Saturday, 28 April 2012

Day 27: Trials and Triumphs of T1

5 challenges:

1)  Doing my injections - I think this is one of the main challenges for most diabetics.  For me it's not because they hurt or I'm scared of needles, but because sometimes I just don't want to. Sometimes I feel I'm too busy, or I'm not in the right environment, or I just want to be non-diabetic for a day or two.

2)  Going to endo appointments -  I don't struggle as much with attending these anymore, but they used to feel like the bane of my life.  It didn't even matter that I only had to go every 3months in the paediatric clinic, just the thought of the whole ordeal would fill me with dread. Because I wasn't taking care of my diabetes properly, I hated finding out what my HbA1c was, having my insulin doses adjusted and being asked if I'd been recording my blood sugars, when I only ever felt that I was disappointing my diabetes team and myself when I hadn't.  The last thing I wanted to do was talk about my diabetes, when I was simply wishing it would disappear.

3)  Glucotabs and Lucozade - Because I've had diabetes since being really young, I've never acquired a sweet tooth.  I find anything that's really sugary to be absolutely repulsive.  However, two of the best quick-acting hypo treatments are Glucotabs and Lucozade.  Chocolate bars and cookies are appealing, but they won't raise your bg's quickly because of the fat in them and the way they are digested.  Glucotabs are the easiest to carry around with you and Lucozade is usually the easiest to get hold of in an emergency.   Convenient?  Yes.  Tasty?  No.  Sometimes I have to force myself to drink Lucozade or shove Glucotabs down my neck, even if I'm really low.

4)  Going for my retinopathy screening - Everytime I go, I work myself into such a frenzy.  Not only do I absolutely despise eye-drops, but I worry so much about what the results are going to be.  As soon as the screening is complete and they have the photos, I always hastily ask if they look ok, my voice quivering.  Sometimes I wonder if I should even go, but then I have to remind myself that ignorance isn't bliss.

5)  Doing the right thing -  I've often wrote about how diabetes doesn't give you a choice.  You have to do injections, test your blood etc.  However, I've realised that the thing that actually makes diabetes hard sometimes is that we do have a choice.  If I don't want to test my blood sugar, or give my insulin or treat my hypos I don't have to.  Although I know there will be horrendous long-term complications, sometimes it just feels easier not to at the time. So, for me, making the choice to do the right thing for my diabetes can be the biggest challenge of all.

5 victories:

1)  Doing the DAFNE program - Those on my diabetes team know that trying to just get me on it was like trying to make a sheep 'moo' for a long time.  I didn't want to know because 1. I was dubious that anything could be so amazing that it would massively improve my management and 2. I generally wasn't interested in anything that involved diabetes.  However after months of persuasion and going on and on about it, I did DAFNE.  They weren't lying, it was amazing.  I met some wonderful people and learned so much.  My HbA1c has improved significantly since doing DAFNE and I would recommend it to every diabetic.

2)  Talking to others about my diabetes - I used to be useless.  I'd get embarrassed and shy away from any situation which meant I'd have to reveal that I have diabetes.  That often meant that I'd end up in some sticky situations.  I'm not like that anymore.  I've come to realise that my diabetes is part of me and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

3)  Testing my blood - Estimating how much insulin I needed to give myself by seeing how high/low I felt at the time was never a good technique.  I did this most days for a couple of years and I regard myself as being lucky for not being riddled with diabetes complications as a punishment for my stupidity.  

4)  Carb counting - Hit and miss, hit and miss.  I was like that for years. I never really took notice as to why carb counting was so important and so, in my ignorance, rarely bothered to do it.  Nowadays, there isn't one packet of crisps or chocolate bar with unread nutritional information.  There isn't one rice dish or bowl of pasta that goes unweighed.  There isn't one place that I don't take my Carbs&Cals book.  My boyfriend and I even cook our potatoes/spaghetti/whatever in separate pans, just so we know I'm going to bolus correctly.  Some may say it's excessive, but I know I'm doing the right thing.

5)  Blogging - I see 'Diabetic Dais' and my Diabetes UK blog as victories because of how much writing them improves my diabetes control.  The more I write about diabetes, the more I focus on it and the better my blood sugars are!  Not only that, but I've met some beautiful diabetics through writing my blogs, who I wouldn't necessarily have had the pleasure of talking to if I didn't rant and ramble on like I do!

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