Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Competition


I can hardly believe that next week is the last week of the term. It seems that life has been put on fast forward for the past few years and I haven't found a way to slow it down. Although at times I want to fast forward through essay writing and long lectures, I wouldn't mind slowing down with the good times that seem to go by in seconds.

As the end of term approaches I am busy studying. Not only am I busy studying like everyone else, but I am trying to perfect my diabetes. My next D.E.C appointment is slowly approaching and with that a little competition is going on. My friend, Mitch who is also a diabetic has an appointment on the same day - in which we see the same nurse. The challenge is to have the best A1C. Of course lately my sugars have been nothing but high possibly due to stress, but I am working hard to win.

Did I mention the prize is a doughnut? Okay, so not the best diabetic food prize, but just because we are diabetic doesn't mean we don't enjoy a carb packed doughnut - something I haven't had in years.

I look forward to this challenge - and what makes the competition even more fierce is that at our last appointment (which was on the same day as well) we both had the same A1C . . .

Kayla

Monday, November 29, 2010

Frustration


As everyone can imagine it can be a little strange having to constantly wear a 'pager' like object on you at all times. To make it a little stranger the 'pager' has a tube that connects to your stomach. Sometimes I look down and think, "wow, this is weird..." I am sure people look at me sometimes and wonder what it is and what it does. I wish I could let them know sometimes, because chances are they would ask if they knew how open I was about it.

I amaze myself about how accepting of it I am myself. I can get so angry over the smallest things, but when it comes to my diabetes for some reason I can suck it up and move on. Last night as I was rolling around in bed trying to get to sleep I had to keep adjusting my pump that was clipped to the top of my pajamas. I usually do this since if I roll onto my side I have to make sure I am not lying on my pump (for comfort reasons) and visa versa.

For a quick second I was frustrated - I wanted to rip it off and just sleep, but I quickly calmed myself and adjusted. As much as I love it - I hate it. It's a love hate relationship, but it's really hard to hate something that saves your life every day.

Sometimes it is nice to see it off me. Like after I get out of the shower, sometimes I don't re clip it until it's been nearly an hour just to give myself a break. I barely take any basal insulin an hour so it's safe. I just feel like me a little more without it.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"OH!"


There is an entire community of diabetics - like a subculture, diabetics have this way of relating to one another as if they had been neighbours, best friends or colleagues for years. We have a way of getting together and talking about diabetes without the worry of explaining. Phrases like, "OH! I know exactly what you mean!" and "SAME!" float around because even though we all live in different places, and were raised in all different kinds of ways we all share one common factor, diabetes.

I think having a diabetic blog is so important even though I never knew this when I first started writing. The more diabetes blogs I come across the more I realize how universal my blog can be. People from Australia, America and Europe can all relate to my blog even though, here I am all the way in Canada in a medium size city that is pretty much known for Wayne Gretzky and Alexander Graham Bell talking about something that is happening all around the world - not only too me.

One of my goals - or dreams I should say is that I can reach other to as many diabetics as possible. I want not only to present them a blog with things that they can relate to, but show them that they're not alone in their disease. No matter where you are around the world - this blog can be a peace of mind and something that you can turn to to say, "OH! I know exactly what you mean!"

Kayla

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pinky Vacation


I would assume that a lot of diabetics go through the, "I am to lazy to check my sugar phase" and maybe this happens a lot to people - I know that I have days where that is the last thing that I want to do.

It's a simple task, yes, but it's so annoying after awhile. Especially now that my pinky has decided that it will no longer donate unless it really has too. I think it's in dyer need of a vacation, so I guess I will give it a break for awhile. I wish I could give all of my fingers a break, but that pinky of mine well it's going to get a 4 star vacation for a couple weeks.

Diabetes is very much a disease that revolves around routine. You poke, count, pump, eat then poke, count, pump, eat and it never ends. Sometimes you don't even get the reward of eating, sometimes it's just poke, high b/g, pump and wait until it lowers.

So, I cannot be the only diabetic that dreads checking my sugar. The whole draw blood wait 5 seconds for the result and then either feel shame or say, "wow, how is that possible, I guess diabetes didn't realize I ate two cookies and had a glass of milk!"

I try hard to stay on top of blood checking and of course I do the necessary three checks at least for my meals, but sometimes the extra pokes are just not convincing enough for me.

Kayla

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Televison!

I made my first appearence on television last week when C.I.M was noticed for World Diabetes Day in Toronto. A picture of us was displayed and the news anchor, Tom Brown gave us a 'way to go' for all the effort we put into the day.

It's so funny how something like diabetes can impact your life in so many different ways besides the blood monitoring and the insulin injections. If you look up the term type 1 diabetes it says: "Diabetes mellitus type 1 (Type 1 diabetes, IDDM, or juvenile diabetes) is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.[2]"

All diabetics know that we could add to that definition! Diabetes has brought so many positive aspects in my life and has taught me so many life lessons that is unbelievable. I have made it in newspapers and now have been featured on televison. Who knew that this disease that results from autoimmune destruction would be so positive.

Now what's that term . . . if you've got it flaunt it? ha! Kayla

video

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dear Diabetes


Dear Diabetes:

You can take my pancreas - I don't care. I didn't know what it was before anyways or even where it is located now.

You can take the smoothness of my fingertips away - give me scabs and red dots - go ahead.

You can remind me of you every moment of the day - with your lows and highs and beeps - I can handle that.

You can poke my body - fingers and belly, hips and thighs - you can leave traces of your presence, red dots, bruises and scabbing.

You can label me as a 'diabetic' as part of your clan - the one you got a hold of and won't let go. Throw a bracelet on my wrist to remind me and place a pump on my hip to disrupt me.

You can wake me up at night or force me to eat when I am not hungry.

You do all these things and I am okay with that because what has come from this is all worth the handicap pancreas, rough fingertips, reminders every day, pokes, labels and wake up calls.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting Involved


We all have things that we want to accomplish and usually these things are goals that we set for ourselves in order to advance our education, career and therefore build our income. There is nothing wrong with wanting a good paying job or being considered 'prestigious" however when that is the only goal you have in life that is a problem.

I try hard not to sound preachy because I know that I've been through different life events than others. We all have had our times of stress, complications and anger and all of that usually leads to something new - a new chapter in our lives where we take what we learned from horrible situations and apply them to good situations.

I know though that a lot of people don't understand my motives. That probably ignore my notes, status updates and events because diabetes in no way relates to them. I know that even though I speak about diabetes I am speaking about much more. My goal isn't to get famous because I am a chatty diabetic - my goal is to help people and let people know that there are so many things you can do - that most of us don't do until we are much, much older or have been threatened in life. Don't let a disease be the decider on whether or not you're going to achieve more than just a high salary.

I feel as if I have surround myself with people that are willing to help and that share a similar mind as me as far as helping others and getting involved. I never got involved pre diabetes and I am so glad that I am now apart of many things and am not ashamed or embarrassed to get out there.

We some how have this idea that everyone our age (young adults) is just partying and doing nothing. We think that if we go to a club meeting or help at a charity that we are being 'uncool.' The fact that I may spend a Friday night doing something other than drinking or going out almost makes me feel like I am missing out - but really, what am I missing out on if I love to help others.

Why do we think that no one our age does these things? We are all engaged in this pluralistic ignorance where we believe that no one else is getting involved so why should we?

We need to have goals - but not only goals of earning good grades and high incomes we need to get out there and get active, involved and really begin living life for more than what's expected.

Kayla

Monday, November 15, 2010

World Diabetes Day 2010


On November 14th, 40 diabetics and their friends/family gathered in Toronto for the best scavenger hunt I can ever imagine! My team consisted of myself, Michelle, Tara, Jeff and Kale and we all had a great time trying to complete the challenges.

It was so amazing seeing so many people dressed in blue all gathering in the name of diabetes. They either had diabetes or knew someone with diabetes and came to support the diabetic community as well as Connected in Motion.

It is almost overwhelming being with so many diabetics. As we sat in Jack Astors after the hunt everyone was pulling out the pumps, giving themselves insulin or checking their blood sugar and I couldn't help, but think, "WOW I actually feel like the majority now."

It's an amazing feeling to surround yourself with people that have something that you do or know how it feels. People who support you and support each other. I know that there are a lot of diabetics out there that feel alone and there is no reason to feel that way because there are so many things that can be done to make you feel great about living with diabetes.

The hunt was just another event I can tick off with the CIM group - I am looking forward to slipstream in January!

Kayla

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Water Filled Pump


Tomorrow is World Diabetes Day and I cannot believe that a year ago I was celebrating this day by collecting hands with diabetes sayings on them - I wish that time would have went a little slower, so that I could have done this again, but time goes by so fast.

I am so excited for tomorrow because I am going to Toronto to do a scavenger hunt with a diabetes theme. There will be 40 participants and I am so excited to make new friends and have a good time with the friends I already have made from C.I.M. Of course Michelle is coming - she should just be diabetic with all the events she does - maybe a water filled pump is in her future?

I cannot wait to post pictures tomorrow of our hunt and write all about the amazing time that I had.

Kayla

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Worth It


Today I ran into a professor who I had last semester. I keep in touch with him and will always remember him as an amazing professor. He always checks on my diabetes and makes sure that I am okay.

For anyone that is reading this and is in high school I want to let you know something - in high school the teachers tell you that in college/university you are just a number and that no one will care about you. They tell you that once you get there don't even think about talking to your professors because they do not care. I am sure people in high school right now understand what I am saying. Of course this may be a tactic to scare you and appreciate them as high school teachers more, but they do seem to love filling our heads with scary images of post secondary.

Likewise when you are in elementary school and they force you to write in cursive insisting that once you get to high school you cannot write any other way - it just won't work. Let me tell you that I am in my second year of college and I DO NOT write in cursive. Not because I don't know how, but because it's easier for me to write regularly.

Anyways, what I want to say is that maybe in some Colleges/Universities or even in some classes you may just be a student number. You may just be taking up space in a desk or lecture hall and not get recognized as the individual that you really are; however, you will come across professors that see past your student number and acknowledge you.

I feel like the ones that take the time to know you - were some how put in your life for a reason. Like all people - they all serve a purpose in your life and even if you only know them for a brief second or a for a long period of time and then never again - they meant something and will always mean something.

When I found out that my professor that I mentioned before - his daughter was diagnosed with diabetes and is now looking at a pump - I knew that I was meant to meet him. I know that I can help and I know that my experiences can benefit someone else.

It may take awhile for you to realize why you met someone or why you have grown so close to someone - it may take years after the relationship is broken off for you to realize how that person changed your life, but when you acknowledge that they were there for a reason - that's when you can smile and know it was all worth it.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Support Group


I have started to wonder if the benefits of the pump come along with the support that you receive. Like for people that don't like the pump and have either tried the pump or don't want to try it at all - I wonder what there choices are based on?

I know a lot of people that enjoy their pump, but these people are super involved in diabetes related activities and support. The people that I have met that don't like the pump are all fellow classmates or people that I met at Fanshawe. I know nothing about their history of diabetes, but when they tell me they hated the pump I always ask why. Some reasons they gave me was that they gained weight, they hated wearing it or that it got in the way.

These are all good reasons and although I haven't gained weight from the pump the other two reasons I can relate too. However, thinking of going back to needles rarely if ever crosses my mind. I know that being on the pump has really helped me control my sugars and organize my health.

I don't want to make assumptions, but I think it was easier for me to work with my pump and not hate it because of my support group of other diabetics that had the pump. I knew that once I got it that I could accomplish just as much as them if not more. They were my motivation and I knew that good things come from wearing the pump.

I am sure there are a million reasons why people don't want to get the pump or didn't like having the pump - I wasn't too keen about it at first either.

Kayla

Monday, November 8, 2010

Find Themselves


A couple weeks ago I had gotten an email from someone who was letting me know that they enjoy reading my blogs - the email is rather long and filled with great information about herself and how she can relate to my blog.

This type of encouragement has been the push behind me writing these notes for over a year and a half now. Knowing that there are people out there that are living with diabetes and find themselves in my notes is amazing.

This weekend I am doing a scavenger hunt with my best friend and a bunch of diabetics. I cannot wait to meet new friends that all share a similar lifestyle as me. I know that they will have such a positive impact on me.

I love getting involved and it's been awhile since I have had the chance to do so.

Kayla

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Three Questions


I always find it funny how when you're diabetic a lot of common beliefs about diabetes and 'diabetics' come into play throughout the day. People who may even know you or don't know you at all tend to make assumptions.

I think the most common thing that I hear throughout the day and I am sure a lot of diabetics will agree is, "CAN YOU EAT THAT?" now - let's think about this. I wear a machine on me 24/7 if it was just to look nice on my hip then that's fine ask me if I can eat that - but truth is it's giving me insulin in order for me to be able to EAT THAT.

Another common statement is, "CHECK YOUR SUGAR!" because apparently if I am acting 'funny' maybe telling a few jokes or laughing for no reason like a lot of other non-diabetics do - this must be because my sugar is high. My headache, my coughing, my laziness, my stubbornness, my itchy leg, my hunger - that must because something is wrong with my sugar right?

And lastly the big question of, "CAN I GET THIS?" and the answer - OF COURSE YOU CAN! Apparently anyone can get this and maybe when we look at genes and all that scientific stuff we will find that only certain people will get this disease hence why everyone does not have type 1; however, I am not a doctor and stopped taking science in grade ten; therefore I believe anyone can get type 1. After all, I am not even sure how I managed to get and neither are my doctors. I am no contagious, but that doesn't mean you cannot get it.

Of course this isn't a complaint and a lot of people don't know a lot about diabetes and that's understandable. I don't actually mind hearing these questions and responding to them; however, I just find it funny how many times I hear these three questions throughout my days.

Kayla

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where I am or Where I am Going?


The hardest part of growing up is figuring how to you're going to get there. Although I still feel like I'm a young child at heart I am at an age where I have to make a lot of choices for myself and cannot rely on others to make them for me.

Truth is I have all the power - I can decide if I want to get out of bed and go to class, I can decide if I want to do my homework or assignments, but of course that's where responsibility comes into play. You learn how to be independent when you are on your own. You have to learn how to take care of yourself because no one is going to make you dinner when you get home from school and no one is going to do your dishes.

For me, I was diagnosed just before entering my first year of college. I had to learn how to take care of myself not only in the way that most people have to, but I had to manage my health issues all by myself. Although it seemed complicated and when I think about it - it's a pretty big responsibility some how I knew that I would be okay.

Now more than ever I am living a healthy responsible life while enjoying it all. I know that right now I have set goals, but the biggest journey and excitement comes from getting there. I don't know where I'll end up, but I am willing to take the ride there to figure it all out.

Kayla