26 August 2007

Changes and Challenges

I'm being much more aggressive with my management recently. I'd been slipping and my A1c isn't where I'd like it to be. During camp we test at least eight times a day and I'm trying to keep up with that amount of testing, being sure I always have candies with me, drinking more water and exercising more frequently. Rather than testing a few times a day, almost never having sugar and just being high, drinking lots of coffee and exercising occassionally. I think I let myself get out of control because I was in a funk or some state thereof. After Hurricane Katrina, I moved to Houston where I just wandered around not knowing what to do with myself for awhile. Then I decided to go back to school and started a Certificate of Public Health program at the University of Texas School of Public Health in the Medical Center. I finished the certificate program in December. After about a year and a half I had had enough of Texas and packed up my life and my cat and moved out to Maryland in late February looking for a change. My parents moved out here in Novemeber, having had enough of the New Orleans situation, one of my sisters moved after the hurricane to DC. So now, almost all of us are on the east coast - adjusting nicely, I think, to our new lives in this strange place. Now my challenges and changes continue. My current position with AYUDA is coming to a close since it's a contractual gig and I need to find something else to keep me employed and happy. I also need to finish what I started in Texas. I want to go back to school to get my MPH and eventually become a CDE. All these changes and stresses seriously affect my blood sugars so I just try to go with the flow and try not to worry so much about the future. With a condition like diabetes though it's all about the future and what could happen if you don't take proper care.
My mind still drifts back to Ecuador. I've only been back in the states for 10 days but I don't think I ever fully come back. Each time gets harder to leave. Harder to say goodbye to the people you connect with and want to help. Harder to return to your own reality. Then I remember how I'm not only helping them but they're helping me as well.
For the past couple weeks, I've been waking up and reaching for my glasses only to remember I don't have them anymore. I gave them to one of my campers. She's eleven, looks about seven, has cataracts, doesn't hear well and comes from a difficult home life. I'm determined to help her anyway I can because she won't get it any other way. However, I don't know exactly what to do. I have the will and the desire to help change this girls [and all the campers I meet] life but I have not the means or full knowledge on how to do so. When I think of her, I think of how easy my life is, how lucky I am to be able to care for myself and be in good control. So why did I let myself slip for so long? She has given me a new strength, a new drive. I only hope I gave her some of the same during that week. That week that now seems so distant. The only reason I know it actually happened and it wasn't a dream is because of the pictures I took and the glasses I no longer have.

Take care of yourself.

24 August 2007

Oh My Lantus!

For this whole week I haven't been feeling so great. Monday was my birthday, yes thank you, thank you, but I felt gross until about Wednesday, then all day yesterday I had this awful headache. Then, this morning I woke up because I was low... I'm hypoglycemia sensitive which is a good thing... helps me avoid some serious lows. Don't get me wrong I've had some 30s in my days but usually I can tell before I get to that point. I don't know exactly how low I was because I didn't test... which I know I should have and I usually do... I just didn't. Anyway, I reached over for my megabottle of glucotabs and popped four of them to bring me up so I could get back to sleeping. When I felt back in range, I fell back asleep. A few hours later I woke up and tested - 115. It's going to be a great day! Whenever I wake up at a number like that my days seem to go better. I have more energy and just feel better. Especially after feeling crappy for the last few days. Also, for the past few mornings I've been waking up low - like 40s and 50s low. Possibly because I switched the time I take my Lantus. Before camp, I took it around 4:30 pm and then due to camp scheduling I changed it and now I'm taking it at dinner time - 7ish. During camp it was fine because we eat about every 5 minutes and I would stay up most nights doing nightrounds for my campers. The lows are starting to get annoying and I don't like eating so much at nighttime [which I've also had to do more of because before bed I've been in the low 100s]. I think I'll switch back to 4ish or do it in the morning. I'm curious as to when other people take it. In Ecuador most do it around 11pm - haven't tried that yet but maybe I will.

I was going to make a poll but I can't figure out how... I'm new to this alright give me a break!... so my question is...

When do you take Lantus?: a. morning b. afternoon c. evening d. don't use Lantus (what do you use?)
Or maybe it's not my Lantus, maybe it's the "new" exercise routine I'm partaking in as in I'm actually going to the gym again. Yay for me! I went once today already but will probably go again later on if I don't go out dancing tonight. In December I'm going on a cruise and eventhough it's summer right now I'm not ready to be in a bikini anytime soon. Eating better + working out more = skinny jeans, right!? And better blood sugars! Hopefully, we'll see...
(the picture is from Campo Amigo Ecuador 2007: Brooke, Pame, Jules, Sarah & Merith)

23 August 2007

My first blog!

Aw isn't it cute! It's my first blog.

I wanted to start this blog because I've been reading so many blogs and articles on diabetes by people using terms and words that I don't like. Also, I think it will be a great stress-reliever for those days when I want to throw my meter out the car window when I'm going 90mph. Don't lie you've had those days, too. I'm also interested in what you have to say so speak up!

So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Julie. I just turned 24 and I've had diabetes since 15 March 2000 - my junior year of highschool. Yikes! Currently, I work at AYUDA, Inc. in Arlington... http://www.ayudainc.net/. AYUDA strives to empower youth to become leaders of social change within diabetes communities around the world. It's a mouthful but it works... I'm proof of that. Every year, we do summer camps (Campo Amigo) for kids throughout the developing world with type 1. This past summer was my third camp in Ecuador with AYUDA and hopefully not my last. I'll explain more later. Here are a couple pics of my campers from Campo Amigo Ecuador 2007 :)
Peace. Love. Insulin.