SOUND THE ALERT – Diabetes Alert Day 2008

SOUND THE ALERT – Diabetes Alert Day 2008

(This article was written for a Tulsa World editorial by my amazing Mom, Kim Koleber )

Every day in the United States, more than 4,000 men, women and children hear these words from their doctor: “I’m sorry, you have diabetes.”

And their lives change forever.

The 20th annual American Diabetes Alert Day is Tuesday, March 25, 2008. Alert Day is a one-day, “wake-up” call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association encourages people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they are at risk for developing diabetes. Sounding the Alert, is critical as sixty million Americans are unaware they have diabetes or are at risk for developing the disease.

The disease is increasing in the worldwide at an alarming rate. Diabetes, caused by the body’s inability to produce or utilize insulin effectively to prevent a buildup of sugar in the blood, now affects 21 million Americans and roughly 250 million worldwide. It is projected by 2025; these numbers will more than double with 50 million Americans having diabetes. It is the fastest-growing disease in America –faster than heart disease, cancer or HIV/AIDS.

The soaring rate of people with diabetes threatens to overwhelm health systems and undermine economies. This challenge had mobilized world health leaders, who marked November 14, 2007, “World Diabetes Day”. For the first time, the United Nations passed a resolution for member states to develop national policies to prevent and treat diabetes.

The International Diabetes Federation, which tracks global diabetes, says the disease will cause 3.8 million deaths world wide this year, nearly equal to HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.

The diabetes epidemic has no bounds – even here in Tulsa. Children, co-workers, caregivers, minorities, and the elderly are some of the many faces of diabetes in our community. Could you be one of these faces?

For many, diagnosis may come seven to ten years after the onset of the disease. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

What can the people of Tulsa, Oklahoma do to help stop it in its tracks?

I encourage you to take the Diabetes Risk Test and then get involved with the American Diabetes Association. Participate in an event or educational program. Volunteer. Be a Diabetes Advocate and write our state and federal government representatives urging them to support diabetes-related legislation.

Oklahomans cannot afford to wait – especially since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate 1 in 2 Oklahoma children will develop Diabetes in their lifetime.

The future of our community is at risk. What are you going to do to help the many faces of diabetes?

For more information, call 1-888-DIABETES or visit www.diabetes.org/advocacy

Kim Koleber

American Diabetes Association

National Advocacy Committee

.

Source

A family affair for Easter

First off, let me say that Megan’s Touch is a place for my family and I to reflect on our lives with diabetes, but also a place to share our everyday triumphs and thoughts. That being said, here’s a little post on how special this Easter will always be remembered.

This picture is special in so many ways, not only is this a picture of the most amazing Grandparents a girl could imagine, but they have always been my biggest cheerleaders in my everyday challenges with diabetes. Now, in a blog post, you can’t see the tears streaming down my face, but let me assure you, they are there.

March 2nd, my Gramps went into the hospital. Not knowing what was wrong, or going into the details, he spent 12 extremely long days there. After several annoying doctors later, there was diagnosis of cancer. A word that I never wanted to hear, let alone know that my precious Gramps was diagnosed with. But it’s here and we’re dealing with it, as a family, as we always do. The picture above was taken the day after he started his 1st chemo treatment in Dallas, TX at an amazing facility and he got to spend some time with my amazing Aunt and Uncle who reside in Dallas.

Now, for the fun stuff, interesting part of my Gramps being on chemo – he got to wear a pump for 48 hours, and will continue to for, I believe, 4 more treatments at 48 hours each. So he carried his big pump around with him, and I got to kid him about what it’s like wearing/living with an insulin pump/pod. Interesting how these things work out. I got to show him how to roll in his sleep wearing that, get up in the middle of the night with beeping low batteries and try to “deal” with being connected to something for living-saving treatment. Now I understand chemo and an insulin pump are COMPLETELY different, and I understand no one can compare cancer to diabetes, that’s not my point. But the fact that I had someone else in my family understand what it’s like being hooked up to something, made it seem a little easier for a bit. Life isn’t always fair, our health isn’t always guaranteed, but learning to live the life we have is what we have to do. So Gramps, this one is for you! <3 you with all my heart!

Living with Diabetes Expo 2012

 

 

The 2012 Living with Diabetes Expo was a great success!

 

 

 

Joe and I worked at the Share Your Story booth <— click the link to see my story!

 

 

My awesome Mom and Granma worked the Advocacy table! There were great booths with lots of information for people with both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes! We even signed up 108 new Diabetes Advocates!!

 

I need a cure, like yesterday…

So, just as I was thinking through my life today, I realized something…Where would my life be without diabetes? Now I know no one would ask for this disease, but honestly, would I be doing what I am in my life without it? Probably not. It has opened so many doors, and made me that much more aware of the world around me. But saying that- I’ve had enough. I’m ready for a cure. I’m ready to not have to think about if I have enough syringes on me, or that my insulin stays cold all the time. I’m ready to not have to think about if my blood sugar is high before a test and what it might do to my concentration. I think I’ve learned enough from having a chronic illness…don’t you agree?

As 2011 comes to an end….

I know it’s cliche to say, “this year has flown by”…but Holy Moly…it has. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get back to writing on here on a regular basis. Not about anything in particular, and not to put myself in a corner. This is my blog, I write about diabetes, life, shoes, food, exercise and anything else. My passions. Actually, that’s why I’m writing today. Passion….that is why I was put on this Earth. No one can take it from me, no one can tell me that I can’t have it, no one. My passion for life is why I’m alive. Starting off 2012 is going to be amazing. I have ONE, count it ONE semester left (actually, 18 weeks and 5 days) TILL GRADUATION. I have so many things to look forward to. I love my job, I love my life, I love my pets…so nothing can get in my way!

Happy New Years everyone!

Diabetes and Disasters

Where will you, your family, your friends or personal care attendants be when an emergency or disaster strikes? You, and those you care about, could be anywhere – at home, work, school or in transit. How will you find each other? Will you know your loved ones will be safe? Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning and can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services – water, gas, electricity or telephones – were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. You are in the best position to plan for your own safety as you are best able to know your functional abilities (though we may not want to admit it— People with Diabetes need to plan AHEAD!) and possible needs during and after an emergency or disaster situation. You can cope with disaster by preparing in advance with your family and care attendants. You will need to create a personal support network and complete a personal assessment. You will also need to follow the four preparedness steps:
1. Get informed
2. Make a plan
3. Assemble a kit
4. Maintain your plan and kit
Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

Diabetes IS NOT a Disability, but we have to deal with the “government wording” during a disaster, and YES, Diabetes is classified under a “Functional/Special Need” population.

THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO BEFORE A DISASTER:
Those with disabilities or other special needs often have unique needs that require more detailed planning in the event of a disaster. Consider the following actions as you prepare:
• Learn what to do in case of power outages and personal injuries. Know how to connect and start a back-up power supply for essential medical equipment.
• Consider getting a medical alert system that will allow you to call for help if you are immobilized in an emergency. Most alert systems require a working phone line, so have a back-up plan, such as a cell phone or pager, if the regular landlines are disrupted.
• If you use an electric wheelchair or scooter, have a manual wheelchair for backup.
• Teach those who may need to assist you in an emergency how to operate necessary equipment. Also, label equipment and attach laminated instructions for equipment use.
• Store back-up equipment (mobility, medical, etc.) at your neighbor’s home, school, or your workplace.
• Arrange for more than one person from your personal support network to check on you in an emergency, so there is at least one back-up if the primary person you rely on cannot.
• If you are vision impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, plan ahead for someone to convey essential emergency information to you if you are unable to use the TV or radio.
• If you use a personal care attendant obtained from an agency, check to see if the agency has special provisions for emergencies (e.g., providing services at another location should an evacuation be ordered).
• If you live in an apartment, ask the management to identify and mark accessible exits and access to all areas designated for emergency shelter or safe rooms. Ask about plans for alerting and evacuating those with sensory disabilities.
• Have a cell phone with an extra battery. If you are unable to get out of a building, you can let someone know where you are and guide them to you. Keep the numbers you may need to call with you if the 9-1-1 emergency number is overloaded.

A GREAT SOURCE OF INFORMATION AND WHAT TO HAVE IN YOUR FAMILY PREPAREDNESS KIT: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/pfd_all.pdf

And as always, social media (Twitter and Facebook) are all becoming prevelant during disaster situations. It may be your only way of communication. Texts and tweets are the easiest to get through! Just FYI :)

Diabetes Blues….Diabetes Shoes?

To anyone that knows me, you know this to be true: I LOVE SHOES!
 
These are just fabulous!
Some say I might have a slight obsession….
Just to show, these are the shoes I have recently purchased…
Such cute booties!
This go with something…I know they do!
A true SATC Fan– “Carrie” shoes!
I know Miss America, so I must own Miss America shoes!
(It is only logical)
Every girl must own Red Patent shoes!
If you live in OK, you must own Cowboy boots!

Oh, and I just got in my new Coach shoes to match my purse and a 5 1/2 inch  heel Jessica Simpson that will look amazing this summer! :)

All of this leads me to my ORIGINAL point…I promise I’m getting to it….Promise!

Women’s “Diabetic” Shoes

I DO NOT WANT TO END UP IN THESE!!!!

I am to completely in love with my shoes and my future Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik’s to ever have to wear these. I might be COMPLETELY selfish in my motivations….but this is why I must take care of my Diabetes!!

Do I want to live a long and normal life? YES
Do I want to grow old with the man I love? YES
Do I want to wear fabulous shoes for the rest of my life? YES

I might have the wrong idea here, and I’m a little wacky, I admit it. But I want to be around, healthy and have my feet and legs in a state where I can wear these fabulous things.

DIABETES, YOU WILL NOT HOLD ME BACK!