Depression: Let's Talk (World Health Day 2017)

Today is World Health Day and this year the focus topic is Depression: Let's talk.
Great idea, hard to execute. 
I never understood depression until I was 19 and in my second year of university. I always had anxiety from the get go, and that made sense to me. Thinking all the time, panic attacks, quick movements and being frantic made sense to me. What didn't make sense was feeling nothing. I didn't know how you could be stuck in your bed and not pacing the room when you're worried. I didn't know how you could sit still when your mind was racing. I didn't know how you could have no motivation when there were so many things going on at once. I had seen depression but I never claimed to understand or experience it. 
Then I got it. Depression doesn't have to be triggered by some earth shattering life event. I think that's a trap a lot of people fall into. They don't think they feel bad enough/they have no reason to feel this way so it must be ok. In my…

The Diabetic Professional: A contradiction of terms?

T1 Talk: Back to the Beginning- Part Two

Today’s post begins a series of conversations between myself and Frank of Type 1 Writes. We first connected through our blogs, and our mutual friend type 1 diabetes. Despite our three year age difference, we have discovered that we both have quite a lot in common. Starting with the fact that we were both diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May 2010, only a couple of days apart. We’ve started these conversations with the aim of highlighting how type 1 diabetes impacts two people of a similar age, who were diagnosed at slightly different stages of life. Although this is our own unique series of Type 1 Talks, we would like to give credit to Laddie (Test Guess and Go) and Kate (Sweet Success) for the inspiration from their Type 1/Type 2 Conversations series.

Our first Type 1 Talk is titled Back to the Beginning. This isn’t your typical diagnosis story.  We aren’t specifically revisiting diagnosis, DKA, or the signs and symptoms of type 1. I guess we’re focussing more on the people who were …

"I can't"

It was only by doing something out of my comfort zone that I realised how often I say "I can't".

Getting up and walking to a sunrise before eating?  I can't, I'll go low.
Walking to see the sunset just after eating?  I can't, I'll go low.
Doing a challenging day hike on an island without reception let alone a hospital?  You've got to be kidding me. 
Turns out, I can.
Having a chronic illness naturally adds a layer of caution to your decisions. After all, there's more to think about. But I think I crossed the line when I started thinking I couldn't do things because of my diabetes. I gave up scouts when I was diagnosed, so I hadn't camped or hiked in years. Active things became frightening things. 
Low blood sugars are scary. They're uncomfortable, they're draining and they do have the capacity to kill you. I found that exercise sets them off more than anything else, so I made the decision to avoid exercise that lasted more than an h…

Entering the world of continuous glucose monitoring

I never thought I'd be able to use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Never. In Australia, CGMs are not yet subsidised by the government or covered on Private Health Insurance. This kept vital technology out of my reach because frankly, I had no chance in hell of affording it.

That changed when my 21st and Christmas rolled around and I asked for CGM funding from my family as a gift. I was tired of spending every waking moment stressing more and more about what my sugars were doing. I ran through test strips like water on some days. When I was given the opportunity for a trial I went for it and despite problems with the device, when it worked I experienced this incredible peace. My brain just shut the hell up. 6 years of constant thinking and analysing and worrying just stopped because I had a device that would alarm at me if I was at risk of going low. It can alarm on highs too but I'm not as fussed on that. Lows have always been my fear.

Thanks to my family funding half of i…

6 years on the pump

Today marks day 2193 on the pump. Pretty fitting considering I'm starting a CGM full time tomorrow.
My change to the pump happened when I was 15. I'd not yet had T1 for a full year but I'd decided that injecting in public was just too embarrassing for a teenager. I named my first blue Medtronic Paradigm pump Dobby. Unfortunately he's not pictured below as I had to swap him for Severus after I put him through an x-ray in 2014. Now for the past 2 years I've been using Tonks, the Medtronic 640G which is so much better than the Paradigm. 

Truth be told, I hated that pump for the first few weeks. It was awful. I couldn't take in all the information and I kept getting things wrong. It felt weird to have something attached to me all the time. My carb counting had to change. The set changes hurt.
It sucked.
But then it was suddenly amazing. I finally got the hang of it and had all this newfound freedom. I could wake up whenever I wanted (I was a teenager, I liked to hi…


Happy New Year!

I've decided that 2017 is going to be an exciting year.
Don't question my control over that outcome, just embrace my positivity.

Why you ask? Well:

I'm starting a CGM (sensor that checks your blood sugar 24/7 and alarms when you're going low) full time this weekI'm travelling in short bursts while I finally get a holiday from uni and placementI'm reteaching myself FrenchI'm actually reading for fun for the first time in over a yearI'm finishing my degree this year I'm excited. Also terrified. But there is some actual excitement in there. I've already made some amazing gains this year and I'm only 9 days in!
Recently I went on a camping trip to Forster with a friend. It was incredible, and I finally got back into photography which is something I've been putting off for a long time. 

Going on this trip was a huge deal for me because I haven't been camping since I was 14, a few months pre-diagnosis. Camping is hard becaus…