Putting On My Oxygen Mask

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Management & Care | 1 comment

Why is it that as a parent I make sure my kids do things like go to the dentist religiously twice a year, but I don’t always do the best job at taking care of myself? I come up with excuses why I can’t exercise, forget to test my glucose levels, put off going to the dentist… The list goes on and on.

Ok, I’m not quite being the “model diabetic” here, am I? I want to set a good example for my children, but sometimes life gets in the way. It’s sometimes hard for me to take time and money away from the family to do something for myself. At one point my hair was half way down my back because I had a hard time justifying the cost of getting a haircut. Taking care of myself sometimes feels like an easy to ignore “luxury”.

Quite often in our busy lives, we grab a burger on the go instead of taking the time for a healthy meal. We sit at the computer instead of going for a walk. Finding little ways to stay healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of time, money, or effort.OxygenMask

I need to remind myself I’m not being selfish by taking care of me. Remember the talk before take-off on an airplane? Parents, please put on your oxygen mask before putting one on your child. I need to remember that I can’t take care of my family if I don’t take care of myself first.

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Blue Fridays 2013

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in General |

This post was originally published on my blog, RFamHere’s Ramblings.

Every Friday during 2013, as well as World Diabetes Day, I wore at least some blue in recognition of Blue Fridays and posted a picture. Below is a slideshow video I made from those pictures.

The song, “Hold Me, Jesus” by Rich Mullins, means a lot to me. When I’m feeling discouraged, this song helps to encourage me. I found it fitting to use that song in the video.

This is my first attempt at making a slideshow video. Considering, I think it turned out alright. Enjoy!

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It’s good to be humbled!

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in General |

Saturday I participated in the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. This is a picture of me with my Red Strider hat and shirt. The sign I am kneeling next to read, “Red Striders rock! You are why we walk!”
StepOut2013

While we walked, it hit me. It really hit me…

I am a Red Strider.

These people are walking for ME!

I looked behind me and saw all of the people not wearing Red Strider attire. Those people we not just walking behind me. They were behind me in more ways. Ways that humbled me.
StepOut2013a

These people raised thousands of dollars to help find a cure for ME.

These people took time out of their Saturday morning for ME.

After I took this picture, I started crying. My youngest two were walking with me. I told them that seeing all of those people walking was a humbling experience.

What does humbling mean, Mom?

It means…. it means…. *pause due to tears I’m trying to hide*

Mom, what does it mean?

“It’s when you realize that other people are more awesome than you are,” is all I could get out.

These people that were behind me are awesome. They didn’t have to be there. They didn’t have to raise money. They did this because they are amazing.

Why do I walk? I walk not just for me, my children’s future, and those with diabetes. I also walk as a thank you to those who reminded me to be humble that day. Those who helped remind me that there are people in this world who are awesomely amazing. People who go above and beyond – just because they want to.

Thank you to those people!

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Sue’s Diagnosis Story

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Diagnosis Stories | 1 comment

This is an edited version of a post from my blog written in 2009.

I had gestational diabetes with all five of my children, born in 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, and 2004. As a result, I’ve been researching diabetes as it relates to me for over 20 years. During my second pregnancy, I found out the test for gestational diabetes was actually a screening test to see who would become Type 2 later on in life. It wasn’t until after that they realized that women with elevated glucose levels during pregnancy had certain complications. Large babies with underdeveloped organs is the one that stands out the most in my mind. Knowing that my odds of becoming diabetic because of having gestational diabetes *five* times were high, plus having a family history (my mom is diabetic as was her father), I knew that it was almost certain that I would become diabetic. I accepted that, but tried to hold off the inevitable as long as possible.

Although I was never really into exercise, I was never overly overweight. Yes, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I didn’t look like the diabetes poster adult. In late March 2008, I went to the doctor with knee pain. He wanted to run some blood work, including an arthritis panel. Since my appointment was early and I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, I asked him to all do a fasting blood test and

A1c. Three days later, my doctor’s nurse called me to tell me that I had Type 2 diabetes. My fasting glucose was 129 and my A1c was 6.9, not dangerously high but high enough for the diagnosis. Typically a diagnosis is made after two fasting tests of 125 or higher, but given my personal and family history my doctor and I didn’t feel the need for a second test.

Luckily (or not), because of my previous experience with diabetes, I felt like didn’t go through a lot of the normal emotions that most diabetics go through when they first get diagnosed. I knew it was coming. I was just hoping to wait a few decades. There are days that I just would like to say, “Ok, I’m tired of this diabetes thing. Where do I go to send it back?” Unfortunately, as we stand now, there’s no cure. Once you have diabetes, there’s no giving it back. It’s yours to keep forever and ever.

UsedToHaveDiabetes
That is totally not fair! Last year I got a new pair of shorts that were too big. I could take those back! We opened a package of hamburger one night that smelled bad. I got to take that back! Why can’t I take this diabetes back?

So what can I do? I can help raise money and become an advocate so that maybe they’ll find a cure in my lifetime and I can give back my diabetes. Maybe I’ll have the peace of mind knowing my children won’t have to test their blood sugar, watch carbs, or avoid eating a whole bag of M&Ms in one sitting when the mood strikes them. I don’t know if it will happen, but all I can do is try!

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Roller Coaster Ride

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in Diabetes & Emotions |

When you go to an amusement park, many people want to ride the roller coaster. The anticipation. The excitement. The fear. It’s thrilling! Most people who ride roller coasters enjoy what observers would call sheer terror, at least from their facial expressions. The unknown at the top of the hill. Not knowing if it is a turn or a drop. The ups and downs of a roller coaster and the speed are what make it exciting. ¬†At the end, many want to take that ride again.

It’s not the same with the diabetes roller coaster. The ups and downs are terrifying, but not in a thrill ride sort of way. The uncertainty of complications. The anticipation of how food and activity works to benefit or harm of glucose levels. This fear is not exciting. The unknown of when the ride will once again be on steady ground. Faces showing terror that doesn’t end with someone begging to take that ride again.

Many times guilt comes along for the ride. If only I hadn’t eaten that. If only I took a walk today. If only I could keep on top of things. Anger joins in. Yelling. Sometimes cursing. Bitterness toward a disease. Sadness also sits in the next car. Tears. Possible depression. Fear tags along. Hoping to keep complication away.

Yes, diabetes is a roller coaster ride. Not only dealing with glucose levels going up and down, but also the mixture of emotions that go along with it. It may not be a fun ride, but it can be a little less scary with the support of family and friends.

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