Saturday, 19 June 2010

Feeling Useless.

Hello hello,

I'm feeling completely rubbish today. Over the past week and a half, since the sex and the city cinema trip when my sugar's suddenly decided it was time to rebel, as if plain old diabetes wasn't doing me enough and they just wanted to cause a bit of mayhem. Seeing the 20.7 on the screen last Wednesday night wasn't pleasant and a sight I hoped I wouldn't be greeted with again for a long time again. Well, today's new record was 22.4. Delightful. I was feeling awful and tested at work, actually thinking I'd gone a bit low. Once again I panicked. That number scared me a lot. And when I'm scared I either try and tough it out and act fine. Or I completely break down and cry. Well, option 2 happened today... to be honest I'm seeing more and more of option two these days.

I've been trying so hard this past week. I've been eating meals at my exact regulated times, I've dusted off the wii fit and I've tried my hardest to stay positive despite a few high numbers. There's been a few really good days and I finally thought I was breaking through the wall of highs... then you get hit with a 22.4 and I just thought.

Oh Fuck Off.

So, I found myself once again in the office at work, crying my eyeliner all down my face, frantically phoning my mother, leaving after only an hours work and once again feeling completely and utterly useless. I know I could work there hard and a lot and be more competent if it weren't for events like this that just make me look ridiculous, weak and, to be honest, just a big pain in the arse. It's a wonder anyone continues to employ me.

I'm feeling like a useless diabetic, my erratic sugar's make me feel like I'm failing at it.
I'm feeling like a useless employee; crying sessions, sugar check breaks and sick days.
I'm feeling like a useless daughter, worrying my Mam when she has enough to think about already.
I'm even feeling like a useless friend and girlfriend. I can't even be bothered with myself anymore, so its a wonder that anyone else does.

I'm no fun anymore and I'm just no use.

All my determination to not let this disease affect me is just withering away at a rapid rate. I'm just fed up with it.

I'd like to be me again, but it seems for now, I'm just stuck with feeling like a useless, sad old puppet with a cruel puppet master named diabetes pulling my strings and making me do a sorry dance.


Friday, 11 June 2010

A sunshiney smile all packed up in a little number.


Quick post just to tell you why I'm feeling a little better and more optimistic tonight than I have been for the past few days. It's too soon to tell if this means that all my values are going to be back on track, but its definitely a good sign anyway.

There's a lot of numbers that make me sad. My bank balance always fails to raise a smile. The number of pounds the wii fit tells me I've put on in a week never fails to annoy. The number of chores on the lists that I get left. The number of pounds that that gorgeous dress in Topshop costs. Maths at school was always my worst subject, so numbers have never really been my friend. Plenty of numbers leave a sour taste behind, including the 20.7 that my contour meter presented to me on Wednesday night.

Today, a number made me smile. A lot.

Before tea today. Definitely expecting a high reading considering the past few days and the fact that it was 17.6 at 3pm today. Oh well, let's test and get it over with I thought. Strip in machine. Beep. Pricker loaded. Prick. Squeeze. Blood sucked into strip.




The contour display should've definitely read;

5.4 :) :) :)

Lets hope the smiley numbers continue. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

One Step Forward... And Two Steps Back.

Hello hello,

I feel like I am basically fighting a losing battle with this thing actually. A LO reading two days ago to a reading of 20.7 last night just seems impossibly ridiculous to deal with. Both suggesting opposite changes to my regime. Both making me feel terrible. And both making me very upset and frustrated. What was a very lovely reunion with some friends that I haven't seen for ages turned sour and, once again, I ended up crying. Well, more like sobbing really, I'm really despairing now. Lots of water, lots of trips to the toilet and lots of the sky planner watched just to keep me awake. Stayed up till 3.30am watching them slowly go down, but still waking on 11 this morning wasn't what I'd hoped for.

I'm tired and angry and upset.
And today is a day where I just need my pancreas to buck its ideas up and start working properly again.

Not one to think of things in big scary terms, I never usually even consider the term "forever." But right now, living with diabetes "forever" just seems impossible.

Tomorrow, I might say I'm determined to get back on track and tackle these blood sugars head on. But today. Well today I'm just frazzled. I have't the energy or the attitude to tackle anything head on today.

Cuddles would be lovely.


Monday, 7 June 2010

Shorty got LO LO LO LO....

Hello everyone,

Well, I'm going to ignore the topic I was originally going to blog about today after being diverted by a particularly crappy day today. I ventured into town today, mainly just to go to River Island for a certain blazer, which is actually gorgeous and incidentally they didn't actually have any size 12's left in stock, which was very annoying. Anyway, blazer issues aside, I had the scariest incident so far on my diabetes journey. I'd gone into and out of River Island after my unsuccessful blazer hunt and was feeling disheartened and in that sort of mood when you can't be bothered. So, I started the walk back to my car and started to feel very very wobbly. Stopped in the street to test. 5,4,3...hurry up, 2, 1...



I was very scared, immediately panicked, especially as I was by myself. I dug out the lucozade and started desperately guzzling it. Then I walked into the nearest shop, happened to be a Fatso's sandwich shop, just to seek a bit of reassurance that I would be somewhere safe in case anything happened. I explained in a shaking voice "Hi, I was wondering if you could just keep an eye on me, I'm diabetic and my sugar's really low." The two women in the shop were extremely friendly and helpful and they let me sit behind the counter (on a box of potatoes because they didn't have any chairs) and checked that I was ok. I felt like a bit of a tool asking for help but I knew it was the best thing to do, and I'm actually proud of myself for being brave enough to ask. Even though the short flash of confidence only came because I was in such a panic. They let me sit there until I felt well enough, were really sweet about it all, and they gave me a few bottles of lucozade to replace the 1 and a half I'd guzzled down.

I always say how much I appreciate my friends and family helping me out, but this has shown me that the kindness of random strangers can also be incredibly important and invaluable when it comes to diabetes. Although, I can't knock the support of my friends and family again today. One of my friends was already in town from college so he came and met me and I felt much safer once he was around. Also our chat and drive home cheered me up a lot. My Mam was also just on the end of the phone, and was even going to come and collect me from town if I didn't feel well enough to drive. My boyfriend was then on hand later on for kisses, cuddles and very cold hands that made my headache a little better. Once again they all came up trumps and I couldn't love them any more.

Anyway, far too much lucozade, a massive over correction and a lot of despairing later I haven't yet seen below ten, the highest being 16.4. I have a horrible headache, I'm in a really shitty mood, I'm weeing like a tap that's jammed on and today has officially been marked down as a diabetic downer. A low point. Hang on, a "lo" point.

I'm scared it's going to make me even more anxious about everything and even more scared of hypos. I'm scared that I managed to get that low before I realised. I'm despairing over it all again. I really really don't want this relentless condition any more. Ohh, I could cry right now, but I won't. I'm very concious that I cry too much as it is.

So, maybe I should remember my principles and try and make today seem a little better by taking all the good things from it, however little they may be. Erm.. let me think. Seeing Adam again. Antony hugs. Oh, and the title of this blog entry, it's genius if I do say so myself.

So, I best get back to my night; snuggled up on the sofa with my duvet and lots of layers, watching tv, trying to get rid of this headache and feeling sorry for myself.
Tomorrow's a new day I guess.

Thanks for reading.

Ps. I could really use a hug right now please. This cartoon (right) made me go aww.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Refreshingly Guilt Free.

Hello everyone,

Well, here we are, the first post of June. I can't believe how quickly time is going at the moment, really can't get over the fact that its been nearly 7 months since I was diagnosed. So much has changed in the past 9 months, and I feel like I've had to grow up and face some harsh realities pretty quickly, but we'll leave that to be the topic of my next post, it's definitely too late to get that deep now!

The past few days have been pretty gorgeous if I'm honest. We've once again been blessed with some really beautiful weather, and that means that I've been making full use of my garden and just generally relaxing. I went for a late night beach trip with my boyfriend last night, which was very lovely except for a bit of a wobbly moment in some woods. Incidentally it turned out I wasn't actually hypo... I was just feeling a bit wobbly, but it scared me nonetheless. Also, there's something about the beach in the night time light with someone you actually adore when you're feeling so relaxed and happy... well, there's something about all that that makes me very soppy and sentimental. I ended up giving a bit of a speech. I delved deep into the topic of how I feel about my parents splitting up and then went on to ramble about just about everything meaningful and slushy. Finally I finished on the groundbreakingly soppy "If there's one good thing to come out of all of this, then it's you." Aww, I'm sweet. Don't worry, I'll give you a second while you go and throw up. But I'm glad I said what I did, I meant every word. Oxford, diabetes, my parents breaking up, it's all highlighted just how important certain people are in my life. And I like to let them know every once in a while.

Apart from bringing out my incredibly soft centre, the sun has also made me extra clumsy. Today I knocked a tray of sauce pots all over the floor at work.. after just spending half an hour filling them. That's just one of many stupidly clumsy things that I manage to do on a daily basis. Had a major lucozade explosion the other day; in the chemist! I only wanted a sip and the bottle happily exploded very noisily and energetically all over the floor of the very packed chemist. I had to run outside to stop a rather large puddle from forming on the floor. A sticky chemist carpet, a few disapproving looks and a ruined pair of tights later, I was in the car ready to go home. Trying to test my sugar with lucozade stained hands was virtually impossible! I attempted to wash my hands with a bottle of water, but a reading of 13.5 told me that sugar was still lurking on my fingers. A retest at home at 7.something confirmed this. Needless to say I won't be showing my face in the chemists for a while.... oh wait, I'll be there next week picking up more strips. Eeek.

Anyway, now to the, very minor, point of this entry; ice pops. In the sunshine, ice pops are always a must in a freezer, tasty, refreshing and without the messiness or fat content of ice cream. I rejoiced the other day when my mam returned home from shopping with a packet of SUGAR FREE ice pops; Calispo Icicles. They're basically just frozen flavoured mineral water, they taste rather good and, best of all, they're completely guilt free. Guilt comes into play a lot with diabetes; feeling guilty for not doing that test, or doing the test that didn't really need doing in my case, feeling guilty for high figures, or for letting yourself go low, feeling guilty for eating that thing that you really shouldn't have... and the list goes on. So, maybe the packaging should say "guilt free" alongside "sugar free." Ice pops that I can eat; actually made my day.

See. I told you it was the little things that did it for me....

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 30 May 2010

Birds Can Fly So High.

Hello everyone,

Tonight's entry comes from one of my very favourite songs. Kate Nash's "Birds" is a very typical Nash style song, it has a simple melody, soft background music and tells a very ordinary story. It's this story element of the song that I think I love so much. Unlike any major ballads that boybands croon or the heartstring tugging anthems of rockbands, it portrays a story of love in such beautifully simple terms. The characters aren't princesses and princes or suffering martyrs to love and they don't even claim to be the most in love that anyone could be. The words are't out to compare the love felt to shooting stars, fireworks or volcanoes erupting. No. The very ordinary hero of Nash's tale uses an extremely simple, mundane metaphor to show his love to the girl in the story. Birds.

"Birds can fly so high
Or they can shit on your head
They can almost fly in to your eye
And Make you feel so scared.
But when you look at them and you see that they're beautiful.
That's how I feel about you."

I've often wondered why these lyrics affect me so much, why I love them and why I'll always hope that someone one day will tell me they love me just like this. Eventually I realised that the simplicity of the metaphor is actually genius. Despite not conjouring up typically beautiful imagery it is beautiful in its own way. Managing to take something as ordinary as a bird and it's behaviour and using it to tell someone just how much you like them. Well, that to me is more beautiful than any prose inside a greetings card or any classic love ballad.

I realised that this principle applies all across my life. I really do just live for the small, everyday things that make up life. I'm really not searching for huge defining moments, just the little seemingly insignificant moments in every day that make me happy. My relationship is a perfect example of this. I appreciate every tiny aspect, the minutia of it, and the smallest gestures mean the most. It's the way a text can make me grin like an idiot. The way every hug is different. The fact that everyone has their own distinct smell, my best friends and boyfriend included. The way that we say bye a hundred times before actually leaving each other. Or just the fact that he's read this blog. Unexpected visits. Kisses that catch you by surprise. And the way gingerbread men can actually say so much. Every single small gesture and moment in our relationship makes it what it is. In my opinion its not about the big proclamations of love, fancy things or "life changing" or "defining" moments. My relationship is defined by the little things. And, to me, love means so much more than just the word itself.

I find I can apply the exact same principle to everything in my life, including my diabetes. I tend to look at diabetes in the smaller, everday context rather than in the huge, lifetime context. This is partly because that's how I approach everything in life and also because diabetes is a lot less imposing when looked at in the smaller perpective. Throwing words around like "forever," "future complications," just doesn't help me. Each day at a time. Each hypo and hyper. Each injection. Each finger prick. Each blood sugar reading. I find that taking everything one at a time and trying not to worry about the future, is keeping me positive in dealing with my condition.

My diabetes, just like my relationship, is a collection of little things. It's the extra things I carry around in my bag. It's the hand shaking that comes before a hypo. It's the little black dots on the end of my fingers. It's the trips to the chemist each week for strips. It's finding the little test strips everywhere. It's drinking little cartons of orange juice through work. It's the constant niggling back of the mind worry about my sugars. It's the regulation of my meal times. It's the Zac Efron sticker stuck to my novopen. It's each little bruise I get when I inject poorly. It's meeting new people through diabetes. It's refusing the sweet that your friend offers you or not having desert in a restaurant. It's missing Ben and Jerry's. It's all of these things and more, and more things that I will continue to discover throughout my diabetic journey.

I adore Kate Nash's Birds metaphor. I wish I could outshine it on the quest to explain love in beautifully simple terms, but I'm yet to think of one. It's the same with diabetes. I don't want to use the term "a battle," or "a relentless force," or "a neverending struggle." To me these descriptions are too powerful and too dramatic.

I'm going to continue to search until I think of some way of describing the small challenges, frustrations, routines and emotions that us diabetics experience every day. When I come up with it, I'll let you know.

Another of my favourite artists, Paolo Nutini, quite brilliantly sings. "It's the simple things that mean the most to me." Noone could put it more perfectly than that.

Thankyou for reading.

Ps. To continue on the music theme, I just thought I'd let you know that the other day I bought tickets to see Paramore in November, I'm very excited. Leeds Festival tickets this year were avoided, mainly because I just didn't feel ready to hit a music festival with my diabetes in tow. If I could've found a babysitter for it or the weekend then I'd have happily roughed it in a tent with my friends and done the festival again. The main reason I was gutted about not going to Leeds was because Paramore are playing, and I've wanted to see them live for a few years now. So you can imagine how happy I was when I managed to get tickets for their tour date in Newcastle. I'll see how the diabetes and this Paramore gig get along. And then maybe I'll have the confidence to hit a festival sometime in the next few years; diabetes and all. Fingers crossed!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Honeymoons and a Little Bit of Magic.

Hello again,

Well, about 5 minutes ago I received a phonecall from my DSN. She was bearing news which to be honest came as more of a confirmation than anything else, kind of finalising everything makes it feel properly real and final. "Laura, just to say that we've just ran the final tests and you're definitely a type 1." She asked me how I felt about it and I didn't really have an answer. I guess it was the news I was expecting so I don't feel any more sad or down about being type one just because it's been confirmed. In fact, I think I actually feel relieved. Relieved that I've finally been given a definite answer. Relieved at the blessings of the more controllable element of type one. And finally, just relieved that I can now hopefully accept it once and for all and move forward and continue to manage it the best I can.

Anyway, moving forward to the topic of today's post; Honeymoons. Apparently, according to differing sources, one medical and another simply the wise words of a friend, I am currently going through two different honeymoon phases. My DSN confirmed at my clinic appointment on Wednesday that I was still experiencing the honeymoon phase of type one; ie, my pancreas is still producing insulin but only small amounts and very erratically. It's a tricky one to actually decide how I really feel about this. I guess there's a small amount of frustration in that I kind of wish it would just hurry up and give in altogether so that I can get on with becoming my own pancreas. It feels like when you're trying to do a job and your little brother or sister is desperately trying to "help" but really their help is so useless that you'd actually do it quicker on your own. Maybe it's time for my pancreas to stop trying to "help" and let me get on with the job in hand. On the flip side though, it doesn't actually bother me. I'm taking tiny amounts of insulin, so maybe the honeymooning pancreas is still doing me some good, and then when its time for it to give up I'll change accordingly. There's no point in getting frustrated with your own body. I'd like to view it as my pancreas trying to make it's last dash attempt at trying to rectify the situation; we've all been there some time in our lives I'm sure. And besides, honeymoon is a lovely word. It almost makes diabetes sound pleasant...

My second, and not quite so scientifically proven, "honeymoon" stage is apparently occuring in my relationship at the moment. One of my wise and wonderful friends does tend to turn into a bit of an agony aunt when drunk, and relationship advice is his forte. 4 months down the line and he reckons we're still honeymooning; lots of kissing and cuddling and all of that lovely stuff that makes your friends want to vomit :P Explaining how I feel about this particular honeymoon stage is very straight forward, basically, I love it. It's fantastically brilliant to actually want to spend so much time with someone and to know that they'll be able to make you feel better about anything and turn any frown upside down.

So, there you go, my two "honeymoon's." One of them I feel indifference towards and the other couldn't make me any happier. When the diabetic honeymooning ends it'll cause some changes and interruptions to my regime but hopefully I'll be able to work it out. And when the relationship honeymoon ends, well, I have every confidence and hope that life beyond the honeymoon will still be as scrumptious as ever. Overall, I feel fairly lucky that I'm not even married and yet I'm already having two honeymoons... although neither of them actually involve me jetting off to a beautifully hot country and staying in a very fancy hotel room. Never mind eh. We can't have everything!

Before I go and carry on with what's promising to be a very boring day I'd just like to share a revelation that I had a few days ago. I figured that, in my life, magic isn't just in Disney films and doesn't always involve rabbits being pulled out of hats. Whenever I get down about the doom and gloomy bits of diabetes, I'd like to think I could remind myself of just how lucky us type ones are that there's a treatment for us to help us manage it and lead our lives. I like to think that twice a day I inject myself with a little bit of magic. My insulin pen is quite literally my lifeline and my magic wand. It's fairly special to think that a few tiny drops of a cloudy liquid keeps me alive and healthy. In fact, it's not just special.

It's magic. ;)

Thankyou for reading.