Diabetes Blog Week: Day 6 ~ Saturday Snapshots

19 05 2012

Sometimes, diabetes looks like…

F R I E N D S H I P

___________________________________________________________

Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts
Click here for a list of Day 2: One Great Thing posts
Click here for a list of Day 3: One Thing To Improve posts
Click here for a list of Day 4: Fantasy Diabetes Device posts
Click here for a list of Day 5: What They Should Know posts
Click here for a list of Day 6: Saturday Snapshots posts

Advertisements




Diabetes Blog Week: Day 5 ~ What They Should Know

18 05 2012

I have two things to say and they sort of go hand in hand.

1.  Diabetes is harder than we make it look.
2. Diabetes is physiological and psychological.

The reason why I try to live a normal life, concealing my diabetes as much as possible is not because I am embarrassed or ashamed. It’s because I want to be happy. I don’t want diabetes to bring me down. The fact of the happy is, life is better without diabetes. I try to make it into a detail rather than let it control me. Trust me, many days I don’t want to get out of bed. Many days I want to give up. Many days I want to rip my site out and jump in the water. I don’t make it look easy to impress people. It’s not cause I want people to think diabetes isn’t a big deal. It’s not because diabetes is easy, because it sure as hell isn’t. I don’t want baggage. I want to live and be happy. It’s hard. Every single day, diabetes is hard. It complicates our lives and the lives of our loved ones. I didn’t sign up for it. I do feel pain. I experience that struggle to be perfect and the guilt of failure when I’m not. I live with the heavy burden of carrying around a chronic disease with me wherever I go. I live with the optimism that there will be a cure, but the lurking feeling of pessimism that it won’t be in my time. I long for the times that haven’t happened. I miss the things I never knew. I want it to be easy, but it’s not. I don’t want it to interfere with my life, but it does. I want to tell every passerby on the sidewalk what I go through on a daily basis when they give a perplexed look at my pump tubing. I want people to understand. I don’t want them to feel bad for me and at the same time, I do. I don’t want special treatment. I don’t want people being nice to me just because I’m sick. I just want people to simply get it and give me a break sometimes if I need it and just be there to support me. I don’t want any negative energy. I just want to be happy.

___________________________________________________________

Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts
Click here for a list of Day 2: One Great Thing posts
Click here for a list of Day 3: One Thing To Improve posts
Click here for a list of Day 4: Fantasy Diabetes Device posts
Click here for a list of Day 5: What They Should Know posts





Diabetes Blog Week: Day 4 ~ Fantasy Diabetes Device

17 05 2012

Ok, this really isn’t a “fantasy” device because it is in the making, I suppose, but I would like to be bionic. However, I would not like to have my bionic organs on the outside. I’d like an “artificial pancreas” that is implanted into our bodies through some sort of surgical process.

This bionic organ will be able to detect the food we consume as it enters our mouths, exercise patterns, changes in mood, etc. Basically anything that affects blood sugar will be detected by the sensors in this bionic pancreas and taken care of via insulin and glucose.

Diabetes will no longer be on us. We would no longer have to “manage” our disease. Our A1C’s will be perfect and we won’t be held responsible for being in poor health. We will just be living with the disease instead of trying to control it ourselves. The bionic pancreas will be flawless and it will adjust to work with the body of the individual that it is in.

Some minor side effects reported include mind control.

___________________________________________________________

Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts
Click here for a list of Day 2: One Great Thing posts
Click here for a list of Day 3: One Thing To Improve posts
Click here for a list of Day 4: Fantasy Diabetes Device posts





‘…oh yeah…’

17 05 2012

Once I became open about having diabetes, circa freshman year, I accidently started assuming that everyone just knows I have diabetes. A blessing and a curse about diabetes is that you don’t wear it on your sleeve. For the most part, diabetes is pretty easy to conceal, so people don’t frequently look at you and think something’s wrong with you. There are many exceptions to this statement though, such as a very visible insulin pump + tubing, giving an injection in public, pricking your finger, going low in public, etc. But that’s besides the point. It can be a curse at times too, because people like to think that life with diabetes is pretty easy to manage if there aren’t visible signs of “disease”. But that’s even more off topic.

Today I had to take 2 advanced placement exams, back to back. I met with my guidance counselor last week to discuss my accommodations. She said they would be the same as they were for SATs. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t have any accommodations for SATs. I was sure as hell lucky that nothing happened diabetes-wise during the SATs because I would’ve been screwed. She asked if I needed extra time or needed to split the 2 tests up, by taking the second one on a make-up day. I didn’t need either of those things. (And the whole extra time issue is an entirely different blog post waiting to be written). All I needed was to ensure that I’m allowed ample bathroom breaks and food & water in the classroom.

Turns out the AP organization doesn’t allow any special treatment for students with needs. So if I did need extra time, I wouldn’t have gotten it anyway. She did say, however, that I am able to have food & water with me in the classroom while other students are not, I can have my diabetes supplies with me, and I am allowed to use the bathroom.

I show up this morning (7:30 yuck) and outside of the classrooms set aside for testing,  there are areas to put your backpacks and boxes to put food and beverages in. I bring all my stuff in with me. I’m used to being the odd one out due to diabetes so it’s no big deal. When the proctor’s reading the rules and regulations, one of them is no food, drinks, or backpacks allowed in the classroom and anyone who has any of those things should put them in the hall now.

Then he looks at me.

“I’m diabetic.”

“Well everyone else put their bags outside.”

“I need my stuff with me.”

“Ok.”

We didn’t get into a huge fight, which I was anticipating the moment his eyes met mine. He didn’t argue with me. I didn’t have to tell him I have a 504.

It just ended there.

At the end of the test, he apologized and said he was glad I told him and spoke up for myself.

He was just doing his job. It wasn’t hurtful. He just didn’t know. Guidance hadn’t written a note to the proctor that there’d be a diabetic student in the classroom who has accommodations.

So it goes.





Diabetes Blog Week: Day 3 ~ One Thing To Improve

16 05 2012

Ok, here we go. Time for something cliche. You’ve been thoroughly warned.

My diabetes management is far from perfect. In  fact, I wing it most of the time. It’s really the only way you can deal with all the unpredictability. I do a pretty decent job at managing my diabetes, so that’s not my concern. Yes, I can always to better, but it’s not my main concern. I officially survived puberty with D, so it can only go up from here. My A1C has been a consistent 7.1 for an entire year, so that’s not what I’m worrying about.  There’s always small things to improve. Yes, I should test more often. Yes, I have it in me to bring my A1C down to a 6. But I do have a life and I don’t intend on wasting it trying to be a “perfect” diabetic.

The one thing I need to improve on is my attitude. I need to stop cursing in the air and just deal with it. It’s apart of me and it’s apart of my life. I can’t keep running from my own shadow, because I’ll only end up exhausted and unsuccessful. I need to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones or, rather, block out negative thoughts by consuming myself with positive thoughts that are not D-related at all. There is a side effect to that. If I stop focusing on the negatives, I could be in denial and then my D-management will go out of control which won’t be good at all. It’s a tricky balance of caring too much vs. caring too little about diabetes. The ideal way to make this improvement is to eliminate thoughts and feelings towards D and just put forth actions. I shouldn’t have to think about D at all in my day-to-day life. I should just act.

Why else would I have a blog? 😉 I need to teach myself that if I’m stressed out about diabetes, I should just take a deep breath and blog about it later.

Sidenote: I have Advanced Placement Micro and Macro Economic exams tomorrow from 7 am to 4 pm (yikes!) I am very scatter-brained at the moment, so this post is not eloquently written or proofread whatsoever. So sorry. My upcoming DBlog Week posts will be better. 

___________________________________________________________

Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts
Click here for a list of Day 2: One Great Thing posts
Click here for a list of Day 3: One Thing To Improve posts





Diabetes Blog Week: Day 2 ~ One Great Thing

15 05 2012

One of the issues with being diagnosed before I could formulate full sentences is that I had never been taught how to manage my D. My parents and other family members were taught instead. Throughout life, I gradually learned how to do things on my own. It worked out pretty swell for the most part, except for site changes. I went on the pump when I was 8 years old. It was a new thing for everyone and giving myself injections just didn’t seem appealing to an 8 year old. When I was around 14 or so, I realized that my mom won’t be able to do my site changes forever. If I rely on my mom for site changes, I can never be independent.

Long story short, site changes are now something I can do totally fine. It’s not as natural and mindless as testing my blood sugar, but the whole process has gotten a lot smoother. Injecting needles into myself using a device that resembles an ear-piercing gun every three days is not as appealing as it sounds, but hey, at least I’ve made progress. As much as it is undesirable, it’s possible. I can do it.

So that’s my one great thing. It’s not what I’m best at. It’s not the biggest thing in the scheme of things. But it is a large hurdle I have fully gotten over. I find that pretty great.

___________________________________________________________

Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts
Click here for a list of Day 2: One Great Thing posts





Tears of Joy

14 05 2012

I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made in the DOC. I am blessed that I’ve met them somewhat early in life because many people had to wait til their twenties, thirties, or even longer before meeting anyone else with D. The support system I have gotten through the DOC is incredible and I don’t know what I’d do without you guys. I love being able to relate to people in a genuine way. We share laughs, smiles, tears, and frustrations. None of it is artificial or forced. I don’t automatically connect with every PWD I’ve met and for some reason, it’s been much easier to connect with the PWD that I’ve met in the DOC. It’s great to be able to connect with people emotionally no matter what age they are or what part of the world they live in.

After an unsuccessful attempt at making a D-blog in the past and a reasonably successful tumblr that incorporates all of me, rather than the D-side, I finally got the boost I needed to make this blog about a month ago. I met Karen of Bittersweet Diabetes and Kerri of Six Until Me, who are two phenomenal D-bloggers. If you haven’t read their blogs, you have yet to have gotten your feet wet in the DOC. I talked about this in a previous post that I went to an adult outreach meeting where Karen and Kerri were guest speakers to talk about social media and the DOC. The energy I got after attending that meeting gave me the perseverance I needed to make this *successful* D-blog. So here we are now.

I’ve already gotten recognition from Kerri and Karen for this blog which makes me feel so great! Thank you so much for everything. I was wondering why I had 72 blog views today and it turns out Karen put me first on her Find A Friend list. Here’s what she wrote. It’s so sweet, I think I might need some insulin. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the awful D-pun).