Tuesday, November 13, 2012
A lot has happened since my last post. I'll skip through last winter and just go straight to this year.
I broke up with my boyfriend in April. Not an easy decision, but the right decision.
I quit my job in April and started a new job in May. Technically, I'd been working for my "new" company since March, but I was still working full-time at my old job. I was essentially working 60 hours a week for a little over a month.
I went back to shots in May. I decided I wanted to be free of the pump during summer. However, it's fall now and I haven't gone back to the pump. I will eventually, but it's been somewhat of a relief to not have it on me 24/7. I feel like I worry less--or have one less thing to fiddle with constantly.
My A1C is at 6.9%. It's dropped a little, but my ideal would be 6.5 It's been LESS THAN 6.5 before, so I know it's possible. I've been "better," but still a little lazy with getting my a1c down.
I wasn't looking for a new relationship, but then I met someone awesome. And Canadian. "They" say things happen when you're not looking for them. I'm not sure I actually believe that, but in this case, it's true. I didn't want a relationship. Especially not a long-distance relationship. But then I ended up with one. It was just too good to pass up.
I work all the time. Or that's how it feels. I tend to work over 40 hours a week. I love my company and the people I work with, so I don't mind the long hours or sometimes late nights.
I still wrestle with thoughts, like "I want to eat this whole bag of chips." "Or have 2 pieces of cake." I hate to think of being "different" or saying my life is different than your "normal" life. But it is. And I still battle with that at times--the "before diabetes" me and the "after diabetes" me. I'm not sure that will ever truly go away.
I turned 28. I don't feel 28. And apparently I don't look 28. No one believes me when I say how old I am, so I guess this is the age where I can safely start lying about my age. So, hello, I'm Val, and I'm 22 years old.
Monday, September 12, 2011
If I knew how much insulin had been pumping through my body before I was in control of it, I would probably feel reassured.
The fact that I have the power of my pancreas overwhelms and scares me. Not all the time, but lately, a lot of the time. The thought of over-bolusing terrifies me. So much to the point where I have actually under-bolused a lot of times. Too many times to count.
I've had countless conversations with myself...I know I need more insulin for this extra snacking I am doing...I know that has more carbs than what I am inputting...but maybe it'll be okay. And then it's not okay. And then I kick myself, because I knew I should have given myself more insulin.
I don't like seeing so much insulin in my system. Seeing anything over 4 units scares me. It gives me a feeling of dread and worry...and I feel so much better when I see that number dropping...like I have more control over what it does as it drops. The more insulin in my system, the less I feel in control. Like somehow, my insulin will rage out of control and make me drop low, and it'll be hard to combat it.
I also have a hard time with waiting for my blood sugar to be the number I want it to be--whether it's lower or higher. I know there's a delay...I know certain foods break down faster than others. I know that I should wait and not react so quickly. I see my my number drop fast and I think, I should eat a glucose tablet to ward off a low, when in reality, I just need to leave it alone. When I'm waiting for it to rise, I feel compelled to do finger pricks every 5 minutes, just to make sure it's coming back up. I lierally have to talk myself into not checking by saying things like, Val, I know you feel like shit right now, but it's going to be better in 10 minutes...just give it time.
I am not very patient and apparently, not very rational. I know I'm prone to anxiety, and so I wonder if that plays a part in how I handle my diabetes. I've gotten better at not constantly checking my number, but I am not better at not being scared.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I saw my endo today and my a1c is down 0.2% from 7.4 to 7.2. Not stellar, but I will still celebrate any drop--big or small! A couple years ago or less, I was closer to 6%. I try not to beat myself up too much for letting it climb back up to 8(ish)% and just focus on the fact I'm bringing it back down, slowly but surely. My endo asked me to test my ratios for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which means eating a known amount of carbs for each meal. I think I'd probably get better results with even sticking to the same meal(s) for a couple days. I don't know why I find it so hard sometimes to do these tests to make sure my ratios are right!
I also discussed with my endo how sensitive my blood sugar is to exercise--even just a 15 minute walk makes it drop! I'm dog-sitting right now and Jake, the dog, needs to be walked 2 times a day, which means I've getting at least a 20 minute walk in every day. That doesn't sound like much, but for me it is! It also feels weird to type that since I used to be an exercise fiend. Small steps, I guess.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Two months ago, I decided to apply for a diabetes alert dog. There was an article in the Oregonian that prompted me, so I signed up...plus, I love dogs and don't have one of my own. The dog in my picture is my brother's dog, and while I do live with a dog (my roommate's dog), it's not my own.
I'm not sure if I should mention the company's name.
I know the dogs are in high demand, but they were training dogs for limited locations, and Oregon was one of them. Plus the dogs only cost $150. They said that it can take up to a year and they require you to go through part of the training with the dog they select for you, but that doesn't guarantee you a dog. Plus, they don't even reply when you apply for one...because they're in demand, you might not even get a response for several months. I think that when you apply for something like a dog, you SHOULD at least get a response that says we received your application, just so you know it went through.
So TODAY, I decided to randomly check the site. And. I notice. It says they are currently only placing dogs in northern and central CA. When I applied, it did not say this. Confused, I emailed them to see what was going on.
I got this response:
We appreciate your interest in XXX. Over the past months we have reviewed and made changes to our training program in order to continue providing the high quality assistance dogs that our clients deserve.
We realize the effect an assistance dog can have on managing diabetes and we know the need is great The value our program results from the high standards we set, both in training our dogs as well as diabetic clients.
A decision has been made to focus our services on those living in the Northern and upper Central California areas and to discontinue our two week program.
Client feedback and data assessment indicate that the most successful partnerships are created when clients attend weekly training sessions over an extended period, and attend monthly follow-up sessions. We will continue to assess our program and hope to offer other training options in the future that will once again extend our service area to Oregon.
We regret we cannot serve you at this time. Please periodically check in with us on our website. While we do not have a specific recommendation for another program, you can check the website for Assistance Dogs International (www.
WTF. They decided to change things and not NOTIFY anyone? What about all the people in Oregon and other states who applied? I never received any kind of notification about the change, and if I hadn't randomly checked their website, I would have continued waiting. I emailed them back and told them this...that I was extremely disappointed and that if I had known, I would have searched other places for an alert dog. I don't think it's fair that they didn't at LEAST notify people in Oregon and other states...and I'm sad thinking that some of those people might still be waiting for a response because they're not aware of this random change in their program.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Like that alliteration? :)
Last week, I noticed (or was reminded of) that my blood sugar is SO sensitive to exercise. That may be because I went from a workout fiend to...a person who rarely works out. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but at some point--between working later and feeling dizzy during my workouts--I started going to the gym less. I started getting frustrated that my blood sugar would drop so fast, so often. I got annoyed with having to cut my workout short or needing to stop and take a juice break. And then it just became a habit! Instead of figuring out my blood sugar so that I could work out, I just went straight home from work, made dinner, and relaxed. But, I know I feel so much better when I workout, and when I do, my blood sugar drops sooo quickly. Even just doing a 20-25 minute Jillian Michaels video made a huge difference. Not just for the day, but for the next day, too. I had to change my insulin ratio back to what it used to be when I worked out every day--1:15. On the 3rd day, I had to change my ratio back to what it is currently--1:12. This just shows me I need to workout more. And I need to work harder at figuring out my blood sugar for my workouts. I used to be good at it once upon a time.
Over the weekend, I went to visit some of my favorite people in Seattle! I love Portland, but sometimes I think about moving to Seattle. Two of my best friends from college live there--one actually just got done with grad school and moved back last month, so I was extra eager to see her. She was my roommate all 4 years of college AND we still call each other roommates. It was just us 2 for the first 2 years, then we acquired a 3rd roommate our junior year, and then a 4th senior year. My other Seattle friend, Laura, never lived with us, but we always lived close to each other and considered her our roommie, anyway. I always seem to luck out with roommates! Even now, after college.
So my boyfriend and I made the drive up to visit them, and we had so much fun. It was a short trip, but I plan on seeing them more frequently! The WEIRDEST thing happened when I was there, though I'm pretty sure I know what happened. My friend and her bf have 2 adorable, but semi-crazy cats. Well, my pump kept beeping because I was falling low. Every time, I woke up, I fished around for the wire and pulled my pump up to see what was going on. Until...I reached down and didn't feel the wire. I decided to start from the site--aha, there it is. Started trailing up the wire until my hand stopped--because there was NO wire. It was broken, cut, split off. I was so alarmed, that I shot straight up out of bed and looked for my pump. It was off to the side of my mattress (we were on the floor) with the rest of the wire attached. One of the cats had CHEWED the wire until it split! The weird thing is I wake up really easily and the wire didn't LOOK chewed. But that's the only explanation! My friend was a little shocked, but I told her it was no big deal and I had brought extra supplies so I just changed it out.
When I got home, I had to switch out my sensor and decided to try...the side butt spot. I usually go for the stomach region, but I wanted a change...and I've heard that people get good readings near the butt. But, I can only reach so far, and I don't want it to hit the toilet when I sit down. I don't know why that weirds me out (especially since it's covered by tape!), but it does. So I put it in a spot that's more like the side of my thigh. The only downside is that eventually it started pinching and getting a little tender. If I move my leg a certain way or my purse bumps against it, it huuuuurts. BUT, my sensor has been pretty terrific, and I don't want to give up a good spot just because it pinches every now and then. Gotta ride these sensors out!
A few pictures from over the years...including one from pre-D!