Friday, May 30, 2014

Being A Nanny

Last night I drove past the university and saw a few people carrying books as I am assuming the summer class had finished for the day.  I thought to myself, 'I can't believe I am done!' What a strange feeling to know that I have completed school! Even when I graduated from college three years ago I wasn't able to feel that 'completedness' feeling because I knew I was headed off to university. But now, now I'm just free?!

'E' made me read a German book.... it was interesting
because I don't know German... however, when I
told her I didn't know German, she said....
"Why? It's just language!"
This makes me want to learn German now or at least how to
read this book properly!
Of course I had been job hunting like every other one of my university peers. My major being English, isn't exactly the easiest to fit into a job description, unlike say nursing or business; however, with no regrets about my major I still began to apply to jobs.  As most can assume, my ideal job would be to work in the diabetes field in some shape or form. However, it's totally easy to volunteer in the diabetes field, but to get a job is another story.

I stumbled across an ad to be a nanny for a little girl with type 1. They required someone who knew about type 1 diabetes as well as insulin pumps. It almost seemed to good to be true.  So, fast forward to a couple weeks, I am going to be nannying a t1 diabetic girl! Yes, it isn't exactly what I had thought I would end up doing for the summer; however, I am slowly starting to realize that this may just be the perfect job for me right now and right now is what matters.

Yesterday I got a little sample of what it will be like to watch 'E' on my own. I can see how if someone without diabetes would be worried all the time as an insulin pump is simple; but I think that comes with the fact I wear one. It was a lot of fun knowing that we both had diabetes because I felt instantly like we understood each other. For instance, 'E' 's b/g was high when I got there, and when she asked for water, I could literally feel that feeling, and when she chugged the bottle, I could put myself into her little shoes.

Nobody wants to have diabetes, but it's important to realize that diabetes may effect all different ages, sizes, colours, races, genders...but it truly picks people that are strong enough to handle it and watching 'E' take care of her diabetes (with help of course!) I realized that she is one of the strongest three year old I have ever met.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Making the Most

Making the most out of each day can seem like an exhausting feat.  As soon as your alarm goes off the first thought is probably, 'snooze' or 'ugh, do I have to get up?' It's so nice to stay in a warm bed, dark room and not think about the chores of the day.  That's why I've decided not to get blinds... just let that sun pour in. Yes, for a quick instant in the morning I regret it and wish that it was dark in my room, however, the sunlight gets me up, gives me energy and gets me moving, or at least upright.

I can't remember who I was talking to or who said this, but someone stated that 'diabetes is like a 24/7 type of thing eh!' All the diabetics are likely shaking their heads up and down along with their parents/caregivers.  It totally is such a tiring disease that takes up so much thought even when you don't realize you're thinking about it. There isn't a day that goes by that I haven't thought about my diabetes. Maybe there are times I neglect it, i.e not checking before I eat or 'guesstimating' however, there isn't a day that I wake up, go about my day, crawl back into bed and not have been affected by diabetes in some shape, way or form.

Spent time visiting my Grandparents yesterday.
 Also started my genealogy project with them. 
So, in going back to the earlier message, making the most out of the day for anyone can be exhausting, but making the most out of the day for a diabetic can be a challenge because it is easy to get frustrated with diabetes or people around you (because of diabetes) and to wake up smiling, embracing the sunshine creeping in your window at 6:30 can be daunting.  Especially if your insulin pump is vibrating to be refilled (clearly my situation right now.)

Yesterday I went for another doctor's appointment, this time with my family doctor to get the whole thyroid situation figured out. She commented that if she were to pick any disease to have (as if that would be a thing...) she would pick thyroid, simply because it is one of the easiest to treat.  At first I was like, that's funny, but then I was thinking, "man, you're saying that to a diabetic, who has to think about diabetes all the let's not talk about picking diseases when I already am collecting them."

HOWEVER! I have come to realize that even when situations seem tough from being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to something like waking up and crawling out of a comfy warm bed. We truly do need to make the most of the day we have ahead of us. Even if we think it's unfair, we're tired, or we're annoyed. We need to accept the things that we cannot change and embrace the opportunities and experiences around us.  We all have preoccupations that surge through our minds daily, but that doesn't have to limit us to having a good day.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

That's Not a Surgery...

Every now and then you run into people that have no clue about diabetes, or worse, think they have a clue, but don't.  I noticed that a lot of people can mad at these people (on Facebook groups etc.) but in reality, I think we need to just shrug it off, and think at least they tried.

The other day I went for a massage.  Of course on the little information page I had to disclose that I had type 1 diabetes. I didn't bother writing insulin pump, mainly because I was half skimming the paper and half thinking, 'why does it matter?'  Anyways, before I got to undress and lay down, she did an assessment of me. She quickly noticed that I was wearing a pump and asked if that was what it was.  

I said, 'Yes, I'm surprised you know what it is!"  Because usually people stare at it in awe of what kind of iPod or pager or...who knows what it is.

After that she assessed my hips and asked if I carry children all day... which is irrelevant to the story but I found that interested, because I don't.

Anyways, she continued down the paper and all I could think of was, "Let's Get This Started!"

 She added one last question, "Have you had any other surgeries besides that one..."

"What one?"

"The one for your insulin pump..."

"That's not a surgery."

"Oh, it's not the one that is a surgery. Because my friend has the one that's a surgery.."


Then I just went along with it because I didn't really know what we were talking about now and I didn't really want to go into a conversation that I didn't think there was an insulin pump that required surgery...and to be honest I wanted a massage.

I guess there is a time and place for education and there it just didn't seem relevant. I figured she would go to her friend and tell her she had a client with a pump and say something along the lines of, "She didn't need surgery! Maybe you should look into that!" Then her friend could tell her she also never needed surgery...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When Life Stops

Yesterday I woke up and honestly said, "I feel at peace..." which seems weird. Who just wakes up and says that? But I honestly felt at peace with myself and obviously I had a good sleep. I decided that I would pack a bag and head to the park and spend some solid time walking and laying out on the grass, reading, writing and listening to music without the interruption of Internet or iMessages.  Before this dream day away could happen, I had to make a stop at the allergist since I had missed my appointment by accident last week. It was simply a follow up.

Now, my hives have been at rest for the most part. Every now and then they flare up and usually I attribute them to stress, take some allergy medicine and move on. So I was prepared to joke around with the allergist and tell him that I have been doing a lot of 'happiness' reading and patio sitting and I think I am going to be o.k!  However, what he had in store for me was nothing about what remedies I have been doing, in fact he never even asked me.

He began talking about blood cells and science.  I knew that any time a doctor starts explaining science, it's not the best sign.  I tried to focus but truly wanted to just blurt out, "LOOK THEY'RE GONE! NO HIVES. BYE!" But, he steadily focused on giving me textbook definitions of red blood cells, white blood cells, mast blood cells and how many we should have, what is good, and what is bad.   Then I started cursing in my head.

He told me that I have a 'above average' count. And I won't go into detail because one, I don't know the details and two, until I know FOR SURE I won't bother.   Anyways, I feel like this doctor took no note on how I was feeling as I sat there across from him, gripping my purse, and trying not to cry. I didn't even know what it all meant but when he started throwing around some scary words, I bawled. I bawled, and I bawled until he reached up and grabbed some stupid industrial medical tissues for me to sob on.   He continued talking.

Next, Le Thyroid! Great. More news.  He went on to explain that there are also some 'above average' or I guess 'below average' issues with that. Something I have had looked at countless numbers of times via diabetes centres, yet no one said anything.  So, to say I was SHOCKED would be an exaggeration. The SHOCK was from the first set of news that already had be bawling in his office chair.

To be honest, I felt like life stopped for a quick second in that office. I felt like I had a moment to think, "Why?" and not just cry over "Why" but truly ask "WHY!"  and I am praying, praying, praying that it all is O.K and that my focus of being positive, and kick starting my thyroid, all of that will make things O.K.  

Photo found on Google Images 
At the end of the appointment, which was only fifteen minutes. He asked me if I had any questions. I just looked at him and asked, "IS THIS BAD?" with tears rolling down my face.  I can't even remember what he said, he was so nonchalant about the entire thing, I couldn't read what the mood was in the room besides my own; which was pretty mooodddy.

I sucked up my tears until I got outside the elevator and thankfully it was like someone knew I needed someone, something, words.  I fought the rest of the day with my thoughts, carefully choosing to be positive, to be hopeful and realize that truly God would never give me something I couldn't handle.  Maybe giving me a bit too much right now, but I've got it, I'll figure it out.

I truly began to think about what it means when life stops, and I don't mean 'no longer living' but when everything around you feels like it stops and it's just you and your thoughts. You have that quick moment to really think or maybe do nothing at all, but you just feel the halt like a roller coaster as it reaches the end.  I think those moments are special, and they stay with us. Like when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, or one time when I was driving down Western Road and realized, 'Man! I got accepted to Western!"

Even if those life stopping moments are hard, they do teach us something and bring us back to ourselves, those moments don't last long though, so it's important to hold onto them and remember that just after that moment what did you learn, what did you feel?


Monday, May 26, 2014

Surround Yourself With Love

I've always been the person with more close friends; rather than a large group of not-close friends. I had the friend I could call up after a major life moment, which was the same friend I would call up to go to the mall.  I would say that, I am a pretty good friend and more than ever I am realizing the importance of friendship and the concept of surrounding yourself with love.

After I was diagnosed with t1 diabetes, I truly realized who my friends were. Not based on how many people brought me flowers or sympathy but by how much time they took to truly reach out, learn and grow with me as I began my journey as a diabetic. I have a really good friend who was by my side before my diagnosis and after and I like to think of her as an honouree diabetic. And if you know my myself or my blog well, that's Michelle. 

Andrea & I 
Of course not every friend we meet is one from childhood or even high-school. As life goes on we make new friends and we find these friends in the most interesting ways; whether that is in post secondary or work or even from the gym.  These people that come into our lives,  are going to either accept you for who you are or move on. Friendship isn't something that you can just let go and see what happens, it does take work and it does take love. 

When I needed my friends (and my family) those that wanted to accept me offered me support, a warm meal, a safe place to cry, a drink.   I began to realize that the fact that I can pick up my phone and text someone to come, and someone comes is a sign that I am beginning to surround myself with love and that feels good. 

I'd like to say that my friendship circle has truly been growing. I am working on making the friendships around me strong and making sure that when they need me I am equally as open, able and willing to surround them with love.  Sometimes it is more about just showing up than saying the right words or bringing the right comfort food. Because showing up shows love and that's all we need.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Funny Way

Recapping, I've been talking about the things that I have learned from the past few weeks.  I must admit that I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what I have been writing, and the past couple days I have only been reassuring myself of this last lesson. "The world has a funny way of making things work out."  

Now, I say 'world' because I don't have a word or know a word that can replace it, I don't know what is making things work out, or who makes things work out, but since the world is something so big, so crazy, so diverse, let's for sake of argument say that the world is in charge and you can simply replace that word with what you believe. 

These past few weeks have been ones of change and to be honest, when I look back on previous notes  I realize that I knew a change was coming, I just wasn't sure what it would be and where it would take me. Of course, I am now graduated from Western and can finally read a book for pleasure - which as an English Major, you'd think I'd be doing all along, but rest assure there are ENGLISH MAJORS and there are English Majors, and I am the latter. 

I had been struggling with my health as hives as taken over my body and I was frustrated with doctors and blood work and diabetes because everything I do effects my diabetes and everything I don't do, also seems to effect my diabetes.  

Mel & I doing a little Rent Performance.. just because. 
I also wasn't sure what I wanted to do. The daunting question of, "What's next!" with the exclamation on the end, hinting that you're supposed to answer with fortitude and say, "WELL! I am going to go on an adventure and open my own business and have two kids and a dog..." When in reality you're thinking, "Well, I have to pay of my student loans, find a job among thousands of my peers and hope that the Kraft Dinner will last me two dinners."  

I don't know what is next and like I mentioned, each day is full of surprises and that's the beauty of life, you see. We can't predict what's going to happen next or how we are going to wake up feeling. We don't know who is going to be thinking of us or who isn't and most of all we don't know if everything is going to truly be o.k.  However, I do believe that everything works out and the 'world' has something in store for each of us, whether it is going on an adventure, opening your own business or getting two meals out of one box of Kraft Dinner.  

Believe me when I say that I am on a journey in my life right now that I did not really predict. I say really because I have a pretty good insight.. however, what the surprise in life is, is that what even when something seems like a let down, like you don't deserve it, something like, diabetes. You have to trust that what you cannot imagine, can happen and it all has a funny way of working out.

Thanks World. 


Friday, May 23, 2014

Another Day

Like promised, I will continue explaining the few things that I have learned throughout the past couple weeks.

I have spent a lot of time gathering my thoughts, visiting the library, going for walks out in nature not on the sidewalks of Oxford St. and talking at night.  Yes, super weird. Just talking to myself or God or whoever is listening, possibly my neighbours, after all there is only a wall separating us.

Either way, I cannot believe by the time I lay down in bed at night, finish reading my book(s), finishing checking Instagram and finish iMessaging Mel or whoever happens to be messaging me at 11 p.m that the day is over and sometimes I think or SAY to myself, "You made it!"  and not because each day is like walking through mud, but because each day brings new things to deal with, new emotions and inner and outer battles (Canadian Geese can be pesky!)

Like mentioned, the sun will come up every single morning no matter what you did the day before. No matter how hard you failed, it's coming up and giving you another chance. The bonus is that it is a completely different day.  What you did yesterday may have some consequences leading to your tomorrow, but you totally have the upper hand on dealing with it, and guess what if your tomorrow leads you into a weird place, try again the next day.  Like sun will shine every day regardless, the fact that it is a completely different day.

I have learned that, that each day I can make it through, being awesome but sometimes falling every now and then and when the sun goes down I take those moments to reflect and talk and by the time the sun rises again, I truly see that it is a completely different day and I have the power to work with the hours I have.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Next Day

I've learned a few things these past couple weeks:

1. The sun always rises the next day

2. It's another day

3. The world has a funny way of making things work out

While the first two seem similar - they're not because what I have started to realize is that at night, when there is no light shining in, it truly changes our mood. At least, it truly can change my mind.  Night to me, is a time of relaxation and an excuse to NOT do anything. In turn, that means sobbing or feeling 'alone' because unless I am texting my friends, I have no one asking about how my day went.  However, with patience and knowing that each moment is vital for ME to relax and ME to enjoy, I know that before I know it, I will be opening my eyes to light pouring into my window.

Recently I read a book called, "Carry on, Warrior," by Glennon Melton. I will probably be talking about it for awhile since I learned from vital lessons from it.  However, Melton compares the sun to 'God's Love'  Now, just a antidote:  I have never been to church other than a couple first communions and I did photography from a baptism a couple years ago.  However, I have always been open to the idea of 'God' as some have may noticed my subtle hints that there is one, I don't know who she/he is, I just feel like there has to be something... so I accept all Melton's ideas of who she believes God is, and with that decide if I believe that same. I think that's an acceptable way of going about it - so stick with me. Anyways, she states that

"the sun shows up every morning, no matter how bad you've been the night before." 

This can be interpreted anyway it best fits you. I wouldn't say that I've done very many bad things in  my life that I was ever worried about not seeing tomorrow or being punished by some altering force. However, I think now that it is so important to do the best with the day we have ahead of us, and mould it and work with it, and play with it and enjoy it or just get through it because in the end the sun will shine or at least light will come (we live in Canada after all, where the weather is iffy...) and we can start anew and work through that day because each day the light reminds us that we are given another chance. 

I shall continue talking about the other two lessons as the week goes on.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014


You know when you say a word too much and it starts to sound weird like, Yellow for example. Say Yellow about ten times and BAM, it sounds like a foreign word.  When in reality it is a word you've been saying since kindergarten.   This is what having type 1 diabetes is like, it's like this 'thing' that you have 24/7 that you know so much about but when you start to think about it too much, look at it too much (insulin pumps, injections, used up test strips) it starts to seem weird.

Every now and then I have these moments where I am looking at my insulin pump and think, 'man, what a weird thing, I've got going on.'  Because who would have thought that they would be faced with giving themselves injections of the smallest amount of medicine to ultimately keep them alive, anyone? anyone?

I would say that my biggest fears in life do not result because of my diabetes; which I am thankful for. Yet sometimes I think, 'I must be irrational. How could diabetes not be my top five fears, but snakes are?" Snakes.  I workout in a gym not the park and I live so high up that if I snake were to enter my home, I'd just be impressed.   It's funny that our fears in life aren't always the rational ones.

Diabetes is super weird to me and I never really understood why God or whoever decides who gets diabetes, picked me. I mean, I can see it now from afar that yes, I am thankful that I was 'chosen' because look what I've done with it. But I can't really believe it happened to me and those thoughts are strong when I start to get 'Yellow Syndrome' when looking at my insulin pump.

I think the important thing about it all, is that when those moments arise to remember to let it go. (You know like the movie Frozen suggests) because we have to realize we will never know why exactly we were given diabetes, maybe science can give us technical answers, but truly why we were given diabetes. Once we take a step back and stop starring at our insulin pumps with confusion and disgrace, we have to remember just like the word Yellow, it eventually will just be a normal word, you just can't focus on it too much.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Get Out Of Bed!

The first step to a good day is getting out of bed. Which can be hard, we all know that. Tucked in to warm comfy sheets, a soft pillow finely moulded around your head...and dread of what the day might bring.  When we're in bed we don't have to clean anything, count carbs, pick up groceries, communicate, we just just simply lay there. But, the more I began to think about what lying in bed really meant, this morning while I was well, lying in bed - is that although sleep is wonderful, when we spend too much time just lying there and time is passing by, we are missing out on new thoughts and emotions - we're closing ourselves off from the rest of the world, yet allowing ourselves to be jailed with the same sometimes painful thoughts or maybe happy ones, but I can guarantee they aren't new thoughts.

You're probably wondering why I am focusing on being in bed.  I actually haven't been wallowing my days away in my bed, today in fact was probably the latest I have stayed in bed and I think that is because the sun didn't come shining in at 7 a.m.  The easy way of going about life is to not get out of bed and I'm not an 'easy way out' type of person, as much as I want to be sometimes.  Instead, I am getting out of bed, MAKING my bed, so there will be no temptations. I am carrying on because that is what life is about, carrying on.

When I was diagnosed with t1 diabetes at first I didn't have much of a doubt that I couldn't handle it. I got out of bed each morning, but mainly because I was on multiple daily injections which made sleeping in a hassle and a half.  I did life the way that I wanted and even more. More recently I admit that that term 'burn out' people talk about, hits me every now and then and knowing that I have to think about diabetes for the entire day irks me.

Diabetes has taught me a lot about the 'getting out of bed term' because diabetes forces you to get out.   It's a big sign that beams at you, 'YOU'VE GOT Sh*&T TO DO! GET UP!" and maybe we don't want to do these things and maybe we don't want to face the reality of where our life has come (but never ended up because we keep on moving...) and maybe, just maybe we aren't sure how strong we are today; but we will never know until we step out of that bed and look.

Like I said, I think it's incredibly important to allow new thoughts in and exhale old thoughts and I remember one of my professors once telling the class that if you're stuck on an idea of an essay, go somewhere you've never been before because each new space will bring you new thoughts and ideas. I love this, and will never forget this.

Getting out of bed is the first step of a good day.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

I Am Strong Enough

I have been neglecting the blog.  I admit it.  Without a doubt in a short span of time my life has flipped upside down and twisted into a thousand knots; however, as much as we all hate working through our knotted up necklaces, sorting to find the end of the chain, these life knots are not something I am allowing myself to hate & that is something I have just decided now.

I have been thrown curve balls in my life, more so starting when I was in high school; or at least that is when I began to realize that life isn't about having the pool so the kids at school will want to come over. It isn't about being someone else, so that you can be liked, loved and called 'pretty'. Life is so much more than shopping at forever21 and getting good deals, or knowing whose dating who. It's so much more and that seems so obvious, but how easy it is to just lose your self in something so simple.

In these recent weeks I have felt myself breath new air. The strangest feeling in the world to feel as though the strings that were never actually there have gone. I still ask myself what it that was making me feel that way and how did I not recognize that feeling before. What is this new feeling and how can I make use of it? What will it push me to do? Where will it take me?

This blog has always been an outlet for me. I have guided myself through the past five years with type 1 diabetes managing to live a life that I would say is more than I had imagined for myself. I never thought I would have climbed the tallest mountain in Africa, nor travel to Australia. But the most surprising thing that I have accomplished is growing into my shoes and being able to say, 'I AM STRONG ENOUGH." I have surprised myself, and I hope that never goes away.