Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Best Me

It can be hard not to compare yourself to others.  Often times we have an idea of what we want out of our lives whether that is material things or something like an ideal body image or a state of mind.  Like the saying, 'The grass isn't always greener on the other side...' that is very true when it comes to how we may perceive a specific lifestyle or body image. We often assume that something is better simply because we don't really know what it is like, but hey! it looks good.

I have had a lot of conversations with people regarding body image or weight loss.  It's amazing how harsh we can be to ourselves, when in reality we should be celebrating small successes.  But, the reason we are so hard on ourselves is because we are constantly comparing skill levels, abilities, appearances that are not our own.  Today, I attended a free yoga class at the park.  The teacher kept reminding us that we were to go at our own pace, that yoga wasn't about competition and whatever level we can do, is perfect for our bodies.   He also kept reminding us not to compare our abilities to one another.

This is what made me really think about how much on a daily basis we are comparing our lives to others and not doing what is best for our own bodies, minds and spirits.  What works for someone else isn't going to work for you... so why do we try so hard to be like other people? And maybe it's not the attempt to be like someone else, rather to just have energy of another person when in reality maybe we could achieve an amazing energy by just being the best you that you can possibly be.

I guess it had me thinking about what my goals are and why I have specific goals. Was I basing my goals off of something I wanted to be or something that I knew I was and just had to work towards? I think this strongly relates to diabetes because we are constantly being judged, not just by our doctors or education team, but by ourselves.  We see numbers every single day that we treat like olympic score board results.  We judge ourselves based on what other diabetics are doing. Is our a1c lower than theirs? Are we better or worse than them?

It is really hard not to compare ourselves or judge ourselves so harshly, but I do want to put forth the effort in trying to be positive towards myself and put my energy into making the best me I can be.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Can't Keep a Smile

This past weekend I attended a baby shower for one of my friends that I have literally grown up with. This was the first baby shower I had attended for one of my own friends, usually it had been my mom's friends or a relative.  I couldn't help but notice that every other person in attendance was pregnant, or at least it seemed that way.  I was so excited and happy for my friend and couldn't believe that we were at this stage in our lives.

That day was pretty busy, I stopped by Vince's parents after wards to have dinner, but then had to leave to babysit for the rest of the night.  After babysitting I went back to Vince's house to go to sleep, which I  was so ready to do by that time.  However, I couldn't get to sleep and I was feeling a sense of sadness overwhelming me.

It isn't that I want to have a baby now but it is a goal of mine to eventually have a baby and I know before I realize it will be that time to start planning.  When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I was curious to know if I could still have a baby. It would have been devastating to me if they told me that I couldn't.  But, all of the doctors and nurses seemed optimistic that it was something that was possible. Since being diagnosed I have met a lot of mothers with diabetes as well as people that are currently pregnant with diabetes.

While it isn't an easy task, much like it isn't always easy for a non diabetic either, I have full faith that one day I will also be able to start a family.  However, for some reason when I was laying in bed I couldn't help but think about the what ifs.  I broke down and surely caught Vince off guard, but he was totally supportive towards me and that is what I needed.

It's hard to live with a disease knowing that it isn't only effecting your blood sugar levels, but also everything else that comes along with living life.  There isn't a time when I get a break from diabetes and as much as a positively try to push through it all, there are times when I can't keep a smile.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

No Delivery

I am praying to the diabetes Gods right now because I spent all night listening to the vibrations of my insulin pump telling me 'no delivery' every single time it gave me my basal insulin.  It started around 3 a.m when the vibrations went off and I knew it wasn't vibrations alerting low reservoir for two reasons, one, I just changed my site and two, it vibrated for a lot longer than the standard 'low reservoir alert.'
I rewound and primed the pump three times, checked my blood sugar and then gave myself a few units of insulin to cover the insulin that couldn't be delivered. I tried to go back to sleep, but was already annoyed with my insulin pump.  In the meantime, I called Medtronic, not about the issue, but about my late travel pump I haven't returned and I watched baby raccoons crawl up the tree outside my window... 

This morning before breakfast I tried to give myself 5 units of insulin to cover my oatmeal when half way through the bolus it started vibrating again. I then just changed my site because I knew I had down all of the other options listed on the pump besides check the manual.  After changing my site, which didn't even look damaged, I put a new one in, in a different location.   I gave myself once again the 5 units of insulin, I am going to watch my blood sugar just in case insulin was actually administered, and it was a successful bolus.

It's frustrating because we as diabetic depend on these things to work for us.  We all know though that technology isn't perfect, so many times the satellite dish stops working or our lap top crashes, but when it is your life on the line, that is a scary thing. We put all of our trust into these devices and when we are sleeping we trust that they will keep us alive much like our lungs for breathing.  


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hiking Boots

Today my hiking boots came in from North by North West. They have been an awesome company to me after hearing my story and getting to know me. So, be sure to check them out in Masonville Mall or White Oaks Mall in London. Upon picking up the boots I realized just how real this whole journey is going to be.  I admit that I am a bit terrified and mainly because I have no idea what to expect and I know that this will be the biggest physical challenge I have ever undertaken.

I put the boots on once I got them home and walked around the apartment thinking about how soon these very boots and myself will be trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro in 68 days.  I am looking forward to taking them outside tomorrow to start breaking them in. Even though I have been training for a little over four months, I still feel like I could use another year to prepare, but know that once the day arrives I will be ready to accept the challenge, both physically and mentally.

I have come to realize how awesome people are upon deciding to do this. I have had some great company on long walks and some amazing enthusiasm from my community as well as my friends and family.  I many not be the most fit, or strongest individual, but I am very motivated and inspired and I know that those two things will help me get up that mountain.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When She's Older...

This morning I had the pleasure of going to the JDRF breakfast for the Ride to Cure, as I am the adult ambassador this year.  It was an early start to the day at 7:45 a.m at the Hilton, but totally worth getting up for.   I was speaking at this event followed by the teen ambassador who is an avid soccer player. He talked about his diagnosis and how he faithfully stuck with his soccer career despite the aggravation that diabetes can bring about.

After the plates were cleaned off and the speeches were finished I stood around a bit to get to know some of the people that were in attendance.  One thing I have learned is that everyone has an awesome story to tell. The average business man has a great story about his hiking trips in B.C and the older women in the back has some awesome words of wisdom to share.  All we have to do is take the time to listen and get to know the people around us.

One mother of a diabetic girl came up to me to tell me how much of an inspiration I am.  First of all, to hear those words really touch my heart.  Living with diabetes daily, doing what I do, it's hard to imagine the inspiration within it, yet when parents, diabetics and friends give me compliments and encouraging words, I take them for everything they are.

The mother explained to me that when her daughter was diagnosed she was upset that she could possibly not live to her full potential.  She as her mother, loved kayaking and hiking and was worried that if her daughter had similar interested as her, she would never get to really be wild, free and have fun.  She told me that she loved seeing and hearing me speak because it gave her that light again that reminded her that her daughter could do whatever she wanted to do.

She was worried about when she was older, she worried about going to the bars and other young adult activities, but she knew that it wasn't impossible for her daughter to be just like the crowd, that sticking out wasn't going to be because of her diabetes, but because she is unique. It's that wonderful.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Diabetes Community

Meredith & I at the Type 1 Diabetes Meme Page Booth
 in Guelph, Ont. 
I am always amazed by the diabetes community.  Sometimes I think about what it would be like if I had never been diagnosed with diabetes and honestly, the first thing that comes to my mind is the thought of not knowing the people that I've met through diabetes.  It seems worth all the needles, vials of insulin, finger pricks and ups and down when I think about all of the amazing people that I have met because of my diabetes.

The thing about the diabetes community that amazes me the most is the thought of how caring they are to one another despite never meeting each other.  There are a lot of Facebook groups that gather type one diabetic communities whether that be mothers, fathers, or type one's themselves. These communities share stories around the clock, ask for advice, reach out to one another and give so much hope, inspiration and peace of mind to total strangers whose one connection is life with diabetes.

This year has been a big year for me.  The past four years I have met a lot of type one diabetics in person and online.  However, this year with all of the upcoming travels I will get the opportunity to meet type one diabetics from around the world - something that I have done via internet but not in person.  I am excited to expand my diabetes community and grow within it.  I know that they all have stories of success as well as failure that myself and others can learn from.

I look forward to documenting what I learn from the diabetic community. I also look forward to creating new memories with them and hopefully helping them in some form or another.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What if I Met No-one?

I was talking with a friend the other day on our walk about what makes one person do something about their situation while others in the same situation decide to not do anything. Often times people tell me that what I do with my diabetes isn't like others, in my reality I am just doing what everyone else is doing that I know, but when I think about it it is because I surround myself with motivated, inspiring people living with type one diabetes.
This photo was taken two years ago at Slipstream (CIM)

I told her that it likely comes from a mix of things - the reason why I am so positive about my diabetes and life in general.  First of all, when I was diagnosed on March 13th 2009, I was instantly introduced to an organization called Connected in Motion. By instant, I mean literally in the hospital bed in the E.R.

The first diabetic that I officially met was the creator of this not-for-profit group for young adults with type one. We met at a small cafe in Brantford, Ont. and chatted about our diabetes - me being only a couple weeks into the whole lifestyle.  I remember at that moment that I felt so completely OK with my diabetes.  I remember her talking about extreme thirst, having to make frequent bathroom visits, weight loss....everything you can find on the back of a diabetes pamphlet was coming from the mouth of someone I felt inspired by and totally connected to.

So, when I think about my diagnosis, I think to myself what if I hadn't met another inspiring diabetic the first few weeks. What if I met no one? What if I met the grumpiest, negative diabetic who told me it wouldn't be O.K? Well, my diagnosis would have probably went a lot worse, I may not have never continued writing this blog, never thought of the type 1 diabetes meme page, never put myself out there to get nominated for IDF or climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

It's never to late to change your mind about your diagnosis though.  You may have had a horrible run at it so far, but it's never to late to be re-inspired.