Monday Message

And Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?

 

 

Insert apology here… I know I’m a few days late but I am super keen to be part of DBlog week again:)

This morning I received a notification that I started my blog, 1 Type 1 exactly four years ago today.  My reasons for blogging were very different back then, (and I may have still giggled when I heard people say, “blogging” because it just sounded so weird!)  In these four years my experience with and perspective of the diabetes online community, (DOC) has evolved.

In recent times the Oz Diabetes Online Community  , (OzDOC) has reminded of the value of learning from others. Even as I typed that last sentence I acknowledge how ridiculously rudimentary it sounds.  However, it was only after I was able to participate in chats again that this became apparent.  For over a year I was operating OzDOC by myself.  This meant that I planned the topics, engineered the questions and moderated the chat every week, (and took care of a whole lot of other bizzo in between).  I got so used to sitting in the drivers seat that I forgot why you boarded the tour bus as a passenger.  I was absolutely committed to providing the forum for the OzDOC community to be a hub of diabetes peer support but I forgot that I needed and wanted to be part of that interaction too.  I wanted to share my story and have positive impact on the lives of others with diabetes.

Thankfully there are eight people who are willing and able to help run our weekly chats now.  They are Andy , Ashley , Bruno  , Frank , Glen ,  Jenna , Sophie and Tony .  I owe them a lot.  Their dedication to our community means that we all get to participate; to give and receive diabetes peer support.  This happens in many forms but the one that is most important to me is the sharing of experiences to enhance knowledge, understanding and empathy of life with diabetes.

So I’m here to continue to share my story thought blogging again.  (Insert childish giggle here!)

My thoughts.  My views.  My experiences.  My feelings.

My Kids Love Mornings Like This

As a family we have a certain way of navigating through each day of the week.  Obviously there are marked differences between what we refer to as “school days” (meaning an impressive coordination of school, kinder, day care and work), and weekends or holidays.

Both kids came into the bedroom this morning to find me still in bed between 6:30am and 7am.  So they jumped in for cuddles and we had a chat about what was on the cards for the rest of the day.  I handed them the iPad and told them to relax while I have a shower and get ready for work.  We hit the kitchen for breakfast around 8am and on the way there I told them today was going to be lovely so find something fun and summery to wear.  They both emerged from their bedrooms in attire that would get them through the day and meandered their way through breakfast while I brewed a pot of coffee.  Much to their delight, lunch boxes were simplified and canteen orders were written.  It was one of the menu days they love but don’t usually get to have because I prefer to prepare their food.  One of them looked at the clock and realised it was almost time to leave the house so they both quickened their pace, finished getting themselves ready and their bags packed.  Somewhere in between that moment and arriving at work the necessary tasks were completed. I managed to find a pair of sneakers that had been missing since last night.  The cat was set up with food and water for a warm day outside.  I packed a bag so I could go straight to a boxing class from work.  The day care drop off was seamless albeit late and I arrived at work in good time.

Normally I would have gotten myself ready for work, made breakfasts and lunches, and packed bags before the kids rolled out of their delightful slumbers.  There are things I like to get done in the morning so when we get home at the end of the day the ‘dinner – bath – homework – bed’ routine runs smoothly for the kids.  There is often a bit of chasing, random hugs, chaos, last minute requests, giggles, reminding, reminding, reminding… and all executed at an effective pace.

But not today.  And here’s why.

I found myself in my pyjamas at the kitchen table with the curtains closed, a light on and silence all around me.  There was a mug, a bottle of milk, a box of dried biscuits, a tub of butter, an empty zip lock sandwich bag and me.  I started making assumptions about how I got there.  Notions of sleep walking came and went but didn’t stick.  I had disjointed recollections of being pinned to the deck of an old wooden pirate ship and being drenched by waves rolling over me in a torrential storm.  I even toyed with the idea that I might be the butt of someone’s joke and I would find myself on YouTube!  But there was a distinct taste in my mouth that raised red flag number one.  I lent back in the chair and felt the back of my shirt was wet which raised red flag number two.  Red flag number three flew up when I looked over to the display on the microwave and it read 1:56am.

Suddenly I felt it was too much to process.  I quickly packed up the mess on the kitchen table, checked on the kids, switched the light off and headed for the bedroom.  I sat on the edge of the bed and scrolled through the history on my blood glucose metre to find this…

BGMeter14Oct15The screen illuminated the bed which appeared to be drenched in sweat.

I put the meter away and lied down; cold skin and a fuzzy head.

Overwhelming thoughts and feelings washed over me.  It was amazing that sometimes I have an autopilot mechanism which activates to treat a hypo in the middle of the night.

Next thing I knew the kids jumped on me for a cuddle and we started our day.

But simple, no frills and in survival mode.

And nothing that couldn’t be helped along by a hot shower, two codeine, a strong coffee and skipping breakfast.

My kids love mornings like this; out of routine, a bit special and relaxed.

And I have decided to keep it that way.

Planets Aligning

It’s funny how things happen.  I often refer to it, (like most) as the planets aligning.  It was a full moon last night.  Perhaps that had something to do with the way today turned out.  And perhaps not.  Either way I’m back on the blogging scene!

We experienced a power outage this morning.  Sitting in the dark, unpowered and cold office was less than inspiring.  I was particularly annoyed because I was trying to track down a link to an article I received via email last week.  Apparently I was referenced!  At first I thought it might be a loose reference to the Oz Diabetes Online Community (#OzDOC) that I run.  Our weekly chats achieve notable reach and have made a significant impact over the last year or so.  However it ended up being a direct reference to a blog I wrote here at 1type1  !  I was absolutely beside myself with excitement and very pleased to read such a proactive piece about psychological wellbeing in the care of diabetes.  I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Jennifer Halliday at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes for it.  You can access the article here but consider yourself warned; you may need to pay.

I have been contemplating getting back into blogging for some months but an element of motivation was missing.  Given recent time constraints I made operating #OzDOC my priority and otherwise minimised my online presence.  I stopped writing because I was uncomfortable with the idea that my published words may be misinterpreted.  These words are of a personal nature relating to my health.  Fear of being misunderstood overwhelmed me and led me to move further and further from the blogosphere.  I also starting witnessing forms of plagiarism, little white lies and embellishments.  I have no time for these offences and I knew I had to leave the blogging scene to take a step back and breathe out.

Resolution is a beautiful thing and I have come to realise that I have no way of controlling how people interpret my musings or how people decided to express themselves online.  I will continue to write from the heart.  I will be truthful and genuine.  My aim will be to continue contributing to the body of knowledge that can help inform the direction of diabetes healthcare.  My voice will represent my experience of living with type 1 diabetes as a women, a wife, a mother, a part time worker, a volunteer and so much more.  I will move forward with compassion and mindfulness.

So I have breathed out (for quite some time now) and Jen’s article has reignited the fire in my belly to blog again.  It seems that doing this can make a difference.  Have an impact.  Influence thinking.  Instigate positive change.

It may or may not be a coincidence what so ever that the theme for our #OzDOC chat tonight is motivation.

The planets are well aligned in my universe.

Image result for water on mars

And apparently water has been discovered on Mars!

I Need to Suspend Judgement?

I have finally put a pathology request form in my handbag that was written out by my Endocrinologist for April, 2014. The anticipation is killing me and I am so glad! Finally, I want to know what my HbA1c is, and how a few other “levels” are tracking.

Around November last year my health took an unexpected turn. All of a sudden diabetes had to take a backseat and it was very unfamiliar territory.  Unfortunately the health changes I was experiencing affected my diabetes control so much so that I simply disengaged. The exhaustion I was feeling due to not really knowing what was wrong with me was winning over.

Every time my blood glucose level jumped to a destination that wasn’t on the itinerary, I didn’t even throw my hands in the air anymore.  I just rolled my eyes, plugged a correction into my pump, or a hypo treatment into my mouth and carried on.  I simply didn’t care because I had no idea what the outcome was going to be.  Why hope?  It would inevitably lead to disappointment.  In more recent times I have also been quite overwhelmed with a new batch of specialists, diagnostics, treatment options and potential outcomes.  I have learnt so much about the healthcare system that reaches beyond the bounds of diabetes care.  All of this has echoed well into 2014.

But for some reason, I have reached a point where I feel like knowing how my diabetes is tracking again!  My other health issues aren’t resolved.  A particular set of symptoms are a little more under control, but that’s about it for now.  The cause is yet to be discovered as more symptoms line up at the door.  I have surmised that this renewed desire to find out my diabetes-related levels is because I have made some progress which I didn’t actually think I had to make…

I have suspended judgement on myself.

By choice I have been doing it really tough behind a cheery exterior.  I haven’t wanted these health issues interfere with my beautiful life; I have so much to be grateful for.  So I have finally decided to congratulate myself for prioritising my health needs.  I have chosen to stop feeling guilty about letting my diabetes control slip.  To me guilt is also a choice and I know I have been doing the very best that I can given my current circumstances.

So no matter what my blood work reveals, it will simply be information.  And I won’t let anyone else do anything with that information except read it and file it.

I am showing other people how to treat me by putting the gavel down.

Judges gavel

 

Wordless Wednesday #17

In the middle of gobbling down an afternoon snack with my kids,
I noticed this…

Tiny Teddies

Tiny Teddies

Have you ever felt like this Tiny Teddy with chocolate on the wrong side of him?  It is clearly not his fault, but he has no choice but to be packaged up with a whole bunch of other Tiny Teddies who have chocolate on the right side of them.

Even after 27+ years, living with type 1 diabetes still makes me feel like that one Teddy.

It’s my daily battle.  I rise to the occasion and I put up a damn good fight every single day unbeknownst to most people around me.