Day 5- Tips and Tricks! #dblogweek

Tips and Tricks – Friday 5/20 Link List.
Let’s round out the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks. From how you organize supplies to how you manage gear on the go/vacation (beach, or skiing, or whatever). From how you keep track of prescription numbers to how you remember to get your orders refilled. How about any “unconventional” diabetes practices, or ways to make diabetes work for YOU (not necessarily how the doctors say to do it!). There’s always something we can learn from each other. (Remember though, please no medical advice or dangerous suggestions.)

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Dawgs for Diabetes, Fall of 2014

 

LUCKILY- I have written blogs about some of my favorites- so I’ll use links to those to elaborate. But here are some of my favorite tips and tricks. 

POLI- Pumper on Long Acting Insulin.

I LOVE POLI! 70% basal insulin is Lantus and 30% is through my pump (that way  I can fine tune it during the day). Helpful for my diabetes and my anxiety- two birds one stone!

TSA Pre-Check

Because of opting for pat downs, and because it makes me feel like I have my life together- I feel that TSA Pre-Check is one of the best investments I have ever made.

Exercise

(I do not have a lot of posts on this yet. But I will be writing about my 1/2 marathon training soon). But- Sprinting while running to help with the lows- and those cliff energy gel shots! A running fanny pack for all of your diabetes supplies.

Pump and MDI site rotation- they have a point!

You know that favorite place for shots, your pumpsite, or your CGM? Yeah… it probably will need a break because eventually it will stop being your favorite site because of scar tissue. Your doctor and the pump companies have a point. Now that I actively pay attention to site rotation, it can be anywhere from 3-4 months before I revisit an area. You know what the impact was? Less scar tissue and less pumpsites failing. (Blog post to come at some point…)

Let yourself acknowledge that this can suck.

I’ve said this a lot in my mental health blogs, but allowing myself to say that diabetes does in fact suck sometimes, has done WONDERS for my mental health. 

Appreciating the little thing.

Does that need anymore explaining?

Always asking for a supervisor and be a self-proclaimed expert.

Whenever I am talking to an insurance or medical company (actually almost any situation- not just related to diabetes), I turn myself into a self-proclaimed expert and ask for the supervisor. No offense to the first person on the phone (usually), but I find I can get a little further and what I need or want. I also find they know more about whatever is going on. It’s much faster for me, and I usually get less angry. I also make sure I know about company policies, laws, etc. and I have phone numbers, employee info, dates, etc in this big book of what I call “The Book of When Shit Happens.” I don’t play- I come (or call) to win.

Give your supplies some flair. 

If we have to look at some of these devices on a very regular basis... we might as well enjoy what we are looking at and make it show off our personality too, right?

Carrying extras with me

I always try to carry extra pump supplies, insulin, low supplies, etc- with me wherever I go, and I have it “hidden.” In my gym bag, in my purse, in my office, etc. I carry short acting insulin pens with me because I run out of insulin at the worst times! I also write the date when I open any insulin, and for example with my short acting pens- when I get close to one month- I use it to fill my cartridge. But sometimes… I forget to replenish… But mistakes happen.

Do something about it. 

Whenever I have a not so great experience, get upset, something bad happens, etc, the BEST way for me to deal and process and cope- is to do something- try and do some advocacy– like I firmly believe- there can always be the big and the little things within advocacy. I don’t want to have to go through whatever it was again, but I also don’t want others to have to go through either- no sense in always recreating the wheel.

Find your me too’s!

I would have to say the most important tip for me is to find the me too’s and to find your voice as not only a person with Type 1 Diabetes but a person in general.

Whether that is in the form of diabetes camp. The DOC. Local diabetes organizations. Diabetes conferences.

But especially during those young adult years get involved in The College Diabetes Network by joining or starting a chapter or one of the many other ways to get involved. I got so much out of my involvement– more than I could have ever imagined. I was able to do what I call “bring diabetes camp to college” and be surrounded by me too’s all year long on campus, but then I learned there are me too’s all across the country. 

Find your me too’s- find your people. Because that in my mind is one of the most powerful and one of the best “tricks” of all. It’s good for your mental health, but it helps you discover other tips and tricks by the people you interact with. There’s always something to learn-especially from people who get. 

 

Happy College Diabetes Week! Until next year!❤:)

Day 4- The Healthcare Experience #Dblogweek

Diabetes Blog Week- Day 4- The Healthcare Experience – Thursday 5/19 
Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

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Now- for most of the posts for Diabetes Blog Week- I have used the questions as my guide and how I organize my post- not so much today. Well kind of.

Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare.

I have A LOT of thoughts on this. So, honestly where do I truly begin? Because within a little less than 3 years, I have been through 8 HCPs for my diabetes care- half due to logistics and the other half due to not clicking (to put it nicely). That was entirely exhausting and very upsetting for me.… and we wonder why people can go so long between appointments or don’t want to be a part of the diabetes community…

and don’t get me started on other sides of care outside of diabetes (but Boston has been so much better!)

I do wish that I had broken up with some of my care providers sooner rather than later, but even I struggle with the idea that they are a doctor, and I am not. I also like opportunities to change first impressions.

We need to own it. Own our care. Not settle.

I want to have a good relationship with my healthcare providers.

I want to not feel anxious about an appointment.

I know it’s about the diabetes, but I want the other parts of my life to recognized.

I want mutual trust and respect.

I want people to understand why people might not go to the endo as often.

I wish that more healthcare providers in the diabetes field actually had reviews on pages like health-grades- but they are far and few between.

I want the person to know me, and I want to feel comfortable with them.

And there be more of an understanding- that maybe that piece of medical equipment isn’t affordable for everyone.

I want people to understand all of what goes into the appointment- Distance. Time. Scheduling. The appointments we are supposed to also go to- that aren’t diabetes specific, but related.

I wish that mental health was incorporated more into diabetes care- actually scratch that- just life.

I wish the world realized how SES and current life situations play into care…

Now health insurance... that’s an entirely different set of feelings and emotions for me. But- when I’m interacting with an insurance company- I want to be treated like a person

 

You see- I have a lot of thoughts on this… and I’ve heard from a lot of other people and their experiences.

 

But if I could only have one wish? I wish that everyone had a healthcare provider they felt comfortable with.

 

Day 3- Language and Diabetes. #dBlogWeek

Day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week Language and Diabetes – Wednesday 5/18 
There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I’m willing to bet we’ve all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don’t care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let’s explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. But if the stick scratches enough, it can write the words on the stone- and as we learned in science- weathering takes time.

Let’s be honest-I’ve questioned it ever since I can remember. Why am I being told that words never hurt me? Instead of people needing to learn to be nice and respectful?

Freedom of speech is a thing- but you are not free from the repercussions of your words, well in my opinion.

I remember the days when I would react with fierceness and meanness and hot “headedness”- with anything related to diabetes. I was quick to anger and respond.

I eventually grew to my mindset that it’s better for me to be nice and to try to turn this into an education opportunity in college.

But I have my limits. Depending on the situation,  I can find myself getting very angry and ready to burst. (but that’s what venting and running are for).

 

Something I constantly regret and am still trying to reconcile with was my reactions that included “but I have type 1.” Which started happening after bullying and anger and feelings hidden deep inside boiled to the surface. Now- I have learned how much my words matter too in how I try to spread awareness to the outside world. Since I was diagnosed, I was one of those kids pointing the finger and saying “no, not me,” and it took time, lessons, healing, experiences, and the doc to help me finally move away from that. We are all in this together.

MESSAGE 2: WHEN PERSONS WITH TYPE 1 SET THEMSELVES APART FROM TYPE 2 BY SAYING THINGS LIKE “TYPE 1 MEANS I DID NOTHING TO CAUSE THIS,” WE ARE INEVITABLY STRENGTHENING THE TYPE 2 STEREOTYPE WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO DISTANCE OURSELVES FROM TO BEGIN WITH. -Heather, The Chronic Scholar

Because words do hurt, and I can cause the hurting too or adding to the stigma or misrepresenting a community I love. I am not immune to fault or making mistakes. 

Words (and facial expressions and tone) matter- for everyone.

Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. 

This is a very heated debate among the community. I was the person at one time running around screaming “I’m diabetic” proudly. I wanted to own it so it wouldn’t be used against me. But my endo would be staring at me with her button that said “not diabetic.” And we disagreed. And this continued. I didn’t understand it at all.

Until college.

See- I don’t really have a problem with diabetic or person with diabetes within the community. Now- outside of the community- no way!

But- through social work and learning more about people’s first language- I decided that because I would be working with so many different types of people- practicing people’s first language was what I needed to do- and if you don’t know someone’s preference, than to be on the safe side, I go with PWD. But no matter what the preference is- what matters to me is that we know that we are more than our diabetes (or whatever else is in your life).

Now- other terms get me more heated. When I feel like I’m not being treated like a person, I get more heated.

I don’t like the term patient (but I understand why). I go with blood sugar checking and not testing- which was reinforced at camp- you never know a child’s situation- and test has the connotation that you could pass or fail.

And good and bad- that doesn’t exist in diabetes unless I’m talking about a pumpsite or bottle of insulin. There are no good or bad blood sugars. It’s just data that tells me what I need to do.

Just like an A1C. That is a very personal number to me, and I struggle with the value placed on it. This value struggle started young.

I don’t like it when I’m talking to insurance, an HCP, a medical company, a pharmacist, etc- and feel like that I am not treated like a person. The feeling of being treated like a dollar sign. Or a file number. Or just as a person with diabetes (or diabetic). I cannot. I lose it.

But I try to explain why.

There’s more to me. More to my story.

Because my words matter. Because their words matter.

But you know- sometimes? I feel like a hypocrite. As I say “words matter.” “It’s just data.” etc. I feel like I’m a liar.

Why?

Because I struggle not to react when I see a blood sugar reading. I get nervous about hearing my A1C. I know I let the numbers impact how I value myself no matter how many times I say “it’s just data.”

I constantly look in the mirror and doubt myself and self-criticize. Self-esteem and self-confidence is something I still struggle with. I’ve been working on it for years, and I’ve made progress. I’m my own worst critic, bully, and enemy all rolled into one.

I want to believe in myself and have better self-esteem that comes from within myself- not the outside world- hopefully I get closer to that one day. 

As a community our words also matter- especially in the DOC and with companies and non-profits. Why? So many people read our words and look to us- and what we write on a keyboard and then publish or post can influence others- for good or for bad. People are watching, listening, and reading.

Our words also matter when we are communicating with each other. 

Our words matter and have an impact. Our words to ourselves play a huge role in our lives. Our words to others within the community and outside of the community matter.

Words are a powerful thing. 

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(not my photo) -The Dead Poets Society

Day 2- The Other Half of Diabetes #dBlogWeek

Day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week- The Other Half of Diabetes – Tuesday 5/17 (AKA mental health!!)

We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)

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Oh HEYYYYY! Mental Health! Heck yes! I’m sure there’s no surprise I would be excited about this topic, right?

That first sentence- “We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant.” It is just as significant, and yet- we barely talk about it on a regular basis- and yet- health insurance doesn’t always or easily pay for it- and yet it isn’t an automatic part of care…. Hmmm….

So- How does diabetes affect me mentally and emotionally?

The “short” answer is yes and all the time and vice versa and no and I’m still figuring that out.

Diabetes is a constant. Mental Health is a constant. They’re both taboo.

I know that my BG impacts my mental health.

I know that diabetes impacts my mental health.

I know that my mental health impacts my diabetes.

I also know that sometimes they have no connection or impact.

It just depends. And honestly- I don’t really know until afterwards.

But here’s the thing- I’m sure the impact that is thought about is all negative- it can definitely be negative or annoying or upsetting or frustrating- but it isn’t always this way- I wouldn’t necessarily say positive (kind of), but it’s taught me A LOT.

There’s always a spectrum and it changes day to day.

BG impacting my mental health- usually negatively….

When my blood sugar is high, I HAVE to check my blood sugar EVERY 20 minutes because of my OCD- even with the CGM giving me a number every 5 minutes. (Yes- you are right- my relationship is complicated with my CGM).

Also, when I’m high, my anxiety goes THROUGH the roof, but it’s a combo of anxiety and also being upset (kind of like when you are on your period and upset- oh wait. Let’s add diabetes and mental health to your period- FUN!).

When I’m low, I get more scattered and chatty and a different kind of anxious. I also get pretty defiant as well. I don’t want to sit down. I don’t want to eat.

If my BG is off, I’m just not so nice. A BG roller coaster- oh boy- ALL of the emotions. And missing sleep because of BG’s- that impacts the mental health too.

But then there’s the diabetes impact on my mental health- this is where things get complicated.

On the more negative side- diabetes is exhausting. And like that annoying fly you just cant quite kill or catch that won’t leave no matter how many times you open the door. Then there’s also the logistics. The guilt. The bullying and hurt feelings. The fear. The annoyance. The relationships.

Then there’s the impact of mental health on my diabetes. This is also complicated.

On the more negative side- if I get anxious or stressed- my BG’s rise and I’m more resistant to insulin. If I get SUPER relaxed- especially during yoga where my brain stops going a million miles a minute, I go low and am super sensitive to insulin.

Then if I cry. My BG is going to spike- but the question is will I need insulin? Or will I bottom out later- but that all depends on so many other things.

But then there’s also the aspect of trying when it comes to diabetes- the frustration of doing the same thing or knowing you did it all right- and you get different results and go out of target. WTF diabetes.

Now- if I’m treating myself- guess what? I don’t get as upset. But if I do it right or I try or for whatever reason it’s just not working- I go a little nuts.

Sometimes- in the back of mind… I can hear the words “I’m failing” or “not good enough.” Because what I did- didn’t work. I have to try and push those words out of my head and escape those feelings. Remind myself- I’m kicking ass!

Before I get to the “positives” then there are times when my BG and mental health don’t really interact. Sometimes if I get a little anxious, nothing really happens. Sometimes if my bg is out of target, it really doesn’t get at my anxiety (quite as much).

But guess what? Diabetes and mental health taught me a lot. (wait still teaching me a lot!)

The combo of the two together and during burnout, led me to get really behind the importance of self-care and trying to be more honest. It led me to embrace the idea that the positive and the negative parts need to be intertwined together because that’s life.

It’s taught me resiliency, to pay attention to my body, to know things change, persistence, strength, etc etc. and it’s giving me the family I found. (I could go on).

 

So- How have I learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition?

Well- I mean- I’ve learned ways, but things are always changing. There’s always more to learn. I might think I have it figured out, but then things change. Or I might learn something along the way. Or all of the work I have done in the past comes together.

But for me? The biggest things I have learned over my lifetime, and especially the last 2ish years when I’ve tried to be more honest and take care of my mental health are:

  1. I’m not good at vocalizing my emotions out loud- thank goodness for writing!
  2. Writing about your feelings or past events or your thoughts or a combo- is SO healing!! It really is good for you.
  3. Be honest- at least with yourself. Not being honest with myself and the outside world is what threw me into diabetes burnout. I would only talk about the positive. I would only acknowledge the positive. That’s when it all really hit for me.
  4. Being able to acknowledge the positive and the negative in diabetes and mental health, but also life– has done WONDERS for so many aspects of my life. I often feel that the world wants us to pick positive or negative- and that’s not life. For me, it is KEY to be able to bring the two together- hand in hand if you will.  Sometimes you need to say “I’m a diabadass!” and sometimes you need to cry and then scream “Diabetes sucks!”
  5. Sometimes, looking into therapy is a good idea. 
  6. SELF-CARE IS YOUR FRIEND.
  7. Try to love yourself where you are now- it is easier said than done! (Post to come)
  8. Be open to change and  what works at one point might not always work.
  9. Sometimes, Diabetes needs to take a backseat- because of life and that’s okay. College, death in the family, finances, etc. Honestly…. what would anyone expect?
  10. It is important that I have a healthcare care provider I feel comfortable with.

Do I have any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas for getting out of a diabetes funk?

Well- I LOVE quotes!! I have a pinterest board. I have quotes on my body. I post pictures throughout the week with photos and a quote on instagram. quotes EVERYWHERE!

But in terms of a diabetes funk or any funk?

  • Lean on the people in your life that truly care about you.
  • Treat yourself. You do you. Self-care. Etc
  • And finally- let yourself feel it. Let yourself be upset. Pushing it back or ignoring it doesn’t do well- trust me! Being in a funk, or in burnout, or in distress, or etc etc- doesn’t mean you are failing. Doesn’t mean you gave up. Doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. Doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to be loved. Doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to feel.

This barely scratches the surface because there is so much to life, and I’m only 23- I know things will change, and I’ll have more experiences along the way.

Day 1- Message Monday

Message Monday – Monday 5/16
Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog? (Thank you, Heather Gabel, for this topic suggestion.)

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Woah- this feels like one of those “who are you” questions with the follow up of “no. really who are you?”

It’s deep man.

 

What’s the most important diabetes awareness message to me and what am I trying to accomplish by sharing it on my blog? There are SO many awareness messages. Everyone is so different and changing. But I guess if I have to narrow it down- my main and most important diabetes message in terms of right here and right now and for me– is the name of my blog.

There’s More to the Story.

There is always more to the story.

Behind the diabetes. Behind mental health. Behind your situation. Behind the number and the graph. Behind the access. Behind the education.

 

Like I said, there’s more to the story- life (is always first), diabetes, and mental health- and let’s be upfront here- I also don’t like being “talked at” all the time- so this my answer to all of the questions related to my care and life- because usually there is a story behind why- but it gets ignored- the diabetes gets the focus- but there is SO much more. 

Should I stop now?

 

But overall-

I’m really passionate about advocacy- specifically access/insurance and education. People STILL cannot afford to stay alive- not just around the world but in the states! So although, I appreciate the efforts around CGM and insulin pumps- I wonder when the focus of staying alive will be at the forefront of our lives. And then there’s the education system and diabetes- which let’s be real- don’t always go well together.

Then there’s mental health and diabetes and mental health in general. I’m super passionate about that. I’ve gotten on a soapbox lately, and it’s mental health awareness month. So that fits nicely! Like many other jumping points or parts of my life, I wanted more “me too’s.” and I saw very few of these with diabetes and mental health- both so taboo. I also made it my goal to be more honest in my writing and in life with diabetes. Diabetes Burnout hit me HARD because I refused to acknowledge any of the negatives. The moment I started being honest with myself and in my blogging, that really helped- and I started finding more me too’s!

 

Which kind of go hand in hand with there’s more to the story. Yep. There’s more to the story. To our personal stories and to people’s personal stories that you really don’t know all of. Maybe pieces- but we are so different

  • Different management choices
  • Different histories
  • Different beliefs
  • Different socioeconomic status
  • Different views
  • Different experiences
  • Different education levels
  • Different preferences
  • Different points in life
  • Etc etc.

So what works for one does not always work for another.

And there are still so many people out there we don’t hear from- the DOC is just a small fraction of people with diabetes.

 

But all of this is not why I started blogging- it’s how it eventually evolved- as I found my voice and my passions in college.

 

You see when I was in college and growing up- I had no intentions of writing a diabetes blog. Actually, when I was about to start college- I wanted NOTHING to do with diabetes. I wanted a break from it all- glad that didn’t actually happen!

 

One day- I went to google. I was about to study abroad. Because the thought crossing my mind was- How on earth do I do this?

Well- google actually disappointed me. I found articles on travel and backpacking even, but pretty much nothing on study abroad- specifically experiences- very few young adult voices. I luckily had friends from camp to answer questions.

So I decided, like I often do, well I guess I should join in and find my voice.

And I haven’t looked back since.

(FYI- the College Diabetes Network now has resources for just that).

 

I’ve watched more varied voices arrive to the DOC which I’m very excited about.

 

So to finally answer the last question, what do I hope to accomplish?

I want me too’s to be everywhere I look.

Because there are many aspects of my life- where while growing up and even today- I look around and ask where are my people at?

 

The diabetes overall- that was covered in the beginning by camp, and then CDN/the DOC. But there are certain aspects of life and diabetes- where the me too’s are not as common or not as loud. Especially with mental health. Especially with other aspects of life. Especially with young adults.

So here I am- relentless and sarcastic and loud- with no filter searching for as many “me too’s” as possible.

 

Happy Diabetes Blog Week!

Anxiety Medication

A few months ago, I went on medication for my anxiety for the first time. I was more against it than I had been about medication for my ADHD.

“So you’re taking medication for your ADHD on the weekends so that you don’t get as anxious. Is that really what the ADHD medication is for?” pause. “and I know you say you feel way better. ADHD. Stress. Anxiety. Especially with this new chapter of your life. And you think you are “normal.” But how could you know what that is when you’ve been in survival mode for over 10 years. How do you know what not being anxious feels like?”

 

And those two statements stuck with me. I didn’t want to be on another medication. And I’m sure some of it has to do with the stigma. But a huge part of it was that I did not want to take another medication. I already take so many. But I was taking a medication for something that it wasn’t supposed to help.

So I decided I’d give it a try.

I was a little nervous. And I was nervous to not take ADHD meds on the weekend. So the first weekend I still took them. And I was told it’d take some time for it to take effect.

So the next weekend. I didn’t take the ADHD meds. And I didn’t feel anxious without them.

I was worried that the placebo effect was happening because I was like- wait- I don’t feel super anxious. I could see it when I had the dexcom issues and didn’t completely meltdown or reach a breaking point.

 

But- I knew it was a thing when my period came. And usually when I get my period- my anxiety goes THROUGH THE ROOF. And my bg spikes SO much the day before.

And don’t get me wrong. I still got anxious- but it wasn’t as debilitating. And I still had a BG spike, but it didn’t seem quite as bad.

And that’s when I knew. I knew it was helping.

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And when I went into my next appointment, I shared all of this. And who knows if I’ve now done all I can to be “stable” but I’d say it’s pretty damn close- and I don’t really remember not being anxious- so this feels like cloud 9.

 

One of the moments that really hit home for me was getting lunch with one of my best friends growing up. I hadn’t seen him in months. And after sitting down for a while- he asked if I was okay? I wasn’t as jumpy and scattered. And having someone else point it out without knowing the change yet- that’s something.

So- even though I was totally against any form of medication- over the past year, I have started taking two of them for my mental health. I definitely learned that being stubborn and scared can sometimes be a problem. But as long as my gut isn’t going haywire or anything and I’ve done my research and am making my own decisions- I should be open to things. I’m glad I finally was because it has made a world of difference.

(This is the third post in a group of 3 that are all tied together).

ADHD Medication

So about a year ago, I went on medication for ADHD for the first time-

My intention when I went for a diagnosis was just answers. But I had also never thought about any other alternatives.

After a long discussion with the provider I found, she said I should at least meet with someone to talk about it- to rule it out or maybe even look into it.

So then there was scheduling that appointment. Which was difficult. I finally got an appointment to be “screened” at our health center on campus, which they already had me on file…. But I went. I do “struggle” with having to repeat my history all of the time. I feel like certain things get the focus. After going through my history, the person screening me was caught up with “how sad” much of it was. She kept mentioning I should do counseling for this and that. Which I politely stated that I had. Mentioning my history doesn’t automatically equal I need to get counseling for it- especially if I already have. And I don’t find use in going to counseling when I’m not ready. I spent so many wasted hours with that growing up. And trust me- I now try to be proactive and look into it when I need to.

 

Can we maybe talking about the resilience? Or not only focus on my dad and the diabetes? Sure- that’s a big part of my history- and not just mental health. But there’s a lot of other things going on-

 

Can we talk about the fact that all of these things run in my family?

That college students are more likely to have a diagnosis?

That maybe other things are also important?

Or- like with most- will we just ignore the rest of life and focus on the diabetes?

 

After I finished screening, there was scheduling an appointment. At first no one wanted to see me because I wouldn’t be there long enough since I was graduating soon. Which I understood. But eventually I broke down on the phone.  And someone decided to agree to it. Now remember, I didn’t want medication. I go into the appointment. We start talking. He does one of his “tests” where he starts describing the room, and he watched my attention move from item to item.

 

He asks a few questions about how my mental health and diabetes interact (points for him!) He then states after that and reading my file, he would recommend trying out medication. I probably don’t know or even remember not being like this- so it “feels” normal.

I didn’t want medication. I had a diagnosis. That’s all I needed in my mind. All I wanted.

But I asked for information about it. Asked what my options were.

How would it impact my Type 1? And out he pulls printed articles about just that.

He didn’t see a lot of effects reported- besides people stating they didn’t forget things related to diabetes as much. And some people’s blood sugars were lowered because less stress and not being all over the place that much.

 

Something in me said to at least try it. So, I walked out with a prescription.

 

And to be completely honest- it was one of the better decisions I have ever made.

Almost of all the symptoms subsided. But most important my anxiety subsided A LOT. Which made me go “woah” how did I function like that for so long? Because my anxiety went down, my BG’s went down. I wasn’t interrupting people all of the time. I was more focused and able to get things done in a timely manner. etc. etc.

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I find medication for the ADHD very helpful. I definitely side with the mindset that medication shouldn’t be the go to or easy answer. It needs to be explored with counseling too and what the person needs. I do know there are insurance/financial situations that don’t allow for it. Through talking to people and what I studied in school I’ve heard so many different experiences and viewpoints. Mine is- what is best for the person taking them (or not taking them)? Maybe to not take them and do counseling. Maybe both. Maybe just the medications. Does the medication work okay with them? So many things to consider.

 

Then I moved to Boston and a new person was writing my script. We then switched to extended release. After that, he said he wanted to explore medication for anxiety.

(This is the second post in a group of 3 that are all tied together).