Thursday, February 1, 2018

Spreading the T1D Love

Hey everyone It’s Gwen here! For the month of February we are going to be doing a series of Posts called “Spreading the T1D Love.” Having Type One Diabetes has built an incredible community around me and my family. So many amazing people are in my life because of diabetes and to me, that makes it all worth it. I have met my closest friends through Type One, I have so many Type One adult role models, and I have had so many people in my life who don't have T1D really step up and help me manage it or ask questions and really care about my well being. I’ve also had some amazing experiences that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and it’s all because of my stupid pancreas who decided to quit. I really can’t wait to share stories and posts this month about those amazing people and the amazing experiences that have helped shape who I am now.

I hope you guys have a wonderful first day of February! 
More posts to come <3 

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Why I Walk

This past October we did the JDRF walk to cure diabetes! It was my first walk in 2 years and it was so fun! We went to the One Walk in Santa Barbara. We got there at 9 and signed in. Since we raised more than $100 I got a JDRF One Walk shirt for free. I also got a bandana that they only give to diabetics. It was fun spotting all those with Type 1 by seeing the bandanas throughout the day. It was really nice to have the whole family come. My good friend Mikayla also joined us which was fun because she got to learn about diabetes. We also ran into some fun friends we only see every once in a while and I ran in to a super sweet camp friend. The actual walk part was super fun but very long when there is a lot of people. When we finished the walk we were all pretty tired and I was heading kind of low. We went to California Pizza Kitchen and had lunch before the road trip home.

I was very proud to take part in the JDRF One Walk. The funds we raised might not have been a lot but every dollar donated to JDRF counts. Not only does JDRF put together events for diabetics and their families but they fund research. Their website says it best, “JDRF’s research goal is to discover, develop, and deliver advances that progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we find a cure.”  You can look on their website yourself and see all of the amazing things they are doing to help us find cure. 
Some examples are:
-They have contributed over 2 Billion dollars to diabetes research! Isn't that incredible!?!?!
-They are also currently funding 50 human trials of potential T1D therapies 
- 80% of the money they get goes to directly support T1D research  

The most meaningful part of the walk for me were these cute little runner tags that you see marathon runners wearing that have numbers on it. They said “I’m the walk for _____________ type” I wrote "I’m the walk for everyone type." That is why I walk. I feel like I have more close friends WITH diabetes than without. I truly want to take the burden of this disease away from my mom and my friends and their families. If I could cure myself or someone else I would choose someone else until we run out of diabetics. That is what walking for a cure means to me. I was also walking for the promise of a fun lunch haha but I decided not to write "I'm the walk for lunch type" but, you know, lunch is awesome!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hello! This isn’t one of Gwyneth's or Elaine’s usual post, so let me introduce myself. My name is Kayla and I am one of Gwyneth's diabuddies. I have had diabetes for about 2 ½ years and I take insulin shots. Many people have asked my why I don’t have a pump. I think I was scared that something might be a malfunction with the pump or that it might fall out, but now I am more open to the idea of having a pump. On Friday of this week, I’ll be getting a Dexcom CGM, which I am super excited about. I have been getting low blood sugars at night so I think it will be really helpful. 

There’s a bunch of stuff going on with me right now. I just finished my first year of homeschooling, which was a lot of hard work. I also recently became a vegetarian, and though it was a huge a change, even with diabetes, it was an beneficial change to make, for me anyway. Being a vegetarian hasn’t affected my blood sugars, my lows are usually caused by exercise, but I feel I have become healthier overall. I do a musical every summer, since 4th grade, with a community theatre group and this year we are  doing a play called: A Year with Frog and Toad (P.S:Get tickets here) based off of the children’s book series. I guess I got one of the “lead” roles but I have a big scene, with me being the main character besides Frog and Toad, and I’m in the background in the rest of the scenes, which is perfectly fine. I am super excited to see all of my theatre buddies again, but I will have to change my insulin dosage for the summer, since I go really low with exercise.

On the topic of new things, I got a few new diabetes devices, which I absolutely love! One of the first devices I got is the Genteel lancing device. It is the “pain-free” lancet and though I wouldn’t call it painless it is definitely less pain. It came with 6 different contact tips and each color of contact tip has a different depth, 1 being the softest and 6 being the one that goes deepest into the skin, and I like using the 2nd contact tip. I like using the Genteel because I can use it on the heel of my hand, my arms and even my legs, but I can still also use it on my fingers. Another new device I got was a new meter: The OneTouch Verio IQ.  I upgraded my meter because I found out my previous meter was about ten years old. I really like my new meter. When I put the meter strip in, when it’s ready to take the blood, the top of the meter will light up so I can see where to put the blood. I LOVE that feature, because I frequently check at night.  The meter strips also take less blood, which is awesome!

    I can’t wait until the next diabetes event I attend! I will be going to Carb DM’s San Jose Bay Pumper’s event and I am super excited! By the time I attend, I will have my CGM and there will be other people with pumps, CGM, and I’ll get to learn more about different kinds of pumps. I love going to events where I can meet other diabetics. I went to Carb DM’s Mother Daughter Weekend, where I met the wonderful Gwyneth, and I got to meet girls my age and hangout with them and also learn more about other people’s experience with T1D. (If you can’t tell, I really like Carb DM:)

    That about wraps it up for me! Thank you for reading! Sorry if the post was a bit shorter than usual. Gwen/Elaine will write another post (hopefully) soon! If you want to follow me on instagram, my instagram is @kayla.butterfly  I would also like to give a quick thank you to Gwyneth for letting me write on her blog! Had so much fun writing!

- Kayla Villegas <3                                                                        

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

One of My Bright Sides of Type 1 Diabetes:
When I was diagnosed with type one diabetes I was 9 years old, I had no idea that it would affect me for the rest of my life. I didn’t think about needing to test my blood sugar every time before I drove a car, I didn’t think about how I could have a low blood sugar at my graduation, or that it might affect my future job… It just never occurred to me.  As I have gotten a little older (I’m 14 now) these have been thoughts of mine. Even though it can be hard I can still easily find ways to stay positive through it.  And I really wanted to share one of my bright sides with you guys…

Friends!  I have made so many life long friends that I never would have met if I didn’t have type one diabetes! In fact I think that I have more friends WITH diabetes than without diabetes! There are so many ways to make new type one diabetic friends… some examples would be CAMPwalks to cure diabetes, events based on diabetes, Facebook groups and more!

I also want to tell you that it sure means a lot to text my diabetic friends…  I cannot stress how important it is to find a type one community to back you up. I wish I could explain how AMAZING it feels to be able to text a friend (who also has type one) and be able to say, “Uhg my blood sugars are 400” and get a response like, “Aw, I’m sorry! I feel you, my sugars were crazy yesterday! Are you drinking Diet Coke or something?” It feels so good to be understood. Your friends and family can sympathize and it’s so nice. But to have those people who REALLY get it, is a gift.

So what are some ways you can find some friend with type one besides camp? You can find new friends through Beyond Type One’s Snail Mail Club: Here is the link. You guys should sign up! It is a pen pal program for kids and teens with type 1 diabetes around the world. Quoting their website, “Beyond Type 1 is a company built on social media and technology, but we know that good old fashioned personal connections are just as important. Our hope is that the Snail Mail Club will foster community, create lasting connections that go beyond the page, and that some of you can even meet in person one day.” What a fun way to make a new diabetic friend! I have signed up and have a new 14 year old friend in Illinois. 

Beyond Type One has ALSO launched an App that lets you interact and connect with other type one diabetics. You can post pictures and ask/give advice and even find people in your area! I am on it and I LOVE it! Click this LINK and sign up on the website. Then it will let you download the free app (works for iOS and Android) and have fun! Be sure to follow me on it ;)

It is also fun to find some events for people living with type 1 diabetes… I love going to JDRF events. There are tons of different organizations who put on events. One organization I love is in the California Bay Area called Carb DM. Here's their link (click it!!!!!!!!)  I love this organization, they always put on amazing events! Don’t live in CA? Wherever you are there is always an organization you can find. And if not then START ONE!

Social media!! There are so many diabetes accounts on Instagram and Facebook! Follow me on Facebook here and on IG @glittergwyneth and we can all connect!

I have also found friends through writing this blog at <3 We are also on Instagram @diabeticsunshine ;) Writing your own blog can be a great way to get your feelings out and to connect with others. I have had so many people stumble upon my blog and then reach out to connect with me because they found they had something in common with me. If you start blogging, let know and I'll follow your blog! 

I wanted to share this HUGE bright side with you guys! Get connected and make type one friends...they're the BEST! <3 I hope this helps you! Why don’t you comment on YOUR bright sides or email me here-Gwyneth Stewart

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Today, halfway through #‎diabetesawareness month, Gwyneth and I celebrate the PARENTS of kids living with Type 1 Diabetes. When your child is diagnosed your life changes forever. I have not slept through the night since 2010. A typical best-case scenario is waking up twice a night. We parents make our kids bleed multiple times each day and night constantly giving insulin and sugar. Typical parental worries take a back seat to the daily worry of keeping your child alive. We make sure schools know how to deal with emergencies. We make sure the kids get out the door every day with the millions of things that will keep them alive- needles, test strips, meters, insulin, glucagon emergency shot, skittles, juice boxes, spare insulin pump supplies, batteries and so much more. We never stop worrying. Gwyneth hates that I never sleep and she hates that I always have to worry. She also loves that I never sleep and loves that I am worrying. She knows it is a family disease and she knows she would happily do all of the above for her child if they live with Type 1 someday. She actually longs for it. She plans to adopt a baby with Type 1 when she's older. She knows the fierce love and bond that comes with this diagnosis. Parents of #‎t1d kids- we salute you. We get you and we love you.
Elaine and Gwyneth

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Diabirthday: This is My Day 1 Story

Hi, It's me Gwyneth. Today marks 5 years of Type 1 Diabetes for me. It has been crazy and amazing at the same time. So many emotions run through my head when I think about having Type 1 for 5 years. I feel proud because it is really hard to deal with it everyday.  I even feel a little fear because it is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. But most of all I feel joy because I meet new people and have new experiences because of it. I remember the day I was diagnosed like it was yesterday.

I was 9 years old. I was pulled out of school about a half an hour early so I could go to the doctor. I had been acting and feeling super weird... I was drinking 3 water bottles at school and asked for way too many bathroom passes, all of a sudden I was shaken and didn't want to do anything, I even started snapping and getting mad at everyone. Those of you reading this who know me know how optimistic and energetic I am, you would probably take me to the doctor too. My mom and dad were worried. I was drinking so much water they said I couldn't have any more after 6:30 so I wouldn't have to go to the bathroom at night. I would wake up at midnight and silently drink all the water left in the cups.

We live in San Luis Obispo but our doctor was in Atascadero so we drove up for our 3:00 appointment. Our doctor, Dr. McNerney (who rocks by the way), saw us right away. He talked to me about my symptoms and he said he thought he knew what was wrong but I had to do a urine test to be sure. So we did. And a few minutes later he came in and sat down. I had NO idea that he was about to tell us something that would forever change the way we live. He said that the test showed that I had something called diabetes... my mom started crying (she also put on her sunglasses so I wouldn't see that she was crying, I could tell though). I was confused. The only thing I knew was that my mom was crying and she never cries so I knew it was bad. The thing is I thought Dr. McNerney said I had Dying-Babies (I thought I had killed kids or I couldn't have kids when I grew up or something) but only thing I wanted to do was make my mom feel better. So I went over to her gave her a hug, rubbed her back and tried to reassure her by telling her I will be fine and that everything would work out ok. She kept crying so I wanted to ask my doctor what was wrong with me. He said that I had to go to Sierra Vista Hospital.

At Sierra Vista I got an IV in my arm which I named Optomus Prime because naming your equipment makes it way more fun that way. I was still very confused so I wanted to what "dying-babies" was and what was wrong with me, I asked the doctor, could you please tell me more about the Dying-Babies that I have?" He automatically told me that I wouldn't kill any babies which made me so happy that I didn't care what I had anymore. Because anyone who knows me knows that I love babies and kids. So he gave us some information. I learned that I would have to test my blood sugar every day and dose insulin for food everyday. I also learned that I didn't do anything to get Type One Diabetes and that it was my body that attacked my pancreas. That makes insulin so we all eat.  I got a bunch of visitors who brought books for me to read while I was there. My teacher Mrs. Dean came and she brought a color in poster and we colored. Then she prayed with me, and we colored more. Then the doctor came in and we were getting the coloring stuff off the bed and a marker somehow flung across the room and hit the doctor. He said he was glad it wasn't poop because he said monkeys fling their poop.

The doctor said I had to go to Childrens Hospital in Los Angles. I could only eat cheese and meat for dinner, so we went to Vons to get salami and cheese sticks while dad went and got some essentials for the road trip (Including my teddy bear because I was scared of getting shots). We drove off at 8:00 and got to Childrens Hospital LA around 1 am. There I got trained and learned more. Then when we got home I remember that I was hungry and scared to eat. I wanted to eat a pumpkin bar..So we counted it up and I took a shot and we set a timer for 15 minutes, when I took a bite we clapped feeling so proud. Almost as if we beat type 1. It kinda sounds like a small victory now, but I still treasure it. I remember thinking maybe I can use this and my faith in Jesus to help other kids with diabetes. That has become my goal in life.

Now 5 years later I realize that people make rude and ignorant comments, and people think I got diabetes because I ate too much food or something. But that means it is my job to educate those around me. I am just so grateful for my parents for helping me, and my siblings for being nice to me when I am cranky. I also wanted to say thanks to my friends... (with diabetes and without diabetes) for sticking up for me and just helping me through those rough days. It means the world to me. I am so happy that I have a community behind me to beat diabetes together! All I have to do is think positive and remember that my glass is  always half full.
                             -Gwyneth :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Camp for me 2013

Hi,it's me Gwyneth, and I just got back from diabetic camp a few days ago. It was so  much fun! I went to session 1 at Camp Conrad Chinnock. At camp you get to do things like: camp fire, archery, shooting range, arts and crafts, rock wall, hiking, and so much more! It's just like a normal camp but you don't have to explain what diabetes is to anyone, it's a place to have friends that won't ask if the shots you take hurt. It's a place to feel normal. When I feel alone, or like no one knows what I am going through I think of camp and how everyone feels what I feel one time or another.  If I had not gone to camp I would not be as confident with diabetes as I am today. I hope that every type 1 diabetic gets to have the magical experience at camp like I did!

Cabin 5 decorated watermelon!