Monday, September 24, 2012

Art Time!

Today is Diabetes Art Day!

Created by the lovely Lee Ann Thill, Diabetes Art Day is a day to express yourself and your life with diabetes through art.

Last week was pretty crazy, and then I was at TCOYD all weekend (more on that later), so I wasn't sure that I'd have time to make any art before today.

But then Barb stepped in.  She commandeered a table at TCOYD Saturday for #DArtDay!  A huge piece of white paper covered the table, and she stopped people walking by, asking them to make some art.

So thanks to Barb, I have some art to share!

photo by Barb Campbell

photo by Barb Campbell

Break out the art supplies and share your life with diabetes!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Be A Light

Saturday will mark my third time volunteering at the You Can Do This Project booth at an event.  First was FFL, then the JDRF Omaha walk, and now the Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) conference.

This is my first TCOYD event.  When I heard they were coming to Des Moines and how many DOC friends were planning on going, I knew I had to be there.  I AM SO EXCITED!!!  It will be so fantastic to see old friends, and meet some other friends for the first time in real life.

The event is this Saturday, September 22nd, in Des Moines, IA.  More info about the event can be found here.  If you're in the area, please consider coming to the conference and visiting us at the YCDT booth! 

T-shirt ready to go!

I love volunteering for YCDT.  There's something magical about standing at that booth, talking to people.  It seems like the mental/emotional side of living with diabetes is finally starting to be recognized, and this project gives people a place to talk about those things.  I hope that we're able to offer hope to people, and to show them that they aren't alone.  None of us are alone.

Like the YCDT tagline says: "Be a light in someone else's darkness."  That's why we're there.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Long Overdue

Hi there. know I have a blog.  I didn't forget.

I feel like I owe you guys an update.  I know I've been quiet lately.  So here we go.

It's been a rough few months.  I've been dealing with feelings of depression and anxiety that have gotten worse.  There are times when making it through the workday takes all of my energy.  I get home and have absolutely none left.  Not for tweeting or texting, let alone writing a blog post.  No energy for engaging with people.  Not every day is like this, but it's happening enough to call a pattern.

And what do I do with these feelings of depression and anxiety?  Feed them, of course.  Sigh.  That is my struggle.  For whatever reason, when I feel like these emotions are going to overwhelm me and I cannot deal with them, I turn to food.  I'm ashamed of this.  I've put back on the weight that I lost.  I wish with every fiber of my being that I could magically make this problem go away.  But I can't.  As desperately as I want a quick fix, I know there isn't one.  But sometimes I want it to go away so badly it hurts.

The eating leads, of course, to guilt.  And also high blood sugars.  It's a vicious cycle.  I hate it.

However, the last week or so has been much better.  I saw my therapist on Wednesday.  No matter what, I always leave her office feeling empowered.  We have a plan to hopefully get me feeling better.  Just having a plan helps.

One thing that she and I celebrated is my #sweatbetes.  Except for a couple weeks when I was sick, I've been keeping up with exercising.  No matter what the rest of the day is like, that's one thing I know I can do to help take care of myself.

And as much as I hate to admit it, exercising is helping my mood SO MUCH.  I still don't like it, but I feel so much better overall if I suck it up and do it.  It's also helping my blood sugars.  I've lowered my basals and insulin to carb ratio a bit.  I can tell my body's using the insulin more efficiently.

So that's what I'm trying to focus on: the positive.  The small things I can do to take care of myself.  Get that exercise in.  Stock the house with healthy food and not keep any junk around.  Keep working with my therapist.  Make myself interact with people, even when I don't feel like it.

My wonderful husband deserves a freaking medal.  I have been quite a mess of late.  And he is so supportive and encouraging.  His belief in me helps me believe in myself.

And I want to thank my friends.  You know who you are.  I'd never make it without you.

Please know that if you are struggling, you are not alone.  There are a lot of us struggling.  But we can do this.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This Close!

THIS CLOSE to a no hitter!  

After Sunday's graph, I couldn't be more thrilled!  Diabetes is a fickle beast. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wordless Monday

Maybe "A Few Choices Words Monday" would be more accurate:

What the fructose, diabetes?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Truly and Deeply Loved

"Hey! You're Ryan!" I squeal.

He stops and looks at me.  "Yes," he responds.

"I'm Jess," I say, reaching out to shake his hand.  "I read Meri's blog.  I'm so excited to meet you!"

"Thanks," he says with a smile.  His face is weary, and he looks exhausted.

"This is probably going to happen to you a lot this week.  There are a lot of people really excited to meet your family,"  I say.

He shakes his head, "Well, we'll see about that."

This was the scence when I met Ryan, his sister, and two of his sons in the hotel lobby at Friends For Life this summer.  It's a moment I know I will never forget.

Cancer claimed Ryan's life this past Sunday.  My heart has been heavy in my chest all week.  It aches for Meri and the boys, as well as the rest of their family.  I can't even imagine what they are going through right now.

Meri is one of my very favorite people in the entire world.  I met Meri on Juvenation, which was my first foray into the DOC.  Then I found her blog.  And then I started blogging.  Looking back through old posts, any time that I was struggling or having a bad day, there is a blog comment from Meri, ever the encourager.  Ever the cheerleader.

Meeting Meri, Ryan, and the boys was truly the highlight of FFL for me.  After running into Ryan in the lobby, I kept my eyes peeled for Meri.  The next day, I saw her.  We hugged each other and squealed.  Another moment I won't forget.

All week, I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to say.  So many others have written beautiful, moving posts about Meri and Ryan.  They are an inspiration to many, and dearly loved by us all.

When I first heard that Ryan had passed away, I was in shock.  And immediately, I was twelve years old again.  My childhood best friend lost her father when we were twelve.  He also had brain tumors, like Ryan.

The day he died, my friend came and spent that night at my house.  It was a long time ago, so I can't remember much about it.  I do remember that we played games.  We laughed, and we cried.  I remember wanting to do something to help, but knowing that there was no way to fix this.

Just being there with her was doing something.  Letting her know she wasn't alone, and that she was loved.

So Meri, M, J, B, and L, please know that you are not alone.  Know that you are truly and deeply loved by so many people.  And though we can't be physically present, we are with you in spirit always.

If you would like to help Meri and the boys in this time of need, there is a fundraising page set up to help with expenses.  Even just $1 will help.  If you can contribute, please, please do.