Saturday, May 17, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week - Saturday Snapshots

Back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Even with this craziness, my BG was 5.5 mmol/L

Friday, May 16, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week - Diabetes Life Hacks

Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)
I Love Love Love this topic! Not because I have any amazing advice to give anyone. Cause I’m really not sure that I do. But because I am so excited to read what everyone else has to tell me. I’m constantly looking for new ways to make my life easier with D.
I do have one thing that I’ve never heard anyone talk about but that I do. I tend to put my infusion sites on my legs. For no other reason than my stomach is so full of scar tissue from 6 years of MDI’s and 2 years of infusion sites. I haven’t worked myself up to trying other spots yet but I know I’m going to have to move to my arms soon. My legs are getting pretty filled with scar tissue as well. As most of you know, having my infusion site on my leg makes going to the bathroom pretty tricky. It’s a constant battle to not pull out my site by getting caught on my pants or underwear not to mention maneuvering around the tubing. To take the tubing out of the equation, I actually thread it under my underwear so that it isn’t an issue when they are pulled up or down.
Now I just need to find something that stops me from ripping out the infusion site ;-)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week - Mantras and More

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)
Wow this is an extremely hard topic for me. As I mentioned yesterday, I tend to put things out of my mind when I don’t want to deal with them. Don’t get me wrong, I know they exist. I’m not ignorant. I don’t put my head in the sand. I just tend to accept them and move on.
I had a really bad diabetes night on Monday. My BG before dinner was 5.6 mmol/L. I had hamburgers and salad for dinner so it wasn’t very carb heavy. Maybe 30g carbs for the bun. I always let my pump do my calculations for me using the wizard so I know it was right but somehow my BG ended up as 21.5 mmol/L. I think I was in denial cause at first I did a correction bolus using my wizard. Could also be because I’m cheap and I knew I didn’t have to change my pump until the next morning. I checked again an hour later and was at 22.6 mmol/L. I did another correction. Finally 30 minutes later I realised that I was going to have to change my site. The 24.7 mmol/L glaring at me wouldn’t let me ignore it any longer. By this time it was 11pm and I knew I couldn’t go to sleep until I saw the numbers drop. Thankfully about an hour later, it had gone down to 15.5 mmol/L and I knew I was a going to be ok.
The whole time I was going through this I tried exercising. I’ve recently started wearing a pedometer and I had to get some more steps in anyway so I decided to jog around my room. It didn’t work at all. Why is apparent now as it was a bad site but still very frustrating in the moment.
So I guess my way of coping is to try all avenues until I finally accept the inevitable. Once I accept, I’m lucky in that I can forget about it and move onto the next challenge. No magic words here. Just the realisation that nothing lasts forever.
In terms of needing a boost for everything else, nothing brings me up like this guy:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week - What Brings You Down

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)
This post is actually inspired by one that Rick wrote on Monday at TuDiabetes.

It doesn’t matter if I’m happy, sad or angry; emotions always come out of me in the form of tears. As I was reading Rick’s post yesterday (I’m super behind on reading all the DBlog Week posts) I couldn’t help but break down. I don’t think I ever realised before how angry I am that I have diabetes.

I’ve heard a lot lately on how depression and diabetes go hand and hand together. It’s never been an issue that has affected me. I’ve had a lot of people in my life that have struggled with depression and dealt with it either through therapy or medication or both. I’m so glad that those options are available for people that need them. It’s just never been an issue I’ve had to deal with. Most of the time I’m a regular, happy person. I’m just angry.

Before I do anything, my first thought is how it will affect my BG’s especially with all of the big moments. When my husband and I got married, I had to figure out how I was going to give myself a shot of insulin (I was still on MDI) through my wedding dress. I hadn’t experimented on giving myself injections other than my stomach, mostly because I didn’t realise it was possible. I’m angry that my diabetic team at the time didn’t tell me about it. If they didn’t know, why not? They’re supposed to be the experts. Why didn’t they take the time to educate themselves?

When we started thinking about having a baby, not only did I have to educate myself on what having a baby meant but I also had to research what would happen to my diabetes and because I have diabetes, what would happen to the baby. When I got pregnant, my every thought went into “how will this affect the baby?” I’m angry that I couldn’t just be excited that I was pregnant. Instead I spent the whole 9 months wondering and worrying if everything I did was hurting the baby.

I’ve blogged before about my son’s heart issues when he was born. I’m angry that my first thought when I learned that he had ASD and VSD was that it was my fault. Even though the Doctor said that this was not genetic, that it occurs by chance and with no clear reason why it occurs, I was angry that my diabetes could have been the cause. I thank the powers that be everyday that he is a healthy average boy with a tremendous amount of energy and is able to run everywhere he goes. But I’m angry that it’s still a possibility that I caused it in the first place.

I am so angry that as soon as my 2 year old son drinks a higher than normal amount of water, I have to check his BG immediately. My first thought is always going to be “is it diabetes?” It’s gotten so bad that as soon as he sees me advancing on him with my lancet in hand, he runs away from me. He already knows to associate it with pain.

I’m not depressed or sad that I have diabetes. I’m angry.

The second part of this question topic is “How do you cope?” Quite frankly the only thing I can do is try to move on. All stewing about it does it hurt me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week - Poetry Tuesday

This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. After you’ve posted it on your blog, share it on the No Sugar Added® Poetry page on TuDiabetes, and read what others have shared there as well!

It has been an extremely long time since I wrote anything resembling poetry. I went through quite the “dark period” in University where I thought I had to suffer to become the next amazing Poet. Thankfully that only lasted a couple years and I could go back to being my jovial self J. Here’s my attempt at a Haiku about an extremely nasty high blood sugar that refused to go down last night.

Oh blood sugar, high
why do you irritate me
go down, go down now

Monday, May 12, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week - Change The World

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

I definitely would not classify myself as a public advocate about Diabetes. I don’t write letters to my public officials about how diabetes needs more funding. I don’t attend diabetes conferences to mingle with other PWD or people who work in diabetes healthcare. I don’t volunteer with JDRF or the Canadian Diabetes Association. Quite frankly I just don’t have time.

I am extremely envious of those that do and that can make it a priority.

I thank those people everyday cause without them; the province of Alberta would not have approved fully funding insulin pumps so that people who don’t have great insurance coverage can have the best care possible. This makes them the second province that includes adults in their coverage.

Without them, the Spare a Rose, Save a Child Campaign could never have existed and children who desperately need insulin would not have access to it.

Without them, we wouldn’t be as close as we are to getting an artificial pancreas. When the CGM detects that you are having a low, it automatically shuts off insulin delivery. While not perfect, it’s a step closer. Karen over at Bitter-Sweet has a really great blog on it.

Without them, there wouldn’t be work going on to look at making glucose meters more accurate.

Without them, there would be no DOC. I would not be able to manage my care as well as I do without the DOC’s support and information. I wouldn’t be able to explain the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 to people. I wouldn’t feel so comfortable experimenting with settings on my insulin pump or trying to different things to make me healthier.

So thank-you again to all those who go out and advocate for Patients with Diabetes. You guys are amazing.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week 2014

The Fifth Annual Diabetes Blog Week is finally here! Last year was the first time I actually participated in it and I had the best time. Karen over at BitterSweet Diabetes created this amazing event 5 years ago. Each week I will be posting about a set topic and linking back to Karen's site. It really serves three purposes for me:

1. I'm a horrible blogger. Real life gets in the way and next thing you know 10 months have past between blog posts. D Blog week helps me to restart myself and gets my creative juices going.
2. People who may not know very much about Diabetes may find some really great information out there.
3. And finally, I get introduced to all of the great D blog's out there and my reading list gets longer :-)

Diabetes Blog week is taking place from May 12th to May 18th this year. Please click on the link above to find out more.