Tuesday, November 10, 2015

T1D Looks like...

Type 1 Diabetes looks like family. 
T1D does not only effect the person with the condition but also their loved ones. During the first few months after my diagnosis, I remember how on edge my mom was. She was worried about my numbers, cooking proper meals for me, and how I was coping with this new lifestyle. Over the years, the worry has lessened but it will never cease to be there. When times get rough, I know my family is always there to support me in any capacity required.

Type 1 Diabetes looks like highs. 

These highs are not a sign of weakness or that a person is not taking care of himself or herself. The fluctuations are influenced by stress, insulin, activity level, sickness, and a thousand of other random factors that a person living with T1D has no control over.

Type Diabetes looks like supplies. 
Medical supplies are not optional for people with Type 1 Diabetes, they are a requirement to live. In just 1 month a person with T1D checks their blood glucose a minimum of 150 times and takes 120 shots ( or inserts 10 infusion sets if using an insulin pump). That's a minimum of 1,800 FINGER POKES PER YEAR! And these supplies are not cheap. People with T1D struggle constantly to pay for these necessary supplies, even with help from insurance.

Type 1 Diabetes looks like the lows. 
Low blood sugar can occurs when too much insulin is given, meals are skipped, or when one exercises more than usual. Most of the time though, low bg happens randomly at very inconvenient times and for no logical reason. Low blood sugar makes a person feel shaky, dizzy, out of energy, hungry, irritable, and incoherent. Sugar is required to return to a prefered state of being.

Type 1 Diabetes looks like emergency room visits.
When sickness strikes the body of a T1D, it wrecks more havoc than it does a non-diabetic. It is hard enough to deal with the normal flu symptoms but add to that trying to control erratic blood sugars and ketones. In many cases, a trip to the ER is in order to help with dehydration, nausea, and either extreme highs or lows. 

 Type 1 Diabetes looks like friends. 
But when times get tough, friends are always there to pull you through, I am so lucky to have a wonderful group of friends that always support me, some who also happen to live with T1D. They are always there for me to vent to and help me focus on the good of every situation. 

Type 1 Diabetes looks like me. 
It is a part of my life, but it is not all of my life. I am first and foremost a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, and a figure skater who just also happens to have Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes looks like me but it could also look like YOU. Type 1 Diabetes can strike any person regardless of age, lifestyle, body type, and family history. So if you ever suspect it, please do not brush it off as an impossibility and plan a trip to the doctor. Know the warning signs, it could save a life. 

Warning signs of Type 1 Diabetes: 
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination/bedwetting 
  • Nausea/Vomiting 
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy/drowsiness 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Labored breathing 
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Increased appetite 
  • Sudden vision changes 
  • Fruity odor on breathe 
  • Confusion/unconsciousness 
  • Tingling hands