Category Archives: Diabetes Blog Week

Promoting Connections

Today is the final day of Diabetes Blog Week.  I must say I have had a ton of fun writing every day, as well as reading so many wonderful, emotional, and sometimes amusing blogs by other bloggers.  Today’s prompt is: “Share a link to a new blog you’ve found or a new friend you’ve made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant’s List, check it out and share it with us.  Let’s take some time today to make new friends.”

I know of so many diabetes blogs I would love to post links to. Almost every blog I have read has touched me in some way; teaching me new things, relating to my struggle, bringing me peace of mind, and so much more.

The link I have picked is a link to a blog I came across less than a month ago. I was given a suggested read on my WordPress account and the blog blip it gave sparked my interest.

This blog is written by a woman who is pretty newly diagnosed. She’s a bit over eight months in to her new life with type 1. In her blog she writes about her experiences, struggles, and what she is learning. I enjoy how real she is.

Her name is Stephanie Flury, stop by and view her blog.  Journey With Type 1 Diabetes

And Then I Walked Home

Today’s topic for Diabetes Blog Week is as follows: “If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written?  Is it diabetes related or just life related?  If you are a new blogger and don’t have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?”

Let’s just get right into it.

Favorite sentence: I can think of two right off the top of my head.

1. “I am the most self-destructive person I know.” I have used this sentence more than once in blog posts. I use it because it is true. No matter how little or much I have cared about my health throughout my life, I always seem to choose the path of most destruction. I have never been a person of high self esteem or even close to a good self image, but I have come to realize in recent years that it goes even deeper than that.  I seem to have a deep-seeded instinct to want to do harm to myself. It’s like I don’t think I am worth a damn and deserve to be punished for some unseen sin.

2. “And then I walked home.” This has come to be one of my most favorite sentences from any of my blog posts. I love this simple sentence so much because it has a ton of meaning behind it. I have used it to symbolize that my day was bad, or good.  I suffer from a lot of painful health issues and walking is even more painful, and sometimes difficult for me. Also, I lost my driver’s license because of diabetic retinopathy, so having to walk places can also be a terrible reminder of my loss of independence. So, saying, “and then I walked home” can be a symbol of triumph, because I managed to do something despite the pain; it can also be a symbol of defeat, because I had to suffer through yet more pain after an already bad day. It really depends on the blog post.

My favorite blog post: Not to brag but I have written a few damn good posts in the past. You can find some real gems mixed in with my many merely decent posts. I have to pick “I Am Living Proof” as my favorite to date. I choose this one because it gives the story of my history with type 1 diabetes, how I felt about it and rebelled against it, and all the complications I developed because of my years of neglect and rebellion.  This post was the first post I wrote about my past and what my bad choices have done to me. It was the beginning of my reaching out to other struggling diabetics and hoping to be able to encourage them to take control of their diabetes. It was the beginning of my reaching out and letting other struggling diabetics know that they are not alone in their fear and anger over being diabetic.

Why I write: I started writing my diabetes blog because I had come to a point where I just needed to get it all out. All the pain, frustration, fear, all of it.  I began to write about my health issues and then soon realized I could use my blog to reach out to other diabetics who struggle like I do to get and stay healthy, and struggle with the emotional and psychological hardships of being diabetic. It is therapeutic for me, and I hope it touches other diabetics and helps them in some way.

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A Love/Hate Relationship

Today the topic for Diabetes Blog Week is to document what we eat in one day. A good or bad day, it doesn’t matter, no judging. I decided to take it one step to the side and talk about my relationship with food.  Why?  Because most diabetics have a rocky relationship with food and find it an emotional experience to eat, sometimes.

For me it truly is a love/hate relationship. I love food, it tastes so good.  I love to cook as well, so this just adds to my constant proximity to the good stuff. But I hate what food does to me. I hate the constant threat to my health, I hate having to always be aware of what is in my food and what the portion sizes are.  I hate having to constantly know what my blood sugar is and having to calculate carbs, insulin doses, time, etc. I hate how simple it is for everyone else.

For them it’s:

“Do I want this donut? Sure!”

For me it’s:

“Do I want this donut? Yes, but, how many carbs are in it? What’s my current blood sugar? How many units of insulin do I need to bolus to counter the potential high? Is this really worth it?”

So what do I eat in a day? I have to admit that lately it’s been a bit up in the air. But I’ll give you a rundown of what should be, and what is a not so good day.

Breakfast – On a good day I fix myself something with lot’s of protein like eggs. Carbs are the devil for a diabetic, so I avoid them with a passion, and it works real well to control my blood sugar. On a bad day I skip breakfast altogether. I find it very difficult to eat breakfast. In the mornings I usually have zero appetite so the thought of eating just doesn’t appeal to me. I have found that as soon as I eat, my appetite kicks in and as the day goes on it just gets stronger and stronger and that’s one reason I go off track.  So if I don’t eat, I won’t overeat. Perfect logic there, yall *sarcasm*.  On the other side of a bad day is the rare day that I wake up hungry and start my day with, say, a plate full of French toast.  Those are real bad days.

Snacks – I avoid snacks as best I can. Snacking throws off my blood sugar balance. There are really only two reasons I would snack, 1. I give into temptation and snack (gorge) on something terrible, like chocolate candy. 2. My blood sugar is low and I choose something yummy instead of the glucose tablets I usually use to treat lows. I have the inability to eat sparingly, so snacking is just opening the floodgates for me.

Drinks – I tend to drink a lot of Diet Dr. Pepper, it’s my favorite. I drink a lot of fresh water, and I like tea as well; unsweetened, just straight tea.

Lunch – Lunch is actually my best meal of the day, usually. A good lunch is a salad. For me a salad usually consists of romaine lettuce, cucumber and/or mushrooms, cheese, herbs and spices, and a bit of olive or vegetable oil as dressing. I just love it! On a bad day I skip the veggies and go straight to the bread and make a sandwich. It’s very rare that I skip lunch altogether.

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Salmon, zucchini, and a baby red

Dinner – I try to keep dinner small but healthy. I usually whip up something with meat and lots of veggies. Salmon with zucchini and lots of herbs and spices is a good example, maybe with a small potato. On a bad day we might order a pizza or go to a restaurant. For me eating out isn’t a good thing because I lose all hold on good nutrition and blood sugar control. I usually order what sounds yummy and not what’s healthy.

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Dipped strawberries

Dessert – This is usually a very bad thing.  I love sugar-free pudding, and I love fresh fruit, but that’s not what we usually have if we eat dessert. No, we go for the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or pastries.  This is where I really go to all hell with food control.  There just isn’t any self-control left in me by this time of day, so if there’s dessert, it’s ALL in my tummy.  Bad, bad, bad!

So, I love the taste of food, but I hate everything else about it. I hate what it’s attached to, I hate that it is a constant reminder of my disease. I hate that it makes me feel restricted, even though I’m not, really.  I hate it!…But I love it so much!

Surprise, Surprise

Today our prompt for Diabetes Blog Week is Changes; what would we like to see change in the diabetes world, or what have we changed in ourself, or seen change in others after diagnosis?  I decided to go with the changes I have seen in my husband since his diagnosis of type 2.

This blog, my blog, Diabetes Odyssey, is about my struggle with type one diabetes, I rarely mention the fact that my husband has recently been diagnosed with type 2.  The good things to come out of this diagnosis are the most surprising.

1. He has changed his diet drastically for the better. This actually started a few months before his diagnosis. We had moved into our own home with no roommates and this made it much easier to avoid having junk food at every turn. The biggest food change for Hubby was changing from regular soda to diet. I was surprised at how easily he did this and how he never once mentioned missing his sugar drinks. A big hunk of his diet was already healthy because I insist on cooking healthy meals because of my type 1, but he did have his sugar soda and his own junk food outside of the home. Making the changes has been mostly smooth, but not without bumps.  But I am proud at how well he’s done.

2. He took up yoga. The thing I thought would be the most challenging for him would be to exercise more. He’s always talked a lot about getting more exercise, but has never backed it up with action. I thought it might be easiest to start with taking walks and then doing some weight lifting on the opposite days. Hubby did me one better and brought home DDP Yoga. I was a bit curious and confused at first but hubby said he wanted to workout with me and yoga was easier on my neuropathy pain. We did it together, learned together, toppled over together.  It hasn’t been a steady road, but we’re working on this one.

3. He takes his meds.  I have been pleasantly surprised again that Hubby keeps his doctor appointments and has been proactive in his care. The doctor put him on Lisinopril for blood pressure and for kidney protection; and he was put on Metformin for the diabetes. He takes his pills on time every day. Now I just need to get him to check his blood sugar more often.

It has not been easy for Hubby to adjust to a new lifestyle,but the part that makes it much more easy for him is that with me being type 1 and already having him live so closely with the life he’s now needing to live, it hasn’t been that huge of a change.  There have been bumps and setbacks as is to be expected with everything in life, but he’s got this, and I’ve got his back.

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The Monster In My Closet

Today, day three of Diabetes Blog Week, asks us to talk about something in our diabetes closet we need to clean out. I so wanted to talk about my emotional and psychological crap, but I have talked a lot about that in past posts. So I decided to keep this one on a lighter topic and talk about my actual diabetes supply closet.

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I keep my CGM on me at all times

My diabetes supply closet is actually just a cupboard. I do not keep all of my supplies in one place, that would be impossible considering I need several items near or on me at all times, several need to stay refrigerated, several I use often so they stay on my counter top, and the rest I store in my cupboard. OK, it’s two cupboards, one for meds, and one for non-ingestibles.

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Refrigerated supplies
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Counter-top supplies
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Pills cupboard

So of all this crap, what needs to be tossed? Not much. I am a mostly tidy and organized minimalist.  I do, however still have two partially used vials of insulin that I no longer use because I changed insulin types a few months back. I also own two glucometers I no longer use but hold onto in case of emergency.  The oldest diabetes supplies I own are two bags of syringes from way back in 2005. I don’t use this type of syringe anymore, but I hold on to them…you got it.. in case of emergency.

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Other supplies

Diabetes supplies are usually quite expensive, even with insurance coverage, so most diabetics hold on to supplies as long as they can.

And this isn’t even all of my diabetes related paraphernalia; I have cook books, diabetes educational books, diabetes related forms, and medical papers, jewelry, booklets, charts, etc.

It all just piles up over time and if you don’t keep up with the organization it will soon overrun your home, purse, car, desk, everything.

Secrets, What Secrets?

Day two of Diabetes Blog Week asks us about things we might keep private from the world. What about our life with diabetes would we never bring ourselves to share?

At first I laughed at this topic.  I didn’t laugh because I thought it was silly, I didn’t laugh because I thought it defeated the purpose of privacy. I laughed because, as my regular readers know, I am an open book. There are no secrets kept in me, I tell all. Right?

Right?

Um, weeeellllll…..

It occurred to me that I do have a prideful part of me that always forces me to downplay the physical pain I endure. I openly write about it by describing it in terms of, “It hurt a bit”, “It hurt”, “the pain was bad”, etc.  But I never tell the truth.

I do have a high tolerance for pain. But what people don’t understand is that a high tolerance for pain doesn’t mean we don’t feel pain as much as other people.  The pain is still there and just as bad for someone who tolerates it well as it is for someone who can’t handle it at all.

I don’t react to pain in an open and visible manner. I don’t cry, I don’t yell, I don’t pull away.  I internalize pain, I become stoic in the midst of pain.  And I rarely, if ever, admit how very much pain I am in on a daily basis.

I suffer a lot of complications of diabetes due to a lifetime of neglect. Many of these complications come with constant, near crippling, energy draining, pain.  Even with improved diabetes care, and medications to lessen the pain and control the illnesses, I am still experiencing pain every day.

If that is not motivation to encourage diabetics to take care of themselves in order to avoid complications later in life…

It hurts.

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I Can Be Proud

It is Diabetes Blog Week.  Many, many diabetes bloggers all over the internet are taking a different topic each day and posting a blog about it.  I missed day one because of an unfortunate and excruciatingly painful side effect to laser eye surgery. Today I intend to post twice; yesterday’s topic and today’s.

Yesterday’s topic was “I can”. Part of the topic description asked “What have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of?”. This is the subject I am going to concentrate on with this post.

I’ve talked a lot in past posts about my life growing up in a family of type 1 diabetics and how I experienced the deaths of four of them, one being my own father, one an aunt I loved dearly, and two cousins who I wasn’t as close to as I would have liked but loved as family none-the-less. They all were type 1’s and they all died from complications of diabetes, and they all were young, and they all took good care of themselves according to the knowledge of diabetes care in their time.

I spent my childhood, teen years, and twenties in total rebellion of my diabetes. I had the thought stuck in my head that it didn’t matter if I tried to care for my diabetes or not, I was still going to die a painful early death.  No one could tell me any different; I had seen it for myself several times over.

It would take until my thirties and a brush with open heart surgery to bring me around.  Times have changed, we know so much more and have so many more resources today to keep diabetes in its place. CGM’s, pumps, better nutritional knowledge… so, so much more can be done to live a healthy, long life with diabetes.0ca43-z39

I began to face the demon. I began to do everything I could to restore what health I had destroyed and to control my diabetes instead of letting the fear of what it could do control me. I drastically changed my diet, I exercised through all the pain, I saw my doctors more often than I saw my friends, I studied and got caught up on all the advancements in diabetes knowledge and care, I reached out and became an active part of the diabetes online community. Eventually I started writing a blog about my life with type 1 diabetes and related complications.

All of this has helped me to become much more healthy. I still have so much work to do and I know the journey to getting and staying healthy will not end until I die after a long, long, and happy life.

I can be healthy. I am proud of all the positive changes I have made to bring myself to health and harmony with my diabetes.