Sunday, July 22, 2012

Packing with D...

Going to be a quick post today folks! Bright and early tomorrow morning the boyfriend and I are off the see his family in Ontario and spend many of the next 7 days out at their "camp". Camp is Northern Ontario speak for "cottage"! So as many of you know, packing for trips when you're a diabetic is definitely more work. I've already had issues in the past with over packing (and even under packing) but I think I did quite well. We're only going for 7 or 8 days so I didn't have a ton of calculating to do in terms of how much of everything I was going to bring.

Here's what I brought...

    • Glucagon was the first to go in!
    • Basal and bolus insulin pens
    • Large Frio cooling pack
    • A full tube of grape flavoured Dex 4
    • My vitamin pill holder, full with 1 multi-vitamin and 2 Vitamin D's per day
    • Bayer Contour USB and test new meter which I have absolutely fallen in love with. But, that's a whole different post for when I get back!
    • Verio IQ meter and 50 test strips...I haven't actually purchased my own Bayer test strips yet. I got 50 with the meter so I'm bringing the Verio as my backup
    • Verio IQ charging cord which is also doubling as my IPhone charger.
    • Lots of 4mm pen needles which I got as samples.
    • And last but not least, my hypertension meds; Accupril (that's a new addition and another post as well)

And all these supplies fit very nicely in a Lantus bag that I got from my DNE...I finally found a use for it!!

We like to take snacks and a mini lunch on the road with us to save money. And now with diabetes tagging along on our road trips, food is always good to have in the car. Here's our little lunch, complete with a fresh vial of insulin on top so I don't forget it in the morning!!

That's cheese slices, couple of ham sandwich's, yogurt fruit salad (care of Pinterest) and homemade fresh blueberry muffins made by my awesome Mamma!!

See you all when I get back!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

To Tell or Not to Tell...

This past week, Alex O'Meara over at A Sweet Life wrote a piece on disclosing your diabetes (You can read it here if you're interested). Alex talks about the different reactions we can get from people when we disclose our diabetes, as well as the struggles we face when deciding whether or not to disclose to certain people.

Seeing as diabetes is fairly new to me, this is something that I still struggle with. And it's something that I'm not sure I will ever entirely be comfortable doing. By nature, I am someone that does not enjoy the spotlight. I'm an observer, and although I am outgoing, I tend to prefer to sit back and watch when I'm in a new or unfamiliar situation. So, with diabetes being new, this is basically what I did for the first bit anyway. In the very beginning, other than my family and boyfriend, I only told 3 of my closest friends. I knew that I would need a lot of support from these people and I was also comfortable telling them because I knew they would be supportive and non-judgmental. Other than that, I didn't really tell anyone. It didn't even truly concern me for the first couple weeks that my close co-workers didn't know. At this point, I was still struggling with the diagnosis, so I would sneak away to test my blood and to take my insulin. It wasn't really until a stern talking to by my boyfriend that I considered the fact that for safety reasons, all of the people I work with closely needed to know in case of an emergency.

Although I knew that he was 100% right, I was still having a very tough time with the idea of letting people that I didn't entirely trust in on something that I considered very personal. I had a lot of fears and my biggest was of being judged. Sadly, there are so many people that think that I did something to get diabetes. They think I got it from not exercising enough or from eating too much sugar. My second biggest fear was that someone would downplay the risk of diabetes and then I would feel stupid for telling them about it. My boyfriend and family's biggest concern was that people were aware of how to help me when I couldn't help myself. Which I totally agreed with, but I still kept going back to feeling like people would think that I was being a drama queen. That when I said, "I need to eat something" or "I need sugar", that it wouldn't be taken seriously and that it would look as though I have a weakness. I work in a fairly male dominate field where we are expected to have tough skin and be able to emotionally and physically handle alot of different situations. In my head, I felt that my diabetes would be viewed as a weakness and some people may think I couldn't do my job safely anymore.

Although the risk is there for me, I have learned new ways to ensure that I remain safe at work. The biggest thing was telling my close co-workers and I'm happy to say they were very understanding. I also carry glucose on me as I go about my day because there can be times where I can be tied up with a situation and can't leave to grab something to eat. I have also started taking my insulin half way through my meals in case I get called away for something.

In Alex's article, he talks about the 80-10-10 rule. Basically, the rule is that 80% of people you meet don't feel one way or another about you; 10% of them will like you no matter what and 10% will dislike you no matter what.  I think this is a pretty neat rule. And although it's not scientific, I think it's probably pretty close to accurate. So, in the end, I decided that I'm not going to go out of my way to tell people about my diabetes but I'm no longer hiding it. I test and inject whenever and wherever, and am always happy to answer any one's questions about diabetes. I also now wear a medic-alert bracelet in case I'm around people that don't know that I have diabetes. I found that just wearing the bracelet opens up the communication lines because people in general are curious as to why I wear one.

Last week at work, I was pleasantly surprised by a co-worker who was super supportive when my blood sugar was tanking. I needed to call on them to quickly come and cover my post while I grabbed some orange juice and a quick bite to eat. I felt bad because I knew they were busy too but they told me to never hesitate to treat a low and that the job could always wait.

That made my day, and made me feel that much more understood!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Benefits of Type 1...

" Everything happens for a reason."

I've always been a very strong believer in this saying. Often times we are dealt crappy hands but I've always eventually been able to see the good that's come out of it. Perhaps it's been the end of a relationship you thought was good, or maybe you didn't get that "dream" job/position you really wanted. Over time, the reasons why certain things didn't go according to plan tend to come to light. This saying has comforted me many a times!

So, when I found out I had Type 1 diabetes, I anxiously awaited that light to tell me the reason for all this. I'll be honest, I lost a little faith. I really couldn't figure out what was going to be so great about having this for the rest of my life!! I had ALOT of "What the F-" moments! It definitely got me down at times and I had days where all I wanted to do was hide under my duvet and cry away the day. But, life has to go on and diabetes is not going anywhere so I figured I had better embrace the bitch and get used to it!

I truly feel like I have done just that and today I really felt that this did happen for a reason. Even though I now have a "disease', I have honestly never felt healthier! Diabetes has kicked my ass off the couch and I have gotten full swing into running again and going to the gym almost every day. It's been way too long since being active has been a part of my daily routines and I am absolutely in love with it. I've never been the type of person that has been a gym addict, but the last little while I have felt totally hooked! Yesterday I even went for a run in the morning and then did a 60 minute hot yoga class in the evening. So unlike me! I've also started eating much healthier than I used to. I typically planned meals and packed lunches for work, but lost a lot of motivation in this department over the last year. Diabetes has made me much more conscious of what I am doing to my body and what goes in it. I still want to live until I'm old and grey so I'm really trying to fuel my body properly.

What I'm getting at here is that I've never felt more alive in my entire life! I know that sounds uber cheesy, but it's so true. I truly feel like I can take on anything!

Life is good people!