Dear Diabetes, you suck.

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

Tag: Healthy

To eat, or not to eat, that is the question…

ShakespeareIf shakespeare were diabetic that is what he would ask. I am so confused. When making a decision about whether or not to eat, I find myself consulting my CGM instead of asking myself if I’m hungry. This ends up with late afternoons where I have had just a small breakfast… why do I feel faint? why do I have a headache? why can I not concentrate well? …ummm…. maybe because a kid yogurt and a waffle are not enough to power my brain and body all day. Yeah, maybe that’s it. What’s that you say? I’m low at noon? I have a solution… let’s eat a whole chipotle burrito bowl and some chips and not take any insulin… let’s definitely not treat the low and then wait to normalize and then dose appropriately for the food I’m eating… no, let’s not do that, let’s just eat the whole burrito and then deal with it later. #fantasticplan #not

I’m really having trouble with food lately and it bugs me because I was never that way. I’ve had the occasional “I’m so fat” thoughts, but no more than anyone who lives in a beach city in CA… you would second guess yourself too if you lived in the land of models and beach volleyball players, it’s like a parallel universe… I digress. How for someone so responsible in nearly every aspect of my life, meticulously taking statistics and experimenting with behavioral change to improve my life and habits in other realms of my life — can I mess up/ignore the part of my life that actually comes with built in numbers, statistics and tracking? Maybe I’m tapped out. Maybe I’m in denial. Maybe I’m still angry. Maybe I’m defiant. I think it’s probably a little of all of those. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to motivate myself around taking care of my diabetes… I snooze my CGM like it’s an alarm clock, even though I know (when thinking rationally) that it is an important tool, there to keep me safe, not just be another irritating beeping device in the over populated world of smart devices. But I guess there is the most important contingency, “when thinking rationally.” Not only can I not claim that on a regular basis on my own, add in diabetes, and BiPolar and it’s a rare day that I’m rational all on my own… more days I can talk to myself and come to a rational conclusion, but there are a significant number of days where my sanity could definitely be questioned, let alone my ability to think rationally. So I guess this post ends the way most of my posts have been ending recently… help.

Dear Diabetes, Why do you hate food?

Sitting at my desk. Hungry. Today I’ve had a yogurt, a small sprite (blood sugar), and a packet of powdered doughnuts (sort of blood sugar) — that totals 550 calories. It also makes me that girl that tells you what she’s eaten today. If my blood sugar is at an okay level, do I need to eat? The answer is not yes or no, but another question — are you hungry? Do you need to eat calories? At 4pm today I was uncontrollably falling asleep, even though my blood sugar was fine… I was confused, there was an errant thought that maybe I haven’t eaten enough today, but I am convinced that that’s not it. I am hungry, but my blood sugar is okay, so I won’t eat anything. I’ll wait until my sugar is low enough that I have to emergency eat and then my sugar will spike up and again I won’t want to eat anything, because then I’ll have to give insulin and what if I give the wrong amount and then I crash, or if I don’t give enough and I go too high… the easy option is just not to eat anything unless absolutely necessary. My logical brain knows that this is the wrong choice, an unhealthy choice, but I’m scared and sad and mad and I have a headache. I feel like an idiot. Of course I don’t feel well… I haven’t provided my body with the calories it needs to function (enter excuses: but I’m at a fine/a little over weight or I ate yesterday, I should be okay). Again, my rational brain knows that this is not right, but I do nothing about it. I’ve been thinking about going to get something to eat for the last two hours, while my headache gets worse and I just sit here, whining about it to the internet. Everything I think of isn’t nutritious or wouldn’t be diabetic friendly. I’m so overwhelmed. Part of me doesn’t want to address this, but I know my current path/behavior is not sustainable. I hate change. my head hurts. I’m tired. my throat is dry and I’m stuffy and phlemy from allergies. I’m probably (definitely) dehydrated. Fuck Diabetes. I should probably get something to eat.

Apparently, a person needs about 2000 calories per day… so I’m roughly 1500 off the mark… Chipotle it is… now to convince myself to leave the house…

[Update: It took me another 2 hours to go get food… but I made it out of the house and ate. #GoTeamSophie #smallvictories]

First Crossfit with my Dexcom

Yesterday was a BIG day.

It was the first real Crossfit class I’ve been to since I started back working out. And it was my first real workout with the Dexcom. It went really well. It was hard. I’m sore today (which means I’m going to be really sore tomorrow). I didn’t crash, I dropped 80 mg/dL in an hour, but I walked out of there at around 90 mg/dL without having to stop in the middle of my workout. I sipped a gatorade/water mix the whole time and had my monitor somewhere where I could see/hear it most of the time. I also battled my ever present “not a part of” feeling — that thought that everyone in the group didn’t like me and no one wanted to be my friend… I’m so awkward (or at least I feel really awkward), in new situations. I am committing to myself and now to the internet universe that I am going to do something active three days per week. I want to do crossfit M/W/F each week, but I will accept any type of exercise to meet this goal. Also, after ten crossfit sessions, I will buy myself new shoes as a prize. #timidlyhopeful #cautiouslyoptimistic

I’m still working through potential diet plans and workout strategies to support staying active… recap of my findings to be posted soon. Special thanks to @t1dactiveliving for her help finding information.

Hey Diabetes, it’s here — now what?

3/24/14: My CGM arrived today. I’ve opened the box and looked inside and opened the boxes inside the box, and closed them again. They are now stacked neatly on the side of my desk, staring at me, as I glare back at them. It feels like the opposite of a christmas present… but it’s supposed to be good, it’s supposed to help me, it will help me. [glare at boxes]

I’m afraid to do it. I’m afraid not to do it. I’m stuck.

So, I just watched the dexcom video again, and re-read my friend’s email again… this sensor tool looks barbaric…  where am I supposed to put this again? Maybe if I just pretend it’s going to feel like I’m being stabbed with a knife, whatever it does feel like won’t be so bad in comparison. So, I’m sitting here with a quesadilla staring at the boxes. Now what?

Fast Forward to today — 1.5 days in: While eating my quesadilla and staring at the boxes, I took up a friend on her offer to come over and help me. It was not the end of the world like I imagined it would be — nor did it feel like I was stabbing myself. It surprisingly barely hurt at all, it was super strange to use the injection tool, but not terrible. Then there was the receiver… I swear I looked at the number on the box… turns out I entered it wrong… that was 30 minutes of wondering why it wasn’t working… but in the end it was able to get a signal, I waited until the next morning to calibrate (it went off asking for calibration after I fell asleep… my alarm clock reflex turned it off). And so far so good… it’s nice knowing where I’m at, irritating when I would have ignored how I felt (ex. when in a meeting at work), but nonetheless probably for the better. It’s annoying to remember to keep it with me all the time, I have ordered a purse/bag that I will hopefully be able to use to put in my briefcase and solo to solve this problem. I love data, that is not new. I’m still conflicted though. It caught a quick drop last night, which was great, but wearing the sensor makes me feel weird. Living in Southern California, I know it is going to be beach season soon… and then my sensor will label me as a sick person… I’m not thrilled about that, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to that. For now I’m wearing clothes to cover it and it’s helping… now to just keep telling myself that…

Gatorade, Water, and taking advice

Someone who has done this before might have some useful information. Go figure. Well, I listened and it actually worked. The day before yesterday I went to work out and I took a gatorade/water to sip throughout the workout and I was able to keep up through the whole hour, with no lows, only stopping to test once, and taking quick breaks to drink the gatorade/water — I actually finished my workout higher than I started (but still within range).

I’m excited because this was the first time I have been able to really push through a workout without hitting a “diabetes wall.” It was good, but also scary – in that, once again, I’m the only thing holding me back kind of way… good, but scary.

I will be excited to get the CGM for this — for crossfit taking a testing break out of my times should shave 30-45 seconds off of my overall workout times… as a competitive, type A person, that means a lot. #cautiouslyoptimistic

Nice Diabetes…(holding breath)

I feel like my diabetes is the beast that is taking a nap… if I just tip toe around quietly enough, maybe it will keep behaving… (fingers crossed).

So I survived the trip, I had some real rollercoastering on the way there, but minimal while I was there and pretty stable on the flight back. I feel better having done the trip — it seems to have settled that hurdle for me.

In other news, I just started a new job — and boy is it obvious how stress affects my numbers. Since I have been able to mellow out, I’ve barely had to use correctional insulin, just basal in the morning and before bed — probably honeymooning a bit, but I’ll take it.

My doctor recommended a blood glucose monitor last time I went in — still working through all of the insurance stuff, I was not thrilled at first, but my numbers were so out of whack that I was scared enough to agree to it. Now that I’ve had some time to adjust I can see the value in being able to see the pattern/trend of my numbers… even if I am less than thrilled about having something semi-permanently attached to me.

I realize this entry is a bit more of an update, rather than being content driven, but that’s where I’m at today.

Dear Diabetes, Today is going to be better, because I say so.

I woke up at 160. I made coffee, ate something, and went to work out. I made it through my workout with a half-way test of 183. Post-workout I’ve come in at 243. Not great, but I’m going to address it. I’m not going to panic and freak out, I’m going to do my best and monitor my progress. I’m going to the doctor later today and I will clearly explain what my experience has been and where I think I need help. I will listen to her advice and try my best to heed her direction. I will not beat myself up or hold myself to the overachiever’s standard of perfection. I say all of this, knowing that I will not be able to do any of it perfectly, but knowing that I am going to try my best to take care of myself physically and emotionally.

So, in summary, today is going to be better, because I say so.

An Explanation of the Frustration

On October 4, 2013 I went to urgent care during my lunch break because I thought I had a yeast infection…and I did, but I also had/have Type 1 Diabetes. I was 25 at the time, who gets diagnosed with Type 1 at 25, well me apparently, although to be fair, based on research I have done since, it’s not as rare as I previously thought, but seriously #solame.

So, one long stupid medical story later, I walk out of there with a diagnosis of diabetes (not yet confirmed as type 1 at this point), with a blood glucose meter, a bunch of prescriptions to pick up, and lab tests to be taken and an absolute bewilderment and denial.

So let’s make this more complicated, within the year prior to being diagnosed with diabetes I made peace with being gay, started the journey of living sober and I was diagnosed as BiPolar — so I had spent most of the previous year wrapping my head around those things, no where in my reality did I believe that I had the capacity to handle anything else, let alone anything else as life changing as diabetes. 

That survival/denial mode lasted for a bit, I went back to the doctor a few times, confirmed a Type 1 diagnosis, started on insulin, but over my first few months I became dissatisfied with the #JustDontDie type of care and sought out a more proactive doctor — this is where I’m at right now.

The moral of this story is that I’m learning to live with all of this. As cliche as it may sound, my goal is to thrive, rather than just survive. The guidance, advice and information I have received/been able to find so far does not adequately address thriving…only getting by, advice I am classifying as #JustDontdie, I am not interested in this type of advice. I want to learn the nitty gritty detailed information to help me thrive, not just survive each day.

I am an engineer by trade, sometimes painfully logical… like Star Trek Spock logical. I want all the details, all of the data, I will then process that data and determine the variables and the path that will lead me to the desired solution, the conclusion that I want — which in this case is to be a healthy happy person, in spite of everything else, any challenges, conditions, problems that I may incur.

So that’s where I’m at — I have started this blog as an outlet for my frustration, a chronicle of this journey, and to hold myself accountable for proactively seeking out information and resources that will support my goal of thriving as a healthy and happy person — and to put this information and my journey out into the universe with the hope of helping others, even if it’s only one other person, with their journey.

**Any entries pre-dating this one have been added to help give a full chronicle of my journey, give additional information and sometimes clearer context to future posts, and to help me process what has come before this point**

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