Being brave is being afraid
. . . but doing it anyway.

. Katherine Marple

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Share, Not Compare

Posted on September 25, 2015 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Originally Published on InsulinNation.com under title "Having T1D Doesn't Give You a Monopoly on Suffering"

 

September 25th, 2015 | by Katherine Marple

 

 

If you were to meet me for the first time, not knowing anything about my history, you wouldn't guess that I have diabetes. I look like the average person, act like everything in my world is at peace, and spend the majority of my day with my kids, family and friends. I am a normal person.

But, I also have diabetes which can sometimes be extremely invasive, stressful and scary. Every time I eat or drink, I take a shot. No bite of food or swig of a drink is too small to be accounted for with an injection. When I exercise for an extended period of time, I check my glucose and adjust. Before I go to bed, I measure, check and set up back up plans in case something unexpected goes wrong. But, if you had just met me, you wouldn't immediately guess I worry about my future health several times each day. I have an invisible illness.

A friend of mine lives in constant pain. Pain that is so chronic that she doesn't even remember what not being in pain feels like. But, if you look at her, you wouldn't know it. She smiles through the pain, takes her prescription drug medication and hopes she doesn't become addicted to them. Her condition is invisible.

Another friend of mine is manic depressive. She talks excitedly about everything in her life, has strong opinions and game plans set in place for her future. But at times, she is severely depressed, despondent and sometimes even agoraphobic. Her condition is invisible.

This leads me to believe that any person I encounter is also battling something that is not easily seen. PTSD, loss of a family member, migraines, or any number of other invisible ailments, big or small; temporary or limitless. Is it then safe to say there isn't a need to compare our difficulties?

Everyone's worst day is their own. Until we can literally get inside one another's thoughts, we will never be able to determine another's exact point of view. My worst day could be a ketoacidosis episode, followed by an incompetent staff, and not enough hugs from my family. My friend's worst day could be waking up with an incapacitating headache and trying to go grocery shopping. It's all a matter of perspective.

It's similar to how I explain competition to my children. My four year old thinks my three year old is "little". Compared to her wise four years of life, her sister may seem little to her. But for my three year old, she has never been this age before, so in her mind, she is big, wise, brave, capable and strong.

Some people find it necessary to compare their worst days with the next person. This can be intended as motivation and proof that personal issues can be overcome. But, in most cases, comparing pain simply illegitimizes one person's struggles versus the other's - isolating both parties.

In the age of information, let's seek to share our stories in order to gain more wisdom. Let's set aside our need to be the Most, Best, Worst, or Right. Let's walk alongside each other, picking each other up when we take turns falling down. We all need a helping hand along the way. Let's do this together. Because it is just a little bit better when we are together.


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About the Author

 

 

Katherine Marple Katherine Marple was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the author of two diabetes-related novels, Wretched (this is my sorry) and Deathly Sweet. She has two children. You can learn more about her at http://www.katherinemarple.com.


The Diabetes Drain

Posted on June 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM

06/11/2015

 

Originally Published on www.DiabetesHealth.com

 

By Katherine Marple

 

I want to give up.

 

That’s the thought running through my head after struggling for eight hours with glucose readings over 300. I tried water, exercise, an extra dose of Metformin, resting … and nothing was budging that glucose reading. I was stuck. I was tired. I was drained.

 

I often write articles about keeping your spirits up with diabetes. Many times, I’ll admit that it’s tough having a chronic disease, but I usually follow that up with motivating words like “Keep pushing, keep going, be strong!” Today, I’m too tired for the bravado. Today, I am burnt out.

 

I went to bed last night after already battling a high reading. I had spent much of that morning and afternoon dipping into the 40s. Once it was finally registering in the optimal range, I was only able to relax for about three hours before it climbed higher, and higher, and higher- resting at 312. It sat stubbornly for the following eight hours, as I did everything I could think of- everything that had worked in the past- to get it to go back down. I awoke this morning, the battle still steady, the diabetes army piercing through my emotional armor.

 

I laced up my gym shoes and attempted to fight back even harder.

 

I admit that my diabetes journey is riddled with pot holes and rough patches, but it is not often that my glucose is so far out of range for such a long stretch of time. I’m still not sure quite what happened to cause it today, but it got me to thinking: how awesome could I be if diabetes didn’t have me.

 

I want to give up.

 

I heard that quiet voice in the back of my mind as I stumbled out of the gym. Being unable to complete my normal Monday routine because this particular 300 glucose reading was one which was sapping me like a spile in a maple tree. Sometimes a 300 doesn’t feel very different from a 150, for me. But sometimes, like today, a 300 just drains the energy and spirit right out of me. I pushed myself during my workout, hoping it would bring my glucose down- or at least start the downtrend, like exercise typically would. Instead, I felt my organs start to burn, my muscles gave out, my vision spotted and blurred.

 

I staggered out of the gym and sat in my car for thirty minutes, regaining focus for the drive home.

 

Today’s score:

Diabetes: 1

Me: 0

 

What could I be if diabetes didn’t have me? I have the resilience and perseverance to get through this chronic tick of a disease every single minute of every single day- nearly 17 years now. I have the creativity to find my own path, the ability to research and the willingness to try new things in my treatment. I have determination to continue exercising, eating right, balancing mental and emotional health, managing four different types of medications. What if diabetes wasn’t here? Who could I be with all of these traits, but with none of the physical burdens diabetes and my other autoimmune disorders cause?

 

The possibilities seem infinite.

 

That is, until I consider, maybe having diabetes nearly steal my life from me 20x in my short 30 years of life is what made those beautiful, strong traits present themselves.

 

I do get downtrodden and drained. Diabetes is a mean disease, and I am so frustrated and exhausted from fighting back every step of the way. But, like the bullies in grade school taught me, I will get through this. Your aggression is giving me reason to become stronger and stronger… and I will succeed.

 

… There’s that valor again.

 

 

Stay Strong. Be Brave.


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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, PCOS, Pre-Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & Victoza, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes-related novels: “Wretched (this is my sorry)” and “Deathly Sweet.”

She can be found at www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

Rare Side Effects

Posted on April 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (0)

April 9, 2015 / Katherine Marple

Originally Published on http://www.diabeteshealth.com

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My body tends to be, shall we say, abnormal. Whenever there’s just a slight possibility of a negative side effect happening with my health, that’s the path my body chooses to go.

 

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A few short examples of this:

 

- Type 1 diabetes led to insulin resistance, which I had to fight for my doctors to consider since I had the symptoms, but it was still considered a “type 2” issue at the time.

 

- During pregnancy, I developed pre-eclampsia or toxemia. Doctors claimed it wasn’t “possible” for me to get it during subsequent pregnancies, yet I developed it sooner and at a more dangerous level the second time around.

 

- They said “You can’t be thin and develop PCOS”, and yet… here I am.

 

- They said there were no side effects to taking the lowest dose of a common anxiety medication, as it was supposed to be something you work up from. Yet I was temporarily paralyzed in my arms by the second day and needed to cease the medication immediately.

 

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I have gotten used to being abnormal. It has taught me to research and to come to my own conclusions; to heed the doctor’s advice, but ultimately to trust my instincts.

 

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Around this time last year, I started experiencing severe heart palpitations. It felt as if my heart were rolling over in my chest numerous times per day, regardless of sitting, standing, laying down or exercising. My heart jumped and skipped to the point of it interrupting my daily functioning, sometimes leaving me breathless, light headed and dizzy. Prior to these series of events, I had never “noticed” my heart beating before. Suddenly, wondering if my heart was going to stop became something I gave thought to several times per day.

 

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It was bothersome enough that I consulted a Cardiologist. He listened to my symptoms and believed I had reason to have an EKG and echocardiogram done. Even though I am a healthy, fit, 30-year-old young woman, I have had diabetes for 16 years and have dealt with many major health issues throughout that time. It wouldn’t be completely unheard of for heart disease to develop, considering my health history. I was afraid, but at the same time, I also wanted to have an answer. My heart palpitations were waking me in the night, causing me to cough and “choke” on my skipped beats.

 

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I asked the Cardiologist if he thought any of my medications could be to blame for these heart beat issues. He checked through the known sided effects (as I had also done prior to his visit) and stated no heart issues were ever reported under the use of the medications I was using. My drug list is quite small, considering my health issues: Apidra, Metformin, Symlin, and Levemir. Other than these, I rarely even use aspirin.

 

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A month later, my results for the EKG and echocardiogram came back completely normal. I had the heart of a young woman, healthy and strong for my 30 years of age. I was glad for this but also stumped because my heart beats were still interrupting my life. I could no longer complete my cardio workouts because my heart would skip beats for several seconds at a time and cause me to feel physically ill.

 

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The following month, still with no answers and seemingly unrelated, I had an appointment with my Endocrinologist. We discussed my medications and whether I was satisfied with my diabetes management. For six months, I had complaints regarding Symlin, due to the nausea and extreme fatigue that happened for an hour after each dose. My body never got used to the medication, like it was supposed to.

 

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Despite the problems, I needed the aide of the Symlin-type drug to help keep my glucose levels stable. So, we decided to come off of Symlin and try Victoza (a similar drug) for a few weeks, to see if my fatigue and nausea improved. Well, lo and behold…

 

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Within two days, after I switched from Symlin to Victoza, the heart palpitations stopped. I haven’t used Symlin for nearly six months now, and the heart palpitations have never returned. Not once. I can resume my strenuous cardio routines and even sleep throughout the nights (if my toddlers let me).

 

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Every doctor said my heart issues couldn’t be medication related, but I have to at least agree to disagree on this one. My heart palpitations began within a few weeks of beginning the Symlin regimen and ended within two days of stopping Symlin. I would venture to guess that the heart arrhythmia was a rare side effect of the drug. There could be other causes, but the correlation is great.

 

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Stay strong. Be brave.

 

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** Note: This article is not meant to promote nor discredit usage of Symlin or Victoza drugs. These are recountings of personal side effects unique to the Author and meant to be regarded as a simple sharing of experiences. Please seek medical advice from your Doctor before beginning or ending use of any medications.

 

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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre-Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & Victoza, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes-related novels: “Wretched (this is my sorry)” and “Deathly Sweet.”

 

She can be found at www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

Which is Worse?

Posted on February 2, 2015 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

February 2, 2015 | Katherine Marple

 

Originally Published on http://www.diabeteshealth.com/

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I have a few autoimmune disorders which negatively affect my health. Diabetes is simply the most prominent one because it requires the most day to day maintenance.

 

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Even though I’m type 1 and use insulin, I have insulin resistance to the point of needing up to the maximum dosage of Metformin, 2000mg per day, in addition to shots of Symlin before meals to aide in postprandial glucose leverage. These two drugs combined have really helped soften the major spikes my glucose used to make and I am relatively pleased with the way my blood sugars have been leveling out over the past five months of combined Symlin/Metformin therapy.

 

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But the side effects make me wonder which is worse:

 

· the glucose spikes and plummets which leave me feeling tired, agitated and frustrated-

· or the nausea, vomitting, and indigestion caused by taking the two medications.

 

It seems I have to choose between feeling physically vile the majority of each day from the drugs, or feeling fatigued and facing a shortened lifespan from skipping the insulin resistance assistance.

 

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Neither choice feels right.

 

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I take these drugs because I need them to manage my irritable blood sugars. But for the hour after taking them, I am unable to eat or drink, have slowed movement and muscle weakness, sometimes even slurred speech. I am tired to the point of dizziness and need to sit down for an hour. After taking a dose, there are times I physically cannot keep my eyes open.

 

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I take these medications two to three times per day, which adds up to two or three hours of being incapacitated, due to intense and immediate side effects. Then, I’m spending about an hour regaining my strength and functionality after each rest period. That’s a lot of my day spent being sick. It’s infringing on my daily life in more ways than I’m prepared to forfeit in the name of long-term health.

 

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I am not the type to dramatize things and understand that you must take some negatives with the positives in life. These side effects are nearly unmanageable though.

 

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I tried going without Metformin for a day or two and saw such stubborn blood sugars, lasting three or four hours being unresponsive to insulin injections, that I felt I had to resume the medication. I tried skipping a dose of Symlin before a few meals and even though they were of very low carbohydrate consumption, my postprandial numbers were horrible, despite a calculated insulin injection.

 

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Where, oh where, is that cure they promised me was coming 16 years ago? I can’t accept that these are my only options to sustain life. What kind of a life is it when I’m physically ill and exhausted every day?

 

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These two medications significantly improve my diabetes management and my readings are more stable than they’ve been in ten years. But which is worse? I’m gaining more tomorrows at the cost of all of my todays. There has got to be another solution.

 

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Disclaimer: Every human body reacts to medications differently. This is my personal experience with Metformin and Symlin combined. I’ve been using Metformin for many years and have not felt these side effects until adding Symlin to the mix. Not everyone will react to these medications in the manner which I have.

 

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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & VictozA, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes related novels: "Wretched (this is my sorry)" and "Deathly Sweet." She can be found at: www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

The Fall Guy

Posted on January 29, 2015 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

January 29, 2015 | Katherine Marple

 

Originally Published on http://www.diabeteshealth.com/

 

 

Two summers ago, I was in a brutal car accident caused by losing consciousness behind the wheel. Luckily, there were no fatalities. But, I’m left wondering what caused me to black out when I felt otherwise healthy just moments before.

 

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For the following month, I recounted my story of that day to as many doctors who would listen to me. I am extremely careful about monitoring my blood sugars before operating a vehicle. I replayed the glucose check before I drove my car, the pit stop for slow acting carbohydrates on the way home, and the fact that I was five months pregnant.

 

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Even though this event took place just ten minutes after beginning my drive, the moment the policeman discovered I was diabetic and insulin dependent, the cause of my unconsciousness was pinned on plummeting blood sugar. The case was assumed closed.

 

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None of the doctors seemed confused by my blood sugar being relatively stable that day and they continued to write off the accident as diabetes-related, despite this knowledge. When I get into any kind of medical trouble, diabetes seems to be blamed. In my heart, I don’t believe that’s the case this time.

 

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For example, I had severe pre eclampsia with both pregnancies, meaning my blood pressure was extremely volatile. My own mother had issues with plummeting blood pressure when she was pregnant with all her children, causing her to get dizzy and see spots. In the case of the car accident, since I was five months pregnant, couldn’t a sudden plummet of pressure cause me to lose consciousness?

 

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Diabetes gives me a lot of grief, but I don’t believe it is the only reason why I have so many issues managing on a day to day basis. When it comes to the human body, there are so many intricacies that it would be hard to locate the source of the many problems that I’m dealing with. Isn’t this why I have so many doctors on my healthcare team, so they can help me figure everything out?

 

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The car accident was not the first time diabetes was pinned as the culprit of a medical mishap. Nor will it be the last time it happens. Sure, diabetes is hard to manage sometimes and things can easily turn awful over the course of a few hours. But, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be checked for any other problems which could cause my ailments.

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I’m not a hypochondriac, I’m just careful. I’ve caught health issues on my own- such as pre eclampsia and insulin resistance - before the doctors could figure it out. I don’t have the medical information at my fingertips like doctors do, but I have my instincts on how my body is functioning. I don’t want to be dismissed.

 

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Because of type 1 diabetes, as well as insulin resistance and absorption issues, I admit that my diabetes control can be temperamental. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just wondering if there is something else happening with my health, from time to time, that could explain these sporadic medical events more clearly than an assumed glucose change.

 

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Should diabetes be the Fall Guy for every medical issue I encounter? I don’t believe so, but there are many doctors who seem satisfied with that answer.

 

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Next patient, please.

 

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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & VictozA, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes related novels: "Wretched (this is my sorry)" and "Deathly Sweet." She can be found at: www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

How Do I Love Me When I Hate Me? by: Nadia Al-Samarrie

Posted on December 27, 2014 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

An article written by Diabetes Health magazine editor Nadia Al-Samarrie, in response to comments left on Marple's article "I Am Thankful"

 

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Excerpt: "Most recently, I read a comment on our website where someone had written in response to Katherine Marple’s article, “I Am Thankful” (article #8481 on the Diabetes Health website). The commentator said Katherine was delusional for being thankful about her diabetes. I decided not to post the comment because the way in which this person expressed his opinion was offensive to anyone. If he had written, “Katherine, I respectfully disagree,” and then given reasons for the disagreement, we all might have been illuminated by understanding how and why someone might reject and hate his disease."

 

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See the full article here:

 

http://www.diabeteshealth.com/blog/how-do-i-love-me-when-i-hate-me/

Where Do You Dexcom?

Posted on December 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Katherine Marple | Dec 23, 2014

 

Originally Published on http://www.diabeteshealth.com/

 

 

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The Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGM) is one of the most incredible advancements in diabetes care.

 

I wore the Dexcom Seven Plus in 2010 but found the inaccuracies and false alarms to be cumbersome. After four months, I gave up on it, finding it too stressful. I tried again once Dexcom updated its software to G4 and have found it to be incredibly accurate. Now, six months after befriending the Dexcom, I have found I rely upon it to get me through the nights nearly worry-free.

 

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I was told by the CGM trainers the Dexcom is only FDA approved for use in the upper abdomen. He didn’t state it couldn’t be used elsewhere, but they were only allowed to recommend usage in the ab flesh.

 

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I tried inserting in that area for a few weeks, but found that after each exercise regimen, the sensor would slide off my stomach and I’d have to apply a new one. This was due to the sweat that would work up during my vigorous routine, loosening the adhesive. I tried applying medical tape surrounding the sensor for extra support, but that was only a temporary solution lasting just one or two days longer than before.

 

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Sensors are supposed to last for seven days. That’s what insurance companies will allow as well. I do vigorous exercise three to four times a week, with light workouts in between. Using the abdomen area for insertion, I would begrudgingly go through three or four sensors per week. I wasn’t willing to give up my exercise, so I started trying new areas to wear the Dexcom.

 

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Using my upper thigh seemed like a good idea, but I found that it was uncomfortable and would sometimes get caught on my pants. I considered using the back of my arms, but they are fairly muscular and the idea of inserting there seems too painful.

 

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For three months, I comfortably used the upper flesh of my buttock. It was below the waistband of most of my pants and didn’t seem bothered when I stretched to sit or stand. It also withstood my workouts in that position, not being an area that sweats particularly much. But it started getting caught on my clothing a few weeks ago and I went through six sensors within two weeks.

 

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Dexcom Technical Support was incredibly gracious in sending me replacement sensors a few days ago. Again, they could only recommend wearing the Dexcom in the abdomen, so I was left to find a better solution.

 

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I had my husband help me apply a sensor in my back, in the muscle that lays over the lower ribcage. It’s lower than my bra line, and is comfortable. I did my first workout wearing the sensor today and it didn’t budge. The glucose trends are still extremely accurate, so I may have found my new sensor spot.

 

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I’m wondering, though, where do you Dexcom?

 

 

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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & Symlin, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes related novels: "Wretched (this is my sorry)" and "Deathly Sweet." She can be found at: www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

I Am Thankful

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Katherine Marple | Dec 16, 2014

Originally Published on www.DiabetesHealth.com

 

Despite the problems and concerns I publicly write about regarding my diabetes life, I try to be a very positive minded person. Diabetes is complicated and frustrating, sometimes downright depressing. But having this disease has also taught me so many things that affect my perception of life and how it’s meant to be lived.

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I am thankful for the stresses of diabetes. It has taught me how to bounce back and to fight. Diabetes has shown me how much I’m willing to push back in order to achieve what I desire. I desire a long and full life and having the burden of a 24/7 disease has made me determined to make the most of what I have.

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I am thankful for the perseverance and precision diabetes requires. I pay attention to the details of nearly everything around me and tasks get completed when they’re assigned to me. Having diabetes has taught me to see things through and to keep trying until I am satisfied with what I’ve produced.

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I am thankful for the abnormalities diabetes has presented in my health. It has shown me that not all doctors or people in positions of authority are right, and I need to question things that are presented to me. I’ve learned to research and to trust my instincts when it comes to matters of health for myself and my family.

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I am thankful for the death threats diabetes has sent to me. Waking from an insulin shock coma, with my husband’s arms around me, has taught me to live every day with as much spirit as I can muster. Because I am intricately aware of how quickly things can turn bad, having diabetes has also taught me which relationships to hold onto. There is no pre-determined End to life, and I must live it in the best, most authentic way possible.

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I am thankful for the harshness of diabetes. Being vulnerable throughout my diabetes care has taught me to be empathetic toward others who are also dealing with tough realities in life.

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I am thankful for the consequences diabetes has given me for mistakes I’ve made. Holding myself accountable and being able to learn has taught me to be a better mother and wife, a better person.

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Diabetes, though our relationship is very complicated and I look forward to the day I can move on from having you in my life, I am grateful for the lessons you have taught me these 16 years together. Whenever possible, I’d like a divorce from you.

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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & Symlin, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes related novels: "Wretched (this is my sorry)" and "Deathly Sweet."

She can be found at: www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

The Fear of Knowing

Posted on December 9, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Katherine Marple | Dec 9, 2014

Originally Published on www.DiabetesHealth.com

 

I picked up a pamphlet at my Endocrinologist’s office today that discusses the process of getting children screened for autoantibodies. These markers can signify the development of Type 1 diabetes up to ten years before it takes hold. This fascinates and terrifies me in the same breath. I can find out if my children are prone to developing the disease I’ve survived for 16 years, but how will I handle the news if one of my children returns a positive result for having the markers of Type 1 diabetes?

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Diabetes has not been kind to me. No matter how diligent I am, it sucker punches me as often as it can. I’ve been in over twenty insulin shocks where I’ve lost consciousness and needed to be revived. Reactions to insulin, assumed to be an allergy, caused several of those shocks to occur. I’ve been in three ketoacidosis states which led to several days in ICU for recovery each time, caused from being sick with bronchitis or severe emotional stress. The insulin resistance I deal with is so stubborn that I’m using 1500mg of Metformin and two injections of Symlin per day to balance it- otherwise my glucose roller coasters off the charts on both ends of the spectrum. I was diagnosed with retinopathy, which luckily was reversed a year later. I have anxiety disorders and bouts of depression, both partially due to the chronic perfection diabetes requires and the physical repercussions of swinging glucose trends.

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Not every one of my health issues can be blamed solely on diabetes complications, but the disease compounds everything. Diabetes is the side effect of having an autoimmune disorder, I understand, but this disease demands to be dealt with 24 hours a day.

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As far as I’m aware (and I’ve asked everyone I know), I am the first Type 1 diabetic in my bloodline across several generations. We don’t know how I contracted the disease when I was treated and exposed to the same environment as my three blood brothers and sisters. We know it has something to do with my immune system, seeing as I also have PCOS and survived Pre Eclampsia in two pregnancies. My DNA has a mutation that my siblings do not have.

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The new technology is there so we can catch the disease as early as possible, sometimes before any symptoms are even present. If caught early enough, diabetes can be staved off for several years and sometimes even prevented.

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I am fascinated by these tests, wondering how my life may have been different if diabetes was detected earlier and if I was diagnosed at 30 instead of 14. I am conflicted about testing my children for these autoantibodies. I childishly only want to know the results if it’s good news.

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I’m not the type of person who buries her head in the sand; I try to face problems and crises head on. But the thought of one of my precious little girls being faced with this monster terrifies me. I’m scared for them. I’m scared for my response if they do test positive for these Type 1 markers. So, until I’m ready to face the possible “positive” results for those awful Type 1 markers, I can’t bear my kids taking that test. Tomorrow I may feel different, but today, I’m just not ready.

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For more information on these tests, please visit www.DiabetesTrialNet.org or call 1-800-425-8361

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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & Symlin, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes related novels: "Wretched (this is my sorry)" and "Deathly Sweet."

She can be found at: www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

A Little, Not a Lot

Posted on October 31, 2014 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Katherine Marple | Oct 31, 2014 Originally Published on www.DiabetesHealth.com

 

Halloween is the beginning of what many see as the season of indulgence. Candy and costumes lead to turkey and trimmings, to presents and feasts, to binge drinking and late nights. How is a diabetic, or anyone else, supposed to navigate this wonderful, at times intimidating, celebratory season of family and friends?

 

When I was a child, I had a pillowcase full of candy after Halloween. Each year, I strived to get to more houses than the last, mounding the piles of sweetness higher and higher. The last year I went, I was fourteen and brought my six year old brother out. It took us hours to get through the neighborhood, and we pulled a wagon home with our loot. My mother used to teach us that three pieces of candy per day was more than enough. Even with her liberal restriction, it would take until the following summer to get through the pile.

 

My children are still very young, but we do take them out dressed up on Halloween. Honestly, they play dress up nearly every day. But, they get a thrill out of going with us and their cousins, house to house, greeting the neighbors. When their legs are tired and it nears bedtime, we carry them home with their bushels of candy. They love the experience and as a family, we do too. We tuck them into bed and they dream of what life would be if we were all fairies and ladybugs.

 

I’m trying to teach my children that candy is a delicacy. Eat too much of it and you’ll feel tired and sick. Eat it once in a while, and the flavor bursts on your tongue like fireworks. I may have skirted the candy issue thus far, because they are still young and don’t quite know what candy is; they just like the brightly colored wrappers. I limit them to a few pieces over the course of the weeks that follow Halloween. I let them enjoy it, but I try not to let the sugar rush consume them.

 

As far as I’m concerned, it’s okay to indulge once in a while, so long as it’s in moderation. Indulge, to me, is one piece every few days or less. We still have candy in the pantry, even after my husband brought a good portion of it to work following the holiday last year.

 

I don’t feel deprived. Nowadays, I cook so much at home that when I eat something that is store bought, I can taste the chemicals and don’t necessarily like the flavor anymore. Halloween, for me, is more about being silly and joining in a masquerade instead of about the pounds of candy that we bring home.

 

This year, my three year old daughter asked to be a ballerina and my almost-two year old daughter wants to be a dinosaur. I made the costumes and the children are beyond excited to take part in the festivities, asking day after day these past weeks if Halloween is tomorrow. “No, baby,” I say. “But, soon.”

 

No matter if we have diabetes to keep us in check or to battle against, or if we have no health issues to concern us, no one should indulge to the point of being irresponsible with their health. A little is good, too much is bad. Just like every other day.

 

We use Halloween as a family event to choose who we want to be, if just for one evening. I’m thinking about being a Super Hero this year because that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Let the festivities begin.




 

 

Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & Symlin, sometimes Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes related novels: "Wretched (this is my sorry)" and "Deathly Sweet." She can be found at www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple


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