Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Daily Grind

As a Diabetic, you are constantly checking your blood sugar. It becomes normal for you to see an abnormal number and think, how the heck did that happen?

So whenever I see an in range number... I always feel like that is another win for the day :)

Life in Photos

I wanted to share some specifics to my diabetic life. Instead of just writing a bunch of information. I thought I'd share via photos :)

My Insulin

I'm learning to love these babies. 
I'm on Lantus - 24u per night and NovoRapid 1u:10g carbs. I operate on what Kerri calls a SWAG Bolus.  Which means a scientific wild ass guestimation of how much insulin you should take. I have been making a real effort to weigh and calculate my carb count but I find it hard when I haven't cooked the nights dinner. I live in a flat situation so we each cook a different night. Makes it tricky but I try. This usually involves looking at the packets/recipes others are using. I'm sure my think I'm weird but they're not too bothered about it.

The Novopen also holds a place in my heart. It's about 9 years old! And was the very first pen I started using :) You can't quite see it in the photo but it is a silver pen with a green (ish, the paint has come off!) top. So in reality it's a combination of two pens! The silver pen has always been for my novorapid, but the green pen I used to have was for my old Protaphane, my precursor to Lantus. I haven't always used this pen and I'm not sure when the lids became switched! I vaguely recall my green pen dying on me. Anyhow, my friends would call me pretty chronic for losing things. And so, unsurprisingly, I have lost various pens over the years. When I lost my most recent pen a couple of months ago, I went back to using this old pen. I'm hoping to get a new one when I go next go to the hospital. But it is always nice to have a back up :)

My trusty AccuChek Performa. 
This is my second meter, I can't recall my other one. It was AccuChek though. It was blue and white if I remember correctly. I haven't always been good at testing my blood sugars, I went through years of burnout.  Somehow between being an adolescent and young adult I really put my body through hell. I would not test for weeks at a time. Then perform crazy guessing games with how much insulin to take. I ended up in hospital with DKA and still I didn't learn my lesson! I think I'll write about my DKA experience in another post but a year and a half later I returned an HBA1C of 11 so I still wasn't managing that well. BUT. As I said before, I'm making a real effort now! I test 4, 6, 8 or 10 times a day and taking food diaries to show to my CDE. I recently had a HBA1C blood test so I'm looking forward to seeing what that is. Slightly scared but I know it will be lower than last time. 

As well all know, there is one other thing that comes with a meter. Copious amounts of test strips!

Since I started testing on a way more regular basis I've noticed I am chopping through these things! My strategy for dealing with them is to keep them inside my meter bag and empty them out periodically. If you come into my room, you're likely to find a pile of them (see above photo). It seems that emptying them out and then putting them in the bin are two different steps. 

I'm happy to finally be taking control of my diabetes. And learning to love it as well :)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Online Inspiration

Just wanted to write a short post about this. Since starting this blog a few weeks ago I have been delving into the Diabetic Online Community more and more. And I've found it to be really inspiring. It's almost become an addiction! I genuinely enjoy reading up about others experiences and seeing how they deal with the very issues I face every day. There is this constant feeling of reassurance, that there are people out there that get how you are feeling. It is truly inspiring and heart warming. Thank you to all those out there :)

Friday, 24 August 2012

Feeling a lot better

I feel a lot better than I did last time I posted. I even had to go back and fix some of the grammar issues from the last post. Pretty glad I was sick though, it really made me get my act together and start to look after myself more. Testing on a regular basis hasn't exactly been my strong point. I've spent the last few years being really really slack. And it's shown. My last HBA1C was 11 and that terrified me. I remember the Doctor not seeming too angry though which I was thankful for. He was pretty straight up about it. Something along the lines of.. "So, what's been happening, this is too high. You need to get back on track." That's the sort of Doctor I need, someone who is straight and to the point without feeling the need to lecture me.

So over the past 6 months I have been making an effort. Sort of. I felt the Diabetic Burnout take over me quite a bit. But gradually I'm starting to look after myself more and more. And when a friend of mine was diagnosed a couple of months ago I really got a kick start into looking after myself. And so, when this sickness hit I really started to test every a bazillion times a day. I got in touch with the Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Hospital. I started taking food diaries and making a real attempt to carb count - previously I operated on a guestimation system. I feel happier and just generally able to handle this cough/chest infection I have knowing my levels are settling down and getting under control.

Meanwhile, one of the best things about being sick is breakfast in bed :)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

8 Glucose Tablets Later

I finally went and saw my GP who prescribed antibiotics. I'm pretty glad I went today to be honest. Even though I don't feel completely bed ridden (which is my definition of sick!), . I do feel exhausted. Bursting into tears at the Doctors was definitely a sign! I did make me stop and think about the last time I took antibiotics. Which I honestly can't remember? Maybe for this eye infection 6 or 7 years ago? I'm hardly ever sick.

She attempted to try and prescribe prednisone for my asthma but I wasn't really so keen to take it! She did say it would elevate my BSL's a bit. Anyone have any real experience on taking it? I just always remember being told not to. So I always try and refrain when GPs try and prescribe it to me.

The one thing being sick has done is send my BSLs on a rollercoaster. It goes something like this:
9am - 3.4 argh. (Time for sugar)
12pm - 15.1 (argh x2 Time for correction dose)
2pm - 12.8
3pm - 9.9
4pm - 7.9 (At this point I can feel myself getting lower so I decide to check fairly regularly)
4.15pm - 5.5 (Argh x3 - Stop dropping!)
4.30pm - 5.7 (PHEW)
6pm - 3.7 (At this point, I'm not even surprised. Grab my glucose and munch 4 tablets)
6.10 - 3.6 (4 more tablets)
6.20 - 4.1 (Banana time)

8 Glucose tablets later I'm finally out of hypo range. What a day. And I still have the night to go. This is why my body is feeling so bad. Rollercoaster BSL central anyone? I usually use La Vita Glucose tablets to treat lows.

But after eating 8 of them today It's probably not going to be financially viable for me to use these every time!

I'm determined to kick this sickness. So much so I've assembled an army of pills to attack it.

These are:
Flax oil pills
Birth control
Garlic/Vitamin C/Echinacea/Zinc combo pill
and lastly good old Ibuprofen.

Take that sickness!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Today is a new day

I've had a few blah days recently. A combination of getting over sickness, being tired, generally grumpy and just being a bit over it all.

But, today is a new day :) And I woke up with a nice 5.0 so if anything that is a sign of things to come!

I've been researching natural sweetners a bit and am thinking about experimenting with them. They say Stevia is 2 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Which is craazy. In all the recipes they say use a couple of drops of it. So that would give you an idea of the potency of it! Has anyone else tried Stevia? Going to get some next pay day and see how it goes.  Would love to hear if anyone has any advice with Stevia and baking/cooking! :)

Mother Nature is mind boggling sometimes. Stevia is actually just a plant. 

Image credit: Wikipedia. 

A plant with flowers even!!

I'm a Novorapid user so here is a picture of some pens I found on the internet. Mine used to look like this but then one by one I lost the nice shiny pens I had. Now I'm using the pen I first started using when I was diagnosed, back in 2005.

I should probably get my act together and get a replacement. My old pen does work fine though. Except it doesn't do half units or dial back. I also find it handy to have 2 Novopens around, one for handbag and one for home. I use the Lantus solostars that are throwaways so I always have them lying around. Right now I have about 3 on the go, 2 at home and 1 at the boyfriends. Insulin supplies following me everywhere I go! Welcome to the Life of a Diabetic! :)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Yes, I can eat chocolate.


I get sick of justifying what I eat to others around me. I get frustrated at others wanting to take care of me and losing my independence. So much so that I hide my Diabetes from others around me. I like it to be a private thing and something I keep close to my chest.

I really don't know why and how that happened. But I've realised recently that by hiding my diabetes I'm not embracing who I am.

I think I should stop doing that. And open up more to others. I don't mind talking about it, I love answering questions and teaching others. So I thought I would open up to the internet first. It seems easier that way. Writing a blog is a  way for me to be motivated to keep a record of my levels. And ensure that I'm taking all my insulin at the right time and eating enough. I've been down the track of DKA and it is not something I plan on doing again. But, for right now - the 14th of August I'm sitting at a  healthy 4.5 and I'm happy with that. I'm not the most on to it person when it comes to checking my levels! So for my own information. This is where I've been at today.

9am 2.6

8pm - Dinner 8.5
11.00pm 3.1

Now - 4.5

I don't know why I've been so low today. But I did eat a bunch of biscuits at  lunch/afternoon tea and then take extra insulin to cover it. Which is okay in itself. What I should have done was tested and corrected instead of guessing. But I really don't like seeing bad numbers on my meter! :S

I'm going to start being true to myself and my diabetes. Taking more readings is probably the first step.

I'm getting there.

My Story


Living life as a type 1 diabetic is a bit of a rollercoaster. So I thought I'd blog about it. It seems appropriate to begin with my story.

I'm 24 years old, living in New Zealand. Recently graduated from University, working full time for the first time in my life (well apart from summer holidays) and I will celebrate my 9th birthday of being diagnosed later this year.

And that, let me tell you is craazy. How has it been 9 years? How is it that I still struggle to test before every meal? That my HB1AC has never been that good? Life has been pretty full on for the last couple of years. But now, I finally feel settled and happy. I've been reading a lot of diabetic blogs recently and found that I was wanting to tell my story. My own crazy experiences, the awkward conversations, the ridiculous overdosing on sugar when you are in the midst of a bad hypo, the hypo's where I've had paramedics called, that time I ended up in the Intensive Care Unit because I thought it would be okay to skip my insulin. I've been through a lot and I want to tell my story. I think that ultimately, telling others about my experiences might help me learn something about myself.

S x