Friday, September 28, 2012

Battlefield

A short break from the usually not very serious, sometimes quirky posts that are found on this blog.

 Living with diabetes is a constant balancing act: balancing blood sugars, insulin doses, carb counting, site changes, always making sure you have your supplies. I'd be lying if I told you that I had been in control of my diabetes for the past year. I promised myself when I was diagnosed that I would never allow my type 1 diabetes to control me or prevent me from doing what I love. I kept this promise for 9 years, living a healthy and active lifestyle, until this last year. I lost my balance.

As junior year progressed I allowed my blood sugars to slip out of control. I wasn't sleeping well and was stressed over my classes, so I began to forget about checking my blood sugar and giving myself insulin doses. I made it through 1st semester finals, but soon afterwards everything went downhill. Most people think that being diabetic means a few shots a day and a change in diet, when in reality it affects every aspect of a person's life. My blood sugar range was anywhere from 50-600's. To translate, a diabetic nightmare.  Low blood sugars really put a whole new meaning to "being out of it". When you're blood sugars are low, it can be hard to even formulate words or think clearly. I was in the mid-high 600's when I was diagnosed with diabetes. If I wasn't low, my blood sugar was at least 300, and towards the end of the semester it was in the 400's. I felt sick all summer and 2nd semester, and some days even the most simple tasks seemed impossible. It got to the point where I never wanted to check my blood sugar, because I didn't want to see that 600 or HI displayed on my meter. I tried not to eat for a short while, but I eat a low-carb diet anyways and that made little difference. The stomach pains, the irregular heartbeat and low energy levels to the inability to concentrate and nausea only made it that much harder for me to push through my classes. By the time I was done with that chemistry final I was in full zombie mode.

Living a life centered around a balancing act had become increasingly frustrating. Letting my diabetes go haywire was my attempt at trying to forget I was diabetic. As if not taking care of it would make life simple again. After reading through several diabetic blogs (D-blogs) I realized that there are a lot of type 1's out there that have had thought about giving up control, "another way to look at it is if you were driving along the busy highway and decided, 'this has been an awfully long drive I think I will just STOP' well you can stop if you want, you know how to stop- just step on the breaks, however, with that come the consequences of a. being a badly injured or b. dying. You can't just stop on the highway without consequences" (Kayla's Life Notes). I can't figure out how to say it any better than Kayla.

I didn't let myself believe that my diabetes was out of control. I tried to re-balance my blood sugar many times, only to lean too far right or left and end up feeling like my efforts made no difference. My control has been better since the summer, but it's far from great.

I realize now that I've never been an advocate for myself. I never tell my teachers if my blood sugar is high or low unless I really have to, and figure I'll be fine taking that test with a high blood sugar. The reason is that I don't want to make my disease an excuse for doing poor on a test, for explaining my behavior when experiencing a severe blood sugar, or use it as an excuse for constantly tripping over words when talking to a stranger. I've had a lot of people, as in 5 or 6, tell me that that they never realized I was diabetic until this school year now that I've started checking my blood sugar more. It's just something I never talk much about unless I'm asked, even though it's something I think about constantly.

The thing that bothers me the most is that I'm blessed enough to have all the supplies I need to keep my diabetes in control and yet there are underprivileged kids with this genetic disease that don't have access to this technology. I have this technology and hardly used it. I'm blessed to have a supportive family, blessed to have a pump, to have insulin. I let my diabetes attack me because I was tired of fighting an uphill battle, but it's no excuse for being stubborn. I've had this disease for 10 years after all.

Everything happens for a reason, and my struggle with diabetes has made me stronger. Diabetes changed me, and inspired me to help others and be more involved in the diabetic community-whether it's the online community or in real life. Or educate those that don't know anything about the disease. I remember feeling so lost when I was first diagnosed; I felt blind and isolated. If I can help at least one person by sharing my experiences, then that's enough. Adding to the list: participating in more research studies and volunteer opportunities that come my way. Maybe I'll even me a counselor at a type 1 diabetes camp for children. Or as a career, become a nutritionist or dietitian.

Sharing this post, my experience, is motivation to get back on track. And in a way it's also a public declaration of my intention of keeping that promise I made to myself when I was younger. While it's impossible for any diabetic to have perfect control of their blood sugars, it doesn't mean we have to give up on our own dreams or goals or let diabetes control us and who we are. I didn't have a choice in living with type 1 diabetes-no one would choose this disease. But I do have a choice in my attitude. I can spend every day asking the question why do I have to be diabetic? or I can live every day by being an example of how someone can live his/her life to the fullest and overcomes every day challenges with a positive attitude. Diabetes doesn't define me, I won't let it define me, and I won't allow it control my life again. Life's a battlefield-but diabetes isn't going to take me down.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Countrify

In celebration of finally finding my lost ipod, which was hiding behind the printer, I've decided to post a few of my favorite country songs. I used to dislike country in middle school, but somewhere between braces and glasses to contacts and driving a car, country music became one of my favorite genres. Not saying I'm all out country-there's still some songs that are a little too bluegrass for me. But there are some decent songs. Don't believe me? Then I urge you to listen to some of the songs below. Listed in no particular order. Oh and ipod, it's so good to have you back. Thanks for disappearing for a few weeks.

Boondocks by Little Big Town

Take a Back Road by Rodney Atkins

American Saturday Night by Brad Paisley

Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland
This music video...so funny yet disturbing!

Boondocks by Little Big Town

A Little More Country Than That by Easton Corbin


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wacky Tacky


My English teacher dressed up as a hippie today. I didn't recognize that it was her blowing bubbles while sitting on a blue rug by my classroom door. She was even wearing a wig. I thought the bongos were a nice touch.

Today's theme for Homecoming week was decades day. Most people wore tie dye or dressed as a hippie, some senior girls went cavewoman. I saw a Clint Eastwood on Monday-Western day. Some guy dressed up as a pirate. Chicken Fried by Zac Band Brown was played in almost every class, which I'm cool with. That's quality music right there. It's one of my favorite songs actually. And you know your Government teacher has a sense of humor when he plays the Barbie Girl song on Wacky Tacky day.

My hearing will most likely by permanently impaired on Friday, when the senior girls have the privilege of scaring the freshies and running through the halls screaming and cheering as loud as possible. No doubt almost every car in the parking lot will be tagged with "13ow Down," "Obey" and "Sennniiors" before school evens starts. Not to mention the assembly, which involves the senior class shouting down the rest of the school and beating the freshmen, sophomores and juniors at every game. It's just tradition. Being a senior definitely has it's benefits.

Today also happens to be my birthday, no biggie. But unlike my peers, I'm not spending the night TPing the Junior girls. Instead, I have been busy talking to representatives at an insulin pump fair. It's not as bad as it sounds. I won't bore you with details, but I'm pretty excited about getting a new pump. You can only get a new pump every 4-5 years because of insurance and whatnot, so it's a huge decision. Biggest hang-up? What color I should get. I'm thinking either blue or pink. I was surprised, this pump actually looks like it was invented sometime during this decade. Improvement!




Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ikea-ized

While we're on the topic of nonsense words, I'd just like to announce that my house is slowly becoming Ikea-ized. Another new word to add to the dictionary, but there's not really a better way to describe this trend.

Ikea is a Swedish store that sells everything you could possibly need to furnish a house, and it even has it's own grocery store. The key word here is Swedish. My family couldn't resist. The store is extremely large-I'm convinced that there's several customers that get lost in there and never see the light of day again. Which isn't that big of a problem, Ikea has everything you could possibly need and want. You could become an Ikean, sleep on a different bed every night and eat Swedish meatballs to your heart's content. I never liked their Swedish meatballs, but most people like them.  Eventually so many people would get lost in this maze of furniture you could create your own little town. The person that has been living there the longest gets to be mayor.

Back to my Ikea-ized house. First it was the recliners, then the curtains, then part of the basement and then the couch. I open up the cupboard-bam! Every package is written in Swedish. Or almost every package. Welches has been replaced by Sylt Lingon, regular chips by Uffa Da chips. My backpack has not escaped from this takeover, Ikea is written all over it. My drawing pad also sports a nice and somewhat large Ikea label. Not saying that I don't like Ikea. It has some cool stuff for really good price. And besides Swedish hot dogs, mashed potatoes and meatballs-the food is pretty decent. Well, the foods I've tried.

So, who all wants to play hide-n-seek in Ikea?

Yet another question: what would happen if you released all these cats in a Ikea store...?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nonsense

I just really like this picture. So fantasical.
3'o clock am. What am I doing? No, that was a rhetorical question. Good guess though-I do actually own a How to Rule the World handbook, but I was reading something else at the time. In fact, I was going through the poems I had written my sophomore year. Some of them are rather embarrassing, and I'm determined to rewrite these poems fairly soon. However I did come across one poem that I really like. The poem was inspired by the infamous poem, The Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll. Carroll's poem puts mine to shame, but I shall post mine nonetheless. Basically the poem is filled with made-up words, or "nonsense" words that tell a story. The Jabberwocky is one of my favorite poems. There's your random nerd fact of the day. Well here it goes, my sad attempt at trying to be poetic.

In Kingdom Trimel
By: Me

'Tis brentance that tele this tale,
Of despicady,
And maht.

It was a sable day,
And everyone was in a quick-quack.
For the kimble king was to return,
With the mayen men and his bride-to-be,
The new quare queen!

There was to be a japperlappy festival,
To celebrate this minsoval.
With songs of Jipah, and foods from Tilak.
No one could disagree,
That this was an impopan day indeed.

The plar, however, was in a rage.
Nothing was going right.
The cook had zipare,
And the mufamees and the relarees could not play.
For their prized ringazings belahcoos would not ring.

Among this qiffsta and qiffle,
Was a yuppster lad named Dave.
Unlike everyone else,
He was warifee and wagadee.
It was he that would save the day.

Now Dave wasn't a cesier or a therince.
Our hero was about as ablain as ablain can be.
He just happened to know a few things.
By now you've probably guessed,
That Dave cured the cook,
And fixed the belahcoos so that they sang.

He did just that, and much more.
Dave, the ablain yuppster,
Who used to live just down the lane,
Saved the kimble king at the festival
When he about drank a sikud drang.

If the king had drank the drang,
There would have been many treves,
In the kingdom Trimel,
Mourning over the end of King Armel.
Now the yuppster lad is no longer ablain,
He is a hero.
We call him Dave.

Simple and nonsensical. I'm such a poet.

Friday, September 7, 2012

On the Radio

You know that moment. You're driving in the car, humming along to a familiar song, when suddenly a brand new song pops up on the radio. And it's pretty catchy. By the end of the little tune you already decided that it's your new favorite song. I mean, it just sounds so good! For the rest of the day that song is stuck in your head. You don't even know who is the singer is, haven't heard his voice before, but it's a super addicting song. The first thing you do when you get home is look up the song, hoping to find it on radio's website so you could figure out the name and title.

And that's when the embarrassing truth is uncovered. Your new favorite song? Boyfriend....by Justin Bieber. As Jane from 27 Dresses puts it, I felt "like my favorite love song was written about a sandwich." This, of course, was awhile back when the song first came out. I'm not a Bieber-hater or "Belieber" but his songs just really aren't my style. My current favorite bands have been Imagine Dragons and Mumford & Sons, just so you know.

I have also recently discovered Spotify-which is some "social" radio that is connected to Facebook and spams all of your friends with every song you listen to. It's really quite nice...except for the spamming thing. Spotify has become my new iTunes, so I suppose that qualifies as my latest addiction. Seriously...my Spotify library grows by about 30 songs per day. Guess this is what happens when you're suddenly without insane amounts of homework. I need to get a life. I mean, a nerd without any homework? Now I actually have time to do things after school...

I'll just spend the next hour or so adding new songs to my library while I think of things to do with my life.

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