A Blend of Life, Family, Awareness & Tales

Inspired.

Yesterday my daughter and I watched our friend turn into an Ironman.

Training for and completing the Ironman competition is no simple feat in itself. It is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, with a 26.2 mile marathon chaser. Truthfully you had me at entering a lake with nearly 3000 other people. Yikes!

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Every one of those athletes impressed me yesterday, but what really inspired me is that our friend did all of this with Type 1 Diabetes.

No big deal you may think. Well, it is time to think about it. She pushed herself through those 140.6 miles from sun up to sundown, with a fantastic time might I add, while having to also act as her own pancreas. (We were exhausted just cheering and checking online updates!) While she pushed her body, she had to manually keep track of her blood sugar which I am sure was always on the brink of dropping too low or maybe too high from overtreatment. I was not there with her, nor do I have any idea as to what her plan was, but I know she had one. I know she probably ate high sugar snacks during the day even though she probably could no longer stand the taste of them because she had to. Not only to compete, but also simply to live. She probably felt awful at times and wondered, is it because of her blood sugar or because she was just exhausted? She probably had to wake herself up a couple of times during the night to test her blood sugar to make sure she wasn’t  dropping too low. I know I worried about her several times!

She did all of this with a smile on her face.

Watching her cross the finish line was amazing, but our highlight was earlier in the day. We were cheering her on during the bike ride and she cheered back to my daughter, her Type 1 buddy. She took that moment to remind my little girl that she too can do anything. Wow.

My little girl was forever changed yesterday and for that we thank you. Thank you for being such an inspiration. And congratulations on an amazing achievement!

One Wish.

One Wish.

If I had one wish, it would be a wish for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). It would allow my daughter to go to the park, or school, or wherever she wanted without worrying if she brought her test strips, her ‘poker,’ insulin, fast acting carbs, and extra supplies of all kinds. It would allow her to go to a sleepover without her mom. It would allow her to go to college without us worrying that she will check her own blood sugar at two in the morning or worse yet, not wake up. It would allow her to have a baby without constant monitoring and worrying about her unborn child. And finally it would allow her to grow old some day without the worry of heart disease, blindness, kidney failure or any of the other complications that are often caused by T1D.

One Wish.

It might be selfish, that if gifted one wish, I would spend it on my daughter. But this one wish is for the eighty people in the U.S., half of them just children, who are diagnosed each day with T1D. Nearly 30,000 people in our country alone each year are added to the 3,000,000 U.S. citizens that are testing, injecting, counting and treating all day every day. A cure would potentially eliminate the nearly $15 billion in T1D healthcare costs racked up in the U.S. each year. (JDRF)

Just this past week, I was put in touch with a mother hours before her son was diagnosed. They had not yet gone to the doctor, and after communicating with her I was 90% sure her son had T1D. I imagine she still had hope that what she had read, the signs that her son was showing were simply coincidences, it couldn’t be something that would happen to her son. Truly I wish they hadn’t been added to the T1D family.

One Wish.

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It was the theme of this year’s JDRF Gala in our chapter. I didn’t come up with the theme, but what a beautiful one it was. I am a member of our Gala planning committee, so I can say I am proud of what we accomplished again this year.  Our one beautiful evening, with the help of countless volunteers, donors and bidders, raised

$450,432

Yes, you read that right, nearly a half a million dollars that will be used to not only improve the lives of those with T1D with better working technology and insulin, but also used for research that will one day lead to a cure. These dollars were the result of a collection local people and businesses and their generosity. The gala committee itself is diverse, and what an honor to be included. It was so fun to see one another at this grand event after months of planning. The donors, which ranged from local firefighters to a coach that lead our university to the Final Four this spring, are heroes in my book. We even had a beautiful young woman willing to share her T1D story with all of us, and I can say that more that once my eyes filled with tears with not sadness, but with all the hope that came with this evening.

One Wish.

So yes, I have one wish. A wish that we could all come together some day and say, “Remember when we used to plan that big party to raise money for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes,” and maybe someone new in the crowd would say, “Diabetes, what’s that?” That is my wish.

I really enjoy this video, and was so pleased to see it at the gala last night.

Thank you to all the Gala Committee members. It has been a true pleasure working with all of you, and look forward to next year. Plus last night was a blast!

 

Cosmo.

I love my husband with all my heart, but I can not even begin to understand the obsession our dog has with his feet.

 

Why do I let them do this to me?

Why do I let them do this to me?

 

Cosmo (the foot-licker), is a relatively new member of our family. He’s been with us for about 1 1/2 years, but we couldn’t imagine life without him.

He’s 16 pounds of comedian, security, trash collector, personal trainer, detective, food critic, squirrel and friend all rolled into a fluffy white package. He loves fruit and vegetables, and has a nose for chocolate (I do know the dangers of chocolate for dogs and do not feed it to him!). He occasionally gets into my purse or my little girl’s diabetes bag and snags snacks. Does he eat them? No. He hides them in the corners of our couch, laundry basket, in our bed, even in my husband’s briefcase. I wonder if he is storing them away for leaner times?

He is always ready for a walk and he is always excited to see me or any member of the family. He misses my Mom and Dad when they are away and is ecstatic when they return. He has been loyal to us since the day we met.

When Cosmo joined our family he was three years old, and we didn’t know much about his past. We quickly learned he despised other dogs, with the exception of puppies. Walking him through the neighborhood was stressful, he barked at everyone. It has taken a long time, but he is becoming tolerant of some dogs and has even made some friends. It warms my heart to see him wag his tail at a dog, as it was such a rare occurrence in the past. Don’t get me wrong, he still has several dogs that are the enemy (in his mind), and he really is not concerned that many of them outweigh him by 50 pounds or more. He barks like a fierce warrior and it drives me crazy, but I’m not losing hope for him.

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So as I watch him worship a foot, or patrol our windows, or stash a granola bar I smile. We have our own little quirky dog, who while not perfect, is perfect for our family.

Finished!

It has been a long time since I’ve been here.

Where have I been you may or may not be asking? Well, I have been raising my kids, working a little bit, and probably wasting a lot of time. It’s been five years in the making, but I am very proud to say one thing did get done:

I finished my first novel!

I’ve been celebrating for about a week, but have a feeling the tough part is ahead of me. First of all, no one else has read it yet.

Is it good you ask? Well of course it is, and my children are the smartest, best behaved, sweetest in the world. (I may be a little biased.) So now I have the hard part, submitting it to someone who knows what is a good book.

What do I do next? I need to have an editor look it over, write a summary, find an agent, etc.

Do I know what I am doing? Not really, but I am learning quickly! I’m not naïve enough to think my first book out the gate will be a winner, but I still have fantasies that it will be! No matter the outcome though, I am really proud of myself. I finished a novel which contains 50,000 words that are all mine, written in a document that tells a story that has never been told before. I’ve created people who I sometimes forget are fictional. I even slipped up once and shared an anecdote with my family, forgetting that the person in question was simply a figment of my imagination.

The more I write, the more writing is becoming part of me. I am finished with my first book, but have only begun my life as a writer.

typewriter

Caged.

Cage Fitness™, where do I start?

Well first of all, there is no cage.

As I have alluded to before, I am by no means a fitness authority. While I am active, I have never really enjoyed any organized exercise. I have taken part in several different classes over the years; pilates, yoga, a couple of different fitness boot camps, a short stint with Kung Fu and water aerobics. (I have to say I LOVED the water aerobics but the classes aren’t really convenient for me.) As a child and teen I worked with and rode horses every day. Hidden in day to day care and training for competition was exercise, but it was a benefit of riding, not the reason.

So much to my surprise, I took a trial Cage Fitness™ class at my daughter’s martial arts school and loved it. I loved every sweaty, exhausting 30 minutes of it. This class is perfect for me. We work out for five 5-minute rounds. Each round consists of about six different exercises, working the upper and lower body as well as your core. I work only with a grappling dummy, no partners (although my classmates are great!), and there is constant variety which keeps it very interesting. I have no experience with other locations, but our academy here in town has fabulous instruction that motivates me to work harder. Plus, if for no other reason you get to punch the dummy. Really. Hard.

This is the best part! Photo by Brandon Tracy

I will not go into the details. I am not a big enough expert to describe the exercises, and you really need to see or try the class to get the idea. But I will say that I have lost some pounds, I am stronger, and when I look in the mirror there is no doubt I am tightening up. When I started the class I felt very clumsy and self-conscious, but through practice and encouragement from both instructors and fellow classmates, I feel a bit more coordinated and confident.

So much harder than it looks. Photo by Brandon Tracy

Cage Fitness™ is just plain fantastic. If you live here in town, I highly recommend taking a free trial. If you don’t, check out here to see if there is a class near you.

Sleepover.

Since my little girl was old enough to make friends I have been dreading the tear-filled conversation we were going to have when she wasn’t invited to an overnight party because of her diabetes. My concern that some Monday morning all of her classmates would be reminiscing about staying up all Saturday night, and then asking her why she wasn’t there.

Little did I know this was an unnecessary worry. My little girl is giggling in another room with eight other girls,watching movies and slowly settling to sleep. Little did I know how open and accommodating another family could be, allowing me to crash their party, eat their pizza and even sleep on their couch (and drink a little of their wine too!). I so appreciate the kindness of this family to not exclude our little girl just because it might have been difficult, just because they knew that I might have to tag along for the night.

Tonight’s act was one I might expect from family or my closest friend. While we know this family whose house I am in tonight, I am sure it is a bit uncomfortable having me stay in their living room! Tonight reminded me that our actions, no matter how simple, may have a profound effect on others. This family invited our daughter to a sleepover. I wonder what effect we can have on someone tomorrow?

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