Category Archives: Hope

Favorite Things Hope Type 1 Diabetes

Only Human and Type 1 Diabetes

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human

I am a regular podcast listener. In fact, I love my podcasts and one of my favorites is Only Human. Today’s episode, The Robot Vacuum Ate My Pancreas, is worth every second of 33 minutes. Today’s topic is Type 1 Diabetes and features Dana Lewis (you can visit her on twitter here) and her artificial pancreas system.

There were two specific moments during this podcast that I felt the need to share this podcast with everyone I know. Hearing other Type 1 Diabetics, especially children and their parents, talk about how much their life has changed by using an artificial pancreas, brought me to tears. I cannot fathom being a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes- managing my own disease is difficult enough. Hearing a child’s little voice and then the voice of their parent, I could almost feel their relief coming through my car speakers.

My absolute favorite part of this show was when Kenny Malone compared keeping a car at exactly 70mph while driving, to keeping your blood sugar at the perfect number, was amazing. I have struggled for years with getting others to truly grasp the time and attention this disease demands from me. I think this explanation is going to help me tremendously in getting my disease a bit more understood.

Please take a listen (or read the transcript) and let me know your thoughts!

 

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Hope Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tailspin 

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I just had labs drawn. I know, you’re shocked. A gal with Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, & a jerk of a thyroid, had labs done again. Yes. I. Did.  (This is what sarcasm looks like in print form.)

I saw the results. Everything was great except for one thing. Literally, one thing. My serum chloride was low by one point. A 96. My lab calls 97 normal, some say 96. Either way, it was highlighted on my report so I did the worst thing I could think of. I googled the test.

Up until 2 years ago, I didn’t understand anxiety. The anxiety that stops you dead in your tracks and sends your heart through the roof. I’d heard of panic attacks but never understood them. I didn’t understand why some friends couldn’t, all of a sudden, make it to an event. I just didn’t get it. Until I did. 

My rheumatologist had often said that my blood pressure was a little high at his office. Yet every time I went to my PCP, endo, etc. it was fine. I checked it at home. Fine. My RA was super flaring at the time so I spent a lot of time at my rheumatologist’s office. One particular visit changed the course of my emotions, forever. I was meeting with the Nurse Practitioner because my foot was so painful. She examined my foot and said that it wasn’t RA related. I told her I had brought X-rays. Without looking at them, she said it wasn’t related to my RA. Then what? She said she didn’t know. I felt sweaty, dizzy, like I was going to faint. I held back tears.

I had spent months in agonizing pain before my Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. I had spent months telling doctors that something was wrong. They said I was wrong. And now this Nurse Practitioner was saying I was wrong. I was exhausted and frustrated. 

My actual rheumatologist passed by my room and stopped in. He asked why I was there and then examined my foot. He said a joint in a different area of my foot was so inflamed, it was hitting my nerve and thus causing pain. He almost lectured the NP. He gave me an injection and left to get an Rx for a topical pain reliever. I don’t know if the NP was embarrassed or what but she then said “well, your blood pressure is always high and he hadn’t mentioned that you really should get that checked out”. I asked her how bad it was. She said not too bad but you never know the strain my heart could be under. I left the office and drove home. 

My heart wouldn’t stop racing. I felt like it was going to explode out of my chest. I got home and could barely get in the door. I tried to put soup in the microwave for my daughter and stopped. I called my mom, asked her to come watch the kids, and I drove myself to the ER. I honestly didn’t know if I would make it there. 

When I finally ended up in triage, my heart rate was ridiculously high. They immediately gave me an EKG. And then sent me to the waiting room. I waited for 4 hours. I felt safe. I knew if something was wrong with my heart, I was in the best place. They did labs and X-rays while I waited. I finally was put in a room and was told the cardiologist would be in in a few minutes. My heart beat faster. A cardiologist? I was terrified. 

The doctor came in and spoke with me. She was calm and explained everything thoroughly. She then asked if I’d ever had a panic attack. A panic attack? Me? No. She said that my blood pressure skyrocketed when she came in but as she spoke to me it flew down to normal. She said all of my labs and tests were perfect. My heart was fine. She told me to follow-up with my PCP if this happened again. 

And it did. The next day. All day long, I just wanted to be checked in at the hospital. I barely moved at home because I was afraid to make my heart work harder. I sat with my legs elevated and didn’t dare eat or drink anything other than water. My PCP saw me that afternoon. She walked in, I cried. I was mortified and terrified at the same time. She assured me that my heart was fine. She said I had anxiety and we could do something about  it. 

It took awhile but the meds started to work. I stopped taking my blood pressure machine to work with me everyday, just in case I needed to check it. I wasn’t terrified to walk or exercise. I was confident in my heart. There were moments of panic..I had a rough time going to my rheumatologist and for some reason, Target (our monthly shopping expenses were so low back then?). 

Fast forward to now and my lab results. I’m on a different med now and haven’t felt any major anxiety in months. That one little chloride test got me rattled. I googled what it meant as my heart beat faster. Congestive Heart Failure. Yep, that’s what I had. I researched treatments and read way too much about the disease. I felt my face getting warm and my knees going weak. 

My phone rang and I was snapped out of my anxiety stupor for a minute. When I glanced back at the computer, I closed the browser window immediately. I had left myself go to far and I knew it. We’re my labs fine? Yes. Do I have any reason to believe I have CHF? No. But I was reminded. I was reminded that the mind is powerful and sometimes too powerful. I was also reminded that my anxiety can, and probably will, come on at any time and that as terrifying as things seem in that moment, one phone call can snap me back into reality. I hope I can be that phone call for someone with this post. 

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Hope

A Simple Resolution

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My hope for 2015 is to simply be a better person. By strengthening my relationship with God, this can be accomplished. I aspire to be stronger in my faith, to allow God to fill my heart, and allow Him to speak for me.

In turn, I will treat others better and take better care of myself.

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Daily Prompts Hope

This is Your Life

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I’m playing catch up! The Daily Prompt for January 11: This is Your Life

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

No! I can’t think of a worse idea. It’s not the end result, it’s how we get there. I know I will die and I know I will go to Heaven. I don’t need to know much more.

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Daily Prompts Hope

Quote Me

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I’m playing catch up! The Daily Prompt for January 4: Quote Me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it and why does it move you?

God doesn’t give you what you can handle. He helps you handle what you’ve been given.

I have no idea where I read this quote or where it originated but I refer back to it over and over. It’s easy to feel that you’ve been given enough burdens- for me it’s my health. I thought being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 9 years old was enough..that was my one illness and I wouldn’t get another, lucky me, things could be much worse.

Then I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 2 years ago. And it didn’t come quietly- I couldn’t straighten my left arm, couldn’t walk without being in tremendous pain, couldn’t stay awake while getting my hair cut. I thought- why did God give me another disease? Why do I have to be so sick when it seems like everyone around me is healthy.

About a year after my diagnosis, my husband brought me back to church. I realized that my God wouldn’t want me to be in pain, He wouldn’t want suffering for any of his children. I realized that if I leaned into Him, rather than pulling away out of anger, that things would seem better, they would be better. And they are.

As for the icing on the cake (so far), I was diagnosed with asthma a few months ago. I was very ill beforehand, yet I never lost faith. I could feel God by my side, reminding me that even though things weren’t ok, they were ok.

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Hope

Reading the Bible in Chronological Order (in one year!)

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I’ve tried to read the Bible from start to finish a few times. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very successful…

This time, I’m trying something new. I’ve found a great plan in my Women’s Devotional Bible, that puts the Bible’s events in chronological order. You read a little bit (about 15 minutes each day) every day, for a year. I love following plans but only when I start from the beginning. With 2014 hours away, I can’t think of a better time to start.
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I’ve included a link to my Google Drive document that has the entire year’s plan in a printable format. I’d love to hear if you’ve done a similar reading plan and if you’ll be reading along with me.

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Hope

Psalm 49:16

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Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases, for he will take nothing with him when he dies.

Started my day with this verse. A very timely reminder, especially everything around me seems to focus on money and things. My house may not be huge in size or filled with extravagant things but it is overflowing with laughter, prayer, music, and love. It’s easy to lose track of what really matters.

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