Thursday, April 4, 2019

Life With Diabetes Is a Seesaw

You’re on a seesaw. And somehow, you have to keep it straight. All. The. Time. Let it go too far one way, and you’re facing your own mortality. Let it go too far the other way, and you’re staring death in the eyes. But there’s a catch. You can’t get off the seesaw. You’re glued to the seesaw. Even if you get exhausted from the energy it’s taking to keep it straight and you feel like you can’t do it anymore, you can’t get off the seesaw. This is life with Type 1 Diabetes.

Above we’ve got a picture of two items; the two life-savers of Type 1 Diabetes. Each of these items is crucial in surviving Type 1 Diabetes. Blood sugar too high? Insulin. Blood sugar too low? Sugar/Carbs. And if we didn’t have either? Well then we wouldn’t be here to tell you about it!

Imagine each of these on a scale trying to balance each other out. That’s pretty much a day in the life of diabetes. Life is constantly trying to regulate your blood sugar with these two things. And there is no science to it. Because your blood sugar WILL go too high. It’s inevitable. And when it does, you need to give yourself some insulin. Insulin is liquid gold to us because before the invention of insulin, Type 1 Diabetes was a death sentence. Juice or other sugary things, aren’t as hard to come by. But! Are essentially equally as important. Because it’s impossible to calculate the right dose of insulin all the time. Sometimes there is no science to it, no rhyme or reason, and no matter how hard you try to give the perfect amount, it’s not possible. So if you don’t give the right amount one of two things happen. One being, your blood sugar goes low because you gave yourself too much. Second being, your blood sugar stays high or goes high because you didn’t give yourself enough. And at that point, you go back to the drawing board- insulin or juice.

So we use insulin and carbs to try to balance our seesaw. And it takes perseverance! Because there is no way to avoid getting tired of trying to maintain this balance... even the strongest of the strong would get tired! And this balance is impossible to perfectly maintain. It’s tiring and it’s exhausting, but people with Type 1 don’t have a choice. We are seesaw masters. It’s a talent, really. So be proud of your seesaw. Your seesaw is beautifully imperfect, but so much blood, sweat, and tears have gone into your seesaw. Your seesaw is built on strength.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Vial Safe Insulin Protectors

A few weeks ago I posted on my Instagram about a broken bottle of Lantus. I talked about how I’ve dropped my insulin bottles so many times and they’ve never broken on our wood floor, but that day I wasn’t so lucky. I knocked over my case with my insulin and syringes in it and my Lantus rolled off the table onto the floor. I picked it up and put it back in my case like I usually do. Until I realized that the whole kitchen was starting to smell like insulin. Low and behold my bottle was broken! After that I said that I think the feeling of breaking an insulin bottle is the diabetic adult equivalent of dropping your ice cream on the floor as a child. Or losing a balloon.

So after I posted about it, I got an influx of comments... where a slew of people were telling me the exact same thing; that I needed to get a Vial Safe ! I was obviously late to a party I didn’t know about. But I was a bit skeptical. I wasn’t sure how an insulin bottle cover could be so exciting?

This past Monday my Vial Safe came in the mail. They were super easy to put on, and they came in different sizes for my Humalog and my Lantus! They came just in time, because I was headed on a trip. So I got to test them out while traveling, and I can safely say I fell in love. For more reasons than it’s purpose which is no more broken bottles! One of which is that I love the grip it gives me when I’m filling my syringes. I didn’t even realize how slippy and slidy it felt until I filled it with one of these on. Game changer.


I highly recommend Vial Safe, just like all the people who felt compelled to recommend it to me! Why even risk the possibility of breaking a bottle of life-saving liquid gold? No thank you!

If you’re so inclined to grab one for yourself, you can find them HERE. Use the code Michelle20 to save 20%.

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Very Real Fear of Lows

1. An excessive fear of low blood sugars in a person with diabetes. This may cause them to do questionable things to avoid letting their blood sugar go low.
Example: Michelle’s blood sugar was perfect before going to bed, but her low-phobia kicked in so she ate unnecessarily to raise her blood sugar.

Okay, I admit it. My name is Michelle and I’m a low-phobic. I have an uncontrollable fear of my blood sugar being low. Why, you ask? Well, like most phobias, it doesn’t always have a clear answer. Could it be because I hate the shaky feeling I get as my blood sugar starts to dip? That I can’t stand the weakness I feel when my numbers teeter down? I don’t know. But for some reason, when I see my numbers trending down, I automatically feel the need to correct it. Even if admittedly, it might not really need correcting. At all. So I say ‘oops’. Over and over again... and never quite learn my lesson.

So what are some things I do because of my fear of going low? Well, I don’t go to bed unless my blood sugar is over a certain number. I run my blood sugars higher than average on purpose so that I don’t come close to going low. If the worst happens, and my blood sugar does go low, I eat just about everything in sight. I don’t have it in me to eat 15 fast-acting carbs and then wait 15 minutes and “wait and see” if it went up enough like we’re supposed to. Nope. If it was in edible and in sight 5 minutes ago, it is now in my stomach.

And sometimes this is where a rollercoaster begins. A yo-yo, so to speak. Because I overtreated my low, my blood sugar goes really high. So I frantically give myself insulin to fix the damage and bring it down. But then... I start teetering toward that uncomfortable level again that is just a little too low for my liking. So I think to myself that I better eat something to prevent it from really going low again. But alas... I didn’t need to eat anything. And high my blood sugar goes once again.

So that is the day in the life of someone with a word I’ve completely made up, ‘low-phobia’.

Do you relate to this? Do you suffer from low-phobia? What are your tricks to fight the fear? I’d love to hear.

Monday, January 21, 2019

To Anyone Going Through Diabetes Burnout...

What is “diabetes burnout”? Burnout is something that occurs when you feel like you just don’t have it in you to do all the little things that diabetes requires to take care of yourself. We have to remember, Diabetes is an all-encompassing illness. It affects every part of every day and there are consequences if you get distracted from it. You have to be on top of things 24/7, 365 days a year, and there’s nowhere to hide from it. With burnout, the attention life with T1D demands becomes too much. You don’t feel like taking care of yourself, and you really just want to ignore your diabetes and pretend it doesn’t exist.

You might be dealing with burnout if:

  • You feel like Diabetes is controlling your life.
  • You feel angry a lot of the time about having to deal with Diabetes.
  • You feel overwhelmed by life with Diabetes.
  • You’re avoiding parts of your care, like seeing your endocrinologist, testing your blood sugar often enough, etc.
  • You’ve stopped really caring about your blood sugars.
  • You feel alone with your Diabetes and like no one understands.
  • You worry about the consequences of ignoring parts of your care, but you’re too unmotivated to make a change.
  • You feel like you want to give up.
  • You feel stressed out and like nothing you do ends up being right.
  • You don’t want to think about Diabetes, even for a second.

Does this sound like you? Well, you’re not alone. Did you know that the vast majority of people with Type 1, or caregivers of Type 1, deal with burnout at some point?

So to anyone going through Diabetes burnout, the first thing I want to tell you is not to be ashamed. This doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means you’ve had to be strong for a long time and you’re tired. It says nothing about your character, because anybody dealing with something that is in the background of EVERYTHING you do will grow tired and frustrated with it. Also, I’m proud of you. Why, you ask? Because this isn’t something that’s easy to go through. And even though it might be painful, day by day, you’re making it through. You are a fighter whether you like it or not. Your bad days are not signs of weakness. Those are actually the days where you’re fighting your hardest. Know that you will get through this period of struggle, even though it might be hard. People with Type 1 are forced to learn to be strong. But I also believe that they are innately born with a certain strength. So when you feel your weakest, and you feel like you’re at your wit’s end, know that it’s okay to rest. It’s okay to allow yourself to feel all the feelings that might come your way. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to lean on the people around you. We all need a break sometimes. But also know that that fighting spirit will remain somewhere inside you. And when you’re ready, you will bounce back, and come back with even more tenacity than before.