Monday, May 20, 2013

Artemis Hand Forged Jewelry Contest!

Hey guys! I wanted to say thank you for all of your love and support! So I thought I'd give back a little! Once the Artemis Hand Forged Jewelry page hits 100 likes on Facebook, ONE LUCKY PERSON will receive 10% AND free shipping on their order from my etsy store! In order to be in the running for the drawing, you must like the Artemis page and the contest photo. Your chances of winning increase if you share the Artemis contest photo on your wall for all of your friends to see!
You can use your 10% on ANYTHING in my etsy store, or even a custom order!
Good luck, and Never Surrender! :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Diabetes Art - D-Blog Week Day #6

So, yesterday was a busy day for me so I didn't get to do the daily blog post. 

This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense. Do some “traditional” art like drawing, painting, collage or any other craft you enjoy. Or look to the literary arts and perhaps write a d-poem or share and discuss a favorite quote. Groove to some musical arts by sharing a song that inspires you diabetes-wise, reworking some song lyrics with a d-twist, or even writing your own song. Don’t forget dramatic arts too, perhaps you can create a diabetes reality show or play. These are just a starting point today – there are no right or wrong ways to get creative!

Today's blog post, diabetes art, is definitely my favorite topic of the d-blog week! It gives me a chance to share with all of you my wearable art that I create! On May 8th (my 12th diaversary) I started my Diabetic Cuff Line. If you've read my about me section, you know that I have my own business, Artemis Hand Forged Jewelry. I make leather and copper jewelry and accessories. My latest thing has been making leather cuff bracelets, so I came up with the idea to do fun and good looking MedicAlert cuffs for my fellow diabetics! I always hated the way that the boring diabetes bracelets looked, and always wanted something with more pizzazz. The designs are all hand drawn, and then hand carved by yours truly. These bracelets I am about to show you are all available on my etsy store, but if you see something that you'd like in another color or a different font you can always message me and order a custom one. I will work with you on whatever design you wish to have and honestly, any color you can dream of, I can make it! Anywho... enough talk, let's take a look! I hope you all enjoy these as much as I enjoyed creating them! :)
Never Surrender,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Accomplishments, Big and Small - D-Blog Week Day #4

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)

After high school I went onto being a Theatre Major at Buffalo State College. My numbers have always run a little high, and I've always struggled with keeping my blood sugar under control... But things got really bad after my first semester. I had a full course load, extracurriculars, rehearsals... I could have done it. Tons of diabetics get through college. Between the stress, the busy schedule, and going out with friends my health went on the furthest back burner you could find. My sugar was high all the time, I had ketones all the time. I was getting sick. My mom had to drive to Buffalo to pick me up when I would get sick. I started missing classes because I was too worn out to go, which took a major toll on my grades. Instead of gaining the "freshman fifteen" I was dropping weight. Don't get me wrong, I loved the friends I made, and the experiences I had in college. But there came a time to make a decision... and that decision was to finish my second semester, and come home and get healthy and focused on my diabetes.
It was a hard decision to make. I loved Buffalo, I made some of the most amazing friends I will ever have, and I actually enjoyed (some aspects of) being a college student. You can't exactly be a functioning college student if you're dead, though. So I finished out my 2nd semester, packed up (on one of the sickest ketone days I've ever had), and I went home.
I got with my diabetes educator and my endo and we hatched out a plan. My A1c was 12.4 (Yeah, I know... Spare me the criticism) Within the next year I managed to get down to 9.5. I realize to many of you, this is not an amazing number, but to me... It was a huge step! An A1c finally out of the double digits. 
So in the grand scheme of things, it was a small accomplishment. But in that moment, it was a huge accomplishment.
Today, I'm still struggling. I have really good weeks, and really bad weeks. I'm working on it. It's always going to be a struggle, but it will get easier. I will find the right method and get into a good routine. My goal for this year is to get down to at least 8.5. I will never give up on myself again. I will never surrender to my broken pancreas! :)

Never Surrender, my friends!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memories - D-Blog Week Day 3

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere.... your or your loved one's diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)

I have LOTS of very memorable diabetes moments. The most memorable diabetes day would be my D-Day.. But I've decided not to talk about that today, and to share another memory instead. I will not be talking about one specific day, but an incredibly life changing week, instead. My first week at a diabetes camp! 
A few short months after my diagnosis, my parents and I set off from Syracuse, NY (my hometown) to Camp Setebaid in Winifield, PA. I was TERRIFIED. I didn't give my own injections, I could barely test my own blood sugar, and I still wanted a new bandaid for every finger poke (which wasn't very realistic, in retrospect). Up until that point I was attached at my mother's hip at all times when I wasn't in school. I got off the bus at my parents' salon, and was never away from them for more than a few hours. The reality that I was going to be without them for a whole week didn't hit me until we pulled up at the camp. 
The first day was the scariest. My parents left, and there I was in a new place with people I'd never met...
Fast forward a few days... Pick up day. I was so upset that camp was over and that I had to say goodbye to my new diabetes family. I went home checking my own sugar, giving my own injections, and told my mom exactly what insulin pump and infusion sets I wanted. I had even tried an infusion set to see how it felt. I broke out of my shell and learned so much about diabetes and myself in just a few short days. 
Since that first camp experience, I found a camp closer to home and started going to Camp Aspire in Rochester, NY. Talk about a diabetes family! I attended Camp Aspire until I was too old to be a camper, and then I got to be a counselor. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life... To be able to make an impact on those kids' lives, the way my counselors made an impact on me. To be able to teach them things the things that I learned as a camper. To be able to do that was as life changing as being there for the first time. I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. Unfortunately because of work I haven't gotten to go back as a counselor since the summer of 2011. But I plan on making my return soon enough!
All of my diabetes camp memories are my best memories. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to have grown up with!

Never Surrender,
Sam :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We, The Undersigned. D-Blog Week Day #2

Today's D-Blog Week topic is "We, The Undersigned"
"Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?" (Thanks to Briley of inDpendence for this topic suggestion.)

So, what I would propose is a petition to educate the general public on what life with Diabetes is really like. To end the stigma, the ignorance, and the idiotic questions we're asked on a daily basis. What that would include is telling people some of the following:
1)Yes, I can eat that. I can eat a lot of that. That is what my handy dandy NovoLog pen is for.
2) No, there is nothing that I ate or was fed that "caused" me to get diabetes; In fact, before I was diagnosed I ate healthier than most of my classmates and I had the most balanced diet of any 8 year old around. Hell, I didn't even know what white bread was.
3) "You have diabetes? But you're so skinny and healthy looking!" Yeah, that's because there is more than one type of diabetes.
I have nothing against anyone with any type of diabetes. We can all understand one another's experiences. I may come across as pretty blunt here(it is my blog), but the main point I think I am trying to make is that there is more than one type of diabetes, but "diabetes" has become a generalized term with more than one definition and as a direct result of that there are stereotypes that a particular group of us have to deal with that does not apply to us at all. Type 1 and Type 2 are very different things, but are grouped together because of a common name. I think that causes ignorance and idiocracy from our non-diabetic peers... But it's not their fault. The two different things sharing the same name causes confusion, so really, as annoying as it may be it isn't their fault. The general public is confused, and uneducated about the difference. I want people to know that there is a difference. It is caused by different things, it effects us in different ways, it effects different kinds of people. We can all relate to one another's experiences, both type 1 and type 2. But at the end of the day these are two different things.

 I strongly believe that people should be educated on these differences, and that all diabetics(myself especially) should try to be patient with our non-diabetic peers while explaining things to them. Trust me, I know it gets tiring and irritating. But we can educate people so that they better understand, and so they are no longer confused. Nothing can change until we put forth an effort to help administer that change we wish to see.

Never Surrender,

Monday, May 13, 2013

Share and Don't Share - D-Blog Week #1

This week is Diabetes Blog Week! I thought to myself, well this is the perfect time to start my very own Diabetes Blog! D-Blog Week is such a cool event where diabetes bloggers post about a set topic every day of this special week. We get to connect with others who deal with the same disease and get a chance to see that we're not alone out there in this, and we all need to stick together! I, unfortunately, missed the first day!
But, I only missed it by a little bit, so I'll add a few things about the first topic which was Share and Don't Share "Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see?"(Thanks to Melissa Lee of Sweetly Voiced for this topic suggestion.) -Bittersweet Diabetes

I am twenty years old and when I called my endo to set up my next appointment the receptionist informed me that they had only just realized that, up until this point, I had still been seeing my pediatric endocrinologist. I thought "It took you this long to figure it out, and you're just now throwing me to a new doctor to explain my whole life to?!" So, semi-reluctantly, we set up an appointment with a new one that works with adults. Let me tell you, I am not exactly thrilled to have to go through the ropes of changing doctors, but it's probably for the best.
So what I plan on telling my new endo at my appointment next week is:
1) Yes, I am 20 years old. Yes, I have had diabetes for 12 of those years. And Yes, I am still figuring this whole thing out. Day by day. It's hard, have some faith in me.
2) I take Lantus twice a day. It doesn't last the full 24 hours for me. I know it's a lot of insulin. Don't argue with me on this one, I already went through this with the last endo I had. I also understand that you went to med school, and I didn't. But I really don't think my pancreas will agree if you try to change this.
3) I really am trying to make a change in my diabetes care, I know it doesn't seem like it when you look at my A1c, but you're here to help with that... right?
4) Yes, I do have something on my person at all times that says that I am diabetic. I wear my disease on my sleeve, LITERALLY. I've had my MedicAlert tattoo since I was 16. It hurt. It was worth it. Don't judge me.
5) I really want to make a difference in the lives of other diabetics. I've started my own business (Artemis Hand Forged Jewelry) where I make leather and copper jewelry and just started my Diabetic Cuff line. It'd be awesome if you told your other patients about it!
6) Agree with all of the above, and we should get along just splendidly! :)

What I would prefer my endo not see... That's a whole other story.
1) When I neglect/forget to check my sugar or take insulin. Oops.
2) The multiple notebooks that I started logging absolutely everything in for a few days, then lost it and started a new one, and another new one after that, and another new one after that.... You get the picture.
3) When I get bitchy at my family because my sugar is high.

Overall I'm just hoping that my new endo and I get along well, because switching the person who ultimately writes your prescriptions is pretty damn scary. My main goal is to get this thing under control, and I hope this person can help me with that to the best of their ability... That's all any of us really want from our endos, am I right?

Never Surrender,