Did you know that this week is Invisible Illness Week? I didn’t either until this blog post came across my reader. Thanks Rose! I used to love filling out the old email surveys way back in the day, so why not? Here’s an easy chance to learn a little more about me and my diabetes. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz at the end.
30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know
1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1998, 4 days after my 18th birthday!
3. But I had symptoms since: Not long before diagnosis. Maybe a month before? I lost weight (Yay!) and was peeing a lot (Non-yay when there wasn’t a bathroom on my floor in the dorms!) but I didn’t think anything of it.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Testing my blood sugar, injecting insulin/wearing a pump, and carrying all the crap ever around – wherever I go.
5. Most people assume: That diabetes is just having to test my BG and taking insulin before meals. I don’t think people realize how serious it is and how I am constantly aware of what my BG is/how my body feels/how my actions affect my numbers.
Or, that my foot is going to fall off.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Giving up cereal. My BG hates it. No matter how I try to bolus. I miss you Cocoa Puffs.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey’s Anatomy. I’m one of the 4 people who still watch it.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Dexcom CGM. Seriously my most favorite Diabetes device ever! I credit it for helping me get my a1c down to 6.8 and I always say I’ll give up my pump before I give up my Dexcom. It has given me a sense of security and much more awareness of my diabetes.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Deciding if I need a snack before bed. Seriously. Food is hard.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: 2 Pills – Sythroid and Vitamin. I’m usually on Vytorin but my doc took me off of it in preparation for baby making. Also, continuous insulin via the pump.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Think they have their place. Although, with T1D there really aren’t any alternatives to insulin. But I think there is nothing wrong with seeking out a natural treatment for more common ailments like the common cold if that’s what you choose.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible. I don’t like my diabetes being made a huge deal of and I imagine if I had a visible illness I would feel uncomfortable much more often.
13. Regarding working and career: I’ve been working in some capacity of another since before my diagnosis. I don’t think that Diabetes has affected my ability to get and keep a job. I’ve really only missed maybe 3 or 4 days of work because of wonky blood sugars. In 14 years, that’s not too bad. I do feel guilty sometimes for having to miss time for doctor’s appointments, but I supposed that is what PTO is for!
14. People would be surprised to know: We really don’t want to hear stories about how your best friend’s cat has diabetes, or that your uncle “died from diabetes” or that your former boss’s mother’s sister lost her foot because she was diabetic. Really. Not helpful.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: My reality isn’t really “new” but back in college, the toughest thing to accept was that this is permanent. At least for the next 5-7 years until there’s a cure, right?
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I got nothing. Ask me again in a year or so and hopefully my answer will be “Have a baby.”
17. The commercials about my illness: Annoy me.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Eating without thought. I miss not having to test, figure out my insulin, not having to wonder how this meal/snack will make me feel in the next 15 minutes, hour, 3 hours, etc.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: One piece bathing suits and low cut dresses. Female pumpers will understand. Oh, and cereal. And money. Diabetes is expensive, yo.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Blogging. This is a really new hobby!
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Eat all the pasta without a worry in the world.
22. My illness has taught me: A lot of stuff.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: See number 14.
24. But I love it when people: Ask questions and actually listen when I explain what I live with, my pump and CGM, etc.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Tomorrow will be a better day.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Diabetes is a pain in the ass, there’s no sense sugar coating it (Pun intended). But it is manageable and even though it seems like you are being inundated with information right now, in just a short amount of time, all of this will become second nature. You can do this. And if you feel like you can’t there are tons of people both online and in real life who are happy to support you, answer your questions, or listen if you need to vent.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: That even though there are people around for support, it can be very isolating. That’s why I am so grateful for the DOC and IRL D-friends I have. They “get it”.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: My college roommate took me to the hospital and sat with me for hours in the ER on what was a pretty useless ER visit (Something I could/should have handled on my own, another blog for another day). Also, my husband does nice things all the time – getting my meter for me, checking my CGM receiver when he thinks I’m not looking, grabbing me some juice, starting dinner when he’s not hungry yet so I can eat/won’t go low, etc. I’ll keep him.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: My blog isn’t so invisible, so why not?
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Happy and hopeful that you weren’t terribly bored.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Got home from work today and the Hubs (who works from home) was still on a conference call. He popped his head out of his office and told me he has another call until 6:30 and if I don’t want to wait until then to eat to go ahead and start dinner. (He usually cooks. He rocks.) I make the executive decision to make a gourmet meal of brinner (bacon and cheddar omelets, hash browns, toast, and some more bacon). Yum.
My sister called me and since it seems like I haven’t talked to her in forever (really, it’s been like 2 days, but that’s a super long time for us!) I took the call while attempting to make my awesome, I-can’t-believe-she-works-full-time-and-puts-meals-like-this-on-the-table, meal. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice that I was in the middle of an out of nowhere, Shelby-style low. “This one hit her (me) fast”. My trusty Dexcom was in my bag, on vibrate. D’oops.
Hung up with the sis and check my BG in anticipation of pre-bolusing. 40. YIKES. In my low fog I thought it was a good idea to finish making dinner, which, of course, dumb idea. I am not so good at cooking meals in which there are many components (casseroles are my specialty). I can never get the timing down. So my lame cooking skills in addition to my low BG made for tonight’s dinner prep to be more of an extreme sport than I anticipated.
So as you can imagine, dinner got nasty burnt, but my husband ate it anyway. And also lectured me to turn off the stove and step out of the kitchen next time while I treat. I think I will listen to him.
Man, I am dizzy from the diabetes roller coaster I rode all weekend. Good, steady D-Days were a thing I could only dream about. This resulted in frustration, belly aches, annoyance, and a little more frustration.
The only culprit I can think of is that I had pizza and beer on Friday night. Even after commenting on Katy’s Combo Bolus Victory that if I make it 8 hours without a spike after eating high fat foods, I’m usually in the clear, I woke up Saturday morning with a BG in the 250s. My dexcom, it appears, was a liar. And made me eat my words.
I yanked it Saturday morning since it was off by over 100 (and was almost 3 weeks old, so…) and as you can see above, I was up and down all day.
The roller coaster continued on Sunday:
Up and down with a few good hours in the early morning while I was sleeping (and hadn’t eaten!). Just looking at food caused a BG spike this weekend.
Finally the last day of the holiday weekend was pretty normal and much prettier:
Phew. What a weekend. I don’t know if it was the pizza or diabetes just being a jerk as diabetes often is but it seemed like a constant game of cat and mouse. My pump was smoking from all the rage bolus and temp basal action. I’m starting to think that maybe eating the naughty foods just isn’t worth it any more. (Does this mean I’m an adult?)
And I am annoyed that according to my Dexcom, my average BG has gone up by 1 over the weekend. Lame.
I woke up this morning to a surprising BG of 271. What the what? I went to bed at 129. How the heck does this work??? I do remember waking up to the high alarm around midnight and I gave myself a small bolus of 1.5 units to bring myself down. I usually am a fan of the temp basal but I was obviously very sleepy!
I have my high snooze set at 60 minutes (Low is at 15) so I went back to dreamland confident that my Dexcom would wake me up if my BG didn’t come down. I really like to have good numbers overnight because this accounts for a third of the day and therefore good overnight numbers will lead to a better a1c. And that leads to baby time. Babies. Mush. (My uterus has been screaming for a tenant lately, but that’s another blog for another day)
You can see where this is going. My Dexcom didn’t wake me up and this morning I was surprised to see a 271 on my receiver. I checked my settings and realize that my High snooze had been turned off. I semi-sorta-kinda remember turning it off over the weekend because I didn’t want to be an annoying beeping cyborg while visiting my friend.
One should always remember to check her settings when one returns from a trip!
And, one needs to stop eating spaghetti. :o(
1. This week has been fairly “easy” on the dieting front. I haven’t given it much thought – logged my calories and moved on with my day. I haven’t been overly hungry or feeling annoyed that I
can’t shouldn’t eat XYZ. I’m feeling confident going into the weekend. I wish every week could be like this on the weight loss-front!
2. Sometimes, when I have a day that shows yellow on my CGM graph, I’ll change my high threshold just to see if it’s really that bad. My current high threshold is 170, so if I change it to 200, voila! Those pesky yellow lines disappear and I feel like I’m not the world’s worst diabetic. 🙂
3. I really want to start going to some of these awesome Diabetes conferences! Definitely a goal for 2014. Hope everyone’s having fun at the Friends For Life Conference in Orlando!!!
4. Apple with PB is my new favorite snack. Yum yum!
5. I cannot wait to see what my A1c is next month. However, I worry that if it’s at or below 7.o I’m gonna be all, “Let’s make a baby NOW!” when I know that logically, it’s not quite time yet.
Happy weekend DOC!
Well, I did OK-ish on the food front this week, however I don’t have a loss to report. Honestly, I’ve been struggling, especially on the weekends, for the past month. Since my nephew passed away, I’ve been turning to food for comfort. Which is typical of me, I am an emotional eater. Always have been. This is a constant struggle. I see food as comfort, a friend when I’m in need of one, a celebration, entertainment when I’m bored, etc. I recently ordered Ginger Vieira‘s book “Emotional Eating with Diabetes” and am very much looking forward to diving into it when it arrives. (Yes, I still read paper books. Maybe Santa Husband will get me a Kindle this year? *cough*HINT*cough*). I really hope this book will give me some tools to prevent over treatment of lows and to not abuse myself by abusing food. I’ll be sure to post a review once I read it.
The husband and I have been doing a pretty poor job of planning our weekend meals, which has led to lots of eating out. Related to what I said above, I have this mental block where I see eating out as a reward or celebration. The little devil on my shoulder tells me I’m not going to go to a restaurant and get something boring like grilled chicken and veggies when I can make that at home. I’m getting stuff I don’t normally cook – fried goodness, heavy pastas, etc. I think that the husband and I need to not only be better about including weekend meals in our menu planning, but I also need to remind myself that this is a journey and a process and going out to eat does not give me a free pass to throw calories out the window.
One victory I do have to post about is that I went back to the gym yesterday for the first time in over a month. I had previously posted about a fear of exercising because my blood sugar seems to behave pretty erratically when I work out. I’m really striving to keep things as steady as possible with less drastic blood sugar swings. This was making me hesitant to work out because of the naughty behavior of my blood sugar during and after exercise. But, after some encouragement from friends, I decided I need to face this head on. I like boxing and, duh, exercise is good for everyone but especially for a person with diabetes. So, I went to the gym yesterday and surprisingly, stayed level the whole time. Started my workout at 169, ended it at 161. I also was OK after too. I’m going to continue to play with this and take meticulous notes on my phone of my basal rates, snacks I eat, etc. to see if I can figure out a good game plan for boxing days. Go team?
My goals for this week are:
- Go to the gym at least 2 more times. (And make notes of snacks, BGs, etc. in relation to said workouts)
- Don’t let the weekend derail me.
- Make better decisions when dining out.
- Remind myself that food is fuel and question myself if I am eating due to emotions or boredom.
- And, not to fart whilst I exercise:
WooHoo! Lost a pound this week. I’ll be honest, I didn’t get back on the calorie counting wagon as much as I had hoped this past week. BUT, even though it took me a few extra days, I am now back on track and hopefully will see another pound (or more) gone this coming week. It may be a semi-challenging week with the 4th and going to a baseball game on Friday (hot dog and beer anyone?) but I think I’ll be OK. If I want to indulge, I will just make adjustments elsewhere.
On the recommendations of my CDE, a nurse during my yearly health assessment at work, and fellow blogger Allison :o), I’ve upped my calories to 1550/day. Seems totally do-able and hopefully I’ll see better results by eating a little more. We’ll see how it goes. On the Diabetes Front, I’m aiming to eat less than 60g of carbs per meal to prevent those big after meal spikes.
Exercise is, well…there. I’m struggling with it for a variety of reasons. The main one is that my blood sugar seems to react differently to it on different days and I really am working hard to keep my CGM graphs as smooth as possible. I need to figure out a solution though because I know how important exercise is to not only losing weight, but maintaining a healthy D-Life. I don’t know if this means choosing a different form of exercise or just being more aggressive with trying new things as far as basal rates when I go to boxing.
My goal for this week is to not let the holiday and baseball game derail me. And to be more focused on what I am eating over the weekend!