Thursday, 19 May 2016
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!
I have never been happier with the healthcare team I have created for myself. I have had the same family doctor for just over 10 years and he is by far the best doctor I have ever had. He cares about his patient's, he is knowledgably and doesn't just give out anything. He always reassures to me fight a cold on my own and eat a health diet- he has honestly seen me at my worst and best. He was the doctor that diagnosed with diabetes just over 8 years ago and has kept a close eye on me ever since.
It took me 7 years to figure our what works for me and how to live a happy health life with diabetes and now hashimoto's disease. Since being diagnosed in 2008 I have changed endocrinologist 4 times, and I can honestly say I have never been more happy. I think is the most important part and everyone should take the time to find doctors whom they are comfortable with. I currently see my endocrinologist every 3 weeks and as much of pain it is to take off so much time for appointment when I see him I always leave with a smile. I have seen some bad endo's over my years- for example the doctor I seen when I moved a year a half ago (who works at the same clinic) was horrible!! I had explained to her my situation was not ideal (my A1c at the time was 9.9) and what my goals were (to get my A1c below 7 and possibly start a family) her respond was if you get pregnant I would suggest an abortion???? REALLY??? so needless to say I felt like a horrible person, that someone I am confiding in to help me get my shit together just puts me down. Luckily at the clinic I go to you also see a RD (Registered Dietitian) and CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator). Laura is the RD, CDE and she is AWESOME!! She has also seen me at my worst and best from crying to laughing and has truly never made me feel uncomfortable at any appointment I have had with her regardless of what was going on. When I told her my experience with Dr. Evil, she was able to switch me over to my current doctor who is phenomenally. He congratulates me every time I see him on how well I am doing and my accomplishments over the year. If it were not for them I really don't think I would have such a positive attitude regarding pregnancy and diabetes.
Which leads me to my current OB- because I live in a small town we have limited choices, there are no high risk OB's in my area so when I was referred by my endo to my OB I thought prefer she must have seen a few of his patients before. I was wrong about that- but she seem to be very knowledge and has a very positive approach, however the nurse practitioner at her office I awful so I vowed to just book any appointment with the actual doctor and the receptionist was more then will to make sure that happen for me since technically I do have a high risk pregnancy even thought everything has been going fantastically!
I also recently changed my eye doctor and my dentist because I moved and I am completely satisfied with both choices. I had decided to start seeing a chiropractor regularly to help with back pain from a car accident a few years back and no longer suffer from head aches or back pain. It has also been very beneficially during pregnancy as I ma 30 weeks and have been sleeping great at night and really haven't had much pain to complain about other then rib pain which is caused from an expanding uterus and sitting for the majority of the day so I decided to start going for a 30 minute walk on my lunch and seems to help most days.
Overall I am very happy with my health care team and because I live in Ontario, OHIP covers all my appointments minus the chiropractor, however between my work benefits and my husbands I am covered for mostly all my visits.
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.
I am a day late on posting- I had a busy day yesterday waiting on the arrival of my first niece! Who made her way into the world at 2:10am this morning! So I am also exhausted today A- because I had maybe 3 hours of sleep and B- because I am on 3 hours of sleep and pregnant.
Todays topic is a bit tricky for me- I have blogged about feeling hurt by the stigma that comes along with be diabetic, I am not sure if its the words that affect me but more the tone in which they are said.
I am sure most comments are made with the right intent but at the same time sometimes we should think twice before speaking. For example because I am diabetic I have been told by many that I will have larger baby. Fair enough that yes research shows that's the case- but tight control helps prevent that- which I am working my ass of to do with the help of my amazing health care team. So when we first announced we were expecting, the comments started- Your so much bigger then I was when I was at your stage.... Omg! are you sure your not having twins?.... wow your getting so big?- what did people expect me to say- this was mostly happening at work and it got to the point where even my boss was making comments which started to make me feel very uncomfortable. It could have had something to do with pregnancy hormone's but it upset me to the point where I said something. I felt much better I did- because now the have stopped minus one or two people who clearly just need to be ignored.
I know not so much diabetes related but for me I found it very hurtful because here I am dealing with diabetes and pregnancy and trying to prevent a large baby and all I was hearing was how big I am! I am over it now because up till this point I have been measuring perfectly on track and I am very happy with my accomplishments and that's what matters most- a happy healthy baby regardless of size.
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
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!)
I haven't really shared my story about how diabetes affects me mentally- put my husband and parents can probably tell you a few stories that we would laugh about now but in those moments they were hard. For me being diagnosed when I turned 19 was bitter sweet. Sweet because I was old enough to understand that something was wrong and I would be able to manage it on my own. However- bitter because things would never be the same and living for 19 years doing whatever I wanted and eating whatever I wanted would need to change. I feel like I was in denial the first few years, I was also dealing with some depressed because my whole world was flipped upside down. It took me 7 years to face the facts and take control.
Last year I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease- which is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, I am sure many of us living with Type 1 diabetes are a wear of the condition as you have probably will probably get you thyroid function tested as well at some point. I believe my underactive thyroid has played a big toll on my mental wellbeing in combination with living with diabetes.
I had all the symptoms in the book before actually being diagnosed and put on the right does of thyroid medication and had always blamed my diabetes. Even with good control I figured this way just my normal! Boy was I wrong! It was a combination of events I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease and found out I was pregnant all in the same week- it was a bit of an adjustment.. As soon as we were able to figure out the right does of medication I honestly felt like a new person! It was also around the beginning of my second trimester so I also got some energy back afters a few months of pregnancy exhaustion.
My best advice would be to take your time. So many of us rush everything in life. It took me 7 years to figure our what works for me and how to live a happy health life with diabetes and now hashimoto's disease. Its not something you can make sense of over night, and our friends and family members may never truly understand the battle you face everyday- but that doesn't mean we are fighting this battle on our own. since being diagnosed in 2008 I have kept the same family doctor who is heaven sent- and feels like part of my family! However I have changed endocrinologist 4 times, and I can honestly say I have never been more comfortable with the health care team I have created for myself, which I think is the most important part and everyone should take the time to find doctors whom they are comfortable with. (Which I will talk more about on Thursday)
Monday, 16 May 2016
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.)
I don't blog often but when I do I feel like its a huge stress relief. I started my blog just over a year ago, I wasn't sure at first if I wanted to share it with my family and friends or stay anonymous. I am not one to draw attention to myself- but did decide to share to take down the wall I was hiding behind, and I am so happy I did!
The most important diabetes awareness message to me is that we are not alone! Belonging to the blog community has really made me feel so much more comfortable with myself and living with diabetes. Its a great feeling to know we are fighting together.
Since starting my blog I made the switch from injections to a pump and also worked my ass off to get my A1C below 7. I also had a secret agenda and that was to become pregnant and have a health pregnancy and baby. I achieved my goals last year and still continue to achieve them this year maintaining an A1C below 6, and I am overwhelmed with joy that we are going to have a baby girl in July!
Tuesday, 3 May 2016
So I have totally been slacking this year, on my blog and promoting the Telus Walk to cure Diabetes!
I guess I have been occupied with being pregnant and getting ready for our little ones arrival.
This year will be my 5th year participating and I will be 33 weeks pregnant, also only 5 weeks away from baby Iannuzzi's arrival as they plan to induce me at 38 weeks. Figures crossed all goes well!