Saturday, June 20, 2009

100 Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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