There is something new and fun going on this week. Thanks to the creative, artful mind of Lee Ann over at The Butter Compartment, this Wednesday, September 1st is the deadline for the first ever Diabetes Art Day! She is asking all the people in the diabetes community (directly or indirectly) to “break out of our linguistic comfort zones, bust out some art materials, and make a piece of artwork – painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, an installation piece, a mixed media something or other, or whatever you can imagine”. Once it’s done, share it on September 1st. In addition to your own blog or website, there are a few other places to post your work. You can post it at TuDiabetes, which will also give you a chance to win a copy of the No Sugar Added Poetry book, the group created over at Diabetes Daily or the group created over at dLife.
So get your art supplies and get working :)
Yesterday was a day that I felt like a bottom-less pit. I indulged in a few more snacks than usual (not all bad ones!) and most of the day my bg stayed in check. That was until last night when I overdid it with the pretzel m&m’s. Before I went to bed, my bg was 221 mg/dL. Not completely horrible but not ideal either. Darn those m&m’s! I then thought to myself “ that’s what you get for cheating”. I’m not sure where that thought even came from but it’s something I haven’t considered for quite some time. And it got me thinking. When I was a child with diabetes in the 80’s, there was no such thing as the bolus or carb counting we know today. I took probably 2 injections a day, as set times, at least for my regimen. There was no “covering” food with insulin. So you had to be more careful about what food you consumed to prevent high bg. And that’s probably where the concept of cheating came from. If you consumed more food than what was “allowed”, your high bg was a result of cheating. If you look up the definition of the word cheating, you will find: an act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition. And I think most would agree that the purpose of one’s cheating is usually to gain an advantage of some sort. Eating that results in a high bg, not so much an advantage. Those times when I was little and used to sneakily eat candy or cookies, then lie about it – that’s deceitful so yeah I’d say that’s cheating. But I cannot for the life of me figure out how eating too many carbs is “cheating”. So from this point on, despite the amount of carbs I may consume, I will take out my portable pancreas, calculate the insulin I should take and will *not* consider the word cheating ever again.
I am not a stranger to a lot of you but this is my new home. This post here I wrote a while back somewhere else but thought it fitting for my “opening statement” here.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 5 years old which was also many years ago. There was no blood testing with glucose meters instead there was mainly testing blood sugar levels by using urine strips; there was no multiple daily injections (MDI’s) management instead there were 1 or 2 injections of NPH and Regular insulin; there was no “carb counting” just doctor’s instructions to stay away from foods like candy and pizza. I cannot tell you how much I have seen diabetes management change in the past 28 years. Not only am I now using an insulin pump after being on MDI’s for what seemed like forever, I am using a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) which constantly measures glucose levels from interstitial fluid. Wow. But almost as important as the technology available to diabetics to manage their condition, is a network of support to help cope with the emotional challenges that come along with it.
It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I really met other people my age with diabetes. There was actually this diabetes community out there that I never knew about! I thank modern technology for helping me find these people :). Initially, the diabetes myspace group members I connected with offered me so many tips and advice about things that I really thought I should have known. These online contacts grew into friends that I truly cared about even without ever meeting them in person. Then I was lucky enough to meet a few who lived in my area and they are now not only my “fellow diabetes” friends but true friends of mine. I have learned so much from them and can’t even describe the connection one feels when sharing similar experiences. The people in the diabetes community have become a very important part of my life and knowing that I can share both my diabetes struggles and accomplishments with people who can completely relate is such a good feeling. I can only wish that every type 1 finds support like I have.