Great Motivation.

Over the course of the past 8-9 weeks I really stepped it up in terms of exercise.  I was consistently working out 3-4 times a week.  (That may not sound a lot to some, but compared to my doing nothing previously, it is to me)  Up to last week that is.  I wasn’t feeling too well; like I was coming down with some illness or something; so tried listening to my body and took a rest period.  Not so coincidentally, I started seeing too many ups and downs in my BG readings.  I knew I had to get back to it.  And last night I forced myself onto my elliptical for a really good workout.  And woke up to this.

Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t happen every single time I exercise.  But I do notice it a lot.  It’s a big difference.  And this has become my main motivation to keep up with exercise. And those undesirable complications that have begun to haunt me in little ways? Yeah keeping those to a bare minimum is also a huge incentive for me.  So when my lazy side tries to take over, I think I’m going to look at this picture.  Or recall the intravitreal injection I had recently.  And that should keep me going!

My 30.

So I missed Invisible Illness Week, but I still wanted to contribute my own “story” for the cause.  So here it goes …….. 

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 diabetes.

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1981.

3. But I had symptoms since: Probably not too long before I was diagnosed.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: I don’t really recall any adjustments. I was only 5 so I don’t remember life before having diabetes.

5. Most people assume: That I have the “bad” type of diabetes. To quote one of my D friends, type 1 is the “best” type :)

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Getting up ;)

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey’s Anatomy or House.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: Do I have to pick just one? I literally probably couldn’t live without my glucose meter however I really wouldn’t want to live without my insulin pump or my Dexcom continuous glucose monitor. Those two gadgets have kept my diabetes in check better than anything else in the past 29 years.

9. The hardest part about nights are: Worrying about low blood glucose levels that could be fatal.

10. Each day I take _6_ pills & vitamins.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Tend not to believe a word of any of it.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Neither please.

13. Regarding working and career: I have had a very successful career so far. Sometimes, as I’m getting older though, it can very quite tiring.

14. People would be surprised to know: I didn’t always take care of my diabetes the way I should have. (or maybe you’re not surprised?)

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: I can’t really answer this since diabetes isn’t new at all to me.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Anything I’ve ever done.

17. The commercials about my illness: Usually make me chuckle. The portrayal of diabetes is usually very far off from reality.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Hmm. Not being diabetic?

19. It was really hard to have to give up: Again, I don’t remember life before diabetes so I can’t recall having to give up anything.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Being a diabetes advocate.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Want it to last forever and ever.

22. My illness has taught me: Strength and positivity.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Can you eat that? Please don’t ever ask me that question.

24. But I love it when people: Ask me about diabetes – what it is and how it is managed, etc.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: When live gives you one hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have one thousand reasons to smile.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: It can be hard but I’ve been doing it for almost 30 years and I’m still here and thriving :)

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: The lack of knowledge that people have about it.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Get me something to drink or eat when I was low.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: There are so many invisible illnesses that people live with yet outsiders have no idea what they are like. People may have it harder than is shown on the outside.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Accomplished. I hope I’ve taught a thing or two.

Small Victories.

Part of the lives we lead as people with diabetes includes much interaction with places like doctor’s offices and pharmacies and insurance companies. I think it’s common knowledge that sometimes dealing with these types of places can be aggravating. To say the least. To put that on top of the already mundane and tiresome task of managing diabetes, it can feel overwhelming. That’s why when things go smoothly and there is an organization or individual that goes out of their way to help you even in small ways, it can feel like a huge victory.

Edgepark is a medical supply company. I initially used them just for the shipment of my Dexcom sensors. I believe they were the preferred supplier per my insurance. Then I began getting my pump supplies from them as well. Mostly for convenience. Then I was contacted by one of their representatives who I’ll call “J”. She asked what my current method was for getting test strips. When I told her I got them via my local retail pharmacy, she asked if I would be interested in getting those from them. When she explained that it would be covered under my durable medical equipment coverage and not my prescription coverage with a much lower co-pay, I happily agreed. So for the past year I think, I’ve been getting test strips from them as well. When I recently switched to Freestyle from One Touch as my primary testing, they allowed me to switch with no problems whatsoever. Then the other day it dawned on me. What about the ketone strips I pay a ridiculous amount of money for? Could those be provided by them too? Well I called J and sure enough she got right on it and I should have those delivered to me in the next few days. (Pending insurance approval obviously) This may not sound like much of an effort on her part but it’s the little things that can take some stress off of us. That can lighten our burden just a little. And we can be thankful that there are people or companies out there offering fantastic service when we have so much to deal with.

Disclaimer: I do not have any affiliation with Edgepark. They do not know that I am posting this story today nor have they asked me to review their service. If they do read this however, thank you J and Edgepark! :)

Update.

Happy Friday everyone! I feel like I’m a little behind in providing an update on my retinopathy situation but here it goes.

Last week I had done what is called an intravitreal injection of a medication called Lucentis. From what I understand, the medicine works to stop the growth of the blood vessels in the eye which in turn stops those vessels from leaking. I was pretty anxious at just the thought of having the doctor administer a needle in my eye. I mean it sounds kind of scary doesn’t it? But I survived without any issues. It wasn’t painful believe it or not but in all honesty, wasn’t too pleasant. And maybe I’m just a big baby but so be it! I think with the eye being one of the most sensitive parts of the body in my opinion, any treatment in the area is going to be pretty uncomfortable. The whole procedure took about only 10 minutes. Quite a few numbing drops were inserted into my eye, along with some kind of numbing ointment applied with a Q tip. They used a speculum which is a device to keep the eye open. And then I was asked to look down and to the right and the doctor injected the medication right in. It’s a really unusual feeling to have all of this fluid rushing to your field of vision and I didn’t like it at all. My orders were to apply antibiotic drops four times between that day & the next but I didn’t have to restrict any activities or anything. I was told I may have some discomfort for 24 hours and to keep a watch for any real pain, redness or difference in vision. That night and the next day my eye felt like there was something sharp in it that I couldn’t rub or get out. Quite sore. It was also tearing a lot with sensitivity to light. The following two days were a bit better but still felt like there was something in it and I had periods of cloudiness. Now, 9 days later, my eye is pretty much back to normal. Thank goodness.

I have a follow up appointment in about 5 weeks to see how my eye responded to the treatment. I’m praying that it worked and that I won’t need another any time soon. Apparently it’s possible to need multiple treatments. I cannot even imagine. I know that some PWD have had more intense treatments for retinopathy and my heart goes out to them. I also hope by monitoring the health of my eyes on a regular basis, I will be able to treat anything before it becomes severe. If there is anything I’ve learned from this experience it is that routine examinations are critical.

I hope the weather improves for everyone, safety and calm remains for us where terror alerts have been issued and take a moment on Sunday to remember those whose lives were lost on 9/11.    

Diabetes Art Day 2011

I’m so sorry for being late to the Diabetes Art Day party!  I’ve had some things going on (like getting a needle in my eye but that’s a whole other story and no excuse).

Anywho, here is my contribution.  And once again I must thank my wonderful hubby who helped me er, created this little piece of art :)  It’s the DOC truck!

Yes that is supposed to me driving ;)

Not sure if you can make it out but it has a specialized license plate that reads DOC!