The only significance that today can hold is that in which I choose to give it. Eleven years ago today, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Blindsided at my pediatrician’s office during my fifteen-year-old physical, that particular day serves as a significant transition in my life. It is the day I went from being the Sarah I always thought I was, to someone entirely different.
On Tuesday morning, I read a post by the “Diabetes Dad”, Tom Karlya, reminding his readers that November is not a month for the diabetes community, but rather, it is a month for those unaware of the in’s and out’s that is living with this disease. He pointed out that this is a month for those that “know nothing”, and urged people to focus on making those without the knowledge more aware.
In an effort to participate in Diabetes Awareness Month more than I ever have before, I’ve made a commitment to myself that I will be joining the Big Blue Test movement! As the month begins, I’m truly setting forth with great intentions and a willingness to hold myself accountable. It is my goal to participate at least once a day throughout the month of November and I am looking forward to having a challenge I can use to get me motivated to move my body more.
What is the Big Blue Test, you ask? GREAT QUESTION!
It’s officially November 1st! Halloween is over and behind us and the holidays are only a few short weeks away. However, the change in the calendar also represents a transition into a month where those of us involved in the diabetes community try to spread awareness and advocate on behalf of those living with T1D. Welcome to Diabetes Awareness Month!
When I was younger, the importance of being steadfast and vigilant with the way I managed my diabetes escaped me. Diagnosed in my teens and distracted by the pitfalls of adolescence, as well as a bad case of the “diabetes denials”, I never built the proper foundation needed for success. I had unwillingly been thrust into a world filled with multiple daily injections and finger sticks to test my blood glucose. It was like someone decided to change the rules after I had already been playing the game. At fifteen years old, a freshman in high school, I was faced with my own immortality and I was in no way adequately equipped to handle such an emotionally scarring event and the transition into my new way of life.
I often wonder to myself how I ended up with the particular mindset that I have. I never intended to project positivity. The decision to live my happiest life through my mission towards the restoration and resurgence of light, wasn’t intentional, premeditated, or calculated. It just is.
It’s a poor explanation for how I became the person I am today, but, I believe that the reason I have such an honestly optimistic disposition is partially in credit to being born this way. Perhaps, it means I have a soul that has achieved a certain level of awareness and understanding through past-life experiences – if you believe in that sort of thing. Or, maybe I’m just lucky. Who knows?
In March of this year, while walking my dogs at a local park frequented by many pups and people daily, my older dog, Nook, was viciously and without provocation attacked by a pit bull. Come to find out, this particular dog already had a history of (unreported) violence at the park. I took note of the muzzle held by the owner as the pair approached us, and even wondered to myself why someone would carry a muzzle in their hands while allowing their animal to interact with others off-leash. Clearly they had this muzzle with them for a reason.
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Last week, there was a post on a medical professional’s personal Facebook stating that she was “shaking her head” at the fact a JDRF chapter was holding a Pancake Breakfast as a T1D fundraiser event. Though I try not to get involved with the comment section of controversial posts, I couldn’t help but give my two-cents about how I believe that we need to recognize people with diabetes can eat ANYTHING that they want, as long as they know the carbohydrate count.
I always wanted a dog. A lover of animals since I was a very young age, I consistently begged my parents for a puppy of my own. Every year, I’d pen a letter to Santa, and all I’d ask is that he deliver a doggie on Christmas Day for me to love furver.
I never got my Christmas wish as a child. My parents both worked full-time and our afternoons were filled with soccer practices, irish step dancing lessons, and everything in between. It also didn’t help that my mom could give Mr. Clean a run for his money with her desire for immaculate living conditions, and a four-legged family addition would certainly disrupt the homeostasis of her household.
Have you ever been in the same room with someone and felt their presence immediately? It’s as if they emit some sort of warmth or energy and it’s infectious. You can’t help but feel enamored and enthralled by nearly everything about them; the way they speak, the way they look, even the way they move and the expressions that flash across their face. Something draws you to them like a magnet. You feel the pull of a kindred spirit, a friend, even though perhaps you have never actually met them before.
I felt exactly this way the night I met Marina.