Sunday, 10 April, 2011

Dear Reader’s Digest

This post is not part of the HAWMC posts.  But I was too steamed not to write it.  The following is an email I just sent, word for word, to Reader’s Digest.  Why, you ask? 

Dear Editor-

 
Hi, mine name is Jess. I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since 1993.  Today, I was made aware that there will soon be a special issue of RD called Reverse Diabetes.
 
I find this extremely offensive and insulting.
 
First of all, you are not differentiating between the different types of diabetes.  There are 3 types: Type 1, Type 2, and LADA.  Your magazine does not mention which type of diabetes the special edition is speaking of.
 
THERE IS NO CURE FOR DIABETES OF ANY KIND!!!!  It is completely irresponsible to suggest otherwise.  
 
I have Type 1 Diabetes because my body no longer produces insulin.  There is no “reversing” this.  I will have this disease for the rest of my life.  Or until I cure is found, which I can only hope I see in my lifetime.
 
I have friends with Type 2 diabetes.  I’m sure that they would love to “reverse” it.  Unfortunately, THIS IS COMPLETE AND UTTER CRAP!  People with Type 2 can improve their insulin resistance, but they too will have diabetes for the rest of their lives, until a cure is found.
 
I am extremely disappointed and offended at this lack of attention and fact-checking.  By publishing this edition, you are spreading misinformation.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for helping people to make better decisions about their health.  I believe it is important for all people, including those with diabetes, to take the necessary steps to take better care of themselves.  
 
But really.  I do hope you will seriously consider the impact this special edition will have.  There is so much misinformation out there about diabetes, and you will be contributing to it. I encourage you, and plead, that you take another look at the magazine.  You will lose many fans in the diabetes community by going forward with this.  Attached is the link to my blog and the post I wrote yesterday about a similar issue with CNN.
 
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Sincerely, 
 
Jess


Please let Reader’s Digest know how we feel!  Email letters@readersdigest.com, or send mail to React, Reader’s Digest, PO Box 6100, Harlan, Iowa  51593-1600 “Include your full name, address, email, and daytime phone number.”


Thanks to Kim for bringing this to my attention! 

Cure (HAWMC Day 16)

Today’s Prompt: You wake up, it’s some day in the future, and your condition or (any health-related issue) has been cured. You heard right: cured. And you’ve been chosen to cover this breaking news. It’s your big break: write the Press Release, interview the cure-founder, or visit the discovery site where patients everywhere are flocking to get in line. 
This prompt is quite creative, but I’m not sure I can do it.  I must admit that I’m having trouble with this prompt.  When I hear the word “cure,” there’s a lot of emotional baggage that pops up.  Those of us who’ve had D for a long time have been promised a cure for just as long.
And as much as I want a cure, I can’t bring myself to make light of it.  I want it so badly some days it hurts.  Most of the time, I’m ok with the fact that eating is complicated for me.  Sometimes though, it hits me hard.
Like last night, as we were watching TV, my husband sat there eating a giant bowl of ice cream.  Could I go have some?  Sure.  But full-sugar, full-fat ice cream is not good for the bgs, no matter how precisely I measure.
I don’t remember what that feels like anymore.  To be able to sit and eat whatever I want, and not worry about what it might do to my blood sugars.  Today, that is hitting me especially hard.  I don’t know why. Poor J.  He was sitting there, eating his ice cream, and his wife bursts into tears.  And he was wonderful and supportive as always.
I do want a cure.  Desperately.  But I try not to think about it too much, because honestly, I get upset when I do.
Now, the Artificial Pancreas Project?  I can talk about that all day.  To me, that seems much more realistic.  Something tangible that I can see happening in my lifetime.
So, sorry everyone, there will be no witty press release from me today.
If I do see a cure in my lifetime?  Then there had better be D-prom, with glitter and the DOC mascot, Sprinkles the unicorn.  Blunt Lancet will play, and there will be cupcakes galore.  And I will dance the night away with my DOC friends.
Until then, I try to hold onto hope…

Cliche (HAWMC Day 29)

Today’s Prompt: Start out by thinking of a health cliche that really bugs you. What are you tired of people asking you or saying to you again and again about your health or health condition? Write it down. Then, instead of critiquing it (as we often do) – today, reclaim it!
 
Cliche- Type 1 Diabetics cannot eat sugar.
 
Type 1 Diabetics CAN eat sugar.  Here are some things I love to eat sometimes, including, but not limited to:
  • cupcakes
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
  • grandma’s chocolate chip cookies
  • mom’s strawberry shortcake
  • frozen custard
  • grandma’s red velvet cake with buttercream frosting
 

Do I eat this stuff all the time?  No.

 
But I can and do when I want to! 

Can You Eat That? (HAWMC Day 3)

Today’s prompt sounds nice and easy: “write a health question and answer it.”

Easy enough, right?  Maybe not though.  People with Type 1 Diabetes (as with most other health conditions) field questions on a regular basis.  Some are thoughtful questions, asked by people who are genuinely interested in understanding.  Others questions, however, are just plain stupid.  Sigh.

So what do I pick?  Hmm, let me think….

Ok, the most common question I get is….drumroll please…

Can you eat that?

Double sigh.  There are many variations on the question.  Sometimes, it’s asked by someone who’s brought some yummy dessert to an event and they’re apologizing because they don’t think I can eat it.

Sometimes, it’s asked by one of my students as I’m eating something, like candy or cupcakes, at a class party.

Sometimes, it comes up in conversation when I tell someone I have D.

My answer does vary depending on the circumstance.  If it’s a child, or someone who genuinely seems sincerely concerned, I try to correct their misunderstanding as nicely as I can.

Yes, I can eat that.  Everything you eat turns to glucose.  As long as I take insulin for it, I can eat it. Now, some things are harder to figure out than others, and if I don’t know the carb count, then I have to guess.  So do I eat every sweet that passes in front of me?  No.  But I could if I wanted to.

If the person is rude (or completely clueless) I’ll keep it short and sweet.  Yes, I can eat that, thank you very much.

Now, this is not what I REALLY want to say.  I really want to say something like:

  • back off, D-police!
  • should YOU be eating that?
  • No, actually, I’m not allowed to eat anything at all.

Actually, what I truly get the urge to say is, “sure I can eat that.  The only thing I can’t eat are cookies…made with poison.”

*watch the video for explanation.  MY FAVORITE VIDEO EVER!  It’s most definitely worth it!*


The Best Thing (HAWMC Day 24)

Today’s Prompt: What was the best thing that happened to you last week? 


Ok, so the best thing about last week was without a doubt my entire weekend!  And yes, I’m sure that I cannot pick just one thing.  


We went to my husband’s hometown for the weekend.  Here are the highlights of our fabulous trip:

  • spending time with J’s parents (they’re awesome!)
  • having lunch with two of my best friends from college whom I don’t get to see very often. Oh, how I miss those girls!
  • getting to see J’s best friend, his wife, and their beautiful kids.  It was great to catch up, and dye some Easter eggs, of course.
  • Eating a huge Easter meal with J’s family, including my sister and brother-in-law, as well as my nieces and nephew.  Oh, and of course, we had an Easter egg hunt!

So you see why I can’t pick one thing.  And D?  D was on the back burner this weekend.  I SWAGed my way through the massive amount of food consumed, and managed to stay under 300, so I’m pleased overall.


Now, I need to unpack and go to bed.  I hope everyone has a wonderful week!


Apathy Is Easier (HAWMC Day 10)

Today’s Prompt: Post Secret. You know the beloved PostSecret blog? Today’s prompt is to write down a secret that …really isn’t a secret.
 
Ok, so a secret, huh?  Or non-secret?  Hmmm….
 
Here’s my secret: apathy is easier.  It’s so much easier when I don’t care what the number on the meter says.  When I eat whatever the hell and want and SWAG rather than counting carbs.
 
It’s not better, and I feel like crap from being high, but it’s definitely easier…

And Then I Turned Around (HAWMC Day 13)

Today’s Prompt: Open a book to any page. Today is a meditation on naming blog posts. Pick up a book, magazine, newspaper – anything with written prose in it – and choose a phrase or sentence at random. That’s the title of your blog post for today.

So I opened the book laying on the coffee table, Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.  This is the line that caught my eye: “And then I turned around.”

Kinda profound.  Would’ve never thought to title a blog post that myself, but I really like it.

Makes me think along similar lines as the picture in my post yesterday.  Sometimes, things happen when we least expect it.

It’s easier to focus on the negative.  It feels like I’ve been doing that a lot lately.  I’ve been having some burnout and apathy issues again, and then I got real people sick, so between the two, my numbers haven’t been great lately.

A lot of my posts lately have been kinda whiny.  As have my tweets.  I’d like to thank everyone, DOCers and real-life friends and family, for all your support.  It means a lot to me to have so many people supporting me and thinking of me when I feel like crap.

But I’m ready to be done complaining, for a little while, at least.

And then I turned around.  I’m ready to turn around, metaphorically speaking.

This beautiful post by my friend Simon really got me to thinking (seriously, stop now and go read it).  It inspired me to really make an effort to focus on the “moments of awesome” in my day today, no matter how temporary or fleeting they may be.

And then I turned around…and the weather was amazing.

And then I turned around…and my husband kissed me on his way out the door.

And then I turned around…and my fasting bg was 88.

And then I turned around…and gave my mom a hug.

And then I turned around…and heard my students laughing.

And then I turned around…


Acrostic (HAWMC Day 1)

So I just signed-up to participate in WEGO Health Blog Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Prompts!  Yikes!  This means I will be blogging every day for a whole month!  Double yikes!

I apologize in advance if you get my blogs through email, because it means you will likely be inundated.  Sorry.  Also, I usually put links to all my posts on Juvenation and TuDiabetes.  I’ll still link to some of the posts, but not all of them (seems like that would be a bit much).  So stay tuned to the blog daily to see what the prompt is!

I am excited about the challenge, and I hope I can do this!

Today’s prompt is to write an acrostic about your condition.  Despite being a teacher, I’ve not written an acrostic poem in a long time.  So here goes…

Diabetes does not define me
will not let it
As it is a part of me
But it is not the sum of who I am
Every day brings new challenges
The high blood sugars, the low blood sugars, and
Everything in between
Still, I have diabetes.  It does not have me.

Saturday, 12 February, 2011

Growing Up (DSMA Blog Carnival)

The most awesome thing I have done in spite of diabetes is…
 
Wow.  That’s a loaded question.  How does one even begin to think about answering it?  There’s just so much!  I can’t even imagine picking one thing.  I like how Briley and Meredith made lists for their posts.
 
Because there’s just so much. But if I have to narrow it down, the most awesome thing I have done in spite of diabetes is…become an adult. 
 
I’ve talked before about how amazing my mom is, and all her and my dad did to take care of me.  But at some point, all children with diabetes become adults.  We have to learn how to manage D on our own.  To switch from our parents doing most of our D care to doing it ourselves.
 
My first solo foray into this came when I was 17 (sorry, couldn’t find any pictures of this adventure).  I traveled to Italy with my high school choir .  Without my parents.  Yikes!
 
Not sure who was more nervous, me or my mom.  But I did it!  Totally packed enough D-gear to supply an army, and had a wonderful trip with no major incident.  I’m sure my sugars weren’t stellar on that trip, but I did it.  All by myself.

The biggest challenge came when I went off to college.  I was now in charge of my own life, and D, by myself, 3 hours away from home.  And I LOVED it!  Made a few not-so-bright D choices in my college years (reserved for later posts), but again, I did it.  And with an A1C that didn’t make my endo cringe too much.  Thanks to some wonderful and supportive friends and roommates (along with a certain boy), I had a great college experience.

This college experience included another trip abroad, this time for 3 weeks.  I had the opportunity to go to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.  Again, I was nervous.  Traveling with D can be complicated.    

 

I took probably at least twice as many supplies as I could possibly need, and had the experience of a lifetime!  I’m  so glad I went, because I will never have that kind of opportunity again.

It’s quite amazing, really.  We are amazing.  Living our life, every day, in spite of D.  And doing some pretty amazing things to boot.  For me, becoming an adult and all that comes with it has been a pretty big deal.  Graduating college, getting a job, getting married, buying a house.  Just living my life.

Although I do still ask my mom for advice all the time, both D and non-D related.  That doesn’t make me less of an adult, right? 😉 

 

This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.

Wednesday, 12 January, 2011

Perfect!

Don’t worry, this post is not about perfect blood sugars. Only people with fully functioning pancreases (pancreai?) can achieve this.

But sometimes, other things seem perfect.  Things that really seem rather silly.

Take, for example, my last set change.  I disconnect the pump, and pull out the Quick-set.  I go to throw the set away, when I stop in my tracks.

No, the cannula isn’t kinked, nor is it filled with blood.  The cannula is clear, standing straight and tall.  It is, in fact, perfect.  I stand there, looking at the set, and think, “It’s beautiful!”

So what do I do?  Grab the camera, of course.

I realize how silly it is to be this excited about a set.  But I’ll take perfection, in any form, when I can get it.

© 2021 Me and D