Friday, May 15, 2015

Dblog week day 5: Foods on Friday

Okay, I'm going to start of by admitting that food and I don't have the best relationship. I don't advise eating like me. Some days I don't eat unless I go low, some days I don't eat, and most days I don't eat what a human should. Instead of listing off things I eat on a daily basis, I'm just going to give an overview of the foods I do eat when I eat them.

Breakfast: I hate typical breakfast foods. Most of them are filled with a gazillion carbs and lots of sugar. I also don't like eggs, which are a breakfast staple for many. That being said, I love cereal. My biggest weakness is Froot Loops. I have to bolus 30 minutes before eating them if I don't want to see a huge BG spike. If I wake up in the morning and I'm on the low side, I will fill a bowl with Froot Loops and chow down. My other favorite food for breakfast is a peanut butter sandwich. I know, I know, it's not a typical breakfast food, but whatever.

Lunch: Lunch is my meal most likely to be skipped. What I eat for lunch depends on what I had for breakfast. I eat a lot of sandwiches for lunch. Peanut butter is my go-to, but sometimes I switch it up and have some cheese or faux deli meat (I'm a vegetarian). There's usually a Diet Coke at lunch time whether or not there's an actual lunch.

Dinner: Dinner is the one I almost always eat, mostly because my boyfriend also has to eat and it seems like the thing to do. Dinner is highly variable in what I eat, but pasta and Mexican foods are my favorite to eat. This is the meal where my vegetarianism comes into play. My boyfriend loves meat, and we usually end up making our own versions of the same dish most nights. For example, I'll make a veggie burger and he'll make a burger. It creates more dishes, but fewer arguments.

Snacks: Hummus is the best thing ever. Seriously. It's also very versatile. You can dip so many things in hummus: veggies, pita, a spoon... anything! Sometimes I'll eat hummus on an everything bagel thin for a meal. Mostly this section is about my love for hummus. Tip: take plain hummus and mix is with buffalo sauce for hummus with a delicious kick. It's so freaking good.

Again, I don't advocate eating the way I do, or the way I don't, however you look at it. I know it's not exactly healthy, but the blog prompt said there's no judgments on this, so I'm presenting it just the way I am! 

Dblog Week Day 4: Changes

I was diagnosed in late 1997, almost 18 years ago. A lot of things have changed with my diabetes management since then. The technology, the theories, and so on. I've changed too. Obviously I'm not 7 anymore. Let's take a stroll down memory lane...

I remember getting my first glucometer, the OneTouch basic, when I was diagnosed. I thought it was huge, and I almost wish I still had one hanging around to see if it really was as big as my little mind remembers it being. For those of you who never got to experience the OT Basic, it took a large, pendulous drop of blood to cover a circle in the middle of the test strip. It came with a Penlet lancing device that I swear used paper clips as lancets. It never occurred to me that testing would ever happen any other way. After the OT Basic, I got the Profile, then was in for a big change when  Imoved to the OneTouch Ultra. Everything about it was so small! The lancer was smaller, the meter was smaller, the strips were tiny and the sample size was nothing compared to what I was used to. It was the first meter I ever used that had strips that sucked up my blood. That was so cool. Since then, things have continued to get smaller and easier. Now I even have a CGM that can tell me my BG any time.

When I was diagnosed. I was on older insulins that meant I had to eat the same amount of carbs at same time, every single day. I had to get up at 6 to get ready for school, so that meant I had to get up at 6 on weekends to eat the same number of carbs. I was not the favorite sleepover guest. My dad made me the same gross 45 carb shake for breakfast every day. It had peanut butter and eggs in it to keep my BG stable. I remember that very clearly. I also remember being a hungry kid and not being able to eat because it wasn't snack time, and sometimes 15 carbs just didn't cut it. I've never been a big meat or cheese eater, so a lot of the time I was just hungry. Whenever I complained about being hungry my mom would tell me to go have a glass of water.

In 1997 I was started on insulin vials and syringes. Those insulins could be mixed in the syringe so I only had to take one shot at breakfast and dinner instead of two. I remember being really excited when I got to use pens for the first time. It may have been because my hands were smaller, but they felt heavy, and I was terrified I was going to drop them while they were stuck in my body. I went back to syringes because of that. Eventually, after a year of nagging by my mother and doctor, I started on the insulin pump. Even the pump was different in 2002. There was no bolus wizard, so I still used my trusty calculator keychain to figure out my doses. The biggest thing about the pump was that it gave me more freedom. If I wasn't hungry, I didn't have to eat. If I was hungry, I could bolus. It was like freaking magic.

In 1997, I hated diabetes. Okay, that hasn't changed a bit. I still hate diabetes. I deal with that hate differently now. I used to throw hissy fits and refuse to take my shots. In my teen years I didn't want to be different from my peers, and I hated diabetes for making me so different. I tried my hardest to ignore diabetes. I did the minimum it took to stay out of the hospital. As I got older I got used to the doctors telling me that I was doing a really bad job of managing. I didn't care. Diabetes made me different, and diabetes was going to kill me. I was used the that idea. My a1c was 12 for the longest time. Even when I wanted to get better I didn't know how because I was so out of practice. Eventually I adopted a better attitude. I got a better doctor by chance, and now I wouldn't give her up. Now I'm active in the DOC, on Twitter, and sometimes I blog. I joke about diabetes, but not in the usual cupcakes=diabetes way.

So much has changed since 1997. Things I didn't even think of (like CGM) are now a part of my daily life. I can't imagine how different diabetes management will be in another 18 years. Part of me really hopes it will be cured. The other part of me is just accepting that I'll probably just have a few more gadgets to play with. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dblog Week Day 3: Clean it Out

I'm not in the mood for anything heavy today, so I'm not going to be cleaning out my emotional closet. As a matter of fact, my literal diabetes closet is actually in order. My purse... well, it's not. I'm not a super girly girl; I don't have a lot of purses. I mostly just carry around the one. It's become a catch-all for a variety of things. Take a look:

There's makeup, not that use it much. I have some gum, my test kit, lip balm, a pencil, a bottle opener I got in Seattle and subsequently forgot about, a AAA battery, the cotton ball from the last time I had blood drawn, an empty Humalog bottle, and, oh yeah, a shit ton of used test strips. The stack of test strips is what makes this post really about diabetes. This post has made me realize that I really should clear that crap out more often. I didn't even realize I had the cotton from my last blood draw. Grooooooss! 

Dblog week 2: Keep it to Yourself

When I joined the diabetes internet, I did so with the purpose of being open. I was not a "perfect" diabetic then, and I'm still not. I did not want to gloss over the negative aspects of diabetes. I refuse to do so. I've always been very open (maybe too open) about diabetes. I share pictures of beautiful CGM graphs when I have them, but I also make sure to show glimpses of the bad days, too. There are very few areas of my life that I'm not broadcasting, but there are a few. Allow me to gloss over them:

I'm not going to give you super detailed information about myself. Very few of you know my last name, and it's going to stay that way. I'm not telling you where I go to school. I'm not going to tell you how much I weigh, and I'm not going to give you my address. I think you understand what I"m saying here.

I try my hardest to not post about other people. This includes my friends, family, boyfriend, and medical professionals. I don't mention any of these people by name because they probably don't want me to. They didn't sign up for Blogger/Twitter just because I did.

I don't like to talk about exactly how much money I have to spend on diabetes. It's depressing. I believe I have answered a few tweets asking about insulin prices with my insurance, but I must have been in a generous mood. I don't like talking about the financial burden of diabetes.

To sum it up: I have loose lips on the internet, but some things are just out of bounds. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

D Blog Week Day 1: I can!

It's taken me a while to sit down and really write this post. I've had diabetes for a while now, so it's not that I'm a stranger to doing things while diabetic, or I couldn't think of anything cool I've done. My problem was the exact opposite: I have too many cool stories of things I've done in spite of or because of diabetes. I got to do the coolest summer abroad in Greece during 2011 (seriously, I got to play with bones). I've graduated college. Diabetes has helped me overcome some of my social anxiety. There's so much stuff that I have done with diabetes that would make a really good story, so maybe I'll save them for another time. Perhaps my post will seem mundane in comparison to others, because I decided to write about something so simple.

Despite diabetes, I've managed to fall in love.

Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal, because in the grand scheme of things diabetes isn't that huge. It isn't going to turn me into a raging monster (except when I have high BG). Diabetes is not going to stop people from caring about me. Unfortunately I spent years believing that I would never find love while diabetes was in the picture.

I usually don't bring up things like this, so it's a little difficult to say. When I hit the age where boys were no longer a disgusting alien race, it occurred to me (not for the first time) that not everybody has diabetes, and dealing with diabetes isn't fun. Why would a perfectly good boy want to waste time waiting for me to check my blood sugar when he could be eating already with another girl? Why would a boy want to go out with me when there's a chance that my diabetes will do something stupid and I'll have to cancel when other girls wouldn't? I knew how much of a burden diabetes was to me, but that was the hand I was dealt. Why would another person willingly subject themselves to being around that all the time?

Like most girls, I joked around in high school and had a few boyfriends here and there. It wasn't until I hit my senior year of high school that I realized that diabetes didn't have to be a relationship changer. My best friend in the whole entire universe put up with my diabetes. She understood that sometimes we had to hang out and watch TV for a bit until my BG was in line. A boyfriend is supposed to be like a best friend, just a little bit different, right? If my bestie accepted the diabetes with grace, any good guy should be able to do the same, right? I could even consider myself fortunate that I had a built-in, non-negotiable test that my potential suitors had to pass.

Now I'm going to get mushy and nostalgic.

I met my current boyfriend in 2009 while doing marching band together. We were friendly, and we  talked a little bit here and there. We weren't super close. I started having problems with some depression medications I was taking in 2011 and I posted something vague about it on Facebook. Being the awesome guy he his, he messaged me to talk about it. Eventually he asked me out. He knew I had diabetes before we started dating, but I was still shy about it on the first date.

 At the time of the first date I was drowning in diabetes and trying super duper hard to manage it. Nothing was working, and I had one of the worst endocrinologists on the planet (for real, he was fired by his practice). I was back to manually logging numbers in an effort to make myself check more. So I explained my huge purse and unsightly notebook while I was poking my finger at lunch.

We've been together almost four years now. We live together with a dog and a cat. I can unequivocally say I'm in love with this guy. He makes me happy. The best part is that I have someone outside my family (BFFs are family) that I can bitch to about diabetes. It's taken some training, but he knows the lingo and all of my routines. We can laugh together about the strange places test strips end up living.

For anyone out there left wondering: yes, you absolutely can find someone who will love you, diabetes and all.