Changes

 While I don’t hold my breath for a cure, that is the number one change I’d love to see. That is obvious of course, and a sentiment that is probably shared by all kinds of diabetics. On a slightly more practical level, I would love to see the management of this disease change. I am so excited by the prospects of an “artificial pancreas” and what that would mean for our daily lives. As my boyfriend often asks me, “Why can’t they just make a pancreas? I don’t understand.” Of course, he says this jokingly but I do believe it’s also said in earnest. We have technology that can fly us to the moon for goodness sake. You’d think there’d be some way we could make an organ that each and every one of us has. Although, it doesn’t seem like it has much of a point in mine anymore. This speaks to the complexity of the human body and how there is so much we still don’t understand.
My doctor likes to joke that all diabetics are “non-compliant” because while we may monitor our blood sugar, we can’t possibly monitor every hormone in our body that a working pancreas does every second. Wouldn’t that be nice though? To my knowledge, the artificial pancreas (AP) doesn’t do that but if it does, let me know. If they cannot find a cure, it would be so wonderful to at least have treatments that legitimately made our lives like those of non-diabetics. It is so much work watching over everything. I still have not figured out my diabetes, and why my blood sugars can almost never just remain stable. I know they are making huge strides in diabetes technology all of the time. I’m hoping that what I’ve just described will be accessible to me (and everyone!) in the near future. For now, it just feels like a dream.
-Sarah
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Clean It Out

Well, this is going well isn’t it? I’ve already missed a day…the SECOND day. I’m not going to beat myself up on that.

Luckily, my literal diabetes “closet” – a bag in this case – got cleaned not that long ago. I spent one glorious day doing all this during my Spring Break because I am that weird person that looks forward to cleaning on a day off. Before that, well… it had been awhile. I had glucose meters I didn’t know I had, 5 year old lancet boxes, old protein bars, chalk-like smarties – it was a mess. On top of that, I had extra supplies in an “earthquake bag” near my door since I live in California and you never know. That needed to be cleaned out as well, still working on replenishing it all.

Mentally, there’s still a ways to go. This will be elaborated on in a future post but I’ve certainly had some mental blocks in dealing with diabetes. I was diagnosed ten years ago but I’ve only recently started really taking care of myself. In that way, I have already cleared up some fears. I no longer feel like I will be “fat” if I keep my blood sugars in range. I’m no longer embarrassed by my diabetes and all of my supplies; I wear my insulin pump proudly.

And yet, I am holding onto the fear that all of those years that I didn’t take care of myself will catch up to me and that I will go blind, have kidney failure, etc. The complications we all know are possible for our future. However, I need to clear up the thinking that these are certainties. They are possibilities. Every year they create better tools for us the manage our illness. I recently spoke to my doctor about this who assured me that it is no longer true that a diabetic’s life expectancy is 10 years shorter than the average. We have a Supreme Court Judge, Sonia Sotomayor who has had type 1 diabetes since she was 8, diagnosed at a time when you still had to boil a syringe on the stove before using it. We have so many examples of people living healthily, joyfully, and powerfully with diabetes.

I am so incredibly lucky to have an insulin pump and CGM; these two tools have already helped my blood sugars tremendously. I can’t change my past, and I can’t predict my future; however, I can certainly change my outlook on the present. For now, I will take deep breaths and not worry. We all know what stress does to blood sugars. I choose to take my diabetes day by day. After all, isn’t that how a future is built?

-Sarah

“I can…”

Sometimes it’s hard to be positive about diabetes; especially on the tough, roller coaster days where it doesn’t let up. However, even those days are “I can…” days because I survive them. Even small accomplishments like not going completely nuts at the end of the day are worthy of praise because dagnabit, diabetes is tough.

I’ve accomplished ten years of having Type 1 diabetes. I’ve moved (many) times, worked full-time, supported myself, and I got myself into my dream school. I’ve traveled the country, and soon – Europe. I’ve volunteered at local organizations. I’ve rock climbed. I’ve done so much but I still have so much more to knock off my bucket list.

Most days, I’d still give T1D back to whatever diabetes fairy goes around bopping us on the head with it. Even so, there are positives. I’ve connected with so many incredible people who are part of the diabetes community. I am a more kind, compassionate person for having it. Having a chronic illness has given me empathy for others with chronic illness. It’s given me more sympathy for myself. I have a deeper understanding of what it means to truly be healthy, and what my body needs to remain healthy. I rest when I need it. I eat sugar when I need it… and sometimes when I don’t. I listen to my inner voice.

I can do anything with diabetes. It hasn’t stopped me yet.

Sarah

6th Annual Diabetes Blog Week

DiabetesBlogWeek

We, Alexi and Sarah, are so happy to be participating in Diabetes Blog Week. If you don’t know what that is, it is an annual event where diabetes blogs sign up and post every day for a week. This is actually the 6th year they’ve done it. Personally, I am happy that it’ll force us to blog more consistently.

To find more info on Diabetes Blog Week or to check out the other bloggers:
BitterSweetDiabetes

Intro to US!

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Hello, darlings! Welcome. Benvenuti & Bienvenue!

Just a quick introductory post. We are Alexi & Sarah. Both Type 1 Diabetics. Both pretty fabulous — and ridiculously good looking.  We met in High School, and were diagnosed just ONE YEAR apart from one another.  But more on our diagnoses later.
We wanted to start this blog to share our daily stories, musings, struggles, and triumphs with T1D — and to create an ongoing dialogue with YOU.
Whether you are a Type 1 Diabetic yourself, a parent of a diabetic, a spouse, a friend and ally, or just someone who wants to be more educated on the life of Type 1 Diabetics, we want to connect with you.
AND NOW: A bit about us.

Alexi Melvin:
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 I was born a a traveler and an artist.  I traveled around the US all my life — having a father in the Major League Baseball realm — I often liken it to what “army brats” go through.  But I loved it.  And I was exposed to all sorts of culture.  I immediately took to the arts, developing a strong passion for film and theatre.
After graduating High School a year early, I headed straight for New York City, where I first studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute.  After that, I acquired my Bachelor of Arts degree at The New School, with concentrations on Writing and Film.  I recently made the move to Los Angeles, but split my time between LA and the Bay Area — and have since been working as a Screenwriter, Freelance Journalist, and eternal DISNEY enthusiast!
Some of my favorite films are; Some Like it Hot, Moulin Rouge, Grease, Fried Green Tomatoes, Hook, Moonstruck, A League of Their Own, Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, UP!, and many, many other Disney animated classics.
I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for a little over 11 years now — having been diagnosed a couple of months before turning 15.
I currently use insulin pens: Novalog (Novopen Echo) and Lantus.  I also recently started using a Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor.
I have my highs and my lows (Haha.. pun intended..) every single day.  Just like the rest of you.  My life is an adventure, regardless of the diabetes — but it certainly does amplify my obstacle course!

Sarah Fletcher:
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I’m originally from Southern California but I’ve also lived in Illinois and Arizona. In fact, the majority of my “growing up” period was spent in Arizona. Despite that, I absolutely hate the heat and I yearn for the colder climates.
I’ve been a lifelong bookworm, animal lover, and language fanatic. I’ve taken French and Spanish in the past and, at the moment, I am learning Italian. Swedish may be my next one as I have a true soft spot for Scandinavian culture. Naturally, I’ve also got a strong case of wanderlust. I love exploring the U.S. and my current home state of California. After I graduate, I’ll heading off to Europe to do a bit of exploring there. Currently, I am finishing my senior year studying Anthropology at UCLA.
I love knitting, reading, writing, going out to eat, pretending I’m Stevie Nicks while doing Karaoke, going to music shows, and quiet nights at home.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 15 years old. Strangely enough, on National Diabetes Day, November 14, 2004. Since then I have been through many different phases of control. Some times were good and other were, well… I essentially ignored that I had diabetes. Thankfully, that is no longer the case and I’m doing my best to be healthy (and stay that way for a long time.) I recently switched from Lantus and NovoLog Echo pens to the T:Slim insulin pump – which I love. I also use the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor and I’m amazed at what a difference it’s made in my life. In addition to diabetes, I also have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and chronic hives (thank you autoimmune issues!)
Diabetes can be a real struggle, but I hope this blog serves as a reminder that we’re not alone. It’s a silent, invisible disease but WE don’t need to be silent.