Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's Not Fair Because...

Often times as diabetics we feel overwhelmed in what we have to take on.  We feel overwhelmed because every second of the day is measured for us, we are counting carbs, taking insulin, or just plain riding out the symptoms of highs and lows.  As much as we pull through each day with confidence in handling the next, we all know that it isn't fair that we were the ones diagnosed.

It's not fair because we didn't do anything to deserve diabetes. Countless times I have reflected on the past years of my life wondering what I could have possibly done to deserve such a difficult disease. I think of all the people who did me wrong, the people who committed crimes, bullied, or just were mean people who aren't living with a chronic disease.  I think about the toddlers, young children and young adults that are diagnosed with type one diabetes that have never said or did a bad thing in their lives. It's not fair because we as diabetics feel as though we did not do anything to deserve this.

It's not fair because everything has carbs, okay a few things don't but seriously.  Why can't we have to take insulin for something like 'only things that are green' or 'things starting with the letter E' why does it have to be the sweetest thing of all - sugar.  Half the time people don't even realize what has carbs, for example diabetics have to take insulin for milk and even sometimes vegetables.

Lastly, it's not fair because diabetes easily becomes a lifestyle once diagnosed that those living with diabetes or those that take care of love ones with diabetes often forget to take time for themselves.  It's not fair because we are all working hard to get by each day constantly reflecting on numbers and food, yet rarely give ourselves  a pat on the back for all of the effort we put in.

So even though diabetes isn't a fair disease and it isn't fair that we were given diabetes, it's time to accept it knowing that it was given to you for a reason, not for something you did wrong, but for reasons we will find out along the way.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jamaican' Me High

During my vacation I found it incredibly hard to manage my blood sugars.  I knew that I wouldn't be perfect since I have no idea what they would be cooking with, but I have vacationed a lot with diabetes and have never had such horrible blood sugars.  I found that I was constantly max bolusing on my insulin pump in order to keep up with the after effects of the food that I was eating.  I tried to eat food that I knew the most like fruit or french fries, but of course when you are paying for all inclusive you want to be able to enjoy your time as much as possible by trying new things or eating more than average.

The food in Jamaica was good and I did try some of their dishes such as Jerk Chicken, but not being too into spices, I ended up eating a lot more 'Americanized' food. I saw blood sugars soaring every single day even with a lot of physical activity.  I must admit after being a fanatic before we left about my blood sugars it was hard to see such booming numbers appear on my meter. 

Now that I am back, I am sick. Going on day four of being sick and my blood sugars are still high. I have put the pump at over 100% basal, I have been checking more, and all I am eating is a bland food diet.  So, hopefully recovery is on its way, along with much better blood sugars. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

The System

If you have been wondering where I have been, I have been vacationing and of course after a long vacation and trust me it was long (cancelation of the plane...) I come back with lots of life lessons to share that made me once again revaluate my diabetes.

It wasn't even half way into the trip when someone was found bobbing in the resort pool. Yes, trust me it is as terrifying as it sounds written out.  When the girl stood on the in water bar stool screaming, "LIFEGUARD" she got everyones attention but the lifeguards it seemed.  Tons of vacationers rushed to help pulling an elderly, larger man out of the water in order to revive him.

My sister and I sat pool side on lounge chairs. The rest of the trip I kept thinking I SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING! But, I don't know what I would have done.  I don't know CPR, I once did but not anymore and with the crowd of people that already swarmed around him I just wasn't sure what to do.

Someone then screamed out, 'his blood sugar is 17, does he need juice?' and then it was time to help.   A nursing student stood around him and kept saying that we needed to give him juice, but this man was Canadian and a 17 blood sugar is a high blood sugar. Another person offered them their diabetes medication (Metformin) and I thought that also wasn't the best idea at the time. It's not his medication and I was doubting his situation was due to a 17 blood sugar.

He was brought back, taken by ambulance and we weren't ever informed about his situation again.  But, it stuck in our minds the entire trip. For the first couple days I felt weird jumping in the pool. I felt nervous every time a kid jumped in unattended. My stomach sunk when I would see something floating by.

Beyond that, I kept thinking about how confusing it is that there are two systems for blood sugars. That an American nurse thinks he needs sugar at a 17 when in reality that is a 306.  The same thing could happen the other way too, a Canadian nurse thinking a 36 is a high blood sugar when it is really a 2.   I don't know the reasoning behind the two different systems, I get that in Canada we use Litres, rather than Gallons etc. etc.  but when dealing with things in the medical world shouldn't we 100% be on the same page? Could it mean life or death?


Friday, May 3, 2013

I don't know you with diabetes....

So, it's the month of May which means tons of students are leaving London, but a bunch are stopping by to drop off their stuff. However, I am an exception staying in London for a couple reasons, including the fact that either way I have to pay rent here no matter where I reside for the summer.  This summer I have a friend from elementary school living with me for the month of May while she sublets from my roommate.  The crazy thing is that we literarily have not hung out since grade six or seven so her first night here we stayed up late just trying to catch up on each others lives.

The most interesting thing was when she said to me, "So tell me about that..(pointing to my pump...) I don't know you with diabetes..." which really made me think back to the time I didn't have diabetes which was only four years ago.  It's really hard to imagine my life without diabetes - on numerous occasions I say that it feels like I have had diabetes forever, but I haven't people who have been distant from my life truly remember me as a non-diabetic.

I gave her the run down about my diabetes, nothing in too much detail because I figured spending a month with a diabetic is a good way to learn about diabetes besides giving a lecture. She asked if next time I put a site in if she could watch - she didn't know if that was a weird thing to say, but I reassured me that she wasn't the first person to ask!

We chatted about all kinds of different things, memories that one of us thought of vividly while the other hum and hawed over the details.  It was hilarious to think of some of the things we did together and I must note that in primary school we were like sisters.  It's funny how life works, bringing certain people in and out of lives at specific times.