Posts Tagged: diabetic life

I’m Thankful For…

November 26, 2015 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: health, personal: positively katie, personal: pretty girl and honey, personal: that spoonie life 1 Comment

63fa1ee0605af33d63d2f12b72130df9I know I haven’t blogged in awhile, but things have been a little bit wild here. I have been swamped with school and spent a day in the ER due to endometriosis complications.

On top of that, it’s been balancing work, family life and then being accepted into the online high school diploma program. It’s been a wild ride so far, but I’ve also been focused on self care and learning what may be “too much” for me. It’s a hard lesson, but one that I need to learn.

With today being Thanksgiving, I wanted to take some time out of my day to share what I am thankful for this year. I’ll be honest and say that yes, there have been some really bad days for me, where I wasn’t sure what would happen next – but there have been so many days where I can look back and see how much I have grown this year.

I’m thankful for…

My girlfriend: Mol, you mean the world to me. I cannot imagine my life without you and I am so incredibly in love with you. I am so excited for the future we are building together and I cannot wait to love you for the rest of my life. No matter what happens, we always have each other. You are my best friend and I am so incredibly thankful for you, and for us. IMG_1071

My friends and family: what would I do without you? You’ve seen me at my worst, you’ve seen me at my best. You’ve listened to me cry, you’ve stayed at my side throughout ER visits. You’ve supported me, encouraged me and were always there for me. You’ve seen me grow this year, you’ve seen me stumble. I am so thankful for all of you. My sisters, my brother, my parents, my grandmother. You mean so much to me and I cannot have come this far without you.

My health: it’s been such a rough year health wise with what seemed like a year of never ending diagnosis appointments, I am happy with where I am. This was the year that I was diagnosed with type two diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome and bipolar disorder.

It’s a lot. It’s a lot to absorb, to become used to. I’ve learned what triggers my blood sugar spikes, I’ve been on a handful of medications I’ve had to adjust to and I’ve had to learn to test my blood sugar. I’ve seen my A1C go from a 10.3 at diagnosis to a 6.9 at my last appointment.

My education: this is the year is the year that I applied to a high school diploma program and was accepted! I have kept a 4.0 GPA so far, and have completed three career courses and am waiting for the go ahead to continue since I just finished my last two “qualifying” courses.

Authors: so many of you have impacted my life. A few of you have become friends, you’ve supported me, encouraged me and have been there for me. You’ve taught me about myself, you’ve opened my eyes and your words have healed parts of me. Tamara and Courtney – you both mean so much to me and I am so incredibly grateful for all you have done for me. Your love, friendship and support get me through each day. I am so proud and honored to not just consider you friends, but a part of my family.

To my readers and the spoonie community – thank you. Thank you for being there for me, for listening and taking the time to catch up on my life, learn about my health conditions and to support me along the way. I am so happy with the direction my blog has taken this past year and I am thankful for each of you.

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Positively Katie

October 25, 2015 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: health, personal: highs and lows, personal: positively katie 0 Comments

8fb9f982df577e98979283c1bb6071e2Back in the day when I was involved in the high school youth group at my former church, we always began our Sunday mornings by getting coffee and snacks at the local cafe and then coming back to our room. We’d sit on the floor or wherever we felt comfortable and then our leader would open it up.

We always started with our highs and lows of the week. We’d each share our own, and sometimes we’d talk about them further or answer any questions. At first, I was so hesitant to share mine. At this point in time, I was knee deep in depression and living in an unhealthy (and unsafe) environment. I didn’t want to speak up. I was scared.

What those memories bring back to me is how freeing it was to share what was going on in my life. The good days, the bad days, the really bad days. It was a safe place to talk to others my age, I had trusted adults around me and even though I felt like I didn’t fit in (let’s face it: I didn’t. I wasn’t popular, “pretty” or outgoing), I had a chance to share what I was going through in a safe environment.

That’s why this week, during a bad week – I wanted to start the weekly highs and lows. Not only for myself to look back on, but as a way to connect with everyone, to share what I’m facing, and to hear from you.

What did my week shape up as?

highs: my birthday... I celebrated quite a bit for my birthday this week. Work spoiled me, I spoiled myself, I got to go to Monterey with my sister, lunch with my sister and one of my best friends and my dad. I indulged (maybe too much?) with some of my favorite things and food. 12074756_695009221797_1570833329665519035_n

FaceTime dates with my gorgeous girl. 11051977_676444690267_4307485438757227096_nWe had a few of them this week, and each of them had moments where we laughed until we cried. Mostly over ridiculous things, but I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything. We also made a big decision last night but I’m keeping it a secret.

On my birthday, I had posted something on Instagram and was greeted with a comment that I never thought I’d get. It was from one of my childhood best friends that I’d lost touch with over the last couple of years. As you can imagine, it was a flood of emotions and we exchanged phone numbers and have started to catch up. I’m still crying happy tears over this and I am so thankful she is back in my life.

lows: insomnia. Good lord, it’s been horrible this week. It’s gotten to the point where my entire sleep schedule is now thrown off because of it. It’s a mess. I’m so tired and so frustrated and just want to sleep.

Endometriosis…. yeah, no. I’m still mad. My period showed up out of nowhere when I am not supposed to have it and left me in bed for most of the week. I couldn’t go to class because not only was I exhausted, but I was in so much pain. It got to the point where I ended up having to take some heavy painkillers, and I hate doing that as often as I did this week.

Friendships breaking apart… eh. I’m still mad, but I cut them out of my life as they were nothing but toxic. I was dragged into something that had nothing to do with me in the first place, and lets just say, I went off on those responsible and proceeded to block them from every social media outlet I’m active on. It was a mess and frustrating.

Overall, I think it was a pretty good week. I was upset over missing so much class, but it gave me the chance (and forced me) to learn that I have to take care of myself, and not too push myself too hard.

8475f00924944443a11e015d8cd3edadThe good days won over the bad days, and even though I struggled a bit this week – I did the best I could and got on my feet and kept fighting, kept moving and kept going. I didn’t give up.

 

 

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Exhaustion, Endometriosis and Endless Appointments

July 9, 2015 Katie A Chronic Illness 1 Comment

I’m sure many of you will understand how utterly exhausting it is to just get through one appointment, much less three appointments in one week – two in one day. Wednesday was brutal and I am beyond exhausted and still trying to sort everything out, even though they were both good appointments and I got a lot accomplished in one day.

Monday was my second round of therapy with V, where we briefly talked about my recent bipolar diagnosis, how I was adjusting to medication so far and then we moved onto talking about my coming out experience (you can read about that here) and how it’s been such a struggle for me since it happened. It was hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be. I thought I’d break down in tears, but I didn’t. I thought quietly at several points during the session, but I really felt somewhat better when I left.

I go back next Monday morning for round three before I head to work for the day. I’m assuming I’ll be going weekly for awhile, at least until we start to make a dent in some of the things that I need to deal with and start working through. It’s overwhelming, but I know I have a good team behind me.

Wednesday morning started off crazy. By the time I was ready to leave to pick up my mom to go to my appointment with me, I couldn’t get my car started. I didn’t pick her up until ten minutes before my appointment and then I had to speed over to the office, but we made it on time. The entire way, I could feel myself start to panic. The stress of the morning plus knowing I could get some huge results had me all worked up. No matter what I did, I couldn’t calm down.

We waited forever. Nearly over an hour. So frustrating, but what can you do?

Finally get called back, and no surprise – my blood pressure is fine but my pulse was fast. I explain it’s anxiety, it’s always that way… so they recheck it in a few minutes. Still high. Telling me to “relax” doesn’t help, it just stresses me out more. Ugh.

Doctor M comes in and tells me my lab work results and I am floor. My A1C dropped from a 10.3 at diagnosis in February to a 6.9, which is under where they want a typical diabetic patient. I almost fell out of my chair and I am still in shock, holy crap. He also said that I can stop all medication for diabetes and just continue to eat healthy and exercise and test daily. I go back in three or four months for another round of lab work to check and see how things are doing.

I also left with an inhaler for exercise induced asthma and a refill of my anxiety/migraine/heart rate medication. Apparently the new call center that was forced on the clinic never relayed the refill request I asked and yeah… not happy. My nurse told me the secret about who to call and what extension to use, so now I don’t have to worry about it!

The big news is that I left with a referral to a gynecologist since my Endometriosis has only been getting worse these last few months. I’ve had a period for two weeks now, doubled over in pain nearly every day and nothing I’ve tried in the past seems to be helping anymore. I’m going to be pushing for surgery. I can’t stand this pain anymore. I go in on July 28 and hopefully we can get things rolling and begin some serious treatment.

Wednesday afternoon was my visit to Planned Parenthood. The pills I got in November just… weren’t working. I was still in pain, still having crazy periods and just… not working the way we’d hoped. After paperwork, waiting and surprise another slightly high pulse, I finally talked to a doctor and got new pills. I started them last night so it’s still too early to tell if they’ll help.

The doctor there also said it sounds like surgery is the next step since everything we’ve tried hasn’t worked and to make sure I tell my new gynecologist this when I see him at the end of the month. So, that’s what I will be doing.

It was an exhausting week for appointments and I know it’ll be this crazy for awhile.

I’ve spent today resting, and plan to curl up again and watch some television for the rest of the night. I go back to work tomorrow for a short shift, and I’m excited to see my work family but I am hoping I am not this tired and sore when I go tomorrow.

One day at a time, right? Just keep breathing. Stay strong.

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The (Rocky) Road to Recovery: My Journey So Far

April 18, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

The last few months have been… interesting. Now that I have insurance, I have been in and out of doctor’s offices, blood work drawn, trips to the pharmacy have been more than I can count – but it’s all part of a process. It’s all part of being healthy again, living a new life and on the road to recovery.

On February 12, 2015 – I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

My entire life changed in that office. For awhile, I didn’t even feel like it was real. This couldn’t be my life. I was healthy, active and while yes, I could have eaten better at times, I tried my best to live a healthy lifestyle despite a hectic work life and balance school.

It didn’t matter. My blood glucose fasting results were a sky high level of 236. Any higher, and there was a very real chance I could have headed to the hospital because my glucose was too high. That’s a very scary thought and one that pushes me daily to get myself onto a healthy diet, keep active and make sure I take meds to help control my diabetes.

It’s barely been two months since I’ve been diagnosed. In that time I have:

– seen my numbers drop from the high 200’s to the 100’s (with a couple hypoglycemic episodes in there)

– started on two medications for diabetes, with insurance denying a third

– I attend my first diabetes class Tuesday morning

– Tackled a fabulous vacation and did well on my first big trip as a diabetic

– Proudly wear a medic alert bracelet

But it hasn’t been easy. Not at all. I still have not been able to cry over this diagnosis, because in a lot of ways – it doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t seem like this is my life. But it is. This is my life and I have to live it in the best way that I can to keep myself healthy. I have seen what out of control diabetes can do to people and I don’t want to go down that road.

I have had people tell me to my face that I “need to get on that” without understanding the negative impact it has on me. I’ve had people tell me that it’s because of all the sugar I’ve had that caused it, nope. That’s not it either. I have a family history of it, it’s genetic.

Recently, I’ve had someone I was close to decide to cut me out of their life because I was unable to make it to an event due to the fact that I was sick from the diabetes. I had been dealing with highs and lows and numbers bouncing all over the place, feeling weak and like I may pass out and realized, I have to stay home. I have to take care of myself and cannot risk an ER trip.

So, I stayed home.

Then I was berated, belittled, accused of some pretty nasty stuff and now feel like I have been cut from their life. All because I needed to take care of myself, because I was sick. Because I knew that had I pushed myself more than I already had, I would have ended up in the hospital.

This diagnosis is hard.

It means that I have had to make major changes to my life immediately. It means that I have had to give up things I loved, change my diet completely, test my sugar, learn my limits and make sure I take my medications every day at the same time so I don’t get worse.

Diabetes means that I have had to learn who really stays at my side and supports me, or who walks away. It means that people I thought I was close to had no idea I had diabetes until I mentioned it randomly. It means that I have had to say no to things I wish I could do because I am battling a low moment or I feel sick from the medications.

Most of all, it means learning to take care of myself. Learning that I have to take care of me and put my health first. It means that I can’t ignore the symptoms or a high or a low and that I have to act quickly. It means that there are days where no matter how well I eat and stay active, I’ll still have a high. Diabetes means that I have a life long, chronic illness.

It’s not going to go away. Yes, it can (and will) get better with management – but it’s been a long two months. Two months in and I still have so much to learn.

The most important lesson I’ve learned so far?

Take care of myself, no matter how hard it is, no matter how draining it can be. I have to take care of myself so I can be healthy for life and for my loved ones.

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