Tag Archives: diabetes type 1 blog

Celebrating the little things

Diabetes challenges us in varying ways. In how we deal with such challenges we differ.

Although celebrating the little victories helps many, doing so is not universally beneficial.

I have tried celebrating my little victories, and have had mixed results. As a result, I motivate myself in other ways.

Do what works for you
Respect what works for others

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The many faces of diabetes

Diabetes is bland. It is a set of routines that evoke no emotional response. It is just there, tagging along as I continue living.

Diabetes is irritating. It stirs up trouble at inopportune moments. Life is complicated by its machinations.

Diabetes is a hospital bed.

Outline: What will be my message?

The following is a rough outline of the message I intend to send. It is only a starting point. My message is apt to change. Some of this will be discarded. Other parts will be explicated.

My message has congealed. My message is congealing.

Gritty realism and hope. Positives and negatives. Individuality and community. Freedom and fate. Ignore none of these.

Acknowledge the shit life happens to throw at you; however, do not let it weigh you down.

Aim for self-development, aim for growth. Connect goals with this ideal.

The connection between diabetes and life as a whole. What does diabetes have to teach us about life?

Mindfulness, diabetes, and life. Mindfulness of ones BG patterns, the impact of various foods and activities = essential part of diabetes management. Emphasize its value in life as a whole.

Focus on focus. Emphasize it.

Acknowledge limitations. Focus on freedom.

Acknowledge X, focus on Y.

Focus on the power we already posses. Focusing just on empowerment = one sided.

Focus on what you can control. Avoid focusing on things that depend on other factors.

Focus on behavior.

Focus on habits.

Focus on perspective.

Obsessing over circumstance is not the most beneficial option.

Above all else, make it about eudaimonia.

Diabetes Life Hacks – #DBlogWeek

Know what amuses me? Of all the DBlogWeek prompts, this one is the most challenging! We have discussed changing the world, mental health, our personal mantras. I have written about these with ease, only to have this ease obstructed by a pebble. It’s absurd! I love absurdities! For this I am grateful…

Confession: I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a “neat diabetes tricks” kind of guy.

If your pump clip breaks, put it in your pocket. That’s my most marvelous trick. Call me Mozart! My creativity knows no bounds, and I am prolific in my output.

In all honesty, I am the Justin Bieber of diabetes tricks…

Does that analogy work?

Nah… I don’t share my “neat” tricks, so I can’t be hated for doing so.

In all seriousness, seriousness has been lacking in my tone thus far. Really though… in all seriousness, that last sentence was stating the obvious.

Mantras and Reminders – #DBlogWeek

I planned on creating a collage of quotes to express my mantras. Sometimes plans change.

Re-viewing my recent posts, I observed a budding fear of hypoglycemia. I am no stranger to this. I once let this fear fatigue me.

Moving forward, I am not willing to allow the past to repeat. Therefore, I have tailored my plan.

Without further ado, here are some of my mantras in my words:

  • Change is the law of life. The lows won’t last forever;
  • That is how I feel, this is how I act;
  • I may stumble, but I won’t fall;
  • Perseverance is perfection;
  • I won’t flee from my reflection;
  • A dark sense of humor is a diabetics best friend;
  • I am alive. I have emotions. I accept them;
  • This Is Sisyphus!

I will repeat these throughout the upcoming months. They have assisted me; may they assist me again!

What you do is up to you; the doc is here to help.

Speaking of diabetes and mental health…

The events of last year left a mark.

I fear going low. My blood sugar was 215 an hour or two ago – perhaps three. Now it is 132, which seems great. I assure you, it isn’t!

I have noticed this before…my blood sugar dropping elicits fear. I do not want last year to repeat itself. I don’t want to go low every fucking day all summer! That is no way to live on earth. It is befitting of hell…

I fear that I will get burned out again, just like last year. I fear that I will have to repeat the difficult process of overcoming diabetes burnout. I fear this… I fear that… I am anxious.

I dread…Dread…DREAD summer.

Lows elicit anxiety. The thought of lows elicits anxiety.

Although I don’t enjoy this inescapable vulnerability, I, in a sense, accept it. I accept that this is how I feel. I am not – not right now at least – running from myself. It is what it is,  even if what is sucks.

It is one thing to feel this way, quite another to let it master you.

Do you know why diabetes sucks? It can make you feel helpless. You feel like a child. Vulnerable. At the mercy of chance. Awful. Weak. Unraveled.

Writing this post has been cathartic. Hopefully, in the long term, it will help assuage some of my diabetes related fears.

I can feel this way… I can admit to feeling this way… But I need to, for my own well being, remember to keep soldiering on.

#DBlogWeek – A novel approach to discussing mental health

Diabetes and mental health – more specifically the connection between the two – fascinates me. I am excited. I am also concerned. Will I be able to have a narrow focus? Will I ramble on? Heck…will this post even make sense?!

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.
~ Albert Camus

We all have rocks to roll. Blood glucose levels are one of mine.

By unfamiliar forces condemned, I roll this rock up the hill of perfection, only to fail…repeatedly.

Now I stand face to face with my own humanity.

Smacked by the futility of the task, consciousness of my predicament arises. Responsibility drops on my shoulders. The moment of decision has arrived.

A book of options is presented. I am free to look it over, free to choose.

Human agency makes its entrance.

My reaction is not predestined.

Inclined towards my habits, the familiar option is chosen. All others are ignored.

For one reason among many, with a spirit of adventure I’m filled, and I decide to forsake my habits. I choose a novel option.

Both of these paths I have traversed.

Which course will I follow?

————

Implicit herein lies most of the mental health difficulties I have faced whilst living with diabetes for the last 12 years.

I hope that some beams of light shine through as well.

————

In the past, I have described in greater specificity some of the psychological challenges that I have faced. In the future I will likely divulge more.

A broad approach for a broad topic. That is the approach I have taken here.

————

Update: I experienced diabetes-related anxiety after publishing this post, which you can read about here:
https://t1dme.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/speaking-of-diabetes-and-mental-health/

#DBlogWeek – If I could change the world…

Warning: This post is going to be hyperbolic at times.

Jean Paul-Sartre once said “hell is other people.” People with diabetes know this all too well. The tragedy of the situation is that it does not have to be that way.

Other people cause us hell when health insurance representatives try to make it difficult for us to receive medical technology that will improve our standards of living.

It does not have to be that way.

Other people cause us hell when when they decide to charge us 5-star prices for fast food quality test strips.

It does not have to be that way.

Other people cause us hell when they cast judgement upon us, sniping our self-esteem.

It does not have to be that way.

Other people cause the impatient among us hell when they play dumb after we have explained diabetes to them countless times.

It does not have to be that way.

Other people cause us hell when they trivialize or exaggerate diabetes.

It does not have to be that way.

Other people cause us hell when they act coldly…robotic…inhuman when we mention the unfair portion of BS that has been allotted to us.

It does not have to be that way.

Other people cause us hell by doing this… Other people cause us hell by doing that… Other people unnecessarily cause us hell in numerous ways. That is the underlying issue that I care most about.

This is unacceptable! This is inexcusable! This must stop!

As people with diabetes, we have enough to deal with as it is. I accept that. What I can’t accept is other people making things artificially difficult. Thankfully, things are changing.

Other people’s actions, occasionally, throw us into a pit. The actions of those in the Diabetes Online Community protect us from the pit, and pull those within out of it.

Our actions are our hope!

Savoring the present moment

Being hot and uncomfortable, yesterday’s post had a negative tinge. I had something to get off my chest. Today, however, is a new day.

Spring is a wonderful time of year. Mother Nature reincarnates right before our eyes. Yesterday, the fear of lows – which is due to my experiences last year – blinded me to this. Having written yesterday’s post, I can see nature anew.

I have to live in the present, and savor it. I should rejoice in the good things that are presently occurring. Why worry about what is to come? Why worry about low blood sugar? Why? Is there a point? What is the benefit?

I am not currently dealing with hypoglycemia. Diabetes is behaving. These moments are rare. These moments are enjoyable. I should savor them while they last.

Complaining about diabetes is okay. In fact, it can be beneficial. With that said, why complain when nothing is going wrong? Doing so can only cause harm. It can only make me miserable. It can only make me feel worse – unnecessarily. These are not my preferences.

There is a time and a place for everything.

I would do good to remember this. So would we all.

Summer (and hypoglycemia) is upon us

It is kind of hot today. Much hotter than I am currently accustomed to. It is 80 F to be exact. Excuse me if my writing isn’t quite as good as it typically is. I do not like the heat.

It would be no exaggeration to say that the impact that the heat has on my blood sugar is a major reason for me disliking the heat. It makes me go low…a lot.

My insulin sensitivity usually isn’t the greatest. Two things supercharge it: heat and exercise.

It is easier to plan ahead when it comes to exercise. It is easier for me to adjust my rates in accordance with my insulin needs. As for the heat…that’s a different story.

I live in New England. Maine, to be exact. This region of the US isn’t known for its predictable climate. To the contrary: our weather is insane. It is all over the place. It is unpredictable. It is much like my blood sugars 😉

I would be fine – or, at the very least, more accepting – if I didn’t have type 1 diabetes.

As it stands, I do have diabetes, which makes New England weather a pain in the ass to deal with.

It is only the heat that I have to struggle with though. The cold doesn’t have much of an impact.

Today is an exception: the heat hasn’t had much of an impact. Perhaps that’s because I woke up high. Who knows.

This, if you can’t tell, is a free write – hence its rambling character.

I am also tired and unfocused. That certainly impacts the overall quality of my writing, and not in a positive way

My Blatant Hypocricy

I fancy myself wicked open-minded. At times, I even drift into the realm of the patently absurd, and honestly believe I am without prejudice.

HAHA
No! 

One thing I’ve learned is this: when it comes to ones self-perception, one is typically full of moose shit.

I am a human being, not a mountain. As a human being, I tend to fear, and am therefore prejudiced against, the unknown. I strive to keep this under control. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I apparently succeed.

Yesterday I failed. I am prejudiced against any non-Medtronic pump – a rather innocuous prejudice indeed.

What were the circumstances surrounding my epiphany?

My sister is looking into various pumps. One pump that caught her attention was the Omnipod. Requesting my input, I readily obliged. Lets just say my input wasn’t nonpartisan..

Acting in the capacity of a voluntary salesperson for Medtronic, I dissuaded her.

Why?

I do not know much about the Omnipod, and lack experience using it. I haven’t bothered doing any serious research into it either; however, I have heard a few horror stories, as well as stories of horror stories. Apparently that is all it takes to taint my judgement!