Monday, 16 March 2015

Totes Emosh*

*Don't worry I'm not going to talk like I'm from TOWIE for this entire post

Over the past few days things have been a bit rough, whether I have burnout or not I don't really know. I'm finding odd readings or a low/high is affecting me a great deal emotionally, more than it ever has before. I've had shitty days but within a few hours of being back in range and having a chat, I'm feeling better.

Last week a low on Thursday night after a Chinese meal completely caught me off guard. I haven't been as low as 2.8mmol for quite a while so the following morning I was like a zombie ready to crumble into a heap of tears and tissues... And I did. I felt so out of it I came home and spent most of the afternoon churning over what I'd eaten and the injection amounts (I injected after starters then after mains to avoid going sky high) and each time I bawled my eyes out. John and my parents were at work so the feeling of loneliness only added fuel to the flames. By 6pm I couldn't take anymore and went over to my parents and ended up crying on my Dad. 

We talked for ages about how sudden everything happened with my diagnosis, and that I was in & out of hospital within 24 hours with no designated person to contact for support. My Dad was great, and admitted he doesn't know as much as he should or understand it (to which I said who does!). He suggested that I get in touch with my GP (who is a T1 himself) to see if he can point me in the direction of someone to talk to like a counsellor. 

Whether I should or not is another question, it's hard when you don't have first-hand experience. I'm trying not to think about living with this for the next 60 years, but I can't help it. I'm trying not to think I'm never ever going to get a break from this, but again I can't. At the moment these are always on my mind.

So if you're reading this and you feel the same too, how do you get past this? Or do you just go day-by-day?

P.S If you'd like someone to sit and have a cry with you, I have plenty of tissues :)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

PWD Conference

Last weekend John & I ventured across to Nottingham to go to the PWD Conference held by GBDOC and TeamBG, the first conference for PWD by PWD. No medical professionals or stands. Just everyone learning from each other and enjoying themselves.

I'll be the first to admit how nervous I was on the morning, I've been to a couple of forum meets a couple of years ago which were great however I've never been to a conference! So I was very excited/nervous about going, and meeting various PWD from Twitter and the weekly chats. (John got this by all the running around and over checking I was doing...)

We arrived just as the conference got going, and it was lovely to finally see the wonderful people who had organised the event, Paul & Midge! It was great to see so many people attend, and also funny trying to figure out people from their Twitter names (I think it was suggested to have name badges next time).

The agenda was a complete blank canvas. People who wanted to learn or speak about a specific topic were asked to bring it to the floor for us to decide whether we wanted a session on it or not. Nine topics were chosen, and after a very soothing cup of Early Grey (yes tres posh I sound) we were given our rooms. Paul was very clear on the sessions, if you felt you weren't getting what you wanted out of it or you finished early, go into another room and join another group! It was a very free flowing format, but worked brilliantly :)

I went with the intention of getting more information on the pump with peoples varying experiences, unfortunately this session clashed with the 'Partners Moaning' Session which John was keen on going to. John puts up with a lot with me and my Diabetes, so we decided to go to the Partners Moaning to give him chance to talk to others in the same boat as him. 

Tea break and the first #bgbingo of the day. I cannot describe the smile I had on my face when all you could hear was the clicking of lancets!

Session one was held by James, who attended with his wife/partner Phillipa. He spoke of her 'monster' and how they cope during hypo's/rows and other day-to-day scenario's. There was only myself and another lady with Diabetes in the room, so occasionally we piped up with our two penneth, but it was an eye opening experience to hear what partners go through. A lot of common issues were when to intervene when your loved one is low/high and needs to test, getting them to accept hypo treatments and how to deal with them when in an aggressive/emotional state of mind. John said he found it very useful, and I did too. We've even gone drink shopping so when hypo I have a drink I actually don't mind!

Session number two was 'Stigma in the Media' held by Lis (who has had D for 50yrs!). This got a lot of interest from people so was held in the mahoosive room. Lots of mention of ignorant comments in the media in the past few months and how we as a community can change that. A few people agreed that although these comments are infuriating, that a response needs to be handled in a calmer, more structured way to get the point across. People sharing awareness through their loved ones/co-workers etc. was seen to be the easiest way to spread awareness, however bigger platforms need to be reached. Lis did suggest having a GBDOC TweetChat about lobbying and people volunteering to create some sort of organisation or branch of GBDOC itself to handle situations like this. Personally it'd be nice to see some adverts on the TV with how to spot the symptoms of Diabetes or how to help someone who is hypo, rather than just assuming they've been drinking for example.

Lunch time! And a further highlight of the day for me was meeting Vicki. We've been talking via Twitter for quite a while, so to finally meet her was awesome! I think John compared it to meeting a pen-pal :) The only downside was that we didn't stay for the evening social so didn't get chance to talk for long.

Session three sadly wasn't chaired by the person who suggested it so the 'Mental Health' discussion didn't quite run as smoothly as the previous two. Another very popular topic, which meant the mahoosive conference room. I think the sensitive subject coupled with the size of the room meant people (such as myself) weren't overly forthcoming with their views/issues. Lots of people highly praising the care they've received in Nottingham, one lady mentioned she goes to Diabetic counselling in the city centre which I thought was great. Others discussed how Diabetes affects parents looking after growing children and switching the balance when they start getting older. The major point raised was that there needs to be more support available, and that healthcare professionals need to be more aware so they can recommend to people.

I can't begin to say how happy I felt coming home from the conference, and how I wish these events happened more frequently. Not feeling so alone and learning from other PWD was brilliant and a great confidence booster. John & I took a lot out of it, and I think it's brought us closer together as a D-unit :)

Can't wait for PWDC '16!