November 30, 2012

Insulin Is Not A Cure - My Final Words

Here it is, the last day of November. That means the last day of my series. This blog post isn't about anything specific, I'm just going to be writing from my heart and writing what I want people to know about my disease.

Diabetes has shaped so many aspects of my personality. The struggles I've had with it are not easy to overcome. Any diabetic can tell you that. I've struggled vwith accepting it as a part of me, I've struggled with denial, I've struggled with apathy, and I've struggled with an immense amount of frustration. Swimming my whole life presented a never-ending set of complications I had to work around. I'm not trying to throw a pity party, but I must say that I've been through so many emotions with this disease. It's not just the difficulty of getting it right, or staying in control, it's the willpower it takes to say no to certain things. It's the determination it takes to try again, day after day. It's the perseverance it takes to not give up hope.

If I didn't have God with me every step of the way in my life, I wouldn't have gone anywhere. Emotionally, I would not have survived having this. I'd like to think of myself as a strong person, and to some extent, that's exactly what I am. But, I didn't get that way all on my own. God has kept me and sustained me through trials that I didn't think I would get through. My struggle with apathy has been one of the biggest in my life. I went through a time, and it lasted a couple of years, where I just didn't take care of myself. I did the basics to keep myself alive, I didn't have a choice, but my blood sugars were through the roof and I didn't feel well and I was just rebelling against the stress I'm constantly under related to my diabetes. Junior and senior year of high school I didn't care that I wasn't feeling my best. I didn't care that my blood sugar was high...again. I didn't care that I forgot to give myself insulin for lunch until two hours after the fact. I just didn't care. That is the most dangerous state for a diabetic to be in. I've had to deal with consequences of that ever since. Do you guys remember the blog post awhile back where I was talking about diabetic neuropathy? That numbness in my toes and forearms I felt sometimes? That, I guarantee you was a side effect of my apathetic years. Some days I still feel that tingling in my feet, and I still feel the numbing sensation in my forearms, but it's not quite as bad as it used to be. That in itself is one of the biggest blessings. God pulled me through those very tough years. He still pulls me through some very tough days where I fail myself once again. Then I feel frustrated. My thought process these last few years has been well, apathy is better than frustration, right? I was so sick of feeling inadquate and so sick of my frustration that I eventually wanted to just shut it all out. And I did, for awhile. God pulled my mind out of the fog, with a very scary wake up call, but it worked all the same. I told you guys about that, in my Dr. Chase post. My body was not healthy and it was showing up in the tests. Now that I'm in college and forced to be on my own, I take better care of myself. Or, at least, I try to. God is still working through me with all of this.

I've definitely accepted the fact that I have type 1 diabetes, and that is not going to change, unless a cure is developed. I know that. It is a blessing, though, having this. On one hand, yes, it is difficult, but there are good things about it. I can't drink alcohol. There's a blessing right there. I live on a college campus, it's everywhere, but I know how to say no and I have no reservations about saying no to somebody who offers me some. As a future nurse, I'd like to think I can empathize with patients coming in who are just lost about a condition or disease and are distressed about it. I know what it feels like, I know how to talk to them. Granted, I will never be perfect in any situation, but it keeps me from being so rationalistic. I want to take care of the feelings of others. I know how important a support system is. I know how important an accountability system is. If there is any diabetic out there, reading this, who knows what they're doing is not a healthy habit, talk to me. I can help keep you accountable. I know what you're going through. There is no judgment on my part. Who am I to judge? I am in no way superior to anybody. I go through many of the same things you do. But what I can do, is help, as a seasoned veteran.

I've been so blessed to be able to share a few of my experiences and a few tidbits of my life with you, my readers. I know this series is coming to an end, but I've just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed writing this series for you guys! I hope in some way you have learned something. Either you've learned a new piece of information about me, you've learned a little bit more about the emotional struggle of having Type 1 Diabetes, or you've recognized the struggles we go through on a daily basis. Whatever the case, my main goal was to illuminate some details of the life of a diabetic. I hope your awareness of Diabetes has increased, and you somewhat understand what someone like me goes through on a daily basis. No, my life is not worse than yours. No, I'm not trying to prove anything. Yes, I have been immensely blessed during my life, no thanks to myself. God has kept the smile on my face in the midst of my struggles throughout these many years. It has made me a very grounded person and has made me want to share my hope and experience with diabetes. There are so many people who have been a part of my support system, I just want to thank you guys. I know there will be much more to come and endure, but through the blessings God has provided me with down here, I know I can get through it. Addressing my fellow Diabetics, I just want you to know one thing: through Christ, you have the strength to deal with this. It's not the end of the world.

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
-James 1:12

November 28, 2012

Insulin Is Not A Cure - Family Ties

Hey guys!

Well, I have some pretty awesome news to share with you guys. You all know Madison and I are adopted. Well, in total, I now have three brothers and another sister. My sister Danielle contacted Madison and I and told us we have another brother! His name is Jason. So, I friend request him on facebook and try to figure a few things out, and first thing I see? He has type 2 Diabetes. I immediately got excited and wanted to talk with him! He may be older than me, but, hey, diabetes runs in the family. My biological family. I'm just carrying on the tradition. Well, This blog post features, Jason, my newfound brother, and I'm so thankful he wanted to participate in my blog! Type 2 Diabetes is a real problem as well as Type 1. Here I've just asked him a few things about his struggles and encounters with Type 2. I found I could relate to some of them and I hope this is good for you, as my readers, to hear about it from another perspective. I know listening to me talk about it all the time can be repetitive! These are all Jason's words, not mine!

What has been one of your toughest struggles with Diabetes so far in your life?

My toughest struggle has been having to get used to a different way of living. I haven’t had it for all of my life so I had a routine that I followed. When I found out I had diabetes I was angry and had a pity party, but then I decided to face it head on. I still eat like I used to, but I really watch my carbohydrates now.

Another struggle that I have found is that sometimes no matter what I just don’t feel good. I can eat perfectly and do everything I am supposed to do and still not feel good. That really frustrates me. I haven’t figured out how to take a sick day from work if my sugars are all over the place.

The struggle that I have lately is remembering to eat. I used to eat whenever and not worry about it. Now, I have to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I didn’t used to worry if I skipped breakfast. Now if I do, my sugar will crash.

Has Diabetes ever inhibited you and what you've wanted to do?

So far it hasn’t. I have to plan a lot different than I used to. I carry glucose tablets with me in case my sugar crashes. I also carry money so I can get a drink or food with some carbs if I need to. I carry a lot of snacks just in case as well. I am starting to look at diabetes the way I look at my OCD. It is something I have, it doesn’t define me. Although that is way easier said than done!

What or who has given you hope with everything Diabetes has dealt you?

Honestly, Bret Michaels from Poison has given me a lot of hope. He has had type 1 diabetes forever and manages to live a very good life. He has had to adjust his lifestyle throughout the years, but he is a good ambassador for diabetes.

Also, the advances in insulin and pill therapy gives me a lot of hope. There are so many different types of insulin out there that I think diabetics will be able to live longer and fuller lives because of. There is also talk of an artificial pancreas in the works, which would be awesome! I believe there are great doctors out there who are really trying to cure this disease and hopefully someday will.

What is something you'd like to tell other diabetics out there?

I would like to tell other diabetics out there that there is hope. You are going to have good days and bad days. You can’t beat yourself up when you have a bad day. Although I am not the best about this! Also, I would tell other diabetics to listen to their doctor and take their medication as prescribed.

I suggest that every diabetic find an Endocronologist. The one I found is awesome. He is strict, but fair.

Global Symbol for Diabetes

I couldn't agree with Jason more. Granted, I'm no expert on Type 2 Diabetes, but I am faced with some of the same issues. Getting used to a different way of living? You bet. Enduring some days of just not feeling well no matter what you try? No doubt. Believing in a cure someday? Absolutely. Having good and bad days? All the time. God has blessed me with another sibling and he understands part of what I go through each and every day! I mean, hey, I'm just carrying on the family tradition, right? :)

Questions? Comments?

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finishe its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
-James 1:2-4

November 25, 2012

Insulin Is Not A Cure - The Pills That Don't Exist

When I was little, and I thought about a cure for Type 1, I imagined just having a prescription that would take care of everything for me. I thought, oh, well when they develop that pill, I'll just be on that the rest of my life and I won't have to worry about a thing! Oh, how incredibly wrong I was.You can imagine my surprise when I learned, in seventh grade, actually, that the possible cures included a pancreas transplant, islet cell replacement through stem cells, or islet cell transplant. I felt fear, despair, and........fear. Those weren't exactly the kind of cures I was hoping for and were much more serious than I had ever imagined. Now that I've grown up a little and been through a couple of nursing classes, I realize how naiive I was for believing a pill could fix everything about type 1 diabetes.

One thing I know, though, is that whenever a positive cure comes for my disease, I will do whatever it takes to get it. If I have to go through surgery, if I have to take out a loan, if I have to endure a long and trying recovery, I will go through with it. It would be awesome to be a survivor. How cool would that be if I lived to see the day that Type 1 diabetes could be effectively cured? What if God allowed that to happen during my lifetime? He has a purpose for giving me this, and I intend to use it however He calls me to, but to have lived with this disease for so many years and then experience life without it? That would be something else - an incredible blessing. Does surgery frighten me? Yes. Do I have a low pain tolerance? Yes. Would I take the chance of not recovering and still having Diabetes? Yes. Would I have the support I needed? Absolutely yes. I can't imagine there being a cure in my lifetime, of there being an easy way to cure Type 1 Diabetes, but I will never lose hope. So many doctors and researchers out there want a cure for Type 1. So many dedicate their career to that. Who knows, when I get out of nursing school, I may specialize in Diabetes, making kids' lives better. It was effective for me. In my life, hope has disappeared time and time again, but I've always managed to push back and find it once more. I'm thankful for those pills that never existed. I'm grateful they don't exist. Having Diabetes has made me a much stronger person. Most of all, I think it has let me see I can't do this on my own. God knows what He did. Heck, maybe I wouldn't have thought about nursing had I not been diagnosed. Who knows. Everything features into a plan, maybe that cure will be part of God's plan for me.

"But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations."
-Psalm 33:11

November 16, 2012

Insulin Is Not A Cure - Giving Back

My twin knows everything about me. She knows my style, she knows how to push my buttons, she knows how to be supportive, she knows how to provide a little entertainment, she knows how to calm me down, she knows how to be my other half, and most of all, she is helping me in a broader perspective by participating in a Diabetic research study called the Twin Family Study.

She has been participating in this since I was diagnosed. The Twin Family Study is, in part, done by the Barbara Davis Center to help get more insight into the genetic aspect of Type 1 Diabetes. Why do I have this disease and Madison does not? Why am I the only one affected? What genes have been activated in my DNA that haven't been in Madison's? They aim to find out. Genes that give a predisposition to type 1 diabetes are crucial in determining whether or not someone will actually be diagnosed with the diease. Madison and I are fraternal twins, but there are still genetic predispositions involved with this disease. She gets her blood drawn every year to measure for diabetes-related antibodies and to measure what kind of predisposition she has to diabetes and to see if that has changed. This is for close monitoring for early detection of diabetes should she happen to contract it. I hope she never does. Instances in which twins, fraternal or identical, having diabetes is rare. The study helps find environmental triggers for diabetes.

My twin and I...contributing one more step in the research to understand Diabetes.

I have also been involved in a Diabetic study when I was younger. There was a product knows as the GlucoWatch. I remember the study, and I can only tell you a few details. I just remember having to stay overnight in the hospital. It was literally the longest night of my life. I didn't get even an hour of sleep. The study was to test the effectiveness of this GlucoWatch. It literally was a large watch that I wore around my wrist, but the face of it was on the anterior side of my wrist, so you could see the face of it when my hand was supinated (facing upward - sorry, #anatomyterminology). Anyway, it tested my blood sugar every hour or so. I just remember having an IV in my arm for the duration of the study and them drawing blood every half hour or forty-five minutes. I was terrified laying there in the hospital bed that I would unconscously bend my arm in my sleep and mess up the IV, so I literally did not fall asleep. The GlucoWatch was not a success for me. Every time it tested my blood sugar, it vibrated on my skin and was very painful! I got so frustrated with it because I couldn't take it off, I was exhausted, and dreaded every vibration every hour. I was in tears towards the middle of the night because I was so frustrated. The nurse had to come in and massage the skin on my wrist around the face of the watch to help lessen some of the irritation. She wasn't allowed to take it off either, and looking back, I am so thankful for those nurses who were so nice to me and endured my frustrated tears. Towards the early hours of the morning, I remember my blood starting to form some clots around the catheter/needle in my arm for the IV. It was probably because I had my arm in one position for so long. I literally did not move it I was so afraid of messing it up. They ended up having to take my IV out early because the blood just wasn't so efficient anymore. I was relieved when I was able to go home the next day. However, for the longest time, I couldn't bend my elbow because my arm with the IV had sat in one attitude for so long. My muscles were so stiff, it took about an hour to be able to completely bend my arm again. Needless to say, I never bought the GlucoWatch. I learned that I wasn't the only one participating in the study with complaints of skin irritation. They have better monitors and stuff now, but I was able to give back to the community that was trying to make my life easier by telling them I didn't like the product. Sure, it seems a little ungrateful, but they need the positive and negative feedback that patients give them.

It's all a way of giving back.

"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
 -Proverbs 18:24

November 7, 2012

Insulin Is Not A Cure - Dr. Chase

Dr. Chase has been my diabetes doctor ever since I was diagnosed at the age of two. He has seen me almost every three months from the ages 2 to 18. He has seen me grow up and grow into the woman I am now. I have so, so much to thank him for. I am incredibly blessed to have had him for a doctor growing up. This entire blog series I am writing is entirely dedicated to him and all he has done for me, and for the world of diabetes.

Dr. Chase,
I cannot even begin to express what you have done for me in my life ever since I was a little two-year old, walking the halls with my parents in the Barbara Davis Center, unsure of what was really going on. I sat there, unaware of what was happening to my body, depending on everyone else to take care of me. I grew up fast, learning how to take care of myself, learning how to give myself shots, learning how to accept the fact I had this disease. I remember looking forward to each three month visit because I would get to see you! I also remember the screaming and crying when I was told I had to have my blood drawn that day. Thank you for telling me I was a big girl, and even adults had to get the numbing cream on their arms and that I wasn't the only one. I didn't feel like such a coward. I'd also like you to know that I am finally over my fear of needles! I wanted to show you how I'd been doing and make you see that I was trying my best. It didn't matter to me that I didn't really know the technicalities, I knew you had them in mind.

I loved seeing that smile and getting a hug from you when I came in every three months.  I always remember during my physical exams, you would listen to my heartbeat with those sure, steady hands, and exclaim how healthy my heart-rate was..."because of all that swimming!" :) You were so supportive of me with all of that and worked with me to deal with the hard issues that it dealt to my diabetes. I also remember you letting me listen to my own heartbeat with your stethoscope for a little while, after you were finished, to hear the evidence that I really did have a healthy heart-rate! I loved that feeling, listening to my own, live, vital pulse that meant I was still going. I remember you explaining everything to me, even when you checked my reflexes with your reflex hammer. You let me hold it, feel the weight of it, and feel the vibration when it hit its desired target. You always encouraged me with the smallest things and endured my tears in the examination room when my A1C level was high...again.

You carried my frustrations as well as your own in taking care of me. I know I could be difficult at times, especially in those last few years. In one of the last few appointments, I distinctly remember you saying, "Well, I must be a bad doctor, or you're not taking care of yourself, because your kidneys aren't as happy as they used to be, Morgan." I remember sitting there and immediately wanting to burst out crying. Not because I was feeling sorry for myself, but because you said that there was a possibility of you being a bad doctor. That is the farthest thing from the truth. I was mortified that I had brought that thought upon you and I would have done anything to fix that. That is a pivotal moment because at that very second, I took ownership of my apathy. I had been trying to avoid it, blaming it on everything else. You will understand, you know that it's hard being a diabetic all those years, and I was dealing with a strong type of apathy about it. But, the thing I know, is that you were a huge contributor in helping me become an independent type 1 diabetic. You made me take responsibility for the things I was doing to myself and my actions that were costing me my health. Those scary, stressful times, you were there, you were watching out for me. I remember during my parents' divorce, you made my mom go out of the room and you asked me, only me, how I was doing and how I was feeling about everything. You wanted to hear from me, you wanted to make sure I was okay without my mom sitting right there. You've seen all of my downs, in life and through my diabetic journey, you know what kind of girl I am, and you knew how to encourage me to never let diabetes inhibit me.

You have so much dedication to your profession and I thank God that you were put into my life. You certainly are one of the ones who inspired me to become a part of the medical profession. You have given me so many chances, and have trusted in me to know what to do, but you have always been there along the way. It was a constant reminder for me, asking myself, what would Dr. Chase say if I ate that? What would he have me do? If I do this, how am I going to explain that in three months when I see him next? It helped me make better decisions. I remember during one visit, I was feeling low during our appointment. You left and came back with a juice box, graham crackers, and peanut butter for me to eat. The perfect balanced snack for a low blood sugar. Your warm countenance and care towards me makes and has made my life so much easier. It is people like you that have helped me through my journey in combating type 1 diabetes. When I first came to the Barbara Davis Center at age two, I was provided with a Pink Panther stuffed animal. I still have it and I will never give that away because it reminds me of you. You wrote those Pink Panther books, educating the public about Type 1 Diabetes, and wanting people to help find a cure. This blog series is dedicated to you. You encouraged me to participate in diabetes studies, telling me about the latest technology that was being tested, and I knew this was important to you. I remember the glucowatch study, and the twin study that Madison and I were a part of. You were the one who finally convinced me to get my insulin pump. I was so nervous about getting one because it was such a new concept, but you gave me time and gradually took away my fear of it. Thank you, for that. I know God had His hand in my life when I walked into the Barbara Davis Center, like He does now, because He gave me you as a doctor. God knew what I was going to need down the road. The only thing I can think to say is thank you, for investing your time, effort, and intensive care in me. I remember everything, and will always remember. I love you like a father, and I can't help but tear up as I end this letter. You've done great things and still are doing great things. Thank you for your lasting impact on my life. You are the greatest.



"...'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and giv eyou something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
-Matthew 25:35-40

November 5, 2012


Most of you have already found out through facebook, but of course, I need to include this in my blog. It is a brief interruption to my "Insulin Is Not A Cure" series. But, it is necessary. And I know you guys won't mind. My grandpa passed away last night. Needless to say, today has been a rough day. I count each day that I was with him a blessing. He was such a great grandpa. As you see in the above picture, Madison on the left and me on the right, he loved his children and grandchildren. He had many of them! It is always a sad day when you experience losing a loved one. This post is just for you, Grandpa, I know you're up there with God, and I know you are no longer in pain, and I thank God for that. But, I am missing you.

My grandpa was a Vietnam war veteran and a World War II veteran. He served his country faithfully. He was a respected man. He put mustard always on his ham and ketchup on pretty much everything haha. I remember he used to take walks with Madison and I around his neighborhood, as you see in the above picture. He used to mess with me and ask me if my name was Penelope. I would get all flustered and be like, "No! My name is Morgan!" He would act all confused and say, "Ohhh..." haha. Good times. He always kept Fudgesicles in the freezer for when his grandkids came to visit. We always knew Papa had fudgesicles. One of my favorite memories was going to a breakfast place called Tip Top. We never went out for breakfast, at least not that I could really remember compared to Tip Top, and it was one of my favorite things when we went to California. I just loved the place. When Madison and I would wake up in the morning, he would always start to sing...

"Good mornin', Good mornin',
I slept the whole night through,
Good mornin', Good mornin' - to you"

Haha he was always in a good mood. He was good at poker, and liked to talk about the news. He would let Madison and I watch cartoons in the morning and sometimes sit there and watch them with us. He always sat in his designated rocking chair, and I remember never sitting there because I knew it was Papa's chair. My mom always used to tell me that I got my curly hair from him because neither of my parents had curly hair. I never doubted it for a second. I also always assumed I got the Irish in me from him. He was Irish and had a bit of a Boston accent which only endeared him to us! The pool in California in their neighborhood was where I inspired my mom to sign me up for swim lessons.  With all of these things, it didn't even occur to me that he wasn't my blood grandpa. Just because I'm adopted doesn't mean he isn't my grandpa. He always asked me about how I was doing in school and swimming and told me to keep it up because it would pay off. I always tried to listen. His bear hugs were the best. I'm grieving for you right now, Papa, and it's healthy to grieve; I'm going to miss you every day, but I will see you again in time, God's time, when it's finally my day to go. Thank you for all the fun times. You are always in my heart!

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

November 4, 2012

Insulin Is Not A Cure - My Lifeline

I like to call my insulin pump my lifeline. Without it, I would still be with you guys, but I would be taking insulin shots.This little pager-sized device makes my life so much easier, but also more difficult. I get many questions about my pump and how it works, and I know you guys are curious. So, I changed my pump site a few days ago and took a few pictures to document the process. Hopefully it makes it a little less foreign in the sense you see what is really going on.

This picture is the beginning of the process. It goes in a counterclockwise circle from the insulin bottle with the orange cap. This is what I need to change my pump site. It all looks a little scary, I know, but none of it will hurt you! Haha :) It goes from the insulin bottle to the reservoir, to the actual pump site after cleansing the area with the alcohol swab, inserting it, putting a patch over it so it's another layer of adhesive, and finally connecting the pump. Now, the other reservoir you see sitting by my pump is my previous reservoir. That insulin is almost gone and that reservoir sits in my pump with that little window on the side.

This is me drawing up insulin into my reservoir. Pretty cool, huh? That blue connecting structure in the middle has one long needle. One end goes into the insulin bottle, and the other connects into the reservoir to transfer the amount of insulin I need. I usually draw up around 230 units of insulin and that lasts me about three days.
If you refer back to the first picture, you see the insertion with the small blue cap. Well, that is what is in the inserter in the above picture. The little blue cap has been removed and you can see the needle in the picture above. The stuff around it is adhesive so it will stick to my skin when it is inserted. What the inserter does is it pushes the needle into my skin for me with a little more force than if I did it manually. This is because around the needle itself is a tiny catheter by which my insulin is delivered into me. You can see the long cord is attached to the reservoir already which is inside my pump. Don't worry, I pull the needle out, and I will have a picture of the catheter without the needle and the needle itself so it's clearer! Now, I prepare to insert it.

 This is the exciting part. And this is the part that makes me most nervous. This is the part that involves physical pain. Sometimes it really does hurt when I insert it. I mean, my muscle could be irritated, or blood might shoot up the catheter into the coil, which has happened before. I remember one night where I had to change it three times because it hurt so bad and wouldn't calm down when the needle shot in. That was a very frustrating night and even brought me to tears I was so frustrated. But, God was with me then, just as He is with me now :).  But, I insert it and then there you go! My pump site has been changed.
This is the needle that I insert the catheter with. It's only a little thing, which is nice. That is removed from the actual pump site and layed next to my pump so you get a little size comparison. The pump is no bigger than a pager. Anyway, that is the needle I use now. The catheter is in the next picture down. I have another picture of a needle I used to use as well....

Picture # 1: This is the catheter that sits just under my skin once the needle is removed. The adhesive around it sticks to my skin to lessen the chance of my pump site falling out. This is inserted in me when the needle pushes through my skin because the needle runs through it. Anyway, this is the method in which my insulin is transferred from my pump to my bloodstream. Thank goodness for technology.
Picture #2: This is the needle I used to use to insert my pump site on my stomach. That had a longer catheter with it and was more painful than the one I use now. Maybe it was just the problem of putting that needle in my stomach...who knows. But, I did used to do it both ways, the inserter used to just scare me which is why I preferred to do it manually.
I hope this sheds a little bit of light on what my pump is and how it is connected to me. My pump connects and disconnects to the site itself with a screwing motion allowing me to take showers and go into a pool without taking my pump with me. So, the actual catheter remains in me while my pump can go somewhere else. This insulin pump makes my life easier because it's like taking a shot every three days instead of taking five individual insulin shots a day. However, it also makes my life more difficult. As you can see, that means more medical supplies, more worries, more money, and having a pump on my person ALL THE TIME. That can get difficult when wearing dresses and such. I'm not quite to the point yet where I can wear my pump on the outside of my clothes. I'm not shy about it and completely willing to answer questions, I just feel weird with it on the outside of my clothes. I'm past trying to make it look invisible, but I am working on getting past trying to hide it. God chose me to carry this disease. There has to be a reason He did. There has to be some sort of plan in the mix. I'm just trying day by day to see the good in the things this disease brings to my life. Thanks for reading!
If you have questions, don't hesitate to comment or email me! :)


"Consider it pure joy, my borthers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
-James 1:2-4 

November 1, 2012

Insulin is Not a Cure - Blessings

It's November. November 1st. Guess what that means? It is national Type 1 Diabetes awareness month. I think Type 1 Diabetes has gone down somewhat in our radar and this disease is nothing to joke about. It's time to bring awareness.

I have had diabetes for 17 years. And I'm still going (thank goodness). Did you know, before insulin was discovered, diabetics would die within 3 days if not earlier? Insulin was discovered in 1922. Before that, diabetics were just out of luck. Well, my struggle with diabetes has not been easy. Many of you know this already. But what I can tell you today are the blessings I've found through it.

I consider it a huge blessing I was diagnosed at two years old. I've known nothing else in my life. Those that are diagnosed at a later age, I can't imagine what that would be like. Props to you. I know it's difficult. But, take it from a lifetime veteran, you can do it, even though it does take time. I am so thankful that I have known nothing else. I have more experience and a stronger mental outlook I feel than somebody who has just been diagnosed which is very useful when dealing with something like this. But, I can also lend a hand to those who need it. Diabetes turns your life upside down. The later it happens in life, the harder it is to adjust. I'm not just saying this to be cheesy and self-righteous. I truly am thankful that I've had it from an early age. If I was one of the ones God chose to endure this disease, I thank Him that it was at two years old.

My diabetes has prompted my love for nursing. My empathy has increased dramatically. I have had so many great doctors and people who have cared for me throughout the years. I'm so thankful for them, they pulled me through. My doctor, Dr. Peter Chase, has cared for me since I was two years old. He has seen me every three months, up until I turned eighteen. He has seen me grow up and has helped me grow to become an independent diabetic. He has seen my ups and downs (lots of downs) and has always been supportive of me. Farther on in this series, I will dedicate an entire post to him! There is so much I need to thank him for. These kind of people have made my life easier. They have given me so much hope along the way to keep going, and I want to be the one who gives that hope to other people who need it. My empathy for people going through tough medical issues has increased. I understand what it's like to deal with doctors, with frustration, with apathy, and with feelings of inadequacy. If anything, I know the strain it places on a person. I just want to give that hope to anyone I can and let them know that God will not leave them. I can't wait.

The pain (mental and physical) is draining, but it has drawn me closer to God. Yes, there is physical pain. At least with me, probably because I have had it for so long, and I've dealt with a lot of apathy in the last few years, my nerves aren't always happy. It's scary, and sometimes very draining mentally. My insulin pump also deals with pain sometimes with inserting it and all that, but I can definitely tell you that God has never left me alone. Every frustrating moment with my insulin pump, every high blood sugar, every low blood sugar, every success, God has been there with me. Every decision I've had to make related to my diabetes, God has been walking with me. Yes, there were times I was angry with God for giving this to me, but it has only made my walk stronger. Yet another blessing.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
-Proverbs 17:22

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