Friday Feelings.

I have a lot of people ask me why I write, more specifically, why I write about the things that I do. I have written posts about why I feel it’s important to connect with others. Blogging allows me to share my experiences so that anyone looking can find a place they feel accepted and understood.

Diabetes can feel like a lonely road. More than likely you aren’t going to know a lot of people in your every day life who are also living with this disease. For me, I went years before I felt like I wasn’t fighting this battle by myself. It wasn’t until one day I decided to bravely take to the world wide web and start searching for others. I thought, there just has to be someone out there who can relate to my situation. Guess what? There was.

A whole community of people sharing.

My hopes for this blog is that someone will come across the words on these cyber pages and finally feel that relief. The feeling of, yes, someone does get it. Because I can tell you personally, it was a fantastic moment when I realized it. Family and friends are wonderful for support but there is something so amazing about finding people who are actually in the same boat as you. Trying to figure out how to work those darn life vests/tools.

I write because I have a story to tell and even if only one person can relate, understand, or whatever..well, then I am doing my part. It’s not about how many people visit your site, or ad space..no, it’s about making real connections and friendships with people. I am thankful for every person who has stopped by my little neck of the woods.

No matter what though I will continue writing what comes from my heart.

And I hope that if you’re reading this you know that I will always be in your corner. Cheering you on.

Smile, there’s always a reason to.

 

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A tech-y generation.

 

Having to explain my diabetic tools to non medical people or non diabetics is always a hoot. But understandable. Having to explain my devices to the people at my diabetic specialists office was a strange experience.

There are three other pregnant women with pumps that see the same doctor. Two are the Animas Ping and one is on Medtronic. I’m the only one with an Omnipod and none of them carry a continuous glucose monitor. They simply do a finger stick every time and then the doctors assistants are able to download their pump/meter data into the computer before each visit. When I approached the desk with all my new gadgets the nurses/receptionists were amazed.

Like I was an alien life form introducing them to a whole new world…

“How does that pump work without tubing? Makes no sense!”

“Oh it’s like a satellite thing..?”

“How do you know it’s working?”

I explained that the Omnipod was a tubeless pump.

“I have a pod shaped  reservoir of insulin attached to me for three days, and then I change sites, it is controlled by a PDM where I am able to enter in carbohydrates, blood sugars, and insulin dosages. It then sends a signal to the pod. They talk to each other. It’s awesome.”

The looks on their faces were priceless.

Then I had to explain the Dexcom which got an even better reaction. It’s like they had never heard of such a thing.

The downside to all my fancy technology?

Since they can’t download anything from my gadgets I have to check the Dexcom before and after every meal and jot those numbers down for them. Not a huge hassle but I thought we were all up on the times. Ha.

I’m kidding of course.

I only recently became savvy to these things myself. I was just happy I got to educate and inform.

I’m thrilled at the opportunity to teach someone a little something about diabetes and all the cool things we can do in terms of management. A few people at work thought I was carrying around three cell phones. I’ve been asked if the Dexcom was an old ipod and why I wouldn’t just download my music to my phone. I’ve been asked so many weird questions and all I can do is laugh and explain what it is these things are/do.

Have any of you dealt with this before?

How have you handled it?

 

July Blog Carnival.

We usually talk about how we deal with different aspects of diabetes, or things that would help us deal with those aspects.  This month let’s change things up a bit.  We’re going to revisit a question from the Open Chat on June 18th and come up with something about diabetes to change.  That’s right, we want to know…

If you could change one thing about diabetes, (besides not having it), what would you change? Why?

That’s a very good question.

The common answer is almost always going to be that I didn’t have it in the first place but since I can’t use that one this time I will have to actually put some thought into it. :)

Here’s what I have narrowed it down to:

  • I’d change the stigma that comes with having diabetes, any kind. If I could touch every single persons ear in this entire world and teach them the differences, the truths, and the myths about having/living with diabetes, it would make life so much easier, I think. I wouldn’t have to over explain myself. I wouldn’t have to justify or defend myself. I could just live and do what I needed to do without feeling judged by society. Like I did this to myself. Like any of us chose the diabetic life.
  • I’d change the financial burden it puts on my pocket book and my household. Yes, I have decent insurance now but that wasn’t always the case. When I was first diagnosed I didn’t have any insurance whatsoever. I paid out of pocket for everything which meant I wasn’t always getting what I needed. When my husband and I started dating he would help out with my medical needs. (What a keeper, right?) Now that we are both working the cost of diabetes has gotten slightly easier but not much better. Let’s be honest, diabetes is expensive. The insulin, the meters and test strips, the devices like insulin pumps and CGM’s. Nothing is cheap or free. So if I could change anything it’d be making it more affordable. A topic I know a lot of people in the diabetes online community take seriously and have been advocating for.
  • Lastly, I’d change the scars that diabetes leaves behind. Both emotionally and physically. I have beaten myself up and down for not having the perfect blood sugars, the perfect regimen, the perfect A1c. I have cried analyzing the data and wondering where I went wrong. Or where I could improve. I wish diabetes wasn’t like that. Such a roller coaster. I know that is way easier said then done but the question doesn’t limit my imagination on what I’d change. Along with that I would change the physical hurt it causes our bodies. I have scars and bruises, markings from my pod sites and injections. Pin pricks on my fingers linger longer than I would like and they are all constant reminders of the battle I fight every day. I wish I could change that aspect of this disease. For me, for all of us.

I know that some of these ideas, thoughts, hopes, seem far fetched and completely out of reach but when faced with such a powerful question I can’t imagine the answers would be so simple.

“This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information athttp://diabetescaf.org/2014/07/july-dsma-blog-carnival-4/

My “normal” pregnancy.

As most of my readers know I am already a mommy.

My daughter is now six going on 16 and is the light of my life. When I was pregnant with her I had already been diagnosed with type one diabetes. In fact, I was newly diagnosed. I was still learning the ins and outs of this disease. (The learning never really stops with diabetes but I do know a whole heck of a lot more now than I did then) Not only was I nervous about being a new mommy but I wondered  how diabetes was going to affect my baby in the womb? I truthfully had no idea.

We barely had insurance at the time but somehow managed to stay afloat with medical/prescription bills, and baby stuff. During those nine months of growing my little girl I can not express how stressed out I was. Learning to take control of your disease while pregnant is not ideal but I managed. Eventually.

My diabetes was out of control. Insulin was something I thought I knew how to take. I had been on a sliding scale which seemed hit or miss a  lot of the time. I was checking my blood sugar about 20 times a day and writing everything down. Prenatal appointments were every other day it felt like. My husband and I would wake up at the crack of dawn to drive downtown so they could scold me on my numbers, change my sliding scale, check on baby, and then send me on my way.

I saw so many doctors my head was spinning.

Despite the chaos of that pregnancy I was thankful because I knew exactly what was going on all the time.

The end of that story is a happy one. My daughter is perfectly healthy with no sign of diabetes, at birth she weighed 8lbs 9ozs. A slightly bigger baby than most people were having I suppose but my blood sugar levels got incredibly tight towards the end of that pregnancy. My doctors watched me like a hawk. Through out the whole thing I really learned a lot about diabetes. It was incredibly eye opening.

This time around I think I have seen my OBGYN/Diabetes Specialist only a handful of times. I email my blood sugar logs in every week and nothing changes. She praises me in fact for having impeccable numbers. The lows don’t even have her that concerned. My OBGYN says baby is perfectly healthy and everything is going accordingly. I have slight indigestion, some swelling, lots of cravings, I take my prenatal pill, a vitamin D supplement, I watch what foods I consume, I am on my Dexcom constantly, my pump never leaves my side, and I am trying to walk a ton. Aside from the diabetes factors is this what a normal pregnancy is like? My only worries at the moment are what to put on my registry, will he like his name when he grows up, and how will I survive these Summer months pregnant? Other than that everything has been great.

I should be thrilled, right?

Instead I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I guess that’s what good control does for a pregnant diabetic but it just seems weird not to be constantly monitored, not to have someone lording over me about my disease, or what I’m eating. It’s just the strangest thing.

My husband reminds me to just be thankful that everything is going well and enjoy the pregnancy.

I guess that’s all I really can do.

Baby is moving a ton, especially when I sneeze, he hates to be disturbed. My daughter is counting down the days until she gets to meet her little brother (123 more days) and that is such a sweet thing. You couldn’t remove this smile from my face. I am feeling incredibly blessed. I hope you’re smiling, too. If you look hard enough you’ll find a reason.

(Side note: This was written some time ago. I had forgotten to edit and post it. Oops. We call that “pregnancy brain” haha.) 

Life Updates.

 

It occurred to me that I hadn’t posted in awhile.

I have been so caught up with taking care of my daily diabetes needs through out this pregnancy, plus trying to make this a super fun Summer for the little one, while working, trying to spend time with my husband, and trying to maintain my sanity..well, that doesn’t leave much room for social media and blogging.

Here I am though. Letting you know that I am alive and well.

I am currently 22 weeks and 2 days along and feeling every little tumble and kick this little guy is throwing my way. I have a fetal echo scan on the 24th of this month to make sure that he is continuing to grow on target. So far I am feeling great. A little exhausted after working all weekend but great none the less. The only thing I can complain about during this trimester is the swelling. I have hit that wall and I have hit it hard. I will get home from being on my feet all day and I won’t even recognize my legs. They are puffy, swollen, masses. My feet are screaming to be put up. It’s terrible.

Water is my friend and lots of it.

My numbers have been amazing though. I don’t want to speak too soon but I have yet to hit the dreaded insulin resistance stage. In fact my insulin needs haven’t changed much at all. I went from not needing much to being back on my normal regimen from before I was pregnant. Can’t complain about that, right?

Everything is going as smooth as possible and I am so very thankful.

It’s nice that I have quite the helper by my side. A little endocrinologist in training. My daughter asks a lot of questions but the best part is that she soaks it all in. She knows more about this disease than most adults do. She’ll check my dexcom for me when I am busy running around the house. She’ll bring me granola bars in the morning when my blood sugar is getting low. This all makes me happy and a bit sad to be honest. She is so hypersensitive and always aware of me and my needs. Checking on me often to make sure that my diabetes is okay. I feel bad because I am the mommy. My job is to take care of her not the other way around. She announced that when the baby comes she plans on teaching him all that she knows about diabetes.

Then I’ll have two helpers.

Her sweet words make me tear up. It reminds me that my every day struggles/triumphs with this disease don’t just affect me, they affect her, they’ll affect my son. Even more reason to continue to be on top of diabetes showing it who’s boss. :)

 

Smile, friends. I know you’ll find a reason to.

 

Anxieties.

I am now 20 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy. It’s amazing. I am now at the halfway point with about 137 more days to go. I am so excited to meet this little guy. Last night he was so super active and I loved it. Because every time he wiggles and bounces around I know he’s okay in there. It’s early still and so the flutters/kicks are really going to be rearing up here soon. Then I will be able to tell he’s okay every day.

That’s one thing I am always so nervous about. What’s going on in there? Is he okay? Why didn’t he move? The ultrasounds are a blessing because then I get to see him in there. Waving and dancing. With diabetes on board it makes pregnancy so stressful, I can’t say that enough. The other day I had a horrible time chasing those blood sugars down. I had changed my insulin pod in the morning but by the afternoon my numbers were creeping up, slow at first, then quicker. The adhesive around the pod had come up and even though I thought it was all salvageable apparently the cannula/needle had already popped out of my skin a bit.

So, in the middle of work, with blood sugars in the 300’s, I had to rip out my site.

And this is what I found…

That little thing was all sorts of mangled up and couldn’t do it’s job properly. I injected and hoped for the best. Later on that night I was able to put a new pod on but the roller coaster had begun. All night I battled highs and lows. I couldn’t find a rhythm. I woke in the morning to a blood sugar reading of 190. My dexcom screen looked horrific. Yellow all across the board, highs, numbers all out of range. I cried. I held my tummy and cried. I know that for the most part my numbers have been amazing. Astonishingly amazing. I have busted my butt every single day for numbers that will do as little harm to his development as possible but when I looked at the screen all I saw was failure. I had failed him and myself.

After a few hours of constant monitoring and boluses I was finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My numbers were back in range and I was able to breath a sigh of relief. These days are few and far between but when they happen all I can think about is all the negative the doctors put into your head. My team is awesome, they are encouraging, and on top of everything but I can read between the lines. I know what needs to be done and what could happen if it isn’t done right. So far this little guy is growing healthy and strong with no complications and I plan to do everything within my power to keep it that way. I plan to go above and beyond to ensure that he comes out perfect.

I am counting down the days till I get to hold him, and kiss him, and shower him with love.

But mostly, right now, I am counting down the days until my broken pancreas will no longer be affecting him.

Here’s a picture of us during the fourth of July festivities this week. He didn’t care for fireworks too much. :)