Memorable.

On this date 10 years ago, my life changed forever. But not in the way that something like diabetes can change it. It was good. The man I had been dating for 3 years, the man I had truly fallen in love with proposed to me.

I don’t recall exactly what day of the week it was but it was an ordinary work day. Or so I thought. Joe met me for lunch which wasn’t unusual at that time. He had brought me flowers which also wasn’t unusual. We ate at our favorite diner which was right across the street from my office. After lunch, he walked me back to my office building and I had picked up something at the newsstand to snack on later. When saying our goodbyes, he handed me a leather journal to read. Since my hands were full (flowers and snack), I told him I’d read it later. He kept insisting I read it then. I just thought he was being annoying; ha! I freed my hands by giving him something to hold and I opened the journal. Something caught my eye right away. It was written in but also in the middle of the pages, there was a hole that was burned though the pages of the book. And sitting in that hole was a ring. A diamond ring. I don’t recall my exact reaction when seeing this but I continued to read what he had written. And it was a poem where at the end, he asked me to be his wife! It was his grandmother’s ring that he gave me and November 29th is her birthday so this was carefully planned. All of this happened in the lobby of my building however I don’t even know if there were people watching or not. I was too captivated by the moment. Of course I said yes! I don’t think I cried, I think I was too mesmerized by what was going on. It was hard to say goodbye to him but I had to get back to work! I went up to my desk and announced to my boss and co-workers that I just got engaged. What a surreal feeling. My boss was super nice and let me go home so that I could celebrate with Joe and our families.

I was going to have a husband. I was going to be a wife. We were going to be married. One of the best days of my life. And 10 years later, this date still means the world to me. And so does he.

Giving.

Since becoming active in the diabetes online community over the past couple of years, I have found a profound admiration for the parents of children with diabetes.  I was once a child with diabetes however never got to see what my parents went through from their perspective.  But now I can, through their voices.  One of those parents is Scott Benner. He has been a stay-at-home father since his son, Cole, was born in early 2000. His daughter, Arden, was diagnosed with type I diabetes just after her second birthday, in the summer of 2006. Exactly one year later, he wrote his first blog post on his site, www.ardensday.com.  Scott has something new up his sleeve and I wanted to share with all of you so please read on.

 

What do you get the best damn retweeter in the diabetes online community for the holidays? I’m seriously asking because all I got for Stacey was more words to show to other people. There are a few folks in the DOC that I could never thank enough for their support and the Girl with the Portable Pancreas is definitely one of them.

Let me get to the point before you start asking yourself why Stacey gave me this space today. Insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are expensive. Even the insured can lack the funds necessary to begin using these amazing devices because of large out of pocket costs. This single issue has long bothered me and I have written about it many times on my site, Arden’s Day. I’ve been trying for more then two years to find a way to put pumps and CGMs in the hands of children that want but can not afford them. I’ve spent countless hours trying to convince those who are in a position to help, that they should – but I’ve had very little success. I almost gave up when I realized that it wasn’t my goal that was faulty but my execution. I was asking the wrong people for help…

The diabetes online community is powerful, maybe more so then any one of it’s parts is aware. When we band together, we aren’t just powerful, we are unavoidable. I’ve seen it in the past, I’ve seen an entity bend to the will of the few. I can’t mention when or who because taking down my petition was part of the agreement that we made when said entity decided to listen. Please trust me, our voices have power.

A number of weeks ago I stopped hoping that I could get devices for children with type I diabetes for free and I turned my attention to finding the money to buy them for the kids myself. I struck an agreement with one device company to purchase their device at cost and with that agreement in place, I am moving forward to set up a charitable organization so that I can fundraise and begin the work.

Starting a charity is expensive, more expensive then my family could bear on it’s own. I had two choices, give up or do something bold. I chose bold. In just a few days amazing gifts have flooded my inbox to support the formation of this dream. They’ve come from all around the world, from North Carolina, Canada and even Finland. They have come in all sizes and types but each with the same sentiment. I am humbled and ready to pledge my time and my heart to making this dream a reality. If you’ve ever had the same thought, that diabetes devices should be available to every child that wants one, please take a few moments to find out more about my so far Untitled Giving Project.

My family is fortunate to have good insurance and the means to cover our out of pocket expenses. I want, almost as much as I want a cure for type I, to help the kids who aren’t – can you please consider helping me to help them?
My fondest regards, Scott @ArdensDay

Thank you Scott firstly, for what you are working on.  And secondly, for taking the time to share your generous efforts here with my readers.  I sincerely hope you will attain your goal and make the difference in the lives of children with diabetes!

Please visit http://www.ardensday.com/ardens-day-gives to make a donation.

Today.

Diabetes. Everyone has heard of it. I’m pretty sure anyway. But not everyone knows the facts about it. Those of us living with it or who cares for someone living with type 1 diabetes know it all too well. Some of us who were diagnosed at an age young enough, only know life with diabetes. Some people remember life without it. Either way, all our lives changed dramatically at one point. Some of us use an insulin pump to dose our insulin. Some use multiple daily injections. Either way, we all need insulin to live. Some of us test our blood glucose levels 10+ times a day. Some test fewer times. Either way, we all need a glucose meter to live. Some of us SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) when it comes to carbohydrate counting. Some weigh every little bit of food. Either way, we all need to know the carbs in what we’re eating to live. Some of us rely on juice boxes, even as adults, to bring our blood sugars up. Some rely on candy or glucose tablets. Either way, we all need that sugar to live in those moments. Our diabetes may vary, but the necessities are the same. The lives of people living with diabetes are dependent on so many different things. And not everyone knows that. There are so many variables that can affect one’s blood sugar – not just food. And not everyone knows that. We can do everything by “the book” and still get undesirable results. And not everyone knows that.

Today on World Diabetes Day, the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922, all of the diabetes online community are getting the word out. About how crucial it is to act on diabetes.   But if you’re outside of the community and you haven’t heard a lot about diabetes, listen up. Or if you’re tired of hearing about diabetes, don’t be. The facts are astounding but the true stories are even more.  You would want there to be much focus and awareness about it if you or a loved one were living with it. Trust me.

The Empire State Building is going to be lit blue and white tonight in honor of World Diabetes Day. I’m going to try and grab some pictures tonight!

**Update** I went to the Empire State Building on my way home from work last night to get a view of the blue lights.  To my dismay, they were not blue at all.  The schedule was changed in memory of Evelyn Lauder who was a strong part of the pink ribbon breast cancer awareness campaign.  While I find a tribute to her significant, I did not find it important enough to change the lights from the planned blue to pink. I think they could have changed the scheduled blue today for the Mary Poppins Broadway anniversary instead of changing yesterday.  Someone has their awareness priorities mixed up and was very disappointing. 

D Blog Day 2011.

My friend Gina, well my diabetes BFF, started a tradition called D Blog Day a few years ago.  Today is the big day for 2011 and she has asked us to do a scrapbooking project including a few specific details.  Since I don’t pay attention to instructions (and used the wrong kind and size paper), what I created last night is just a draft and the real thing will be completed this weekend.  This was fun!

Happy D Blog day everyone! 🙂

 

**Update** The below is my final scrapbook page (with the correct kind and size paper 🙂 )

My Two Cents.

Last week in conjunction with the start of National Diabetes Awareness Month, the launch of their new logo and their new T1Day, JDRF posted this ad in both the New York Times and Washington Post.  I personally did not see the ad in either paper but on the JDRF’s Facebook page.  Well, this has caused quite the stir around the diabetes online community.  I wasn’t going to write anything about it but instead step back and lurk at what people had to say.  However while reading through the very long thread over at Children with Diabetes, it got me thinking.

When I was diagnosed back in 1981 my family was told that a cure was around 10 years away.  As of today, I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 29 years, 10 months and 14 days.  My father lived with it for over 30 years before complications took his life, both figuratively and literally.  Call me pessimistic, but I do not foresee a real cure in my lifetime.  I’ve come to accept that I will live with diabetes for the rest of my life.  But that doesn’t mean I still don’t have some hope for a cure.  Since I believe a cure is not in the predictable future, what I would like need now is for the diabetes management tools to continue to improve to help me and other people living with diabetes do just that.  Live.  But healthy.  Safely.  Enduringly.

There are many things that can go wrong in the life of a diabetic.  On both ends of the BG spectrum.  That 1 in 20 dying from a low blood glucose is just one of them.  While the scientists work on finding that cure, I think what is important to us all now is decreasing the number of precious lives lost from this disease.  From whatever cause.  And helping us maintain as close-to-normal BG levels as possible so that we can improve our chances against complications.  If an organization chooses an advertisement that some find fear mongering or sensationalized in order to draw attention to a disease that needs well, attention, I don’t think that is so wrong.  Things have come a long, long way since the days of urine testing in tubes and sterilizing syringes before injecting and giant BG meters that took almost 5 minutes to read a result with no memory.  But we still have so much further to go.  And to get there we need the work of organizations like the JDRF or DRI or ADA.  No matter how alarming their ads may seem to some.

Refrigerator.

First off, I jumped on the bandwagon and set my blog background blue for National Diabetes Awareness Month 🙂 

Second, I had every intention of particitpating in the Juvenation blog carnival challenge however being that it’s already the 4th of the month, I guess you can say by now, I’ve been unsuccesful at the challenge 😦  But I am still going to use some of the blog prompts and hope that’s ok with the gals over at Juvenation!

Today’s prompt is “If you open up your fridge, what is the first thing you
would eat? And why did you pick that food? How many carbs does it
have?”

I’m trying to think of what is currently in my refrigerator.  Do I have to pick just one thing?  😉 The first thing that comes to mind is string cheese.  I’ve been eating them like crazy lately.  Those are actually zero carbs.  So maybe I’ll take two!  The next thing I would eat is a Chobani yogurt.  Preferably pineapple.  They are delicious!  One of those is 21 grams of carbohydrates.  To wash those down I’d drink either a Diet Dr. Pepper or some Diet Peach Snapple.  These are some of my favorite things to eat and drink which is why I chose them.  Not to mention healthy snack items.  (If the question was what would you eat from your cabinet, that would be a different story!  See: chips or cookies.)