Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Welcome

I've experimented with keeping an online journal off and on now for a little while, but have never been able to make one stick. I always seem to struggle to find things to write about and my blogs never have much direction. I felt like I was blathering on about nothing and would slowly lose interest in writing even semi-regularly.

I've always thought about starting a blog to talk about my life as a diabetic, but I thought who the heck would want to read about that? Then last week as I was browsing for various diabetes websites, I stumbled across a fabulous blog by Kerri Morrone (www.sixuntilme.com) and realized, much to my amazement, that there is already an entire community of diabetes bloggers. Of course then my next thought was, does cyberspace really need another diabetes blog? But you know what? I think it's more about me writing and finding an outlet for my thoughts and feelings than anything else. And if someone else finds it interesting enough to read, that will be a bonus.

I was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes 14 years ago, about two and a half weeks after my 18th birthday. It was a traumatic day, to say the least - my "bittersweet surrender" to life as I knew it. I was admitted to the local hospital with a blood glucose of 30.0 mmol/L (if you're American, multiply my readings by 18 to get mg/dl - so this one would be 540 mg/dl). Because I was 18, I had to sign all of the hospital and insurance forms myself although I had no idea what was going on. If it had been 3 weeks earlier, I would have been put in the pediatric ward which featured a cool gaming centre and other things to make a child's stay more comfortable. But being 18, I didn't qualify, and since there was a shortage of beds throughout the hospital, I was put in the geriatric ward of all places. Not a fun start to my new disease. And it was 3 days before Christmas when I was diagnosed, so it was kind of a double whammy - in the hospital for the holidays and not allowed to have any goodies. The doctor allowed my release on Christmas morning under the condition that a homecare nurse would need to come to my house at every meal for the next week in order to monitor my injections and blood sugar tests (I did it all myself, they just watched).

My first year as a diabetic, I was a model patient. Although I didn't test as frequently as I do now (believe it or not, my doctor said if I was feeling all right, it wasn't necessary to test more than once every couple of days!), I was on a very regimented meal plan and insulin injections (Humulin R and Humulin N mixed in a syringe twice a day) which I followed to a "T". But the following year I began university and things quickly began to fall off track... I almost never tested, ate whatever I wanted and took the same amount of insulin my doctor had originally prescribed the year before (at that time, I knew nothing of carb counting).

I'm embarassed to say it, but I followed this horrible routine for about 11 years. I did try to get back on track when I moved back to my hometown in 2001, but I had trouble securing a new family doctor. Northern Ontario healthcare is in a sad state, and almost all doctors have full patient rosters so they are unable to accept new patients. Without a doctor to prescribe test strips and insulin, I had to buy my supplies over the counter. This meant that I could not claim the costs through my medical insurance, so my feeling at that point was that insulin was the necessity and testing was a luxury. It took me 4 years to finally convince my older sister's physician to take me on as a patient. That was in September 2005. Since then my life has changed dramatically. I now diligently test 6-10 times a day, and progressed from specific doses of Humulin R and N (meaning specific meal plans, which as everyone knows, is not practical), to using a combination of Lantus and NovoRapid and carb counting. And finally just 8 months ago in July 2006, I started using an insulin pump, which was very exciting, and a story in itself which I will save for another time...

7 comments:

Kerri. said...

Hey Lori!

Thanks for your comment on my blog, and congratulations on starting your own d-blog!! (Also, thanks for your kind words. :) )I would love to add you to my blogroll over at Six Until Me., if that is okay.

Best of luck with the blog and I'll be back to read your new posts. :)

-- Kerri.

Kerri. said...

(Oh, and cyberspace always needs another diabetes blog. Glad you've added your voice!)

Minnesota Nice said...

Welcome. I have been blogging about 8 months and being involved int the OC has enriched my life beyond measure.

Drea said...

Yippie! Great to see another Canadian diabetes blog!! Greetings from the East coast!!

Welcome!!

LORI said...

Thanks to you all for stopping by. :)

Kerri - I'd be honoured!

Lori

Annie said...

Welcome to the blog world! I, too, was diagnosed at age 18, two weeks before I left for college. I did multiple injections for years, and hated it, then went on a pump in 2000. I love it! I'll definitely come back and read more about your pump adventures. I love this d-support online.

Penny said...

Welcome to the world of D-blogging!