It really makes you think

I started watching the film “The Impossible” this afternoon. It’s about a family vacationing in Thailand when a tsunami hits. Movies like this are hard for me to watch.

I’m sure we all pause and try to imagine what it’s like to end up suffering like that, losing family members, the shock and disorientation in the aftermath and trying to survive. Then it hits me how screwed I would be because of my diabetes.

Because I’ve had my diagnosis for a couple of years, with the clear message I would become insulin dependent eventually, I’ve thought of it a lot. Not until I became insulin dependent did I fully understand what any kind of disaster – natural or man-made, like a war – would have on my ability to live. Slowly but surely I am getting used to the idea I’d be one of the first people to go. I would be one of the first to die if I survived in the first place. I would be the first left behind if things depended on it. Probably also the first to sacrifice myself because I’m very aware of my chances of survival compared to others.

Sometimes this depresses me immensely, but then I also realize there’s not much use in feeling that way. If something is going to happen, it will happen. I have this illness, without my medicine I’m fucked, and if I don’t have any on-hand when shit goes down I know exactly what my fate will be. I might live for a few (miserable) months at most, depending on how much insulin production I have left, before DKA sets in and I die a pretty awful death. Fretting about it won’t change this. There are tons of others like me. When civilization falls, it’s all about natural selection anyway, isn’t it?

Has anyone else ever thought about this? There are a ton of websites where diabetics speculate about what to do ‘when the world ends’, how to survive, how to make your own insulin, how to ration, how to eat. But it all seems to come down to ‘you can extend your chances of survival but you’re not going to grow old either way unless you can get your hands on a proper batch of insulin again’.

On the upside, chances are this won’t ever happen in my lifetime. You never know for sure, but I seem to be in a good place at the moment, so it’s all just speculation. For now I’m proud that I’ve got a fairly good hold on my diabetes at the moment, on a (mostly) moderate carb diet no less. I do have days where I exceed 200g carbs, but I’m so bound by my budget that I don’t always have the choice. Taking what I can get!

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I’m super stoked about the HbA1c value in this calculator. I’m getting lab work done next week and expect it to be higher than this, as I only started insulin beginning of January, and I’ve only logged a little over a week’s worth in this app. Obviously it’s not a good indicator for my actual A1C, buuuut if this trend continues I predict a great value around June!

Also had my first hypo last night since on insulin (1 in almost 4 weeks!). I’ve always caught every single one early, but there’s a first time for everything! I think now that I’m able to sleep at night and get enough rest, my insulin sensitivity has gone up, and therefore my i:c ratio has changed slightly. (I needed it at 1:11 during my insomnia bout, I think I’m going to try 1:13 for a bit now.) So after shoveling a couple of oatmeal cookies into my face as I watched the newest TWD episode, I probably bolused too much. I tidied up around my place after finishing the episode, and as I sat down I tested 3.3mmol/L. Whoops. Got the shakes and disorientation, but a baggie of Skittles fixed me right back up.

I’m pretty much always in range now with the exception of a few stragglers here and there. Proud of myself, after my checkup with my DSN I’m going to see what I can do to do better.

I’ve also received a request for more knitted knockers, so I started this last night (in the middle of my hypo because I’m dumb) and hopefully will have the pair completed in a day or two!

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Bring Zen into my life

I’m finally catching my breath again after a couple of weeks of utter madness. I’ve spent many days without power because electricians were fixing a very dangerous electrical situation in my apartment complex, which meant no computer, no opening of my fridge or freezer, no music, no tv and no chores until the work days were over. There is only so much reading I can do on my tablet before I need to recharge it or get bored, so I spent copious amounts of my time at my friends’ or my parents’ being bored to death. I got behind on some of the work I had to do for my friend, but as soon as the electricians left and the power was back on, I had to stuff a day’s worth of things into a few hours before I had to go back to bed because these guys show up bright and early at 8am the next day.

My legal battle is going well. My landlord has dug his own grave and makes feeble attempts to climb out, only to be smacked down my by lawyer every single time. I have the law backing me up without doubt and he’s screwed. I’m grateful all correspondence now goes between my landlord, the real estate agent he hired to take over maintenance and my lawyer though. Not having the responsibility of dealing with letters is a relief!

Therapy is going well. The vacation season is upon us, which means I see my therapists less until the beginning of September, but to be frank I’m feeling good enough to be confident I can bridge that gap without too many issues. I’m doing better at setting my own boundaries and picking up things after I dropped them. I have to start on logging my days again too for my psychologist because all this electrician business interfered and made it hard to get back in, but I’m going to do it.

My weight is dropping very slowly but steadily. I’m down to a solid 119.2kgs and I haven’t gone over 120kgs in a week, so it’s safe to say the weight is off and will stay off. I might go over 120 again when my period hits, but it shouldn’t be by too much.

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On the downside, my blood sugar is all over the damn place. I’m having a blood draw on Tuesday morning to check my cholesterol and we’ll be doing my A1C at the same time. It could be stress, the temperature fluctuations or my pancreas is finally kicking the bucket and we need to up my medication or even switch to insulin. It’s hard to tell when you’re a type 1.5 and it can be frustrating when people who deal with diabetics tell you it’s 100% ‘just the heat’. No, it doesn’t have to be, it could be more serious because I’m not a solid type 1 or 2. I know they mean well but good god at least listen to what the person who has the condition tells you.

I’m looking forward to the end of August. Two of my friends will be flying in and staying with me for a while and I intend on having a really good time with them! My boyfriend got out of the Navy and moved to a different state. He’s applying for college and hopefully can pursue an education in computer science like he’s wanted!

Don’t forget to breathe

It’s really important to keep doing that! My week has been crazy, and today was a nerve wrecking day like woah. The important thing to know is that things are finally moving again, and it’s going steady with the promise that I won’t be left hanging.

Wednesday I talked to my therapist about a number of things. Primarily about getting a proper schedule back on track for my days and finding ways to incorporate some resting moments during the day. I set up a private blog with password protected entries that she can login to, in which I track my days, what I eat and what my bloodsugar levels are. When I’m really tired or didn’t sleep well, I’ll be trying to rest up shortly after noon instead of later in the afternoon, even if that means I won’t be fully asleep. This will allow me to go to bed at a reasonable time.

This morning I went to group therapy and my counselor took some ‘alone time’ with me to sort through my opened and unopened mail. My financial situation is still shit, but she’s helping me out wonderfully to get a financial administrator setup for me. This person will receive my mail, receive my disability income, pay my bills on my behalf, take care of any forms and other shit that needs to be done and then pay the rest out to me for my groceries and everything else I need. This would be a MASSIVE burden off my shoulders so getting the application out is crucial. Either way, on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being super chill, I was a 90 in terms of anxiety. Opening mail is terrifying. So many angry letters making demands I can’t possibly hope to pay. But she was calm and collected and we made it through. I sorted it by date and we put it into a folder. I still have two pieces left to collect.

My counselor did mention I was very quiet and withdrawn, very different from usual. It amazes me how perceptive she is of people. (Although… it is her job I suppose.) When another girl arrived at group, we were done and I sat down with her in the kitchen to talk about whatever. I felt better afterwards, but it took almost the entire day for my anxiety to go down.

Once I got home around 1:30pm, I got a call from the doctor’s assistant. I had my diabetes checkup earlier this week, got an ECG done (all okay), had to give a urine sample (all okay), and had to have blood drawn for my A1C (all okay) and my cholesterol (not okay!). She told me that the doctor is worried about the rise in my cholesterol, and this worries me too. It’s never been high to worrying heights, mainly just ‘a touch too high on the bad kind, and a touch too low on the good one, but nothing to fret over’. My diet has been altered drastically, I eat way more vegetables, fruits and fibers. Fat is limited to dinners only in terms of cooking oils, and hasn’t changed at all. Logic would assume that my cholesterol has gone down (especially as my oatmeal consumption has blown up, I use it in EVERYTHING). My bloodsugar is under control during the day and on my A1C, which means my diet is working. So why does my cholesterol keep climbing?

I have a suspicion it’s the meds I take to get my sugar under control, which is frustrating. Unfortunately it’s also typical for diabetics. Ugh. I got a prescription for 15 Simvastatine Accord pills to see if I can tolerate them with refills (and if not I can switch to a different kind) and I got another blood test scheduled in six weeks. Let’s hope they work and all my values will be normal by then. ALL of them.

I’m totally exhausted now, so I’m heading off to an early night’s sleep.