper at 4:00 p.m, silly things that worked with the day's agenda but not with my bodies agenda. It's hard to manage diabetes when you are having a day when y0u don't know what's going to happen. A day where the food is a mystery and so is the activities.

Diabetes is more noticeable to me, when my day isn't wake up at 7:30 eat breakfast, 12:00 p.m eat lunch and 5:00 p.m eat supper. It's the little arrangements that make you want to fight diabetes and just be normal so that you don't have to deal with it.

I want to be able to relax when the day's been arranged and if something has been delayed. This will be manageable over time but right now I'm having a hard time adjusting.

Happy Halloween!

Kayla

Friday, October 30, 2009

Headache


Last night I headed back home to Brantford one day earlier than planned. The reason, I had a huge headache and I could barely concentrate on anything but the pain. After leaving the lecture hall at 3 p.m I felt weak and extremely tired, I even closed my eyes while I walked down the narrow hall of residence. When I walked up the four stories, I collapsed onto my bed.

I wasn't unconscious. I just felt extremely weak and the pain across my forehead was almost unbearable. My instant thought was that I wanted to go home. I don't know how this occurred but I do know some facts.

That day, like every Thursday I picked something up from the Caf to eat for lunch. This time a roast beef wrap and a parfait. After checking my sugar, 6.2 and then getting out my insulin I realized the needle wasn't going on right. Only to see that the needle was defected and that was my only needle. I knew there wasn't time to run back to residence and to my room to get a needle so I bit the bullet and ate without insulin. My class was only an hour and soon as I got home I'd take some insulin depending on my sugar.

After an hour of discomfort and even more as it progressed I knew that I had to get to my room a.s.a.p. My sugar was only 12 but like I said, I felt horrible. I took four units, not even two hours later I took another four units to eat supper.

Around six o'clock, Dad came to pick me up. I felt a lot better and the headache was simmering down, but I knew I needed rest, and I will not lie, if you're looking for a quiet good nights sleep, don't expect to find that at Fanshawe. Once I got home I did a couple things and then checked my sugar. I felt giddy and strange, I knew something was off balance.

21.8 was my sugar. twenty-one decimal eight. I hadn't been that high since being diagnosed March 13th. To me, at the moment it wasn't scary because my sugar was so high I was a little uncoordinated and rather excited. I even dialed insulin for correction, 8 units and fired it at my mom rather than in my stomach.

Approximately two hours after my sugar was 12.4 then about nine hours later when I woke up but sugar was 6.4, back to normal. Although this all happened so fast and my sugar was all over the map, I am glad that I knew to come home.Even though there will be times when I can't come home when I don't feel well, I knew that I was able to come and it made it a lot easier to rest and figure out my blood sugars.

As far as the defected needle which I've found numerous ones in the past two boxes, I will be writing to the company. I don't think that, that should be happening as often as it seems to be.

Kayla

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inbox


It's amazing how something so simple can make a change. A simple creation to inspire and educate can brighten a day or bring comfort. My dream of inspiring is proved every now and then and there isn't a greater feeling in the world than knowing you helped someone get through their day.

Isn't it funny how we never know if we are on someones mind? We don't know if someone happened to read our facebook status and were inspired or in my case read my blog and felt reassured or much better than previous to reading it. It's amazing when people send me private messages telling me how much my last note helped them, often it's people who I would never even thought would look at my blog.

Every now and then I get a message from someone who isn't even remotely connected to me. We have no mutual friends, and possibly don't even live in the same country. It's times like these where I have to step back from the keyboard and think how powerful my blog really can be.

Last night I got a message from a girl named Kelly. As soon as I read it, I instantly got teared up and text Clinton, "I got an amazing message from someone about my blog." It's messages like these that make me fully believe that I can change diabetes.

The message from Kelly read:

"Hey Kayla,
You don't know me but I had a breakdown after the doctors today and went online for some support. I've had type 1 for 13yrs and realized I've been going through this and never met another diabetic other than my sister. I read your blog today and couldn't stop crying(i felt ridiculous) but after 13yrs I still have my bad days. I was diagnosed so young I don't remember the early stages of this disease. Anyways hun I wanted to let you know that you helped me through my day and I learned things through you that the doctors can't teach me."

As soon as I read it, I was eager to write back. Kelly who is from California some how was able to connect with my blog and there isn't anything more wonderful than that. I hope that this can prove not only to everyone but to myself that this blog is reaching out to people. Despite the simplicity of it all, it means a lot to not only me but other people out there.

I am truly excited for the future and know that no matter how long it takes, I want type 1's to know about this. If I hadn't made a blog, and allowed myself to be truthful and honest where would these people like Kelly be? Where would they turn too? I am so glad I am there and so glad that people like you are supporting me.

Kayla

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Inspiration Called


Just when I called upon quick inspiration I received it in the mail. I knew there was something waiting for me back at home, but wasn't sure exactly what. Clinton brought it to be Saturday morning and I was very excited to open it.

A card written to me from my grade seven teacher, Ms. McLean. It was a congratulations card with a wonderful message inside letting me know how impressed and moved she was after reading the Brantford Expositor about me. When reading this, I felt great. I was happy that she recognized me and took the time to personally write me a card. I really felt a sense of accomplishment and instantly knew that I was on the right track for sure.

It takes something as simple as a card, a comment or email to make me feel the change. As funny as it is, I'm happy how easily I can be inspired. I will continue what I love to do, I will chase my dream till the end and I am excited for what's to come.

Kayla

Friday, October 23, 2009

Endless Dreams


Last night I truly had a hard time. I found myself questioning my dreams and most importantly I was having a hard time accepting my diabetes. I feel as if I get into these ruts where I feel as if no one is listening. Call it asking for sympathy or attention starved but it's nothing like that at all. I have many different reasons for getting upset and when I do it's hard to accept words of strength and courage.

I feel horrible that much of my stress is placed on Clinton. I often find myself rambling on to him about how much I hate having diabetes. Yes I said it. Last night I found it really hard to sleep and I just was stressed that I was given this disease because there are so many things that I want to do with myself, and not have to worry about it. Last night I sent a text to Clinton that read, "I'm honestly scared. Like I hate this. I'm pissed off, why me? I'm tired of looking for reasons and I'm so tired of knowing this is forever. I can't stand it." For those who know me, you may find this a little startling. I never really talk this way about diabetes and if I do it's brief. But if you read my note from last night, you probably can recognize I am having a rather rough time with accepting this disease at the moment.

I feel like I am doing all I can to work with this disease. Being the type of person I am, I often think about the future, which right now is not something I should be worrying about. Clinton often laughs at me when I worry about something that isn't relevant for another few years but I seriously cannot help myself.

I wish that this disease had a cure. I laugh as I write that because doesn't everyone want a cure. It's hard for me that I can't become just "diabetes free." after some type of treatment. Until there is a cure I must go through these repetitive motions over and over and over again.

This is why I do what I do. I keep myself busy with writing, promoting and helping people but it wasn't until this week did I realize how much I was truly avoiding thinking about the disease. I need some quick inspiration something to keep me going. I see it all the time with comments and feedback but I can't see my dream as well anymore, it seems so far and unrealistic.

It may be the week, busy, hectic week but I am counting on having a turn around soon. I want to be back to myself, the girl who thought nothing was impossible. This disease sucks, I am going to be honest, diabetes doesn't allow you to forget about it, therefore your mind is always going 100 miles a minute. My head hurts and I'm ready to accept this and get back on my path of endless dreams and amazing journeys.

Kayla