Thursday, May 27, 2010

Insulin for Inspiration

It is nice to see diabetics making change around the world. It seems like with the lack of insulin comes inspiration and ambition. For example on two popular t.v series there were two type 1 diabetics that made a huge impact - Bret Michaels (Celebrity Apprentice) and Crystal Bowersox (American Idol). Not only does this make a big impact on letting more people know about type 1 diabetes, but it also gives hope to diabetics that need that little push of confidence and courage.

Celebrities have an amazing amount of power to spread the word of whatever they may believe in. Not to mention they have amazing contacts that can raise an enormous amount of money for a specific charity. In The Celebrity Apprentice, Bret Michaels took home the prize. He raised money and awareness for American Diabetes Association. Bret was diagnosed when he was six and during the show his daughter was also diagnosed.

Bret was very open with his diabetes on t.v which seemed pretty cool to me. I know that a lot of type 1's aren't shy about their diabetes, but it isn't often that we get to tell the world about ourselves. Bret even put a diabetes spin on one of his challenges and made a Diet Snapple - which I now have one of my own!

Being diabetic isn't the end of the world, but there are times when you wish that you didn't have to worry about what you eat or do. There are a lot of diabetics out there that are living life without limits. I don't need to watch t.v to see this, people like Michelle Ingwersen, Chloe Steepe, Chris Jarvis are diabetics that know how to show their ambition and strength.

For me, it isn't so much about letting people know about what type 1 is all about, but rather passing on inspiration that has be learned from my diabetes.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010


After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes everything in my life changed. It is very apparent throughout the notes that as a person I have changed, but not enough to become someone else. I have learned a lot from my disease and (hopefully) have taught people a lot.

It has always been in me to want to educate. I have always wanted to be a teacher with the odd urge to be a princess or 'mommy'. I remember as a little kid always playing 'teacher' and teaching my sister and cousins a lesson or two. Later on I knew that more than anything I wanted my own classroom marked with construction paper crafts and charts. Unfortunately through my time in high school I lost a lot of ambition and confidence.

I think high school does that to people and more than anything I want young girls to know to never give up. With diabetes I have gained confidence unlike no other. Of course I am not 100 percent with myself, but I do believe in myself. I know that I deserve the classroom of my dreams.

When I become a teacher I want to teach more than ABC's and 123's. Like a lesson about being the best person, a person can be. Life isn't always about everyone liking you - it's about you liking you.

We can't predict the future, but we can believe in our future.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Heat Wave

The mud run is quickly approaching on June 6th and I am really looking forward to it this year once again. The only thing is that last year it was cool whereas I am sure it is going to be really hot this time.

Another thing that is approaching is my triathlon. I haven't been training much and every time I tell people I am doing one they ask how the training is going - I must look like I don't do anything!

Today I went for a bike ride but it was still 28 degrees out; therefore, soon as I got home I just about fainted. I thought it was my sugar dropping quickly, but once my ears started to plug I knew that I was going down fast. I checked my sugar it was 7.6 - I told my sister that I didn't feel good but it wasn't my sugar. I laid on the cold kitchen ground and Abby grabbed me a cold pack. I clearly over heated or had heat stroke because I doubt it was related to diabetes.

Hopefully the events come with good weather, but not too much heat! I'd hate to not finish due to the heat!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


It's hard to believe how quickly June is approaching. June is a big month for me and to think by the end of that month I should be pumping! It is kind of a mixed bag of emotions regarding the pump because there are many reasons why I want to get the pump, but there are also reasons why I am hesitant.

Even though there are some doubts I have I know that I am ready to get the pump. I am fully aware that the change will be drastic and strange, but I am looking forward to the experience. The process to get a pump is very intense and there seems to be many rules in order to qualify and receive the pump. It will be nice once I have my very own pump.

Some of my reasons why I am looking forward to the pump is that I am looking for an easier and more advanced method in taking care of myself. I know that the pen injections are not always perfect and there is no way that I can be my pancreas right now, but it seems like having a pump is a great way to better mimic my pancreas.

Another reason is that I want to be able to say I at least tried it out. What kind of diabetic would I be to turn down new technology. Not only am I doing this for myself, but this process will help so many other people. Being able to document the whole experience may help other curious diabetics.

A reason for my hesitation is that I am going to have a pump attached to me 24/7. I know that I can always go back to needles which is a safe haven as of now, but knowing that a pump is round the clock deal much like diabetes is a little scary.

When I am not checking my sugar or giving myself insulin injections the only thing that tells me I am diabetic is my medical alert bracelet. Take off my bracelet and who would ever know that I was diabetic - no one. With a pump I will always be aware of my diabetes and so may other people - if they know what it is.

I am always going to have diabetes until there is a cure. I am going to live it up no matter what life throws at me because you just never know what can happen next. The pump will be an awesome experience and will make for good conversations; I know that for sure.


Monday, May 17, 2010

My Choice

Today has been a pretty eventful day! I had my echocardiogram this afternoon at the Brantford General Hospital and it was pretty neat. I got to see my heart on the screen which looked like a giant monster talking. I also got to hear my heart which sounded like a sloshing noise. I tried not to ask too many questions even though I was super, super curious! I can't believe all the technology that is out there and how many tests can be done for so many different things.

From the tests they didn't say much. They didn't seem to be too concerned, but there is always a chance once all the information is reviewed that something can become a concern. Hopefully everything turns out for the best because I definitely don't want anything else on my plate right now.

Today I also saw the Medtronic rep. I got to actually insert the infusion into my stomach. At first I was hesitant when I saw how thick the needle was, but that little voice in the back of my head was like what are you waiting for! After putting it in it was like nothing at all. I even asked if I could tuck the pump in my bra - I think she was surprised, but hey! if I have to wear this 24/7 I want to know what it is going to be like.

It was kind of neat having it attached to me. My Aunt and Uncle had stopped in at that time and got a chance to see it and ask a few questions. I think that they were surprised how convient it looked as well and how durable it was. My Uncle Jay asked what happens when it falls and the rep. just pulled at it and it just felt like a tickle as she tugged it around. Obviously if it was to come out it would hurt, but she was just demonstrating.

So it is down to Animas and Medtronic since Accu-Chek was a total fail. I think that Medtronic is on my mind right now, but I will definitely sleep on it. I know that no matter which pump I pick there will be people that completely disagree with my choice. I cannot please anyone and honestly the only person I want to please right now is myself.

I love hearing people's inputs because the people with pumps have had them long enough to have a personal opinion. None of the reps that came were diabetic, so their opinion was valuable, but not as personal. I know that a lot of my friends that are diabetic are using Medtronic, but in no way is that going to determine my choice.

I am hoping to make a final choice by the end of the week, but like mentioned before I am leaning towards the Medtronic pump. The rep was not aggressive at all and never bashed the other reps which I was surprised by because I was totally thinking Medtronic was going to be the bully among the crowd.

I am happy to hear anyone's input on any of the pumps, but in the end the choice is mine!


Friday, May 14, 2010

What's Next?

On Monday I have my echocardiograph at the Brantford General. I have never had this type of test done before but I am sure that it will be fine. They will be looking for two things either a hole in the wall of the heart or a vessel that is too tight. If nothing is found than I will just to be said to have a heart murmur that is nothing to truly worry about.

It is very interesting how there are so many different tests for different things and that one simple blood work session can show a lot. The Accu-Chek representative explained to me that all that blood work I do over the year is going to be worth it going on the pump because there is a lot of useful information that you get from those tests.

This month has been a little crazy with a couple appointments but I can only imagine how June is going to be with all the different stuff that will be happening then. I know that it will be crazy but I am also looking forward to all the events that are happening in June.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Journey Towards a Pump

It's time to begin my journey with pump therapy. The first experience is with pump representatives, Accu-Chek, Animas and Medtronic. So far I have spent time with Animas and Accu-Chek. It has been interesting to say the least and I am happy to share my experiences with everyone on my blog.

Going through this journey almost reminds me of when I was first diagnosed. Right now all the equipment looks foreign to me just like the way the insulin pens and meters did a year ago. As the sales representatives go through the motions of selling their pump - at times my mind wanders back to that very day I was diagnosed.

My background knowledge now is kicking in but all this new knowledge is filling my mind! It seems like it will take me forever to learn how to work the insulin pump, but I know that once they hand it over to me I will have no problems. It's crazy that after spending only five days in the hospital I was able to manage my diabetes all on my own (with a little help from others around me.)

My first representative that I met was Animas and it was awesome. I was a little apprehensive at first because I was warned about how pushing they can be but it actually was not bad at all. She was a very nice saleswoman who I had met before at a George Canyon event. She insisted that because I got to meet George twice and I won an iPod from Animas - I was meant to have their insulin pump!

Today we had a representative from Accu-Chek come. He was a nice guy; however, I am unsure whether or not I like their "product" that is not allowed to be spoken of yet. He showed me the pump they have now - which is what I would start on, but promised something better was coming out. To me, I rather know straight up what I was getting and not just hoping that this 'mystery' pump will be the best for me and my diabetes.

As of now Animas is in the lead - but I still have Medtronic coming on Monday. I know a lot of people with Medtronic's insulin pump; however, I will not let that have a bias on my choice. I really have began to realize just how important this process is and that it is not going to be an easy journey but I am looking forward to at least trying it out.

It is very interesting listening to non-diabetics talk about diabetes like it is their job - oh right it is their job. Even though they talk about how bad lows and highs are they may never know what it is really like so at times their descriptions and ideas are funny to hear. The Animas representative was very helpful because she has two daughters with diabetes - that really helped with making the whole experience personal not just math like Accu-Chek did. When you ask your math teacher why you need to know standard deviation because you will never use it - well if you are looking for an insulin pump down the road and Accu-Chek is selling you their product then you will need to know standard deviation!

I am looking forward to making my final choice and sharing it with all of my friends and family. I know that it is going to be an important choice and that this entire journey will give me lots and lots of writing material to share.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Doctor, Doctor

For a long time I never had to see the doctor much. I rarely ever had a bad cold or any health concern at all besides Asthma. It wasn't until I got hives in 2007/2008 did I start seeing doctor after doctor. For anyone that doesn't know about that episode - they claim that it was all a virus which lead to my diabetes, but no one can pin point it. I had really bad hives for almost a year that covered by body besides my face. There also was major swelling of my hands, feet and lips.

After the hives went away I went through a year period of not having any medical issues at all until I started getting symptoms of diabetes in 2008/2009. Now I have seen many doctors and I am at least promised to see a doctor or nurse every 3 months. It is not so bad seeing doctors this much but it is definitely much different from what I knew before at least 2007.

I never thought that I would be that person - that person who 'gets' something. We all think that we will get nothing and that our lives will be normal. It is always the 'other' people that get cancer, heart disease and diabetes it is never you. That is far from the truth because like me I thought nothing was going to effect me until I started being the one that needed specialists and was considered to be a mystery case.

This past week I have had a hard time understanding my diabetes. I know that by now you would think that I would know what it was all about but there are times where I personally just want to give up. I know a lot of people are counting on me to not only be positive, but to also be the words of wisdom that appear on their screen everyday; however, there are times when positively is the last thing that I can do.

Yesterday I found out that I have a heart murmur. I wasn't sure exactly what that was until the doctor demonstrated how my heart sounds compared to a regular heart - mine has an extra boom apparently. This news was incredibly upsetting to me because at that moment I didn't want to hear anything else. As if diabetes isn't enough I get this thrown at me.

I understand that heart murmur's are common. I bet once I post this a lot of people may tell me that they were told the same thing. The doctor ensured me that in her entire practice she has only had to put one patient through surgery. Often heart murmurs are common for young women and may even go away.

At the moment I was just not up for that kind of news. I am busy enough and would rather just try and cope with my diabetes at the moment and not have to worry about any other health problem. I know that I am a healthy person but for some reason my health likes to play tricks on me. My biggest thing is to keep strong and try my hardest not to give up because it is times like these that the first thing on my mind is giving up and I know that is not an option for me.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Garage Sale

Although the weather wasn't on our side yesterday we ended up making $200.00 at the JDRF garage sale in London. The rain and hail poured down and the wind was extremely strong but customers came in to buy our stuff which included muffins and cookies made by the Maheu's. Some people just donated money.

The $200.00 adds to my already collected $573.00 which brings me to $773.00. My goal this year is $1500 and hopefully I am able to meet my goal in time for the walk on June 27th. I know that all my teammates are doing an awesome job collecting money. Some have even raised over $400. I have no doubt that this year we will all do an awesome job.

I am really looking forward to our second Team KK walk. There are more people this year and it is bound to be a great time. I love getting together with all my friends and family especially to raise money and awareness about type 1 diabetes!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Big Difference

Tomorrow is the garage sale in London at the Maheu household! I am looking forward to this event because it will hopefully raise a lot of money for Team KK (JDRF)! I have never done anything like this before but I know that it will be a lot of fun.

I have rounded up a few things to sell and of course I have my JDRF donation box and blog cards. I know that this type of opportunity is important because it gives me a chance to let the public know more about type 1 diabetes.

I enjoy handing out my blog card because I know that at some point it is bound to help someone out. I love hearing about how my blog has helped people whether they are diabetic or not. It is very inspiring to know that something so simple can help someone out.

It is that very lesson that we all can take with us. It's just amazing how the little things in life can mean so much. Things like holding the door for someone or helping someone out with their bags. It really goes a long way and makes a big difference.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Clear Mind & Smile

I've developed an understanding of stepping in someone elses shoes. Since we never truly know if the grass is greener on the other side it can be hard to make judgements about others or make excuses for them. A lot of people make snap judgements and I admit that I can do this as well. I think it is just natural to assume.

I have learned that it is way too hard to not make judgements, but it is really important to have an understanding that everyone is different and each person has different battles that they have to fight.

A lot of people look like they have their whole life figured out and that their life is completely smooth but in reality they may be facing difficulties or struggling. I think this assumption is made about me a lot but I truly don't have my whole life figured out and every day I fight my own battles.

No, life isn't horrible on my end and I would never make an excuse for myself, but I don't have a completely carefree life. After being diagnosed with diabetes my life was turned completely upside down. No teenage girl ever wishes to be diagnosed with anything. It isn't fair that I got diabetes and it was no ones fault. Nothing could have been done to change this.

At times I find that dark place where I know that anything can happen with my diabetes. That at any time I can lose control or something can go wrong. It's a horrible place and there really is no time in the day to sort out thoughts like these.

If anyone thinks that because I am so involved that I don't find the dark places of my diabetes - that is a completely wrong judgement because who doesn't get upset about the hand they are dealt at times.

My biggest coping skill is to be strong and to be positive because positivity goes a long way. My health is very important but it isn't all about giving myself insulin it is also about giving myself a clear mind and smile.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

With a Pump

Now that I am working full time is it a little hard to get everything done all in one day. I can't even begin to understand how hard it can be to manage a household because I have hard enough time fitting in all my own priorities in one day.

So far in the past two days of working my diabetes has been pretty good. Adjusting to the schedule is going a lot easier than I thought. I did have a low yesterday but that was just after going to the gym.

As soon as I get my pump I know that it is going to be a whole different story. Even though my schedule will remain the same I know that the methods will all change and it will be like getting diabetes all over again.

I hope that I can easily adjust to the pump and that I will feel better and better each day. I don't feel too bad now and I usually have really good sugars but I am just curious as to how different it will be like with a pump.


Monday, May 3, 2010


In the past year and a bit I have learned patience. It seems like before diabetes everything was one big rush to me - anything to get something done and over with. Even though at times we wish for time to fly by it is important to realize that we will never get that day back again. Although our days may seem so similar like one big Monday after Monday - each and every day is different.

I am patient with myself and with others because I know with time everything will work out. Even when times are tough or I am having a bad day I know that eventually it will all be okay and that I should just work with what I have. Before diabetes I lived a pretty carefree life and even though I had my worries they were never serious. I was never patient with myself nor anyone and wanted instant satisfaction.

I have learned to wait things out because hard work pays off in the end and can be incredibly rewarding. My training for the 5k run and triathlon will pay off just like all the hard work I did in school did. I know that at times I want to stop and just give up but it is the push and drive that keeps me going and that goes along with patience.

I suppose that this is all apart of becoming mature but like most things I give credit to diabetes because it toughened me up and made me a better person. Not only do I respect myself more but I have learned more about myself in this past year than ever before.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

4 months

Although I am relieved to be finished my first year of college I am in for an interesting spring and summer. I have been hired full-time at the daycare for the summer which I am really excited about but also I am going to be getting an insulin pump in June.

I have a lot of appointments and meetings for the pump as well as other various doctors appointments so I will for sure have a lot to keep me busy. Not only that but I am training for the give-it-a-tri triathlon on June 13th!

I am looking forward to all the crazy experiences that I will be having in the 4 months I have off and will definitely have a lot to write about as each experience passes. I am lucky to have so many good friends and family that can help me!

I know that all my pump-user friends will be hearing a lot from me this summer!