Wow! I am overwhelmed at the responses and views that Allison’s post got! Make sure to keep following her on Lemonade Life.
Today we have Adriana’s post. We met via Twitter about a month ago and I totally love this gal! I totally think we would be best friends IRL if we didn’t live so far away! Adriana and I discussed having some sort of awareness day for diabetes. We talked about having friends and family live our lives for one day: attached to a pump, checking sugars, counting carbs etc. We haven’t forgotten, we’re still working out details so stay tuned (you can read about this here, here & here). Adriana is always listening. I feel like when I’m calling out into the abyss that is Twitter she knows when I need to hear back with some encouragement. She really was the first person my age I’ve ever had a conversation with that has diabetes as well. I felt an instant connection. So naturally I was thrilled when she agreed to write a post for my D-Day celebration! Without further ado…
There are certain days in every person’s life that stand out: day you got engaged, married, children were born, and the day you were diagnosed with diabetes. Wait, what? Day you were diagnosed with diabetes?
Ok, so the vast majority of the population won’t have the memorable day that is D-Day. Frankly, it would be better if nobody has to have that experience but those of us with diabetes clearly remember the day we were diagnosed. Of course if you were diagnosed at a really young age your parents, I’m sure, have that day etched forever in their memory.
I was diagnosed at age 7 on November 1, 1988. Day after Halloween. The previous year was full of changes for me: mom got remarried and 5 months before I was diagnosed my baby brother was born. I guess things do come in three’s because then it was diabetes.
A week before I was diagnosed I was in Mexico with the rest of my extended family celebrating my grandmother’s 60th birthday. Before we left for Mexico my 2nd grade teacher notified my mom that I was always out of the classroom; either in the restroom or at the drinking fountain. We sent a urine sample to the pediatrician’s office as we were leaving town. In Mexico my older cousin and I snuck candy and hid it in the bathroom we shared. I’m sure lucky I didn’t end up in DKA.
Upon our return home we were greeted by a bunch of messages from the doctor’s office saying they needed to redo the test. I went in on November 1. The night before, Halloween, my parents took my candy and told me I could have it after the doctor’s appointment. Of course, I snuck some.
That doctor’s appointment changed my life. They redid the urine test and then sent us into the doctor’s office. He was sitting behind his desk when he told my mom I had diabetes.
Next thing I know we were in the elevator going upstairs to another doctor’s office. I remember looking at my mom and seeing her trying to keep her composure. At 7 years old I knew my mom was scared and upset and it had something to do with me. Suddenly I was terrified.
Suddenly my parents and I are in the hospital learning about shots and highs and lows and food and testing.
I would give anything to not have diabetes but November 1, 1988 helped shape the person I am today. Every year on my D-Day I get sad about “what if I didn’t have diabetes” but I remind myself of all the strength that has bloomed inside of me and the courage that has come from having diabetes. This year when I celebrate 22 years with diabetes I am going to celebrate it and not think about the “what ifs”.
Thanks Adriana! Make sure to follow her on her blog – Living Life With Diabetes. And per usual, not likely I’ll be posting this weekend. But coming on Monday we have our final guest blogger. You won’t want to miss his story 🙂
I have three upcoming guest blogs to celebrate my D-day and you guys are in for a treat. All three stories are so amazing I didn’t know where to start, so I decided to go in order of how the posts arrived in my inbox. First off is Allison who writes over at Lemonade Life. To be honest, I was just introduced to her blog a few weeks ago via a Twitter suggestion by another guest blogger (to be named in the upcoming days!). But when I read her post about talking to a lemon, I knew this girl understood where I was right that instant. You see, I have no friends IRL that have diabetes. My friends are sensitive and they listen, but they don’t understand, no matter how hard they try (and I do love them for trying)!). My eyes have been open, thanks to all three of my guests, to the wealth of understanding on these here interwebs. I have a huge support system here that I don’t know what I’d do without. So, I read a bit more of Allison’s stuff and I put it right out there on Twitter that I’d like her to guest post. She immediately said she would help (and said I was funny so I automatically liked her even more!) We exchanged e-mails and without further ado, here’s Allison’s story to continue the DDay celebration!
When I was in elementary school, I really wanted my ears pierced. All my friends had them. I would list the names of my friends who had their ears pierced, since clearly if everyone else could do it, so could I. Repeatedly I would bring the subject up with my mother, and each time, she said no. I don’t know if she thought that I would be ready for the pain or if I would just be irresponsible and lose hundreds of dollars worth of earrings over the years (maybe my mother was on to something…), but she just said no.
Then one day, we were in the car driving to dinner when my mother pulled over at a strip mall near my house.
“What are we doing?” I asked.
“Do you still want to get your ears pierced?” my mother asked. My mother told me that since I had done such a good job over the last year with taking care of my diabetes, they were going to let me get my ears pierced as a present. I was giddy as they punctured my small 9-year-old ears.
But celebrating my anniversary wasn’t a one-time deal. No sir, once you introduce an opportunity for a child to get something without doing anything, you better believe they are going to hold you to it! Over the years, I received things like jewelry and dolls, and when I was in college my mom would send me make-up or whatever I requested for that year.
Even as a twentysomething living in New York City, I still celebrate my anniversary by going out to dinner with my boyfriend (paid for by me these days, but it’s still an excuse to go somewhere nice).
A diagnosis date is for most people a sad, melancholy day. It is for me too. I get especially emotional in the days leading up to my anniversary, hyperaware of the amount of time and energy I have spent on this blasted disease. But I also think of it as a new year, a renewed commitment to keeping up my health so that I will live to see many more anniversary dates in the future. I also think that because a diagnosis date carries such a serious weight that it’s important to acknowledge the awesomeness that we are during the year. We do things most people wouldn’t dream about doing, and yet we are so hard on ourselves. If you are a healthy and happy, then celebrate it!
Thanks again Allison! Feel free to guest post ANYTIME 🙂 And everyone else, make sure to visit her blog Lemonade Life. Tomorrow, get ready to meet another guest…and I promise, you won’t be disappointed. I haven’t steered you wrong yet right? XO
Three years. Wow, three years? That’s how long I’ve lived with diabetes. Today is my D-Day (some people use the term Diaversary which I also like). So now, I’d like to tell you the story of how I discovered I was diabetic. Pull up a chair, a healthy snack and a diet soda because this is going to be a wild ride.
In either December of 2006 or January of 2007, I thought I had a hernia. I had some pain in my side and a little lump. Nothing to fear really. Sis has had two, as has my father and my maternal grandmother. I was really busy in my professional life at the time and just didn’t see a way to get it taken care of as I couldn’t just take a week off. I was the boss yo! Ok, so I only had two employees working for me but I’m one of those people that checks e-mails and makes phone calls on behalf of work even when I’m sick because I feel a giant sense of responsibility. Anyway, back to my story. The pain continued to get worse and finally I saw my primary care physician (PCP) in March. She was in agreement that I had a hernia so she referred me to a surgeon. I went for a surgical consult and the surgeon was doubtful that what I had was a hernia so he recommended an ultrasound. So, I had one. They found nothing except for a few small ovarian cysts, which looked normal & healthy. I was starting to feel agitated because I knew something was wrong. I had started consuming large quantities of water – I’m talking a gallon a day just at work. I’d also been peeing – a lot! I mean, I was drinking A LOT of water and that has to go somewhere right? I’d also been dropping weight but eating like it was going out of style. I look at this now and wonder how I didn’t figure it out sooner. Although in my defense I have pretty much zero family history of diabetes to speak of. Sure, both my grandparents were diagnosed with type 2 in their late 70’s but that’s fairly common these days. I also have a great uncle and a second cousin (on opposite sides of the family) who are Type 1. So, frustrated, I returned to my PCP on April 27, 2007. I have to say, I love my PCP. She knows I am in tune with my body and she trusts when I tell her something is wrong. That day we talked about how I just knew something was going on. I left a urine sample and a blood sample for analysis and went on my way.
That evening was a Wednesday and on Wednesdays, my ex-husband had his weekly meeting with the fire department. I always went to a local bar in town to sing with my friend Chad Hollister (he’s fabulous – have you checked him out yet?). This night was no exception and I was also going to be meeting Mamacita there. Right as I was about to leave, my cell phone rang. I recognized the number as someone calling from the local hospital (is it bad I know that number?) so I answered. The man on the other end of the phone informed me he was a doctor at the hospital and needed to speak with me about some tests they’d run. He asked if I had a family history of diabetes. I told him no. He said they needed me to come down to the ER and be hydrated as my sugar was very high. I asked him what the number was and almost guffawed on the phone. You see, my ex-husband’s family is filled with Type 1 diabetes. His grandmother and all four of her children are PWD. So, I knew a bit about “normal range.” He told me my blood sugar was at 530. Now, let me remind you that the desired range for BGs is 80-120. I thought for sure they’d mixed my blood/urine up with someone else’s. I told him I would be right down. I called my ex at his meeting and told him what was going on. I told him it was no big deal, I would go by myself but if he hadn’t heard from me by the time his meeting was over he should meet me there (there was no cell service at the hospital at that time). I also let Mamacita and my parents know what was going on but the whole time I was in denial – no way did I have diabetes!
When I got to the hospital, they were waiting for me. They checked my sugar again and after not eating anything in over 6 hours, my numbers were still above 400. My heart sank. I told them I had a bunch of Nilla Wafers with lunch. They informed me that a person with a 100% working pancreas would never have sugars that high – no matter what they ate. They hooked me up to IV fluids and I just sat there. Alone. Scared. Denying, denying, denying. My ex showed up about two hours or so after I got there. A doctor came in and told me that I was diabetic. They didn’t know if it was Type 1 or 2 and I would have to make an appointment with an endocrinologist as soon as possible. Then they sent me on my way. I cried all the way home. I was in complete and utter disbelief.
I went to work the next day and talked to my boss and coworkers about what had happened. They sent me home for the day. My dad was home from work that day so I headed over to his house because I was in no mood to be alone. I called the endocrinologist the doctor at the hospital had recommended and they were able to get me in that day. Thankfully Sis is a nurse and since Mom was nervous (and out of town) she asked me to take Sis with me. Thank God! She knew the questions to ask and also worked great as a health advocate. That day (April 28, 2007) I learned how to give myself injections and started on this long journey of learning about diabetes and fighting for my health. I still think of that day and how scared and naïve I was. I wouldn’t wish diabetes on anyone – ANYONE! But, I am proud of how I’ve grown as a PWD. I’ve surrounded myself with an incredible team of doctors and specialists. I have educated those around me. I take responsibility for what is happening in my own body. I am incredibly proud to be a person with diabetes. I feel no shame in saying that. I didn’t ask for or do anything to deserve this disease, but I own it.
Many things happened in the days that followed that made me so thankful for my diagnosis. Those things are still painful to write but I plan on doing so anyway in the coming days just in case there’s one person out there who’s feeling how I felt. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and there’s always a silver lining – sometimes you just have to look harder and/or wait longer to find it. My life today is phenomenal and I wouldn’t trade it for anything – and I remember that I couldn’t say the above if I hadn’t been through what I have.
In the next few days I’ll have posts from Mike, Adriana and Allison on their D-days. We all have different experiences and I want them shared with all of my readers – whether you’re a PWD or not. This week has been emotional and the people close to me understand. While I choose to celebrate this day, it’s hard to do so without looking back and seeing where I came from. It also makes me think about how much time, money and effort I have spent to get here. I have my days where I feel like I’m being followed by a massive black cloud but my D-Day will always be mine and I can choose how to handle it. I choose to celebrate. Celebrate my knowledge. Celebrate the journey. Celebrate that I have made it through one more year with diabetes and I am a better person because of it. XO
P.S. – that lump never amounted to anything. There were more ultrasounds and CAT scans etc. Basically, it was just my body’s way of telling me it was broken. Just so you know 🙂
Sorry I haven’t written for a while. Does anyone care? Or notice? Kidding! 🙂 In all reality I write this blog for me. I have found it incredibly therapeutic and I thank those of you that do read. I’ve had an amazing last few days and I’m gearing up for some dark ones in the ohsoclose future.
On Friday I had some family in town from Nova Scotia. I haven’t seen them in years or ever met their children (who are 8 & 10 – I think?). It was great to catch up and spend time with ALL the family that was there. FF & Bman continued their bonding (oh my gosh, soooo cute. I have some pics. I’ll post em if you’re lucky!) I got to see some other family I haven’t seen in a few months (and the little ones remembered FF’s name but not mine – why is he the popular one?!). After a nice dinner outside we headed home to unwind from a long week.
I worked my last shift at the restaurant on Saturday. It was not sad or bittersweet…it was effing long – and boring! It was my first shift in 3 weeks and it was one of the slowest shifts you can get. When my boss came in at 3, I let him know he could watch the bar because I was ready to go home. He agreed! So I went home and FF headed to a friend’s house for a BBQ. We had great food, great company and met some new people. Then we headed for open mic night – which I bombed. A little too much alcohol at the BBQ was not a great idea. A lot of people think you’d sing better if you were drunk. Um, hello – do you ever go to karaoke?! Most of the time those people need liquid courage to get up and sing – how often is it good? Really. Anyway, I was glad I did it but also glad I couldn’t track down a video camera to record the open mic. I promise to do this soon though – when I know it’s going to be good (although FF really liked my rendition of “The Sound of White” by Missy Higgins. I swoon when he compliments my talent!).
Sunday was lazy for the most part. We knew BRE was going to be home sometime that afternoon. We got up and hit the back deck right off. It was sunny and gorgeous. We played cards and ate breakfast. Then we headed out for groceries because we invited some people over for a BBQ to celebrate BRE’s return. We came back home and had a couple cocktails while playing cribbage. BRE and friends got home about 6. We ate and chatted and had a pretty quiet night (well, as far as the DZ is concerned!). It was a relaxing weekend but just busy enough for me. It was also good prep for the days ahead…
Tomorrow is the three year anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis. I refer to it as D-Day. I went through a lot during those first few days as a PWD. I also became separated from my (ex)husband and discovered I was going to be an aunt. I was shaken down at my core and I was in a place emotionally that I vow never to enter again. Tomorrow I will post my D-Day story – details about how we discovered that I had it and the emotional fallout that ensued. Because I look at this diagnosis now as something that strengthened me and taught me so much, I am celebrating this anniversary and not wallowing. I have asked some of my favorite Diabetes Blog authors to guest post their diagnosis stories. So look for that and more in the upcoming days. I also have to say that it’s National Infertility Week and although I don’t know personally the struggle and emotions related to infertility I know a lot of amazing people who have wrestled with it (or still are wrestling with it!) and I do know what its like to feel like your body is betraying you. For more information on National Infertility Week, follow the #infertility trending topic on Twitter or check out my friend Jenny’s blog. Until tomorrow….XO
Have I told you all how much I enjoy singing? I do. I sing EVERYWHERE and every.chance.I.get. I even have playlists on my iPod and youtube account titled, “sing along” or “open mic practice.” (Wanna see what’s on em? Here’s my youtube playlist). I realized the other day that I haven’t done ANY singing in public in months. I occasionally sit in with a local artist named Chad Hollister and I’ve even sung with his full band on occasion (once in NYC, a few times in Boston and a lot of gigs around Burlington). Want proof?
And my personal favorite
I also do a lot of singing at open mic nights as well as weddings, funerals and karaoke. So I’ve been missing singing. I lost an old boyfriend friend in a car accident in January and heard the perfect song (Missy Higgins “The Sound of White“) that I want to dedicate to him. I also want to sing something for FF (I’ve been mulling over a few choices) and I love Pink’s Glitter in the Air. I only need 3 to sing. What other songs do you think would be good after looking at what I normally like to sing? I’ll take any suggestions – and if they’re wicked good I’ll track down a video camera and post the performance on here. If you ask nicely 🙂 XO
So, a few days late but welcome to my home! (P.S. this is my first real foray into a post like this. I tried to make it look pretty but got tired of fussing with it because I just don’t know what I’m doing. Also, I tried to paste the link for the Twitter Home Tour button but had no luck)
FF and I live in a condo that we rent from our friend BRE – who also happens to be our part time roommate (BRE is a snowbird – a northern term for those who winter in the south and summer in Vermont). When the three of us moved in last June we all knew the place needed a name. Over the next few weeks we each chimed in with our opinions. My very first suggestion was the one we picked. DZ stands for “Danger Zone” and is a completely acceptable name for a condo inhabited by three 30 somethings who enjoy a good time! Ahem. So come on in, wipe your feet (or take off your shoes – your choice) and grab a few lip glosses for your purse before I show you around (that’s where I butter you up so you don’t notice my lack of style)
On the left you’ll see our mini cute half bath (oooh and ahhhs here please)
Yes, we shop at Costco and yes, those are Playboys. Some of them are actually mine. I used to have a vintage Playboy Bunny memoribilia collection…also notice, I love Bath & Body Works foaming soap
On the right is our kitchen. It’s plain (we rent!) and not my dream kitchen but it’s very functional as you can see.
Some of my favorite items in the kitchen: my hot-air popcorn popper (which FF suggested would look good on the counter. I didn’t argue because A. it was empty and B. I was getting sick of going in the closet every time I wanted popcorn), the trivet that my grandmother made and I received the Christmas after she passed away, and our fruit basket that always holds – wait for it – FRUIT! Actual fruit, that gets eaten! Forgive my enthusiasm, I excite easily. I also really enjoy how we’ve decorated our fridge. Funny quotes, clips and comics that make us chuckle for some reason or another. I love this kitchen. FF and I cook and talk and dance in there. It works 🙂
Right down the hall after leaving the kitchen, you’ll find our coat closet/pantry/catch all
It’s decent sized and FF is a master of organization. Oh, and all those silver buckets, yeah I won them by singing at Open Mic nights (see with the easy excitement?!). Continue past the closet and you’re in the living room/dining room. Our furniture is all second hand
except the tv…
and all the remotes…
It’s perfect for entertaining (but will be better once my Craigslist search for another couch is complete). I dream of a comfy, cozy living room but this one works for what it is. We’ve found in just the few touches we’ve put on the place
that FF and I have similar taste in decor and our house is totally gonna rock…one day when we buy one 🙂 We got a photo printer from my parents for Christmas so we used it to make these collages to hang up. FF did most of the work – bless his patience!
I love our table (which we only eat at when we have company)
And the little bar area behind it
Don’t ya just love the signs?
Here’s the back patio. It’s tiny but again, we make it work – as usual 🙂
Here our papasan chair and a little lamp. We just removed a desktop and a desk from this corner and FF thought it would make a great place for me to read. I haven’t tried it yet but I can’t wait!
Let’s head upstairs. The hallway is decorated with Red Sox stuff. We’re both fans and some of these are actual photos we took when FF took my Fenway virginity for my birthday last year ::swoons::
I didn’t take any pics of BRE’s room. Not much to see because it’s still kind of messy. We’re expecting him home this weekend. We’ve been using it to store things we got out of my storage unit but I had to go through before we put them in our carport storage. It’s been so nice to just have to two of us for the last few months. It’s going to be weird but we’ll adjust. Plus it means one more person contributing to rent and utilities – yes please!
Here’s the full bath. It’s spacious and I like it. Yes, again, I would like more of a theme but it works. We also have our washer and dryer in here (I would never do laundry if I had to go to laundromat!)
And here’s where the magic happens!
It’s so boringly plain but the last thing I do in my bedroom is ponder how to decorate it 🙂 Although we are in the early stages on developing a theme and saving for some new bedding) We have the perfect sized bed (my queen frame and boxspring his pillowtop mattress and bedding) a ginormous closet (I’ve never shared a closet in.my.entire.life – but this one is plenty big – even if it’s hard to tell from the picture – it extends almost a whole wall) and a view of…the swamp.
Oh well! I also totally love the jewelry armoire my parents gave me a few years ago. It’s made many moves with me and I feel like it’s my only piece of “grown up” furniture. I rarely wear jewelry these days (not allowed where I work due to being a manufacturing facility) but I will never get rid of it.
Oh, and this is for Blair who says you can tell a lot about people by what they keep on the dresser (pics of deceased grandparents, grandpa’s ashes, pics with my some of my favorite girlfriends, a framed quote and a candle) I’m scared for what this says about me…
So folks, you’ve seen it all. I hope you enjoyed your lip gloss and your tour. Now, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. XO
So there’s another internal job posting here at the lip gloss factory. I’ve been asked several times if I’m going to apply and told that I should (one of those people that said so is the person who’s job is becoming available). I just don’t know if I can go through that heartbreak again. Plus, applying for two jobs outside of my department but within the company (meaning my bosses know I’m trying to escape this hellhole department) is risky. I mean, what if my bosses feel I’m not taking my job seriously? They know I’m unhappy but have made no attempts to alleviate that (read: $$$$). They tell me I’m irreplaceable but do not make me feel that way AT. ALL. So lovely readers, I need your input. I know this decision is ultimately mine but have you ever been in a similar situation? Anyone have words of wisdom to share? Thanks! XO
I’m too exhausted to go into great detail about the events of last night but know that I’m not dying. Apparently my body is trying to expulse the IUD. So yes, I was in fact having contractions yesterday (bless you mommies out there because that pain was like none I’ve ever felt!). I received mediocre care and was made to feel like I was being a big baby. After 7 hours in the ER (where they wouldn’t feed me for fear I would need surgery to remove the IUD) I walked out. Yes, that’s right. After being told 3 hours prior I was being discharged and not having anyone answer my questions, I just left. It was 11:30pm after all. So, I’ll keep taking my meds and check in with my doctor tomorrow (who honestly is just as big of a moron as the ones I saw last night). I’m sick of telling people I know something is wrong and not being listened to. I know you have a degree. I know you know your stuff. I know you’re busy. However, this has been my body for 30 years and I KNOW when something is wrong with it. So thanks for all the well wishes – they’re appreciated! XO
What do you think? I added pictures! I changed my theme! I added widgets! I have a freaking blog roll! SQUEEEEEE! I am FINALLY figuring this blogging thing out! Little did I know that when I started this just one month ago that I would love it so much! I mentally feel so much better just getting this stuff out of my head. I know journaling would work as well but I love the communal aspect of blogging and knowing that other people may be able to take something away from what I write (much like I do from the blogs I read – as varied as they are!) So, I’m still open to suggestions. What else would you like to see around here? More pictures? More links? Would you like to be added to my blogroll (I’ll add you to mine if you add me to yours!)? PS – make sure to take a look at the About Me page and the Who Are These People page do see some pics. Have a great day! XO
I’m sorry for people who don’t have diabetes. I’m sorry for people not understanding what having diabetes means. I’m sorry people don’t know what it’s like to have to think about EVERY.SINGLE.THING you put in your mouth. I’m sorry for people who don’t know what it’s like to have to look at a bruised belly to try to find the best spot to inject medicine that SAVES.YOUR.LIFE. I’m sorry people don’t understand how quickly one little sickness can knock you on your ass – and how long it can keep you down. I’m sorry I feel like shit a lot of the time but I hide behind my smile because it’s easier than feeling like everyone’s tired of hearing how crappy I feel. I’m sorry I miss so much work for doctor’s appointments. I’m sorry for all the time I’ve wasted in waiting rooms and talking to doctor’s who don’t realize how well I understand my diabetes, try to manage it and know about my body. I’m sorry that sometimes I feel sorry for myself. I’m sorry that when I get in a place like this I don’t have time to deal with your petty drama. I’m sorry that this disease is my #1 priority. I’m sorry for my rant.