Thursday, July 9, 2015

And again...

Life with diabetes often feels like a washing machine going down a roller coaster, akin to my inexperienced perception of a 4-D roller coaster. You do the same things day in and day out but each day is a little smoother or rougher depending on where you're sitting and what the track is throwing at you next. I'm not excited for the next loop.

Next week, I have an endo appointment. The dread is starting to loom, and as always, there are two tracks playing in my brain. One says, "Stop stressing. These appointments aren't that big of a deal. She loves you. You're her favorite patient." Meanwhile, the negative nancy track is moaning, "Why haven't you been doing a better job? I've seen those spikes. Your HbA1c is going to be outrageous. Get ready to be ridiculed and torn apart for 30 minutes."

I'm pretty reasonable. I know the truth lies somewhere between these two, and realistically close to the former than the latter. But. I. am. tired. I'm a little burnt out with the rest of the roller coaster: grad school, injuries*, family issues, social demands, etc. Diabetes and other self care hasn't been high on the priority list. Should it be? Probably. I guess all I can do is wait and see what happens. Mentally stressing about it isn't doing me any good.

*I hurt my thumb. No, I'm not sure how. Yes, it's been a while  ~ 2 months. No, I don't think it's getting better. Yes, I did see a doctor. Resting your dominant hand sucks. I could rant about this for days, but it's not the point of this post.*

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Diabetes Firsts

When you've had Type 1 for a while, you start to forget the first - the first finger stick, the first shot, the first infusion site, etc. You remember them in these vague ways with hazy memories with pinpoint details about the pain and the size of your tools.

Today, I had not just one but two firsts (which after more than 15 years is always surprising). I woke up feel laden down but convinced myself that checking my blood sugar would help sort out the source of my morning apathy. This fingerstick glucose test is one thing I've done several thousand times. Today was the first time that I lanced myself while pulling the highly engineered poker out of its holster. It happened so fast that I'm still struggling to grasp what happened. In one swift motion the elastic cocked the spring and somehow pushed the button before the tester was entirely free of its holster. So my PSA for the day: don't grab your poking device quickly, otherwise you'll get stabbed when you're least expecting it.

Hand wrapped around lancing device
The incorrect way to remove a lancing device from a holster
Don't try this at home!
Of course I tried to use the blood drop that squeezed out. The little red point on my abused finger seemed like a reasonable size, but of course, I got the dreaded "Error 5: Not enough blood on the strip" message. After grabbing  another strip and shoving it into the mouth of my meter, I squeezed the same finger hoping to save myself from another stab. Apparently, I squeezed a little too hard or a little to vehemently but it turned into a squirter. Not suprising for anyone who sticks themselves with sharp objects. What was surprising was that not only had it squirted along my finger (which happens every now and again), but also it had squeezed with such violent force that there was as Bob Ross would have said - a happy little red puddle on my chin. Never have I ended up with blood on my face because of my unruly pancreatic condition. Until today. Yay.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#DBlogWeek Changing the World

I love science. LOVE. Love. love. SCIENCE.

And I have diabetes... (because my busted pancreas told me so)

So naturally my favorite advocacy effort focuses on research funding. I volunteer for JDRF at as many of their outreach events as I can. I'm not a great fundraiser - I'd rather tell you about all the interesting advancements and explain all that I know about beta cell encapsulation, insulin pump algorithms, and the latest and greatest and not quite out in the world yet (but in a few decades?) glucose responsive insulin. I'm not an expert but I am a doctoral student in the biomedical field so I hear tidbits here and there. I understand more of the science than your average bear. 

Even though I've been kind of crummy at it lately, I also love the sense of community that we build with each other and with the world at large. Twitter's my go to for connecting with the diabetes online community and unfortunately I've let it go a little silent (along with this blog). BUT I do try. My favorite days are when someone asks "why are you stabbing yourself?", "should you be eating that?", or "is that a beeper?". Guerilla advocacy -- answer their questions and teach them a tidbit or two about diabetes. Almost everyone knows someone with diabetes at this point, and yet there's such a lack of knowledge and serious judgement out there. So I'm educating the world one person at a time.