What I Wish People Understood About Type 1 Diabetes.

diabeetus-cat

Hey Y’all! Let’s get realll honest for a few minutes. Is that cool?

For the last year or so, I’ve been struggling with something. Type 1 Diabetes. I know, I know not the confession that most of y’all have been waiting for buuutt this is where I have to start. Something simple, rip off the proverbial band aid before I can go after some real sh*t that has kinda messed with me too. But back to the diabetes, this is something that only my close family and friends know about. I don’t know I guess I have been ashamed of it, maybe a lil scared of what people would think? I also hate getting sympathy and most people say they’re sorry when they find out so I just try to hide it. I take my insulin in the bathroom and do my best not to bring it up. Don’t even get me started on dating. But I also don’t talk about it because just like with any illness, there is a stigma that surrounds diabetes. When most people think of diabetics, they think of overweight, unhealthy people. I know that, because I used to think that too. (disclaimer: I’m not offended by jokes really or that diabeetus meme but this is more for those uneducated comments people tend to make.) I guess I just wanna clear the air, and maybe you can learn something from this, just like I have been learning everyday.

Type 1 Diabetes is not Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 1 is where the pancreas no longer produces insulin, making someone insulin dependent. Usually diagnosed in young children, also known as juvenile diabetes. Type 2 is when, for multiple reasons, the pancreas can’t put out insulin or not enough insulin and usually with exercise and a proper diet, the pancreas can learn to secrete insulin again. Type 1 is for life, Type 2 doesn’t have to be.

The most important part for people to remember is that we didn’t do this to ourselves and imma say it louder for the people in the back- WE DIDN’T DO THIS TO OURSELVES. We didn’t wake up one day, look in the mirror and say to ourselves, man today would be a great day to get diabeetus. If you were like me, it was a slow process where every day you got sicker and sicker and no one knew what was wrong with you-because you were “too old” for type 1 and “too healthy” for type two. *cue the eyeroll* You went about your days fine for the most part-maybe too tired, too thirsty, always going to the bathroom. For me in particular, I would drink about 2 gallons of water a day along with 8 32 oz bottles of gatorade and was still thirsty. I wasn’t sleeping because I was constantly trying to hydrate and going to the bathroom. My symptoms lasted about three months and then another three months where I was treated for type 2 before my doctors finally figured out that I was actually type 1. I had lost almost 30lbs, my blood sugar was in the high 700s, and my A1C was almost at 13 when I was diagnosed. It f*cking sucked and was a culture shock but more on that later.

“Aren’t you a diabetic? Why are you eating chocolate?”

Bruh. Lemme stop you right there. Yes, I am a diabetic. Yes, too much chocolate, pasta, sugar can and will raise my blood sugar. After I was diagnosed correctly and began to work on bringing my blood sugar down, my problem wasn’t staying “too high”, it was dropping too low. I still have low blood sugars fairly often and usually at night. So yes, I eat chocolate and I snack throughout the day but that is only because I would rather have a high blood sugar and have to bring it down than suffer through a low because that sh*t is terrifying. For those who don’t know what a low blood sugar feels like/looks like, I’ll try to explain it. It’s like drowning and you’re gasping for air but the air you crave is sugar, you have tunnel vision towards any source of sugar because nothing matters at that point but getting something, anything into your body. It is literally survival at this point. If you wake up in the middle of the night shaky, sweaty and cold, a little lightheaded, you caught your low in time. But if you’re like me you’ll wake up at the last possible minute, past the sweaty and shaky stage, just cold and you know something is wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it. You can’t see, you can barely talk, all your brain is screaming at you is to get to sugar, you know you need it but you cannot get your brain to communicate to the rest of your body that it’s go time. So yes, I eat chocolate. Bite me. Anything is better than a low blood sugar and scaring your friends and roommates half to death because they don’t know what to do, other than shove orange juice and chocolate and glucose tabs down your throat because you can’t do it yourself.

My personal favorite- you don’t look like a diabetic.

I can go in soooo many different directions with this one but I’ll try to stick to a few. First off, I understand that this one comes from the perception of type 2 diabetics. but come on now. What does diabetes actually look like? You mean the heavyset guy that doesn’t take care of himself? Yeah I get that. But it’s also a three year old girl who doesn’t understand that every time she eats, her mom has to inject her with insulin and those needles hurt. Diabetes is NFL quarterbacks and Olympic athletes and actors and singers. It’s marathon runners and competitive weightlifters. Diabetes is teachers and doctors and paramedics and even, people in the military. Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t care who you are or how old you are. It doesn’t take its time to pick the next person who gets is, it just happens.

Some days I have bad days. Days where everything goes wrong and no matter what I do, my sugars are too high or too low. It’s hard to realize that sometimes your  body is not going to agree with you and bad days are just a fact of life. When i’m having one of those days, don’t tell me what to do to make it better because chances are, I’ve already tried whatever you’re suggesting. Sometimes, it’s just better to let it be and hope for a better day tomorrow.

I don’t understand how you inject yourself so many times a day. I could never do that.

Well thank God that you don’t have to do that. I wish I didn’t but you know I kinda have to in order to survive. And yeah it still sucks, especially when you’re a tiny girl like me and you hit scar tissue at least twice a day, but it’s not something I can decide to live without just because it hurts. (also I kinda like needles now, at least enough to get five tattoos)

You shouldn’t work out so much, you’re only going to make your diabetes worse.

????Huh??? I don’t quite follow the logic on this one because the gym has been the only thing to keep me sane, quite literally saved my life but that is a story for a different blog. When I’m in the gym, I’m not the girl with diabetes, I am the girl who lifts heavy sh*t and gives everything I have into my workouts.

I get that there are always going to be people who have to put their opinions (that they can’t back up with facts btw) into places they should stay out of. Diabetes is not me, it is just something that happened to me, and something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. But that is okay because I am coming to realize that being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, amongst other things, was maybe a blessing in disguise. It has made me stronger. I am not some small voiced weak little girl anymore. I had to grow up just a little faster and take more responsibility for my choices because every choice I make has a reaction on my body. I couldn’t blame anyone for anything that happened to me. I had to become smarter and more educated. I had to learn how to take care of myself and put myself first. I am not perfect and yeah I have days when I want to eat a whole bag of ruffles and french onion dip but I’ve also learnt restraint.

It’s the little things you learn to enjoy the most. 

xoxo,

katie

 

 

Worn Out Sneakers.

running

I put on my old running shoes last night. The ones with the holes in the sides from my wide feet and the laces that are so ratty and torn up that they barely stay tied together, I wasn’t even planning on running like I did last night. I went to the gym to lift like usual and maybe hit the treadmill for a little bit. I was stuck in a Shameless Netflix hole and didn’t get to the gym until a little after 8 pm. I thought they closed at midnight (thanks roomie!), turns out they closed at 9. I finished lifting and was still a little hyped up from my pre workout so I figured a run at night around my campus couldn’t hurt. I took my headphones out and just started to run. My pace was a little faster than what I’ve been running on the treadmill, off and on for the last two months or so. But it didn’t hurt like I thought it would. I felt.. peaceful, tranquil. It was so quiet as I ran, with the stars above me, it was a feeling I hadn’t felt in months, maybe years. The first mile came and passed and I was feeling great, that runners high was back. Halfway through the second mile, I began to feel it. My muscles aching and my old grandma hips complaining and begging me to stop. But I kept going. And it was that feeling, the easy carelessness, that caused me to find myself in the middle of my campus at 10pm on a Friday night, sweaty and panting, yelling up at the sky. I probably looked like a crazy person but I didn’t care. Everything that I had been feeling for about two years or so, I just let it all out. I was standing in a neon sports bra and shorts with shoes with holes in them, talking to God for the first time in years. It wasn’t in my plan for the night but in this moment, it just felt right. I’m alive, I’m here. And I just thought He should know that. 

I have come to realize lately that it’s all about perspective. I am not broken; I am healing. I am feeling. It sounds so cliché but I swear standing there, it was like He was right there with me. He was the breeze that blew around me and He was in the stars twinkling above me. I found the feeling that I think I have been searching for in the last few years, maybe even my whole life. The feelings that I searched for in bottles and people and relationships I should’ve stayed far, far away from. How I felt when I bought things I didn’t need with money I didn’t have, was just a temporary sort of joy. Becoming a person who I was ashamed of; a person who stayed away from her family because I was terrified to death that they would see who I had become too; a lost soul trapped in the noise of the world. 

I’m not really sure what the point of this post was but it has been six months since I wrote on this lil blog of mine and when I finished my run, writing something just made sense. I can’t take back the mistakes of my past, especially the ones made in 2016, but these last six months, moving to a new state and starting over again, has refreshed me. I have a new focus, a new passion, and moving forward, I am curious to see what comes in my future. I am not perfect, I am far from it. I’m just a girl who has learned a lot from my mistakes and I am ready to share and talk about my experiences because if an impromptu run on a Friday night can save me, maybe I can help save someone too. 

I ran four miles last night. I’m not fast like I used to be but as life goes on and we grow and become the people God has meant for us to be, I don’t think we are ever supposed to go back to the people we were because that would be counterproductive of His plan. My shoes fell off around mile 3 because of those ratty old shoe laces and I stopped and looked back at them and just kept running. I’ve had those shoes for the last four years and like lots of things, they too needed to be left in the past. I ran the last mile in socks that didn’t match and I didn’t have a care in the world, I was free at last. When I was done stretching, I just stood at the entrance to my dorm with “The End or Start Again?” by Mod Sun playing on my phone, grateful. Grateful I found Him again and that He is still there after witnessing all the awful mistakes I have made. Grateful for a God who still listens even though I am far from deserving. Grateful for gyms that close early and for a pair of old sneakers that lasted through four years of runs and lifting only to be tossed in a closet, forgotten until I couldn’t find my favorite pair again and then taken out for one last, unexpected run.

I drove to the beach this morning and saw that those old sneaks of mine are still sitting on the side of University Boulevard, right where I left them. I smiled to myself and drove on. Life right? God, actually.  

And I’m alive. I’m here. I’m back. Renewed.

XOXO,

Katie

All The Things I Couldn’t Say To You 

You came in to my life just as fast as you left. If I had known what would happen, if  I could’ve chosen between loving you and letting you go, I would’ve let you go from day one. If I had known how much pain you would cause me, how hurt and unhappy I would be. If I could’ve just predicted the future than I would’ve been able to see; but love doesn’t discriminate. 

Love pulls you to someone even when you want to pull away from them. We are magnets, you and I, but you’re negative and I’m positive. Love comes through the most unexpected holes; in the middle of the night when you’re terrified to say those three little words and when you do they fill the air with the weight of the world. I kissed you in this moment, a moment I had never had, never felt before you. I could feel your tension, your nervousness, in that kiss. I pulled away and the spell was broken. It was real and magical, we were real and magical. 

And we continued to fall in love, day in and day out, deeper and deeper we tumbled down the rabbit hole together. Our time was cut short but we swore and promised up and down, that we would be okay, we would make it through, we could beat our odds. Always and forever, we pinky promised to each other.

But we were wrong or at least I was; because a zebra can’t change its stripes and love can’t fill all the holes. Secrets and lies destroy even the sturdiest bridges and sorry’s don’t fix anything when you don’t even try to fix what you are supposedly sorry for. I think I’ve figured you out by now. Maybe it was real but then the real world came knocking and you opened the door, pushed me away and locked me out. 

Maybe you hoped that if you pushed me away far enough that I would give up on you. Maybe you thought that if you could make me hate you, you could escape without an explanation, without the goodbye I deserve. But you were wrong, I don’t hate you, I feel sorry for you. Sorry that someone taught you how to be selfish and a coward and that you just lost the best thing you ever had while I can add you to the list of the worst things I ever had. I’m sorry that this is going to sting you for the rest of your life and how one day, you’ll look back and regret so terribly how you treated me. I’m sorry that I will be your biggest regret, the mistake that would take miles of courage to rebuild. 

And maybe you just don’t understand what selfish really is, maybe cowardice is your fear talking and you never learned any better. I will tell you about selfish people, and maybe then you will finally understand, finally get what you did to me.

“Even when they know they will hurt you, they walk into your life to taste you because you are the type of being they don’t want to miss out on. You are too much shine to not be felt; so when they have taken your skin, your hair, your secrets with them; when they realize just how much of a storm you are that’s when it hits them. That is when the cowardice sets in; that is when the person you thought they were is replaced by the sad reality of what they are. That is when they lose every fighting bone in their body and leave after saying you will find better than me. You will stand there naked with half of them still hidden somewhere inside you and sob; asking them why they did it. Why they forced you to love them when they had no intention of loving you back and they’ll say something along the lines of I just had to try. I had to give it a chance. It was you after all.”

But that isn’t romantic, it isn’t sweet. The idea that they were so engulfed by your existence that they had to risk breaking it for the sake of knowing that they weren’t the one missing out. Your existence meant that little next to their curiosity of you. That is the thing about selfish people, that is the thing about you. You gambled my entire soul, my entire being to please your own. One second, you were holding me like the world in your lap and the next you belittled me to a mere picture, a moment, something of the past. One second, you swallowed me up and whispered that you wanted to spend the rest of my life with me but the moment you sensed fear you were halfway out the door, without having the nerve to let me go with grace as if my heart meant that little to you. And after all this, all the taking, the nerve. It’s sad and funny how you had more nerve to undress me with your fingers and whisper velvety lies in my ear than to pick up the phone and call; apologize for the loss, and that, was how you lost me.”

I will always wonder about what could have been if you only had the courage to love me fully. You were right, when you said I deserved better and I was wrong thinking that my love could fill your miserable heart and change you for the better. A person can’t make themselves better, can’t change if they don’t want to. You never loved me as much as you said you did and I realize that now. Thank you for showing me what true love isn’t like. Thank you for letting me down and not being what I needed. Thank you for becoming another number and someone who won’t matter to me one day. I am too full of life to be half loved and I am worthy of being shown off and cherished, things you never did. I will never know why you did it- why you made me love you when you knew you wouldn’t love me back; why you promised we would work when you knew we wouldn’t; why we said always and forever when you knew it was only temporary. And it’s going to take a long time but I’m going to learn how to let it go and let it be. I will never have the answers I want. I think sometimes we think we have to have a why- a reason but sometimes things just are. No reason, no why. And it’s not our job to play God and decipher the mystery that should just be and this is the hardest lesson I will learn. But I am done killing myself over people who would not die for me. 

I didn’t ask for much, for anything at all really. Just trust and honesty and most of all your love. I gave and gave and you took and took until I was empty yet you were still begging for more although I had nothing left to give. I lost myself in you and you didn’t have the courage to find me. You sucked my happiness away and made me question everything. But it wasn’t my fault, it was all yours. I did the best I could, I gave us everything I had and then some and still it wasn’t enough for you.

I won our “I love you more” game but this was a game I would’ve gladly lost. 

Still, 
Katie 

If Only.

if-only

Trust and honesty. The two go hand in hand. If there’s no honesty, then there’s little trust. But it’s hard to be honest when you’re terrified of the outcome. Words hurt but I think that the words left unsaid is what can hurt someone the most. You can wonder about all the what ifs; “if only I didn’t say that, if only I didn’t tell them the truth.” But if only you did.

If only you spoke up sooner. If only you bared your heart and soul, naked for once in your life. If only you knew that they were slipping away, sliding right through your fingertips. If only you could’ve been the one to catch them when they fell again. If only you could’ve been the one to save them from themselves.

But the what ifs, and if onlys, and all that we could have, would have and should have beens, will keep you up at night. It’s a slow creep in to your mind just when you convince yourself that you would be better off without them and it stays there until you’re convinced that you could never forget them. That giving up on them means giving up on the possibility of a magical future.

And it’s a hard game, the back and forth. The grown up version of “he loves me, he loves me not” but instead of picking flower petals apart, you’re picking apart every text, every phone call, every kiss shared trying to decipher its meaning, overanalyzing things that are best left alone. 

And I know that this isn’t what you want to hear but darling, if they can take your happiness away when they don’t talk to you for days, if they can make you question your sanity and whether all the struggles are worth this relationship, that is the moment you know you have to let go. 

And it won’t be easy. Letting go is one of the hardest things anyone can do. You’re going to ugly cry to all the songs you used to listen to together while you wear his shirt. It’s going to feel like the end of the world and it is. It’s the end of the world as you knew it with him. But one day, without you even realizing it, you’ll be able to listen to those songs without crying. His shirt will be shoved to the back of your closet or better yet, thrown away. 

You’ll be able to go out with your friends without feeling the crushing weight of guilt and anxiety and eventually, somewhere along the way, you’ll meet someone who will love you so fiercely that you will then understand why it never worked out with anyone else. 

That is the person we are supposed to hold out for. The mythical game changer. Sure we read about him in novels and watch him in movies and we wonder, does a love so pure  even exist?  The answer is yes it does. It is wonderful and fierce love and can knock the wind out of you. You see, the thing about those writers who wrote those novels and movies is writers don’t write about the things they don’t believe in.

Great love stories exist. The game changers, they exist too. But to get to the best parts of your story, you have to experience heartbreak. You have to feel like you can never get up off your floor because you can never get over what you thought would be a great love. You have to experience failure and rejection and fear of losing and missing out on something incredible. Those emotions will be what motivates you. Those emotions will be what helps you let go, keep searching for the love you deserve and one day, when you’re ready to, move on to the person who you’ll never have to move on from.

xoxo,

katie.

 

 

 

 

Come Back Be Here

Come back to me when you’re ready and we can fix this. Together. We can put our broken pieces back together with each other. I’ll be waiting, with my arms wide open, ready to hold you like I held you all those nights ago when you first let me watch your world fall apart. And I stayed. You showed me parts of yourself you never showed everyone and when I should’ve been scared, I stayed. I watched you tackle your demons and wrestle them to the floor and I still stayed. I loved you even more than I knew was possible. Every day, there was a new battle and we took it on headfirst. We didn’t know what the outcomes would be but we knew that if we battled together, we would come out even stronger, victorious, holding on to each other, fists in the air, triumphant. I can still see you smiling at me, even now.

When you are really in love with someone M, there’s not much you can do to turn that love away. When two souls are connected and meant to be with someone, they always find their way back to each other. You can try to fight it, you can try to screw it up, you can try to reject it with lies of not being good enough but love frankly doesn’t give a crap about why you think you don’t deserve it. I knew the moment that I met you that you were going to be someone really important to me. And you can ask those around me, when I believe in something, when I believe in someone, I don’t give up on them.

You told me once to be strong for you. And I will. But in return I expect you to be strong for me too. And I know that will take some time so until then, I’ll go into battle by myself. I’ll defeat our demons and ghosts and I’ll be victorious while you gather your strength. When you’re ready though, I expect you to join the fight with me. I expect you to fight for me. I want to prove everyone wrong about us and that fact alone has given me renewed energy to make us work. And I know somewhere deep down inside of you, you want it too.

Think about all the memories we made and all the memories we still have to make. Life is really hard right now but it’s all going to be worth it in the end when we are standing next to each other, hand in hand, watching all of our dreams come true, together. There’s nothing true love can’t fix, M. When you’re ready, I’ll be here. When you’re ready, come back to me.

“Where did all the people go? They got scared when the lights went low. I’ll get you through it nice and slow, when the world’s spinning out of control. Afraid of what they might lose, might get scraped or they might get bruised. You could beg them, what’s the use? That’s why it’s called a moment of truth. I’ll get it if you need it, I’ll search if you don’t see it, you’re thirsty, I’ll be rain, you get hurt, I’ll take your pain. I know you don’t believe it but I said it and I still mean it, when you heard what I told you, when you get worried I’ll be your soldier.”-Gavin DeGraw

Always and Forever,

KKB.