In Closing…

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Today’s prompt: As another Diabetes Blog Week draws to a close, let’s reflect on some of the great bloggers we’ve found this week. Give some love to three blog posts you’ve read and loved during Diabetes Blog Week, and tell us why they’re worth reading. Or share three blogs you’ve found this week that are new to you.

Okay – you’d think that since I was on “vacation” I’d have all of this time to catch up on blog posts from the community. NOPE. I’m a terrible human being on the interwebz. However, when I received comments and pingbacks on my posts, I definitely checked out each respective blog in return. Here are some noteworthy ones to see.

The Blood Sugar Whisperer

Type 1 Fun

Type 1×3

Fifteen Wait Fifteen

Girl Glycosylated

I look forward to posts from them in the future. Thanks for following along this week. 🙂

DBlog Make Up: Fuzzy Friends

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You get TWO posts from me today. 🙂 I didn’t have time yesterday to dive into the Diabetes Art prompt because I was busy dancing, volunteering and being thoroughly entertained by my teachers and their fellow pros hamming it up during contest time. (Listening to the entire ballroom sing along to Sweet Caroline was priceless.)

Anyway, I’m using today to explore one of the wild card prompts.

What is the ideal diabetes service animal? Think beyond the obvious and be creative in explaining why your choice is a good one. For example, maybe a seal would make a good service animal – it flaps its flippers and barks every time you get a good blood sugar reading!

This topic interested me because I actually wanted to sign up to train service dogs for PWDs at some point. I then realized how EXPENSIVE it is to train a service dog and quickly got that idea out of my head. But what better way to train a PWD dog than with an actual PWD? Anyway, the point is to imagine your ideal service animal.

I love small animals. My hubs spends afternoons sending me “Aww” photos from Reddit, usually containing images of bunnies, kittens, turtles and penguins. Sometimes a giraffe. I’d accept any of these choices as a service animal. (Though – a giraffe might prove to be impractical.)

Think about it – all four animals could be useful in diabetes care. Turtles could stay in their shells for most of the time, but if your blood sugar is rising slowly because of a fatty meal, it could start to walk across the room… well, slowly. Kittens are great at running around aimlessly around the house at high speed. This would be great to remind someone to exercise or give their diabetes care special attention today. Bunnies are generally calm, but have a tendency to chew on things. When they start chewing, maybe it means that their is a gnawing problem at hand, such as a sticky high or a pending low. And penguins are a good alert system – they can flap their wings and squeak when there is a problem… which can’t be any more annoying than my CGM alarms, right?

See? Wouldn’t you want this menagerie for your diabetes care as well?

Could I Be Anything Else?

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It’s Friday! And I’m getting ready for vacation! Woo! Since I’m so far behind on packing and so forth, I may not get to post my last two entries. Oh well. But I wanted to address today’s prompt, and maybe one other as a bonus.

Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

Yikes. This one is heavy. I debated about throwing in a wildcard response today because I just can’t bring myself to think about it. I have friends with chronic asthma, have worked with children with autism, and watched my grandmother, mother and husband all undergo cancer treatments at the same time. Given that I am also at risk for a multitude of other health oddities such as heart disease, nerve damage and amputation, thyroid disorders, kidney failure, etc… I don’t know if I’d want to switch places or add to my current ailment.

But let me look at it this way. What if I were a Type 2 diabetic? Assuming I started with nothing and wasn’t granted the 30 years of knowledge during this switch, what would that be like? Would I have this due to stepping into the wrong end of the gene pool? Was it because my diet is terrible and it was just meant to happen? Am I a child or older adult? Am I going to be put on pills or can I control my blood sugars with just diet and exercise? Am I overweight? Underweight? And do I care?

See, with T1, I can’t blame diet or obesity or any other scapegoat that the media wants to feed us. Type 2 diabetes is, sadly, the  “illness du jour” that is plaguing society with generalizations and misinformation about all Types. It’s the butt of jokes on the internet, used as a representation of how unhealthy our country is eating. It’s a thorn in the sides of T1s who constantly hear “well… you should just eat better” comments at the mention of diabetes of any sort.

With T2, you’d almost need a thicker skin because you’re scanned by the critical eye, judged for your “poor choices,” and your lives are turned into a three ring circus on reality TV and documentaries. While it’s getting a fair amount of attention, I don’t know if I’d want to be in that kind of a spotlight – one that helps define what’s wrong with the American diet, even if your own personal diet is just fine. So I count my blessings that I’m simply “just a T1.”

Success?

Today’s prompt: We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).

I’ve spent the last 8 months or so in “pregnancy prep” mode. The carefully calculated methods to somehow make my body baby-ready have changed the way I think about what I eat daily, what kind of exercise I do, what coffee I drink, etc. I left my old health care provider in late September last year and that seemed to have made a difference. (Or just the simple fact that I mentioned to my new endo that I wanted to have a baby soon.) I began an increased insulin system that made me question what the hell my old providers were thinking. I’ve had my share of hypoglycemia in the process – so it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. But I’ve gone from a consistent 7.0 A1C that plagued me for 2 years straight to a 6.1% in about 6 months. Hey! What do you know? More insulin and careful care was needed.

In addition, I’ve cut out as much processed and frozen food as humanly possible. The hubs has taken over the cooking so I don’t have to deal with it. And we both benefit from fresh meals on a nearly daily basis. (We throw in a frozen meal every so often when we don’t want leftovers/are lazy/busy, etc.)

Am I still having issues? Sure. I don’t think I’ll ever be at the perfect pregnancy numbers before, during, and after. That’s just not how I roll. But the effort is there.

Highlight Reel

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Here’s Wednesday’s topic: 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.

I have many. I’ve been a T1 for 30+ years. I’ve had my share of epic highs, dramatic lows and hospital trips, “home remedy” suggestions, doctor visits, and so forth. So, rather than pick one, I’ll sum up my top ten below. Here is my highlight reel.

1) My earliest T1 memory was actually when I was quite little. I simply remember doctors standing over me after waking up from some sort of haze (either another high or another low) that somehow left me unconscious. Wires everywhere. Somewhere later down the line (I don’t know if it was this same trip as I spent most of my early childhood in the hospital), I remember clutching on to my dad in my hospital room late at night whining and crying that I just wanted to go home. Such began my T1 journey.

2) Sometime in high school, I was perusing my baby book (kind of like a scrapbook for the first year) and found a letter my mom had written to me sometime after my 1 millionth hospital stay. My parents were warriors of their time. This letter proved it.

3) As a second grader, a friend of a friend knew the producers of the Dr. Dean Edell Show, which was kind of like the Dr. Oz of the 80s. (Except… maybe a bit less crazy and with way funnier hair.) Since 80s technology and T1 technology were a hot thing back then, I was sought out for a segment on children with T1. Camera crews spent the day at my house following me around to prove to the world that I was “normal” but had to take shots all the time. My parents were interviewed on what it was like try and give shots to a seven year old who just wanted to play with her My Little Ponies.

4) Passing out in a grocery store in Rocklin and waking up in my mother’s arms 20 FEET AWAY from where I last remembered standing. (In front of the juice aisle, of course.)

5) This conversation with my then boyfriend:
Me: “I hate that I can’t get my blood sugars to do anything right and everyone says I should just get on an insulin pump, but I can’t afford it.”
Him: “Can I buy it for you?”
Me: “Can that be my engagement ring?”
6 months later, I had the pump… and an engagement ring.

6) This blood sugar reading.

7) Meeting a slew of other T1 kids as a summer camp junkie. For about 4 years, I spent a week away in the Santa Cruz mountains with lots of other T1s my age. We each had two counselors and a designated nurse. We put on skits at camp fire time, went boating, ziplining, played softball, didn’t shower for a week, but still somehow managed to all sit down collectively and check our blood sugars and take our insulin. Oddly enough – I hate camping now.

8) At said camp, I met two of my best camp friends. Iria and Tris. We did everything together during that week. We continued to write letters (yes, LETTERS people!) long into our high school years. We just got to be girls, even though we all shared the same ailment. Tris sadly passed away in a car accident during my senior year of high school. She was smart and was headed off to Stanford, and became an unfortunate reminder of how short life is. Iria and I lost touch shortly after.

9) Speaking to my 6th grade class about how to give insulin to a stuffed rabbit during a class demonstration project. Answering questions about my life with diabetes for an additional half hour.

10) Starting this blog. It started out as a silent journal for the unknown internet, but soon, many of my friends IRL began to follow it and it has brought them closer and more intimate with my struggles and successes.

Pizza My Heart

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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?

Ha!

I’ve heard of all of these petitions. Since I don’t follow them all regularly and I’m not sure that they actually make a difference unless you proposition the US Government directly, I’m just going to be silly on this one.

RE: The Effects of Pizza has on Blood Sugar Readings

We, the undersigned wish to prod the makers of pizza everywhere come up with a consistent recipe that does the following:

– Allows people with all forms of diabetes to enjoy a slice, or 5, of the cheesy doughy goodness without careful calculation.
– Allows for one type of crust (New York style, of course!) so that all people with diabetes can enjoy without consequence.
– Streamlines the carb counting process by setting a universal value for each slice size, which would only require one bolus amount at the time of consumption.
– Toppings and other considerations would not be held against the above carb count.
– Pizza digestion would occur in a timely manner so that one insulin dosage may cover its effects in its entirely, rather than requiring said correction boluses up to 2 to 12 hours later. (I don’t care that it’s not scientifically feasible… just make it happen, people!)

This isn’t really much, is it? Come on science fiction fans. Get to work.

Share ALL THE THINGS!!1!

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Monday, 5-13-13: 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?

It’s Blog Week for the DOC. So I’ll be using this week to journal along with multitudes of other PWDs about the same prompts. Consequently, I also leave for vacation on Friday, so I’ll be writing a LOT and scheduling my posts accordingly.

Anyway, let’s start. First thing: I actually have shared my blog with one of my medical team. Well sort of. I passed the link along to my rep from Medtronic while I was getting plugged in to my CGM. I have no idea if she stops by on occasion. I also often talk about my run ins with medical staff here, knowing that yeah, maybe one day it could be found. But when my average hits per day are less that 5, I’m guessing I’m not popping up on Google searches very easily.

But what would they do or say if I was discovered? They probably wouldn’t have time to care, honestly. I’m just one PWD in their busy schedule. I have zero complications, semi decent control, and I exercise. I’m “low risk” as some might say. I generally don’t have a problem explaining my reasons for eating certain foods at certain times, or experimenting with dosing and medicinal needs on my own. I ultimately have to face the consequences later and am educated enough to make the adjustments. They are simply there as a guide.

But gosh, darn it. Maybe I want a slice of pizza every so often. Or want to head out to sushi. Yeah – I know what it does to my post meal BGs and that those spikes are completely unacceptable during pregnancy. However, I’ve been trying to keep this “invincible disease” as invincible as possible, so blending in with my peers and their meal choices are my ultimate goal. Besides, it’s not like pizza is a daily meal.

I will have random spikes that I can’t explain, and I can’t expect you to either. But it always leads back to the question, “well, what DID you do there?” Blame serves me no purpose in this fight.