Today is my father’s birthday and he would have been 72. It’s hard for me to imagine him at such a mature age, since it’s been so long that he has been gone. While the ache in my heart from losing him isn’t new anymore, it is still there and always will be. I found the below images and found them to be perfect for today.
Happy birthday Daddy. I will always miss you deeply.
Apparently I was busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday since I didn’t get a chance to post the last three days of Diabetes Blog Week! But I’m here now to wrap things up in a combined post.
Diabetes Life Hacks from Friday was the sharing of the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes. Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)
I wouldn’t say I have too many suggestions of tips and tricks that I use that haven’t been posted already. The only thing I can think of is using hydrocortisone cream after removing pods (or infusion sets). I know those little cannulas can leave marks, some of which can seem permanent, but I think this has helped in that area. I use the one by Aveeno but I would imagine any type would work just as well. I just apply a liberal amount to the area which was the home for the pod for the previous 3 days. I also used this before switching to the pod, when I used a tubed pump with infusion sets. I really think that it helps the skin heal and not leave any permanent marks.
Saturday Snapshots from Saturday was back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like! With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.
I post lots of diabetes related pictures on Facebook or Instagram on a normal basis. Doesn’t everyone?? Here is one from Saturday specifically – it was a soft landing from a super high BG resulting from a leaky pod. It took a little longer than I would have liked for the new pod and insulin to catch up but at least I didn’t crash 🙂 (for the record, leaky pods is not a normal occurrence for me. I had it on my left arm and had bumped it while walking through doorways not once but twice so I’m thinking I jarred it loose)
And finally Sunday was a wrap up of another Diabetes Blog Week, let’s share a few of our favorite things from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing!
While I find it completely impossible to totally keep up with everything during blog week (umm hello, I couldn’t even blog every day!) and didn’t really have the time to comment much, I did read a lot and love seeing everyone come together and share thoughts and ideas. A huge thank you to Karen who illustrates her awesomeness every year by organizing this event. I will be going back to my regularly-scheduled-once-in-a-while-blogging now 😉
Day 4 of Diabetes Blog Week is here and we are getting back to the positive with our topic Mantras and More. Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets you through a hard day? Or, more specifically, a hard diabetes day? Something positive you tell yourself, or mantras, or what you fall back on to get you through. Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)
There were two things that came immediately to mind when I read the topic for today. They may sound silly but I’m posting them anyway 🙂
The first is you can do this. I think even before the official You Can Do This Project was born, this saying was a bit of a pep talk I’d use to myself when things get tough. Battling stubborn high blood sugar? You can do this. A1c not where I want it? You can do this. Being sent for tests to rule out diabetes related complication? You can do this. Scary feeling low blood sugar seeming to last forever? You can do this. Getting up the courage to tell my story? You can do this. And on and on. Doing the things that at times seem like I can’t, certainly beats the alternative.
The second is a blast from the past and for some reason got stuck in my head when thinking about diabetes related mantras. Anyone remember this? Love it! (shout out to Mike who I learned thought of this in relation to today’s topic as well!)
Suga Sheen – All The Diabetics
I think most importantly, when the going gets tough I just remind myself that things could always be worse. Even if it may seem like the worst possible moment in the world, it most likely is not.
Today is Day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week and the topic = May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)
To me, this is probably both the easiest and the hardest topic to write about. The easiest because there is just so much that goes into managing diabetes psychologically so the material is endless. The hardest because sometimes it just seems simpler to not confront the negative emotions that come with dealing with it day in and day out.
I think what brings me down the most was seeing first hand all the complications from T1D my father endured for years, ultimately losing his life from it all. There is not much more heartbreaking than losing a parent, especially losing them to the same disease you yourself live with. However instead of dwelling on those dreadful, heartrending, painful details I focus on the life that I am living. I have had T1D for over 32 years already. And while I have started with minor complications, they are minor. I am extremely fortunate to have access to tools and resources that help keep me on top of my diabetes as best I can. Early detection is critical which is why I have routine exams with multiple doctors. While I’m fearful of complications that may occur, I do not want to encourage the progression of those complications by discounting them. My father was diagnosed during a very different era of diabetes management and I need to remind myself of that. He also went undiagnosed for a long period of time based on symptoms. I on the other hand, was diagnosed very early, thanks to the knowledge he and my mother possessed.
I try my hardest to focus on the positive. I take one BG at a time. I take one doctor visit at a time. I strive to accept the things I cannot change and since I cannot change having T1D, I need to accept it. If I let it, the fear and weight of his suffering and his loss would consume me. So I choose to not let it.
So I’m playing catch up with Day 1 of Diabetes Blog Week. And hoping I’ll stay caught up the rest of the week. Stay tuned for that.
Day 1’s topic was “Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)”
While every aspect of living with diabetes or caring for a loved one with diabetes means a lot to me; access to supplies, mental health, peer support, proper education, etc. Nothing gets my blood boiling quite like test strip inaccuracy. I’ve blogged about this a number of times and luckily we had the opportunity to raise our concerns to the FDA recently. But the seriousness of this issue just boggles my mind in 2014. When I was first diagnosed, like many other people with T1D, I didn’t even have a blood glucose meter. And while I appreciate the ease in which I can have my pick of glucose meters today, none of that should matter if the results I get day in and day out are not completely accurate. While I love a color screen or a nice back light or a quick five second reading or an app that automatically uploads readings, none of those things are as important to me as accuracy. We dose ourselves with a medication that can be lethal if not administered correctly based on those results!
My ultimate goal living with diabetes is to do the best I can and stay as healthy as I can be. And while access to supplies, my mental health from peer support and proper education will certainly help me do that, none of that will matter if my blood sugar readings aren’t accurate.
If you haven’t heard already, this week is Diabetes Blog Week, started by the lovely Karen! I’m late to the party, but was able to put my writing cap on to get in a post for Day 2. (I will certainly be catching up at some point on the Day 1 entry that I missed)
Numbers. Numbers. Numbers.
A 32 year life with T1D.