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AttituDe of GratituDe inSOULin

Open Letter to my New Friends from the First Ever Diabetes UnConference



Dear newest and best friends a CutTheBSGirl could ask for,

I sit here in awe of the weekend I just had with you all, attendees, facilitators, and sponsors.  I had no expecatations of the weekend but I cannot believe how much I learned from each of you.  I actually went into this thing, thinking I didn’t belong there because I have only been a PWD for 2 years and 9 months.  I was scared.  I was afraid I was going to hear things like, “Oh, you’re so new.  You can’t possibly need to go to an event like this.” I did not hear that once this weekend.  You were open, candid, funny, frustrated, happy, angry, and most of all, genuine with me.  You also created an atomosphere where I could be open with my own feelings of being a PWD.  My heart is heavy…I can’t figure out if its because we all had to part ways yesterday and I’m sad, or if it is because my heart is overflowing with love, encouragment, and a sense of peace with how I’ve been living my D-life thus far.

I learned this weekend many things:

  1. Diabetes doesn’t really have a “type” it likes to strike.  We varied greatly in size, shape, color, gender, personality, food preferences, and fashion styles.  One of the few things we had in common were our busted pancreases and that it wasn’t our fault no matter what anyone may say or think.  Another thing was the sense of humor we have about this chronic condition were share.
  2. I’ve been burrying my thoughts and personal feeling on Diabetes deep down by filling my schedule with “stuff” and have just thrown on a happy face.  I learned this weekend that it’s ok to be angry and frustrated about it, but to not let that anger and fustration consume me.  
  3. I miss my Dexcom.  IV3000 here I come!
  4. I’m not alone.  Yes, I know, you’re thinking, “Well, Duh!” But, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a DOC.  I look forwardward to connecting with others online for years to come.  It won’t even compare to meeting you all in person, but it is the next best thing.  Also, who knew I’d find a few “soulmates” on this D-journey. (You know who you are.)
  5. I learned that “My Diabetes May Vary.” (Bennet, where do I send my quarter?)  My Diabetes reacts completely differently from someone else’s, so hearing and trying what works for someone else is totally worth a shot because it might just work!  Or it won’t and that’s OK too.

I don’t know much about Diabetes…but…Diabetes doesn’t know much about me, dammit.  I declare war, Diabetes.  I’m going to win as many battles as I can.  I am optimistic, inspireD, and hopeful.  With the support and knowledge I was gifted this weekend, I will make every effort never to let Diabetes bully me or anyone else for that matter.  Because of you and others like us, I aspire to be a Dia-advocate, a Dia-nurturer, a Dia-cheerleader, a Dia-bestie, lastly and probably most importantly, a Dia-Badass.  I pledge to make other People with Diabetes feel welcome, respected, and valued beyond the confines of the Red Rock Conference room.  I hope you’ll join me.

Thank you for sharing your experiences, sarcasm, tips, and personal style as a PWD with me.  Most of all, I thank you for being you.  It was more than I could ever have hoped or asked for (seeing as I seem to have a hard time asking for help).  It’s hard but, I will try not to cry beacause it is over.  (This Vegas dust is just getting to me.)  Instead, I will smile, because it happened!

With much admiration, respect, and love,

CutTheBSGirl 

To find out more about the Diabetes UnConference, Click Here.

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AttituDe of GratituDe inSOULin

Here she is, Miss Type 1 America

Just got back from my first Hope and Health Type 1 Diabetes Symposium sponsored by the JDRF.  It was awesome and I was inspired to start blogging again.  I find that writing about my experience today will be too long on one post so I will start with this:

I jumped at the chance of wearing Miss America 1999-Nicole Johnson's crown.
I jumped at the chance of wearing Miss America 1999-Nicole Johnson’s crown.

I’m sorry it’s blurry, I had my Dad take the picture.  He said that his hand was shaking when he took the picture.  Maybe being around such a beautiful celebrity made him nervous, who knows, but bless his heart!

Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999 is a Type 1 Diabetic.  She spoke at the symposium today and discussed some great topics like making sure to stay on the optimistic side of the street, the importance of  building a strong support system for the days that Type 1 Diabetes gets us down, and coined a term for the loved ones who support and cheer on their Person with Diabetes (PWD).  They are known as  Type 3s.

She also talked about her D-Day, the day she was diagnosed at the age of 19.  She was urged to drop out of school, to move home with mom and dad, pick a calm and easy career (not journalism like she wanted), and to not even think about becoming a mother. Oh, and by the way, maybe pageant competition isn’t such a good idea.

So, what has she been doing since that diagnosis day?  A whole lot of, “Oh yea? Watch me!”  She has since earned multiple college degrees including a PhD.  Nicole did have a career in journalism and now she works as a spokesperson and motivational speaker-a carreer I wouldn’t call calm.  She also enjoys being a mother to a healthy 8 year old girl.  Oh, and did I mention, she was crowned Miss America in 1999!

Knowing what my life has become and all the things I’ve been able to do in just the year and a half that I’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic, I find it silly what this woman was told.  Its bad enough what ends our minds go to when we first get diagnosed without any outside influences.   Total and utter B.S….and I don’t mean blood sugar this time.

How grateful am I that I had the opportunity to hear this beautiful, brave, and strong woman speak.  I hope to be like her when I grow up.

Cut the B.S…I mean blood sugar!

Arlene

Have you ever been told you couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t do something that you found silly?  What was it and how did you respond?  Leave us a comment.

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D-liciously Diabetic inSOULin

Christmas Kisses

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I’m making these little tokens of appreciation for the crossing guards at my girls’ school. Since, I’m a sucker for chocolate mints I pop one of these dark chocolate filled with mint truffle Hershey’s kisses. At 2.78 grams of carbohydrates per kiss. I can still enjoy my holidays in my “cut the b.s.” manner.

How do you “Cut the B.S.” from your holidays? I could use some ideas. 🙂

Happy holidays everyone!
Love your “Cut the B.S…and I mean Blood Sugar” girl,
Arlene

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inSOULin

My Ab-Fab Moment

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When I was in the ICU, I had a nurse named Annie. She was awesome. My second or third day there, I was told to drink like a quart of crystal light with some medication in it. My doctor requested a CT scan to check out my gallbladder to see if that was the cause of my diabetic ketoacidosis. Anyhow, it took me a while but I did it…downed the whole thing like it was spring break-I should have had my Ryan, my husband, hold my legs while I did a crystal light keg stand! Annie came back with a wheel chair to take me to the CT scanner. I get in the chair and she’s like:

“Ya wanna do something about your hair? You kinda have an Ab-Fab thing going on there.”

Ha ha thanks for the comic relief, Annie…I’ll never forget it.

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inSOULin

What a difference a month makes

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Today marks a month since I came home from the hospital. The week I spent there took its toll on my physical, mental, and spiritual well being.

When I got home from the hospital:

  • I could not get up the stairs without my legs cramping up.
  • A lap around the couch was my workout.
  • I couldn’t get anything for myself and had to rely on my family to even get me water.
  • I was taking between 24 and 39 units of my fast-acting insulin and 25 units of my slow-acting insulin a day.
  • I could not watch television without noticing that every commercial was a commercial for food I was gonna miss.
  • I just remember feeling frustrated, sad, angry, weak, and lost.
  • Then I remember thinking to myself my first week home:

    “Well, this didn’t kill me, so I must be getting stronger.”

    That’s it. Its time to stop feeIng sorry for myself. It’s time to start making myself stronger. I knew I was still recovering from gallbladder removal surgery so I knew my limitations. I began to challenge myself by adding more laps around the couch. Then I pushed myself to go up and down the stairs a second and a third time. I began to take walks around my block. Read up on diabetic eating and the reasons for my dietary needs.

    Now that it’s been a month, I can celebrate the following:

  • I made my goal of getting up and down the stairs 54 times in one day. (once for each card in a deck of cards-including the jokers-and yes, I physically brought a card upstairs each time.)
  • I can walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a time at an incline.
  • I’ve taken up carrying a pedometer. I haven’t been able to do 10,000 steps in a day yet but I’m working on it.
  • I now take about 12 to 15 units of fast-acting insulin a day and only 10 units of slow acting insulin a day. Writing this just made me realize that my doses have been cut by more than half!
  • I’ve gotten back to making the meals for my family, something I take great pride in.
  • I started this blog in the hopes of helping others as well as myself.
  • The blog has a section in which I will try to continue to be thankful daily.
  • I’m very hopeful and happy to be living with diabetes instead of feeling as though I’m dying of it.
  • I’ve got a lot to be thankful for this last month and I now celebrate every day.

    Don’t forget to “cut the B.S.!”

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    inSOULin

    Last day on the vial!

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    I’m so excited! Today is my last day of using the old school vial and syringe needles. As of tomorrow, I switch over to the pen! Above is a picture of my fast acting insulin, the Novolog FlexPen which is a pre-filled syringe. It is so much easier to carry in my purse as opposed to bringing a vial and syringe or even prefilling the syringe ahead of time. The pen needles seem thinner so I don’t feel them as much. It could be that looking at a regular old school needle just messes with my mind a bit. It just looks like it will hurt and so it does. I barely even feel the pen. Tip to newbies: it helps to exhale when you stick in the needle.

    Maybe I’m also excited about switching to the pen because the Novolog FlexPen’s spokesperson is Charlie Kimball who is an Izod Indycar Series racecar driver who happens to be a diabetic. FYI, I’m a huge fan of his as well as the series. Needless to say I will be blogging more about him soon. Go Charlie!!!

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    inSOULin

    Hey Y’all

    Wait, that’s another diabetic’s catch phrase. I wanted to take the time to say hi for the very first time as your Cut the B.S. girl. I’ll tell you a little bit more about myself and this blog in the about section, but I did want to tell you how excited and hopeful I feel about starting this blog. I’ve been treated as a diabetic for a little over a month as of today, July 30,2012. As I continue to share my experiences, I hope to find a community of diabetics out there who know what I’m going through.

    Happy to complete my very first post as your “Cut the B.S.” girl.