Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Keeping up

It's amazing how little amount of sugar can spike your blood sugar.  Those little bowls of candies that are now floating around the house for the holidays are sending diabetics blood sugars over the edge giving us more grief than a low in house with no food.  I have found that keeping my meter around me at all times gives me more motivation to check often.  I know I have little to no will power around Christmas for those little hershey kisses, so having a meter on hand to quickly check and bolus before the treat makes it much easier. This is when I think back to my last post and know that a Christmas on needles is much more of a stressful time than a Christmas with a pump, either you're high all the time or you're giving yourself multiple needles throughout the day, or maybe you do have will power and you're resisting those treats.

I haven't had truly amazing blood sugars in the past week and I want to blame it on going off my regular schedule of school. Finishing my last exam this past Thursday, I have been enjoying my vacation by relaxing and being with friends and family.  On Sunday, Vince and I went to the NFL game in Toronto and luckily they had really great popcorn - which usually helps with keeping my blood sugar in range.

Now, I am going to enjoy my Christmas just as if I didn't have diabetes - keeping my blood sugar in check as best as I can,  but not letting diabetes be that unwanted guest that shows up and ruins all the fun.  It's a frustrating time for diabetes to handle all the food, excitement and sometimes stress - but as well trained diabetics (which we all are!) we can handle this time of year - no problem!


Sunday, December 16, 2012


I have thought about taking a vacation from my pump.  Just giving myself a break from carrying around  this thing because at times it gets annoying - smacking it off the ground, getting it caught on door knobs, stuffing it into your bra, having it vibrate at you, having site rips out, have something malfunction.... that extra part of my life called diabetes seems a little more prominent when I have a pancreas dangling from my pocket.

I don't think I would stay away from the pump for awhile - just for a month to give myself some freedom in the sense of just having to give myself a needle when I eat and before bed.  I realize that the pump also can be seen as more of a vice for freedom than syringes; however, after wearing the pump for 2 years straight, 24/7 - I am just craving to go back on the needles for just a little bit.

When I brought up this idea to Vince he instantly seemed resistant..."You should just wear the backpack pump for a day!"  he said.  "Why so I can appreciate the pump?"  I replied.     He really didn't like the idea of me going back on needles and when I finally asked why it was such a big deal if I went on needles he replied with, "I am afraid of needles!"  Well, then!   Vince and I started dating about two years into my life with diabetes, so it makes sense why he has never really had to see any needles, since I have been on a pump for two years.

I tried to explain to him that he would  hardly see it.  The needles look like fancy pens and the needle the screws on the end of the pen is hardly big at all.   Often I would do it before anyone would even think to ask if I took my insulin.  It's really an easy process that no one notices unless you're up close and personal explaining what you're doing.

It's interesting because needles are no one's favourite, and that happens to be what this disease is all about. In fact I don't even like looking at people giving themselves needles or getting needles.  I can't stand it when I have to get blood work done, but of course it's life or death when it comes to me administrating my insulin.   I am sure I am not the only one whose partner doesn't like needles, and as far as figuring out what I will end up doing, I know that if I were to be on needles it would be something that he wouldn't even notice all that much - just because I was on needles before for approximately a year and a half.  

For me, I am getting a little worn out, a little tired of keeping track of this disease and it's repetitively is driving my bananas. It may be nice to let the purple pump take a break from swinging between my legs, tangling around door knobs and just getting in the way.   It may be time to just give myself some freedom in the sense of not wearing my diabetes on my sleeve - or bra to be exact.  


Friday, December 14, 2012


Ever since we entered kindergarten we have been asked what we wanted to do when we were older.  While some of us were not too sure and answered with things like tooth fairy or ballerina, others of us were little teachers or nurses in the making - knowing exactly what we wanted to do since we entered the school's front doors.  For me, of course I wanted to be a teacher - I was the oldest of cousins on my mother's side and would sit down my cousins and pretend to be the teacher for hours, testing them, marking their papers and really trying to help them as much as I could.

In high school, I wasn't really sure what I would end up being.  I was lacking motivation and really hadn't found a subject I wanted to excel it.  I mean, of course I had a great interest in writing for a very long time, but no class really allowed me to show that creative side.  It wasn't until I went to Fanshawe College for Liberal Studies that I began to get motivated and confident about what I can be and what I will do.  Since then, graduating from Fanshawe with a diploma and now completing my first semester of third year at Western - I can see a great future for myself.

Along with my love for writing - the teacher in me has a love for helping people.  I love being able to fix a problem or at least talk through one.   It was interesting, recently Michelle went to a psychic and ended up hearing a whole lot about me.  Now, I am a skeptic when it comes to psychics, but after hearing some of the stuff that was told to Michelle, I will keep my opinions on the fence.  This psychic however told Michelle that I need to be a teacher because I am meant to help people.   This was a good feeling knowing that since kindergarten I have known felt instinct about myself and that I have somehow ended up on the right track despite all of the hurtles I have gone through in life.

I have put a lot of thought into what the psychic has said to Michelle about me (there are multiple things that were said.)  Although I can't loose sleep over the readings, figuring out if I am doing things right and making sure I live up to what the psychic has said - I do want to keep focused and really keep my goals in mind since it can be easy to get deterred in this busy world we live in.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Social Support

There is something about knowing that you're not the only one.  That feeling where you are glad there is someone else that is counting carbs, taking insulin and checking their blood sugars.   That is how I feel when I am gathered around other diabetics, the feeling that I am not the only one dealing with this. It can be hard when you are the only one in the household, classroom or workplace that lives with diabetes because a lot of people just don't understand what it's like.

Tonight I had 18 type 1 diabetics gather for a Christmas party at my apartment.  It was such a great turn out and it's always great to see everyone getting to know one another and having a good time in the process.  I was happy to see people come that truly did not know anyone (except for me) coming into this, but showed up anyways.  As pumps beeped and diabetes talk hummed in the air, I realized how just one thing can really change a person's life.

Diabetes wasn't something any of us asked for, yet look at what it has given us.  While to our endocrinologists we may just be a number - we all know that we are much more than a number and that diabetes is just as much about healing with social support as it is as treating with insulin.   Diabetes can be a taunting disease and especially this time of the year when finger foods are always readily available for devouring.  Diabetes can bring people together, and I feel like this has been proven over and over again.

A lot of support can go along way in the diabetes community and I only hope that the group in London grows and grows and more and more people are able to feel like they are not alone in the disease.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Last Hurdle

For most, these next couple weeks are the last hurdle before we can all enjoy the holidays.  For university and college students this means the opportunity to come home from dorms and student housing and enjoy their bed that has been un slept in for 4 months and devour food that they didn't have to pay for. There is no stress about having to finish a chapter for class on Monday or figure out another 500 words to cap off your essay - life is good during the holidays. Plus,  for diabetics, this means we have amazing low food to enjoy and causes of high blood sugars aren't due to late night papers, but to late night gingerbread snacks.

My last class ends on Wednesday and I couldn't be more ecstatic to be done.  Throwing myself in third year English Major was a cruel punishment on its own and being able to relax and not worry about Virginia Woolf or James Joyce will be great.  Before I can get too excited I guess I need to consider that I have two exams to write before I can fully jump up and down with glee.

I find that my blood sugars tend to not rise too much from school.  I think the main reason is that school doesn't stress me out in the same way that other things do that play more on my emotions.  I have confidence in myself that school will work out for me, the papers will get done and as long as I attended class I can't see why I will fail - I guess my positive outlook on school keeps me from losing my mind come exam season.

Personally, I am not much of a studier, and I have tried hard - it never works. I seem to do well despite not making cue cards and highlighting every second word in my textbook, so that must just be my luck.   Luckily this helps with keeping my blood sugars in check, as I would hate to go into an exam with high blood sugar or go low during an exam - I couldn't imagine!

I hope that most diabetics are able to keep calm during this time of year that are writing exams or finishing up last minute projects and essays.  The most important thing is your health and when your blood sugars are within your favourite range then you can do amazing things and feel good in the moment and not groggy and grumpy like high blood sugars tend to do to us.  

Good luck to all that are writing, studying and bolusing!