No One Can Tell that You’re Sick

“… and then there’s you. You’re a trooper with your disease. No one can tell that you’re sick, you handle it so well,” said my colleague in a random conversation.

When I started working at the company that I do now, I living with a condition that I didn’t know I had and it was slowly trying to kill me. I started my job in the middle of July and by early August, I was in full-on, vomiting, blurry vision, unquenchable thirst, exhausted, DKA. That was nearly five years ago.

Five years ago, I would say that I was sick. Really sick. Today, I don’t really consider myself sick, except for if I catch the occasional cold or flu. Once I got the diagnosis and treatment I needed, I stopped considering myself to be sick. Continue reading

[Blue] Friday Five: Questions and Round Up

Blue Fridays are about diabetes awareness. So for Diabetes Awareness month, my Friday posts are all about diabetes. Like last week.

If you don’t have diabetes, there are probably a lot of things that you don’t think about. So I ask you:

1. When was the last time you saw your own blood? 

I saw mine minutes ago when I checked my blood sugar. I see my own blood approximately 8 to 10 times every day.

2. How often do you go to the doctor? And, how many doctors do you have?

This is kind of a loaded question for anyone who doesn’t have a chronic health condition. My healthcare team is made up of a bunch of professionals, with 7 key players. I go to about 6 regular-type doctor’s appointments per year and have various labwork done at least twice a year, but this year I’m looking at eight visits to the lab.

3. Can you give yourself a shot? Continue reading

Just One Thing?

First a little housekeeping… if you didn’t check out the awesome blogs in yesterday’s post, you totally should. They’re called the Best of ‘Betes Blogs for a reason! You can start nominating for November now! (Well technically you could start four days ago.)

A lucky reader has been selected for my NatureBox giveaway! Check your email for a message from me to see if you won! If you didn’t win, don’t sweat it! You can still use the code SNACKTIME for half off your first box and I’m giving away something cool next week sometime.

One Thing

I was contacted by the American Recall Center and asked to share one thing that I want people to know about living with diabetes.

Everyone with diabetes has a different story, different treatment and there is no one-size fits all approach to diabetes treatment. Even with just Type 1, there are different types of insulin, some people use injections, some people use pumps and even then our meters, pumps and other equipment vary. We have different targets and have different insulin needs. For example, at breakfast I need 1 unit of insulin for every 9 grams of carbs that I eat (which is different from lunch, which is different from dinner for me) and another blogger with type 1 needs 1 unit of insulin for every 20 grams of carbs she eats.

So back to my contribution… I couldn’t pick just one thing and I couldn’t narrow it down to one sentence, so I gave them several thoughts and let them do the editing based on their other input. They made an excellent selection by using: Continue reading

What you should know

My heart hurts each time I hear a story about someone passing away because they had undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, type 1 diabetes. There are a lot of things being passed around the online diabetes community trying to alert parents to the symptoms of diabetes that they should recognize, this is important to me. It’s also important to recognize these symptoms in adults because diabetes (in general) does not discriminate on age, weight, race, general health, anything.

People have died because someone (themselves, parents or doctors) thought their diabetes was just the flu or something else. My doctor thought I was pregnant. If you see these symptoms in someone yourself or a loved one, go to the doctor:

  • Extreme, persistent thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Extreme hunger.
  • Explainable weight loss.
  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness.
  • Unusual behavior including mood change and irritability.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Vomiting.

My mouth was always dry and a craved a cool, clear glass of water. I remember filling a glass, gulping it all down, then refilling it. I thought it was dry mouth from allergies. And because I drank so much, I was going to the bathroom all the time. I was exhausted all the time, but I thought it was from getting up to go to the bathroom from drinking so much and not getting enough sleep.

I remember being out and not being able to read a menu because everything was fuzzy. Then I couldn’t eat my meal despite being extremely hungry because with every bite I thought I was going to vomit. My stomach was upset all the time, then the morning I got out of the shower and immediately threw up, I decided that I must have the flu. I thought I would rest, stay hydrated and push myself through it, but I honestly forgot when the last time I felt well was.

Brad convinced me to go to the doctor.

He saved my life. Continue reading

World Diabetes Day

“Back before you had to bolus for it,” Brad said when reminiscing about college weekends and late night snack trips to get these amazing pretzel melts.

“It’s pretty amazing to see how much work goes into taking care of yourself with diabetes,” he continued. “So many people abuse the ability to make insulin, or use the crap out of it rather. They take it for granted.”

While that didn’t make my pancreas envy any better, it did make me feel better about who I’ve chosen to spend my life with.

Today is World Diabetes Day.

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November 14th celebrates the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, discovered insulin as a life-saving treatment for diabetes in 1922. Today, I celebrate being diagnosed with diabetes after this discovery, because had I lived a century ago, I would not have lived for very long.

I celebrate each of the 20-30 units of smelly, clear liquid that my body receives to stay alive.

There are people with different types of diabetes and people who love someone with diabetes getting involved today (and year round) to raise awareness and fight for a cure.

I am thankful for insulin, but it’s only a treatment. It’s not a cure.