Sunday, August 30, 2009
I begin another one of the biggest changes in my life tomorrow. It seems like 2009 was my year to change simply because it's been one thing after the other. I can't explain how excited I am to begin a brand new chapter of my life in London, Ontario. It's as if I have been a caterpillar all my life only to soon become the beautiful butterfly that I've always dreamt of becoming.
The days have gone by so fast. It seems like I just had decided I was going to move away but now it's finally here. I think the biggest change is going to be the fact that no one has any idea of who I am. I am so used to people knowing who I am, what I am all about and most importantly about my health and now I am being put into a situation where no one knows about me.
I think that panicking is not an option. I know that it's so easy to scare yourself before you do anything that seems out of the ordinary, but I keep saying panicking is not an option for you. With stress comes horrible sugars and that is not something I want to have to deal with on top of all this chaos. I must stay calm and positive throughout this experience.
I guess the whole diabetes aspect of this is playing a huge part in my nerves. I think if I didn't have diabetes this transition would still be hard but not as frightening. I can admit that I am scared that people aren't going to understand my disease. That people will think it's nothing serious and therefore take it lightly. I know that people will be like this because I've dealt with people like this before. I realize that a lot of people have diabetes but it's not as simple as it seems.
I am scared that now my support is over 100 kilometres away. That my boyfriend who knows exactly how I live, how I think and how I manage my diabetes is not going to be able to spend as much time with me. I am in tears writing this note because I've realize that this change is something that I never imagined doing and that I truly don't know how I am going to manage but I know that I can.
Diabetes isn't the end of the world but I will not sweeten this up it's the hardest thing that I have ever been through in my entire life. It effects absolutely everything that I go through, dinner with the girls, long lines ups at Walmart, moving away to school, it just doesn't matter where I am, what I am doing, I always have to think about my diabetes.
I said to the reporter that I want to make diabetes easier for that girl that's eighteen and sitting in the hospital not knowing what to do. I want not only medical papers to fill her side table but also my blog so that she knows she can succeed. I guess I just felt so lost when I was first diagnosed that I realized that it's not fair for anyone else to feel the same way. I want to make a change like no other person has done before.
I am making a promise to not only the people that follow my blog but also to those who are diagnosed with diabetes or in the future will become diabetic. I promise I will not stop this blog. This blog will follow me throughout my life like my very own shadow. I will not hide my emotions, lie or underplay how I am feeling in these blogs because that is not the truth. I do not care if what I write is embarrassing to some, strange or different because I know that this is a true reflection of my life. I promise to make a change.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Isn't it funny how the sugar free gum that is in my purse is more interesting than your regular mint gum that is on the counter? Or the no sugar added oatmeal cookies are your first choice instead of the double chocolate chip cookies in the cupboard. I have to laugh sometimes when things that I would give anything to trade for a real cookie seems to be the more popular choice for those who could eat anything.
It all started when I had a piece of sugar free gum that my cousin Katie had given me. Clinton looked at it and said, "Can I have a piece?" knowing that I had another pack on the table of regular gum I popped out a piece for him but he insisted he wanted to try my gum instead. I couldn't believe it! He could eat ten pieces of Hubba Bubba, chew five Excel Mint Pieces but he rather try my sugar free gum.
I find this with a lot of things that I get for me. I find my dad eating my No Sugar Added Skinny Cow Popsicle's rather than the Flakies he normally eats. It's as if my food seems more appetizing than the food they are eating. To me, I rather steal a flakie for myself or eat ten pieces of Hubba Bubba gum but that just isn't always an option for me unlike some people.
I don't think that I am complaining about this I just find it one of those things that I would have never thought possible. Like when my mom asked if she could eat some of my sugar free chocolate from Easter so she wouldn't have to take a chocolate bunny to work. It's the fact that I'm limited to things that are sugar free and yet I am never the one to finish the last bite, piece or slice it's someone else who could be enjoying something a little tastier.
I think one day I will surprise them all by eating the last piece of pie and see how they like it when someone takes their food! ( Of course I'll take insulin before this event.)
Friday, August 28, 2009
It's hard not to sit here and smile as I write this blog. I hesitated earlier to write one because I knew if I just waited a couple hours longer I would have so much more to write about. I simply can't ignore that fact that I am excited about so much in my life right now, I am surprised my sugar isn't jumping.
This morning at 10:00 a.m I was interviewed by Kate from the Expositor. I was so anxious to see what it was going to be like since I had never been interviewed before. I didn't know if I would be nervous, scared or speechless but I was none of the above. In fact it felt like I was talking to a coworker or friend about what I have accomplished in the past five months. It just flowed and I think it's because I've been talking about diabetes every single day since March 13th. It's like a favourite childhood story, you just know every word off my heart.
I wanted to express to her just how much I have been inspired and want to inspire people. I knew that it was going to be a challenge to really express how much I have truly done to someone who literally has just met me. I am so thankful for my scrapbook because without it I don't think my story has quite the impact. When I say mud run, I mean real mud and when I say team spirit, I can show you our team KK spirit.
I talked about Chloe Steepe who has really given me inspiration, advice and a new outlook on life and I talked about all the support that each and every one of you has given me. I strongly pointed out that I have realized that the best gift in life is support from friends and family and that the little things in life that once meant so much are simply just not as important.
It was such an awesome experience to get to meet with a reporter. It truly shows that there isn't a limit. I couldn't imagine what I would have told you a year ago if you told me I'd be up to all this. I would have never imagined I would be looked up too and told that I am inspirational. It's got to be one of the best feelings in the world, I just can't describe it.
I have to once again thank every single person who has ever believed in me. I know it's hard to understand me sometimes and people may think that I took this disease way beyond it was ever meant to go but I don't believe that's true one bit. I thank everyone because I know that everyone in my life at some point in these past five months has given me support and even just a shoulder to cry on.
I've found happiness in who I am.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
When you think about it, life is filled with so many possibilities and options. I think sometimes we ignore this fact and only look at the things around us rather than the bigger picture. It's strange how those faced with obstacles seem more likely to look beyond the walls that enclose us.
I've met a lot of diabetics in the past five months and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful of people they are. It seems as if us, diabetics have no limits. I realize that every diabetic I meet along the road isn't going to be at peace with their disease and may not have found the true happiness that diabetes can bring but so far the majority of diabetics I've met have taught me so much about not only life but who I am.
I am really inspired by the people that surround me in my life today. I want to take challenges and go against the odds. I can't even imagine what it was like before this new found knowledge. Where was I heading?
I feel like I wouldn't have lived life to the fullest if this disease hadn't found me, like my world would have been limited to the walls around me. I seem to think I wouldn't have been interested in getting involved, participation and lending a helping hand. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today.
I can't express how much experience I've received in such little time. We pay so much for education now but look how much I've learned for free by just opening my heart and mind. Lessons are to be learned out there whether it be in a classroom or park bench. No one is limited to knowledge.
I thank those who have inspired me, cried with me, held me, laughed with me and sincerely helped me through these tough months. For if I had no support , I'd have no happiness in what I do and strive to be.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
As September creeps closer and closer I find myself becoming a little more nervous about the whole school situation. I simply have no idea how it is going to be and I think that's what makes me nervous the most. I am the type of person that predicts what's going to happen and can visualize the results but for this I have no idea what it's going to be like and I can't even believe that I am going off to college.
I think that while I spend my time in London, Ontario I will think of how much different it would be if I didn't have diabetes. I don't mean the fact that my eating habits would be different and I wouldn't have any medical issues but just the fact that my mind wouldn't be where it is at today. I have completely reshaped the way I go about thinking and the way I approach people. I don't want to be a negative person, I want to be open minded and allow people to come into my life that feel comfortable enough to do so.
I welcome new friends of all shapes and sizes. I hope that some people are just as accepting there. I was told that if anything, people would be interested in my disease. I do realize though that some people will not want anything to do with it.
I guess it's kind of complicated for a young adult to go off somewhere new in search of not only education but a new way of living. I've lived in the same house for most of my life, slept in the exact same room for almost sixteen years and now everything is about to change.
The best way that I am handling this right now is to think that my diabetes has allowed me to come out of my shell and show my true colours. Now people realize that I am a caring person, I do want to make a difference and I have the drive and motivation to see change.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I really have this outlook now that I never had before. I have this dream to meet everyone in the world. Although that's clearly impossible I have no doubt in my mind that a lot of people will cross my path in my lifetime. I look at everyone as a story. Just think how many stories you have to tell, now think of how many people there are out there with completely different life lessons, stories, experiences and memories. I don't like turning down going somewhere because I think of that as missing out on not only opportunities but free knowledge. I love hearing about people's lives and what they have overcome.
Last night at Clinton's we had a great night with company. I knew that like any other day my diabetes would be talked about at some point in time. But like I always say, I absolutely do not mind talking about it. I think that it's a great feeling to explain what I've been up too lately and what I plan to do in my future. I talked to one lady in particular who has Fibromyalgia, which is muscle and connective tissue pain and it's a medically unexplained syndrome. It was really nice to talk to someone who knows about challenges and can relate to you about new found strength and courage. She really encouraged me to keep up the great work.
One thing that she said to me was that it's really hard for people to understand people with disease unless they have one themselves. I really agreed with this statement because I do find a lot of people questioning my passion for diabetes and scratch their head at the fact that I am so excited about various parts of my life. I know that there are a bunch of people in my life that really do believe in me and understand but I know that there are also a bunch that have no idea. It's hard when people don't understand you or don't take the time to understand you but that's why we have a variety of friends and family in our life.
I think the best part of the night was the hug she gave me at the end. It wasn't a quick, nice to meet you hug, it was a hug worth a thousand words. I hug that meant, "I understand." She whispered in my ear, "Keep strong." I would have never known the bond between two people with illnesses could be so strong. We don't think of these things in our lives, we forget about the thousands of people out there that fight to keep alive, stay strong and positive. We need to stop and think.
I don't expect people to understand me. I can't let myself worry if someone isn't willing to take the time to hear me out but I can try my hardest to help people understand that this life we live may seem busy but there is always time to hear someone's story. You may just learn something.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Finally I let out all my frustration to Clinton, someone I know I can trust and believe in. All I needed to do was express to someone my anger and sadness. He really thought hard of how to answer me and give me something to think about but I had strong opinions about how I felt.
I feel horrible that I sometimes take things out on Clinton. When my sugars go crazy, I go crazy. I get angry at whoever is around me for whatever they may be doing and sometimes they're just trying to help me. I said yesterday I am done feeling sad. I need to get over the fact that I have this disease and I can now only believe that it is going to be cured.
Of course I usually talk about all the wonderful things diabetes has brought me. It's true. Diabetes has brought me a whole new meaning of life and really has pulled me in the right direction as far as reaching for my goals and taking on challenges. But I am not going to sit here and write lies to you. It very true that this disease is very emotional.
I have days where I just sit in bed wondering what has happened. It seems with any ones life days go by like seconds and we can barely grasp what is going on around us. Most of us don't experience as much change as I did in a matter of months so imagine time moving so fast and then just sitting there thinking about what is different.
I don't like the fact that now I have to express to people I have a disease, when the doctor asks about medication I have to say Insulin or the fact that when people offer me food and someone tells them I'm diabetic they feel as if they offered alcohol to a recovering addict. But I do like the fact that every single day, bad or good I am able to wake up and share my experiences to everyone.
I don't want anyone to go through the emotional side of diabetes alone. It's too much for one person to handle by themselves. If you don't have someone to talk to, then I want these blogs to be available. I can guarantee you will cry, but I can also guarantee that the next day is going to be much brighter.
We all need to cry a little.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I know we should all look at the bright side of things and that's what the girls made me do today. "Maybe all this stuff is happening to prepare you, or finalize things." But I wish these little life lessons we learn throughout our life were more subtle than the ones that I have been receiving.
I can't let anything stop me from becoming who I want to be. My dreams are bigger than I ever imagined. No person or disease will tell me what's right and what's wrong. I can be the pilot of my own life, I don't need a passenger to nag at me about where to go or how fast.
I am going to push through.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I received a phone call yesterday at 10:30 a.m from the Brantford Expositor which is the local newspaper in Brantford. It was a very nice lady on the other end that was very excited to tell me that I am a nominee for the 2009 Search for Great Kids. This is a contest that they started running back in June. There are three categories, Personal Best, Against the Odds and Cool to be Kind. I was nominated for Against the Odds which defines as, someone showing great courage in overcoming a challenge to achieve a goal.
I was very excited about this, I never thought that I would be picked for something like this that will allow me to share my experiences and achievements during the past five months of living with diabetes. I was actually proud of myself, I knew that this was the point that I could say, "wow Kayla you are actually getting out there."
I was told, a reporter would be here to take my picture and sit down and have an interview with me. Last year at this time if you told me a reporter would come to my house to talk to me about my achievements I would have laughed at you and said, "what achievements?" But now look at me, I have something to share.
I am invited to a Gala in October at the Polish Hall. I am very excited not only to be invited to this but to meet the other wonderful kids out there that are totally making a difference. I know that in the end there will be one winner per category, ( right now there are four in each one) but either way I am appreciative of even being considered.
This is something that I only could have dreamed of during the nights I spent in that hospital bed. I can recall sitting there in the middle of night looking at the light on the side of the bed, looking up at the blinking lights on the wall and listening to, CODE WHITE, CANCEL CODE WHITE, and thinking, "what is happening?" I know now that the courage that I had to pull out from those hard days spent in the hospital bed have paid off.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I never thought I would turn nineteen so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was in elementary school rolled up in drama, or in high school pushing hard to do well in math but now here I am nineteen years old and going off to college.
I like to think that with each year we are faced with new challenges and obstacles that create who we are. I believe that through experience, fails and successes we become who we are. It's up to us to create the person we are for the rest of your life, it is all in how you interrupt whats given to you.
Yes I have fought hard, felt miserable, and upset but I have some how made it here today feeling the best I have ever felt. I still can smile and think well that sucked! At the time when something happens we forget that there are so many more years ahead of us.
I will never forget my eighteenth year. I will always say, "I was diagnosed at age eighteen." I wanted to give diabetes a run for it's money. Show not only diabetes but everyone living out there with it that you are going to have to push the limits and go out there and try things that you only dreamed of doing.
On my ninetieth birthday I thought about what's to come. I wanted to meet new faces this year, ( unfortunately the first new face with a cop!) I wanted to learn something new, become stronger and a better person. I promised myself that no one and nothing is going to keep me from catching my dream and making it real.
I went out for my first legal drink with the girls on Monday. It was something I was looking forward too since I love spending time with them. We went to Boston Pizza and I had two fancy drinks. I realize that these drinks are fruity but with keeping in mind vodka will lower my blood sugar I enjoyed the moment and checked my sugar three times during the night. I was happy to realize that drinking the cute, fruity, 7 dollar drinks is possible but I am sure my wallet would be emptied fast if I did that often.
I am proud to say that so far although tough and annoying some things that I thought were going to be impossible have been successful. I never dreamed I would have done the things I have done in the past five months and that I would still be smiling.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I don't want to be scared. I don't want to cry, but sometimes it's hard not too. I find myself stressed, tired, confused at times and I can't help but wonder what the future holds for me. I release that in life we go through things that can only be taken day by day and my disease is one of them.
I can't let myself think of what diabetes is going to be like in ten years because I honestly don't know. I can't let myself fear the future. I have to keep my head up and focus on each day as if it was my last. Put my heart into what I do and don't let a single opportunity pass me by.
I got my schedule for school yesterday and couldn't overcome the fact that I would have to figure out where I can fit in lunch and dinner. The whole class after class thing made me so worried about what I am supposed to do I couldn't focus on anything else. I burst out in tears, and by tears I mean a rain storm. I just kept worrying, thinking what I was going to do and how it was going to work. I knew that if I made it through vacations and strange work schedules I could do anything but I still kept thinking, "why the heck did I get this now?"
I had to ask. I went on Facebook clicked on chat and searched for a diabetic friend. Chelsea Lumiere was the only one that was online and I figured she would know the answers to my fears. Of course she was so helpful and reassured me that it will be hard but you get used to it and figure it all out and once you get used to it you will wonder why you feared it so much. I couldn't thank her enough knowing that without having her respond I probably would have sobbed much longer.
I know that I will be okay. With every challenge I conquer the stronger I will be. I want to be the person that a diabetic can go to when going to college or anything really. I hope that with keeping up with my blogs I will bring us closer as diabetics and know that there is always someone there.
Monday, August 17, 2009
When bad luck creeps on you it's hard to forget. It's one of those things that make you think, "why me?" but you have to keep positive in order to get through the day. Today, driving to my D.E.C I was pulled over for speeding. I have never gotten a speeding ticket before but as soon as I turned nineteen I was sure to get one.
I never speed, I am actually pretty cautious when I drive and more so tell my mom to slow down than myself. I woke up in a great mood, today I was going to see my nurses and I brought two thank you cards and my scrapbook to share with everyone since it would be my last appointment before school. As I pulled away only 5 minutes later I was pulled over. I realize that speeding is wrong and illegal but I couldn't help but kick myself for doing it. The cop reassured me, "Don't cry everyone gets a ticket," but that didn't stop the shakes and tears.
I actually thought about my sugar as he took my licence back to his car. I had never shook that much in my entire life, my foot was still on the brake peddle and it was racing. I knew that I don't do well under pressure or stress, something like this could plummet my sugar.
A new start of the year and I get a ticket. I can only hope that that was the worst that was to come for my 19th year and if not I guess I am going to have to take what comes and deal with it which I have been doing for the past year now. I talked to my grandma on the phone and I explained to her that I have to be careful with how much I worry and stress because it seriously affects my sugar. I hope that diabetes doesn't alter my driving because I would not like to lose my licence because of this disease.
I can't think that I have bad luck because that will only bring more bad luck and when I think of all the good things in life that have happened I can only smile and think the odd bad day isn't really that bad. We all need stories to share anyways!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I have found a new way to forget about the pain and it seems to work. Every now and then I get needles that feel like I am being stabbed and finger pokes that sting and I know as much as they hurt it's got to get done. I think that we all have our own ways of taking our mind of pain and really I never had to think of ways until now.
I have a feeling that this may work for children too but I am not 100% sure. I wiggle my toes. I know it sounds so silly but for me it's given me a chance to tolerate needles a little better than before. As I stick the needle through my stomach I wiggle my toes, I look at them wiggling or look away and all I think about is my toes. It distracts me from the pain in my stomach and I just focus on my feet. It's strange but I knew that those days where I can't seem to find the right spot to poke I need a distraction.
I can't help but wonder the chances of me having a child with diabetes. I don't know the percentage or how it all works out but of course it sometimes makes me wonder. I remember telling Clinton how bad I would feel if I gave my child diabetes but he explained to me that it wouldn't be my fault. I couldn't imagine knowing that my child would have to go through the same pain that I have dealt with but at a much younger age.
But even if I did have a child with diabetes I know that I would be an expert and what better thing to pass on to them than my blogs. I hope that mothers all around the world of children with diabetes see my blogs and can show them when they are teens that it doesn't matter diabetic or not you're bound to have a good time. Just sometimes you just have to wiggle your toes!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In a couple days I will be heading to Darien Lake in New York. This time heading to an amusement park I am pretty sure I know what I am getting into, considering Wonderland gave me that experience. However I think this may be a lot easier than Wonderland was.
The reason I think this is because we are camping this time, so we have tons of food and my supplies back at the trailer rather than having to keep limited supplies in a locker. Also I am there with much more company so chances are I want be having to deal with anything completely alone.
Camping, may be a challenge in itself. I guess that can replace the challenge of the amusement park. I have to focus on how abouts I am going to resist specific foods, and snacking during the day as much as I used to when we visited Darien Lake. I can no longer shovel down a funnel cake without worrying about the consequences, I can't even imagine the amount of sugar in one of those!
I know that I will do well. I believe in myself, and I know that these things are going to be tough but I just have to be positive throughout the whole situation. It's important to me to demonstrate that I can handle going away, working and going to school without having a big fuss. I want to show that if I can do it so can the other thousands of teens dealing with diabetes.
If I could take this time to just reflect on another important lesson I have learned it is patience. I can really get busy, rushed and frustrated at times but I need to slow down and have patience. I think we all get busy and forget that somethings take time. We may not learn as fast as others, focus as well, or know everything but we have to give ourselves time to over come obstacles because without patiences we end up absolutely no where.
Monday, August 10, 2009
On Saturday afternoon I attended a family reunion. This family reunion was on my Mother's side of the family and most of my relatives have not seen me since I was much younger. The whole ideas of Diabetes was shocking to them since this is such a new thing for me and for the rest of my family.
I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to share my stories, tell my triumphs and the moments that were the hardest. I don't mind talking about my diabetes, I look at it as a lesson. Something that can be taught for years upon years.
Something that really touched me was when my Mom's Aunt Janice told me about her mother being a type 1 diabetic, diagnosed at twelve. At first I thought, "wow someone in the family with type one!" however this is not a blood relative. She told me how much her mother did, how she experienced so much, lived so well and knew everything there is to know about healthy eating. I knew that I wanted to live up to be the lady that was known as being so strong. Whether it's my future children telling their grandchildren about me or just an old friend telling their husband. I want to make an impact, to promote healthy living, and let everyone out there know as long as you're breathing it's not over.
I brought along my diabetes scrapbook. I think at first when I started my scrapbook people didn't understand why you would scrapbook a disease. A disease seems so horrible, something you don't want to remember you have. Truth is my most amazing pictures are in that scrapbook. I have never had such an exciting scrapbook that make people think, "wow you did that!"
I got asked why I think diabetes is the best thing that ever happened to me. I guess I would ask the same thing if I was in their shoes. It doesn't seem like this would be the best thing that ever happened to me, and when you think of all the things I have been given, all the places I have travelled and still Diabetes is the best. I could only respond with I've done so much, I have such a better outlook on life. I personally think only if you have diabetes or are really close to someone that does, you would fully understand the positivity that comes out of having this disease.
I think on Saturday afternoon I really felt like my scrapbook had made an impact. Of course every time I look at it I feel excitement and joy but it's when you put it on the laps of people do you really realize how far you've come. When I look at the smiles, tears, laughs that come from looking at that book I know that I am doing what I planned to do, inspire, educate and love every minute of it!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Although my birthday isn't until August 16th, we celebrated early with good friends. My closest friends were there to share memories, laughs and good times together. I know that the party couldn't have been so fabulous if it wasn't for my best friend Sam who worked so hard on decorations and preparation. I was so excited to walk down the stairs to see the extremely large banners, balloons and cake she had bought both Michelle and I, who turned eighteen at the beginning of the month.
I went into this party with a game plan. I was going to test as often and keep a little part of me aware of what was going on. I knew that my meter was going to be my best friend yesterday just like it usually is any other day. I had some thoughts before leaving about how I was really going to handle this. I know that I can promise myself I'll check every hour or two but will I really follow through with the plan?
Of course I did! I was on the ball, checking regularly and letting Clinton, Sam and Michelle know my numbers to keep them from worrying. Clinton had his eye on the time, as I took my Lantus at 10:30. Despite having a couple drinks I was perfectly aware of my diabetes. I know that with turning nineteen I have responsibilities. I am now legally allowed to drink and with that I have to know my boundaries. I don't think twice about knowing I can handle these responsibilities.
I knew that alcohol lowers my blood sugar and with having 1g coolers I realized how important it as to be snacking. I got to eat a bit like all the others but after a couple handfuls of chips I knew that that was the end of my snacking.
Yes, it was annoying sometimes checking my blood sugar. I would check it in the kitchen, and people would stare. I realize I could go into the bedroom or bathroom but why hide? Maybe people will be curious, want to know more, learn that life isn't just about partying and forgetting about who you are and your health. I showed them that I can have fun but still be aware, I think that's important.
I had a little weak moment at the party. I was sitting with Clinton, watching everyone jump around, eat bags of chips, pizza and drink. I kept thinking back to who I was before and what I could do before. My life went from no worries to one hundred worries in a matter of months. I sucked it up however. All I have to do is look how far I have come and realize that I am having the time of my life. It isn't the pizza or drinks that make the good times it's the friends.
I really think for any teen diabetic, moments like these are probably the biggest challenges. Simply because chances are you may be the only diabetic at the party. Not everyone will understand your disease, understand what you're doing or who you are but what matters it that you know and the people you love understand.
With all the peer pressure out there, there is no doubt in my mind that teen diabetics risk their lives at these parties just to simply be accepted. If other teens only knew the harm they can push on their friends. You have to stand up, yes you can have a few drinks but don't go beyond your limit. Set a game plan, follow through and you will be thanking yourself that next morning when you wake up in a sleeping bag rather than a hospital bed.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Balloons, cake, presents, friends, laughs, nerves?
Today is my 19th birthday party at my friends house. Although my birthday is not until next Sunday, today was the day that worked the best for the majority of the people attending. The party has been planned for a couple months now by my eager friend Sam and there is no doubt in my mind that it is going to be a night to remember. However, I do find myself nervous.
This morning I woke up feeling great, mainly because I got to sleep in until 8:30 a.m compared to this past week of waking up at 5:00 a.m. I also knew that it was finally here, the birthday party we had been talking about for such a long time. I couldn't help but begin to think of what I have to make sure I bring. I realize that alcohol lowers your blood sugar and I want to be fully prepared for that. I plan to be well aware of my surroundings, knowing what foods are available as well as bringing my DEX 4 tablets along the way. Like I stated before I want to show that I can get through anything while still maintaining my diabetes.
I keep telling myself this morning that I have amazing friends. I tell myself that because I know that I am going to be okay. If anything were to happen or I needed some support or help there will be someone there right away beside me. My friends are the best. I know that Sam will most likely already have a special Kayla First Aid Kit plus more and Michelle will be keeping an eye on me. Most of all I know Clinton is with me. He knows all about my diabetes and what to do since he puts up with it on a daily basis.
I think the important thing about any challenge I take on, is having someone beside you. Although I can't always have someone physically there I know that I have the support backing me up in the choices I make. You just have to trust that you're going to be okay and that you're strong.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Just this past February I started a job at a daycare only two minutes from my house. I had never worked at a daycare before but jumped at the opportunity knowing that I had a passion for working with children and wanted to be a teacher. The job was great, I didn't get a lot of hours at first but I really enjoyed the time I spent there.
I am considered a supply teacher. I take the shifts that people book off or call in sick. This summer I've received almost full time working as a supply. With only a few days off I have managed to learn a lot from the experience and really build an understanding of working with children. There is a great schedule there that I really enjoyed because we got a snack and we were fed lunch. This changed though as a I became a diabetic, it was a little harder to sit around a table of hungry mouths knowing that I wasn't going to get anything.
I find that if I stick to a routine I am more successful in blood sugars and overall health. I feel better if I eat a healthy lunch and therefore feel miserable if I know I cheated. Working at the daycare it would be incredibly easy to cheat. With a kitchen stocked full of food, it's hard to resist snacking like many other teachers do.
This past week I worked 6:30-3:30. I helped out at morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack. I have become used to not eating their food. Although I am always offered something I know that it's not best to step out of routine. I've learned that my blood sugars are more important to me then having a scoop of mash potatoes. However the kids just don't understand why I'm the only teacher not eating with them.
"Why you not eat at daycare Kayla?" a three year old asked.
"I eat at home," I replied with a smile.
"Does your mommy make you food?" she asked.
"Nope, I do it all by myself!"
"But why you not eat at daycare Kayla?" she grinned.
I know that I'm not going to go about explaining diabetes to a three year old. I just find it interesting how observant young children are. She realizes that I am the only one not eating and questions how come. I am assuming she thinks I live at the daycare since I can remember thinking teachers lived in schools, and when could I possibly eat if I'm not eating with them?
I think that not breaking my routine is going to be the best path for me. I can always be a little risky and sneak a cookie or ice cream cone but I just have to be aware of my sugars. But at least I know that someones looking out for me at daycare, she just happens to be three.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I was told that diabetes was going to effect my eyes, along with many other things, I became pretty nervous. I already went to the eye doctor's once a year but I just wasn't sure how much extra attention I needed to focus on my eyes.
Before being diagnosed my eyes were horrible. They were irritated and I could barely go a few hours without having to take out my contacts. I couldn't stand the pain and I hated wearing my glasses if my contacts weren't comfortable. I just couldn't win. However I wasn't too worried it seemed. I mentioned it a couple times to my mom, and just made sure I brought my glasses everywhere I went. It wasn't until I found out the eyes are effected by high blood sugars, that the pain, irritation and poor sight was all because of my out of control blood glucose.
Since being diagnosed in March I have visited the eye doctor two times. The first visit the eye doctors was scary but this one, today, was a little scarier. Two weeks ago I made the appointment. I had been having troubles with my eyes and I really noticed it as I went to check the time at work and could barely see the hands. After that week, my eyes were fine, not perfect but not too bad. I didn't want to cancel the appointment so I went there today with an open mind.
I was sitting in the chair trying to read, e z o p t g and I just couldn't see it. I tried as hard as I could only to see a blur of white. I said to the doctor, "can people normally read this?" he replied with, "some, but don't worry you've already passed the 20/20 ( with wearing contacts.) "
For some odd reason I always think the worst, I'm going blind, I have some disease in my eyes, my vision is decreasing. I couldn't help but think what next? Luckily my eyes have no signs of being unhealthy. Despite bumping up my prescription by a tad, my doctor thought that I would be fine. He explained to me that with high sugars come bad vision, irritated eyes and dryness. The best way to control my sight is through regular blood sugar and sticking with diet.
It's frustrating. It seems I try so hard not to eat bad foods, eat on time, check regularly and give insulin accordingly only to fail. I've learned that no matter how hard you try to keep yourself normal there are always going to be factors that you can not control. For example, stress, change of routine and sickness. It's not always going to be in our hands but we have to have the best control of what we can handle.
My eye sight is so important, I am sure everyone agrees with me. I couldn't imagine not seeing the green grass, blue skies or scrapbook pages. With all my effort I put into diabetes I will make sure that I give 100% when it comes down to protecting my eyes and being aware of changes.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Not to long ago I felt alone. I didn't know anyone with type 1 diabetes, well at least I thought I didn't know anyone and I truly felt like nothing could get worse at that point in my life. I had a rough year and with a combination of stress and regret I was feeling much like a rock, cold and boring.
I truly didn't realize my own beauty until I was diagnosed. I realized that we care so much about what we look like, but we don't focus on how we feel inside as much. We rather focus on our $80 hair do's than the results from our last physical. We blow off minor stomach aches, head aches or pains not thinking that it could be much more serious but god for bid if our makeup smudges and we would definatly run to the bathroom to correct it.
There are always going to be the days that we feel less than perfect. Our jeans may be a little too tight, our hair may not fall into place or maybe one of those big, fat pimples turned up last night. But truth is, we will have this body for the rest of our time here and if we don't take care of it now, it's defiantly not going to be in a good shape later on.
Diabetes won't take away from your beauty, it will only enhance it. You choose who you want to be, you take what you are given and make it beautiful or turn it ugly. It's up to you. I choose beauty. I want to show the world that this disease isn't ugly. It's made me beautiful inside and out.
Italian restaurants seem to be my worst nightmare. A building filled with carbs upon carbs waiting to raise my sugar up to 1000. I realize that with insulin injections I can clearly eat as much pasta as I want, but in the end, I rather not.
I always enjoyed fettuccine Alfredo. It was what I ordered even when I wasn't eating at an Italian restaurant. The creamy sauce with noodles was to die for. Now when I see a large steaming bowl of pasta I begin to calculate. Numbers flood my head and I convert carbs to insulin ratios. I don't eat out much anymore, and if I do, East Side Mario's, Olive Garden or Boston Pizza are exactly on my top ten list of places to go. Unfortunately when it's not my decision I could very well find myself in one of those restaurants.
We celebrated one of my best friends birthdays tonight. Before inviting me she let me know that we would be going to East Sides at 6:00 p.m. First off, Italian food, second, 6:00 p.m. This week I am working 6:30 - 3:30 p.m so my schedule to start with is a little mixed up. Around 4:30 all I want is supper and my sugar is begging to be raised. I knew that waiting till 6:00 just wasn't going to be the best idea and I also knew that this would be a good way to not have to deal with eating pasta. I still wanted to be there though. Like I say, diabetes isn't going to hold me back. I want to make aware that I can very well eat this pasta, and waiting till six could be possible as well but this was my decision based on how I felt.
I'll admit sitting there watching people eat isn't exactly normal but I've done it before. With good conversation flowing around the table you really don't notice as much. The thing that really hit me was the constant flow of fresh bread brought to the table. I really don't know many carbs are exactly in it, but sure did it smell good. I managed to have a piece while sipping on the diet Coke I ordered. It wasn't a horrible experience like I built it up to me. Italian restaurants aren't that scary but I still would feel more comfortable in a Swiss Chalet.
I know nothing is out of the limit. I can eat whatever I choose to eat, but in the end I have to be aware of the effects that proper diet has on my body. I had a great time, and although diabetes became a topic around the table it didn't bother me one bit!
Monday, August 3, 2009
I'm trying to touch the world. With every note I write, I hope that I am reaching out. The words, sentences, phrases that I put down come from my heart. These notes are not fake, I don't turn reality into fantasy, this is my life. This is the life of a diabetic. Children, teens, adults and seniors are going through these feelings that I express each and every day. These notes are real.
I can't express how much being a diabetic has changed my outlook on life. I see everything in a whole new light. I take every day as if it was my last, thinking of how precious each moment truly is. I pay attention to detail. Some notice it in the pictures I take, Clinton said, "I love going for walks with you, you take something so simple and point out it's beauty." I don't miss a moment, turn down an opportunity or hide who I truly am. This life is a one shot deal, we are all served different plates but we take what we are given and make it something special.
Sometimes I wonder why this disease was given to be so much later in my life compared to most type ones. I don't know why diabetes waited to find me for almost nineteen years but I do know that I am going to make the best of it. I am over feeling like I am alone. I know that there are thousands upon thousands of people just like me. I realize that this disease has been around long before I have but I am not going to let that stop me from dreaming of a cure.
Can you imagine the day we cure Juvenile Diabetes? What would the world do? I know that millions of people wouldn't notice, that they may read it in the newspapers and think, "that's great!" only to recycle the paper and move on to the next days. But think, how many children, teens and adults would feel. The thought of no finger poking, no needles, and no carb counting would be a dream come true. A morning where you get up and eat a pop tart and not even think about what your sugar could be at.
I realize there are many diseases out there that need cures. I know that there are people out there living with illnesses that no one really recognizes or know about but you have to believe. No one is alone in this world. We have to support our peers. I don't know every type 1 but I am not closing the door on anyone. I want my notes to reach far beyond my travels. I want that eighteen year old girl sitting in her hospital bed to know that it's going to be okay because I was that girl only five months ago.
I have open arms, an open heart and a pancreas full of love ( since my insulin got kicked out. ) I am willing to take the time and effort to promote this. We may not be at a cure yet but can this blog have a part in the healing process for many of us living with juvenile diabetes. I think so.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
There are so many great things that summer brings. Cute sun dresses, beach outings and of course the millions of sandals that you accumulate over the two hot months. There are so many aspects of summer that we look forward too, push through the cold miserable winter just to spend a couple months basking in the sun.
I remember sitting in my hospital bed, reading booklets, pamphlets, papers,books, hand outs, articles etc. etc. all about diabetes. The words bolus, basal, pancreas, insulin and glucose repeated in my mind. I had no idea what some of these words meant, what they were, what they had to do with me. Now these words are beyond familiar. One thing I learned was that taking proper care of my feet was going to be very important. I didn't know why but in every book it stated how important it was to wash, wear shoes, and take care. The reason I have to take care of my feet is because there is an increased risk for a diabetic getting foot infections.
Running around on the beach is something everyone does. Who wears their sandals while walking down the sandy beach or quickly running to the car to grab a couple towels? It's hard for me to all of sudden think, "I should probably where some shoes," when everyone else on the beach is barefoot and happy.
I take care of my diabetes. I check my sugar regularly and with effort I try and keep my blood sugar within range, so I feel like that odd time of being barefoot on the beach, I will hopefully be okay. I know that in a perfect world I should wear shoes but it's hard.
My feet are a bit cracked. They always have been from wearing sandals regularly. As I sunbathed yesterday at the beach my foot began to tingle a bit and I knew not to take that lightly. I told Clinton about it, and he got me a bucket of water. I figured I must have got sand in my cracked feet and it was irritating it. I stuck my foot in water and soon enough the sand washed off and I felt much better. I kept a close eye on my feet and made sure that I didn't leave sand on them for too long. I watched where I stepped and made sure that I was comfortable, as far as my feet go.
As soon as I got home I soaked my feet in epsom salt and applied Polysporin to the area in which it was irritated. All is well, and I know that being cautious will be the number one rule when hitting the beach. For anyone really, you have to be careful where you step. The sand can hide many things such as glass, sharp rocks and sticks and nobody likes cuts on their feet.
Good foot care is what I aim for. Making sure that I scrub my feet in the shower and remove any dead skin. I always make sure I'm aware of blisters, cuts, scrapes and that nothing is irritating me. Although it's hard for me to convince myself to wear better shoes I do try to maintain my feet, the best way that I can.