Skip to main content

Type 1 By The Numbers: Lucky 13

Welcome to November, a month dedicated to “no-shaving” and Diabetes Awareness. Since I am having trouble growing my beard out, I will focus on writing about Diabetes Awareness. This year I will be basing my posts on the “numbers” associated with the disease, hopefully this will keep things somewhat interesting (although I’m not convinced an autoimmune disease that attacks one’s own pancreas is all that interesting, but I will try ;-). I won’t be posting every day, but these posts will, in their nature, cover a wide variety of topics related to the disease. T1BT#


_______________________________________________________________

I'm not sure why "13" gets such a bad rap.

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from high school Lucky Number 13 out of my class of more than 620 people. It was the culmination of a great deal of hard work...AP classes to the max, newspaper Editor-In-Chief, Marching Band Drum Major, internship at Boeing, bellchoir director for my church, etc, etc. But the number 13 was less about what I had accomplished and more about what it meant for my future. That lucky spot allowed me the chance to attend Arizona State University for free (actually, they paid me!) where I majored in Aerospace Engineering!

You might be wondering what this has to do with Type 1 Diabetes or Diabetes awareness in general. Well, a lot actually. One of my main goals for this blog is to show others with Diabetes that dreams are possible. Just because you have a disease that naturally sets up road blocks doesn't mean that you should give in and turn around. It's hard sometimes to push back and stand up to the man,  but its better than living the "woe-is-me" or "I wish I could do that" life. If you let an autoimmune disease control your decisions and stifle your dreams, you have let Diabetes win.

When I decided that I wasn't going to let Diabetes rule my life, doors started opening up. I had amazing leadership opportunities in high school, I was accepted into Aerospace Engineering, I graduated with zero student loan debt, I was hired straight out of school, I was blessed with an amazing support group at that job...they stood behind me when the FAA was difficult, they never questioned my abilities while flying or in the altitude chamber or in the helicopter dunker...and now, I am working hard at NASA, proving that a Type 1 Diabetic can fly the International Space Station.


Bonus points for spotting the Army guy ;-)

I hope these little nuggets inspire others to push the boundaries Diabetes creates. Take it from me...it's soooooooo worth it to break free!! I would love to hear other breaking free stories ;-)

Comments

  1. Hi... it's been a long time since I've looked in, but I'm digging this series of posts you're doing in November! I know you're going to be an inspiration to generations of aspiring astronauts.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

Critical Space Item: Handle With Extreme Care

Someday I want to open a box. The box will be neatly wrapped up with an excessive amount of packaging. Its contents will have been years in the making, and even though it won't weigh much, this small box will represent a huge step forward.


As most flight hardware begins, the space-rated closed-loop insulin delivery and monitoring device inside the box will be sterile and stark. But as the batteries whir to life and insulin is placed within, it will become an extra appendage, an external pancreas, for this Type 1 astro-hopeful. Bluetooth connections will be made and doctors, hungry for telemetry from my bionic body, will be at the ready. We will rely on each other - he on I for his very existence, and I on him for my continued existence. Together we will make up one whole, completely functioning, Type 1 Diabetic astronaut.

Admittedly, this dream feels further and further from reality. I have lived with this disease just under 20 years now, and the cure has always been "just 5 …

MCM - Certified Mom

This morning I woke up early, the baby monitor was chirping just a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Chris graciously rolled out of bed and set out to re-insert Otto's paci. Meanwhile, I pressed my clothes, curled my hair and brewed some coffee - my standard pre-console routine. After a quick breakfast Zara peeped her head over the railing and I heard a gentle "mama" echo down the stairs. It was still dark, but this little one was ready for her daily breakfast of oatmeal and milk in preparation for a fun day at swim lessons and school. As she sat, eating her "oatsss" (as she calls them), I whirled around the kitchen prepping bottles, gathering outfits for school, and ensuring all the swim lesson supplies were set out. It's hard leaving Chris to take care of both kids in the morning (#momguilt) so I try my best to complete as many get-ahead tasks as possible, in hopes his morning goes smoothly. 
This morning schedule description may seem mundan…

On 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes

I think it's finally time to hit 'publish' on this post, considering it's been sitting here for, oh you know, like 2 weeks now ;-) Sometimes I "April" about things too much (this is Chris's term), and with my dad here for Christmas I realized that it's definitely a trait passed down, haha, love you dad!


To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would say, "I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years."

20 years ago a cure was 'just on the horizon' and as an 11 year old kid I took that phrase to heart - I had to. My continued existence was based solely on whatever the endocrinologist said - pancreas, insulin, autoimmune, blood sugar, islet cells, shots. I didn't know what I didn't know at that point. I had never heard of an insulin pump or glucose meter. Ketones and hyperglycemia were just big, meaningless words. Carb ratios and counting might as well have been formulas for travelling at light speed. I wasn't ov…
01 09 10