Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reflecting

Recently I was bored, and was looking through my photos on Facebook. I have close to two thousand photos, so I figured I might find something old on there that I didn't even realize was there. I clicked through a lot of photos up until I came across two photos that truly shows how awful I looked when I came out of DKA a couple years ago. When I saw the photos I couldn't help but just sit here and remember the way I felt.


In these photos I'm wearing special glasses that were about an inch thick. After my blood sugar coming down from 1200, my eyes became crossed and I needed these glasses to see clearly. I've spoken to eye doctors, and the doctors at Joslin and they don't have a clue what specifically caused my eyes to be crossed, and I haven't heard anything similar from anyone else yet.


I was only a couple years into being a diabetic when all of this happened, and I felt so alone. I felt like I was the only person in the world with Diabetes because I knew no one else with Type 1. I didn't know if I was going to have to wear thick glasses forever, or if it was temporary. I didn't want to hear jokes about my thick glasses, because the reason my eyes were so screwed up is I didn't know how to manage this vicious disease that could have taken my eyes from me at 20 years old.


Here I am. Now 24 years old, my eye doctors tell me my eyes are "perfect", and the doctors have nothing to say but that my eyes going from cross-eyed to perfect is a "medical miracle". Those photos above give me the motivation to do everything I can to never let that happen again.  

I've come a long way. It's amazing what the DOC could do for a diabetic. You guys sure did pull me out of something that I thought I could never get away from. And I thank you for that.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Resources

I brag about the DOC a lot with my nurse practitioner whenever I have my 3 month appointment with her. She's even told me that I am her "easiest patient to deal with" because I'm always looking to improve my life with Diabetes. I've explained to her that twitter is full of other diabetics, willing to lend an ear and help you with anything that they can. She told me she sees a lot of people my age that come into her appointments that are nowhere near as confident with their diabetes as I am.

That's when I saw myself.

For the first four years or so of me being a diabetic, I only showed up at Joslin Diabetes Center to get prescription refills and just wait until the appointment was over. I was a mess mentally. So when she told me that she sees people my age going through the same exact thing I felt obligated to speak up. So I offered her my e-mail to give to patients (if that's not legal, I don't know, it was my first reaction, oh well) if they needed to talk with someone who "gets it". Recently my nurse practitioner e-mailed me, and this was part of the e-mail.

"Would you mind putting together a list of online support groups that you know of and think are helpful?  I have a couple of patients who would really benefit from that."
So I asked some people on twitter for recommendations of what sites would be good to share with other diabetics. I put a list of about 7 different sites and sent it back. That I have seen, there isn't any visible resources for online social interactivity for Diabetics at Joslin, although they do have programs that help people. I think it would be cool if Joslin makes some flyers and set them up in the waiting area for people to take with them and check out at home. 

And to think, all those times I bragged about the DOC, I thought my NP was thinking how annoying I was being. I'm glad she took it serious and is considering sharing these very useful (and life-changing) resources with other Diabetics. As good as it feels to be the "easiest patient to deal with"...I don't want that title, I want to share that title with other patients at Joslin.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It got worse?

I was at work, and for the first time since I started on the insulin pump a co-worker asked, "hey what's that tube looking thing?" I responded by saying "it's an insulin pump, I just started using it about a month ago". His response to that was, "so, did you get that because your diabetes has gotten worse?"

Instantly, in my mind, I was so annoyed! But I kindly replied with "no, this thing is actually IMPROVING the way I feel. This insulin pump has made my life with diabetes so much more easy to deal with by not having to constantly take injections all day long", he replied with "wow, that is really cool, I'm so happy for you!"

After that conversation I felt proud of myself that I didn't get an attitude, because he didn't know...he's not a  Type 1 diabetic. It feels good to teach someone something that they don't know much about, especially Diabetes.