Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lost Sleep

The thing I hate more than anything is loosing sleep. I'm a sleeper. I always have been. I took naps way longer than most kids and I had to be dragged out of bed most mornings.

I like to get my 8 hours plus. I can also sleep almost anywhere.

Put me in a car? I'm asleep in 10 minutes or so. A plane? I'm usually asleep before they get to drink orders.

This is not unusual for me. The only time I ever worried about sleep was when I was not making it through the day at work, without going to my car to take a nap. While that's another story, it lead to my Celiac diagnosis, and I'm back to just regularly sleeping a lot.

Diabetes is a sleep stealer. A full on stealer of sleep. With current diabetes technology, the wonderful world of Constant Glucose Monitoring, we are give the security of closer diabetes monitoring. We are given the benefits of knowing what out blood sugar is all of the time. It is a beautiful and wonderful technology, but it also has it's downsides.

There are alarms. All the time. You're too high, you're too low. You're rising quickly or falling quickly. Your sensor has lost communication with your device. During the day, these are great. You hear it, you give a quick adjustment and hopefully fall back into your range again. During the night, these alarms can be lifesaving. An alarm that wakes me from a low, could potentially save me from hospitalization or even death.

But these alarms, when they wake me at night, also keep me awake. Sometimes they go off multiple times during the night, making sleep broken and interrupted. Other times, it wakes me and I can't go back to sleep. This is what has been happening more often lately.

I miss sleep. I miss uninterrupted sleep. I miss it so much. It makes my days hard sometimes. It makes my nights restless. Diabetes is a sleep stealer.

My options are limited. I could turn off my sensor at night, but lose the safety of knowing if I drop too low or go too high. It's something that I've considered. But I'm not sure I'm ready to do this for now.

Thankfully, technology is improving. There are options out there to help regulate your blood sugar levels, without as much human decision making.  But until I get that technology, uninterrupted sleep is a nice idea, but not always possible.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

One Year

One year ago today, my life changed. That evening, I prepared for my endoscopy to confirm my diagnosis of Celiac Disease. In doing that, I ate my last meal that included gluten. It was a dinner from a restaurant. My mom had come down to be with me for the procedure, so we ordered out and brought it home to eat.

Life changed a year ago. I knew it was coming. I'd gotten a chance to "last chance" much of the gluten-y items I loved so much. I prepared. But until it actually happened, until I actually went gluten-free, I didn't understand everything. Sometimes I still don't. 

A lot in my life has changed since a year ago today. I've eaten gluten on accident a couple of times. I've learned about this new world of Celiac advocacy. I've become active locally in the gluten-free support group in Nashville. I've tried to learn to cook again.

I've had actual nightmares that I accidently ate gluten and when I realized it, I debated on continuing to eat the food. (This is a reoccurring dream for me!) I've gotten so excited when I saw something on the shelf in the store, only to instantly remember I can no longer eat that item.

I've stumbled through grocery store trips, and tried to stand up for myself in restaurants. I've learned that, much like diabetes, "gluten-free" has stigmas. I've nearly cried when I wanted something I can no longer eat. I've nearly cried when I found a suitable gluten-free substitute.

This marks the first full year of my gluten-free life. Diabetes is normal for me. Celiac isn't. Yet. I'm getting there. One day at a time. I'll get better at it. It will be second nature for me, just like diabetes is. It won't be easy all the time (neither is diabetes), but it will be my "normal."

Year one is in the books. On to the rest of my life.