Sunday, January 20, 2013

Type 1 Diabetes

So early last year, exactly one week before Valentine’s day in fact, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes... or as I like to sometimes call it, the diabeetus. First I will tell you about how I found out (because I think it was kind of funny) and then what it actually means.

A blue circle is the symbol for diabetes
 I had some blood taken earlier in the week to test for all the standard things due to an unrelated eye issue I was having at the time known as Eyeritis. They wanted to try and figure out what might have been causing it. Skip forward a couple of days and I was getting ready for work in the morning when the phone rings. I answer and our family doctor is on the line which is no big deal because she is actually a long time close family friend, but she want's to talk to me which is a little unusual. She tells me that she got my blood results and I need to come into her practice as soon as possible, forget about going to work, just get there ASAP... and then she hangs up.

I have no idea what is going on, she didn't say what the reason I had to come in so urgently was other than it was in the results of my blood test. Being the person I am I immediately predicted the worst and instantly thought "it is terminal and I am going to die." I didn't tell anyone else what had just happened; I calmly packed up my things for work and left the house without a word.

In the car on the way there I forced myself to come to terms with my inevitable mortality and tried to imagine what it would be like to tell my friends and family that I was going to die. By the time I got to the doctor’s office I was pretty sure I had a pretty good handle on it and had pretty much accepted my fate. I walk in, the doctor ushers me straight through, I sit down, she looks at me sternly in the eyes and say's "you have type one diabetes."
What I use to test my blood every day

 I can honestly say I don't think I have ever been so glad to get bad news in my life, relief washed over me, I let out a big sigh and just smiled back at her. I think she was surprised at how well I was taking this news. My mum just so happens to work right next door to the practice and I told my doc asked if I wanted her to tell my mum for me, I agreed better her than me. After a few minutes of the boring diabetes information was being described to me like I was little child by one of the other doctors I suddenly hear the very familiar sound of my mum bursting into tears and getting hysterical. I was glad I agreed for the doc to tell her rather than doing it myself at that moment. I didn't really want to have to deal with that right then; I was going through my own shit. She bursts into the room and does the standard motherly stuff like hugs and crying etc. while I am just smiling like a dumb-ass the whole time.

The rest of the day consisted of learning about diabetes management which I will tell you a little bit about now.

I have Type 1 Diabetes, there is also Type 2 as well as Gestational Diabetes that make up the major three types. What all three have in common is the body's inability to process carbohydrates (sugars).

 Gestational Diabetes happens to some mothers during pregnancy. The following is described at
While the carbohydrate intolerance usually returns to normal after the birth, the mother has a significant risk of developing permanent diabetes while the baby is more likely to develop obesity and impaired glucose tolerance and/or diabetes later in life.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common and also most widely known form of diabetes affecting 85-90% of all diabetics. If you have heard of Diabetes before, this is probably the type you are familiar with. This is sometimes a genetic issue and can sometimes happen to completely healthy people if there is a family history, but mostly it is caused by factors such as lack of exercise, bad diet, obesity, high blood pressure, and generally bad lifestyle choices. Type 2 can usually be treated with diet change, exercise, and medication, but sometimes it later requires regular injections if it worsens enough over time.

A hot girl holding what I use to inject insulin every day

Type 1 Diabetes is what I have. It accounts for around 10-15% of people with ongoing diabetes and therefor receives a whole lot less attention by media and doctors and research on it gets a whole lot less funding. Generally when I tell people I have "Type 1" diabetes they usually ask "is that the bad one?" and I cannot be bothered going into the specifics of the differences between the different types every single time so I usually just agree with them. Type 1 is an auto-immune disease were my own immune system attacks the cells that create insulin in my pancreas. It generally happens to younger people and used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes but also happens to people often as old as 40. It is generally considered to be triggered by viruses and is not preventable.

I am required to test my blood before every meal and also inject myself with insulin before nearly every meal depending on the carb count of the food and my blood sugar levels. I had to learn how to calculate the carb count of everything I eat and inject the right amount of insulin for each meal. If I inject too much I can go hypoglycaemic and pass out. If it's really bad I can fall into a coma (and die I guess). If it goes the other way and I don't inject and eat something with lots of carbs (sugars) me body tries to get rid of the excess blood sugar by eliminating it in the urine. This increases the amount of urine significantly, and often leads to dehydration so severe that it can cause seizures, coma, and even death. I need to have my insulin and blood testing until on me at all times as well as having a source of sugar nearby just in case I go into a hypo. I have to be very careful with my diet and try to exercise regularly (which is a little bit of an issue due to a heart problem I have right now that I will go into in another post).

Ongoing bad management of diabetes can cause many health problems in the long run... Fuck I'm just going to throw this in here for people that actually read this far, I am at work typing this up and one of the work guys just brought in a delicious cake made by his whife who is an amazing professional chef... and I just stood there and stared at them all eating that cake... FML.

Where was I? Oh yeah, health problems. If it is badly treated, or sometimes just after having the disease for many, many years, it can cause retina damage, kidney damage and kidney disease, increased risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. But the most commonly known one is nerve damage, particularly in the extremities such as feet and hands. Diabetes is the leading cause of amputation in the world and diabetics account for somewhere around 50% of all amputations.

And that's it, I'd be surprised if anyone actually read all of that, I know it's my longest ever post and has heaps of info but if anyone has any questions for me about anything at all please feel free to ask in the comments. Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Two Years Later - Finally A Big Ass Update

Here is the short tl;dr update of everything that has happened, mostly in 2012. I found out I have Type 1 diabetes and have to stick myself with needles 3 times a day for the rest of my life, got Sarcoidosis in various organs, Iritis in my eyes, another unknown eye issue that no one can figure out what it actually is but I might require injections into my eyeballs, appendicitis and needed to have an appendectomy which then got an internal infection and landed me straight back in hospital, an enlarged heart that does not pump at normal capacity, parents got fully divorced and lost their house, moved back in with my grandparents.

Fuck all that, 2012 has legit been one of the best years of my life.

I also went overseas for the first time in my life, visited USA and stayed in L.A. and Las Vegas. I went to Comic Con Australia and dressed up as Batman and stayed with good internet friends from interstate and had heaps of fun. I got into online dating and actually went on some dates, did some other things, got into a relationship, made friends, surprised myself, surprised other people.

I am going to go into more details about all of these things over the coming days / weeks because there is no way I could go into details about all of these things in one massive post, you would die of boredom and no one wants to read that much about some guy on the internet's life all at once. So stay tuned if you're interested in reading some crazy, interesting, sad, happy, exciting, and sometimes downright shocking stories.

(Yes, I really am going to start posting regularly again now... I promise)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Catchup Post

I decided to compile a quick list explaining why I have not posted for over 4 months... here you go:

- Got a new job that requires me to work harder and more often
- Christmas and New Years visitors and general business of holliday period (also not actualy having any hollidays during this time)
- Went interstate for a few weeks
- Found out my dad is having an affair
- Parents getting a divorce
- Have to sell our house, which means finishing the house so most of my free time has been spent painting and gardening and shovelling rocks
- Applying for a new job and got an interview tomorrow

If I get this job I am going for I should get some more time to get back into posting more often. I will let you know.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Phone - LG Optimus GT540

I have been looking at getting a new phone for a while now as the phone I have been using for the last few years was becoming pretty damn old, did not have any internet access, and the battery was starting to last for less and less time per charge. I finally chose to go with the newly released (in Australia) LG Optimus.
I got the black one on the left
I chose this phone for a few reasons but the main reason is because I am a cheap barstard. I was only looking at phones that I could get for free on the cheapest phone plan available to me which is a $19 a month plan. I went with this plan on the Optus network because this model of phone was available. On this plan I get $70 worth of calls, 100mb worth of data, and unlimited free access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkdIn, EBay, and FourSquare.

The Optimus is also the cheapest of the Android phones I have seen around. It runs Android 1.6 which is a little disappointing seeing as I would have liked the more up to date version 2 Android OS but for the price what do you expect. Also it has a resistive touch screen rather than a capacitive screen, although many reviews say it is one of the best resistive touchscreens around it still does not compare to a capacitive touchscreen. In my personal use I have had no problems with the touchscreen at all, but I have played with IPhones before and agree the capacitive screens are better, but it's all about keeping the cost down for me. It is still pretty exciting to have my first Android phone... in fact it is actually the first 'smart phone' I have owned. Also I think it's a pretty sexy looking phone.

I have not had much of a chance to play with it yet because I only got it yesterday but from the stuff I have read online and the videos I have watched on Youtube there are plenty of Apps available. I mean, sure it's no IPhone in the way of apps... but then again it's $40 cheaper a month than the 16GB and $60 cheaper than 32GB IPhone. Also it can multitask (run multiple apps at once) and is very open compared to the IPhone. I am able access the file system and install apps from the PC to the phone with no problems and there is no need to do shit like 'Jailbreak' it like you would need to do with the IPhone.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Decide My Future - Employment

As you know I have been training a new staff member to take over my job and I will be moving into a slightly more technical position doing Tech Support work, but another new opportunity has presented itself.

At the moment I work for the local government and I really like where I work. I have been working there for nearly two years in an IT Support (helpdesk) position. But I do not actually work for them directly, I am employed by an employment agency and work for the local government under contract that gets extended every few months or so. Because of this I don't get any benefits such as sick pay and RDO's (Roster Days Off) and paid holiday leave etc. Also my job is actually not supposed to be permanent, I am filling a roll that is actually filled by an existing staff member that is just currently working on a big project so I may loose my position at some point. But at the same time there is also a high chance that I will eventually become hired full time and get to keep my job permanently, or fill another of the many new jobs that are becoming available at the organisation.

As I mentioned in the last post they have given me the opportunity to step up a level and start doing a more technical roll as a Desktop Support tech which is a step up and will make my resume look a little better and give me more experience.

At the same time my boss, who is a pretty awesome guy and always looks out for me, brought to my attention that the local University has two Service Desk positions advertised that I would be perfect for because they are the same kind of job I have been doing for the last two years and I am pretty damn good at. These positions will be directly employed by the University rather than through an employment agency which means that I get all the benefits and job security etc. But on the other hand it means that right now when I have the opportunity to get into a more technical roll, I will be instead moving back into the same experience level I have been in over the last two years.

So my question to you is, should I go for this job at the University for the job security and benefits even though I will still be at my current level, or should I stick where I am and take the new roll, build more experience have some opportunity to build my resume?

Oh... and I'm just about to leave to go to my uncles place... again! to watch the Grand Final ... again! Hope my team wins this time!