Monday, November 30, 2009

Branch of Support


It's a weird feeling being in a room with a bunch of people alike. A crowd of people that knows what you're going through, how you feel and where you are coming from. I have had a couple experiences where this has been the case. A group of diabetics all together, a feeling as if we all know each other some way or another.

At the George Canyon presentation it was neat to see all the people, mostly children that are always dealing with diabetes. Some so young, that I could barely grasp how much information that they know at such a young age. I often wonder if I was diagnosed much earlier, what it would have been like. My parents would know much more about the disease and would have had to help me much, much more. Not that they don't help me now, but at least at my age dealing with diabetes I can do partially on my own.

I am so appreciative of those who are young with diabetes. I am amazed by every single child that is living with this disease. Candy is a child's best friend and when you're young that's what the world revolves around. I recall going to the candy store with friends at lunch and loading up on candy, or at birthday parties getting a huge loot bag full of candy and chocolates.

Children with diabetes are unbelievable, and every time I meet one, or see one I feel like giving them a giant hug. Here I am, nineteen, diagnosed at age eighteen and feeling pressure and fear when dealing with my diabetes, how do they ever manage at their age.

Any diabetic out there that was diagnosed at a young age, and now are a teenager, adult or senior, you're also amazing. You have went through so many different stages of your life and here you are to talk about them all. You have battled so much, so much more than I will ever know as a diabetic now. Your strength is admirable.

For those who have just been diagnosed like me, I know that there is hope and support. After awhile we will be much like the rest but right now we seem alone and scared. I believe that after a year of this disease the days won't seem as hectic and the rules won't seem so rigid. I think that for newly diagnosed diabetics there is an enormous amount of support out there and I would happily want to be considered as another branch of support.

Kayla

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumpin'


In a small room, type ones and their family sat in their chairs waiting for George Canyon to arrive. Animas, a company that makes insulin pumps gave helpful information to families interested. There were tons of snacks lined up, crackers, cheese, fruit and vegetables as well as drinks of all kinds. The majority of the room was children, I'd say under the age of twelve but there were definitely a handful of older type ones.

My mom and I sat in the front, I pretty much insisted. Of course with that George many a number of remarks about me, one asking what I wanted to be when I was older and another about the fact I didn't raise my hand when he asked where the teenage type ones are. Oops, I didn't realize I was still a teenager! It was fun though, George really is very kind and you wouldn't even know is success from music just talking to him, it must be because he has type one diabetes! (haha)

This was the second time I met George, first at the Hamilton Warplane museum and second in Brantford. It was an amazing experience and previous to this event, a pump wasn't in my mind but now I am definitely thinking about getting an insulin pump.

What really convinced me was when George said, "I think this can add years to my life." For some reason that really struck me. The pump although not perfect is much better than the method I use now, (four needles a day, 3 of bolus, 1 of basal) so it's possible that with better care and more accurate judgements that I could be living a much healthier life.

I wouldn't be surprised that by the summer I am writing about my brand new pump. I am thinking about a pink one. I think, for me, it would be a step in the right direction as far as giving me the healthy and long life I want and that everyone wants.

I told Clinton last night, likely the only thing that is holding me back is the way that it looks. Carrying around a GPS like object all the time, with a tube coming off you, as if you were a robot. People will notice it, some people won't but it was the idea that it wouldn't be 'normal.' However, if I needed to wear a brace, needed to have a cane or wheelchair, I would but because with diabetes I have two ways of getting insulin, needle or pump. I am choosing needles. So to convince myself, I must forget about those needles and think as if the pump was the best and only option for me.

Kayla

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Love & Support


It's November and I've already been thinking about next years Walk to Cure Diabetes. I had so much fun doing it last year that I can't wait to do it this year. I want to go much bigger, and really make it a huge success. Hopefully I am able to work with Fanshawe to help Team KK double the amount of money we made from last year. Can we raise $5128? We can defiantly try.

I hope that I can get as many or more people than last year. I am sure that I can. I really will never forget that day. It is truly hard to explain how amazing I felt and how well my team came together. It's just an all around good time with friends and family.

I know that of course not everyone may get to experience this particular type of love but I am sure that you've given this love to someone else. Whether you're walking, raising money, or just giving support, you really are doing more than you think. No matter what a person is battling, it's important that we are there for them and support them. I am lucky that since day one, I have had this love and support.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Passing By


It is crazy to think of the number of people that flash before us daily, monthly, yearly. Of course we always see the same people, the people we know and have known for awhile but think about those people that pass by us, hold the door for us, even the people that you happened to be waiting in line in front of.

These people each have their very own unique story in some how become part of your own unique story. They become a part of your memories perhaps, you may forget them but you may have learned something from them. If you liked their hair colour, maybe you tried it, if you overheard their joke maybe you told it. I think everyone we meet makes an impact on our life, whether tiny or huge.

There are many people in my life that have made an impact on me. Some impacts are minuscule while others are enormous. Some people in my life have left, but leave a scar. It doesn't matter what you think of a person, how much you know about a person, they will always be a part of who you are today.

On March 13th I was past by a lot of people, I saw a lot of faces and overheard a lot of conversations. Pretty typical, anywhere we go this happens. I happened to be in three specific places that day. First I was at home. I was sitting on the couch, the love seat, on the right side. The phone rang, it was the nurse, I needed to go to the doctor's office.

I can recall yelling to my mom. I don't think I saw her just before I got into my car and left. I remember walking into the office, telling the secretary that I had received I call. I was put in the waiting room, for hours. Back and forth, back and forth, from room to room. The room was a baby room, there was a scale to weigh a baby, pictures of children on the walls, a chart I remember reading about what your baby should be doing according to age. I met a doctor that day, I don't remember his name.

A nurse there, whom I've met many, many times often peeked in and out on me. I was in tears, but no one ever offered a hand or help. The doctor acted as if I wasn't in too much of a serious situation. Those others in the waiting room I assume went home after their appointments. I went home too . . . to pack.

I only remember one specific person in the waiting room in Emerg. at the Brantford General Hospital. I assumed she was a drug addict, she looked burnt out, aged and gone. She was sitting behind me with wrapped arms, spaced out and shaking. I don't know what ever happened to her.

I can recall going into a smaller room, a lady checked my blood pressure and then I was sent into a bed in the actual emergency room. I remember a black Christmas like ball in front of my area, I can't exactly remember but I think it was number 6.

A nurse was there, her name is Katie. She walked into the area I was in and told me that she didn't mean to step on any toes but if I was interested I could look at a website. This moment happened to be a changing moment in my life. The website was Connected in Motion. If you have followed my notes, you know very well, that Chloe Steepe is the founder of this. Chloe Steepe is someone I look up too. I owe so much to Katie, and I never had the chance to tell her just how much she had changed my life from that point on. I had no idea that the simple task she did was going to change me. I finally after 8 months got to thank Katie last night.

After my parent's left the hospital, Clinton sat with me until I was transferred, his attempt on leaving failed, as I balled my eyes out saying, "Don't leave me here." We still joke about the people that we heard around us that night. The lady who constantly said, "hello, hello, hello!" to herself and a man who was telling his sick mother about all the spicy food Popeyes has. These people will always be a part of me, those their impact small. They are a memory Clinton and I share.

Once I was in my room, I remember the old lady that I shared the room with Marie. She was a sweet lady who kicked out my guests a few times or so. When I was first in my bed and didn't know who was beside me, I instantly thought back to the drug addict. I was scared she was beside me the entire night.

There were so many people that have made an impact on my life. The point I was trying to make is that, we pass by so many people each and every day. We don't always think about how much they are making an impact. We don't really think about what their story may be. We honestly don't have the time or the energy to hear them all, to think about them all, but we can try.

I want to just take a second to thank Katie. A job is a job, but when you go beyond in order to help, it's beyond amazing. Such a simple gesture has changed me so much. Thank you Katie.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fingertips



Last night as I got ready to give myself insulin, prick my finger and jump into bed, I paused. Before pressing the trigger to allow the sharp needle prick my finger I stopped. I really thought about what I had to do. Why I did it and how I felt about it?

It seems like everyday I do the same routine. I pull out my meter, a strip, I press the button and allow the needle to hit my finger tip and bleed. When it doesn't bleed enough, but I try it anyway, it tells me there is an error, I have to pick another finger and poke. Sometimes I have to milk my finger, massage it just to get enough blood. This is when my fingers go numb, they sting. I often get asked, "does it hurt?" I always say no.

My fingers are tough, marked with red dots. They are young but strong. Without testing there would be way to much guessing and I would eventually fall apart. My fingers are vital, they tell me truths and give me answers. My blood drips from these fingertips more than five times a day, by March 2010, at least 1825 times.

My fingers are more than pointers and ring holders, they are my life.

Kayla

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Factors



I don't know what it is, but my blood sugars have been normal for the past week. Knock on wood. I have been amazed with myself, not going over 10 for over a week now. What could it be?

There are a few different reasons that I can think of. First of all I have been trying to eat a little better even though it's really hard right now to have good proportions in college. Another reason this may be happening is because I increased my Lantus, long lasting insulin. I have nearly doubled units since being diagnosed but I think that was expected. Another reason could be the ginseng! I have read studies that ginseng reduces blood sugars, but supposedly they have only done studies for type 2's. I wasn't even aware I consuming ginseng until Clinton pointed out "More Ginseng & Caffeine" on my Diet Pepsi bottle. I have been drinking it a lot and for some reason since then my sugars have been pretty good. I had my lowest bed time blood sugar, 5.0, I have ever had last night. But of course this could just be something I factored in that has nothing to do with my diabetes, but who knows?

I am just happy that my blood sugars are in check, especially as the term is winding down and my schedule is becoming increasingly busy. The most important thing for me is to reduce my stress as much as possible because I know for a fact that causes my sugars to go crazy.

As long as I have the great support that I have had all along I can maintain my healthy lifestyle. Anyone can!

Kayla

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Less


This morning, I didn't feel hungry. It can be hard sometimes, when you're not hungry but diabetes insists you eat. This morning it worked in my favour, my sugar was a bit higher than average, 9, so I managed to pull off eating 24g of carbs yogurt until lunch. This meant one less needle for the day. Of course this rarely happens, and most mornings I rush to the kitchen to get breakfast, but there has been times on occasion where I get to skip the insulin.

It's funny to think that I used to be able to eat without taking any needles at all. It's strange that, that was only 8 months ago. Now, I feel weird if I don't have to take a needle. I often find myself envying those who can eat whenever they want and eat whatever they want.

I am surrounded by people who just dig in, as I get out my equipment. If only it was easier, if only diabetes would allow a couple days off even just one less needle.

Kayla

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Extra Baggage


You truly know how different you are when you’re trying to arrange your belongings in a clutch, having to make room for not only your wallet, lip gloss and cell phone but also your meter, needles and a snack. I think it can be a little stressful, and it shouldn't be.

I have found a way to fit all my stuff in the smallest of clutches. I have learned that bringing a chocolate bar as an emergency snack at a bar isn’t the best idea, it melts. I have also learned that no matter where I go I have to be in tune with my diabetes because it’s not going to give me a night off.

Last night, I went to the bar with ten other girls. I let my two roommates know that I had candy in my purse and asked them to please insist I have something to eat if I began acting weird. The biggest question was, “how do I know you’re not just drunk?” and unfortunately all I could say is, you will just know. In hopes that they would just know, I had my own responsibility to uphold. I know when I am low and I know when I am high, in most cases. I need to be aware.

I recall checking my sugar in the bar. Someone said, “ew!” another said, “what is that thing!” I found it amusing that people had no idea. It’s not their fault. I hope that I possibly allowed them to realize what diabetes was about. That people with disease don’t hide away from the world. We live it up.

It was funny when someone said, “What does 14.4 mean?” and I laughed and said, “bad news...” I quickly said my sugar is high but it’s okay because the alcohol will lower my blood sugar.

Although it felt a little hectic knowing I had to carry a little more baggage than the rest of the girls, I had a great time, and like everything I do, I learned from it.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Same Story


Diabetes happens around the whole world and I think for me, every time someone messages me from somewhere beyond Canada I realize just how much ground this disease has covered. It's not happening just here, it didn't just happen to me. I am not the only one.

I find it so weird, because most diabetics have a similar story to tell. It's after the diagnosis their stories differ but before it all went down our stories are much more alike. We all had to use the washroom more than average, we all had thirst, we were all diabetics in the making.

Here I am, sitting in my dorm room, testing my sugar, I can't grasp how many other people are doing the same thing. It's hard to imagine that people in the U.S are doing this, that people in Australia are managing this, and that people in China are coping with diabetes.

It is so funny to me, I mentioned it before. When someone adds me that is diabetic, we instantly have a conversation to engage in. It often feels like we have been friends for awhile and that despite living thousands of kilometres away we feel as if we know each other. How can this be?

People that are blond don't assume another blonde is their best friend, people that are Caucasian doesn't feel as if they know every Caucasian in the world. Why does a disease make people so familiar with each other? How is this bond created?

Personally, I believe it's beyond the label of the disease. Simply just because you're blonde doesn't mean you will click with another blonde because you don't have the same experiences, maybe a few but not likely. Being diabetic is beyond having diabetes. If that makes sense. People that have diabetes can relate to others with the disease because somewhere along the line we all had these life changing experiences. We have all had low sugars, high sugars, bad days, good days. It's something about living a life of injections and pricking that we instantly know their story.

I love being a part of the diabetic community. There are so many people that I have met from it that there is no way that I would turn back time and choose a different life. It's not like I choose this but if there was a choice, I'd decline. Those are strong words, but I speak from my heart. I truly believe that these people who have entered my life because of this disease are meant to be a part of my life. Every single person who is a part of my life means something different to me. They have taught me something about myself that I wouldn't have known otherwise.

I want to sincerely recognize diabetics, living all around the world, thousands of kilometres away with the same story.

Kayla

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sweet Treats


Movie theatres are filled with food and drinks that aren't healthy for anyone. For me, it's hard to see someone drink an extra large cup full of regular pop. Being very involved with counting carbs I instantly tally up the number and can't help but gasp. Not to mention all the other things that people are shoving in their mouths as they watch their movie.

Here is some numbers to maybe make it seem more real, or at least give you an idea what's going on in my head every time food is present (mind you these are approximate to the size you recieve in the theatre):

Six cups of movie theatre popcorn, 40 g of carbs.
5 cups of regular pop: 135 g of carbs.
A package of candy (Gummy Bears): 65 g of carbs.

Now that's a total of 240 grams of carbs, and even though you may be sharing this with a friend this is more than most people digest in one meal. Carbs may mean nothing to those who don't have to count them, but for me, digesting 240 grams of carbs means giving myself 16 units of insulin. If this doesn't make you think just how harmful the food we digest is, think about the calories. Approximatly 899 calories.

I know no one likes to read or hear this, and this is probably why when we are sitting at a table we turn the packages away so we don't end up reading the facts. The thing is, if we knew what we were eating chances are we wouldn't eat it. A bag of gummy bears doesn't look bad, and even if you do read the nutrition guide it's not going to tell you what the facts are for the whole bag, maybe not even for half the bag. These are the kind of things I have to look for.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not angel in nutrition. I enjoy eating some of these foods but I can't neglect insulin. It's so eye opening to know the facts behind the foods we eat so freely without worrying. If anything we are worrying about the calories rather than the extreme amount of carbs in things like regular pop and candy.

These numbers are very real. The damages these foods have to your body are real. I think that as a society people need to look at these labels with care, and realize an almost 1000 calorie, 240 gram snack isn't normal and isn't good for you.

Good ahead enduldge but be careful.

If you want an easy way to see what's in your food go to: www.calorieking.com

Kayla

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simple Words

After celebrating a wonderful World Diabetes Day, I am proud to say by midnight last night I successfully reached my goal of 100 hands for Helping Hands.

It was such a great moment to know that I reached a goal that at times I thought would be extremely difficult. Although the group is still open and I still welcome more hands, I want to thank every single person who put their hand up.

I know that it seems like a simple deed, a hand is just a hand. To me, your hand is support. Each hand that is posted, 104, means something different to me and to many other people. Some people posted their hand with their love ones in mind and although it seems like simple words written across hands of many different shapes, sizes and colours, behind them has a strong meaning, memory and feeling.

I think this project was especially important to me because when you are living with a disease, illness or just going through hard times, it's nice to have a hand. For any day of the week where you feel as if the world is against you or that you're the only one, all you have to do is glance through the hundred hands and realize you're not alone.

I guess some people don't understand my philosophy or why certain things are important to me, and I respect and understand that. It isn't for everyone but it's definitely for me.

My World Diabetes Day will never be forgotten, it will be a day that I will always celebrate.

Kayla

video

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Celebration


Happy World Diabetes Day Everyone!

Today is a busy day for me. I have company coming over to celebrate the occasion tonight much like many other diabetics that I know are doing. At first when I decided I wanted to have a party I wasn't sure if it was a little too strange of an idea. After realizing how big this was, I knew I was doing the right thing.

Around the world, countries light up special monuments blue. I would love to one day see one and now knowing that the Niagara falls is being lit up I will defiantly head there next year. I think it is one of those things that brings diabetics all around the world together to let each other know we are not alone.

To me, it means triumph and power to those who may feel lost in the disease. It's not an easy disease and it is a 24 hour battle. Babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults, seniors, you're not alone.

For World Diabetes Day I want my guests and people who look at the pictures to realize how important support is to me. Without my close friends and family I wouldn't be as successful with diabetes. Like mentioned many times this isn't something you can do alone.

I want to reflect today about some key things that have happened over the past 8 months and since being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes:

The first symposium I ever attended was in Hamilton. It was the first time I ever saw Chloe Steepe, previously hearing about her in the emergency room. It was one of those days that I think to myself, if I didn't go where would I be today? I also met Anne Martin that day from JDRF who has been amazing to me since day one.

Doing the Mud Run had to be one of the most exciting things I have ever done and I can't wait for next year. Michelle, Clinton, Mom and I all participated in the Mud Run in Toronto with Connected in Motion. Our shirts were empowering themselves with, "Down and Dirty with Diabetes across them."

Team KK, the amazing team that was created for the Walk to Cure Diabetes 2009. With out all of you, I wouldn't have had such an outstanding team. Team KK inspired me to be more,do more and really allowed me to continue on. This team made me realize just how much the friends and family I have love me and support me.

Seeing George Canyon was an amazing experience that I shared with my Aunt Lisa. It was amazing to hear a celebrity tell their story about living with diabetes. Also to sit with other diabetics made you realize that your day to day struggle is shared by many.

Speaking at Fanshawe about diabetes was very inspiring. Just being asked to do something like that made me extremely happy and excited. I really took that moment in and realized how lucky I am to be where I am today. Without Melanie Baker I wouldn't have gotten such an amazing experience like that.

Going to special events with tickets provided by JDRF has really been fun! First were the tickets to Canada's Wonderland that Sam and I enjoyed. I then recently got tickets to see Radio City Christmas Rockette which was a great time that I shared with my Aunt Lisa and Grandma.

I also want to reflect on my three biggest projects, my blog, scrapbook and Helping Hands group. I really take pride into these three things and I am so lucky that I have people interested in all three of them.

This blog of course has been running since March, and I try very hard to write every day but of course like everyone else, I have busy days.

The scrapbook is a collection of everything I mentioned previous plus more. It is something that I love to take around to the hospital, family gatherings and when I have friends over.

My group Helping Hands, was started in October and now has 184 members and 84 pictures uploaded. It really is inspiring every time I look at a hand.

There are so many other things that diabetes has given me and that I would love to reflect on. I must admit I reflect about diabetes often.

Today is a day of celebration. Celebrate diabetes for the good things it brings you, hope, inspiration, and love.

Kayla

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thirteen


Friday the 13th.

If you're superstitious you probably are being extra cautious today, maybe you're not even going out at all. For me, I am debating whether or not Friday the 13th is lucky or unlucky for me and honestly I wasn't really looking forward to today.

The last Friday the 13th we had, was in March. Which means, that the last Friday the 13th we had I was hospitalized for a blood sugar of 24. This lead to me being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that day as well.

So the obvious conclusion would be Friday the 13th are unlucky for me. I always said that. I always would tell people, "I was diagnosed March 13th.. it was Friday the 13th." People would act scared and say how creepy it was but I started to think last night about it possibly being a lucky day for me.

It wasn't like I was in a coma that day. I wasn't really sick or close to my death bed. In fact I felt great that day, and I was pretty giddy sitting upright in my hospital bed. If it wasn't for the doctors and blood work I would have had a pretty basic Friday the 13th, but if I kept going on and on without getting help those first options could have been very much real.

Could Friday the 13th be the day I was saved? Did I get diagnosed at the perfect time before it all started to hit me? How much weight could I have went on losing without seeking help. It makes me wonder, just how lucky Friday the 13th is.

I think that the stigma around the day is strange. Why people from all different places know that it's a haunted day yet most of us carry on with our lives. I am sure there are many other days of the year that cause people bad fortune and sadness.

But I don't think my Friday the 13th is bad anymore. After realizing what diabetes has brought me, so much good rather than bad. I seem to believe that today will be a good day. If I am positive like I was in the hospital this very same day exactly 8 months ago, than I can proceed through the day without the haunting number 13 following me around.

Diabetes is in no way unlucky to me and neither will be the day I was diagnosed.

Kayla

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Radio City


Last night I went to the Radio City Rockette Christmas Spectacular in Hamilton. I was lucky enough to get free tickets from Anne Martin who works for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.) I decided to bring my Aunt Lisa as well as my Grandma.

The show was really great! There were a lot of neat routines and my favourite was the toy soldiers. There was a moment when I looked around and realized how much diabetes has given me. I have had so many different opportunities and experiences from this disease that if I could have prevented it and continued living the way I did, I would never want too.

It's funny how people laugh when I say diabetes is the best thing that has ever happened to me. They think that I am insane and that I am just making excuses because I got it and there is nothing I can do about it. But they're wrong. I can do something about diabetes. Of course I can't get rid of it right now but I can work with it and it works with me. I think of diabetes as a part of me but I am in control.

It's just amazing. It's nice to just take a minute and be thankful for what you have. I don't do it often enough. I don't think anyone does it often enough. So take this opportunity, before continuing on with this note take a minute remind yourself what you have.

I hope that you took the time. I know I did. It's easy to forget how much we have and looking around the Copps Coliseum last night watching the show it hit me.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Searching for Lantus


Last night I was on the search for Lantus. Lantus is insulin that I take at night around 10:30 p.m. It's my basal insulin which I think of as background insulin. Throughout the day it constantly drips into my system to keep it moderated while before meals I take Nova Rapid which is my bolus insulin, this insulin spikes when I consume food only.

The reason why I was on the search was because I ran out. I took 20 units of Lantus at 10:30 and then threw out the pen. My Lantus pen is disposable after a certain amount of uses. After going to my fridge and peeking into the lunch bag where I keep all my insulin, I realized the only thing in there was Nova Rapid.

I am sure you can imagine how I instantly felt. I couldn't believe I wasn't prepared since I am almost always prepared when it comes to having all the diabetes stuff that I need. I often have boxes of strips just in case as well as a couple metres, and here I am with the most important thing of all missing, insulin!

I instantly panicked. I realize I could have found a pharmacy but I knew it would be a hassle since I have no written prescription and they would have to get it as well as deal with my insurance. For some reason at that moment I just needed to know I had it. Insulin is my life, seriously.

I talked to a couple other diabetics about the situation. My friend Mitch told me if worse comes to worse take Nova Rapid every hour, even throughout the night. That made me think, why didn't the doctors tell me this? You can't expect diabetics to be on top of things all the time, just because insulin is our life line doesn't mean we can't leave it behind!

I instantly thought of contacting the diabetic that I met here a couple months ago. I tried hard to get a hold of him but no luck until his friend came online and helped me out. It was midnight and I was walking over to his residence to get myself some insulin. However, despite having the same type of insulin it wasn't the pen like mine, rather a fancier pen like that of my Novalin-Pen 4. I would have to wait the next day, as in today, to go over there at 10:30 p.m and give myself a shot there. It was complicated and because of fluids probably wasn't the safest despite having our own needles.

Instead I called up my mom, and begged her to bring my insulin this morning. So thanks to her I now have some Lantus to use for tonight and the stress of it all, is gone. Like I mentioned before, stress is not good for me. To say the least I got barely any sleep and all I could think about was my insulin.

I know now, to make sure that I am always prepared but as you know just as well as I do, it's hard to stay on top of things. I find it hard just because I have so many different things right now to stay on top of without even including all my diabetes problems and gear.

Kayla

Monday, November 9, 2009

Perfect Blood Sugars!


It feels like I can't have a day with perfect blood sugars! For once in my life I want to have a day between 5-7 even though they do say that I can be between 5-10. Today I have stayed within the 7 range thus far and that puts me in a pretty good mood.

Diabetes is hard to manage, it seems pretty simple, eat healthy and exercise but there is so much more to it than that. I feel like it's a constant game about how much insulin to give yourself for a meal. Of course they give you a ratio, mine is 1 unit per 15 grams of carbohydrates, however; this isn't the case all the time.

So many different things alter your blood sugars besides food. For everyone I am sure it's different. I find that stress and mood play a huge factor on my blood sugar. If I am having a lot to get done in a short time, my sugars will be high. If I am put into a difficult situations or I am overwhelmed my sugars will drop. Ask Clinton this, anytime I am in a store and I am given a choice or have to pick, I often go into low blood sugars. I went low in Target one time, waiting for my mom to tell me if I could purchase something, another time I went into low blood sugar when I was at the bulk barn and had to pick candy for cupcakes. Now it's a joke that shopping makes me have low blood sugars, dollar stores especially.

It's difficult to manage diabetes when things that are hard to control effect your blood sugar. Sometimes different foods take longer to digest, such as pizza. So you may find yourself giving the correct amount of insulin but it doesn't peak appropriately to when your pizza is actually being digested.

But I must admit over the past couple months I haven't been as strict with myself, but I made a promise that I would. I need to help my body and leaving it without the support it needs is not a good idea. This can lead to diabetes related complications and that's not an option for me.

I think the biggest thing with diabetes is for people to understand that it's not just about what you eat. It's also about what you do, how you feel and think. It takes so much time and effort out of our daily lives than people without diabetes can imagine. We are constantly thinking about our disease because everything around us constantly is altering our blood sugars.

Kayla

Sunday, November 8, 2009

3 Million People


World Diabetes Day is November 14th.

What does world diabetes day mean to me?

World Diabetes Day is a mark in the year that reminds us all of those that are living with diabetes. By 2010 more than 3 million people will be living with some form of diabetes. It could be your neighbour, friend, mother, classmate or you. Diabetes is a disease that effects so many people, people who don't even have the disease themselves. Parents take care of their diabetic children, teachers provide help for their diabetic students and most of all best friends provide support for their diabetic friend.

This year is my first time celebrating World Diabetes Day, and I am sure for a lot of my friends and family this is their first too. Unfortunately it takes someone close to us to be touched with a disease or illness in order for us to celebrate an occasion such as this, of course that's not always the case. I will be the person with the disease if you will celebrate and remember this day. You don't have to do anything special, but just don't forget.

Diabetes isn't something you can avoid, at least we don't know this yet. Type 1's didn't overeat, or forget to exercise and they eat too much sugar. We are not obese, unhealthy or fat. We are just like you, we ate wise and exercised, it just happened.

World Diabetes Day is more than important to me. I am celebrating it with good friends. I planned a party and I wish that I had a big enough place to fit everyone that has supported me throughout this time. I would have to rent out a gymnasium to fit all of the people that have given me a hand, words of hope as well as opened their heart up to me. To all of you, I thank you for being there for me.

I know that November 14th 2009 will be a day full of love, support and fun.

Kayla

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Not Average


Today was one of the first times that I skipped having lunch and also had a late supper. At first I thought it would be a big challenge but my blood sugars worked with me well throughout the day.

Today, I took my sister to see Justin Bieber. We thought we would just have to show up at 10 a.m get a wrist band then come back for 4 p.m to see him; however this wasn't the case. Instead we showed up at 9 a.m then waited in line outside from then till about 5:30 p.m. It rained, hailed, snowed and the temperature had to be only 3 degrees Celsius.

Fortunately we brought some snacks but unfortunately we didn't bring mittens, blankets or hats. Abby only had a sweater on and I was just wearing a pretty thin coat. So we were freezing!

My blood sugars stayed pretty normal throughout the day, and I think it is because of the snacks that we had while we waited, by the time we ate supper about 7 p.m my blood sugar was 9, which is good considering I had no supper and only snacked throughout the day.

Overall I really learned that nothing can hold back a diabetic. There is no reason why we can't do something that other people can do, and it's all about experimenting. Checking your sugar is probably the most important thing when dealing with a day that may seem unsure or not average. It worked for me, so I know it can work for anyone else.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November

With World Diabetes Day only 10 days away my goal of collecting hands is becoming more and more exciting. My group on Facebook, Helping Hands has 108 members thus far and I have 26 hands collected. This is a lot but not yet close to the goal of 100.

World Diabetes is November 14th. I never personally knew this until recently. I wonder why? I wonder if companies are doing anything to celebrate diabetes month. Do people know this is diabetes month?

I want to make it known that November is the month to celebrate diabetes. Although many diabetics out there would say every month, day, minute and second is about diabetes. November allows not only diabetics but people that support them get together and really think about this disease whether it be type 1 or type 2. I think that diabetes should be told about. I don't think that hiding this disease is going to prevent it from happening.

Can we buy products that support JDRF or other diabetes related foundations? Correct me if I'm wrong but I know a lot of other diseases that appear to have more public awareness. I shouldn't really say much because in reality I have not done research but I wish that I had known about this disease a bit more before I was diagnosed with it. I wish that people that are at high risk for diabetes or know someone with diabetes would just take time to listen and get involved.

I think this November is different from any other November I have ever experienced. Since being diagnosed people are very much aware of my dedication to providing support and involvement and if it takes me multiple Novembers to make this change known than so be it! I will work towards this goal not only in November but ever single month, day, minute and second.

All I ask is for your co-operation. I honestly can give it my all, which I try very hard to do, but in the end the support from you, friends, family and peers are what make my dream possible. I know that too someone who has not been exposed to a diabetes may find this unimaginable and pointless but too me, I see a light at the end of this and I am not willing to back down.

This November I am asking all of you. My friends, aunts, classmates, uncles, boyfriend, mother, sister, father and neighbours please work with me this month to help make a change. Diabetes has given me a reason to do more, try hard and really work towards something that many believe is impossible.

We can make it possible.

Kayla

video

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Safe?


I read an article today titled, "Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Safe?" It seems that, that would relate to me because anytime I am given a, "No Sugar Added" treat the nutrition guide is bombarded by words like Sucralose and Aspartame which are in fact artificial sweeteners that are currently proven safe.

I rarely eat treats of this nature but I must say Diet Coke is my drink of choice. Not that I'm drinking cans and cans a day but I do tend to drink maybe one a day or at least 5 out of 7 days. It seems like I rather drink something that doesn't raise my blood sugars like milk would or juice. Plus diet pop is really easy to just grab and go.

I am sure a lot of people are this way, diabetic or not. But of course, people claim bad effects about drinking diet pop and using artificial sweeteners. What's a diabetic to do?

I try to avoid these products, since they do tend to my stomach hurt, not diet coke but the chocolates and hard candies. It's clearly not 'good' for you considering the symptoms I get when I eat such products but it makes me wonder, when will they make something safe for diabetics to enjoy?

Okay, so I realize I should be eating healthy and having a real chocolate bar is fine as long as I take insulin. But I can't wait for them to create a product, a snack that diabetics can eat without any worry. That will be the day.

To read this article go to:
www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/are-artifical-sweeteners-really-safe

Kayla

Monday, November 2, 2009

Diabetics of the World


I've come to realize that although we live all around the world, different cities, countries and homes there is a lot that is familiar among us. We may not eat the same food or have the same morals but there are people out there that share our battles and triumphs.

I learned this through diabetes. It seems when I was first diagnosed or I should go back to when I first started having symptoms of diabetes, I thought I was all alone in this world. I was the only one who had to use the washroom every half hour, the only one who lost weight without complete reasoning and the only one who felt alone and scared.

It first occurred to me that I wasn't alone when I got the chance to sit down with Chloe Steepe ( founder of Connected in Motion.) After hearing her story of how she was diagnosed I felt as if she was telling my story. This happens all the time now, someone will talk to me about diabetes and it's like we instantly know each other. There is a connection between us, and it doesn't matter that we may be 1000 of kilometres away from one another.

I am sure this relates to lot of different things not only diseases but interests and hobbies. However, having diabetes is scary and you often feel like this is a battle you just can't fight alone. "When will my sugars be normal," "Why do I have to give myself insulin!" "I'm sick of this disease!"

When you realize that there are people out there, so far from you, that are following different laws, living in a different manner than you but they are completely on the same path as you, it's amazing.

Support is absolutely the biggest part of having diabetes. It seems every diabetic I meet is amazing. Okay, that's bias but truly. Type 1 diabetics, to me, know that there is a cure out there. They are willing to do more than sit and pout. We take action and try hard to fight this disease that has changed all of our lives in many different ways. Diabetics stick together. We are a team. We don't let diabetes tell us when our end is, we fight for every second.

To me, being diabetic is more than a label for announcing my disease. Being a diabetic is part of who I am. All around the world, there are these people, diabetics. They live in all parts of the world, they have different morals and values, diabetics are diverse. Yet we all can come together and make a change, how beautiful is that?

Kayla

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Diabetic Tomorrow



Halloween is like one of those dreams where they're scary but there is a part of the dream that makes you extremely excited and thrilled. For me at least, this year, Halloween was a dream.

This was my first Halloween as a diabetic. Thankfully I'm nineteen and going door to door collecting candy wasn't on the to-do list; however, eating candy was definitely on the list of things to do. How could I not have candy?

Clinton and I decided we would make some Halloween cupcakes for the party we were going to that night. We headed to the dollar store and the bulk barn to stock up on candy and cake mix to make the, 'spooky' cupcakes.

Wow, is all I can say, as I walked up and down the isles of the bulk barn. So much candy was packed into the little plastic containers in which you can take as much as you want and put into plastic bags. Jelly beans, gummy bears, macaroons, so much candy. I read the odd label, just curious at the carb count. 99 g, 75 g, 100 g.... I couldn't believe it. I automatically associated it with insulin. Almost 7 units of insulin for not even a cup of candy. My head was spinning and my legs were shaking. Wait, could this be a low?

I was excited, it seems odd. My legs were shaking intensely and I checked my sugar with hopes of a possible 5.0 or even a 4.5, so that I could at least have a little piece of candy. To my surprise I was a 3.9 or if you're American, 70 mg. Clinton told me I could pick anything but to be quick. Quick? When I'm low, I think not.

I skimmed up and down the isles, panicking, just overwhelmed. Clinton kept saying, "I know you can't pick but please just find something." I grabbed the metal shovel and poured gummy frogs into a plastic bag and we rushed to the counter to pay. I thought it was just good timing but Clinton I was faking so that I could have something. I had a meter to prove my low.

After all was said and done and my sugar had climbed back up we began on our way to make the cupcakes, which only lead to more sugar coated experiences. Licking the bowl, trying out the candies, the whole bit. Before I knew it my sugar was 19. Of course! I kept telling Clinton, I'll have diabetes tomorrow but today I just want candy.

I know it's horrible to say something like that, but I just couldn't help it. Halloween is hard! There are candies in bowls everywhere, people giving you little plastic treat bags of candy and everyone is talking about candy. How can I, someone who eats one mini chocolate bar and spikes up, not want to try some of this candy everyone is talking about.

I think for that one day, Halloween, I didn't do too bad. Of course I had extremes on both ends but I managed them quick and effective. Since I said I'd be a diabetic tomorrow, which is today, I will start again, back to my good habits.

Kayla