Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thinking ...


Now that the walk has finished, I really feel sad in a way. I wish that the walk never ended. It seems that after being diagnosed it just fell in my lap, it gave me something to be excited about and really made me feel like I could be apart of something. Truth is, without the walk I don't think I would have been as positive and outgoing. I think that knowing there was a goal and going through the different steps, experiences and adventures to get there really made me happy.

I now spend most of my time thinking of how I can continue making a difference. It's always on my mind, different ideas and ways to help others that are living with Juvenile diabetes or even teaching people who are not affected with diabetes, the power of inspiration and dedication. I think that it's so important to chase your dreams and never give up. My goal of $1000 soon turned to a reality of $2654 ! No matter what you dream of, if you work hard you can reach it.

I have so many memories thus far and I can't wait to make many more along the way. As the days go by I meet new people, learn new things and grow as a person.

Kayla

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Memory Never Fades

We had been waiting for so long for the day to come. We asked our friends and family, coworkers and neighbours if they could spare a few dollars, we promised we would walk rain or shine and we stuck together for three months filling in each other about the money we raised and what we should put on our t-shirts.

It seemed like only a few days ago I was sitting in the hospital bed thinking what could I do? Like it was only a couple days ago that I set up a team and asked people to help. It seems like just yesterday that Team
KK began.

My friends and family showed their true passion and commitment to me this year. In our everyday busy lives it's truly hard to really let someone know you care. It isn't until something like this happens that you really get to see what friendship is all about. At first I was amazed when five people joined, then ten, and then the final fifteen. I was overwhelmed at their dedication to Team
KK, raising $2569. To think that this could be a cure, just that extra push for the pieces to come together.

I had all different types of people walking with me. They all represent a different part of my life, and all have a special place in my heart. Each and everyone of them give me that extra bit of strength when it comes to my diabetes. Since day one each of them have been there for me and willing to lend a hand at any moment. If it wasn't for these people, this would be 100x more difficult. The walk went very well, despite the bad weather we kept a smile on our faces. We made jokes, shared memories, chatted and laughed. We all made great memories with
each other, ones that will never be forgotten over the years. These memories are so special to me. After the walk we headed to my house for food, drinks and relaxation. It was so nice to have everyone there around me to share one of the best days of my life. A day that I had been looking forward too since I was diagnosed. A special thanks to Team KK, Clinton Mackenzie, Alisha Mackenzie, Katie Annand, Glenda Annand, Lyle Edworthy, Samantha Wiedrick, Michelle Richardson, Donna Brown, Abby Brown, Laura Brown, Haley Taylor, Lisa Malenfant, Kyle Bissonnette and Justin McLaughlin. I also can't forget to thank every single person who donated to Team KK. The donations are what made our success possible. You're all so kind and I want you to know that I will never forget you and your generosity.

I realize that right now money can be tight, but knowing that we were able to raise $2569 is just unbelievable. This walk meant the world to me as I tried to say in the speech to Team
KK at my house. I bursted into tears because I truly felt like this was a day that I would never forget. Truth is, Diabetes is hard. It's a hard disease that really changes the way you go about living and the way you look at life. No matter what I will always be Kayla, the same Kayla you might have grew up with, went to school with, lived with or are best friends with. I just have grown, my heart, imagination, inspiration and passion have grown. Next year we will be bigger and stronger. It seems impossible but I know that Team KK is capable of anything. We are all strong, and have big hearts. Looking back at the pictures I smile, knowing that every single one of you were apart of this and will always be.

Kayla
video

Friday, June 26, 2009

Help


Early this morning I went through the scariest moment thus far since being diagnosed. The scary part is that we don't even know if it is diabetes related and if so we are unsure of how it does relate. This morning at 3:00 a.m I woke up feeling a little strange. It wasn't that I felt faint, sick or confused I just felt strange. I thought it was probably a good idea to check my sugar, I can recall waking up a couple times prior to this and being too lazy to go downstairs and check. Finally I got up and headed downstairs, I went slow, put on my glasses and made sure I didn't fall down the thirteen stairs in the dark. I headed for the kitchen and checked my sugar which was 5.4. A blood glucose level of 5.4 is normal but I knew that I just didn't feel that great so I decided I'd have a snack.

I opened the cupboards and fridge but just couldn't decide on what I wanted until I suddenly felt like I truly needed something. I quickly hurried over to the basket of fruit beside the kitchen sink. I reached but knew I just couldn't grab the banana. I collapsed on the kitchen counter gripping as hard as I could to keep myself up. I felt faint, dizzy and beyond scared. I shouted for my mom and dad, I just needed help. They rushed down and I think that they were just as scared as I was.

I barely remember how it all came about. I know that my dad was holding me so that I wouldn't hit the ground. I know my mom got a chair for me and I sat down but my dad still had to hold me up. They asked me questions, and I don't know what I said back. I know that all I could see was white. I didn't have my glasses on anymore but still everything was white. I recall seeing the bottle of honey, but my mom fed my
dex4 (sugar tablets.) I know that I was shaking inside, sweating and just feeling like I had absolutely lost control of my body.

My sugar was fine, and after an hour my sugar was at 8.8. So what could this be? Apparently it could be many different things. Yesterday I started on Euro-Fer which is an iron supplement since we found out that my iron is extremely low. Could my iron be too low at this point?

There really are so many questions that
I've been asking myself today. This morning didn't even seem real, it all seemed like a strange dream that I'd never want to relive. It truly made me realize that this could happen again, and I could be alone. I am not going to hide that I am scared. You can be strong, but you can be scared. I know that I am a strong woman and that I can get through times when life knocks me off my feet but I also know that this isn't a walk in the park and it's going to take courage, strength and endless amount of patience.

Diabetes is such a serious disease. I think that no matter what, people don't realize how serious this disease is until they are touched with it. I just want to stress that it isn't easy and it's not always fun but I really try my best and make the most out of it.

Kayla

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Will Get There



It's amazing to know that only three months ago it was an idea. The idea to create a team for the Walk to Cure Diabetes. The idea took shape as more and more people joined and started collecting pledges. It was amazing at the number of people that were interested in either joining Team KK or pledging a team mate of mine.

As Team KK grew I realized that this was one of my best ideas yet. Not only did it raise tons of money for the JDRF but it also brought my friends and family closer and really educate people about juvenile diabetes. Whether you donated $5 or $500 every penny was appreciated.

One great thing is that I got a chance to be in the newspaper for Team KK. All these opportunities and achievements that never would have happened if it wasn't for Diabetes. Today I received the t-shirts. Twenty-One sapphire blue t-shirts folded neatly in a brown box. I looked at them, thinking, wow this is coming alive, and I can only imagine how fun it's going to be once the walk day is here.

My personal goal of $1000 hasn't been reached yet. I am only $25 away from raising $1000 and I know that I will get there. I never doubted raising money but I never imagined raising so much. It's nice to know that despite money being tight people are still willing to lend a few dollars for Diabetes.

I sincerely want to thank every single person who supported Team KK.

Kayla

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Little Things


It happens all the time, I think I know exactly what to do but then I don't. Just like I tackled buffets I knew heading to Clinton's prom, that it was going to be a tad tricky when it came to sitting down and eating supper. At my prom, last year it was buffet style, several platters of food lined up and ready for you to indulge. Once we sat down to eat we realized that this wasn't going to be buffet style, instead they sat a basket of buns on the table and slowly began to serve plate by plate as the meal progressed.

I looked a Clinton, once again finding myself unsure of how I was going to go about giving myself insulin. Clinton and I observed the situation thinking of what was the best way to go about it. We decided that we would count the carbs as we went along and then I'd give myself a shot afterwards. First I had a bun, two units, soup, 0, salad,0,chicken and a small potatoe, 1 units and one more shot to cover dessert, which I handed to Clinton and ate small chocolate coins instead. I gave myself 4 shots of insulin which is equal to cover 60 carbs and it worked out just fine, maybe even too good, (4.9)

At first I had no idea what I was going to do. The fact is that I was the most educated person about my diabetes in that hall and I knew that I had to learn from this. Clinton was such great help as he marked the number of insulin shots I would need on his bun with butter. He was making sure that I was o.k and he was even asking if I'd like for him to talk to a waiter. The point is that, I learned from this because this will happen again. Not a prom per say but possibly a wedding or function that goes along the same lines. But I've learned what does what and that no matter what I have to do what I think is best and learn from my mistakes and my successes.

My specialist doctor told me my diabetes was like a car. He told me all these different reasons why the disease relates to a car and some of them didn't make sense to me but I thought of one on my own. My diabetes is like first learning to drive a car. You get a lot of assistance in the start, but then you eventually get to go off and try it for yourself. Sometimes despite driving for months or years you run into different obstacles that test you and if it's just you in the car, you're the one that has to get through it, make a decision and move on.

It's amazing the things I've experienced in three months with diabetes. Things that I probably wouldn't have thought twice about before. The number of the events and moments that I've had to figure out just how I was going to manage is unbelievable. These little things that we do every single day or time to time seem huge to a new diabetic but we learn and move on not forgetting what we did to get through it.

Kayla

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Moving Away


In less than 3 months I will be moving away from home. I have been accepted into Fanshawe, London campus and plan to live in residence there. The day I was accepted I was beyond excited it was previous to having diabetes. I knew that it was going to be the beginning of a great new start and life. Shortly after I was diagnosed, it crossed my mind on various occasions how this was going to change the way I'm going to have to go about living.

No matter what I knew diabetic or not I was going to have the best times of my life away from home. People say it all the time that college/university was the greatest experience they ever had. In a way it frustrates me that I can't just go and not worry about my health but I know that my health is extremely important and diabetes doesn't take vacations, sleep or stay home while I go to college. It's going to not only be an experience for me because college is a new environment but it's also going to be an experience for me and my diabetes. I experienced diabetes on vacation, while I'm asleep and now it's time to bring diabetes to college.

I wonder what I'm going to say to my three other roommates. How do you explain? I know that they need to be aware of it, know my highs, my lows and how to help me if I'm unable to help myself. These three girls need to be willing to step up when I can't and learn that diabetes isn't just about notbeing able to eat candy.

Each day I learn something new about my diabetes. Today, I learned that Boston Pizza isn't the best restaurant for a diabetic but there is always something on the menu that will work. I learned that either the nutritional menu lied about the amount of carbs or my sugar has gone crazy (13.5) Each and every single day for the rest of my life I am going to learn, just like I had to learn on my cruise, when I went to the gym or restaurant. Soon enough in college I'll learn what do in order to make sure that I'm safe and healthy.

Until the time comes when I pack up my bags and settle in, I won't know exactly how it is going to be. Instead I can enjoy every minute I have at home with my family and friends. Although I will be 100 km away, they will always be there for me if I need support or help.

Kayla

Saturday, June 20, 2009

100 Days


It's hard to believe that 100 days ago I was sitting in a doctor's office chair waiting for the news. That one hundred days ago I was hospitalized and was taught how to look after myself when I thought I already knew how. It was 100 days ago today that I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Can you imagine that?

As many of you know, I've kept a blog/notes since leaving the hospital on March 16th 2009. Although many of my first notes are not featured on my blog they are found on Facebook. I believe I started off with an audience of just my close family and friends but eventually over time my audience grew into many new faces, old friends, distant family and those are simply just wanted to know more. I was over whelmed by the responses through email, Facebook messaging and comment boxes. I had never thought in a million years that I would have the chance to touch so many lives. I think some people might not understand my passion for diabetes. I think that to many it's just a disease that is among us all. To those who are not effected by diabetes whether it be from a relative, themselves or friends it is hard to grasp the whole idea of diabetes and how it truly changes ones life.

Over the past 100 days of diabetes I've met the most wonderful people. People who I could now, not imagine living without. These people have inspired me, lifted me up and educated me on the disease that now has become a part of me. Chloe Steepe, founder of Connected in Motion is one of these many people. She has inspired me to be more and live up to my dreams and even think beyond those dreams that I set out for myself. Many people don't really know how I went about meeting Chloe. In the emergency room at the Brantford General Hospital a young nurse showed me her website, thinking that it may help me deal with being diagnosed better. At first I glanced through the web page, I remember seeing boating, hiking, tons of outdoor things that I had never even thought about doing. After leaving the hospital with Chloe's website address written on a small sticky note in my bag, I went home and looked at the website once more. I was lucky enough to see Chloe at a Symposium in Hamilton, and after that I found her on Facebook and ended up meeting up with her at a Cafe in Brantford. Now we have ran a 5k race together and we keep in touch.

Another person that really has touched my life is Mitch Keen. Mitch Keen and I went to elementary school together, he is a year younger than I am, and we never talked or crossed paths until a couple months ago. Little did I know Mitch was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 4. We share the same Diabetic Eduction Nurse and that is how we got in touch. We ran into each other at the mall and had a great conversation. He has been a great supporter and someone that I know I can turn to for questions, concerns or just someone to talk too.

My Diabetic Education Nurses at the BGH are amazing. I couldn't have asked for better nurses/dietitians. I have learned so much from them, and they were truly the ones that got me started on my new lifestyle. They are always there to answer questions and support me through my journey.

This ride thus far has not been an easy one, but I must admit it hasn't been that hard. Sure there are days that I feel alone, strange, upset and mad but there are so many days that are great, exciting and amazing that overshadow the bad days. When I am having an off day I always have the family and friends around me that bring me back up and remind me that what I am going through can be tough but I'm tough as well. I must thank my boyfriend of 9 months, Clinton Mackenzie. Without having him, I know that this would be 10x harder. Although you have friends around you that have been there forever, it's always nice to have someone to talk to that you spend most of your time with. Clinton was at the hospital every day and really makes a strong effort to accommodate to my needs and to make me feel comfortable in any situation. Another person that really has helped is my mom, Donna. My mom tries really hard to make sure that I am okay, and always pushes me if I insist that I'm "okay" when she knows I really am not. She is always looking for better foods for me at the grocery store, and it's the little things she does that really makes me feel comfortable and content with having diabetes. I'd love to thank all of my friends and family for their outstanding support. It's true that you really don't know who your close friends are until you're faced with something such as diabetes. I am so fortunate to have friends that want to learn more, do more and help. I love knowing that my blogs are being read by so many and that there are defiantly people that I can count on when I need them the most.

I stress it so much but diabetes isn't the end of the world, it's only the beginning. I have achieved so much in 100 days that I can barely grasp it. I have created a team for the walk to cure diabetes which has collected over $2000. I have been part of the Out Reach program, where I get to speak with others who are effected by Juvenile Diabetes. I have pitched an idea to North Park to raise money for jdrf, that was successful in giving me $500 for Team KK. I ran a 5k race with fellow diabetics wearing our Down n Dirty with Diabetes t-shirts. I have inspired many people around me with my up to date blogs/notes. I also have promised myself that no matter what my diabetes takes me through that I will always be a great friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister, niece and granddaughter because the people who are great to me deserve that respect and love.

100 days may seem like a lot. In 100 days, you probably finished 3 months of school, 3 months of work or made 3 months worth of suppers for your family. But I can proudly say that I have spent those 3 months inspiring, educating and loving every minute of it.

For those of you who read these notes, I can not tell you how much you mean to me. I know that some of you may not relate to anything that I write about but the truth is I think diabetic or not there is a lesson to be learned in each note. Whether it be to be thankful, love life, live beyond your dreams or just dedicate your time to those around you, I want to be an inspiration to at least one person out there because I know that, that is why diabetes found me.

Kayla

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Make a Difference



Sometimes I think how many diabetics there really are out there in the world. I will often think, "how is one person going to make a difference." I soon snap out of that mind set and think that it is very much possible to make a difference as one person. To think that my team, team KK has raised over $2000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation really makes me believe that I've made a difference by creating a team. I hope that with creating a team, inviting friends and family to join as well as promoting the importance of raising awareness and money that I will be able to get us one step closer to finding a cure.

When I was diagnosed there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to do something. I knew right away that I was given this disease for a reason. I had already thought of ideas on at least the second day in my hospital bed. I was throwing these ideas left and right at my mom, dad and boyfriend and they just looked at me like I was going crazy! But I truly knew that I wanted to make a change and really help.

I remember thinking how much I'd love to do something at my former high school, North Park. I had all these ideas in my head and sticky notes posted all over my desk. I was thinking big and knew that I could make this happen. Once it all happened that was a guarantee that I could accomplish anything. Diabetes will be with me until we find a cure and until then I am going to give all that I can.

My personal goal for the JDRF walk to cure diabetes is $1000. I am currently at $915. I would love to reach my goal but the deadline is coming closer and closer. I know that with the economy going down we are all finding it hard to scrape up money to put towards extra things like charities but I ask anyone that can help Team KK and most of all cure diabetes that would be great.

You can pledge online at:

http://jdrfca.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&eventID=649&participantID=2537

Kayla

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Love You


It seems that with only being a supply at a daycare I would have tons of time to write everyday but as we all know life throws curve balls at everyone of us. On Friday June 12th I received a devastating call from my boyfriend about the passing of his grandpa. It was shocking news and I knew that at this time I had to be there for him and his family. It really has stuck with me, thinking how precious life truly is. You never know exactly when your last day is.

I feel like not enough of us realize the importance of living life to the fullest. I stress this so much in my notes but it seems life just keeps giving me more and more reasons to preach the fact that life goes by quickly and every moment is worth living. I realize that come old age it is harder to go above and beyond and live out your dreams but we are all so young now, why not start living today. I guess what I really want is to inspire people to enjoy what's around them.

As I was driving to Clinton's house on Friday my mind was elsewhere, I drove along the road, through the green light and a car pulled right in front of me as they turned right on a red light. It happened so fast, I swerved, I honked and avoided a collision that could have been life changing. I saw the look on the older couples face, they looked shocked, most likely wondering why they pulled out when I was clearly right there, but I think they saw my face. I was shaking and I was in tears. All I could think about was how fast life can change, that if I wasn't paying attention I could have been in a serious car accident.

I learned the importance of the words, "I love you." It's not often said to those we love and truly care about. You never know when you're going to see their face again or hold their precious hands. My diabetes has taught me a lot about love. It seems odd, but any diabetic, parent of a diabetic or friend would know exactly what I mean. As a diabetic, you're dealing with a life altering disease that does have a lot of complications if not treated properly. You learn that every relationship and friendship you have is precious because each individual person is looking out for you, wants to learn more and do more.

Kayla

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Symptoms, Feelings & Emotions


It's scary knowing that there are a crazy amount of symptoms, feelings and emotions that come along with diabetes. Not only do you have to experience these things but you also have to be able to know what they mean. When we have a headache, we take an Advil, have a nap and turn down the television but really what does that headache mean? For me a headache could mean that my blood glucose levels are dropping, there is always the chance that I just have a headache but instead of just taking an Advil, nap and sitting in the quiet I must be prepared to take action and monitor myself.

Lately I've had strange 'symptoms, feelings & emotions' the strange part is that my blood sugars have been between my target range of 5-10. So what could these symptoms be from? It's as if my body has not yet adjusted to artificial insulin. I am getting severe headaches, dizzy spells, confusion, paranoia, numb legs and feet as well as fatigue. It would seem as though my blood sugars are rising and falling uncontrollably but yet they are normal.

In a way these symptoms worry me because they are the worst feelings in the world. I feel like I am not in control of my body and that I can't do the things I want to accomplish in the day because of them. My emotions are high and whenever something goes wrong I get angry and upset. I don't have explanations for these symptoms and will have to leave it up to the doctors and nurses.

I know that throughout my life I am going to have strange
outbreaks of unexplainable symptoms and not know the reason for a high or a low but the goal is to become more familiar with my diabetes. Let myself learn how to prevent and prepare for what diabetes will bring. I am not going to let these symptoms slow me down only teach me just how strong I truly am.

Kayla

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Think Big


All of a sudden I'm thinking big. I've imagined the biggest ideas, dreamt the biggest dreams and have been achieving the biggest accomplishments of my life. I want to be more, do more and just live life to the fullest. It's not only important to be active and keep positive because of my diabetes but it's also important to do these things because I deserve the best no matter what.

I always wanted to be someone. I knew that I had the heart but lacked the passion inside of me to truly be who I always wanted to be. I feel like we all deep down inside have things we want to accomplish, places we want to see and things we would love to do. Why not pursue your life as if there are no limits? It seems people don't realize that they are capable of doing whatever it is that they wish to do. It takes everyone time to realize that they deserve more. I know that if diabetes hadn't entered my life I would be sitting around doing nothing, not thinking of what I can do to improve my life and not thinking of how I am going to live my dreams.

Trust me, I was doing the same thing as most people. I lived each day the same and hoped for something great and unexpected to happen that would get me excited enough to want to wake up the next morning. Things like going to a party and drinking a few coolers was one of the 'events' that I looked forward too. I still look forward to spending time with my friends, but most of all I love looking forward to raising
awareness, laughing, sharing memories and celebrating that my diabetes is under control and that I have the best support team that a girl could ask for.

I don't want people to have to be diagnosed with a disease, an illness or have a near death
experience in order to feel the need to live. I want everyone to celebrate life with open arms and hearts and welcome those around you. I know that there always seems like there is nothing to do but there is always something that can be done. We are all capable of achieving our dreams just push yourself and know that you deserve everything.

Kayla

Monday, June 8, 2009

Adventures


Who would have thought I would be where I am today? Never in a millions years did I think I would develop a life altering disease and never in a billion years did I think that this very disease would introduce me to the most amazing people and crazy adventures.

On Sunday June 7th I participated in a 5k Mud Run with the group from Connected in Motion. I know for sure that if this was last year I would have never even thought of participating in something so extreme and out of the box. I often kept to myself and did very little outside from hanging out with my friends and watching movies. I now think, " what a boring life! " I feel like for eighteen years I wasn't really living. I didn't know that there was these great events, amazing people and just fun adventures just around the corner from me. I feel like everyone who is just sitting at home, thinking about the next party to go to needs to think about other options that just give you the best rush and sense of accomplishment out there!

I must say that if I hadn't met Chloe Steepe, (found of Connected in Motion) I wouldn't have been introduced to the different events and adventures out there. I know that being diagnosed with diabetes immediately got me motivated to help, inspire and educate but it didn't immediately make me want to run a 5k or anything of that nature. Chloe is a very active person and just looking at her pictures makes you want to just get out there and jump, dive, walk, run, swim, canoe and climb. She has really inspired me to get out there and try new things. I know that a new ritual that I have is going on adventurous walks with Clinton, climbing the trees, crawling up hills, going through paths. I have really started to love the outdoors and pushing myself to go harder, faster and become stronger not only physically but mentally.

Not only have I crawled through the mud on my 5k run but during that whole experience I met really great people that share something in common with me, DIABETES! They all were the most friendly people that I have ever met and I felt welcomed as soon as I met each and everyone of them. I am so fortunate to have been able to meet such amazing people.

Kayla





Friday, June 5, 2009

Limited


Living in Brantford, Ontario I feel like there are limited stores that provide food for diabetics. Every kid, teenager and adult loves to indulge and eat a chocolate bar or potato chips. Whatever your craving may be it's hard to find something to enjoy as a diabetic without having to give yourself extra insulin or having to run around the block 100 times in order for it to be okay to eat.

Since I haven't had diabetes very long I can easily recall craving chocolate, running to the corner store and purchasing my a
Caramilk bar which happens to have 64 grams of carbs! Without worrying I would eat this chocolate bar in order to satisfy my craving. Everyone does it whether it be ketchup chips, licorice or chocolate. Now that I have diabetes it doesn't mean that I don't have the same cravings as everyone else does. I simply can't walk up to the fridge on various occasions throughout the day to grab a snack.

Last night it kind of hit me that there needs to be more options. My friend and I were at the mall, and she decided we should get some ice cream. Well,
ice cream has a great amount of carbs so we asked if there was sugar free ice cream. "Yes we have sugar free ice cream!" My face suddenly lit up and I was ready to get a double scoop of vanilla sugar free ice cream, until she said, "It's our only no sugar added ice cream here!" I paused and realized that this ice cream wasn't sugar free, it just had no sugar added! My friend and I left the store and ventured off to various other stores. Shoppers Drug Mart had a small variety of no sugar added chocolates that once you subtracted the fibre and sugar alcohols they were o.k to eat. But I couldn't help but notice that there isn't much available for diabetics and you would think with the thousands and thousands of people living with diabetes there would be more.

Kayla

Thursday, June 4, 2009

JDRF


Less than two short months ago I decided that I wanted to be involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I recall coming home from the hospital jumping onto the computer chair and researching websites that dealt with diabetes. I had all these sites pop up as soon as I typed in Type 1 Diabetes and they all seemed very interesting considering I had no idea what my disease was all about.

The JDRF is a wonderful foundation and they really have become a part of what I believe in and connect myself too. I met a wonderful woman from the JDRF, Anne Martin and we keep in touch almost weekly regarding how I personally am doing as well as what I am doing for the foundation. My biggest contribution so far to the JDRF is my team, Team KK that is entering the Walk to Cure Diabetes in Brantford. I must say that my team has gone above and beyond all of my expectations. We have raised nearly $2000.

Besides just going out and raising money, my team has showed an enormous amount of support and dedication to the team and to me. I am so proud of every single one of them. I am also extremely thankful to everyone that has donated to my team.

It's like you don't know how much love you truly have around you until you're faced with something such as diabetes. It's when you find your true friends and those that have your back and are willing to bend over backwards to make sure that you are o.k. I wear a smile every time I think of the people that have wrote me, messaged me, called me, or visited me because I know that those are the people that will be with me forever.

Kayla

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Cost of Living


To most people the cost of living is a group of things that they need in order to survive and also have enjoyment in their lives. A person may consider the groceries, housing and the expenses that come along with having a house, clothing, and things like a backyard pool or a motorcycle to me the main things. Of course we all need food to survive, clothing on our backs and shelter along with the goodies that we can't say no too. But when I think of my future I know that the cost of living for me will be a little more expensive than I imagined before having diabetes.

We can discuss my food intake, how it feels to give myself needles and what I am doing to change the face of diabetes but there is also something about diabetes that I have not yet talked about, the cost! It's amazing the amount of supplies that come with being a diabetic, glucagon, needles, lancets, insulin, strips just to name a few! These things although partially covered by my mother's work add up quickly when cashing out at the pharmacy!

In ways I've felt that this was the perfect time to get diabetes. I am done high school and I am old enough to grasp it. In a way though this was a hard time to be diagnosed because of the economy. Although both my parents work hard and have not lost their jobs it is still hard for all of us. This money isn't growing off a magical tree in our backyard, my parents are working very hard in order to be able to pay so that I can live.

This puts a whole new meaning to the cost of living. For me, I need this stuff to survive, just like I need food, water and shelter. My medication is extremely important. I can only imagine what it would be like for families that do not have coverage and have to pay hundreds of dollars monthly in order to keep their child healthy and alive. It breaks my heart that there may be a child out there who can't take all their insulin or check their blood sugars as often because there just is no money available.

When I am older and not covered by my parents I will have to make sure that I have a job that will support me. I need coverage and I need to be able to make enough money to pay for the odds and ends that comes with living with diabetes. Instead of worrying so much about the brand name purses and newest cosmetics I must put my health first and understand that it is not going to be cheap but it sure is worth living.

Kayla




Monday, June 1, 2009

Inspire, Educate & Love


As a teenager we go through things in our lives that change the way we think, speak, and go about living. Some teenagers never truly realize how precious life is until they become adults while others learn earlier in life. We mature as we get older and we become wiser and more open minded. Some teens are simply just classified as uncaring and too self involved but it isn't until you take a deep look inside of that person and realize that most teenagers truly care.

I know that before being diagnosed I probably walked by thousands of stands outside of stores that supported diabetes, heart and stroke, cancer etc. but I defiantly know that I did not think once about the people that are affected by these diseases. I'm not mad at myself for not stopping to hand them a few dollars but in a way I wish that I allowed myself to at least think of the thousands of people at that very moment that depend on the money for research and that are fighting for a cure. A teenager by the name of Emily wrote me a message not that long ago that said, "with a lot of these causes for different diseases you never really get a feeling of how its affecting those who have it." This is so true and I'm glad that with my blogs I am giving people, especially teenagers the education that is needed to be taught about diabetes. The point is, is that you don't need to have diabetes in order to understand my writing, you simply have to be open minded and let yourself learn and expand your ideas about life itself.

I'm not a person who gives great amounts of money to charities to this day, but I do not let myself forget those people that are affected by diseases and illnesses. Yes money can bring us to a cure but support and love sure goes a long way. I am proud of my team, Team KK for raising nearly $2000 thus far for the JDRF but I am also proud of my entire team of friends and family in life that has showed me an enormous amount of love and support that has no money value what so ever.

The messages I receive from my friends, family and peers truly inspire me to keep writing because I know that I am doing what I set out to do. Inspire, educate and love every minute of it.

Kayla