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Fighting The Unseen - Life with Diabetes

Ramblings, blabings and ventings of life with the big 'D'

Updated: 2018-03-05T11:07:57.020-08:00




Well, back again. I just read through all of my old posts. It seems crazy how much things have changed from when I first started posting. My eyes have been great since my last Vitrectomy. I recovered a lot faster from that one. They ended up having to put a gas bubble in which meant that I had to be face down or on my right side for 4 days afterwards. It seemed so insanely annoying at the time, but when I look back now, it was a tiny price to regain my sight. There have been no bleeds since then (knock on wood). I just have to wear reading glasses because of the lenses I had put in after my cataracts were removed. But that's no biggie either. Since May and coming back to work I have managed to lose 35 lbs which is awesome. I hope to lose 10-15 more and then I will be quite satisfied. My diabetes has been in great control since about October. It just seemed to change over night and has stayed that way ever since (again, knock on wood).
I was dating a new guy before Christmas, but he broke up with me on New Year's eve. He claimed that I was too sick with my diabetes. What he actually meant to say was that he was going to get back with his ex as I had caught them gettin' it on that night. Men. But still, how can someone be so damn insensitive. "Sick" with diabetes doesn't really happen anymore. Even with all the bullshit I went through with my eyes I never once considered myself 'sick' with diabetes. People are so stupid.

Where does the time go?


It has been a loooooooooong time since I last wrote. It has been a busy summer workwise. Life as a 'casual' officer sucks, to say the least. We are on-call 24-7 which takes any chance of a life away. My 5 year relationship with my boyfriend died a month ago because of the lifestyle I am forced to lead. Oh well. It's not like I can just give up a government job. On the diabetes front, on August 9 I decided that perhaps it was time to unload some of the excess weight I seem to have accumulated over time. I started watching my carb intake which, in turn, allowed my insulin intake to drop enormously. Before august 9 my average daily units was around 120-150, huge. Since then my average is around 70 units a day. I have also lost 10 pounds which feels great. I have a lot more to lose, and I know I am still taking too much insulin but it's a start in the right direction. I'm meeting with my dietician next week and I hope to work on my carb intake with her. It's really hard to go a whole day without consuming a lot of carbs. i just smply run out of ideas. I am not a cook, I do not cook nor do I like to cook. My oven has been broken for a month now and I don't miss it at all. So that leaves me with consuming foods that do not require much preparation or cook time. Plus, being a 'casual' makes it impossible to plan ANYTHING ahead so that makes even grocery shopping a chore. It seems that everywhere we turn we are being bombarded with these 'quick and easy' meals, fast food etc. It's so easy to just stop at McDonalds' and grab a burger and fries, but I have to remind myself that that is not the right choice. Oh well, one step at a time.

3 Months Later...


Well, it has indeed been quite awhile. It's not exactley that I've been busy, but rather that I've been too bored to blog. Today is my first shift back at work. What started as 6 weeks off ended up being 4 months. I had 2 vitrectomies in that time. Things have definitely changed in the sight department. I had my 2nd vitrectomy just over 2 weeks ago so I haven't completely healed, but what a difference. I can see almost perfectly from the eye I had my first citrectomy on. I can drive, I can read, it's awesome. I hated being off work for so long. Unemployment paid me jack shit so I was broke the whole time. My family has been amazing through all of this. They were at both vitrectomies and all the visits in between. I have spent more time in Toronto than at home. Or at least it feels that way. I am severely losing the weight loss game. I have gained so much weight from just sitting around the house. I wasn't allowed to exercise after both surgeries so that gave me a lot of couch time. I really need to get serious and get this extra weight off. I did quit smoking finally which is awesome. I'm super happy about that. Other than that, it seems that I have returned to my old life. Work. Eat. Sleep. The one thing that I did not manage to do while I was off was to get my blood sugars in control. I have had a ridiculous time with that. I can't seem to do anything right. I am on soooooo much insulin, which of course doesn't help the weight loss game. I really have to get these disease in check or I may end up checking out way before my time. and that thought scares me.

3 Down More to go!!!


Had my first weigh in last night. I was super nervous and sure that I hadn't lost anything. Since Sunday my bloodsugars have been...well, perfect. It's been great, however, on Tuesday and Wednesday I had pretty bad lows where I ended up eating my face off. I thought that I had blown any weight loss, but obviously I was wrong. I lost 3 pounds and am pretty happy about that. If I can readjust the settings on my pump then maybe I won't get those lows and I'll be able to lose more next week. Here's to hoping!!!!

Finally Gonna Doing Something About it!!!@!


Well, I took that first big step//I joined Weight Watchers this week. I knew I had to do something. I'm off work for 6 weeks due to eye complications (waiting for surgery) and after the first 2 weeks I knew I had gained weight. So, I went. They took my height, asked a few questions and then it was weigh in time. Good Lord was it a shock!!!!! I weighed in at 197.2!!!!! That is absolutely disgusting. The lady that weighed me in was really surprised , she said that I carry my weight well. That does not matter to me...there are people on the Biggest Loser who weigh less than me!!!! Anyways, I'm happy that I got off my FAT butt and plunged in. Now is the hard part....for breakfast and lunch I do really well, I've been eating great and keeping track, but after lunch I fall apart. I get the munchies hard core EVERY afternoon. For instance, for breakfast today I had the new Weight Control oatmeal and a yogurt (fat free and no sugaradded), then for lunch I heated some left over cabbage casserole (cabbage, sauerkraut, hamburg, rice, tomatoes), pretty healthy. the an hour later I had a granola bar. now, 3 hours later i just had a grilled cheese!!! what the hell?!?! So, the snacking is my issue. Anyone have any advice? I need something that will fill me up. I do not seem to own an 'off' switch. I keep eating and eating and eating...just like the energizer bunny. I'm definitely not the nibble on veggies type, that just doesn't do it for me. I've gone over my points pretty much everyday. I did well Friday, but then went out drinking all night. ooops. I really want to succeed on Weight Watchers. I don't want to go back to work weighing 20 or 30 more pounds. Oh well. So, if anyone has any advice that is on weight watchers or has been on ww, then I would appreciate any help you can give.

6 Weeks of nothingness...what do I do???


Well, I am officially off work and on Unemployment. My eyes are so shotty that I had to go on sick leave. This sucks. Obviously. I went to the eye doctor last week, a new specialist, and I am having surgery March 6. So, until then, I can't work. This is a blessing indisguise of sorts. It was becoming way too stressful trying to perform my duties as an Officer the jail. It's a risky job on normal days, it's worse not being able to see. So, now I am home. Alone. All day, everyday while my boyfriend works. I can see this being an issue. Although this was only the first week, I know that I put on weight. All I do is watch tv. I can't drive because of my eyes so I can't go and work out. I've been trying to watch what I eat, but that's hard too because I am so bored I just want to eat. Oh well. Hopefully the snow will melt soon and I can start walking. I'm hoping that the 5 weeks left will go fast and that the surgery will allow me to get back on my feet.

Normal numbers???!!!???


6.4. I had to blink. I didn't think that my meter actually went that low...or wait a minute, I didn;t think my bs could go that low. For a minute I was surprised that I wasn't lying on the ground in some sort of hypo coma. My body is not used to being that number, that is low for me. But, I felt fine. I felt great actually. It was 3pm and I had just gotten up. I worked a 12 hour night shift last night. I got home just after 7am, went to bed at 8am and then slept till 3pm. It was wonderful. Then I remembered that I had to come back in for another 12 hour tonight. Blah. 12 hour night shifts suck big time. It is currently 10:30, only 8 more hours to go!! Definitely shitty. So, I made myself an egg and cheese sandwich and had a yogurt for dessert. I counted 50 carbs for that and bolused 5 units. I got to work and tested around 7:20 and was disappointed to see that I was 12.5. Of course I corrected and we will see what it is in a bit. The worst thing about working here is the food. Prison food. Most people would assume that jail food is horrible...oh no, it can actually be quite the opposite. I went to check out the fgood situation and here's a big fat banana cake with icing sitting there. Damn it all to hell. Of course I had to try a piece. Oh well. The cooks bake all sorts of good stuff like cookies, cakes, pies, tarts etc. It is brutal. The inmates gain pounds and so do the staff. The meals vary from healthy to fried. Every Sunday they cook roast beef or a turkey and have a traditional sunday dinner. They eat a lot of potatoes, and french fries. but for jail food, it's pretty tasty, just unhealthy. I've gained 20 pounds since starting here 2 years ago. I'm trying to lose it now, but the banana cake isn't helping that or my blood sugars. oh well c'est la vie i suppose.

New Year's Resolution...what?


So, I have never made a New Year's Resolution before, but I think it's a good time to start. It's the good ol' traditional lose weight, get in shape blah blah blah. However, I am going to add the element of getting this damn disease under control. I am ready to fight. I know that I am in for a long a hard battle, but let's go. I'm ready. I'm sick of the ups and downs I get ALL the time!!! I went to bed last night at 6.9 and woke up at 18.9! What the hell is that? 2007 was a good year though. I got my first insulin pump, which, as frustrating as it can be, has helped. Each day I curse the thing and wonder why I bothered to spend all that money on it because it doesn't seem to make ANY difference, but then I remember how my A1c has gone down and that when I look at it objectively, the pump has made a big difference. The last few months of 2007 were definitely the roughest months I've had in ages. My eyes have been so unstable. I never know if I'm going to be able to see when I wake up. I'm going to see a surgeon in January and hopefully he can do something for me. But I do know that most of this is caused by me and that I decided to pay attention to my health a little too late in the game, but it's frustrating going from a teenager who didn't give a rat's ass, with no complications, to an adult who yearns to have control and tries to have control, but has all the complications. The only thing I can do is persevere and hope that 2008 brings good things. So, here's to hoping. Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone!!!

Keep on Keepin; on.


It's December. How depressing is that. Christmas is right around the corner which means 2 things: it's winter and I have to buy presents. For a government employee I am damn broke. Scraping together money to buy presents is going to be fun. or perhaps not. and then there's the snow. My boyfriend and I thought it would be a great idea to buy a house 20 minutes outside of town. We bought it in the summer and it was great. Now....definitely not so great. I cannot see well enough to drive in the snow. My car has spent more time here at the jail (I'm a Correctional Officer in case you weren't aware) then at home in my driveway. I have become dependent on everyone else and I hate that. I went to my opthamologist's on Friday. I ended up having laser surgery in my left eye...again. It hurt like hell. I have a high tolerance for pain, but by the end of this session I was balling like a baby. It wasn't good. What I would love to know is when this B.S. is going to end. Or even IF it is going to end. Everyday I do my best to carry on like a normal human being, but I can't friggin' see and no one understands that. My boyfriend has been amazingly helpful and so have my parents and sister, but they still don't understand. So my doctor referred me to see a surgeon about my right eye (the one I can't see jack shit out of), but of course....I have to wait until the end of January for that. I know I shouldn't complain, it's only a month and a bit away, but when I can't's just frustrating. I'm sick of being the happy bubbly Lisa that everyone knows and expects. It's getting stressful. I also don't want a big gat pity party either. Last week I had to leave work because my good eye started bleeding. They took my shift away for the next day which was fine because there wasn't a hope in hell I could work. As a casual we have to earn our sick time which means working 160 hours in a month, not including over-time. I thought I'd be fine and get paid because I was sure I got the 160 in October. Nope, missed it by 1 friggin hour. I couldn't believe it. I had only worked 9 hours and definitely couldn't afford to be losing money like that. Luckily my Lieutenant talked to our Superintendent and they decided to grant me the one hour. I was/am very appreciative of that. Then, 2 days later I found out that they had also decided that I would need a doctor's note to come back to work. Now there's a kicker. I knew I couldn't just go to emerg and see any old doctor, they'd test my eyes and end up pulling my license. I waited until after the weekend and went and saw my GP who gave me the note. Lucky some may say. I really shouldn't be working...or driving for that matter, but really, i can't afford not to be. It's such a vicious circle (yes, I'm repeatimg myself, but it's true). So, that's where I'm at. Tired. Frustrated. Annoyed. Sick of dealing with this shit. It's a lonely disease that attacks your body and your soul.

Back to the same ol'


This is a post for the ladies. Seeking some advice here. I am so frustrated. So, it seems that my perfect blood sugars lasted for one week and then right back to out of control. That's right, my bs's were great for the week that I had my period. That has never ever happened before. It was such a great week. I felt like i had the control that i had been missing for years. Then, as soon as my rag was done, so were the good bs's. This has me so down. Also, on Wednesday this week my good eye started to bleed again. What the hell?!?!?! I haven't been able to see out of my right eye for 2 months, but I had gotten used to that...I know, weird. But now my other eye is @$%^#$! I had to go home from work because I couldn't see. Now, they won't let me come back until I am cleared by a doctor. I am scared to go to a doctor because they could pull my license. This is such a viscious disease. I feel like I can't do anything right. I need help.



I am in complete awe. It all started on Monday - well, actually on Sunday night. I decided to get on the scale. Yes, horrible idea, but it had to be done. It was not a pretty sight to see those numbers go as high as they did. It has been years since I weighed that much. I lost a lot of weight back then...but it's back. So, I decide, yes, it's time. It's time to make a change. I've "decided" this so many times it's ridiculous. But for some reason, it felt different this time. And so has been different!!! My blood sugars have been AMAZING!!! I have been doing so well this week it's unbelievable. I never realized I could actually have this much energy! The funny part is, is that I've gone to bed early almost every night because I've been so active during the day. Craziness. So now, I have to get my eating habits reined in. I have started this week with that as well. I have eaten breakfast every day which is a miracle for me. I'm just having issues with my hunger. I've been trying to eat right and everything but i find myself SOOOO hungry that I just start eating whatever I can get my fat little hands on. Any ideas anyone??? Hmm. So, here's my theory with the great BS. Ever since I got my pump I've only had the infusion sets in my stomach. For some reason I thought I'd try my leg last week and that is when I started getting these perfect numbers. Weird. Oh well, I'm not complaining.
I still can't see out of my right eye. I have two weeks to go until I go back to the opthamologists. I've been trying this "new" treatment: wait 2 months and go back. What a joke. I've had so many laser surgeries and so many injections that it blows my mind that we're just waiting. Like it's going to clear itself up. Nope, no such luck. I've gotten used to the whole one eye deal, I'm just very anxious about the snow. So far so good, no snow...but we all know it's coming.

Did I Eat Too Much Sugar?


It seems lately that a lot of people have been asking me the question that all T1's hate to be asked; " Did you get diabetes from eating too much sugar?". It shocks me when I think about how uneducated society is about a disease that is becoming an epidemic. I realize that the epidemic is T2, but honestly, people just have no clue. I would never walk up to someone with cancer and ask if they got the disease from smoking too many cigarettes...I am aware that there are various forms of the disease....I am somewhat educated. But these people who ask the stupidest questions...I often wonder how they survive and function in society.



Apparently it completely escaped my mind that yesterday, July 25, was my 16th anniversary with this blessing of Hell on Earth. Sixteen years sounds like a long time when I think about it, but I also have to remind myself that if this was 50-100 years ago, then I would be long dead by now. So, the question I blessed with this Hell on Earth or Cursed with it?

Ponderings from Within


The insulin pump...tonight, it has failed me. 26.4 mmol. What the hell is that. I changed the infusion set before I went to work. I checked my BG at 10 and it was 15.7, threw in some units, checked it again at 12: 22.2, again at 130: 26.4. That's when I had to leave work and go home to change my set. Sonce then it has slowly made its' way back down. It's now 3:30 and 20. God do I feel like shit. Once again reminded of this invisible disease playing in my body. Back to Toronto next Wednesday for more laser surgery. I just can't seem to get away from this thing. Every time I think I'm leading a normal life it resurfaces and mocks me. It scares me to think of the years to come and what it is going to do to my body. It holds my sight in its' hands and I feel like I'm living on borrowed time; that at any time it could take that away from me. Going for laser surgery seems to be part of my life. I go, have the treatment, and leave, but why should that be normal for a 26 year old? I don't think it should be, Yet it is. This is the constant battle of the unseen, and it scares me.





In reference to my last post I thought I would share some pictures. Trying to explain to someone how I see things through my damaged eyes is impossible, so I was happy to find some of these pictures. In the diagram, my eyes looks somewhat like the proliferative Diabetic retinopathy although I have had many laser surgeries and therefore bare many laser scars. The picture of the boy with the ball is looking out through a mild or small cataract. When a cataract gets bad, trying to see is like looking through wax paper - nearly impossible.

Queen of anger


I suppose that I should explain my unpleasant tone in my first post. It stems from sixteen years of frustration, betrayal, anger and bitterness. 'Complications' is a word that is highly associated with Diabetes. I seem to be the epitemy of that term. The first signs of trouble came at the age of nineteen in the form of two ulcers on my shins. They weren't just any little ulcer, they were three inches long by an inch and a half wide. It looked like I had the flesh eating disease. In time they healed, but not completely of course. Why would I be able to go back to having the smooth legs that every young woman wants? Now, seven years later, the wounds have healed, but the scars are disgusting to look at. Can I wear shorts? Not a chance. Or how about a bathing suit? Not in this life time. There was one day when I decided I would be adventurous and wear shorts to my fitness class at college. I was rewarded by a group of women calling me to their table in the cafeteria to inform me that my legs were disgusting and no one should have to look at that. Thank you. As if I was not aware of that fact as a nineteen year old girl. Why not take another crack at my self-esteem ladies? Eventually they became part of my body and I hardly notice them now. On to the next 'complication'. In May of 2005 I noticed that my sight just wasn't as sharp as it should be so I made an appointment with my optamologist. After a thorough examination he told me that he was sending me to an opthamologist in Toronto because there were some problems. On July 8, 2005 I saw Dr. Brent. It was an eight hour day as I had to undergo every kind of test imagineable. The end result? Diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and cataracts all in both eyes. 10 points to Diabetes - 0 for Lisa. Every Friday that summer I had to drive the 3 hours to Toronto and have laser surgery. Did it help you ask? Well, that's a complicated question. It helped with what was going on behind my eyes, but laser surgery makes cataracts worse, and that was my case. By Christmas I could hardly see. The year that followed was filled with trips to Toronto for laser surgery or Avastin injections. I have never been afraid or queasy with needles (duh, I'm a diabetic), but let me tell you, the thought of a needle going into my eyes made my stomach do flips even the circus would be jealous of. I had to get over that pretty quick - suck it up Lisa. 2007 brought the promise of regaining my was time for cataract surgery. I'm not one to believe in miracles, but that sure changed after I had both cataracts removed. It was like I was a whole new person. The world was so vivid, colourful and sharp. The day after I had my first one removed I went for a drive and had to pull over because I was crying so hard. It was my own little miracle. My doctor told me that things may go bad again, but I didn't listen, I was on cloud nine. Last week, three months after the last cataract came out, that cloud burst. I was scheduled for a follow up to the cataract surgery, but came out with devestating news. My eyesight was great: 20/30 and 20/40 compared to the 20/200 pre-operation, it was behind my eyes where the trouble lay. It seems that my eyes are still growing new blood vessels - not good. This means more laser surgery (every two weeks for 4 sessions), then more Avastin, and if that all fails, more surgery. WTF? I mean, I'm on the pump, I've been so good (well, compared to how I was before) I just don't get it. I swear someone out there has it in for me. It seems that, after a three month reprieve, I have once again returned to that frustrated, betrayed, a[...]






"Diabetes is like being expected to play the piano with one hand while juggling items with another hand, all while balancing with deftness and dexterity on a tightrope" - Marlene Less

"Every day that passes brings you closer to 'living with' instead of 'suffering from' " - Kerri of SixUntilMe goes on I suppose


So, Welcome to my blog. As you may have guessed from the title, I am a diabetic. I've had T1 for 16 years and I am sick of it. The 'why me' phrase doesn't even begin to touch how I feel about this abominable disease. I am sick of the daily struggle for control against the unseen. My life lies in its hands. "You have to take better care of yourself" they say, but the battle is too intense. There is no end in sight. It simply rules my life. This, of course, is just today. There are good days, but there is always the underlying knowledge, that it is there, waiting.