Friday, October 26, 2012


A lot of people tell me that they could never give themselves needles and/or check their blood sugar because they have a fear of needles and blood. In reality, you just have to face those fears when it is a matter of life and death. Perhaps, those that are diagnosed with diabetes get someone else to give them needles for the first bit, but then have to face their fear and give one on their own eventually.   Thankfully, I never really had a true fear for needles and the amount of blood that drips out of my finger is little enough for me to be O.K with it - however, seeing blood during blood work is another story.

In my life I haven't had to face too many fears, and if I did they were quick and something that isn't incredibly necessary such as the fear of snakes, how often do I see snakes? not often - so when I see one, yes I am fearful, but since I don't see them often I don't have to think about it too much.  A week ago today was my accident, and it happened at night while it was raining, conveniently it is night time and raining this Friday night. Funny how life works out that way... eh?

Well, after the accident, I drove, and since then have been driving a bit, but not as often as I did previous to the accident.  The last time I drove at night with rain was mid week when I drove to visit Vince.  To be honest, I cried the entire time in fear that something was going to happen.  Hands were gripped, and I kept self calming myself.  I felt O.K once I arrived, but the way there which is only about a 10 minute drive felt like a lifetime.

Everyone keeps telling me that it is good that I am driving, had I not got in my mom's jeep the next day, who knows if I would have drove at all this week.  Yes, I am fearful, but I am taking the steps I need to take to be a confident driver once again.  You see, everyone has fears and like I said some fears you don't need to face often, but those fears that are constant, that some how show up in your life, those fears are the worst.

But, once you are able to break that fear think of how much you have accomplished.  I know that one day I will be myself, I will feel safe and that accidents happen and well life happens.  


Monday, October 22, 2012

True Tests

I've had to withdraw myself from my blog for about a week or so. Finding myself extremely busy with the rest of my life, and not finding the time to actually sit down and write it all down.  It's funny, sometimes I will be laying in bed and all of a sudden my mind starts thinking as if I am writing a blog post, it seems perfect, but being so sleepy and ready to turn off to the world, I just let my head ramble off a blog post without ever writing it down.

In the past week I have been pushing myself along with diabetes being just that thing that hangs off my hip.   Of course, I have been going through the routine of blood sugar checking and insulin giving; however, I have somehow managed to think of diabetes LESS than normal and I credit school and my busy lifestyle to that.  

This past Friday I was in a serious car accident and it wasn't until after that moment did I begin to get that feeling back that I had when I was first diagnosed.  That, 'holy cow life is fragile' moment.  Here, I was escaping an accident with mild bruises thinking about how much worse it could have been.  Yes, I have to get a new car, yes I am feeling stiff and achey, but honestly, I would take this over anything else - and this is exactly what I said when I was diagnosed with diabetes.

It's strange because at the same time I think, okay if x is worse than y, then what are the people with x saying? What is the ultimate WORST thing - maybe that's just a little too philosophical. Anyways, just like diabetes, I found myself thinking of worst case scenarios that could have happened and reminding myself that I escaped with bruises and that is O.K.

But, after all was said and done and I was trying to sleep, I had that same feeling once again like I did after thinking about the fact I was diagnosed, I began questioning WHY ME! something I know I felt when I was first diagnosed a lot.  The question about why you deserve something to happen to you when you know you did nothing wrong to deserve it.  Still today, I question that every now and then and I am finding after the accident I am feeling the exact same.

When it comes down to it, my positivity that diabetes has brought out in me as been a good trait in situations such as this.  I am over it. I am over that my car is no longer a car... I am over that I could have done NOTHING to change what has already happened, and I am ready to move on and learn from everything that has happened to me throughout my life.

That strength came from my diagnosis and these little bumps, dips, dives and hurtles is where the true tests come and I shine through.


Friday, October 12, 2012


There is that low feeling... the signs and symptoms that creep up on you when you've just finished a run or have woken up suddenly in the middle of the night.   I often know when I wake up if I'm feeling starving - I am low same with any sort of headache, sweating or shaking.  However, sometimes you FEEL low, but you're not actually low.... 

Last night I was tossing and turning and it wasn't that something was on my mind, but more so I felt like my head was feeling strange.  I was highly doubting that I was low because I just didn't have any of the other symptoms and truthfully I was hoping I wasn't low because I was far from hungry.  After about an hour, I pulled myself out of bed and tested.  5.6 mmol/l (100.8 mg/dl) so, back to bed I went.  Also feeling good that when I am low I feel  excessively hungry because not wanting to eat really makes it hard to accept a low. 

So, after crawling back into bed and attempting to sleep again, I couldn't shake my head feeling so strange.  Finally, I fell asleep waking up realizing that I must have just had a starting of a cold or headache despite constantly feeling like I had low blood sugar.    Diabetes wakes you up more than most would like to imagine.  It makes people raid cupboards and wake up to wrappers of candy and empty juice boxes littered around them.  

Even though I didn't actually go low last night that feeling that most non-diabetics would attempt to ignore - kept reminding me of going low, alerting a certain amount of anxiety over whether or  not I was actually going low, wondering if my meter was wrong, and not knowing if I should fall asleep or not.   As much as going low at any time of the day is daunting, going low at night can be scary and irritating.

One of my friends visited me last weekend and we were talking about going low and more exact the feelings we feel. My mom happened to be sitting with us and was curious as to exactly how hungry we felt when we were low and it was hard to explain that extreme feeling and the desire to eat everything, only to lay back in bed with an upset stomach. 

My first low ever (knowing I was diabetic) was when I was in Mexico on a cruise in April 2009.  I had not yet experienced one that I was able to check with a meter, and we had just climbed the Mayan Ruins (pretty exciting first low...)   I don't exactly remember how I felt, but I recall feeling 'strange' and since I was with my uncle who also has type 1, he encouraged me to check and lone and behold I was experiencing my first low blood sugar.

Now, after probably hundreds and hundreds of lows I can recognize the signs for the most part. The odd time you will get that weird low that somehow didn't let you know it was coming.   I am aware of when my blood sugars are dipping even below 5 which my nurse has encouraged me not to treat until I am below a 4, but I find this hard to do since my body acts low under 5. 

It's funny how this feeling of light headedness, busyness, sweating, confusion and hunger is all something that diabetics go through on almost a daily basis. It has become a part of our life just as much as insulin dripping into our bellies and blood bleeding from our fingers.  It's all apart of the diabetic life.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chasing That...

I have been writing for over three years now and despite going through a couple non-writing patches, I would say that I have somehow managed to stay motivated to continue writing almost regularly.  A lot of people ask me how I think of what to write after all diabetes is pretty routine and you can only write about going low so many times. However, I have learned something through my writing and that is that those little life lessons we learn every single day are useful not only for us, but for everyone around us. We all experience things in different ways, of course as diabetics we can be like, "I SO UNDERSTAND YOU!" but at the same time it is a different story for everyone.

My story began in 2009 (well, my diabetes story) and I've learned a lot along the way which is evident in my blog, but not only as diabetes taught me a lot, but going to college, going to university and meeting a great amount of new people has greatly left impressions and lessons in my life.  I have learned more about myself in the past 3 years than I have in the previous eighteen years before that.  I like to think of it as a new start on life. 

Today I attended a talk from Deepak Sethi (a writer on Family Guy) and to be honest I thought that it would just be a good event to attend for a laugh.  I am on this new kick of attending events on campus just to learn new lessons.   Of course I laughed a lot during his talk, but more so, I came home thinking, you know what, you can do whatever you want.    I feel like I remind myself of this every so often, but then go to class read an 18th century passage and think, I have to do this and this is what I will be doing all year long... when in reality, okay I need to do this to graduate, but I can do so much more alongside it all and come out with more knowledge than Immanuel Kant... (kidding...but maybe close?) 

I really want to capture my life lessons, after all this is Kayla's LIFE Notes and possibly gives others that kick of inspiration or motivation that I receive every so often.  For example, the other day I was waiting in line at Tim Horton's and a guy that I went to college with said "hi" followed by, "I love your blog!" and for a second, I thought, "How does he know about my blog?" and then thought, "Who cares! He's reading it, he loves it, and I am doing something amazing here..."  

I love hearing a good inspirational story like Deepak's because it makes me believe that I can do whatever I want.  No, I don't foresee myself writing an episode on Family Guy, but I can foresee myself doing something amazing, something I love... but of course that won't fall on my lap - I have to do it and believe that I can.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


In a way I feel like diabetes has become my middle name.  The word has become so often used in my own vocabulary that the word has gained much more meaning that I could have ever imagined that it would.  In the Oxford dictionary you will find this;


[mass noun]
  • a disorder of the metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine.

But as we all know, diabetes is much more than that.  For me diabetes has taken on many different definitions and attributions.  Even though I know it is a disease, to me it has become a part of my lifestyle, a part of who I am and a word that in some ways defines who I am.    When I was told I had diabetes I didn't think this would be the case, in fact I thought that diabetes would always just be something that I only thought about to myself - I didn't realize how much of a community disease it was.  

Now when I look at my Facebook page, for example and see all the groups of type 1's, statuses about sites ripping out, insulin being empty and the exhaustion of a mother trying to take care of her low daughter -  I realize that even though the definition of diabetes is simple and makes sense - pages and pages could be added to the definition of diabetes.  

Diabetes means something different to everyone -  I get that. But, when it comes down to it we know that diabetes is much more than a disorder that causes you to be thirsty and produce large amounts of urine...   


Monday, October 1, 2012

No Power

I think as all pump-wearers one of our fears is that our pump stops working - along with not having supplies.   It's a nightmare when your pump turns off and doesn't turn back on, let me be the first to admit this based on personal experience.  On Saturday I was babysitting two young children when I heard my pump beep.  Since my pump is on vibrate I knew that it must have been a low battery warning which means I would have some time to before having to put in a new battery.  

Then, the pump said, 'no power...' which I have never seen before.  I was feeling a little bit nervous, having two young children and not being able to leave the house to figure out what to do, so I called Vince.  Vince gladly came over with fresh batteries and when I put the battery in nothing happened.  Then I was getting really stressed out as the kids ran around and my pump was showing no vital signs.

So, I called Medtronic and thankfully the lady on the other end was able to restore my sanity as well as my pump.  Basically I had to take the battery out of my pump, let it sit for 10 minutes (she let me put down the phone and attend to the kids in that time) and then put the battery back in and then it worked! It did reset the time/date - much like a time machine it took me back to 2005 (also side note, I didn't even have diabetes in 2005) and then it was done - I had a working pump and my stress level went form 5000 to 5. 

After it was all done, I began thinking about eventually when I have children of my own and what diabetes will be like with children.  I have experienced a few times having to attend to children as well as take care of my diabetes and have found it difficult in many ways. I am sure there are easier ways around it and eventually you learn a routine... plus I feel like it can be easier to manage your own kids in situations like that more so than other people's children. But, I guess that is something I will have to one day blog about.