Tuesday, 15 May 2012

We have moved!

Hello wonderful friends! We have now moved our blog over to a new domain, because it gives us more space and flexibility for what we want from our blog. Thank you so much for following us this far and we look forward to seeing you over on our new space!! :) Now you can find us at

Monday, 14 May 2012

D-Blog Week Time!

Well guys, it's my first time to participate in D-Blog week and i'm very excited about it. Since I discovered the DOC I have been so lucky to meet such wonderful people and have the opportunity to read so many wonderful blogs from fantastic people.

Here is a description of the first topic of D-Blog week:

"It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends.  With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections.  Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!!  Let’s all find a new friend today!    (Special thanks to Gina, everybody’s Diabetes BFF, for helping me title this post!)"

The listed blogs below are just some of my favourites, I couldn't possibly choose just one blog! Check out our blogroll for many more awesome bloggers! Of course our blog roll doesn't do everybody justice, there are so many more fantastic bloggers out there! We are constantly updating our blog roll, so watch this space!

First up is my wonderful friend, Charli over at Charli 1point5 - A Day In The Life. 
I have been so lucky to meet this wonderful woman. We met through the DOC on twitter back in November and I now have the honour of calling her a very close friend, and I love her dearly. Charli writes about her thoughts and feelings about living with Type 1 Diabetes as an adult, working and doing other normal adult things. Charli speaks from her heart, and if you are not reading her blog already, you need to get over there pronto. Charli honestly and humorously addresses the good, the bad, and the downright ugly part of living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Lindsey - Over at Dlife Blogabetes
Lindsey and I met many years ago, on Diabetes Teen Talk. That website was a great resource for me as a newly diagnosed Type 1 thirteen year old girl. We have been emailing since 2005 and we have been through many things together, not all Diabetes related. I love this gal like a sister and she writes about the daily struggles of Diabetes and how it affects her general health, work life, relationships and all the many other variables Diabetes addresses.

Sara - Over at smartDpants
I've recently started following Sara's blog, but I have always been following her on twitter. Sara never fails to make me laugh and inspires me every single day. Sara created the hastag #DPorn on twitter when I got adventurous and decided to try a boob infusion site - and I still crack up today just thinking about it. Get over to her Diabetes blog now!

Jess - Over at JessMeandD
Jess not only writes about living with diabetes every day, but also about the emotional aspect that Diabetes brings to so many of us. Her posts never fail to inspire me and Jess always has the right words in times of need.

Carrie - Over at My Unemployed Pancreas
This gal is the toughest Dia-bad-ass you will ever meet. She loves bacon, and chocolate covered bacon, where could you go wrong? Carrie writes about her transition from high school to college life and everything in between, with Type 1 Diabetes.

Remember - these gals are just some of my favourite D bloggers. There are thousands more blogs out there that I wish everybody knew about! I love you all guys!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Look At The Stars, Look How They Shine For You..

Song titles seem to be the theme of the week here, so i'm going with it. Music is a big part of my life. I constantly need music playing in the background to help me not panic and think i'm about to die. I have been doing this for years, since I was a young teenager. Lately, i've been trying to phase out my dependency on music. My counselor says I need to. I argued that this wouldn't be helpful because then i'd just panic and be paralysed by fear all day.

Thing is, i'm already paralysed by fear all day. The music just stops me looking like an insane person and gives me something to think about. The reason I play the music is because it distracts me from thinking irrational panicky thoughts. So I need to stop this. I need to think my thoughts, and deal with them. That is; let them come into my head, and say; "FUCK OFF! YOU'RE IRRATIONAL!". Or something along those lines.

The last few months have been rough. I haven't been testing or taking my insulin nearly enough as I should be. But today, I tried to be brave. Yesterday, I fought off a panic attack before I got in the shower. I wanted to take a shower so badly, but my mother was across the street and I couldn't see her. I knew my blood sugar was high because I had a huge breakfast and didn't bolus, but that wasn't enough reassurance for me. But I fought it - I had the shower, took my time, and didn't panic.

Same this morning. I woke up and knew my Mother wasn't in the house. I calmly got dressed and calmly walked out to where I knew she would be in the street, but I didn't test my blood sugar. I was afraid that I wouldn't handle the number and that she'd abondoned me and i'd be all alone and i'd die. Or something. But I found her and when she wasn't looking, I tested.

For the rest of the day, I took very good care of my Diabetes. I tested, and even got in some exercise. It felt good. But as the day went on, the pressure was building and building. Long story short, after a tense fight between my sister, my mother and I, I felt like I was ready to blow.

I didn't care that it was 11pm at night. I slipped on my running shoes, unlocked the front door and bolted out the drive way, around the corner and across the street. I stopped outside a nearby pub to catch my breath. I must have been running only for about 3 minutes, but man I was sprinting. Running away from what I had left behind. The fear, the frustration, the irritation of my family.

I was running towards my wonderful friends, the world that is out there for me that I cannot seem to be brave enough to take the leap into. I want it so bad. But i'm stuck in this hole and I can't get out. The light from the local pub was the first bit of light I had seen since I left the house. I had my meter in my pocket, my glucose tabs, and my phone. Diabetes was still there. I left other crap behind. But you can't leave Diabetes behind, I thought to myself. So I sat down, in the middle of the road at 11pm at night, the only light around me was the spotlight from the top door of the pub, the night sky and the stars. This may seem crazy to you but as kids in Ireland, you're weird if you haven't laid down in the middle of a deserted road (That would be busy during the day) at night time. It's so peaceful, to lay down and just watch the stars.

So I did. I laid there. Gripped my phone tight. My heart pounding. I watched the stars through the branches and leaves of the trees over my head. It was not cold, there was no breeze. In that instant, I forgot about what I left behind. I was lost in a world where I was mourning and yet celebrating what I had lost before fear took over my life. I lay there like a starfish on the cool tarmac. Snippets of my life at different times were flashing through my mind while I started to control my breathing. The days of being in love and feeling invincible. Before I told my family I was gay and how my parents looked at me differently, they look at me awkwardly now. How I used to think if I lost my ex of 3 years that I would lose everything. Summers with my grandparents who have both passed on now. Days when our family was happy. When I wasn't a disappointment or a nuisance. When I didn't let Diabetes define me.

Then I imagined the life I could have, if I didn't have fear. I could have a whole new life in America. All of my friends are doing it. Going their separate ways. Getting jobs in the states. But i'm stuck here living at home with my parents because i'm too much of a wuss. I sometimes wonder, why do I have to depend on people? As a child I had nobody in my life that was constant and whom I could depend on. I managed fine by myself all those years. So why this now? Why am I waiting for somebody to hold my hand, and tell me it's going to be okay? Why can't I tell myself it's going to be okay? Why is it that I can support and tell the people I love that everything will be okay, but I can't tell myself that very same thing nor believe it?

I stood up and with a smile, walked back towards my house, in the pitch black, breathing in the fresh night air. I came to a farmers gate at the end of the lane before my house. I sat on it and stared into the pitch black field. Everything was dark. Until I noticed a light at the very far end of the field. It looked so beautiful. It was just a house or stable light or something. But I couldn't take my eyes off it. Then I looked up, and there was the most beautiful arrangement of stars I have ever seen in my life. It made me smile. It gave me hope for a future. That I can trust people that are in my life. That people come into your life for a reason. Things happen for a reason. It was an interesting way to end my night.

And now i'm sitting here writing this post with no pants on (Charli, Thomas, Carrie, Emma) will understand this. It feels good to have no pants on, you should try it sometime. Also - try waxing your legs. I feel mighty sexy. I don't know how to end this post. Other than for some reason, I can't stop smiling. I needed that run, that total randomness.

I'm so thankful for people that come into my life that make me feel like everything is going to be okay. You know who you are, and I love you dearly!


Monday, 7 May 2012

Oh, You're In My Veins

I was listening to the song "In my veins" by Andrew Belle and it inspired this post. I haven't blogged in about 2 months, it's good to be writing again.

- Also, this blog is extremely negative and explores the untalked about areas of how I feel about my Diabetes. Remember, ydmv. (Your Diabetes may Vary.)

Type 1 Diabetes is in my veins. The feeling that I have sand running through my veins instead of blood when i'm high. The feeling of nothing running through them when low.

It's on my skin.
That tingling when i'm low or the dry tight itchiness when i'm high. The sweat I break out in when i'm high in the night.

It's in my eyes.
The feeling that elephants are sitting on my eyelids when i'm low. Trying to stay awake. The feeling that a film of grease is covering my eyeball and the sting and gloopiness of it when i'm high.

"You're all I taste at night inside of my mouth."
It's in my friggin mouth. The dryness on the roof of my mouth or the back of my throat when i'm high. My face feels like it's hanging off when i'm low.

It's on my hands.
My fingertips are scarred from pricking. My hands get shaky when I go low, and sweaty when i'm high.

It's in my heart.
The speed of my heart changes depending on my blood sugar. The pain I feel in my heart to just be like everybody else and not have to deal with this.

It's in my stomach.
The hunger from a low. The hot acid feeling when i'm high. The nausea. The flipping. The scarring.

It's in my legs.
My shins feel like they are going to snap when i'm high. Walking to the bathroom is an effort. I feel like I have jello for knee caps when i'm low. The scarring.

It's in my head.
The fog of a low blood sugar. The crankyness of a high one. The headache. The god.damn.fog.

It's in my brain.
The fear. The guilt. Despair. Loneliness. Terror. Agony. Pity party. Drama. Effort. Selfishness. Eat everything. Just incase. Be prepared. What if. Blind. You're going to die. You are not normal. Pain. Insanity. Mania. Exhausted. Hold my hand. Hold me through it. Alone, forever. Nobody will ever love you. You'll never conquer this. Defeat. Afraid. Panic. Heart attack. Chopped off leg. Liver failure. Kidney damage. Stroke. Blood clots. Death. Die. You're going to die. You're going to die. You're going to die.

As I see it, Diabetes is a huge part of me. So why can't I get a grip on it? Why do I let it make me feel like a bold child, and why do I fear it?

Diabetes has me in a corner. A cold, dark, damp agonising corner. With sharp pieces of glass sticking out of the walls. Like the Chokee in the principal's room in the movie Matilda. The chokee is my Diabetes and i'm Matilda locked in it. Legend says that the key is there, but I have been looking for it so long and had my hopes dashed, I wonder if they key is even there anymore.

I see my DOC friends that have made it out. Who can see the light. Or have made it past the glass. They are my strength. They are what make me want to wake up in the morning and fight for another day.

But what if i'm not strong enough? What if I don't make it? Then what? How much longer can I do this for?

I wish I had something more positive or motivational to say. But right now, this is how I feel.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

"So, how do you feel about that?"

As the black and white person that I am, I put things in boxes. There's the "obsessional" box, the "good" box, the "I don't care" box, and the "bad" box. Counselling goes in the "bad" box.

My previous experiences with counselling have involved:

1) A counsellor making me feel even more out of control when a large part of my problem was feeling out of control, by saying that she would tell my parents about the things which I had told her (not suicidal thoughts, for the record, I do not believe that what I told her required the involvement of another); and

2) A session of counselling which led to my feelings of depression and thoughts about death increasing rapidly. I went into the session feeling about as bad as I'd ever felt. I came out of the session feeling worse. I didn't even know that was possible.

But considering that my depression is very persistent and the dent made by Citalopram has been slim, my doctor told me that it was time to do something more. The two steps were to raise my Citalopram dosage to 30mg, and to get counselling. He actually suggested CBT, but my university has offered me traditional counselling right now (and for free) whereas if I wanted CBT I would either have to go privately or go on a waiting list. So I decided to delve back into the murky depths of talk therapy once again.

It would be a lie to say that I didn't wake up four times overnight freaking out. It would be a lie to say that I didn't have to make myself a list of rewards I would give myself (sushi, chocolate cookie, episode of Lip Service, 2 hours less studying today) if I successfully completed a session. It would be a lie to say that I didn't have to sit on a bench whilst I was walking to counselling as a kind of 'time out,' or to say that my heart was beating at a normal rate when I went into the counsellor's room.

My first session was anti-climactic. I guess I'd been expecting to feel something extreme. As it happened, my eyes were dry throughout my session. I explained the thoughts and behaviours which I am unhappy with. The counsellor did not act in a judgemental manner, and she did not look at me like a hopeless case. Those are the positive things about my counselling session.

On a more negative note, I am concerned about the long-term effect of counselling sessions which don't seem to achieve anything. I am worried that they could further make me believe that nothing will make me feel better, because in general that's what happens. The more things fail to make me feel better, the more I feel like this is hopeless and recovery will not happen for me. I am scared that counselling will do this. Additionally, I felt sick at the end of the session. Despite the fact that it was fine, my stomach was churning after discussing my emotions and behaviour with the counsellor. It was nothing she did, it was just how I felt. And I will probably be anxious about next week's session. In fact, I already am anxious about next week's session.

Before next week, my counsellor asked me to think about the rules which I set myself. I never really considered this as a bad or even abnormal thing before, but apparently the way I talk about them is unusual. My rules include things like:

1. On a day with no other commitments, study for at least 5 hours. If you have other commitments this may be reduced to 3 hours.

2. No more than one bag of crisps per day.

3. No more than one cookie per day.

4. Once you are losing the vast majority of games of Minesweeper/Solitaire in the evening, keep playing. Only once you win a game can you go to bed.

5. No more than one fast food meal per week.

It has been mentioned before (and also on Twitter today) that these kind of inflexible rules could indicate obsessive compulsive disorder, but (as far as self-diagnosis goes) I am almost certain that I do not have OCD. I do not have thoughts about something negative happening if I don't obey the rules, I merely feel very guilty if I fail to follow them. However I then discovered something called obsessive compulsive personality disorder, for which I fit almost all of the criteria. This bothers me, because I do not want another diagnosis, and I probably will not speak to anybody about it for a while. However, OCPD does often lead to depression and anxiety, so perhaps if I were to be diagnosed with it then it would impact on the way I am treated for those coexisting conditions.

I might have taken counselling out of the "bad" box and put it in the "I don't care" box. It still triggers anxiety, but not to the same extent that it did before. My session had positive and negative effects, but none of them were severe and it did at least give me some food for thought.

I am still fairly certain that this will not help me. However, I am willing to go to a few sessions and see what comes of it, and that in itself probably counts as progress.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Other Diabetes

Recently in the DOC (particularly CWD) it seems like there has been a lot of talk about type 2 diabetes and type 1 diabetes. I've read a lot of posts before about people with type 1 who want a different name for their condition, because of the constant confusion and misconceptions around diabetes. I've seen TV shows (mostly on Channel 4, UK, although they actually seem to have improved a lot recently) which blatantly confuse the two illnesses, which have different causes, some different symptoms and different treatments.

I think that the level of confusion between the two types of diabetes is irritating, to say the least. Type 2 diabetes can often be treated (especially in its earlier stages) with diet and exercise, and even when this is ineffective, pills are often used rather than injections. From what I've read about type 2, it seems that BG levels are often more stable than what people with type 1 experience, and fewer BG checks per day are necessary. Honestly it bugs me to have to say to people "no, I will NEVER be able to control this with diet and exercise" because the media are careless and don't distinguish between two very different conditions.

However, some of the comments I have read are just plain cruel about the people with type 2 diabetes. I get irritated with the ignorance surrounding the types, I get irritated with people who spout crap when they don't have a clue, I particularly get irritated with the media, but I have never really thought to get irritated at the people with type 2. It just doesn't really make sense to me. If you have type 2, hi! We have two different conditions, which overlap in some ways. The similarities are that we both feel like crap when our BGs are high, and we are both prone to complications, particularly if we have many high BG levels. There are even more similarities if you consider somebody with type 2 diabetes who uses insulin, because we both have to face scary lows, and the challenges of injecting multiple times per day or wearing an insulin pump.

I have empathy for anyone who has woken up in the middle of the night with a pounding in their head and a mouth like the Sahara because their BG is high. I have empathy for anyone who has felt the whirring around their ears and the spinning in their head; the absolute confusion and desperation to eat from a low BG. I can empathise with anyone who has ever looked at the meter and felt angry because it gave them a number they really didn't want. I can empathise with anyone who has decided to pass on the cake or cookie because their BG is above the target range.

Some people feel irritated at people with type 2 because they 'brought it upon themselves'. After some googling, I have read that 80% of people with type 2 are obese, so there is certainly a strong weight related risk factor. However, here are some issues I want to highlight:

1) Only 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are obese. That is 1 in 5 people with type 2 diabetes who cannot in any sense be blamed for their condition, even if you want to blame obese people for developing diabetes.

2) Only 25% of obese people develop type 2 diabetes. If you want to blame people only for factors within their control, why blame those with diabetes in particular, when for every obese person with diabetes there are 3 more who may have had exactly the same lifestyle and just been lucky enough not to develop diabetes. There is absolutely no reason to discriminate against the diabetic obese rather than the non-diabetic obese.

3) People do not want to be obese. There are still studies into what makes some people become obese rather than others, and obesity is definitely often caused by mental illnesses such as depression or dysthemia, or even just a traumatic life event. In that sense, even if a person's obesity is caused by overeating, can you necessarily blame them if the overeating is in some way out of their control?

4) The risk factor for certain types of cancer is also hugely increased by obesity. Would you blame people with cancer in the same way as you blame people with diabetes?

I'm sick of people directing their anger and irritation in the wrong direction. If you're pissed off at the ignorance and misinformation, email and telephone and campaign against misinformation in the media, and correct people who present misinformation to you. But why direct your anger at people who have a particular illness(with a few similarities to that of you or your child)?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sweatbetes Week 5

Today was the start of my fifth week of running. And I ran 2.5 miles in 25 minutes - that's further than I've ever managed before! I'm really happy about it because at the start I could barely manage a mile, I got so out of breath so quickly after MONTHS of barely exercising.

I've lost about 1.5lbs, which is fine - my weight was normal to start with, weight loss is not my gain. But I think I'm getting more muscles (yay!!) because my legs are looking a bit more toned. That could be my imagination, of course.

I can't wait until I hit the 5K mark, and it doesn't feel too far off now. Once I can do that I hope I will feel like I'm running 'real' distances rather than just jogging around the block!

I also can't wait for the day that I am faster than my 40something mum, who has been in training for a little longer than me. (Also she's underweight - about 2 stone lighter than my perfect 22.5 BMI self, and I swear that must make it easier - she's got very little to actually carry around!) Yes. I'm bitter about my mum being better than me. It's a bit demoralising.

I'm really loving using to track my runs. So far I've run 34 miles and apparently burned off 36 donuts!

I really hope I manage to keep up running after next week, when I go back to university, have to run on different roads and won't have a running partner anymore.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Control is a big word. Although I know I can't get my diabetes under complete control, I try to try the best that I can. Recently, for whatever reason, my BGs have been slipping and the last few a1Cs I've had have been higher than I would have liked. I do a hell of a lot (temp basals, bolusing for all food, making adjustments frequently, testing BG 10-12 times per day) but there are a couple of areas that I'm looking at for improvement.

Firstly, I'm starting to log my BGs. That's something I haven't done for a long time - I tend to rely on my memory for pattern spotting.

Secondly, I'm going to start weighing my food. I'm going to order a scale to have at university so that I will keep it up. I'm not going to weigh everything, just the tough to guage foods like cereal, pasta, rice, etc. Although I'm pretty darn good at SWAGing, I want to see whether more precise measurements could help me with unpredictable meal spikes.

And if neither of those things help, I'm going to think about adding a shot of Lantus to my regimen, since people have suggested that could help with stability. My last resort is going low-carb, but I'm not so keen on that because I'm not sure how well it would fit with my pesco-vegetarian diet.

So, here's a nice screen shot of the first few hours of my crazy new log. I'm not testing my BG as frequently as it would suggest - some of those are CGM numbers. And there were some BG tests in between. I had to treat 3 BGs last night (although the numbers weren't below 4 I count them as lows because I had to treat them to stop them getting that way).

Wish me luck on the crazy logging! I've never been that good at it, so I'm really hoping I can manage to do it for longer than a few days.

P.S. Yes, 12AM until 12PM does count as "night" for me. Not only do I sleep long hours, but I was awake for quite a while at 6AM. Whatever, I'm a student on vacation. No judgement please!