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Faith Friday: Thank You

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Short, sweet, and to the point this Friday. I am so thankful for each of my friends and family across the country and (because of diabetes) even across the world.

“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers.”
~Philemon 1:4

Photo on 2010-10-01 at 23.53 #2
the adult Type 1 crew

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Never have I ever

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Have you ever played the game “Never Have I Ever?” If you have, don’t worry, I will be keeping this round G-rated.

Here are the basic rules of the game. First you put all ten fingers up. Then the group takes turn naming things that they have never done, hoping that someone else in the circle has done it. If you have, you have to put a finger down. Last person with a hand up is the winner. You can see how it gets inappropriate sometimes.

I’ve also played it the opposite way, where you name things you have done that you don’t think other people have done, and that’s more like the version I’m playing today. I’ve been thinking of all the random, fun, and exciting things I have been able to do because of diabetes and I want to hear what other would share in the game as well.

Never did I ever…

  • Think I would have the motivation to take a picture every day for a year for the d365 project. I’m thinking of doing it again but I need a good start date.

October 7, 2008 - diabetes365 - DAY 365!!!

  • Consider that my face would be on a t-shirt used to raise money for an organization working to cure diabetes. Is your face on there too?
  • Realize that some of my closest friends would live all over the country and stay up way to late on google+ hangout to spend some time with them.
  • Wonder when I checked my mailbox if it would hold a letter from a dear friend in Australia.
  • Count the days until July each year so I could attend a conference designed just for people with diabetes and their families.

The official start of the conference

  • Meet a friend for the first time at a conference in July and make plans shortly after to fly to her house for a long weekend of fun (and probably one of the largest meet-ups ever!). I guess that makes sense, since I once got into some random dude’s truck just because he had a blog and diabetes like I did.

Me, Jess, and the random dude

  • Have pictures with a variety of celebrities (and have an opportunity to even meet them in the first place) because of our connection to the same autoimmune disorder.

Crystal and Ium, yeah

  • Hope every day was Wednesday so that I could hang out on Twitter and chat about everything related (and not so related) to diabetes. P.S. Have you seen this video yet?

  • Feel hopeful about inserting pieces of platinum, silver, and steel into my body because I knew it would make me feel safer today and healthier tomorrow.
  • Plan to take what could be considered a drinking game and post it on my blog to see what people with diabetes “never did they ever” think they would do.

I’m curious, what would you say if you were playing this game?

Office Space – Man on Wire

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The task was significantly harder than the wordless IKEA directions indicate, but Friday after work my friend/coworker was finally able to get my make-shift photo gallery hung above my desk.

Reducing my life down to only 24 pictures was a challenging task all its own.

This is the updated view that I get to enjoy each day in my office.

up close 1up close 2up close 3up close 4
the gallery
Have I mentioned how excited I am to add more memories in Kansas City in less than a MONTH?!?!

Just part of your life – an interview

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Over the past few years, I have received a bunch of comments and e-mails wanting to know more about what it is like to travel internationally – especially to lower economic areas of the world – with diabetes. A few people have expressed their concern about being able to keep up with the group they would travel with or fears of being a burden. I thought the best way to work through those issues may be to interview one of the people who I have traveled with on both trips to Haiti.

Julia and I met as part of the team that traveled together in 2010 and have been friends ever since. Not all of her stories relate to our trip together, but you will be able to tell that pretty quickly. Julia can’t spell AT ALL (words like texture and cabinet are mind benders) so I did correct some of her spelling. She said she didn’t mind. My additional comments are in brackets.

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Before we met, what did you know about diabetes?

I knew that people had to have sugar, that you had to have it or you would pass out. I knew that there were different types. I had a friend with diabetes in high school that would say that her blood sugar was low and would eat starbursts.

So what was your experience working in Haiti with me?

It really was not different at all. No one could look at you and tell if there was anything going on, but I remember two moments when you told us something was going on [once when my level was really high and once when it was really low]. That’s why we were concerned because you couldn’t tell. You were a trouper. If no one would have told me I would have thought that it was because it was 112 degrees and we were moving medical supplies for 18 hours [only a slight exaggeration].
serious faces

Traveling on a team with me, did you have any additional responsibilities?

On the first trip no, but on the second trip I carried your sugar in case you couldn’t get to yours.

Speaking of sugar, a Twitter friend wants to know how you know when someone’s blood sugar is low and how do you treat it [I think it’s a quiz]?

You get an empty stare and are more sluggish. you treat it with glucose tablets!!!!!! [exclamation points are hers] And any other sugary foods available (and prayer) [kinda a joke on faith healers].
tough soccer players

We know diabetes isn’t always serious, do you have any funny stories about life with me? [I had to cut her off on this one. Once she started the stories didn’t end]

We were on a road trip to Orlando and there was a delicious bag of peanut butter M&Ms within eyesight and we couldn’t eat them because your blood sugar was too high, so we were asking every five minutes for you to check. I love those things so much.
look-a-likehot mess

One night we were sharing a room at a friend’s house [one of our fellow Haiti 2010 teammates] and your blood sugar wouldn’t stay up before bed. So we just layed there for a few hours sharing stories and glucose tablets [she thinks they taste good – like SweeTARTS]. Had your blood sugar gone up, we probably would have just gone to bed but instead we made memories. [I like this story!]

There was no diet soda anywhere in Haiti [we think it is because the artificial sugar doesn’t keep very well] so you didn’t have any soda except for one day. Someone came up to you at dinner when you finally had a regular coke and asked if they could have some. Your face was hilarious when you told them no. It wasn’t casual or anything. Your excitement to drink your coke was so evident you didn’t even try to explain. [What can I say? I was desperate for caffeine and had already dosed for the soda!]

What about eating international food? Did you notice any difference there?

At any restaurant, you ate anything we did – even the yummy ice cream and the Little Debbie snacks [we ate sack lunches at the work sites]. Because your bunk was next to mine, I know you packed extra snacks but so did I. Every good traveler knows that you pack food that you’ll like because you don’t know what is available.
the ice cream

What would you say to someone who is worried about traveling internationally with diabetes?

After traveling with you, I would definitely tell them to do it. I would tell them to make sure they have people in the group to keep them accountable, but not everyone because that’s just obnoxious.

As long as you are prepared [for example] if someone is doing the right things and reading your blogs [she means our diabetes blogs] they should do it. I mean I consider myself healthy and I could get sick on a trip. You never know.
me and Julia

What is the biggest thing you have learned about diabetes from spending time with me?

The biggest thing I learned is that people with diabetes aren’t that different. You dont need people to baby you and hold your hand. You didn’t give people your numbers not because you didn’t want people to know but because they didn’t need to know. It’s like if I pooped and people asked me what color it was [HA!]. Just because you’re checking doesn’t mean something is wrong. Now when you check I don’t freak out, it’s just part of your life.
wedding style

Thanks friend!

Those leftover Christmas stamps

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I don’t even remember how it started or when I got involved but a few of us (C, Simon, Kim, Jess) were talking on Twitter about a week ago about the fun of “real mail.”

Until last week, I don’t think I had ever addressed a personal letter to someone in another country. When I was in England for a few weeks in college, I wrote some letters home. This is certainly the first time I have sent anything to Australia!

Instead of writing on my blog the past few days I’ve been writing notes and letters. And today when I went to Target, I spent WAYYY to much time looking at stationery.

And those stamps I bought in December, I finally have another use for them.

This is one addiction that might actually be good for me (as opposed to the Diet Pepsi and chocolate/peanut butter problem I have).

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Sam Talbot WINNER!
In other post office news – Jaimie is getting a signed copy of the recipe booklet that Sam Talbot shared at Friends for Life. He showed us how to make the recipes in the booklet (you can see the videos of his lesson in this post) so I expect greatness from you Jaimie! Or at least pictures of your efforts!

I WILL scream for ice cream

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I am not typically one who fights in every diabetes advocacy battle. I prefer to let the way I live my life to demonstrate my advocacy.

But…

don’t you dare try to threaten my ice cream supply!

When Wendell Fowler wrote his “news” article questioning the logic of a fundraiser for diabetes that involved ice cream and likened it to serving an alcoholic a beer, I don’t think he had any idea of the power of the community that he had angered. He actually deleted the original article, but a copy of it can be found here.

There are some half-hearted, back-pedaling nonsense follow up articles here and here.

But let’s not focus on that, let’s focus on the power of the diabetes community to unite behind a cause.

Let’s focus on the event on Facebook that at the time of writing this post has 2,446 members. Let’s focus on the Twitter hashtag #takethatwendell where you can see even more updates (and pictures) of people enjoying their ice cream with family and friends.

Let’s focus on great friends who I explained the story to, and who were more than happy to join me in this fight!

peanut butter cup perfection!
Yes - I can eat that!

TAKE THAT WENDELL!

Guest post – Wonderful Ninja Moments

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I just got home from spending a week in New York with family while we celebrated my grandma’s 85th birthday. When this post publishes, I will have arrived home just a few hours before and will likely be curled up in my bed fast asleep.

Better late than never, Ninjabetic George is the last of my friends helping me out with a guest post. The first time George and I met was shortly after the first version of the iPhone came out when I was visiting California from my home in Florida, even though we lived about 20 minutes away from each other for many years. Here is George’s favorite “Moment of Wonderful” that he has experienced either because of or despite diabetes. Enjoy!

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My Moment of Wonderful because of diabetes is a weekend full of wonderful!

When I decided to raise money and create a team for the JDRF walk last year I had no clue how it would end up. It was in April when I started looking at the dates of local walks and found that there was a walk happening on my diaversary – the day I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes – and this year was going to be my 20 year anniversary.

Leave it to me to go big.

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So I got on the horn (read: online) and let the troops (read: DOC) know that I was going to set up a team and throw a big party afterwards to celebrate living and fighting this dumb disease for 20 years.

To this day I cannot believe that Scott, Sara, Lee Ann, Melissa, Dayle, Chris, Suzanne, and my Mom all flew out to be there for the party and walk.

Photo on 2010-10-01 at 23.53 #2

There was a sea of “Team Ninjabetic” shirts everywhere you looked at the walk. I was so proud and touched to have such an awesome turn out. We raised a lot of money and had a ton of fun!

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After the walk most everyone went to a park near by where I rented a hall for the party. Food, Prizes, and band were all there to make the party awesome. My sister and her family decorated and had everything ready to go. It was awesome.

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That weekend was filled with hanging out with my friends and having a blast despite some disease. We drank lots of diet sodapop, laughed way too much, and just had a blast.

Thank you for everyone who was a part of the weekend and thank you Sara for letting me remember this awesome day yet again!

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