October 26, 2012

type 1 diabetes

four and a half years ago my life changed forever. and not in a good way. i had been sick-ish for a couple of weeks, but i remember perfectly the day it all went downhill. i was at church with my family, and i started getting really light headed and dizzy. i thought it was just from cramps. i went out to the van to relax, and i suddenly couldn't focus or barely move. luckily, my mom came out at that exact moment and decided that i was having symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). she tested my blood sugar with justin's meter (he'd been diabetic for a couple of years) and sure enough, i was low. so she gave me a juice box and a granola bar, and home we went. but when we got home i was too weak to even walk downstairs to change, so i laid on the couch. i'm pretty sure i slept for like 6 hours. but then i started getting nauseous and i had to pee every 5 minutes, so mom took me up to the hospital. they checked my blood sugar again, and this time it read 'HI'. they gave me an injection of insulin, and the pain and nausea immediately subsided. it was then that i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

since then i've been learning to take care of myself. there was a long time - basically all of high school - when i thought if i just took my insulin i didn't need to bother testing my blood sugar or getting my a1c drawn. even when i went to a diabetic camp as a counselor and was supposed to be a good example, i still didn't take care of me. it even got so bad that i ended up in the hospital. twice. even when i moved to edmonton, i still didn't care. it really hit me in march, just after we got married, when i had a pregnancy scare. i learned that high blood sugar can seriously affect the baby's development - like brain, spine, and organs. let's just say, i started testing a lot more regularly. like 7-8 times a day. and boy, did i learn a lot about myself. like i needed a lot more insulin than i was giving myself.

and it's quite frustrating that now - when i care so much about my blood sugars and my body - my insulin isn't doing what i need it to. it's even come to a point where i am going to be applying for the university of alberta islet transplant program, which basically would 'fix' my pancreas and mean i would be insulin independent, and even if i did have to go back on insulin it would be a lot less than i'm taking now.

my life - along with SO many other diabetic's - would be changed drastically by an insulin pump <preferably this one>. unfortunately, they range from about $7000-$10,000 a piece, not to mention the supplies that are needed range from about $300-$400 a month. some insurance plans cover it, but not 100%.

the pc government made a promise as part of their campaign that all type 1 diabetics would be able to receive a pump under the alberta health plan. but now they've come out and said that there are going to be monetary requirements that have to be met, and all other sources have to be exhausted. not to mention, the pumps may only be available to those under 18. yes, type 1 diabetes is a juvenile diabetes, but it does not go away. just because i'm over 18 and no longer considered a 'juvenile' doesn't mean i don't have juvenile diabetes anymore.

we are trying to get the attention of everyone in the alberta government. the pc party, the wildrose party.. everyone. if this is something that interests you, if you know someone with type 1 diabetes, or even if you just dislike the pc government.. join this facebook group. help us get it out there.

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