Thursday, 29 May 2014

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 - My Favourite Things

As we wrap up another Diabetes Blog Week, let’s share a few of our favorite things from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing!

Click for the My Favorite Things - Sunday 5/18 Link List.

I am well and truly belated with this last post of Diabetes Blog Week 2014. But I have had some spare time to think and reflect on what I enjoyed about. 

For me, the biggest thing was the community feel of the week. It has been so amazing to click on the link list for one of the days and have noticed that I am part of a great communal effort. It's been truly fantastic. I've tried to get amongst the community a bit more by leaving blog comments on the posts I've read. This sparked from an idea somewhere in the community  about posting comments on every blog post you read. I can't recall the blog I read it on though which is not surprising because I read quite a few.

There's too many posts to name all the ones I've enjoyed but here's a go at a few:

I loved the haiku's from Courtney at Pancreassassin  - they definitely gave me a few chuckles.

I loved the rawness of Erin's post about Anger and Diabetes - A lot of what I read resonated with me.

I enjoyed reading this post from Vicki about her double life - Not a lot of people know about my blog either so I also sometimes feel like I'm living this other blog life on the internet...

And there's been lots more and I must say a thank you to all the comments - it is really nice hearing what others think of my blog!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 - Snapshots Saturday

Back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Click for the Saturday Snapshots - Saturday 5/17 Link List. 

Apologies for the delay of this!! I was originally going to turn this post into a photo journey of my Saturday but that didn't work out. Instead I spent the day in the kitchen cooking and hanging out with my other half. So instead I sourced my photos from the gallery on my phone - the first one is from June 2013.. so without further a do .. Here is my snapshot!

My experience with a CGM  - June 2013

Current basal rates! This is the reason why I love my pump - so great to be able to change these.

His name is Eddie. Not exactly D Related but belongs to the other half 

Micro dosing - Another reason I love the pump

Always connected

Difficult to see but my fingers show years of pricking. 

And here I am - May 19th 2014 :)

Friday, 16 May 2014

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 - Diabetes Life Hacks Friday

Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)

Click for the Diabetes Life Hacks - Friday 5/16 Link List.

It's Friday already! I have had great pleasure in sharing 5 days worth of posts with the DOC :)

I've also made an effort to stop being a lurker and start being a commenter on other blogs, so if you are visiting this blog because I left a comment on yours then welcome!

I'm really looking forward to reading some of the life hacks that others have but will share one of the biggest ones of mine.. 

Pump on a belt. 

When wearing a dress or any kind of clothing, wear a high waisted belt. Thread the pump tubing out of one of the arm holes of the dress and hook it onto the belt.

I feel like this should be a given but haven't really seen it discussed much or offered as an option in thread etc. 

I don't have anything else but am excited to read up!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 - Mantras and More Thursday


Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

Click for the Mantras and More - Thursday 5/15 Link List.

I'm a bit of an introvert but people people people get me through. After about 8-9 years of not having any D Friends in real life I have one now. There's something comforting about knowing if I text her a rant about my blood sugar levels, she'll just get it. 

There's also the love of my life who doesn't know what it's like to live with Diabetes but certainly knows what it's like to live with someone who has Diabetes. He's always happy to listen, let me cry on his shoulder or give me a hug. 

I also use this blog as a mechanism to get me through. Writing about what's going in my mind helps me to process it, it can sometimes make a diabetes fueled rant clearer. 

And lastly I could not get through without the DOC - I don't tend to ask a lot of questions or participate in discussions but I do read read read. Thank you to everyone out there for sharing. It might be that your visitor stats list is low but I hope you take note that there are people out there reading! I am one of them. 

And what is my mantra?

One day at a time. And in the times where the days are a struggle? It's one blood sugar level, one injection, one site change.. one at a time. Step by step. 

You can do it.

Shonelle xx

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 - What Brings Me Down Wednesday

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

Click for the What Brings Me Down - Wednesday 5/14 Link List.

I could write a book on this topic. It would be my topic of choice if I did write a book about D, something which I would seriously consider in the future. 
There is so much to come to terms with when you have T1D. It's overwhelming. The testing, injecting, the carb counting, the supplies, what to carry with you from now on, the testing, the injections etc. Diabetes can be less of a medical condition and more of a constant freaking annoyance. Those things I mentioned are really just the practical side of it. What is it about these things that turn Diabetes into an emotional waterfall as well? I think it's the idea of living with a chronic medical condition. Knowing, and getting used to the fact that this is your forever. There's also something about knowing that everything you do may possibly impact your Diabetes Management. Want to exercise? Have sex? Relax? Have more sex? Yea, they all can affect your Diabetes in some way. OR. They could not. It could be that some of the things you do, don't actually change anything. It could also be that the one piece of exercise you do on Monday, can have a completely different impact when you do it on Tuesday.

I could go on and on. It's relentless. Sometimes you can figure it out. Sometimes you know that you've incorrectly counted the carbs in a meal. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes no matter how much investigation you do you'll never know why you have that wacko blood sugar. Just writing this blog post has made me tired. Living with it is even more tiring. 

There's also those wondrous times when the physical impact of Diabetes can cross over into the emotional impacts - those high or low blood sugars that make you snap, cry, yell. The emotional side of Diabetes is very very very real. But why? For me, I've swung between depression, acceptance, a fierce need for independence, a recognition I need help. I'm fiercely independent. There was a time sometime after starting University when I discovered that if I didn't tell people about my Diabetes I wouldn't get all those over the top worry warts all of the time. So I stopped sharing with people. And then it got to be an obsession, going so far out of my way to hide it from people that it was ridiculous. Going to my bedroom in my very own home to test my blood sugar or inject because I didn't feel comfortable doing it in front of my flatmates. 

It wasn't a healthy, emotionally stable way to live. What changed? I did for one, my work load got lighter and I really wanted to tighten up my management. So, I started seeing my CDE at the local hospital and we worked on the puzzle of my Diabetes Management. I did some googling and found the DOC. There's definitely a causation between my better controlled blood sugar levels and my discovery of the online community. But I think I was ready to take a leap and change my mind set. 

Diabetes will always be relentless but it is a part of me, not some medical condition I have on the side. Once I accepted that it paved the way for better things. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 - Poetry Tuesday


Blog Week 2014

This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. After you’ve posted it on your blog, share it on the No Sugar Added® Poetry page on TuDiabetes, and read what others have shared there as well!

Click for the Poetry Tuesday - Tuesday 5/13 Link List.

I've written a couple of poems in the past. I don't know if I could find them now as I suspect they were on a long gone computer. I do remember I saved them in a folder and then made the folder invisible, I felt pretty spy like doing that. 

I do recall reading back on them that they were pretty dark and depressive. They were written at a low point during my teenage years. When I saw this topic I immediately did not want to do it. I thought that I would choose one of the wild card topics. However, when I looked at the topic again this morning I thought, hmm maybe I can write a Haiku - so I googled it and found an explanation on Wiki How.

There's some context to my Haiku - the word relentless came to me and just fit with how I was feeling about my diabetes management. I've been on my Animas Vibe for 6 months now and feel like I'm walking a tightrope. In order to qualify for continued funding of my pump consumables I need to show a 10 point drop in my Hba1c, that's about 0.9% drop in the other units. 

So today, I received the news that my A1c has dropped 14 points from 76 to 62 or 9.1% to 7.8%. So happiness for me! Glad to see the work is paying off. So this Haiku shows that change, from earlier in the day when I the word relentless resonated me so much to when I felt like the changes I made were seeing results. 

So without further ado.... 

Relentless Diabetic Puzzle
Turned a corner
The Changed Wind appears to blow through

Monday, 12 May 2014

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 - Change The World Monday


Blog Week 2014

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

Click for the 
Change the World - Monday 5/12 Link List.

Here, in my own corner of the world in New Zealand I work for an Advocacy Service and can be an advocate for any one who is having an issue with the quality of care they are receiving from a health or disability provider. In New Zealand we have the Code of Health and Disability Consumers' Rights which establishes the ten rights that anyone in New Zealand is entitled to receive when receiving a health or disability service. I really respect that New Zealand has these rights enshrined in law. I work with them really closely and as an Advocate, advocacy is part of my day to day job. I really enjoy being an Advocate and I think most importantly any changes that happen, are not about me. They are about what is going on for the person, what a resolution may look like to them and absolutely led by what the person may want. 

I started this blog for me, for a way for me to reflect on what was going on for me in my Diabetes Management. It was and still is, a way for me to process what's going on for me. I use it as a tool of self care and to develop my self awareness. This idea of self care and self awareness is what presses my buttons and is an issue that is important to me. It is so important to figure out what is going on for you, what is pressing your buttons. Are you angry? Absolutely fine, but what is at the heart of the anger? I think too often, we have this human nature that tells us we shouldn't be feeling these "negative" feelings. Feeling sad today? The world tells us we should have some ice cream/chocolate/wine and cheer up. But you know what? It is okay to be sad/mad/grumpy sometimes. Let it happen. Figure out what is going on for you and a way to help you process it. Part of my self care equation is using this blog as a tool to help me reflect and figure out what is going on for me. I find that writing it down helps. Sometimes, I just start typing and am surprised at what comes out! So my shout out to every one is to simply look after yourselves and each other. That to me, is the basis of self care and is my important issue. 

So when I see that topic starter the word advocate catches my eye. I advocate all the time! Its my 9-5 but I was a bit stuck on how I could relate it to my personal life? I can be pretty quiet about my personal life, I don't tend to see myself as a champion for the 'Diabetes' cause. After all this blog, is about me and my personal experience. The intention is for this blog to simply be a glimpse into the life of someone with Diabetes. That takes me back to the reason I started this blog.. and from there I realised what is the one issue that is important to me. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Excited for DOC ness

I tried pretty hard to come up with a good title for the blog post but I thought this one does a pretty solid job with how I'm feeling...

Excited! There's a few D things happening this month that I am excited to take part in. The first is Diabetes Blog Week 2014 hosted by Karen over at Bittersweet. This will be the first time I've taken part and I'm excited about that as well as slightly nervous. I'm already signed up and have checked out the topics!

The second thing is the Diabetes Hope Conference. Being from New Zealand there isn't always the opportunity to be involved in conferences and what not. However this one is online! Without a second thought I signed up. Then I figured out it's on 5am NZ time! Ugh. But the wheels were turning in my head... and so a plan for bacon, eggs and coffee was formed! I'm also going to ask my other half if he can hook my computer up to our giant TV so I can watch on a big screen. The best part? A d friend of mine is staying over the night beforehand so I'll have a companion!

The third thing isn't an event or conference. It is a resolution for my involvement in the DOC to be more active and less passive. I'm doing this by tweeting more and finding more people to follow. I'm also on the hunt for more D Blogs - if you have one and want a follower then let me know! I discovered the DOC about 3 years ago and a lot of the blogs I'm signed up to aren't active any more!

Pretty excited right now! Though, I'm sure that was obvious by the amount of exclamation marks in this post..