Archive | March, 2011

In the middle of something that (s)he doesn’t really understand…

30 Mar

There’s so much to say and so little time.

I just want to document that I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in quite sometime. I finally know where I’m headed. I’m busy. I’m working through it. I love my classes. I’m stretching creatively and emotionally. I pushing myself and it feels good. I could never have predicted I would be where I am right now, 2 years ago. I’m amazed by myself, by my life. What a crazy trip. I’m guilty of letting it all overtake me. I need to take the time to think of one good thing each day.

Today: I got an A on my second drawing portfolio! I’ve never taken a drawing class in my life and my professor said that she could see how much I push myself for perfection. I love it when someone can recognize how much something means to me and affirm that I am achieving my goals.

What’s your one thing?

 

Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney/Wings

It’ll still be two days ’til I say I’m sorry

28 Mar

One week down…51 to go. I’m still trying to figure out how I want to make this a feature of the blog.

March 21, 2011 – “No Days Off”

It turns out that when I sprung forward on my pump around 11PM the other week, I never changed the date. So my pump has been a day behind. I skipped it forward this morning. Unlike the magic of technology, you can’t take a day off from diabetes. You go through the management motions on a constant basis, and I’ve been doing it for nearly 15 years.

March 22, 2011 – “Low Key”Car keys and low blood sugar do not go together. You can’t drive low. It’s irresponsible and it’s irritating. I was late for school that day. Diabetes gets in the way of my obligations and responsibilities.

March 23, 2011 – “Roller Coaster”

Technically “in range” but it doesn’t mean I can’t feel the changes on this mini blood sugar roller coaster.

March 24, 2011 “Pumping in the Parking Lot”

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. After a quick trip the grocery store I filled up my pump reservoir, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it through the rest of the day.

March 25, 2011 – “Leader…in diet beverage options”

Chick-fil-A is controversial and I can’t say I agree with all of their practices, but I do love the fact that they have a bunch of diet drink options. It’s the little things that matter most when you have diabetes.

March 26, 2011 – “What Goes Up…”

Must come down. And sometimes it’s a plummeting blood sugar level.

March 27, 2011 “Flatline”

Typically in medicine you don’t want to see a flatline, but when it comes to in range blood sugar…that’s exactly what I want!

One Week – Barenaked Ladies

I don’t want to talk about it to you.

25 Mar

I was so ready to write a post about how much I hate being my own advocate, until a brief conversation between friends a last weekend.

One of my friends told me she thought she had diabetes because a friend of hers was experiencing symptoms that she too could relate to. Of course they learned all of this from Dr. Google. It opened up an unexpected discussion about how people freak out about diabetes (typically Type II) and automatically equate diabetes to sugar. We talked about symptoms, how sick Type I’s get before diagnosis, and dealing with it all.

On a regular basis I encounter people who are misinformed. With that typical old school diabetes = “watching your sugar” attitude. I try to keep things simple by saying that there are two main types. Type II being the most common that has to do with insulin resistance, usually due to weight. Type I, an autoimmune disease that requires insulin for survival, typically diagnosed in childhood. When they say stupid things, and I feel like we’ve heard it all as people with diabetes, I just say, “No, that’s probably what you’ve heard, but it’s not true.”

I have enough information about diabetes in my brain that I don’t have to study for the carbohydrate chapter in my nutrition class. I know the role insulin plays in digestion without reading a book, but I am aware that most people don’t care the same way I do.

It’s all about finding the balance. I don’t want to be “Diabetes Jillian”. I don’t want to be the annoying ever-advocate, living with diabetes is enough work, but I also want people to know that there is a lot of misinformation out there. I try to keep it simple, but I usually end up feeling like I could have said or done more.

Someone needs to create a little business card that has the top 5 diabetes myths demystified, so we can all just hand them out when people say something so incredibly wrong about diabetes.

Here’s my Top 5:

  • There are more than two types of diabetes, and the most common types are very different. Neither has a cure.
  • Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that requires constant monitoring and insulin therapy.
  • Type II Diabetes isn’t caused by over consumption of sugar. It’s about insulin resistance, which can be caused by various things like excess body weight and genetics.
  • We count CARBS, not SUGAR.
  • Type I Diabetes is a job, a lifestyle, and a mindset. Just because you don’t see me managing it every minute of the day, doesn’t mean there isn’t complicated management going on. I’m doing the work of a vital organ with my brain and imperfect technology.

What’s your top 5?

Who wants to make the handouts?

Basket Case – Sara Bareilles

Diabetes 365, again…

21 Mar

I realized on Saturday that I was exactly 6 months from my 20th birthday. Which means that today marks exactly 6 months until my 15th Diaversary. What better way to celebrate this huge diabetes accomplishment then track my (D)life through pictures. I’m going to try Diabetes365 again. I don’t know if I’ll have the time to update on Flickr, so it might just be a strictly blog project. Perhaps even a new page here? Anyway…

Day 1: No Days Off. It turns out that when I sprung forward on my pump around 11PM the other week, I never changed the date. So my pump has been a day behind. I skipped it forward this morning. Unlike the magic of technology, you can’t take a day off from diabetes. You go through the management motions on a constant basis, and I’ve been doing it for nearly 15 years.

Song of the Day: “One Day” – Jack Savoretti

Got a pump? Buy this dress!

16 Mar

It’s the perfect dress for occasions like: yelling at your dog to get out of pictures.

And look: Pump Pockets!

I hate getting dressed up. I’m just a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. It’s even worse when you have to factor in  your pump and Dexcom. I love when I find a cute dress with pockets and I think I’ve found the perfect one. It was only $27.99 at Target and I think it’s great for a multitude of occasions. I wore mine for a student panel discussion on scholarships, but I plan to wear it to an interview as well. It comes in a ton of colors, it’s flattering, and diabetes device friendly.

New Shoes – Paolo Nutini

We’re just moments…

14 Mar

Three weeks ago, one of my closest friends (L) lost her grandmother. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for quite some time. I only had the pleasure of knowing her after the disease had taken over, but of the few times I was in her presence I could tell she was such a sweet person with a smile that could light up a room. It’s so strange what a disease like Alzheimer’s does. For all that the disease took from her memory and her body, it left something as simple as her longtime passion for dance.

I’ve never had anyone close to me pass away. When it happened I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. My friend is the sweetest person, after attending her grandmother’s memorial service I know where she got her kind heart, and I knew she needed my support. I immediately knew I had to find a way to show it to her. So I did what I do best, plan and organize. I got three of our friends who are in school here (the rest are too far to come to home on short notice) to attend the memorial service.

The service was nice and the tone of it was very much like my friend’s family, loving and heartfelt but not too serious. I cried a lot. I found myself trying to think of puppies and candy to make the tears stop, but it didn’t work. The hardest part was when my friend went up to the altar to sign a song while her sister sang. She looked out, saw us sitting there, and began to cry. In that my tears were no longer for Grandma Betty, they were for L and the bond we have and the trials we’ve gone through together recently.

After the service she came up to us and collapsed in my arms. I’ve never felt like I was in the right place, doing the right thing, more than at that moment. She told us that she had been fine, and then it hit her. I’m glad that I was there to hold her up.

I have a friend who told me recently that the length of life scares her. To be honest, I agree that growing up is scary. Grandma Betty’s death is a prime example of that fact. It’s amazing that there was a person, and then there just wasn’t. Memories remain in the form of beautiful words written in journals read by her children to a church full of loved ones. Her spirit lives on, but life moves on. We live, learn, loose. Here today, gone tomorrow. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I should take the time to enjoy it all.

Never Know – Jack Johnson