Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Letting Go of the Fear

"I was almost ashamed of my diabetes. I didn't want to tell the producers I was diabetic because I didn't want that special attention. I didn't want to be branded as different. I let my priorities get mixed up, and I was sick because of it." -Crystal Bowersox
Some people are afraid of spiders, snakes, or heights. But, what's my biggest fear? Diabetic judgement.  
After reading the interview with Crystal Bowersox in Diabetes Forecast, I realized that I currently feel the way she felt. For any of you that don't know, Bowersox was the American Idol contestant with Type 1 Diabetes. She didn't want to share the fact that she was a diabetic, and because of that, her health was severly jeopordized.
I'm a very private person--regarding all aspects of my life.  For some reason, I am extremely quiet about my diabetes. I don't know what the fear is--but I think Crystal explains it well in the above quote. I don't want to be discriminated or allow people to think that I can't do something. It's like I want to prove something to the world--but I know, deep down, I shouldn't feel that way. My career is important to me, and I'm petrified of being judged in the wrong way. If someone sees me testing or taking insulin...sometimes I would rather not share that part of myself in the workplace.  
I don't want to get handed a sympathy card & have people feel sorry for me. [Aw, it's ok, she hasdiabetes.]
I don't want people to start asking, 'You're allowed to eat that?' [YES, I can.]
I don't want people saying, 'I could never do that.' [I would have thought that many years ago, too. It's life, and you do what you need to do to survive.]
I just want to say to the world: "Hi, My name is Joanna, and I am a Type 1 Diabetic. Go under my skin, and reach in...this is what you'll find...
How does everyone else get past this in the workplace?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Power of Body Combat

My strength is too much to handle. I exert an enourmous amount of power--that even I can't handle it.
The mornings are always difficult for me. Showering, eating breakfast, packing my lunch--so much to do! This morning, my pump went off and on the display screen it said, "insulin low". Grr, now I have to change my tubing and reservoir amongst all of my other morning rituals.
After filling up the resevoir with insulin, I needed to get the plunger out. But, it just wouldn't unscrew! Yank! Insulin...all....over. One hundred units of insulin all over my hands and dining room table. Lovely. 
It took me three tries to change the tubing and reservoir successfully. Phew. Thanks, body combat...I won the fight with my reservoir!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Voila--It's Magic! Or is it?

As I was reminiscing through old pictures on my computer, I came across the one you see above.  Just a few days before being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and I am wearing glasses.  Why that might not seem like a big deal to you--just know that I previously had 20/20 vision.  All of these 'strange' things started to of them being that my vision was completely blurry! I was a senior in college, and my commute was about forty-five minutes to school.  I woke up one morning, and could not see!  I, being the dork I am, had to make it to school--no ifs, and, or buts about it!!  I hate excuses, and I wasn't about to start using them.  I borrowed my husband's glasses to give me a clearer view of the world.  
Later that day, I went to the eye doctor--the one in themall.  I told them how I woke up and couldn't see! Without even thinking of asking me, "Have you been checked for diabetes?", they simply gave me a prescription for glasses.  And, hour later, I could 'magically' see again.  
Oh, and then a week later, I was diagnosed with Type 1. The sugar coating over my eyes decreased, and my vision came back {Voila again!}.  
I went back to this particular vision store after being released from the hospital.  In my hand was the glasses, receipt, and hospital discharge papers.  
"I'd like to return these," I proclaimed to the woman.  I continued without giving her the embarassment of asking why.  "Turns out I can see afterall.  I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, as you can see here" [pointing to papers].  
I think I have the best reason for a return...hands down.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

JDRF Walk 2011

What a huge success this year--Team Joanna Banana came in with a total of $1,746.25. I think that is by far the best total we have had yet! It couldn't have been a more perfect day. Sunshining...simply beautiful! 
Participating in this walk made me realize so much. For one, how giving people can be. So many people were able to donate. I stressed to everyone that it wasn't theamount that was given; no matter what amount, it helps JDRF and shows your support. So, thank you again toeveryone that donated. It is appreciated so very much!
It also made me realize how thoughtless people can be. If someone I knew had a serious chronic disease, I would donate. Granted, it may not be a lot of money compared to what others might give, but I know I could afford at least $1! I think that it is the support of others that gets us through the day. All I asked for is $1. Everyone can afford that--look in your car or couch---I'm sure there's spare change floating around! The people that couldn't donate even a dollar--well, I just don't understand. I'm sorry. Especially when I go out of my way and donate and do things for others.  Some people are such a disappointment.  
It was wonderful to have a huge group of advocates at the walk. From friends and family of PWD [people with diabetes], it was truly amazing to witness the support that was given! I was able to get Starbucks to donate coffee for the event, too! 
Then, we had our annual team celebration after the walk--where we ate hamburgers, hotdogs, & salad! Much healthier choice than last year (which was pizza). Check out the rest of my pictures in my diabetes album! Hurrah to my awesome team & for raising way beyond our fundraising goal. I know our 2012 walk will be even better!