Breaking up with Diabetes.

Most days I have a real love hate relationship with diabetes. Sometimes I feel proud of myself for giving it my best and coming out of the day unscathed by all of it. And other days I am left feeling down, depressed, and overall wishing I could break up with this disease. It is ugly inside and out. It is soul sucking and even when things are going seemingly well, they really aren’t.

There is always something happening behind the scenes.

I recently went through another episode of diabetes burnout. Not deliberately but I also did nothing to stop myself either. I allowed myself to feel every bit of sadness, every ounce of hatred, every piece of despair that this disease fed me. I was completely done. I ignored the beeps and alarms, and though I still gave myself insulin it was hardly accurate. It was too much and too little at all the wrong times. Not healthy, and I can admit that. Not healthy and extremely dangerous.

My intentions were not to harm myself, but I was trying everything I could to forget that diabetes existed in my life. I was trying everything I could to feel normal again, just for one second. An endocrinology appointment was around the corner and I knew it was going to be bad. I was prepared for it and not prepared for it all at the same time.

I tried to convince myself that it was not a big deal. I gathered every excuse in the book so that I could convince her that I was doing what I was supposed to do. I needed to put up a façade that I was indeed trying when in all honesty, I was not.  I was determined to go in there and let it be routine and full of lies, but one thing left me feeling uneasy…what would the test results say? With every floral word that I could muster it would never be able to change the cold hard truth. I was not doing as I should and she would see that plain as day.

So instead of wasting her time as well as mine I went in with honesty on my lips. I went in there and told her the truth. I poured out my heart and my soul to her. I cried a little, I shared my deepest thoughts like she were a therapist. When all was said and done I thought she would dismiss me, scold me, make me feel like every thing I had already been feeling about myself were true…instead, she listened. She mourned with me the loss of freedom I once had when it came to daily life, and she gave me true and honest feedback.

She made me feel as though I were safe. She assured me that we all go through these moments but what we get out of them and how we grow from them is what matters. After leaving her office I felt a tinge of awkwardness and a spark of utter shame. Then I went home and began my journey again. The journey of bettering myself, of taking control of this disease the best way I can, and reminding myself that to give up is defeat and I can not be defeated. These past few weeks have been heavy but good. I have been kind to myself. I have taken the reigns back and hope that this time around I can stay on top of it all without jeopardizing my sanity.

Because nothing can take me down unless I allow it.

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Do not be afraid to advocate.

 

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This one goes out to everyone dealing with insurance woes. To everyone needing approvals and letters of necessity stating that you still need your life sustaining medications. For me it is insulin and the devices I use to keep me going every day. My omnipods, dexcom sensors, and glucose meters that allow me the freedom to care for myself and my children with just a pinch of ease. These are supplies I NEED and should not be questioned over every year by insurance.

I completely understand that business is business and I will not claim to know the ins and outs of companies. Or doctors offices. I can only speak for myself and what I know to be true. That truth is that we, the people who need and depend on insurances and pharmacies, have to continuously be fighting for our lives. There is no break in our everyday care nor is there vacation time in ensuring that our medical needs are met.

January was a rough month for me.

I went back and forth, phone call after exhausting phone call, crying and begging for people to listen and do their parts. There was a complete possibility I was not going to be receiving my supplies because insurance companies were not communicating with doctors offices and vice versa. I was running low on insulin, a medication I need to live, and it was overwhelming. It was frustrating and irrationally heartbreaking. I had experienced hiccups before but nothing of this magnitude. I was left feeling lost. Helpless. Abandoned by the only people who could make these decisions concrete.

A phone conversation between my sister and I ended in tears when I admitted from the depths of my soul that I did not want to be a type one diabetic anymore. I was done with it. Over the whole situation. I wanted to give up but the reality is that you can not give up. It is literally a life or death matter. My sister, with grace and so much love, told me to do what I had to do. To cry it out but to get back up. There is no turning it off and that unfortunately these are the cards I was dealt. But to give up was to be giving up on myself, my hard work, and my family. I am not a quitter.

It took me getting extra feisty with people for them to see the dire situation they were putting me in. Which brings me to the point of this whole post…We are our only advocates! For the insurance companies and doctors, I am not saying they do not care, but to them this is still just a job. We have to stand up for ourselves, for our lives. We can not sit down and be silent. We have to fight. With everything we have we need to fight. No one else is going to do it for us. Yes, we can have amazing teams working with us and trying to guide us. However, at the end of the day it is OUR health on the line.

Never give up. Keep at it until their only option is to give you what you need.

 

My Diabetes Monster.

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Quite often when referring to diabetes I will call it a Monster. A vial wretched thing that is horrendously obnoxious, has no idea how to react to social cues, is completely inconsiderate and is just the most ridiculously annoying thing I have ever met. It’s the beast that lives on my back. Every one handles living with this tedious illness differently. I’ve found over the years that if there isn’t just a tinge of humor surrounding what I have to go through on a daily basis then I’m going to be deeply depressed. Because the truth about type one diabetes is that you are tasked with having to keep yourself alive every single day. You are in charge of administering a drug that could potentially kill you if done wrong. Talk about pressure.

That is a lot to put on someones plate if you ask me.

So rather than being down in the dumps about this whole thing. I treat diabetes like the monster it is. I didn’t choose it. But I can choose to be in control.

I thought it would be fun to introduce you to my “friend” Diabetes through some humorous tweets and blurbs about living life with me. Enjoy!

If Diabetes Could Tweet:

  • Woke up today and decided it was a good day to be high. Not because she ate anything crazy, just because I like to keep her on her toes.
  • 3 am. Perfect time to wake her with a low. Let’s shoot for a 45. That’ll be fun.
  • Working out? Awesome. Low blood sugar coming at you. Hope you enjoy all the carbs you’ll have to eat to bring this one back up. Food is yummy. You’re welcome.
  • Running around with the family today? Perfect. I’ll give you a break and only skyrocket once. Stop and smell the roses and chug that water, sweetheart.
  • It appears you are running late. I’m gonna hit you with a high, low, high combo and watch you struggle to get through the day. I love being spontaneous.
  • Whoa, whoa, whoa. Dinner out with friends. Don’t forget about me. Here’s a low. You look better with sweaty makeup and shaky hands.
  • Okay, okay. I’ve played hard enough. Let’s have a good day, friend. I wouldn’t want you to think I hate you or anything. You’re my buddy.
  • Here’s another good day coming at you. I call this episode false hope.
  • Aha! You thought you were doing so well. Back with the highs. C’mon, You know you love me. We’ve been friends for over 11 years now.
  • Feeling productive? Not anymore because I just slapped you with the most debilitating low. This is fun, right? I mean, I’m having a blast!

Isn’t Diabetes just awesome. He is witty and annoying. In all honesty there isn’t anything humorous about this illness but I’d rather focus on trying to find something funny then focus on how agonizing it can be. And how there isn’t a cure just yet.

How do you deal with the gloom that can diabetes?

Reviews and Giveaways!**

**Hello friends, the time has come. Head on over to The Diabetic Mommy Facebook page for an exciting GIVEAWAY sponsored by Sugar Medical. It is going on now through Monday, August 7th, TWO winners will be chosen at random and announced Tuesday, August 8th, at 1:00 p.m eastern time.  Good luck everyone. And thank you once again for all of the love and support you have shown this blog and Facebook page.**

Recently I had the opportunity to partner with the phenomenal Sugar Medical to do a review and giveaway. I wanted to share my thanks and gratitude for all of the awesome people who have helped make this site, and The Diabetic Mommy Facebook page, such an incredible community of like minded individuals. What better way to share the love than to give away really fantastic goodies. More on that later. For now, the review.

Disclaimer: I would like it to be noted that I am in no way being compensated by Sugar medical for purpose of this review. However, they are sponsoring the giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my very own and are not influenced in any way by the company or individuals affiliated with said company.


Living with diabetes comes with a lot of worry; blood sugar levels and ways to treat them if need be, A1c’s and doctors appointments, complications that may or my not occur, and just the overall mental, physical, and emotional game you have to play when dealing with this illness. It is a stressful beast nipping at our heels, but we manage.

That being said, the last thing I want to worry about is where to keep all of my necessary supplies when traveling, and not just across states or countries, but to the grocery store or amusement parks. I don’t want to be fumbling around in my purse for my pump or dexcom. For you gentlemen out there it’s possibly even worse because you don’t carry bags lot of the time. The frustration is real, friends.

I  have been a long time user of sugar medical products, I find their bags to be quite functional and stylish enough to fit my funky personality. They have just about everything you could think of to help make living with diabetes just a little less crazy.

Recently the site introduced their newest bag, The Omnipod Plus Bag, it seemed cute and practical which was exactly what I had been looking into for awhile. Once I had actually received it I knew it was just what I needed. Pictured below is the one I was given for review, The Landon Plus bag. It is truly phenomenal and I’ll tell you why…

 

Not only does my Dexcom fit in the outside pocket perfectly but this bag features a see through window so I can view my numbers where ever I am with ease. This colorful bag comes with a strap for carrying it around my wrist or securing it to my purse. In the pictures above that is the thickness of the bag with all of my things inside…

 

Inside is roomier than a Cadillac. There is a zipper side for either an extra pod or syringes and lancets. There are loops to secure your insulin vial, test strips, batteries, and lancing device. But even better than that? There is now a velcro feature for your pump. You simply place the 3m sticker on the back of your PDM, let sit for 24 hours before placing on velcro in the bag, and bam…you have a secured device tucked away nicely. The very last picture is something I love even more, it is a trash compartment for your test strips. Inside is a plastic like material that is easily wiped out if you were to get blood in there. How amazing is that?

 

You can also purchase new gel skins. I went with purple but there are plenty of colors to choose from to fit your personality. Just because we have diabetes doesn’t mean we can’t be fashionable. Gentlemen, you aren’t left out either because there are color combos and themes to meet your needs as well.

Over all I am beyond impressed with these newer bags. The regular omnipod ones are great as well but if you are looking for just a little extra something then the plus is for you. It serves every need I have in regards to carrying my supplies.

Interested in purchasing one for yourself?

Check out the website linked above for more info.


 

If you liked this review then head on over to The Diabetic Mommy Facebook page and show us some love. Also a huge thank you to the Sugar medical team for partnering with me on this amazing giveaway. Stay tuned for more details.

Mornings with me…

Here’s an episode of  mornings with the diabetic mommy.

My day starts out at 6:15 a.m when my daughter wakes me up from the deepest of slumbers by creepily breathing in my face and poking my cheek. She alerts me that her brother is now awake and requesting to go downstairs, he would also like milk and cereal. Okay, awesome. I sluggishly creep into the room. Sort of like a zombie only I don’t want brains, I want coffee, or more sleep. There staring up at me with the sweetest of eyes is my son screaming at me to pick him up. After retrieving him, his blanket, and whatever stuffed animal he begged for in the middle of the night, we make our way down the longest flight of stairs. They aren’t really but when you are carrying down a child that weighs more than a bag of potatoes and is also flailing about, it sure feels that way.

Once downstairs I finally have a second to check my blood sugar, make sure my dexcom is calibrated, if needed I correct…if not I go about my normal routine which is preparing my sons breakfast, taking my medicine for my thyroid and trying not to fall asleep mid walk.

Lately I have been attempting to exercise. It’s a cardio routine that is equivalent to walking a mile only it is in the middle of my living room. The same living room that just 5 minutes ago I set my son down in and now I am looking for him in a tornado of blocks, light sabers, and books. Tubs have been dumped and every toy is now spewed across the floor. My child is a magician obviously. I give him his food and he pretends to eat it but really he is sprinkling it around the room. I can only imagine he is stock piling it for later. In case he gets hungry between meals, I suppose.

As I maneuver around the area I turn on my workout dvd and begin “sweating it out” the extra sugar, the extra weight, the little bit of everything I don’t need hanging around. Then my daughter comes downstairs from getting ready for school. The two of them attempt to work out with me but really they are dancing around making  me laugh and lose concentration. I need to focus, I am in the zone. Before I know it the TV is being turned over to my son. We are now watching Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse until I want to punch myself in the face.

Leaving him for a second I get some water and check my sugar again. I’m dropping now so I suppose it’s time to make myself breakfast. Finally. Oh no, wait, it’s now time for my oldest to head out for school. I say my goodbyes, give her big kisses, and silently wish she didn’t have to leave. Suddenly I remember I have laundry to fold. My dexcom is starting to alarm but I look and it’s still in the 70’s. I’ll be fine. I fold the laundry and then check on my youngest. I sweep the kitchen and oh yeah, my sugar is dropping. Now it’s in the 30’s. Why do I do this to myself. I eat, quickly and without thinking. My son begs for some and I reluctantly share. He’s just too cute to say no to.

It’s now 10 a.m and I am left wondering where the morning has gone.

 

 

 

 

Please don’t fail me now!

My posts lately have been sort of thoughtful, sort of focused on family life, and motherhood. I hadn’t touched really on how diabetes has been treating me, or rather how I’ve been treating my diabetes. The truth is we aren’t friends and we never will be. I despise this disease and everything that comes along with it. I hate that I am almost thirty and having to think about my own mortality sooner than I feel I should. I am having to sit and think about every single thing I eat, or drink, and how it’s going to affect me. I am having to be my own pancreas which doesn’t sound bad until you realize all that the position entails. Constant finger pokes and blood drawls. Constant site changes and a body that has been beaten and abused by this illness. The constant fear of what could be, or what will be, no matter what I do.

Recently I was faced with the fact that sooner then later I might have to deal with kidney issues. Twice now I have had protein spill into my urine and now my endocrinologist is concerned. Now we have to monitor, now we have to discuss being proactive when, not if, we cross that bridge. And I don’t know about you and how you deal with news like this but it’s gotten to me, it’s depressing, it’s made me feel helpless. I don’t have the time or the energy for all of this crap but I have to find it. Because if I don’t get in control of this situation some how, some way, it’s me that suffers. And my family. That’s one thing I regret more than anything, having my family involved in this vicious disease. They are apart of it whether they want to be or not and that pisses me off more then anything. If I could bear the brunt of it all by myself, I would. If my sickness didn’t make them sad, or worry, or upset. Then I could deal with all of this. But I can’t shield them from it anymore then I can shield myself. And that’s another difficult pill to swallow.

I’m trying to  be positive. We aren’t talking dialysis, we aren’t figuring out medication yet, but we are monitoring and to me that’s just the start. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Treatable, sure. I am currently taking medication for that. But I still felt like, why? Why do I have to deal with this, too? All of this has caused me to take a step back and reevaluate my health and what I need to do to improve it the best I can. I need to push back these complications for as long as possible because I am not going out like that. I am a fighter. I am a beast. I am a mom, and I have better things to be doing.

Recently I’ve started working out again. Being selective with food choices. And overall continuing to show this disease that I am in charge. Nothing is going to take me down unless I let it and that is not the kind of person I am. I don’t back down when I am put in a corner. Diabetes might be tough, but I’m tougher.

So to all you champions out there. Wear that smile and wear it proudly.

 

Things you shouldn’t do when your blood sugar is low…

With type one diabetes there are some days when you’re hitting those numbers and you’re hitting them hard. You look like a freaking rock star. And then there are those days when your numbers are doing their own thing and you’re left feeling all sorts of wonky.

Now, I don’t know about you but when my blood sugars (blood glucose levels) are low I get a little weird. Aside from the normal symptoms; shaky, sweaty, dizzy, disoriented, dealing with a numb sensation in my mouth and limbs, feeling lost, and everything else that comes along. I also get combative. A bit aggressive, in the sense that I don’t want anyone to tell me anything, don’t even talk to me when my sugar is low because I’m not me when I’m low. Ha. Like the snickers commercial…okay.

I’ve compiled a list of things you shouldn’t do when low because it will end badly.

Trust me.

 


  1. Do not. I repeat. Do not try to have a conversation with anyone. Happy, sad, or even political. Because when that sugar drops so does the filter. At least for me. I don’t care about anything other then gobbling up every single carb under my roof so I am not concerned with you and your political stance on bacon. I just don’t care.
  2. Do not try to operate heavy machinery. That’s for obvious reasons, I think. If you can’t remember your own name then driving a vehicle or anything like that should not be on your list of things to do right at that moment.
  3. Do not attempt to put make up on. I’ve been there and done that and it never comes out the way you hoped, the way you think it looks in a moment of low sugar rage, or the way the girl in the YouTube video says it will. Step away from the makeup.
  4. Do not go grocery shopping while low. Because I’ve come home with so much junk. And most of it was opened and half eaten. Not only that, the cashiers usually look at you weird and then there you are having to explain with a mouth full of oreos why you have opened and consumed most of your groceries already. They tend to understand for the most part but it’s still not a pretty picture.
  5. And lastly, do not try to shower. I’ve lost track of time in there. I’m washing my hair, minding my own business when my sugar drops, next thing I know I’ve been in there for an hour just wondering what the heck is going on.

Most of these are from personal experience and in no way reflect other type one diabetics. I can only speak for myself and when my blood sugar gets low I can only focus on one thing, trying to get my numbers up so I don’t feel this way anymore. Because it’s an awful, ugly feeling. If you can relate tell me the funniest, or weirdest thing, you’ve ever done while your sugar was low.

Also, don’t forget to smile. It’s a beautiful day.