Sunday, November 3, 2013

6 Years With Diabetes.

Today is my 6 year dianniversary.  Six years with this threatening, frustrating, complicated, draining disease.  Sometimes I wonder why I ever was diagnosed with this disease.  Some answers that people have told me is that I'm "strong" enough for it.  But, I never really thought so.  Many times, I become so overwhelmed that I just want to give up.  

I was reminded last night, by my husband...that I am strong.  He expressed to me that I am strong because he sees me every night wake up from a dead sleep and have to jab myself in the finger in order to test my blood sugar, or change my infusion site, or be woken up by my sensor numerous times throughout the night.  He said "I know I wouldn't want to be doing that in the middle of the night--half asleep. You are strong."  He reminded me that it really does take a strong person to be a diabetic.  I think that is what I need in life (as well as other diabetics)...to be reminded that we're going to have days...weeks...months...that may be much more tough than others...and that doesn't make you a weak person.  My husband reminded me at one of my weak moments...how strong I really am.  

Six years & counting...


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Diabetes Blog Week [Day 3]


Today's Prompt:  Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.
"You need to get to the hospital right now.  Don't make any stops.  Go from here to there immediately. Which hospital would you like to go to?  I will call them and tell them you are on your way."  
Panic set in when I heard the doctor at Emergency One tell me those five lines.  I knew my life was going to change forever from the seriousness in his voice.  Luckily, I had my boyfriend, soon to be fiancĂ©/husband, by my side.  I couldn't have handled it alone.

The next couple of days were a blur to me.  I cannot describe in words the amount of confusion and stress that I felt.  The lack of empathy from the doctors in the hospital was discouraging.  They said my life was going to change drastically (which it was)...and that "this is your life now."  They told me things I couldn't eat and activities I couldn't do.

I soon found out--that wasn't true.  Yes, my life changed immensely.  Yes, it is my life now.  But I CAN do anything I want and eat anything I want.  Just think, only a few days into being a Type 1 Diabetic...and I was hearing all the negatives (from doctors to say the least!)
This day will forever be engrained in my memory...like a song you can't get out of your head.  I embrace this day because it showed me how strong I was.  I was always so scared of needles, and then I had to learn to jab myself with a needle in a matter of a day! Yeah, I'd say that takes a pretty tough person!



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Diabetes Blog Week [Day 2]



Today’s prompt: Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let's pretend to write our own.  Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) – get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change? 

My Petition:

As a person with a chronic illness, I believe the following:

We should not have to spend extra money on diabetic needs.  Is it our fault that we have this disease? Don't we spend enough?  Insurance companies should cover at least some (or all!) of the cost of the supplies we use on a daily basis.  

Why should we have to spend our own money on supplies like batteries (for an insulin pump, sensor, test meter)?  Why should we have to spend money on glucose tabs or fruit snacks to help us when we are having a low? What about the alcohol swabs...there's no insurance coverage on those either!  Or how about the endless supply of bandaids that we need for our sensor?  That all comes out of our wallet too.  The pump clip that never lasts long...that is paid for out of pocket too.  

It may not seem like a lot...but when you use these supplies literally every day of your life--it adds up! I am petitioning that these necessities be covered by insurance companies.  I am lucky enough to have health insurance, but I really dislike that the insurance companies try and find a way to not cover certain supplies.  These simple "things" aren't very "simple" in my life.  They keep me alive...literally.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Diabetes Blog Week [Day 1]



Today’s prompt: Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?  


I have to say, I can't complain about my doctors.  My endocrinologists and PCP are amazing! Here's the reasons why:
*They fight for my diabetic needs and they are incredible advocates.  
*When I get down on myself, they are there to reassure me that I'm doing great with managing my diabetes.  
*They know me on a personal level, which is very comforting.  
*They are there any time of the day and night.  
*I don't get the whole "Well, this is your life now." (Like I use to get from other doctors)
*I hear "You CAN eat ANYTHING you want." (I have heard from other doctors, "You CAN'T eat this or that." Which is NOT true!)

However, if I had to pick something to share to my doctors, it would be this:
I would like them to know that I'm probably going to fail many times with managing my diabetes.  I'll always pick myself up, because I'm strong [after all, it takes a strong person to be a diabetic!]  I want them to know that it is the positive support that keeps me going.  I wish other (not-so-great-ones) could realize how much of an affect they have on a person.  Everything they say or do, can really make or break a PWD.  
There have been cases where I will go to other specialists (doctors)...and they have no clue about diabetes.  My advice to them--if you don't know anything about the disease, you should probably keep your mouth closed.  I really could care less if you have MD at the end of your name.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

5th Diabetes Anniversary



It's unbelievable to me that five years ago today...I was in the hospital and my life changed forever.  I heard the words, "You have Type 1 Diabetes."  I didn't know what that meant or how much different my life would be today.  These past five years, I've learned something new every single day about myself and diabetes.  I have found ways to cope, stay healthy, and stay happy.  These are five of the most important things I have learned in my five years with diabetes:

1. You're stronger than you think.  I put on an act in front of people...I think sometimes I make this disease look easier than it really is.  But my strength has really kept me going and helped me stay focused.  After all, it takes a lot of strength to have self-control when it comes to sugar, testing 10+ times/day, and sticking needles in my body.

2. You can always start over tomorrow.  I am learning everyday not to be so hard on myself.  If I mess up, that's ok...there's always tomorrow to start fresh.  It's not the end of the world!

3. Having a great support system is essential.  This includes: family/friends, DOC (Diabetes Online Community), & doctors.  Friends and family that ask if you are ok, that will prick your finger and test you if you can't do it yourself, or that carry sugar on them in case you have a low.  These can be people that you open up to about your frustrations or that are willing to give a hug when you need one.  A DOC that can share fears and hopes, and that can relate to you because they are going through the same thing.  Doctors that are willing to fight for you to get the medical needs/equipment that you need and that support you even when you don't think you're doing well.  These people are crucial.

4. Moderation is key.  Ok, I learned this, but I still haven't perfected it.  This is an everyday challenge for me.  But, it doesn't come over night.  Everyday I try a little more at this.  I'll get it soon--the most important thing is that I acknowledge the importance of it!

5.  Share information and allow people to become educated about diabetes.  There are so many misconceptions about diabetes.  There's Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2.  People that aren't familiar with diabetes mix these up and think they are all the same.  Educate people about the differences.  Also, if anything--get across that Type 1 Diabetics CAN eat ANYTHING.  We get tired of hearing, "You can eat that?"

I've learned a lot in the past five years.  I hope over the next five--I gain more knowledge and insight...and still have no major complications.  If I keep on track like I have been--I know achieving those goals won't be a problem.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

On & Off the Track





"Diabetes management is so crucial because if you fail at it, your health will fail.  The problem with health failing is everything else in your life will undoubtedly be affected." -Sysy Morales
The past few months have been a roller coaster for me--including diabetes & life in general.  Once you're off the track...damn! It's hard to get back on. It's crazy how everything in life affects my diabetes. It's my responsibility to take care of myself...get back on track, and forget the excuses. 
Diabetes management has to be on the top of my priority list. If it isn't, then it will ultimately affect not only myself--but the people I love in my life. 
I do love myself enough to put in that sensor even if it drives me nuts, or say no to the extra unnecessary carbs. Or choose an apple over an Oreo (darn, that's tough!), or go to the gym and get on that treadmill! The time is now.
So when is enough..enough? What do you do to get yourself back up when you've fallen off the track? I know I'm taking the right steps by reading diabetes blogs and blogging myself. I'm buying the healthy foods and I have a plan in mind to replace a bad habit (eating unhealthy) with a good habit. It's a great start and I know I'm strong enough to be in charge of my health and make all of the right choices...so I can live a longer and healthier life!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week: Diabetes Hero

Prompt: "Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”.  It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3.  It might be a fabulous endo or CDE.  It could be a d-celebrity or role-model.  It could be another DOC member.  It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero??" 


I didn't even hesitate after reading this prompt.  My diabetic hero is my husband, Kris.  
Kris is my biggest supporter. He is there cheering me on when I just want to give up on this disease.  When I say, "I can't do this," he's the one reassuring me and saying, "You're not alone; we're in this together." His love gives me the strength to do my best everyday, because that's how much I deal with this disease, everyday.
Kris is my lifeline during the night.  The simple light touch of his hand or arm, just to see if I'm ok--if I'm breathing, because he worries about me that much. Yes, that's love.
When I have those highs and lows that are sometimes like roller coasters---he's the one sitting up with me at night or setting his alarm so it wakes him up--so he can remind me to test and see if I'm ok.
When I'm too low to even function, he's the one who pricks my finger and tests my blood sugar for me.  He's the one who feeds me sugar when I need it and just can't do it myself. And he's the one that sticks that huge sensor needle into my skin--he knows how painful it is, and does it without hesitation so I don't have to. Yes, that's love.
When the world seems chaotic, and I need to sit down from a low, he's by my side.  When people give me looks wondering what's wrong or why I look so "weird," he's right there next to me.  When I need to test in the streets of Spain...he will stand next to me, hold my supplies--and let me lean on him, literally & figuratively.  
When I was diagnosed, he was the strong man by my side who knew that this would be life-altering...but was ready to go through the challenge with me.  He didn't run the other way, when he easily could have--because we weren't even engaged then.  That's love.
This Type 3 diabetic in my life is my confidant--the one I know I can cry to because it's just too difficult, or laugh with over the irony that I'm a type 1 diabetic, yet can't eat enough cupcakes & sweets.  The one who doesn't need to ask everyday or every other day how my diabetes is...because he knows by a look or the way I act.  Yet, he asks anyways because he cares enough to--it's never an inconvenience to him.  
He's the first one to sign up for "Team Joanna Banana" (JDRF Walks), and the first to read my blogs.  He's the first one to buy me that Reese's Peanut butter cup because I earned it after days of excellent blood sugar.  He's the one to bring me that glass of water because I am so dehydrated from high blood sugars. 
It takes a lot of work to be a diabetic--but credit should also be given to the type 3's in our lives! I may not be lucky to have diabetes, but I feel amazingly fortunate to have Kris by my side--fighting with me, everyday.