Take Courage, my Heart

Poems and Things

The smouldering body that remains
was drenched in flames last night.
A steady heart still sounds today
though wearied from the fight.

“Each beat could be the last,” I said.
“No, not yet,” I replied.

I’m evergreen, like pine.
I’m a dance on the hands of time.
Life cannot beat the courage from me. Not as long as I can rhyme.

There’s a soul inside me
and even if I die
I’ll live on in eternity
with loved ones by my side.

And there will be no pain,
pride nor coward be.
Just a dusty memory
and what courage rewarded me.

I’m not handicapped

Diabetes is Just a Word

Loved ones like to point out often how awesome science is and how close we are to finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. I’m pretty skeptical, however. It’s pretty obvious that despite the glamorous titles to these articles, my life isn’t changing. What I’m excited for is getting my gear to improve and make me more healthy! I think it’s healthier to have realistic excitement rather than having this staring contest with these miracle claims that you will inevitably lose. “But, Rachel, they’re making so much improvement! You’ll probably see the end of Type 1 Diabetes in your lifetime!” Sure, I guess, but I reckon that it won’t happen till I’m at least 60. So who will win this staring contest?

Should I live the majority of my life wincing every year in disappointment as yet another year passes without my life significantly changing? No. I won’t. I am way more excited to think about my CGM and pump getting a little slimmer and better. It’s far more realistic and obtainable in the next few years. I think it’s worth relishing these tiny miracles! I sigh a breath of relief knowing that they’re taking steps to get Type 1 more manageable and less painful. That is more valuable to me than getting excited over nothing.

Another thing that’s been bothering me are those dogs that can smell when you have low blood sugar and alert you. My family love to bring them up. Sure, I guess some people desperately need help, and a dog is the perfect solution. But as for me, I’ll stick with my Dexcom. I don’t need a dog to save me when I’m low. It feels almost demeaning to assume that a dog can help me more than I can help myself. Besides, I have my Dex to chime at me when I’m running on the low or high side. And I might add, I usually can tell I’m low or high before it goes off.

Even if I don’t need a science update, or a dog, or a bombarding ad about how “Diabetics” need a special diet cookbook, I get it anyway. I will not forget that my disease is hard, and I have lots of options to help me. I mean can’t we just forget the crap-talk? Success stories are great, but at the end of the day I don’t need to know about how someone’s aunt uses a diabetic dog and is doing great. I don’t want to hear yet again that the cure is just around the corner. It’s really just exhausting to keep up with these self-help conversations. I don’t need special cookbooks that use Splenda exclusively to help me live a delicious, diabetic life! I’m just trying to survive as painlessly as possible. I’m just trying to feel like I’m living a normal life.

Monday was bad, but not today… :)

Diabetes is Just a Word

Monday was terrible.

I went to the Endocrinologist and was going terribly high from breakfast, and they insisted I give them my pump to plug in and do a print out of my stats. I nearly was crying, I was so upset. The most upsetting thing was that my Endo said that cereal is what’s making me high in the morning, and she basically said, “Don’t eat cereal in the morning ever again.” And of course I was near tears because I love cereal… A lot. But my relationship with my beloved Cheerios was coming to an end, and my pregnancy hormones wouldn’t let me get over it until Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morning was scary. I was hungry and only wanted milk and Cheerios. But I followed a sample breakfast idea she printed out for me and made an english muffin with melted swiss cheese inside, a fried egg, and mayo. I would have had turkey bacon, but it was too frozen to fry. I had strawberries and a cup of milk on the side. IT WAS DELICOUS! And guys… I hate eating eggs. I actually enjoyed that meal. I’m awesome for being brave, guys. Shout out to me and a pat on the back!

I went on a walk 5-10 minutes after eating for about 30 minutes. I pushed it too, because I was eyeing my Dex and those arrows don’t lie, ya’ll. But I didn’t go over 123! It was a miracle! So I decided to stop cursing my Endo’s name and accept that she went to school for a reason.

Today I followed this low-carb recipe for pancakes and the same blood sugar story from Tuesday followed. I’m very pleased with my success. I couldn’t find the recipe again, but it’s so easy to remember. Here it is if you’re interested:

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LOW-CARB PANCAKES

2 oz cream cheese

2 eggs

1 tsp sugar (they suggest Stevia, but I didn’t have any. There are 4 g carbs in 1 tsp sugar)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Heat skillet to medium heat.

Blend all ingredients

Spray pan, then pour thin pancakes

You got this

By the way, the pancakes fell apart big time for me… Maybe you’ll be more skilled than I was. They may not be the best-looking, but the carbs are really low, which is awesome. I had a cup or so of milk, cut up two strawberries, and smothered the recommended 1/4 cup serving size of lite syrup on top. LIVIN’ the LIFE!!! I’m awesome guys. I’m living here. And my baby is happy inside me too because I’m not blasting her with a crap-ton of sugar. If this helps you, I’m so glad! Have a good day! 🙂

Pump Apprehension

Diabetes is Just a Word

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I’m meeting to get trained for an insulin pump on Saturday, just a few days, and I’m apprehensive.

Positive:

Long life/good health

I’ll have healthy kids

Negative:

Something is always attached to you

You’re never naked

Love life will be awkward

Dressing cute might be a challenge with a small box attached to a tube connecting to who knows where

My stomach is sensitive to shots (that seems like it would be the easiest spot to put the needle)

I cried about it the other night while Jared sat with me. He’s convinced it will be okay, although I’m not quite sure. I’ve been doing multiple injections every day for nine years… It’s hard to think about something different. All I can think about is how hard it’s going to be.

1st Trimester=Mission Accomplished

Diabetes is Just a Word
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My bundle of joy at our 12 week ultrasound! Everything looks healthy.

I’ve arrived at my second trimester today, YAY! Fourteen weeks has brought me a baby the size of a lemon and I am bursting at the rim with excitement to meet ’em! I’m not quite bursting at the belly yet, but I’ve begun to see my tummy expanding slightly. I blamed it on being bloated for a bit (and rightly so), but now the bloat doesn’t go away. My tummy is starting to expose my secret! Ah! I want to start sharing the news with acquaintances starting Sunday when I’ll be a few days shy of 15 weeks. It’s also a perfect opportunity to take Valentine Day pictures with the ultrasound, haha… Anyway I think it’s about time.

About the Lows:

For about half of my first trimester I have experienced quite a bit of extreme lows (my goodness, the lows..). It’s natural for non-diabetics to have lower sugar too because of the serious progesterone levels in the bloodstream. But tacking type 1 onto it is really hard because I’d drop so low at night and before breakfast. I have to take a thyroid pill 30 minutes before eating every morning too, so low blood sugar makes it a little tough to keep to the rules. For a total of three times, I’ve been super low, taken the pill, and thrown up. I don’t know if it was related, but I thought I’d mention that. I focus on the lows at night time, but the day time lows were  bad too. Let me just share a word of advice: Never buy Lara Bar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bars! Other Lara bar flavors are wonderful, but NEVER buy the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip kind because it tastes like absolute crap. I had to eat a crap-ton of them because I carry bars when I’m out of the house and now am scarred for life.

Where I’m at today:

As I am transitioning into the second trimester I’m noticing my blood sugars are getting slightly better with the lows, but even worse with the highs… So yeah I’m changing my basal and bolus levels rather consistently without going overboard. I’m working with my Endocrinologist to get things straightened out, although I blame him for messing with me levels in the first place. Word to the wise: Don’t let someone mess with your pump settings when you disagree with what they are going to do. Bad idea. Nope. This is your body they are messing with. Don’t let someone else make decisions for you if you disagree.

I’m Pregnant

Diabetes is Just a Word

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Yes, you heard me correctly! Am I cowering in fear under the reign of my Type 1 Diabetic limitations? Never! Well- yes, yes I am.. Yes, I am a constant vigilant guarding my blood and baby. When it comes to something that you can’t choose, like becoming a high-risk pregnant woman at the moment of conception, I find that it’s best to compartmentalize. I put together a little banner above to help me remember to stay calm during tribulation.

And as always, I try to remember the Lord and His will during all times. I’ve always grown closer to Him during my trials than any other time. That’s how I know that I’m blessed. I have a sickness that teaches me things that I otherwise never would learn.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

-Proverbs 3:5-6

Daily a Diabetic

Diabetes is Just a Word

Life’s good. The pump still is awesome and terrible at the same time (please refer to the post before this one). My last A1C was 5.1, which was down right amazing! My doctor was shocked. I was struggling with lows though, so that factored in pretty bad. I did some tweaking to my pump settings helping with my lows, but now I’m getting more high. I REALLY hate being high. It makes me freaked out. I just hate the idea that my toes could stop feeling someday, and for a blotch to appear in my vision. I’m scared all the time. I worry myself into the ground about what I should do. Recently, I’ve been trying to counter-act that by just fixing the problem when it comes without the emotions. I suppress the anxiety the best I can, and continue on my day. When I do that, Jared doesn’t have to worry as much. I don’t want to weary him constantly with ailments that will always come back to haunt me. I don’t want him to worry.

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Middle Child Blues

Diabetes is Just a Word

I look for health tips all the time. I also am very curious about Type 1 Diabetes-related health tips due to my Type 1 Diabetes. The problem is that because we are like 5% of the population of diabetics (the other ~95% are Type 2) we are grouped in with them. So pretty much we are the middle child that Mom and Dad forgot at the gas station. I’ve taken a class focused on Diabetes (we know they just forgot to say type 2), but surprisingly, they DID offer information on Type 1! Yay! Type 1 was probably 1/6 of the subject material though, the other 5/6 being things dealing with Type 2. Oh well. It’s really hard to find scientific resources for Type 1. All anyone cares about anymore is Type 2.

When I’m reading an article about “Diabetics”, how am I supposed to know if they are talking about mine or others? It gets frustrating because from my class I learned that these diseases are similar, but they are very different as well. Excuse my frustration, but it’s hard not to feel neglected.

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Love Yourself!

Diabetes is Just a Word

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Amidst a cloud of smog that drowns out the sound of reason, we can’t give up. Forces never cease to make us feel bad about ourselves. We worry about being beautiful, too emotional, oversensitive.. Trifling thoughts plague our day-to-day lives with uncertainty.

Don’t let it.

Our bodies are a gift. Bodies come differently from above, and you have yours. Don’t waste your time wishing it looked better, or functioned the same as others. It’s yours and it’s beautiful.