Saturday, December 14, 2013

MiniMed 530G with Enlite

Medtronic recently released a new system for PWD. The system is called MiniMed 530G with Enlite. The biggest improvement in this upgrade is the threshold suspend feature. That is, the pump will automatically suspend insulin delivery for 2 hours if your blood sugar (via the sensor readings) goes below a certain number. The new sensor with this pump is supposed to be more accurate, smaller, and easier to insert.

I love Medtronic and am extremely pleased with their products overall so I decided to start their new system. I worked closely with my endo, CDE and medtronic rep to get the ball rolling on this new pump. I've been on it for about two weeks now and I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts about it.


The things I like about this system:

  • Not much changed as far as how to work the pump is concerned. I didn't have to learn a lot about working the actual pump itself because its pretty much the same. 
  • The threshold suspend feature is amazing. 
  • I love that I have the option to either let my pump suspend or restart the basal. You are not required to have the pump suspended for two hours. That was my biggest concern.
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE the message that pops up on the screen when the pump goes into threshold suspend mode. It says something like "I have diabetes, call for emergency assistance. To clear ESC then ACT." That's freaking amazing. Since the pump will alert nonstop, it is likely that someone will be able to help/get help for a person that is unresponsive and wearing this pump. Seriously, amazing.
  • The accuracy has been improved quite a bit.
  • The sensor is FDA approved for 6 days instead of 3.
Things I don't like about this system:

  • While the accuracy has improved tremendously, its still not what I want it to be. It took about four hours after the initial calibration for the sensor values to be even remotely close to my meter readings. That's a bummer.
  • The cannula for the senor is smaller (not as long), which is a plus, but kind of annoying. It's so much easier for me to sit the wrong way or move in the wrong direction and the sensor will fall right out. They're way too expensive to be wasted.
  • The insertion process is a bit of a hassle and the insertion device looks like some sort of robot contraption-like  machine. It's weird, dude,
All in all, I am very pleased. I am looking forward to all the things Medtronic will offer in the future and I am extremely grateful for the technological advances that are poking their heads out at all of us, making diabetes that much more manageable every day. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Power in Numbers

You never know how much your actions affect the lives of others. I always try to treat others the way I want to be treated. With that being said, I have great news. 

A couple of posts back I told you all that on the day of my diaversary (diabetes anniversary) I met another diabetic. I gave her all my contact info and told her to never hesitate to get in touch with me if she ever needed to. That was in the beginning of June. Fast forward to three days ago...

This past Sunday was my first day in, literally, 2 months to sit down and relax. So I checked my personal email account (which is the email address that I gave to the fellow diabetic back in June). I had a bunch of junk emails from clothing stores because all I do is shop but there was one email with a subject line that said "I could really use some help". It was from the 16 year old diabetic that I met months ago. Here's the email that she sent me. Word for word. 

"Hey Shannon,
Not sure if you remember me but we met at the bowling alley on Brady street not too long ago. I'm 16 and diabetic and you told me to contact you if I needed anything. And right now I just need some support. I'm trying my hardest to keep my blood sugars in order but it seems that my best is never good enough. I went to my first endo appointment since my diagnosis and my a1c was 9.9. When I was diagnosed it was 10.2. My doctor is working with me and my insurance company to put me on the pump. Animas Ping, is that what you have? I don't know why I'm so upset about this right now. Maybe I just needed to vent a little. I checked myself before I started typing this. I was 409. I really do want to give up. How do you deal with disease on a daily basis? I try and talk to my parents about all this but they don't really understand so I feel like they're just pitying me and that's annoying. It would be better if I could talk to someone that lives with this daily. I understand if you don't want to help a complete stranger but I would love if you responded. 
Peace be with you,
Lauren "

I was astonished. And shocked. And grateful. And angry. And sad. I wanted to take away her pain, this complete stranger, and give her happiness of some sort but I knew that all I could do was tell her the truth. 

My response: Lauren, thank you for reaching out to me. I'm so happy you found the courage to ask for help. First off, I use a Medtronic pump but I could give you plenty of contact info for animas users. You asked me how I do this every day and the truth is, I do it by talking to people like you. I find comfort in knowing that I'm not alone. I reach out to others. I try not to hold in my anger. I cut myself some slack when I see a bad number on my meter. I keep reminding myself that these numbers do not define who I am by any means. I take deep breaths when I'm ready to give up. I keep pushing myself.I let myself have bad days. I cry. I laugh. I surround myself with people I love. I try to appreciate the little things in life. I change basals. I correct highs and treat lows. I get paranoid. I work hard and I make sure I'm doing my best. It sounds to me like you're doing all that you can. Keep contacting me. Keep trying your best. You may not always have perfect numbers but knowing you're not alone makes things easier. Lauren, do not keep beating yourself up over this. There's no easy way out of diabetes. You just have to live life with a few extra precautionary measures. Just remember that you can do this. I am always, always here for you. Show diabetes who the real boss is!
Much love,

Her response to my email was very short. She simply said " At some point in reading your email I had this gut feeling that everything will be okay. Thank you Shannon." 

The DOC has power in numbers. We're all in this together. Always remember that.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Running makes me....better?

I've never really had many mental heath issues. I mean, as a kid I struggled with big feet problems. My feet were bigger than all the other kids' feet and everybody knew it. But I was a kid. So really, that wasn't even a huge problem. Sure I got sad and dealt with my emotions the best way I knew how which always ended being okay. I was okay.

I've always been pretty fit. I ran track and cross country all throughout high school and I stayed active in college. I've never been lazy (at least that's what I tell myself) and my health has always been extremely important to me.

I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 18 years old. For the most part, I've done everything I can to keep my numbers under control. I went through a period of utter hatred for this disease and myself for having it and the world was lucky if I checked my blood once a day, but it was a short period. Maybe two months. 

For four years, I've been figuring out ways to keep my numbers in check as well as still being able to do what I love without diabetes interfering. But here's the thing. DIABETES IS AN INTERFERENCE. Yes, I can absolutely have a cupcake even though I have diabetes. No, I can not do so without bolusing for this little piece of shit every single time. See, I can do everything that people without diabetes can do, but I'm always thinking about diabetes in the process. 

When I was 20, I had a terrible time with dawn phenomenon. My basal rates for the hours of midnight until 8am were 3.65 units an hour. Believe me when I say it was TERRIBLE. But I discovered that running the night before made me wake up on the lower side of the 80 range. We slowly lowered my basal rates until it was all "normal" again. And for 2, almost 3, years I have been taking a 1 mile run every night. 

Not the worst thing in the world, right? Keep reading. Lately, no matter what I do or eat or think about, I can not get rid of these midnight highs. About three weeks ago was when I noticed that I needed help. I woke up at 6am and my blood sugar was 200 and something. For breakfast I had a bowl of air and water and bolused 5 units for it. Why? Because I was pissed off and sick of diabetes. I went for a run before work. At 8 am, 355. I told my boss I was sick. I left work. Went for another run and bolused 5 units for another bowl of air + correction for the 355, 9 units in total. I took a nap after my run and at noon I was three hundred and something stupid.  I went for another run because I knew that running brought my  blood sugars down and if I just kept running eventually they would just land safely. Wrong. 

I have been working closely with my therapist and my endo to try and get my numbers under better control. I've gone through a shit load of insulin in the past month or two and it is doing its fair share of damage to my mind, my pockets, and my parents pockets. But in the mean time, I'm struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, I'm struggling to see that I'm even in a tunnel. Is this what I'm going to deal with for the rest of my life? Raggedy highs? I can't tell you how thankful I am after seeing a 50 on my meter. There have been a couple of days where all the numbers that I see are pleasing, and I'm grateful for that. And all the rest of the days?

Well, I'll just keep telling myself that no matter how many runs I take in a matter how much I think I'll run away from diabetes...I'll still see a 200 or a 300 or a 400 and I need to bolus and move on. I've seen far too many nights where I've ran so many times in one day that I literally can't feel my feet and I'm so out of breath and exhausted that I just want to sleep on my kitchen floor. It's cold and comfy there, ya know?

Seriously, I'm learning to appreciate mental health. It's a serious deal. Diabetes is tough but diabetics are tougher.

And I'm movin' on.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy Diaversary

Okay so June 1st was my diaversary and I completely forgot. May 31st was my brother's wedding so I was super busy with all kinds of, I don't know, wedding stuff. I probably checked my blood sugar twice that day. I'm a bad diabetic. Whatever, sue me. I got home around 1 am and I literally passed out within five minutes. But let's get to June 1st.

I woke up at 8 and had breakfast with my mom. We went to see a play that my god son was in at noon then parted ways. I took my god son bowling because he "just needs to go bowling right now." He's 5. Yes, 5.While we were at the bowling alley, I met another diabetic. She was 16 and had just been diagnosed with type 1 three weeks ago. She was there with her younger brother who was 6 so we let them bowl together but separately if that makes any sense. They had a competition to see who could get the most "numbers" at the end of the game. While they played, we talked. She expressed that she was scared and that she hated needles. She had been checking her blood sugar regularly like the doctor told her to and logging her numbers. Her a1c at diagnosis was 14 point something. So I explained to her that diabetes is hard and never gets easier but it gets better. You get used to it. I told her that I was still scared to go to the doctor and that the 5 second count down on the meter seems like an eternity. But I wanted her to know that she can do this! I told her to go to the You Can Do This Project and to think about becoming a part of the DOC. I gave her the web address to my blog. I reminded her that she is never alone. I gave her my phone number and email address and told her to feel free to contact me if she ever doubted herself or if she had any questions regarding anything diabetes. I don't normally give out my personal information to strangers but it felt right. She needed a friend, a diabetic friend. I felt like I should be that for her. So I did it. We hugged. I reminded her that everything would be okay and to stay strong. And with that, my god son and I left the bowling alley. He asked if he could sleep over and I couldn't resist bonding time with my favorite little kid. We went out to dinner and back to my house for a Spongebob marathon. It was the perfect day.

The next morning I drove him home before I went to work and I went on with my normal routine.

Fast forward to today. June 9th. I realized that I had missed my diaversary. I looked at my calendar and thought back on the things I did that day. And I smiled. I had no idea that I met another diabetic on the same day I was diagnosed but I was glad I did. I was able to help out a fellow diabetic that was in the exact same position I was in 4 years ago. That day was also a good day blood sugar wise. I stayed within my target range and I didn't battle with any nasty lows, although I woke up with a 69.

Seriously, how awesome is that?! Today I was reminded why I should never give up and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Diabetes does not always leave you alone and in the darkness. You find people that are just like you and you remember to smile. I know I'm smiling right now. I'm glad I met that young lady. I hope she finds her way and reaches out if she ever needs help.

Here's to four years of diabetes!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just a little bit

"Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?"

This is day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week. I am supposed to be petitioning.

My petition: I want diabetes to listen to the loved ones of diabetics and then have a change of heart. I want diabetes to totally understand that it's exhausting and a hassle to deal with even for people that don't have diabetes that care for diabetics/Type 3's. So I had my mom write a letter to diabetes asking it to leave us alone. Have I ever mentioned that my mom is awesome? Because she is. And so she writes.

Hey there, diabetes! 
I'm sure you know me very well. You've been with my daughter for almost 4 years now. You're sort of like a stalker. You never go away. I want to eliminate you from her life but I know you aren't willing to do that. That's okay, I'm reasonable. Can we compromise? Could you just leave her alone for a bit? Give her a few days free of your shackles. You came to her as a senior in high school. She was about to graduate. Her future was so bright and you stopped her in her tracks. Oh but make no mistake, her future is still bright. I just watched her, my youngest child, graduate from college. Yet and still, I see her struggle. Like I said, you came to her right before she left for college. To be exact, 2 months before college. As a mother, I would do anything to make sure all three of my children are safe and happy. So you can understand why I was so uptight about diabetes and where her numbers were at all times. I woke up in the middle of the night to check her sugar. I know that she was 18 but I wanted to be assured that she was okay while she slept. I didn't want her to worry. I know she did anyway but it made me feel better. Was I obsessive? Absolutely. But who wouldn't be? Oh yeah, I only did this for 2 months. After that, she had to leave for school. I felt helpless. I could do nothing to help her because she was far away, learning to experience the world on her own. I'm proud of her. Do you know how much stress you cause? Were you aware that 7 months after her diagnosis she had a seizure because her blood sugar was dangerously low? Did you forget that 1 month after that first seizure DKA hit her like a ton of bricks? She spent 4 days in the hospital. We didn't forget any of this. It lives with me, with my child. Along with the constant worry that comes with the math and carb counting and insulin and whatever, my daughter has long periods of depression because of you. I applaud her for her hard work. She never quits trying. Anyway, she deals with you and your antics. I'm just asking you to give her a short break. I'm asking you to leave her alone for 5 weeks or 5 days or 5 hours or 5 minutes. I want her to live to her fullest without dragging you around. Please, for me and all the other family and friends of diabetics, go away. Do this especially for my daughter. She needs peace of mind for some time. So tell me, diabetes. Would you be willing to break up with my child just for a little bit? I'm begging you.
Love, Momma D

So there's my petition. Give me a break because Momma D said so.
P.S. I realize it is technically Wednesday. Don't judge. :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Listen to me, please.

I'm participating in Diabetes Blog Week! This Is today's topic:

"Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see?"

If my medical team read this post I'd say this...

Listen to me, please. I am so grateful for you and all of your staff. You guys are very helpful when it comes to me make decisions that I have a hard time making. Listen, you make having diabetes somewhat easier to live with. I want you to know that I am trying my very best. I'm not perfect but then again, is anyone? I want you to know that I breathe diabetes. I think about diabetes when I'm awake and when I'm asleep. There are not very many things that I do without factoring diabetes into the question. Listen to me. When my blood sugar is high, I get angry. I never want you to be disappointed in me. Goodness, I'm deathly afraid of disappointing you. I want to share with you that there aren't very many things that would ever make me change endos. Our 15 minutes together. THEY ARE CRUCIAL. I listen to you for fifteen minutes and I replay your words in my head for the next 3 months. I am always hopeful that you have something to praise me for. I just want your approval. I don't need it, but it sure does help me get through the days until I see you again. 

Oh, but listen to me please. There are things that I don't want to share with you. I don't want you to know how much I stress. You'd think I was crazy. But I'm not...entirely. I'm sane. I promise. But if only you knew how much I try to make myself believe that my A1C doesn't matter. Really, don't listen to this part. I'm sharing but you should know that I don't want you to know this. I don't want you to know that I leave my sensor on until its absolutely inaccurate. I hope you never find out that if I KNOW that I'm low, I won't check until I think the number is safe. Again, I want you to praise me. But what I want you to know the most is...I really hope you know that I'm putting in so much effort.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Saturday's Shenanigans

Friday night was site change night and I forgot. Are you wondering how I forgot to do something that I do twice a week? Well guess what; so am I. Anyway, here's the story.

Saturday morning I woke up checked my blood sugar-131-fixed myself some breakfast and checked my blood sugar again, 206. My breakfast was 47g of carbs. For me, that is 10.4 units of insulin. 9.4 units for my breakfast and 1 unit for my blood sugar. I used my bolus wizard, pressed act a few time and started eating. I felt my pump vibrate but I didn't bother to look at it because I assumed it was the vibration letting me know that my insulin was delivered and I should enjoy my meal. 

This is not where the story ends.

I knew Saturday would be a busy day and I'm not a fan of temporary basals so I ate an additional 15g of carbs without bolusing (which would be 3 units of insulin) to make sure I stayed a bit on the high side at least for the morning. 12 o'clock rolled around and I tested. A big "YOU STUPID IDIOT! HOW COULD YOU LET YOURSELF GET SO HIGH" popped up on the screen. In other words, one touch said "Warning HIGH GLUCOSE. ABOVE 600". I washed my hands, checked again, and then, 598. I pressed escape on my pump to see what number my sensor was showing and I got hit with a "NO DELIVERY". At that point, I wanted to just go ahead and put on my dunce cap. Out of the 10.4 units that I was supposed to get for my breakfast, I got 0.75 units of that. That wasn't even enough insulin to cover the 204 blood sugar. Millions of questions ran through my head.

How did I do something so stupid? Why wouldn't I check to make sure it delivered? Why on earth did I eat 15 extra carbs with a 204 blood sugar? Why is diabetes a bitch? Why didn't I change my site Friday night? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? 

Fast forward. I changed my site and battled with highs all day. By 7 pm I had a blood sugar of 99. I was golden. Until 8pm. I checked. 36. Please throw a brick at my head. Please do it. Right now. Please. But don't actually. That might hurt. Ugh.

I ate a snack and waited for my numbers to get back to at least 150. I set an alarm for 3 am and went to bed. I was exhausted. I couldn't fight diabetes anymore. I let it win last night. But today is Sunday. Its brighter day. I'm in control again. 


Monday, April 22, 2013

Dearest Diabetes

*Warning: This post has some vulgar language though I tried to keep it to a minimum.*

I wrote a letter to diabetes the other day and decided to post it. Keep in mind this was on a good d-day. I was happy. This is my happiness.

Dearest diabetes,
You are such a little piece of shit. I love you and I hate you at the same time. You make my skin crawl. I wish I could give you away but I would never want someone else to have you. You play with my emotions. You make me vomit (literally) and sweat all in one day. I really hate you sometimes. But sometimes I love you. I love that I've gotten used to you. I love that I don't get sad every time I see a high number or a low number. You have taught me to appreciate the little things. Today when I woke up, I was 99. I was so happy. Thought I could be in some sort of commercial or advertisement for diabetes supplies. Oh, but I hate you. I hate you for breaking my sleep. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. I know you don't make me get up but my paranoia makes me set alarms to make sure you aren't being a little bitch.  I greatly appreciate you teaching me to be more health conscious. I like to run now. But maybe sometimes I run too much. I run away my anger and fears and I keep going even when I'm too tired and I'm almost about to vomit and my legs give out. I never quit. See, you taught me that. You taught me to never quit. And I won't ever quit. Even if it becomes borderline disorderly. I can say no to that slice of pizza now. But not because I want to. It's because I'm afraid of what it'll do to my blood sugar. And I'm afraid of what my blood sugar will do to my body...and what my body will do to my life expectancy. But before you, I didn't really care about my body or my life expectancy. It's a funny thing, diabetes. You try to bring me down sometimes but I won't let you. Not for too long, anyway. Yesterday, my endo said he was proud of me. He told me not to be upset that my A1C had gone up because I had eliminated a lot of the lows he was worried about. He hugged me. He said diabetes is hard but I'm kicking its ass. DID YOU HEAR THAT, DIABETES?! He said I'm kicking your ass. So please, don't you ever think for a second that I'm not thinking of new ways to kick your ass. Operation no midnight highs is in full effect. Think you can stop me? Think again.
Much love,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Warning: Positive Results Not Guarenteed

I have never had a problem discussing my diabetes with people that ask about it, but I've made it my business to let people know that I am not defined by numbers. You see, I've always tried my hardest to keep my numbers in range, as well as most diabetics. But sometimes diabetes doesn't play fair. My daily schedule goes something like this:

Wake up. Check blood sugar. Eat breakfast. Go to school. Check blood sugar. Check blood sugar. Eat lunch. Go to work. Check blood sugar. Check blood sugar. Work out. Check blood sugar. Watch TV.  Check blood sugar. Eat dinner. Check blood sugar. Do nothing. Check blood sugar. "Did I forget to check my blood sugar?" Check blood sugar.


Now I don't know about everyone else but most days for lunch I eat the same thing. However, no two days have given me the exact same results as the day before. Some days throw an extremely high number or an extremely low number at me, despite the fact that I did everything the same. You never know. Yesterday's numbers were 125, 205, 280, 83, 69, 105, 140, 92, 103. I shook it off. Went to bed. Woke up. And then this: 310,211,140, 96, 110, 123, 89, 101. Even though I was able to get my numbers down before lunch, I was still disappointed. Called diabetes stupid. Wondered what I did wrong. Sent this text to my best friend: "I'm so sick of crazy numbers. No matter how hard I try, something always goes wrong. Ugh! I feel like giving up." She responded: "Shannon, the first thing you ever told me about your diabetes is that those numbers don't define you. Giving up is not an option. You know that you tried your best. Tomorrow is a new day my sweet friend. Love u."


I have to keep reminding myself that these numbers don't define me. These numbers don't mean I'm not taking care of myself. These numbers are not a sign that I should quit. These numbers are just a warning sign that positive results are not guaranteed.

Note to diabetes: Bring it on!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Let me just start by saying that I am a very cranky lady when my blood sugar is low. I don't like talking to people and I tune out the world, at least that's what I think happens. So today during my lunch break, when a girl at work tried talking to me, I wasn't having it. She also had no idea what she was saying to me. I checked myself and a 48 popped up on the screen so I started eating glucose tabs and this is how the conversation goes:

Coworker: Woah, where did you get those huge tums from?!

Me: Oh, these aren't tums. They're glucose tabs.

Coworker: What's a sucrose tap?

Me: GLUCOSE TAB. I eat them to raise my blood sugar. I'm diabetic.

Coworker: Sounds a bit contradictory to me. Diabetics aren't supposed to have sugar. That's how you got diabetes in the first place.

Me: That's just a misconception. We can have whatever we want and I didn't get diabetes from having too much sugar. I have type 1 which is an auto immune disease that I can do nothing about.

Coworker: Hm. Your phone is ringing.

Me: It's my insulin pump telling me I'm low but I already know. Thanks.

Coworker: Wow, you really must have let your diabetes get out of control to have one of those.

Me: No, that's not true. Another misconception. It gives me better control than I already had.

Coworker: That's totally not what the hell I heard.

Me: You totally heard wrong then. Whoever told you otherwise was mistaken.

Coworker: *silence with a "you really suck" face*

Me: Well, I have to go back to work now have a good day.

Coworker: Okay, stop eating so much sugar and pay attention to your blood pressure. That might help you.

Me: Really? You should be quiet and think before you speak.That might help you. And it's blood sugar not blood pressure.

Coworker: Right, sorry about that.

While I wanted to really punch this woman in the face, I kept my composure and continued to smile at her. She doesn't know any better. I wish she did. But she doesn't. I couldn't make myself waste my breath and explain everything to her. She had a hard time comprehending.

Friday, April 5, 2013

How to Walk

Sometimes, we forget the simple things in life. We want to quit. We get so caught up with all the things that are going wrong that we forget what's most important. We don't remember what its like to keep walking! But have no fear, friends, I've got something that might help. I'll help you relearn how to walk in no time!

First, make sure your shoes are tied. Wouldn't want to trip and fall, would you?!

Then, put one foot in front of the other.


Simple. See, it's easy. You know how to do it. You've just forgotten.

Everybody loses sight of the important things every once in a while. Just get back on track, put one foot in front of the other and walk. The best part is, you don't have to walk fast to get where you're going. Feel free to take baby steps.

Lesson: When things are going wrong, remember all the things that push you to continue to walk. You'll get there, eventually. Each step puts you a little bit closer to the finish line. But you're not alone. We're in this together. Forever.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I like to think of diabetes as a disease that is always progressing. Whether the progression is good or bad, is harder to grasp. I think that you just sort of get used to being diabetic and constantly checking your blood sugar. All the things that come along with diabetes are so routine that you just don't complain about it. But then there are days when you just wonder why you had to be the one stuck with diabetes. The questions are constant and always at the back of your head but that's just it. They're at the back of your head. You don't always talk to people about it because no one really understands. Anyway, this topic of progression.

Years and years ago, if  you had diabetes, that was sort of like a death sentence. There wasn't very much technology, obviously, so the supplies to keep a diabetic as healthy as possible were very scarce. The treatments for keeping blood sugar levels steady consisted of diet and exercise. Eventually, insulin and meters came along. Then pumps and continuos glucose monitors. There are so many foods and drinks that a diabetic can have to, again, make their life as normal as possible. PROGRESS. Slowly but surely, there has been progress in the advancement of medicine and treatments for a diabetic. Hopefully, one day there will be a cure. That will be the greatest progression of all time. Diabetes makes me different than all my friends. It makes me have a quality that not many people have. It makes me who I am. But wouldn't it just be great to not be diabetic for a while?! Let's keep hoping for progress and keep fighting for a cure!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The never ending cycle

I realize that I haven't  posted in a couple of months. I've been busy as of lately! The last two months I have been running on empty so, quite naturally, I'm out of gas. My sister is having a baby so we've been planning her baby shower. My brother is getting married so we've been making wedding arrangements. I'm graduating from college so there's a lot going on there as well. But enough about the craziness in my life.

Last week I went to Maui for spring break. This was my last spring break so I decided to have as much fun as I could before I have to ACTUALLY become an adult. It was amazing...a memory I'll have forever. I just got an apartment as well as a job so I am pretty pleased with how things are going for me right now...for the most part. Becuse there's always things that need to be improved in life. For me that thing is my diabetes. I normally have pretty tight control over my diabetes but as of recently it has been a struggle. My days have all become a blur. I check myself constantly but the number that pops up on the meter is rarely a happy one. Sometimes my best isn't good enough. And I hate it. I do not understand.

However, I know why. As I said before, I'm graduating from college soon. The last graduation ceremony I had brought bad news. I got diagnosed with diabetes one week before I graduated. I missed a week of school and had to beg to walk across the stage because of my absence. It was rough. My fear of another "diabetes type" diagnosis is so much greater than y excitement for graduation. No matter how fast I run from the fear, it seems to catch up to me. At this point I'm sprinting. Still, not fast enough. I keep picturing the nurse telling me that its not the bad kind. I keep remembering how excited I was to get a pump. But I also keep remembering how angry I was that I needed to have this constantly attached to me until a cure was found. I remember thinking this was like Bonnie and Clyde. Partners in crime. My best friend. I was happy, absolutely. But I was sad too. What if I want to be alone for a little bit? I couldn't tell my partner in crime, my best friend, to just go away for a while. Because really, I need it more than it needs me. I won't be okay without it. And that sucks.

My sensor is angry just like me. He tells me that my BG is 100 when its really 50. He laughs at me when I get frustrated with him because he knows that I don't have enough courage to turn him off. I am very aware that I'm giving my sensor a gender. It makes me feel better.

These past couple of months as well as the next couple of months can only be described in one word...Life.

I'm done complaining about the bad things. I am extremely grateful for all that I have. I'm also eternally thankful for all the things that have gone right! :) My optimism for the future is bright. I must keep moving forward. Keep smiling. And keep trying to better myself. I can do this. I really can. I believe in myself!

And its just that simple.

Friday, January 11, 2013

And so it begins...

The first blog post....

I've been writing this all day(the first sentence), trying to figure out what to say and how to start. I wrote many posts and then deleted them again. But this one will stay! Anyway...

My name is Shannon. I am a 22, almost 23, year old type 1 diabetic. My diagnosis story is nothing too insane but it is a story, indeed. June 1, 2009, I woke up in the morning with "cotton mouth". I thought it was weird but I didn't really think much of it. I got dressed and went to school. I was a senior in high school and entering my last couple of days before graduation. Throughout the day, I probably asked to go to the bathroom around 15 times. Still, I didn't think much of it. I ate my lunch and went to my last class. All of a sudden I felt so nauseous. Again, I went to the bathroom but this time it was because I didn't think I would be able to keep my lunch down. I called my mom to ask her if I could leave school and she told me to go straight to urgent care. It took the nurse probably about 3 minutes to tell me that I had diabetes. She then proceeded to say "Don't worry, you're small. It's probably not the bad kind." Yes, the nurse said this to me! I was transferred to a nearby hospital and I had to learn, in 3 days, how to deal with diabetes for the rest of my life.


At the time, I was so worried about making sure that my blood sugars were in range that I didn't have the time to think about anything else. But over and over again I remembered the words the nurse said to me. It's probably not the bad kind. What the hell is that supposed to mean? The bad kind? Okay, because what I do every single day...what all diabetics do every single day just to survive makes it hard to believe that there's a good kind. I was convinced that she lied to me and I absolutely had the bad kind. 

The older I got and the more I learned about diabetes, the more I realized that there is no "bad kind". Diabetes is diabetes. Yes, some people are insulin dependent and some people are not. Yes, there are different types of diabetes. But I can not imagine what it would be like to have "good" diabetes. If there was a such thing as good diabetes, would diabetes exist at all? I don't know. I do know that I am forever grateful for that nurse and for diabetes. Don't think I'm crazy, I'll explain.

That nurse made me realize how uninformed people, even health care professionals, are about type 1 diabetes. Uninformed about diabetes in general. She made me open myself up to educating people about diabetes. Thanks to her, I am not secretive about my diabetes. I share with people what I have to do to take care of myself. I LOVE when people ask me questions about diabetes and insulin pumps and blood sugar levels. I love it. I'm glad people care. It makes me happy that they want to know.

Forever grateful for diabetes. Why? Well, because... Because diabetes has taught me what it means to be strong. Because diabetes has shown me what I look like at my worst. Because diabetes has shown me what I look like at my best. Because diabetes helped me find myself. Because diabetes makes me depressed sometimes. Because diabetes makes me happy sometimes. Because diabetes is a part of me.

There are many things that make me who I am, including diabetes. I am grateful for all of them, the good and the bad. So I am thankful for diabetes, the highs and the lows. People with diabetes, all "kinds" of diabetes, have great courage and strength. That courage, that carries me.

I'll get by with a little help from my courage and my strength.