Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Highs and Lows

Call me naive, but I thought this would be easier.

I understand the biochemical mechanism. I understand carb counting.  I understand glycemic index. I understand diabetes.

So how could it be THAT hard?

Enter life as your own experiment.  No textbook will ever give me the type of insight that living with the disease has given me (which is also rather convenient as a soon to be dietician).  With that being said, the past 2 months have contained an abundance of highs and lows.  I'm talking physical highs and lows here (however those do tend to result in emotional highs and lows, but that's a different post for a different day).  While these might just sounds like numbers, they reveal some pretty serious stuff that's going on inside of you.  And they change...often. Oh how they change.

Non-diabetics maintain a continual blood sugar level of 90-100, without any thought or effort. That's the goal here....for everyone.  It's not that simple for me.  Factors I have to take into consideration in order to maintain this ideal range:
  • What I eat
  • When I eat
  • The rate I eat
  • Am I going to work out
  • Did I just work out
  • Am I going to sleep in
  • Am I stressed
Whoa. That's a lot to consider! 

Needless to say, my blood sugars have been ALL over the place these first two months!  One minute I might be at 300 and 2 hours later, 50.  It's happened and it's FRUSTRATING! You feel so out of control.

I've started to become pretty sensitive to highs.  I get tired, hungry, and I get a bad headache.  Remaining high isn't good for your body, but it's not "scary" per se.  Lows on the other hand....those are scary! I get anxious, nauseous, shaky, dizzy, and panicked to the extreme. It's my body's way of telling me something is wrong and it needs to be fixed immediately. It's a pretty effective system right now too. So far, my lowest low as been 39. It happened in the middle of the night, which isn't exactly comforting either.

All this has really been interfering with my life these past two months.  I've had to leave classes, pull off to the side of the road, leave half-filled buggies unattended while I run to my car just to getaway, sit down, and eat something. 

There's another way it's affected me, physically speaking.  All these extreme fluctuations have caused my hair to fall out.  It's complicated to explain, but I'm told it's expected with out of control blood sugars.  It's vain, but it's one of the most upsetting parts of it all.  I remember taking a shower several weeks ago and experiencing the first "gob" of hair coming out into my hands.  It was drastic.  I cried...and cried...and cried (and with that, I must express how thankful I am for my mother who brings me back to earth and a roommate who prays over me and cries alongside.) And as an update, it's slowing down a little.  I'm still losing more hair than usual, but I'm hoping I've seen the worst of it.

I knew it wouldn't come easy, but I didn't know it would be this difficult.  But with that being said, I've made huge leaps as well.  Today was a victory in my eyes.  

This is a beautiful thing.  

Note the "within goal" portion of the above picture.  I've never seen that before.  In my eyes, this is huge.  It tells me I'm learning and it tells me that I'm not a victim of this disease.

Will everyday be like this? Probably not.  But for right now I'm celebrating every small victory that comes along with this journey.

2 Corinthians 4:17: "For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long.  Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever." 

Monday, April 1, 2013

2 month anniversary and a very special gift to me

(if you're just now tuning in, i urge you to read "the story behind it all" up top, in addition to my first post below.  otherwise you'll have no idea what this post is about. i'm watching out for you.)

today was a milestone day in my journey with diabetes.  

today, i received pump training and started using this beauty for the first time. behold.

to you it may not look like much, but this above is an insulin pump. i'm not exaggerating when say it will drastically improve my quality of life with diabetes.  it looks like a lot is going on here, but it's basically comprised of two parts, the personal diabetes manager (PDM) on the left and the pod on the right.  (the pod is what sticks to my body and delivers the insulin while the PDM (like a remote) tells it how much to give) i'll go into how it works in more detail eventually, but right now i just had to share my excitement.

it's pretty hard to gauge the size of the pod, so here's a visual courtesy of the box it came in.

 it's tiny! if you see me within the next few days, i dare you to try to spot it.

mine is unique in that it's very small and TUBELESS! this is a breakthrough in insulin therapy. other models are rather bulky and require long tubing for insulin administration. not mine :) 

i could go on and on, but i'll stop here.

 thanks for reading and sharing in my excitement with me! i have a great feeling about things to come.