Sunday, October 26, 2014

October DSMA post

The theme for the DSMA Blog Carnival for October is:

Type 1, Type 2, LADA, Gestational, diabetes brought on by surgery . . . . the list of types of diabetes goes on.  Each type may have differences, but ultimately they are all diabetes.  When we think about it, there is a whole lot that all types have in common.  However, that doesn’t mean we can’t give credit for some differences too.  So lets look back to our “Breaking down the barriers between types” chat on September 10th and discuss . . . . .
Anything easy about living with your type of diabetes that isn’t easy for another type?
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes 3 years ago it was with Type 2 diabetes despite being having no family history, only having 140 pounds on my 5' 10" frame, and being fairly active.  No blood tests were ever run, I was simply told to adjust my diet and take these pills.  Eventually, a couple of weeks later (yes, you read that correctly, a couple weeks), I was told it was time to get a meter and start monitoring my blood sugar.  That is a story for another time, what I want to focus on is adjusting my diet.  I went pretty gung ho on the low carb diet and brought my A1c from 11 to 6.5 pretty quickly.  I ate a lot of cheese, meat, and veggies.  I paid extra money for low carb bread, found low carb recipes on line.  That Thanksgiving I even made a chocolate pie with an almond meal crust and sugar free pudding mix just for me.  It was expensive, and as you can probably guess, left something to be desired in the taste department.  I only had a small serving of potatoes, skipped most of the desserts, and simply sat by and watched others enjoy their typical Turkey Day meal.  I made do with the change in diet and accepted that this was what I had to do to be healthy but it wasn't easy, and boy did I miss those Snickers and Almond Joys.  When I did cheat or slip for a few days I was left feeling guilty by the numbers on my meter.  Then when even the low carb lifestyle was not returning the desired results I started to give up on it and eat what I want.  Not testing very often was an easy fix for the guilt.  Fast forward a little to when I fired my doctor and found someone else who confirmed the correct Type 1 diagnosis I had began to accept and I was started on insulin.  It scared the crap out of me at first.  All those injections!  But the bright side was that I could loosen the chains on my diet and still see BG numbers that didn't make me feel like I was some sort of heathen.  I've seen three sides of the D-life.  Life without diabetes, life as a Type 2 diabetic (stigma and comments about how skinny I am included), and life as a Type 1 diabetic.  There have been things to accept and things to enjoy with all of them.  But I think the thing that came with the biggest sense of relief for me when I started on insulin (other than the realization that all the BG number in the 200's and 300's weren't my fault) was the freedom to eat what I wanted and the ability to correct a high number much more easily.  I still don't eat the way I did before my pancreas called it quits.  I still enjoy my soda, but in the diet variety and the sugary snacks are fewer and farther between.  But I can go to any of my favorite restaurants and enjoy that side of mashed potatoes, a buttery roll, or a bowl of pasta and, with a little math, minimize it's effect on my blood sugar pretty easily.  When I see that 250 or 300 on the meter I know that I can correct it with a bolus of Humalog rather than playing the long waiting game, walking around the neighborhood (although it still helps) and impatiently checking my meter for hours.  So the way that I know I have it easier than someone living with Type 2 diabetes (and I'm sure there are a lot more than just this) is that I can eat what I want and cover it with insulin to avoid blood sugars that get too high and take small steps to easily correct a high blood sugar.

This post is my October entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Monday, October 20, 2014

The give and take

I've been having a hard time writing lately.  Truth is I've been in a rough spot for several weeks and each time I think I'm out I find myself right back in again.  After some time it has become easy for me to talk about the fact that I struggle with depression.  But talking about the details of that depression is still hard.  Very hard.  I have been making strides to better my care over the past few months.  I saw an endo for the first time in my 3 years living with diabetes and finally got in to see a psychologist at a local diabetes clinic (just in the nick of time).  And both are good.  However both come with bad points as well.  When someone specializes in something and is good at what they do, the cost goes up.  And my insurance sucks.  So I am stuck at this fork in the road where I have to decided which is more important.  A higher standard of care and a bigger bill or the status quo and less stress about how I am going to pay for it.  I could continue to see a primary care physician for my diabetes care but I hope to start pumping sometime in the future and I want to see someone who is more in tune with diabetes and I really like the endo I just started seeing.  I could also see any random psychologist or clinical social worker for depression.  But diabetes is such a huge part of my life and plays so much into my mental health that I really think it's beneficial to see someone who specializes in that.  And these appointments have been huge for me.  As I said I've been in the midst of a rough  patch lately, but I'm typing on my phone and that's a terrible way to get into that subject.  So I am left with this very difficult decision; is the extra stress of higher healthcare costs with crappy insurance coverage worth the difference in care I am receiving?  That's a really hard question to answer.  With my endo, aside from having a really good vibe and feeling after my first appointment there really wasn't anything out of the ordinary or groundbreaking from the meeting.  But I think it's too soon to tell there.  As for therapy, I would have to say yes, it's worth it.  It is hard to find someone you really gel with and can discuss these things with.  My mental state and my diabetes are so intertwined with one another that I don't think it's possible for someone to really provide help without having a good knowledge of both.  So I guess what I'm getting at is that it really depends on the situation.  That and I still don't know the answer for myself.  And also, I need a job with much better health care coverage because this is getting ridiculous.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

When Mr. D Moved In

Just a month after welcoming The Princess into our family we took a trip to see some family in Colorado.  It was a great trip (I love Colorado, would even like to move there some day), despite having to stop at every gas station we passed while we were there.  Upon returning home we had a houseguest show up unannounced.  We'll call him Mr D.  I'm all for having company, but this guy was just rude.  He didn't call before hand, he didn't ask permission, and he didn't really put any kind of time frame on his stay.  The day after we got home from vacation he just showed up.  At first it was fine.  Having Mr. D around was inconvenient at times.  He forced us to look at life a little differently and I re-evaluated my eating habits and lifestyle after he moved in.  But the longer he stayed, the more baggage he brought in.  No matter what I do, I can't get away from the guy.  We might be having a nice family dinner and there he is, forcing his way in.  Telling me that I better check to see how many carbs are in that spaghetti.  We go out to a movie as a family and Mr. D just tags along, doesn't even bother to wait for an invite.  And then he ruins the movie.  If I don't do my math just right Mr. D has a tendency to make get up in the middle of the movie to go to the snack bar or the bathroom.  The Pretty Lady and I might go out for a date and, you guessed it, Mr. D is there too.  Sometimes those dates carry over to home and get 'romantic' and Mr. D manages to insert himself there too.  Sometimes he just sits there quietly and sometimes he interrupts.  Mr. D follows me to work and follows me back home.  He sucks up my savings and leaves bruises all over my body.  Truthfully, Mr. D is kind of a prick.  He has taken over a cupboard in our kitchen and has his own section in the fridge.  Some days Mr D. plays nice and I hardly notice he is there.  Other days he in mischievous and makes a mess of everything.  The guy is not a very good housemate, but we are learning to live together.  Because at this point it's pretty clear that he isn't planning on moving out anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

6 word essay

Wil over at Life After Dx posted something I thought was pretty cool the other day.  A six word essay.  Trying to fit as much meaning as you can into 6 words I guess.  So I have been thinking for the last few days what 6 words I would use to sum up my life with diabetes so far and my feelings about it.  And what I came up with was this:

Diabetes showed me who I am.


BG 47
In the middle of the night
I should be asleep