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DiabeticallyYours

Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Archive for the tag “insulin”

All in due time; a small post for small changes

You know what I’ve been waiting to do but haven’t yet? A Vlog. About weight loss. I’m sure It’d be much more motivational to me; it would help me cope with my goals a little better. Like the kick in the butt you sometimes need to achieve your goals. The only problem is… Well, there is no problem. The problem is me. I have the proper camera, I have the right equipment to do it and, hell, I have plenty of imagination to give. But, like most things in the past, I keep pushing it to ‘tomorrow’.

“I should vacuum the house. Bah, tomorrow.”

“I should make that recipe! Meh, tomorrow…”

It’s really annoying. Why is it that for some things I have enough motivation for hundreds and when it comes to other productive things, it scales right back down to zero? It’s something I have to figure out and it most definitely is something I need to change. Starting yesterday.

So, weight loss wise, I know I could do better. But the more I lose, the less insulin I need, and so the more hypoglycemias I have. What do I do when that happens? Drink juice. 100 calories a pop plus a few almonds. Going straight back to my thighs. I know I shouldn’t let these things get to me because I’ve lost some weight so far, but still, it’s frustrating. Do all that work for what seems like nothing. Spend calories, drink ’em right back. Stupid pancreas! Why did you have to die! It’s making fat girls like me struggle even more and be discouraged much more easily.

Okay. Plan B. Stop being discouraged. You can do this. Your weight loss coach told you; five pounds in a month is a good thirty in just half a year. Which is true, when seen that way, but still frustrating when you see people next to you drop double what you did in the same amount of time.

Okay. Plan C. Stop being discouraged and stay positive.

Or maybe plan D. Stop being discouraged, stay positive, and never give up.

There’s the whole alphabet to go, afterall.

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Why I lied to my weight loss coach.

I rarely lie. Very rarely. The reason is simple; I’m a lousy liar and get trampled in the lies. I like being truthful anyways; it’s less trouble and I feel much better about myself. I do lie on occasion though, random little white lies everyone makes. “Hey, how are you doing?” to which I would reply “I’m fine!” when I’m not. You know, the usual little white lies we so often do on a regular basis. Just so we don’t annoy anyone or don’t hurt their feelings. So why did I lie to my weight loss coach? I had to ask myself that question for a while before I found the right answer.

No one wants to feel shame. No one wants to accept that we fail and everyone wants to give proper explanation to everyone to justify the way they look, talk, eat, etc… And why do we? Is society that bad that we want to protect our image to the point of resembling the “normal” standards? Let me explain…

I’ve been starting this weight loss journey (Lost 2 lbs so far… Definitely not a big loss, but it’s a loss!) to be healthy, to stay alive, to be there for my son. I hate the way I look, so of course that’s another reason. As I was talking with my coach, she wanted explanations regarding my type 1 diabetes. She knew what type 2 was but had never met someone with type 1. Granted, type 1 diabetics only represent about 5% of all diabetics. It’s a much different disease and it’s hard to make people understand. It should be carrying a whole different name as it is. And through all these years, I’ve had to constantly explain to people what Type 1 diabetes was; show them that it’s not at all like type 2s, and that before it being called type 1 diabetes, it was called (And still is to this day) juvenile diabetes because most diabetics would be diagnosed under the age of 10. So then, why did I become diabetic at age 24? Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease and it attacks the beta cells in your pancreas, destroying them and taking away your ability to produce insulin. Simple as that. But not so simple when you don’t know the disease and really not simple when people question your age and the disease.

So, I lied. I didn’t want to explain how it got there, why it chose me, give statistics and whatnot, but most of all, I didn’t want to battle and explain that it wasn’t because I’m fat. Most type 2 diabetics become diabetics because of an unhealthy lifestyle and most will be overweight on diagnosis. I lied because I didn’t want to explain the fact that even though I’m overweight, it wasn’t the cause of my disease. When I was diagnosed, I wasn’t overweight to start with. But that’s, again, more explanations on explanations and I’m just tired of having to explain all the time. So instead I chose to lie. I told her I had been diabetic since the age of 4. By saying that, I skipped the whole questionnaire process and simply had to explain the way my insulin pump worked. And I felt so bad. And I still do.

Why do we lie? To save time? To validate the way we feel and look? It makes no sense to me. But one thing I know is that whenever I lie, even if the lie is so tiny it wouldn’t hurt anyone, I feel horrible for days. A good quality, but also a bad one, as remorse is amplified ten times worth.

Do you lie to justify the way you look? Do you lie to save explaining things?

I have. And it’s bugging the creeps out of me.

#DBlogWeek – One great thing.

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

This is kind of funny actually, because it makes me think about my brother Vincent and something that happened when I visited my father last week. It made me realize that I was somewhat of a pro at guessing Carb counts. And I’m pretty sure it takes a diabetic to do that, right?

When I go over to my father’s place, I don’t necessarily chose what I’m eating and most of the time I have to guess how much carbs there are in one meal in order to make the input in my insulin pump. Was that half a cup of rice or is there more? That meat marinated in a carb-loaded sauce all night… We go out to eat often… And that’s always a guess!

At home, I rarely have anything full of carbs, let alone ice cream or chips or even donuts. When I go over there, it’s Ice cream heaven. My brother Vincent is staying at their place for the summer because he works with my father when he’s not in college, and my step-mom buys so much ice cream, the freezer’s full. Yes, Vincent is an Ice Cream lover. No, he is not diabetic. But I am, and temptation is bad! One night, after a day of outside activities and fun under the sun, We had those Drumstick Ice cream cones – The Caramel ones – and they, were, GOOD.

So as I push the bolus button on my pump, I ask my brother “How many carbs are in one? 35? Check on the side of the box for me please.” And so he answers with “37! Clooooseee!” And then I have to ask “Fibers? Like 1?” and there was 1g fiber. So, 37 – 1 = 36. Pretty close for carb guess!

You know what he did? High five’d me for guessing right. Ooooh, Vincent, you’re a funny guy!

But I guess I am an awesome carb guesser. And for that reason, my blood sugar readings are often accurate even when I go out to eat.

Vincent feeding my son Aaden a yummy Oreo Ice cream sandwich. Mmmmmmm.

Diabetes and memory loss.

I had a half day off from being a mommy and wife yesterday as I took the road to my endocrinologist’s. Sunny day, sunglasses, lounge music… Driving an hour to go shopping and another hour to my appointment. (My endo is far away because I moved last year but kept her.) I left my son with my husband and, for the first time in a while, had some time to myself, for myself.

I spent about 45 minutes in my favourite book store. It felt good.

I was happy to see my endo and she was happy about my results and seeing the iBGStar in action, live, for the first time. She knew about it but never really had seen one in person, so going through my stats and multiple sections was fun for her. I could tell by the glint in her eyes. You know, like when you have something shiny in your hands. But I digress.

I remembered a small conversation I had with Leah about high BG and memory loss, so I asked my endo about it. And here’s what she told me.

High blood sugar and confusion come together. Just like low blood sugar’s confusion state, but in a less drastic way. However, high blood sugar is not linked to dementia or memory loss. Long term, low blood sugar is. And by long term, she said “Frequent low blood sugar over the lapse of 10, 15 years or more”. Your brain needs sugar in order to feed itself, and so the constant low level of sugar in your blood can lead to brain damage that cause memory loss, dementia and all those nasty things. She also said that this study was done on type 2 diabetics on insulin treatment and that type 1 diabetics did not have such a study. Because type 1 is rare and that type 2 has become an epidemic, they have not bothered to conduct the study within type 1s.

I’m assuming it’s the same, if not worse, with type 1s.

So there you have it. Low blood sugar can cause damage to your memory, as studies show. Hence why it’s so important to take care of your diabetes.

Oh, and my latest A1C? 6.2! Awesome!

Children’s mighty strength, parent’s broken heart.

When I went for blood tests last friday, the hospital was jammed pack. Mostly with old people and pregnant women as usual. I don’t stay very long or wait for my name to be called because of type 1 diabetes. When I am fasting for 12 hours, I get the privilege of cutting through the line and have my blood drawn as quickly as possible. I do get mean looks though. “Why is she going through? Isn’t she going to pick a number? They let her in and I’ve been waiting for 30 minutes!” I know that’s what they are thinking because if I wasn’t type 1 diabetic and know about my condition, I would probably think the same if I would see someone “healthy” cutting through the line.

“Sorry, my pancreas is busted. For life. I get priority.”

Sometimes, there’s a line and I need to wait behind other people while we wait, and I remember one time, clearly. While my mother was still alive, she would go with me every single time. I was old enough to drive and go by myself, but she would insist on driving me and be by my side. And one time as we were waiting in line, there were people talking in front of us saying how “Blood tests every two weeks is soooo much stress” and my mother would say something along the lines of “Well my daughter has at least 5 injections per day. For life.” The people would look at me and turn around, their conversations cut dry. Of course, my mother didn’t want to insult them, or even make it awkward for me to stand there, all eyes on me, wondering why I had to use needles 5 times a day.

And I remember my diagnosis, my mother crying next to me, seeing her as white as snow when they had to draw blood from me for several tests. No, not tiny vials, big jars. I had never seen this much blood drawn from a single person in my life, and while I was fascinated that I could live without that much blood loss, my mother would wait outside my hospital room and cry, comforted by my newly diagnosed with Crohne’s disease roommate’s mother. And I would tell her not to cry, that I was lucky to have been diagnosed on time (With a BG of 42 mmol… or 756mg) and that I would live. You have to know that I lost a sister when I was 17 and so my mother was having a mental break down. Would she lose another child? Would she become childless and go insane?

Now that I am a mother, I know exactly what she was feeling.

So back to the blood tests. I was sitting down, waiting for the nurse to come to me and do her magic, when a mother walks in with what looked like a no more than 2 years old little girl, and about 5 years old little boy. They both look fine, so I assume the woman didn’t have any babysitter and had to get blood tests done. But then she tells the little boy to sit on the chair. And he looks scared. Not petrified, but scared enough that his face goes white really quickly, but he still manages to keep his cool. Then the mother asks him if he wants his little sister sitting next to him, “to help” she says. The mother looks as stressed as she can, but tries to keep cool for her children.

My nurse comes, I extend my arm, she does her magic, but my eyes are on the little boy.

A nurse goes to him and explains the purpose of the instruments she’s using. He knows, I can tell. He’s been there before. And while I’m thinking to myself “It doesn’t hurt, it just pinches a little” I still remember how I felt seeing a big needle and my own blood escaping my body. So my heart goes for him and I feel my eyes fill up with water because I am now imagining my son sitting in that chair.

The little boy starts to cry as the needle goes in and all I want to do is go over there and hug him tightly and tell his sister, his two years old sister, that she’s very brave to want to help her big brother. And I want to hug the mother and tell her she’s strong and that everything is going to be alright.

I hear the nurse tell the little boy “It’s okay to cry sweety, don’t be ashamed, when we’re hurt or scared, we cry, it’s totally normal.” And while she’s drawing blood from him, she’s talking to him telling him that he is strong, that he’s lucky to have a little sister that loves him so much, she helps him.

My blood tests are done, I get up, grab my backpack, put on my sweater, give one last look of empathy to the little boy and walk out the hospital. I don’t know if he was diabetic or if the blood tests were meant for something else, but now tears are falling down my cheeks because I am SO glad it wasn’t my son sitting in that chair.

And a father walks towards me, talking to his little boy, saying “You’re not gonna cry, right? Please promise me you won’t cry.” And my empathy is gone, in an instant, as they come by me and past. I hear the little boy say “I promise.” But I can feel the fear in his voice.

Children cry, it’s totally normal. But as the little boy cried, I felt the mother was even stronger than anyone in the room. And probably even stronger than the father who walked past me.

The blood test chronicles.

It might sound weird, but every 3 to 6 months, I am excited about my blood tests. It might be just a diabetic thing, but I’m thrilled to go to my endocrinologist’s to have my test results read to me. Partly because I love to know what my body has been up too from change to change. Especially now with my weight loss and my beautiful BG readings, I am expecting a nice A1C. My last one, 6 months ago, was of 6.7 and I wasn’t very thrilled with it. My BG was high very often and I wasn’t being very careful about it, mostly because Aaden was still very young and testing my BG was optional to me. I had other priorities, being alone with my son.

And so next week, I have an appointment with my endo, so I need to go for blood tests. Only if my body would cooperate.

I have been so active, eating so well, my blood sugars have been great! Only thing is that I have hypos during the night now. So, two nights ago, I needed to drink and eat in the middle of the night, so I couldn’t go for the blood tests since I need to be fasting for 12 hours. Last night, everything went well, but as I got up this morning and tested my BG, I saw 3.2 mmol on the meter (57.6mg). No way am I going to drive and hurry up to the hospital for blood tests with this reading. So tonight, I think my best option is to set my basal down on my insulin pump. 75% maybe. I have to get those done to have my results next week!

To think that before being a diabetic, I was scared of blood tests, scared of needles… And now my daily life has them around and I don’t even notice it. Crazy how you get used to things. And how people around you get used to those, too.

In other news, my husband learned that his step-father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes this week. It is becoming an epidemic. Almost everyone has someone in their family with type 2 diabetes. Sometimes though, I wish they were type 1 so I could relate with others like me, in person.

The strength of a non diabetic husband.

I don’t mention my husband a lot in my blog, unless it’s to say that he’s working for my son and I really hard, gone weeks at a time. But I feel the need to take at least one blog post (this one) to brag talk about him.

His name is Aaron and he is Taiwanese. GASP. Interracial couple! No wonder why Aaden is so cute, right? Aaron is actually from the United States, Wisconsin to be exact. Me being from Canada, the french province of Quebec no less, makes you think “Oh, they’ve met online!” and you’re right. But we didn’t meet on a dating site nor FaceBook, we met on an online game called Guild Wars, being in the same guild, doing quests and missions together… Until out relationship grew, decided to meet offline and he bought a plane ticket to come see me. Then I decided to sponsor him as he moved here with me. Long and expensive process, but very worth it.

I want the world to know that I’m head over heels in love with this man. I want to shout how much I’m lucky to have him in my life. Through thick and thin he’s stuck with me; my mother’s cancer, her death, my depression after her passing, the process of getting my new insulin pump, my tough pregnancy with Aaden… Every step of the way, he had a shoulder for me to cry on, a smile to keep me going, a juice box for my lows to be fixed.  And then my father got him a life changing job that would require him to be gone weeks at a time, working on hydro dams, far off into the north in different provinces. He missed Aaden’s birth. He missed Aaden’s first steps, his first birthday… And even though he misses us (and we miss him) he is working his butt off for us. 7 days a week, 77 hours of work per week. To bring in the money for us to live well, for me to be able to enjoy my insulin pump and not go back to the horrid shots. My husband, through everything, has always had a smile for me, good words of encouragement, even when I would cry on Skype and he couldn’t hug me, comfort me, he in his own way would find a way to be able to anyway.

The fact that he is so in tuned with my diabetes shock me sometimes. I say “Juice.” and he knows I’m low. If I’m low, he knows the confusion and anger I’m projecting isn’t personal. He drops everything he’s doing in an instant and comes to my rescue, my hero in shining armour. When I had highs during my pregnancy and that I would spend sleepless nights, testing every hour to bring it down as quickly as possible, crying over the fact that I didn’t want to hurt Aaden as he was being created in my womb, he would sit next to me and tell me everything was going to be okay. When I cried when I got my pump because I thought my mother would be so proud of me, he held my hand and squeezed it gently, letting me know that he agreed in silence. When I would realize I almost had no insulin left in my vial, he would get dressed and go to the drug store in a heart beat. I would test, I’d see a 2.3mmol (41mg) and I’d tell him the number, he would run to the fridge to grab me a juice box. He’s not diabetic, but he understands the numbers. He learned, to be in tune with me. To understand me, and be part of my diabetic life.

Taken from Type 1 diabetes Meme Facebook page.

Did I mention that my husband is going to turn 23 in june? Young to have all this put on his shoulders, but he stuck with me, all these years. And I’m so very thankful for him.

Oh yeah, he is also coming back TODAY! For a few weeks before the has to go back. But not to worry, I will be blogging just the same.

Our wedding day, October 2008

Type 1 diabetics; misunderstood?

Let me start by saying that while I understand what type 2 diabetics go through a daily basis, I believe that Type 1 diabetes should need a whole different name. Why? Because of the misunderstanding between people, between professionals, and I’m a little tired (especially today) of having to explain to everyone the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 over, and over, and over again.

I went to the pharmacy today to pick up test strips. Something I do very often on a monthly basis, ever since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I recently changed my strips from One Touch to BGStar because of my new glucose meter; the iBGStar. So I’ve only picked up a box of 100 test strips about 2 weeks ago, which makes an average of 7 tests a day. Which is realistic, quite frankly. Upon my arrival, they give me my Humalog (Insulin vials) but let me know that there are still 24 days left before I can renew my test strip order.

Um. Excuse me?

I tell the (new) pharmacist that I’m a type 1 diabetic, I need to test my blood glucose quite frequently. Before and after meals, when I wake up, when I go to bed, before and after physical activities or just when I feel plain weird. She tells me with a very serious face “You’re only supposed to test about 3 to 4 times a day.” And I look at her with a very confused face which reflected something like ~How dare you tell me how to control my disease~ and ~Since when?~ and this is when I repeat myself. “I’m a type 1 diabetic, I need (I emphasized on the needing part) to test several times a day.” Especially these days, with the weight loss and the very frequent lows. I need to recalibrate my pump’s basals, so how am I supposed to know how much insulin to deliver if I don’t know my BG every few hours?

She looks at me, a frown on her face, clearly showing that she did not understand why I need to test so often. One of the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2.

No, I cannot control my blood sugar with what I eat. No, I cannot ~cure~ my disease. I know I don’t look sick, I am just pancreas-disabled, for life. No, if I’m low I don’t need more insulin. No, that is not an mp3 player, it’s an insulin pump. No, you would not die if you would have to inject insulin multiple times a day. Stop saying that.

So she goes ask the head pharmacist (or what I assume to be, much older gentleman who nods when she speaks to him, looks at me, nods and smiles a little as he recognizes me). She comes back saying they will call me tomorrow because they are out of BGStar strips. It’s okay, I mean I still have a few to last me until tomorrow. Besides, it’s not like they’re out of insulin or anything.

So as I was walking back home, my son in his stroller amused by his surroundings, I kept wondering why. Why is it, that even professional people, don’t know about type 1 diabetes? No, not that they don’t know, but they are clueless about it? They think because you are diabetic, you cannot eat what you want. I actually can. How many carbs? 15? Here, let me inject insulin, I’m good to go. I’m not type 2, this type of diabetes is different, on so many levels! But yet again, I’m labeled as if I was because society does not give proper education on this kind of disease.

I was a little… Not insulted, but deceived, maybe. Especially that I had to explain, again, what type 1 diabetes was, to a pharmacist.

Did you get your diploma in a Cracker Jack box, missy?

Weight loss: weight-in #2

What a week! Actually, it’s been pretty boring for the most part, non-dabetic wise; rain, cold, no walks outside unless it’s to go to the car and drive to the grocery store. I think it’s the only outings I’ve done with my son and it showed! He got back at me almost all week, Mr. Grumpy face. Well, the fact that four, yes FOUR teeth are coming out is making him extra grumpy, so it doesn’t help. But no park trip, no walks outside, just plain old inside watching Baby TV when we’re not playing games or I’m not doing house chores or playing Zumba.

Diabetic wise, my body decided to step up and kick my butt. I had to put my basal rate at 75% basically all week and I blame that one two things; weight loss and physical activities. I’m moving. A whole lot than I was before I started this weight loss journey. When I sit on the couch, I remind myself “Isn’t there anything else to do that would require me to actually move?” and then there’s something. There is -always- something to do. Dishes, vacuuming, cleaning, playing with my son, you name it. So I was low more often than I was high. Look see for yourself!

See all the red dots? Those are lows from this week. Eek!

So for all the calories I would spend, I would eat back a lot. Orange juice, followed by bananas or nuts.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

And this is how I felt for most of the week...

I wasn’t expecting much change in my weight. I mean, my pants have become slightly looser, but I blamed that on wearing them like three times in a row and them becoming stretched. Although when I looked in the mirror, my “muffin top” looks more like a “bread top”. Love handles that are asking for still too much love. So this morning, I hopped on the scale. And then I remembered; yesterday was a bad day before a weight-in! Went to my uncle’s, ate lasagna, a Tiramisu, drank a glass of wine and had a scoop of maple ice cream… Yup, I busted my Weight Watcher’s points and went into those cheat points. I should have weighted myself beforehand, but oh well. Let’s see…

So as I stepped on the scale, thinking about my week, the orange juice at 90 calories a glass, had about 15 to 20 of those for sure… My night before, where all the good foods crashed in my system… But took in account all the Zumba I’ve danced, the soccer I played with my son, the cleaning I’ve done… And I stared at the scale at what seemed like an eternity before it showed me the numbers.

206.4 Lbs.

Two hundred and six (point four). From last week, I have made it to my goal of losing 5 lbs once again! I’ve lost five pounds! So that means that I’ve lost 10 lbs since the beginning of my weight loss journey! Me! Someone who is blaming everything on the fact that being diabetic is contributing to my weight gain. That being diabetic makes it even harder to lose weight. (It -is- true though…) That for all these years, I’ve blamed it on being diabetic and my crazy insulin intake, the lows, having to drink juice all the time… And I’ve lost more weight in two weeks than I have in about 10 months.

I can do this. Today, I’ve realized that yes, I can do this!

And I’ve got to keep that line going downwards!

Bleeding Cannula!?

I realize that I have to change my injection site every 3 days. Having no more health insurance covering them, I make them last as long as I can, sometimes up to 8 days. But doing this also increases the chances that the insulin will become less effective as the injection site becomes “overly used”.

Two days ago, I removed my site (Well, it almost removed itself the adhesive band wasn’t doing it’s job anymore!) and found out the reason why I was high most of the time.

Well then! I didn’t even see the blood going through nor did I feel the insulin coming out. Some of it was actually coming out of the site, hence why I was so high all the time. It happened to me before, but so rarely that I didn’t even remember to check the site when my BG started going up. I blamed it on hormones, but usually, when it’s -that- time of the month, I drop down, I don’t go up.

Well! New site, new beginnings! Next time I’ll check as soon as I have an abnormal reading!

Do you change your site every three days or do you extend it’s living time on you?

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