Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hammer Down


Tis' the season to eat lots and lots of carbs. We are faced with treats that only come out once a year and anyone who can resist those type of treats just are not living! I know that I cannot resist eating sugary treats and even though people tell me I cannot have those or should not have those - I just cannot resist!

Today, I had my D.E.C appointment at the Brantford General Hospital and of course like always, it went well. My a1C is higher than last time, and unfortunately I lost the challenge against Mitch. But hey, I was honeymooning for awhile and now it's time to focus hard on my diabetes and beat him next time. Hey Mitch, can I treat you to some doughnuts? haha!

As I left the appointment I began to think about my diabetes and how far it has brought me. I also thought about how I can really turn my diabetes into a chance to really get to know my body. I can download charts from my pump that give me all the details about my blood sugars, highs, lows and even site changes. This is all important because you can see patterns and with that - you can make change to improve.

Now, it's going to be a little hard to start hammering down even more now since I mentioned there are a lot of goodies this time of year - but I know that I can improve - like always and start focusing on how I can be the perfect pancreas for myself.

That will be the greatest gift to myself.

Kayla

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cell Phone


I was told that once I get the pump, many people will think that it is a pager or cell phone. I am sure a lot of people of thought that, but only twice have I been 'told' it was a phone. Today at the daycare a little girl asked if she could see my cellphone - and I was confused, knowing that I had no cell phone on me.

Then it hit me, my pump was hanging from my back pocket and I knew that the little girl had mistaken my purple pump for a purple cell phone. Once I let her know that it wasn't a cell phone; rather, something that gave me medicine. Everyone seemed intrigued by the device that I had on!

It's funny because I know a lot of adults have the same interest that these children do, yet no one wants to ask. Personally, I don't mind explaining my diabetes or pump - and love to spread the word about diabetes and what I have been doing to make a difference.

So be curious! There is nothing wrong with it!

Kayla

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland


Well, I haven't really had the time or chance to update. In this long stretch of time many of things have occured and really should be noted. First off, I am currently in the North Pole a.k.a London, Ontario. With more snow than anyone really knows what to do with - even school was closed for three days - now when does this ever happen for post secondary . . . well rarely and if you could see the mountain like snow piles and snow piled high on the roof tops - you'd understand.


So unfortunatly or fortunatly I was stuck at home away from all the snow - I had an extended weekend during what was supposed to be exam week. This would have been a great time for studying, but unfortunatly I had NO NOTES and beyond studying, I HAD NO SUPPLIES for my pump.


I had run out of all stashes I had saved for just in case of an emergency and even though I wasn't panicking my mom was! I wasn't really sure how long it would be until I got back to London. Thankfully Jen, a helpful diabetic gave me an idea to prolong my pump.


So, I made the trek back to London on Wednesday. The ride there is a completely different chapter, but let's just say I am glad that I brough extra snacks, juice, meter and a long playlist.
But now I am safe and sound and staying with the Maheu's!

I know now that if I am going to come home in the winter I need to bring lots and lots and lots of extra supplies....

Kayla

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's that time of Year!


Okay, diabetics it's that time of year again!

December has arrived and as the malls get busy, and invitations to Christmas parties pile up; diabetics everywhere are dreading some aspects of this delightful occasion! Why? well it's not for all the reasons that non-diabetics are thinking, here's the list:

1. It's time to eat treats full of sugar - we are diabetic not dead; therefore, pies, chocolates, candy canes, squares, chocolate chip cookies, egg nog, punch, dates, mints, m&ms, gingerbread men, sugar cookies, rum balls, chocolate truffles, shortbread cookies, cheesecake, cupcakes, and brownies are NOT OUT OF BOUNDS. I'd personally say that the most asked question of all time is, "Can you eat this?" or "You can't have this right?" - well sorry to say, but I can have anything - and most likely will have everything!

2. Now to go along with the first statement - yes we can eat all that stuff and to the crowd we will appear just as non-diabetic as all the other guests as our plates pile high. However, yes we are going to have to get our pump trigger fingers ready and apologize ahead of time to the tips of our fingers. Even though we enjoy the foods everyone enjoys - we must be ready to pump or inject like there is no tomorrow. Bolus, Bolus, Bolus - personally, it's worth it.

3. You will be given sugar free candy. Unless you've told people that sugar free candy is a. gross or b. makes you sick, chances are you will be getting a nice bag of sugar free Reese Cups or sugar free Hershey bars - let me tell you two things - they are gross and they will make you sick.

4. Finally, the stress of the holiday - all that shopping, wrapping and waiting in large lines can cause your sugar to either go up or down. If you're like me, your sugar will go down, but you will be in luck because there are so many treats waiting for you to eat. If your sugar is bound to go up, than you are out of luck and will have to remember to bolus before shopping.

Other than these four things - Christmas is a wonderful time for diabetics and non-diabetics!

Kayla

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Competition


I can hardly believe that next week is the last week of the term. It seems that life has been put on fast forward for the past few years and I haven't found a way to slow it down. Although at times I want to fast forward through essay writing and long lectures, I wouldn't mind slowing down with the good times that seem to go by in seconds.

As the end of term approaches I am busy studying. Not only am I busy studying like everyone else, but I am trying to perfect my diabetes. My next D.E.C appointment is slowly approaching and with that a little competition is going on. My friend, Mitch who is also a diabetic has an appointment on the same day - in which we see the same nurse. The challenge is to have the best A1C. Of course lately my sugars have been nothing but high possibly due to stress, but I am working hard to win.

Did I mention the prize is a doughnut? Okay, so not the best diabetic food prize, but just because we are diabetic doesn't mean we don't enjoy a carb packed doughnut - something I haven't had in years.

I look forward to this challenge - and what makes the competition even more fierce is that at our last appointment (which was on the same day as well) we both had the same A1C . . .

Kayla

Monday, November 29, 2010

Frustration


As everyone can imagine it can be a little strange having to constantly wear a 'pager' like object on you at all times. To make it a little stranger the 'pager' has a tube that connects to your stomach. Sometimes I look down and think, "wow, this is weird..." I am sure people look at me sometimes and wonder what it is and what it does. I wish I could let them know sometimes, because chances are they would ask if they knew how open I was about it.

I amaze myself about how accepting of it I am myself. I can get so angry over the smallest things, but when it comes to my diabetes for some reason I can suck it up and move on. Last night as I was rolling around in bed trying to get to sleep I had to keep adjusting my pump that was clipped to the top of my pajamas. I usually do this since if I roll onto my side I have to make sure I am not lying on my pump (for comfort reasons) and visa versa.

For a quick second I was frustrated - I wanted to rip it off and just sleep, but I quickly calmed myself and adjusted. As much as I love it - I hate it. It's a love hate relationship, but it's really hard to hate something that saves your life every day.

Sometimes it is nice to see it off me. Like after I get out of the shower, sometimes I don't re clip it until it's been nearly an hour just to give myself a break. I barely take any basal insulin an hour so it's safe. I just feel like me a little more without it.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"OH!"


There is an entire community of diabetics - like a subculture, diabetics have this way of relating to one another as if they had been neighbours, best friends or colleagues for years. We have a way of getting together and talking about diabetes without the worry of explaining. Phrases like, "OH! I know exactly what you mean!" and "SAME!" float around because even though we all live in different places, and were raised in all different kinds of ways we all share one common factor, diabetes.

I think having a diabetic blog is so important even though I never knew this when I first started writing. The more diabetes blogs I come across the more I realize how universal my blog can be. People from Australia, America and Europe can all relate to my blog even though, here I am all the way in Canada in a medium size city that is pretty much known for Wayne Gretzky and Alexander Graham Bell talking about something that is happening all around the world - not only too me.

One of my goals - or dreams I should say is that I can reach other to as many diabetics as possible. I want not only to present them a blog with things that they can relate to, but show them that they're not alone in their disease. No matter where you are around the world - this blog can be a peace of mind and something that you can turn to to say, "OH! I know exactly what you mean!"

Kayla

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pinky Vacation


I would assume that a lot of diabetics go through the, "I am to lazy to check my sugar phase" and maybe this happens a lot to people - I know that I have days where that is the last thing that I want to do.

It's a simple task, yes, but it's so annoying after awhile. Especially now that my pinky has decided that it will no longer donate unless it really has too. I think it's in dyer need of a vacation, so I guess I will give it a break for awhile. I wish I could give all of my fingers a break, but that pinky of mine well it's going to get a 4 star vacation for a couple weeks.

Diabetes is very much a disease that revolves around routine. You poke, count, pump, eat then poke, count, pump, eat and it never ends. Sometimes you don't even get the reward of eating, sometimes it's just poke, high b/g, pump and wait until it lowers.

So, I cannot be the only diabetic that dreads checking my sugar. The whole draw blood wait 5 seconds for the result and then either feel shame or say, "wow, how is that possible, I guess diabetes didn't realize I ate two cookies and had a glass of milk!"

I try hard to stay on top of blood checking and of course I do the necessary three checks at least for my meals, but sometimes the extra pokes are just not convincing enough for me.

Kayla

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Televison!

I made my first appearence on television last week when C.I.M was noticed for World Diabetes Day in Toronto. A picture of us was displayed and the news anchor, Tom Brown gave us a 'way to go' for all the effort we put into the day.

It's so funny how something like diabetes can impact your life in so many different ways besides the blood monitoring and the insulin injections. If you look up the term type 1 diabetes it says: "Diabetes mellitus type 1 (Type 1 diabetes, IDDM, or juvenile diabetes) is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.[2]"

All diabetics know that we could add to that definition! Diabetes has brought so many positive aspects in my life and has taught me so many life lessons that is unbelievable. I have made it in newspapers and now have been featured on televison. Who knew that this disease that results from autoimmune destruction would be so positive.

Now what's that term . . . if you've got it flaunt it? ha! Kayla

video

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dear Diabetes


Dear Diabetes:

You can take my pancreas - I don't care. I didn't know what it was before anyways or even where it is located now.

You can take the smoothness of my fingertips away - give me scabs and red dots - go ahead.

You can remind me of you every moment of the day - with your lows and highs and beeps - I can handle that.

You can poke my body - fingers and belly, hips and thighs - you can leave traces of your presence, red dots, bruises and scabbing.

You can label me as a 'diabetic' as part of your clan - the one you got a hold of and won't let go. Throw a bracelet on my wrist to remind me and place a pump on my hip to disrupt me.

You can wake me up at night or force me to eat when I am not hungry.

You do all these things and I am okay with that because what has come from this is all worth the handicap pancreas, rough fingertips, reminders every day, pokes, labels and wake up calls.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting Involved


We all have things that we want to accomplish and usually these things are goals that we set for ourselves in order to advance our education, career and therefore build our income. There is nothing wrong with wanting a good paying job or being considered 'prestigious" however when that is the only goal you have in life that is a problem.

I try hard not to sound preachy because I know that I've been through different life events than others. We all have had our times of stress, complications and anger and all of that usually leads to something new - a new chapter in our lives where we take what we learned from horrible situations and apply them to good situations.

I know though that a lot of people don't understand my motives. That probably ignore my notes, status updates and events because diabetes in no way relates to them. I know that even though I speak about diabetes I am speaking about much more. My goal isn't to get famous because I am a chatty diabetic - my goal is to help people and let people know that there are so many things you can do - that most of us don't do until we are much, much older or have been threatened in life. Don't let a disease be the decider on whether or not you're going to achieve more than just a high salary.

I feel as if I have surround myself with people that are willing to help and that share a similar mind as me as far as helping others and getting involved. I never got involved pre diabetes and I am so glad that I am now apart of many things and am not ashamed or embarrassed to get out there.

We some how have this idea that everyone our age (young adults) is just partying and doing nothing. We think that if we go to a club meeting or help at a charity that we are being 'uncool.' The fact that I may spend a Friday night doing something other than drinking or going out almost makes me feel like I am missing out - but really, what am I missing out on if I love to help others.

Why do we think that no one our age does these things? We are all engaged in this pluralistic ignorance where we believe that no one else is getting involved so why should we?

We need to have goals - but not only goals of earning good grades and high incomes we need to get out there and get active, involved and really begin living life for more than what's expected.

Kayla

Monday, November 15, 2010

World Diabetes Day 2010


On November 14th, 40 diabetics and their friends/family gathered in Toronto for the best scavenger hunt I can ever imagine! My team consisted of myself, Michelle, Tara, Jeff and Kale and we all had a great time trying to complete the challenges.

It was so amazing seeing so many people dressed in blue all gathering in the name of diabetes. They either had diabetes or knew someone with diabetes and came to support the diabetic community as well as Connected in Motion.

It is almost overwhelming being with so many diabetics. As we sat in Jack Astors after the hunt everyone was pulling out the pumps, giving themselves insulin or checking their blood sugar and I couldn't help, but think, "WOW I actually feel like the majority now."

It's an amazing feeling to surround yourself with people that have something that you do or know how it feels. People who support you and support each other. I know that there are a lot of diabetics out there that feel alone and there is no reason to feel that way because there are so many things that can be done to make you feel great about living with diabetes.

The hunt was just another event I can tick off with the CIM group - I am looking forward to slipstream in January!

Kayla

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Water Filled Pump


Tomorrow is World Diabetes Day and I cannot believe that a year ago I was celebrating this day by collecting hands with diabetes sayings on them - I wish that time would have went a little slower, so that I could have done this again, but time goes by so fast.

I am so excited for tomorrow because I am going to Toronto to do a scavenger hunt with a diabetes theme. There will be 40 participants and I am so excited to make new friends and have a good time with the friends I already have made from C.I.M. Of course Michelle is coming - she should just be diabetic with all the events she does - maybe a water filled pump is in her future?

I cannot wait to post pictures tomorrow of our hunt and write all about the amazing time that I had.

Kayla

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Worth It


Today I ran into a professor who I had last semester. I keep in touch with him and will always remember him as an amazing professor. He always checks on my diabetes and makes sure that I am okay.

For anyone that is reading this and is in high school I want to let you know something - in high school the teachers tell you that in college/university you are just a number and that no one will care about you. They tell you that once you get there don't even think about talking to your professors because they do not care. I am sure people in high school right now understand what I am saying. Of course this may be a tactic to scare you and appreciate them as high school teachers more, but they do seem to love filling our heads with scary images of post secondary.

Likewise when you are in elementary school and they force you to write in cursive insisting that once you get to high school you cannot write any other way - it just won't work. Let me tell you that I am in my second year of college and I DO NOT write in cursive. Not because I don't know how, but because it's easier for me to write regularly.

Anyways, what I want to say is that maybe in some Colleges/Universities or even in some classes you may just be a student number. You may just be taking up space in a desk or lecture hall and not get recognized as the individual that you really are; however, you will come across professors that see past your student number and acknowledge you.

I feel like the ones that take the time to know you - were some how put in your life for a reason. Like all people - they all serve a purpose in your life and even if you only know them for a brief second or a for a long period of time and then never again - they meant something and will always mean something.

When I found out that my professor that I mentioned before - his daughter was diagnosed with diabetes and is now looking at a pump - I knew that I was meant to meet him. I know that I can help and I know that my experiences can benefit someone else.

It may take awhile for you to realize why you met someone or why you have grown so close to someone - it may take years after the relationship is broken off for you to realize how that person changed your life, but when you acknowledge that they were there for a reason - that's when you can smile and know it was all worth it.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Support Group


I have started to wonder if the benefits of the pump come along with the support that you receive. Like for people that don't like the pump and have either tried the pump or don't want to try it at all - I wonder what there choices are based on?

I know a lot of people that enjoy their pump, but these people are super involved in diabetes related activities and support. The people that I have met that don't like the pump are all fellow classmates or people that I met at Fanshawe. I know nothing about their history of diabetes, but when they tell me they hated the pump I always ask why. Some reasons they gave me was that they gained weight, they hated wearing it or that it got in the way.

These are all good reasons and although I haven't gained weight from the pump the other two reasons I can relate too. However, thinking of going back to needles rarely if ever crosses my mind. I know that being on the pump has really helped me control my sugars and organize my health.

I don't want to make assumptions, but I think it was easier for me to work with my pump and not hate it because of my support group of other diabetics that had the pump. I knew that once I got it that I could accomplish just as much as them if not more. They were my motivation and I knew that good things come from wearing the pump.

I am sure there are a million reasons why people don't want to get the pump or didn't like having the pump - I wasn't too keen about it at first either.

Kayla

Monday, November 8, 2010

Find Themselves


A couple weeks ago I had gotten an email from someone who was letting me know that they enjoy reading my blogs - the email is rather long and filled with great information about herself and how she can relate to my blog.

This type of encouragement has been the push behind me writing these notes for over a year and a half now. Knowing that there are people out there that are living with diabetes and find themselves in my notes is amazing.

This weekend I am doing a scavenger hunt with my best friend and a bunch of diabetics. I cannot wait to meet new friends that all share a similar lifestyle as me. I know that they will have such a positive impact on me.

I love getting involved and it's been awhile since I have had the chance to do so.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Three Questions


I always find it funny how when you're diabetic a lot of common beliefs about diabetes and 'diabetics' come into play throughout the day. People who may even know you or don't know you at all tend to make assumptions.

I think the most common thing that I hear throughout the day and I am sure a lot of diabetics will agree is, "CAN YOU EAT THAT?" now - let's think about this. I wear a machine on me 24/7 if it was just to look nice on my hip then that's fine ask me if I can eat that - but truth is it's giving me insulin in order for me to be able to EAT THAT.

Another common statement is, "CHECK YOUR SUGAR!" because apparently if I am acting 'funny' maybe telling a few jokes or laughing for no reason like a lot of other non-diabetics do - this must be because my sugar is high. My headache, my coughing, my laziness, my stubbornness, my itchy leg, my hunger - that must because something is wrong with my sugar right?

And lastly the big question of, "CAN I GET THIS?" and the answer - OF COURSE YOU CAN! Apparently anyone can get this and maybe when we look at genes and all that scientific stuff we will find that only certain people will get this disease hence why everyone does not have type 1; however, I am not a doctor and stopped taking science in grade ten; therefore I believe anyone can get type 1. After all, I am not even sure how I managed to get and neither are my doctors. I am no contagious, but that doesn't mean you cannot get it.

Of course this isn't a complaint and a lot of people don't know a lot about diabetes and that's understandable. I don't actually mind hearing these questions and responding to them; however, I just find it funny how many times I hear these three questions throughout my days.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where I am or Where I am Going?


The hardest part of growing up is figuring how to you're going to get there. Although I still feel like I'm a young child at heart I am at an age where I have to make a lot of choices for myself and cannot rely on others to make them for me.

Truth is I have all the power - I can decide if I want to get out of bed and go to class, I can decide if I want to do my homework or assignments, but of course that's where responsibility comes into play. You learn how to be independent when you are on your own. You have to learn how to take care of yourself because no one is going to make you dinner when you get home from school and no one is going to do your dishes.

For me, I was diagnosed just before entering my first year of college. I had to learn how to take care of myself not only in the way that most people have to, but I had to manage my health issues all by myself. Although it seemed complicated and when I think about it - it's a pretty big responsibility some how I knew that I would be okay.

Now more than ever I am living a healthy responsible life while enjoying it all. I know that right now I have set goals, but the biggest journey and excitement comes from getting there. I don't know where I'll end up, but I am willing to take the ride there to figure it all out.

Kayla

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to everyone tonight! I know that I have seen quite a few children and a few older 'children' walking around gathering candy. I can only be thankful that I was diagnosed with diabetes much later in life because I cannot imagine how hard it is on a child living with diabetes on Halloween.

I am so thankful for my pump because any candy that I get I am able to eat with a push of a couple buttons. The pump makes eating candy so much easier! Although I don't have piles and piles of candy filled in bags all sorted out in different piles - I can imagine all the children out there that do.

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!

Kayla

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pass it On


I find that the best way to let people know about something is word of mouth. Just simply telling someone about something can really get the message across. Since day one I have been wanting to reach as many diabetics as possible. I know how it feels to feel completely alone in your disease. Even though I know so many diabetics - I am usually the only diabetic in the room.

I am usually the only one sitting over a meal thinking 40 plus 15 plus 10 is 65 carbs. I am usually the only one pulling out a device and giving myself insulin. I am usually the only one pricking my finger and drawing blood more than 4 times a day. I'm just that diabetic in the room that no one can really relate too.

So sharing my blog with people is really important to me. I know that when a diabetic comes along my blog they are probably nodding their head in agreement with everything that I am saying. So many diabetics share the same experiences and feelings.

So since it is so important to me that my blog is shared I am asking for one simple request. If you read this blog copy the link and pass it on to a friend. The friend doesn't have to be diabetic - you don't have to be diabetic, but once this is passed on - I bet a diabetic will get their hands on it.

I want every diabetic out there to know that there is something real being said about diabetes. Beyond the medical terms - there is real life stuff to read about diabetes.

Pass it on!

Kayla

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trial and Error


I always think back to when I was younger - say ten to eighteen. At that point in my life I wasn't sure what I was good at or how the things I was good at would matter. I was good at writing - I loved and still love creative writing. I was good at babysitting and being the person mothers could count on if they ever needed their kids watched for a couple hours. All these things although they were good talents or qualities I didn't see as being very useful.

Some people could draw amazing pictures, play the guitar or piano - won awards and made the newspaper. Some people could sing in front of a huge crowd while some could score the highest grades on math tests. All of these things I was jealous of and wished that I had something to be proud of.

It wasn't until the end of my eighteenth year did I begin to find out who I was and what I could offer. Even at that point I wasn't too sure where life was really going to take me. Despite diabetes I was changing without it. I had went through some life changers and knew that without a doubt I was ready to pick up all the pieces and try and make a new picture.

Diabetes only enhanced my ambition - it gave me a place to write and gave me motivation to write. Not only did I learn not to be embarrassed about it - I learned that people are actually interested in my writing and really enjoy it.

Now I know what I am good at and sometimes surprise myself and realize that I am good at things I didn't think I was. I am willing to embarrass myself and learn. I know that I can succeed and be everything that I was jealous of before.

I am no afraid to be who I am and I know that it took twenty years to finally see this, but I think that that is how life works. You have to go through some trail and error and be a little insecure in order to find who you are and learn from it. I am sure another twenty years down the road I will be saying the same thing. I just know now that I am comfortable with myself and proud.

Kayla

Monday, October 25, 2010

Two Years


This past weekend was a busy weekend spent with someone who has been one of
my biggest supporters, Clinton and I celebrated our two year anniversary in Niagara Falls with some Niagara Canuck players and their girlfriends.

There is no card that would be big enough for me to write just how much I appreciate Clinton. He met me non-diabetic and went through the entire process as I slowly turned into a diabetic - and now forever am a diabetic. He has seen my highs and lows (literally) and has never given up on me. In fact he pushes me to keep going.

He understands me and believes in me. He doesn't see my diabetes as a hassle and seems to know just exactly what my sugar is even when I don't. I couldn't have even designed a better person for me.

I enjoyed spending the weekend with Clinton and now that two years has gone by I look forward to every year that follows.

Thanks for being such a great supporter - I love you.

Kayla

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No Stress


For some reason I rarely worry about my diabetes. I don't worry so much if I forget my meter, don't have sugar on me, low battery on pump, run out of insulin - all these things should be something to worry about, but for some reason I know that I can figure something out and don't stress over them.

In fact I probably stress more about meaningless things; rather than important things like losing my life support basically. I have a feeling though that a lot of other diabetics are the same way. Maybe with the idea of, "If I constantly worried about my diabetes, I'd drive myself insane." At least this is how I feel. If I spent every second wondering what my sugar was, hoping my pump was working, checking if I had sugar, trying to be on target etc. I'd go insane.

It's great having other diabetics as friends and I consider myself lucky to know so many and have such great relationships with diabetics all over. I can't even imagine what it's like to not know anyone else that is going through this disease.

Diabetes has it's own jargon and lifestyle. We can throw out terms like bolus, b/g, basal, sugar and it all makes sense to us. We can say things like, "Are you high?" "How many needles do you take" without being labeled as a drug addict.

We can all just connect and not worry together - joke about not worrying, yet know if something serious arised we would know how to take care of it.

Kayla

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life Saver


It is unlike me to lose things, but unfortunately I think I may have lost my clip to my pump. Thankfully I have a spare one here, but if not I could have ordered one. You see the problem with not having a clip usually occurs for sleep time. If I am sleeping and don't have a clip I am in for a night of waking up and adjusting.

I think I've been conditioned to move my pump accordingly when I sleep. When I roll over I automatically slide my pump over which is clipped to the front of my pajamas or side, or back wherever I have some how moved it in my sleep.

Sleeping with the pump is probably on my top 5 list of things I don't like about the pump. When people ask me what I don't like about it that is usually around number one. I think that when you get into looking into the pump the hospital and doctors insist that it is the best of the best, but may forget to tell you some downfalls about it.

Somethings that aren't so nice about having a pump is wearing it. Having it on you 24/7 is annoying (at least for me it is) and most of all it is annoying to wear in your bra and when you are wearing pants without pockets or dresses/skirts.

Another thing is having to change your site. Okay, so I know people are giving themselves 4 injections a day, but having to go through the process of changing my site is annoying. It doesn't actually take that long, but getting up the motivation to do it isn't always easy. How can you convince yourself knowing you are going to be giving yourself a pretty large needle (promise yourself a treat because after all you need to make sure you put the site in right!)

Like covered before sleeping with the pump can be a pain. I never once have worried about my site falling out; however, who wants their hip bones rubbing against their pump. Like I said, moving it around seems to be a habit and either way it has to be worn.

So, I sound as if this thing I wear 24/7 is the worst thing in the world and really it isn't at all. It is amazing technology and I am so lucky to have it. This information is just true information that isn't really mentioned. However, it's all manageable. We all come up with ways to work around what we have and we deal with it.

Either way I doubt I would turn back to needles - no matter how many negatives there are about having the pump there is one big positive - it's saving my life.

Kayla

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spontaneous


I am not exactly spontaneous. I keep a planner, a calender on my wall and insist on times, dates and places. Even though I do tend to make what seems like spontaneous choices such as signing up for a triathlon or applying to Australia - these choices actually some what go through a mental process (sometimes a very quick process) but then are written down and bookmarked.

My best friend is much the opposite; rather, that has been the joke. I am the planned out one and she is the one that decides the day of. Even though I am comfortable with being planned - I love being spontaneous. It is just a little harder for me to wrap my mind around this idea.

The reason this relates to diabetes - because somehow everything relates to diabetes is because this disease was not planned. Nothing that I could do in my own power lead to my diabetes that I know of. Diabetes was spontaneous and took all my plans away for awhile.

My whole idea of life fell to the ground in shattered in one million unfixable pieces. I had to sweep it up and think about how diabetes was going to change everything. Okay, so diabetes doesn't exactly change your entire life. Yes there are needles, finger pricking, too many doctor appointments, pouches of things in your purse etc. but overall it's not like it's the end of the world and you need to pack up your bags and move to a new country and learn a new language.

I really had to adopt a new lifestyle within the lifestyle that I knew already. I am and always will be the Kayla previous to March 13th 2009; yet, now I am changed. I am interested in exploring, inspiring and of course being spontaneous.

I feel the best when I actually do something that wasn't written down in my planner. I feel the best when I am visiting a friend and not knowing what exactly we are going to do. Even though I will admit that I marked on my calender today: "Michelle Coming Over." I actually had no idea what exactly we were going to do and that was okay.

Being spontaenous isn't completely natural for me, but that's what friends are for. They can help you adopt a new idea and lifestyle without changing who you are. Much like diabetes, that spontaneous disease helped me adopt new ideas and a lifestyle without making me into someone I am not.

Kayla

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Bolusing!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

This long weekend has been a great time to spend some time with family and friends. I love having the time to bake some good treats, laugh and shop! Yes, Bake, Laugh, Shop - my life's slogan.

This weekend is all about being thankful even though I am sure throughout the entire year we have been paying our thank-yous. I know that I try my hardest to let the people that I love the most know that I am so thankful for having them in my life.

My friends are absolutely amazing. Totally the best people in the world to have in my life. Sometimes we can feel incredibly alone and frustrated, but having that one person to call is such a great feeling. This year I want to thank two people in particular that have been outstanding friends - Michelle and Mitch. Thanks for being there for me!

I am thankful for my amazing Mom! She has always been there for me and some how knows exactly what's wrong. She sorts out my dilemmas and reassures me that I am making the right choices. I am so thankful to have a close relationship with my mom.

Of course I am thankful for all of my family. They all have played a special role in who I am today. They have taught me things that I otherwise would have never figured out. I am so thankful to have a close family.

I am thankful that I am lived a lucky life. Yes, I realize most people would say, you have diabetes, how lucky of a life is that. But I am so lucky that I was given a disease that opened my eyes to the entire world. That has taught me so much about myself. So, as crazy as it sounds, I am thankful that I am a healthy active diabetic!

I am thankful for my amazing boyfriend of two years. He has been such a great supporter of me. He has put up with my highs and lows (literally) and has never once complained. He inspires me and teaches me so much from his dedication to his family, hockey and me. I love you and I am so thankful for you, Clinton.

I am also thankful for being given so many opportunities in my life to travel, meet new people etc. I have been given so many experiences that I can barely wrap my mind around them all. I have seen a lot of what the world has to offer and know that I will only continue to see the rest of the world and learn so much.

I am so thankful.

Kayla

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Community


It's really easy to get along with another diabetic. Especially if they're pretty open about their diabetes. I have found it incredibly easy to pick up friends along my journey with Type 1 and it shows proof that there are so many other people like me that are living life to the fullest.

I never had a chance to be alone in my disease. I never once had the thought, "Oh my God, I am so the only one with type 1, this sucks." I know that there has to be other people out there that go through this phase and it's so upsetting because I know first hand there are type 1's EVERYWHERE!

When I was in the emergency room I was introduced to the Connected in Motion website. Which immediately allowed me to see that there were many, many, many type 1's out there. Who knew that not too long after that I would be featured on that very website! www.connectedinmotion.ca

But, this still amazes me! I have collected more than a handful of diabetic friends that I can count on for support and answers. I will continue to meet more type 1's throughout my life and without the awkward "nice to meet you" we will instantly feel as if we've known each other for years.

Type 1 isn't just a disease it's a community and I am very glad to be involved in it.

Kayla

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Letter to Me


I was wondering what if I could have told myself - a year and a 8 months ago that soon your life was about to change. I'm sure if we were able to write a letter to ourselves before a time of change it may have been a little reassuring to our past selves to know that we got through it much easier than we thought. If I were to write a letter to me it would go something like this:

Dear Kayla, (Send back to March 13th 2009)

You're about to see change in yourself so rapid and genuine that you will wonder inside what is happening. The doctors told you that you are 'diabetic' and you don't exactly know what that means; yet, I know that you are prepared to understand - as if you knew somehow what it was like to be diabetic all along.

I know that you probably have a smile on your face even though you're sitting in a hospital being woken up for a needle every four hours. This smile will never fade, but I promise that sometimes it will be very hard to smile because this disease will sometimes get to you.

However, the pros way out the cons. You are not afraid as you once thought you were. You will prove to yourself that there is so much out there to experience and you're willing to do it. You will meet so many new friends that share this disease. People that will forever have an impact on your life.

Kayla, I know sometimes this disease is going to get in your head, knock you down and push you around. But, you will always be able to pick yourself back up again and figure it all out. Trust Me.

Kayla

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just a Dream


Sometimes you dream about something and wake up wondering why you dreamt it. For me, believe it or not, some dreams I have had have played out in reality. Sometimes I trust my dreams more than my reality.

Personally I believe that dreams can tell a lot about you - about what you keep hidden and what you don't tend to share - such as your fears. Now, thankfully I rarely dream about the bad things that could happen because of my diabetes, in fact I cannot pin point one dream where I woke up dreading that I have diabetes.

I have had good dreams about diabetes; however, like ones that reinforce that even though I am sleeping I am fully aware that I have diabetes. You know those dreams where food appears and looks so amazing that you can actually taste it. Well, I have those dreams, but unfortunately I pronounce to the dream world that I am diabetic and don't eat it! I'm not even lying.

Now you would think through the whole process that I've been through while dealing with diabetes from the very start of being in the hospital through having to get used to daily injections and right up to being put on an insulin pump - you'd think I would have had those scary dreams of something going wrong. I haven't had a single one.

It wasn't until last night did I have a dream about my pump. My pump had the little circle sign on it which usually indicates to me that I have a low reservoir - instead it told me that something was wrong with my pump. I looked for kinks in the tubing, made sure there was insulin - until I looked down at my stomach and insulin was pouring out like pouring out (I wish I had this much insulin to just pour out, rather than pour into me) but anyways after waking up from this dream I had to laugh, knowing that it was impossible for insulin to just pour out of me. Note: THIS WAS A DREAM.

It was a little strange to me that I would dream this since I really don't have any worries about my pump failing on me. I am a little worried that that somehow means my pump is going to do something crazy, but sure enough it's not like I wouldn't realize.

I am really glad that I haven't had frequent bad dreams about my diabetes because that is a dream I wouldn't be able to shake. To me this means that I am okay with being diabetic and have settled with it and allowed it to be part of me. When I forget my meter or think I 'may' have enough insulin to get by for a couple days - I don't worry (My mom on the other hand . . . ) Yes it's important to remember these things and be prepared, but honestly if I worried about my diabetes all the time I'd be a wreck, and mindlessly to say - I'd get no sleep!

Kayla

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Finding Peace


It's really hard for most people to sit still. To relax and enjoy absolutely nothing. For me I am constantly looking for a new project to embark on and of course they pile up on one another and soon collapse leaving me wondering what to do next.

My family always tells me that I am only going to stress myself out more and complain when I say things like, "I am going to take Spanish lessons in the summer" or "I want to go do this event..." truthfully I do like to keep myself busy and when it comes down to it, being busy is kind of fun.

However, it's super important to relax and that is what I am trying to teach myself to do. Of course yoga (the two classes I've been to) has given me a chance to focus on being relaxed - yes when they ask us to focus on our goal of why we are there I simply say to relax.

I want to accomplish a lot in my life, but obviously it doesn't need to be done in 24 hours. Planning is part of my nature and it's super hard not to plan my weekend two weeks ahead of time, but I am trying very hard to distract myself from all of that and focus on now. I really do have interests that are relaxing like reading and scrapbooking - these are things I can do to relax myself, but most of all the hardest thing to do is to just sit there. Yes, just sit there and relax without television, without an iPod - with nothing but myself.

I did this today in the sauna. I closed my eyes and focused on relaxing and not doing one thing. Okay - so I can run for an hour, but nothing is as hard as just sitting there doing nothing. I wanted to get out and get on my way, but I forced myself to just sit there and it actually started to feel good. I forgot about everything else and began to focus on nothing.

Now maybe yoga class is getting to my head - I am not sure, but it's really important for me to document this experience. Not only am I learning from yoga, my novel I'm reading is just reassuring my philosophy.

I know there are a lot of people out there that want to do nothing,but don't have the time. I know that I am lucky to really have no expectations set upon myself, only those that I put on myself; however, I want everyone to try and find time for themselves to do nothing or at least do something they find relaxing. You will feel great and then you can go about your busy day doing anything and everything.

Kayla

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stories to Tell & Pictures to Prove It


My friend, Michelle recommended that I read the book, Eat, Pray, Love. She said she had a feeling that I would like it - and even though I have only read about 60 pages of the book thus far I can admit that this book was definitely a good choice for me.

It really makes me think about life in a different way. Well, in a way it's how I have been looking at life since being diagnosed, but this kind of reassures my beliefs. There are things in my life that are far from perfect and that I am constantly having to deal with on a daily basis.

I am diabetic and will always be diabetic, so the constant flow of insulin that uniquely enters my body will never cease. This pump will be apart of my travels and adventures now and really if I ever run out of things to talk about I can always turn towards my pump and introduce it.

My life has been very interesting. I have been able to switch angles and perspectives in my life. I went from being the average person to someone who has stories to tell and pictures to prove it.

Like in the book, travelling has been incredibly desirable for me. Although I enjoy being Canadian - I love enjoying visiting other parts of the world and want to continue travelling and learning about other people and their cultures. I believe that once you are exposed to new people and cultures you begin to learn more about yourself.

Even though some people see my pump as a limitation - I can easily prove that nothing is out of the question when wearing my insulin pump. Hey, I even zip lined through the Panamanian rain forest with it on! There may be extra obstacles that I need to overcome when travelling, but in the end it's incredibly worth it and if I can share my story to at least one person in a different country then I can only hope I have at least inspired one person out there.

Kayla

Thursday, September 30, 2010

316


This note will be my 316th and that number seems huge to me - I never thought that these notes would continue this long when I first sat down to let everyone know I had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. After awhile I realized that these notes were more than my therapy - they were a lot of others therapy. Not only other diabetics, but people of all different types living different lives with different opinions and struggles.

316 notes doesn't exactly describe the play by play of my diabetes, but it comes pretty close. I have had diabetes for about 635 days and in that short time I have managed to capture what it's like to live with diabetes and even better how diabetes has changed my life.

I have met the most amazing people through my blogs - people from Australia, people from the United States, Europe and Canada and they all have been open enough to share their stories with me and how they can relate to what I have wrote whether it was from my early stages of diabetes or something recent I have just experienced.

I love hearing from my readers and sometimes I am surprised to know who reads my blogs. I remember when I was getting interviewed by Brant News the reporter asked me if I knew how many people read my blog and I had no idea because truth is I get messages from people who I'd never expect to have read my blog, yet do.

I'd love to hear comments - if my blog has helped you or inspired you. It's so nice to hear positive feedback and to know that my story is being heard and passed along. It's the great thing about writing.

Kayla

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Assumptions


We all can assume things that we can achieve. We assume we can get certain grades on tests, we assume we can walk a 5k distance, we assume things that we no without a doubt we can achieve. But what happens when we go beyond our assumptions. We push ourselves beyond all that we thought achievable.

My life from diabetes on has been all about pushing myself to the unknown. Yes, I've signed myself up for some pretty crazy things like mud runs, amazing races and half triathlons. Those things I didn't think were ever going to make my life story, but some how they did. We assume practical things that pretty much everyone goes through - we assume we will graduate, we assume we will land a pretty decent job and we assume we will create a nice little family.

Assuming isn't a bad thing because it keeps us grounded and feeling like we have a sense of control over our lives, but throwing in the odd curve ball is always a great way to live. My biggest achievements so far have come from things I didn't plan on doing. Like running for a complete hour on the treadmill on Monday. I would have never assumed that I could have ran that long without stopping - basically because I have never, ever, ever done that. But I pushed myself, and didn't let myself give up - didn't let myself assume that after 30 minutes I was done - I just kept going.

Now this makes me think - maybe assumptions hold us back in a way. Who knew I had it in me to run 8 km in one hour considering I've never ran that far before. Maybe I had it in me all along, but never thought I could do it. Like the half triathlon - even the day before the event I was thinking, "oh my, can I even do this?" but surprise, surprise I finished and I wasn't even last!

So maybe some choices I make scare me - for instance applying to Australia. But I can't let a silly assumption stop me from making bold, crazy choices. Who knows what I can do - I can only surprise myself.

Kayla

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Learn to Relax


If there is one thing that I am good at it would be stressing. You know the saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff" - well I don't tend to live by that. For some reason I let the smallest of things take away all my concentration which in turn leaves me feeling the stress of the world on my shoulders.

When I stress it's not just my mind stressing, but it is also my body. I feel the repercussions of my stress reflected through my blood sugar and my over all health. I realize that these symptoms may not be apparent for those who aren't constantly monitoring their blood sugar - but it's proof that stress effects absolutely everything.

Right now I am trying very hard to take time for myself and focus on what I am doing now. I worry so much about the future that I miss out on things that are happening now. Now with my Y membership I am allowing myself to de-stress from what school brings. I started a yoga class today and it was very peaceful and very different from my usual workout.

Life is too short to be panicked and stressed all the time, I just need to learn to relax!

Kayla

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Second Family


Leave it to me to move 100 kilometres from home and find a second family. For most people that second family comes from friends they met in their classes, while my second family involves three little boys and two awesome parents.

I am so incredibly lucky to know that whether I am in Brantford or London I have a place to call home. Yes of course I have my townhouse located in the 'ghetto' of London (Okay, so it's not THAT bad) but I have a home here that I know I can go to at any time and feel as if I never left Brantford.

The Maheu Family has been my home away from home. After having Shannon has a prof, our similar interests in Keith Urban automatically made us friends and since then I couldn't be more happier that I took Human Relations!

Moving away from home is a big deal and especially moving away with diabetes - last year I had only had diabetes for 6 months before having to figure it out all on my own. I was in a new environment and it was up to me how I was going to manage my diabetes - my life.

Knowing that I have the support from the Maheu's in London has made it a lot easier and refreshing for me. I know that if I ever need anything that they are only 10 minutes away. They have been more than wonderful to me and I will always be thankful for their help and kindness.

Let's hope there is an Australian version of the Maheu's for next school year!

Kayla

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Story


You could read through my notes from the very first post in March 2009 up until the last post in September 2010. You might find a change in me from then until now, find lessons I learned, experiences I shared. I enjoy looking back at these notes because unlike a lot of other people I have created an archive of me. I can go back to this very day last year and know just how I was feeling. Last year I wrote about how much Clinton meant to me in 'Here's to You' and thankfully to this day I can still safely say that that note remains true.

I know that I have created a written story of my life that will hopefully live on forever. My challenges, triumphs and battles will always be a tale to tell, proof that diabetics or anyone with an illness or disease is in no way limited. If anything it gives me that extra push to try new things, go beyond and live life to the fullest because I know that I am in control of my story and the more things I can experience and do the better the story becomes.

I am only twenty and don't intend on sitting around for the rest of my life. I cannot afford to waste time, i've got a lot of things to do and a lot of places to see.

Kayla

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Determined


Lately I have been determined to be the best that I can be. I am sure that is written on a poster somewhere in a classroom - but honestly, determination is a trait that takes hard work to maintain. I have had so many phases in my life when I said I was determined to lose weight, determined to get a good mark, determined to not fall for stupid boys, yet time and time again I broke my promises and threw determination out the window.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes there was nothing I could do to change that. I could have ignored the whole diagnosis, but I can safely say I wouldn't be here writing this blog. At that moment I became pretty determined that whatever the challenge I was determined to beat it or at least stay strong throughout. I like to think that this determination as lasted.

There were a few slips along the way. I did have moments where I wanted to stop needles, stop pricking, just stop diabetes. There were time when eating healthy was like a last resort that I was not willing to visit at all. I went through the phase of, well I'm not huge, so one more handful why not? I realize that I did this pre diabetes - but honestly who doesn't say that when they want to eat something incredibly unhealthy.

Determination in some aspects of my life slipped, but apart of me was ready to pick it up again and prove that not only am I doing this to prove that diabetes doesn't have a hold on me - but to prove that I can do whatever I set my mind too. I am determined to go far with my education, to become the best primary teacher you've ever seen and also I am determined to be healthy and take every opportunity like it's a Christmas gift wrapped just for me.

I am not turning down chances or experiences - I am going to step outside of my comfort zone and I am going to think outside the box. If we only get one shot at this then I am determined to make the most of it.

Kayla

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Health


It always crosses my mind whether or not people perceive me as healthy. The facts are that when people say diabetes most people have a different idea in their head. I can only assume that if I asked random people what kind of people get 'diabetes' they would say, old people and unhealthy people.

The stigma around diabetes is extremely harsh for those living with type 1. Not only are the majority of us young, but we are healthy in some cases extremely healthy. I realized just how bad the stigma was when I set up my booth outside of Fanshawe. I was extremely shocked at some of the reaction to the booth (even though it said Juvenile Diabetes) I am sure the word diabetes stuck out which then lead to the belief "oh well it's there fault they got it - why would I give them money!"

As type 1 diabetics we find ourselves laughing at the misinformation that is given by people of some-what authority. People we watch on t.v like Dr. Oz. How can these people who know so much about 'medicine' not have a slight clue on how to get across that type 1 diabetics are nothing like type 2 diabetics.

Okay, so this sounds like a war of the diabetics - but it truly isn't. I just know that as a diabetic I can easily be judged as being an unhealthy girl who ate too much candy. It's hard to educate people about diabetes because how many times do you hear about the epidemic of diabetes due to fast food, lack of exercise, processed foods.

I guess the best thing to do like many other type 1's I know - is to prove to those people who have already judged me - that I am healthy and that nothing is too big of a challenge for a type 1.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What I've Learned


I've spent about 16 years in a classroom from kindergarten up to my second year of post secondary. Throughout those years I have had some outstanding teachers that will always have left an imprint on me. I have managed to learn lessons that I assume were gained through my sixteen years behind a desk, writing down words off a chalk board and memorizing words that meant something to someone at some point in time.

But even though all those lessons were essential to who I am today and must be given credit for getting me where I am - I know that a lot of the lessons we learn are from outside the classroom or institution. These lessons are learned at recess, playtime and social events. These lessons are learned from health issues, break-ups and family conflicts.

If all our lessons were learned from inside the school we would all be the same. We would all just be able to regurgitate what we learned in class and have no idea how to apply it. We wouldn't have anything interesting to add to conversations.

Yes, we need school systems and outstanding teachers to teach us lessons that will help and will always help us in achieving success and wisdom; however, I think we need to put a little emphasis on the lessons that we can learn from outside.

I never realized how important it was to take part until being diagnosed. It is so easy to just let the world pass you by. It's amazing how many things are out there for us to experience and learn, yet so many people think the only place for learning takes place in front of a professional teacher.

After being diagnosed I knew that I was given diabetes for a reason. It's very cliche for me to say this, but it's one of those things that once you have been given something that you cannot change you begin to think of why you were given it. I knew that I was overall a good person with a kind heart and good intentions. I knew; however, that I wasn't living my life to its full potential.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I try my hardest to experience life. Even though naturally I am a bit timid and sheltered - I have come to realize the best lessons come from taking risks and stepping outside of your comfort zone. For example, moving away to attend school. Even though pre-diabetes that was out of the question I began to realize that there was a lot more out there for me. I allowed myself to jump into something I was unsure of, yet knew that I was strong enough to handle.

I guess this is what I am living by now - knowing that even if I feel scared about it and nervous chances are I am going to come out with more knowledge than before and who knows what will follow next.

Kayla

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pump Advice


Since having a pump I have had a lot of other diabetics ask me whether or not my choice to go on a pump was worth it. I know that a lot of type 1's are finding themselves stuck between two pathways - whether to keep going with what's familiar or take a path that has unknown.

It's so easy to take the path that is familiar and that is why so many people get stuck in old habits. They may find themselves saying well this has worked, so why change something that isn't broken. It's true with a lot of things in life whether your diabetic or not. It becomes that much harder of a choice when you know that it is closely directed to your health and well being. The choice is yours, but the question is what impact will the choice make.

For me the choice at first was pretty clear - I wasn't going to go on the pump. As interesting as it sounded and as cool as you could make them look with skins - I was NOT going to wear something on me. It wasn't because I was hiding to the world that I was diabetic or because I was embarrassed of needing some type of device to keep me alive, but the fact that I would be stuck to my diabetes was absolutely absurd.

I don't know what struck me that made me change my mind. I really hadn't endured too many needles - it wasn't like I grew up being diabetic. I just had this feeling that the pump could do something for me that my needles couldn't. What it could do I didn't know. Still to this day I am sorting out the pros and cons of wearing my insulin pump, but I cannot see myself going back to needles in the near future.

When diabetics ask me if I regret getting it - I know that I don't because I have a choice to stop insulin pump therapy. I don't know exactly why I don't regret it, but I just don't. When diabetics ask me what I have noticed as far as improvements I basically say it cuts out a lot of needles in the long run; however, the needle to put it in is a little bit intimidating.

The cons of course relate to having to wear it all the time. As if diabetics don't have to think about their diabetes every second of the day - let's attach something to their body to remind them. It isn't exactly the best accessory to every outfit, but hey it's family now!

There has been quite a few times where I feel my site or my pump and think, 'oh my god' am I really diabetic? As if I just found out again - because I grew up non-diabetic and really haven't had a long run with it yet. I am still shocked that I am diabetic and I think it's one of those things that you just don't believe even though you are treating it, dealing with it and living with it every second of the day.

Kayla

Friday, September 10, 2010

Who I am


Now that the first week of school is over with and it's finally the weekend I have had time to reflect about where I've been and how far I've come. This week has been hectic and crazy. From trying to get from class to class while settling into a new environment - this week has by far been the craziest week I've had in a long time.


On my hour drive home from London to Brantford I thought about how fast time flies. Not even from Monday - Friday, but from year to year. It is almost like we blink and it's a new day. Some days that's a good thing - stressful days we wish to go by in seconds while amazing days we wish to last forever unfortunately that usually never works in our favour.

After finishing up this crazy week I began to think about how far I have come as a person and how much small things in my life have changed me. I am so incredibly lucky to be where I am today - going to college, having great friends and family and knowing myself for the most part.

In a way getting diabetes early in my life has been an eye opener that many people my age will not experience until much, much later in their lives. This simple inspiration I have received from diabetes cannot be gained through going to bars, getting drunk or just sitting around - it's a knowledge that has to be learned from hardship, pain and experience unlike no other.

I am not bragging, 'oh I have diabetes - I know myself better' because I could be very wrong. However, just from my personal experience I've come to realize that diabetes may have given me more than a broken pancreas and an insulin pump - diabetes may have given me knowledge that can't be learned through any degree of education or basic life experience.

So here I was living healthy and free from diabetes for almost nineteen years of life - was I incredibly happy? no. Was I living life to the fullest? no. Did I have nearly enough empathy, interest or dedication? absolutely not. It was all a matter of pieces falling into place once I was diagnosed - as if I instantly had the answer of who I am?

Of course I am still learning and will always be changing in various ways, but at this young age of twenty I think I have a good understanding of myself.

Kayla

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Patch Work


Since having the pump I haven't had too many troubles with my sites. There have been a few pretty tough ones to put - some that hurt and some that felt like nothing. Usually I haven't had a problem with keeping them on for a full three days, but these past two sites have been a huge pain!

Since my skin is peeling from a sun burn that I got in Panama the skin under my site is not tough enough to hold the adhesive on the site. I first tried covering it with a band aid to keep it on, but when I woke up the band aid was left in my bed. I had to change me site a day and a half early and put in a new one. By the end of the day that site was also peeling off - and it was starting to hurt. Not wanting to change my site again I tried using skin prep (like a glue) to help the site stay on better - I also covered it with a band aid.

So far my site has stayed on even though it looks pretty brutal. I know that eventually my skin will stop peeling and it will be back to normal. I could try using the skin prep before putting on a new site, but I find that it makes the skin too tough and hard which makes breaking the skin painful.

Kayla

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Anything Can Happen


You don't notice how big something is until others talk about it. To me diabetes is my morning, afternoon and night. I don't think of it as a disability, a disease or a crutch. I know what happens when my sugars go low and when they go high and for the most part I am completely in control of my diabetes.

Yet, when you meet a new person and begin to describe your daily rituals and the work that you had to go through in order to understand your diabetes, or possibly your insulin pump - it begins to sink in that you actually are dealing with a big situation every day.

This year I decided to make it official at my college that I was a student living with diabetes. Reason being is so that my teachers can fully understand what I am doing and what diabetes involves. Of course they don't receive a full on presentation by the Diabetes Education Centre, but they do get a list of all the things that I may need in order to make the most of the classroom while managing my diabetes.

I am a 4.0 student and know that almost all of the services will not be a necessity to me and I addressed that to the counsellor very clearly that I don't want to use services for the purpose of 'because I can' because I know that I am fully capable of independently working alone with no services.

However, in some classes food and drink is prohibited - but with this paper I can go against that - much like leaving the classroom for emergency reasons. Small things like that that may effect me in class, but will not effect my final grade or how my professor views me as a student.

I highly recommend this for any diabetic that is going to a college/university. I know that sitting through the meeting will be difficult and hearing all of the services will be hard - but it doesn't mean you have to use them. No diabetic wants to think that having diabetes is a disability because it doesn't disable us from doing anything, but it's incredibly important for your professors to know that you are diabetic and that anything can happen.

Kayla

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Being One


It's like being in a club unlike no other. An all access pass to something money can't buy. Being diabetic is more than being diagnosed with 'diabetes' it's about going beyond the box we live in - and reaching out to places that we have never dared to go.

I think that a lot of people who have had to adjust to a new lifestyle have a common belief that even when times are tough - nothing is impossible. It's about looking at life with a different lens and once you can do that you can begin to realize how much is out there.

Every diabetic I meet - young or old has felt what it's like to endlessly prick their finger, squeeze for blood and hope that there is enough to fill the strip. All diabetics know what it's like to dread to have to give themselves insulin before a delicious meal. It's those kind of things that bond complete strangers together.

I am so lucky to have an outlet that I can use to reach out to so many people living with diabetes around the world. I love hearing the stories of diabetics because I know that no matter what I can some how relate and possibly help them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Changes


It seems that everything I do is some how connected to my diabetes. If I am stressed my sugars are effected and if I'm busy my sugars will act accordingly. No matter what I am doing I have to have my diabetes in mind.

I now am all settled in my townhouse in London. Since being here my sugar has gone below four three times, one being in the middle of the night. I know that moving into a new place is a big change and the whole environment is one to be adapted too.

I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life - finishing up my Liberal Studies Diploma and even if the littlest things effect my diabetes I am very much prepared to deal with it. I've learned a lot from my diabetes, but the biggest lesson I've learned is that I can get through the impossible and nothing can hold me back.

So even though this change is a big one and I will have to adapt I know that no matter what I can succeed and grow.

Kayla

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Soy Diabeetico


I am home now from my Panama vacation! It was a great trip and I would go back there in a heartbeat. The whole idea of having an insulin pump while on vacation was not bad at all - in fact at times I barely noticed I had it.

In my opinion sometimes you just have to do it. Even though it seems scary or annoying, impossible or a pain. There are some thing you just have to do and work with. No, it wasn't fun having to take off my pump every time I decided to dip in the pool and it wasn't convenient wearing a dress with my pump - but there was nothing I could do about it.

Going through the border with the pump was a little nerve wrecking at first. I didn't want my bag of supplies going through the x-ray, so that was the first obstacle then I had to let them know I was wearing the insulin pump that I couldn't take off. Going through the Toronto Airport was a lot easier than going through the Panama airport since they mostly spoke Spanish. The lady at the x-ray machine was trying to press my buttons on the pump and was looking at the site - it was a little strange.

Overall I got through without any problems! I know now that flying with the pump can be a little stressful, but it isn't too bad!

My sugars were pretty good during my stay and I didn't have any lows. I changed my site two times there and now I have a nice tan where my previous site was.

I am very happy with the way the trip went with my pump and I can't wait to go back sometime!

Kayla

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Toronto to Panama City


In only six hours I will be heading to the Toronto Airport to board a plane to Panama City. I am looking forward to this trip - it barely has sunk in that I am actually going away! Today was my last day at the daycare and it was definitely sad, but I know that I will be visiting the daycare any chance I get!

Tonight I have been packing and trying to make sure that I don't forget a thing. My carry on is basically all supplies from sites to batteries. I have one book in there and hopefully I can throw a couple more things in my mom's carry on. I want to make sure that my most important things are with me at all times.

I am excited to go away and know that any obstacle that I may go through with the pump is just part of the fun of life. We all go through challenges and obstacles and I am sure the pump will throw the odd one at me and I am fully ready to take it on.

I cannot be scared!

I will be back next Wednesday, so there likely will be no posts between now!

Kayla

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pump Trip


I made it through my first vacation with a pump to Darien Lake! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. At first I was a little unsure about how it was going to be and when my Dad first asked if I wanted to go on some rides I knew that I had to think about what I was going to do with my pump.

Since I cannot wear my pump on rides because of the magnetic force - I decided that taking it off for an hour or so wouldn't be too bad. First I tested my blood sugar which I believe was in the 7's - then I bolused two units because I had a feeling I would be gone for possibly longer than an hour and then I disconnected.

Once I got back approximately two hours later, my sugar remained in the 7's which was perfect. I did this several times while on vacation including when I went in the water in the water park. I didn't even notice the site on my stomach and I didn't even notice any strange stares.

I noticed by the end of my three day trip that my site was just about ready to come off. I guess from the wear and tear of camping it was ready to be changed. I had great blood sugars throughout my trip and only went low once - which I then ate an enormous marshmallow.

Even though my insulin pump can be completely annoying having to wear it with certain clothes - over all it has been excellent as far as keeping my blood sugars under control. It isn't the end of the world - it's definitely workable.

Kayla

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the Road


I am now getting ready to pack for my trip to Darien Lake. I am a little bit nervous to travel with my pump, but I know that I will able to do it. I plan to change my site tomorrow morning before we leave so that I have a fresh one for the three days that I am away. It will be a lot easier to change my site here than there.

I am bringing extra sites/reservoirs and strips just in case I need to change my site! I am hoping that swimming is going to be okay with my site. I know I will have to take off my pump while playing around in the water park and hopefully my site will stay on through the water slides, lazy river and wave pool.

I am looking forward to this vacation and once I get back I will be going to Panama, so I've got even more to look forward to!

I know that I can do this and that there is nothing to be scared of. I can't fear it - I just have to work with it.

Kayla