Monday, January 02, 2017

13 Years


If 13 years could calm your fears
Where will I end up
In 13 years this disease is severe
I stare into my coffee cup

I am grateful for my 13 years
Others don’t complete them
Life goes on as 13 veers
Death beats its own drum

These 13 years if you don’t adhere
They will say you’re noncompliant
These 13 years have robbed my peers
Diabetes is a giant

Through 13 years complications appear
No matter how hard you try
With 13 years diabetes will jeer
When you think you have gotten by

I am thankful for these 13 years
For a cure I will continue to fight
Because after 13 years I am still here
And tomorrow brings new light

Thursday, December 22, 2016

When disappointment became the status quo...



I have been sitting on this post for a while. In fact, I have written, re-written, revised, pondered, almost deleted, and then came to my terms.

Sometimes you just have to get it on paper (or online, or whatever medium you please).

Digression.

Diabetes world, when did we let disappointment become the status quo?

When the news of the first stage of what will resemble the artificial pancreas came to light, I sat in my car and cried. Big, gulping tears.

This is real, I thought. Things are moving along and in our favor. Tears were streaming. Years ago, I had a donor tell me that the artificial pancreas is a "right now cure." Those words resonated in my heart and my brain and I still use them to this day. My "right now cure" is coming. I even messaged my inspiration with gratitude. I was flying. Nothing could ruin my day.

Then I looked online (usually a mistake, but here I am online...so...).

"This is not a cure."

"How dare you call this an artificial pancreas."

"Just another way for big pharma to cash in on us."

So on and so on and so on.

Friends, you were SO disappointed. Even angry.

My tears of relief and joy and every feeling in the world all meshed into one were halted.

Wait, should I be disappointed?

Yes, I know, we have been "curing" this disease for decades. Decades. I get that. But, what I also understand is we have come so far. Are these advancements adding increments to my life? Are they allowing me to live decades longer than was possible 50 years ago? Will I dance at my son's weddings? Will I hold my grandchildren? Or will I not wake up one morning because that one blood sugar that could have been stopped by technology slipped through the cracks and

then my world ends...

I am not disappointed. I am not angry.

I am elated.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Needles

The first time I fainted I was five years old. I was in the bathroom with my mom and she was helping me pull a tooth that should have been pulled days ago. I was a small, scared child. I remember waking up with my mom holding me in a panic. I wish I could say this was the last time this happened.

Again, when I was nine years old I was at the doctor's office. I wasn't gaining weight, was very small for my age, and was constantly hungry. The Dr. wanted to run labs on me to figure out what was wrong. They were taking blood for the test to see if I had type 1 diabetes (ten years before I was actually diagnosed) and I seized and fainted in the floor.

This has happened so many times in my life that I cannot even count. Clearly, I have a fear of needles and blood. A fear that causes me to seize and faint.

When I was diagnosed, I was pretty incoherent and in DKA. When the Emergency Room Dr. told me, "you have type 1 diabetes," I knew what that meant. A lifetime of needles.

When the world tilts like this, what do you do?

You work through it. Or else you die.

These thoughts were clear in my foggy brain. I knew I had no choice.

None.

From that moment on, I did not cry about it. I did not complain. When the nurse came in my room to let me administer my first shot, I just did it. My hand was shaking so bad I had to use my other hand to steady it. I eased the needle in so slowly, I am sure the nurse thought I was deranged. I pulled it out and looked up at my mom.

"I did it."

"I know," she said.

I cannot imagine the thoughts that were going through her mind at that moment. The one child she has that is squeamish and scared. The only one. This is the hand she is dealt.

Fast forward many years later, I check into the hospital for a cesarean. I am brave. I do not complain, though I am terrified. The world tilts again, but I am all right. I did what I needed to do to bring a new life into the world. You work through it. You survive.

I am stronger for it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spare a Rose, Save a Child


I am not one to celebrate Valentine's Day. Just not into the commercial stuff. However, this is one thing I can get behind. There are so many people in the world who do not have the luxuries that I do. I can afford my insulin, strips, pump supplies, etc. Diabetes was not a death sentence to me. Help save a child today.

Click here to help! The International Diabetes Federation takes the selfishness out of this holiday. I just sent in my donation. Will you?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In Sickness and in Health


Editor's Note: This is a repeat post, but I love it and it is Valentine's Day week, so here you go. Since this post, we have added baby bear to our family. I feel all of these things more than ever. I will follow this man to the end of the earth.

In Sickness and in Health


My anniversary is in two weeks. I will be married for six years.

Six.

Count them.

I have never been married to someone with a chronic illness. I am the person with the autoimmune disease. I am the one I like to feel sorry for on depressing diabetes days.

Today is not that day.

Spouses/significant-others play a role in chronic illness that cannot be defined. They are the caretaker, cheerleader, sympathizer, activist, and much more. I cannot even put it out there in a way to do it justice. What he means to me is so much more than your traditional relationship.

We were married right out of college. Not ideal in the 21st century, however, medical insurance warranted it. When I stood on the altar that summer day and held the hand of the person who agreed to love and cherish me, in sickness and in health, until death do us part, I did not quite put the ramifications into perspective.

In sickness and in health.

I don’t think of myself as “sick” most of the time. I appear healthy. I look normal (despite the infusion set and the tubing sticking out of my shirt or my pocket).

Normal? What is that?

Since my diagnosis, living with diabetes has changed in many ways. What has not changed is the support J offers me.

He is in it.

To end it.

He introduced me to JDRF. Came to my pump training. Researched insurance. Formed a Walk Team. Rode in Death Valley. Wrote to congress. It goes on and on. He is my biggest advocate.

He gets my meter in the middle of the night when my Dexcom is alerting and I am too low to move. I lift my hand and hand him my finger. He never says a word. Just is there. He makes sure every morning that I am alive as he leaves for work. Even when he is out of town, I get a call. Never misses a day.

Even when my blood sugar was so low that I said things I didn't mean. He was there. 

When I threw a bowl of crackers at him at 1:00 am because I was desperately trying to gain control. He was there. 

When he is begged me to drink juice in the middle of the grocery store so I can slip back into coherency. He was there. 

When I cry because I am so afraid that my children will one day have this disease, he holds me and makes my thoughts disappear.

Having diabetes can be a solo journey, but having someone to lighten the load makes a world of difference. Thank you for everything, especially re-filling my pump cartridge.

Until death do us part.