A bad diabetes day

Today has been a bad day, and a bad diabetes day.
I woke up with a 5.4 before breakfast. This is a good level, but according to DAFNE, it should be at least 6.5 before breakfast. I didn’t complain, though.
Usually, I am pretty happy to get into work a little early, to start beavering away. I had a feeling this morning, that something wasn’t quite right. I seemed to be staring into space, tired and taking my time to load my laptop up. I thought it was just because I’d not bothered to put any make up on, before I left.
I recently split my Levemir, so I now inject at 9am. Just out of curiosity, I decided to check my sugar levels (I usually don’t bother, being so soon after breakfast). Hm. 14. Not particularly high, but high enough to make me feel unsteady. I’ve always said that I’d prefer to be low, than high. This is down to the fact that high sugar levels make me feel absolutely rotten. I don’t usually feel any different when I’m low.
I decided not to correct the 14, as I’d only taken my insulin for breakfast, at 7.30. I also don’t usually have any food between breakfast and lunch, so wait it out, I would. I must add here, this was the rational part of my brain speaking – the me that was suffering with the high sugar level, was ready to curl up into a ball (preferably at my desk or in the toilets) and burst into tears. High sugar levels make me feel so angry inside, and so out of control of my emotions. I have enough problems with my rollercoaster emotions, without diabetes sticking its nose in!
I slipped away to the toilet, I was starting to feel unwell. Maybe that would explain the high sugar levels. 5 minutes later, I have to say, I was crying my eyes out in the toilet and all I wanted to do was to go home. 20 minutes later, I was back at my desk, sitting silently (as always), as if nothing was wrong. No one seemed to care that I’d been away from my desk a while, so this made me feel even worse. I constantly struggle to put into words how completely awful diabetes can make you feel. With my work colleagues, I’ve given up trying to make them understand. Instead, I have to suffer in silence.
By 10am, my sugar level was 10. Slowly settling, but this didn’t make any difference to how I was feeling. I didn’t dare talk to anyone, knowing how angry I feel when I’m high. The one thing that made me annoyed today, in relation to my diabetes, was that I’ve made some pretty big (ish) mistakes in my work, as a result of not being able to concentrate (because of worrying too much about my sugar levels). I hate it when diabetes gets in the way of my everyday life. I really do.
Those who know me, know that I’m the saddo who eats her lunch in the car, reading a book. We have a tiny tea room, in which the three old men who have the same lunch hour as me, sit doing the Sun crossword. No thanks. My sugar level before lunch, bearing in mind I had no corrections, and had been 14 4 hours ago, was 3.9. This confuses me so much. How much is a person’s sugar level supposed to drop? In hindsight, it was a good thing I didn’t correct.
2 hours post lunch, I was 12.6. Once again, this brought tiredness a very strong urge to run out to my car, drive home and get into bed. I wish.
I don’t like to correct, because I feel like my body when it chooses to be, is super sensitive to insulin. I haven’t applied any corrections all day, and before dinner, I was back to 3.8.
After a terrible diabetes day, I’m reassured by my current level of 7.3. This is a nice number to go to bed. Thank you, body.
What a rollercoaster today has been. I’m ready for today to be over, now. Night x

The importance of peer support

Tomorrow morning, I’m gatecrashing my diabetes care team monthly meeting, to talk to them about the Peer Support Service. The services is currently being run by myself and Andy . I’ve been pestering the DSN’s since January, to let me promote the service to them. Admittedly, I wish this meeting could have taken place in January, but I guess it’s better late than never.

Over the past 3 months, I have heard from so many people, wanting to know the things that get forgotten about, when it comes to diabetes. Through our blog, the Essex Diabetes Peer Support group on Facebook, and spreading the word on Twitter, I really do feel that we have already made a difference.

By no means are we trying to change the world, but it would be nice to give the locals a bit of support. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve had diabetes 2 days, or 20 years, there are some things you just might not know. That’s ok. It’s ok to ask questions. I will be the first person to say I wish I knew more about diabetes. What we are trying to do with the peer support service, then, is to create a network to find the answers to those questions. We might not know the answer, but someone else might. We just need to ask.

One thing I have always been told, is to talk. If I’m feeling sad, excited, or anxious, tell someone about it. Keeping quiet will not allow you to come to any conclusions, and it certainly won’t make those worries disappear. I have to say, I learnt this the hard way.

That’s why I am so excited about the peer support service. There are going to be so many opportunities to help people in Essex, who are living with diabetes. Not everyone feels comfortable talking about ‘feelings’ with their doctor. This is where we come in. The likelihood is that however diabetes is making you feel, there is probably someone else feeling like that, too. 

So, hopefully by the end of the week, all the DSN’s in Essex will be telling all their patients about the Peer Support service, and newly diagnosed patients will feel like they don’t have to do this on their own. Hurrah!




Tweetchat catch up – accepting your diabetes

The OurDiabetes tweet chat held on Tuesday 28th January was hosted by @Oggy2203. I missed the chat, but I think accepting diabetes is a big step in controlling and managing it. My answers to the evening’s questions are below..

Question 1 – How did you come to terms with accepting your diabetes?
Thinking about it, I was relieved to be diagnosed with diabetes. For 6 months prior, I had been constantly unwell and run down, with no apparent reason. Being diagnosed with diabetes therefore, gave me a starting point to start my road to better health.
Question 2 – What struggles did you come across when accepting your diabetes?
I was diagnosed as Type 1.5. I struggled in the first 18 months, as my healthcare team wanted to treat me as type 2, meaning that I tried every tablet medication there is. I knew from the start, that this wasn’t the way for me. It took 18 months for my healthcare team to agree with me, and since then, I have been so much better. It still frustrates me that I was ignored for that first year and a half..
Question 3 – How did friends and family members come to terms with your diagnosis?
My dad has diabetes, and his dad was also diabetic. As a result, I don’t think my diagnosis was too life changing. My family already had a healthy lifestyle, and we all knew how to deal with my dad when he was having a hypo. On the other hand, my dad is type 2, and I am type 1(.5?!). These are completely different in terms of treatment and everyday life. I sometimes think being on insulin makes my diabetes more flexible than if I were treated by tablets.
Question 4 – How long did it take you to get used to using your medication?
I think it took precisely 19 months to get used to my medication. The whole time I was on tablets, was a horrible experience for me. I had said from the start, that I felt like I needed to be on insulin, not tablets. When I did eventually get given an insulin regime, I felt like I was living a new life. Sure, it took a while to get used to injecting myself everyday, and working out how much to inject. But it was worth it. Definitely.
Question 5 – Do you ever have days when you don’t accept your medical condition?
I think I do, along with most other people with diabetes. There are days when I think “why me?” and that I don’t deserve it. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, I eat healthily, and I exercise. I guess you can’t change your genes, though, so I’m stuck with this diabetes thing.
When I have days like these, I have to remember how well I’ve done, so far. I have my family to thank, I have wonderful friends who understand what I’m going thorough, and of course, I have the #doc. Every day, I look at my tattoo, and I feel so proud of myself. So, 2.5 years down, another 80 to go (at least)!
The bits that don’t fit in with the questions…
Diabetes is a very individual experience; everyone deals with it differently, everyone feels, reacts and treats it differently. For me, being diagnosed with diabetes was the first step to improving my overall health. A certain amount of hope was attached to my diagnosis, and for the most part, I do try to keep that in mind, on a day to day basis. It can be hard, but the majority of the time, I do feel that I have been very good at accepting my diabetes.