Well, here it is… the last real post on this blog. Here are my top five favorite moments as Diabeteen….
5. DSMA – I tried to make it as often as I could, and sometimes my schedule would just not let me do so. But those times I was able to make it to the Wednesday, 9PM online chats made it one of the best moments of the week. To be able to decompress and think about the triumphs, struggles, frustrations and elations of Diabetes and to share mine with you guys and hear yours helped me think further into my own disease than I thought would ever be possible. Thank You for those moments when I KNEW people were listening and sharing about things I go through as well. Sometimes you just need those people around to say “I totally understand” or “I support you”.
4. Someone To Rely On – It’s a moment I will never forget. We were sitting in room A308, me on a pink sofa I have come to know all too well, and her on the bottom of her bunk. We were watching Despicable Me and I threw open my laptop, deciding suddenly, I wanted her to see how much I appreciated her friendship and support. I didn’t expect the tears, from either of us; but that happened. Showing O my post about her is something I will never forget, no regret. That fact that she was one of the first people to know about Diabeteen (even before my parents) and remained a constant support system will always leave me trusting her with my life and more.
3. Meeting People with D all around the world – It’s amazing who I’ve met while blogging and tweeting. People as far away as the UK, Australia, Ireland and people who live 5, 15, and 30 minutes away from me. Someday I’d like to actually meet but talking with people from all around the world, who deal with similar things as I do, shows me there is a great amount of support in the DOC.
2. One Year, 50th Post – When I wrote my first post ever on Diabeteen, I said I would be surprised if I made it past six posts; Well I did that and many more. This post has to be one of my proudest accomplishments; It’s hard for me to follow through with something but I’m really glad I stuck with this and with you guys.
1. Creating Diabeteen/Finding the DOC – It started as a school project then over the course of five months I became a blogger; I’m damn well proud of that and the friends and relationships I have formed. You truly are an amazing group of people.
It’s been almost two years, TWO YEARS, since I’ve created Diabeteen. When I first created this blog, and was thinking of a name, I couldn’t think of anything else but Diabeteen. The minute it came to mind, I loved it; and that sucked. Not because I didn’t want it, but because I knew this day would come, sooner than I was hoping for. In two days, on May 24th, I will be turning 20 years old. And that’s it… I’m no longer a teenager; I’m no longer Diabeteen. I hate that thought so much, as I didn’t have enough time to be Diabeteen. A friend of mine, Q, had even suggested just to keep it. But the thing is, with aging, comes bigger and better things, not always, but in this scenario I can only hope that will be the case. On my 20th birthday, I will be unveiling my brand new, recently pimped out blog. I’ve spent months deciding what to name my next blog, and with much consideration I’m pretty fricking happy with it. Until then, I’ve written down the top ten moments I’ve had as Diabeteen. This first part will feature numbers 10-6, and the second, tomorrow’s post, will feature 5-1. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this existence of this blog. I know I’ve said it plenty of times before, but you guys have been absolutely amazing and welcoming; it feels amazing to know there are people like you out in the world. I can only hope one day I get to meet you all.
Without further ado, numbers 10-6 of my “Top Ten Moments as Diabeteen”
10. “I Hid Them” – Writing this post may have taken a looooong time, but once it was up, I was astounded by the reaction I got from the DOC. When people around me see the things I do to release frustrations, they roll their eyes. You guys, knowing what its like to see those stupid “We Can Cure You” books, knew the feeling and influenced me that sometimes you just have to bury the stupid comments.
9. “A 7 Year Olds View with Diabetes” – Ever since I created this post, I cannot stop thinking about those journals I had written as a young child. It was an awesome find, to know what it was like for me back then and I’m happy I could share that with you.
8. “17 Years” – To have been able to celebrate my 17th year with Diabetes on Cape Cod, was fun. But to be able to share my thoughts and my first Diaversary as a blogger was a blog writing experience I will not soon forget… I never realized marking something so life changing could be a happy experience. Plus that was the first year I knew the real date to my diagnosis. We got less than four months until my 18th!
7. Showing people this blog, who I never thought I would – When I first made this blog, it was my intention to keep my personal and blogging life separate. I mean, on my blog I was going to talk about my personal life, but I wasn’t going to show this to people around me – family members, friends, etc. Had you asked me in September 2010 who I thought would know by now, I would’ve without any doubt written on my face, said “No One”. But now we’re here and that’s not the case. Friends from school, friends from home, “coworker” friends started to find out beginning in December of that year. Recently, while working on my newest blog, I asked my mom about it, officially showing her that I am a blogger; although she know of a previous blog, she does not know the name or the website. And then my dad… It was on an impulse last Friday night. It was just us two after my sister and brother had left following dinner and in a moment I said, “I need to show you something….but I don’t know if I want to”…. Saying that last part as I ran to get my laptop. He saw both, Diabeteen and the next one and he showed he was proud of what I had done. He was even pretty surprised when he found out he could type in Google “Diabeteen” and there I would be. I don’t know who will be next, or if anyone will ever be, but I’m slowly letting more people who know ME, read more about my diabetes AND me.
6. Being able to share the non-D stuff with people. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I was in an awful place. I had just moved away to college for the first time and I HATED the university I was attending. Because of this, I was beginning to show signs of severe depression and this added thing took a toll on my emotional wellness. The fact that I was able to relay these thoughts by blogging about them and getting so much support from all of you, gave me so much strength. More than you guys could really ever guess. I thank you for that, because honestly that really did save me from going into a much darker place than I was already in.
Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September. The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”. Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes. Have more than one thing you wish people knew? Go ahead and tell us everything.
There are so many things I would like to tell those around me; let them know what they hear on the news or from some celebrity, or from something online is not true. I’ve said this before in the #DSMA chat that being so “young” (even though very experienced with Diabetes), most people don’t want to believe what I say. But they need to understand that I’ve lived with this for almost 18 years, I don’t remember what it was like without diabetes, and I KNOW my disease; I may not know all the medical terms and everything, but I know the important things, and how to care for it. However, there are two main things I want to get out to non-diabetics.
The first one, and one of the most important ones, is, unfortunately, there is NO cure (yet). Please don’t believe those books, or what you see online, or what you hear from some certain celebrities. I’ve said it before and if I have to, I will say it a million more times. So please don’t suggest what you hear to me; don’t tell me that I should just completely stay off insulin, eat no carbs or lose weight. Although I’m in the process of the latter, it’s not because I think I will magically be cured somehow. I know right now there’s nothing I can do that will allow me to get rid of my diabetes, but I can keep caring for myself, hoping that someday I will hear of a cure, from my doctors and science… not from any news site.
The other point I NEED to get across, and this one especially goes out to the non-diabetic teens/young adults I talk to (not all of them!!!) is diabetes is not just test, eat, insulin. It’s not as simple as waking up and saying, “Well today I won’t go low or high and that’s that”. 99% of the time you get a no-hitter (a day where you stay completely in range), you work your @$$ off to get there. There’s exercise and eating the right things, knowing the carbs, amount of insulin, and knowing what you’ll be doing for the day. And even when you do this, there’s still no guarantee. Diabetes will make me feel like crap some days. It doesn’t mean I’m lazy or stupid or unsocial; it means I need this time to gather myself because if I don’t I will end up in the hospital and that’s something I do not want to do. It’s stressful, it’s annoying and it’s a nuisance… but it’s my life and I don’t want judgment from you, especially if you don’t know what its like. I’m not trying to be mean, I will happily answer your questions, but the judgment really hurts me; and can bring me even worse days.
Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at. Today let’s look at the flip-side. We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!
I know there are so many things I can do better with my diabetes. Coming now on four years of Diabetes “Rehab” (coming out of my d-slum), there are still things I have not been able to get down. Slowly, verryyyyy slowly, I’m learning; but there was a lot for me to re-learn after I had grown up dealing with such a bad view about my diabetes.
Off the top of my head, one of the things I really need to get a handle on is knowing the carbs I’m about to eat. I basically SWAG 85% of the time, when I know a quick measure or look at the Calorie King app on my phone will give me the real answer. I think that’s one of my faults being that I grew up with diabetes. I’d like to think I know the amount of carbohydrates in every item, even though I obviously do not. I mean; staring at a single piece of bread: 15g. Staring at a bunch of different things I have on my plate: no idea. Staring at the plate my waitress just placed in front of me: Naomi, You’re at a well known place, you have the amount of carbs in your phone… STOP swaging.
Usually, I’m close enough to the real amount that everything goes smoothly; but that’s almost always pure luck and I know that.
If I have it, why not use it; why end up with a struggle later on?
Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”. But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit. Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly! Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!
Somehow, in the past two months, I’ve gained great control with treating my low blood sugars. I honestly don’t know what the changing factor was.
I have been over treating my lows for too long of a time. It was not uncommon for me to roll through ten different food items one after another, just to get the symptoms gone. That’s low brain for you.
When I was growing up with diabetes, we usually turned to a granola bar to treat a low. I hated glucose tablets, with a burning passion. It felt like I was eating chalk and the fact that I had the eat four-five of them to get back to normal range frustrated me. It didn’t help that the only flavors we could find near us were grape and raspberry, flavors I did not like at all. So granola bars and juice it was. Sometimes to prevent from going lower it was peanut butter in a slice of American cheese (Don’t throw up… try it! I still have it to this day when I need protein).
Then came the point where I was responsible for treating my own lows at home and over treating became a common happening.
I don’t know what’s changed. Maybe it’s the vast amount of flavors they have now and the fact that while I’m chewing a tablet, I just imagine it’s a much better Smartie. Either way, over treating is basically a thing of the past. And it doesn’t even seem like a punishment to me. I love the watermelon and sour apple tablets. And orange ones are also somewhere within my bag. The best part is that I feel much better within fifteen minutes and my blood sugar is hiking up like it would with over treating.
It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends. With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections. Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!! Let’s all find a new friend today! (Special thanks to Gina, everybody’s Diabetes BFF, for helping me title this post!)
Soooo, I have a bad problem. I’m obsessed with British things. Not all British things but accents, fashion, and boy bands name a few. Alright, I’ll say it. I @#$%^*! love One Direction… Judge away, it’s okay, because my family members already do. And there’s one Brit who I absolutely adore; Holly from Diabetes Days.
I’ve known Holly for about a year now (maybe more) and the more I talk to her, the more I want to pack up my things and move to England. She’s a pure sweetheart and she loves Taylor Swift, which gets points from me. Her posts are brilliant, she says it like it is and how it is.
When I first joined the blogging world and the DOC I have to admit one of the things that terrified me was connecting with other people my age; sounds funny with a blog name like mine, no? My goal was to be a source of information, advocacy and support (to quote DSMA), especially to those my age. But I was absolutely terrified that I wouldn’t be able to connect with these kids; that even though we had this one similar thing, we were too different in other ways. I’ve had the pleasure through this experience to meet many wonderful diabetic teenagers; strong almost-but-not-yet adults who wanted to connect with people their own age. There are teens I have NOTHING in common with besides Diabetes, but we still manage to talk, and that’s an amazing feeling.
But one thing I never thought I would be doing was talking to someone about 4000 miles away from me. Sure, we share our common love for Taylor Swift and Darren Criss; but when we get the chance to talk we do so about much more than that. Recently, I learned she is on her way to becoming a nurse and I couldn’t be more ecstatic for her; she really has a wonderful future in whatever she does and I hope that future also holds her blog, because her posts are amazing, funny, strong, opinionated, and welcoming; to not only diabetics but everyone who wants to learn about what its like to be a teenager with type 1 diabetes.
So without further ado, the friend I’d like you to find, Holly.
PS. It’s also totally okay if you read her posts in Harry Potter tone, no one will judge.