Life in general

There comes to be a time in a persons life when you realize how important the little things in life are. Or more importantly the little living creatures that you let into your life and call your own. I lost my beloved pet hedgehog. Her name was Laurel, she was four and a half years old and had cancer in her jaw, but she was more than just a pet. She was my mascot. Shortly after I had gotten her my mom found out she had diabetes. She was seriously with me through everything so you can see how saddening this could make me. But I think it makes me feel closer to her because she was here for me. And now, I am here for everyone out there who thinks they are alone. There is a such thing as hope even in everyone's darkest hour.

Girl Scout Silver Award Speech

When the counsel had their lunch get together for girl scouts getting their silver and gold award, I had the honor of giving a speech.

I won't let it destroy me, neither should you

Missie, New Jersey

What's your inspiration?

On August 31 2008 I became diagnosed with diabetes (type 1). So what inspires me would be my experience with it.

What is one experience that taught you a lesson about diabetes that could help others?

To be honest everyday is a new experience that teaches me a lesson about my diabetes. However my one experience is when i get sick with the flu or even something simple, but to us diabetics we know nothing is ever simple. Although when i get sick the best way i can keep my sugar stable is by calling my endocrinologist, they work with me on changing some things around until i get better. They'll tell you the best way to maintain your sugar and what would be best to eat when sick and it really does help.

For example when i get sick my sugars always seem to sky rocket and i can never bring them down, which makes me feel a lot worse then i already do from being sick, however when my mom calls my doctor and they help me manage and or change things to make me feel a little more comfortable until i get better I've realized that my sugars are a lot better maintained and i also notice i get better quicker than expected. So when ever you feel sick even if its not something serious i would still call your doctor or whomever is in control of your diabetes because the littlest change can make the biggest difference.

How could our families, neighborhoods, or communities better prevent or live well with diabetes

Well for type 2 diabetics i guess the only advice i can give is to maintain a perfect diet and if necessary lose weight and maintain check ups with your doctor.

Therefore with type 1 diabetics i really don't believe there is anyway of preventing it but that doesn't mean its impossible to live with. Check ups like every three months with your endocrinologist is usually necessary and so is your A1C blood work, but do more than just that like exercise, be active, eat healthier. I'm telling you thats the best key for diabetes.

Most importantly for those with diabetes the world may seem impossible to live, but with a fight and believing even diabetes cant destroy us. Things may always be difficult but will never be impossible. Diabetes is a world wide thing, but its up to you on how you choose to live with it for those who do have it, but to me living with diabetes i believe that i can fight and live with it just fine, because i won't let it destroy me and neither should you.

Janette's Story

Janette's Story is inspiring because she doesn't stop trying to help others even though she has diabetes herself. In her interview she makes a point about how a persons attitude can affect how they take care of themselves and it is so true! If you have the attitude that diabetes is going to prevent you from living your life to the fullest if you try and take care of it, you may decide to not take care of it at all which is not good. Then again, if you have the attitude that you are going to use it to your benefit and become a healthier person you will have an easier time taking control of your diabetes.

Remember, the glass isn't half empty, its half full. Always look on the more positive side of things and you'll go far.


Diabetes Clubhouse

The past two days I was a counselor at Diabetes Clubhouse for children ages 4-7. Clubhouse is a day camp for children who have diabetes and it is 2 days for 6 hours each day. Not all the children there had diabetes but the ones who didn't went with a sibling or their parent was a volunteer. This was my second year being a counselor. I had 4, 6 year old girls. Only 3 of them had diabetes. 2 of them checked their own glucose and I checked it for the one that didn't. When it came to insulin time, one of the girls was on an all day one so she didn't need it. And one of the girls gave her own shot, she only needed help with measuring how much she needed, which the nurses did.

The Theme this year was around the world, yesterday we "flew" to Africa where we made tribal masks and animal finger puppets. After that we "flew" to the South Sea Islands where we learned to hula dance and got lea's. Then we "flew" home just in time for the kids to be picked up. Today we "flew" to China where we made wind socks and sushi. After that, we cleaned up, said Xie xie (thank you in Chinese) and "flew" back to the USA to participate in the Olympics. Thanks to My Gym we had a sea saw, vault horse and a balance beam. The kids had a great time. They all got gold medals and then made flags for their own country. They had a flag parade and after that they made all us "grown ups" get on stage so they could give us gold medals. That's when the day came to end. I said bye to my girl with tears in my eyes, they were honestly the sweetest things alive.

Today all of the counselors including myself were dragging. What woke us all up and gave us enthusiasm was the energy of all of those adorable kids. I love helping, and even more so with kids. They were all very good at telling us when they needed something and if they were feeling high or low. I encourage anyone with diabetic kids in Utah ages 4-7 to sign them up next year. They have fun and learn a lot from it.

Don't let diabetes make you give up. You still have a strong body and will to fight with, just never give up hope.

~Gen Ellis

Tour De Cure and Summer School

On June 12th I participated in the American Diabetes Association's Tour De Cure up in Brigham City. I rode 25 miles on a sprained ankle in the wind. I made it all the way through but I will admit I struggled the last 3-4 miles, we were head on in the wind and it wasn't going down any. I had an amazing time and seeing all the people there made me smile, because every single person was there for the same cause I am supporting. Tour De Cure is a wonderful wonderful event, I am going to ride again next year. On top of riding I also volunteered. I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, got there by 5:30 and worked at volunteer check in and rider T-shirts until 10:30 when the ride started. Unfortunately around 7 I felt really sick, and was on the verge of deciding not to ride. But I came prepared to ride, so ride I did!

For the past 4 Weeks I participated in my high schools summer school class for computer technology. In that class we were required to make two power points. One about myself, and the other about a school subject. I chose to make my presentation on I will let you guess

Do you have it yet? I'll give you a little more time.

It was on Diabetes. I called it "The Truth about Diabetes" because I have found in ALL of my classes that bring up the topic of diabetes, the teacher as much as I may like them, gets it wrong. I am hoping to use my power point in my up coming gold award, which first I need to get my prerequisites done, then send in the plans, but hopefully it will be that I go into elementary and middle school classes and teach them all about what diabetes is, and give them the truth to common misconceptions.

"Diabetes might mess with your body, and your head,
but don't let it take your spirit."
- Anonymous


Tracy's Story

Tracy's story is one very inspiring and close to my heart. Denial when you have yourself convinced is hard to get over. Tracy is right, you have a choice to ignore it or to keep yourself healthy. Everyone is part of the "Diabetes Family" even if they don't have it themselves. Choosing to realize your part in that family though, is a different story. Since I have found my part in the "Diabetes Family" I realize how much I have learned and grown since then. Like Tracy said, you are never ever alone.

~Gen Ellis

Patricia's Story

What's your name?

What do you do when your diabetes feels out of control?

When my bloodsugars rise I use a sliding scale on the proper doseage of inslin. When they drop low which can change in a heart beat I use glucose tablets. I always have them near my bed, in the kitchen, in mt purse, and in the car and in the spring and summer a bottle out doors on the patio table.

What's your inspiration?
Because I was 34 years old and carrying my last baby, I was in the doctors office and I looked at my chart and the urine test, tested at 2 plus. When the doctors came back into the room I said to him that I felt we should look into that and he agreed. After the baby was born he ran a glucose tolerance test, which it was positive for diabetes and he asumed I was a type two diabetic. Thirty 33 years later I found a doctor that listened to me about the way I felt as a teenager and she ran another test. Bingo, I have always been a type one diabetic.

I have had no complications because I believed in the Pyramid, meaning eating a balanced diet and taking quality vitaims and minerals. I'm reaching out to people, friends, family and the communities, to take the candy, pop, pizza programs out of the schools and teach everyone to eat healthy. I feel that there should be taxes in place on the unhealthy choses, such as ice cream, pop, candy, and pastries, to help the misfortunate without health insurance until we can change our habits. I believe children come first.

Mary's Diabetes Story

When Mary was ten years old, her life was changed forever. One day while playing with her friends, she felt sick, and started going into a diabetic coma, and almost did not survive. She was rushed to the emergency department, and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Mary’s family did not have a lot of money, but they knew that controlling Mary’s blood sugar as much as possible was the best way to ensure Mary’s health did not deteriorate quickly. Much of their hard earned money went into Mary’s glucometer, test strips, and insulin. Mary, at age ten, learned to poke her finger daily, and administer her own insulin shots. She was very brave, but it was hard for her to adjust to this new lifestyle of counting carbohydrates and poking herself often.

I first met Mary in the sixth grade. She was a year younger than me, but I felt that she was older and more mature than me, and we got along great. We were inseparable. I first learned about diabetes through Mary. She was very knowledgeable about her disease, and always very good about checking her blood glucose often. She would often let me check my sugar as well, even though I often did not want to, I did it anyways out of curiosity. She showed me what to do in case her sugar got low, and also what to do if it got too high. When we hung out, I was in charge in case any emergencies occurred.

I never realized how Mary’s diabetes affected her until we got older. Whenever I wanted to go on a junk food splurge, Mary could not. I tried out for multiple sports, but Mary could not for the taxing physical exercise often gave her dizzy spells, and her blood sugar would drop too low and cause her to have to take multiple breaks. Mary had very crooked teeth, and she wished for the entire world that she could get braces. But her orthodontist told her that her jaw needed to be operated on first, but he was not willing to do the surgery because with her diabetes it would be too dangerous. During lunch Mary sometimes felt awkward checking her sugar with everyone around, so she would often go to a bathroom stall to check it. She did not like people staring at her, or thinking she was different. I believe those first growing up years were very difficult for Mary, when you just want to be a normal kid. But Mary’s parents were very involved, and she kept a log of her blood sugars, which her parents kept track of as well.

Eventually Mary had to move, about the time I moved away to college. The economy in Michigan had been suffering, and both her parents were laid off. They could not afford to live in their little house anymore, and Mary’s medical expenses were a hard toll on them. I talk to Mary every once in a while, and we still remain very good friends. I look back now and admire her for going through those awkward childhood years while trying to live with diabetes.

I chose nursing as a career, and Mary is a big reason for that decision. I wanted to help people, and her condition fascinated me. I remember she often let me use her for my school projects in my science classes; I often discussed diabetes for presentations and school projects. During my hospital shifts I run into diabetics that do not comply with treatments, and refuse to manage their diabetes, with great consequences to their health. I think of Mary and her diligence in managing her health, and I admire her all the more. I think to myself that if a ten year old kid can manage her diabetes, there is no reason a mature adult can’t.

I guess I could say that I grew up with diabetes. It is a condition that affects multiple people. Although I did not have diabetes, I learned to live with it when Mary and I were so close. We both had to go through learning how to manage it, counting our carbohydrates, and staying away from sweets. We both tested our blood sugar and counted the insulin doses. I love Mary and hope the best for her in her future, and am so proud of her for taking control of her diabetes and for not letting it control her life.

Tour De Cure

This year on June 12th I will be riding in the Tour De Cure. This event is a fundraising event like most of the American Diabetes Association's events. My goal is $500 dollars and I'm already half way there! There is a family fun 1,3,5 and 10 miles each but that is a single one mile loop. There is also the other half of Tour De Cure which is riding around the city. For that there is a 25,60 and 100 mile rides. I will be riding the 25 mile one this year. I hope that next year I can ride the 60 and eventually get to 100 miles. The link to the main page is right here

Thanks for reading my blog and for supporting this cause!

Diabetes Alert Day

Today as we all know is March 23rd 2010. But what some may not know is that this number is also shared with national diabetes alert day. On this day I wanted to share some facts so that hopefully you will spread the word!

  • Every 21 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes
  • Of every 10 children, 6 will develop diabetes before the age of 18
  • 7.8% of the population has diabetes just in the United States
  • Diabetes has killed more people than breast cancer and AIDS combined
I hope that those four facts have inspired you to do something about diabetes.

Thankful that I am diabetic - Brian

What's your name?

What lesson you want people to learn about diabetes?
I am an adult now and have been type 1 diabetic from age 11. I have learned to live with this disease for many years (over 35yrs). This disease is an awesome opportunity. For those with diabetes, we learn self-control in ways our non-diabetic friends can't understand. At first I thought it was not fair that everybody got anything they wanted to "eat or do" with no issues, but I could only do limited things. And would always have to take shots to survive, but family and friends didn't have to do that. I tried to sneak things I shouldn't have. I rebelled and did just opposite what I knew was right with the presumption I was probably going to die anyway. I finally questioned, "am I handicapped or invalid"? I would be if I continue- OR - I could be normal and embrace it.

Now I have learned to control the swings, and learned that I can schedule any food I want or eat (candy or cake) as long as I know how many carbs I am going to eat and account for it. We have to also look at total units used each day and average to be same always. Maybe I give up a meal for a salad or green beans if I had cake. I have also learned that when I get low blood sugar, I don't need to eat candy bars that get me way out of balance. A better solution is to take one glucose tablet for every 10 MG DL that I need. So if I am at 40mgdl, then I would take six glucose tablets wait half an hour and then test and rebalance. I can keep my levels always around 100 without any side effects. So far, after 35 years still nothing yet to hold me down. If I want a candy bar, read the total carbs on the wrapper and take the amount of insulin needed, and enjoy a candy bar - but eat less casserole.

Living with diabetes helps my self-esteem, because I know that with proper self-control and use of insulin, I can live a perfectly normal life. And nobody else knows as well how to do that - that is not diabetic. I can also maintain my weight better because I know how many units are used during the day, and if it was a little high, I can eat a little bit less the next day so I can maintain a healthy weight. Those without self-control and a reason to count carbs get fat. Went to a motivational speech by a quadriplegic that told me he was glad not to be diabetic, that he didn't have to give shots every day. He was glad to not use arm or legs. Well I look and act normal to others with minimal drain on their time.

I am thankful that I am diabetic. I would not want it any other way, given the choice now.

Martin's Story-Take care of yourself for your family