Dear Diabetes, you suck.

a front end developer who also happens to have type 1 diabetes

Month: October 2015

I’m drinking coffee because my mouth tastes like shit.

IMG_1671I swear to god I brushed my teeth… but my sugars are 300+ so I could basically drink straight mouth wash and I would still be able to taste the glucose. Btw, I did not get to have fun getting to this point, there was no candy, or juice, or cookies (my downfall)… I didn’t pack enough snacks, if you know me, this is a ridiculous statment… I always have a grocery store’s worth of snacks with me, the way my blood sugar has been I’ve just been going through them, one correction followed by the next, one way or the other… trying not to over correct and fishtail or ping-pong or whatever you want to call those nausea making dips and spikes between low lows and high highs. And just a back burner thought… I’m going to be awake forever after all this caffeine… time to switch to decaf #fml #fuckdiabetes

Happy Dia-Birthday to Me

secondbirthdayOctober 4th 2013… this date will forever be burned into my memory. On the phone with my sister, pacing outside of the urgent care I had gone to on my lunch break to “just get a Z pack” because there was no service in the building… with my phone dying, in a tank-top, shorts, and flip flops in a freezing building, being told that I needed to go to the hospital. I hesitated when my sister asked if I wanted her to come down to be with me… the hesitation was all she needed, she didn’t wait for me to answer, stopped only long enough to ask me to text her the address. I will never forget that day, my sister an amazing human, who made me feel loved and safe, and somehow less hostile about accepting help. I don’t really feel up to rehashing my whole Dx story, but I didn’t want to let this milestone go by without some sort of processing around it — I spent the actual anniversary with my sister, it was an amazing, simple, regular day — as regular as any day with diabetes… as regular as any day is for me.

 

We all put on our pants one leg at a time… except when we don’t

HoldPantsStep 1. Hold Pants

*no joke, this is actually a thing on the internet, check it out

This might be an odd way of explaining this, but diabetes has fundamentally changed the way I get dressed and undressed every single day. I realized this when I went to change pants and I realized that instead of just pulling my pants off one leg at a time I used both hands to lift the waistband equally over my quads… weird right? nope. if you had something taped to the front of one of your legs all the time you wouldn’t want to randomly rip it off either. This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s different, diabetes has changed my behavior in a fundamental way that does not directly have to do with eating or working out or doctors appointments or anything that diabetes officially “touches.” I even found myself worrying lately that my pods were going to leave permanaent wear marks in my jeans/slacks like the least cool version of a skoal ring (dip is bad for you don’t do it). So now not only diabetes is ruining everything else, changing my pants-putting-on-techniques, but it is actually ruining my pants themselves. Seriously?! What kind of fucking disease ruins pants (*technically it would be the pods, and I later assessed that the stretching wasn’t as bad as I had initially thought… #t1dDrama)… but seriously, actual pants are clearly out of the reach/perview of diabetes… it’s a disease, these are pants. Spoiler, and this seriously just popped into my head… diabetes touches everything, even the things you think are totally unrelated, random, or sacred, repeitive, or one-off, every single part of my life is affected by this day-to-day bullshit. Even fucking pants. fuck that.

the deeper meaning of the Apple Watch

T1D Dop Kit

my t1d dop kit that goes everywhere… and the coffee that often accompanies it, haha

it’s a bit glitchy, it doesn’t work all the time, but for the most part the Dexcom Share app with the Apple Watch app have been an incredible combination for me. My Apple Watch arrived just before going away for a week, I was in the woods, so the NightScout option would not work well without cell reception, a perfect time to test drive the Apple Watch… there’s no learning curve, right? WRONG. Huge learning curve. I could do literally nothing other than check my blood sugar for the first week, but hey, that’s what I bought it for anyway… I asked myself before I bought it “Do I really need this? Is this really going to be so different than looking at the receiver?” but ever the tech geek, I used diabetes as a solid reason to buy the Apple Watch… it was an amazing choice. worth every penny. As with all type 1 diabetics, with me all the time is at least a BG meter, test strips, and a lancing device… in addition I usually have in my standard kit… my Dexcom reciever, fast-acting glucose, insulin vial, extra batteries, lancets, an extra OmniPod pod, and paperclip (OmniPod screetching stopper) (the kit also has a Tile in it in case I lose it) … not kidding, that shit comes with me everywhere, and by some standards that’s a “light” kit… if I were a diabetic parent rather than the diabetic I might carry more too (not sure what that says). Anyway, all of that fits into a small-ish REI dop kit bag… that comes with me EVERYWHERE. Most of the time this is fine, it’s in my briefcase or backpack and no one is any the wiser, but sometimes I’m just carrying the kit — social/happy hour type events where I just want to socialize and no one else needs “stuff” sometimes it’s awkward to have to carry my diabetic kit with me the whole time… the Apple Watch solved this. I was able to put my kit down on one side of a room and see my blood sugar without having to go back to check the reciver in my kit… I was still in range of the receiver, and like I mentioned earlier it isn’t perfect, sometimes I still have to go back and check it from the receiver, but I cannot describe how incredibly freeing it was to be in a conversation, wonder what my blood sugar is, glance down at my watch, and see my BG value right there… barely a pause in conversation, no having to explain anything, no conversation change followed by “What’s that?” having to launch into a whole… this is what type 1 is, no it’s not like type 2, no I can’t exercise it away, yes, I know you can’t believe that I was diagnosed as an adult, but really it’s not that uncommon, (insert other trite questions/explainations). Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I am happy to be the advocate, if I am the only type 1 someone has met and I can do something so that they have a better understanding, I’m all for that… but maybe just not all the time, every single time… just a few times I would like to be able to check that I’m safe without having to launch into all of that, this is what the Apple Watch has given me. I can’t explain what that 20 feet of freedom from the Dexcom receiver has meant… I could try to explain the emotional component to the technical and objective explanation above, but I just can’t put words to it… freedom, space, safety, independence, ownership, scary/amazing… I’m not a writer, just a diabetic with lots of feelings.

Rebranding Type 1

MathTest

I hate this image. I hate everything about it. First off this person cannot do simple subtraction, second, and more importantly it illustrates the complete and total ignorance of some people when it comes to understanding diabetes, type 1 or type 2. Add to this (math joke, womp womp) the misunderstandings between type 1 and type 2, which are two entirely different diseases, similar treatments are used, but the causes are entirely different… go ahead, ask a diabetic if they have the “good” kind or the “bad” kind of diabetes, I dare you…

I came across an article on my LinkedIn feed calling for the rebranding of type 1 diabetes to Auto-immuine Beta Cell Disorder or ABCD for short. The name makes sense, and speaks to the cause rather than the effect of the disease, which is how types of diabetes are classified in the first place. We saw an initial rebranding to type 1 from juvenile diabetes to address the association that only children could be diagnosed with type 1. Is this the next step? Could/would this stick? It would definitely help with the confusion with type 2 and maybe stop a few people from telling me about their (inser connection) who got on a diet and started working out and now they don’t have diabetes anymore… I don’t know though, I’m not sure how I feel about saying “I have ABCD” sounds kind of made up, like when you put place holder text in a presentation.

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