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!


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! 


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.


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.


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...) 


Saturday, December 10, 2011


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.


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...


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!


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!