Lemonade Life

Monday, August 29, 2005

Walk to Cure Diabetes


Not a whole lot has happened since the last time I updated, so I thought I would plug the Walk to Cure Diabetes a bit.

I'm walking with JDRF on Oct. 2 in Portland, Oregon. The Walk to Cure Diabetes is JDRF's largest fundraiser and over 85% of every dollar goes directly towards research. That's pretty amazing! JDRF is funding the top research going on for diabetes, so you're making a great investment if you donate to JDRF.

I'm hoping to raise around $1,000 this year. If you aren't already walking or would like to donate a little bit more, please visit my Walk website. Or, if it's easier, email me at amblass@aol.com and I would be happy to send you my address and you can mail me a check.

Thanks for considering my request.
Here's to a cure!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

7 point freaking 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My A1C is under 8! My A1C is under 8! *MY* A1C IS UNDER EIGHT!!!!!!

dear lord, it's a miracle.

Since I started college my A1C has been consistently in the upper 8s to low 9s. This is the first time I have seen a 7 in almost 2 years. Dear lord I didn't think I could be so happy to see at 7.8.

Now, granted, I did go low every day for 3 weeks in June, so that kind of threw things off. But you win some, you lose some. All I care is that my A1C is a level I actually want to maintain. Well, I would like it lower. Under 7.5 would be so freaking amazing. It would be like winning the lottery.

Also had my dentist appointment today. Still no cavities. Go me.

Eye doctor appointment is tomorrow. I hate the eye doctor. I hate having my eyes dilated. Ok, perhaps hate is too strong of word. Greatly dislike? Loathe immensly? Yes, yes, that's much better.

Also from the Good News Department, I've raised about $120 so far for the Walk to Cure Diabets. Yes, I know, my goal is $2,000 so I'm still very far away. But I broke the $100 barrier which means I get a Walk T-shirt! Yes! Hey, those things are cool.

Well, I gotta hit the hay. Love and happiness!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


The moment you've all been waiting for....

Transitioning From Teenage to Adulthood with Diabetes: How Others Did it … And What it Can Mean for You by me. :-)

This is the article that I was working on a few weeks ago, when I asked for all the adults with Type 1 to contact me. Amazingly enough I still get emails about it.

Anyway, the article has finally been posted on Teen Talk and I hope everyone enjoys it. Please email or leave a comment to let me know what you think.

I don't have any more articles in the works as of now, but if I need any contributions, I will be posting them here.

Hopefully I will be updating more later.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Alrighty then! An actual update!

Sorry I've been so AWOL. I went to Portland, Oregon this weekend (my hometown) for my 20th birthday. I was so busy trying to see all of my friends and family, I didn't have much time to spend on the computer other than just checking email (if I didn't check every day, I would never be able to get through all of it...).

On Thursday I drove up, but due to a wreck a mere 25 miles from my house (!), it took me 2 1/2 hours instead of the usual hour and twenty minutes. I did take the detour though... me and everyone's mother.

I spent most of the weekend hanging out with friends, which was fun. My parents arrived back from New Mexico on the 6th, my birthday. We went into downtown Portland for Thai and shopping. I love new clothes! Especially when I don't have to pay for them!

Sadly, I had to do my overnight basal rate check that night. Waking up every 3 hours is not my idea of a restful nights sleep. I was all cranky by Sunday night, which was unfortunate considering my friends where I currently live were having a party. On top of that, at my 2am check I ran out of strips, so at 5am, I had to get up, go downstairs, put on shoes, grab car keys, stagger out to the car, get the other box of test strips out of the car, go back inside, open and the close the door without waking anyone up, stagger upstairs and test. Now, granted all of that only took about 5 1/2 minutes, but it felt like an hour in my sleepy haze. Next time: remember to have enough strips! Oh, and my blood sugar was 309, so instead of just flopping into bed, I had to high bolus and go to the bathroom. Let's just say I was not a happy camper.

On a happier note, Friday the 5th was the Oregon JDRF chapter's Walk to Cure Diabetes kickoff. This year's theme is WILD FOR THE CURE! I drove to the Oregon Zoo for the event, which was held in the same ballroom as my senior prom. The decorations were all animal themed- include animal printed hankerchiefs and animal shaped clappers. Very festive.

My goal this year is to raise a whopping $2,000. That is my age in $100s. Now, granted, I've never raised more than $500 in a single year, but this year I'm kind of hoping to raise more money that. Not sure how, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it. I've started a JDRF Walk website, so you can make online donations: http://walk.jdrf.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=extranet.personalpage&confirmID=86082504.

It would be really awesome if you could donate $1, $5 or $10...

Anyway, I better run!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Nostalgia- an old post from my Teen Talk diary

Real post coming shortly. Until then:

"January 24, 2004:

I was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago today.

I'm only 18 years old and, to me, that seems like a really long time. I know there are people who are a lot older than I am who have had it a longer than I have, but 10 years just seems like a long time. Maybe that's because centuries are divided into decades and I've had diabetes for a whole decade.

I was 8 years old and in third grade was I was diagnosed. I didn't know anything about diabetes. I think I might have heard the word before- I was an avid reader of The Babysitter's Club and one of the characters, Stacey, had diabetes. I learned quickly what it was I needed to do and I was supposed to live. I can't remember having too much trouble adjusting to my life. Though it wasn't too much fun listening to my parents argue about whether I should have a bedtime snack or waiting until my presentation was over before saying I was low and had to leave, because I was afraid that I would get in trouble if I stopped. My parents were amazing though, and so was the staff at my schools. I only wish every diabetic could be as lucky to have people who really care without being too overly controlling.

I have certainly learned more about how to stick up for myself in situations where I might not be getting the best treatment. Nobody knows better than me what I need to do to be healthy, even if I don't always want to admit it.

A lot of people know me from my work on Teen Talk or with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the American Diabetes Association. Truth is, I fought doing any diabetes advocacy for years. That was not me, I thought. Why on earth should I complain about diabetes? All I had done was say how "not a big deal" it was and how I was "perfectly normal." One of my best friends, Clare Rosenfeld, has been doing diabetes advocacy for 10 years, as long as we've both had it. We weren't great friends when we first met, but I read about her in the monthly Diabetes Forecast, and occasionally saw her in the newspaper. It wasn't until we were older, and in high school, that she finally convinced me to become a diabetes advocate. It wasn't a direct vocalization that this is what I should do. She led by example. Clare showed me, and a lot of people, that not everyone has the easiest time in the world with diabetes. There are a lot of unfair things that happen because of something none of us asked for. But it wasn't enough to sit around moaning and complaining about how much life sucks. If we were going to complain, we might as well complain while getting results.

So, finally, seven years into the disease, I decided I was going to do something too.

Long story short, in three years I have gone from babysitter for diabetic children, to Children's Congress delegate, to webmaster of CureNow, to host of Teen Talk and mentor to teens and adults dealing with having diabetes in their life. I'm making up for lost time, I say.

One of my least favorite memories, but my favorite reason to stay a diabetes advocate, was the time when I was babysitting a little three-year-old diabetic, Amanda, and her older sister, Julia. I was babysitting them over dinnertime and I had to give Amanda her evening insulin shot. Amanda is a tiny little girl, so the needle was quite large compared to her. She held her breath, and I injected her as quickly as I could. But she still cried. I don't know how parents of children with diabetes do it. I have hard enough time doing it to myself, but I at least know why I'm doing it. Amanda was only three.

On this past Sunday, I hosted another Teen Talk. This chat was on insulin pumps, but one boy mentioned that he hated having diabetes and he was obviously very upset. Our special guest, Gary Scheiner, posted some excellent advice: "There's this thing called the "Serenity Prayer" that taught me a lot. It goes like this: Grant me the power to change what I can, the ability to accept what I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference. I think it applies really well to living with diabetes. As long as you take care of the little daily things that you have control over, be content in knowing that you are doing what you can."

In 10 years of having diabetes, this is also what I have learned and I don't expect I will learn anything more important than that."