Tag: positivity

good life

Our Own Rhythms to a Good Life

Our Own Rhythms to a Good Life

So, as a type 1 diabetic, I have blood work drawn every 6 months. This time around, the one test for overall blood sugar control, HbA1C, was up to 7.8. This ain’t a great number. In fact, it’s higher than it’s been in 5 years- higher than when I weighed enough to be classified as almost obese.

Why am I telling you this? To me, it’s a reminder of a few things.

You can’t take anything at face value.

Anyone that sees me on the street today will probably not make a note of it. I’m pretty generic looking. Average height and average weight- I’m an average looking mom of 2 boys. I exercise regularly. I write down what foods I eat and try to stick to a balanced diet.

No one can see I have a condition that I fight every day. There are no outward signs, unless someone sees me test or inject insulin, that I have to monitor what I eat, what I do and inject medicine every few hours of every single day.

There are tons of people out there like me. We all have things going on that others don’t have a clue about. It’s a reminder to pass on a smile every chance we get. It’s something we can do to lighten whatever burden the other person may be carrying.

You can always do better.

I look healthy and I feel fantastic. I went through some stuff in my early 40s that made me afraid I would be in pain for the rest of my life. I worked hard and improved. Despite my apparent health now, I’m reminded by this blood work that I can still do better.

Diabetic Warriors (my favorite term) can get numb to the daily grind and we need to be reminded to pick up our game. This doesn’t apply to just us Warriors, though. We all need reminders.

We all need new inspiration to keep our goals in sight.

A corollary to the fact we can do better is our need to get help from others to do so. For me, I should reach out to my health care team to help me gain tighter control of my diabetes. This goes for everyone: getting help from others helps us succeed. It can make the process more enjoyable, as well.

Enjoy your days.

I could get depressed about my numbers or ticked that I have this stupid condition in the first place. I choose not to, though. I choose to find ways I can enjoy getting and staying in shape. I choose to spend time each day doing things and being with people who fill me with joy and purpose.

I’m not rich with money but I am rich with the satisfaction of who and what I am.

To me, that’s a very good life.


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challenge accepted

Challenge Accepted –

Challenge accepted –

By: Ryan Baldwin


December 18, 1992..I was nine years old and I had been pretty sick for 3 months. My mother had taken me in for another doctor visit..only this time, I wasn’t going home right after. Instead, I was being admitted to the hospital. I remember asking my mom, “why are all these tubes hooked to me? What is diabetes? And when do I get to go home??”

I knew diabetes was serious when my mom and dad coexisted in the same room for 6 days..soaking up as much as they could about a disease neither side of my family knew anything about. “You can leave when you can give yourself your own shot.” Deathly afraid of needles, I knew the last place I wanted to be on Christmas was the hospital. Two hours later, my mother and I were on our way home.

For the last 25 years, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Ryan you can’t…”

This disease I live with isn’t a death sentence….. I choose to look at diabetes as a challenge. Life’s way of testing my limits. An opportunity. We all have our own challenges. Mine just happens to involve many calculations and perhaps carrying around more items each time I go out.

“Ryan you can’t…”

I can. I’ve been able to race cars, play hockey & football, surf, enjoy the outdoors. I can go to Vegas with the guys. Of course we face challenges along the way. But, who doesn’t?

Over time, my challenges have evolved from showing I can and fitting in.

My 10 year old son came home from school. So excited. “Dad..there’s a kid in my class. He’s just like you!!”

Now, Im faced with a new challenge. A new opportunity to show my kids that everyone has their own struggles. Everyone has issues. Yet we are all the same.

Highs. Lows. Sleepless nights. Mood swings. Fatigue. The curious stares as you inject while out at dinner. The awkward noises coming from your CGM while out in public or in a meeting. No biggie. It’s not a crutch. It’s a challenge. To better yourself. To rise and conquer.

I embrace the challenges ahead. To advocate and educate on type 1 diabetes. We aren’t alone. I’m reminded everyday. Whether it’s getting a text/call from a buddy because he got an alert regarding my sugar levels. Or my children stopping in their tracks to make sure Dad is ok because he’s acting funny or they heard the all familiar alert coming from my CGM.

Diabetes is what you make it. Don’t let it control you.


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silver lining of chronic illness

The Silver Lining of Chronic Illness – Something Good That Can Be Found In a Bad Situation

Silver Lining Of Chronic Illness – Something Good That Can Be Found In a Bad Situation

By: Kylie Whitten


3 years ago I was a happy, healthy, carefree 20 year old. Fast forward three years, and I’m a happy, (somewhat) healthy, (somewhat) carefree 23 year old, who just happens to have type one diabetes. I don’t think it ever crosses anyone’s mind that one day you will get sick and never get better. It happens though.

At first I was going to write about all the bad parts of type one diabetes (because let’s face it there is a lot). I was going to write about what it took from me and how hard it has been on me.

But I’m not.

I refuse to let this chronic illness take anything else from me, including my happiness. So instead I’m going to focus on the silver linings of type one diabetes.

Becoming chronically ill changes you.

Your life turns around, and you suddenly don’t know left from right. Life becomes messy (as if it wasn’t already messy enough), and hard to navigate. But life also becomes more clearer.

You take advantage of the good days, because sometimes they are few and far between, and you learn to not sweat the bad. If I didn’t appreciate things enough before diabetes, I promise you I do now.

Diabetes has made me a stronger person. I know what I’m capable of now, & I don’t let anything stop me. I know what I want out of life, & nothing will get in my way of that. Not even diabetes.

Not everything about diabetes is unfortunate. I have bad days but I’m constantly reminded that the good outweighs the bad. I’ve truly found myself these last three years. I’ve loved a lot harder, and learned that surrounding yourself with people that get and stick around when life gets messy, is good for your soul.

I understand now that something I can’t control will not control my happiness. There is always a silver lining, you just have to find it. Even if it takes you awhile.



 

What I’ve Learned From My Child Who Battles Type 1 Diabetes

By: Kirsten White


I learned how to be brave.
I learned how to stay strong.
I learned how to stare fear in the face with a giggle and a smile.
I learned what life is all about.
I learned what a hero really is.
I learned what a fighter does.
I learned what courage feels like.
I learned what unstoppable means.

I am the mother, I am supposed to teach my son these things.

But this T1D life has brought a new perspective. The long sleepless nights. The math skills I never knew I possessed. The gut wrenching fear of highs and lows, pertaining to both blood glucose readings and the events of the day.

The planning. The prescriptions. The doctors appointments. The technology. The sticks and pokes, and new things to carry on his body. He has faced them all with a smile.

Even on our three day stay in the hospital at diagnosis, he was running and playing with a smile, and singing, his favorite country stars songs, Jamey Johnson to everyone. He was the talk of the hospital wing.

He shows off his gear with pride now everywhere we go. He gets excited to see kids wearing gear like his at all the events we attend to raise money and awareness. He hasn’t let a thing stop him. He even shows off his Tae Kwon Do skills wearing his gear to win his first trophy.

I want him to always have such a bright and happy outlook on life. To grow and learn about his disease and to educate others. I pray nothing in this life will ever put a damper on those big blue eyes, and those dimples.

Yes, my three year old has been the tough one, the strong one, the brave one.

He has taught my family how life should be faced no matter what is thrown at you. He is my hero, better than Batman. For the rest of my life I will fight along side him until there is a cure! 



 

The Positive Effects of Diabetes

The Positive Effects Of Diabetes

The Positive Effects Of Diabetes

When diabetes comes to mind, I often have negative feelings towards it. From battling my blood sugars, poking my fingers, taking insulin injections, constantly adjusting my insulin dosages, long nights, early mornings, and the rollercoaster of emotions. I feel it’s normal to get frustrated, even though I do the best that I can. I know that I’m going to have my bad days no matter what.

I don’t consider myself a “perfect diabetic“, nor do I believe those exist. But putting all the negativity aside, I feel it’s important to point out the positive effects of diabetes. Despite the hardships and uncertainty, I still continue on living.  I can see how it has shaped me into the person that I am, for the good. Lots of hard lessons, but also many blessings along the way.

 

I’ve learned to let go of what I can’t control –

It has given me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I can’t control the future or what will happen. I know that diabetes is as unpredictable as it gets. However, I won’t live in fear. I won’t let diabetes control my life. I focus on the “now” and worry less about the “what ifs”.

 

I take time for myself no matter what –

As much as I want to ignore diabetes or place it on the back burner, it’s always there. There will always be times, where I have to stop what I’m doing and take care of myself. No matter what — diabetes is always in the back of my mind. Those times where my body tells me to take those breaks, it just shows me what’s most important in this life. Without my health — I would be nothing.

 

It has made me a stronger person –

Very cliche — I know. But they don’t call us dia-bad-ass’s for nothing! I’ve been through the wringer and back with diabetes. I’m grateful to be alive today. But like they say “what doesn’t kill you WILL make you stronger.” It’s not how many times I’ve fallen, but how many times I’ve gotten back up that matters.

 

I found a passion –

If you would have told me when I was diagnosed that I would be where I am today, I wouldn’t believe you! It just goes to show you that it’s about what you’re made of, not your circumstances. Diabetes has certainly shaped my life. Everything serves a purpose. I found a community full of people who I can relate to and we all share a bond. I’ve also found a way to express myself and help inspire others. Yes, this disease doesn’t define me, but it helps to better explain me. It helps explain the person I am, my journey, and how I got here.

 

I appreciate life more –

I appreciate the highs, the lows, the setbacks, the comebacks, ALL OF IT. Diabetes has taken me to the lowest lows and the highest highs. I realize it could be worse. It could be much worse. But I’m still fighting every day. With every fiber of my being, I get up every day and tackle this disease head on. I realize that life is fragile and health is easily taken for granted. Having diabetes has given me a different perspective on life, that I may have never had without it. Through it all, I have finally found the positive effects of diabetes, which is amazing.

When it all comes down to it, diabetes has taught me to love myself even at my weakest moments. It’s taken me out of my comfort zone. I’ve had to grow up much faster and have thicker skin. I’ve learned to roll with the punches, and adapt to whatever life throws at me.

Granted — it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. I would take a cure in a heartbeat, no questions asked! But there are some positive effects of diabetes that I’ve come to realize along the way. It has shaped me for the better. The harder the struggle — the more glorious the triumph.