Saturday, 16 July 2016

My Parents: Rocks and Role Models

Soooooooo, as the youngest of 3 children I've always felt like the spoilt kid of the family. That's true for the most part, but after living with my parents as an adult, I now understand the care and effort parents provide. Selfishly or ignorantly I haven't full considered the feelings of my parents with respect to my diabetes. Now, when I think back on the day that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I realise the pain and anguish that my parents went through, and still go through (but to a lesser degree hopefully) today. 

They were worried even before my diagnosis. My mom had a dreadful look one morning when she tested my blood sugars after I had mentioned that I was so thirsty and peeing all the time. I saw the levels but, since I didn’t really understand the condition, didn’t think much of it. The look on my mom’s face told me more than I wanted to know, but I still disregarded the signs. My day was normal and I never thought much of it. I thought, oh well, probably a mistake or a glitch on the machine, or blankly that it wouldn’t happen. In fact, I do remember thinking maybe my mom is overacting. You know how moms can be, sometimes they’ll call the doctor for an odd bowel movement (Just for the record I don’t tell my mom casually about my bowel movements but sometimes she asks, and describing is the polite thing to do).

I remember being in the doctors office and waiting for the results of the urine test with my mom. The results weren’t my best, but we’ll brush past that. After a lot of disbelief, my mom had to leave. I can’t remember why, whether there was another appointment or just that it was difficult to handle. I sat in another room, while my doctor dealt with some appointments. I sobbed for a while, which was probably because of the shock, but being totally alone didn’t help. No blame for my parents as they must have been something urgent (probably picking up my sister) and it wasn’t long anyway. I waited for my dad to come and pick me up and deal with some instructions from the doctor. After my dad arrived, and we gathered in the doctors office and the dynamic of the room changed. My dad who I don’t see get emotional crumbled and even our family doctor broke. As tears filled the room, the worry also built in me. More tears fell as we told my sister the news…. Such a baby haha. Essentially the disbelief of the diagnosis along with the uncertainty and concern over my future was overwhelming and rocked the family. This had happened to my mom a while before me and although this was just as shocking, it was different somehow. There was more silence when the same happened with my mother. I remember just times sitting in the living room with the whole family in silence after my mom had arrived with the diagnosis. Again disbelief and shock, but muted in both respects.

Having said that even now, when I inject my insulin, I can see that my father, who isn't someone who expresses very much, is uncomfortable and dejected. He's always worried and still does, but probably with good reason. There was one time I ended up in hospital due to my diabetes, but that's a story for another day (cheeky teaser). Its clear that he does his best for me and still to this day will tell me of the latest herbal remedy and most of the time attempt to get me some. Now I don't generally prescribe to herbal medicine, but I try it for his sake and efforts. It just shows how much he's worried if anything. 

Even though there was a lot of worry to begin with, I’ve not really seriously worried a significant amount about my diabetes, or dealing with my condition. Not especially when compared with my studies where I’d worry quite a lot (classic glasses wearing Indian yo). I think I've definitely got my priorities wrong there. I can thank my mom for my calm and relaxed (maybe too relaxed) behaviour towards diabetes as she’s my diabetes role-model! As well as being role model for more general things. I saw my mom who was very sick before being diagnosed and was given a lot of confidence knowing that although its not something you really want to have, its certainly something you can live with. Something you can thrive with, in spite of it.

It still must be hard to deal with. I’m trying to imagine (since I have no children) what it would be like if they had a long term illness and they had to inject themselves everyday, and I’ve got to say I’m not comfortable with it. If it was someone dependent on me or a sibling it'd be would be painful to endure. For now though I’m alright actually, and there are some things that are much worse so I’m thankful. My parents probably feel powerless/paralyzed, but I hope that fades as I exude more confidence about my beeties (#beeties) my nickname for my diabetes. I got them beeties.

I think I’ll make more of an effort to let my parents know I’m cool and that they should be cool too!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Injecting in Public

Soooooooo, I went out with some new friends recently and some of them weren't aware that I was a diabetic, or had seen me inject myself with insulin. With that in mind, the awkward looks I got when I squeezed a chunk of flab, with a needle in hand, shouldn't have surprised me. In most cases the looks are looks of mild shock but in some cases they're looks of mild disgust or a squeezed or cringed face. But the looks dissipate as quickly as the action of injecting my insulin. I probably should have really crushed the ice by pulling my trousers down and injecting in my sweet bum cheeks, but I didn't feel that confident and I failed to groom appropriately for such a showcase. I feel like people think I do illegal drugs sometimes, but then I think, what kind of drug taker has a fluorescent orange injection pen. Unless its an adventurous business minded drug taker, who is advertising, discretely yet boisterously their brand of drug, which might be a good idea I suppose. Better yet, what drug taker, blatantly 'shoots' their drug so confidently and arrogantly at a dinner table. The mafia kingpin, that's who. Although I'm a fairly inconspicuous individual, I may also be mistaken for such a character. In public, I clearly have an excellent disguise, for, what policeman would suspect the small yet belly-rounded, dense lensed glasses wearer as a distributor of drugs, or maybe racketeer?... Batman?

Anyways, I obviously got the normal barrage and echoing questioning of my condition, which is fair enough, except I generally don't like such large and focused attention. At least, they're at ease now, and now I've passed that phase of initial interrogation. Now it'll be 'So do how many times do you have to inject?' Which I'll answer as 'It can change from day to day depending on how many times I eat, but minimum 5 times' I'll get a surprised look and a shock gasp, Which to be honest, makes me feel a tiny bit superior. I interpret this gasp as a gasp of not horror (well maybe just a bit) but surprise at the feat of human endurance. People do often say 'Wow! That's crazy!' But obviously to me it's part of my everyday (hourly life) now. Also the people that ask most definitely think the injection hurts a lot more than it does. Not that the needle doesn't hurt and sometimes more than it should on occasion, but like a lot of endurances you sort of just get used to it and almost feel numb towards it. Moments like that force me to think of other people who hide so well their daily struggles. Most people don't even mention these conflicts or battles, and most don't want to draw attention to it. Let's face it, there are far more trialing conditions than diabetes, not discrediting the condition.... It's thrived since the turn of the century, and kudos to it. But with the intention of sounding cliche there's always something worse, and life's about perspective (double cliche? double points). Its good to learn and I think that if I've learnt anything from the amount of questions I get about my diabetes is that I should take more time to delve (without prying too much) about other peoples lives. Maybe someone else has a proverbial injection that they have to take 5 times a day or even more, that's interesting or even gives them a feeling of self-worth. Its not like everyone needs this or even that there's any pity etc, but its a good feeling to have and what's the wrong in giving someone that. or even provides a chance for them to offload some points or problems they have day to day. People hide their vices really well. One of mine is my diabetes and by that I also mean that its difficult to control, but that's easy to see. My other vices, like so many other's are more difficult to discover.

Thanks for asking!


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

I'm a Dismal Diabetic

Soooooooo, a big part of being diabetic is getting into good habits and performing procedures repetitively. Hopefully with good practice, (if you're a diabetic) you're a diabetic that changes the lancet whenever you test you're blood sugars, change the needles whenever you inject insulin, and rotate the sites where you inject your insulin on a regular basis. Sadly I'm not one of those diabetics. Whether its because I'm lazy, or whether I just don't care, its something I should change. The evidence is already clear to professionals as well as to most people with the diabetes (type 1) that this is good, or apparently, standard practice. Without changing the needle/lancet on your finger-pricker you'll just end up with more painful blood tests. Unless you're into that stuff, which is fine by me, no judgement here, love it, keep going, you're great, although its a little strange. The needle gets progressively blunt the more you use it, making the test more painful and almost scarring. My fingers are consistently looking like someone has peppered them. Now I do love some freshly ground black pepper, but I like it on my pasta and more than that, I prefer the taste rather than the look. In addition, could I have some salt with that? Thanks. If you're offering, I wouldn't refuse some delicious sea salt with that ground pepper. So, ahm, what was I talking about? Something about needles? Yeah! Flippin fingers freak me out! Well not really, I'm quite used to it now. That's not even mentioning my injection sites. I think I've mentioned before, lipohypertrophy, where you can inject too many times in the same area, generating hard lumps of fat in that region. I've had some light ones before, and I think the best practice would be to leave injection sites from that area completely and to talk to a doctor. Although I believe that they'd mention recommend just leaving that region too. For that reason its important to feel yourself up. Get to know your body, every nuk and cranny, every crack and fanny (Bum). From my experience, they can get a bit uncomfortable and painful too, the lumps not the self examinations (although that can get a little too comfortable). It's something quite easily avoidable which is pretty hypocritical from me, considering my bad habits, but that's always the way with self-reflection.  

These aren't the only bad habits. Something a bit more serious that can happen more frequently than I would care for, is the forgetting of my long-term insulin injection. Now that I split this dose into two and have a 12 hour gap, I inject at 9AM and 9PM. These timings seem pretty reasonable, except when I want to sleep in on a weekend or I'm travelling in the morning. More often than I'd like, I genuinely forget to administer my evening dose, despite having an alarm for both injections. The alarm is there for occasions where I'm busy and need a reminder (which isn't that often actually), but when I anticipate the alarm it feels like a normal morning alarm and I endlessly snooze my medication. This, more seriously, results in the elevation of my blood sugars in the morning. I say more seriously, because who knows how long my have been so high and who knows what damage this has done to my body, particularly my kidneys and muscles. Honestly, the realisation that my sugars have been so high all night fills me with dread, and doesn't give me a healthy start for the day. On a positive note, its something to improve, and I don't know about you, although you are probably me (aka the single reader) but my sugar testing is a competition for me which gives a positive feeling when I remain within the recommended ranges. I'm quite competitive with myself and although I don't have any serious mental illnesses, the trash talk can get quite personal (as you can imagine when you know literally everything about the person you're 'trashing').

Please let me know if you're bad at this stuff too!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Yes I'm Still Fat

Soooooooooo, I'm still fat. Or chubby. I set some goals way back, I actually can't even remember when. Well after glancing at my rather embarrassing post where I showcase my love handles and modest breasticles, I can see that I in fact set out to lose weight/tone up in November. Quite honestly I have stayed the same weight, BMI, waist size and even cup size, although they feel a bit fuller so I might go for a refit and get something racey to celebrate. Its weird because my head even looks bigger, and not in an 'I think sooooo much of myself' big head. I mean it really looks like the volume and the circumference of my head has increased. I don't know why but I'm pretty sure that's not supposed to happen.

Its been an eventful 6 or so months since I 'pledged' to live a healthier lifestyle with the intention of losing weight to be more comfortable in my own skin. I have found, however, that such a commitment was slightly out of my reach. Now there are many positives and negatives to take from this experience, of which I have more recently identified. For one, I 100% make much more carefully considered and thoughtful food choices. Instead of eating whatever I could, whenever I could, I now ensure I get my fruit and vegetables in me for the whole day. Another problem I had was portion control and overeating, and I can say safely that while its not combatted completely since I'm still a greedy chubby funster, I'm reducing my need for let's say multiple troughs of food for one meal. I also ensure that my heart health promoting porridge is taken every morning. From a diabetes perspective, I have also learnt from my experiences during breakfast that fruits combined with my breakfast porridge is a risky and unfavourable move. For one, without scales, it can be hard to judge the carbohydrate contents of a fruit, whether its blueberries or bananas. As well as this, I feel as though when I have fruit with my porridge, I see a sharp increase in my blood sugars just minutes after I've eaten. I believe that because fruits have a higher carbohydrate content being mainly sugar, that it shoots my blood glucose levels up before my insulin has a chance to oppose. Therefore, I avoid fruits in the morning and enjoy a urination reduced morning compared to that of when I have fruits and my sugars are elevated. That's an important lesson! Higher sugars can lead to muscle wastage and that won't help my toning situation at all! Well anyway, I'm always trying to take lessons from things and a great one, although insignificant to a lot of people is that I'm not as worried in the morning about my blood sugar spikes as much anymore. What will happen when I don't have porridge in the morning is another question.

The major negative is that I don't have washboard abs, nor can I do a pull up. I don't feel comfortable in my own skin or seeing my, almost flapping, torso bellow over my trouser waist. Its strange because while my torso seems to take on most of the calories, my arms and legs appear to be relatively thin. Potentially down to muscle wastage and poor dieting, but a strange look especially in the mirror after a shower. Its difficult to justify trying to look ultra healthy in an age where people are frowning upon these unrealistic bodies, which are often airbrushed when published. Its also now a world where people tell you to accept yourself for yourself, which is good to a degree, but not to where you're sacrificing your health. I think however that while I'm not specifically looking for a god-like body just a less bulbous potatoe shape, It can't be a bad thing to look to constantly improve myself. Not only that, but it'll make my diabetes easier to control. I suppose if I get the body I'm looking for and I'm still not happy I'll have to stop being so superficial with myself. I'll probably end up realising that a single comment from Jack at school caused a spiral of inner doubt that I still carry to this day. I think its just because I look like a haired and brown skinned Mr Blobby but probably less creepy (you'll have to google him. Just for the record, whichever producer/contributor created this weirdo, they must see with hindsight the sheer nightmare inducing terror of this character. Although geared to children, I can't think of anything more frightening).

Me and Mr Blobby
Can you tell the difference?? (I have the glasses)

Still, onwards with the grind of achieving a respectable looking and feeling body.

If you feel like it, you can comment and stuff like that. Pretty please.

Bye bye.