Posts

Anxiety: the silent saboteur

As it's mental health month and today is focused on anxiety I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about anxiety specifically. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. Check out Beyond Blue for information https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/what-causes-anxiety

Anxiety disorders are so often written off as ridiculous. Stop worrying. Stop over thinking.
My personal favourite? Don't stress.

Yeah look, if it were that easy I wouldn't have been paying for 6 years of treatment.

We all experience anxiety. That rush of adrenaline, that worry about a big job interview. But it becomes a problem when you're anxious chronically, with no particular trigger, and your anxiety is impacting your day to day functioning.

I have an anxiety disorder that's a mix of many characteristics of different things. Over the years it's presented in different ways. As a kid I was so perfectionistic I would cry if I couldn't do something righ…

A Conversation

"How are you?"
This morning I felt like my limbs were made of cement which made it really hard to get up, my sugar's high now, I'm tired all the time and would like to be in bed right now. Fan-flippin-tastic.
I smile widely "I'm good thanks, how are you?"
"Good thanks!"

We chat for a moment, it's pleasant.

"Well I'm heading off, nice to see you"
"You too" I smile and wave.
Again with the smiling. What am I, a Cheshire cat? Did I put them off in that conversation? I hope I didn't say something stupid. I was awkward wasn't I? I'm such an idiot. They're not thinking about this at all... stop thinking Bec.

I walk to my car. I dropped everything off earlier so have nothing in my hands.
Stand up straight. Honestly why is this so hard for you? What am I supposed to do with my hands? I have nothing to hold on to. It's mildly impressive I manage to make walking look uncoordinated.
I get in, put it in reverse…

JDRF Australia Type 1 Summit

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Last Sunday I attended the first Australian Type 1 Diabetes Summit. It was an event bringing together experts in t1 to discuss research, technology, emotional wellbeing and general management. But more than that, it was an event bringing together people with type 1 and their families.

Three main highlights from the outset:

1) There were talks for all ages. It feels like everything t1 related is for young kids and adolescents, so it was a nice change to have an adult focus.
2) It was in Parramatta! Good old Western Sydney finally getting a turn for the big events.
3) It was affordable. $15 for a ticket was reasonable for what I got out of the day.

I went to the summit alone, which for me was a pretty big deal! Yes, I spent the first 45 minutes shaking and texting my friend "WHAT WAS I THINKING I DON'T KNOW HOW TO MINGLE WITH STRANGERS WHO DIDN'T COME ALONE". It was pretty weird to be in a foyer full of people with t1/linked to t1 in some way. It's relatively rare …

On the topic of same sex marriage

I've been wanting to write this for some time, but I've been afraid to. I've been afraid to because I don't like conflict. I don't like to cause a fuss, or say something that may cause someone else to take offence. But disagreement is a part of life. Not talking about things makes them seem bad, and I don't think there is anything bad about this. I'm really passionate about this, and I'm ashamed I hesitated to discuss it.
A very non diabetes post: let's talk about same sex marriage.

For some context, Australia is holding (what I believe is a voluntary) vote on whether or not same sex marriage should be made legal. The fact there is a vote at all is something I have mixed feelings about. I think it opens up a really nasty field where there is the potential for a lot of hurt and hatred on both sides of the debate. It also means the loudest people are the ones heard. I question why we think we should be able to pass judgement on whether same sex marri…

T1 and Uni Life Survival Guide

I have a lot of different roles, one of them is a uni student. I've been at the uni thing for 4 years now (which is a little mind blowing when I think about it) so it's fair to say I have a decent idea on how it goes. Having had t1 for the duration of my uni degree I've accumulated my fair share of tips and tricks. 
It's certainly not easy managing a chronic condition and an intense uni degree. My degree isn't just lectures and readings, it's also placements. Many placements. Placements that don't end when the work day does. Placements and lectures and tutorials and big assignments. Add in 3 jobs, voluntary work and a hobby for good measure and it gets a little crazy sometimes! But it's possible to handle if you keep these in mind:
1) Eat. Seriously. If you're inclined to power on through the day and forget about lunch, that's a recipe for a hypo. I know these things. I forget to eat a lot. I went well over 6 hours without eating once when I was…

Speech Pathology Week 2017

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Happy Speech Pathology Week!

It's the week where your local speechies are far too excited about getting you to try thickened fluids because yes, we assess and treat swallowing too!

Why am I excited?
I'm a 4th year student speech pathologist.

What's that and does it involve blood?
No, the pathologist part means we study, diagnose and treat disorders relating to speech, language, voice, stuttering, swallowing and more. We treat everyone from newborns to the elderly.

Quick surface level breakdown:

- Speech= the sounds we make

- Language= the words we use, how we put them together and how we understand others

- Literacy= reading (decoding words and understanding what you read) and writing (spelling and putting ideas together)

- Voice= loudness, pitch, quality (is it rough? is it excessively nasal?)

- Stuttering= repetitions of sounds, words and phrases, blocks in speech or prolongations (stretching out a sound or word)

- Swallowing= where we try and prevent food and drink going…

A Reminder

We often talk about diabetes being a constant. It's always there in the back of your mind. Typically, this isn't such a big deal and I don't spend every moment thinking about it. It's rare that I resent it for being there. 
But sometimes it has terrible timing. My nan passed away recently, and when I found out in the car, my pump alarmed with a high sugar. It was 20 (normal range is 4-7). I didn't care. The thought of winding down the window and throwing my pump on to the freeway crossed my mind. Not even joking, Tonks is lucky to be in one piece.
My sugars have always reacted strongly to my emotions. I like to think I hide it reasonably well most of the time. But having a CGM (24/7 sugar sensor) means it's a dead giveaway when I'm nervous, stressed or upset- I alarm. Don't get me wrong, I love having a CGM and really couldn't do without it now, but it's frustrating. I can't experience an emotion without having my diabetes there, wanting my …