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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 …

T1 Talk: Emotion isn't a dirty word

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Welcome back to T1 Talk, a blog series created by Frank and I about life as young Aussies with T1, on opposite sides of the country. This is Part 2 of our latest topic on management of food, exercise and emotions in relation to T1. You can find Part 1 over on Frank's blog here.
Here we discuss a topic many of us avoid: feelings. Let's shine some light on the emotional impact of T1. We’ve discussed many different aspects of management across the blog series. Managing T1 is not an easy task. How do you manage the emotional impact of the condition? Bec:Initially, I handled my diagnosis like this:


I would have told you I handled it well and just got on with life. I thought I was fine. I was someone who sought perfection and basically got it for a while with my diabetes care. But with time, increasing life demands and some really shocking years I’ve fallen down. So not processing stuff? I completely get that. Right now I’m starting to realise I do have emotions about my diabetes diagno…

VLOG: How does the pump work?

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As National Diabetes Week continues I thought I'd address one of the most common questions I get; how does the insulin get from the pump and into you? I never do a great job of explaining it so here's a demonstration video going through all the bits and pieces involved. This process varies by the type of set you use and model of pump but I'd say the principles are the same. I repeat this process every 3 days. I sometimes find it more painful than injections but once every 3 days is a lot better than having 4 injections a day!

If you have type 1 and are considering a pump I hope this demystifies the process for you. I've been on it for over 6 years and remember finding no resources on what a set change looked like before I started. I hope this helps. Of course I'm not a diabetes medical professional and these are my own views and methods of changing a set.

This is my second and final vlog. Hope the change was a good one!




I mentioned I'd upload photos but the mac …

VLOG: National Diabetes Week

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Hello hello! It's National Diabetes Week here in Australia and taking inspiration from Frank at Type 1 Writes I've decided to have a crack at vlogging.

Scary.... I know.

I believe the best way to raise awareness is through sharing stories, so here's mine. Apologies in advance for the blank gazes and "um's". Apparently, being a speech pathology student doesn't mean you're immune to presentation anxiety. Woops.

In the vlog I say I'm not a big fan of National Diabetes Week. I think it's a wonderful idea and the messages are fantastic. But I really dislike how it is pitched toward complications a lot of the time. There must be a better, more encouraging way. I hope sharing stories is an example of that.



Tomorrow I'll be posting a vlog on how my insulin pump works as part of raising awareness. Keep an eye out for that slightly less cringe worthy vlog!

Edit: I've now seen the video for t1. Fantastic and much better message! I wish the t2 vid…

An example

During a recent OzDOC chat on Twitter, a point came up about whether it's our role to be a constant advocate and educator on t1. Whether we need to "properly" represent t1.

I would argue no, it's not, but I often feel like I'm an access point to t1. Often, I'm the first person someone has met with t1 and I'm very aware that what they see is likely what they take away about the condition. I'm becoming increasingly aware I'm not always a shining example like I used to be. Lately I think people around me have seen people with t1 as having constantly fluctuating levels, tiredness, sensor alarms going off constantly. I've projected that having t1 means instability. Perhaps they think I'm somewhat fragile, fluctuating between extremes. That's not the message I want to convey about people with t1 though. I want non diabetics to see that we function normally and manage it well. I want people to see that it doesn't limit me in any way.

Not …

Failure

Over the years I very rarely had the sense that my diabetes and mental health was in charge, that it had me beat. I'm all about holding power over my condition. After all, I love control. My management of my T1 was impeccable for years because of this. Over time I've slipped, mostly when my anxiety and depression worsened. But even with those ups and downs I never felt I'd lost the battle. That was until I failed a clinical placement early this year.
My placement was for 6 weeks in a regional town a few hours drive from home. I was living alone, and entered placement feeling already highly anxious (and truth be told, depressed). My diabetes reacts to my emotions quite strongly, so my sugars were sky high from the start. It was a hard placement and I was set on doing everything perfectly. Every session plan had to be perfect. Every child I saw needed to have the perfect session with the perfect therapy targets and activities. My assessments were planned meticulously. The t…