Saturday, 21 September 2013

Me myself and D... A time to change...?

After a year of stressful exams, research projects, essays and endless battles with librarians over which books I have or haven't returned, I'm finally starting my Adult Nursing Degree next week. 

I have a few worries about this new chapter in my life... Ok I have LOADS of worries! Am I intelligent enough? Do I have a strong enough stomach? Do I have the stamina to work physical 12 hour shifts with little or no breaks? Which student bar stays open the latest?

There are many more, but on top of that I also have good old D to consider. When life takes a new path I find that my thoughts on diabetes are always the same. D comes with me (obviously) wherever I go, but what (if anything) will be different this time?

The ice breaker...

I always try to predict people's reactions when I tell them I have diabetes. I'm yet to meet anyone who feels awkward or slowly side steps away from me. I'm hoping that people don't actually do that, but we know there are some strange misconceptions about diabetes out there. Whenever I meet new people who I'll be spending time with I know that I need to tell them about me and D. 

In the past I didn't tell anyone I had diabetes. Hell no!! But in the past I didn't give 2 (insert word of choice) _____'s about my diabetes, so why would anyone else? That was my thinking at the time.

Now though I realise I was a silly ninja. It's not a big deal and most people have the same reaction anyway. "You have diabetes - uh ok, that's cool." Or "You have diabetes - uh ok, my Nan’s cat has that." I'm quite proud of my diabetes now though - It's something that I have but most of my friends don't - Like a new gadget or (in my day) a shiny pog! I'm different to my friends... I quite like that. So now when it comes to telling new people about me and D I have no issues at all. I just subtly slip it into conversation (this is usually done whilst eating cake or sweets) - no biggie - or I make a witty joke or just casually start swinging my insulin pump around my head like a lasso. Each to their own I guess.

The roller coaster...

Hypo and hyper, up and down, round and round. Am I high? Am I low? Am I actually completely fine but just feeling really giddy with excitement?? 

Blood sugars are a worry for me when starting a new venture. I desperately want to concentrate on what I'm doing, make a good impression, get the most from my education (something I never thought I'd say) - but my bloody blood sugars are a constant reminder that I need to keep on top of things. No time for being slack and letting things slip. I know that my D isn't going anywhere, so my new venture will have to include some of the old too. Test, carb count, bolus, correct if needed. Yeah it's something I'd rather not have to do, but it honestly doesn't take long and in the long run I know it's worth it. Plus hypos and hypers are energy thieves, and as a student nurse I'm going to need all the energy I can get.

My first time...

What's going to happen? How will I feel after? How can I stay safe?? I know what you're all thinking... And you're right... I'm worried about my first time :(

Yep - I'm worried about my first night time hypo alone... What did you think I was talking about?! ;) 

I'm living on my own now, and believe it or not last night was the first night I've ever spent away from my family, pooch, friends or my partner in 27 years! Apart from hospital admissions I've never slept alone - and let's face it... when you're in hospital you don't sleep.

Seriously though, I am worried about this one. I'm worried about waking up disorientated from a night time hypo, not realising what's happening and falling asleep again. I'm worried about not being able to treat my hypo or not having the energy to test again when I need to. There may be times when I need someone to watch me, just in case I need a helping hand. 

The student budget and the hypo budget...

One of my biggest concerns - Can I still afford my beloved jelly babies?? The answer, sadly, is no. Ok so jelly babies are roughly £1 a bag but on a student budget £1 is a lot! That's 3x tins of beans and little sausages! At the moment (and I'm rolling my eyes as I say this) I'm having at least one hypo a day - Sometimes up to 4! I won't get into just how frustrated I am with my blood sugars at the moment, but I definitely can't afford to keep buying jelly children :( I tried the cheap Aldi version and almost cried at just how terrible they were. I even found one without a head!

So next week I'm doing something that I've never done before in my 11 years with D. I'm going to find out about prescription hypo treatments. I have no idea what's available - though I'm sure whatever it is will taste much worse than a headless jelly baby - but at least it will be free. 

Time to change...?

Recently I've been thinking about moving from Portsmouth diabetes department to Southampton. It is possible for me to continue being seen in Portsmouth, and at the moment I'm not entirely sure that I have a choice in transferring to Southampton as they don't have an insulin pump service. Without my current consultant I'd feel quite lost... but I'm wondering if I should change if I have the opportunity. Chances are that if I get sick I will be admitted to Southampton, not Portsmouth Hospital, as it is so close, but I'm concerned that the diabetes team there don't know me. They don't know about my past or my current treatment. They don't know about my regime or any difficulties I'm having. I'm wondering if hospital admissions will be easier, for me and for them, if I'm one of their patients. 

I was lucky enough to meet one of the diabetes consultants from Southampton recently who reassured me that I would be well looked after should I decide to transfer. As hard as it will be to leave my current diabetes team, maybe it's better for all if I start a fresh... We'll see. 

Ninjabetic x
© Ninjabetic

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