Tuesday, 29 January 2013

I'm really struggling today

I'm finding everything a bit hard today.

I'm finding my work place pretty stressful, I work in a Student Support Centre for University students, helping them with every issue under the sun. This ranges from academic, tenancy to employment and disciplinary issues. Yesterday I had an hour and a half conversation with a student who experienced a sexual assault last year, last night after hours I received a phone call from a student that has been raped on the weekend.

The well being of students I see in my day to day work often weighs heavily on my mind. I like to know that they've left my office happier and with a better understanding of their options. With sexual assault I know there's not a lot I can do but I try my best by being someone students feel comfortable talking too. I just feel sad and mad at the world for everything. I'm angry that because of a miscommunication one of these students was turned away from our University counselling service. I'm sad because I have students come in that have a significant expense for their course with no money to pay for it. I love the advocacy side of my job but it does often get me down at times.

Of course, I also volunteer for Youthline as a phone counsellor and am trained to deal with crisis calls so  I have been utilising those skills when talking to distressed students. I was able to talk about my work and my feelings around it at our Youthline supervision group last night so I am really grateful for that.

This feeling of sadness, madness, depression isn't me at all. I like to face the day with a smile and be optimistic. Negativity, complaints is something that really gets to me. Ordinarily I would have tried to ignore my feelings and put on a smile but as part of my personal development I think it would be good to get used to feeling sad. Because it's okay to be sad sometimes. I'm also on my 10th day working without a day off so that also doesn't help.

And of course, Diabetes doesn't take a holiday when I want/need it to. I was woken by a wicked low blood sugar at 1.30am this morning.  So starting off my day feeling sleep deprived hasn't helped my mood at all!

But it's okay. I still feel my happy grounded self, looking forward to skyping my wonderful boyfriend later on in the week. I'm just allowing myself to feel a little sad today. I think it's healthy for me :)

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Diabetic Jigsaw Puzzle

I'm supposed to be working right now. But I have all these thoughts going on about my Diabetes management. I had an appointment with my Diabetes Nurse Educator last week, I love how knowledgeable she is. 

I think without a doubt my management of my Diabetes has gotten better but it still has a long way to go. I haven't quite reached my goal of getting my HBa1c under 8 the most recent blood test I got puts it at 9.1. While that may not be impressive to some, for me it shows a 0.5% drop since my last blood test a couple of months ago. I'm all about celebrating the baby steps you take. I also know that my control hasn't been a "good" as it could have been. The last three months have included Xmas, New Years Eve and a 3 week holiday. I know that being back at work and getting myself into a regular routine will affect on my next blood test. I also know, I am going to try so very hard to tighten up that control. 

Which takes me back to my appointment at the Hospital last week and my Diabetic jigsaw puzzle. I've been  in and out of Hospital appointments for the last 6 months and it's resulted in a whole heap of changes. Changes to my Lantus, my Insulin to Carb ration, my correction ratio etc. Last week, it took us about 40 minutes to come up with a new plan of attack. I know one day I'll be able to do this on my own but I find there are so many different variables I could change that I need help with making changes to my own routine. I'm okay with that, working through issues as a team is how I like to roll with my everyday life so it makes sense to include it in my Diabetes management. Our new plan is looking at my insulin absorption rates, while I have no lumps on my stomach I do tend to stick to my left side below my belly button so I've been asked to inject anyway above the belly button.  It took a lot of looking at my numbers and  discussing if I should decrease my Lantus dose, increase my insulin to carb ration or split my Lantus to come to that conclusion. So many different options, different pieces to put in place to see if they work.

We also briefly talked about my cholesterol levels too. My dietitian mentioned that they were "elevated" in our last appointment. She mentioned it in an off hand sort of way so I wasn't sure how serious it was. In any event, asking about my levels this time round my Diabetes Nurse Educator said that my bad cholesterol had gone down and my good cholesterol had gone up. She asked a range of questions about this:

"Have you been exercising more in the last 3 or 4 months?"

"Have you been eating more leafy greens?"

"More wholegrains?"

It felt so good to be able to say yes to all those. And it made me really really really happy that the effort I've been making to exercise more and to eat healthier was actually being reflected in test results. It showed me that it's just about putting in the effort, trying different things to see what works and focusing on all aspects of my life to see results.

As I was walking out of the appointment, I couldn't help but feel that my life was one big  Diabetic Jigsaw Puzzle.

And I like puzzles.

Google can find the craziest images, this is a puzzle of a Proglitazone Drug Molecule. Image credit here

Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013 and all that jazz

It's been a busy few months. I'm nursing a bit of a hangover today. It's making it rather difficult to focus and type this blog post.  

I've been thinking a lot about what 2013 means for me. My friends have coined it the year of "giving more." I think you can interpret that any way you choose. I haven't quite got my interpretation down yet. I feel like I give a lot through my volunteering, so maybe for me it means giving more to myself? I'm going to be focusing on alone time and looking after myself. My wonderful boyfriend has recently moved to the States and is working on a ski field, so I'm not going to see him until April. I miss him an incredible amount. But I feel happy in knowing that even though he is so far away, it hasn't affected my feelings for him at all. If anything I love him more! It does mean that I will be alone a lot more than I'm used to. I think learning how to be alone and enjoy it is a good thing. I'm usually someone who loves company, having people around and is always on the go. So I think that stepping back and just relaxing a bit will be good for me.

I don't often do the whole New Years resolutions thing. But this year I've got a couple. They range from easy, tangible/measurable goals to longer term ones. In no particular order:

- Buy a pair of jeans or nice pants.
I don't really own any pants. The ones I own are either PJ's, comfy round the house pants or my boyfriends track pants. 

- Drop my A1c to below 8

- Drop my A1c to below 7
These two are combined obviously. I haven't had the best control but I'd really like 2013 to be the year that I actually get some traction in my A1c's. The last one I had was about 9. I know I've changed how I manage my diabetes a lot of the past year so I have my fingers crossed I'll start seeing a downward trend in the A1c numbers. I'm turning 25 soon, I need to look the heck after myself!

- Exercise on a regular basis.
Along with the looking after myself theme, I'm going to make a concerted effort to exercise on a regular basis. I'm thinking about signing up to a cross fit programme. Exercising really does wonders to my BSL numbers. 

- Eat less meat
I've spoke about this before but I'm going to focus on Vegetarian inspired meals. Deliciousness!

- Go dairy free for 2 weeks
I have pretty bad skin/ezcema sometimes so I'm going to try and go dairy free for a while to see if that will have a difference. I was going to start it the other day but then I went out and had a coffee. The idea of drinking soy coffee completely slipped my mind.

There might be some more but these are it for now. I'm spending the last few days of my holiday in Central Otago with my ultimate best friend. She's been out of the country for almost 2 years and has just got back to NZ, I truly love her with all my heart! My friends are the backbone to me, couldn't do it without them!

Cider and Cheese. Amazing.