Diabetes, Uncategorized

Justalittlesweeter goes white water rafting

As a 20 year old with a zest for an adventurous lifestyle, I am determined to let nothing get in my way. So when I saw the advertisement for a spur of the moment trip to New River Gorge, West Virginia I jumped at the opportunity.

I had never been white water rafting and to my horror the prior trip-goers had enlightened me on the number of capsized rafts and concussions years prior. Not to mention the guides failed to mention we would be sleeping in a platform tent, and the 90% chance of rain. Naturally I was a little nervous.

When we arrived at New River Gorge National Park I was stunned by its beauty. We took a large well-loved school bus up and down the narrow, winding mountain roads to the river entrance. In which the bus driver earned the name “wizard” for precariously making it around the narrow turns. When we got our raft out on the river, I noticed how the ripples were beautifully sparkling in the sun. Small, brightly colored swallows peppered the sky like confetti and fluttered happily about, chirping to each other. Large, jarring rock formations stuck out from the river in every which way, and our raft guide told us the names of each one based off which animal it resembled.

Earlier that morning I had done a careful dance of calculations in my head prior to eating breakfast. I had set an activity profile for 50% of my normal basal rate and reduced bolus rates. Like clockwork, immediately before we left camp for the rafting trip, my blood sugar read 94 arrows down with 4 units on board. I panicked and started drinking Gatorade and eating an energy bar.

Now my anxiety was higher than it was before. If I was too low, I wouldn’t be able to paddle or participate in the activities for the day, which I did not want to do. I had no idea what the rigor of the activity would be or the impact it would have on my blood sugar, so I began talking to one of the trip guides about what the day would entail and explained that I was diabetic. She didn’t seem to understand and was shocked that I didn’t tell her sooner, even though I had written it on the medical form and discussed it with another guide. This only escalated my stress even more, and caused me to feel a bit shameful of my condition because she didn’t know what I was experiencing. I took a deep breath and let some time pass. The plan was that we were going to be spending the entire day on the river so I knew that I needed to have my supplies with me. I then went to the raft guide and told him that I’m super athletic and able to paddle but I just need a place to put my bag during the paddling trip. He was much more understanding and showed me which raft I would be in and where to place my bag. Another raft guide, seeing the ziploc bag of snacks exclaimed- dang girl, you need all of this?! And I replied, “Trust me it’s better for all of us this way.” Lol.

Things I learned through this trip:

1. How to advocate for yourself by expressing your needs and stick your ground when questioned by others. (This can be difficult as a diabetic because we are often misunderstood.)

2. That it is better to be prepared and ask questions in advance about the schedule.

3. It’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out because most people want to see you succeed.

Things that made the trip more stressful:

1. Not knowing the exact schedule of activities and meals so that I could plan ahead with my insulin timing.

2. Not knowing anyone prior to the trip made asking for what I needed a bit more difficult, especially in a camping scenario.

3. Having never white water rafted before, I had no idea how the experience was going to affect me or others if it turned out that I needed to take a break from paddling.

On trips like these, diabetes has a way of rearing it’s ugly head and making sure that you do not forget about it despite the challenges of a new circumstance. Even with so many unknowns, I still had a great time and enjoyed learning something new while overcoming the challenges of diabetes. I think that life with type 1 is about learning to embrace the unknown factors while making decisions based on the known factors.

Every time I do something new that scares me a little bit, I find more faith knowing that I accomplished something great. I leave with more faith in God for carrying me through the stress leading up to the event and sustaining me throughout it. I leave with more faith in myself knowing that I tackled more obstacles than the average bear, which helps me become a stronger diabetic warrior day by day.

Diabetes, Uncategorized

What *not* to do when hiking a mountain

So about two weeks ago I set out on an adventure to visit my friend, Meghan. Meghan lives in New Hampshire and we met in college. I told her “show me all the New Hampshire things” and boy did she ever.

We started out on day one of our adventure with a hike. Now, I’m from Maryland, where a “hike” would consist of a leisurely stroll around a lake. When Meghan said we were going on a hike, I was like sure, I can do that.

Hike a mountain, that’ll be fun!

So we set out at 7:15 in the morning. We stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts which is where my first mistake took place. I should’ve prepared myself before I went in, because Dunkin’ Donuts blueberry muffins are my weakness.

If you know anything about diabetes or carbohydrates at all, you could notice that this was a terrible decision on my part. The fluffy sugary-ness of a blueberry muffin is a taxing price of over 68 carbs, and about 8 units of insulin.

Usually before any sort of activity I subtract or take less insulin for my food. I was combatting high blood sugars due to traveling and eating different foods, which meant that I started the morning off already high. Then I figured I’d take all the insulin because it was a 2 hour car ride away.

Insulin is so slow. – My doctor

I should’ve remembered this as I took the 8 units on my way to my hike. I even tried to take insulin 15 minutes before I ate to avoid a spike. For those of you reading this who think I’m a crazy diabetic at this point, I also ate an egg with the muffin hoping that the protein would balance out the carbs. I don’t think any amount of protein could outweigh 68 grams of carbs, sigh.

Two hours later, I’m still riding in the high 200s when we arrive at the park. Because of my high blood sugar, I had to go to the bathroom very badly and Meghan told me that I was lucky that there was an outhouse at the bottom. I just thought I was lucky that there wasn’t a bear in the outhouse at the bottom of the mountain.

So, we set off; bags packed and windbreakers braced. Not even 30 minutes into the hike, I got a double arrows down alert on my cgm. This meant that my blood sugar was dropping very quickly. I was already 200 with 5 units of insulin still working from breakfast, and a 6 mile hike ahead of me.

Oh boy, here we go.

Obviously when you have diabetes you pack for a disaster. I even asked Meghan if I should bring backup insulin in case we got stranded. I had the snacks that I would need to raise my blood sugar in case of this exact situation but I didn’t want to have to use them.

So when I saw the arrows heading down I turned my pump off and started drinking my Gatorade as we kept walking. I didn’t want to make Meghan stop, we weren’t even 30 minutes in. It took us 3 hrs to get to the top as a reference so we weren’t even a quarter of the way to the top.

As we kept walking I kept drinking Gatorade and watching my sugar going lower and lower. It was an impossible situation because I was fighting against the 5 units I had already taken, and walking. This meant that I would need double the amount of sugar to raise my blood sugar. Finally, with no hope of raising it while walking, I asked Meghan if we could take a rest.

Meghan jokingly said “already?” But once I explained to her what was happening she was very patient and understanding amidst my frustration. We peacefully sat by a waterfall along the way. While I ate fruit snacks and drank Gatorade we noticed how the sun reflected beautifully off the sparkling water.

Like a good diabetic I sat there for 15 minutes to wait for my blood sugar to rise enough to keep walking again. I think I was heading towards 70 at this point, but I knew it was dropping very quickly so I wanted to take care of it before it got too difficult to treat.

Finally, I made it up to 119. And we began walking again. Although, 15 minutes of hiking later I was back down to 80 again. At this point I just said screw this I’m hiking a damn mountain today and munched on fruit snacks and a cliff bar while my blood sugar coasted at 75 the rest of the hike.

What not to do when hiking a mountain: hike with a blood sugar of 75 the whole time.

I felt very foggy and I wish that my vision was clearer so that I could focus better on the sights that surrounded me on the way to the top of the mountain. Other than my head though, I felt fine and was physically capable of making it to the top. I wasn’t comfortable with doing activity with a blood sugar of 75 but I thought that it would have to do for now. Obviously if it dropped any lower I would’ve stopped and treated again.

Three tiresome hours later we made it to the top of the windy, chilly, Mt. Pierce. I was relieved and thanked god that we had finally made it and that Meghan put up with me the whole way.

When we got to the top we sat down on the rocks and ate a perfectly balanced protein/carbohydrate rich lunch while taking in the view and running in a to a few other hikers. Some of them had been hiking for 7 days throughout the white mountains.

“Where are you off to next?” They asked us, their camping sacks swinging behind them.

Meghan and I looked at each other, “the parking lot”, we replied.

“I struggled just making it to the top of this one, pal.”

We joke about it because I told Meghan that it was basically a worst case scenario for me and my diabetes, and my blood sugar had made me very unprepared. Although the experience of hiking a mountain was unforgettable and it certainly gives us both a great story to tell.

I’d really like to try hiking a mountain again, but this time without eating a muffin for breakfast.


Insulin Pump vs. MDI

I’ve always had a tricky relationship with my insulin pump.

When I was young, the twin boys that went to my elementary school both had the insulin pump. My parents and nurse always tried to convince me to give it a try, but I thought of the tiny box attached to my waist at all times- when I run, dance, play and sleep- it would always be there. That was something permanent that I did not want at the young age of seven. I didn’t want to have this box attached to me forever. I wanted to be free and normal. Or at least the best I could. Staying on MDI at the time was a tiny sliver of normalcy that I could cling to.

When I got to middle school however, what was “normal” changed for me and I soon realized that it was less normal to pull out an insulin pen than it was from to bolus from a tiny box that looked like a phone. Finally, I caved and decided that the pump was the best way for me to blend in.

I realize that in the past I have always chosen my treatment method by the option that made my disease the easiest to hide.  Now that I have matured in 15 years of living with diabetes, I want to choose the method that will help me to be the healthiest. I have never wanted to have to deal with diabetes and the pump has been such a physical symbol of that. The pancreas that I wear on the outside, my battery pack, robot parts, that are so easily visible to others and is often mistaken for an iPod shuffle or phone. When you don’t want to live with a disease, it is so much harder to combat these comments from others that serve as a reminder that you are not normal. I think this will be an ongoing battle in my mind & maybe some of us can relate.

My goals for this year were to pursue health physically, mentally and spiritually. To work on getting better in order to feel better. At first for me that meant taking a time away from the pump and going back to basics with MDI. But now I think it is time to return to the pump so that I can gain better control. It is so interesting how these things come and go in life, and I am constantly reminded of this verse:

For everything there is a season and a time. A time to cry a time to mourn, a time to laugh and a time to dance.

And now its time for me to return to the Tslim X2!

I encourage you to embrace the seasons of change in your own diabetes care.


In a new light

Isn’t it funny how much we change over the years? I heard a quote recently that said if you cringe when thinking about your past, that means you have grown as a person. As funny as it sounds I think that it is actually true.

Over this weekend I was looking back at some old pictures and Instagram posts. These pictures reminded me of a certain time, and exactly what I was thinking and feeling at the time.

Over many years, I have always carried Type One diabetes as a burden. It’s been so heavy. It’s been so hard, it’s impacted my relationships with others and with food.

There are so many reasons why diabetes is rough and hard to handle. There are so many days I hate the feeling of a high or low blood sugar.

Ten years ago, I didn’t want a pump or CGM because I didn’t want it to be seen. A couple years ago, I would have never walked up to a complete stranger I saw wearing a medical device. A year ago I would have never told a group of non-diabetics about my illness. A year ago I would have never told a boy I liked that I had type one diabetes.

But today. Today, I take every opportunity to talk to people with CGMs. I take every opportunity to be surrounded by the support that friends with diabetes can offer. I walk into the desire god has placed on my heart to start a T1 support group on campus. Today I make diabetes jokes and allow others to support me through it. Today I wear bright patches across my devices. Today I don’t care what others think of me or my illness anymore. Today I am freed. Today I see diabetes in a new light.

I’m writing this because it has just come up on 13 years with diabetes for me. I’ve had diabetes longer than I haven’t had diabetes. And the revelation I’m describing has only happened in the past 6 months. I know how hard it can be to open up about having diabetes and share this part of your life with people, but doing so has made me feel so much more known, blessed, and supported. And that is my wish for you too.



Since I shared in my last post about episodes about high blood sugar, I figured that I would continue along that trend and tell of some close calls that I have had, one being rather recently.

So, when a diabetic goes on vacation, packing supplies is like packing clothes. You pack exactly what you need for each day, and then two more in case you have to change your outfit 3 times every day.

Heading off to Hilton Head, SC for family vacation in July, I seemed to have double the amount of supplies that I needed for the week we were going to be there. The one thing you don’t bring, is always the thing that you need, and I was reminded of this as I was shaking in the bathroom at 3:30 in the middle of the night in our hotel bathroom without ketone strips.

I had just gotten violently ill. Maybe I ate too much at dinner, maybe I had food poisoning, maybe I was dehydrated??? I looked at my pump, and the CGM read HIGH. Basically if your blood sugar is so high that numbers do not show up anymore, that is very bad.


I thought back to the previous day before. I had been in range all day……..but then I spiked at night right before dinner. I have always been warned about wearing your pump to the beach. The rule is that you can have it off while you are at the beach, but you need to reconnect every hour to receive the hourly basal dose of insulin. But I had been active all day so I started stretching my basal. I didn’t connect every hour because my blood sugar was lower……and I was also snacking throughout the day……..I thought of all these things as I contemplated how much of a correction to give myself. The correction PLUS two more for when you are this high.

At some point between then and 8:00 am my dad had found a CVS and gotten some ketone strips for me. I couldn’t seem to stop shaking or rid myself of the nausea that kept repeating on me while I took the ketone reading. It read MODERATE ketones, a dark pinky color on the test strip.

I was scared. I thought about calling my doctor, but I remembered that she was on vacation as well, and I was afraid to tell her because I was ashamed. Having ketones this high was obviously a big mistake, an epic failure on my part, but I can’t perfectly take over for my pancreas ALL the time.

It’s strange because when you are first diagnosed with diabetes, they train you for all sorts of different out of the blue circumstances like this one. But only once in 12 years have I had to treat my own ketones, and that time was when I had the flu. So I was not confident that I could bring myself down from these moderate ketones, and I didn’t want to ruin my family’s vacation. I thought I was going to end up in the hospital.

Somehow my Dad miraculously remembered that during diabetic ketoacidosis, your body attacks itself because there is not enough insulin. The treatment almost seems backwards. You have to feed your body to get it out of attack mode. But I was afraid to eat because I was already in the 400s.

So I got out of bed, the world spinning around me. And I am not being over dramatic when I say that I felt like I was going to pass out and I couldn’t walk. I was able to make it downstairs for breakfast without falling over. I ate oatmeal and strawberries, a low-carb, high fiber breakfast that I was confident wouldn’t give me a huge spike. And dang nabbit Dad was right because I felt a heck of a lot better after eating breakfast.

I was still shaky though, and my body was still in attack mode. I clearly wasn’t in any condition to go to the beach that day. So I sat in the hotel and slept while my family did some sight seeing. Every once and a while I would grab some Twizzlers or nibble on a pop tart because “you have to feed it”.

But hey that worked, because by the afternoon I was no longer in the 400s and I was feeling much better.

This situation has made me very fearful for what can happen when our blood sugar gets out of control. Next time I think a pump break will be in order when I go on a week long beach vacation. Lessons learned. I am so glad that I was able to treat it on my own without having to go to the hospital.



Eat the cannoli

I briefly recall being in Boston, MA with my friend and her mom. We had committed to walking to a famous bakery in that was four blocks away. My blood sugar was coasting at 89.

I figure “I will have a cannoli in a few minutes, my blood sugar will be fine.”

And far too often we find ourselves hanging on the edge of our comfort zone of a low until it gets to be too much.

I had underestimated to distance and strenuous walk that this place was. And when we finally got there, the line was out the door. I dug in my purse searching for a roll of smarties, and diabetes slammed them in my mouth.

When we finally got our cannoli, I showed them my blood sugar and my friends mom said, “oh gosh, eat the cannoli!” To which I sighed at her response and the delicious looking cannoli that sat in front of me.

Last night I made the mistake of treating myself to a smoothie. I counted 30 carbs for this 16oz smoothie full of bananas, mangoes and strawberries. It didn’t look like there were very many carbs when the lady made it.

2 corrections and 396mg/dL later, I realize that the smoothie was WAY more than 30 carbs. Because of the magnitude of corrections that I took before bed, I woke up at 4:41 am to the screeching sounds of my urgent low on my cgm.

I feel bad for this monstrosity of a noise waking my roommate. But when I got up to get juice I nearly fell over.

I lay on the top bunk of my bed shaking and forcing myself to stay awake until my blood sugar comes up, while writing this post.

Admits my frustration of this low, I think of the strength and difficulty that we take on every day (and night) as diabetics managing a full-time chronic illness. Sometimes we will nail the bolus for difficult foods, but we will always enjoy them nonetheless. Eat the cannoli, drink the smoothie, live your life to the best that you can. Diabetes doesn’t give us a chance to hide from the uncertainty of new things, but allows us to embrace them and learn how to take control of our health in its midst. I believe I will live a long and healthy life because of these lessons that living with Type One has taught me.


New year, same blood glucose habits?


A new year brings a whole slew of resolutions. Mine has been the same for the past twelve years, to have better blood sugars! One year I even asked Santa if he could take away my diabetes for Christmas, but my parents said he couldn’t make that in his workshop at the North Pole.

You may have seen my post about how my blood sugars have been more manageable recently. I partly owe this to the Dexcom G6 CGM and tandem control IQ, which automatically adjusts my basal rates. This has drastically eliminated my lows and rebound highs, and it does it automatically so it is one less thing I have to think about! But mostly, my recent success with my blood sugars have been because of my change in habits.

I have always been one to ride high, out of fear of going low, so I tend to override my pump and take less insulin. It took me some time to coax myself into taking the full amount. “You’re not going to go low, Sydney, you are never low, you’re always high.”

I have also committed to *accurately* calculating my carbs. It is easy to nonchalantly say, I always eat 30 carbs for breakfast and forget about the coffee cream, the strawberries and the extra piece of toast that weren’t allotted for within those 30 carbs. The most influential has been takin my insulin 15-20 minutes before my meal. Insulin is so slow, and if you take it right before you eat, you are not allowing for the insulin to work properly, therefore you will always be chasing the high which occurred because of those 15 minutes. (Aka the first 12 years of my diagnosis was me chasing the high caused by those 15 minutes).

The reason that kept me from doing it for all these years was 1. I’m stubborn sometimes and I don’t like it when someone tells me to change my habits, especially when it is as life impairing as managing my diabetes, even if it is coming from my doctor or my dad. 2. I was never sure how much I was going to eat as a kid. I never wanted to stuff myself to reach the amount of carbs that I had counted for , or not be able to eat until I was full because I didn’t take enough insulin.

What I do now, is take the amount of insulin for what I think I am going to eat. Then later if I end up eating more I will take another unit or so for the extra carbs that I didn’t originally count for. My doctor told me this as well, taking a little upfront is better than nothing. Although ideally, if you are going to treat yourself to a bagel, which I know is going to be 60 carbs, I will take that full amount and maybe more, 20 minutes before. Because even if 15 carbs aren’t accounted for, my body cannot process it without the insulin to cover the carbs. Again, just something I have learned over time.

So this year, I am resolving to keep my same habits, and eventually reach an A1C of 7!

7 is my all time goal- it may take quite a bit of time to come down from the high 8 range. But once I reach an A1C of 7 I’m throwing a party -and you’re all invited.

So to all new, and old resolutions, best wishes and Happy New Year, and New A1C!???

And To all my diabuddies out there, drink some champagne and eat some cake tonight, because last year’s carbs don’t count!

Comment below other changes in habits that have helped you reach your A1C goals!


My body can’t handle being high anymore, and other stories I tell my endo

adult black and white darkness face
Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com

It’s exactly 9:47am, 47 minutes after I’ve eaten breakfast. I am in music theory and I hear the first of several high blood sugar alarms start to go off. I sheepishly peer down at my insulin pump, hoping that the reading on the continuous glucose monitor is just a bit above 200.


It says 246 double arrows up. That means that my blood sugar is rising, fast. This means that my blood sugar could raise by 90mg/dL in 30 minutes. That’s why I feel groggy. It’s not because I’m tired. Maybe I should stop drinking this coffee. Shoot. Where are we in the textbook?

I attempt to hold my head up while my head is pounding. My vision is fuzzy. I feel like a bobble head about to topple over, and it takes all of my strength just to stay upright. Diabetes anxiety sets in. Diabetes anxiety is fear that people with diabetes associate with having out of control blood sugars. We don’t know where our blood sugar is going or how our body is going to react.

The scenario I just described, is one of the many times that a high blood sugar impacts my day. When blood sugar readings are too high, people react in different ways. I have started getting very groggy and tired feeling. Sometimes I get a headache, and sometimes I feel sick. My brain is very slow, moving through molasses, I can’t process anything.

Recently I’ve started getting very concerned when my blood sugar gets this high because of this strong reaction. This bobble head feeling is very new for me, probably occurring within the past three months. It literally feels like my head is made of lead. This feeling ia very scary, so I started researching what happens to your brain during episodes of high blood sugar. Extended periods of high blood sugar can be very damaging to blood vessels throughout your body and in your brain. Additionally, high blood sugar is especially damaging to nerves within your brain, which affects the brain’s white brain matter. All of this damage can eventually lead to vascular cognitive impairment or vascular dementia.

My diabetes anxiety is that one of these high blood sugar episodes will occur. Once my blood sugar reaches the upper 250s-300s my day is over. Any chance of me learning something or doing something productive is over. When my blood sugar gets this high the only thing I can do to feel better is take a nap, drink water, and take insulin. Sometimes it takes a long period of time to bring your blood sugar down which can be frustrating too, because I don’t know how long I will feel like this.

Why is her blood sugar this high you may ask? My blood sugar has been in very good control recently. Because I have realized how being this high impacts me so much, I have put more effort into measuring my insulin exactly. However, there are multiple factors that go into effecting your blood sugar, many of which are outside of your control. Some include:

And the list goes on. It just so happens that the day that I had described, I had only eaten about 24 carbs for breakfast, a hard boiled egg and 2 pieces of toast. But I had forgotten to bolus until after I ate. I have realized the importance of taking insulin 15-20 minutes before I eat. Because when I don’t, when I forget or when I am in a hurry, these high blood sugar episodes set in.

I have started the habit of taking insulin in my dorm in the morning before I leave to get breakfast. By the time I finish getting ready, leave the dorm, and arrive at the dining hall, 15 minutes have passed. It sounds simple really, this was something my doctor had told me for years, but until I put the effort in I hadn’t realized how much of a difference it actually makes. When I first started doing this, I was amazed when after breakfast my blood sugar coasted at a steady 120 all morning. I was amazed! Wow! And then because of my good numbers in the morning the rest of my day was suddenly better!


Now I am staring at my cgm report seeing a mostly straight green line, and a average blood sugar of 179. Now 179, is a little high, as the goal is 120, but never in 12 years have I ever seen a green straight line and an average blood sugar under 200.

I am usually very fearful for my endocrinologist appointments because it seems like the equivalent of diabetes-shaming, my blood sugars have never been where they need to be. But now, staring at my green straight line, I can’t wait to go to my endocrinologist and tell her the miraculous discovery I have made after following her advice.

chart 2


Take a hike, Diabetes!

There remains a divided topic among diabetics, “Are endocrinology appointments scary?”

Yes, Yes they are. I have yet to leave an endo appointment without crying my eyes out. Why is it so difficult, you may ask. They are only trying to help you. This is true the appointments are aimed for the best. But some may not understand the worry that a patient goes through as they sit in the chair examining the Continuous Glucose Monitor line that looks like a ride that belongs at Kings Dominion.

I can illustrate the picture for you perfectly every single time. I walk in the room, already angry and upset dreading the appointment ahead. The nurse takes my blood pressure and squeezes my arm too tight, asks me what my blood sugar was this morning (in which I proceed to tell her the best blood sugar I’ve had all day), then asks for the pump handouts and raises her eyebrows when she sees the report.

I sit in the teal foam chair, agonizing and feeling like I’ve gotten better. I’ve tried so hard to take my insulin before meals and eat healthy.

The doctor enters the room in patterned glasses and the white lab coat. She asks me the same question every time, “So, what do you think?” I can never tell if this is meant to be rhetorical and sarcastic or genuine because I’ve tried answering both ways. Sometimes I take it as a greeting and just say good or fine. She won’t take good or fine. She’ll look at the sheets as if to say “does this really look good or fine to you? How do you really feel?”

This really sucks is how I really feel.

Then at each appointment, she will scroll through the report and say, “You’re just too high all the time.”

At my most recent appointment, I asked to see the chart and immediately I felt the welts of tears in my eyes. It is so hard when this disease is depends on your lifestyle. When someone would look at my report, they would see the spikes, the highs and the lows. But they would not see the agonizing efforts that I have put in to try and take care of myself; the temporary basals  to prevent lows, the long workouts, the low carb meals, and calculating every morsel of food in your head.

There I sit, still in the teal chair holding back my sobs while she calls out each rate that needs changed. All I am thinking, is there is no way. I am in the heat all day hiking and kayaking at the summer camp I work at, there is just no way that I will not go low.

These worries, the guilt all circulate my head. When the appointment is over I grumpily stumble out of the office while my dad makes *another* appointment with the receptionist.

I manage to make it just to the parking lot before I explode.

I try so hard to improve, but the line looks the same every time.

I sob, as my dad puts his hand on my back and leads me to the car. I cry and cry. I cry so hard I ugly cry while my dad sits there watching me.

A few weeks later I cautiously watch my blood sugar during New Student Orientation while walking around campus. Every night that week I go low at night in the hotel room, cursing at the new rates.

A week after that I am back at camp and stuffing myself with Gatorade and fruit snacks. I struggle to keep my blood sugar high enough to participate in the activities and keep an eye on the campers. Half way through our hike, two Gatorade bottles down I said to myself “I’m changing the rates.”

Sometimes, I feel like diabetes should just take a hike! Go away, I’d be so much better off without it. But then I think about all that it has taught me about myself, how to be strong and confident, and how to take care of my health. It may be easy to tell diabetes to take a hike, but its really about enjoying the nature walk.

close up of tree against sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Diabetes, Uncategorized

I Hate Needles

“OMG!!! How do you do that?”

“You mean, you have to take a shot?”

“You have to prick your finger?”

“I HATE needles!”

Quite frankly, no one really likes needles. I mean, how often do kids go skipping off to the doctors office, gleefully singing, “I get a shot, today I get a shot today.” Not very often. Unless they are thinking about the lollipop afterwards.

I don’t like needles either. It is not comforting to think that I have to prick my finger eight times a day and take a shot whenever I eat. (Ever since my pump broke I have been on shots again.) But its something I’ve gotten used to. I tolerate shots. And if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here today.

When I explain my disease to others, or they see that I have to do the grotesque motions to manage my health I often get these comments. But they upset me. Because I have no say in the luxury of hating shots. It is simply what I have to do every day to keep myself alive. And when people ask if it hurts, I don’t know what to say. Because it doesn’t really, to be honest. The needles available nowadays are really small. And the fact is, I’m used to it.

But if I say no, it makes me seem like some sort of superhero who is immune to the pain and disgust of needles. But if I say yes- am I playing the pity card?

I still remember the first time I pricked my finger, at Children’s National Hospital. All the things that were happening in the hospital seemed surreal- like something I just had to endure for a few days and before I knew it, it would just be that time I had an IV and took a few shots in the hospital. But no, it was now part of my everyday life. Imagine being told at seven years old, that you will have to prick your finger and take shots everyday for the rest of your life.

Yea, I didn’t like that idea either. At the beginning it was rough, I used to hide when my parents had to give me a shot. And I would cry. And they would feel bad and wonder why this happened to me.

But I got over it. Because there was no sense in hiding, I was just going to get the shot anyways. So I surrendered, put my guard down and began to tolerate needles.

Because I no longer had the luxury to hate them.