Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Awakening the Sleeping Runner Racing Ragnar!

This unfolding in my life feels worthy of a post! On Friday, February 22 I took a leap of faith and signed up to run a relay race called Ragnar (http://www.ragnarrelay.com) with eleven other Type 1 Diabetics who are connected through Insulindependence. The following day marked my 6-month anniversary with T1D and I wanted to give some dignity and honor to it. Although there hasn't been any giddyness or an infactuation stage with this particular relationship; it has changed me already in profound ways. I've become much more mindful of what I am choosing to eat which has cultivated discipline, better planning and organization. This has spilled over into my administrative tasks for Ambriel and the way I structure my day in regards to time management. It's all good stuff! This endeavor has allowed for my HS track coach and I to be more regularly in touch because he is "virtual" training me from MI. It's working tremendously as I trust him to help me get over the "out of shape hump" as well as I feel accountable to him. I report my workouts on Sunday, how I feel, if I have any potential injuries/soreness, heart rates and Blood Glucose levels. We are both getting an education as managing my BG's has probably been more challenging than the fundraising or running itself. I'm reminded of the amazing value that role models and mentors have in our lives. Coach and his Wife Lori built into me starting in Junior high and discovered that I had talent that could be utilized in high school. Coach took us to many victories and school records. It's enlivening to go back to JHS and see my name that remains on the record board. I reflect today on how many fears they helped me to push through, especially in my hurdling. I'm a lefty and had this idea that my lead leg had to be my left leg as well. The key was when I arrived at the hurdle I needed to lift whichever leg was there as quickly as possible (300 hurdles). They instilled in me courage, faith in myself and God, harnessed my strengths in ways that pushed me to many personal PR's and prepared me to run Division 1 in college. We all need role models & mentors on this pilgrimage as children and as adults and they are two that I will always remember as key figures during my teen years. An abundance of gratitude to Bill & Lori! Today is two weeks and two days into training and I am feeling stronger and more determined each day. The sleeping runner has absolutely been awakened! Hooray!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ode to the Omnipod & Dexcom CGM!

I can't believe it's nearly been a month since I last post. It is that time of the year indeed....trying to keep life and the right priorites all in perspective as the Holiday frenzy buzzes all around us. It is now the day after Christmas and personally I have taken a deep breathe of relief. One week to reflect, re-focus and gear up for the New Year. Farewell 2012, Hello 2013! I am running with a swift and expectant pace into this New Year.....fully ready to leave some of the adversity, challenges and difficulty of 2012 behind. It always feels good to dive into new beginnings, fresh, uncharted territory and the hope that comes with knowing newness is on the horizon. I am truly grateful for that! In the last several weeks I have been utterly amazed by the technology available to those of us dealing with Diabetes; technology that wasn't even on my radar as of just a short few months ago. I first got connected with a Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Monitor (aka CGM) two weeks ago and the Insulet Omnipod Insulin Pump a week and a half ago. Merry Christmas to my Diabetes! These contraptions have already made management tremendously easier and much more precise. The two main adjustments I have become most aware of are 1.) being tethered to two devices attached to my stomach. The transmitter to the CGM is about an inch to the left of my belly button and the Insulin pump about an inch to the right. 2.) Not only carrying around two additional devices AND a cell phone pretty much everywhere I go AND getting to know their warning beeps, reminders and vibrations. Such is life! I told a girlfriend the other day that I should design a small, stylish satchel or something to carry all these items when your desire is to travel light. I think one of my most humbling and a bit embarrassing moments albeit came when I was getting into the jacuzzi a few days ago and a little boy whispered to his dad, "what does she have on her stomach"? Oy vei, I thought....There was that brief moment of feeling completely vulnerable with no where to run and hide, but in the end it turned into an opportunity for a good conversation. I decided to remain bold, grateful and captivated by these contraptions tethered to my tummy.....and out the window with vanity! Moral of the story, we have come so far with the technology, research and medical devices that make it easier to have a disease like type 1 Diabetes, so I consider myself fortunate and overflowing with gratitude that I am the proud new owner of a CGM & Omnipod!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The search for stylish Medical ID bracelets....

One of the things on my Diabetes to-do list within the first few months after receiving the diagnosis was to order a Medical ID bracelet. At my second follow-up my Endo asked me about it and that was the one thing that I hadn't completed to date! (Sigh.....) I knew that I wouldn't wear something that wasn't relatively stylish and I wanted to like what I saw upon looking down at my arm. The following are two recommendations that I have been pleased with and that have received some complements along the way. The 'Glitz & Glam'
bracelet is a triple strand of Swarovski crystals, copper and metal beads and is measured to fit your wrist just right so you really don't even know that it's there. The beads are neutral/mixed metals so you can wear them with pretty much anything and it goes. I purchased this bracelet @ www.laurenshope.com. This is a great resource and has something for everyone.
The other two bracelets are not Medical ID bracelets specifically, but show how you can clip an additional engraved medical ID charm to just about any bracelet. The green and orange beaded bracelets each have their own charm (ie. peace, cross, love etc.) and then I added the medical ID that says 'Diabetes 1' on the back of it. I found these at a boutique in Cardiff-by-the-Sea called Chic Mommy. Her online store will be available very soon. These beaded bangles come in a variety of different colors and sizes and look great by themselves or with a grouping of various bracelets.

If you've been diagnosed with a chronic condition, have food allergies and/or take medications you should wear a medical alert. Any of these conditions may alter the treatment you might normally receive and alerts nurses, doctors or EMT's of your medical history so no time is wasted.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Type 1, LADA & Inspiration for SerendipiDiabetes.....

It is hard for me to believe that we are nearing the end of 2012! As I reflect on this year, I cannot help but be reminded of the many doctors visits, a hospital overnight, many blood tests and several days of not feeling well in general. Thankfully, despite the lack of feeling my best I was still able to intentionally pursue an answer that would put the final puzzle piece together: why all of these symptoms and no diagnosis? Intuitively, I knew there had to be something going on that would explain my ongoing months of fatigue, minimal appetite, foggy/unclear thinking, lack of concentration, increased sleep, depression, etc. After my initial blood tests my doctor at Scripps sent me home with a prescription for Metformin and a letter declaring Type 2 Diabetes. I wasn't convinced so I proceeded to get a second opinion from an Endocrinologist I had heard about in Encinitas who specializes in disorders of the thyroid, pituitary, lipids & adrenals. A few more blood panels and voila, we had an accurate diagnosis: Type 1 Diabetes. The type of diabetes I have is sometimes called Type 1.5 or LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes of adults). LADA is often misdiagnosed as Type 2 because the typical syptoms of Type 1 are not present. The reason being that the pancreas is still producing insulin so the body does not dramatically respond to an insulin deficiency as do those with Type 1. The main difference between LADA and Type 2 is that there is an autoimmune response present with LADA that is similar to Type 1. This means that the body's immune system sees the beta cell production from the pancreas as a "threat" and launches an attack on these insulin-producing cells, eventually destroying most of them. This attack is a slow, progressive one with LADA, compared to the swift and aggressive assault that is waged on the beta cell in Type 1 Diabetes. It is quite common that someone with LADA might not know for quite some time that they have it, thus most likely the case for me. As I proceeded forward with filling my initial prescription for insulin injections, needles and other supplies necessary for a Diabetic, I began to scour the internet for resources and felt quite lonely and isolated doing so. I wished there was someone I could call to help me or to walk me through the process. Now, these things seem like 'no big deal' of course, but at the time a resource like this would've offered me some peace of mind. Consequently, I began to think about the blogging community and if it would be something I might do to share my experience and the resources I have discovered along the way. I am incredibly grateful because San Diego happens to be a fantastic place to live as we have many organizations, non-profits and companies that supply Diabetes related products right here in our very own backyard. My inspiration continued to come together as each day it seemed my path would lead me to another person who had walked this type of journey before me or who knew something significant about it, giving me courage and wisdom to add to my toolbag of resources. I don't really believe anything that happens is by accident, but I couldn't help but think about this series of divine occurences as Serendipitous.....Ahhhhh.....My Serendipitous Diabetes life.....One by one each piece of the bigger picture all coming together. Each time I post, my goal is to offer something that might be beneficial in the life of someone who deals with Diabetes or anyone who is interested for that matter. Please feel free to share this with a family member, friend or co-worker who might benefit.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My August 23, 2012 and everything after.....

I 'celebrated' my three month anniversary with Type 1 Diabetes this past Friday (11/23/12) and thought it might be apropo to give some dignity and honor to this last three months of transition into life with Type 1 diabetes by starting a blog. There have been a number of occasions over the years that I have started one and not so soon thereafter I lost the desire it took to devote to daily or even monthly updates. I have learned very quickly, that life with Type 1 is not only a daily part-time job, but a continuous moment by moment paying attention to my body and all of the factors that can tip the sugar levels one way or another. Sleep patterns, stress, hormones, travel, time changes, working out, inconsistency you name it, can affect the reading I see on the glucometer. And, no doubt I am a much 'happier camper' when my readings are within my target range and I feel better! I recall a conversation I was having recently with one of my diabetes support team and I don't ever want to forget saying this. I was having a couple of good and quite productive diabetes days in a row, so it makes some sense that I was feeling this way, nevertheless I told Susan that while glancing over to my Dexcom CGM materials I had this thought pop into my mind as clear and as real as a thought could be, "I like my Diabetes", I said to myself. I then caught hold of my thought and pondered, "Where in the world did that come from"? Moments later I realized that I was coming to more acceptance of my condition and that it was actually a gift that had landed into my life to help me take even better care of myself and to use as an opportunity in my personal life, relationships and sphere of influence as a therapist and advocate for others. My niche had now just grown another dimension: the diabetic community. I began to ask myself, "How can I reach the diabetic community at large in the areas of soul care, mental health, advocacy and personal/vocational empowerment? How beautiful a gift, the thing that at first felt messy and out of control and in a fairly short time has shifted into something that I can use to have an even greater purpose and calling in my community. There is a Counting Crows song called August and Everything After (thus the inspiration for the title of this post) and in appreciation of the lyrics of this song.....'In August and everything after, I'm after everything'. After everything that will make life as a Type 1 more fulfilling, more healthy, better balanced and fruitful.