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Friday, May 16, 2014

T1D Hacktivism Brief (NOT medical advice):

1. Definitely, most-definitely pre-bolus for breakfast.

2. Definitely, most definitely, pre-bolus for white bread.

3. Try out the expired stuff, unless cloudy (insulin) or generally useless (e.g. Dexcom: Failed Sensor/???/etc.)

4. If you are a woman, you must immediately download the PeriodTracker App and figure out how to “compensate” for like idk the last 10 days of your cycle (case in point: days 21-30 I literally have to bolus like 20-30% more for breakfast and lunch).

5. Keep an old and trusty meter around (in case you ever don’t have insurance [ I don't have insurance ;( ], those test strips will cost waaay less). Mine is the Accuchek Active (and I can find strips on Amazon for like 15 bucks/50 strips [score])

6. Get a dog. Preferably a large one (or three). Like this:

They will DEMAND to be exercised as well as love you unconditionally, therefore improving your mood, along with your BGs :D)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#Dblog week: What brings me up

My family, my friends. My ability to share with them. My ability to share with you.

This wasn't true even two years ago for me. I was lonely in my diabetes life. I allowed myself to feel all those things all by myself and only by myself: the guilt, the fear, the carelessness, the depression, the anxiety, the feeling of wanting to be "normal" and knowing that diabetes won't let me... These are hard feelings to deal with.

I went to therapy - initially not because of diabetes.. In fact, as I progressed through the sessions, I came to realize - what a big role diabetes has played. In everything. In my attitude towards myself and others, in my risk-taking habits, in my sense of who I am. Diagnosed at 18.5 yrs. old, in the midst of what I will now only describe as a "very tough time in my [very young] life", it was a slap in the face and seemed nearly impossible to accept to say the least (I digress, that's a whole another story).

Today, my friend and I met over lunch (and may have smoked some pot ;). We talked about my upcoming dissertation and about my impending new job, we talked about research, and people we knew, we talked about our bosses, and summer plans. Somehow, diabetes came up. Here's where I'm lucky - being a scientist, most of my friends are familiar with diabetes - most basic things anyway. Side story: this particular friend of mine actually has a history of T2D in her family. Her father very sadly passed away in his 50s due to a heart attack, after many years of obesity and T2D.. (My friend herself has lost ~70 lbs. in the last 1.5 yrs due to this fact mainly). I proceeded to talk (ramble?) about the basal-bolus approach (imagine rambles herewith, including an in-depth discourse about the analog vs. human insulins, doses, lows, highs, etc.), concluding with the statement "so that's the current treatment approach ... sounds simple in theory..." I could tell that for someone who did not have diabetes, she understood very well. She sympathized in my struggle and opened up more about her dad..

I joined the DOC about 1.5 yrs. ago.  Feeling less alone, I felt like I could open up to others. I have not been disappointed. Whether it was my friends, my husband, or my family, I have been finding nothing but understanding and support when it comes to my diabetes life. The thing is I never would have known it was possible, that it was out there to that extent, if it wasn't for all your stories, for all your openness.

Today, I share. With you. Or IRL. And I am still amazed at how much it helps.

I love you all.

<3 -MM

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#Dblog week: What brings me down

I haven't written in a month and a half, as life has been crazy, mostly in a good way. At the start of April I traveled to San Diego for a few days for a conference and caught up with my mom, which was fun. While there I received unexpected email for a job interview, a refreshing change of events after months of looking. This was for a 2-yr postdoctoral research position at a state university nearby, and I am both shocked and thrilled to report that I landed the job on the spot. This event set off a chain reaction of quickly finishing experiments and throwing together my dissertation. Currently, I am scheduled to defend my Ph.D. in less than two months, and start the new job at the end of July.

Of course, these are not the things that bring me down. These are all great (life-changing?) events, and I am both excited and terrified to tackle the heavy work-load for the next 1.5 months at the end of which will (hopefully, almost most-definitely) be my Ph.D., and a new job awaiting (one that will pay almost twice what I'm used to). What brings me down is the negativity that Diabetes sometimes casts over these exciting events. When I am at the Zoo and feel like total shit because the traveling and greasy food spiked my BG into the 300s. When I see an average on my BG meter that I don't want to admit is true. When I feel like summer-time BBQs and beer drinking should make me feel guilty. When I think about my future with my husband (which I would like to include children, many perhaps) I am excited, but at the same time Diabetes management ("poor" management in particular) casts a fearful shadow over what should only be happy thoughts. It makes me sad that I can't seem to have 100% enjoyment, because Diabetes is almost always (somewhere) on my mind when I think about my future.

At the same time, I have to remind myself that I am more that just a girl with Type 1 Diabetes. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a puppy momma, a researcher, a friend. I'm Maria. I am not just a disease, and I will not let this aspect of who I am take over. On the other hand, I cannot ignore it or it will take over. These days I find myself looking for this balance more than ever, and I am sure (especially after reading some other Dblogs from the DOC this week) that I am not alone in this. Thank you all for being there.

<3 MM