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