Welcome to my blog!

Hey there! My name is Leanna. I am a Christian, college student, and piano student and teacher. I also have Type 1 diabetes. I have a wonderful family and my friends mean alot to me! Please check out my blog and I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dealing with loss and my new a1c.

   Hi again! Lots has been going on in my life recently ans since I haven't posted anything for awhile I thought I'd do a big post to bring everyone up to date.

   First of all, I think if you had asked me a year ago how hard it would be to make it through 3 family deaths in 7 months time I would have said I don't even want to think about it. October 2012 to May 2013 has forced my family to do more then think about. In October my aunt (uncles wife) lost a 6 year battle to cancer. While I wasn't really that close to her the funeral and the time around the funeral was very hard because her family has daughters nearly exactly the same ages as my sisters and I and it was REALLY hard to watch them have to say good bye to their mom.
   Then, come December, we had to face something that we had been preparing somewhat for since earlier in the year and that is say hello and goodbye to my beautiful nephew Bryson Paul. Even though we knew for quite awhile, there is really no way to prepare for something like this. Bryson died due to Potter's Syndrome which is a condition where the mother lack amniotic fluids during pregnancy and the baby never develops lungs or kidneys. Bryson lived for about 40 mins before God gave him his angels wings. I think I cried more through that whole process then I ever thought possible and just writing this as my eyes full of tears again. The 7th of this month would have been his 6 month birthday. I spent the evening of the 7th babysitting for a friend who has a little boy who is 7 months old and that made me miss him VERY much. Right now he would be sitting up, laughing with us, smiling, being able to play with his 2 big brothers and SO much more. Make no mistake, I fully believe that God makes no mistakes and that Bryson is in a much better place but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
   The 3rd death in the family was more recent and was my Grandpa who just passed away on May 17th. He had spent years now in poor health and his body was worn out. My Grandma has been amazingly strong but after being married to someone for 54 years, there is no way that it is not extremely hard and painful for her. My mom was able to travel out and spend sometime there over the time of his death and most of the family was able to go and be together over the funeral. He is now is a MUCH better place and no longer has to struggle to do the things in daily life that were so hard for him.
   Having gone through this much loss recently I have to say this about it: you are only given the strength to make it through things like that once you need it. The important things to remember and hold tight to are God and your family. God will never leave you or forsake you during those times so draw close to him for strength and comfort.

   Moving on to my current health, my recent a1c and my eyes re-check brought GREAT news. My eyes look awesome with NO sign of problems from diabetes :) that makes me really, really happy cause I know that eyes can easily be affected by diabetes and my eyesight is really important to me. My newest a1c made me terribly happy too. It is now down to being a 6.8!! This is a big deal to me because it is the first time in my 5+ years of being diabetic that my a1c has been under 7. Last May I had my second straight 8.3 and then by October I had gotten it down to a 7.4 and by January is was a 7.1. I working at wrapping my mind around the fact that I have now gotten to where I wanna be and am facing a new challenge. Instead of getting my control to where I want it to be I now I have to keep it where it is and I think that may prove to be harder! I am seeing my endo on the 26th and I want to talk to her about possibly starting a CGM. I have in the last months had some overnight lows that plain old scare me and I think I would really benefit from using a CGM.

   Well I hope you guys have an awesome day! We, here on the east coast, are bracing for storms today.

Love and hugs, Leanna


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hair Donation!!!

   So it's official. For my 21st birthday I did something I've never done before. I cut my hair to donate them! For me this is a pretty big deal cause I have always had long hair. I've had lots of hair trimmings but have never actually cut them like this. My sister and I did it together and we are sending them to Pantene for their program where they make wigs and give them to cancer patients for free. The stylist I had took mine pretty short partly cause of the way she did them and partly cause since I had some layers she had to take more off too have the usable donation long enough. Its very different! Anyway, here are some pictures!!

So there are the pictures :) I think donating them is a great thing to do, now lets see if they grow back!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tip to save a pump site

   Wow its been over a month since I posted! School is keeping me busy, but I'm doing great! :) I'm doing even better cause there are only a few weeks of school left!
   This post is to share a tip I used today to save my pump site. I just put a new one in last night so as all you fellow diabetics understand, I wanted to save it after it came off halfway this morning! This site is on the side of my upper leg. I was at work this morning and I bumped my leg on the corner of a couch. I could have bumped ANYWHERE on my leg but did I just bump a random spot? Nope! I hit it smack on my site! I checked it right away to see that the bigger sticky area (I use Silhouettes) was not on anymore and it had even un-clipped. The cannula was obviously still fine and since it was less then a day old I wasn't fond of the idea of pulling it and using the extra from my bag. The sticky area was still sticky and seemed willing to stick somewhat but I'm not sure it would have stayed on its own. I got a band-aid out of the lady I was working for's bathroom and put it over top and that made it nice and tight! I take medical tape along if I'm going to the beach but I don't carry it with me regularly. Tonight, the band-aid is still sticking great even after my hot shower and the really cool thing is that because of the non-sticky part, I can unclip the tubing and reconnect easily :) Since band-aids are easy to stick in my case with everything else I already carry, I'm now gonna start keeping one in my D bag for this purpose! I thought I'd share in case it would help anyone else :)

Here's a picture. Its just from my phone so its not good but gives you the idea!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Headboard

   Most people will have normal things on their bed's headboard. They'll have tissues, books, lotion and a clock. If your crazy like me, you might even have 3 lotion bottles on yours! While I have all these things, I have much more and if your a diabetic, you probably do too.
   My headboard always has things on it to treat a low blood sugar. I used to have them there and they would just be there "in case". I had never gone lower then 50's and usually 60's in bed and then sometimes I would choose to just get up and treat it. Recently though, I've dropped to 30 and 31 and 2:30 am so I am now a firm believer in keeping these things on my headboard. Both of the nights that I went so low I had a juice box and a granola bar on my headboard and I used them both. Right now I'm out of juice boxes so I have a Quick stick, a glucose drink and a granola bar there. Here's a pic of what my headboard looks like at night:
   So there you see it all! from left to right: My diabetes bag is on top of my tissues box, my phone is there, and an empty candle where I've been throwing all my used test strip and lancets in in an attempt to keep them from missing the trash can and covering my floor :) In the next section is all the important stuff! My alarm clock (which I don't used for my alarm, only for the time), my testing supplies, all my low supplies and my 3 fabulous bottles of lotion! if its actually night time my glasses would be there too. In the last section are my books.
   Maybe the amount of low things I keep right there is overkill but I hate night time lows and want to be ready for them. I also want to know what all you guys keep right by your bed? are you as overly prepared as I am or are you more relaxed about it?

Love and hugs, Leanna

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Struggling with food journaling

   Hey people! so this post comes at you this morning cause I thought maybe writing about something that I'm struggling with would help.
   So today is day 5 of keeping a food journal. My goal is to see it not only affect my blood sugars in a great way but also to help me lose weight. By writing everything down I am also only eating at meals, except for low bg's and my meals will be eating a few, specific foods rather then eating whatever I feel like. I think this will help me lose weight for two reasons. Because of writing everything down I'm eating less and since doing this give me great blood sugars, along with eating less, I'm using less insulin. So far I've been doing pretty good. Blood sugars are a lot better when you know exactly how much food is going into you rather then allowing yourself that half of a cookie or handful of chips.

   This morning is the first that I'm really struggling to stick with it. I woke up with a bg (blood glucose) of 125 so I'm at the perfect spot to bolus for breakfast and be ready for more great numbers. But this morning the cookies my sister baked the other day are soooo temping. The bag of chips on the table are begging me to eat just a few. I've made it almost 2 hours into my awake time this morning having eaten nothing but my breakfast and I'm determined to be stronger then by urges to eat the food that is teasing me!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bad day....

   This is probably not a good time to write since I'm feeling pretty emotional and I almost didn't but then reminded myself that since life with diabetes isn't all rosy and happy, I don't want my blog to make it look like it is so here goes.
   So yesterday I woke up with a bg of 149. Not what I like but I figured it could be much worse. Lunchtime was 143 so I thought I was doing okay. Dinnertime came and I had a huge 326. I knew I'd been picking at stuff while my mom was baking and shouldn't have so I thought that was all it was but was still upset because I haven't tested 300+ it probably a month. I prebolused and considering we had pizza for dinner when I had a 170 awhile before bed I was happy. By an hour and a half later when I was ready for bed it had gone up to 257. Mind you that was with NO carbs and having drank like 20 oz of water. I thought maybe it was a very delayed high from the pizza. I corrected and went to bed. This mornings fasting was 175 :( Tried to be pretty careful with my breakfast bolus and 2.5 hours later with NO snacking I was 279. My frustration was going up big time. I gave more correction then my pump was going to. Did that work? Nope! 1.5 hours later with no real amount of food, I was only down to 258. Our Sunday lunch was brown rice, chicken (no breading), green beans and an Oreo cheese cake. I ate plenty of chicken and beans, just a little bit rice and then I did something that took a lot of willpower. I got up and left the table when my family was gonna have the cheesecake. I am proud I had the strength to do it even though I'm not gonna lie that it hit me pretty hard emotionally. Why should diabetes dictate what I eat to the point it drives me to tears? I know its just silly cheesecake but to me its not about the actual food that I couldn't eat but the fact that the last day has been soooo frustrating :( I feel drained and just want my blood sugars to act the way they should! :(
   So to wrap up the last bit of what there is to say, I'm gonna say that while I have lots of homework to do and its already 2:30 in the afternoon, I'm giving in to a little nap before I tackle it to see if I feel more like doing it then.
   So now that I'm done venting all my frustration about cheesecake and crying on all your shoulders, which I felt was needed since you guys get it like my family, well meaning as they are, don't, I'll sum it up by saying this is what a hard day of diabetes looks like. Its frustrating and most importantly, its okay to be frustrated. I don't often come to the point of tears over stuff like this but today it is really bothering me. Maybe after my nap my bgs will be better.

Hope everyone's Sunday is going better then mine.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Living&Loving is now on Facebook! :)

Hey guys! I have met some great diabetics in facebook groups but I keep my personal fb private for my personal friends and family so I started a fb page to connect all my social networking sites! :) please like my page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/LivingLoving/216006278543096

Love and hugs! Leanna

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two things a diabetic should never let someone tell them...

   Just sharing a thought that has been on my mind lately. There are two main things a diabetic should never listen to if someone tells them.
    1.) Never let someone tell you its gonna be easy. Diabetes will bring you to tears out of frustration from not knowing what you did wrong that's giving you bad numbers. Its gonna do things that it shouldn't even if you didn't do anything wrong. It is a 24/7 part of your life that does not always make sense but.....
    2.) Never let someone tell you you can't do everything you want to in life. You can have good control of your diabetes AND live a VERY normal life. The keys thing is that it is a PART of your life, not your life. If someone questions you doing something and managing your diabetes at the same time, set out to prove you can do it!

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday and remember, you CAN DO IT!!

Love and hugs, Leanna

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Insulin Pump Cozzy

   Hey everyone! This post is to show you the pump cozzy/case my sister crochet for me. I told her I want her to design me a case since I haven't really found one I really like. Some people who have been affected by diabetes have designed some really cool ones BUT I'm a college student who works part time and sadly many of the cool cases out there are out of my price range. I had in mind that she could sew me one but that's not what the first one turned out to be :) She sat down and was messing around with knitting and crocheting and came up with what we're calling a pump cozzy. Someone asked for the pattern and sadly there is none, however she is interested in selling them if people are interested! She would be selling them through Ebay but please let me know if your interested so she'll know if its worth making some and getting them posted! :) They will be very inexpensive.
   I really like mine so far and hope someone else is interested :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eye appointment and Shout out to Medtronic :)

   So today I had my yearly eye exam. While I know people with diabetes have to get them check yearly even if they don't have glasses, that's not the case with me. I've been very nearsighted for a long time and had glasses since I was 10 years old (over half my life now). My near nearsightedness has not gotten worse as fast over the last few years which is awesome. I was told when you hit your 20's it slows down, at least for awhile. Shortly after my diagnosis my eye doctor said that my blood vessels were a little ripply but wasn't surprised. The next visit I had, with a different doctor, I was told they were fine. Last year I had the doctor who had said they looked ripply again and she said they look great. No sign of diabetes! I have been doing so much better lately that I was excited that to know I should defiantly get a good report today. She was very pleased with my improved a1c's. After she dilated them and saw looking at them she looked in my left one for long enough it made me a little nervous. After finishing she said that my left I eye has a few ripply vessels and said that it no doubt is coming from the change in bg control. She said she knows it frustrating since I'm doing so much better but it can affect them the same way as running high would until they get used to it. She wants to see me back in the months to check it again. I'm glad to know she is being very careful and checking again even though its not unusual, cause my eye health is VERY important to me. Have any of you guys had the "problem" of your eyes having to get used to better control? if so, did it go back to normal quickly once it got used to the change?

   Also I want to say a big THANK YOU to Medtronic! My pump has had a few cracks for awhile that started out very small and just got worse over time due to the normal wear and tear of using even though I am VERY careful with my it. I mean, its a body part even if its on the outside unlike a normal pancreas! I really didn't know anything about how warranties at Medtronic because I have had no trouble with the pump I've had for 3.5 years (except concern about the cracks). I decided to see whats up and after tweeting my concerns to the general public, Medtronic themselves replied! That was last night and this morning they called due to the tweet :) my sister took the message and I called when I got home. They said they want to replace it because due to the cracks it could get moist inside and fail. As to my questions about what happens when my warranty is running out in like 6 months, the rep explained that I will get called to be given the chance to upgrade and when I upgrade my pump will have a new 4 year warranty. I was thrilled to be assured they have such great warranties! I expected it to be great but just never knew exactly what it was. My replacement for my current 722 will be here by tomorrow night :) Thanks again, Medtronic!

Love and hugs, Leanna

Friday, January 18, 2013

My road to better blood sugar control.

   Happy Friday friends! I'm not sure if I find this to be a very happy Friday or not. You ask why? It is officially my last friday and last weekend before school starts on Wednesday next week :( I know I have some people who will see this and say I should be glad I had such a long break and don't worry I am very glad I had such a long one. Here's to kicking off a great semester!

   I had an appointment with my Endo on Wednesday. I have really been working hard at getting my a1c where it needs to be. In the last years I've had multiple 8.3's and I think the lowest I'd had was a 7.8 or 7.9 and that wasn't any of the most recent ones. I saw my former doctor for the last time in May of last year and had an 8.3. Let me mention he is my former doctor only because of insurance issues and he moved. I really liked him and would not have switched if I would not have had to. Over the summer I didn't really have a doctor but was working at stepping up to the plate and controlling my bg's like I have not done well enough in the past. In October 2012 I had my first appointment with an endocrinologist. My first doctor as a family medicine doctor who I was with at the time of being diagnosed and who treated diabetes so I stayed there until I was able to start my pump. I then switched to the one I was with until May. He was also in family medicine but was licensed to do patients with pumps. He was a great doctor and a very nice man. The only problem with him was the fact that he wasn't hard enough on me but my lack of great control was my problem, not his. I saw my endo in October when the last blood work I'd had was my 8.3 in May. She made in very clear that she wanted a 7.0 and since I am young it is important to get in in control and keep in there to keep from having other problems. Even though I'm never going to blame a doctor who wasn't super hard on me for my lack of great control, it did give me the extra push I needed to have her be harder on me. I did tell her that over the the summer I had been doing better then the 8.3 and she could see by my pump downloads that was the truth. The blood work I had done after that appointment came back as a 7.4 :) I was super happy cause it proved that over the summer, doctor or not, I had improved!

   Wednesday of this week was my 3 month follow up. I had been doing great for the most part but was, as my twitter friends know, a little nervous for my appointment. I had had my blood work done a week earlier so it would be back and we could go over the results at my appointment. My endo's office is amazing when it comes to wait time! I arrived early due to having been at another appointment before that and I was back in my room by my appointment time :) After going through the normal nurse stuff and having her take my pump to download the records and then bring it back, my nervous wait for the doctor started! A few mins later she knocked, then as she opened the door and started to come in, the first thing she said was "You are doing great!". My reaction was "I am?" To which she responded "How do you think you are doing?". I told her I'd been doing great until I was fighting being sick. She saw what I meant on my pumps charts and then said "Well you A1c is a 7.1 so that is great. Now all you have to do is smooth out the rough parts and you'll be under a 7 which is what we want". Those were some of the most rewarding words I've heard!

  Needless to say I am very happy with my D control right now :) Yes, I am aware like my wonderful #doc friends have been reminding me, that I am so much more then a number (shout out to Jamie of @InkStain_D for the pep talk tuesday), but it is great to know that I am doing what I need to to have the best health possible now and in the future. Also I want to finish with a HUGE THANK YOU to the #doc for being such a wonderful support system. I have known you guys for a little over a year and it has been the best diabetes year of my life. I really don't think I would be doing anywhere near as well as I am now without you guys so I want to give you guys a great deal of the credit. Thank you for all being sooo amazing!!!! Love you guys more then you know!! :)

Until next time, love and hugs, Leanna