Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Why I'm not Studying Nursing at University

Over the last few years, I have been in contact with a lot of nurses, and have mainly had positive experiences surrounding them. That is why I wanted to pursue a career in nursing, so I could help people the way they helped me. When I first thought of the idea of doing nursing as a career, I mainly thought the bursary student nurses get would be beneficial, but the more I thought about it, I really wanted to do this. I was starting to get excited about the prospect of studying nursing, and my future, and I really thought I would be a working nurse after university.

I had 4 interviews at Scottish University's, including Stirling, University, Edinburgh Napier University, University of Glasgow and Edinburgh University. There was a range of group interviews, individual interviews and multiple mini interviews. The interviewers must have thought I would make a good nurse, as at the end of the process I had two conditional offers and 2 unconditional offers. I am extremely proud of myself for achieving that, and was humbled that all the universities saw something in me.

At my interview at Edinburgh Napier University, they carried out a occupational health check, which hadn't been done at any of the other universities. After handing in my form, I was called out because the nurse wanted to review my case. I told her that I had had a seizure from going hypo as few weeks before, she looked doubtful that I would pass. Regardless, she asked a lot of questions about the rest of my health, and then I got on with my interview. I knew that in nursing an occupational health check would have to be done, but I know some diabetic nurses who don't have problems with it, so I thought it would be fine. It wasn't until that moment that it dawned on me that I may have issues.

After this, me and my mum thought we would do some research. I asked around on twitter and Facebook, however not many other diabetics have had issues with this. My mum called the office for occupational health at the University of Glasgow, and they said that because I have periods of "Uncontrolled Unconsciousness", that I would have a slim chance of passing the occupational health.

Basically, I never officially failed the occupational health, but I decided to go down another route before I actually did. It was just too much hassle, and I would rather have a job that has more job security, and that I would be able to do despite of my health issues. I am so upset about this, but that's life, and sometimes things don't work out. So now to figure out what the other route I am following is...

Until Next Time..

Alyssa xx

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Type 1 Diabetes isn't easier than Type 2, it's just different!

Type 1 Diabetics don't have working Islet cells in their pancreas, meaning they will need to give themselves insulin for the rest of their live in order to LIVE. Type 2 Diabetics have fully functioning pancreases, however their body isn't responding to the insulin the way it should. Type 1 and Type 2 are different conditions. There are even some petitions to get the name of Type 1 Diabetes changed after so many misconceptions regarding the two conditions, especially in the media.

Recently, I was told by a Type 2 Diabetic that having Type 2 is harder than having Type 1. The first feeling I had was outrage. The premise he used to support his opinion was that type 1's can eat whatever they want, and type 2's can't. I reject this. Eating a chippy, for instance, is unhealthy for a type 1 as well as a type 2. In fact, its unhealthy for everybody. My second feeling was indecision. I had never thought about it from a type 2's angle, but I know it must not be easy, and just because I'm not living it and experiencing it doesn't mean that type 2 diabetics don't face challenges everyday just the same as type 1 diabetics. Type 2 diabetes isn't easier than Type 1, it is just different.

Presently there are 4 million individuals living in the UK living with Diabetes, however there are only 400,000 living with Type 1 Diabetes. That means that Type 1 Diabetes makes up 10% of the diabetic population in the UK. This is why some type 1 diabetics feel like they are being judged by everyone, because they are often put in a category with those with type 2, as they have the majority in the UK. As frustrating as it is, Type 2 diabetics are what people think about when you think of diabetes, and when I tell people I have diabetes, they say "But you're not fat!?" Or "Did you eat too much as a child?" Or "Do you have the bad kind?". They lump us together, but the truth is that not all type 2 diabetics get their condition because the ate too much sugar. Both conditions are the bad kind. They should be given separate names because, although they both involve the hormone insulin, they are very different!

I know some Type 2 Diabetics have to go on insulin because the treatment they are receiving isn't working as it should be, but the majority of type 2 diabetics need either Diet and Exercise or Meformin to control their condition (not the only ways). Type 1 Diabetics NEED to replace the insulin that their body is no longer making. Type 1 Diabetics need to constantly test their blood sugar, and most of the time Type 2 diabetics don't.

So before you judge anyone based on their condition, remember that TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2 DIABETES ARE DIFFERENT! One is not harder than the other necessarily. Both are hard, and both require control.

Please consider this the next time you tell me that you have it easier than me, because you don't know what I'm going through, and I don't know what you're going through.

Type 1 Diabetes isn't easier than Type 2, it's just different

Until Next Time,
Alyssa x

P.s. I am aware there are other types of diabetes. I don't know that much about them and didn't want to include false information. Don't want to offend anyone!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Embarrassing Diabetes!

Often when I'm in public, ill quickly check my blood sugar on my pump by taking it off my waistband.... then forgetting to put it back. I stand up forgetting that it's there, then end up with my insulin pump dangling from a wire, still attached to the cannula on my body, following by a loud curse word and me tugging on the wire to get to back. Type 1 Diabetes is not glamorous by any means!

Embarrassed pump dangling moment!
I'm not shy about having Type 1 Diabetes. I'm always straight up about it, normally make a joke if people ask questions, and always explain the facts. There are some situations, however, that embarrass me!

When wearing some clothing, I have to stash my pump deep underneath my clothes. If I wear a dress, I normally clip my pump to my underwear, and secure it underneath my tights so it is less visible (this is if my bra isn't an option). I have to access my pump to bolus, so I go to the bathroom, but often I leave myself untucked! Talk about embarrassing! It's not a big deal, but if it is a black tie event, for instance, I end up looking scruffy with my skirt tucked into my tights!

One situation that is very embarrassing is when I wear a dress, and have to stash my insulin pump in my bra. This means that every time I have an alarm on my pump (nearly every 30 minutes due to my CGM!) I have to fish around under my top, try and unhook my clip from my bra, and pull out my pump without anyone noticing! It's so embarrassing if your at a family dinner, surrounded by uncles and male relatives, and then I start fishing around in my bra, and they all get surprised and uncomfortable looks on their faces. Talk about awkward and embarrassing!
Embarrassing fishing in bra moment!
Although most people around me know that I have diabetes, I still get very embarrassed testing and checking my pump in public. I try to act as "normal" as possible, so when I have to stop to test my blood sugar, or quickly check my CGM readings on my pump, while everyone has to wait on me, I find it humiliating. I often don't check before meals because of this (but of course I bolus!) unless it is someone I know really well. Some people are okay with this, but this is a problem I struggle with and find very embarrassing!

I get embarrassed when I  can't carry out the activities that I would like to because I don't feel well enough. Having to cancel a fitness class or put off writing an essay because I just don't have the energy to make the effort to do anything.

I get embarrassed when people say to me "I'd rather die than do that".

I get embarrassed having to show my belly to check my cannula is fine.

I get embarrassed wearing a top with no sleeves so everyone can see my CGM on my arm. I often get asked, "What happened?!?"

But most of all I get embarrassed when my blood sugar is high, and I make fun of someone, or make a snide remark, or have a go at someone, which is totally unnecessary, but because I have high blood sugars, and I can't help it. My brain no longer has a filter, and I seem to say the most heartless thing I can think of. When my blood sugar returns to normal, I always have to apologise, but I always worry that one day I will say something that I can't take back.

SO If I say something to you that doesn't sound like me, it's probably because I'm high, so just ignore it and move on! And people who don't know about Type 1 Diabetes, if you don't know what something is, PLEASE KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS! Even if sometimes I get embarrassed, I'd rather people know the right facts than keep being ignorant towards the facts!

Until Next Time,

Alyssa x