Thursday, August 1, 2013

6 months

6 months ago, today, I received my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. 

I'm honestly not sure what to think about this "milestone" if you wish to call it that.  Some people have asked me, "has it flown by or dragged on?"...and really, I'm not sure.  I remember the day quite vividly as if it was just yesterday, however, it's hard for me to recollect what life was like before diabetes.  It's hard to imagine sitting down to a meal without evaluating it in terms of its carb exchanges and it's hard to remember what a day is like without pricking my finger six or eight times.  It's just become part of my life. It would almost be strange without these practices.  So with that being said...

5 things I've learned in 6 months:

1. I'm not embarrassed by my pump anymore.

My pump is unique in that I can put it almost anywhere I want, given there's allotted "cushion" if ya know what I mean. I alternate between my stomach and the backs of my arm.  Initially, I was weary about people staring at it and self conscious of what people are thinking.  Now, I really could care less. If they think it's ugly, that's their problem.  If they wore their pancreas on the outside of their arm, I can guarantee it'd be uglier than mine.

2. People aren't as nosey as I thought they'd be.

If you have insulin-dependent diabetes, it's not exactly something that's easy to conceal. I wear a medical bracelet, my pump is within plain sight half the time, and I check my blood sugar before every meal.  It's pretty inevitable that if you'll get a hint eventually. But with all that being said, no one really asks me!  I can't decide if people are worried they'll offend me or if they just down right don't care.  I would estimate that in the course of 6 months, maybe 5 people have asked me based on what I mentioned.  And just for future reference, I really love when people are curious.  

3. I'm definitely still learning.

Boy isn't this the truth! Diabetes is a continual balancing act.  There are SO MANY factor that go into blood sugar management, more so than just carbs and insulin.  I thought I knew a lot about diabetes prior to diagnosis, but experiencing it, first hand, gives me a completely new insight.  It's both challenging and neat all at the same time.  I know more about my body and what goes on inside than I ever thought imaginable.

4. Working out is a CHALLENGE!

Like I mentioned in number 3, blood sugar management can be so stinkin' tricky! Working out is probably one of the most difficult factors to figure in.  For months, I almost always went low after a workout, no matter what I tried.  I would either go low during, immediately after, or a much as 12 hours after a workout.  If I conquered one time-frame post-workout, I'd experience a low in another.  Well, 6 months later, I think I'm beginning to understand my body's response to physical activity enough to where I can avoid those.  It's about time! 

5.  Checking my blood sugar is nothing!

Not trying to boast necessarily, but I can check my blood sugar anywhere, and doing anything!  Shopping, driving (while at red lights that is), while walking and hiking.  It's quite the talent if I do say so myself...especially considering my 22-year old self pitched a full-blown temper tantrum the first time I ever had to check my own blood sugar. As of today, I've pricked my finger approximately 1,800 times.  (Also, if when I live to be 85, I will have pricked my fingers approximately 136,100 times.) The optimist in me thinks this won't be necessary though. 

I truly believes there will be a cure in my lifetime.  From what I've read, I think they're getting close.  But until then, I'm going to continue learning more, not only to better care for myself, but for others suffering from the disease too. I'm so thankful the Lord gave me a passion for nutrition and educating others.  He probably thought I would be a perfect recipient, and in that regard, I'm honored.

Lamentations 3:21-23 - Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.