Monday, March 28, 2011

Dehydration and High Blood Sugars

And just when I thought everything was going well...

My blood sugar is currently 317. I feel super sore, and on top of it, I'm dehydrated. Honestly, I can't find any other word to describe my physical state than "icky."

I feel icky. Really, really icky. I should be asleep right now, but that's not going to happen. I'd love to curl up in bed right now, and just sleep until I feel like waking up, not when I have to get up for school.

When I'm dehydrated, my knees start to lock up, and it hurts. If they're bent, then they lock up all bent, and oddly shaped. If they're straight out, then I walk around with hockey sticks for legs. It's just rather painful. When my bg is high, I feel like I'm going to vomit. Couple those two, and you're in for a rough night.

I have no reason to complain though. I've got an IV simulation drip of insulin going into my body, and I'm steadily drinking water. I'm laying in my bed, and I'm relaxing, just trying to ride this out. I'm honestly grateful that this is all I have to deal with. I know tomorrow morning, I'll have food on my table, and a great school to be at.

And Spring Break is on Friday...that's another reason to smile.

Although, this really blows. I'd like to be asleep, dreaming of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows (lol Grace :P), but diabetes doesn't take a nine hour break. It's all the time, all day, all year.

Oh, and a Happy Birthday to one member of my team, Ari. Happy Birthday dude.

Much love,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Butterflies

So we've talked a lot about stress in the last few weeks. There's a lot of stress in a fourteen-year-old girl's life. There's school, and social pressures. Then, there are all those media adds about what "pretty" is on a girl. When you add parents, friends, and guys into the mix, you might as well just have started the Manhattan Project all over again.

There's this great kind of stress though. They're called the butterflies. The butterflies let you know you've got human emotions, and you're also capable of handling good stress. You all know what I'm talking about, the fluttering in your stomach, the knocking knees, the accelerated heartbeat, and the occasional sweaty palms. 

The butterflies, for some reason, make my blood sugar go back to perfect. If I have them for an extended period of time, my blood sugar stays nice and level for a good couple hours. It's really nice. 

A lot of people who get the butterflies say that the adrenaline makes their blood sugar go super high. And sometimes, mine goes high too. When the adrenaline starts running for things like finals week, or sports games, then the bg's go way way up.

But that's just me. There might be some people who it just doesn't ever work in their favor. I feel like I'm one of the lucky ones. 

Much love,

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Divabetic's Team

We all know diabetes isn't a walk in the park. It's a lot of things to remember, it's a lot of nights to wake up and try not to fall down the stairs to get a juice. It's a lot of set changes, finger pokes, and things to worry about.

I'm very fortunate to have a team of amazing people helping me out with this. There are plenty of different roles to fill, and not every role in my team is necessary for, say, Hannah's team. My team is composed of many different ages, roles in my regular life, and levels of fun-ness.

Role #1-Blood Sugar Dictator: That's the good-old M-O-M. There has to be one person (or sometimes two) that makes sure you are always on the ball. And of course, if you fall off the ball, there's someone there to grab you by your ear, and plop you right back on. Thanks Mom :)

Role #2-The Chef: Dad makes sure everything is completely healthy, and complies to my strict diet, both diabetes and celiac have run rampant through our pantry. Dad cooks so well, and it's great to be able to eat something other than a slice of gluten free bread with a piece of cheese.

Role #3-The Listener: Hannah, of course, is the number one. Hannah and I have stayed up late, talking about a low blood sugar  and exchanging tips. It's an amazing feeling that, at 10pm on a school night (sorry Mom, Dad, and whatever teacher may or may not read this) that someone who's got the same stuff going down as you do can come to you, and you alone.

Role #4-The Voice of Reason: Garnet and the amazing Ms. O'Brien. They're not necessarily the ones telling me not to do stupid stuff, but their voices are in my head telling me "You do not need to eat pasta for dinner. Have a salad." It's quite the system I've got going on here.

Role #5-The Supportive Teacher: The teacher that knows your blood sugar when he looks at you from down the hall. Mr. Sidman. My amazing physics teacher. He's just so on the ball, and can totally tell if I look a little off when I walk down the hallway. Thank you Mr. Sidman.

Role #6-The Man: Ari. What can I say about Ari. He's the one who agrees with everything I say about my diabetes. Just tonight, I told him about how I had to change my site twice because the first one bled a bunch, and he was like "Ouch. That sucks." And honestly, that's all I need. I just need someone to say "I know how much this sucks. I don't want to say I know how you feel, but I just want you to know I'm there." But of course, being "The Man," it gets said in fewer words. You just have to distinguish the meaning for yourself, ladies.

There are so many other people on my team, like Dr. Marshall (my endocrinologist and the driving force behind me wanting to take better care of myself) and the "Teacher Who Sees Past the Diabetes," the one and only Joe Romano, who unlike every other teacher, has never had a conversation about my diabetes with me. It's refreshing, actually. I love it. I love going into English class and knowing that I can leave my diabetes at the door.

These wonderful, amazing, kind, selfless people may not realize what they do has a huge impact on my (and your) life. They're special people. And every diabetic has them, or at least some variation of them. So, if you're diabetic, thank your team. Even if you kick, and scream, and fight them the entire way, they're still fighting on your side, regardless of what you do to them.

Hope you get some perspective.

Much love,

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Oh what a week!

Life is a rough trip. Let me tell you, anything that goes on in your life impacts your diabetes. Even just a small shift in your daily routine can totally throw things out the window. My one piece of advice to you all is very short, but very true.

Roll with the punches.

You have no idea what's coming next, and you've got to be ready to deal with it all.

Much love,

Crazy life...and what that does to a divabetic

Hey everyone. Hannah here. Wow, it feels like forever since I have posted anything! I've been a sick little divabetic, but now I'm better. Which is good. Which brings me to the subject of my discussion: Stress and diabetes.

 Stress obviously affects everyone. Whether you are 5 or 55. But, when your 15, the world is going to end. No matter what. (you know it's true. don't deny it.) When the world seems to be ending mentally, physically it is making life even more stressful. My blood sugars can go from 145 to 450 to 45 in a matter of hours, which just makes the whole "Oh my goodness I have midterms this week" situation go way down hill, or say your transfering schools.

  Speaking from personal experiances, both of those seriously affect blood sugars. I found out I was transfering in the begining of summer, and everything was ok. But about 4 weeks before school started, I realized I had to start completely over with my life, had to make new friends, and start a new chapter in the big book of Hannah's life. So, after school started, my bloodsugars were super crazy. I was in the nurse's office a lot and just felt terrible. After I started making friends, everything went back to normal. Crazy right?

 As stressful as stress can be, if we didn't deal with it, we wouldn't be human I guess.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Guilty Pleasures and the Voice of Reason

And commence gasping at the title.

And now, you can get your mind out of the gutter :)

Guilty pleasures can span a wide range of topics. Ask my parents, and you'd think my guilty pleasure is texting. Trust me, if you saw my phone bill from a couple months ago, you'd agree with them. What can I say, Ari is a good listener (Katelyn, you made it on the list pretty often too!).

But of course, the number of text messages you can send in an hour doesn't affect your blood sugars. Unless of course you're texting so much that you don't realize you've gone low, and that could be a disaster. What I'm talking about is the guilty pleasure that kills you. The one food you eat that you can never get quite under control, but you love it. The worst thing for your diabetes, but the best thing for your soul.

When I was younger, it was pizza. I loved pizza with a passion. And that passion made my blood sugar high as much as 12 hours later. It was honest to goodness hell. My mother hated letting me eat it at birthday parties, and hated the inevitable gross feeling that came with me being in the 300's for 12 hours after taking that bite.

In the back of my seven year old brain, there was the voice of reason. Which as you can guess, sounded a helluva lot like my mother at that point in my life (now, it's more like a mix between my friend Garnet, and my history teacher Ms. O'Brien). The voice of reason is scary when it's saying "Hey. Hey Alexa. Yeah, I'm talking to you. You better put that pizza down. Put. It. Down." But as a seven year old, you never listen to the voice of reason.

Most seven year old girls don't have a voice of reason. But, when you've got diabetes, you have to learn how to think like an adult when you're a kid (I've often heard the expression "13 going on 30..." and an awkward giggle from the person). I think it's pretty impressive that I had a voice of reason. I probably wouldn't have been able to listen to it even if I wanted to.

But, back to the pizza. Well, the pizza story is kinda coming to an end. I remember one night, after a birthday party, that I'd had my Dad come in and check my blood sugar and it was something like 390. And it's all that fat and grease in a big, fat slice of pizza.

I still love pizza, and as I'm writing this, I'm thinking "Man, I could go for a HUGE pizza right about now." But something that I've seen lately seems like an appropriate mix of all of my more recent, teenage guilty pleasures.

This is the most amazing ice cream ever. Or, so I assume. I love chocolate, I love caramel, I love potato chips, and man do I love ice cream. This is all of them, in one delicious capsule of awesome. I am so ready to go and buy up an ocean of this stuff. And believe me, this is going to take a lot of novolog and a run around the block. A lot of running around the block.

So, guilty pleasures? Yeah, they're worth it.

Much love,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stress and Diabetes

Stress. We all get stressed out. It's inevitable. Actually, I find that I work better under pressure when it comes to school. But when you have diabetes, stress makes life a lot more complicated. 

We all know where stress comes from, but there's the stress your body goes through when you're sick, or the stress that you go through when you're skiing down a mountain (also called adrenaline, which can affect your blood sugar as well). Anything like that, however long it lasts in your body, is going to screw up your diabetes management. 

I just finally got over a cold that I'd been harboring for two weeks, since the 27th. It's not exactly easy when you're me and you can't talk, but then add the fact that everything you do, your diabetes is shooting you down every second of the way. Whenever I have even the slightest inkling of a cold, my blood sugars are absolutely through the roof. I'll be in the higher 300's most of the time, and then, right as the cold is calming down, I'll plummet. And plummet hard. 

It's almost the same way when it's finals week at school. Finals week absolutely rips through my body leaving me tired, annoyed, and frankly, a tad bit depressed. But, the blood sugars that come along with finals week are about as unpredictable as the questions on the english test.  

Bottom line? Life is stressful. And being diabetic means that you just have to learn how to cope with the stress and roll with the punches. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Self Defense

You know, there's something empowering about breaking a slab of wood that's an inch thick.

There's something empowering about doing it as a woman, knowing that you can protect yourself by kicking someone's jaw/ribs in or knocking a guy's family jewels up into his throat if he comes a little too close for comfort and won't leave you alone. But in all honesty, I wasn't beating a guy. I was beating diabetes.

That board was diabetes. And it's actually kind of funny, Stephanie Aduddell is an amazing Taekwondo instructor, an amazing woman, a black belt, and a type one diabetic. She's absolutely one of the most inspiring diabetics out there. She doesn't let diabetes stop her from kicking butt, being a mom, and supporting the young girls in the community. She taught my entire class how to get out of any bad situation, and we even got to throw around our headmaster.

Anyways, back to the board. I was standing there, Stephanie had the board braced in her hands, and I was staring at it. I remembered something she'd said before. "You need to focus all of your energy into beating this board. It's like a big test. It's like my diabetes. You need to focus, and you need to overcome the obstacle that's standing in your way." I looked dead into the center of that board, and I told myself that I was going to crack that sucker in half. I put my right foot back, angled my body, and took a shot.

I didn't crack it quite in half, but it's now sitting broken, on my desk.

And so the moral of the story kids? You can do anything you set your mind to. And now, I have a new mindset. If you wake up every morning, doubting that you can take care of your diabetes and do it well, then you're not going to even try. But, if you wake up, and look at it like busting a board in half, like focusing all positive energy and saying "I am going to try really hard to take good care of myself. I am going to check, I am going to carb count, and I am going to bolus. If I make a mistake, I can fix things. If I don't, then I did a great job today, and I'll try again tomorrow."

It put things in perspective for me. And besides, it's kinda nice to know you can walk around knowing that you can keep yourself safe.

Much Love,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Backpacking, Coffee, and Low Blood Sugar

Oh my goodness today. Today was insane. Absolutely insane. Fun, but 101% insane.

Today, half of our class went backpacking. We wore a framed backpack (the ones that have the clippy thingies that fasten over your chest and waist) and they were filled with our giant textbooks. Of course, because I'm a good divabetic, and I do what I'm supposed to do, I packed a full set of three sets, three reservoirs, extra kit, insulin in it's cold pack, and a bunch of juice and Soyjoy bars (because they're gluten free). But, there's always something that goes wrong when you're Alexa. My blood sugar stayed between 68 and 78 the entire SEVEN MILES of hiking. In the rain. We went seven miles in four hours. That's a mile and three quarters every hour. I know that's not impressive, but if you can do that when your blood sugar is running low, then you deserve a medal or something.

Then, I went for coffee with a great friend of mine, Aquene (Ah-cane-a). We hung out at Tully's, drank good coffee, saw cute boys, and went shopping at the little drugstore across the street. My blood sugars didn't get to a comfortable 121 until a while after coffee, and that's just what I wanted to say. You can do lots of activity one day, and do the same amount the next (yesterday, we went hiking as well, but on a different trail) and nothing is the same. Yesterday, I was in the upper 80's to lower 100's. But not today. It really depends on if your body is in the mood to cooperate, or in the mood to screw you over. But hey, it's all good. Gotta smile about it, right?

And Hannah, I'm glad we have diabetes. I wouldn't have met the most amazing girl in the world if it wasn't for diabetes. We've got something so great going here, and CWD is the reason we all keep going all year long, and keep managing. Some nerve damage and a couple of burnout days are worth the lifetime of experiences that I get from being diabetic.

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

RE:Re: It's not that bad...

And then there's the whole "My grandmother has diabetes...." "What type?" "Uhhhh she takes a pill." "Type 2?" "Yeah, she can't eat sugar. Don't you hae that kind?" "No, I'm type 1, I'm insulin dependent." *blank stare* "My Pancreas doesn't work, so I do all the dirty work." "Ohh okay."

 I can not tell you how many times I have that conversation. I think after 12 years, I feel like I'm on a never ending rollercoaster. I honestly love rollercoasters, so that may be a bad analogy, but it's true. You have the highs and lows, but you never know what's coming next. Okay, better analogy. "Life's a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get." I think that explains it better. Can you tell my bloodsugar is high? I can't make a decision.

And Alexa, I believe outside of music preference, there isn't much we disagree on.(: I think we agree on the fact that without diabetes, we wouldn't be friends. Honestly, there would be no Children with Diabetes conferences. Which would never make it possible for us, two girls, who happen to live on complete opposite sides of the country, to be best friends.

Monday, March 7, 2011

RE: It's Not That Bad

Hannah, your writing speaks to the masses. Another thing that we both agree on, not that we disagree on much. I think that this is something that can happen in a lot of different ways. There's the way Hannah gets diabetes "advice" where people try to say that you're brave in their own special way. By saying "Oh, if I had to do something like that for as long as you have, I'd die" or something along those lines. When in actuality, if we didn't do these things, we would die. Then, there's the other kind of advice that I get. The "My grandmother had (insert horrifying complication here) because she had type one diabetes." Like I really needed to know your grandmother had gangrene and lost six of her nine existing toes (because she lost another one due to complications ten years before).

Hannah is really right. Diabetes is an obstacle course. You get around one, but that sets up another right in your path. I'm thinking actually of the Fireswamp from The Princess Bride. When you get one problem under control, something else comes up. And just letting yourself get eaten by the Rodents of Unusual Size (or you know, getting hospitalized four or five times a year for DKA could fit here too) instead of fighting back is pointless.

There are so many great things that come from diabetes. I mean, without diabetes, I wouldn't know some great people like Hannah, and my loyal friend Colleen McInnis from diabetes camp (Hey Colleen, guess what? I love you :D). I wouldn't have had so many opportunities that I've had in my life. I feel like I'm a stronger person because of it. It's really worth all the fingersticks, infusion set changes, bruises, and damaged nerves. Because in the long run, great friends, and great things have come out of it. I'm stronger because of it, and that's not something I'd change for the world.

So guess what? It's not that bad.

It's not that bad

Heyyy everyone(: Hannah here. So, today, I think I wanted to talk about how I love my life, despite the stuff I deal with, A.K.A diabetes.

Everytime I talk to one of my non-diabetic friends about diabetes, I always here "that must be horrible" "I think I would die" or something along those lines. Yes world, diabetes is hard, but I'm not dead. And I don't complain about it on a 24 hour basis making my life seem horrible. I actually have a pretty amazing life. I have great friends, great parents, and I'm breathing! What else do you need?

Diabetes is like, a never ending obstacle course. And You just have to find your way around those obstacles. Obviously, a giant rock wall won't move itself, and eventually, you'll get bored sitting and staring at it. So, your options are, climb it, or climb it.

I choose to climb it. With a smile on my face, and my meter in hand. And, yes, it's annoying, but I don't think I could manage not being diabetic if it disappered. Make sense??

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Three Millimeters Makes All the Difference

Hooray! Yahoo! Whoop! *jumping in the air with the utmost glee*

I got 6 millimeter infusion sets.

For those of you who know what I'm talking about, you can skip to the next paragraph. For those of you who don't, the canula that's inside my body is now 6 millimeters instead of 9, something that I've been trying to fix for a while.

It's actually pretty sweet, and I'm feeling good. My blood sugars are already noticeably lower, and I think I'm even in a better mood. It's amazing what three millimeters of plastic can do to you. It's pretty great, actually :)


Friday, March 4, 2011

"You can't eat that..."

Hey everyone(: Hannah here.
I thought I'd let you all know, my best friend (besides Alexa) is Chocolate. Not the "sugar free" stuff, straight up chocolate. And I really hate it just as I have that big bite of chocolate cakes inches away from my mouth, someone ALWAYS pops in with the "aren't you diabetic Hannah?" to which I reply: "Yes, yes I am diabetic, your next point?" then, they'll follow with the typical response of, "Well you do know that's chocolate right?" and by that point, my aggravated response is: "Oh really? Wow. Thanks so much. I never would have guessed." then I eat the cake. Then obviously, I correct their ignorance to type one diabetes, and explain that as long as I give insulin, I can eat whatever I want thanks to my wonderful pump. So, to the next person that reminds me that chocolate is chocolate...I know, I love it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tests and Busy Lives

Hey everyone :)

Alexa here, and let me tell you how sorry Hannah and I are for not posting sooner. She's had a busy busy life, and I've had to study my behind off for the second set of finals this year, Geometry and English 1.

Well, high stress can equal blood sugar spikes and dives. I've had lows, highs and pretty much anything in between. It's kinda unpredictable lately, and I've also had a sinus infection, and laryngitis. That doesn't help in the mix. For anyone who knows me, I love to talk. And I talk, a lot. So having laryngitis makes things pretty frustrating, and makes life just hard to get through. And being sick like I am now takes a lot of energy out of you, something that isn't a good thing during finals week.

When you add stress into the mix, a number of things can happen. My blood sugars go up, and go down. Sometimes they just go up, or just go down. But usually it's a mix of both. And of course, that stresses me out even more, and makes my sugars go up and down even more. Vicious cycle, I know. But what are you going to do about it?

I've missed blogging about these things, and it's only been four or five days. Not too long, but enough to still think about it constantly. It's a nice place to vent :)