Thursday, August 30, 2012

Less There

It's always interesting to me to see when the 'I have diabetes...' conversation comes up.  When I meet someone knew I always find it a little bit of a relief that they don't know I have diabetes.  Not that having diabetes is a bad thing, but my life revolves around the big D word and sometimes - like I've mentioned before it's nice to displace myself from that label.    I was thinking about this a couple weeks ago when my friend (who knows I have diabetes) introduced me to one of her friends.  We sat around had a couple drinks, the three of  us and being 'diabetic' was not on my mind.  

It wasn't until my friend mentioned that I write a blog and I had to respond with it's about diabetes... which if you're not diabetic and not a medical professional (which at my age is assumed) it seems off that a random person would write about diabetes - so there it went. I went from the average healthy Joe to Kayla the Diabetic in a matter of seconds.  As if I took off a mask and became someone else.

I realized though that sharing that side of you isn't a bad thing. I mean, I know that everyone I have encountered has been O.K about my diabetes, but diabetes can really be a conversation piece more than anything. I also feel like because I have taken diabetes and really transformed it into something 'interesting' per say - my diabetes story is a decent tale.

It's funny  how diabetes is a disease that comes with constant reminders, yet sometimes if you're around no one that knows it seems less there...  


Monday, August 20, 2012

Achieve it!

I came across a quote today by Napoleon Hill, it reads:  'What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.'   I instantly linked that to all of what I have accomplished thus far in my life and reminded me that what I have made of my life is because I dreamt it and pursued it.  It seems that in my case all that I have accomplished was something I thought of then followed to think it was impossible, but tried anyways.  This whole process is what has lead to me completing a two year liberal studies diploma as well as reach 3rd year in a Bachelor of Arts program in University.  Dreams of being a writer, making a difference and being independent - all of these dreams I have made come true.

We all need something to believe in - why not make it ourselves? Even if that little voice in your head says that it is impossible, it is important to listen to that louder voice in your head to know that you can achieve it.  Some things in life we have to work harder on.  Whether that is lowering our a1c or getting better marks in our history class.  Either way, if we have decided it is something we want to do, there is no one stopping you but yourself.

There are a few things on my bucket list that I would love to scratch off.  After turning 22 a couple days ago, I realized that I am proud of myself so far of what I have accomplished when my second life (after being diagnosis) began.  Looking back at what I have done, I have really made some of my dreams come true and I couldn't be more proud of my accomplishments and hope that that drive continues for the next 22 plus.  

I would hope that everyone takes on their dreams and makes them realities.


Monday, August 13, 2012


Is it possible to be too passionate about something? Can giving something the majority of your time be a waste of time?  I guess that would be a personal question, considering many of us have these types of passions, and would not hesitate to say it is okay to have passion for one thing, but blame others for being over passionate for another.

I would say that I am passionate about working with the diabetes community.  Too passionate perhaps?  Someone once commented that I have a lot of little things started in the diabetes community.  My first thought was, well is that a good thing or bad thing? I wasn't sure if this person was giving me a compliment or suggesting I go to d-rehab. I began to think about what I was doing in the community and started re-thinking a few things.

Was I doing too much? Is that possible? Was I being annoying on the online community? Was I 'taking over' the diabetes community?  I was starting to second guess my place, but realized my place wasn't there before I was diagnosed. No one was in my role - yes there are plenty of diabetics out there, plenty of diabetic bloggers and an enormous amount of diabetics and parents of diabetics doing amazing things, but before I was diabetic there wasn't anyone doing what I am specifically am doing.  I created my place in the community much like the ideas of Diabetic Barbie came about or Connected in Motion.

You see, it just takes a wild jump into the unknown, a dream that you think is impossible, but you try anyways.  When I was diagnosed in March of 2009 I sat in the hospital bed writing letters to the people I cared about instead of looking at the medical information papers left on my side paper. I didn't care about the medical side of diabetes (although of course it is apart of my life and an important part at that...) but I cared about the support.

Sure, as diabetics we have to take medication, wear pumps or carry syringes.  We have to know the difference between basal and bolus. But, most of all we have to know we have someone to count on.  I realize that long before I was diagnosed diabetics have always had support in some way or another whether it was through their parents, a great school teacher, or a loving husband.  But, when I was diagnosed I became instantly curious along with attracted to the idea of bringing type 1 diabetics together from all around the world and just proving that working side by side is a lot easier than battling alone.

I have met some amazing people along the way that have taught me so much about life and have shown  me what is possible.  I believe that just like insulin - support can save a life.  I have heard horror stories and couldn't imagine myself in their shoes despite living with the same disease - and I like to think that it is hard for me to imagine myself in their shoes because I have so much love and support in my life.

Every time we reach out to someone - even just one person - we can really make a difference.  Now that the Type 1 Meme Page has reached 5000 likes, I know that both Meredith and I have made at least 5000 people smile - imagine that feeling - knowing you've made at least 5000 people smile over something that once was fatal.   You can see smiles being made all over the diabetes community, back to diabetic barbie, Amy who is making pumps for build-a-bears and barbie dolls.

If I'm too passionate so be it.  I believe I was given type 1 diabetes for a reason and not the scientific reasons - but because I was made to make a place for myself in the community.  I was made to make people living with diabetes of all ages and their supports smile, to provide inspiration for diabetics heading to college or going on their first date.  I was made to be the shoulder that many can lean on.


Sunday, August 12, 2012


I have taken a little vacation from the blog for a solid week and it's time to get back at it.  Sometimes people ask me how I am able to write about diabetes every single day - well most of the time I explain that being a creative writer and living with the disease 24/7 is what usually gives me something to write about.

I try to acknowledge those moments in the life of a diabetic that most of us are just so used to that we don't think twice about it.  Life with diabetes is constant and most of the things we do as diabetics on a regular basis are repetitive and so ordinary to us that we don't bother to wonder why we do that or why certain things happen.

My life with diabetes has been interesting. I have made my entire life a tale of diabetes.  Working with a diabetes association, writing about diabetes, speaking about diabetes and most of all living with diabetes.  That word alone  seems to have become so familiar with me like my last name or something.

There are times however, I wish to remove that 'D' last name and just be myself. The person I was pre diabetes.  But, a quick reminder of how I was a person lacking motivation, lacking strong friendships and hadn't quite allowed myself to test my limits. I realize that having diabetes in my life has made me the person I am today.