Thursday, May 15, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 4

Prompt: Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

This is in a similar vein to what I posted yesterday, really. I tell myself that I may have lost some battles, but the war is still mine to win. I think the important thing to remember is when you get knocked down, you can choose to stay down, or you can make your way back up. It’s your choice. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 3

Prompt: May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

This is a tough one to write, so I think I am going to respond to this with the many thoughts I have tried to convey to people over the years:
I wish you understood what it is like to be standing there with a group of people and suddenly have your sugar crash. It’s embarrassing, it’s uncomfortable, and frankly, it hurts. For a few minutes you feel out of control of your own body and it sucks. Pulse races, sweat beads all over and words start to confuse you. I wish you understood that diabetes does not make me less of a person. Please don’t stand around and whisper like I am dead. “Oh” you say in hushed tones as I pass. “She has the diabetes, you know.” I am not dead, we are not memorializing my defunct pancreas.
Yes. I can eat that cupcake.

Sometimes diabetes makes me want to cry. Sometimes it makes me want to laugh. Sometimes it confuses the hell out of me. My body is basically waging war on itself;  I am allowed to be emotional about it sometimes. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 2

Prompt: This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. After you’ve posted it on your blog, share it on the No Sugar Added® Poetry page on TuDiabetes, and read what others have shared there as well!

As an English teacher, I should be jumping for joy at the idea of writing a poem, but here I sit, completely dumbfounded. I am going to try my hand at an acrostic:

Disease. Is this who I am now? A shell of a person riddled with an incurable hurt?
Insecurity cloaks me like a ragged blanket, not keeping me warm or protecting me.
Are you there, God? Why me? Why this?
Better in time, I think. Maybe one day I will understand. Maybe one day this won’t be a curse.
Eyes open to see the possibilities of what can be, not the things that will never be.
Time. I am still waiting for a cure, but it is becoming easier to hold on.
Embattled from the war with diabetes- I may have lost a few fights but the war is mine to win.

Soon my day will come. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 1

Prompt: Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

As a teacher and a former student with a 504 plan, I am passionate about both school safety and 504 plans. think they are integral parts of a student's success in school. All children with a medical diagnosis, whether it be diabetes or another illness, deserve to feel safe and secure in their learning environment. For me, my 504 said I could go to the bathroom whenever necessary, so I was not trapped by rules that may have changed classroom to classroom. I could have a juice box in class if I needed; little minor things like that. Diabetes didn't change who I was as a student. I played lacrosse, ran cross country, and threw discus for the track team. I took honors and AP classes and competed on the Speech and Debate team. Looking at me, you would never know I was sick. My teachers knew. My close friends knew. But I didn't spend English or math class wearing a sign that stigmatized me as having a chronic illness.

I have been a Team Captain for the JDRF in Philadelphia for years, excluding the year I was in Arizona since 2007 when I walked for the first time. My friends and family have supported me along the way, and it is the best way I can think of to advocate in the local sphere. I love the walk, the unity, the idea that we are not going to let hope die.