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Thursday, 24 July 2014

DiaWHATtes?

So most of you already know that I have Type 1 Diabetes. I've had it for 13 and a half years (since I was 6 years old) and I've been an insulin pump user for 2 and a half years and my pumps name is Patrick Jr. (my first pump died after a year of having it and his name was Patrick). Anyway, the reason I bring all this up is because a recent news story caught my interest. It was about a model who wore her insulin pump on stage. And this made me happy. And because of that fact, I want to write about it.

The story is about 20 year old Idaho Beauty Queen, Sierra Sandison. She attracted even more attention because she chose to wear her insulin pump whilst modelling in her bikini on stage. Now, this has made me sooo happy, you don't even understand.

First of all, I've never been embarrassed of my pump. It took me 8 miserable years of injecting 4-8 times a day to finally get mine, so I'm proud to wear it. It's sort of a reminder to me of my long fought battle that I won in the end. But I do understand why some people don't want it on show. Some look at it as a constant reminder of their condition and some just don't want people to know about their diabetes. Which is fine. I've just never had that problem. But then again, I'm a person who's life is pretty much an open book and I understand not everyone is like that.

Anyway, Sierra was diagnosed when she was 18, so she's a diabetes newbie, if you like. But she decided that she would wear her pump. Because, why hide it? If you want to read the story, it can be found here. << See? I made it easy for you ;)

To be honest though, my take on the whole situation is this: what is the point in hiding the pump? You'll end up stressing yourself out by trying to hide it all the time. Beach trips will be a nightmare and you're essentially being ashamed of something that you've no reason to be ashamed of.

I understand how difficult life with Type 1 Diabetes can be though. I've had a lot of stick in the past because people think they know all about it. I used to be in hospital a lot before I got my insulin pump because I kept getting ketones and going into DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) which is basically the #1 killer in Type 1 Diabetics. Ketones is basically acid in your blood that starts to eat away at your body fat. Or something like that. But I had people making the old snide comments like:

"Oooh well she does eat a lot of sweet stuff"
"Oh well she's never refused a biscuit when I've offered one to her"
"Ohhh well if she watched what she ate, maybe she wouldn't be in hospital so much"
"Oh well obviously it's because she eats absolute rubbish. I mean I saw her scoff a KFC the other day and that's why she keeps ending up in hospital"

Yeah, trust me, I've had it all. I've also had the common "helpful/curious suggestions/questions":

"Ooooh should you be eating that?"
"Well I don't have anything sugar free, will you be ok with this? It's got lots of sugar in it"
"Right, well, I would give you the box of chocolates but on second thought, I don't want you binging and ending up in hospital so here, have this small pack instead"

See? All this has got one thing in common. They all say "oh" a lot. Hehe just kidding. No but seriously, it's obvious: they're all diet related. See, because type 2 diabetes is so prevalent nowadays, people think that that's it. Type 1 and Type 2 are the same. But they're not. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that they're to do with insulin production. In fact they're so different that I strongly think that Type 1 Diabetes should be called something else and therefore putting a stop to stereotypes. 

I didn't get Type 1 Diabetes because I ate too many sweets, contrary to popular belief. I got it because my pancreas stopped producing insulin. The route cause of this is unknown but it could be down to genetics or a virus that I had when I was younger that messed my body up internally. I'll never be sure. But the fact of the matter remains; Type 1 Diabetes is nothing nothing nothing to do with diet.

The thing with type 2 is you have to watch what you eat. With type 1 you learn to count your carbs. This is so that you can count the carbohydrates that you eat and therefore give yourself enough insulin to break it down properly. This then maintains your blood sugar levels, provided you get your carb-to-insulin ratios right. This means that I can have a whole tub of ice cream if I wanted; provided I give myself enough insulin, my blood sugars will stay stable. (I've tried this and it worked). But obviously, just like a person without diabetes, you wouldn't do this all the time because it's unhealthy for anyone.

So to all you people who offer "friendly advice" such as questioning a Type 1 Diabetics choice of food, think first. Because there is honestly nothing more annoying. And it makes us want to punch you in the face whilst scoffing a bucket of KFC and washing it down with a McFlurry after (Ooooh KFC AND Maccy Dees in one sentence! How controversial!). Literally, nothing provokes me more.

This chica is nearly 48, diabetic and mum of 2!

Also, one last thing. Sierra Sandison should be an inspiration to all Type 1 Diabetics out there, because she definitely is to me. Don't use Type 1 Diabetes as an excuse for not being able to lose weight because it genuinely isn't a valid one. This disease shouldn't stop you from doing anything, because it's not like Type 2 Diabetes. You can have that killer body that you want because it won't stop you from achieving it. Only you can stop that. Through a steady healthy eating regime and light exercise, I've found myself having to shrink my jeans in the dryer just so that they fit! (That skint life tho... xD). 

And just ponder this fact for a second: The gorgeous being that is Halle Berry, is also Type 1 Diabetic. And she has a body that literally makes you die a little inside. So you cannot tell me that it's impossible to lose weight with Type 1 Diabetes. If you're on insulin, you can go on a low carb diet! I have and it's been amazing! Obviously, your body is your sculpture and your diabetes is your art to get right. So what works for me won't necessarily work for you. Consult your doc before making big changes. But don't ever use Type 1 Diabetes as an excuse.

So, be free and do what you want. Type 1 Diabetes is not a something to tie you down. It's just something we've been pinned with until they find a cure. Eat that ice cream, give your insulin and Z Snap anyone that asks you if you should be eating that.

The Music Corner

So seeing as I always seem to mention music in my posts, I've decided to do "The Music Corner". This new addition is going to be where I feature my favourite songs at the moment and skip to the good bit (Oh HELLO Rizzle Kicks reference!).

So today I'm gonna be talking about George Ezra. Look at his little face! This guy is honestly so amazing. I love his voice so much. It's so deep and powerful without going all "soul ballad-y". My favorite song by him is Blame It On Me. It's so beautiful and earthy. But obviously, he came to my attention for his song called Budapest.

I have one issue though Georgey.

It's just these lyrics:
My friends and family
They don't understand
They fear they'd lose so much
If you take my hand
But for you
I'd lose it all
 
Well George maybe that's the problem. Your family probably don't know this girl. And they know that if you went with her BAM! You'd leave them. That's what they don't understand. How could you leave them for some chick? Tell us that George. 

But other than that, it's a fab song. So check it out. I'd also recommend checking out his performance at Glastonbury because it was goosebumpily glorious (ooooh alliteration! How exciting!).

So anyway, that's all I have to say now! Hope you're enjoying the sun  as much as I am!

Keep smiling, folks!

Ditzy xXx

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