Sunday, October 31, 2010
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!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
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.
Monday, October 25, 2010
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.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
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.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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.
Monday, October 11, 2010
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.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
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.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
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.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
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!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
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.
Monday, October 4, 2010
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.