Monday, November 14, 2011

Random thoughts/quotes

I read a couple daily meditations/ bible verses/ spiritual teachings when I can. Why I do this could be another 50 posts, but let's stick to the point tonight. The book I currently love is written by Mark Nepo. His teaching for yesterday was pretty profound, so I thought I would share :

He is talking about staying committed to "your inner path," which, I think, is something that can easily get lost in the chaos that is life in this day and age! Mark goes on to say that...

"This means not separating from yourself when things get tough or confusing. This means accepting and embracing your faults and limitations. It means loving yourself no matter how others see you. It means cherishing the unchangeable radiance that lives within you, no matter the cuts and bruises along the way. It means binding your life with the solemn pledge to the truth of your soul." 

And he continues to say that caring for your soul is " interweaving the life of our spirit with the life of our psychologly; the life of our heart with the life of our mind; the life of our faith and truth with the life of our doubt and anxiety. Our humanness with our spirit"

Just what I needed to read today. Calm within the storm is sometimes closer than your realize. 

Vacation and life insanity

Vacation = major success. My cousin and I basically ate, drank, and played all week. It was incredibly relaxing and peaceful! It was a perfect little get a way!

Now, about two weeks and one work trip later (I was gone allll week last week in St. Louis!) I am playing a game of catch up! Hence, the short post!

Just wanted to shoot a quick update and say...


(and by happy, I mean let's spread awareness and find a cure... that would = happy!)

So, go find your nearest diabetic and give them a hug! They go though a lot everyday, and they may just need a hug today (most likely). Or a trip to the nearest swing-set (yep, I did this today with a good friend!!!) Somehow on a swing, life seems to be more fun!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Packing: diabetes style

Traveling so much for work has made me super low maintenance. I used to be that girl that had 2 suitcases too many and was always cramming on more outfit in for good measure. "What if it's raining and I don't have the perfect rain boots to match my rain poncho" type. Not really that extreme, but you know what I mean. 

Now, I literally throw what every couple "work" outfits I put together (this I actually think about) and then some makeup, pjs, and workout clothes in my suitcase and call it a day. Sort of...

Now that I have become a totally different packing personality over the span of a year, I only have one super frustration when it comes to packing.... Diabetes!!! My free spirit, hippie side just wants to be able to pack nothing and be set for the week, but realistically, I have a high maintenance disease that definitely prevents that. 

For instance, I went to live in London for a summer to study writing through NYU's journalism program. This was right before senior year of college. I literally had one suitcase of clothes, and one of infusion sets, reservoirs, alcohol swabs, insulin, glucagon kits, batteries for pump, batteries for meter, back up meter, and everything else you could possibly think of. (makes me stressed out even THINKING of that time!!) months in a foreign country! Clearly, being 20, I didn't want to let diabetes prevent me from doing what I really wanted to do, so I went, suitcases and notebooks in hand! Turned out to be an awesome trip! But I digress...

Now, I am leaving tomorrow morning for a little week-long vacation to Arizona. Granted, this is not a 3 month long stay in London, but all the precautions have to be made. I have to be insanely organized and on top of things. I've been stressed out for weeks making sure I have ordered all the correct meds, so I don't run out of anything while I am there. If I am home and carelessly forget to order one of the 10 prescriptions I have to maintain and regularly order, I can go run to the doctor's office. This on top of my insane job, travel, account managing, order taking, workout schedule, diabetes maintenance (which has gone to crap since I an stressed). 300s every-night...guilt = tired megan. 

But! Once I hit the sun and 80 degree weather tomorrow, it will all be worth it! And I am totally sleeping on the plane...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


wow, that was fast...

Wanted to leave some inspiration in the form of pictures!

I have been painting a lot lately and those pics will be up soon! (stay tuned!!!)
(credit to
simple photo, but fall is here and I'm obsessed with the tought of living in a little cottage in the middle of nowhere, in fact, when I am driving in cornfields for work, I often pick out my little cottage, much like this pic!!)
found this on pinterest! How amazing!


So, it's been a while! For good reason, more on that later, but new blog and DOC (diabetes online community friends) have recently spurred me (hopefully) posting a lot more! Shout out to scott johnson for connecting everyone via facebook today! Check out his awesome blog @ 

 Hi Cassie! Hi Meagan! :)

Life lately has been anything but focused on or about the 'betes, but that came to bite me in the ass about a week ago when my pump broke and I ended up in the 600s one night. Exhausting. This, following a week of travel that usually always reeks havoc on my sugar control. (any tips out there? besides a pain in the butt CGM??) With the crazy work schedule, it super hard to keep everything in balance! That's definitely my biggest challenge. Good thing I am learning to juggle. :) 

On the personal front, nothing could be better. I am not sure what all I want to throw out there, this is a diabetes blog, but who knows, maybe eventually I will delve back into personal and post-ED updates! All is well!

Has anyone seen/ been involved in Oprah's lifeclass. I know, I know.. most of my friends make fun of me, but it's totally rocking my world. Free therapy basically! No, it's really great! It's basically an hour every week night of life lessons by great people,  and also on her website there are interactive questions. Fridays are webcasts after the show (which really is the best part). Basically, it's awesome and I am learning A TON! 

I literally have filled out an entire moleskin notebook with thoughts brought about by thinking about the questions posed... if you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend it. I sort of feel like having a chronic illness makes me even more aware of myself and how other people feel (empathetic) and also, makes me want to make the most of myself. To be my best self, I know I have to always be growing. (I could go on forever, but anyways, check it out!) 

Here are a couple awesome questions posed on the site ( Starting with the first night (last monday, Ego was talked about extensively) It was the best class yet : 

"What is the one thing that you most identify yourself with (your looks, your job, your family, etc.)? Who would you be if that were to disappear?"

She goes on to ask how your opinions of what other's think effect your daily choices and decisions. And then she went on to talk about how moving beyond or above the ego can make you align yourself with your "true self". Fascinating how much our ego's can get in the way, even when making simple decisions. It's a lot to think about, but you are not your ego, you are the awareness and separation of your true self from your ego. Fear is another topic covered extensively! How many times has fear stopped you from doing something? For me, the answer is a lot. Trying to be aware and change it. How different would the world be if people had no fear? And followed their crazy ideas through? With no fear of failing? Interesting stuff. 

I should leave you there! But more updates coming soon! Promise!

Oh favorite new songs : Kelly Clarkson (yeah, I know, but it's an awesome female empowerment song! " What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" 

D-friends, this is a break up song, but if you relate it to diabetes, it's an awesome message!

Have a good week! Im off to Arizona for a lil' R & R!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Connections and disconnections

Lately, frankly, I've been struggling. I just turned 24 last weekend, and I am feeling a little off.

Not to get into details, but it is what it is, I am getting the support I need and all will be well!

Any who, on the personal life front, I've been making some great connections! I just got off the phone with a doctor who owns his own behavioral health practice out west, and was very encouraging to me as I am slowly figuring out what I an drawn to do... Work with diabetics as a counselor, or something like that, who knows.

Work wise, my traveling schedule is about to pick up in a major way, starting tomorrow! I will be gone all week.

Which sort of brings me (not really) to my next point... Anonymity.

I just recently made the decision to take myself off Facebook.. Well at least ot visit it daily...hourly.. Etc. Facebook is such a cool tool to share things with friends, share pictures, and talk to relatives or distant friends. I've totally taken advantage of it my whole adult life and made and strengthened some great relationships via Facebook, but it also seems to create and provoke drama. Something I totally loved when I was younger... Even recently, but it's become a little too much. And frankly, I don't care what you did this morning, fascinating as all my "friends" lives are. Im happy with who I talk ton daily via phone, email, and text :) So, I still have my account, but I will just check it from time to time for now. Facebook is great for people like me who are easily inspired and whonfeed off of positive energy, but it also shows me how big some people's egos are! Are how it can spark competition and negativity is kind if silly.

Rant over :)

Since these next couple of months are promising to be kind of stressful I thought I'd post some of my favorite stress releiveing tips! Please share yours!

Walking my dog
Drinking or green please!
Listening to music "quiet the mind" by zac brown band currently!
Collating!! My and my friend just starting doing this together! Its so fun and is a great creative outlet!
Take a fitness class... Yoga or kickboxing are my favorites!
Paint my nails... Usually hot pink or bright red
Write a blog or in a journal
Hang out with chill friends
Watch a movie
Light candles
Take pictures of something pretty
Color, yes color, find some crayons and tell me you don't love it
Play (or try) to play guitar

Your turn!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Women, Food, and God

Sorry for the lack of posts! I clearly, as stated on my notebook, need to "get my shit together." 

With my job, the multi-tasking, joggling, travel, and crazy long hours sometimes, that phrase clearly need some TLC. I mean, I do the best I can, which is all I can ask of myself, but a vacation is definitely needed. 

This weekend is my 24th birthday, and I am taking off most of this week to do nothing other than shop, eat, relax, and workout, beach it, or do whatever the hell I want! woowoo! No work! Ok, this is getting journal-y... 

I come to a very interesting spot in my recovery. It is the spot of total and utter indecision and just general lack of much care. This is worry-some to my type A personality, but it also feels really good. And I think it is a necessary step, so let's ride this wave. Needless to say, these past couple of months have NOT been easy, but we all have little slips and times where you really just need to hold on for dear life. This, my friends, is one of those times. And I am finally able to post because I am reading the most amazing book and felt the need to share it. 

It's called "women, food and God." I think ALL girls should read this book honestly. I think a majority of my friends struggle in some capacity with food or exercise or drinking or smoking or whatever your "vices" are. This book is super straightforward (totally my kinda read) and very very thought provoking. It's helpful in times like this, for me, to pull myself out of whatever struggle is on the radar at the time. 

Here is a great quote maybe halfway through the book when she is talking about "letting go" and being who you were meant to be. Accepting that you don't have to fight if you really look into your heart, intuition, look to God, and just let everything be. Without controlling or needing to "fix" it. Without trying to manipulate anything, just look at yourself for who you are, being okay with it, loving it, and basically live and let live! STOP THE FIGHT! just stop. 

Here is the quote she says, when you stop the fight, " It feels like the essence of tenderness, compassion, joy, peace. Like love itself. And in the moment you feel it when you recognize that you ARE it and that you've been here all along, waiting for your return. When you forget, like you always do, you suddenly understand that kindness to anyone- a plant, an animal, a stranger, a partner- brings you closer to this. Taking care of your body is taking care of this. That taking care of the earth is taking care of this... You returning to yourself. And that hell is nothing more than leaving this. Heaven is already here on earth."
(Roth pg. 75)

So well put! Any in recovery this was definitely something I think would have been a great push! I worked for years to really make sure I was inspired daily and worked SO hard at getting through, and now I am at the point where as terrifying as it is, soon I will be able to release and be. I feel like I get glimpses of this often, which is everything I can hope for right now. Living in love, being around awesome people and leaving those behind that don't feel right, even though your heart can sometime lead you that way.

Until next time.... Live in Love


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Poems, music, and art

...Three things I am enjoying right now.  The thing about being 23 (which isn't old, but its not 18 anymore!) and growing up rather quickly as I had to take on diabetes at 16, has made me more appreciative. Sounds weird typing that a disease can cause you to be MORE appreciative, but I think it really did.

I guess struggles can make you realize or appreciate the small things in life easier. When I was younger, the days would fly by (which they still do!!) but I wouldn't take the TIME to appreciate the small things. I think the more time I take to say thanks and to appreciate the small things, the richer, fuller, and more I get out of life.

...deepness over...

Poems! I never really understood poetry before, but when I started reading Maya Angelou and reading her poetry, a new found appreciation surfaced. To use words, sometimes even very simple words, to say( or leave for interpretation) extraordinary things is mind blowing to me! So, I bought a new book called "she walks in beauty." It is a book of poems collected by Caroline Kennedy about women and it's great! Ill post one later tonight!

More on art and music after tennis practice... whoops!


Sunday, May 22, 2011


After reading this ( hearing different comments I'm extremely frustrated. 

I know that somewhere, there is probably a place, a treatment center for type one diabetics and eating disorders, but I can't find one when I search it. After reading this article, I am blown away. This girl is amazing. Also, 1 in 3 girls with type one have eating issues! Talk about a NEED. This needs to be addressed upon diagnosis. I am so passionate about this because I have experienced it. 

My treatment was more eating focused and therapy focused. Diabetes was not left out as I was seeing an endocrinologist and diabetes educator weekly, but what I needed at the time was someone who could do everything. Someone who understood what it was like to be diabetic and have these intense issues with food. Let's face it, it comes with the diagnosis. 

Personal life goal? I know mine. It is so clear, especially now. More to come on this later. 

If anyone reading this knows of a place that specializes is both, please contact me. 

Off to research the day away!

Amazing words by Mumford and Sons ...

"And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."

So true! What is your hill? 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Words of comfort for everyone struggling

After receiving many emails, I decided there is such a need for words of hope! As my mom used to tell me when I was in the depths of my illness, or depression, or even on a bad day, "hold on." Tomorrow is a new day. 

Even if you are not God-fearing, these quotes with inspire. Take them for what they are:

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31

“Enlightenment does not ask you to be perfect; it simply asks you to find perfection right where you stand.” Alan Cohen

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha

Music video/song I love:

Friday, May 20, 2011

The 'betes

Honestly, my sugars haven't been that great. I don't want any one reading this to think that everything is all about rainbows and unicorns ( I am going to start taking horseback riding lessons though, I digress). My blood sugars honestly suck right now, and I probably am due for another doctor visit.

The thing is though, sometimes my body needs, which I am super in-tune to now, and my needs for my diabetes are usually not the same. My disease wants protein and fiber and veggies. My body wants real food, food to fuel, and chocolate. This doesn't always work to my advantage, and I still feel like I am "playing around" to try and find the right mix of insulin to carb ratios, basals, workout basals, etc, and it's annoying to be honest. Why can't anyone figure this out? Yeah,  certain foods make me go higher than others, but I know that, I am a smart girl, I take the insulin for it, so why do I still float high all day and all night?! I adjust my basals every time I go to the doctor, and every time I adjust them to higher, I am going low all the time. There is no middle ground right now, or at least it seems that way. I was diagnosed in 2004, so thats... 7 years?! And I am still trying to figure this silly disease out? 

On a non-rant-side note, has anyone heard of or experienced "brittle" diabetes? I have read about this, and whatever that is, I feel like I have. The line is so thin that I walk, I feel like I am either falling one way or the other. Why can't I walk the line? Even for a day? I see other people's blogs and they get upset or frustrated if they rebound low or high after chocolate cake.. I mean, yes that sucks, but at least you know why, too much or too little insulin. Sometimes I'll wake up fine, and by the time I eat I am over 280. Usually these days, I wake up around 300. Yeah, I even wake up in the middle of the night, check sugars and bolus. 

I know a lot of people probably gasped at that, but that is just what it is right now and I am working to fix it. It's raw and it's real and it is what it is. I sometimes wake up really tired, I sometime wake up and have to postpone by run, or cancel it. Or I sometimes want to go back to sleep because I know my pump site is messed up or my infusion set got messed up or pulled out during the night, which seems to be the case a lot! (?)  I probably should make it more of a priority, but for so long my life was ruled by diabetes, now it is ruled by... nothing, and it's nice. Getting real and knowing the consequences is important though, and I definitely see that!  

Off to enjoy a lovely weekend of no work, walks outside with my dog, and some tennis! Oh, and maybe some nights out with friends! :) 

Have a good night!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To run or not to run...

When people say they "love exercise" don't you think they are full of shit?! (sorry to be blunt, but loving pain is not normal) I think what they mean is they love the endorphins, "fins" as I call them. And I guess I should follow up by saying that exercise shouldn't be painful. It should push your limits, but not be painful. I think I used to say I loved exercise because I did it so much and was always an athlete growing up, people would think I was nuts if I told them running 5 miles every morning sucked, but I did it anyway, right?!

At my worst, I would force myself to run x amount of miles everyday at the same time, clockwork, despite the fact that my body was tired, my back was in pain, my knees both had pretty severe tendonitis, I was not properly fueled, and I WAS EXHAUSTED. This dark place, I would never wish on my worst enemy. Not only was I not listening to my body cues, I was miserable, tired, and more depressed than ever. Not to mention sleep deprived, crabby, and not fun to be around. Oh yeah, and I didn't want to/didn't have the energy to see my friends. (ps: friends that stick around during this time in my life will never leave. And for that, you know who you are, I am forever grateful.)

I knew it went to far one day when I was home for the weekend and my dad found me on the treadmill in the basement with two knee braces on, hunched over in pain from my back, running.

I look back and see how powerful the mind can be. And how much it can take over you and convince you that you are right, and you have to make things happen, and you need to be in control at all times.

I am a testament to the fact that that is a horrible way to live. Is my body as "toned" as it once was when I was younger? Probably not, and I am okay with that, in fact, I am proud of it now. I can hold my head up and say that I treat my body with the respect it deserves as a work of God and a gift given to me.

If anyone out there is struggling with some inner voice telling them they "have" to do something, all I would say is question it. Always question your mind when your heart tells you something different.

Your body will still be the same tomorrow if you didn't get in your workout today, I promise. And, sorry, but your body will be the same tomorrow if you ran 10 miles today.

Living a healthy lifestyle is more than your physical body. Yes, as a diabetic, it is important to stay healthy, but it is also important to live your life. Never force your body to do something. Take a moment each morning to really listen to yourself or sit in quiet. If you love a good morning run, go for it, if you life to walk the dog (my fav.), go for it, if you want to go back to bed (and it's a weekend or you have no job, ha), go for it! This is sounding preachy, but once I realized that I could wake up and do what my body felt like, not what I felt like I had to do, I was free.

I am not one of those people who loves to go to the gym, but I do it sometimes because it helps my sugars and gets my day off on a healthy track, wakes me up and is sometimes invigorating. I do love tennis, and I do love yoga, and playing with my dog, and I actually do enjoy a run every... week or so, I found that this is what makes me happy and it took me years of writing and knowing myself and my physical ailments and making sure I was properly fueled. I can actually really enjoy things that were at some point torture. I can go months without exercise as well though, just long walks with my dog and some yoga and still be okay.

Ladies, love your bodies and yourselves. No one, and no doctor knows you better than you! The pressure on women these days to look a certain way is unbelievable. Kids as young as 6 are trying to tone their legs and butts with "shape up" shoes. It's ridiculous, and we are the generation to stop it. Operation beautiful is a great website that shares the message:

Whether it takes a post it note or a daily check in, let those negative thoughts and images float over you. Be the best you, not the second best Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Aniston.

A quote to think about :

"There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain and remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself." - anonymous

the final testament of the Holy Bible

Ok, I feel like I need to preface this post by saying. I am a questioner at heart. I question and challenge everything. I always have. How do you know anything without asking questions? I was born wide-eyed and curious, I still live everyday like that today. Looking at life through the lens of gratefulness and beauty makes life a lot better. 

I have been reading a TON about life. I have been studying the vagus nerve and trying to figure out why some people live by emotions, some people live with their minds, and some suppress it all and live how someone told them they should live, or by some church mandated ideals/rules. Conclusions: No, of course not, but I do feel like I am learning to navigate relationships and friendships more! 

With all that said, I am a Christian, and I live with Christian ideals. Although, I am open to any discussion about any religion or idea. Some of my friends are Christian, most are not. I don't judge. Who made me God? (ha sorry had to)

There is a new book that is out as of this week called "The Final Testament of the Holy Bible" by James Frey. Now, James Frey is one of my favorite authors of all time. Yeah, sounds crazy. He was the one that "embellished" in his world famous book, "A Million Little Pieces." None-the-less, he is a great writer and "A Million Little Pieces" was the first book I read that really shook me. It was raw and gritty. It made me question things and think about life in a way I hadn't yet, and what more do you want from a book? He challenges people, pushes buttons, and it ultimately, a great writer who does what he wants. No filter. I met him actually when I was living in London a couple of years ago. He was at his book signing in jeans and a T-shirt, looking a little disheveled, and he was great to talk to. My friend Nicole and I were the last ones in line, so we got to have a conversation with him. He was very real, just like he is in his books. 

Now, his new book is totally insane. I bought it for $50! Yes, 50 bucks! And I haven't been able to put it down. It talks about the Messiah as if he were living in New York in our current day. It's a great book, but I won't give to much away. I will be posting quotes from the book to see what you think about it! Very interesting! Here is a video of James talking about it:

I have to pre-face this last controversial video saying that I DO NOT believe what he says in this. But it is a good example of the controversy he portrays. Seeing the Bible as a book of lessons is interesting though. I am not sure how I feel about this yet.

Until next time...

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Love and other Drugs".... The Movie

Another random post, but as I was watching "Love and Other Drugs" (great movie BTW) I couldn't help but to relate to Anne Hathaway's character as she was talking about how she felt! Does everything have to be more complicated by illness? Of course not, but it was interesting to see both sides of how both people felt! Something to think about...

Currently music obsession: Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" along with Adele's whole album "21"

"one and only" is amazing.

most. random. posts. ever. normal bloggish stories resume next time...

.... total tangent, bear with me...

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I have been super busy! My job has me all over the place, and I also have been diving into a bunch of different projects and interests. I have been writing a ton, but not for the blog! I have been writing about people a lot (more to come on this @ a later date). And I have also been reading. A lot. One of my favorite books, ever, is written by Shauna Niequist and it's called, "Cold Tangerines." It was really helpful for me to read when I was struggling a lot with everything. It basically talks about really being grateful for everyday and thankful. Changed my attitude when I was younger (or at least made me stop and think, there is no changing teenagers). I'll share my favorite quote from this book maybe in my next post. I painted in out on a canvas and have it where I can see it daily! I am SO into quotes right now.

 I was watching Oprah yesterday (yes, I love that show, I don't care what everyone thinks about Oprah, she sparks something deep down in people) and she had on a man named Tom. I totally suggest you check out this website:   

I am so excited to see this documentary! It is all about how all surviving biological creatures are not self-serving, they are all about community and the helping out of each other. Humanity, as it is today, is all about a sort of self-serving, who-ever-gets-to-the-top-with-the-most-money-wins, sort of mentality. Really made me think and re-evaluate goals. I've been looking into many non-profits that have sparked my interest too! If you want to read more about it, email me, fascinating stuff, but anyways... 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the site: 

“Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts…
But the God who only knows four words…
“Come dance with me.”" - Hafiz

“The man may teach by doing, and not otherwise. If he can communicate himself, he can teach, but not by words.” (Spiritual Laws)

So interesting, right? 

Anyways, on the diabetes front... I haven't really been paying as much attention as I should be. I guess it happens when you are so engulfed in something else... My to-do list includes making doctors appointments and figuring out how to keep this dumb sensor on for at least 6 months. It is so annoying, I usually find myself ripping it out after two days of beeping. Any advice?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not all diabetes...

Clearly, from these first few posts, it seems like a lot of my life was consumed by diabetes, and it definitely was. Part of my "recovery" from my eating disorder and also a life consumed by diet, was a focus outside of the diabetic world. These two illnesses somehow got meshed together over the years as I was getting progressively sick.

The reason being is that when someone would ask me if I wanted to go out to eat, I could get away with not going because I didn't know the exact carb count or someone would ask me if I wanted something to eat (anything really) and I could justify not having it by saying that my blood sugars were high and I couldn't eat it now.

You can see how by developing and eating disorder and having diabetes can play into each other. But my life now is full of things that have nothing to do with diabetes and/or ED (which is short for eating disorder). ED is just an easier way to talk about something in the third person. In the hospital, when addressing the disorder, it was just easier to say "ED."

Even though I still have to balance all of this on a daily basis, and EDs don't just go away, the struggle gets easier most days, and my life is now pulled in many different directions. Diabetes is a part of my life in a big way as it plays into healthy choices and the lifestyle that I lead, but it most definitely is NOT my whole life, and I like it that way.

Today? What Now?

The last two years of my life have been a rollercoaster, but today, I feel great. I am back to my old self. Nothing is “perfect” and I am okay with that. I do what I can to manage my, still brittle, diabetes. I am no longer on an infant dose of insulin. I play tennis again, can run five miles if I want without much trouble, but I can also spend the day watching movies in bed if my body feels like it needs a break. I have a great job and I have the most amazing family and core group of friends in the entire world. My mom, dad and brothers have been to hell and back with me, but still stick by my side to this day. My friends that I had in high school are still my best friends to this day, even though I purposely lost touch for a little while. I can enjoy life, take care of myself, and take care and nature my disease without it being at the forefront of my life and that is what makes me most happy.
The diabetes was a gift that took too long to unwrap and come to terms with. It gave me purpose, passion, and tools to overcome the biggest struggles I thought I might not make it out of. Having an eating disorder has showed me that life can be hard, actually it can seem impossible to make it to the next day, but overcoming this horrible disease has changed my life for the better. I have never felt stronger. I am proud of where I am. I don’t want to be a model and my body could never look like a model’s body. That is not where my goals lie anymore because life is too much fun when you are not on a constant diet. Life is too colorful when you aren’t looking at it though a black and white lens. It is a place of opportunity and a place to foster your dreams and ambitions, to never take no for an answer from anyone, if you are passionate about something.
If you are struggling with any sort of diabetes related eating issues, encourage you to get help. It seems like with diabetes, eating issues are confusing and frustrating, and sometimes you just need someone to relate to. Sometimes you need someone to yell at, sometimes you need someone to feel sad with. Make sure you have that in your mom, a therapist, or a friend. Find an outlet that isn’t food or exercise related. In the world that us woman and girls live in today, it is EASY to get sucked into that trap, that diet trap that engulfs your world. Please, let me just tell you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a life after dieting. There is a life after the fear. 


Growing up, I never thought this could ever happen to me, but it did. It was the perfect mix: A type A personality with not so great/distorted body image, mixed with a disease that takes a lot of effort and research to be on top of, the age at which I got diabetes, along with my own perfectionist tendencies, it was inevitable for me.

I was emitted into an eating disorders hospital the day after Thanksgiving, ironically. I was there until Christmas. It was the worst time in my life, and also the start to a new awakening. I was forced to have big meals, to eat often, and it was an absolute nightmare. I was so tired mentally, physically, and emotionally during this time of intense therapy, it was draining in the best way possible. I felt heard, I felt like people understood me and wanted to help me. I also felt vulnerable and I cried everyday. It was the beginning to the new me. I could relate to people and I started to come out the fog I had been living in. I could stop striving for perfection. Someone told me is was okay to be imperfect and I believed her. 

Taking Over

When I walked off the plane coming home from London and saw my mom and dad waving, I felt a sigh of relief that I was home. But then as I got closer to them, I watched my mom’s face as she had a very worried look on her face and heard to faintly gasp to my dad, “she’s so thin.”
The ride home was pretty quiet as I was just glad to be home, to be in the hands of my parents, I felt safe and I felt scared too. Would they find out?
I moved into my own apartment right on the lake in downtown Chicago that fall. I wanted to be on my own, to feel that same independence I felt when I was in London. This clearly was not a good decision knowing the state that I was in, but I did it anyways. The next couple of months were some of the darkest days of my life. I was depressed, cold, thin, and hungry. I was in my senior year at college, I was pretty isolated from life, and from my friends and family because social outings usually meant some sort of food was involved, and that was just too much work explaining how I couldn’t eat. I would usually blame the diabetes and say my sugars were high, even though they were more perfect than ever. I would come home from class, do my homework, and then get to printing out recipes of food I would never eat or make, print out health resources, look at medical journals of diabetes related illness, or just obsess about the perfect diet.
During the last part of that semester (trimester) I barely was living at my apartment because I was home so much going to see different doctors and just being around my family. To put it lightly, I was not a happy person. I was filled with self-hate, horrible body image, and a general hopelessness and sadness I have never felt before. This was the darkest time in my life, and I will leave out a lot of the dark moments I had, but it was a very hard time for my family and I. I was angry I was treating my family and myself how I was, but I couldn’t do anything to stop it. The disease had taken over my mind and thoughts, and I was powerless against it.

The disease was anorexia. 

Are you O.K.?

London was great, I had a great time, but it was also a very dark time. I was very lonely, even with five roommates. I was up early walking to class everyday instead of taking public transportation. I survived on coffee, eggs, and Luna bars. Sometimes if I was starving, I would have some sort of nuts or nut butter to be able to sleep without my stomach feeling like it was eating itself. Before I went to bed every night I would do exercises because I was too weak to do anything else. I went running when I could and practiced yoga to get more in control of my disease and my life.
During this time, I would immerse myself in London culture, art, and other things as I tried to distract myself from how sick I was actually becoming. I would walk miles to go to a drugstore to find a scale where I would pay two pounds to have my weight taken. Looking down at my hipbones poking out of my jeans on either side, the receipt would print out and say that I was at the lowest weight I had ever been. I would revel in this and be terrified at the same time. This would continue throughout my stay in London. I was having trouble putting together sentences in writing class, and grew weaker, but kept on.  My blood sugars were great, and I rarely had to think about my diabetes, unless I had a high sugar or had to change my infusion set for my pump.
My roommates started to take notice of my eating habits as I would always have something different from what they were having, always bought my own groceries and spent minimal money on food.  Or I would buy the most expensive eggs, or the most expensive peanut butter in a small jar for the sake of quality over quantity.
Some friends and I went to Paris for a weekend, and between the walking and lack of food, this was one of the times where I felt very out of it. I loved every second of it and was invigorated by the city itself, but it was a hard time for me mentally. It was a struggle to keep my cool and I was anxious and on edge a lot of times.
My roommates began to notice, and one day when I got home from writing in a coffee shop, I heard them all talking. They were talking about me and how I wasn’t eating much. My very good friend and roommate said some very hurtful things as I listened behind the door. I immediately opened the door, went in my room, slammed the door and cried. Cried that someone thought I was sick, cried because I had no idea what I was doing, cried because I missed my mom and my family back home, cried because I had a paper due tonight but was too weak to put two thoughts together, cried because I was really hungry after my walk, but I couldn’t eat, cried because I realized I would not let myself eat, cried because I was scared of myself.

Control this!

I moved home after my sophomore year in college in hopes of getting some support from my family, as my diabetes had landed me in the hospital a couple of times as my sugars really started to take a toll. I decided to keep trying to lower my insulin levels by cutting back on carbs, and found that my blood sugars were slowly improving.
Seeing doctors every couple of months kept me very aware of the ups and downs of my weight and I saw the correlation between my blood sugars, my weight, and my carb and food intake. This is when the obsessions with the scale really started to take over. It was then that I got an insulin pump, that promised even better control of my blood sugars.
The pump made me even more aware of my body in the strangest way possible. I know had to pinch the fat on my belly in order to insert the needle. Pinching my belly only made me hyper aware of my stomach and its shape.
The mix of fashion magazines I loved to read, being an athlete whose body looked more athletic than thin, and my obsessions with health magazines, eating healthy, and doctors who educated me about the different thyroid hormones that were always a struggle to keep level which affected my weight, and also my perfectionist tendencies ended up taking over every aspect of my life. When I was feeling down, I would convince myself I needed to be healthier or thinner or better, and this would drive me to do weird things.
With diabetes, you are very aware. You are aware of every single thing you eat (because you have to count it), every time you go for a walk, take a sip of something that isn’t water, every time you decide to go out with your friends to a restaurant.
My junior year I decided to really take my independence to the next level. I wanted to experience life from a different perspective, gain more freedom, and I decided I wanted to take my love for writing and photography to London, England. I signed up to study abroad though a program that sounded amazing through New York University.
The summer before leaving for London, my obsessions had taken over my everyday. My thoughts and actions were consumed with being one-pound lighter everyday on the scale. I would step on the scale in the morning and this would determine my day. If I were lighter, this would be a good day. If I was the same or heavier, it would usually be an exercise filled day, and a day of only eating what I thought I should, which was usually next to nothing. Actually I can remember whole days where I remember exactly what I had eaten in the day because I usually ate the same thing every single day for months at a time. My blood sugars have never been better than during this time. I ate at the same time every day, ate the same thing every day, and exercised at the same time every day. My body was no longer out of my control, it was under perfect control. I was no longer a person that had much free will, I was someone who was controlled by my disease, but this is the only way that worked, I thought.
I went to London terrified, nervous, but confident that I was doing something independent and on my own. Even though I had to bring a separate suitcase of only diabetes supplies, that part of my life felt controlled. I wasn’t scared that I would have to be hospitalized overseas, because I had it perfect. Just find the exact foods you ate here in the states, and you would be fine. Stay in control, I thought to myself. 

Who am I?

I went about my senior year of high school taking my shots in the nurses office before lunch hour, pricking my fingers up to thirty times a day, playing tennis, drinking propel or Gatorade if I went to low, and really starting to get a handle of my disease. I didn’t really pay much attention to what I was eating, but I am pretty health conscious, so naturally, I was a healthy girl. My senior year, I really excelled at tennis and ended up going to the state tournament, and going further than I ever thought I could do. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally at my peak. Diabetes was a part of my life I nurtured and took care of, but it was just a part of my everyday life. I was handling everything really well.
The whole time I was in high school I had one goal: get into DePaul University in downtown Chicago. My wish came true as I got into my dream school, moved out of my house, and lived in the freshman year dorms.
College is the time for independence, experimentation, finding yourself, and really living your life for yourself. It was an amazing time and I made amazing friends, loved classes, and exploring the city of Chicago on a whole new level. I loved every second of it and felt like I was finding myself.  Self-growth and experimentation comes at a price sometimes. I wanted to be independent and didn’t want to think about this disease that was now rearing its ugly head as I went out with friends, went drinking, went out to get milkshakes at 3 am because we were studying late, or going to work out at midnight after class. My blood sugars started to creep up overall and this ended up taking its toll. My weight started to creep up as well as my insulin resistance was being built up.  The freshman fifteen, to me, was not only something that I could gain and loose, it was something that was affecting my health and I wasn’t happy about it for all of those reasons.
From sophomore year to senior year, I became obsessed with food and exercise, and diabetes. I did research. I took up running as a way to control what I thought I could control: my weight. I dieted with friends, drank only cranberry juice for a couple days, ate only salads, tried to stay as healthy as possible in the dorm setting, while still trying to hold onto my blood sugar control. Barley hanging on to my social life, I took on a job nannying for kids in the city. I loved this job, but between late night of work, studying, and exercising, my life was slowly being taken over my thoughts and obsessions. 

Plastic Fruit

The next week was filled with doctors, IV’s, lessons on how to stick an insulin needle in a piece of fruit, and then in my own belly. Instructions on how to poke my own fingers, put blood on the little strip, and to know what the numbers on the screen meant.
All along I felt like my entire well being, my health that I took for granted before, was completely reliant on the nurses and doctors that were around me poking and prodding me with whatever device they had at the time. 
“Is this my new life?” I kept repeating in my head throughout the week. “How am I going to be able to do this? I have the ACT this weekend, and tennis? What am I going to tell my coach? Can I still play tennis?”
The confusing part to me, was the one part of this whole ordeal that I had some control over, what I was going to eat. The plastic fruit I was taught to carb count on seemed juvenile and stupid, and I just didn’t want any part of it. I mean, I felt like a kindergartener, learning how to eat and count. I listened to the nice nurse showing me the size of a fifteen carbohydrate apple, and how many carbs one piece of whole wheat bread had. I wish I would have taken this more lightly than I did. My type A personality went numbers crazy, this overwhelming thought that I would no longer be able to just eat what my body wanted, I would have to calculate, count, and analyze this every time I was hungry, was a thought that kept spinning in my head for the duration of my stay in the hospital. This was the part that would soon get way more complicated than I would ever know.
(As I spent the week sleeping, my mom slept on the hospital chair next to me, awake for every 4 am finger prick, every 8 am shot, and so on. I am not sure she actually ever slept the entire time I was in the hospital. )
When I got home, having a little more energy and having my mind thinking a bit more clearly, I did what anyone would do in my position would do… I googled. I googled everything from “what would happen if my sugars stayed high my whole life” to “how many carbs are in a bowl of soup” What about a bowl of ice cream? Wow, probably won’t be having that again. “How many carbs are in a banana? Really? That sucks. I went down the list of things I liked in my head, slowly eliminating as I went down the list. This was the start of what would years later, weigh heavy on my mind, heart, and body.

The Beginning

When I meet people now, they could never know the struggles that I have had.  If you see me now, I am a happy, healthy, active young woman who genuinely loves life. (as cheesy and cliché as that sounds, it’s true) I couldn’t say that about the past five years about my life.
I was diagnosed with type one diabetes on March 3rd, 2004, I can remember vividly, even though my blood sugars had me swaying in and out of consciousness, walking around in baggy sweatpants, a hoodie, and baseball hat, struggling to remember even the most simple information as the nurse asked me to recite my name, date of birth and symptoms.
“Well, I am exhausted, like, I can’t even get out of bed. I was supposed to go to school today, but when my mom came in my room to wake me up, I just cried because I can’t even lift my head, let alone shower and get ready. None of my clothes fit, I feel sick. I slept this entire weekend after an intense training session I had on Friday night with my tennis coach. I had this skin rash a while ago, and they said that lethargy ,thirst, and hunger might be some side effects of the medication, but I can’t even function.” I said rambling, searching for some sort of answer.
“Let’s test your blood sugars,” the nurse said in a very concerned tone.
“What’s that?” I said, sitting worriedly, as she poked my finger with a needle. The blood dripped onto the test strip.
The meter beeped. “HIGH” it read.
“I can’t even get a reading, lets try this again.” My mom and I looked at each other, not knowing what was about to happen.
“HIGH” the meter showed.
“You probably have diabetes,” the nurse blurted out, and went to go grab a doctor.
I sat, in a panic, and immediately started to cry, feeling as if she just gave me a death sentence, having no idea what was going on. The look on my mom’s face echoed the panic that was in mine.
The doctor came in, told me not to move, and said they were going to call an ambulance to get me to a hospital as soon as physically possible.
“I’d rather go with my mom to the hospital,” I’m fine, I insisted.
I got myself out to my mom’s car, with her help, both of us in a state of shock, panic, and confusion. She called my dad and told him to meet us at the hospital as soon as he could.
From that day on my life would be completely changed, and it took me until now, in the year 2011, to realize it was for the better. My life up until now has been very, very hard. Unknowingly, I was in the struggle of my life, or at least the beginning of it. 

Medical vs. emotional

A couple of days ago, I was asked to share my story on another diabetes blog. I was super flattered, so I decided to write it out. I sat down with my laptop last Saturday after the usual yoga/breakfast/caffeine combo, and about 5 hours and 10 pages later, I had written down "my story." I've been thinking about going "public" (ha, well at least online) with my story in the hopes of helping other people who are going through the same struggles.

Doctors don't tell you diabetes will rock you to your core, test your strength daily, kick your ass, make you feel like a robot, make you feel like a crazy person (mood swings with highs!), mess with your emotions, eating patterns, and interfere with your family and relationships. All they tell you is how to prick your fingers and give yourself shots. Even though I knew how to do all of the medical stuff, I would later find out that how diabetes impacts my everyday life would be the thing that required the most time and attention.

Yeah, the medical stuff was difficult, and still is when an infusion set gets messed up or caught on a door handle as you are hurrying to get out the door (ouch!), or when a roller-coaster sugar day leaves you too exhausted to go out and see your friends, or when you get a crazy low that leaves you hungry and sleepy during a time when sleepy isn't an option. You get my point, the medical stuff can be really annoying, but you deal with it. The emotional stuff, however, can be a little bit harder to deal with.