About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What's In Your Bag? Summer Edition.

Every so often I like to publish a "What's in your Bag?" blog. I wish more bloggers did this; it's fun to have a glimpse into other's lives. It's like a peek in the medicine cabinet. I'm not sure what sense it appeals to, maybe just to be nosy? Maybe to see how other people do things? Who knows, but it's fun.


So here's mine. I don't clean out my purse ahead of time. So whatever is in there is emptied on the counter and published for all to see. I always hope that there isn't a bunch of crap or anything embarrassing in my purse when I decide to do this blog!

Bag: 2010 Coach, black w/ sequins. From left to right (as best as possible). Jergens hand lotion, glasses in case, National Geographic zebra purse size notepaper (zebra striped inside!), Glucagon kit, Jurlique hand sanitizer, hLoreal face sunblock, trident blueberry tangerine gum, ReliOn glucose tabs-fruit punch flavor, Philosophy lip gloss in Vanilla Birthday Cake, MAC clear lip gloss, car key to my Subaru Outback on a clear heart keychain, MAC Blot Powder, Kenneth Cole purple wallet, Crystal Light White Grape packet for water bottle, pens (green felt, pink ink, blue ink), Rimmel lip liner in 032 INNOCENT and Softlips lip protectant in vanilla. To the far right is the 3rd book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, entitled Fifty Shades of Freed (yesss, I carry it with me in case I have time to read where ever I'm at), and to the far left is my testing supply bag.

Bag: From Target, make up bag.

Bayer Contour meter and test strips, Accu-chek Multiclix, Omnipod, Novolog, napkin. Hidden underneath all the stuff: used test strips. Inside zipped pocket: alcohol wipes, 2 extra Muliclix refills, an empty syringe needle that's old and has never been used.


Normally, my iPhone would be in there, as well, but I was using it to take the pics.

I hope someone else will post a "What's in Your Bag" and tell me so I can look! Men, too. Show me what's in your MANdbag/MANpurse!






My CELIABETES Rap.

My CELIABETES Rap.

(Ok, so please try to read/rap this in the fashion of the Beastie Boys. A little em-PHA-sis on the bold words. Be kind. It's my first rap.) :D

(Record= scratch a scratch a scratttttchhhhhh)


My life changed FOREVER
Twenty TEN was the YEAR
That I started on this journey,
That I FACED.MY.FEAR.

"YOU'VE GOT THE CELIAC
AND THE D.M.ONE
Here's a meter and some test strips
Go and HAVE.SOME.FUN"

Three months later with the ENDO
Say "I don't know what I'm DOIN"
Doc says "DO BETTER-
It's your kidneys that you're SCREWIN!"

I go to DIETICIAN,
"DON'T EAT THIS, DON'T EAT THAT!"
But it's harder than it looks
Hey, I'm also CELIAC

CAN'T EAT WHEAT, CAN'T EAT BARLEY,
CAN'T EAT OAT, CAN'T EAT RYE

So many foods excluded
Yo I think I'm gon-na DIE

Since then, I'm improvin'
Life is blessed in ev'ry WAY
I manage these monsters
They won't RUIN.MY.DAY

A1c is goin' DOWN
Must be doin' something RIGHT
CGM flatlined all day
No ALARMS.AT.NIGHT

Trying to learn the CELIABETES
Still I AIN'T.NO.PRO.
But- give a girl a BREAK
I'M ONLY 2 YEARS IN, YO!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Playing Whodunit with Diabetes.

Sometimes you have high blood sugars, random, whack-a-do highs. The mind of a diabetic will consider every possible factor that caused it. Here's my thought pattern, in pictures.

Hmm. Why has my bg been high all day? Was it the gluten-free carb-y goodness?


Or maybe my insulin has gone bad? How many days ago did I open it? More than 28?


Could it be the weather?


Too much vino? Couldn't be, it's not even opened. Just the sight of it?


Did the dog do it? She does look guilty.


Maybe it's...ME?


Just a few of the things that go through our heads while we sit and look normal to other people.




Friday, May 18, 2012

Re-united and it feels so GOOOOOOD.

Yesterday I had an unexpected visitor. I was home yesterday afternoon, preparing to take my dog Bella to the vet. I opened up my garage door, loaded her up into my car, and quickly ran back inside the house to grab my purse/keys. When I returned to the garage 40 seconds later, there was a guest in my garage.


She was a friendly little beagle, but seemed distressed and upset. She kept scratching on my house door for me to let me in the house. I live in a neighborhood of townhomes with lots of friendly neighborhood dogs who stop over occasionally to say 'hi,' but I had never seen this one. She had a collar, but no tags. And was quite thirsty and upset.

Hmm... what to do... I think to myself. CRAP...I have a vet appt in about 40 minutes... I don't have time to deal with this... I don't want this responsibility right now... Shoot. Okay, deep breath, I probably have a little time to walk Beagle around the neighborhood and knock on a few doors. So I did. Nobody recognized her. Shoot. Not feeling good about dropping her back off in the streets and driving to my vet appointment, I decided to take her with. I put her in a kennel and loaded her up in my car (she did NOT approve of this, as she howled the entire time I drove to the vet). I wanted to see if she was micro-chipped.

The vet advised me she was not chipped. Double shoot. Additionally, the vet told me that beagles can roam a far distance from their home. They put their noses to the ground and follow a scent until they are who-knows-where. I wondered, then, why couldn't she smell her way back home?

As I drove home, my mind filled with worry. What am I going to do now? What if I can't find her home? It's obvious she belongs to someone; she's well groomed with a cute collar. Someone is missing her right now. But who? And where?
Well, I guess you are going to have to stay with me until I figure something out, until we have exhausted every option for getting you home.

So when I arrived home, I brought in Bella my Welsh Corgi, followed by Beagle. Beagle whined and whined. I fed her and gave her water, and gave her an extra bed. I pet her little wagging butt and told her I would do everything I could to get her home, to the owners she obviously was missing.


We walked around the neighborhood some more, still no dice. I made 10 signs and hung them up all over the neighborhood mailboxes, hoping someone would recognize her. I called Animal Control to see if she'd been reported missing, but they said they don't service my rural area. I began calling the vets in my town, as well as in the surrounding towns, to report a found beagle.

About 4 1/2 hours into my journey, and getting ready to make plans for Beagle to stay over night, I remembered the name of one pet hospital close by that I hadn't called. I picked up the phone, not feeling very optimistic.

Me: "Hi, um, I was just wondering if anyone had reported a missing beagle recently?"

Vet office: (Surprise in her voice) "Well YES, we actually had one reported missing this morning. A female."

Me: "OH REALLY??" (hopeful). Well, I had one show up in my garage today. She's not micro-chipped and has no tags."

Vet office: "Does she have a green collar?"

Me: "Yes!"

Vet office: (now sounding so excited her voice was a little shaky) "Her name is Lexie. And her owner is VERY distressed and would love to hear from you. Here's his number."

Hang up.

I called the owner, Jake, and sure enough, Lexie was his. He and his girlfriend had been looking for her all day after her leash thingy broke when she was outside going potty. She took off and they couldn't catch her. He was visiting his girlfriend's house, who lived 6 miles away from me (he and the dog actually live about 35 miles away on the other side of town, which explains why the dog couldn't smell her way back home).

I took Lexie over to his girlfriend's house. He was waiting in the driveway. Lexie, after sitting on my lap while I was driving, licking my face nonstop, jumped off my lap and into the arms of her beloved owner.

Driving home, all I could think was that God put Lexie the Beagle in MY garage, at that exact moment, (literally I would have been gone a couple minutes later) because he knew I would help. He knew what I was capable of achieving, more than I did. He knew Lexie needed help. I had this immense emotion of feeling so grateful that I didn't turn my head when I first saw her and say this is someone ELSE'S problem, I don't have time for this.

It made me think about my diabetes and celiac, and how many times I've approached people in the co-op or grocery store who I recognize are diabetic (fellow pumpers) or celiac (gluten free food in the cart) and offered support. How many times I've thought 'what a coincidence that I was in the store at the same time as that person.' It is no coincidence. God knows what we are capable of, who we are capable of affecting and helping. He knows our strengths better than we do. He challenges us by putting us in certain situations and hopes we make the right decision to help.

I was like Lexie at one time. I was lost, lonely, didn't feel I had a voice and didn't think anyone could help me. I didn't know where to go. I didn't know how to manage my diseases or whether I would be able to live a normal life again. Messages of encouragement were sent, tweets, emails, and even "coincidental" blog postings that talked about exactly what I was thinking about/feeling that day.

I hope I have more opportunities to throw someone a bone and that I will recognize the opportunity when it arrives. I hope you will, too.




Monday, May 14, 2012

DIABETES SURVIVALIST-How prepared are YOU?


Usually when I think of survivalists, I think of the extremists featured on shows like Doomsday Preppers and a few other survival-type shows I’ve seen briefly in passing. But after developing diabetes in 2010, I started to think of the ‘what ifs’. I never really had any interest in learning about a survivalist lifestyle or mentality. The first time it crossed my mind was last year after a tornado hit nearby and wiped out power in my neighborhood for a good half-day, and it turns out I was one of the luckier ones. I sat there, worried, not opening the refrigerator because my insulin was inside. When your power is out due to an outage like that, you don’t know how long it’s going to be out. An hour? A day? A few days? From that storm, some areas around me went without power for three days. What if that had been my area? What would I have done?

When I think of being a survivalist, I don’t think of it in terms of government conspiracy theories and the like. In fact, it’s not a government shake down or a terrorist attack that I worry about daily; I worry about the things that are more likely to happen to me- being affected by an act of nature, maybe one bigger (think Hurricane Katrina), that may displace me from my home temporarily, or have me without power for a long period of time. There’s a reason I stockpile diabetes supplies as best I can. You never know if something were to happen wherein no one would be able to access pharmacies or get the supplies they need, when they need them. So it’s better to have them now, before you need them. I have stockpiled samples of lancets given to me by doctor’s offices, and also paid full-price cash for extra vials of insulin (nice that it has a lengthy expiration date) and lancets and test strips, just so I have extra on hand. In a previous blog entry, I showed you pictures of my ‘betes stockpile.



Today I bought a book at Barnes & Noble. It’s called How To Survive The End of World As We Know It by James Wesley Rawles. The title sounds a little bit extreme, I know. I liked this book over others I saw because it’s a little less extreme than some of the others (read: less weird). It has a section just about diabetes, and what you can do to keep your insulin cold in the event of a catastrophe. He also talks about the importance of stockpiling your diabetes medications and supplies as best as you are able. There are other chapters that talk about refrigeration, medication, foods to stock up on, and even creating your own “bug out” bag, which is like a big backpack that is pre-packed with necessities in the event you had to leave your house NOW. I will be creating my own version of a ‘diabetes bug-out bag’, filled with insulin, supplies, carbs (glucose tabs, juice boxes), first-aid kit, non-perishable gluten-free foods, and then other essentials that are not diabetes-related, like dog food for my pet. That way, in an emergent situation, I could just grab my bag, run to my fridge and grab the insulin (I always have cooler bags pre-cooled in the freezer for this) and put everything in my bag and get the H* out of the house.


I think it’s a good idea for us as PWDs (or really, anyone with any ailment that requires medication or special care) to be prepared for an emergent situation, whatever it may be. This is a good book that I recommend you reviewing for ideas. It’s even available at the library, if you don’t want to buy it, and also available on Amazon for about $11.50. The author is also the founder of the website www.survivalblog.com, which I had never heard of before picking up this book today. This book is, in my opinion, a must-have for every well-prepared family.

I am interested in hearing if anyone else has already started their own version of preparing for any level of crisis, and if so, would you share with us what you’ve done so far? How do you feel about creating a “plan” for these types of situations, or creating a ‘bug-out bag’? Share your thoughts.

I’ll be sure to show you my amateur version of a ‘betes bug-out backpack soon and you can tell me what you think of it (what it needs, doesn’t need, etc.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Why a clean house makes for better diabetes management (for me).

Okay, let me start by saying I am NOT a health professional of any kind. I am not offering medical/dietary/lifestyle advice, because I am not an expert. But I am an expert in my own life, and I can say the the above-mentioned title of this entry applies to me.

I don't do well with clutter. Or mess. I can't think clearly. This dates back to college, when I couldn't study at my place if it was messy or if there were dirty dishes everywhere. I'd have to drive off to the library or a coffee shop. (It's one of the reasons I probably would not make for a very pleasant roommate...I'm not just Type 1, I'm also Type A!).

Clutter for me is a mental distraction. It distracts me from whatever I am trying to concentrate on, whether it's reading a book, working on a project, or even trying to manage my diabetes. Clutter and mess shifts my focus away from where it should be.

I've read that the clutter in your house is a reflection of the clutter in your head. This is definitely true for me. There are times when I'm feeling stressed or maybe I'm not feeling well, and seeing a dirty house only makes me feel worse, whereas looking around and seeing a picked up, organized house makes me feel somehow better about the situation, no matter what it is.

I'm a person who always makes their bed. It's a small thing you can do to make your room look instantly more organized and clean. You can have crap all over the floor, but if your bed is made, the room looks 200% better. In fact, I have a little saying I cut out of a magazine a long time ago that reads MAKE YOUR BED EVERYDAY. "THE STATE OF YOUR BED REFLECTS THE STATE OF YOUR HEAD," SAYS ZEN BUDDHIST PRIEST AND AUTHOR KAREN MAEZEN MILLER.

Also, there's nothing better at bedtime than crawling into a nicely made bed with the covers oh-so-slightly pulled back. Crawling into a bed that is un-made from the night before feels gross to me.

Plus, I never know when I'm away from home and need at the last minute to have someone stop by my house and let my dog out to potty. Nothing like someone who doesn't come over often coming in and seeing your house look like holy hell. It's just not my style. If that's your style, no judgement. It's just not for me. And I don't mind if your house looks like that, I just don't like mine to.

Back to the point I was attempting to make. When my house is dirty, it makes everything feel a little harder, including my diabetes. I am much more relaxed when my place is clean. I can think more clearly. I feel less stressed. I can sit down and relax. And keeping it clean is less work for me. Keeping the house picked up saves me from having long, tedious cleaning sessions (which always result in my blood sugar dropping low). I might save the bigger cleaning tasks for the weekend, like mopping and scrubbing, but throughout the week I will keep it picked up, vacuumed and dishes cleaned, and keep stuff from piling up. I have a little place, so it's pretty easy to keep it clean. Here's a little peak of how I like to keep my house.




One of my secrets to keeping your house clean is to not have much stuff. I used to suffer from "stuff-itis." I don't anymore. I have donated all of the household items that I don't use or wear. I recently went through every room in the house and donated any item that I hadn't used or worn for a period of time. Getting rid of "stuff" is free-ing. You have more space to breathe. More empty space to look at. Less things sucking up the energy in the room. Even though my place is little, I like to keep an open feeling to it, and the easiest way to do that is to get rid of excess.

My other secret is I open my mail immediately and act on it right away so it doesn't pile up on the counter. If it's a bill, I go online and pay it. If it's a call I need to make, I make the call right then. If it's something that needs to be filed, then I go right to my office and file it. What's not needed goes into the recycle bin. No piles of mail. Boom, done.

I know some people will find it ridiculous to think that a clean vs. dirty house could affect your diabetes management. But for me, it really does make a difference. I need a clear head in order to make good decisions every day about my diabetes. I also do well without the added stress that I feel when my house looks like a pile.

Keeping a clean house is just one small thing I can do to make life a little easier!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Focus on the good.


May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so I've been pondering a lot about my celiac disease lately.

I was thinking about my gluten-free diet this week. These days, I'm pretty ok with the gluten free diet. I still get a little sad when I watch cooking shows on the Cooking Channel, because most often they include gluten ingredients that can't easily be swapped out. And sometimes I feel sad when I see Subway commercials because their sandwiches look so GOOD. This week, I was sad because I got excited about Domino's pizza's announcement of a gluten-free pizza, only to have them quickly announce it is NOT safe for those with celiac disease. BUMMER!!

It got me to thinking that the label of "gluten free" has sort of been lost in translation (at least in restaurants). This is frustrating for a celiac, because how one restaurant defines "gluten free" might not be how another one defines it. Some may feel that a food is gluten free because they do not use any gluten ingredients. But what gluten free should mean is that not only does it not contain gluten ingredients, but is also free of being cross-contaminated with gluten or free of spices that may have a gluten anti-caking agent in them (thus, why we celiacs have to order all food with NO SPICES/SEASONINGS on it). It can be tough for a celiac to eat out safely, as you might have guessed, because there aren't any regulations on restaurants when it comes to so-called gluten free menus. So the only way for us to eat out safely is to call ahead of time to the restaurant and ask 20 questions 4 different ways, until we are convinced that the restaurant has gluten-free practices in place. Because like you've heard me say here before, the Mayo Clinic Celiac Center (where I am treated) has determined the amount of 1/54th of a bread crumb of gluten is enough to set off an auto-immune reaction in a person with celiac disease. (Think of a tiny bread crumb that falls out of your toaster onto your countertop- 1/54th of that). That equates to a portion small enough that you wouldn't really be able to see with the naked eye.

Has anything good come out of having celiac disease? Hmm. Good question. I wouldn't call it a gift and I certainly wouldn't give it to you, but I'd say a few good things have come out of it.

1. I've become an amazing cook. I can't believe how many things I can make from scratch! I even baked my own homemade tortilla chips this week. YUM.

2. I've become an expert food label reader. I can identify just about any ingredient on a food ingredient listing and know what it actually is.

3. I've become a smarter food shopper/budgeter. Because some of my prepared/boxed/frozen gluten free foods are pretty expensive, I've learned how to save money on all the other things I purchase to make up for it.

4. I don't eat fast food anymore.

5. I've gained an understanding of other types of food allergies, and feel confident I could cook a safe meal for just about anyone.

6. I've met new friends at grocery stores just by seeing what's in their grocery carts. If I see gluten free food items in their cart and see them struggling in any way to read a label or staring aimlessly in the freezer section, I almost always introduce myself and offer to help them find items in the store. I know that "lost" look on people's faces; I used to have that face!

Having multiple chronic diseases has taught me to count my blessings and not my troubles. I find the silver lining. Or at least I strive to! There are days when I struggle, I mean realllly struggle, days where I feel angry that I can't live an easy, spontaneous-filled life and I have to pull myself back and focus on the good things. Having these illnesses is what prompted me to start a gratitude journal with daily entries of things I am grateful for, because I don't want to focus on all that's been taken away from me. It can eat you up if you let it. My daily goal is to stay positive. Most days I succeed at that, but not every day.







Sunday, May 6, 2012

Drooling over this.



In a little over a month, it will be my birthday. I love my birthday. It truly is a real celebration of life and good health (good health is subjective. I consider myself healthy!) I've already been pre-shopping online to find birthday gift "suggestions" for my loved ones who have no idea what to get for me.

One thing I've wanted for a while is a solution to being a person with Celiac Disease and being invited to a bbq. You see, I can't eat food off other people's grills because of risk of cross-contamination with sauces or the occasional pizzas cooked on the grill. Or in the case of last summer, when a friend cooked ribs on his grill and dumped cans of beer on top (beer is loaded with gluten). And forget about side dishes- potato salads, pasta sides, desserts, you name it- it's all off limits. Soooo, I always have to pack a little (ok, not so little) cooler with my own food, and I can feel really left out sometimes when I'm eating my re-heated gluten-free leftovers from the night before and everyone else is enjoying freshly grilled steak and chicken. You know how torturous grilled food smells. You want to lick the hot grill it smells so good. Aside from dragging a grill around in my car, or tying one on top of it (not an eye-sore at all), I wondered what I could do.

Then I saw this on Amazon. Made by Lodge, this is a portable little cast iron grill that can cook about 2 steaks and some veggies on it at a time. It's little; inconspicuous, something I can put in my trunk and bring to a bbq without anyone really noticing. And it's so cute I can't even stand it. On Lodge's website, it runs about $140 but on Amazon it's only $79 (hint hint to my loved ones). It even has an optional grill cover- how cute is that???? FINALLY, I might be able to eat grilled food right alongside my friends at a bbq!

I love when I find solutions that contribute to making life with celiac and/or type 1 easier. Little victories! Having celiac disease forces you to be innovative, creative, and patient. Improvising and substituting becomes a part of daily life. It's brought out traits in me I didn't even know I had.

Am I the only one? Have any of you ever felt that your disease has brought out GOOD traits in you or made you stronger?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cooking Fool - Celiac and T1 Style.

Today was a fun but busy day. I volunteered at the Walk For Animals all morning, and unfortunately the weather did not cooperate for a good part of it. It heavily drizzled for a few hours, was windy and cold. Good thing I was having too good of a time handing out poop bags to notice too much. (Pay no attention to the straggly looking hair in the photo. It was from hours of wind and rain).


In the afternoon, I began my mission of menu planning for the upcoming week. The menu is based off my newest (and possibly most favorite EVER) cookbook, The Healthy Gluten-Free Life by Tammy Credicott. All recipes are gluten free, dairy free, soy free and egg free. It has some of the best recipes I've ever seen in a gluten-free cookbook, and you can bet I'll be wrapping up this baby to give as gifts to even my NON-gluten free friends. It's that good.

I know it looks like I make way too much food to eat, but generally I freeze half of every entree I make. I freeze them in individual-storage containers for on-the-go lunches(the gluten-free, healthy version of a frozen dinner). It makes for great, quick, ready to eat suppers for later, too.

If you notice, I've been eating quinoa flakes for breakfast quite frequently. For you non-gf eaters, quinoa flakes are like oatmeal, only higher in protein and in my humble opinion, better tasting. It cooks on the stove top in 90 seconds (you can also do microwave) and I usually add either almond butter, peanut butter, almond milk, blueberries, walnuts, agave nectar, or apples and cinnamon. So filling and haven't had any issues with it spiking my BG as long as I bolus ahead of time.

Sunday:
apple cinnamon quinoa
baked chicken with Easy Beans, broccoli salad
skillet rosemary chicken with green beans and apple sauce (which I make fresh in my Vitamix blender- so easy!)

Monday:
quinoa with almond butter and blueberries
BLAT's to Go (Bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato wrapped in romaine leaves), baked sweet potato
baked pork chop, zucchini with mushrooms

Tuesday:
vanilla honey quinoa with blueberries and almonds
chicken noodle soup with fresh baked buns and side salad with fresh dressing
bay shrimp veggie salad, baked sweet potato

Wednesday:
quinoa with almond butter and blueberries
leftovers for lunch and dinner

Thursday:
quinoa with walnuts, almond milk and blueberries
large salad with fresh dressing, loaded baked sweet potato (healthy toppings)
citrus ginger chicken, green beans, side salad with fresh dressing

Friday:
apple cinnamon quinoa
oriental chicken salad (homemade dressing)
pot roast with vegetables

Saturday:
ham/spinach/sweet potato breakfast scramble
leftover pot roast with vegetables
*WILDCARD SUPPER* maybe a splurge meal, like a homemade GF pizza?

I also picked up some new tea from Teavana. It's strawberry lemonade with blueberry. It's caffeine free and on ice, very refreshing!! This is the actual set I bought.

I fell away from my walk/jog schedule for a bit after my bout with severe low blood sugars, but am ready and back at it tomorrow! So excited! So, after I do my two volunteer shifts at the church, I'll be doing some walk/jogging. Then I'll be putting the Cooking Channel on my tv for some background inspiration while I whip up some crazy magic in the kitchen for the week's menu plan. I love cooking. It's so relaxing to me. You just take a deeep breath of those fresh herbs your chopping, smell the baking bread in the oven, smell the aroma of the ginger chicken... there's nothing better.








Friday, May 4, 2012

10% of T1 Diabetics have THIS. Have you been screened?

Celiac Disease.

If you have t1, how much do you know about this closely-linked-to-type-1-diabetes genetic disease?

DID YOU KNOW...

-10% of type 1 diabetics have undiagnosed celiac disease (statistic is from the American Diabetes Association)

-The American Diabetes Association recommends that patients with type 1 diabetes be screened for celiac disease at the onset of the diabetes diagnosis. Did you also know that many endocrinologists screen their type 1 patients more often- once a year for several years and then every two to three years- since celiac can develop later in life?

-A recent study revealed that the older the patients were when diagnosed with celiac disease, the greater their chances of developing other auto-immune disorders.

-Did you assume that you would have obvious symptoms if you had celiac disease?

Think again.

Celiac disease, for many, has no symptoms for years, even decades. But that doesn't mean that it's not causing all kinds of internal damage even though you don't feel it. This silent disease can wreak all kinds of damage to your immune system, causing additional auto-immune diseases including thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, Addison's disease, vitiligo and alopecia, among others.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed before celiac disease. When people have type 1 diabetes and undiagnosed celiac disease, they may have fluctuations in blood sugar levels due to malabsorption issues. Blood sugars may be more difficult to control and may cause more hypoglycemic episodes.

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, and this is especially important to me as a t1/celiac, knowing how many other of my t1 comrades may have this disease and not know it.

I hope each of you will take a moment during your next endo visit and discuss your risk for celiac disease. It's just one extra blood test that can be added to the #($&#!! of blood work tests we already have done for our diabetes check ups. Just remember; not every one with celiac disease has noticeable symptoms. Some may have it years before having symptoms. I was one of them.






Tuesday, May 1, 2012

STRONGER

Wow, where has the time gone. Last week and this week have gone by fast. I've been really busy, like stupid busy. You know when you have annoying things that need to be done that take up a lot of time? I've been checking those off my list over the last week. These chores have included mopping the floors, catching up on A LOT of laundry, giving the dog a bath, going through everything to give as donation items to the Disabled Veterans organization, yard work, sending out birthday cards that I'm SUPER late on getting out, and tonight, detailing the inside of my car for about 2 1/2 hours (it's spotless- just the way I like it).

I've also been picking up various volunteer shifts at my church; two every weekend. This weekend I will be volunteering at the Humane Society's Walk for Animals in addition to my 2 shifts at the church. I'm on poop bag patrol; a position I've held all but two years since 2002. Don't believe me?


Which leads me into what I wanted to talk about. Conversation pieces. How your diabetes equipment can be a tool for meeting new people. During my first 6 shifts of volunteer work, I've met a lot of new people; people that I would normally never have the opportunity to meet; people that run in different circles than I do. I've had numerous strangers approach me to ask "what that is on my arm" which is my Omnipod, of course. It's been such a blessing to meet so many nice people who are genuinely curious about type 1 diabetes. I've had the opportunity to dispel many of the misconceptions held about type 1. My experience has been that no one that has approached me has bad intentions or is a rude person on purpose; they are truly just confused about diabetes. People, in general, have kind hearts I think. And it's nice to know that there are many people out there who now know (thanks to the bravery they had to come up to me and ask) that you can get type 1 as an adult (it's not just a childhood-diagnosed disease nor do you outgrow it), that you can be "skinny" and have diabetes, and that some kinds of diabetes are not managed or caused by diet and exercise (or lack thereof). People are kind and will even ask me "Can I ask you something about your diabetes?" as if they are afraid of offending me. My answer is always OF COURSE you can! I am not ashamed to have diabetes and you can ask me what you want.

I kind of suspect that God put me in a position to volunteer, not solely to help out non-profit organizations, but to help get the word out about type 1 diabetes. Because I've had more conversations about it with strangers in the last 3 weeks than I've had in the last two years. What a great opportunity! It's also helped me in ways that I can't express. It's made my heart feel 5X bigger.

I'm feeling stronger than ever. Maybe it was the insensitive comment made by my healthcare provider during a routine endo appointment yesterday (she said there was just no way she could ever do what I do with having to manage two medical diets). You could see the relief on her face that she didn't have to. Guess what, chick, you'd do it too if you had to, and what a horrible mean thing to say to someone who HAS to. Pretty crazy when the rudest people you encounter as a diabetic are your healthcare providers. Don't worry about me though; what she said made me feel stronger that I am able to do it and that most of the time, don't mind doing it.

Have you ever heard this song? If you have not, I strongly encourage you to play the short video below. The words PERFECTLY apply to a person who has a chronic illness like 'betes or celiac, like moi. And you.



The diabetes roller coaster can bring you up and down so easily, and it's nearly impossible to always have a good frame of mind about it. I hope that whatever you're going through right now that this song will help bring you reassurance that things will be ok. Just hang on.