D Blog Week 2017: More than Diabetes

"Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with.  Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU.  If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can. Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes, because there is more to life than just diabetes!"

It's always sad when blog week comes to a close, but this year we've ended on a fantastic topic. So much of my online presence and my work in health advocacy is about my diabetes. I don't begrudge that at all because I've chosen to take on the role of a health consumer advocate. But behind all the awareness stuff I'm also a person. My t1 is a pretty big part of it, but there's more.

I'm a pianist, albeit one with poor timing. I've been playing for 14 years. It doesn't look or sound like it most of the time, but I have fun. This is the beginning of a song called Bumble Bo…

D Blog Week 2017: What Brings Me Down

"Today let’s revist a prompt from 2014 - May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?"

Diabetes Blog Week was the first time I spoke properly about mental health on my blog. You can read that post here. I was absolutely terrified about posting that.I'm quite proud of 2015 Bec, but looking back it makes me laugh. Mostly because I was insistent that I hadn't experienced burnout or depression. Oh the denial. So it feels like coming full circle back to this prompt. Diabetes is by nature an emotional experience. Shifts in blood sugar change your mood. Sleep deprivation changes your mood. 

T1 is a chronic condition. It never goes away. It never gets better. Sometimes it gets worse. That is the shitty nature of a chronic condition. It's a chronic condition that c…

D Blog Week 2017: The Blame Game

"Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another.  And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault.  Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger.  Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had.  Now, the game part.  Let’s turn this around.  If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself?   Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us!"

I have an excellent health care team, so thankfully I have a fantastic support network. But I have experienced blame for my condition in the past. In fact, I started this blog because of all the blame I was receiving. It didn't co…

D Blog Week 2017: The Cost of a Chronic Illness

Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?

"Money money money" is very relevant when you have t1.
I'm so frustrated by what's happening in the US right now. People are trading insulin on Facebook because their insurance only covers a particular type. People are paying hundreds of dollars for scripts. People are dying from trying to ration their insulin to their next pay cheque. On top of that, politicians, people who make decisions, are blaming people with diabetes for their condition. They say they're not worthy of being covered by using inaccurate stereotypes of people with type 2 diabetes. None…

D Blog Week 2017: Diabetes and the Unexpected

"Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random.  What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens?  Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected?"

7 years

Diaversary: the anniversary of one's diabetes diagnosis.

They're a bit weird. I like to celebrate them by doing something small, like going out for lunch. Some people can't stand them and don't think there's any cause for celebration.

Today was my 7th diaversary suitably celebrated by having a lunch of frozen yoghurt with a close friend, leading to this beautiful number:
I like to acknowledge my diagnosis date because I see it more as a little victory. I could sit back and say a third of my life has now been with t1. I could moan about it being garbage and annoying and mildly soul sucking at times. But that just makes me feel worse. So instead I like to think about the good things from it. I've lived in spite of it for 7 years. This photo was taken a few months pre diagnosis:

Pre-diagnosis feels like a lifetime ago. My diaversary is a nice way to mark the gains I've made. I'm healthier, more assertive and doing things I never dreamed of. I'm not than…

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…