Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day 9, 10, 11 – Support, Exercise, Play

Catching up on my photo-a-days before this week completely gets out of control! Work is ramping up, and there’s a “chance” of snow tomorrow. Understand: we don’t get a lot of snow around here, and if/when we do, it’s like a natural disaster that requires help from the National Guard. Schools and stores shut down, no one can drive in it, there are cars in ditches everywhere, etc. All the bread, milk, and eggs disappear from grocery store shelves if there is even the HINT from the weather-people that it might snow. (Why milk and eggs? Wouldn’t they spoil first if the power goes out? Is french toast really what you want to eat for days stuck in the house?) And if we do manage to eek out an inch or so of accumulation, all schools and events are canceled. Heck, most times they are canceled even before the supposed snow is actually seen, and then when it ends up being rain, or melting after 2 hours,  everyone is still out of work and out of school. It’s ridiculous.

OK, so I digress…..

Shoes support me, yes, it's true

SUPPORT

The spirit of “support” for this day was probably meant to involve how families and friends support us in our management of diabetes, but since I lumped it together with exercise and play, this photo seemed more appropriate. I depend on my shoes (and the orthotic inserts within them) to give me the support I need to continue walking without TOO much pain, although sometimes it does become quite annoying.

Fabulous fall!

EXERCISE

I always talk about how I need to exercise more. I LOVE walking and hiking, especially in the gorgeous parks and recreation areas we have around our house. (But having plantar fasciitis does make it not-so-fun at times.)  I took this picture of a path I walked along yesterday when I was shooting some family photos for my neighbor. Side note: as if it’s not enough that my feet hurt while walking, I was a complete klutz and twisted my ankle along one of the bumpier paths, so now I’m limping today. That’s NOT going to be encouraging me to exercise on a regular basis. Seems this always happens – I get an injury anytime I start a new exercise routine and have to deal with the setback/lack of motivation all over again. Grrrr.

This is how I will always remember playing in the leaves.

PLAY

I live for the times I can play with my daughter. Forgetting diabetes, forgetting sore feet, forgetting work and forgetting things-to-do around the house….play time is the BEST time – I will cherish it forever, and do my best to always have time for play.

Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day 7 – Blue

“Blue” automatically makes me think of Blue Fridays, and how this past summer I realized, as good as blue looks on me, I didn’t have a whole lot of blue things to wear. So, I went out and bought some!

That's a lot of blue.

Anyone else notice there are 8 billion different shades of blue?

(Diabetes Month Photo-a-day prompts can be found at sixuntilme.com)

Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day 5 – Advocate

There are so many ways to be an advocate for something. It’s not hard, I promise! Half of these you can do without even trying.

  • Talk to your friends and family about it.
  • Participate in events around it.
  • Educate those who ask you about it.
  • Fund-raise and donate to causes that support it in some way.
  • Write a blog and communicate with others on the internet about it.
  • Meetup with others who have experience with it, and/or create a local group that can support each other in person.

I like to do all of these things, and my “it” just happens to be diabetes. (I am also a new member of Diabetes Advocates, yay!)

Gooooo Rowdies!

Part of my JDRF walk team from last weekend, all of us T1 (except for my daughter) and just some pretty all-around great girls!

(More advocacy! Sharing info from others within the DOC: Diabetes Month Photo-a-day prompts found at sixuntilme.com. Your DAM guide to Diabetes Awareness Month located at theperfectd.com)

Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day 3 – Snacks

My photo of go-to snacks I most always have on hand to treat low blood sugars:

Dark chocolate is my FAVORITE of these :)

  • Milk = for when it’s going low but not TOO low. One cup has just enough carbs, some protein and fat to stave off a low and also not send my blood sugar shooting for the stars.
  • Fruits = showing raspberries here, but I also like bananas, grapes, and blueberries. All in moderation, of course, and I try my best to measure out my fruit “dose” before eating it, so I know how many carbs I’m consuming.
  • Apple juice or other juice boxes = means shit is getting real, and it’s a REALLY low low, or I’m feeling the heady spiral towards an enormous crash. No guarantees that the juice will be the only thing I correct with in this case. Over-treatment of the low is a distinct possibility if I’ve resorted to juice. Forget the fifteen wait fifteen rule.
  • Dark chocolate = My sugar weakness. Pairs well with the milk for the low. Also, if I just barely have an arrow trending down on my CGM and I’m about to do some sort of activity, I’ll pre-reward myself. (But it must be specifically DARK chocolate. Milk chocolate just isn’t worth it to me anymore.)
  • No, I don’t keep my snacks outside for the squirrels to eat, I just get tired of always having my kitchen counter-top as the background of my photos.
  • I DO also keep GlucoLift glucose tablets in my car, in my purse, etc, but those are totally LAST resort. Over the years, I’ve restricted myself so much on having sweets, fruits, and things I really love because of diabetes. If the big D is going to screw up my day by giving me a hard crash, I’m going to have something I WANT to deal with it.

Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day 1 – Past

I knew November was Diabetes Awareness Month – see your DAM guide over on theperfectd.com – but I didn’t know about the cool “photo-a-day” idea until I saw it on Kerri’s sixuntilme.com post. She’s a creative cookie, that one.

Whew. You know I love pictures, so this is going to make coming up with blog posts this month a piece of cake (mmmm, sugar!)  I hope. Diabetes is an everyday thing for me and millions of others, and photos are certainly a good way to give glimpses into our lives with diabetes that you may otherwise not be able to see.

The topic for today is Diabetes – Past.

Check out that girl lounging on the crappy college-dumpster-found couch, it’s rigged-together slipcover already falling off. Chilling in front of that awesomely huge Prince and the New Power Generation poster, wearing a sweater from Maurice’s, rocking the Birkenstocks, newspapers open on the coffee table. It screams 1994.  My diagnosis year.

1994, you were so bad to me.I was oblivious to how diabetes would affect my life, really, when this picture was taken….the most unsettling thing in my 21 year old brain was that boyfriend whose apartment I was in at the time would break up with me soon after my diagnosis.  Not because I got sick, not because I gained weight  – trying to figure out the riddles of exchanges, when to eat, when to take more insulin – but because I was an emotional and dramatic 21 year old girl who still didn’t know the type of guy that was “good” for me, or what I was really searching for in life.

I’m glad now that he broke up with me. I’m glad I have the life I am living right now, even though diabetes is in it. It changed my life in more ways than I can count, and in more ways than I probably can still imagine, but it has been with me through truly maturing into an adult, finally learning what was “good” for me, and making me a better person in so many ways, that I hope to explore them in more detail through the Photo-a-Day posts this month.