Apps and Naps

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My body’s reaction to my final semester of college      PC: Cara Difabio

Oh hey, hello there. It’s me. I hope everyone had the best holiday and is staying warm wherever the new year may have taken you.

As I begin to think about packing (yes, I go back to Boston Sunday) for my last semester in Boston, it dawns on me that A. I am procrastinating and 2. These are my last days home as an undergraduate (commence panic attack). While I spend these last few days home alternating between job applications and napping, I realize that more or less, the only thing standing between me and my diploma is four months and three classes.

WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?

I remember trying to decide what colleges to apply to, and whether early decision was the right choice for me (I knew I wanted to go to BU right away, and luckily I got in ED). I realized a few weeks ago that my future has been planned out for me from birth.

Okay, not in the dramatic way where my parents decided who I would marry, where I would live or anything like that. But rather, I knew what was expected of me from the moment my twin sister and I stepped foot on the hallowed ground of our elite private school at the ripe age of 11.

My parents worked hard to make sure my sisters and I understood that things in life did not come easy, that despite our comfortable lives, hard work remained a necessity.

My grandparents, on both sides of the family tree, worked hard to build lives for themselves. I feel #blessed to have such great role models in my life. Don’t get me wrong, much to my parents chagrin I somehow still feel that I know the answer to everything despite my young 21-years. Go figure.

I never questioned if I would finish high school and attend college. I never wondered if I would get a Bachelor’s degree, or an Associate’s. The future always held positivity. Not necessarily in the up-beat definition, but rather in the factual way. I just knew. I knew I would go to college. I knew I would go for four years. I knew my parents would be proud no matter what, but I also knew that I craved… knowledge.

Here I am, four years later, and I realize that all of this is about to change. I no longer know what the future holds. I know where I’d like to live, what I’d like to do (and put my education and tuition to good use). The real question lies in what will happen.

This stage of my life is all about… well, about‘s. I can tell I am on the brink, the cusp, the edge of glory if you will, of something. Something big. A change- graduation?

So, while my friends shy away from the g-word, I cling to my visceral reaction because I know it is not quite here yet. I know that I have some time, a few more months to understand that this isn’t the end, but just the beginning. An end of a chapter, but still in the first few pages in the book that makes up my life… so to speak. Wow could I be anymore cliche?

Well, that’s enough about that. Expect another post sometime next week from Boston!

Stay classy, sassy and warm, beautiful peeps!

XX

#Diabetethis: Part 2

PC: Cara Difabio  Click on the photo to check out her website.

PC: Cara Difabio
Click on the photo to check out her website.

Here it is guys…. the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Part 2 and the final installment of Diabetethis. Well, tbh, I might continue this diatribe because it’s fun and therapeutic. So, this might not actually be the last installment, but just the second installment. I digress. I hope you enjoy this part, and again hope that no one party is affected by any of my words below.

When I turned 20, after my initial diagnosis, I did not get a birthday cake. I got smiles tinged with sympathy and pity. I’ve never been one to enjoy people’s pity. I prefer to make my bed and lay in it, so to speak. But this, this disease that hit me at such a late age compared to my T1D (Type 1 Diabetic) counterparts, this thing that has come to be such a large and overwhelming part of my life, changed me. I am no longer the giggling girl with no care in the world (not that I ever was, but it’s nice to see some options!). Now I am constantly thinking of the consequences of what I eat, drink and even do physically. I can no longer go for a long walk when I feel like it, I have to eat an hour before and hope my blood sugar doesn’t get too low.

Shit, that reminds me. Dang it. UGH. Okay so after walking that mile to class and giving myself insulin for that high blood sugar from an hour ago my blood sugar is now 100, dropping like it’s hotter than Snoop diggity-dawg. Great. Now I look like an idiot eating my squeezable applesauce.

Oh wait, I don’t care.

Yeah, that’s right group of tall man-child basketball players walking by staring at my snack of choice. What? You’ve never seen a 21-year-old woman eating squeezable applesauce on the go? Yeah, look away, that’s right. Mhm. Okay. Good.

I sit down in a quiet area of the GSU, close my eyes and hope that this feeling like the world is going to open under my feet will go away soon. Come on applesauce, do your magic. I hear those two familiar, loud, obnoxiously terrifying beeps coming from my glucose monitor, telling me that my blood sugar is low and basically for me to get my shit together.

I get it. I am trying here, work with me pancreas. I know you’re kind of done and all, but maybe you could do me a solid and just make my life a tad easier?

I open my eyes to see the girl across from me eating what can only be described as a plate of diabetes. We’re talking curly fries, fried chicken and a large milkshake. Jesus, I can feel my pancreas laughing at me from within. Life is so unfair. I can’t stop staring. I want that milkshake. I want that meal. I want that carefree life that, alright, let’s admit it, could potentially lead to the other less dangerous, more common cousin of T1D, type 2. Type 2 sucks, because it’s somewhat preventable and reversible. So if you get type 2, you know it’s partially….maybe….your fault. With type 1 at least I know that my pancreas quit on me, taking the guilt of this major health problem out of my hands. I let out a small laugh, towards the girl’s ironic food choice, the situation, and who knows, maybe even the big guy upstairs. Thank you Lord for giving me a sense of humor and irony.

All I seem to think about these days is this disease. Comparatively, it’s not even that bad. But the real question is: when will it become such an integral part of my life that I won’t have to think about it anymore? At what point will I be able to sit down for a meal and not worry. I worry so damn much. I am tired of worrying, but at the same time, it’s the worry that keeps me sane. I need the worry to let me know that there was a before. It gives me hope that there might be an after. I hope for that cure.

Woah ok where did the time go? Time to get started on my Comparative European Politics homework. Oh, yay, glad that this week’s reading only consists of 150 pages, as opposed to last week’s 180. Things are looking up.

I sigh, I go get a salad from loose leafs and am actually content with my spinach, health-filled meal. Yeah, I can be healthy. I don’t even want a milkshake anymore. Keep telling yourself that, Em. You got this. One meal at a time.

Hope you enjoyed this part 🙂

Stay beautiful and warm peeps!

XOXO

A Different Type of Low (Or, one in the same)

I guess it takes a while for ideas and realities to set in–I’m learning that through every alarm beep of my cgm (continuous glucose monitor), new scar on my legs, arms and hips. With every highest high and lowest low of my blood sugar, a small piece of my past ebbs away and a newer, finger pricked-filled future replaces the carefree days of cake and fruit and chips and…. well…carbohydrates.

I shouldn’t complain–knowing that I am fortunate enough to have such a controllable disease with amazing doctors and family to support me along the way. But today, a coworker asked me a simple, kind hearted question that sparked the muffled flame inside of me that belongs to the idea that this is temporary. She asked something like, “How did you deal with that? Such a lifelong idea? How did you feel about that?”

Woah. How did I deal with that? I’m really not a big crier when it comes to sad things. I know, you’re probably reading this and thinking, what else could make you cry?! Well, friend, I am an angry crier. It’s like my tear ducts are connected to that burning sensation in your chest when something really makes you angry. Any who, I realized that I have not entirely dealt with the prognosis. I’ve accepted the fact that I have this disease, that my pancreas is not pulling its weight (so to speak) and that I have no other choice than to live with this. I did not even understand her question when she first inquired towards my state of mind after such a life-altering thing as Diabetes. I never thought, oh, I can’t do this. Sure, I say that all the time in a joking matter, but the fact of life is that we don’t really have a valid choice when it comes to surviving. I never cried because I refuse to believe that some genius out there will not find a cure sometime in the next 60 years. I refuse to entertain the idea that out of the 7 billion people on earth, millions of dollars invested in research and technology, and minds, out of all of these positive factors, one singular great positive cannot be reached. I know that someday someone will find a cure. Just like someone found a vaccine for polio, the mumps, and every other diseases from time passed. I do not want to pass this gene on to any children I might have in the (fairly distant) future. I do not wish this on my worst enemy.

As I reach the 1 year anniversary of being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, the rose colored glasses come off, and a sense of acceptance hits me with the pang as deep as seeing a beautiful cupcake that I cannot have, or the realization that gone are the days of carefree, spontaneity.

Despite my feelings of loss (RIP pancreas) for the old days, I still find myself inherently optimistic. I am not naive enough to think that I will be cured in the next 5 years, but I have hope that someday soon I won’t have to pull my shirtsleeve down over my pump so people won’t ask questions, or stare at my already formed scars on my legs and hips from my helpful, occasionally painful, and always elusive pumps.

So, I guess, it really isn’t all apples and icing, but maybe carrots and hummus isn’t too bad either?

Stay tuned for a recap on my adventures in Scotland and the last few weeks in London.

Le Sigh, I love it here, even if diabetes remains a foreign technological concept to airport security (that’s a rant for a different day).

Stay beautiful and classy, and yourself!

XOXO

Every Girl needs a happy place. Peeking back but Looking forward.

Every Girl needs a happy place. Peeking back but Looking forward.

Depth of Field

Howdy folks. Sorry about the lack of content lately, I’ve been crazy busy. Between classes and my internship, I haven’t had a lot of time for personal writing. Anywho, I digress. Today was a rough day.

Amidst the craziness of today’s agenda, I realized something. While I was trekking across campus in the cold and rain, I decided that Life appears similar to the depth of field assignment assigned by my photography professor.

Do you want a narrow depth of field, where you can only see what is right in front of you? Or do you want a wide depth of field, where you can see clearly the whole picture?

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I think in life we need to learn how to balance and maintain both of these views. To value the beauty of what is in front of us, as well as what is around us. That might be one of the hardest concepts to conquer. As a college student, I want to have fun with the crazy lovable people around me, while simultaneously making killer grades for my future. I want to make memories with the friends that make me laugh hysterically at 3 AM from sleep deprivation, while applying for internships or jobs. I want to have it all. But isn’t that the very thing that we all want? Love? Friendship? Success? Something to be passionate about?

I guess life will always be about finding the right balance. When to have fun, when to buckle down? These are the questions that go case by case, the verdict will always be out.

As I sit in my dorm room looking out over the Charles River while listening to Vance Joy, and ignoring the loads of work I have to do, I realize that one bad day or one bad week, one bad year, all depends on my perspective. It might just be that Vance Joy is hella deep, and just gets me on another level. Or, it might be that I think too much and just rather sit in my room and write than work on my homework. Whatever the reason, I choose to try have it all.

So happy thoughts to those struggling this week as well, and let me know if you have any ideas or thoughts on the next blog post!

XOXO