My Motivation

Continuing with the #happydiabetic challenge for Diabetes Awareness month…

Today, I’ll make it brief and say, my motivation for taking care of myself is to have the longest life with my husband, Fermin that I possibly can.

As I get older, and am most likely at least to the half way mark on life, I realize more and more how precious each day of life is- and how lucky I am to have my health totally in tact right now. I hope to not only live a long life, but to also a healthy one, up until the very end of it.

Many things we can’t control.  Crazy and unexpected things can happen, and I realize that.  But the things I can control, like my blood sugar?  HELL YES!

I’m going to do everything I can to make this the very best life.

Being Human

Today I went to IKEA to pick up a small bookshelf and some extra hooks for a peg board I got there a few months ago.  Sounds like a quick and easy errand, right?  Except it’s IKEA. Anyone who’s ever been there knows: it’s a maze, and it’s nearly impossible to get out of there fast.

I had stopped for lunch on my way there, which means I had recently taken insulin.  Because I planned to go on a hike with Lucy as soon as I got home from my “quick errand”, I took a little less than I usually do at lunchtime. Anyway, it’s always a guessing game and every day, needs change for reasons we can measure and understand (i.e. how many carbs we are consuming, how much insulin we are taking, how active we are immediately afterward) and there’s also all the mysterious elements we don’t understand, can’t measure, and really don’t even know about that play into things as well.  Trust me, it’s complicated.

I felt like I was walking around and around, not really getting anywhere.  But that’s sort of how I always feel at IKEA, don’t you?  Those arrows on the floor started to feel very frustrating.  I felt like surely, I must be getting near the end of the road. Eventually, I found the hooks I was looking for.  But as I looked at the package, my brain felt so muddled.  How many hooks were actually in there?  And were they the same shape?  And how many was I suppose to get?  And why the hell was my vision tripping me up so hard?

Just then, I heard the ambulance sound my Dexcom app makes as a warning when I’m having “urgent low blood sugar”.  Ah ha! That explains the big mental struggle I was having.

I reached into my purse for my preferred method of quick sugar to raise my blood sugar- Mentos!  But I only had about 6 left in the package.  “That’s probably enough to get me out of this,” I thought. But I also realized my brain was just failing me, so really… what did I know?  What if it wasn’t enough?

I tried thinking rationally. I thought I could always buy some candy or a Coke there, but then, with that confusing maze, how could I find it quickly.  Could I just ask a nearby stranger if they happened to have any sugar they could give me?  OH. NO.

I was getting dizzier and more confused by the second.  And I was having little black spots in my vision that I sometimes get when my glucose level drops severely low. There was nothing left for me to do, so I just sat down in the middle of the aisle.

And within just a minute or two, a girl appeared out of no where, and leaned down and said, “Do you need help?  Are you okay?”

Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what was said between us, but it went something like this.

Her, again, because I think I was just staring and not responding to her first questions: “Really, anything you need. I can get you water, or food, or just whatever.  Just let me know how I can help you.  I work here. We have a care team for stuff like this and I can get them to give you whatever help you need.”

Me: “Well…  I’m not ok. But I think I will be.  I’m sorry. Maybe it would help if I  could get some quick sugar- like juice.”

I felt stupid and embarrassed, but also desperate and grateful she showed up when she did.

She walked away for a minute, and then came right back to let me know she had told them (the “care team”) where she was so they could come to us.  She sat with me as I kept apologizing and telling her that I thought I was already feeling much better. She said, “Hey, this is no big deal.  I’m more than happy to help you.  This is just BEING HUMAN.”  She told me her grandfather had diabetes so she remembers him having trouble like I was, when she first noticed me. I had asked her how she noticed I was struggling and she said, “Well, I don’t normally see anyone plop down in the middle of the store- usually not even kids, unless something’s really wrong.”  Who knew that was the universal SOS cry?!

As soon as the two care team people showed up with some orange juice, I was just overcome with emotion.  I think I was scared, freaked out, and as a bonus, my brain was just really struggling to come out of it’s deep fog.  And I found myself not only on the floor, drinking oj with 3 IKEA employees around me, but then all of the sudden, crying.  And truthfully, I was just crying because I was thinking how sometimes, being human is such a fragile, and also nice thing.  I was reminded that that’s really what we as humans are all about.  Helping each other when we suffer the proverbial fall.

Being human.

It’s not that big of a deal.

But GOD, do I appreciate it.

Blood Sugar Roll Call

I’m not totally sure what is meant by today’s topic put out by the #happydiabeticchallenge – I guess I’m suppose to shout out my current blood sugar?

Here’s mine right now:

That looks great, but let me tell you- had you seen me about an hour ago at the dog park, it dipped (I think) more than this graph shows, and I was NOT looking so good then.  I had to cut me and my boy’s time out there a little short because I was feeling like crap, as it took a while to get back above that magical 65/70 spot that makes all the difference. I had candy with me, but I HATE eating crap to treat a low.  So instead, I ate half a Larabar.  Way healthier, but it also takes a lot longer to bring my blood sugar up. Fortunately for me, I’ve got a patient dog. He was happy to take a load off while we waited for me to start feeling human again.

And if we could go back even further and look at the past 24 hours of that graph, you’d see I also got out of my “desirable” range (WELL above it, in fact) for no reason yesterday afternoon before dinner.  I brought it down, and felt pretty good about where it was at when I went to bed.  But around midnight, that bitchy blood sugar had a mind of it’s own and shot back up around 150 and hovered there all night.  I like to sleep through the night with a lower blood sugar than that and usually I do, but lately, that’s not the case.

(*Note.  I took a screen shot of my Dexcom readings for the 24 hour period to put here, but when I tried to post it, or import it into photos on my computer it said due to security reasons, I was not allowed to do that. Sorry there’s no graphic here. )

So I sort of call BS on this Blood Sugar roll call.  Saying what my blood sugar is in ONE moment, does NOT tell the full story of even a 24 hour period.

 

The Bright Side of Diabetes

(#happydiabeticchallenge)

I don’t have a hard time seeing the bright side of my Type 1 diabetes at all.

I’ve said it before on this blog and I’ll say it again:  I am most likely healthier because I have Type 1 diabetes. Here’s why I say that:

*I’m always very mindful of what I eat, since I have to take insulin anytime food enters my mouth.  Eating crap like donuts just doesn’t seem worth it to me.  I don’t want to take the time to figure out when to dose my insulin, exactly how much to take, etc to avoid a super high blood sugar.  I’m lazy like that, so it’s easier to just abstain from donuts. And other similar crap.

*Even on days I don’t feel like getting much exercise, I do it, without fail, because I know what a big difference it makes on my blood sugars for that day. It’s a form of instant gratification for me.

*If I feel like I’m getting sick, one of the first symptom I always have is a rise in my blood sugars.  I’m not sure why, but I take it to mean that my body is under extra stress, fighting something off. So, I take it super easy and get extra rest on that day.  And usually, the result is that I don’t end up getting sick.  I have a feeling if more people just tried sleeping when they were feeling the start of a cold or something minor like that, they might be able to fight it off almost immediately upon waking from a good long nap. I’m not kidding!  The power of sleep is a beautiful mystery.

*I regularly see my endocrinologist.  Like most Type 1s, I go to my doctor about 3 times a year.  If something is off in my bloodwork, even if it’s beyond my blood sugar, I’m made aware of it.  She asks me questions and reminds me about other doctor’s I need to check in with like my opthamologist, a screening for my heart health, etc. In other words, regularly seeing a physician as I do, I get reminded often about the condition of my health. And because of that, I don’t ignore things.  (Most things.  Although, every now and then, I definitely blow some things off for longer than I should. Hello, gynocologist- I don’t enjoy my visits with you.)

I think I am lucky to have Type 1.  If I had to get a challenging disease thrown at me, I’m glad it was this one.  I watched my Mom endure chemotherapy after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  I wish she had just had Type 1 instead, and she’d more than likely still be here, living a totally normal life.

I try to never complain about diabetes.  I personally don’t have a reason to.  I know other people that have faced huge challenges because of it that I, fortunately, haven’t had to deal with. Living in the moment is a good practice.  And in this moment, all is well.  And that’s one of the many bright sides I see.

Biggest Supporters

Day 6 of the #HappyDiabeticChallenge: “Biggest Supporter”

The obvious answer could be, FERMIN!, my husband.  Because it’s true- he’s great.  He knows a lot about my diabetes and if I ask him to help me with something related to it, he will. He’s supportive enough.

But you know who is truly the best support team I have?

My loyal companions, Lucy and Ricky.  They support me by walking with me every single day.  Miles and miles and miles and miles.  Rain or shine.  And they’re always happy to do it.  And that daily ritual has a very positive effect on my blood sugars and my sensitivity to insulin.

Also, I’m pretty sure they know when my blood sugar hits an extreme low.  They seem to get up in my face when I’m low. They probably smell a difference in me or something.

If I’m not feeling good, they’re more than happy to lay around with me as long as necessary.

The best companions, and the best supporters a girl could ask for.

 

 

 

Diabetes and Style

Today’s topic from the #happydiabeticchallenge is “diabetes and style”-

That topic may better apply to pump users, which I am not.  So for today, this is all I got- My super cute felt coin purse that I use to carry my glucometer. So much better than the boring black thing it came with.  I’ve used this for several years now, after a friend gifted it to me. I love my little hedgehog!

Once the time comes that it wears out, I’ve already got the back up waiting in the wings…

Diabetes Awareness Month #HappyDiabeticChallenge

If you’ve found this blog, you’re likely either a/ a fellow diabetic, or b/ you know or love someone with diabetes. And you probably know that November is diabetes awareness month.

I’ve been far and away from this blog for a long while, but after seeing a post on Instagram about the #happydiabeticchallenge during this special month, I decided that was a great way to jumpstart things around here.

I’m a few days late, but each day, there’s some quick little thing to post about and I figured I would do it here, maybe with a little more verbiage than on Instagram.

So I’m cramming the first three days of it onto this one post.  (Don’t worry, they’re short!)

  1. Introduce Yourself.   I’m Kerri.  I’m a Type 1 Diabetic, and I have lived with it for, I think, 24 years now.  I was in my early 20s when I was diagnosed, but I’m not absolutely sure of the exact date. I use a Dexcom- not the latest version, yet- and take multiple daily injection.  I live healthfully and happily most days with diabetes, and by no means consider it the enemy. I’ve recently moved from Dallas, TX to Roxborough, Colorado.  My husband and are are both Texas natives, and we are so happy to finally be in a new and beautiful place.  I now have great hikes each day with our two Aussies, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.  Do I wish we had gotten out here sooner?  Well, I think everything happens in its right time.  I appreciate all the beauty around me, the lack of traffic and concrete jungleness, and having 4 true seasons all the more, because I waited so long to have it.  I appreciate every single day of this beautiful life.
  2. Type of Diabetes. As mentioned above I’m a TYPE 1.  Hence, the name of this blog.  I find the confusion between the types of diabetes so annoying, because it leads to most people making (usually wrong) assumptions about my disease.  But, that’s just the thing- this particular case of diabetes, which happens to be Type 1, is MINE.  So even if I compared myself to other Type 1s, it’s all so different, and our bodies and ways of coping are just so individualized. But still, we can all learn from each other whether we have the same diagnosis or not.  We all aim to live as healthfully as possible.
  3. Pens, Pump, or MDI. I also gave this one away on the introduction paragraph.  MDI stands for multiple daily injections.  And I DO mean multiple.  I take one shot of Tresiba once a day, and shots of Humalog prior to eating a meal, and more shots whenever things are higher than the range I aim to stay in.  (In my case, I like my blood sugars to fall somewhere between 70-130 .)

Now I’m all caught up on things with the #happydiabeticchallenge so far.  And from this point on, for the rest of the month, I’ll just do a short post once a day on the given topic.

I hope to read about other people’s experience that also participate in this little challenge- all about sharing our experience with diabetes.