Tag Archives: diabetes hope

Dressing Up and Cheering Up for the Endo Visit

Fingers crossed for a good A1c

I went to my endocrinologist appointment yesterday.  I was nervous about this appointment because if they were to find my blood pressure high again, I’ve been told meds will be considered.  And I would like to not have high blood pressure or more medications so I was a bit of a wreck.  I got up early and fixed myself up more glam than usual.  The usual varies according to my mood but I don’t normally wear much make up and I often wear clothes that should have been run by an iron first.  I decided to walk into the endo office looking put together, rosy cheeked, and most importantly-happy because when I was little, I’d see miserable looking people at the office and once home, I’d cry my eyes out.  It’s not that I thought they looked bad, it’s that so many of them looked sad and in pain and I feared I would become like them.  I’d leave endo visits feeling my life was over before it had begun.

After I arrived, signed in, and sat down, I saw a 6 or 7 year old girl walk in with her mom.  She was smiling ear to ear and had her hair neatly tucked under a baseball cap.  She wore a Nike T-shirt tucked into some cargo pants along with a few beaded bracelets.  She was adorable and then I practically burst with glee when I saw her pink sparkly shoes.  You gotta love a girl that puts an outfit like that together.  When the nurse came and called a name the little girl ran up and said, “That’s me!”  The nurse said hello and “What cute shoes you have!”  The little girl cocked her head to the side and said, “I dressed up for my endo visit today”.  I had to blink away the water in my eyes.  The nurse followed with, “But where is your dress to match your shoes?”  In my mind I’m cheering “girl power, girl power!” and the girl says defiantly, “This is what I like.  I dressed up because I want to make diabetes look good”.  Then her mom stepped in saying something about how she has been trying to teach her daughter to dress sharp and clean when she doesn’t feel well or is afraid because it will make her and others feel better.  She explained that going to the doctor made the little girl feel afraid.

I was too overcome with emotion to say anything.  I was trying to give hope to little girls like her by appearing happy and healthy and there she was beating me to it.  I wanted to jump up and tell her she was awesome and her outfit rocked but instead I sat and humbly watched the moment play out.  It was a scene that will forever soften my mood whenever I’m sitting in a doctor’s office.

A few minutes later it was my turn and I smiled at the nurse, said hi, and she said, “Geez, you look nice, too.”

“I want to make diabetes look good”, I said.

The “You Can Do This” Project


Sometimes all we need to get through another day with diabetes is the knowledge that it’s possible to do so and that we’re not alone in our struggle.  Kim at Texting My Pancreas started a wonderful initiative called The “You Can Do This” Project.  Here are the details in case you’d like to participate.  If you don’t have a blog, feel free to have The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes put up your written post or video if you just want to get it out there.  The more participants, the more hope and empowerment we send out to others :)

Here is my video blog for this project:

A Reason to Try


It was the Spring of 1999 and I was 15 years old.  I was sitting in my College Prep Biology class paying attention to something other than the teacher.  I was poking at my thigh which was starting to show a few broken capillaries.  My friend Michael, who sat to my right that entire year noticed what I was doing and said, “Don’t worry about that”, as he made a face to signify that it meant nothing, the face one makes when saying “nah”. 

“But, what if this is happening because I don’t take care of my diabetes enough?-I know I don’t take care of myself enough.”, I said.  “Well, then you need to take care of yourself better, you have to at least try.  I know diabetes must suck but, at least you have a better shot than if you had terminal cancer or advanced AIDS right?”, Mike replied.  “I suppose…” I said, not feeling too reassured.  Then Mike said, “Besides, one day, the right guy won’t be bothered by a few broken capillaries, I promise.”

I sat quietly the rest of class feeling relieved.  As a 15 year old, my worries involved my health but, I spent a lot of time preoccupied with how my diabetes might affect the way I look and I’ve always feared people (ok, males)  would be driven away.  Mike was right, later on, the right guy wasn’t bothered by a few broken capillaries, not even by a lot. 

Almost exactly three years after Mike and I had that conversation I found myself standing in a packed cathedral, the same one I’d eventually marry in.  With the bagpipes wailing in the background I thought about Mike’s words to me that day in Biology class.  He was right.  I had to take care of myself.  I had to do my best.  I did have a better shot than someone with terminal cancer.  He put up a strong fight, but, in less than a year from diagnosis, my friend Mike died of a rare form of Leukemia. 

Every time I think about giving up or giving in, even for just a day, I remember Mike, and his firm words to me.  And how his early death proved that I would have a better shot than he.  So of course, to me anyway, there is no question about it-I’ve always got a reason to take care of myself better.  I’ve at least got to try.

If only to honor those that don’t even get the chance.