Total Pageviews

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rockin' the blue: WDD 2011

Today is World Diabetes Day (WDD)!
I went full-out blue today to encourage awareness. Blue jeans, blue shirt, blue smiley earrings (well, one was yellow, but still...the idea was there), partially blue socks, blue hoodie...completely blue. Oh, and the crowning blueness: a blue ring necklace that I found! I was ecstatic. I mean, can you get any more perfect?

Anyway, so today rocked. Oh yeah, blue nail polish too. I tried to do blue circles on white, but it didn't work. Ah well - there's still the rest of the month. Oh, and the year after, and the year after, and the year after...

Because this post looks too short, here's another poem. (I've been writing lots of poems lately...not sure why...)
This one is loosely based on my diagnosis, but it could be whatever.


Crying, crying
Not knowing what to do
Alone, alone
So small in a big world
Scared, so scared
Not knowing how to feel
Questioning, questioning
What to do, what to say, why me?
Sad, so sad
Fragile as glass
Angry, angry
Why me? Why me?
Depressed, depressed
Just want it to go and stay away
Convinced, convinced
I will live my life and I'll be just fine
Knowing, knowing
That nothing will ever get in my way.

Just a random blurb that was jotted down on a random piece of paper at the back of my binder. I thought it seemed appropriate to put here.

Thanks for reading and putting up with my random poetry (which I hope you enjoy)! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Imagine having to poke a hole in your finger ten times a day, every day.
Imagine being attached to a metal box 24/7. Don't like that one? Imagine instead having to stick yourself with needles at least four times a day, every day.
Imagine never being able to go anywhere without sugar and a bulky glucose tester.
Imagine having to tell people that you weren't normal, that there was something that set you apart.
Imagine that you had to be on your guard all the time.
Imagine having to refuse some things sometimes, like candy and active games.
Imagine that all this was a reality.
Imagine knowing that you would never be able to live without this reality.

Now, imagine that this was all okay.
Imagine that you aren't different, that you don't have to deal with this all the time.
Isn't that a nicer picture?
Now, imagine that you could help us make this into that nice picture.
No, don't imagine it.
Make it a reality.

You can help us find a cure.
November is diabetes awareness month.
Spread the word.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Diabetes Month!

With Halloween come and gone, it's a new month. November, in fact. Which also happens to be diabetes awareness month.
This is a very important month. It's when money is raised (via those "Change for Diabetes"cans) and we spread awareness about this disease.
I'm going to do my part for diabetes month by wearing blue on every November friday and then November 14th, which is a monday. (Diabetes day! Also Frederick Banting's birthday!) I'm also going to donate to the research fund and I'm going to tell people about diabetes. I'm going to take the mis- out of any misconceptions that I hear about this disease, and I'm going to explain to people what it's really all about.
I'm also going to try to post more on this blog this month. If not every day, then at least once or twice a week.
I'd also like to ask something of you, readers (who I thank, and continue to thank for reading this blog).
I'd like to ask that you support this month as well. You don't have to donate, or even wear blue. I'm just asking one thing of you.
Spread this awareness around.

Thank you, now and forever.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Story, take two.

In English class, we had to write about an incident that changed us somehow. Naturally, I chose my diagnosis because that is probably the thing that has changed me the most in my lifetime (so far). Does this story sound familiar? If you've been following this blog from the beginning, it should. Very soon after my diagnosis, I wrote a personal narrative story with the same subject. I re-read it recently and I was surprised how different my writing voice was two years ago. This new story is written over a shorter period of time - an hour or two rather than a few weeks - and it seems to me that it is more serious and more detailed. What can I say? I've changed since then.

 * * *

It’s okay to cry

It was 9:30 pm on a Tuesday night. October 13th, 2009. I was twelve, and my life was fairly good. No problems, lots of friends, doing well in school. But my life was about to change.
* * *
            I set down my glass of water, not sure what to do or say. My mum had just told me that we’d have to go to the hospital for a night or two. My mind started racing – What had I done? Was something really wrong with me? What had the blood test that I’d had that morning revealed? All of a sudden, I was really scared. I was shaking and life didn’t seem real. I didn’t want this to happen – I would much rather hide in a corner until it was over and done with. I didn’t start crying right then, although I was in a complete daze.
            My mum led me up to my room, all the while talking to me in a soothing voice that scared me more than anything else had so far. If I hadn’t been crying before, I certainly was now. My mum and dad helped me get together a change of clothes, a pair of pyjamas, a toothbrush, and a book. I chose to take a book that I’d already read – Fairest by Gail Carson Levine. It was a spur-of-the-moment-can’t-see-through-my-tears choice.
            I knew that I needed to take a stuffed animal for emotional support. I looked at the pile of teddies for a moment, unable to choose, or think, and then my mum handed me my special teddy. “Why don’t you take this one,” she said. The teddy was immediately subjected to squeezes and wet fur from my tears.
            We went downstairs, dressed for the cool weather, and got in the car – my mum and I in the family van and my dad close behind in his red truck. The date was Tuesday, October 13th, 2009. It was a day that I would always remember.
            My mum drove along the almost deserted highway towards the city. We were both crying now, both scared. I didn’t want to admit it, but somewhere inside me, I did know what was going on.
            “Whatever happens, whatever this is, we’ll get through it,” my mum said, giving my hand a squeeze and trying to reflect a smile back to me through her mirror.
            As we approached the hospital, I became more scared. My nerves were wild and I didn’t know what to think, what to say, what to do. What was going to happen? I pushed the thought from my mind – right now, I didn’t want to know.
            The concrete building appeared imposing and menacing as we pulled into the parking lot. The dark of the night seemed far away, pushed back by the brightness of the parking lot lights. We walked to the big front doors. I was asking questions, but not questions about what was happening. “Why do patients have to park in the visitor’s lot? How come there are so many cars in the staff lot? Why does this place look so dead?” It did, indeed, look dead. No lights on in windows, no people streaming through the halls. As we approached the admitting desk, there was a sign which directed expectant mothers to the maternity ward and other patients to the Emergency entrance. But my mum knew that we weren’t supposed to go to either of those places. An admitting nurse, looking ready to clock out, came out of the back room, obviously surprised to see us. “M----- E--,” my mum stated. “Her doctor sent us here and told us it was all arranged.” The nurse looked at her papers, and then with a look of recognition, directed us to go to the south elevators, to take them up to the fourth floor, and to find 4-D. We followed her directions, through the halls smelling of antiseptic, up to the fourth floor, but then we had to ask a couple of residents to direct us to 4-D. They did so (it was right around the corner, pointed to by a small sign with a friendly-looking Elmo on it). We approached the nurse’s desk and then we were whisked away to an examining room. Throughout the next hour I cried some more. Many nurses and residents came in – they all blurred together. All except one, who I remember clearly. She was a young nurse – it seemed she was quite recently out of training – by the name of Kristy. She was nice to me – she treated me as a person rather than a patient. She took me on a tour of the paediatric ward where I would stay for the next three nights – the place where my old life would end and my new one would begin.
            Finally, after an hour of talking about family medical history, crying, and trying to perceive what I’d been told, the doctor came in. She told me, very bluntly, that I had a condition known as Type 1 diabetes. After she left, the nurses stabbed me with a few needles and gave me a glass of milk. At last, I was allowed to sleep. I stumbled into the strange bed, falling into a dreamless sleep quickly, regardless of the strange environment. I was woken up several times during the night – bracelets, blankets, needles. I was still scared, but eventually my fear would fade.
* * *
            I remained in the hospital for three days. During those days I was taught how to poke my finger, how to stick myself with needles, how to eat properly, how to take care of myself with this new condition. I cried myself out in those days, but things eventually did get better. I started to be able to see the silver lining in things, the reason to smile.
            It’s been two years – almost exactly – since that day. I’ve become a seasoned pro rather than a nervous beginner. I don’t cry anymore, because only smiles help. I’m still learning and always will be.
            Yes, those days were terrible. But, bad as they were, they taught me something important. Those days, and that diagnosis, taught me that I am strong. They taught me that diabetes is part of me, but it is not who I am. And they taught me that sometimes, it’s okay to cry, but it’s always better to smile.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Today is my second diaversary.*
Two years ago, the primary question in my mind was “Why me?” Why was I stuck with diabetes when I still had my whole life ahead of me? I thought that I would never be able to be me again.
But now, I wonder, why not me? I don’t know who I would be without diabetes, and that’s one thing I will never know, or at least not for a while. (Until they find a permanent cure, I’m stuck.) But with this disease I have thrived. Sure, there have been lots of ups and downs, but in the big scheme of things, they all balance out to a flat line.
Two years ago, to this day, I thought my life was over. But now that I’m looking back on those two years I find myself thinking that maybe I can do this. I will need some help along the way, and I know that there will be lots more ups and downs, but I CAN do this. We can all do this. And we will all be doing it every day, whether with a smile or without.
Today, I am looking back on two years of diabetes. And actually, I’m not frowning. I’m smiling.

*Diaversary: for those of you who aren't familiar with diabetes terms, this means diagnosis/diabetes anniversary. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

30 things.

I stumbled upon this on a fellow diabetic’s blog. I realized that I really wanted to do it. Apparently it’s for Invisible Illness Week, which I missed out on. But I figure, awareness doesn’t have to be only for a week. Why not all the time? So, here it is. Thirty things about my illness.

  1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 diabetes
  2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009 (October 13th, 11 pm, if anybody cares.)
  3. But I had symptoms since: The summer before
  4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: having to think about everything I do.
  5. Most people assume: That I’m used to it, so it doesn’t hurt anymore.
  6. The hardest part about mornings is: Getting out of bed. (Not diabetes related, just related to being a teenager).
  7. My favourite medical TV show is: Off the Map
  8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Little Buddy.
  9. The hardest part about nights is: worrying that I will go low.
  10. Each day I take 0 pills and 1 vitamin (C) (sometimes).
  11. Regarding alternative treatments I: don’t think there are any.
  12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: neither. But I would rather have and invisible one because then I don’t need to tell people that I have an illness. Sometimes I like it to be my business, and mine alone.
  13. Regarding working and career: Well, I babysit. Does that count? Sometimes I go low during a job and it’s difficult because then I have to sit down and convince the kids to not run around and get into trouble.
  14. People would be surprised to know: That I am thankful for diabetes.
  15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: that it is a reality.
  16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: be a normal kid.
  17. The commercials about my illness: rub me the wrong way, but I don’t have an explanation for it.
  18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: eating without thinking.
  19. It was really hard to give up: nothing. The only thing that I had to give up, and only when I was on MDI, was eating lots of sweets in one sitting. Which I shouldn’t have been doing anyway.
  20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Knitting, although it’s not diabetes related. Yet. (I will find a pattern for an insulin pump cover!)
  21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Well, it depends what you mean by normal. There’s no such thing. But if I could have one day without diabetes, I would just…enjoy it.
  22. My illness has taught me: That there’s a silver lining in every cloud, as dark and gloomy as it may be.
  23. Want to know a secret? One thing that people say that gets under my skin is: “Well, you’re used to it, so I guess it’s not that bad.”
  24. But I love it when people: Totally understand me. (Camp buddies!)
  25. My favourite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: “You’ll be okay.” It’s from a song…I think.
  26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: That they are NOT alone. And that really, it will get better. No, I didn’t believe it either.
  27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: The network of support that comes with it. And that it really isn’t all bad.
  28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Left me alone for the most part.
  29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I’m not…well, I guess I am now. So, I’m involved because the invisible needs to lose the ‘in’.
  30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Special. Like in that you care enough to read this blog.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Sometimes I like to write poetry. Sometimes that poetry expresses my deep emotions, even when I don't mean it to. So, here's some of my accidental-deep-emotion poetry about my diabetes.

This one came about when I thought about writing a post. I thought about how I feel sometimes, and that continued on to a poem and an entire blog post.


I wish that I had never been diagnosed with diabetes.
But then...
I realize that I wouldn't be who I am today without it.

I wish that I had never got my Little Buddy.
But then...
I realize that I would still have to take needles everyday.

I wish that I knew more people with diabetes.
But then...
I realize that I wouldn't find as much comfort in talking to the people that I do know (but talk to rarely) who have diabetes.

I get overwhelmed by the enormity of this disease.
But then...
I talk to one person, or read one person's blog post, or watch one person's video, and I realize that I am not alone.

I wish I were still who I was before diabetes.
But then...
I realize that I wouldn't be me now.

This next one...I don't really know where it came from. I would really like to get it printed on a shirt, though. I think it started when I kept telling myself that diabetes doesn't change me. I realized, though, that it does change me. It changes all of us - it makes us stronger. We all figure that there's nothing good to say about diabetes, but sometimes, there is.

I have diabetes

I have
No, I am not diabetic, I have diabetes.
Does this change me?
It makes me more responsible, respectful and caring as a person.
It has taught me to see the silver lining in all things, no matter how bad they may be.
It has taught me to smile, whatever the outlook; that's the only way I can avoid the heavy sadnes.
And so I thank it for all these things.
It's accented my individuality and made me more of my own person.
And yeah, it's a pain sometimes.
But you know, I just wouldn't be the same without it.
Thank you, diabetes.

Thank you also, so much, to the 500+ people who have visited, and continue to visit, this blog.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I have been at camp for the past week. Diabetes camp, specifically. What does that mean? What makes diabetes camp different from a normal camp? A lot. Being at diabetes camp means that having a faulty pancreas makes you the same man in rather than the odd man out. It means that blood sugar competitions are not unheard of. ("You're 6.4? Well I'm 4.3! I won!") It means that all the cabin understands you. ("You're low? Have a juice box. Stay sitting - I'll get it.") It means that doctors are there every step of the way, should they be needed. It means that the whole cabin wakes up at midnight to test their blood sugars. It means that when someone is low in the night, everybody else sends them sugary thoughts. (We were tired. Don't judge. =D) It means that we all test at the same time and that everybody cares about everybody else's blood sugars. It means that for a sweet week, I did not have to carry my glucometer with me wherever I went. (All the counselors had testing kits.) Speaking of my glucometer, it also means that I almost kissed my OneTouch Delica when I got it back. (Those camp pokers hurt! They even poke when you hold your finger away from it!) What else does camp mean? It means that for a week, I didn't have to worry about myself. It means that me and a friend made up a song about going to testing and nobody judged us for it. (Well, the daycampers did. But they aren't diabetics. How would they know, anyways? :P) It also means that we got to eat earlier and eat snacks. Yay peanut butter! You know what camp means? It means that for one week, my life was full of laughter and understanding friends, and free of worries.
I was asked a lot what my favourite part of camp was. Every time, I almost said the peanut butter. (It was so good! It was in little sample packages with no oil and it was really creamy...) But that wasn't really the best part. (Pretty close, though.) The best part was not being different. Being the same as everyone else, walking around with Little Buddies on our hips.

Thank you to everyone who helped provide this amazing camp experience. The CDA, for creating it. M and E, for being awesome counselors. Z,S,K,K,C,H and L for being awesome cabin mates. And everybody else that was there, for creating and upholding an awesome week.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Little Buddy

It’s my Little Buddy's birthday today. I've had my silver pump for a year.

I’m so happy to have him. He’s made my life so much easier and made me a happier person.
Even though sometimes I really hate him – sometimes, when you just want to look pretty, it’s really hard to hide a metal box – I love him. He’s become part of me, just like an arm or a leg. I barely ever think about him anymore, except for when I’m having a bummer `betes day. When I have one of them, I have to try really, really hard not to throw him across the room. (My mom won’t let me – "7000$" she says, "and you want to throw it." It, never him, because only to me he has a personality.) I mean, he’s with me 24/7 (except for the shower – that’s one place we never go together). He therefore cannot be expected to be 'just a metal box'.

I shall call him Little Buddy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Little Buddy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Walking for Diabetes

Today I signed up for the Telus/JDRF Walk for Diabetes. This is an event where diabetics (or people close to diabetics) get together to fundraise and raise awareness for diabetes. We spend the day getting free stuff (glucometers and the like), walking around the lake, talking, and having fun. I, for one, love this event, even though I have only been once. It's one of the silver linings in the big dark, miserable cloud of diabetes. 

This year I am the captain of a team  - Maryna's Smileys. Named so because I am enamored of smiley faces. They're so positive and bright. They never fail to send out a joyous message. I sometimes find that when my day has not been too good, my school papers are covered with these happy symbols.

If you or someone you love is touched by diabetes, or anything else, send them a smile.

And if you would like to support JDRF in their fight for a cure, you can find them here.

Thank you all! And keep that smile on your faces!