Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Time to catch up!

So I've been MIA for a while.

I checked and my last post was June 2013. That's terrible, but sometimes life gets in the way. I have a few reasons why I'm wanting to get back to blogging on a much more regular basis. Mainly, because I miss the PWD people!! And secondly, I realized that my Diabetes suffers when I'm not blogging. The reason I went away from blogging for a bit was because I felt like all I thought about was Diabetes and I was getting burnt out thinking about it all the time. That's not to say I still don't think about it at every meal, and every bed time, and every time I order a coffee ("did they hear me ask for sweetener or were they distracted and used sugar instead?"), but I needed a break.

So I took one.

And it felt good but it's time to get back on track. My A1C has gone up a little bit but is still within range, but that made me realize that I haven't been focusing enough time on my health. More on that down the road though. For now I'm going to try and get everyone caught up with me....it's been a busy 7 months!

Since June of last year....

July - Most of the summer was spent getting used to being a home owner. I attempted to learn how to care for the numerous flower beds in our yard. Keyword: attempted. We also have an above ground pool so I got to spend many sunny days in it.

August - The boyfriend and I went to Thunder Bay for a much needed visit and....we got engaged!!

September - I pretty much spent everyday on Pinterest planning our wedding. You never can start too early! Our date is set for October 2014. It's always been my dream to have a beautiful fall wedding and Manitoba is beautiful in the fall. I also had an Endo appointment this month and it went very well. I was given a 6 month leash this time!

October - The Winnipeg Jets season opened and I got to go to my first home opener. It did not disappoint!

December - Christmas snuck up on me this year big time! I worked through Christmas and New Years this year which was a real bummer. It's just not the same when you barely get to celebrate. The fiancé's family came to us this year for Christmas and we were so happy to be able to host them in our first home.

January - Happy New Year!! It's another fresh year and mine started with an Endo appointment. I was dreading it big time because I hadn't been as focused on my Diabetes for the last bit but it only went up by a bit. I went from 7.2 to 7.8 - I want to bring it back down because I'm a perfectionist but my Endo says I shouldn't be stressing too much about it.

Ok, well that's been a quick snapshot of my life since my last post! Looking forward to blogging more often!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

D Blog Week: Spread the Love!

" 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."

Here are some new blog's I've discovered this week:

Carey at "Diabetsy": Carey is new to the DOC and actually lives in the same city as me, which is pretty cool. Strangely enough, I actually attended the even she organized through the Canadian Diabetes Association that she talks about in her "Accomplishments" post.

Jessica at "Mastering Me": This girl blogs from Australia! Proof that the DOC stretches far and wide!

Reva at "Type ONEderful": I loved her "Accomplishments" post. It's so true that we accomplish so much in terms of diabetes. Reva shares her accomplishments throughout her life.

And I have to share some of my favorite blogs that I follow on a regular basis. They've provided me with a ton of information over the last year and I'm so glad I was able to connect with them. Many of them are fellow Canadians, which is definitely a bonus!

Scully at Canadian D-Gal: Scully lives life to the fullest with diabetes and celiac disease! She's an avid cycler and doesn't let anything hold her back. Her posts are always honest and she says exactly what's on her mind!

Ali at "Insulin and Iron": Ali was diagnosed not too long after I was and is also somewhat new to the DOC. She also lives in Canada and is another great resource for me!

Nikki at "Celiabetes": Nikki writes about her experiences with diabetes, celiac, Grave's disease, and just recently, her recovery from a spinal surgery. She is one tough girl and her posts are honest and brave. She also writes alot about food prepping and budgeting with diabetes, which I love because we all know how it eats away at our money!

I hope you're able to check out some of these great blogs!

D Blog Week: Freaky Friday

 "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?"

This is a tough one for a couple reasons.

First off, I feel like I'm going to jinx myself if I "pick" any other chronic disease than what I already have.

And second, I think any chronic disease comes with challenges, so I was kind of looking for one that would at least be "easier" to manage than diabetes.

This isn't going to be very original, but I honestly think if I could switch diseases, it would be for type 2 diabetes. Obviously already having type 1 would make understanding and dealing with type 2 a lot easier. And I'm not trying to minimize any one's struggles with type 2, but I feel like it would easier due to the possible option of being able to take oral medication to help mange your blood sugars as opposed to injections. I do realise there are some type 2's that take a basal insulin though. I just feel as though it would be nice to "pop a pill" rather than injecting and testing as often as I need to. There also wouldn't be as much math being done when it comes to meal time, which would be awesome. But, I know that nothing is ever as it seems.

Now that I come across people that have a chronic illness, or any illness for that matter, I'm much more compassionate and understanding. I know first hand what it's like to have people make certain assumptions about diabetes, and for that reason alone I no longer assume I have an understanding of what someone else is dealing with. I've noticed the boyfriend is a lot different when the topic of someone else's health comes up too. He's the first in our group of friends to be devil's advocate and to remind people that it's not always as simple and easy as they may think it is. And for that, I love him even more! I feel like he is, in his own way, advocating on my behalf.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

D Blog Week: Accomplishments, big and small.

"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.)."

This was a tougher prompt for me today. I feel like we accomplish things every single day with diabetes. But as I dug deeper, I realised my biggest accomplishment would be acceptance of the disease.

When I was initially diagnosed last year I was in shock for the first month or so. As I blogged here, I took a month long trip to South East Asia one month after diagnosis. Although I had a blast, diabetes definitely made the trip tougher. Plus the fact that I still didn't really know what I was doing in terms of managing things.

When I returned home, I was angry about my diagnosis. I felt as though it had ruined a trip that I had dreamed about for many years, and had been planning for almost a year. I felt like dealing with diabetes everyday took away from my whole experience. It was really starting to sink in for me that this was going to be with me for the rest of my life. It's a tough thing to wrap your head around after living for 30 years with no health issues whatsoever.

I wrestled with thoughts as to how this had happened to me. I worried about how it would limit my life and what things I wouldn't be able to do anymore. And what about having kids? Was I going to end up like Shelby in "Steel Magnolias"!? I worried a lot and it affected me emotionally.

It was clear I needed answers to some of these burning questions. I went to see a counsellor at the diabetes health centre where I'm a patient. We discussed some of the things that were upsetting me and were able to narrow down where the main source of my anxiety was coming from. A big part of it seemed to revolve around the fear of having a bad low and either being alone or with people that wouldn't understand what was going on. I worried about going to sleep at night for fear that I would have a low in the middle of the night and not wake up. We made a plan together and completed some tasks that would help me to feel more safe and more prepared. This is when I began telling more people about diabetes. I also started wearing a medical alert bracelet, which eased my mind considerably and opened the door for discussion with people. I learned to carry glucose with me absolutely everywhere, even in my pocket at work in case I can't get to the glucose in my bag because I'm tied up with something.

Now that I've had diabetes for 15 months, I've learned so much about the disease which really eases my mind. I understand better how MY body works and what to expect from it during different activities and stressful events in my life. The unexpected can definitely happen, but overall I know I can still handle a lot. I've also tested diabetes limits, and it's not as tough I thought.

I'm much stronger, so it's going to have to learn how to deal with me!

D Blog Week: Memories

 "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."

My most memorable diabetes day would definitely have to be the day I learned how to inject insulin. Hands down. I can still remember being in a whirlwind meeting, alone, trying to absorb as much information as I could so that I could go home and try and get my health back on track. I also remember very clearly as my amazing CDE stood next to me as I sat and got ready to inject a needle into my stomach for the very first time. I was super scared. And very tense which made my initial poke really hurt. "Ow!" I said as I pulled back quickly. I was told I needed to take a deep breath, and relax my shoulders. Once I did that, the needle seemed to slip into my skin without feeling a thing. I couldn't believe I had actually done it! My CDE told me she's sat in this exact office and waited up to 45 minutes for some of the biggest, strongest men to take their initial injection. I laughed at the thought of this.

That whole scene plays out for me quite vividly when I first think of my diagnosis. I'm very grateful I had a very warm and patient CDE that day. The whole experience could've been remembered much differently had this not been the case!

I hate needles with a passion and they have been one of my biggest fears. Having blood drawn was always a huge production which required my mother at my side even in my twenties. But now as I look back, I'm amazed at what I overcame. I mean, I really had no choice, but still. It's a big deal people!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013