My adventure to Arkansas, as one of the first Real Life Diabetes “taking the show on the road”, was a smashing success. This couple had me tearing up within the first hour and laughing out loud at the same time. They were welcoming, kind, a ton of fun and not scared to share very personal stories of living, as a couple, with Type 1 diabetes.
Last week my favorite bartender overheard my conversation with a dear friend. We were laughing about how our bodies are changing since turning the big 4-0. The bar was packed with attractive men so when she announced, “Amber – there’s no way you’re 40!”, I almost fell from my bar stool. Instead of freaking out, I announced with pride that I turned 40 a few months back. The girl talk continued and I proclaimed how happy I am to still be alive. This declaration fueled my desire to begin a new series of posts – diabetes over the decades, yes decade(s). Continue reading →
Going back to school can be a bummer for everyone, but adding a “disability” to the mix throws in an additional layer of stress and anxiety. Today, I recap different stages in my life where diabetes reared it’s head and how I dealt with the highs and lows during this treacherous time of insecurity and adolescence. I’m breaking it down and sharing a few coping mechanisms I only realized as an adult.
Elementary School – My homies and fellow Girl Scouts knew what was going on. That didn’t make it any easier per say, but at least the cat was out of the bag.
I allowed adults to help out. I busted my first bottle of insulin during this particular Girl Scout camp. I was mortified, but everyone rallied and we scored another bottle so I could be a part of the camping on a concrete platform experience.
I kept snacks in my desk and have shared how to handle bullying in Cheez-It Trauma.
I took my lunch… I was even “particular” at an early age. This allowed me to have healthier options while not feeling weird about not consuming the hamburger, fries, fruit cup and milk option. (What were they thinking???)
I’ll admit that I could be more without diabetes. Not acknowledging that, to be blunt, is ignorant. Don’t mistake me, I subscribe to the power of positive thinking, knowing that it improves the quality of each moment. However, I will not use that methodology to convince myself that my life is better with the disease.
Diabetes is a grind, never ceasing. Yet, it’s forged who we are. Most of us will give it responsibility for great things in our lives. Still though, deep down, on occasion or daily, we ask the question, “Could we be more without it?” Being content knowing that we could, that’s the Zen in diabetes. Continue reading →
I came across a recent article, The Truth About the Ice Bucket Challenge by VOX.com, that sparked a bit of anger. As someone in the non-profit world, charitable gifts are a HUGE component to the success of your organization or cause, and in my industry we have to be transparent as to what the donation will be used for (capital improvements, programming, general operation expenses, etc). The recent ALS challenge and the statistics from this article brought that gut wrenching question to the surface – where is this money going? Will it focus on finding a cure or just advancing methods/medications to treat the disease. Both are very important, but my blood begins to boil knowing that a few companies actually benefit from the focus being on medications instead of a cure. Continue reading →
Since my diagnosis date, I only recall a handful of occasions when I’ve actually addressed my thoughts about having diabetes. I’ve allowed my anger to surface when an uncomfortable situation personally or professionally reared it’s head. I knew it was 100% this damn disease – BUT I never shared my inner thoughts and consumed myself with anxiety and hate. I’ve always been amazed that my physicians could break down the chemistry of my very being (carb ratios, correction factor, etc), but my mental state was never even brought up. No one ever told me it was okay to be angry!
As an adult, I choose to address the dark rooted fears and feelings of utter universal defeat. I had allowed the negative thoughts and energy to fester, effecting every part of my life. One day when I have the courage, I’ll write about the moments that broke me and allowed me cry in the dark – wondering… WHY ME? The Diabetes Daily Grind has fueled my desire to address my feelings. I hope our stories will help you reach a new level of self acceptance.
When the negative thoughts try to creep in, I do my best to face them by practicing the following: Continue reading →