Tag Archives: t1d

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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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.

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 ūüėČ

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!

 

 

Stubborn lows at inopportune moments

THIS IS TYPE 1 DIABETES…

I was tired and wanted to go to bed. The problem: stubborn lows prevented me from going to bed.

————-

This happened twice last week.

Although these incidences were outwardly similar, my reactions were significantly different.

Whereas, during the first incident I reacted stoically, during the second I reacted with a cocktail of self-pity, anger, and other negative emotions. During the former, I felt no need to express myself; during the later, I felt the need to rant on twitter.

Despite reacting differently while they were happening, I felt the same way the day after. It is difficult for me to explain exactly how I felt, but it was not a bad feeling.

(I do not believe in taking a half-assed approach. Therefore, I am going to at least¬†try¬†to express how I felt…)

True…I felt tired; however, tiredness did not dominate.

I felt proud…a sense of accomplishment…triumphant.

Although I felt the same after each of these instances, my thoughts differed.

After the first incident, my diabetes-related thoughts centered around how I was emotionally impervious to the problems that diabetes had thrown at me the night before. I thought about how emotionally mature I was in handling it.

After the second incident, my diabetes-related thoughts centered around how, even when diabetes causes me to stumble, I will continue marching forward.

Context:

  • For the last few weeks I have been getting a decent amount of sleep (given my repeated “bouts” of insomnia, I often go through long periods of limited sleep);
  • My sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on April 1st;
  • I have recently been experiencing more hypoglycemia;
  • Since mid-April I have felt immensely proud of myself;
  • Generally speaking, I have felt pleased with my blood sugars;
  • I have not been exercising frequently;
  • I have not been meditating regularly;
  • I¬†have¬†been reading quite a bit;
  • I¬†have¬†been writing prolifically;
  • There have been no major sources of stress in my life recently;
  • I was not aware of feeling stressed out.

 

Putting together the puzzle pieces

My sisters diagnosis with type 1 diabetes has brought to light just how sloppy I have become.

She has shown much greater care in managing diabetes than I currently do.

She changes her lancet every other day; I change mine every time it dawns on me that I cannot remember when I last changed mine.

She still uses alcohol wipes; I do not.

She still shows discipline in her eating habits; I am inconsistent.

If I desired to, I could innumerate many other contrasts between us. I do not desire to do so.

I am lazy at times. Openly so. This post is not meant to conceal this…

“…who wishes to concern himself with such dangerous “Perhapses”! For that investigation one must await the advent of a new order of philosophers, such as will have other tastes and inclinations, the reverse of those hitherto prevalent–philosophers of the dangerous “Perhaps” in every sense of the term.”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Does laziness get unnecessary flak? Perhaps sloth has been unfairly maligned. Of course, this flies in the face of everything you and I were brought up to believe.

Honorable custom tells us that to be lazy is a bad thing. That it is something to be avoided in oneself, and shunned in others. Why should I bow down to such a stern master?

(On second thought, there are exceptions. Laziness is not always bad. At times, when we are in a merciful¬†mood, we will¬†describe slothfulness with the phrase “laid back”.)

Conversely, why should I make laziness my idol? Is sloth a benevolent master?

————

Own thyself.

————

Both knee-jerk nonconformism and mindless conformity are less than ideal.

Admittedly, I have engaged in both. Who hasn’t? With that said, I prefer opening myself up to accusations of hypocrisy to selling my ideals for a little comfort.

————

I fall short. You fall short. We all fall short. Does this justify giving up?

¬†“I found that the men most in repute were all but the most foolish; and that others less esteemed were really wiser and better.”

~ Socrates

Having picked up on the contrast between my sister and myself, I began to think…

———–

Not all sloppiness is equal.

————

Examine & probe assumptions.

————

Exercise:

Periodically ask myself “have I been sloppy in managing my diabetes lately?” List them. Examine. Judge on case by case basis.

Change of Plans

My 12 year old sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on April 1. Needless to say, my thoughts are centered around helping her to transition to her new life. Therefore, I’m going to put the series of posts that I was planning on hold indefinitely. Doing what I can to help her is more important than this diabetes blog.

With that said, I’m not disappearing from the Diabetes Online Community. The DOC is essential for my well-being.

If you want to stay updated, follow me on twitter @T1DME

Personal Enemy Number 1

Self-complacency. Things are going well. My blood sugars have remained – with the exception of a few aberrations – at a satisfactory level. The one possible threat: me. If I allow arrogance through the door, it will cause mayhem. If I invite laxity inside, my hospitality will be the axe that fells me. Self-complacency = more hyperglycemia. Period.

To prevent myself from acting complacent, I need to remind myself that it’s my actions that are keeping my type 1 diabetes under control. Testing frequently, being comparatively physically active, etc. If I don’t do these things, my level of control will be diminished.

Victory!

My blood sugars have been, on average, much better :)
My blood sugars have been, on average, much better than before. So long as this trend continues, they’ll be excellent in no time.

In the last 2 months I’ve made observable progress in how well I manage living with type 1 diabetes. Alas! I am winning my competition against diabetes. So long as I don’t become complacent, I will be victorious.

May the bitterness of defeat remain far from my lips from this point forward! In The 12 years I’ve lived with diabetes, I have tasted defeat far too often. Never again!

For the latter part of 2013, diabetes remained ahead of me on the scoreboard. It wasn’t until mid-December that I started turning things around.

My rally from behind began when I strengthened up my defenses against diabetes burnout. Introspective writing was my means of doing so.

With my defenses shored up, I went on the offensive. My initial target was blood glucose testing. Raising my testing frequency was a preliminary step for adequate control over my diabetes.

When the time was right – during late January – I began to increase my physical activity. That’s when things really began to improve.

As of right now, my 7 day average is 174, whereas, previously, it was in the low to upper 200s. This decrease¬†hasn’t¬†come at the cost of more lows. This improvement is, therefore, sustainable.

Going forward, my strategy will remain the same: to reduce my average blood sugars while trying to prevent hypoglycemia. So long as I stick to this strategy, I will defeat type 1 diabetes.

Join the Crusade

Test Guess and Go

Sue B_Head Square Medicare guidelines do not provide for coverage of Continuous Glucose Monitors . I am an advocate for my husband who desperately needs a new CGM and previously received CGM coverage under private insurance before reaching age 65.  I am a crusader for the entire diabetes community, whether you are on Medicare, will soon be on Medicare, have a Continuous Glucose Monitor presently, or might need one in the future.

In December 2013 Representative Carol Shea-Porter [D-NH1] introduced a bill into Congress, H.R. 3710: Medicare CGM Coverage Act, which provides for coverage of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems by Medicare if recommended by a doctor. My recent post Baby Steps talked about the bill and many members of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) asked how they could become involved in this crusade.

I have just received an email from Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s Legislative Assistant, Marjorie Connolly, and she suggested the following:

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Food for Thought: Diabetes Advocacy

  1. An advocate is a fighter for the interests of those who would otherwise be ignored and trampled upon by society.
  2. Advocacy can take innumerable forms. Political activism, educating the public, and social/cultural criticism are just some of the forms that diabetes advocacy can take.
  3. Rather than seeing diabetes advocacy as an activity of a select few, we should see it as a project that all diabetics (and their loved ones) can engage in.
  4. The perfect health care system is a myth. Regardless of the form of system we choose to have, health advocacy is essential to the protection of the interests of patients.
  5. We need to broaden our view of what constitutes diabetes advocacy.
  6. Diabetes advocates can be thought of as forming a choir. More individuals = a louder collective voice.
  7. The louder our voice, the more that it’ll stand out amongst a sea of other voices.
  8. An ideal advocate would be one in whom a fighting spirit is tempered by prudence.
  9. How one chooses to advocate isn’t what matters most. The main thing is that one is taking action.
  10. Since our project is a team effort, we don’t all have to be doing the same task. We can each contribute in such a way that is in line with our talents, interests, etc. There’s a place for us all.