Monday, September 29, 2014

Gluten Free is not a choice

         I have been following a gluten free diet for almost a year now after suggestion from my endocrinologist. I passed the Celiac blood test, but I was having symptoms which is quite common in people with T1D. Since making the switch, a fog has lifted in my body and my BG numbers have become more stable and consistent. I also finally like bread. It's been a change for the better and I would not go back. Many people think that gluten free diets are a fad, and people do it to loose weight or be hip. But for some people it is their life. I have several friends who suffer from Celiac disease and following a gluten free diet is not a choice for them. Their small intestines cannot physically handle the gluten.  They must be strict and follow the diet exactly or they can become very sick.
       The problem is that gluten free food is ridiculously expensive and the selection is quite small, although that is slowly changing. Necessities like a loaf of bread are $6.25, sometimes more depending on the store. A box of crackers is about $5.00 and a pack of 4 muffins is $7.00. That is just not fair. They need to eat too. And sometimes it is hard to afford these food staples that they need for everyday life. They did not choose the gluten free life, the gluten free life choose them and I think insurance should help. The gluten free diet is like a medication for  so  it is only fair that they be provided with a certain amount of money per month to purchase those necessities such as bread and pasta. It does not need to be a large amount of money, $100-$150 per month would help. Anything would help. It would make the disease feel like less of a burden. Going to the grocery store would be less traumatic, as seeing the price rise at checkout is quite frightening. If anyone reading this is involved in the medical profession, please speak up and help those who follow a gluten free diet because of legitimate medical reasons. We need your help to make a change!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

JDRF Walk 2014: Type One becomes Type None

I'm the walk to change my future type. 
      Twas the night before the one walk, and I was not sleeping. I was fighting. I was struggling, startled by a BG of 40 at 3:00am. I awoke shaky as ever and stumbled into the kitchen for some juice. This situation repeated itself again at 6:00am. When it was time to get up for the walk, I was not excited. I was tired, annoyed, and still on the low side. But then I realized that was the very reason I was walking. To stop this endless cycle of discomfort for myself and all those suffering from Type 1 Diabetes. I decided to be the walk to change my future type.
      I got to the walk and my spirit was immediately lifted. Just the atmosphere  is something I cannot even describe. The feeling of togetherness and the understanding that everyone around you gets it. They know what you are going through because they go through it themselves. The emotion is strong. You are sad that you have to be there, but happy to have that sense of community. This year, I invited some close friends in addition to family to walk with me. I did not know how they react, but it was a success. They were wonderful and I loved having them there. I know that I have an amazing support system, but having some of them there physically was so special. Thank you all for walking with me.
The magical pod 
       After the walk had ended, I had the opportunity to talk with representatives from many of the most popular diabetic supply companies. As always, I enjoyed stocking up on glucose tablets, but also got some wonderful information about the technology available. I had a great talk with a rep. from Insulet regarding the Omnipod tubeless insulin pump. He even put a demo pod on me. I am now convinced Omnipod is in my near future. I thought it would feel bulky, but it was so comfortable. I adore the idea of being able to bolus with a remote because it will come in handy while figure skating. The waterproof feature is also helping to win me over because I love water parks and this will allow me to continue to receive insulin while swimming. I am very excited to begin the project of cutting the cord and getting the Omnipod up and running.
      The walk always leaves me feeling happy and enthusiastic about the future. I am excited to see what technological advancements will be made this year. The JDRF is one step closer to creating a world without Type 1 Diabetes.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A 24-hour walk with D


             I recently joined the Walk with Diabetes campaign to give people a chance to virtually walk in the shoes of a person with Diabetes. I decided to document 24 hours of all my thoughts related to D. Unsurprisingly the day I selected was a rough one, but I think it was a good representation of the unpredictability of this disease. Here is a glimpse into my day...
           By this point, I was finished with D for the night. It had managed to dampen my spirit and left me feeling defeated for the day. Then I got this tweet... 
           I instantly felt ok again. I was reminded that having a rough day is normal, as sucky as it may be. Rough days are usually few and far between, but they hit you like a ton of bricks. There is nothing you can do about it but take a deep breath and move on. Tomorrow will always be better, tomorrow is another battle. A battle we can win together. Diabuddies unite for life.