Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflections on 2010

I have started this post about five times with all the usual.  This year has just flown by...  We've seen a lot of changes this year...  The kids have reached so many milestones...

Of course all of these sound so cliche.  For anyone who knows me, I'm anything but.  I'm a go with the flow, not with the crowd type of person.  Now how to do a year in review post without sounding like the typical year in review.

Instead of going through the year's events, bragging about my children, I want to reflect on my feelings about the last year.  (Of course if you'd like me to brag, I can do that, too!)  This year has gone through all the emotions.  Joy, sadness, happiness, excitement, sorrow, humor... we've pretty much hit them all.  Even in our living room at this moment, we have the two teens laughing hysterically, #3 laughing at their antics, and #4 annoyed as they wake her up (though she's not tired and refuses to go upstairs before midnight).  The youngest is fully asleep, unaware of the goings on. 

Me?  I sit here reflective, thinking about how my children have grown.  Physically, academically, and emotionally.  Through their growing up, I also feel that I've grown.  Watching my children grow and plan out their futures help me to focus on my own as well.

As I've mentioned before, one of my goals is to be an advocate and educator about Type 2 diabetes.  There are so many misconceptions about Type 2.  As a  result, I feel it's my calling to help people understand more about diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes isn't a disease of old, lazy, over-eaters.  There are so many young and fit Type 2s.  It still strikes me that more people die from diabetes than breast cancer or AIDS combined.  How scary is that! 

One "regret" I have from this last year is that I have not been exercising as much as I would like.  It was put in quotes since I try not to have regrets about things in the past.  They are what they are.  There is no point in dwelling on them.  "Live and learn," right?  History is there to teach us about the past so we can learn from it.  In the next couple days I plan to learn from the challenges of the past to make my future even better.

As we get ready to say good-bye to 2010 and look forward to what 2011 has in store, I pray that God grants us what we need and maybe a few wants, with the wisdom to know the difference.  And may God also help us work together to find a cure for diabetes. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Simple is good

I love Christmas.  Not because of receiving gifts.  I love giving.  Nothing makes me happier than buying presents for my husband and children.  I love finding gadgets for our siblings as well. (I have to admit that I still have to finish the gifts for our parents.)  I'd be happy with just giving everyone presents and my gift being the joy on their faces. 

Although Santa didn't bring me what I really wanted this year (a cure), I did receive some great gifts that were simple and well thought out.  One of my favorite gifts that got a lot of laughs was a case of Diet Coke.  I love Diet Coke!  I even have a t-shirt that says so!  Opening that gift brought laughter and joy.  It was a simple gift, not expensive or flashy, but something that the giver knew would be appreciated. 

After a busy holiday at home and church followed by a visit with extended family, I am looking forward to the best gift of all: a few days with my husband and children at home.  Yes, simple... but simple is good!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A time to celebrate

Tonight is Christmas Eve.  It's a time for celebration, families and friends to come together, and the exchange of gifts.  This year I have just one wish.  I wish for a cure for diabetes.

Alas, my wish will not come true this year, but I have not and will not give up hope.  Sometimes hope is all we have.  Some cling onto hope with a glimpse of despair.  My choice is not to look at hope in sadness, but to celebrate.  Yes, I chose to celebrate today.  I not only celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior, but I celebrate life.  I choose to live.  I live with diabetes. No, I did not choose a life with diabetes, but I do choose to live with diabetes. 

The Lord gives us all a mission.  He came to earth over 2000 years ago with a mission.  During his life, he knew his calling and fulfilled God's plan.  I have a calling for my life as well.  I not sure if I've found my true mission, but for now I see my calling to be:
  1. To be the best mother/wife/daughter/sister/friend (etc) that I can be
  2. To be an awesome substitute teacher, showing each child that he/she is loved and important
  3. To educate and advocate for diabetes, especially Type 2
As we celebrate the holiday season, let us also celebrate our own calling here on earth.  Listen for that still small voice to help you find your purpose.  Merry Christmas to all and God bless!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tears, tears go away!

Taking Charge of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) has a program called Extreme Diabetes Makeover.  They have several people who don't have their diabetes under control and follow them as they make changes.  There are several experts helping these people take control.  I started watching the premiere episode and had to pause it.

The tears came quickly.  I'm not sure exactly why I started crying.  Was it knowing that I'm not alone?  Sadness for others dealing with this disease? Despair?  I'm still not sure.  I do know, however, that there are times when I'm reading information about diabetes management (or other topics related to diabetes) that I just burst into tears.

On the positive side, I know I'm under control.  My last A1c made my doctor smile (6.3).  I have three friends that have daughters with Type 1 who would love for their children to have the numbers that I have.  Some days I scold myself for complaining, knowing what they have to do through.  Yesterday I talked to a young boy, about seven or eight years old, with Type 1 who was so jealous that I don't have to give myself shots.  When he found out I don't even take oral meds, his reaction was, "Lucky!"

Some days I don't feel lucky.  Some days I want to curl up in a ball and cry.  Of course I know that won't do me any good.  Where does that leave my family if wife/mom is hiding in the corner?  How is that helpful at all?  That's when we turn those tears and sulking moments into action.  Today I have a goal to do something positive for the diabetes family in my community.  As I've said before, those of us with diabetes are like a family.  We have a connection that others can't completely understand.  Whether Type 1, Type 2, or gestational, we all have the challenge of dealing with carbs and glucose readings.  We all want to be healthy and live a long life free of complications. 

When I first started this blog post, my plan was to vent and feel sorry for myself.  What a wonderful therapy I have in blogging!  Now I have a new plan! I'm not going to share yet what my plan is, but I promise to report back when I have accomplished my goal. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

But you don't look sick...

Did you know that more people die from diabetes than AIDS and breast cancer combined?  If this is the case (which it is!), then why aren't there more people donating to diabetes charities?  Why aren't there diabetes awareness products sold in the stores?  Why don't we have a town-wide day for diabetes? 

Please understand that I am not bashing any other illness or disease.  I have had people close to me with breast cancer.  A family that we were close with when I was little lost a son to AIDS.  Both are terrible and I don't mean at all to say they aren't important.  However with so many more people dealing with diabetes, why doesn't it get the same level of attention?

I was struggling with this question for a while and so I asked other people with diabetes.  The biggest reason that I heard was, "Because we don't look sick."  Exactly!  I look like a healthy 40 year old mom of five.  A person with cancer often goes through treatments that makes the person appear sick and weak.  Most diabetics, even if they are experiencing a low or high that could put them in the hospital, never appear sick.

Last fall, I was running errands.  At one of my stops, I was being serviced by a man that at first just appeared tired.  His mind wasn't working quite right as he helped me with some paperwork.  He was having difficulty doing some basic math.  I'll admit that even to me the man just appeared tired and distracted.  He told me that his sugar was high which was causing him some issues.  I think he said that he was in the mid to high 300s.  Luckily he had a very understanding supervisor who helped him as needed.

This man didn't appear sick.  He appeared tired and distracted when actually his blood sugar was high.  When I'm low, I look like someone who overdid it some and just needs to rest.  When I'm high, I'm edgy and cranky.  Do either one of use look sick?  Nope!  But we are.  No, we're not a slave to our illness, but that's by choice.  We chose to be the one in charge.  However, even then, sometimes diabetes tries to win.  Our sugar levels may go high or low at the drop of a hat.  We don't look sick, rarely feel truly sick, but we still have a chronic illness that is begging for a cure.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vacation is over

I had a blast during NaBloPoMo and enjoyed my little vacation from blogging, but now the vacation is over.  It's time to get back to blogging.  I don't have a topic today, but I wanted to get back into the routine of blogging.

The house is quiet.  All of the children are upstairs.  Hubby is watching tv.  The cat went into the dog's crate and looks like she wants to climb the walls of it.  The two dogs are sleeping somewhere in the house.  I'm sitting her, tired from my day.  It's a good tired.  I'm really enjoying substitute teaching, though I'm still getting used to a new routine for our family.  Evening obligations are a little harder to coordinate though we're also adjusting in that area.

We're getting ready for the holidays.  The tree is up and decorated.  Some of the shopping has been done, though none of the wrapping has been done.  I need to figure out what shopping still needs to be done.  Overall life has been good.  Our family is healthy for the most part.  Nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year. Praying that we stay healthy - and still praying for a cure!  Never give up!