This is the link to my 2nd guest blog post for JDRF Children’s Congress. Enjoy! http://jdrf.org/blog/2013/my-friend-my-inspiration/
This is the blog post I wrote for JDRF as a guest blogger for Children’s Congress. Enjoy!
This past weekend, my church participated in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine. While fasting for 30 hours, young people all over the world participate in community outreach events and raise money for people whose reality is starving every day. Due to the global food crisis, a child dies from hunger every 13 seconds.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking… How in the world does a type 1 fast for 30 hours? I planned on participating, but 3 hours into it, I was super shaky and dizzy with a low of 46. Needless to say, I had to change my plans. I went home to eat dinner that night and breakfast in the morning. I did fast from lunch, but I had to drink juice 3 times after all the walking we did.
Once again, diabetes stopped me from doing what I had planned on. Once I got past the hungry glares when a few jelly beans (my go to low snack) slipped out of my purse, I started to think about what kids in other countries with type 1 do. Diabetes doesn’t just affect people who have enough money for food and medical supplies. After much research, I was glad to read of different organizations who have made it their mission to provide education and supplies to developing countries.
This realization has made me even more antsy for a cure (as if that was possible.) While I will continue to do everything I can to support research for a cure, I look forward to learning more about other diabetics world wide.
I am so excited to announce that I have been selected to attend JDRF’s 2013 Children’s Congress as the Mississippi delegate. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity, because I have the privilege to speak to my state’s senators and representative about why funding a cure for type 1 is so important! No longer will type 1 diabetes be just a word on a bill, it’ll be my face. I hope that getting to create a relationship with my congressmen will show them that diabetes affects real people, just like me. As if anything could top this experience off, I will be attending on my 16th birthday! While most kids are getting a new car, I’ll be advocating to ensure a brighter future for America. A future where no more families have to lose a child to Type 1…
Last night, I was given the amazing opportunity to attend Mary Poppins on tour. Madelene Trumble, who plays Mary Poppins, has been a Type 1 since her first day of kindergarten. JDRF arranged for about 10 Type 1’s to first meet 3 cast members before the show. They taught us the dance to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and then we were served dinner. After the show (which was incredible, I might add. If you have the opportunity to see it, you have to!), a few other cast members came on stage and answered everyone’s questions. When Madelene was asked how she manages her blood sugar on stage, tears streamed down her face. She said it was a constant battle and she learns something new everyday (something I think every Type 1 can relate to). Madelene Trumble was so sweet to stay even after that to talk to all the Type 1’s who came. Not only did she autograph and let us snap (more than a few) pictures, she actually took her time to interact with us. We shared laughs over comparing pumps, I showed her how my CGMS works, she answered questions about where she hides her pump when she’s on stage, and she shared how she stashes juice boxes everywhere backstage. I can’t imagine having those thousands of eyes on your every move while you’re singing and dancing, all the while worrying about whether your blood sugar is in check. Madelene is truly an inspiration for me, and all other Type 1’s. She has to chug juice during costume changes, hoping she will make it through her next scene. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet her and I can’t wait to see all the even greater things she will go on to do!
Everyone living with Type 1 has a story to share, and for most, that story began on the day that changed their life forever… the day they were diagnosed. For me, this day was August 13th, 2008. All summer long, I had been losing weight, I was thirsty all the time, and I constantly had to go to the bathroom. On the first day of 6th grade, I threw up on the bus on the way to school. I was beyond mortified. I found anything possible to blame it on, the “bumpy” bus ride and nerves. A couple days later, I did the same thing. I finally talked my mom into driving me to school the next morning, but she only would on the condition that we make a doctor’s appointment. Being my shy, awkward, middle school self, I completely dreaded going to the doctor. I had no clue what they would tell me. Since I have some family with diabetes, both Type 1 and 2, my mom asked the doctor to check me for it. She knew what all the symptoms were, and she finally admitted to herself that it was a possibility I may have it. The doctor immediately knew something was wrong. I had lost way too much weight for someone my age, my face was almost gaunt. Tests were done with my fingers crossed and all we could do was wait for some results. The doctor said if nothing was definite, she would send me to specialists, which scared me more than anything. The next day, I received a check out slip at school. When the office helper brought it to me, my heart sank. I wasn’t even thinking about being sick, my mind went straight to something being wrong with my family. I expected my mom to tell me someone had passed away, but instead she told me we were going to the hospital for me. I was beyond confused when she told me the doctor called her and said she thought I had diabetes. The only thing I knew about diabetes was that my grandma had it and she had to take shots every single day… that scared me to death. Little did I know, shots would soon become painless. Anyways, my mom and sister drove me to the children’s hospital which was about 20 minutes away. My mom was checking her mirror to make sure I was still coherent, and all I was worried about was when I was going to get to eat. The emergency room is all a blur to me. I do remember getting my I.V. and my older sister yelling, “Wow, that’s a big needle!” I also remember just wanting something to eat and the doctors telling me I would be lucky to get a few ice cubes tomorrow. I ended up staying in the hospital for three days. My parents and I had to take classes on diabetes management and diets. It was such a scary time, but everything just seemed surreal. I didn’t know what my life would become and I think that scared me more than anything.
Well, welcome to my blog. My name is Catrina. I have had Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes for 4 years. While it affects every moment of my life, it doesn’t define me and my goal is to never let it define me. I wanted to create this blog so that I could share the memories, struggles, and triumphs of living with Type 1. I also hope to meet new people affected by this disease and to encourage them. Lastly, I hope to open the eyes of many and raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes. I hope to share stories everyday and to see my blog expand. Thank you for reading!