Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You gave me questions. Now you've got answers! Part 2b.

Now for the second part of Amylia's questions. I have to say I think I've been putting this one off. Diabetes questions sometimes baffle me. I'm not always thinking about diabetes, I just tend to deal with D related issues in the moment and move on. I think that's why sometimes I find it hard to understand what people are talking about when they want balance between diabetes and the rest of their lives or are overwhelmed by it all. I don't usually feel that way, so it's difficult to relate. So I've done my best to answer the questions Amylia asked....

What's your weakness when it comes to diabetes, and what's your strong point? Do you have a breaking point? When do you know if you've hit it? - Amylia

Food is my weakness, plain and simple. I don’t think this is uncommon for a person with diabetes. I have fallen into many traps. Reasoning with thoughts like “if it’s low carb, I can have a lot more,” or “it’s only this one time that I’ll be eating this outrageously carb filled meal, and hey that’s what insulin is for.” Also being a teenage girl who just happens to have Type 1 Diabetes, results in a strange relationship with food. I spent my entire 8th grade year and the beginning of 9th grade eating just granola bars and vitamin water for breakfast and lunch eat day. Although I maintained one of the smallest sizes I have ever been, I would not recommend this type of eating to anyone in their right mind. You are probably thinking oh Jillian you’re only 16, the smallest size you’ve ever been?! Well it’s true, after about 2 years with diabetes, I started gaining a lot of weight from a combination of the diet the doctors had me on, increased insulin needs, and the type of insulin regimen I was on. Therefore I was always the more than chubby kid, and we all know what goes along with that. I’ll save the sob stories. So of course at age 12 to 13 all I wanted was to be thinner and prettier and whatever else I could come up with. Hence the granola thing and yes my parents were aware of my strange eating habits. But I already had strange eating habits and going on kicks of certain foods was normal for me. Plus the weight loss didn’t exactly make me radically thin. Now the problem is I need to add more nutritional aspects to my diet. I know what's right for me, about portion size, and calories. But let’s just say I’m not big on the veggies and such. So food, definitely food.

This one is too easy. My strong point is the numbers. I can calculate my insulin to carb ratios and correction factors with the blink of an eye. I also can see a problem in my basal rates by looking at 2 days worth of my numbers and without basal testing. I usually make the correct change on the first try. The numbers make sense. They give me piece of mind, I know how to work that system.

Breaking points….hmm. Well I can say that every time my doctor comments on how much insulin I am using, I am usually very close to telling him off. I’m taking a total of 20 less units of basal insulin than when I was on Levemir. To me that seems amazing, to him, “it’s an awful lot of insulin.” I know he means well, and he wants to encourage me to be more active and loose weight, but it still stings.

But my actual breaking point usually comes in the seat across from my doctor’s desk in his tiny cluttered office. It’s happened maybe 2 times since I’ve been his patient. The first was after returning to him after almost a year of just going to our family doctor because we had a lot of other issues to deal with. I came back with an Alc of 10.3%. The second, was the appointment just after that. He asked me to try Symlin at the previous appointment and I did. I came back 2 months later expecting a slightly better A1c. This time I had actually been working on my diet and managing my insulin better with the help of Symlin. No such luck, 10.5%. I cried in that chair and left the office in tears. When it doesn’t seem to work, no matter how hard I try, that’s when I break.

I’ve decided to surprise you with who’s next!

By the way this is officially my 100th post, it would be 101 but I deleted my actual first post somewhere along the way. Whoops, but it was embarrassingly horrible... Thanks for sticking with me, here's to many more!


landileigh said...

you are an amazing young lady. diabetes or not. i can understand amylia asking you the questions, as you are extremely articulate for your age. thank you for the answers, as everyone's dealings with this disease just adds to the information that we all need.

thank you!


Cara said...

I think we all go through that food issue at some point in some degree. Females are natural food consious due to all the emphisis put on being thin. Add the fact that we have to count every carb that enters our mouth, and food tends to become an obsession.
By the way, I am going to be in Rockville the last weekend in January. :) I'll think about you while I'm there. I'll know you are nearby.

Donna said...

You are so well adjusted to your diabetes & your life. That is so important. You don't seem to get caught up in the small, meaningless things. And that's good. This has to add to your overall health to take this kind of attitude. Keep it up. You're giving us all something to strive for.

Jillian said...

Landileigh, thank you for the compliments. I'm glad that you got something from my answers, I try to provide whatever I can to help.

Cara, food issues. I don't really know any girls who hasn't had some sort of problem. I have a friend who told me she went through a low fat cheese phase when she was in 4th grade. All she ate was a low fat cheese sandwich for lunch and picked at all her other meals. It's so sad the focus on weight in our society. I think that's why now I'm really trying to focus on being healthy no matter what size I am.

Donna, I don't know if I'm well adjusted or just viewing diabetes through rose colored glasses. It's not like I haven't had struggles with diabetes, I just choose not to dwell on them. Personally it's a waste of time, I could be doing something more important.

Naomi said...

I think the general consensus is that you *are* a well-adjusted young lady with an obvious talent for blogging and an easy-going manner. You express yourself well and I think we're all happy to have "met" you.

So there.

Jillian said...

Naomi, fine fine I accept all the compliments... if there is one thing I need to work on that's it.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Food is definitely my issue too.

I also agree with the rest of us here about you - and am so glad you're part of the OC!