Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lessons from a girl and a bird

Yesterday we found a baby bird on the ground in our back yard.  We figured it had fallen out of a nest in our apple tree.  However the apple tree is old and has had many nests in it over the years.  We couldn't tell where it had come from.  Were those damaged nests from previous years or victims of the recent storms? We could hear the parents scolding us for being near their baby, but still couldn't find the nest. 

I decided to gently move it into my garlic/onion patch that is right near the tree, but fenced to protect it from our dogs and neighbor cats.  The mama came by and seemed to have found her baby.  We hoped that would be enough to keep the baby alive.

Unfortunately our best wasn't enough. At one point I checked on the bird and it was breathing heavily.  The next time I checked, about a half hour later, it was still.  Then we saw it.  The reason this baby bird had been on the ground.  A stronger sibling appeared to have kicked it out of the nest.

In a way, this was healing. Seeing the differences in the strength between the two birds helped us realize that nature has a way to protect the species.  Explaining to my six year old that the stronger bird pushed out the weaker bird so it could get even stronger was helpful to both of us. 

After dinner we buried the deceased bird on the side of the house in front of the fence to avoid our dogs finding it.  We then sprinkled flower seeds on top of the area as a tribute to the feathered one.   My youngest drew a picture of the stronger bird up in the tree and the weaker one on the ground.  I think it was therapeutic to her and helped her understand how nature works in some species.

So what lessons can be learned from this little bird and my little girl?  As much as my child cared and wanted that little bird to live, she also understood that things don't always go the way we'd like.  She let herself have a little time to be sad, but then she moved on.

When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I didn't allow myself to be sad.  I just moved on.  Now and then I find myself sad (or angry) about my diagnosis, but instead of allowing myself to be sad I often scold myself for being upset. I have it so much better than so many.  There are several people I know that are worse off than I.  Why am I down about a little thing called diabetes? 

Thankfully I have a child to inspire me.  Let the sadness come, but then realize that diabetes is what it is.  I can watch some You Can Do This videos, including my own.  That video was made not just for the project, but also to look back on myself - to give myself a pep talk, too.

I am looking forward to watching the flowers grow in that little bird's burial spot, remembering my child who found joy in moving on with life.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Name the meter?

There are a few within the DOC (diabetes online community) who have started naming their devices - meter, insulin pump, lancing device, etc.  As of yet, I have not.

Tonight I got to thinking.  Should I name my meter? My lancing device? If so, should I give them all the same name or each one a different name?  Yes, I have multiple meters.

My main meter is in my purse, my primary meter.  I have another one in my dresser and a third in my locker at the Y.  I think I might have a fourth still in the box.  They are all made by the same company. Same model even.

I think eachmeter  should have its own name, if any name at all, considering they have different personalities due to their usage. The one in my purse is more social, out and about.  The homebody is in my dresser.  The one in my locker is kind of shy, but there when needed.  The one in my box is kind if overlooked.

Hey, if I get one more then I can name them after my children! *snicker*

Seriously... Ok, as seriously as a post about naming medical equipment can be, do you name you meter?  Should I name mine?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just sayin'!

Do you ever have a phrase that really annoys you when others use it but then you find yourself using it, too?  Well that phrase for me is, "Just sayin'!"  Prime example of undesirable usage: Child misbehaves, gets caught, tries to justify actions, parent doesn't buy it, child replies, "Just sayin'!"  Yeah, Mom is "just sayin'" you're wrong!

The phrase is like nails on a chalkboard for me.  However, I find myself using that same phrase in conversation with hubby.  Yes, it annoys him just as much when the kids use it, so he doesn't care for it when I use it either.  Totally understandable. It bugs me when I catch myself using it.  Thankfully he doesn't use the phrase.

Diabetes throws me so many "Just sayin'!" moments.  If I eat too many carbs and start feeling off, testing my glucose will give my meter a chance to say "Just sayin', you shouldn't have eaten that."  If I don't exercise like I should, I get another "Just sayin'!"  Don't eat enough, my low glucose levels remind me with a "Just sayin', you know you can't skip breakfast."

Life throws us many "Just sayin'!" moments.  It's how we react that's important.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You Can Do This project - My contribution

I finally put together my video for the You Can Do This project.  I was debating about doing this as a video or blog post since I usually don't put my face on the internet.  However I felt called to make a video.

 (I misspoke at one point.  At around 0:55 I accidentally said the chances of me not being diabetic was very high.  I meant to say very low, but felt I should leave the video alone.  Yes, I started crying a little before 2:30. I didn't leave that in to make anyone feel bad for me, but to show the human emotion of this disease.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

I can do this!

Two days ago, I wrote about the "You Can Do This" project.  While I find myself great and giving others pep talks, I often lack in the area of raising myself up when I'm feeling a little low (well more like "down", since my sugar wasn't "low").  I felt like writing a blog post, but I didn't have a topic.  I didn't want to ramble on about the end of the school year.  I did that yesterday

What to write about?  I asked a DOC (diabetes online community) friend for a suggestion.  I googled "diabetes blog ideas."  I got some good ideas from both, but nothing really inspired me.  I don't know at what moment it hit me, but I thought "I can do this!"  Instead of working on my "You Can Do This!" project, I decided that what I needed today was an "I Can Do This!"  So I am actually going to write this post to myself.

Dear Self,

I understand that there are days you just want to crawl in a hole.  Everyone has days like that.  You know you're happiest when you're spending time with your family, not hiding in a corner somewhere.  When you're feeling down, go find one of those Type Awesomes and snuggle, read, watch TV, take a walk, play in the yard... anything!  Yes, diabetes sucks.  Unfortunately you will be stuck with this disease for the rest of your life, unless they find a cure.  Instead of sulking, fight back!  Pray every day for that cure!  Raise money to help find that cure!  Advocate!  Educate!  Share your passion!

Ok, now that you've gotten the message, what are you going to do with it?  Are you going to continue to sit there and feel sorry for yourself?  No!  You're going to get out of that chair and do something.  Keep telling yourself, "I can do this!"  You can live a life with diabetes!  You can live a life in spite of diabetes!  You are worth it!

Hey, where are you going?  Oh, right... you go, girl!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Last day? First day?

Today is the last day of school for my younger four children.  My oldest has been out for two weeks.  (Seniors get done a week before the scheduled last day of school, but due to snow days that became two weeks.)  The last day...  Endings sound so final, like there's nothing more.  It sounds sad.  The end of this phase of their lives.  Enough to make an emotional mom cry. 

However tomorrow is the first day.  The first day of summer vacation.  The first day for us to set the schedule.  Unfortunately we can't sleep in since we still have to pick up report cards, but we get to enjoy a slower pace.  Of course there's also our traditional breakfast after getting report cards.  After that, the time and schedule of the next two and a half months are basically ours. 

I have a few things in mind that I'd like to accomplish over the summer.  As always, I have projects in mind that I'm hoping to accomplish that may or may not happen.  I'm also planning to make many trips to the public library and keep up on their academics. 

For myself, I'm hoping planning I WILL take advantage of more free time (no substitute teaching in the summer) and exercise.  My weight has kept steady, but I'd like to lose just a few pounds.  I also need to get my glucose levels under control.  My fasting has been in the 120s and 130s, which is higher than I'd like.  My goal has always been non-diabetic numbers, so I want that fasting under 100. 

What are your plans for the summer?  Any goals you'd like to share?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You Can Do This!

There are so many times I feel alone when dealing with my diabetes.  My husband and children are wonderfully supportive, but they're not actually going through the feelings and emotions that a PWD (person with diabetes) goes through.  They try to understand and they're awesome, but I still often feel alone.  I know a few Type 2s locally, but most of them fit the stereotype (older, overweight, etc).  I've really come to rely on the DOC (diabetes online community).  There I have found other Type 2s who are in a similar situation (younger, healthy weight, etc). 

Today I came across a new campaign of sorts.  Kim from Texting My Pancreas got together with others in the DOC to start the "You Can Do This" project.  Click on that link to learn more.  Click on this link to see an awesome video.  This brought tears to my eyes, not just because of the words that were shared, but because of the awesome collaboration between those with Type 1, Type 2, and LADA.

For obvious reasons, most blogs focus on one type of diabetes.  I have Type 2 so understandably my blog will focus on Type 2.  Kerri of Six Until Me has Type 1, so her blog will focus on Type 1.  (I used Kerri as an example because she was my inspiration to write this blog.)  Sometimes within the DOC, it's an us vs. them debate.  "This type is worse."  "Type 2s are just lazy over-eaters."  "Type 1s can eat whatever they want; they just have to take a shot."  It gets ugly sometimes.  However, this group set aside any rivalry and said, "Hey, we're all in this together.  Let's support each other."  (Ok, I don't know if those are the exact words, but that's the idea.)

So PWDs and their Type Awesomes, join the project.  You can submit a video or a blog post and share what it's like to have diabetes or to support someone with diabetes.  The good.  The bad.  The ugly.  But also remember that we're all there for each other.  We're a family.  You can do this!