Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bodies Agenda


After dealing with high sugars due to a mixed schedule I am fully aware just how my body wants to work. My body doesn't want to work the late shift, nor does it want to be forgotten and my body definitely does not like to start early.

Since my schedule was pretty mixed up the past couple days my sugars have been as well. It seems I've fallen into a routine breakfast, lunch and dinner are all usually around the same time, and once that routine is broken my body knows.

It's the simple mistake of letting myself push lunch till 2 p.m and then eat supper at 4:00 p.m, silly things that worked with the day's agenda but not with my bodies agenda. It's hard to manage diabetes when you are having a day when y0u don't know what's going to happen. A day where the food is a mystery and so is the activities.

Diabetes is more noticeable to me, when my day isn't wake up at 7:30 eat breakfast, 12:00 p.m eat lunch and 5:00 p.m eat supper. It's the little arrangements that make you want to fight diabetes and just be normal so that you don't have to deal with it.

I want to be able to relax when the day's been arranged and if something has been delayed. This will be manageable over time but right now I'm having a hard time adjusting.

Happy Halloween!

Kayla

Friday, October 30, 2009

Headache


Last night I headed back home to Brantford one day earlier than planned. The reason, I had a huge headache and I could barely concentrate on anything but the pain. After leaving the lecture hall at 3 p.m I felt weak and extremely tired, I even closed my eyes while I walked down the narrow hall of residence. When I walked up the four stories, I collapsed onto my bed.

I wasn't unconscious. I just felt extremely weak and the pain across my forehead was almost unbearable. My instant thought was that I wanted to go home. I don't know how this occurred but I do know some facts.

That day, like every Thursday I picked something up from the Caf to eat for lunch. This time a roast beef wrap and a parfait. After checking my sugar, 6.2 and then getting out my insulin I realized the needle wasn't going on right. Only to see that the needle was defected and that was my only needle. I knew there wasn't time to run back to residence and to my room to get a needle so I bit the bullet and ate without insulin. My class was only an hour and soon as I got home I'd take some insulin depending on my sugar.

After an hour of discomfort and even more as it progressed I knew that I had to get to my room a.s.a.p. My sugar was only 12 but like I said, I felt horrible. I took four units, not even two hours later I took another four units to eat supper.

Around six o'clock, Dad came to pick me up. I felt a lot better and the headache was simmering down, but I knew I needed rest, and I will not lie, if you're looking for a quiet good nights sleep, don't expect to find that at Fanshawe. Once I got home I did a couple things and then checked my sugar. I felt giddy and strange, I knew something was off balance.

21.8 was my sugar. twenty-one decimal eight. I hadn't been that high since being diagnosed March 13th. To me, at the moment it wasn't scary because my sugar was so high I was a little uncoordinated and rather excited. I even dialed insulin for correction, 8 units and fired it at my mom rather than in my stomach.

Approximately two hours after my sugar was 12.4 then about nine hours later when I woke up but sugar was 6.4, back to normal. Although this all happened so fast and my sugar was all over the map, I am glad that I knew to come home.Even though there will be times when I can't come home when I don't feel well, I knew that I was able to come and it made it a lot easier to rest and figure out my blood sugars.

As far as the defected needle which I've found numerous ones in the past two boxes, I will be writing to the company. I don't think that, that should be happening as often as it seems to be.

Kayla

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inbox


It's amazing how something so simple can make a change. A simple creation to inspire and educate can brighten a day or bring comfort. My dream of inspiring is proved every now and then and there isn't a greater feeling in the world than knowing you helped someone get through their day.

Isn't it funny how we never know if we are on someones mind? We don't know if someone happened to read our facebook status and were inspired or in my case read my blog and felt reassured or much better than previous to reading it. It's amazing when people send me private messages telling me how much my last note helped them, often it's people who I would never even thought would look at my blog.

Every now and then I get a message from someone who isn't even remotely connected to me. We have no mutual friends, and possibly don't even live in the same country. It's times like these where I have to step back from the keyboard and think how powerful my blog really can be.

Last night I got a message from a girl named Kelly. As soon as I read it, I instantly got teared up and text Clinton, "I got an amazing message from someone about my blog." It's messages like these that make me fully believe that I can change diabetes.

The message from Kelly read:

"Hey Kayla,
You don't know me but I had a breakdown after the doctors today and went online for some support. I've had type 1 for 13yrs and realized I've been going through this and never met another diabetic other than my sister. I read your blog today and couldn't stop crying(i felt ridiculous) but after 13yrs I still have my bad days. I was diagnosed so young I don't remember the early stages of this disease. Anyways hun I wanted to let you know that you helped me through my day and I learned things through you that the doctors can't teach me."

As soon as I read it, I was eager to write back. Kelly who is from California some how was able to connect with my blog and there isn't anything more wonderful than that. I hope that this can prove not only to everyone but to myself that this blog is reaching out to people. Despite the simplicity of it all, it means a lot to not only me but other people out there.

I am truly excited for the future and know that no matter how long it takes, I want type 1's to know about this. If I hadn't made a blog, and allowed myself to be truthful and honest where would these people like Kelly be? Where would they turn too? I am so glad I am there and so glad that people like you are supporting me.

Kayla

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Inspiration Called


Just when I called upon quick inspiration I received it in the mail. I knew there was something waiting for me back at home, but wasn't sure exactly what. Clinton brought it to be Saturday morning and I was very excited to open it.

A card written to me from my grade seven teacher, Ms. McLean. It was a congratulations card with a wonderful message inside letting me know how impressed and moved she was after reading the Brantford Expositor about me. When reading this, I felt great. I was happy that she recognized me and took the time to personally write me a card. I really felt a sense of accomplishment and instantly knew that I was on the right track for sure.

It takes something as simple as a card, a comment or email to make me feel the change. As funny as it is, I'm happy how easily I can be inspired. I will continue what I love to do, I will chase my dream till the end and I am excited for what's to come.

Kayla

Friday, October 23, 2009

Endless Dreams


Last night I truly had a hard time. I found myself questioning my dreams and most importantly I was having a hard time accepting my diabetes. I feel as if I get into these ruts where I feel as if no one is listening. Call it asking for sympathy or attention starved but it's nothing like that at all. I have many different reasons for getting upset and when I do it's hard to accept words of strength and courage.

I feel horrible that much of my stress is placed on Clinton. I often find myself rambling on to him about how much I hate having diabetes. Yes I said it. Last night I found it really hard to sleep and I just was stressed that I was given this disease because there are so many things that I want to do with myself, and not have to worry about it. Last night I sent a text to Clinton that read, "I'm honestly scared. Like I hate this. I'm pissed off, why me? I'm tired of looking for reasons and I'm so tired of knowing this is forever. I can't stand it." For those who know me, you may find this a little startling. I never really talk this way about diabetes and if I do it's brief. But if you read my note from last night, you probably can recognize I am having a rather rough time with accepting this disease at the moment.

I feel like I am doing all I can to work with this disease. Being the type of person I am, I often think about the future, which right now is not something I should be worrying about. Clinton often laughs at me when I worry about something that isn't relevant for another few years but I seriously cannot help myself.

I wish that this disease had a cure. I laugh as I write that because doesn't everyone want a cure. It's hard for me that I can't become just "diabetes free." after some type of treatment. Until there is a cure I must go through these repetitive motions over and over and over again.

This is why I do what I do. I keep myself busy with writing, promoting and helping people but it wasn't until this week did I realize how much I was truly avoiding thinking about the disease. I need some quick inspiration something to keep me going. I see it all the time with comments and feedback but I can't see my dream as well anymore, it seems so far and unrealistic.

It may be the week, busy, hectic week but I am counting on having a turn around soon. I want to be back to myself, the girl who thought nothing was impossible. This disease sucks, I am going to be honest, diabetes doesn't allow you to forget about it, therefore your mind is always going 100 miles a minute. My head hurts and I'm ready to accept this and get back on my path of endless dreams and amazing journeys.

Kayla

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Small but Strong


For class today we got to have lunch with a poet. So instead of sitting at desks we all sat around the dinner table and got to ask the poet, Sue Sinclair many different questions. It was really interesting talking to someone who is published and interested in creative writing in general.

My class is small, there are only seven of us total, so we have already grown closer than most students would in a classroom in college. I felt confident that giving myself a needle in front of them as well as checking my sugar wasn't going to be a big deal.

Never in a class setting would I have to give myself a needle, so that part of my diabetes is usually hidden. Yes, at times I will check my sugar but never would I have to pull out my needle and give myself a shot of insulin. It's interesting; however, to look around to see if anyone noticed but I didn't find anyone who noticed or at least they didn't appear to notice.

Sitting around in this setting gave me a chance to go a little more into my blogs and what I am doing with diabetes. Since we got to talk about ourselves and talk about what we like to do as far as write, it was a great opportunity to talk about how I express my thoughts.

I got to hand around my 'blog' cards and hopefully someone will be able to connect with my blogs in anyway possible.

In a way, today I've been not thinking as positively about my blogs as normal. I am not sure why, but in a way I feel like my message may not be getting across as clearly as I thought it would be. I loved the response I got while I was at the conference last night but I was very surprised that no one has joined Helping Hands. I think that this is just me, being a huge dreamer. It's not realistic to think everyone is going to jump on the diabetes bandwagon and it's definitely going to take more than seven months for this sort of thing to happen. But after watching a recorded video of my speech I feel like I should have done more.

It's hard for me. I feel new to this just as much as the person I'm preaching too. I think I am the type of person that may take on too much, too fast, or expect things to change over night. I need to learn patients and work towards my goal with a positive outlook and convince myself that what I am doing is right and working.

I really want to stress that I do not want to push people into believing in what I believe. I know some people are against charity and don't think that change by one person is possible but I do. Even though I am reminded every day of my personal achievements I feel like what I am doing is silly at times.

I believe today may simply be a day I thought too much about it and I can't let one day stop me from doing what I've been doing for seven months. Maybe when I mentioned diabetes was the best thing that happened to me at lunch today, I heard laughter. It may have been because when I approved of cloning in class because they believe it can lead to a cure for diabetes, I got looks as if I was crazy to believe in cure of a disease. Orcould it have been when I watched myself on video from the conference I felt as if I didn't make my point clear enough. Maybe these remarks from society and the way that I feel I come across is making me re-think.

I realize I have an army of love and I can't disappoint and I can't be discouraged from my dream. I may be small, but I surely am strong and I am not willing to back down.

Kayla

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Unbelievable


I sit here in my room, and can't stop smiling. I feel as if I have been given one amazing opportunity after the other. I can barely grasp the amount of praise and support that I have received in the past seven months. It's unbelievable.

Where would I be now if it wasn't for diabetes. I don't know. I probably wouldn't have been this far not only physically but emotionally in my life. I have come so far and never want to go back. I call diabetes a gift. Why? Because a gift is something you're given. A gift can make you smile, blush and in return make you want to give back. Diabetes has done this for me. A perfect gift.

Today I stood in front of about fifteen plus people. Just standing up in front of these people made my heart bigger, stronger and proud. I couldn't believe where I was, in a conference room. Not only was in a conference room but I was in front of real women who were interested and eager to hear what I had to say.

These women didn't know me previous to today yet took time out of their busy midterm week to listen. I appreciated every single second of today. I can honestly say every second I was reminding myself, look around, look where you are, how amazing is this! I felt like it was one of those moments you just wanted to freeze and hold on too. People were clapping for me, laughing with me and honestly connected with my story.

Just going around the room and handing out my blog cards I felt warmth from those around me, telling me I was inspirational and did a great job. I felt so much love in that room. I honesty did.

Although I was trying to help them better understand me and diabetes, they taught me a lot about what they knew about diabetes. It verified to me that people do not know much about diabetes and the differences of type 1 and type 2. More inspiration to keep getting people aware.

I thank Melanie Baker who made this whole thing possible. If she hadn't contacted me, this would have never happened. I love the fact that she trusted in me to speak, that makes me really happy. I hope to work more with her.

Overall today was an absolutely amazing day. It opened my eyes to realize there is so much that I can still do. This is just one step in the right direction. I am so excited for my future.

Kayla

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

People Out There

Since starting Helping Hands, I have collected sixteen total hands and have 84 members. I am excited to check every day who has uploaded a picture and what they thought of. To me, it's amazing to see the effort and thought that people put into this. Some of them have only met me a few times, while others have never met me before. Of course there are those who know me very well, but it's amazing to see people come together to support not only me but many other people living with diabetes.

I realize that what I am doing is not collecting money towards diabetes, like the walk to cure diabetes; however, I believe it's going to bring us closer to a cure. We all need to stick together and I think this is an awesome way to do so. It's absolutely amazing!

I am hoping that this is being recognized, that people are catching on and wanting to participate. I hope to collect over 100 hands, I don't care how long it takes me. To me, just looking at the hands I find comfort. It's strange but seeing the hands flash before me, reminds me that there are people out there. Helping hands.

Kayla

video

Monday, October 19, 2009

Work it Out


I decided to get a gym membership here at Fanshawe. I have one back at home, but since I live in London now, I finally decided that it would be best to get a gym membership here.

At first I thought that I wouldn't need one because I would be so busy and I am only here until April; however I realized that I am not an average person, and physical activity is pretty important when being a diabetic. How does something like that slip my mind?

I haven't been getting much physical activity living in residence unless you count taking the stairs. The odd time I will participate in work-out videos with the roommates but ultimately, I need something that will help regulate my sugars a little better.

I gave in today, and I woke up feeling miserable. I knew that I needed to begin something because the more I sat around, the worse I felt, not to mention the harder it was to manage my blood sugars.

It was much more expensive here than at home but I think this is a good investment. I am looking forward to getting back into shape and possibly helping my diabetes a little bit more than before. I am not going to keep relying on insulin injections to make high sugar go away, I will put forward more effort.

It may be hard to work around my schedule but I think that I can manage. After all we're talking about improving my health here!

Kayla

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Best Part



The best part of doing what I do, is knowing that people are learning from you and helping you make a difference. It takes one person to start change but it takes a whole team to make it happen.

I am looking forward to what my life has to bring. It seems like every day I wake up with a new idea, dream or inspiration. I am always looking for the next opportunity and experience. It's funny how I lived such a simple life. A life where I could predict my tomorrows, and now nobody knows what's next.

I've learned a lot from my disease, especially that we can't take anything for granted. We don't know what's next, but we have to be prepared. I know that at anytime everything can change, and we never know when our last day is. This is why we have to start now, we have to be inspired today, and work towards a better future.

The best part about what I do is that I could quite possibly help people realize that there is something that we can do, and I don't mind being the leader if you will be apart of my team.

Kayla

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Army


What can I do? I think a lot of people don't realize how much they can do. It seems impossible to stop something so we don't try. It seems unreal to help more than one person at a time so we don't care.

I was once a person who didn't care. I didn't think about people that were in pain, hurting, healing or dying. I cared when you told me your Grandmother was ill, or your best friend was diagnosed with cancer but I didn't go beyond that emotion called sympathy I let the feeling of sadness and concern fade once I shut my eyes and went to bed that night. In the morning do you think it mattered to me, as I couldn't decide what to wear or what to do with my hair that day? Nope.

I am sure I wasn't the only one. I know for a fact there must be more people out there that were just like I was. In such a busy life why do we bother to take time for other people? It takes us so much time just to get ourselves together, who cares about everyone else. In reality we all have a little time to spare.

The things we do seem important, going to bars, watching our favourite show on television or even shopping. Yet when asked what we are doing to help others we reply with, "I have no time."

When I created helping hands, I wasn't sure how people would react. When I created Team KK, I had no idea who would be interested and when I wrote this blog I wasn't sure what the response would be. I realize that people do want to help and support but many of us don't know how.

I love having my army of support. I love my dedicated readers Aunt Lisa, Joanne Richardson, Michelle Richardson, my Mom and Chelsea Lumiere to name a few. I admire those who participated in the walk to cure diabetes, Clinton Mackenzie, Abby Brown, Laura Brown, Kyle Bissonnette, to name a few once again. I am also proud of the eighty plus members who have joined Helping Hands such as, Brianna Theurer, Samantha Wiedrick and Melanie Baker.

There are many names I could express my sincere appreciation for. I think it's important that these individuals are recognized. I recognize that there are many, many, many of you that are apart of my army and I could spend hours on end writing each of you pages of how much I appreciate your support and dedication to me, and my crazy ideas.

I realize that we all have distractions and schedules. We have jobs, homework, tests, exams, children, families, hobbies and friends. But if we could all spend at least five minutes of our day, dedicated to at the least thinking about those who are battling each and every day, whether it be a family member, your child or even you.

We can't forget that beyond our profession and education that love is the most important. We all can share our love and support with one another. You just have to take the time to do so.

Kayla

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Big Step



I've been handed an amazing opportunity that I am so honoured to be even considered for. I never thought in a million years something as simple as writing a blog would change my life so drastically.

How happy and fortunate can I be about how things have worked out for me?

A Fanshawe student, Melanie Baker has asked me to be apart of a health awareness event in one of the residence buildings. Melanie is a resident advisor and has proposed many different opportunities to me. I couldn't be anymore thankful.

I had supper with Melanie today and we had a great conversation. It was nice to know how my blogs have been beneficial to her and how well she understands my thinking and point of view. She is really a very inspiring woman who also taught me a lot about not only other disease but life in general. I am looking forward to working with her more.

Next Wednesday I will speak in front of a group of people that are interested in health awareness. Clinque will also be apart of this event. What Melanie would like me to do, is to express how diabetes has effected my life. She encourages me to help people understand that this disease can happen to anyone at anytime.

I really feel like, this is an amazing opportunity for me. I am looking forward to Wednesday but I also am nervous about how well I can express my passion to a group of people. I believe that this is going to cause a change, this is a big step in the right direction.

Kayla

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

'A' Positive


Today it really sank in how different diabetes makes me from the general population. There are just some things that as diabetics we cannot do. I hadn't come across one until now and that was donating blood.

I had no intentions on donating blood; however, I was curious to know my blood type. Today out front the bookstore at Fanshawe the Canadian Blood Services were taking blood samples and letting people know their type. I had a feeling being a diabetic was going to conflict with the situation some how I wasn't sure how though.

The girl went before me, she made a comment as they poked her finger for blood that this was exactly what diabetics had to do. Knowing first hand how truthful her statement was I smiled. She predictably said ouch when the needle went into her middle finger and was eager to get a small band aid on it.

When it was my turn, I let them know I was diabetic. The lady immediately let me know I cannot give blood. Apparently a diabetic who isn't on insulin and controls their blood sugars with diet can give blood but those who give themselves insulin cannot. The reason for this is because insulin in the blood stream can cause harm to people without diabetes since they already have their own self producing insulin.

Luckily my blood type is the second most common blood type, A positive; therefore my blood type isn't in demand. It really made me think though, a the whole idea of donating blood cannot be an option for me.

It's okay with me but it makes me wonder if I will come across more things that do not allow diabetics to participate.

Kayla

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Helping Hands


I am always looking to do more. I believe that if I knew anything about science I would be spending my time in my room finding a cure. However I know nothing about science therefore I focus on the cure to emotional stress that diabetes brings.

Personally I believe that if we work together we can help one another get better. Diabetic or not we all can work together. If we all take what we know and work together it can only bring good. I may be dreaming but there is nothing wrong with that.

I guess it started with the blogs. I just feel like even though all I am doing is writing about my day or my philosophies in some way I am helping someone out there. With each blog I write, I seriously think about individuals, people I've met and people I haven't met yet.

I get messages from people that really touch me and inspire me to do more. One girl sent me a message noting that she found my blog and she at first felt like she was the only diabetic out there. She wrote, "Your blog helps so much!!!!!!!!" If I can bring strangers together as one, isn't that what the world needs?

I started something new however, of course I am always looking for new opportunities. I was looking at the One Touch website and found a really neat idea that they do for U.S residents only. A simple word, phrase or name on the palm of your hand that relates to diabetes. They collected hundreds from all over America. I loved this idea.

Of course being Canadian I was not allowed to post my hand on their website. I know for a fact diabetics don't only reside in the U.S so I started my own. Of course it's just for fun but I am starting to get more meaning out of it as more and more pictures are being uploaded.

So far there are fifty plus members in my group on Facebook called, Helping Hands. I have collected five hands with very powerful and meaningful messages and I am looking forward to seeing more.

I love checking up on the group and seeing the uploaded photos. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, bringing total strangers together for one cause, diabetes.

I feel like Helping Hands is an awesome opportunity for the community to be aware of diabetes and for people to understand the disease and the faces behind it. I feel good about this project.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/edit.php?gid=157814646371#/group.php?gid=157814646371

Kayla

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nineteen


With only one more thanksgiving event to attend I think I can officially say that I can handle being diabetic on thanksgiving. It is a lot easier than imagined especially now that I have had diabetes for almost seven months.

Despite having a blood sugar of nineteen before dinner I managed to have pumpkin pie, brownies, mash potatoes, marshmallow salad, stuffing and turkey. I had to take many, many extra shots of insulin but for the occasion I knew it wouldn't hurt.

My Grandpa, who is a type two diabetic thought it was crazy that my sugar was nineteen, my Aunt even questioned if he asked me my age or my blood glucose. Unfortunately nineteen was the answer to both questions at that moment and I knew exactly why.

Earlier in the day my sugar was extremely low. My body was shaking and I was being stubborn and tried to make it go away with ketchup chips. After that didn't work I moved on to lemon loaf, then regular pop until finally after almost 45 minutes of playing around I felt normal and raised my sugar to 5.5. Unfortunately although that helped bring my sugar up to a decent amount it finally all sunk in and raised me to a crazy 18.9. That night it went back down.

Sometimes I feel like I can't seem to stop the shaking. I feel like I can't make a choice and the more my mom yells at me, "eat honey!" I can't decide. Diabetics and others tell me what to do to raise it but when I am low I am in no mood to listen to anyone or recall what people say to do. I just want to do what I feel like.

It's not easy having low blood sugars and it's not easy having high sugars but I find ways to deal with them.

Kayla

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm Ashamed


What is type one diabetes?

I think that a lot of people don't know the real differences of type one compared to type two. A lot of people assume that type one is exactly like type two diabetes when in reality they are much different in many different ways.

It's so strange. In high school I graduated after four years but decided to go back for one more year for just one more class. I choose to enroll in data management and I recall one project being on type two diabetes. When I think back to then, approximately one year ago when I was in that class, I didn't even recognize that there were two different types of diabetes. I don't even recall being really involved in the project, I can remember doing the assignment but not really focusing on the topic. I'm ashamed.

I know that to someone who has no connection to diabetes, he or she is not likely going to care about the disease. How could I; however, not have any interest when my Grandmother, Grandfather and two of my uncles are living with type two diabetes?

I believe I read somewhere every ten seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes. Count to ten.

It may be a child, a teenager, an adult, or you. How can we disconnect our hearts to something that is so rapid and real. Something that is happening so often and to people of every single age. How is it that certain diseases get more attention when in reality people are suffering, hurting and dying from many diseases.

I look back now to the student I was a year ago. I didn't look at the statistics of type two diabetes and think, wow. I just went through the methods, equations in order to receive a sufficient mark to pass.

Is it possible to touch people who aren't effected by a disease in any way? Can I hold out my hand to those who think type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the same, and teach them the differences?

It's not about the products that a foundation puts out there. It's beyond the money we collect in order to find a cure, there is so much more to these diseases. Why can't we associate breast cancer not by the pink ribbon a grandmother wears on her sleeve but with the beautiful face of survivor.

Let's put reality to these diseases. Let's learn more about what the differences are and what people are living with.

Kayla

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Not Off the Menu !


Thanksgiving is approaching quickly and surprisingly I am not dreading being faced with piles of mash potatoes and pumpkin pie. I've learned already that those things are not off the limits. I think that as soon as I was diagnosed I felt as if I couldn't eat anything like a normal person. In some cases this is very true. I can't simply go to Dairy Queen as much as I did last summer because that is just too many carbs; however, having a Dairy Queen blizzard isn't off the menu.

Here I am talking about blizzards when I should be talking about pumpkin pie. I look at it this way, how many people eat so much on Thanksgiving that they have to undo their pants or find themselves rushing to hit the treadmill. I know at least that I won't have to worry about that because instead of eating half the pie I can fulfill myself with a sliver.

I really am excited to come home for Thanksgiving. I don't think it is about coming home because I have been coming home for the past couple weekends, but I believe it's about the fact that I really enjoy spending time with my family more than ever. I really learned the importance of family through diabetes and that is a very special gift.

I often feel like we don't realize how important grandparents are. I really wish that there were more opportunities in my life to spend with my grandparents but my life is very busy. I feel like not only grandparents but older generations have absolutely amazing stories to tell and things that we can learn from. I love asking about my Great-Grandpa who lived with type 2 diabetes but was insulin dependent. I wish I could have talked to him about diabetes.

I think diabetes taught me how to listen and most of all be thankful. I understand thanksgiving this year more than ever. There are so many things that I am thankful for but during this weekend I will figure out more and more things, I believe. I want to take this weekend as an opportunity to learn more, respect and remember.

I know counting carbs is not going to be the only difference this Thanksgiving.

Kayla

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Please Cure Me


It's odd but it happens, I find myself sitting in my room thinking about a cure. Last night I put away my books, shut off my computer and laid in bed just thinking about my life in general. I think that I let other things fill my mind so quickly that I don't really concentrate on how much diabetes is truly effecting me emotionally. Of course I enjoy talking about why diabetes has made me a better person and express how many good things have occurred because of this disease but I will not hide the fact that there is apart of me that still does not understand.

Last night I lay under my covers and I closed my eyes. I thought about beyond six months ago. Before the diabetes, and before the symptoms. I remember going to places like Wendy's and McDonalds and enjoying a large fry with my friends, I remember drinking regular pop, although I dreaded to know the calorie count, it didn't matter that I drank it. I recall going to the movie theatre numerous times and buying not only popcorn but a bag of M&M's. I remember eating without having to give myself a needle. I remember being normal.

It hurts me. It hurts me that there are thousands of people just like me who have to wait before a meal, who have to count carbs and pass off chocolate bars. It hurts me that children everywhere have to limit their consumption of Halloween candy or check their sugar before recess while all the other children eat their Scooby-Doo snacks and run around outside. Last night I prayed for a cure. I pleaded, "Please cure me."

I realize that compared to most diabetics I have only been battling this disease for a short time. I accept diabetes but like Clinton said on the phone, it still bothers me. It seems that anytime I feel upset Clinton calls just in time. 11:00 p.m my residence phone rang and Clinton was on the other end, surprised to hear me in sniffles he listened to what I had to say. He's been through it before, listening to me and knows what to say to calm me down.

I always have fears. I fear that I will not live as long as average, I fear complications. I fear that when I eventually have a child they will have diabetes and so much more. I allow myself to take on all these fears at once and they simply cause me too much pain. I find the only way to snap myself back is to remember all the things that have happened in this short span of time, all of the things I have achieved and conquered.

It's not fair but I can work with it. Although this disease can bring me to tears as simple as a sundae can bring me to 20 mmol/L I will not let myself fear what's to come.

Kayla

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lipohypertrophy


As my roommates and I worked out last night I noticed a small lump on my stomach. Unlike nothing I'd ever seen before I was pretty worried about what it could be. I let my roommates feel it, to see if there actually was a lump or if i was just imagining such things.

The lump encircled by white also had a red dot in the middle. I assumed this was where I last gave myself insulin at supper time or maybe even before that at lunch or breakfast. Either way I knew that this lump had something to do with my diabetes.

After looking at it in several different ways, feeling it and wondering why it wouldn't go away I decided to do what I always do when I need help, I went on Facebook and looked for the first diabetic that was online. The first person I spotted was Chelsea. Chelsea has helped me before and various situations and I was glad she was online to help me stay calm.

She reassured me that the lump is most likely an, 'insulin lump.' The medical term is, lipohypertrophy. Lipohypertrophy can delay the absorption of insulin and cause low blood sugars. It all made sense why my sugars were all under 5.5 yesterday. I thought I cured diabetes every time I checked my sugar and it was perfect. I was told just to massage the area and that would help.

I have to admit though, the lump scared me. I have tons of bruises but never have I had a lump appear on my stomach. The important thing that I need to remember is rotating injections sites, even though I do this often, the odd time I may do it around the same spot just out of comfort.

I am so thankful to have my own little diabetic army. People who are there to listen and give me feedback and answers. Without having them I would be lost and confused.

Kayla

Monday, October 5, 2009

Can't Stop Now



There are so many horror stories. Diabetes related complications occur all the time. People told me some of the stories, shortly after I was diagnosed. It's hard not to be scared of what can happen. I really thought about it today sitting in psychology. There are so many complications and they happen to real people.

It really occurred to me today that I need to be careful and cautious being a diabetic. That unlike many other people my body is not fully o.k. I have a disease that could cause blindness, loss of limbs and heart disease. I will not let this happen.

I want to be healthy and active; alive and well. There are so many things that I want to do and see. I am not going to use diabetes as a crutch and won't let this disease slow me down. There are just too many things that I see for my future, education, career, family and travel. I can't stop now.

Kayla

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Best Prize


As many people know I was a nominee for Brantford's Search for the Greatest Kids. It was a honor to be chosen considering hundreds of other people were in the running. All the nominees surrounded by their family and friends gathered today at the Polish Hall in Brantford.

It was a celebration. I felt honoured to be against some people that really spend so much time and energy into making a difference. Some of these children, only six years old have put so much heart and dedication into making a change, it's unbelievable.

Although I did not receive the $500 grand prize in my Against the Odds category I am proud that I even got the chance to be a part of this. I received two certificates however, from Parliament and the Expositor and those mean a lot to me and I will always treasure them.

I learned something really important today. There shouldn't be an excuse not to do something. After meeting a numerous amount of people today with all different types of obstacles and challenges this is proven. No matter what your struggles are, you should be strong and never give up.

Today was a celebration of hope. The prize was being able to share my story and inspire those around me and that's the best prize of all.

Kayla

Friday, October 2, 2009

How Lucky Can I Be?


How lucky am I to be where I am today? I can't comprehend how many amazing experiences I've had in the past 6 months. Of course they aren't all due to being diabetic but I can't be sure of that. Could diabetes have brought me luck?

Most people wouldn't considering being diagnosed with anything a sign of luck. In fact when I was first diagnosed I was determined that I was on a path of horrible fortune. I broke a mirror last year at work and since then I could have named you three different occasions when luck failed me. However after being diagnosed it seems that some things may have flipped around for me. There is a light at the end of the tunnel but I am no where near the end.

I definitely know that I do have bad days. I have days where I rather sleep until tomorrow and days where I feel like I can't do anything right. I know that having amazing friends, family and an outstanding boyfriend I am bound to get through those days. Clinton and I call them, 'happy checks,' a simple call to make sure that we're happy. It's reassuring to know that despite days where everything is going wrong, you have one person that is going to make you feel better.

But seriously, how lucky am I? I have conquered a five kilometre run, shook hands with not only George Canyon but Keith Urban, received an unbelievable amount of support and responds to my blog and met many different beautiful people living with diabetes. I've learned how to be independent by attending college away from home, felt happiness and love that is true and honest. I have given over $2000 to finding a cure as well as raised awareness about this serious disease. I have created a team that has outstanding support and love not to mention bonded family members and friends in a way no other event could. I have been nominated for an honorable award, felt strength and courage to chase my dream. My name has not came up once but twice in the local newspaper and I couldn't have been more proud of myself. How lucky am I?

As I look at the world around me, simple things seem beautiful. Opportunities seem possible. My life feels like it's on the right track. I know that there will be horrible days but there will always be a happy check to follow. My heart is with my disease, I have the strength to fight any battle. How lucky can I be?

Kayla