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!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

So Much More

Before our family lived with Type One Diabetes, 

We didn't have to bleed our fingers,
We didn't have to give insulin, 
We didn't need to wear an insulin pump,
We didn't have to stick ourselves with a needle every three days,
We didn't have to worry about a bad site,
We didn't have to worry about hitting capillaries,
We didn't have to experience a low blood sugar,
We didn't have to feel the sting of insulin, 
We didn't have to carry sugar,
We didn't have to inform those around us about glucagon,
We didn't have to give the glucagon,
We didn't have to monitor our blood sugars, 
We didn't have to track blood sugar trends, 
We didn't have to worry about our bodies rejecting ports,
We didn't have to understand hypoglycemia,
We didn't have to understnad hyperglycemia,
We didn't have to test for ketones,
We didn't have to worry about DKA
We didn't have to draw blood every 3 months,
We didn't have to order supplies,
We didn't have to carry bags of supplies, 
We didn't have to give shots in the middle of the night,
We didn't have to worry about insulin-resistance,
We didn't have to worry about sugar in our urine,
We didn't have to consider long-term complications,
We didn't have to count carbs,
We didn't have to worry about bad A1Cs,
We didn't have to worry about hurting our pump,
We didn't have to change our infusion sites,
We didn't have to eat sugar at 2 A.M.,
We didn't have to constantly use needles,
We didn't have to change out lancets,
We didn't have to think like a pancreas, 
We didn't have scars on our fingers,
We didn't have to constantly explain our disease,
We didn't have to worry about night time lows,
We didn't have to worry about running out of insulin,
We didn't have to worry about insulin spoiling,
We didn't have to worry about not waking up,

We didn't have to depend on insulin for life.

With T1D, there is no easy path- no quick way out- no alternate route. It is not a cured disease that is easily managed . . . it is so much more.




*Inspired by "Before I Was Diagnosed," by Ellie Huckle


Monday, June 30, 2014

Learning to Limit

Sometimes Type One can be very overwhelming. I know this as a fact both in our life with diabetes, and many other T1Ds that I've communicated with.

This put me to thinking . . . What are some ways one can limit their diabetes?

First, let me establish an important point. Limiting one's diabetes has nothing to do with diabetic care. When we quit using insulin or we neglect to monitor our blood sugars- it a simple fact: we (any Type One Diabetic) will die. T1Ds are not insulin-resistant, but insulin-dependent. It makes a big difference.

Okay, so now for my "limiting diabetes, live-life somewhat normal" idea.

The first step to limiting the diabetic overload: "Do what you love".

For me, this is running. I know that sounds simple, but it ends up being rather complicated. When I go for a simple four mile run it entails 4 blood sugar tests, eating an average of 12 glucose tabs throughout the run, suspending my pump, and closely monitoring my blood sugars for the rest of the day. I love running! It helps me think, helps relieve stress, and helps me feel normal. Though it takes a lot of extra management, it's worth the effort. 

Second step to limiting the diabetic overload: "Take it one day at a time"

When you look ahead of today, you will be overloaded by the enormity of the disease. It's lifelong, difficult, and painful- both mentally and physically. Learning to take diabetes one day at a time will prove to help in "stress-management". All you have to get through- is today.

Third step to limiting the diabetic overload: "Never stop Hoping"

This past week I have heard a good bit about new advances in endocrinological research. Some people see the new bionic/artificial-pancreas as functional within three years, however, other researchers see that as a full lifetime before it can truly be realistic. Frankly, I have no idea who to believe. Whether it is a cure- or a bionic pancreas, one thing I do know is that miracles do happen, God is in control, and that nothing is impossible. 

Sure, some researchers say such feats of science are impossible- but so did the critics of Frederick Banting . . . 

and he discovered insulin.