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.

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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

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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.