Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Five Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, our little princess stepped into a world that she didn't know existed . . . to fight a disease she didn't understand. At nine years old, she had to grow up and take on all the challenges that Type One Diabetes brings. 

Five years ago today, our rose among thorns (one girl- four boys) slowly adapted to functioning as an organ that she couldn't see or understand. I still remember the nights we cried together, the times we wanted to take the shots for her, the days we wanted to lift the burden of diabetes off of her- and place it on our shoulders. The times it overwhelmed her- but never overcame her.

Five years ago today, my little sister began her life-long journey with Type One Diabetes. Unless you've experienced it- I don't expect you to understand from where we have come. The journey has been complicated on multiple levels, but Hannah is incredible! That is the beauty of this disease . . . it's complications, it's pain, it's complexity, it's grueling schedule, it's relentlessness- these things are what force us to stop depending on us. When we come to the end of ourselves, that is when we get to see just how amazing God is! The sufficient grace He provides is always there at the most difficult of times. That is when we get to trust the very One who trusted us with this disease!

Hannah has exemplified this truth many times. I have watched her through two completely separate perspectives. One side was from not having T1D and watching her. The opposite is now having T1D myself, and watching her. But this is the cool part. I get to see what many don't. I get to fight alongside her. I get to watch her tackle obstacles that others will never see or experience! It's a special component that constitutes our Type One Trio:

We are in this together. We are experiencing this together. We are fighting this together.

So today, we celebrate a significant milestone for Hannah. She has broken into her 5th year with T1D. Hannah has proved what it's like to dream big and achieve anything regardless of this disease. This five year mark is just the beginning of her story, and we couldn't be more proud of her!

I love you, Hannah!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Two Year Diaversary

It's been about a month since I last blogged. I know, it's sad . . . I feel badly, but I haven't had the "urge" to sit down and mull through all of my thoughts/ emotions. 

However, now, I feel that it might be an appropriate time to blog.

It has been two years . . . I know that every time we have a diaversary I say this: "Wow, 2 years feels like 20!". I repeat this statement, because it seems the best way to summarize an ocean of thoughts. Yet this time I won't stop here. Let's take a look at why 2 years feels like 20 . . . in pond form. ;) 

First of all, diabetes is a disease. 

I know right? Pretty obvious. The interesting thing is, it isn't all that obvious. It is easy to begin viewing this autoimmune, chronic disease as a temporary sickness - a sickness that will be gone in a few days, a few weeks, a few months . . . I think that's just one reality that I keep missing: It's not going away. 

Internally, I seem to wait for that moment . . . the moment when I wake up- and Type One is gone. When my life is back to simple. When I'm not constantly trying to be a "move ahead". When I'm not dealing with the constant side effects of a disease that easily distorts even the simplest of tasks. 
(I could easily expound here, but I'll move on) 

Second, diabetes is a constant re-addressing of problems.
Whether the problems are old or new, hard or easy, complex or simple . . . they have become commonplace. Every day we address these same things. Yes, you get better! Yes, you get stronger! Yes, you learn to depend on God rather than yourself! These are essential parts of adapting to this disease, but please understand that doesn't make it easy. Addressing a blood sugar of 50 still makes your heart race. Dealing with a blood sugar of 420 still zaps your mind and body. Working around the clock to compensate for a disease-ridden pancreas still drains your emotions. 

Finally, it hurts. Another obvious thought, perhaps. 
Yet again, there is still more to this simple statement. By "it hurts," I mean this disease wears down. It is an emotionless, careless, painful disease that never gives a break. It doesn't come in spurts. There are no good streaks. I feel this idea is perceived by many to be a fact. Let's stop for a moment and evaluate this statement. In order for a "good streak" to be possible, one would expect less problems. But is that really possible? 

To me, this isn't really about a good streak, it's about survival. Though I get to see great blood sugars, that doesn't mean the reality of this disease stops. A blood sugar can drastically change within thirty minutes! Just because a number "looks great" doesn't mean that problems are insignificant. I hope this makes sense: it is so important. Many times I have talked to other families that fight T1D, and many many times they repeat this fact. Maybe the easy explanation is this: blood sugars are not a grading scale; they are a map. Just because this week was a bad week does not mean that next week will be better. There is nothing definite with Type One. It's not that simple .... ever. 

So how do I conclude? How do I explain a disease that has completely overturned my family's and millions of other T1D family's lives? How do I sum up two years of adjustment and pain?

I would certainly say this: I don't have all the answers. And frankly, I have yet to meet anyone who does. I don't fully understand why this has to be so painful, but again, I haven't met anyone who does. I don't know what the following years of T1 hold and yet again, I haven't met anyone who does. 

So simply here's what I do know. I know that strength is found in the love and support of family and friends. I know that security is held by the only One who understands this disease, and my future: God. And I know that everything will be all right. Yes this wasn't the most "upbeat" post I have written. But it is honest . . . that's just one cool part about writing my thoughts now. 

A few months, years, decades from now

I'll look back and reminisce on where I have been...

and where I have gone.



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Diabetes4Dummies: Food Police!

Hey there! 

New Christmas Special Diabetes for Dummies video! 

Check it out here! :) 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

I Don't Always Expect You to Understand



Unless you are a Type One Diabetic, or live with a Type One Diabetic, I don't expect you to understand what living with T1D is like.

I don't expect that of you - because I can't expect that of you.

I can't expect you to understand what it's like to wake up at 5 AM in the morning because your blood sugar is low... I can't expect you to understand what it's like to rip a site out of your arm while putting on a shirt... I can't expect you to understand what its like when one of our blood sugars is 400 and we can't fall asleep... I can't expect you to understand what its like when one of us wants to go to bed, but a "No Delivery" will have us do the opposite... I can't expect you to understand the emotional toll that diabetes takes...  I can't expect you to understand the fact that this battle is 24/7, a battle with a careless disease that never stops...

So why say all of this? Why force you to read something that may seem "wordy" and maybe even "empty?"

The reason I do is this:

In this fight we can't win our reality does not stop, and the pain does not subside.

It seems that the longer I'm in this, the more and more people expect us to fit in with their normal, to give of ourselves, or to be more "involved." It seems that the expectations continue to rise because "obviously" Type One gets easier.

Here's the truth- who we were died with our pancreases. 

It is this way for every T1D: it's not optional. There are things in life that are not easy to go out and do. You can't do anything without preparation, can't go anywhere without plans, and can't accomplish anything without a strategy.

Is this bad? No... this is our "normal" - we have to adapt.

I could go on - use more example and expound on various T1D issues - but I won't. 

I'm simply making one request: please be caring.

Caring doesn't mean you have to understand: it doesn't mean you have to do or physically say anything. It just requires you to think.

Think before you speak, and think about just a snippet of what T1D entails. 

I'm not asking you to understand Type One Diabetes . . . I'm just asking you to care.

With love,

The Type One Trio



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Diabetes4Dummies: Highs and Lows


And yet another Diabetes4Dummies video! ;) I'm starting to lose track....

Hope you enjoy! 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why Awareness?

We have reached the middle of November- Diabetes Awareness Month! 

Though I have not done a good job of daily keeping up with different challenges, posts, activities, etc- I know we have had an awesome month helping raise awareness!

(Hannah/Daniel's Classmates&Teachers creating the "Blue Circle")

I would like to say a BIG "Thank You" to all of my FB friends, college buddies, and Daniel and Hannah's school friends for showing so much support! It has been incredible! I love it when I see this icon...
- scattered throughout thousands of FB Profile Pictures. :) It is truly awesome to see how many participated in the Thunderclap Campaign by JDRF. Through it, 2,555,000 people have been reached via social networking!

All this to leads me to a surprising yet frequently asked question: Why raise awareness?

So the first thing that comes to my mind when asked this question is... "Why not!?" But (obviously) the people asking this question need more than a question in return. So here it is: 

1) Awareness is Support 

The whole reason people are out there trying to spread awareness is to show their support for those fighting this disease! Actions go beyond words. It's not a matter of only saying something, it's a matter of doing something in order to raise awareness for those that don't understand. Why is this important? Because the more people that understand, the better the chance of raising support for a cure. I understand, I have done the research and I hate even addressing this topic. Logically, a cure is about 2 life-times out. But hey, it's the 21st century, and Fredrick Banting discovered insulin when everyone said it was impossible!! Don't give up quiet yet. ;)

2) Awareness is Safety 

A misdiagnosis for someone that really has T1D can be huge. Raising awareness could be a deciding factor that might save someone's life! Misdiagnoses and incorrect information can be big factors for a case of Type One Diabetes. Not only this, but raising awareness is creating a "safety net" for T1s! Think about it: if you found a person passed out on the ground and saw that they had a diabetic ID, insulin pump, or glucose (blood sugar) meter - you would have a huge advantage over someone who has never heard of Type One Diabetes. (I assume you have read/ watched the information displayed throughout this blog) My point is this: being silent about T1D doesn't improve safety. Why wouldn't you want to encourage protection for people with T1?

3) Awareness is Hope

For those who have just chosen to be pessimistic about "Diabetes Awareness," that's your choice. Just don't let your negative viewpoint be the pin that bursts the bubble of hope to which many still hold. Many special people have taken their time to do some pretty incredible things for diabetes awareness- and that's awesome! Let's keep this energy flowing and keep spreading awareness! 

To show some of these efforts, here are a few photos from across the globe...
 

 Taiwan
 Governor Walker's Residence, USA
 Thessaloniki, Greece
Blackpool Tower, England
 
Happy Blue November!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Diabetes4Dummies!

Hey hey hey! It's Diabetes4Dummies Video #3! :)

I will have you know that a new actual blog-post will be coming shortly. It will recount all of our World Diabetes Day happenings! 

For now, enjoy the new video! ;)