Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Check Ups

Today I woke up feeling like crap.  While at first I thought it was just sleepiness since Cola was up almost every 2 hours for some unknown reason - I soon realized it was more than just sleepiness.   My blood sugar was 18 mmol/L after nearly fasting for 10 hours and I felt sick to my stomach.  While I hate calling in sick to work I knew I had to stay home in order to sort this all out. Plus, when you work with children you don't really want to be passing on any type of sickness (even though they often pass things on to you.)

I began to trace back my steps as to what could have gone wrong but I am totally unsure.  I went to bed with a blood sugar of 7 mmol/L and even bolused for the couple cups of popcorn I had before bed. My tubing isn't kinked, I just changed my site, reservoir and insulin yesterday afternoon and for the most part my blood sugars were pretty awesome yesterday.

After going through the check-list of checks, I am marking this one down as unknown - possibly getting sick.  That's okay, I will sort it all out and hopefully be back within range by lunch time.  But, I did want to stress to myself how important it is to check frequently.  It's easy to get busy within our days and especially in a job where we are looking after others, whether that's a teacher, a nanny, a nurse etc.  We often put ourselves aside and neglect some of the basics of taking care of ourselves.

I need to test more and focus on what my body is telling me.  If my body says it's time to take a break it's time to take a break.  I will often work all day, come home and do chores and not physically sit down or rest until bed time.  My weekends are often packed full of things to do and I simply do not check when I should out of trying to pack everything in and not worry about myself - but that's bad!

I have my meter close by and my goal today is to check as often as I can.  Focus on myself this morning and get back to feeling 100% by this afternoon.  I don't do sick days well - I don't like to sit here and do nothing but I need to remember that it isn't just me that needs myself healthy - it's many others.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

I'm Not Alone

There are days when I get incredibly frustrated that I have diabetes. I will look at my insulin pump and think, "I can't believe this happened to me." While I know wearing an insulin pump is truly not a hassle at all, I mean if my biggest complaint is getting hooked on the occasional door handle, then I think I am O.K.  However, somedays I get sad that this is what has been written in my life story.

I think because I am such a busy person I don't take enough time for self reflection or decompression. I am a go-go person.  I like to be busy and I like to work on projects and help as many people as possible (that being said, I hardly ever say no to lending a hand, whether that's physically or emotionally).  In saying that, I think I lack a full grasp on life events that are life changing, and what they mean. For instance when my uncle passed away I don't feel like I fully processed it, I mean, it's a thought that will always be there, but I don't believe I fully took the time to grieve or cope, instead I tried to be strong for my father & family. What does this have to do with diabetes?  Well, when I was diagnosed with diabetes I instantly thought, 'Okay, I need to be strong, I need to be a role model, I need to do something." I never really allowed myself to get pissed off - for lack of a better word.  I never processed it - which I think sometimes effects the way I look at my diabetes or my uncle's passing.   It hits me hard when I take the time to reflect.

There are times when it 'hits me hard' and I feel as if I have entered a different state of mind.   I think about the consequences of diabetes, and when people say things like, "my uncle lost his leg, or I'm slowly losing my sight" it scares me.  In this state of mind, I picture it all happening to me. I wonder why I was diagnosed with something that has such an awful  track record with those that have it, I think about scary things like, life expectancy, not having a successful pregnancy, going blind, losing limbs, all of those things no one likes to talk about, hear or think about.  It all comes at once.

How I pull myself out of that - makes me think that these thoughts are likely normal and not something to be concerned about.  Everyone has bad days I assume, diabetes or not.  When I find myself alone, thinking about these things I often think about the others living with type 1 diabetes.  I remember that while some of these things are true, the consequences of high blood sugars or lows, all type 1's have those things on their minds or at least they're aware of it.   We (all type 1's) are on a similar ride together, we may not all make the same pit stops or get off at the same time, but that's life.  Together we are on this ride, we have each other to lean on and to keep us going.

I have very close friends with type 1, I have a mini-diabetic best friend, I have amazing support around me physically and online that are type 1 - we are all going through diabetes together and that's what brings me back.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Schedule Changes/Diabetes Changes

As most people with type 1 know, when your schedule changes, your diabetes management has to change. Even minor changes in ones schedule can cause an unexpected low or high throughout the day. While it seems like it would be an easy fix by changing your insulin dosages, it really isn't that easy.

Today I had my dreaded diabetes appointment at the clinic, and to be honest it wasn't as 'dreadful' as I thought. While there is always room for improvement, I think they know I have a level head on my shoulders and know what needs to be change.  I try to be very honest with them when I go to my appointment and I think that pays off instead of trying to make excuses for myself.

I did realize when looking at the printed sheet pump upload they examined, my blood sugars are kind of everywhere.  There really is no pattern to my blood sugars, I may be high one morning but low the next two.  I tried to think of reasons why this may be, as they asked me things like, "What did you eat?" "Did you change your site?"  "Were you sick?" While most of the time I couldn't remember, I did realize that my work schedule has changed quite drastically and that is likely the culprit in my diabetes scramble.

My work schedule is all over the map and I have been eating less and moving more. So, of course any one can assume, I am going low a lot more often.  However, I do spike every now and then which I am still trying to figure out why.  Taking on the new jobs plus working more hours has really affected my diabetes and how I go about managing it. I am still trying to figure out what works best for me and how I can prevent lows and random highs.  This of course is an ongoing battle and I know there isn't going to be a fix-all solution.

The diabetes clinic appointment made me realize that sometimes I need to slow down and look at the big picture.   I sometimes get fixated on the moment, for example, my blood sugar is 6 mmol/L and that's because I took the right amount of insulin for dinner.  I don't look at the day as a whole, where did I go high? when did I go low? How am I feeling? What can I change?    There is a lot going on in a day, a week, a month and in all of that your control of diabetes can easily be affected.

My goal is to put more of a focus into my diabetes management and activity make changes. While it's  important to know the numbers of right now, it's also important to assess your management from a big-picture point of view, and to make those needed changes based on the changes in your life.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Don't Judge

In the diabetes community there is a lot of cheering on, lots of check-ins and advice but there also is a lot of judging that goes on.  This isn't really a surprise since everything on the internet is judged but I don't really want to focus on the internet community as much as I want to focus on the real-time community, that being your friends, family, nurses, doctors and other professionals alike.

I have a diabetes appointment coming up. With that comes some strong anxiety, as it's time to renew for a new insulin pump (woohoo!) That being said, I know that this is likely when they take a hard look at your past years of managing diabetes and make some assumptions, notes and decisions. This is the first time I have had to renew my pump, since I have only been pumping for five years - so I really do not know what to expect. I do expect judging.

While I realize likely 90% of the time when people talk about MY diabetes, they aren't trying to harass, judge or shame me, but at the same time why does it always feel that way? I mean, it's hard enough when I woke up this morning with a blood sugar of TWENTY-FOUR and thought to myself




Knowing that that number is going to make an appearance on the printed sheets of my pump upload next week terrifies me.  I know I didn't attend a midnight buffet, but I do know that I may have underestimated the carbs in my before-bed snack and I also know I changed a site before bed which is on the top 10 bad things to do when you're on a pump (if there was such a list).

Am I failure at diabetes? Maybe this morning. Those that claim to master diabetes are either hiding some secret solutions or are lying.  I vote the latter.   Managing diabetes is a lot of work. It's frustrating and it doesn't always make sense.  No pizza, no stressor, no menstrual cycle, no workout is created equal and in saying that managing diabetes with all the unequalness of the world isn't a small feat.

That being said, in my dream diabetes world, there wouldn't be anxiety over doctors trips, and there wouldn't be judging.  I want to hear more of;

"So you had a bad day, let's try again tomorrow."

"It's not your fault, we will figure it out together."

"Diabetes is whack."