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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Knitting and bolus

Things have been going well in the past couple of weeks. I’m nearing a 3 week mark on the bolus and basal regime for my diabetes and my values are definitely doing better. I’ve got a good control on how to use the insulin, I track it really well and I keep in mind that I have insulin on board when I correct my values. I had to up my basal by 2 units but it seems to be doing its thing well now. I’ll have to figure out a good way to rotate injection sites; right now I just look for any red marks and try to inject a cm or two away from that on whichever side of my belly I’m on. I think I’ll divide my abdomen into 4 regions and rotate them clockwise every 2-3 days. (Is this where I’m thankful for a big belly because it means more space?)

have been dealing with a bad depression low. I isolated myself for a week or two and spent all of my time almost exclusively with one person who always helps me feel better. I’m slowly getting back on track now after that episode, so let’s hope things will look up shortly.

During these two weeks I focused on my ten stitch blanket for a while.

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I made more progress on it since taking this pic but it’s coming along super well. I finished all the yarn in this colorway and moved on to more scrap yarn. It’s 2×2 feet right about now, and I hope to knit it up to 6.5×6.5 feet at the end.

Ten is the magic number

Last night I got the knitting itch. I have a pair of socks on the needles and a cardigan, but neither are what I want. Both require constant attention and focus, neither will allow me to zone out and just…. relax.

I rummaged through my stash and found a leftover skein of Ice Yarns’ Magic Light in the rainbow colorway, not enough to do much else with. I have quite a few stragglers like that just sitting around collecting dust. Then I remembered the Ten Stitch Blanket and knew immediately that it would be the perfect no brainer to use up leftover yarn, and allowing me to make a blanket/bed cover for the coming fall and winter. I don’t care much for any particular color combination, the crazier the better actually!

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I started last night and this is what I have so far. 4.5mm needles with a DK weight yarn is working out well! I don’t particularly care for the ridges on the other side because of the color differences in this yarn, but I like that the blanket can work both ways. I already memorized the pattern after the first double corner and it’s been a breeze from here on. I struggled a little with picking up the stitches the first two turns because I wasn’t sure which leg to snatch and knit into, but I quickly found one that I can continue to work consistently throughout the rest of the blanket.

I have some more Magic Light yarn laying around somewhere. Love the color changes and I will try to make these the center of the blanket for as long as possible!

Of pain and exhaustion

My herniated disc is at it again. I am walking and sitting, but the pain is constantly present. The nerve to my right leg got pinched badly this time around, leaving it in a constant state of ‘bad leg cramps’ that have begun to feel like fire. My toes feel partially numb and my leg gives out every now and then.

This would be manageable, I think I built up a massive pain tolerance over the past 4 years dealing with this crap, if it wasn’t for the accompanying exhaustion that the pain brings. Everything you do suddenly requires so much more effort. The pain keeps your body in overdrive throughout the day and even the night. Some nights I spend 5 minutes figuring out the best way to get out of bed without too much pain (or god forbid, collapsing on my bedroom floor) just to go pee.

No fun. Add to that the dropping of the outdoors temperatures, my period finally having ended, and my glucose values climbing a little because of it. I was doing so well on my first week of insulin, but as I suspected this was partially due to the heat wave and my period partying together like there was no tomorrow. My day curves this week are up by 2 mmol/L on average compared to last week, which kind of sucks. I exceeded 10 mmol/L twice which disappointed me a bit, but I have to admit that overall, my numbers are still in the green. The peaks might be a bit of a concern, but I’m getting in touch with my doctor on Friday, when she’s back in the office, to discuss a couple of details with her. I’m definitely not in any sort of red zone right now though, which is good!

Injections are still relatively painless. (Maybe that’s because of my high pain tolerance?) I’ve noticed that if the needle hurts me when I lightly poke the skin without piercing it, the whole injection will hurt and burn. If I carefully poke around until I find a spot that doesn’t hurt, the whole injection is as good as painless, save for a very, very, very minor burning sensation sometimes. I’m not sure why this is, but maybe my belly’s stretchmarks play a role in this? Either way, if I do have to end up bolusing, I don’t expect it to be a big deal if I can get another pen. I’m surprised at how easy it all really is when the mystery is gone.

I want to pick up my two currently pending knitting projects, but I can’t sit still long enough to get much done. My summer cardigan is dragging on and summer will be over before I finish it. It makes me want to take out the sleeve and start over in a plain stockinette stitch rather than the diagonal openwork I have right now, so that I can turn it into a winter cardi. But I’ve also come so far, and I’m really close to finishing! I still have to rip out the cabled socks I was working on and start over, which I’ve been aching to do on and off. I just can’t get my head right for it.

So instead of doing things I should be doing, I’m watching the first Pokemon season (Indigo League) and playing my Pokemon XYORAS games. I’d be up and about playing Pokemon Go like nobody’s business if I had a phone that supports it, but my Galaxy S3 can’t handle the game. My friend has a spare phone he’s sending out to me soon, so fingers crossed!

While we’re here, I want to share with your the deliciousness of my dinner the past two days. I threw fancy out the window and went back to good old Dutch basics.

My glucose values were perfectly in range after these, which is fantastic. 🙂