Sunday, October 19, 2014

Camp Marrakesh

First off, I would love to welcome all of my new friends/families that have found my blog from Marrakesh! This is it! :) I started the blog a week after my diagnosis. You can click the "Archive" button on the right side and click back till you find February of 2013. That is when the "T1Trio" began. 



I find it difficult to transfer my thoughts into words . . . to simply type out the experience my whole family encountered over the small period of two days. 

Below are a few thoughts to sum up our weekend:

First of all, the connection. There is nothing like going to a camp that you know very little about, with people you know nothing about (except they're Type One- which makes them awesome!), and attempting to get to know them. 

In most instances, I wouldn't know what to say, how to act, what to do . . .  yet within 15 minutes of arriving at Marrakesh, our entire family was spread out at numerous tables building relationships with people that could last for the rest of our lives! 

What we experienced as a family was not just meeting people but falling in love with them. We were connecting on a deep level: sharing our hearts, our fears, our pains, and most importantly - our hope! 


Secondly, the kids were absolutely incredible. Not only did they breeze through the management side (finger pokes, shots, lows, highs), but they were inspiring to everyone around them. All of the T1D campers had been diagnosed with Type One for only one year or less, which made their already-incredible management skills even more incredible! :) Getting to spend time with the kids reassured us that if they could do this, we could do this! That was one of the greatest highlights of the weekend: finding support in each other. 


And lastly, spending time with the adults. When the parents and children split, we all had opportunity to chat with the adults. The parents always have and always will be the ones carrying a primary part of the pain and pressure of this disease. Understanding this helps us to see into the reality of what these parents were going through. There is an overwhelming reality to what this disease holds and represents. Finding peace through this time is the key to coming to acceptance with the "new normal."

Our whole family was able to talk, share, love, cry, and relate on multiple levels to everyone at Marrakesh. I think that this was one of the most healing parts for our family. Being at only 4 years into our Diabetes Journey we are still at the beginning . . . we are still adjusting, and we are still learning. 


In conclusion, this weekend wasn't exactly about us getting to "host" a camp. We were able to help heal, and to be healed; to love and be loved; to inspire, and be inspired. 



Oh yes . . . and to laugh! If you don't laugh, you will probably start crying . . .  just saying.  ;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Daniel's 4th Year Diaversary

Due to the fact that 90% of the 5,000 photos on my MacBook were taken by Daniel, I find it hard to find many pictures of him! I did my best and hope it gives you a little insight into his journey so far in this disease.

You are inspirational, Daniel. I have a lot to look up to in a younger brother. ;) 

Happy Diaversary! 

video

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It never gets easier...

I know, I know... I have been terrible about blogging lately and I apologize for that. I have just finished the first rounds of tests in college, all my drug screening/vaccinations for ER position which starts October 6th, and the other two T1Trio members have just about completed their first month of school!

Though the school year always proves to be crazy, it helps to look at the positive side of it! For one, I have already met four other Type Ones on campus!!! We eat lunch together, exchange numbers, and smile at each other when we hear the melodious sound of a pump alarm echoing in the dining common. :) 

Another bright spot is going to be Camp Marrakesh this coming October. It is a diabetes camp weekend run by the American Diabetes Association. The camp is for newly diagnosed (within 1 year of diagnosis) children and their families! This year we have been asked to be the host family! Pretty much we get to greet, speak, and interact on a personal level with the families. Our family is thrilled to take part in such an awesome opportunity. Getting to be with newly diagnosed families brings me to this question:

"How does one get past the "beginning" of their diabetic journey?"

A journey with a disease that works to ensnare your attention, joy, and hope.

 I feel like I have had diabetes for 10 years . . . in reality- its only been 1 1/2 years. That's not very long. 

At max our family has had diabetes in our life for 4 1/2 years. That's not very long either.

I look for it to get easier. Some people already assume that it is. We have three kids with the same disease, it seems like we have been dealing with this for a long time, we look like we have it all under control. 

And in a way we do. But at the same time, uncaring comments still cut, finger pricks still sting, insulin still burns, sites still become infected, insulin goes old, blood sugars go high, blood sugars go low . . . every detail of this disease still feels like a "big deal" to me. 

Will it always be this way? I'm not sure. 

I watch my new T1D friends that have this disease for 18+ years and still cringe at the pain of a finger prick, still have bad sites, and still have bad blood sugars;

But

I also see myself, my siblings, my T1 friends, and most T1s I meet have one common characteristic: we have to keep getting better.

As a fellow Blogger/D-Mom would say:

It never gets easier . . . you get better!


(Inspiration by Tina: www.stickwithitsugar.com)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thankfulness Is Relief: by Tina Hatchett



Thankfulness Is Relief

There are “seasons” in life that are so difficult you simply struggle to breath.
You wonder if it will ever end.

            For some, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.  This is their life now.  The path has been set, the die cast…this cross will be carried until death.

            How do these courageous lives bear up?  Who in the face of great adversity displays strength of character, and even the will to sacrifice for the needs of other?  The reality of diabetes cannot be escaped or ignored…and yet there must be relief and rest found. 

As we see the gifts all around us, it adjusts our “lenses." It adjusts our perspectives.  It gives us hope.  It reveals love all around us… many times wearing shoe leather. 

As I have counted my numberless blessings this week, I am humbled by the love shown to us:

1.     Our children loving their new school, schedule, and friends.  Diabetes had made our world very “small.” How good it is to breath air among the living again. As our Pastor said last week, “Hope is an amazing thing!”
2.     A phone call last night from a dear friend; just calling to help the children with math homework.
3.     A bushel of beautiful homegrown apples. Applesauce that tastes like “liquid gold.”
4.     Visits from friends - both old and new - that encourage, uplift, and strengthen our family.
5.     A look that says “I believe in you.”
6.     An excellent husband: loving, patient, loyal, tireless, funny, burden bearing, always believes the best in me.  You know you married the right one when you only grow to love each other more.
7.     Friends who are willing to read the pink panther diabetes book just so they can help our children to feel safe.

As you can see, remembering brings relief. 

We are not alone. 

Trials make the relief even sweeter.  Not when this trial is over; we would prefer to fast forward this. 

The relief comes in the trial.  Relief comes from thanksgiving.
 
 

Friday, August 29, 2014

New Territory

For me, I will be beginning my sophomore year in college. As for the other two T1s, they will be entering uncharted territory - an academy. Not only will they be back in an actual school (since our diagnoses), they will be 30 minutes from home. 

Due to our rather overwhelming and rare scenario, homeschooling has been the primary source of education through all three of our diagnoses. Although we are a bit nervous about all of this, we do have a gameplan.

Through the provision of Get Diabetes Right, we have been able to use a simple and very helpful poster for all of the teachers in the school. 
Not only has Get Diabetes Right provided this material; they have also written some excellent material for many common questions!

Obviously there are many unknowns in entering the academy. Many fears, many "what-ifs," many potential problems . . . but that pretty much sums up this disease. We never know what low is hiding around the corner, or what high is about to hit, but we can always be prepared and flexible . . . very flexible.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rainbows and Unicorns: Behind the Fluff


Rainbows and Unicorns: the most common response to many diabetes-related questions.

 But there is so much more beyond the fluff and the clouds. 

Actually, life with T1D is crazy:

It's a fact. 

Life with Type One Diabetes multiplied by three is that much more crazy!

It hit me this past week that I really haven't had Type One all that long. Our family hasn't known Type One all that long . . .  we haven't even reached five years with T1. We haven't had an opportunity to really settle down into a "new normal." Every time we were close to "taking a breather," it seemed like another child was diagnosed.  

The emotions and pressures of diabetes can act just like our blood sugars . . .  One minute we will feel on top of the world (because sugars are somewhat under control), and within a mere 24 hours it can flip to the opposite extreme. Not only does this happen to one of us, but it seems more of a domino affect in which all of us take a simultaneous nose dive.

The best part is when people can see we are struggling, they love to add their much needed advice. 

"At least you all have the same disease so it's easier to manage!"
I get that input much too frequently. I don't know if this mentality helps people feel better about our situation, or if it is just the same perspective that says we "get used to needles, and they don't hurt".

Either way, I have found that people will be people. Their curiosity and self-confidence drive them to speak things they really don't mean. And often we are left in a sticky wicket in which the "Rainbows and Unicorns" reply fits best. 

Sure I would love to stop and explain how crazy numbers are, how many nights we are up with one of us three, how long 4 years of diabetes seems, and how big of a journey is ahead of us. But that is really not their problem. 

I don't think many people could handle knowing how difficult some days are! This is a challenge that is God-given. A daily battle that we have to fight. 

So between you and me, diabetes isn't all rainbows and unicorns, but we all are adjusting - doing our best. And (thanks to Frederick Banting) we are all living too! ;)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

T1Trio Outreach

This past month has provided awesome speaking opportunities for the Type One Trio! Though we couldn't get all three of us together, we were able to participate in separate events!


The first of these entailed Hannah, Daniel, and Dad flying out to Minneapolis, MI. They are part of a study group that gathers information on contrasting views of a T1D patient and their health care provider. Out of 40 people in the group, it was pretty cool to see them chosen for this trip. Although I wasn't able to attend, I was told that the trip was a great success! 

(Not to mention getting to fly, staying in a crazy big hotel, and sight-seeing in Minneapolis was a big bonus!)

(Sorry this is the only one I have)

On July 18th, I was able to attend Camp Endeavor in Madison, WI. It is a diabetic day camp for  newly-diagnosed families. I was part of a six member panel that would answer questions, whether preset or brought up by those attending. It was an absolutely incredible time, and getting to meet newly-diagnosed families was pretty awesome. Though I myself am rather new to T1D, I found that being able to share my humor and our family's story was very helpful for some overwhelmed families. It was truly inspiring to see these new families doing so well! The beginning is definitely the hardest.

As for the lack of posts this summer, I apologize! It's been hard to even get to my laptop with the hectic craziness of work and activity! I have found that college is more conducive to blogging than summer! ;) I will try to post more here in the upcoming weeks!