new york

A Symphony of Symptoms

Daily T1D Inspiration, Diabetic Tips

Today I wanted to share one of the many stories of my Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis and the adventures with my symptoms. And it is probably one of the most embarrassing ones by far. This is the story where a grown girl peed in her pants.. Yes, PEED in my own pants.. in public!

new york city

It was summertime in hot, muggy, fabulous New York City! I traveled from my home in California to stay with my best friend from college in the City. I was 23 years old and it was my first real time traveling to stay in New York. I left everything behind in the search of new experiences and wonderful adventures with my great old friend.

me and my friend

One day my friend had a casting call for an audition for a play in Midtown where she would have to be gone all day. I decided that I would take this time to have a relaxing day to myself. She lived all the way up in Washington Heights so going to the movies in Midtown was going to be a full trek.

Keep in mind, this was 3 weeks before I have seen a doctor and was officially diagnosed so the symptoms where creeping up on me at this time in full force.

As I was walking down, what feels like a hundred blocks, I frequently had to stop for bathroom breaks along the way. I also took the time to guzzle down two liters of water and continued on my way. I sat on the subway already exhausted from my walking, but my determination to see a movie was overpowering my will to stop.

I finally got to the craziness of Midtown. There were tons of people walking in all directions, old construction workers whistling at me, flashing lights, and a bombardment of concrete jungle noises. I was just a simple girl from surf town California, starring down at my iPhone maps, trying to avoid getting lost. I FINALLY got to the movie theater. As soon as I opened the door, there were masses amounts of people in line for the movies. I stood in line and waited. As I was waiting I started to feel that urge.. that urge to go to the bathroom again. I squeezed my legs together, holding my breath thinking that this line would move a little faster so that I can just buy my ticket and use the restroom. I stood up straight, my eyes watered, and I just couldn’t handle it any longer. I left my place in line in the search of a bathroom.

Now this New York City movie theater is not like all other movie theaters that I am used to going to. Usually the movies are laid out on one floor with the bathrooms in clear sight with signs. But this theater had multiple levels where you bought the ticket on the first floor and then you went up to the various other floors to see your movie.

I briskly walked and then practically jogged all along the perimeter of this crowded movie lobby. I COULD NOT FIND A BATHROOM ANYWHERE! It didn’t have any restrooms on that first floor. You needed to have a ticket to go up to the next levels where the bathrooms were. I was so desperate, feeling so hopeless, alone, and frantic. After I made a whole lap around the room looking, I started to feel something wet trailing down my leg. I look down and I am peeing in the middle of this lobby. I can’t stop! I try so hard to control it, but I can’t! I can’t do one thing about it! My eyes start to water with tears and I am just a wet leaking mess. I feel defeated. I remember thinking “I am a 23 year old grown girl, how the heck can this happen?! Why can’t I control my own body? Why is this happening?” Confused and crushed, I sneak to a corner of the lobby to pull myself together, tied a sweatshirt around my waist, and attempted to clean the mess up with my shoe. I got in line again, looking at no one. I finally got my ticket and head up the the fourth floor to my movie. As soon as I got to my floor I rushed to the bathroom to assess the damage that had just happened. I get into a stall, cried more, cleaned up my legs, and stuffed tissue down my pants to help soak up the wetness.

Feeling at my lowest low, I decided to make the best of it and buy myself a large water and popcorn (my favorite). I sat myself alone in a comfy chair in the dark theater. The previews start and I can already feel myself feeling a little better. I sink into my chair, disappear into the darkness, and chowed down on my delicious popcorn. (Of course I went to the bathroom 4 more times throughout the 2 hour film, but at least I made it to the bathroom).

This is one of the many stories that I will forever remember about my diagnosis. For those that do not know, these are some of the major symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes. At the time I had no idea what was going on with my body. I knew something was not right, but I did not think that I was anything extreme. I was wrong. And this day was one of the days where I was actually very worried about myself. I was exhausted, extremely thirsty all the time, had constant dry mouth, and lost 30 pounds in a week and a half. It is very important to know of these symptoms to avoid something tragic and deadly. I wanted to share my story in the hopes of opening people’s eyes to these symptoms and to the awareness of this disease. Here is a list of the common symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes onset.

The common symptoms include (adapted from JDRF):

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sugar in urine
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Yeast infections
  • Heavy, labored breathing
  • Stupor, unconsciousness
hospital

Celebrate Life!

Daily T1D Inspiration, Diabetic Tips

Today is a very special, emotional, and meaningful day for me.

IT IS MY ONE YEAR DIA-VERSARY! (Type 1 Diabetes Anniversary)

It has been exactly one year today since I have been diagnosed with the incurable, unpreventable Type 1 Diabetes autoimmune disease. Looking back on this exact day a year ago, I remember thinking how my life was turned upside down, twisted, put me through a loop and stomping on me- leaving me feeling helpless. But my life was saved that day.

I was hospitalized for a couple of days in Europe stuck in a foreign country with a foreign doctor dealing with a foreign disease. But my positivity, the support from my family, and the kindness of strangers kept me going. I cannot believe what all I have accomplished and all the things I have conquered with having Type 1 Diabetes in one year. From traveling the world, to running a marathon, to surfing again, having multiple publications, starting a blog, to finding my true passion for Type 1 and and helping other Type 1s, to creating fun recipes, changing my mindset, and making new friends. I just feel so unbelievably blessed to be ALIVE another year.  I can honestly say that I am so much stronger of a person, more confident, and more self aware because of my Type 1!

Greece

Traveling to Athens, Greece after a few days from being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in Europe

I wanted to say thank you to all my friends, family, and all the amazing support on my blog. Thank you everyone so much for supporting me and for continuing to follow this journey with me!

Even though this disease is something not worth celebrating, staying alive, being healthy, and living with this unbelievable fight everyday is worth celebrating! I encourage everyone to celebrate their life. And if you have a disease or something that you struggle with, take a day of the year to celebrate your successes and the fact that you are living life to YOUR fullest!

Capri

Traveling to Capri, Italy after a few days from being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in Europe

diabetic driving

7 Type 1 Diabetic Tips for Solo Road Trips

Diabetic Tips

Summertime is travel time! As a Type 1 Diabetic, traveling anywhere by anything kind of transportation can be challenging. From my Europe trip last summer, I have traveled by plane, bus, train, and boat and conquered it! But this summer was my first time taking a long distance solo road trip (with my bunny, Winnie, of course) as a Type 1 Diabetic.

road trip with winnie

I decided to drive across a few states to visit my parents. Driving 14 hours straight! I know, I’m crazy! However, it is definitely something I am proud to of accomplished! It can be kind of impossible to check my blood glucose levels while driving on the road, so I wanted to point out some tips for other summertime diabetic travelers driving long distances too! Being a diabetic can discourage you from taking risks, being more independent, and traveling.. So I wanted to empower those people that YES you can do it! But just be prepared with everything you need!

Type 1 Diabetic Tips While Driving Solo:

  1. While driving for a long time, you can’t check your blood glucose levels as much as you normally could. So when every you start to feel the slightest symptom of going into a low, immediately take your glucose. When driving there can sometime be no time to check your numbers to see if you are actually low (and its hard to prick your finger while driving), so to avoid going into a dangerous low and a dangerous situation, take your glucose before even checking to save time.
  2. Check your status at each gas stop to see if there are any corrections that you need to take.
  3. Listen to your body! This is HUGE because you can stop from going into a bad low when you feel it from the very beginning.
  4. Carry extra snacks and glucose tabs. And store them in your cupholder or somewhere close to you in the car so that you don’t have to fumble through your bags or the backseat while you are driving. Easy access is the best and safest way to go.
  5. Pull over if you feel you need to check your sugars, make corrections, or need a break.
  6. Take stretching breaks at your stops to give your body a rest and get you blood flowing’.
  7. Eat healthy meals. Being full (but not too full to where you just want to sleep) can help you stay awake and focus better on the road. Eating well can help keep your numbers at a more stable line rather than having major spikes. Even fast food stops can have healthier options! I always get a Protein Style Hamburger form In-N-Out, it’s the way to go and it’s my favorite! Hold that bun!

winnieinnout innout

So these are some tips that have helped me though my road trip extravaganza and I hope can they help!
Safe travels!

insulin nation

Everyone Has A “Something”

Daily T1D Inspiration, Diabetic Tips, Publications

What is your “something”?

This ideology of a “something” is an idea that I have came up with during my first week of being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. As I was first battling the depression and anger of becoming diagnosed, I was forced with facts and having to change my perspective. It dawned on me and forever changed my life. Not everyone goes through life without battling “something.” A “something” can be a diagnoses, addiction, a broken leg, family problems, death, any kind of thing that can be thought of as a “set back.” Everyone has to deal with some kind of thing in life that isn’t perfect. No one is perfect. We can often be caught up with the notion that our society silently states that everyone is normal, and if your aren’t “normal,” you are different, and different is bad. No, being different is not bad, it’s wonderful. It can push you beyond your limits and surprise you how strong of a person you really are. Your “something” is unique, it is hard, but it can be empowering to move you to prove your strength to yourself. I often fight the image of being seen as a “weak” person because of my “something” and I love to prove them wrong when I can conquer it with strength and grace. Perspective is what changes it all. Perspective can hold the key to let your “something” be a part of you and not let it hold you back.

Read my first published article, “The Newly Diagnosed Vacation” on Insulin Nation, a great site tackling the issues of Type 1. The story I write about reflects how I changed my mindset of my diagnosis from being a hardship, into a challenge that I must face and overcome. I talk about how I was first introduced to seeing that Type 1 is my “something” and accepting it.

Find your “something” and embrace.

surfing

When You Fall Off, You Get Back On

Daily T1D Inspiration, Diabetic Tips

When I was first diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic, I thought that I would not be able to do the things that I loved to do anymore. Before becoming Type 1, I practically lived in the ocean. Swimming and surfing were a big part of my life. As a former lifeguard, even working in the water was my job.

After becoming Type, I was afraid to go do those things again. I was scared to go into the ocean without being able to have a form of glucose attached to me. I kept thinking that if I were to have a low blood sugar episode in the middle of the ocean, I could possibly drown or not get to shore in time. However, I have learned that we cannot live our life in fear. There is no reason to stop the things that you love just because of a setback or a fear. I took a chance and got back in that salty ocean on my surfboard and it was the best feeling that I could of felt. I overcame my fears and I felt stronger just knowing that I have overcame my metal challenges about this disease. I do take the extra precautions each time I go out. I make sure that my numbers are in a good place pre-surfing, I at least have my glucose tablets on the beach waiting for me just incase, and I always use the buddy system.

Live the life you love! Don’t let the disease stop you from living life to the fullest! That is by far the biggest lesson that I could of learned.