I just got home from giving my speech at the Diabetes ride for the cure luncheon. I was pretty nervous! but i think I did okay 😀 My mom cried of course! Haha It was nice to have the whole fam jam there to support me! Thanks guys. So here is what I had written out in front of me. Of course in the moment things changed! but here was the final draft (sorry its so long!)
“Thank you rob! And thank you turner. Just a heads up dude your parents will NEVER stop asking you about your sugar!
My name is Natasha . I am 24 years old, I work in an out of school care and am working towards a degree in elementary education. I play and coach soccer. Love the colour blue and turtles! I hope to open a preschool one day, Own a house, Travel, And what not.
But I guess here in this moment the most important thing is that I am a type one diabetic. Turner got down the basics for you so that means I get to tell you the nitty gritty kinda sad but true story of my diabetes. With this I hope to make you feel good about yourself and your decision to be here today.
I was diagnosed a week before my 11th birthday. A little older than usually in 1999. I remember when I was first diagnosed my parents, my brother, and I all sat down at the kitchen table. My parents told me I was feeling so yucky because of this thing called Diabetes. Neither my mom or dad could explain it to me. They just told me life was going to change a bit and that we would be okay. I am sure their confidence and ability to stay calm with me is what has made me so strong over the years.
During the weeks of education my family saw a consular. I specific remember sitting on that couch and everyone staring at me waiting for me to answer ‘How do you feel about all of this?’ and all I thought was ‘Why the heck does this lady want me to take about my feelings?! I am fine’ I can only imagine what my parents sessions looked like. My mom in tears, my dad holding her hand. It is so hard not to feel bad that I put them in that situation. Even though there is no way I could have avoided this. I was strong though. I never remember thinking I had to be. I just was. I had a ‘I’ve got this attitude’ I didn’t want anyone to worry about me.
As the years went by my family supported me. My brother asked me at every lunch recess if I ate all my food, my parents always counted every carb, measured food, and worried. My mom gave me all my needles and I phoned her every lunch hour to tell her my blood sugar readings.
Then high school hit. I began to give myself my own needles and started a new insulin therapy. The control of my chronic illness slowly left my families hands and was on me. After I graduated I shut them all out of my diabetes life.
I went to appointments alone, I stopped answering questions.I barely gave myself any insulin even when I ate. I went out without a meter or juice.To be honest I feel like I shut myself out I just wanted to be ‘normal’, to not think about diabetes…. and I did for two years. Who wants to be reminded everyday that the could go blind or lose a foot?! I thought this way every time I checked my blood sugar and the number flashing on the screen was not a perfect 6.o. It was so much easier to not test. Outta sight outta mind.
Now as I think about those years I can’t believe I put my loved ones through that. The highs made me grumpy and moody. The lows left my very expressial face emotionless and my quirkiness voice dry. The relationships I had crumbled, I felt alone, and one the edge of depression. My AIC spiked, I stopped seeing my diabetes doctor because he passed me on to a nurse who thought I knew nothing. I knew how to take care of myself. More than anything I needed that counselor. To talk me through it, and to ask how I feel about it all.
The last few weeks before I decide to start pump therapy were really bad. I never wanted to get out of bed. I cried every night. I felt so guilty and alone. I knew I had lost my strength and people could tell. I needed to change.
So I got into pump therapy. My sugars became more in control and I felt better! Not so Moody anymore. Most importantly I started to accept that I have a chronic illness and will be okay…most of the time. It made me able to meet a terrific guy who makes the not okay times easier to deal with. He not only accepts my diabetes but makes it apart of his life. By knowing how to use my pump, writing his own directions to the glucagon, waking up to make sure I check my blood, and reminding me not to be lazy when I want to skip a sugar reading.
I wish that my life was be a Disney story and now here at the end I am telling you we are living happily ever after. But my family still worries. Kam is always watching out for me in my sleep, I can see my brother watching me out of the corner of his eye at the gym, and My parents still remind me to be careful! There are still so many challenges ahead of me and still millions of other families struggling. I do not want to accept that I will be like this for life. Measuring, counting, and slapping myself when I make a small mistake and feel yucky for hours because of it. I want to not only look normal but be normal.
Being here today and working our butts off gives us the chance at a cure! Plus gives hope to diabetics like me when they ask themselves ‘why me?!’ and their familes that are up all night, crying, and worrying.
We all know its time for a cure and it looks like this room is here and ready to make a big impact!
Good luck, and Thank you!!”
Thanks for reading it! Let me know what you thought.