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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm really sorry it's been a really long time.

Hey everybody. (I don't really know if anyone's still reading this, but I still love you all!)

Life's been good. I hope yours has been equally good. I finished grade 11 - thanks to the teacher's strike I only had to do part of one exam, but my marks were pretty good - and started my adventurous summer right away.

SOAR 2014 was fabulous - thank, Girl Guides! 2500 girls gathered in Enderby, BC, for a week of activities, friendship and fun. I went rock climbing, learned to deal with people who may not have been the easiest to deal with, experienced a thunder and lightning storm (under a tarp - it was a bit scary but also REALLY REALLY REALLY EXCITING), and had an all-around fabulous time.

And then I was off to Peru! I was one of sixteen girls in Canada selected to go do service in a small community (as well as some touring after all that was done). It was an incredible experience, absolutely amazing; I learned SO much about myself, community, culture, friendships...I now have fifteen super strong friendships all over the country. In my mind it's a bit like the DOC - I don't see them regularly - although I will see them again someday, I promise - but they understand me and I love them.

Diabetes has really not been a big thing lately. Although, writing this, I just realized that I was with diabetics all summer - one of my patrol at SOAR was diabetic, and one of the girls on my adventure to Peru was type one as well! (I was super excited about that and we got to talking about camp and communities and connections and it was absolutely fabulous love you C)!

So I've been busy. The strike took away the first three weeks of school, but we're finally back in and already working hard. I got a little stressed earlier, but I think I'm okay now. Grade 12, here we are. (I'm in a constant state of needing a nap and a hug - not sure if that will ever end?)

I guess I don't really have that much to say right now. I'd really like to go to a diabetes-connections thing (like the FRIENDS FOR LIFE CONFERENCE THAT WOULD BE THE ABSOLUTE BEST SOMEONE PLEEEEEEASE TAKE ME) but there aren't any around here. There's one in California in October - the FFL Focus on Technology - but that's a long way away, expensive to get to, and I don't have time. Someone should start something in Vancouver, that would be great. Maybe I should do that. Hmmm...maybe I'll wait until after grad. But I have clinic in a few weeks, so that'll be good. And I get a new pump in May!!! Wooo!!!
Actually, regarding a new pump: If anybody's reading this, I need help in my decision making. I'm going Animas for sure, but here's the thing: Ping or Vibe? I really like the CGM connection aspect of the Vibe, but I don't know if I could do this diabetes thing without the meter connection. And I could get a Dexcom seperately...(I think that'll happen no matter which pump I get, but still.) Does anyone have any insight? Used one or the other? Used both? How would you feel without the meter connection? With the CGM connection? Thanks in advance for any opinions!

I love you all, I'm sorry it's been so terribly long. *hugs*

Also, 13 days till year 5 is complete! Wow, that's a big number. Huh. (Hey any family members reading this you should bake me a cake yeah you should)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

D-Blog Week: My Favourite Things.

As we wrap up another Diabetes Blog Week, let’s share a few of our favorite things from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing!

I am a SUCKER for comments.
Comment on my post - guess what, you're my new best friend!
I actually haven't been involved enough this D-Blog Week. I've read barely any posts and as you can see I'm WAY behind.
Seeing as I haven't really read much of anything, I don't really have anything to share.

But I would like to say that my favourite thing? (Yes, FAVOURITE with a U because I'm CANADIAN and I would thank this word processor to NOT correct my spelling!)
Is how many people do this.
I love how many people are involved in the DOC.
I love how not-alone I am.
I love this event, and even though I suck at participating on time, I hope it continues (and maybe I'll do better next year!)
I love you guys. 
YOU'RE my favourite thing.

So no, I don't have any favourites specifically from this week.
But every day, every post, every person, every comment, every blog, every single thing in this wonderful community - that is my favourite thing.

Thank you, everybody, for another wonderful week.

AND this has nothing to do with D-Blog Week, but there's only two days left to vote in the JDRF video contest! You should all go vote! (Maybe because I'm in the top 3! My video is #2! It would be really really really awesome if you all took a minute to cast a vote! Thanks!)

D-Blog Week: Saturday Snapshots.

Back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Okay, so I'm running behind. I'm tired and lazy and other people are using the computer.
So rather than racing around trying to take new pictures, I shall redirect to November's photo challenge and re-share some of my favourites. 

Day 13: Struggle
I got to go to the beach today in the rain. I don't think I've ever felt so good. It was calm, serene, and I was so happy.
Being there, hearing the waves crashing onto the rocks, hearing the rocks be pulled into the ocean with the tide, really made me think of my struggles. Almost all the time I'm okay, but sometimes I feel like that one rock that can't control where it's going, drowning in water, being pushed and pulled through life with no say in the matter. The waves crash over my head, sometimes pulling me, but sometimes reaching, reaching, reaching, but never quite touching. Struggle is hard. Most of the time I'm okay, most of the time those waves keep reaching but never touch, but sometimes I fall and they grab hold of me. Eventually I regain my place and I'm okay again. Sometimes you have to let yourself lose control.

Day 18: Biohazard
I love this symbol. I love that for four years I've known it on every science quiz, I've been the first to know what it is and what it means. I see it every day (well, at least every time I remember to safely dispose of my needles XD) on this garish yellow container stored beneath the bathroom sink. I really don't take it as seriously as I should. Biohazard? Yeah, I can touch that.

Day 8: Diagnosis
This teddy bear right here. He's the best. (Yes, I know it's 'just a teddy', okay?) I'm sixteen, and I'm not ashamed to say that I still sleep with a  bed full of teddy bears. This guy was my support for those hospital days - I cried into his fur, hugged him through the needles, and squeezed him tight when I needed a hug. I've had him since I was a baby - and when I was diagnosed, I got a new teddy bear (a gorgeous golden retriever) - and this guy is the best. He's still soft, still fluffy, still huggable. He's the best hugger there is, the best support, and I can't believe he's been with me for SIXTEEN years. One of the only constants in my life. I love him :)
(Teddy bears mean a lot to me, and if you think that's juvenile or lame, whatever. They're part of my life, and I love them.)

Day 23: Weakness
The kids I babysit/volunteer with. Teddy bears. Disney. Candy. (I've been eating way too much of that lately). Cookies. I have a lot of weaknesses. But something that has been a weakness of mine since I was five...
Books. I'm a sucker for stories. This book in particular is a) the perfect size to i) read in bed ii) hug to your chest iii) hold up and read and b) is an amazing book that you should go find and read right away goodness me I don't think I've read such a great book since I was eight. (Also it's nice to see a war story from the germans' POV - that's something I've wanted for a while. And the narration/narrator is awesome. And it's going to be a movie soon. With Geoffrey Rush. YEEHA)

So these may not be specifically Saturday snapshots, but they are snapshots. They're snapshots of who I am, who I was, who I will be, and who I hope to be. I may not be perfect - I have struggles and weaknesses just as everyone else does - but I am who I am, and I like that.

D-Blog Week: Diabetes Life Hacks.

Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen. Please remember to give non-medical advice only! 

Well, for starters: bandaids.
I have some of those clear, plasticky ones that are supposedly waterproof and SUPER sticky.
I call them my magic bandaids.
Site curling up? Bandaid.
Site almost out but you don't want to change it yet? Bandaid.
Pretty much anything? Bandaid.
(I'm sure it would work for a CGM too!)

There's the awesome 'my pump's music is terrible and annoying so I'm going to put the Sherlock theme on instead' (which I have yet to do with Bubbles 2.0).

The wonderful shortcut button hidden on the side of my pump - from anywhere to the normal bolus screen. Easy number of carbs to count? Shortcut!

Pumps are hard to wear with dresses, but putting it in the bra usually works. (Except for the occasional oops when you wind up with disco boobs). (Pocket in prom and grad dress? Yes please! My friends laugh, but they cannot know just how serious I am...)

Also, it's awesome to make your meter case YOURS. Stickers, keychains, funny faces...lends to a bit of a smile instead of a black-case glare.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

D-Blog week: Mantras and More.

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too? 

I don't have a specific mantra.
I wish I did.
I love those inspirational photos. They're so great.

But what gets me through a hard day?
The same thing that gets me up when I'm down.
You guys.
Blogs, videos, articles, photos, stories...that's what gets me through.

What brings me up? Knowing that while I may not ever be without this thing, I will live with it.

Diabetes isn't who I am, but it is a part of me. It will NEVER be all of me, because I won't let it be.
But it will always be a part of who I am, and I'm okay with that.

(Also it never hurts to have a good book and a quiet place to calm down for a minute).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

D-Blog week: What brings me down.

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?

Diabetes isn't just a condition. I can't just deal with it for a minute and then forget.
It's there every second, every minute, every day.
I may not consciously think about it all the time, but it's ALWAYS there.
Diabetes never takes a vacation. (ESPECIALLY not when I take a pump vacation).

And it can be hard.
Usually when I'm really tired and really stressed, I lie in bed at night and think about everything that could happen. The fact that there might never be a cure, that I will actually have to live with this possibly forever. 
It gets in my head. What could I have done to avoid that high? That low? Did I forget to carb count? Am I not exercising enough? What if nobody ever wants to date me because of this attachment I have, this extra thing to think about?

Most of the time I push these off to the side. I'm fine, I say, I'm good. I'll be great, and this WON'T get in the way.
But sometimes it does.
Being a teenager is hard enough. We have school (100% academics for me), work, volunteering (which I can't drop because it's one of the best parts of my life), homework to do, projects to complete, movies to watch, books to read, and, supposedly, a social life. (Oh yeah! And apparently boyfriends are a thing. If someone could, like, find me one...)
So it's just not FAIR that I have diabetes to deal with too.

Like I said, it gets into my head. Sometimes it hits me so hard I forget how to breathe and have to sit down for a minute to calm down. 
Sometimes I feel so alone I want to cry. I feel like there's no one who really understands.
Sometimes I'm so scared that no one will love me that I want to cry.
Sometimes I can't press the button to deliver that site, that insulin, that finger prick.
Sometimes diabetes gets in my head.
And it hurts.

How do I cope?
I use you guys. I read blogs, watch videos, look at pictures...I realize that I CAN do this, because I am NOT alone. There are so many people out there going through the same things. They understand.
And sometimes, it's okay to be upset. This is a hard thing to deal with.
But the thing is, after it knocks you down, you HAVE to get back up.
And I will.
Diabetes will NEVER stop me.

D-Blog week: Poetry Tuesday

This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. 

Poetry time! Aw yeah!
This one was dashed off in Physics class, so don't judge me :)

Prick the finger

(Prick again)
The drop of blood appears
Squeeze to make it big enough.
BEEP, the meter's ready
Smush the drop up to the strip
Hope they like each other
Please let that be enough,
Avoid the error message...
Yes! It took!
Now counting down
Five seconds of stress and worry
High? Low? Insulin working?
Wait - did I wash my hands?
BEEP again
The number's up
Close eyes and 
Take a peek...
Phew! 5.3
What a perfect number
Blood sugar induced stress
All gone.

Here's some old stuff, because why not?

Crying, crying
Not knowing what to do
Alone, alone
So small in a big world
Scared, so scared
Not knowing how to feel
Questioning, questioning
What to do, what to say, why me?
Sad, so sad
Fragile as glass
Angry, angry
Why me? Why me?
Depressed, depressed
Just want it to go and stay away
Convinced, convinced
will live my life and I'll be just fine
Knowing, knowing
That nothing will ever get in my way.

I wish that I had never been diagnosed with diabetes.
But then...
I realize that I wouldn't be who I am today without it. 

I wish that I had never got my Little Buddy.
But then...
I realize that I would still have to take needles everyday.

I wish that I knew more people with diabetes.
But then...
I realize that I wouldn't find as much comfort in talking to the people that I do know (but talk to rarely) who have diabetes.

I get overwhelmed by the enormity of this disease.
But then...
I talk to one person, or read one person's blog post, or watch one person's video, and I realize that I am not alone.

I wish I were still who I was before diabetes.
But then...
I realize that I wouldn't be me now.

I have 
No, I am not diabetic, I have diabetes.
Does this change me?
It makes me more responsible, respectful and caring as a person.
It has taught me to see the silver lining in all things, no matter how bad they may be.
It has taught me to smile, whatever the outlook; that's the only way I can avoid the heavy sadnes.
And so I thank it for all these things.
It's accented my individuality and made me more of my own person.
And yeah, it's a pain sometimes.
But you know, I just wouldn't be the same without it. 
Thank you, diabetes.

Monday, May 12, 2014

D-Blog week: Change the world.

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you.

I am not a formal advocate. At least, I don't count myself as one.

I don't stand up in front of groups of people and talk about diabetes, I don't give speeches at conferences, but I do do my part.

I correct misconceptions I hear in the hallway (like the infamous 'Diabetes is caused by the media!' Yeah, I killed that one well and good.) 

I tell people about what I go through, how I deal with it, how there isn't a cure.

I answer questions, I explain.

So I'm not a formal advocate, but I do advocate.

It irks me when people assume they know stuff (and they really, really don't). Like the people who tell me I can't eat sugar, that I have to diet and exercise more, that diabetes is completely curable.
I hate when people try and tell me what I can and can't do or eat or say; because this is MY issue, not yours.
It belongs to me. I may not like it all the time, but it's mine and you have no right to assume you know more than me. You, who may have read an article once, versus me who's been living with this for four and a half years, day in and day out. 
So, yeah. Don't try and tell ME you know about diabetes. Don't say that and then start spewing out misconceptions and falsehoods. Don't do it.

I may not be an advocate, but I will fight to have my voice heard.

Pros and Cons.

(Whoops, it's really been a while this time).

Who am I kidding. I could have found time.
Ah well, I'm here now.

SO! This week I've been taking a pump break (I'm back on needles/MDI/however you think of it). I'd like to talk about the pros, cons, why I'll be going back on the pump, but why I'm glad I took this break.

Firstly, before you ask why I would want needles when I already had a no-needle solution:

Consider being tethered to something for four and a half years.
The only break you get is your six-minute showers every two days, and occasionally your exercise class. (And also when you simply forget to reattach after either event, however you feel guilty/high/generally not great after that, so is it really a break?)
Consider having to share your waistband with a machine day in and day out. Consider dresses being incredibly tricky to wear - the joy of the swishy skirt can be taken away when your pump won't sit right and your underwear is falling down.
Consider catching your tube on countless door knobs and ripping out your site. Ow.
Consider the battery dying/cartridge running out/site failing at the most inopportune of times.

See why I needed a break? (It was the dress thing that put me over the edge. I just wanted to wear a dress with no hassle. It's [pretty much] summery out, and all my new dresses were begging me to wear them. And Bubbles, well, he just wasn't going for it.)

So. I have thought of an [incomplete] list of pros and cons. Here you go.

- No robot parts
- Dresses easy to wear
- Better control for some people(but not me)

- Needles (minimum 5/day)
- Controlled snacking (Sometimes hard to control)
- Less accurate doses (only 1u steps)
- No basal adjustment between doses
- Injection sites get tired

- Better control
- Smaller bolus increments
- BASAL (also it's adjustable)
- No needles
- Injection sites get lots of time to breathe

- Robot parts

A small price to pay for so much help. I'm glad I took this break - it's definitely reopened my eyes to the awesomeness of the pump. Even though I'm glad, it's been a week and I'm taking Bubbles back tomorrow. :)


This year is JDRF's 6th annual youth video contest. And guess what - I made it to the top 3!!!
If you could take just a minute out of your busy lives and visit this link:

That would be AWESOME. It only takes a minute to vote - mine is video #2 but you're free to vote for whichever :). Voting is open until May 20th - it would be completely wonderful if you could take a minute before then! Thanks!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Scary low.

I went scary low last night.


1.7 is the lowest I have ever been in my four and a half years of this condition.

And I didn't even register it properly.

I felt a little weird, so I decided to test - 'cause I knew I was a little low at least. So I tested, and I saw the number, and I just kept going. Autopilot kicked in. "Low. Glucose. Go find the glucose." It was upstairs - I thought it was in my room - and when it wasn't there, I started freaking out. Which doesn't make any sense, because I knew EXACTLY where the other container was and it was only three steps away. But I almost started crying. (Also this was a new container, so it had the lift-n-peel top - they seriously have to stop doing that. It's okay, I massacred it with the end of a toothbrush.)

I was so scared, because I knew that something had gone wrong and I couldn't fix it fast. AND we had people over for dinner (lovely people :) ) so I was attempting to entertain while also dealing with a seriously low blood sugar.

I shook six glucose tablets out of the container. I honestly don't remember eating them - they just disappeared one at a time. What's really weird is that I didn't feel low - I wasn't shaky, or confused, or clumsy, or unfocused - I just didn't feel quite right.

And it didn't go away. I had the six tablets, waited, ate a granola bar, and forgot to retest. I was colouring with L, and I felt funny still - obviously recuperating from the low as well as having eaten too much. But I tested again when they left - an hour and a half after the 1.7 - and I was only 3.3. Juice. Small chocolate which I meant to bolus for but forgot. Half hour later? 14.4. Which stuck. And then I was 4.3 this morning.

This scares me. I don't like it. The scariest thing? I don't know WHY the low happened. Usually I can pinpoint it - I exercised an hour ago, I definitely overbolused that, I forgot to eat lunch, I overcorrected, hormones plus (insert reason here). But this time? I have nothing. I bolused pretty accurately for dinner, and while I didn't combo the lasagna, the low happened two and a half hours after dinner.

This condition doesn't make sense. It's different every day. It changes, it evolves, as soon as you've figured out why something happened it happens again for a totally different reason.

Usually I know what to do and how to handle this - but it's incidences like this, when I don't, that terrify me.

On the bright side, Dexcoms are now available in Canada! Woohoo! Based on the awesome things I've heard about it (and this scary incident which could possibly have been prevented or at least dealt with earlier), I'm going to look into getting one! Sweet! :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Farewell Bubbles

Happy New Year!

So. You won't believe what happened.

You remember Bubbles? My pump? Kay. You remember Little Buddy? My old pump? He died.  Well, today Bubbles died in much the same way. (Not quite as stressful, and I didn't realise it was a problem until we phoned and asked what was up) (apparently it is a big deal).

So today, much in the same way as last time, Bubbles is being replaced.

(Another excellent day of Animas service - we called at 8:05 and the pump had arrived by 10:30. Impressive. Wish all packages would come that fast XD)

Bubbles will be missed, but then again I have a new, shiny, pump with a brand new screen protector and lacking that little scratch on the corner. So, Bubbles II (who shall henceforth be known simply as Bubbles) shall soon come out of the packaging and become my new best buddy.

Also, Sherlock. Not only will Bubbles II also play Sherlock theme music, but there's two and soon to be three new episodes! Notice how I only used one exclamation point? Huge amounts of self-restraint. That is what tumblr is for. ;)

(I was going to put a picture here but it refuses to upload and I'm low and I have very little patience, so expect a picture at a later date.)