My “sort of” bucket list..

The other day I was cleaning out some “junk” drawers, yes plural, and going through boxes in my closet when I came across some old journals that I had brought with me when I moved away from home. It was quite a blast from the past. Some of these journals are from before high school, during high school, right around the time I was diagnosed, and then when I met my husband. You should have seen my face, with the sneakiest grin, like I had found my sisters diary or something. I ran to my bed all giddy, as if I were going to find some dark, juicy secrets I’d never known about. I mean, the words within these pages were my life, I lived every second of these thoughts. So I don’t even know what I was thinking. :)

Yet there I was, with smiles and tears, sifting through young love, heart breaks, denial, a terrifying diagnosis and the adventures of marriage and motherhood. It was like a novel I couldn’t put down. (Can I just say how oh so cheesy I was when it came to the “romance” in my life. A lot of it made me giggle to reread. Oh the mushiness)  All the journals are ripped and completely falling apart, and shoved between wrinkled, torn up pages were envelopes with cards and letters, and of course old pictures of me when I was so childish and naive. I found one picture I’d forgotten about of my mother and I at my high school graduation.

I wont deny that I cried, for a moment, in remembering that day.

(My mother passed away March of 2010) So finding that picture meant everything to me.

Flipping through each and every page, reading each and every entry, I came across something that made my heart melt. My very own “bucket list” (maybe just a random to-do list) filled with some funny things..

 

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Allow me to share my list:

(Keep in mind I wrote this right after turning nineteen..)

  • Travel the United States
  • Travel the world
  • Stand outside in a snow storm
  • Kiss in the rain/under a table (I don’t know even know)
  • Ride a motorcycle
  • Take a trip on a plane
  • Take a trip on a train
  • Sky dive
  • Get a piercing some place other than my ears
  • Fall in love
  • Get married
  • Learn to play at least one song on the guitar

A revised list included:

  • Go to college
  • Graduate College
  • Work in a tattoo shop
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have children

Items that are in BOLD are things I have done! :)

It pleases me to say that I have completed quite a few things on this list. And I’m left thinking..why stop here? Why not create a new list for this older, more sophisticated me? :) I plan to do a lot in my life. Truthfully I never thought I’d get a single one of these things done. The odds were against me when I was younger. Amazingly I have achieved so much and when I put my mind and my heart into something I wont let anything keep me from it.

Finding this list really validates that I have indeed accomplished quite a lot, at least to the standards of my younger self.

I’m looking forward to compiling a new list and kicking that ones butt too!

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tick, tick, tick..

On a serious note:

My husband and I have come to a point in our lives where we are questioning whether or not to have more children. We were blessed five years ago with our gorgeous little girl and she has been what makes my heart beat. The absolute love of my life. She is healthy, happy, energetic and so stinking smart. Truly a blessing. She keeps me on my toes and smiling constantly.

When I was diagnosed with type one diabetes I was only eighteen. (That was eight years ago) In the beginning of all the chaos the doctors convinced me that children would probably not be apart of my future so I had decided, in that moment, that I wouldn’t even try. Then I met my husband, we fell in love, and created this amazing little life. I never thought it would even be possible and yet here we are. I was very aware of the complications that could occur and so I lived a super strict life while pregnant with my little girl. I sacrificed a lot, because that is what you do when you love someone, and even before I was able to hold her in my arms, I loved her with all my heart. Which is one of the reasons, aside from the obvious, that I worry so much about my diabetes. I take my health very serious because I plan to be in my daughters life for a long time and nothing is going to change that.

Back to my point…

I am now twenty-six feeling as though my clock is ticking and the time frame in which to have a baby is closing fast. Not only does age play a huge role in pregnancy complications so does being diabetic. So I am left thinking, and wondering, if other diabetic moms have thought about this sort of thing. Thought about babies, the complications, and whether or not to take the risk. Perhaps I should feel lucky that I have my daughter and not rock the boat, for lack of a better phrase. The thing is that both my husband and I come from decent sized families and I don’t want to rob my daughter from having the same kind of connections. I would say that I am very close with my siblings, in fact, I’m not sure where I would have ended up with out them. I have thought about this a lot.

  • What if my next pregnancy doesn’t go as smoothly as the first.
  • What if something happens to me during the pregnancy/childbirth and I am not here for my daughter.
  • What if, because of natural and diabetic complications, something happens to my unborn child.

What if it’s just not in the cards for us?

I know, I am playing the “what if” game and that is never good. Maybe I should just let it be, and if it happens then that’s great, and if it doesn’t, well, that’s fine too. I’ve read a few blogs from type one mommies who have had more than one child and they all seem happy and healthy. Which makes me think..why not try?

At the end of the day my heart is filled with so much love to give and I see the little angel we have now.. and I think..I could love another. They could grow up to be the best of friends. On the other hand, I could just appreciate the one gift I was blessed with and cherish her always. Truthfully, maybe, what it all comes down to is that she is growing up, so fast. Too fast. I am left missing the days when she was this tiny little thing. She has her own little personality now with her own thoughts and dreams and one day she’ll be all grown up and out of the house. It makes me sad. She’ll be six, going on twenty, at the end of the year and I’m left wondering..

Where has the time gone?

Lessons Learned.

Since starting my blog here I have received so much support from people; family, friends, and strangers. It has been quite a blessing, in such a short amount of time, to be accepted and welcomed. The other day I posted about feeling like a bad diabetic and how it’s nice knowing that I am not alone in the struggle. I guess I should elaborate that the reason I felt like a “bad diabetic” (aside from people constantly telling me this) was because when I was first diagnosed my doctor at the time enforced this “better eating, better diabetic” mentality. Then I figured out that it was alright for me to eat what I wanted as long as I took the appropriate precautions. My issue is that I still feel like I am doing it all wrong. Everyone handles this disease differently and I had written about how it is so nice knowing that someone has been where I am. Last night I received some emails in concern about how I am dealing with my disease and I wanted to address this for a moment..

It may come off like I am saddened by this disease and I can say that, yes, it does get me sad sometimes. I am only human. However, I will also say that not all my thoughts circling diabetes are negative. I can admit that I have learned quite a lot from my experiences. So I thought I would write about what it is exactly I have gotten from being diabetic for the last eight years of my life.

  • Through all of this I’ve found that I am way stronger than I give myself credit for. You have to be when it comes to any chronic illness. You don’t get days off or breaks. If I can get through this then I can get through anything. 
  • I’ve learned to persevere. When the days do get tough I know that I am capable of pushing myself just enough to get past the frustrations. Even if  today is hard it doesn’t mean it’s a terrible day.
  • A very important lesson, something I learned a long time ago, is to not take everything so seriously. Humor is good for the soul and on those hard days I can really get past everything by laughing it off. The reality is that diabetes sucks but I can’t change it, might as well make light of some of the situations. This has helped a lot.
  • I’ll have to say one of  the best things I learned, through all of this, is not to complain too much. There are people dealing with much worse. Everyday I am happy and blessed to be alive and I keep that in the forefront of my thoughts at all times.
  • Now I don’t claim to be any sort of medical expert, but I now know my body, for the most part, inside and out. Having diabetes has taught me to trust not only the medical professionals, sometimes, but more importantly to trust myself. When I feel like something is wrong I have learned that it is alright to voice my thoughts and feelings.
  • Lastly, I have learned that it is okay to ask for help. No matter how strong I am or how much I persevere, people, loved ones, they want to help whenever possible. So when I am feeling exhausted and my blood glucose has been all wonky I am not afraid to ask my husband to take over dinner making, and kid handling. I’m stubborn but sometimes it’s okay to let the guard down.

Everyday I’m learning, growing, and being awesome. :)

Thanks, diabetes.

 

Bad Diabetic.

I get labeled a “bad diabetic” a lot.

More so when I was first diagnosed but it still happens more often than not. I get told this by friends, family, and some doctors, because I still try to eat as normal as possible. I still try to be normal. My biggest issue is that I am determined, to a fault, a lot of the time to maintain normalcy, I make sure to take my insulin and check my sugars but I get frustrated with all of it. I envy the people who seem to handle everything without a hitch. When I can I’ll eat a slice of pizza and drink a little soda. I’ve told myself that the thing to remember, in any circumstance, is moderation. In a perfect world I would not consume anything that is considered bad for me and I would have exceptional glucose levels. The sad part is that this is not a perfect world and this disease is far from it as well. I follow the mindset that tomorrow is always a better day and I try not to focus on the negative when it comes to diabetes. The numbers don’t define me and when I’m working at it, and doing everything right, I consider the good times a triumph. I celebrate and then quickly move on. The ups and downs are inevitable so I try to learn from every experience and am sure to apply it to the next day and so on..

I’ve mentioned before that some days I feel like I am on top of the world while other days leave me feeling a bit defeated. I’ve also mentioned the amazing people I have met on twitter. This community has already taught me so much even in this short amount of time that I have been involved. I’ve read through their tweets and blogs and the one thing I can say with sincere honesty is that it is so comforting to know that people, who have been dealing with diabetes for 10, 20 or even 30 plus years, have bad days too. Or off days. They make mistakes, stumble, and then get back up. It makes me feel like I am not such a bad diabetic. I am normal, at least when it comes to being diabetic. :) I love hearing that I am not the only one who does this or that. It’s difficult to swallow the criticism from people who don’t always understand the emotional side of this disease, it’s not just the tedious sugar checks and injections, it is a roller coaster. A whirlwind of emotions and anxiety. Some of the comments can be hurtful and overwhelming. I try, and try, and try and sometimes I feel as though it’s just not good enough.

The truth is, I struggle, and I probably always will but if today I decide not to let diabetes defeat me, then I know I wont let it get me tomorrow either. And that’s how you keep moving forward. And that’s what I plan to do.

Diabetes Debunked.

A cupcake from Crumbs.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think the title says it all, diabetes comes with a lot of myths and stories, and it’s clear that people don’t know very much about this disease. Which boggles my mind because there is a multitude of information about any and everything you want to know. Now, I know lot of people have done posts similar to this but I thought I would add my own little take on this whole thing. Truthfully, what sparked this post was a comment I received while catching up through Facebook with an old high school friend, and though I laughed it off I’ll say that it definitely left a sour taste in my mouth.

Not verbatim but here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Hey (insert girls name here) it’s been awhile. How are things?

Her: Everything’s great, finishing up school and working a lot. You know how it goes.

Me: Yeah, life can get very hectic. :)

Her: Exactly. How’s your family..your husband and the little one?

Me: Great! Things are great. My daughter keeps me on my toes. Haha.

Her: That’s good though.  

[Cue awkward silence]

Her: Are you still diabetic?

Me: Um, yeah. Haha. I just can’t kick the habit, I guess. 

Her: Haha, oh okay. 

For the most part that is where I decided to end this conversation..

Are you still diabetic? The phrase rung in my ears like an annoying buzz and I felt my face heat up. Of course I’m still diabetic, it’s not some lifestyle change I made a few years ago. Following some fad that all the other kids were into at the time. It’s a chronic illness, something I’ll have forever, unless they find a cure, and I most certainly didn’t choose to have it. My pancreas hates me and decided to show me what was what. The question infuriated me. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt but sometimes it’s very hard not to come off as sarcastic and be upset about the silliness people come up with.

So I thought it would be humorous to jot down a few of the comments I have heard, personally, about diabetes..

  1. You can’t have any sugar whatsoever or you’ll die, right?
  2. Are you upset that one day you’re going to lose your feet or possibly your legs?
  3. I thought diabetes was for morbidly obese individuals.
  4. Eat lots of salads, then you wont have diabetes.
  5. My grandma had diabetes..she’s dead now.
  6. (Someone asked  my husband about my diabetes and then proceeded to say that her sisters had diabetes forever and she thought she was type 4 now)
  7. Type one diabetes..that’s the good kind, right?
  8. You have to use needles for insulin..you can’t just drink it?
  9. I would absolutely die if I had to live with diabetes.
  10. (And my all time favorite comment I’ve ever gotten) So you’re Hispanic, right? Is that why you’re diabetic?

Number ten I still have no idea how me being Hispanic correlates with being diabetic, because last I checked diabetes didn’t care about gender or race. I thought that one was very interesting and I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or just walk away. The truth in this situation is that yes, I can have sugar, in small amounts and after taking insulin, and no I can’t just drink it. I’m upset that people assume I am going to lose limbs, I plan to keep all my body parts but thanks for bringing that one up. No, diabetes doesn’t just strike “fat” people. It loves everyone equally. Salads are not a cure and I am sorry to hear about said grandma but that doesn’t make me feel better about this. Type four diabetes, that must be the good kind.. :)

I shake my head at some of these but all you can really do is, instead of getting upset with people, try to take the time to educate them. They wont know unless someone tells them. Or they decide to find out for themselves.

Diabetes, there’s always something..

I’d like to start off by saying this..

Normally, if the mood is right, I have been trying to write a post every day. I like to write and this gives me the forum to do so, whether people read it or not, I write so that I can let out my own frustrations/opinions and all the like. Yesterday I made a choice not to blog because I, like a lot of people I’m sure, was glued to my television following the terror in Boston. After everything I witnessed through the news stations, which definitely does not come close to the true terror everyone out there was faced with, I would just like to take a moment to say how very proud I am of the men and women who risked their lives to ensure the safety of everyone. I felt like yesterday was not the time to think about anything else but Boston and the people who reside there.

Last night ended with the killing of one of the terrorists and capture of the other. The people of Boston have been able to breathe a little easier, since the chaos began just a few days ago, which puts the rest of America at ease just a bit. Today is a new day with a few less criminals out there. That is something to be happy about right now.

With that said I will now return you to our regularly scheduled program..My so-called Diabetic Life. :)

I recently read an article here about a glucose meter recall that is currently going on..

Now, I don’t use this particular meter, but others do. This whole recall got me a little nervous. If you read through the report it states that a high reading, in the 1000’s, would store itself as a very low number. Thus giving the user false information that could endanger them. Now, realistically, I have never been close to anything that high, and if that were the case, I am sure I would have already been hospitalized. What scares me is that we diabetics have to rely so heavily on these devices to let us know vital information and to think that some of them may be faulty..well, it’s a bit frightening.

I realize that not everything is 100% perfect. Things get damaged, get updated, or are just outdated. It’s normal to have things quit working but I never thought about my meter, or even an insulin pump, just one day going all wonky. I would be, for lack of a better phrase, shit out of luck. Of course, I could just buy another meter, but financially that is not always possible. My meter is very important in my survival. With it, and symptoms included, I am able to tell if I should take insulin, for a high, or if I need to eat something to get my blood sugar back up. If it happened to not work properly I could be putting myself in harms way, and I am not alright with that.

So what can be done about this..

Well I found a website here that gave me some helpful tips..

However, this has still left me concerned and confused. I’m wondering if any other diabetics worry about this sort of thing, like meters malfunctioning and getting the wrong readings. I haven’t dealt with this for as long as others so I am feeling very uneasy about this whole recall, even if it doesn’t directly affect me, it still raises a flag. The only thing I can say to bring myself, or anyone, any sort of ease is that this is why it is very important to be very aware and in tune with how I am feeling and the symptoms that I know will follow a high/low blood glucose reading. Though, even that is not always 100% accurate. There have been times I’ve felt low and after checking my sugar it will read normal.

Diabetes, you make me want to pull my hair out..

Late night thoughts.

We often times take things for granted, in relationships, with our health, or with life in general.

For instance: My life before being diagnosed with diabetes. It was so carefree, for the most part.

1) Before the diagnosis I took for granted the simple things in life, like being able to drink a shake with out having to worry about taking my insulin first. (Or eat anything for that matter. It seems as though everything a person can eat will have some sort of effect on your Blood Glucose. In a good or a bad way, whether you like it or not) Though I still indulge in the things I maybe shouldn’t, the point is that now it doesn’t happen without a little worry first. Did I take enough insulin for this treat/meal? What is, or what will be, my blood sugar before and after I consume this? How is this going to make me feel if I have/haven’t taken insulin? Things like that cross my mind a lot. It’s tedious, really.

(I know I’ve discussed the above topic before, here, and the reason why I bring it up again is that it is something that obviously affects my life tremendously. I apologize if I am being a bit redundant)

2)Another thing I’ve taken for granted would be a full nights sleep. Every now and then you’ll find yourself tossing and turning, especially when one is stressed or has a lot on their mind, I toss and turn for similar reasons. The fun part of diabetes, the part that stinks really, is when you are having to wake in the middle of the night to check on your blood glucose, when you are having to treat a high or a low, and if you are in the high numbers..having to use the restroom more times than should be humanly possible. I have to deal with all of that now and it’s bothersome. Avoidable? Sometimes, yes, but not always. I can’t always control my sugars when I am sick/stressed they really have a mind of their own. And I think this is true no matter how good you are with your diabetes. Everyone has off days and for a person with diabetes those “normal” off days seem tripled with chaos. (At least for me anyway)

Those are just a couple that annoy me sometimes, and though it may seem like I am complaining, I’m really not. I miss certain things about not being diabetic, because I remember what it was like, but I don’t think I would change anything even if I could. Throughout the years I have made some amazing connections with other people who are like me. Or have children/spouses dealing with this disease. I have come to realize that I am not alone and that makes this roller coaster ride a little more enjoyable.

What I will never take for granted is the people in my life, so,  I would like to say thank you to everyone who have been concerned, loving and encouraging. Thanks to everyone who have been on my side through my ups and downs and through my fears. It’s taken a lot, I’m sure, for the people in my life to see me struggle. They have also been there to see me succeed, and not just with diabetes, but with every little victory in my life.

Every step of the way their presence has not gone unnoticed.

Thank you..