Evolution

Ginger shares a moment with my granddaughter P...

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s post – The Love in Evolve. I want to offer an answer to the question: How does one get over the hurdle of fearing change and onto evolving?

Well your evolution depends on you. You have to consciously accept the responsibility for your personal growth and development. You have to decide that enough is enough and step out and make the change. In a Les Brown video, he talked about a dog on the porch, crying because it was sitting on a nail. The obvious solution to the problem would be for the dog to get off the nail. When Les asked the dog’s owner, “Why doesn’t the dog get up?” the owner simply replied that the nail wasn’t hurting the dog enough.

Are you hurting enough? Or you do constantly complain about something that you can change while doing nothing about it? If you’re that dog on the porch, I want you to love yourself. Get to know everything about yourself; your good qualities so that you can strengthen them and your bad so that you can change them. The next step includes building your character, improving your attitude, gaining the proper information, surrounding yourself with quality people and ensuring that you create a positive outlook on life and evolve to be to person you want to be.

To some this may seem like a daunting task and I have to admit that it is not something that you can do in a day, a month or a year. It’s a forever endeavor but YOU ARE WORTH IT!

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The Love in Evolve

Yesterday, I went to a farmers’ market with my mom where the unexpected happened – amidst the vegetables, homemade bread, organic sausages and crafts, I found the inspiration for this post written on a t-shirt of all places. It had the word ‘evolve’ written on it with a backwards ‘L’ highlighting the word Love. There’s literally love in evolve. Wow… now that’s some deep stuff. So what exactly does it mean to evolve?

Evolution basically is about the gradual process of developing a certain characteristic, usually to make you better or stronger. It is about growth and the journey of growing. However, evolving is never easy because it involves change. Most people have some degree of fear when it comes to change and hold on to their traditions, sometimes even to their detriment.

So how does one get over the hurdle of fearing change and onto evolving?

Testing

SEELOW, BRANDENBURG - AUGUST 08:  Country doct...

Testing. Why do I hate you so? I have to admit that I absolutely despise checking my blood sugar. I have been trying to figure out the reason but I am still at a lost. You see, I don’t mind the blood, the poker doesn’t hurt that much (most of the time not at all), it only takes 5 secs to read and yet I feel pure, unadulterated dread when that time comes. Maybe it is the fear of knowing that it is not where it should be at that point in time. I tend to feel like my number. If my meter says I am high, I start to feel that way even though two seconds before I was feeling fine and it was probably high then as well. Maybe it is the routine of it all – taking it out, testing, waiting and maybe freaking out, fast forward two hours later and repeat.

What ever the reason I have decided to take the plunge! To take a trip on the wild side. I am going to test before and after each meal, before I go to bed and at 2am. I printed a log sheet from Accu-Chek  called a 360 degree view tool that allows me to chart my readings into a graph. My first testing goal is to stick with this at least until the 17th. That is when I will have to see my Endocrinologist. I hope he will see all the hard work I’ve been doing and really consider me as a candidate for the insulin pump. Even if he doesn’t, I will have a better idea for how my sugars are trending.

That is the real reason to test. You want to be able to see how well you are staying in your target zone. Testing can show you the effects of food, exercise, medications, illness or stress have on your blood sugar and alert you of a high or low. It puts you in control. Well, I’m off for now to do a bedtime blood sugar test .

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Mom, This One’s For You

Yesterday, I was focused on heartbreak but today I would like to thank the person who has been there for me though thick and thin – my mom.

Thank you for taking me to the doctor, after school that day. Thank you for asking those hard questions when I was too stunned to know what I wanted to say. You were my rock when we went to the hospital and the doctors were finding great difficulty putting  IVs into my tiny arms. With each ‘ouch’ you soothe me and said that everything would be okay.

Thank you for taking time off to take me to camp. It was there I found so many others who were just like me and you found friends too, other parents just like you. Diabetes became your mission, your cause and you did all you could to make a good camp better and help spread awareness. You wanted others to know that it could  happen to them.

Thank you for changing your life to make my transition so much easier like replacing all the sugar in the house with Splenda. You knew how left out I felt not being able to eat like other kids and you found many substitutes such as sugar-free cookies and diabetic ice-cream.

Thank you for dealing with my nasty mood-swings from either high or low blood sugars when I would scream angry words like ‘I hate you!’ but you knew that they weren’t true. At times I knew you would get frustrated, though you tried to understand but being a parent of a young diabetic is more than most can stand.

Thanks for crying with me when I was frustrated, or sad. Yes, there were times I needed you to be my rock but you were also my teddy bear. I knew I could confide in you. There will times I when I felt like giving up and with a tear-stained face you dried my tears, held me close and told me that you wouldn’t let me because you knew I was stronger than that.

You always saw the person that I could be and diabetes didn’t change the potential that you could see. Thanks for reassuring me that everything would be okay. Through the good times that we had as well as the bad, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, you have stayed through it all and I just wanted to thank you.

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Why I’m Crying

Heartbreak is a hard thing for anyone to deal with but when you are diabetic it can seem ten times worse. However, you can’t stop everything you are doing, eat a ton and sulk like you see in the movies. Your diabetes needs to be managed and you have to do it unless you want to add DKA to your pity party. Stress, in any shape or form, tends to raise my blood sugar levels higher than the Empire State building (or Central Bank for all my Bajans) and thats no joke, especially when you are trying to lower your a1c.

So today when the guy that I wasn’t sure I still liked, reminded me he was leaving and moving over 4000 miles away – I felt sad. I was heartbroken. Why is it that it is only when something is gone that you realize how much you really do miss it. It is like growing up before my diagnosis, I never liked anything sweet but after I would gaze longingly at my friends sno-cones and the snack table at the end of each school year filled with sodas, cakes and ice-cream. When I could have them before, they were never that appealing and the same is true with this guy… kind of.

So here I am with a tear-stained face wondering why am I crying. Is it because he is leaving…. (Seems like an awful lot of tears over a guy that I’m not sure I still like that much if you asked me)  or is it because my blood sugar is a bit high? (I tend to get overemotional with high blood sugars, either really angry or really sad.) Whatever the reason for my tears, I now have to focus on bringing down this high reading. An extra shot of insulin, a bottle of water and a comedy (laughter is always the best medicine at times like this). Hopefully, today won’t undo my whole week.

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Getting Back Onto The Wagon

The years following my diabetes diagnosis I could have been nominated as the poster child of the “perfect” type 1 diabetic. I kept my appointments, tested frequently, logged my numbers, rode my bike every evening, etc, etc…

Since this post is about getting back onto the wagon, when I say that the perfect diabetic fell off I mean HARD…. with the wagon veering out of control since no one was guiding it. I just wanted to be normal. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be one of the cool kids who sat on the benches laughing over snow-cones (with sweetened condensed milk) and (fried cod) fishcakes instead of the girl who had to stick herself and got to cut in line because she was “special.” I know most of my friends probably accepted me as I was but I was young and insecure.

So I cheated and skipped testing so that I would not have to explain a high or “HI” blood sugar. I rearranged my numbers, for example, instead of writing 9.4mmol/L I would write 4.9mmol/L. Man I’ll tell you that wagon was definitely O.U.T O.F. C.O.N.T.R.O.L and I oblivious to the damage I was doing until I started getting sick , at this point I would try to do the right thing. I guess you could say that sometimes it worked and I stayed out of hospital and other times… well let’s just say that I have been in hospital more times than I’d like to remember.

There were times I found myself running after the wagon, barely getting a grip on it when a bump in the road would cause it to slip out of my hands again. I was doing all that I could. I wanted to be better and I was trying. Those road bumps included anything from getting periods to studying (both schoolwork and boys) to those days when you have no idea why it is high but it is. Then there would the ride of shame (on the hospital gurney) when I got admitted to hospital where the nurses and doctors would ask, “What you eat now?” or state “You got to be doing something wrong!” but I really wasn’t. I was being really good but puberty meant my body changing and I understood neither my body or the doctors’ answers to my questions. That wagon was on its own again. I just stood and watched it go.

After years of running after it and getting dragged for a ride I got Fed Up! I mean seriously pissed off! So bloodied and bruised I began searching for a solution. I began my search for the answers which included things like the insulin-to-carb ratio and calculating correction doses. I am more aware of what I eat and its effect on my blood sugar and I am exercising again. I think I have finally gotten back onto the wagon. However, this is not the end of my journey but rather the beginning, now that I have gotten on again my new goal is to steer my wagon back home to an A1c of under 7%.

With you guys by my side I know I can do it! If you have fallen off of your wagon then I encourage you not to give up either and get back on – We will get healthy together!

Bajan Sugar

First of all, i would like to thank you for visiting my blog. It’s about my journey of living with type 1 diabetes in Barbados. My goal is that through my experiences others can learn that they are not alone and I hope that I can be an inspiration for anyone, anywhere to never give up and always go after their dreams – what ever they may be.

I would also like to be able to connect with other type 1’s around the world and learn from their experiences.

The things written in this blog are based on my personal experiences with diabetes. You should consult your medical doctor before attempting to change any part of your care plan.