Living with Type I Diabetes

Boy oh boy!! After having the flu for a week and a half and ending up in the hospital with 104 degree fever, dehydration, and 400+mg/dl daily BG averages for four days in a row (with ketones), my body has decided to allow itself to be put back together again and get well. ….been back at work chasing my class of 11 three year olds (I teach pre-k3) for a week now and I finally feel like I’m almost caught back up with life. …apparently the world doesn’t stop for 10 days just because I do. Darn. …just when I was starting to think I was just THAT Fabulous!!

I’m really glad me and all my fabulous-ness got well in time for my appointment with my CDE this past Monday afternoon, because we had sensor training set up. …..and I now OFFICIALLY have my Minimed CGM! Woo-Hoo!! –Houston, we are CoNNEcTEd. My robotic-ness has stepped it up a level.

Now, let’s back this carriage up a minute. When I first got my pump and all the way up until late Monday night– after I had been hooked up to the sensor for a few hours, I was pretty opposed to the thing. Okay, let’s be real. I was downright Against getting the thing. ..I just wasn’t sure if -body image wise- I could handle it (another device/object attached to me, especially that big & always on my abdomen).. And I wasn’t sure if I could handle something EXTRA in my life right now— no matter how ‘good, positive, & helpful’ it might be.

Well, color me purple, because even though I don’t like the bulkiness of the thing, I am utterly AMAZED at this little device. Several hundred BG checks a day and no pokes. Sweet!! Cool graphs right on my pump screen. Flippin Awesome!! Before I get into anything else, let’s just say I L-O-V-E my CGM——Overall (keyword, here).

The great, but not so great part of my CGM is figuring out the reason why I am SO exhausted when I wake up in the morning, even when I’ve gotten an adequate amount of sleep. …my blood sugar is climbing into the 190s to 250s in the middle of the night and looks like one of those scary rollercoasters on my graphs.. And I have thought I’ve been okay for the last I don’t know how long because I’m going to sleep in the 120s to 130s. Thank you CGM for the info. Bless you. …Holy Blood Sugars, Batman, I need some middle of the night (Dawn Phenomenon) basal adjustments.


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So, I got a new tattoo tonight (that makes it sound like I am covered in tattoos, which I’m not).  Anyways, the anniversary of my grandpa’s death was last week and I have really been wanting to do something to help me find some closure and some peace with ‘the end of this life’ for him. I’ve had a really hard time with his death (which was on February 4, 2006).

My grandpa helped raise me. I felt safe with him. He was the kind of man that made you feel stronger just by being around him. Now granted, strength and wisdom like that also meant that we could NEVER get away with anything (and we most definitely didn’t!!) …but He was the Rock in my family. I remember (pre-D) going to get Frito Pies from the place down the road from the farm that served them in the Frito’s bag and just cut it open and poured the chili inside. We would go down the road and get them, come back to the farm, and sit on the tailgate on the back of his green Chevrolet Z71 truck with our Frito Pie’s after helping “Paw-Paw” all day in the pasture. …And we Loved It. He also wore blue jean overalls with a t-shirt underneath ALL the time. I rarely remember him wearing something else. He was such a hard worker. Never complained about anything and loved being there for his family. He took pride in his work and in his family. Nothing could separate him from the two.

I never saw him sick until he got cancer. He got it the same year I was diagnosed with D and the same year other things in my life were pretty crazy. It was pretty rough. He fought for 5 years. Hard. Until the cancer finally took his breath away.

His favorite flower was the sunflower. He Loved them. Even though they are technically weeds, he still saw the beauty in them. They grew wild at the farm and along the roads around there, and I remember him planting them at his house.. even right around the time he passed away. At his funeral, there were sunflowers. We laid sunflowers on his grave, and I have since -once- laid sunflowers on his grave again. My grandfather was a special man, and I believe that even the semblance in his love for the sunflower shows the beauty, value, and poise of his character. —He looked at the value and truth about the flower…not just what people-and the world-said about the flower. He believed the best.

So, I got a sunflower tattooed on the left side of my chest…right above my heart. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I finally decided it is what I really want and it’s what I really wanted to do.


Grandpa–may I always hold you close…and may I always remember how hard you fought and how you never stopped reaching out to me and being there for me in my struggles, both with D and with other things, even in the midst of your own overwhelming and frightening battle. I love you.

This past week has been really difficult for me. My eating disorder (the restricting side of it) has really flared up again. I’m finding it hard to just make myself eat anything. …I’m not even close to following my meal plan, which is scary.

I know how slippery of a slope this can be, especially with D and my insulin.

Having diabetes and an eating disorder seems to make the need and drive for control even more vicious when I am faced with a wall like the one I am looking at now. With my ED, I feel as though I can establish some sort of control over my body, when I may otherwise have very little. When my mind is in the depths of the disorder, I am fueled by the fact my ED is something no one can take away from me.. something that brings some sort of inner loci of control into my life and into my world that my seem unmanageable and overwhelming at times.

One of the biggest parts of diabetes that I have struggled with is very closely related to my ED. Having diabetes makes me feel so out of control of my body. I never know when I’ll be up or when I’ll be down. Am I going to get low in a parking lot while putting up groceries, (or worse) at work, when teaching my class of eleven 3 year olds, (or even worse) while driving?? …And then there are the times when my blood sugars are super high and I can’t get them to go down and the way that makes me feel physically. …When I’m sick and it’s twice as bad because my blood sugars don’t seem to Ever want to behave themselves during those times…even with extra insulin. It’s a battle  inside the confines of my own mind and body.

I remember being diagnosed with D and the image I couldn’t and still can’t get out of my head was one of a little green monster with tools (kind of like the little green monster on the plaque commercials) running around inside my belly tapping on things and making me sick. I know it sounds a little crazy, but I guess that’s just how my imaginative mind conjured up an understanding of this disease at that time.

I know I have a choice today to take care of myself, and I guess that’s the difference between now and times in the past.

It’s easy to get caught up in the fantasy of denial with an eating disorder and diabetes, but I know and have experienced some of the not so pretty truths with both. When I really think about it, this eating disorder is not worth what it costs, but the trick and the question in the matter is how to surrender control…

The Emergency Room and I greeted each other earlier tonight despite the ice and frigid temperatures thanks to D.

My blood sugars decided to be stubborn for the third time today and stay above 300 no matter how much insulin I pumped (or shot) into my body. Didn’t get quite as high as last night, thank God, but high enough to freak me out and cause my mother who is 13 hours away to threaten to “drive over to North Texas–snow, ice, and all–to make sure I’m taking care of myself.”

Plus… my ears/head are killing me and my throat is now hurting so bad I can barely swallow. Turns out I have a severe middle ear infection. –Haven’t had one of those since I was a kid!!

All of that to say, I’m glad I went. BG a much safer 199 now and seems to be trending down based on the last few checks… and I know why my head/ears/throat are on fire!

I had one problem during my soiree at the Regional:

{Exchange between the ER physician, whom I’ve seen before, and Me}–

Doctor: “You sure have a lot of medical problems for someone your age.” (mind you, this is the FOURTH time I’ve seen this ER doctor since I moved here…he made it clear that he remembered me).

Me: “<<<crickets>>>

Doctor: “You were the one………” (and he starts to list)

-23 blood sugar/CPR/coma last fall

-eating disorder treatment

-wrist surgery  (and proceeds to walk over to the bed to look at my wrist… my surgery was 2 1/2 months ago…he wasn’t the surgeon, he was just at the er that day, and my wrist is 100% healed)


Me: “<<<crickets>>>

What are you supposed to say to comments like that. “Thanks Doctor, can you remind me of some more situations like that? ….. Yes, I sure do have a lot of medical problems.. I hate my life.. I’m 22 and my life is ruined because I suffer from chronic diseases.”

AHHHHH!!!! Now granted, my PCP, Endo, and CDE aren’t like that at all, but some people in the healthcare field just drive me crazy with their pre-judgement and insensitivity.

What they don’t know (and sometimes don’t even care to ask) is that yes, it IS difficult sometimes and yes, there ARE times I just want to scream at anything that walks (and sometimes even anything that doesn’t…a wall will do just fine), but even when I am going through those difficult moments, my illness doesn’t make me WHO I AM…just like when I am going through happy, celebratory, and joyous moments, my illness doesn’t make me WHO I’s just a part of my life—an aspect of the big picture.

So, to me, in that respect, just because someone is in “perfect health” doesn’t mean WHO THEY ARE is perfect…so why is it that those of us with a lil’ extra to deal with (i.e. a chronic illness like diabetes) become ‘tainted’ by our illness in the eyes of some?

Just a Question.

Why Hello…

Hello fellow PWD and others!

After reading multiple other blogs for the better part of the last few months, I finally decided to join the DOC and jump in with my own blog, stories, and love for writing.

Now, let me tell ya…for someone who somehow manages to test blood sugars, estima– (er..I mean count) carbs in multiple food products, and place tons of numbers into a little machine named Tequila (my pump) multiple times a day SURE knows how to procrastinate when it comes to starting up a blog! …It was even a Snow Day today (benefits of being a teacher..woo hoo) and I still didn’t even manage to start this whole sha-bang until 11pm!! …and then I got so into that when my 11pm bg came up at 268 (I’ve been sick) and I went to the bathroom, I FORGOT to bolus!!!

DARMMIT!! What was I thinking?! Now, if I wasn’t sick and all, Mr. 268 may have come down a bit. But No.

1am. Head Spinning. Nausea a bit. Have to Pee. Test Blood Sugar.

394. WHAT?! My bg hasn’t been this high since I got on my pump. Test again…just to confirm that Mr. One Touch isn’t pulling my leg.. and just to confirm that my spinning head is seeing the numbers right. It IS 1am. I HAVE been snowed in all day.  And my blood sugar IS almost 400.

Test #2: 396. Mr. One Touch is legit. Bolused with Trusty Tequila (not the kind in the Jose Cuervo bottle, Tequila’s my pump, remember).

Stare at computer screen. DO NOT fall asleep yet. Now is an example of a time when I wish I had my CGM on…or maybe not. From the stories I hear, I’d probably still be awake from it’s wonderful alarms anyway.

45min. later— 1:45am— 361. Setting my alarm for 3am. Yay for responsibility with D.

Goodnight Moon. Goodnight Stars. Goodnight PWD in the DOC.

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