Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Year


There are only two days left of 2011 and it's time to look back and see how far we've come.  The easiest thing to do is to think what you were doing a year from January 1st and then think about all of the things that has happened since.  This past year has been a year of change, but I think that I have said that every single year.   I think the most change this year happened after July, but either way I am happy with where I am now in my life.

Going into 2012 I have one big plan. The biggest accomplishment I want to achieve is to publish a book based on my blogs by the summer.   I have been working hard on writing and hoping with the great support that I have, getting it done by the summer won't be a problem.

I have realized how much of a difference I can make with something as simple as what I write.  I have been  writing down what it is like to be diabetic for 2.5 years and have been receiving messages from diabetics and the ones that love diabetics ever since.   It has been amazing thus far and to put it all together would be an absolute dream.

I am so thankful for the past 2.5 years and 2011 especially because I have really expanded my blogs and I am finally ready to get something started with it.   I am thankful for all the readers and support.  See you in 2012!

Kayla

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More than Any Gift Under the Tree!


It's hard to believe that Christmas has ended, but of course there is one more occasion before it's time to get serious..(for some people!)   This Christmas was a lot different like I had mentioned before, I really didn't travel anywhere and therefore my blood sugars were excellent!  I even had a couple lows (which isn't a good thing, but around Christmas, it makes you feel good about sneaking an extra chocolate or piece of fudge.)

This Christmas I spent time with my family and Vince at my place. As I get older, I begin to realize that as much as it is nice to open presents, it is really nice just to sit around with the family because we all know that those times are limited.  As much as we want everyone in our life to be there forever, reality strikes and you know that every moment you spend with someone is worth more than any gift under the tree.

Everything went well as far as diabetes wise, but that could have been due to the steady flow of wine that Vince had brought for everyone.  The only complication was when my site ripped out as I was getting ready to hop in the hot tub! But, of course I have had my site rip out before and in worse conditions, so it was all good.  It was also some how the first time that Vince had seen me have to put in a site with the new Mio (you just push the two buttons and it shoots into your skin by itself; rather than, having to do it yourself.)  I got Vince to give it a try, he held it to my skin and I re-advised him to put it higher and before I knew it he was pressing the button.  

I have had a couple people try putting the site in for me, I don't think there would ever be a time where I wouldn't be able to do it myself, but I think it is important for those around you to understand how it works and maybe be less worried when you are doing it in front of them. "Are you sure you're doing it right?" "Ah, I can't watch!"

So with a new site in after a nice relaxing day, I was ready to go to bed! Now it's been two days past Christmas and I can hardly believe how time is just flying by and how much snow has landed on the ground outside.   Time to prepare for the next occasion, 2012! 

Kayla 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas!


It has arrived once again. It seems like the days between occasions are getting closer and closer, before we know it we will be running around in warm weather and summer time will be here.  I don't know if it is because I am getting older, but it seems that time keeps getting faster and faster.

This Christmas is a little different than the past Christmas's. This year I am only attending one Christmas event therefore, the whole blood sugar dilemma that Christmas brings will be a little easier to handle. Despite only indulging in chocolate yesterday; rather than, regular food. I will admit that Christmas time is probably the hardest time of the year to keep a good track record. I feel bad for those that have to visit their endos the week or two after Christmas.

The truth is, is that Christmas is all about snacking. You open your stocking and get a bag of M&M's and you're going to want to indulge in them despite it being 9 a.m.  Then, you are going to want to enjoy a three course breakfast with syrup and chocolate chip pancakes - the works!  In between all of this you're picking at the candy trays around the house and drinking extra glasses of milk to wash down the chocolate,  before you know it you've accumulated so many carbs that your blood sugar has sky rocketed.

Unfortunately, I think all diabetics at Christmas are stuck in this high blood sugar rut, and when it comes to correcting, we either fail miserably or we go low and have to stock up on the sugary treats again.  I have had a crazy couple weeks with high blood sugars and the food that keeps getting brought home isn't really helping!

I think that the important thing though is for diabetics to enjoy Christmas.  To indulge and enjoy what there is to offer because diabetics are real people too....

We enjoy cake and chocolate, pies and mash potatoes, glasses of milk and egg nog, M&M's and syrup.  We like to sit around and do nothing and check our blood sugar when we feel like it. We like to ignore or vibrating pumps sometimes and change the reservoir at the last second.  

Once Christmas and New Years has past, then we can get back to our regular routines, but just this week, let's all enjoy.

Kayla

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Bad Kind


Yesterday I was asked if I had the 'bad kind of diabetes' I had heard this before, but at this moment it kind of made me giggle out loud... to be polite I found away to explain.

I then started to talk a little about how with type 1 diabetes (most of the time) you are put on insulin right away, while with type 2 diabetes you can manage it with diet, exercise and pills. So, then that made me think, well yes, in that case type 1 is that bad kind, because if you wanted a little bit of a second chance you could with type 2 by eating right and working out which would result in avoiding taking needles.

I then talked about how type 1 diabetes, which to some people is more so identified as Juvenile Diabetes (until us older folk started getting the 'betes)  can happen to toddlers where type 2 cannot, although with fast food replacing home cooked meals, who knows!   I then realized that, that makes type 1 the bad kind, the kind that attacks youth no matter how old they are.

We then talked a little about it really doesn't matter what you do before being diagnosed with type 1, it wasn't because we ate too much candy or never stepped outside for a walk, it just happens!  While with type 2, it occurs in older people and usually people that are overweight. So, I thought once again, I guess that makes type 1 diabetes the bad kind because no matter how healthy a child, a teenager, a young adult is...they at anytime could be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

So, when I thought about it some more, I realized that when a 5.5'er (non diabetic) asks you if you have the bad kind of diabetes it really isn't an insult.  They most likely associate insulin injections, young age, and the unexpectedly of it as a bad thing to  happen to someone. When you think of it that way, you realize that you in fact are living with the 'bad' kind! But, the best part about living with the 'bad' kind is that if you take care of it you - you should have no problem living the good life with the bad kind.

Kayla

Monday, December 19, 2011

You Can't Plan

I'm not sure if it's the season for high blood sugar, but it seems that way to me!  My sugar has been outstanding (there is a positive spin on it...)  reaching new highs (and again...) and while I am not really feeling too crabby about it, I know that my body is.

I think that finding balance with diabetes is probably the hardest thing, and not just balance between other things and diabetes, but a balance between diabetes within itself.  It seems that no matter how hard you try diabetes is ready to knock you off the balance beam. 

When I was first diagnosed I thought, one day I will have days where I don't see anything higher than a seven; however, after waiting for these 'days' to arrive, I was shocked to realize that they are impossible! And if you are a person that has good blood sugars every single day then I think you just may not be diabetic.... 

I think that doctors give us the idea that achieving perfection is possible, but when we have a high blood sugar sometimes we have no idea why, and then we correct, excited to see one digits and BAM, 2.0 and then we are treating, over treating and back up to double digits.

Living with diabetes can be the biggest pain in the butt on your schedule because it is one of the only things you just can't plan, you can't plan when you will need to jump the line and eat a chocolate bar, you can't plan when you are going to break into shakes and sweats in the middle of meeting someone's parents for the first time (oh yes, this happened to me...) and you can't plan to all of sudden get angry at someone because of high blood sugar (at least that's what I tell people...) 

Kayla

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Battles


As a student living with diabetes it sometimes can be hard to find balance.  After all, we do want to live a 'normal' life, but every day reminders like low blood sugar or your pump's vibrations remind you that you just aren't exactly like everyone else.  However, I have learned that everyone has their own battles - some seems worse than others, but then those people think that there is worse as well.  It is a coping method I think a lot of people use and that is what gets us by every single day.

For me that battle is maintaining decent blood sugars, I am over the fact that having perfect days come rare; however, I KNOW that they are possible. I try stay within a good range and if I happen to slip off either end, I am okay with that.  Another battle comes from dealing with diabetes and everything else life throws at me like exams, relationships, and a social life.   Diabetes doesn't really care what else you have planned for that day, it just wants to come first.   You want to sleep? No, you need to eat.

I have heard so many unique stories of people who have gone through medical issues, or are still battling them. I have respect for every single one of them because I know that have a health issue can be terrifying, seem unfair or just simply suck.

Diabetes is just one of the battles that people fight and within that battle comes tons of little battles or sometimes life threatening battles that diabetics fight every single day.  Each unique story comes with strength, triumph and courage.

Kayla

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thank You Endo.....NOT


I have seen a fair share of doctors since being diagnosed. Before diabetes I really only knew my family doctor and even then I hardly saw her.  It wasn't until I was given a whole bag of medical issues that I got to experience 'doctors.'   Doctors of all sorts, different specializations, different offices, different equipment,  but pretty much the same 'lack of concern?'  (Not sure if that's the perfect word.)

I can't imagine being a doctor for one.  I think that it would be a stressful and horrible job because not only are you constantly hearing about people's problems, but you also have to solve them.   However, I'd like to think that most doctors that specialize in a particular thing also have a passion for what they do. After all, they were willing to spend a billion years in school and spend a billion dollars, and sure you will make it back in no time, but really... you must have liked something about it.

Let's just focus on Endocrinologists for a second. I have only met two in my life (I think...) but I know a ton of diabetics that see this specific type of specialist regularly in different cities across Canada.  I think about 10% have actually had good things to say about their Endo. which is sad!  It is sad that we are expected to do what they say, yet they do not listen to what we have to say.  It is very interesting!

I switched Endo's and have only seen my new doctor once and she was very pleasant! Next appointment I will give you the update.  But, the fact that I even had to change is worrisome.  Since we are allotted an appointment space, why not make the best of it? Why not read a blog from a diabetic and realize that "tightening up our blood sugar" isn't as easy as it sounds...heck, it doesn't even sound easy.

There are so many things that can be done my health professionals that would make patients feel more comfortable walking in and saying, "Listen, my sugars have been a little high, but it's EXAM TIME..."   When all the diabetics in the world are cured, I don't think that the Endo's are getting a Thank You Card in the mail... that's all I am saying...

Kayla

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Clearing Out the Medicine Cabinet


As far as I knew I wasn't allergic to any medications.  But, as far as my health issues,  my knowledge of what causes what has yet to come clear for me. It seems that I have been a medical mystery, starting just before I was diagnosed with diabetes. It started about a year before I was diagnosed when I had terrible, terrible hives every single day.

To go to high school on a daily basis with hives was probably the worst thing in the world. Let's face it,  no one has high confidence in high school (and those girls who you thought did - they really didn't) so to add in a gross rash from your neck down to your toes, there was just no chance in confidence building.   But, eventually that went away for me (this applies to both the lack of confidence and the hives) because my body was done with the red blotches, instead it wanted to say 'hello to my little pancreas.'

Diabetes had a different approach on me, instead it took my weight down a ton and decided that my liking for a glass of milk needed to be intensified to bags of milk instead.  When this was all solved it was fine because it was treatable and I had answers (minus the answer of why I got diabetes...)

So, since then it has been pretty easy sailing, minus a few random fainting episodes that weren't related to diabetes and have remained a mystery to this day.   But, I think that it was just time for something to happen to my body decided that it was allergic to penicillin.  I had been taking penicillin for 7 days on Monday and that glorious 7th day is when it all went down hill.

I broke out in hives (all too familiar)  and was a little swollen in the face, including my lips - I ended up taking a visit to the emergency room to get it cleared up A.S.A.P because I know what it is like to have hives and I do not like it one bit!

It's been 3 days since being on the medication and it is clearing up! Thankfully, with exams coming I really did not want to have to worry about having hives and staying awake on this medication.  For  now at least, I am happy that it wasn't a complete mystery unlike most of my health concerns - the only thing I know for now is that I won't be taking penicillin ever again.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tis' the Season

The stores are packed, the parking lot is full, the grocery store has packaged wonderful treats together in one big container ... it's the season of shopping and eating that is for sure.  After Thanksgiving everyone complains about how much they have had to eat, but the good thing about Thanksgiving is that it really is a one day celebration, but Christmas, that is multiple days.

It starts with those little glass bowls of red and green M&M's at least in my house, my mom spreads bowls of candy throughout the house way before we are expecting to have guests, so I am only assuming that those candies are 'house candies.'    I think it is almost impossible to stay on a diet or at least 'watch what you're eating' because no matter where you go the food is everywhere. But, on the plus side, you probably sweat for an hour while waiting in line at Old Navy, or had to walk 1 kilometre from the parking lot to the mall, a few times to take bags back to your trunk.   

Being diabetic at Christmas time isn't a big deal for me, although if you had asked me two years ago, I may have told you a different story.  Although there is tons of food all of the time, for the most part it isn't about how much food your eating - it is if you are acknowledging the food you are eating.  Sure, you can eat a slice of cake, 23 M&M's, 2 tarts and glass of egg nog, but you also are going to need to remember to take insulin for all of those lovely delights. 

It's a lot easier to acknowledge the food and enjoy it then to tell yourself that you cannot have something because you are diabetic - if anything you are just helping the stereotype out.   So, I guess basically what I am saying is that it is important to enjoy the christmas season because being diabetic is no excuse not too!

Kayla 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hansel & Gretel


I'm at the stage of my life where I have moved now three times in the past three years.  This is because I am a student and as a student it seems nothing is really stable.   Moving three times I have had a few different roommates, and all have been introduced to the idea of diabetes by me, but mostly diabetes has just introduced itself without me even having to say anything.   Let's just say sometimes Mr. Diabetes doesn't care what you think of him.

I don't know what it is like to live with a diabetic, but I do know what it is like to live with diabetes.  I guess the biggest thing is an over all warning that at 4 a.m all the food in the house is available to the diabetic.  Yes, those chocolate bars, mine, that bag of chips, mine as well.  Of course, I promise to pay them back, but let's just say that if you have a special edition chocolate bar (if that exists) keep it in your room.

So far this year I have left lovely notes, including this one to Michelle last night:

"Dear Michelle:  You knew you were moving in with a diabetic so I think you saw this coming. Right nowhere blood sugar is 2.9 and while I was exploring the kitchen I saw those big fat marshmallows in our cupboard. Now, you know that is one of my favourite low treats - so I think that you were just thinking of me anyways when you bought them. Basically I ate one. I wanted more than one but since their were only 4 and I quickly then wanted raisin bread - I only ate one. So add it to the " IOU because I went low list " Ps I still owe you a pudding from that other night. Sincerely the diabetic roommate." 


Besides the taking of the food there are a lot of other things that come with living with a diabetic.  Like the mess that trails behind.  Let's just say that if Hansel and Gretel were diabetics they would be leaving behind test strips and not bread crumbs... and the more I think about the story, maybe they were diabetic in search of a low treat only to stumble upon a gingerbread house... probably the best low experience they ever had.


Changing sites or screwing on caps can just leave a huge mess and not to mention a dangerous mess. Needles by the dozen and really I know I don't think that blood stained strips is gross, but the majority of people probably do.  Sorry about that! Of course there are other things that come with living with a diabetic, the random grumpiness and in my case the constant talk about diabetes because it's pretty much 
a huge part of my life, so talking about it seems natural to me.


I give people credit that live with diabetics because they do have a big responsibility whether they realize it or not. So to the past and present roommates I have ever had, here is to you! 


Kayla 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

and I'll eat the cookie too!


Some may suspect that being diabetic I must live a super healthy life.  Eating vegetables at every meal and sticking to low carb food choices. Well, thank you for those who believe this because if you really knew what I was eating you would probably be trying to get a hold of my doctor a.s.a.p.   Because, while I am a diabetic, I am also many other things and all the other things require me to enjoy life, unfortunately, so the whole diabetic thing just tags along - I guess I make being diabetic enjoyable.

At my age (21) I know a lot of girls that are constantly worrying about what they eat and how much fat and carbs food contains and really I've been carb counting for the past 2.5 years and if I wasn't diabetic I'd be so happy to not have too. I see food as something that will make my blood sugar go up.  No matter what it is, I look at it with an evil eye and know that if I don't do something besides chew it - I am bound to be feeling horrible later on and not because it had 3000 calories, but because it raised my blood sugar.

I can't really imagine looking at food before being diagnosed. I don't know if I really thought about what I was putting in my mouth or what I was making my body do in order to deal with the food.  I guess we don't think about our body parts much unless they aren't working.

For me, I still enjoy food. I eat cake, pizza, muffins and cookies.   I guess that is one of the biggest misconceptions, people think I am limited as a diabetic. Sadly I know more non-diabetics that avoid cake than diabetics that avoid cake.   It's simple though, yes as diabetics we look at a slice of cake as maybe 60 grams of carbs and 6 units of insulin, but we also appreciate that cake.   We eat the cake and no that we have got our body under control.  Maybe we are all imagining that insulin subtracts calories...now wouldn't that be nice.

Either way, I am not sitting at home munching on carrot sticks and lemon spiked water for three meals, nor am I eating crumbs of birthday cake for desserts or one chocolate chip that has fallen from your chocolate chip cookie.    I am diabetic and I'll eat a loaf of banana bread and chances are, I'll eat that cookie too!

Kayla

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wisdom


This weekend has been absolutely crazy from having to drive back to London for diabetes equipment to visiting the dentist about my wisdom teeth.  First off, I decided I would be prepared this weekend and pack an extra supply of pump supplies in my bag because I was going home.  To my surprise I was going to need it when the door handle decided to grab hold of my tubing and rip out my site.   So, being so prepared I put in another one, but again to my surprise this site decided it didn't want to go in properly.

So, being either a bad diabetic or a wise one, I decided to try to make it go in, by putting the site back through the needle, pressing down on the Mio capsule thing and shooting it in.  I tried it probably five times leaving blood stains on my skin - it wasn't working.

Before going into panic mode I searched my house for something that I may had left behind from the summer or the last time I visited.  Diabetes supplies seem to float everywhere, so I was crossing my fingers that something was near.  Ah-ha! I found a site - one of my silhouette ones.  I fed that one through my skin, realizing how much I hate those type of sites now and then I was set...until...  I realized that the tubing connected from the Mio does not connect with the silhouette.  Side note:  Dear Medtronic, maybe you should make all your sites connect some way or another... just in case.

So, I was back to wear I started basically, I had a site in me, a pump, tubing, but nothing could connect.  I wasn't sure what exactly what to do, I could go back to London (about an hour drive) or give myself shots of insulin all night and get Vince to grab some of my stuff from my apartment and bring it in the morning.

I decided that I wouldn't put my life in Vince's hands this early in the relationship (haha!) and my mom, sister and I took a road trip back to London at about 9:30 p.m.     By arrival time I was pretty grumpy - lacking insulin and all, and to make matters worse I was also dealing with a very, very painful wisdom tooth.

So, this was the next issue.  My bottom left wisdom tooth is coming in with no consideration about my feelings. The pain has been annoying and I haven't really wanted to eat much because it hurts so badly.  Vince brought me a doughnut last night and ended up having to break it into small pieces, so I could half enjoy the treat.

Today I got to visit the dentist and the 5 minute appointment that cost $75.00 resulted in a prescription for antibiotics and a few scratches on my car as I attempted to get out of the parking lot.   Either way, I am now in London, calming down from the crazy weekend and intending to take the quote, "Keep Calm and Carry on" to heart.

Kayla

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fanny Pack Kids


Most diabetics are not surrounded by other diabetics.  They spend their days filled with 5.5'ers who eat whatever they want without consequence and the only thing that is attached to them is their cell phone.   Diabetics are living with their boyfriends who can polish off a pizza and fall asleep right after, or living with roommates who can skip lunch because they don't feel like eating.

This isn't a bad thing, because I can't imagine if two diabetics got married and had to live with one another constantly not knowing who is beeping and my biggest question, what happens when you both go low and there is only one chocolate bar left? Everyone knows that a low diabetic isn't willing to share at this point.   I just think the whole thing would cause major marital problems in the long run, but I am sure there are people who manage.

Either way, most diabetics are spending their time with people who don't really know what is means to be diabetic.   As diabetics we are always kind of like the kid that has to wear the fanny pack to school in movies - the one with all the medication and gear.   Everyone is always worried about us, whether or not we ate before we left, or if we should check our blood sugar. 

But, every now and then we get a chance to hang out with the cool kids (obviously I am talking about other diabetics)  and soon the kid with the fanny pack has now multiplied and no one is asking the obvious questions and getting tangled with door knobs is a normal daily occurrence for everyone. 

Everything changes when diabetics unite because ordering diet coke is an obvious choice at a restaurant, searching in your purse for the meter, poker and strips is normal, and feeling random vibrations in your back pocket or bra is just apart of life.      

But both diabetics and the 5.5'ers are what makes the world go round' - but we all know those 5.5'ers secretly want to be 16.9'ers. 

Kayla    


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Diabetic's Conversation


When two 'regular' people meet they don't say, "Hi, I'm Beatrice and I frequently have headaches," and the other person replies, "Oh, sweet, I am Dan and I also have frequent headaches."    This just doesn't happen.  No 'regular' person exposes their random aches in pains within the first five minutes of a conversation; however, if these two people were both diabetics and knew it - the conversation would seem strangely normal if they said, "Hi, I'm Beatrice and I am diabetic,"  and Dan said, "YEAH me too! How long have you had diabetes? Oh and my name is Dan."

The reason these two people would have met is probably because Beatrice whipped out her insulin pump in class while Dan was interrupted by hearing a familiar beeping noise.  Or maybe they met at some crazy function that diabetics like to throw every now and then.  It seems that diabetics everywhere are uniting (strangely this word looks like unit-ing which makes me think of a crowd of diabetics giving themselves units of insulin...)

I have found many different diabetics everywhere not all are like me, looking for somewhere to write I am diabetic, or jumping at the opportunity to share my stories. No, no there are many types of diabetics out there.

"I don't care I have diabetes - diabetic":  These diabetics aren't reading this right now. No, these diabetics are not even thinking about diabetes right now in general.   I have no problem with these diabetics because everyone has their own opinion, but let me just say this, I know a group of diabetics that really could help....okay, obviously this type of diabetic has not typed diabetes in google before so let's just let their health care team let them know.

"Divabetic": These are the diabetics that care much about their gear.   The skins and colour of pump comes before the actual technology of the pump.   Where is the pancreas you ask this diabetic?  - I don't know - she replies.      (this sounds like....me?)

"OCDiabetic": This diabetic likes to check, check, check, check their blood sugar and not only check, but chart.  Check, Chart, Change, and Count Carbs.   I bet these diabetics upload their pumps like good diabetics and actually track what they eat and maybe use one of those food weigher's.

(I think I have one somewhere . . .)

"Dangerous Bete": This person is wild with their diabetes.  It's a part of their life, but they like to take risks with their diabetes. Proving that diabetes is just a disease and not a partner in crime.   This person probably has had their pump replaced a few times and a couple meters dropped down a high cliff or lost at sea.   These diabetics are wild, but as long as they are on top of things, who cares!

"In the Closet Diabetic": This person realizes that they are diabetic and have been properly informed and know when to take insulin and the whole list of what it means to be diabetic has been laid down on them, but this person does not want to talk to you about diabetes.  This person isn't like the I Don't Care I Have Diabetes - Diabetic, they do care about their diabetes, they just don't care if you know about it and if you try to talk to them about it - have fun!


"Diabetes Tell All": This person has accepted diabetes maybe not at first, but eventually they have accepted diabetes to be a part of them.  This person has so much decided that diabetes is going to be one of their highlights in their life.  These people are reading right now and probably have found themselves somewhere in another category.  But, mainly these people are willing to go out there and let the world know they have diabetes, so what?

I know it isn't possible to categorize all diabetics into these little silly names, but I am sure that all the diabetics are trying to find their place.  We all deal with diabetes in different ways and for me, all the diabetics I know are friendly and willing to talk about their diabetes, but I have encountered the ones that would rather not.

Either way, diabetes has somehow defined the lives of many of us and has changed the way we approach one another. It amazes me how we can stick one hundred diabetics in one room and somehow everyone becomes friends without judgment. (But now you will be trying to put them in a category...)


Kayla

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Learning


Many of us pay for our education, we pay to be taught things we would otherwise probably not have picked up anywhere else.  We learn things sometimes that make us nod our heads, while other things float in one ear and out the other.  As much as education through schooling is important there are so many life lessons hiding in the little cracks of life.

Life lessons are simple in nature, but complicated in so many ways.  I don't know how many times in my entire life I have questioned why something has happening to me or asking why I deserved something.   Hopefully everyone at this point is nodding their head - agreeing with me.     At every age we go through these little life lessons from learning that that boy wasn't worth it in grade six or that one day you will grow boobs, so don't worry about it... (thank's for that life lesson, life.)

Every time we are worried about something it seems like the end of the world. We think that it can't get any worse and that we don't deserve what is happening to us.   I've learned that if we really read in between the lines of what is happening we can find the good and realize that once the issue is dealt with that is when the good comes out and that is what we deserve.

I have taken all the life lessons I have learned thus far and from that I have gathered a good understanding of the meaning of being positive, staying calm and being patient because I know that the life lessons I have gained have made me the person I am today.

Kayla

Monday, November 21, 2011

Get Better


If there is anything that I have learned in the past 2.5 years it is that I am capable of  handling whatever life decides to throw at me or put on my plate.  I have learned that despite wishing for something better, the once 'bad' thing that you thought couldn't get worse will get better.

I think of my life in two parts, part one - pre diabetes and part two - with diabetes.  How a disease could change a person so much is beyond my understanding - I am just a living example of the concept.  Before diabetes life was simple, of course I was younger than nineteen, but I also had no understanding of what life and death really meant. My life had never been threatened before.   I went from no worries, to knowing that this plastic external pancreas is saving my life every time that little drop of insulin enters my body.

Somehow I took diabetes and turned it into something better than anyone has given diabetes credit for.  Diabetes isn't good, and it will never be a good disease - but I give it credit for so many things.   Beyond diabetes I have endured some other life surprises and if I was Miss. Kayla Pre-diabetes I am not sure that I would be able to handle the unexpected.

A lot of people tell me that my life could be a book and being the little blogger that I am who knows maybe a day will come, but in the meantime, I am living my life story of unexpected twists and turns and proving not only to everyone else, but to myself that I am capable of handling where ever life wants to take me.  I know that sometimes things seem over the top and out of my control, but deep down inside I know that everything will get better.

Kayla

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Diabetes Picked Me


After getting interviewed by the Gazette the journalist said something that really sparked a light within in me, "I guess you didn't choose diabetes - diabetes chose you."  I have kind of dwelled on this idea for a couple days now thinking of how it really applies and what it really means.  

Before diabetes I was pretty typical.  I didn't really do anything out of the box even though deep down inside I knew I had potential.  I always thought to myself - I wish I had something unique about myself that I could share with others. Of course, now telling this there is no proof that I felt this way.    Even sitting in elementary school hearing the names read out on the attendance list - the last names sounding so unique and extraordinary in some way and then mine was read...Brown...how unique.

I know now looking back that I've always been unique because every person is unique in their own way.  I didn't see it then and to be honest it wasn't like I had a whole slew of life experience to share.  Now, I have a blog full of life experience and it just keeps getting longer.

So, going back to diabetes choosing me.    I think it's obvious that I didn't choose diabetes.  I didn't even know I could be a target for diabetes - I wasn't excessively heavy, nor was I older in age.   I had no idea that the shadow of diabetes crept behind me waiting to smoother me and convert me into a diabetic.

But, here I am - my life line is a plastic tube attached to 300 mL of insulin.   Diabetes some how decided that I would be one of the 300,000 others in Canada to get type 1 diabetes. I think I am slowly learning why diabetes choose me and the more I think about it - I can't imagine what it would be like if diabetes had decided to leave me alone.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Finding Humour in Diabetes


Diabetes is very serious, did you know it is the leading cause in kidney failure and amputation? Also that over 300,000 Canadians live with type 1 diabetes?  COULD YOU IMAGINE if my blog bombarded you with this information daily? Giving you facts about diabetes and what the likelihood of my survival is. Not only would my readers be depressed, but I am pretty sure I would be drowning in tears.

I know the facts and I have seen the consequences of not controlling blood sugar; however, these things should stay on the papers of medical documents and don't belong on here.  No type 1 wants to hear about their possible chance for kidney failure or blindness or that they were the lucky ones that got picked out of 300,000 Canadians - why couldn't I be picked for the jackpot lottery instead - I am sure my chances were similar if not better.

Instead of rolling in money, buying Coach purses and fancy diamonds, I am rolling in OSAP's funds and buying test strips and vials of insulin.    Not exactly the lottery if you ask me.   However, I have accepted that I am not a millionaire, nor a billionaire; rather, I am a diabetic...

And even though I don't want to hear about how your cat got diabetes and now you have to put her down and that guy's great uncle Melvin can't see because of the complications of the Big D - I still hear it daily which I think adds to my humour about diabetes, because without humour I think I would be scared to leave my room and would be sipping on water and soda crackers for the rest of my life.

So,  how is diabetes humorous? If you've ever watched the evening cartoons like Family Guy maybe you could get a glimpse at diabetes humour. It truly is everywhere, but mainly about type 2 diabetes. But diabetics don't get mad at this, well at least I don't think so, we don't get mad at Family Guy for having Wilfred Brimley talk about his aggression while having a high blood sugar instead we get mad at when Dr.Oz doesn't justify what diabetes he is speaking about.

But, I don't get my diabetes humour from t.v sitcoms - I just get it from living with diabetes.  I know that diabetes can cause some damage, but I also know that living with diabetes can be a little funny.  Who else can eat like mad and no one will judge them? Do you know anyone that can lasso a door handle with 23 inch tubing?   These little life moments are hilarious.

I started thinking about this today when Michelle and I were interviewed by the Western Gazette about my blogs.  Michelle and I have been best friends for years now and she pretty much is the biggest diabetes groupie I have ever met.  As we were both being interviewed I began to realize how many inside jokes we had about diabetes or even just moments that involve diabetes that we laugh about.   Why is it funny that time I went low in Wal-Mart - well you had to be there to understand.

Michelle said after to me that she didn't realize how much she knew me. But, I think it is more so, we didn't realize how much we have shared since she knew me pre-diabetes and now with diabetes.  I think since she is probably the closest person to me, especially now being my roommate, she has a good idea about what diabetes is like and finds the humour in it - which a lot of people are scared to do.

Diabetes isn't a joke, but it doesn't have to be taboo. I'll gladly applaud you for making a diabetes joke because that is better than telling me that I might end up like your Great Uncle Melvin...no one wants to end up like that.

Kayla

Monday, November 14, 2011

World Diabetes Day


Every single day diabetics around the world are pricking their fingers, counting carbs and giving themselves insulin.  Despite there only being one day a year titled, "WORLD DIABETES DAY" every second, every hour and every day diabetics around the world are celebrating diabetes, I guess celebrating isn't really a good word for it.

I think that for the most part diabetic's celebrate that they are alive and acknowledge the fact that without insulin they wouldn't be here to enjoy what life has to offer. But, beyond that diabetics are busy enough dealing with their diabetes and working hard to maintain good health psychologically and physically that the whole celebration doesn't take place very often.  

For me on this one day of the year that I get to shove diabetes-ness in everyone's face I would like to point out that when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m it will no longer be diabetes day for the world, but for those that are waking up at 4 a.m to eat a snack or for those that are having to check their blood sugar 5 times on November 15th and every day following that, diabetes day is every single day for us.

So for the diabetics out there that are living diabetes day - everyday, I think that we should celebrate our diabetes. Because like that weird birth mark you have or that lisp, diabetes makes you unique.   Without diabetes we wouldn't have one another.  I know that I would not have had such the opportunity to meet amazing people like Stephanie, Nadine, Chloe, Meredith, and so many more.  

Diabetes gives us reasons to not eat gross food that people make for us because we can just insist that it has too many carbs.  It also gives us the reason to eat whenever we want, we NEED that chocolate bar because our sugar is low (wink, wink).    Diabetes gives us something to talk about when we are in an awkward situation and topics on the weather have already been discussed.  

Not only does diabetes give us random knowledge on insulin and our body it also gives us random nutritional information that we can brag about to girls who think they are doing a good job at avoiding sugar and carbs.   Having diabetes shows others that we are strong and can handle whatever life has to throw at us or in our case take away.

Diabetes has allowed us to separate our friends from true friends to friends that don't want to deal with your diabetes as well as introduced us to non-diabetics that wish they were diabetic because let's face it, diabetes is cool.

Let's not forget that diabetes has also provided us with pretty cool gadgets like insulin pumps and that USB meter. Not only can we get excited about colour choices, but we can also get excited about graphs even if the line is all over the place!

But, most of all we should celebrate that diabetes isn't that bad. Yes the neighbour is going to tell you that they know someone who knew someone that lost their leg from diabetes, and the doctor is going to tell you that you need to tighten your blood sugar or else, but I know and you know that living with diabetes is second nature now and that there are a lot of good things that can come from diabetes besides free glucose meters.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feeling Good


Since my sugars are all over the map during the day I often wonder what it is like to just feel 'good' or if I feel 'good' what is my range?   Because even though doctors say that when your blood sugar is between 5-7 you are within a good target sometimes even though we are now at a 6 we previously an hour ago were at a 15, so that 6 doesn't feel 'good' rather we are experiencing headaches or grumpiness to get really medical.

There are some parts of the day that I feel better than others, but for the most part I wouldn't say that 100% of my day is spent on cloud 9.  Sometimes I just know that diabetes is causing my day to be full of drowsiness, cloudiness and overall crabbiness.   I know that everyone in the world has these days, but just relating back to diabetes is it possible to just feel great 100% of the time... is the only solution to watch our blood sugars 24/7 and make adjustments every minute?

I think this also links to how we feel doing daily tasks or even exams to be specific.   If we go into an exam at a 7 are we more likely to succeed instead of going in at a 12 or higher.   Sometimes the stress of having to do an exam can really take your diabetes control out of your hands.  

Either way it makes me wonder what feeling good (mentally/physically) is all about.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

University Bound


More and more I am starting to realize how different college is from university.  In college I had more time to get my things done and really I had more spare time than I knew what to do with. Now, I have spare time, but it is what I like to call illegal spare time - meaning I don't really have spare time and I should be doing something I just have chosen not to.

In college my professors for the most part were 100% approachable and this still stands except for the 100% part.  I have some professors that are approachable while others not so much. In fact some are terrifying and I would hate to be on their  bad side and I am hoping not-so-good marks doesn't put me on their bad side.


In college my multiple tests were pretty straight forward there was none of this "which one is the BEST answer"  we either know it or not, why do we need to be challenged on it? In the real world, if someone asks us a question the answer is not going to be hidden instead we will just go onto google and search it if we don't know the answer - so let's be more practical okay?

I guess the list of differences could go on and on and there are some advantages the other way around as well such as not having to have early classes if I choose not too!  But, really when it all boils down to it, University is really difficult compared to College for me.

What does this have anything to do with diabetes you ask?  Well, basically with University I have caused myself a little bit of unneeded stress.  Being a not so stressed person (because I know it's bad for me) I have tried my hardest to keep my focus and avoid stressful situations, but I have started to realize the biggest fact of all University = poor diabetes management.... just kidding I really am not going to blame University for diabetes related problems, but it's something to think about right?

I am curious to know if University students with diabetes have a  harder time dealing with their diabetes in comparison to other students of different academic levels or those who are in the work force?

Kayla

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Talking Diabetes


One thing that I am highly educated on is diabetes.  Not so much the  medical side of diabetes, more so the everyday things that diabetes brings (stuff that no doctor or nurse could ever explain unless they in fact were diabetic themselves.)    The one good thing about being so knowledgeable about my diabetes and being very aware of what diabetes is all about is that when people ask me questions (because everyone asks me questions about my diabetes) I can give them clear, truthful and good answers.

More and more Vince has been asking about diabetes and we've actually had really good conversations revolving around diabetes.  He really does think about it on a different level than most people I talk to do. This could possibly because he spends a lot of time with me.  I don't think he fully understands it yet. I think that what would really be beneficial is to take him to a diabetes event and expose him to my million diabetic friends.

Talking about diabetes is obviously something that I do on a daily basis just like in my blog.  But, in everyday life I often stumble upon someone who wants to know about my diabetes or something to that nature.

One thing that Vince said last night  that stood out to me was along the lines of, "I guess I never really thought about how many things you need to think about or go through during the day living with diabetes.  Like you have to worry about going low or having a high blood sugar or just feeling crappy because of your blood sugars...a lot of people don't have to think about any of this..."

It's nice to know that despite feeling sometimes like we have a 'disease' and that we are 'different' from everyone else that the people around us and that love us know us for who we are no matter what the circumstance.  Although the non-diabetics around us will never truly know what it is like, we have to give them the biggest hug to let them know we appreciate them.  After all look at what we make them go through!

Kayla

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Speedy Low Syndrome


I am not sure if this is a common side effect of going low, but for me it seems to be the highlight of all my lows. The feeling that I am in a rush and that everything in my life needs to be completed in a matter of seconds and one of the missions is to find food and not just any food, but the best food, the food you don't even have let's face it.

I feel like I am on speed and honestly I have never done speed so I am just assuming that it would have similar effects. It's like my body is going 100 kilometres an hour and despite psychologically knowing that I don't need to rush since there is no time limit on life in general I still want to do everything as fast as I can and everything that I am doing or trying to do is really unnecessary at the moment. I am going to go ahead and call it "The Speedy Low Syndrome" because we all know that no non-diabetic doctor knows what we are talking about and will then in turn never have a chance to give it a creative name like I just did.

To be honest, right now I am in currently feeling the Speedy Low Syndrome and it is really making me get this blog entry produced fairly quickly minus the fact that I am doing a whole slew of spelling errors and feeling 'frustrated' having to right click and find the correct spelling.  Another symptom of the Speedy Low Syndrome - bad grammar and spelling (please feel free to use this excuse next time your professor hands back a bad grade on your Essay due to spelling errors...)

I really do hope there are other diabetics out there that feel this rush and sense of anxiety when they are low.  Really my brain is going out of control, "I want chips, 1 or 2 handfuls, I want Marshmallows, I hope there is Marshmallows left, where is that chocolate? Ugh I wish I had chocolate. I am glad I am getting pizza tonight, but why does it have to be tonight why not now? I think it's a good time to count my money, oh wait I should write in my blog, oh! what's happening on Facebook? Oh my gosh, is that who I think it is? Wait, do I have chocolate milk? No, no, okay is my cellphone dead?"

I know that all the diabetics right now are probably nodding their head, someone has to be agreeing with me right now and for all the non diabetics that are reading this you probably are wondering how any diabetic that is low ever pulls through - but we do! Oh yes we do!


Kayla

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happiness


Today in Personality Psychology we discussed happiness.  Which really instantly made me think about my blog because not only does it project my happiness, but it makes others happy as well.  At the same time I received a Facebook wall post from a fellow diabetic friend that wrote: "I love reading your blog so much. You are such an awesome writer. Just thought I would let you know"  To me, that shows that what I am doing is not only making me happy, but making others happy as well.


Happiness comes in such a wide variety of forms and way to often we hear about people saying their ultimate happiness would be if they won the 5 million dollar jackpot. But we all know that with that we would have friends and long lost family coming out of nowhere to borrow your money and if you didn't share your money with the poor or donate to charitable causes you would be labeled. Either way I don't think the whole lottery thing would bring complete happiness, but I don't doubt that you would most definitely would be happy. 

For me, I find happiness around me every single day. I have horrible days of course, but there are simple things in life that make me happy. Like on Mondays when Vince picks me up from school or when someone compliments my shirt.  These little things that don't require me to buy a lottery ticket or get 100% on an impossible exam.


Despite having diabetes I have learned to adapt to my disease and more so make it apart of my life; rather than letting diabetes take over my life.   I have gotten used to sitting on a hard piece of plastic for three hours or digging through my backpack for the 'three amigos'   more or less I have made diabetes apart of my happiness.   I would never, ever say that I am ill or not well and with that I think that accepting diabetes as a part of me and not as a disease I have caught I can  gain so much happiness from just that. 

Kayla 

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Three Amigos


I've had diabetes for 2 years and 8 months and have had my pump for 1 year and 4 months! Over the years I have found 'slang' for my diabetes related stuff - I guess it would be called, diabetes slang!    The people around me have sort of picked up on it because they seem to know what I am talking about.

But for those who haven't picked up on them I thought I'd take the time to give you a definition chart:

Check my Sugar:   Checking my blood (sugar)

Pump:  Insulin Pump

I'm High!!!!!!!!: My blood sugar is high

I need to bolus (not said often):  I need to take insulin

Ugh, low reservoir: I need to put more insulin in my pump

I NEED candy:  (Sometimes I just want candy)  But, usually:  My sugar is low!

These are just a few that come to mind, but more recently Vince has given a new 'diabetes slang' name to my three most used tools (minus the pump)   My Finger Pricker, My Meter and My case of sugar checkers (Okay there is another slang word...  Sugar Checkers are blood strips)

Vince has appropriately named these three things, The Three Amigos and I think it shall stick!  It all started with anytime we are out and I need assistance we count to three to make sure we have all the things I need.  Sugar Checkers, ONE, Finger Pricker, TWO, Meter, THREE!  Then we are good to go!


Kayla

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween!


It's that time of the year again! Where we think it's okay to eat 1200 mini chocolate bars, but god forbid at any of the other time we buy a whole chocolate bar ... because then we have to say, "well, I did walk up the stairs in my apartment today, so I deserve it..."

The mini chocolates and small packages of candy seem to be okay no matter what, even if you haven't left your house all weekend and refuse to where nothing, but 'comfy pants'  either way it's that time of the year we can at least be guilt free until it's over then we will regret the candy, but maybe not that much because we did  have to walk around the block or at least to catch a cab right?


For me I find the little chocolate to be a little more of a challenge than eating just one normal size chocolate bar.  It seems that we set out to have a couple 'little' candies, but end up polishing off a box or bag.   But, beyond this there are SO many snacks at Halloween especially if you're at a party or hosting one.  Snacks Galore = Blood Sugar out of CONTROL.

But, we don't know yet because my Halloween festivities have not started until tonight!    I am really excited to have a good time and keep my blood sugar under control for the most part. Alcohol does lower blood sugar, so it may be good that Little Red Riding Hood will be carrying some candy in her basket tonight!


P.s   have you heard of the Fairy Tale Little Red Riding Hood, you know the girl with diabetes...


Kayla

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

7000!


Last night my blog reached 7000 individual views! I was really surprised at how fast it approached 7000 within an hour about 64 people read it making it hit 7000 around 11:30 p.m.    Now, an extra 50 have read it!  I guess I am still wrapping my head around the idea that people enjoy what I write and that writing about living with diabetes isn't just for diabetics, somehow I have managed to attract non-diabetics! Are these people envious that they don't have diabetes? Who wouldn't be?

For the past 2.5 years I have talked about everything there is to know about diabetes and how I deal with the big D.  It's not always easy, but it isn't that bad! There are so many type 1's out there that are doing the same daily routine as me and that very thought gives me the strength and courage to know that I can get by each day despite having diabetes.

Living with diabetes has become a part of my life as much as school and other things have.  I have had some pretty big changes occur in the past 2.5 years like moving away from home, going to college and then to University and even a break up of a long term relationship.  All of these changes have sent my life in different directions and despite that I have managed to come out smiling every single time.

I am proud of myself and it feels good to admit it.   I am proud that I have created this blog and that so many people have benefited from it. I am also proud of what I have achieved academically at Fanshawe and now at Western.  I think I am in still in shock that I am a Western student to begin with - I don't think I ever thought I would come so far.  I am proud of all the friends I have made and all of the life lessons I have learned! I am just proud!

I also want to give a big thank you to everyone who follows and reads my blog.  Without readers I wouldn't have kept this up.  With all kinds of positive comments and feedback I have managed to stick to this.

Thank you!

Kayla

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Accomplished!


Although it seems that the biggest dream of mine would be for a cure; I rarely think about a cure for diabetes.   It may some where down the road be possible it just isn't the first dream that I have for myself.    Diabetes does suck and every now and then when my pump is dangling from my bed or I need to readjust it or find somewhere to hide it, I think to myself, "It would be nice to not have to rely on something other than my body parts to keep me alive." 

The pump nonetheless can make you feel robot-like.   My robotic pancreas can dangle 23inches away from my body, smack into oncoming objects and hook on to doorknobs and handles.    Despite the pump being a pain, I know that it is beneficial to my health.   If they do find a cure or even a way to give insulin without me having to see, look, touch, or DEAL with it then that would be great.

In the meantime I have other dreams and wishes that I want in life.  I want to graduate from University, get married have children and a great job as well as do a bunch of amazing things in my life.  To add to that, I want to say I accomplished it all while living with diabetes and hey if they cure diabetes by the time I accomplish some of these things then I won't mind saying I accomplished some of this with diabetes and then I was cured and accomplished some more!  

Kayla 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Success with Diabetes


Diabetes hasn't always been a part of my life.  But, a huge part of me cannot imagine what it was like to live without.  I spent nearly nineteen years of my life diabetes free - wow, what an accomplishment!    I guess since diabetes has pretty much consumed my entire life I can't imagine knowing nothing about it.   The words, basal, bolus, prime, rewind, insulin and pancreas are common words in my everyday life and if you're a friend of mine chances are you're catching on to these terms as well (and if you're not a friend of mine, then Hello! Nice to meet you!)

I think it is safe to say that diabetes has managed to welcome itself into my home, my bed, my classroom and even in my bra!  For something I knew nothing about 2.5 years ago, I really have a lot of proof to show that I now have my Masters in Diabetes Education...or Diabetes Living.

My whole mindset has changed and my lifestyle has readjusted, but nonetheless I have proved that living with diabetes isn't a big deal. Yes, I've heard you can lose your leg or go blind, but those are the things that diabetes takes away from you, more people need to talk about what diabetes gives you like courage and strength...all of these poor diabetics being told that if they don't 'tighten' their blood sugar or else...why not give them the real life stories of success with diabetes!

Kayla

Friday, October 21, 2011

Explaining Diabetes


Living with diabetes we just know what it is all about, so when we have to explain something to someone it can get a little repetitive or even complicated to explain.  Add being low or high into the mix and you've really got a messy situation.   The past two nights my sugar has plummeted past 4.0 and both times I was with Vince who is still patiently learning about diabetes (even taking the time to do some research on his own).

Unfortunately though there is one misconception when my sugar goes low as much as I would love a feast it just isn't plausible considering I need something quick.  I think this is the biggest part of diabetes that confuses non-diabetics next to a couple other things, "omg you can eat sugar?" and the whole issue of what does insulin do lower your sugar or make your sugar higher?

Both times I have gone low he asked me if I wanted stuff like pasta, pizza basically a meal meanwhile I was stuffing cookies in my mouth agreeing to all of these food choices because every diabetic knows when you're low you're  HUNGRY!    I feel bad because I was also trying to explain that when my sugar drops I need something immediate and fast acting.   He then asked what that would be and I gave him a good list off the top of my head of what would be good.

Needless to say the next day he said to me, "I know where we keep the honey in the house now..."


Kayla

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Becoming Diabetic


It's mid October and I haven't wrote in awhile.  I don't really think it is because I have had nothing to say because let's face it, living with diabetes is part of living an eventful life. I have just been busy with school and I guess, a social life that I haven't been able to sit down and really press out my thoughts on the blog.  I feel in a way I have left a few people hanging, so I am going to try my hardest to keep on this.

My life with diabetes has been a little slacking. I am finding it harder and harder to be on the ball with my diabetes with everything else that is going on around me.  Thankfully the people in my life remind me daily of what diabetes entails and what I should do.   I have found myself what I like to think the guy I was looking for in my diabetes ad and so far he has been putting up with all the requirements to be a Type 3 Diabetic.

This kind of leads me to think that when you meet a diabetic in some way the non-diabetic must feel like they have themselves become diabetic in a sense.  The whole idea of keeping up to date with blood sugars and making sure that the unprepared diabetic is okay when the meter is lost or the pump rips out.   Vince even had a dream the other day he said, that he had a pump.   He laughed when he told me that in his dream he knew exactly how to use it and that he carried it on his arm like one of those iPod holders for the gym.  Somehow I have turned him diabetic!

Diabetes isn't just a disease for one person. It takes a lot of learning from people around you and the relationship you share with them is a little different than most.   For me, I have developed a lot of great relationships with people over the time that I have diabetes and even though some of those people are no longer in my life; I know that those who care about you take your disease into consideration 100% and I have been lucky enough to find all of those type of people!

Kayla

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crazy Yoga & a New Endo (That isn't Crazy!)


Today I continued the workout plan since Sunday I was back home celebrating 5 birthdays including mine, yes, yes it was in August shhh!   Anyways, after all the cheesecake and snacks I had to get back into the flow of things come Monday.   I had left my agenda in London so I was pretty much hoping that by the time I arrived back to the apartment, my class hadn't begun.   Which it hadn't - I had written down that I wanted to do stretch yoga followed by cycle.

So, I got ready to go and felt good about it too.  After standing in a huge line to get into a yoga class of 70 people I realized that this yoga was not going to be the average find your chee type class.  The teacher was crazy to say the least, very energetic however.  After explaining her to my roommates they instantly knew who I was talking about and we laughed as we demonstrated the sun salutation that she did in 2 seconds...fastest move in the entire world.  I didn't get too much peace in this class; however, it was fun and I did use my ab muscles not only to plank, but to laugh.

Since cycle followed right after yoga, there were no bikes left by the time I put my mat away. So, I learned that I can't schedule back to back classes!

Previous to crazy yoga I met my new endocrinologist. She was really nice and really took many things into consideration which I liked.  I wasn't used to an endocrinologist taking such interest in me, for once I can say, I really enjoyed that appointment.   I know so many diabetics that have had bad experiences or felt that they were not in good hands, but from my experience today I feel like I will be enjoying my visits with her.

Overall, today was a crazy day and to end with crazy yoga, I must admit made the day.  

Kayla

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Workout Plan


There was a time when diabetics were instructed to do nothing.  We were pretty much summoned to our couches.  But now we can do whatever we want and we are practically limitless when it comes down to it. I wasn't always a super active person pre-diabetes.  The fact that I am super uncoordinated played into this, no one can enjoy a hip hop class when you are always two steps behind and going left instead of right.  

As far as sports I never really had the skill to hit a ball or to know when to hit the ball in fact.   I did participate in gym class; however, and tried my best when it came down to it, but overall the idea of physical activity was almost like a threat.  Just before I was diagnosed officially I began working out intensely at the gym and realized that say, running on a treadmill or using a machine was much different than crip walking across a studio.

I began really enjoying biking and running and just being active.  Once I was diagnosed with diabetes I had no idea if this was possible to continue. However, that wonder only lasted a couple hours after being shown the Connected in Motion website that showed a person canoeing on the home page.  

Since being diagnosed I have gone above and beyond what I physically thought possible for myself. I am not an athlete or a dancer, nor am I physically built; however, I feel good.    Yesterday I went into the  Western University gym for the first time to do a cardio ball class and today I did a beginner step class.  I plan to do a class at least 5-6 times a week and make sure that I tell you about them to encourage myself.

Cardio ball was actually really fun. We all had this big exercise balls  and got to bounce, roll, throw and dribble them across the studio floors.  Step class, although beginner seemed like it was going to be the end of me, especially because I was feeling the cardio ball class in my legs and arms.    There is a lot of great classes that are offered and I plan to tell you about all of them!

Pft, diabetes better keep up.

Kayla

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No One Can See

For me diabetes has become a part of who I am and something that I feel the need to share with the people around me.  I wouldn't say that I am totally in your face, "I HAVE DIABETES," but it is definitely something that I don't hide from the people around me.  I have never felt embarrassed about my diabetes surprisingly. In fact I think I had more anxiety growing up with a birth mark on my left leg than I ever did with diabetes.  I remember taking swimming lessons and covering my hand over my birth mark until we were emerged in the water (we are talking about a birth mark the size of maybe a nickel)  But now, I wear a visible pump (the size of a pager) and I swing it around, make jokes about it and hold it up for the occasional picture.

Despite being totally open about my disease there is a sense of frustration I hold about the whole idea.  In fact there are times when I say, OH MY GOD I have diabetes and more recently I have started to envy those with self producing insulin.  I wonder why they don't have diabetes and will they get to live a healthy life forever?  

I think this frustration and pancreatic jealousy is common and normal.  To everyone else I am a basic, Canadian female, but to those I have talked to know that I have one extra thing that makes me stand out in a crowd of at least 12 (unless of course I am at a Connected in Motion event... not so special there....)  

I guess no one can see this side of diabetes or know what it is like to be jealous of a working pancreas, but the best I can do is know that I am doing my best.

Kayla

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Low Down

It seems like going low happens at the weirdest times - sometimes those times are convenient like during a trip to the grocery store while other times completely throw you off and make you curse diabetes.   For me my prime low times occur in the waking hours of the morning like 4 a.m (by waking hours, I don't mean I am awake and I feel bad for anyone who does wake up at this time on a regular basis)   But, sometimes my lows come at strange times and make you wonder, "How did I go low! I just had dinner!"

As diabetics we are given ratios, according to how much carbs we have and how much insulin we need to take. For example, I take 1 unit for every 10 grams of carbs I have.   So that's pretty simple and anyone can do the math, but luckily for me my pump does that math anyways!   But, sometimes the carb/ratio idea is completely off.  Sometimes you eat something and 30 minutes later you experience a low and have no idea why.

I am not a doctor, but I am a diabetic and can honestly say that just because you took 2 units for one thing another day doesn't mean you are going to need 2 units the next day despite eating the same thing.  There are so many things that effect blood sugar that it can be a huge task to pinpoint what the issue is and how to prevent such things as lows and highs.

For me, I just had dinner about 15 minutes ago, cleaned my room up a little bit and then could feel the signs of a low coming on, and then had to treat a 4.2.    I don't know if the whole intense cleaning made my sugar low, but I know I didn't eat food that takes longer to digest. Other factors can come into play like stress - there really is no exact answer.

There really is now reason sometimes why we go low.  I just know that when I wake up at 4 a.m there probably is another diabetic pulling down her sheets, stumbling to the kitchen and eating everything in sight.  So there is the low down!

Kayla

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I know something you don't know . . .

Being a diabetic, it is like you have some hidden information that no one else quite knows.  There are so many things that go along with being diabetic that touch on all aspects of our lives that it is hard not to erupt at someone who tries to say, "Milk doesn't have carbs!"  Clearly milk has carbs and if it didn't I wouldn't be shooting up insulin for that wonderful cold glass of milk I just had after eating almost carb-less peanut butter (by the way you non-diabetics may have assumed peanut butter has carbs.. wrong again.. hardly any...)

Being diabetic, I know a few things about carb counting, the pancreas, what insulin does etc.  so, when you are sitting around the fire, and someone is having a private conversation with the person beside them about, "this girl they know, who is like diabetic, totally was so drunk and her sugar was so high she totally, needed to eat something...." and you know that insulin will lower blood sugars NOT food... sometimes the knowledgeable diabetic in you wants to shout out, YOU'RE WRONG!

But, it goes beyond the diabetic herself...our friends and family who now know so much about diabetes are getting sensitive and knowledgeable too.  I know Michelle has told me that she gets mad when people misunderstand diabetes or make wrong statements about the disease.  We all get offensive and want to sit the ignorant down and give them the 411 about diabetes.

But, before we go preaching about diabetes we have to acknowledge our own ignorance to other things in the world.  We may be know-it-alls about diabetes, but let's be serious there are MANY other things in the world diseases or not that we are totally unaware of.

Kayla

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Belly Break

I have been using my stomach as my personal pin cushion for the past 2+ years. My go to spot for any injections I needed to take and the more I thought about it I began to realize that my stomach had become my comfort zone for shots and the longer I began to hold back from using any other areas, the more I feared trying it out.

Now, I am not one to back down when it comes to trying something new; however, the thought of sticking a needle in my leg etc. was haunting me.   So many diabetics told me their favourite injection spots were places like their back or their arms and the whole time I couldn't help but think how terrifying that sounds.

My stomach is now marked with mini scars and bruises from endless abuse, left side, right side, left side, right side. At the hospital, after telling them my concerns they introduced me to a new type of site for my pump that allows me to put the site in anywhere I wish by just pressing a button.   She asked me if I wanted to try it that day, but being super timid I let her put it in me (and it wasn't that bad!)

So, she let me take some home for when I got up the courage to put in one myself.  This happened at 10:30 p.m the other day. I know nighttime isn't the best time, but at this point I was like it is now or never.  With Michelle there to witness it, I opened the confusing packaging and let Michelle record our adventure... because let's face it, I knew it was either going to go really well or horribly wrong.

So, we did it! I don't know how, but we worked together and the site was in and we laughed as we replayed the video.   Now, I think I will be hooked to these (literally).  I am excited for my box of silhouette sites to be done so I can buy some new ones and that way I can give my belly a much deserved vacation!  

Where is my site now you ask? Well I decided to put it on my side (almost my back)  Still close to familiar grounds, but also a little risque. 

Kayla 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Diabetic's Dating Ad


All diabetic girls must feel a sense of uncertainty when browsing for a man, it's not like we can just date a guy who hates needles and faints every time he sees blood.  It's not like we can date a sugar-a-holic who refuses to buy anything but sugar.  We need to be a little picky when it comes to trusting someone to test our sugar, put up with our highs and lows and most of all dig diabetic girls... right?

So, I began to think what exactly a diabetic girl's dating ad would look like, right beside the classified section in the local newspaper beside the pictures of a for sale used couches and a dog that is looking for a new home.  Of course we would include a photo with our ad and not just our photo from the last party we attended or the family BBQ last summer, oh no, this picture would be us skydiving or climbing the Rocky Mountains, even better it would be us holding up our pump or our metre with a perfect 5.5 reading.

So if this catches the eye of someone special, they will begin to look more into it. Start reading the quick description, single, female, diabetic... the three most important things.  Then maybe you would include your a1c, 7.1 and a couple quick stats about your diabetes.   After he gets the idea of what he is in for, a good diabetic or a bad one, that is when he will either turn the page or keep on reading.  That's when you will get into what you're looking for someone who doesn't mind needles, someone who doesn't mind mood swings, someone who doesn't mind being ignored, someone who doesn't mind being yelled at, someone who doesn't mind you laughing out of control for a solid hour, someone who doesn't mind you binge eating at 4 a.m, someone who doesn't mind you being indecisive in the grocery store as your blood sugar plummets and you can't decide between a KitKat or a Aero Bar, someone who can help you check your blood sugar when you come home from the bar... and the list continues, someone who wants to meet other diabetics (because let's be serious half your Facebook friends are lacking a working pancreas) someone who doesn't mind sitting through doctor's appointments and most importantly, and this would be in bold; "SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T ASK CAN YOU EAT THIS?!"

Sincerely, the single diabetic: you would sign off and hope that someone out there who is looking for a 'sweet' girl fulfils your request.

Kayla

*newspaper is not real - computer generated by me.