Archive for the ‘type 1 diabetes’ Category

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The incredible invisible illness

August 26, 2010

In honor of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, Karen did a meme on her blog, so I thought I’d chime in as well!

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: type 1 diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1993. May 29, to be exact.

3. But I had symptoms since: a month or two prior. My mom caught it because I mentioned to her that I was having symptoms like Stacey in the Baby-Sitters Club. She scolded me and told me not to say stuff like that, but it prompted her to watch me closely. At diagnosis, my bg was 327, which was way lower than what some others are diagnosed at.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: having a manual pancreas.

5. Most people assume: that I ate too much sugar as a kid. Not true, actually.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: waking up to a high bg, or being tired from stalking wandering bg’s all night.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: House, MD. Hugh Laurie…man!

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: medically, my CGM (and by default, my OmniPod). Otherwise, it would most likely be my iPhone.

9. The hardest part about nights are: making sure I’m in range and pod sufficiently filled with insulin before going to bed.

10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) 1 allergy pill, 1 birth control pill, 1 ACE inhibitor (not because of high bp, but for renal protection).

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: laugh and sorta roll my eyes. I’m all for praying for a cure, but in the end, God has given me the tools to take care of myself while I wait.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: invisible, for sure, although sometimes I think I’m more visible than I’d like to be with various robot parts peeking out of clothes.

13. Regarding working and career: I try to not let it get in the way of work. Sometimes I need to take a few minutes to test and treat, but for the most part I keep calm and carry on.

14. People would be surprised to know: that I hardly get burned out with this disease (I have though, and it was depressing not having anyone to talk to). I know each day is a new day, and each bg is just another picture in the album of life.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: that it really isn’t a new reality. It’s been part of me for so long that testing my bg and bolusing before each snack or meal is completely normal.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: be okay. Be healthy. You hear all these horror stories about diabetes, and if it wasn’t for my stubborn nature, I’d definitely be one of those people who are too scared to test for fear of seeing a high number.

17. The commercials about my illness: piss me off. Not all diabetics have horrible control and will have amputated limbs.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: uhh…I can’t even remember what life was like before orange-capped syringes and painful fingersticks. On second thought, I kinda miss when my dad used to bring me lunch at school every day (carefully balanced, of course).

19. It was really hard to have to give up: being able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: reading d-blogs!

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: be verrrrry weirded out. At this point, my definition of “normal” is pretty different from someone who does not have diabetes.

22. My illness has taught me: that I am stronger than I thought I could ever be. I haven’t let this get me down, and I don’t plan on letting it.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: any ignorant comment really, but as of right now it’s “What the heck is THAT on your arm?!”

24. But I love it when people: ask me questions about diabetes, because it shows me that they really are interested in learning and not just assuming.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: “If God puts you through it, He’ll get you through it” and “Keep calm and carry on.”

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: don’t sweat it. You’ll be fine (and then introduce them to the DOC).

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: there are SO MANY of us out there.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: run across the street to get juice for me (and please ignore the fact I didn’t have anything on me, haha).

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: even though we have an invisible illness, we as people are very visible. We’re not just a statistic.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: happy! :)

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Team Bump

July 27, 2010

(Inspired by Kerri’s post on dLife the other day)

Who’s on Team Bump? Well, from a medical standpoint, there is my dear endocrinologist, Dr. Burns, who is seriously one of the best I’ve had. She reminds me of my endo when I was first diagnosed, Dr. Jones: comfortable to talk to, not judgmental, and totally helpful with the ups and downs of the disease. Dr. Burns is always asking me when Chris and I are ready for kids, and pretty soon, I’ll be replying with a hearty “Now!”

Another person on the team is my optometrist. While this may sound a little weird because I should be seeing an ophthalmologist (and I am; two even), she is the one who actually caught the cotton-wool spot in my eye a few months ago. Apparently it was nothing to worry about, but it was enough to get me to see a retina specialist just to make sure everything was a-ok. My first appointment freaked me out, though, because it ended up having me hustle up three floors in the hospital to see a neuro-ophthalmologist. The retina specialist saw the cotton-wool spot but was more concerned about seeing my optical nerves swollen, which is why he rushed me up there. An MRI clarified that my optical nerves were not swollen; I was born that way (fat nerves, I guess).

I also have a gynecologist for the annual examination of my lady parts, as well as a dentist I see twice a year (we make it a point to fly out to San Diego twice a year to see him).

In addition to my medical team, who I see every few months here and again, there’s the team that supports me in my day-to-day activities. My husband, obviously, because he is there sharing my latest A1C and helping me through lows. Did I mention he brings packets of CapriSun when he picks me up at the train station because he knows I more often than not go low after work? What a guy. :)

Before him, it was my parents, and still is. My parents live in Japan, and we talk every day, and they always, always make sure to ask, “How are you doing?” (translation: how’s your blood sugar?). I update them after every doctor’s appointment and get Chris to jump in with explanations if necessary. Chris’ mom also takes an interest in my health; we also update her after doctor’s appointments and remind her that she should, God willing, have healthy, happy grandbabies in the near future.

Of course, there are other friends who take the time to try and learn about this other friend I’m living with. I love that they don’t assume and make ridiculous comments about things they’ve seen in movies or heard on tv, and I’m happy to be part of the education process, even if it’s only for a small number of people.

So, that’s my team…and I leave you all with this, which was my fortune the other day: