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September 2015

Everyone Has Gone Through Something That Has Changed Them In A Way That They Could Never Go Back To The Person They Once Were

Diabetes Diagnosis changes you. Everything seems to change. Some things for the worse. Some for the better.

I was in my senior year of high school when I was finally put on insulin. Immediately all symptoms went away. That was the great thing that changed.  My migraines went away.  I didn’t pee every hour and 2 to 3 times in the middle of the night.  I was no longer passing out in class. I wasn’t eating like crazy anymore.  I started to gain weight.  I could focus.  My vision got better.  I was no longer nauseous.

Some of the things that weren’t so fun included facing your worst fears as if your life depended on it because it did.  That was my fear of blood and my fear of needles.  I will never forget that first day a nurse taught me how to give myself injections.  Not fun.  I had to start carrying stuff around with me everywhere.  Like a darn monkey on my back.  And I couldn’t forget it.  My life depended on it.  I had to come home for dinner every single night because I was on a meal plan.  I had to eat before physical education because my life depended on it.  My high school sweet heart was a true gem but it even affected our relationship.  No more weekly date nights for strawberry milkshakes.  It changed my future.  As I had wanted to join the military for many years, that was immediately dropped because of automatic disqualification.

But I will tell you that some things never changed.  Maybe life changed but I didn’t as a person.  I still have my heart and love fiercely.  I still have my sense of adventure and inner need for travel.  I still love to write and share and impact people positively.   I like that.  When I think of my day of diagnosis I know I’m still the same.

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Diabetes Superpowers

  • Power of Dehydration: ability to dehydrate at the drop of a hat
  • Empathy: we care about people and can empathize with nearly every ailment
  • X-ray vision: I know that’s a blood sugar monitor in that little black case. I know that’s an insulin pump connected to that tubing on your side, etc.
  • Invisibility Cloak: we can hide our disease very well if we want to.
  • Laser eyes: we can shoot dirty looks that can kill when someone says something dumb like: you shouldn’t be eating that.
  • Firestarter: we can start advocacy lightening quick as a firestorm if needed
  • Fast: we have lightening fast speed when in need of sugar
  • Night vision, also echolocation: we know exactly where our sugar stashes and glucose meter are in the middle of the night.
  • Telepathy: when in the company of another diabetic we know exactly what they are thinking when a non diabetic says something dumb.
  • Morph: we can quickly go from being a diabetic to mom, wife, runner, climber, student etc
  • Nerve manipulation: we have the power to damage our own nerves from consistent high blood sugar
  • Superhuman Endurance: we have the power to deal with this disease day in and day out
  • Healing: we know how to make it all better with insulin
  • Superhuman Strength: emotionally we know how to tackle any problem and take it in grace
  • Time Travel: We know how to have hope and still dream and push for a cure and know exactly what that will look like when it happens
  • Precognition: we can sense danger before it comes therefore we take our insulin. I know that muffin will raise my sugar I just know it.
  • Superhuman Intelligence: we have Einstein math skills that can be used at any moment; being able to visualize a baked potato and it’s exact carb count, how many points it will raise your blood sugar, and how many units of insulin you will need to bring yourself back to the safe zone.
  • Power to Fly: this is when you need to go to the emergency room and you or your driver suddenly is able to fly over cars and traffic and big buildings in the way.
  • Lastly we have the power to melt hearts with a simple glance. 💞💕

I Shouldn’t Have To Explain

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I called a dear friend that I’ve known for 17 years. I told him how excited I was that I had bought some adult coloring books. He was upset that I said this and said “I don’t want to hear about that I want to know how you’re doing”.  Well, I didn’t want to tell him how I was doing. I always do – and it gets old.  But I went into it anyway.  I gave him all the ugly boring details of my health and wellness being my main focus and priority right now. I explained how I’m starting from the beginning and how much work it takes.  I told him about all my symptoms and physical pain stemming from various things.  All of this is chronic and I hoped I told him in such a way that I didn’t have to explain it again. At least for a long while.  I told him the nitty gritty gorey stuff, the whole picture of what I go through day in and day out, sparing nothing.

When I was done, I slammed, “That’s why I color”.  He kindly responded, “I understand.”

It’s Not The Foods’ Fault!!

I went to see a new RD yesterday.  As we were sitting there crunching numbers and going through logs she stands up and says “let’s talk about blame for a second. (I’m thinking, excellent! A therapy moment about my parents or the healthcare system or myself.) Stop blaming the food!  It’s not the foods’ fault!” I just sat there – stunned.  And she sat down.  Of course it’s not the foods’ fault! But is it?  Have I ever blamed the food I eat?  Now that I think of it, of course I do!  I always have!  And thinking of blame, I blame that on my grandma for yelling at me for eating a muffin 20 years ago.  At that time, of course it was the Muffin’s fault for everything.  For my high blood sugar, for giving me diabetes, for making me feel miserable.  For putting me in the hospital.  So then on out everything was the foods’ fault.  Not diabetes’.

Now that I sit here and ponder this I’m thinking of how important the role of food is.  For me, historically, globally.  For our bodies.  This is the sole source of nutrients for our body.  Food is the best way to get vitamins and minerals and fiber.  It’s the fuel and the energy for our daily living.  It’s our sustenance.  Then I remember how my Dad would always bless the food at the dinner table every night so that it gave strength and nourishment to our physical bodies.   Most families pray for the food at Thanksgiving.  Some Eastern cultures believe they can purify water by meditating on it.  Food is so much more than that nasty little booger that raises our glucose.

What a miracle -mentally- to be able to let go of food blame and get back to blessing it.

Burnout Is Not For Me

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I’ve just recently joined the DOC so burnout would not be the right word for me at all.  I contribute my lowered A1C to the DOC support.  I love it here.  It’s like my very own secret society.  Although I sometimes obsess on research and reading people’s stories, asking questions, reaching out, advocating – I think it’s because I’ve never had it before.  It’s that feeling of where have you been all my life?  I’ve needed you! I’m making up for lost time!

I did take a weekend off from social media recently and that was refreshing.  But it’s not necessary for me in particular.  At least, I haven’t encountered the burnout – yet.  Not to say I wouldn’t in the future.  I don’t wake up to it or go to sleep to it.  I don’t take things too personally.  And the the things I am passionate about, I’m very grateful to have a voice.  That’s one cool thing about us, every voice matters.

So why be burned out when I get nothing but positive things?  There are too many wonderful, beautiful people here.  There’s too much education and cool stuff too learn.  It’s a cause that needs me when necessary.  I can reach out for support when I need it.  I am never alone.  Everyone gets and understands me.  I’m learning to laugh at diabetes. Laughter is ALWAYS a good thing.

So, burnout, if you come, know that the DOC is home, this is where you belong, and you are always welcome.

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