Type 1 diabetes

This Is Type One

Today is November 14th. World Diabetes Day.

The following post was inspired the #thisistyoeone project! (Check it out on instagram)

Here we go!

Things that scare me:

Complications, obviously. Gawd, it was like all I seemed to hear about as a child… losing eye sight, losing a limb, heart attack, stroke…. and pretty much everything else starts earlier when you’ve had t1d this long too. Good news, less complications are happening these days due to the advancement in how we can care for ourselves. Phew. My eye doctor, a very good and busy Toronto eye doctor who assured me that he sees a lot of people, said that he rarely sees people losing their sight due to diabetes. He also told me that my eyes were in fantastic condition for someone living with type 1 for over 30 years!!! If you’re a t1d reading this, you’ll know how friggin awesome that felt!!! Excuse me, doctor? Are you actually complimenting me on something related to diabetes? And giving me good news?! I wanted to hug him!

Although doctors, nurse educators and me (all part of the diabetes education team) have come a long way, I think some are luckier than others with their team and you really have to find one that works for you. As a kid I was lucky (even though I didn’t think so then) to be under the care and guidance of the Hospital for Sick Children.

What annoys me about Type 1?

I love to travel but I didn’t for many years because I was afraid of something bad happening away from home. As a kid i had a few hospital visits in Florida that weren’t fun, a scary situation in Michigan at a mall where I got super sick and had to be picked up in an ambulance and one time I also got really sick in the bathroom of airport and we almost missed our flight. I bounced back though and ended up getting priority boarding, met the captain and had a tour of the cock pit.

I finally got over that fear in my later 20s and started to travel more. The annoying part is all the stuff I have to pack. Even for a weekend getaway, my diabetes supplies take up a pretty big portion of a carry on. I’ve got my pumps supplies (and back ups), syringes, in case my pump breaks, extra meters in case one of those breaks and all the emergency snacks. So once I add my shoe options in, that’s it for carry on space! 😉

I also dislike the way some TSA people can treat me for having 4 juice boxes with me. More often then not I get a raised eyebrow and I’ve also had one person actually say, you don’t need this many. My response was, well I really would love to not have to carry these around all the time too but what if we get stranded on the tarmac for 14 hours?? She didn’t have much of a response for me.

Seriously though, that has happened and I’ve heard the stories. I wish it wasn’t something I had to think about it, but it is!

The other annoying thing is when people try to tell you about your diabetes. Here is a list of some of the unsolicited advice and comments I’ve heard over the years:

⁃ diabetes is a sugar problem. (Airport security line, was actually yelled to by tsa as hey you the girl with the sugar problem)

⁃ I don’t need to worry about having children with type 1 because it skips a generation. Interesting because my niece also has diabetes so not sure how that works. I thought it was twins that skipped a generation??

⁃ You should or shouldn’t have kids because you’re a type 1 diabetic (like just don’t give advice to anyone about having kids unless they ask. Especially someone with a very complicated disease). #liferule

⁃ Melon cures diabetes (also in an airport security line)

⁃ Oh you are on the insulin pump so you must have the bad kind.

⁃ The chiropractor can cure diabetes.

⁃ You can’t/shouldn’t be eating that should you? (More on this below)

⁃ You’re too strict with your diet. Loosen up a little.

⁃ People still in this day age think diabetes is caused by poor diet and weight problems. It can be the cause for type 2 yes, but I have met and heard from many in the diabetes online community who have type 2 and are not overweight and who eat really healthy and still can’t reverse it. And type 1 is an autoimmune disease where my body attacked itself. (In my case it attacked and destroyed the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas).

You might be wondering why I focus so much on diet and exercise if it doesn’t have to do with diabetes. Good question.

Taking care of my body through diet and exercise is just as important for me as it is for anyone else. The only difference is when I don’t, I feel the effect faster.

Type 1 diabetes management is about finding the perfect balance between insulin, diet (carbs) and exercise. I won’t make this more complicated by adding the other variables in like stress, illness, hormones etc.

I can eat sugar. The reason why they told type 1’s this years ago was because, we used to be on one injection a day, so our whole day was planned and calculated out based on that. Therefore adding any form of carbs (or sugar), even an apple could throw blood sugars skyrocketing. Unless you were about to do some exercise then it was fair game to grab a chocolate bar! (I remember working in the canteen at the arena as a kid (probably age 5) and seeing a guy that I knew was T1 grabbing a chocolate bar before the game and looking at my mom like “What? How come he’s allowed?” And she explained that because it would help him not go low on the ice.

With today’s advancements and knowledge and by either being on an insulin pump or multiple injections a day, it allows for more flexibility. Now people can set their insulin basal amount (the amount that drops in constantly) lower an hour of so before a big workout to help them not have a low blood sugar.

And even though I can eat chocolate cake and ice cream or anything else high in carbs, the less I do that, the less swings in my blood sugar levels I have.

The best part in today’s world though is that I get to make that call. If it’s my birthday or a special occasion or I just have a craving and I want a piece of cake, I can have it. I tell my pump how many carbs (or make my best guesstimate) is in that piece of cake and it will then give me the amount of insulin, (that my team and I have programmed it to give based on my specific insulin to carb ratio) needed to cover it.

So the only difference between you and me is that my fake pancreas (my pump) is kicking that insulin out and your real pancreas is pushing out insulin to cover the food/carbs. And all the other effects of that food on us are the same. So before you judge me, take a look at your own health and food choices.

And now you can also see why it’s easier for me to pass on office cookies or treats. It’s just not worth me guessing wrong and having a super high blood sugar that could throw the next few days off on a roller coaster of highs and lows.

As I’ve always said, this disease is not the worst disease but it’s also still a very scary disease that comes with me everywhere and shows up whenever it wants. I do my best to be “normal” and have learned to practice gratitude and acceptance. But it sucks and I want a cure. If not for me then at least for my niece and all the other little ones and their parents. Type 1 parents are my heroes. They lose so much sleep just checking on their kids throughout the night to make sure their blood sugar hasn’t dropped. I send you all a big hug and thank you from the bottom of my heart. I had no idea until my niece was diagnosed at 15 months old what it felt like to have a loved one with diabetes. It’s heartbreaking. So thank you for staying strong for us.

I hope that if you’ve read this you have learned a little more about Diabetes and will help spread the message and stop the stereotypes if and when you see or hear them.

Advertisements
fitness · meditation · self-care · Type 1 diabetes · Wellness

Who you become on your way to success, is the internal gold that is worth more than all other measures…

It has been a few years since my last post. I am back and have re-designed my blog to align with my life today. I am still a type 1 diabetic (unfortunately the cure hasn’t quite been perfected yet. But it’s coming!) In the past few years I have continued to grow and evolve and I am ready to get back here and start sharing my journey again!

My life has had many ups and downs and for a long time it was mainly just a lot of downs. Growing up I struggled with my body image and confidence. I was always the heavier girl in my group of friends and felt pretty insecure most of the time.

I also felt so different most of my life because of the fact that I am a type 1 diabetic and was told from a young age that I couldn’t do the things that other kids did. Like eat candy on Halloween or have chocolate bunnies at Easter, and couldn’t eat cake at birthday parties! Not to mention I had to poke myself with needles all the time! Ugh! And my family lived in a constant state of fear that something bad might be happen to me at any time. Thank god research and technology has changed the way type 1 is treated these days so that I and all those kids who have this dumb disease can eat carbs and in moderation just like everyone else (as long as I count those carbs correctly and give the right amount of insulin to break the sugar down, yes we should have math and science degrees!)

I shied always from exercise the older I got because I would experience low blood sugars that weren’t fun. This was a pretty big obstacle for me to overcome and it’s always a work in progress, because until there is a cure, I will always have to balance and live with the ups and downs of Type 1 diabetes.

 Being different…

being told I couldn’t do things, feeling insecure about my body, lead to me becoming pretty rebellious in high school until my mid 20’s. I used to drink a lot to numb my feelings and fit in. I masked who I was because I didn’t feel good enough just being me. And the worse I treated myself, the worse it became. The guilt was so heavy and the shame I carried all the time was just crazy!

It has been a long journey getting where I am today. 12 years ago I reached bottom in my life and knew that I didn’t want to live that way anymore. I wasn’t sure what I wanted exactly but I knew it wasn’t that life anymore! The real me was not going to let that darkness have control over my future so I stopped drinking and everything else and started a journey to be the best version of me I could be. Over those years I’ve learned to dream again, set goals achieve them and take risks! The journey is evolving all the time and I still have ups and downs but those downs are few and far between!
But I have a confession to make! It’s something that was really irritating me for a while!

I DON’T LOSE WEIGHT EASILY!!! Seriously!

Honestly I used to get so mad when I stepped on the scale because it wouldn’t budge! I would be so upset, even in tears with feelings of defeat and failure. But if I am being honest with myself, had I ever really been consistent with anything? Probably not, but it’s still frustrating because I know other people who can lose weight and not be 100% committed and consistent.

It doesn’t matter to me any more though! Sometime after I found Anna Renderer’s Popsugar workouts a light bulb went off for me. I was like wait, I feel great after I work out!! And why would I let the scale change that? I made the decision then that I wasn’t going to work out to lose weight. I was going to work out to disconnect after work and to be healthier! And I honestly feel that is the number one reason why I’ve finally found something that I could stick with! Because I’m doing it for the right reasons now and my body is like, geez thanks lady, it took you long enough to love me for who we are and get ok with it and lose all that drama that you were attaching to it!

Maybe it has to do with just doing something good for someone and not expecting anything in return (and that someone is YOU!!).

Once I had that mental shift – the doors started opening up. It really is true what they say, “The teacher will appear when the student is ready!”

So here I am. Loving myself enough to invest in the nutrients my body needs to get those regular workouts in. I’m not only joining accountability groups and actually participating in them, I am also running them so that I can share this simple method with people I care about!

When I kicked drinking and got out of the depression I was in I learned that I would get out of this new way of living what I put into it. Over the last year I’ve finally started to see results in this area of my life as well.

I’m sharing this story today because I know we all struggle and we are all on our own path. Do I wish I had the ‘I don’t care about the scale” epiphany a long time ago? Yes I do but I can’t change the past. Do I still step on the scale once a week to see if I lost weight? NOPE! My scale broke sometime over the holidays and I haven’t replaced it yet! It was hard, very much like an addiction. I wanted to know! But now to measure my success I look in the mirror and focus on how strong I’m becoming. Instead of judging my worth by what I see on the scale now I feel my arms and can feel baby triceps starting to form. I squeeze my butt and feel it getting harder! I take sweaty selfies. I focus on what I am starting to love about myself. Recently I took a sweaty selfie and I was like OMG Jason what are those??? And he told me they were my abs?!?! What??? Maybe they are just baby abs for now, but I’m so friggin’ motivated by that! I will get those abs!!

B_A

More importantly, how much will I grow on the way to that goal? What will I learn about myself? What fears will I uncover and squash? I know I can do this!! And my friends who have supported me along the journey are a big reason I am here today! So thank you ladies!! But it really is an inside job… so tell me what motivates you?? Why are investing in yourself? Why are you worth it?!

I have a 21 Day Wellness Group starting April 10th, called
Confidence is Beauty, the “Spring Awakening”
and am looking for ladies who are ready to take some small steps to wellness and have FUN on the way!

This is my all time favourite comment from a challenger

testimonial1

Uncategorized

My D Blog Week Favourite Things :: Day 7

Today’s Task: share a few of our favorite thingsc from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing!

When I started to think about writing today’s post… This came to mind… “You get a car, you get a car, you get a car… “We’re going to AUUUUSSSSTTTTRRRRRAAAAIIILLLLIAAAA!!!!” (If
In case you’ve lived under a rock for the last decade, like my husband apparently has, that was my Oprah during her Favourite Things show impression) 😉

All kidding aside though, this week has been wonderful!
Here are my favourite things:

1. This comment made me ball my eyes out! https://coriannh.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/what-brings-me-down-day-3-dblogweek/comment-page-1/#comment-25

2. Connecting with so many people all in one week! Some of them I’ve been admiring from the sidelines for a few years now! Like Mike at http://www.thediabeticscornerbooth.com, Karen at http://bittersweetdiabetes.com/, Kelly at http://diabetesaliciousness.blogspot.com/

3. A shout out from Amy T at http://www.diabetesmine.com

4. Discovered lots of new blogs. Two that stood out for me were, Sarah Grace at http://www.coffeeandinsulin.com and Kelley at http://www.coffeeandinsulin.com

Thank you everyone! I really hope that I get to know you all better and maybe even meet you IRL!!

Type 1 diabetes · Uncategorized

Saturday snapshots :: D Blog Week :: Day 6

I almost forget this one. Living in the city where Insulin was discovered! Is it a coindidence that our citiy's icon looks like a giant syringe?
I almost forget this one. Living in the city where Insulin was discovered! Is it a coindidence that our citiy’s icon looks like a giant syringe?
image

I take a lot of photos on my phone as I travel through life. So for today’s post I scrolled through my camera roll and chose some pics that show what diabetes looks like in my life. I’ve always been trying to do a #100happydaysdiabetes challenge on twitter (before dblog week started and took over my life lol)so I had lots to choose from.

Working out regularly to stay healthy
Working out regularly to stay healthy
Checked my bg mid boot camp and dropped my bag! I thought the test strip confetti was hilarious.. My fellow boot campers probably thought I was having some sort of diabetic "episode" lol. Cue the next image.
Checked my bg mid boot camp and dropped my bag! I thought the test strip confetti was hilarious.. My fellow boot campers probably thought I was having some sort of diabetic “episode” lol. Cue the next image.
Well it's not really awesome but our community is
Well it’s not really awesome but our community is
Making really awesome friends who also have Footie fanatic syndrome.
Making really awesome friends who also have Footie fanatic syndrome.
Eating healthy most of the time... Usually when my wonderful husband whips something up.I said most of the time... Yes I am eating bbq in above photo including corn bread  and it was damn good!
Eating healthy most of the time… Usually when my wonderful husband whips something up.I said most of the time… Yes I am eating bbq in above photo including corn bread and it was damn good!
Our wedding day... Another dream come true <3
Our wedding day… Another dream come true ❤

Having a blast with my niece and nephew. D can't stop us!
Having a blast with my niece and nephew. D can’t stop us!
Just like we've always done! This is me and my bro in Florida with mom and our Pa. D was always with us but I remember more of the good times than the bad times when I look back now.
Just like we’ve always done! This is me and my bro in Florida with mom and our Pa. D was always with us but I remember more of the good times than the bad times when I look back now.
Celebrating these times
Celebrating these times
Remembering this. Always.
Remembering this. Always.

Uncategorized

Mantras and More :: day 4 :: D BlogWeek

Today(actually yesterday’s) topic for d blog week is Mantras and More.

Today’s task: “share what gets you through a hard day? Or, more specifically, a hard diabetes day? Something positive you tell yourself, or mantras, or what you fall back on to get you through. Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)”

dblog

Woo Hoo I love this topic!!! Was super busy yesterday doing a whole bunch of awesome stuff so I am posting this a day late!

About 10 years ago I discovered meditation and found something I had no idea I was looking for! I also got into yoga around the same time.

Diabetes can cause me to be moody biatch sometimes. You know, that moment when you are overcome with emotion and you stop in the middle of it and think, I better test my blood sugar? That’s happened to me before. Sometimes it’s because my blood sugar is high. And sometimes it’s because I’m a human being I guess.

The other day I woke up feeling so irritable that I could barely stand myself. Like I said in my last post, I used to run away from everything. Especially my feelings about being a diabetic and being “different”. My mom was told when I was young that I would have a deep hatred within me for/from the disease. I’m not sure if that is a medical fact but I definitely went in and out of phases in my late teens and early twenties that would support that theory.

When I started practicing yoga and meditation I started to heal that void inside of me. It grounded me and reconnected me to my true self. I started writing gratitude lists regularly and focusing on all the good things and blessings in my life.

I came across this Eleanor Roosevelt quote around the time of my spiritual awakening,
“The future belongs to those who BELIEVE in the BEAUTY of their DREAMS.”
When I meditate I get to stop and think about the things I believe in like happiness, love, hope, acceptance, faith and kindness. I think about the awesome people in my life, the opportunities I have to grow and learn, meet new people, the adventures I get live. And the more I focused on all that juiciness the more I seemed to attract to me. My dreams started to come true!

So the other day when I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, I grabbed my iPod and hit play on one of my Oprah and Deepak meditations and slowly but surely I snapped out of it.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to do a DOC group meditation?? All of us from around the globe stopping at the same time to breath and send out good vibes. Maybe we can meditate for the cure?? Maybe the universe will answer our call?? Maybe our biggest dream
Of all could come true too?

Let me know if you’re interested…

231030_10715715719_982_n.jpg

Uncategorized

What Brings Me Down Day 3 DBlogWeek

dblog

The topic for today is What Brings Me 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?

Being a t1D sucks. We all know that. I’ve been living with it for 30 years. I could probably write a list of things that bring me down so long that I’d still be here writing it 30 years from now.

What I didn’t realize until three years ago was how much it hurts to be a person who loves a person with T1D.

It was about this time of year, we had celebrated my nieces first birthday about 4 months earlier and her brother’s third birthday had just passed. I was over at my brother’s hanging out with him and my sweeties, who as of now are the closest things I have to children. My brother says to me, ” I think she has diabetes.” I look at him in disbelief and sluff it off (him and I can be both be a little paranoid about health issues at times). I respond, “Why would you think that?”
“She’s really been going though a lot of diapers.”
“Nah, I don’t think so, you are probably paranoid. Just take her to the doctor and find out for sure.”
The next day at work my cell phone rings and it’s him. Why is he calling me in the middle of the work day? My brother is not a “call and chat” kind of guy.
(I am tearing up as I try to relive this phone call…)
Through tears, he tells me her blood is 18. I try to reason with him. “Maybe she had a big breakfast? Maybe it was a mistake. Check it again.”
I went through so many emotions. I wrote about it last year http://wp.me/p359TO-e

Clearly until three years ago, I only knew and felt that I was the one with the illness. I was the one feeling the lows, getting pricked and poked, being controlled and so on that I never really quite understood until I felt it myself how much it hurt when someone you love so much is diagnosed with this life altering illness. Someone so small and precious. When I think about what brings me down the most about diabetes it’s that she has it. She has to feel all the feelings that we all know so well. Her brother has to wrap his little boy mind around it and her parents haven’t had a full nights sleep in three years. For some reason I can deal with the fact that I have had to live this life but as much as I try to be positive about everything and know that she will be fine too, I still hate (hate is a strong word but hey, if the shoe fits) that anyone especially my niece has to deal with this. Hasn’t my family been through enough with me?

As I write this though, I think of this community and I know that you all feel the same way. There are people in this community who have more than one child with D. Parents who have D and also have children with D. It just doesn’t seem fair! I guess that is the mystery of life. And now that I am super bummed from thinking and writing about this, I have to switch my thinking around. That’s how I cope. I have to find gifts even though it’s not fair. Dealing with life on life’s terms and accepting that this is how it is and that I can either make the best of it or let it swallow me whole.
Why not my family? Why not me? Everyone in this big ol’ world has something to deal with.

And although the cure is not here yet the advances in technology have come a long way and complications in T1Ds are declining. So to cope, I count the days blessings and not the days worries as much as possible. I realize that I have an opportunity to be a role model to my niece. I want her to see that people with D are normal (mostly haha), and can do ANYTHING their hearts desire. I want her to see a healthy diabetic who lives a long amazing life, who is happy and doesn’t let D bring her down. But I also want her to know that it’s ok to not be ok and to be sad sometimes too because that is normal. She inspires me to take the best care of myself as possible.

There are many ways to cope with feeling down, but sometimes the best way is just to feel the feelings and not always try to run away from them. Usually they pass just like dark clouds and the sun always comes out again.

Uncategorized

#dBlogWeek Poetry Tuesday day

Accepting me for me

When I drop so low and can’t go on
When I go up high and feel so low
How does it feel? I cant explain

When I try so hard and get nowhere
When the awful thoughts come creeping in
No one really understands

When I want to be fine
When I want to be heard
It’s something only we can get

When It’s not the best
When it’s not the worst
It’s still with me at every step

When you take my joy
When you take my fun
I change my thoughts and carry on

Accepting me for me