Friday, 28 March 2014

Heroes don't always wear capes

It’s 3am, the middle of the night,
It’s time to make sure she is alright,
She gets out of bed,
No words are said,
She tiptoes to the end of the hall,
Trying to make no sound at all,
She looks around the door to have a peep,
There she lay, fast asleep,
So unaware,
It’s not fair,
She enters the room,
Her bed illuminated by the glimmer of the moon,
She strokes her hair,
Checks for a heartbeat she prays is still there,
Relief,
Her fingers are exposed to the sharp object,
An act every mother would reject,
But she has to do it.
Five seconds feels like forever,
Glucose tablets…fast,
Take these,
Glass of water please,
Once again she closes her eyes,
She prays for her blood sugar to rise,
She’ll check again in half an hour,
The reality of a disease so “sweet” yet so sour,
I don’t want this tonight, mum,
Not any night, my fingers are numb,
I wish it went away,
So do I, but you are brave,

And your life is mine to save


I wrote a poem the other night. It's about diabetes. But it is not about being the type one diabetic. It is about being a parent of one. Obviously I am not a parent of a type one diabetic and not even a parent for that matter. However, my parents are my rock and I do not know what I would do with out them. I am so grateful for everything that they do for me and I realise the parents of type one diabetics also go through a lot, as well as the child. It is imaginably very tough to be the parent of a type one and while I probably do not understand it entirely I have some idea; in the same way that my parents do not entirely understand the toll type one diabetes has on me but they know enough. After all I mean, you never truly understand what another person is going through unless you are in their position. The worry, the sleepless nights, the stress, the days off work, the trips to A&E etc. are all part of the toll type one takes on the parents of a type one diabetic. I take my hat off to the parents that have to deal with it and it is always important to remember that our parents do so much for us and there is always a lot of focus on the actual diabetic being strong, but I feel that the parents are equally as strong. My parents say that they are proud of me for dealing with it and I am immensely proud of them too. I wrote the poem to give the parents acknowledgement and I tried to put myself in the shoes of a parent with a type one child and it was hard because in writing the poem I felt I had so many emotions to try to convey. So, this one is for my parents and all of the other parents of kids with type one, because you are all heroes. 

-Ellie 

What I think about Type One

You know what I think about Type One? That it really sucks. It really does and I live everyday with the hope that one day this disease will no longer be a part of my life. Type one diabetes is, misunderstood and it's in a sense, the "forgotten" diabetes...or perhaps the one that people just flat-out aren't educated about. I go with the latter. Type one diabetes is, hard. All that it entails is something that is very challenging to deal with; I can't remember my life without this disease because nearly five years ago I almost felt like I had to "start over". My life was different from the day I was diagnosed. I suppose it was like learning how to walk again, except I was learning how to keep myself alive. When I stop to think about it, the gravity of what is my daily routine is very large; 95% I go about my daily life giving my insulin, testing my blood sugars and doing what I can to stay in range but then when it comes down to it and I really reflect on what I do every single day, I remember that I am literally keeping myself alive and it's so crazy to think about it like that.

I don't feel angry when I think of it. I feel frustrated but I don't feel anger towards Type One as such. Sure it's a relentless disease to deal with and requires constant attention 24/7 without fail; but if I was angry at Type One it would mean that it has never brought about anything positive in my life which it has. For example, going to Parliament with JDRF and Diabetes UK, my blog, meeting all the wonderful people on Twitter, meeting my diabetic best-friend Paris, being a part of Type One Teens on Facebook...all those positive things have come about as a result of Type One and as much as I don't want to be diabetic; I can not deny that it hasn't impacted me positively too. There are also (obviously) the negatives to a life with Type One and there are a lot...needles, high and low blood sugar, complications, carbohydrate counting; to name a few. I get frustrated when my blood sugars don't work out the way I want them to and I don't like it when I can't find the carbohydrate content in a piece of food, and I struggle, I struggle a lot with type one diabetes and there is no denying that either because it's the reality of a life with this disease.

Type One Diabetes has made me a stronger person, but it is the only reason that I have to fight to live every single day. If it wasn't for type one; I wouldn't depend on an insulin pump.

Do you know what else I think about Type One? Actually; it's what I know...

That this disease is not all of my life; of course it makes up a large majority of my life and has probably contributed to shaping me as a person over the last five years; but that isn't to say that the person I was before diabetes isn't the person I am now. Because I am still the same person; just a bit tougher; because after just eleven years of a care-free childhood I was diagnosed. But then there is the side of me that isn't diabetes; it is the part of me that type one will never touch; Type one diabetes doesn't affect the unconditional love I have for my parents and my family, nor does it tarnish my ability to be a good friend. It won't change my favourite colours or my favourite food and it doesn't change the fact that I like cats or like drinking milk. It doesn't choose my hobbies, it doesn't choose the things I like and the things I don't like...type one isn't the reason that I think insects are disgusting and that clowns are actually pretty scary. It hasn't changed my opinion that the sky is very beautiful, especially during sunset and sunrise. Type one didn't define the type of music I like and nor has it defined my personality. I am me. I am Ellie.

I'm not Ellie the type one diabetic. Yes, I am type one diabetic but I am not THE diabetic. Sure, I have it, I live with it; it's a part of my life but it's not all of it. I think it's really important for people to remember that; sometimes when diabetes is giving us a rough time it's easy to dwell on the seemingly overly negative aspect of life that is type one diabetes. So if you remember who you are, the strong person who lives with type one but isn't controlled by type one, then you know you can do it; remember you are strong because of what you deal with everyday. It lessens the sense of feeling overwhelmed by diabetes. Of course it can feel like it controls you because it requires a lot of attention and courage and patience; but it's better to not let diabetes become such a huge mental monster.

It sucks, a lot- but you know what I think about Type One? That it will never control me and won't stop me, being me.

-Ellie

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

DKA

This will be a long post so...Let me start from the beginning, last week my wisdom teeth started hurting me so we went to the dentist and he said they were mildly infected, but if they got worse to go back and he would give me antibiotics. Cut a long story short my teeth failed to get better and my blood sugars were all over the place- hovering around 15-20 despite copious amounts of insulin. On Monday morning, everything spiralled out of control really. I woke up early with a small amount of ketones, corrected and fell asleep again. When I woke up the ketones were larger and I just generally felt terrible; even giving insulin with my pen didn't touch them or my blood sugars. They were 6.1; they should be 0. I could hardly move without feeling like I was going to throw up...fast forward a few minutes and I threw up about 4 times. My parents decided it was probably best to go to A&E so we went.


Arrived at the hospital at about 9am and waited for about 10 minutes before a nurse came scurrying through. I can't really fault the hospital this time; everyone was really nice and really on the ball with everything. They knew what they were doing. I.V's were set up. One in my left wrist, another on my right hand. I felt so nauseous that I didn't want to do anything but lay down, once the saline started to kick in I didn't feel as nauseous. I also had an injection in my stomach to prevent blood clots and that hurt- it stung for at least two minutes after. The A&E doctor was very funny and made me smile; he said "I always like to inject some humour into the situation. It normally makes people smile". Once everything was all set up I was seen by various doctors including the diabetes team. (may I just mention one of them was very good looking indeed) They I would be admitted overnight because my blood was acidic and I was definitely in DKA. I was taken up to 'Quince ward'...a name that my parents, sister and I laughed about for a few minutes.

"Where? Quincy?!"
"No I think they said Quince"
"Who? Quasimodo?"
(We knew what they said really...but thought we would joke about it for a few minutes)
That made me laugh quite a bit; I was surprised I managed to keep my spirits up despite how unwell I was.

I was in A&E from about 9am till 12-ish? I was taken up to the ward which I can honestly say was about 95% OAP. That's the thing, you go from the children's ward with screaming babies to the adult ward with a bunch of old ladies, but my little friend Winifred was adorable and always smiled at me so I suppose that made it slightly better.

Que Arterial Blood Gas number 1. The doctors were surprised that I looked so "well" despite being so not well. They wanted to do an ABG to test the acidity of my blood again to see how things were going. It was improving slightly but not enough for me to look as I did; so perhaps I'm just fabulous and look great even when on the verge of a coma? I'm kidding. I still looked like a troll and felt rubbish; I just don't like feeling sorry for myself because that doesn't make things any better; plus I don't like looking like an invalid. So a few more hours passed and I just sat on the bed playing games on my phone. My blood sugar was tested every hour so about a million finger pricks passed too.
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Arterial Blood Gas number 2. Really? The last time I was in DKA I had one and that was bad enough. Having two was not ideal. A nice young lady doctor came in and did it for me, thankfully the blood came out pretty quickly and it was over in a few seconds. "Good job, you hardly flinched!" I find that I have quite a high pain tolerance for those kinds of things so it was bearable despite it being such a grim blood test. After that one of the doctors from the intensive care team came down to see how I was doing- then my eyes started doing some witch craft on me and it felt (and looked) like they were going cross-eyed; that puzzled him for a few seconds while I said "Hold on. My eyes feel really weird" Then they stopped and that was the end of that.

The day nurse was really nice. She was quite chatty too so that made things better. My mum, dad and sister were with me for the whole day on Monday but then my mum had to go to work, so my auntie came to see me with my little cousin. The lady in the bed next to me was being discharged so as she was leaving she said "Do you want my TV?" Basically you could rent a TV while you were staying on the ward. "It's paid for until tomorrow?" I accepted and then my dad and the nurse went next door to unplug the TV and put it in front of my bed. I thought it was really nice of her to do that. I sat and watched New Girl for a little while before I got distracted by my phone. The signal was terrible though so I couldn't do much without holding my phone about 20 feet in the air to even gain one bar. I had another blood test done and my veins would not bleed. So the doctor said, "do you mind if I look and see if we can do it from your foot?" I nearly choked on my tea at the thought but of course, I said okay. So he tried, no blood. Then eventually got it out of one of the small veins on the underside of my wrist.

The most annoying thing was having to wait for a nurse to disconnect me from the I.V pumps so that I could go to the toilet. I was hooked up to three pumps and two fluid bags- the pumps were also plugged in and charging so I couldn't even take them with me. More boring hours ticked on, saying that, my family were very good at keeping me amused and some of the conversations the nurses had with one another were quite funny too. One was telling the other nurses about how one of the patients was refusing hospital transport to take her home and walking up and down the corridors waving a £50 note for a taxi, then she apparently "cancelled" her "dinner" with the nurse. It was quite humorous to listen to them talk about it.


 8pm came about and the shifts changed. My family went home and I sat listening to music. Then I was introduced to the night-nurse. He was quite funny. Always starting a random conversation with me about something. He came over and turned on the night light and said "Let there be light!" I started laughing because of the way he said it. I didn't fall asleep until about 1am, to be honest I didn't actually realise that I fell asleep, so when I woke up at about 5:45am I thought it was the middle of the night still but I then looked over at the windows and there was light peeking through the curtains. It always feels like midnight in the morning in hospitals.

 At 6am one of the doctors came round to do a blood test; it wasn't an  ABG this time either, thankfully. It took him so long to try and find a vein as well- my hands were really cold and most of the "good" veins were affected by the I.V so they couldn't use those. At one point he sat back in his chair and said "Do you know any good veins?!" then we both laughed. He found one in the end after about 15 minutes.

At around 7am I had my billionth finger prick test done. My blood sugar was 4.7. The lowest that it had been in days! This was apparently a little too low because the I.V insulin would have made me go hypo so the nurse came round and "bolused" some glucose into the I.V cannula to counteract the insulin a little bit. It was so cold! My whole arm was freezing afterwards and it actually really hurt. On Monday morning in A&E a doctor walked past and waved at me and it left me kind of confused, I was wondering who he was. Anyway I saw him yesterday morning and he said "You may have seen me floating about everywhere!"...Yeah. He looked through my notes.


"That's thing about with you diabetics! You always have so many notes to look through!"
He said the results weren't as good as he hoped they would be- "You're not fully recovered yet" but the doctors were doing the ward rounds so he said he would wait to see what he says. He wanted another blood test done so when the phlebotomist walked into the bay he said "Ah! This young lady here is the most important in terms of blood tests!" She came in, tried, and still no blood. Then she called in the doctor to do it. He eventually managed to do it. So along came the doctors and they said that I could go back onto my insulin pump and off of the I.V's after lunch, then they would monitor my blood sugar for a little while after that and then I should be able to leave that afternoon. A few minutes later the young doctor came back in to do a blood test, I can't remember all of the blood tests I had the past few days but it was definitely more than three- not including the ABG tests. For most of them I had the same doctor do it- and every time he left he said "Hopefully this will be the last time!" Yeah it wasn't the last time for 95% of them. Also, if I had a £1 for every time I heard the sentence "Sharp scratch coming!" I would be rich.


Que the third ABG test. After the doctors did their ward rounds I had another blood test. This one didn't go quite so swimmingly, I said "still no blood?" but he replied after a few moments and said "Wait...yep there it is!" Then said again..."Hopefully THIS will be the last one for definite" The doctor who saw me yesterday morning came in literally just before I was due to have the I.V stopped and he said "Bad news unfortunately! You're going to have to stay on the I.V a little bit longer" The results of this one still weren't so good because it showed that my "lactate" was raised which meant I was still dehydrated and also my blood hadn't restored normal acidity yet. Then, once again...the young doctor came in again to do another blood test, the third ABG and once again...he said "Hopefully this one really is the last!" He said I was really hard to get blood out of because my veins are small. A couple more hours passed and I sat reading magazines with my mum and sister and chatting away. The doctor popped his head round the corner and said "The results of that one were better!"

Then the diabetes team came back and saw me. They discussed more about getting me off of the I.V and back on to using my insulin pump by itself again, and then...they saw that my bicarbonate was high. Which apparently means that my body STILL wasn't fully recovered from the DKA. They wanted my bicarbonate levels to be much higher than what they were. So, once again- the I.V stayed on. The diabetes consultant said "Then let's do one more ABG to check that everything is better"


Que the fourth and thankfully FINAL, ABG test.
It was the young lady doctor who did my first one. She also commented on my little veins. It was over quickly and she said "This is probably definitely the last one" and it was...My blood tests returned to near-normal again and they said that they would turn off the I.V. Finally, it was turned off. But the nurse didn't want to take out my cannulas until she was sure about me being discharged. The last few hours were a battle to keep my blood sugar under 13 mmols. If they were under 13 I could go home. Before I ate dinner they were 17.7 so things were not looking promising. I had dinner and after dinner I tested on my own meter- 13.9. So CLOSE. It was about 7pm now and I corrected with my pump and hoped with every inch of my being that my blood sugar would fall below 13. The nurse came back in..."The on-call doctor said that if you can get it below 15 now, you can go home" Well by this point I knew I had it in the bag.

8pm- 12.1.
"Yay! You can go home!"
YES.
Finally. I was so relieved. After so many blood tests and finger pricks and seeing so many different doctors and nurses and listening to them silly I.V pumps beeping, and listening to the screaming old lady next to me and everything hospital-related. I could go home. Two days spent in that smelly hospital. But I can't really fault anything they did at the hospital for me, they were all so nice and genuinely knew what they were doing so it made the experience a little bit better. Finally my cannulas were removed, and I was out of there by 8:30pm yesterday.

DKA is a horrible experience and I hate that I've been through it four times in just five years but I come back fighting and never let type one diabetes get me down. I know I will struggle in my life with type one diabetes and DKA has been one of those struggles. But I kept my spirits up and I am okay now; that's the main thing. We figured out that the episode was probably due to my wisdom teeth being infected plus I wasn't feeling very well the day before with swollen glands and a sore throat, plus I have the "monthly curse" so hormones played their part in throwing everything off course too. As strange as it sounds I am looking forward to being able to return to school tomorrow- I suppose I just appreciate being able to be at school because being at school means you're okay and aren't in hospital or off sick because of blood sugar issues. After three days off I can finally get back to catch up with work and my friends. That's how you know you're a teenage diabetic...come out of hospital and one of the first things you think about is homework or school!

So, it has been a very tiring and long last few days, I don't know how I would have got through it without my mum, dad and sister being there. Excuse the VERY long blog post. I probably still missed things out of the "story" but that's okay- you all get the picture. I'm still feeling the aftermath of my hospital stay, especially with my bruised arms, hands and a small bruise on my foot. But they will go away, and so did the DKA and I can resume "normal" life. I say normal in quotation marks because a life with type one isn't exactly normal but it's my normal.



P.S I almost forgot! Yesterday a small irish lady called Sister Agnes came round to the bay to pray with the old lady next to me; then as she was walking out she stopped by my bed and had a little chat; then asked if I wanted Holy Communion; I am Catholic but I politely refused because well, I just wasn't feeling up to it. Then I thought she was going to leave but she started to pray for me. It was really sweet of her, but at the time I was thinking "What is she doing!?" But it was a lovely thing to do.

-Ellie

Monday, 17 March 2014

It's been a year

March 3rd 2013 was when I wrote my very first blog post.

I can't believe how quickly time has flown and how much my blog has grown. During the early days of setting up my blog, in every post I would comment about how many page views I had, at this point it was around 200 in the first couple of weeks and I would get so excited. Now just over a year later it's at 22,500 page views. That's so crazy but so amazing at the same time.

When I set it up at first the name was something along the lines of 'The Life of a Diabetic Teenager' but I wanted to be more creative with the name and so 'My bitter sweet life' was born. The reasoning behind it is that diabetics call themselves 'sweet' because of the sugar in our blood when our blood sugar is high and when you call being diabetic being 'sweet' it sounds as though it is a positive thing and it is in regards to the fact that type one makes you stronger and it has lead me to meeting a lot of wonderful people, the person I am most grateful for type one diabetes leading me to is Paris; and type one has given me some amazing opportunities like going doing a speech in Parliament with both JDRF and Diabetes UK. Then on the other hand having type one is 'bitter' because of all that it entails, the complications, finger pricking, injections, insulin dependence, DKA, high and low blood sugars, hospital appointments, the worry, the strain on a diabetic's parents and family and more. Combined, all of those things make My bitter sweet life.

I had no huge expectations for what I wanted to get out of this blog, I just wanted to document my life with diabetes regardless of whether or not anyone saw it. As it got more and more views I realised I had new aspirations for it, to raise awareness for type one diabetes. I would see lots of bloggers and people on Twitter working to raise awareness and it helped me realise my passion for being an advocate for diabetes. It's strange how much social media has played a huge part in my life with type one. I always share my blog posts on Twitter and people share it and favourite my tweets and I feel like Twitter and the Great Britain Online Diabetes Community really played a massive part in my blog and it's growth.

My blog made me realise how much I love to write and it helped me develop skills in my writing too. Reading other people's blogs gave me inspiration and I know a lot of my skills in the way in which I write my blog is largely down to seeing other blogs within the diabetes community. As well as writing this blog for the benefit of others it has become therapeutic for myself. I like the fact that I have a place where I can come to rant and rave about all things diabetes; I can share so much on my blog; letting out my frustrations in regards to diabetes has been a huge help and I realised just how many other diabetics there are and that there are so many kind people in this world. It doesn't seem like it but amongst the bad there are good people.

As well as it being a year since I first created my blog, it has also been a year since I first began talking to my diabetic best-friend, Paris. I mentioned her earlier in this post as being the person that I am most grateful to diabetes for leading me to.

She is 17 years old, born in July, has a twin sister and has type one diabetes. Just like me! Except for the fact that she is a year older than me, I'm 16. I first came across Paris when I saw her post a photo on Instagram about how her diabetes was getting on her nerves and she replied and we talked for a little bit on the comments section of the photo...introducing ourselves etc. She then gave me her Kik messenger username and from there on out we began talking. We have talked almost every single day for a year.

Paris gives a whole new meaning to the words "me too". When I tell her my blood sugar is high and I don't feel great she replies "me too" and in just those two words lies a whole lot of understanding. She understands exactly what I go through everyday and I understand exactly what she goes through. Her struggle is my struggle and that is why we are so close; but type one isn't the only thing we talk about; we can talk about everything and anything and I know our relationship extends further than just sharing the same disease. I go to Paris when I need some diabetes advice and she comes to me. I am so grateful to have a friend like Paris. I don't know THAT many people with type one diabetes but Paris makes up for that. I don't need to know that many people with type one, as long as I know Paris.

Blogging opened me up to a whole new world, the world of the diabetes community.
And one year on I can safely say I am proud of how far my blog has come; and one year on I am happy that I am friends with Paris, and that I am friends with all the diabetics that I have met over the years with type one. Here is to many more years with my blog and many more years of friendship.





Saturday, 15 March 2014

9.7%

I had my hospital appointment yesterday.
Just 6 weeks after my last appointment, in which my Hba1c was 12.5%, my Hba1c was tested again yesterday and it is now 9.7%!

 I can't even explain how great I felt when my consultant pointed to the little number on the sheet...I guess you know you've done great when you get a high five from your consultant. He was probably more eager to find out than me! This is the lowest my Hba1c has been in well over two years; I can't remember the last time I saw a Hba1c under 11% let alone under 10%. I am feeling extremely proud of myself. It's been a long time coming, but we all knew I'd get there soon enough.

"You've found your mojo again!"
-"What's a mojo?"
"You know! Your mojo" *does a little dance*
-"Oh! Like, motivation?!"
"Yeah. But you were always motivated weren't you? You just had to get past that mental block"

I am so grateful that I have the support system that I do. My parents are amazing, my family and friends are great and so is my consultant. He didn't give up on me, I didn't give up on type one and he never gave up trying to help me. Everyone believed in me this whole time and I suppose that's what makes it better. This massive drop in my Hba1c just proves to me even more that I can do this. For a long time I struggled to keep in control of my blood sugars; there was a time where I just felt so helpless with myself that I wanted to give up, I had no interest in dealing with my diabetes. I didn't want to. I didn't want to face the high blood sugars that I knew I would be greeted with every time I did a blood test, I didn't want to count the carbohydrate in my food...I just had no motivation; for reasons I am unsure of. I always said that if I knew the reason as to why I found myself in a 'diabetes burnout' for the last two years then I would have done something more about it, but I just couldn't get past my mental block.

I did it though, I absolutely did it.

And I cannot stress this enough to anyone who is struggling with type one: Do not give up.
Really really try not to give up because trust me, I know that it is never going to be easy but it is all so worth fighting for. It is all worth it in the end, it takes courage and strength but the outcome of all the hard work is worth it.

I know 9.7%  isn't that great.  It still means my average blood sugar is around 12 but you know what? It's a huge difference from 6 weeks ago when my average blood sugar was 17 and my Hba1c was 12.5% and for me it is pretty damn good. Also, this reading was still affected by the two months prior to my last Hba1c test because it has only been about a month and a half since I last had it measured...so I feel like if my Hba1c wasn't so affected by the last Hba1c result then I have every reason to believe that it would probably be lower than 9.7% which I feel even better about.

I'm really hoping that at my next appointment in June I will have got this Hba1c down more. I hope I will. I know I will. I have to stay on track, like I said...I know I can do this!

-Ellie





Thursday, 13 March 2014

It's that time again

It's that time again.

The dreaded Hba1c check. My Hba1c was 12.5%, while this is a really bad number...I had been and still am, doing lots more blood sugar checks which is a major breakthrough for me because that is something I struggled to keep up with the most. It was clear from the data on my blood sugar meter the effort that I had been putting in; so although my blood sugars hadn't been good...my efforts were obvious and so my consultant was proud of me for that. It's always nice to find the good in a Hba1c that is otherwise, really terrible to put it lightly.

I say dreaded, but this time the word doesn't carry so much weight. I don't dread it this time. I have been really trying for the past 6 weeks since my last Hba1c check. It has been a time of immense pride in myself for managing to keep on top of things for this long, it used to be, in effect, a vicious circle. I would go to my appointment, come out feeling really motivated to "do things right this time" and I would do it for about a week or so, but then slowly the drive and the motivation would fade out. I am determined not to let that happen any more, I am determined to get my Hba1c down. As I mentioned earlier, it has been just 6 weeks since my last appointment and a Hba1c test is a three month average and so, I realise that the blood sugars I have had for the past month and a half won't have a huge impact on the 12.5%, I have a feeling tomorrow's Hba1c will still be dominated a great deal by the blood sugars I had 2 months prior to the Hba1c I had a month and a half ago.

I am not asking for it to have dropped a huge amount because I know this isn't all that possible; but what I am asking is that my Hba1c has dropped. Even just a bit, I just need to see progress...I want to know that all my hard work is having an impact. I know I can do this, I absolutely know I can.

-Ellie

Saturday, 8 March 2014

It's a...

I know there is loads more I could add on to that list, but I can't remember them so they aren't there. This is also not in any particular order either.

It's a...
Finger pricking,
Insulin injecting,
Insulin pump wearing,
Pump bolusing,
Basal rate setting,
Carbohydrate counting,
Test strip re-filling,
Insulin cartridge replacing,
Cannula changing,
Balancing act,
High blood sugar fighting,
Water drinking,
Low blood sugar treating,
Glucose tablet eating,
Nauseous feeling,
Hands shaking,
Still there while you're sleeping,
Tear inducing,
Pain inflicting,
Possibly organ damaging,
Life threatening,
Life changing,
Chronic disease,
Hospital appointment making,
Hba1c measuring,
Carefree years taking,
Supplies cupboard stocking,
Media mocking,
Lack of understanding,
Scientists working on curing,
Money fundraising,
Everyday you're learning,
Parents and family support needing,
Lumpy skin feeling,
How-to-stay alive training,
Very challenging,
Brings on struggling,
Secret-snacks smuggling,
Ketone fighting,
DKA avoiding,
Complication preventing,
Prescription ordering,
Sleepless night spending,
School day missing,
Diabetes information reading,
Blood sugar balancing,
Kind of life.





Lessons

Type one diabetes taught me a lot as a person, it teaches me things every day. For the last couple of years I had a big "diabetes burnout" and these are some of the more specific lessons I have derived from it. Even when I don't struggle so much and type one appears to be being nice to me, I still refer back to these things and know that they all come together to make one more person who believes they are stronger than type one.

I am still doing great with my blood sugars, I think this is the longest that I've kept up the routine of doing all that I am supposed to. I'm proud of myself for that; but in all honesty I feel proud of myself everyday just for dealing with this disease, even if I don't deal with it so great physically, mentally I feel like I have this. I can do it. Over the past couple of years of struggling a lot with type one, I learnt a lesson. The lesson is this: It's never going to be easy but it's all worth fighting for. It is so true. As type one diabetics we fight every single day to keep our blood sugars balanced, to stay out of hospital, to stay healthy, to stay alive; and this fight is not easy. It is never going to be a walk in the park with type one diabetes. So much affects blood sugar, stress, exercise, hormones, food, etc. But exactly as the quote says, fighting this disease is all so worth it, you learn to put a lot of effort into keeping the disease that can take so much, at bay. I feel like I had to change my attitude towards it slightly too...I have never had a negative attitude towards it so to speak, but for the last couple of years I feel as though I have possibly been taking the wrong approach.

We all take it three months at a time. Everyone works towards their Hba1c which is normally every three months. and so you vow to do great for the next three months until your hospital appointment. For me, that doesn't work and perhaps it really doesn't work for others either, especially those who struggle like I did, and still do at times. So I have learnt to take it one day at a time. It's less daunting that way; maybe that is part of why it's such a struggle to keep up with the routine? Three months is a long time and if you take it as one big chunk then it's going to be a big challenge. It's like the term "You bit off more than you can chew" So I learnt to take type one diabetes one day at a time. Think about it, it's 24 hours. Just make it through 24 hours with good blood sugars. Then when you wake up the next morning you vow to keep your blood sugars good that day and then make it through that 24 hours doing as you're supposed to. It all adds up, and before you know it the Hba1c test rolls round. It's worked for me to take it one day at a time, it really has.

I learnt how to accept help where it is needed. I needed it. I still do. I tried to do it all by myself, I tried to deal with the emotions associated with type one diabetes on my own sometimes. Bad choice. I found that doing this only made me feel more frustrated with everything diabetes-wise. Type one diabetes takes a toll on your emotions as well as your body. It's just the way it is. My mum and dad are my rock and I don't know what I would do with out them,  I love them with all my heart. I feel as though I tried to hide my feelings from them during my "diabetes burnout". I'm not sure why; it isn't because I didn't want their help because I did/do. It was perhaps because I just wanted them to see that I am stronger than type one, then I remembered that they already know that, of course they do...they tell me I'm strong and I show them everyday- I've learnt that letting out your emotions is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign that you are courageous enough to let yourself fall and trust that your family and friends are there to catch you. Love and support is everything. My parents and family are everything.

Hope. "A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen" A life with type one diabetes would be even worse with out hope. Hope helps you stay positive. Everyone with type one diabetes lives in the hope of a cure; with hope that one day we will no longer have to deal with this disease.

-Ellie