Skip to main content

Boundaries Shmoundaries



When I started this blog in 2007 I actually had no intention of sharing so much of my Diabetes story. After all, the blog is titled 'Nerdy April's SPACE Adventures' not 'Nerdy April's DIABETES Adventures'. But, as I began to record my thoughts and adventures it became clear that I couldn't tell the full story without including Diabetes.

As my adventures progressed from college to career, I started seeking out other Diabetes bloggers that had pushed through the same boundaries I was facing. I quickly learned that the population of Type 1 Diabetics is relatively small, and the sub-population that wants to obtain a medical clearance from the FAA or get certified in the altitude chamber or helicopter dunker or NASA mission control is even smaller. Sure there are many amazing blogs and T1's who have physically pushed themselves to complete a marathon or triathlon and these are significant feats, but I'm talking about paperwork barriers here - bureaucracy, rules laid out by 'Federal' agencies or military doctors. Even though the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) was there to lend support I felt very alone, blazing this new trail. I decided to publish my struggles through these endeavors in the hopes that it would give others the strength to pursue whatever goals they have, without worrying too much about Diabetes. But even if Diabetes is a factor, at least they will have someone to talk to!

I'm beyond thrilled that my bloggy dream has already turned into a bloggy reality. A T1 I met via this blog is a spacesuit engineer at NASA and has recently been through water survival training, Navy ship doctors and is a volunteer fire fighter! I'm 100% confident that he would have done all of these things on his own, but it's so nice to share our experiences with one another - it's just the 'down in the trenches' sort of pep talk a T1 needs every once in a while.

And beyond these awesome experiences, I am always thrilled to give Parents of T1's the news that this disease is not a roadblock to their child's dream pursuit. Diabetes is simply a challenge. In my experience pushing through the challenge of Diabetes just makes the reward that much sweeter (pun intended), and valuable skills and qualities are learned along the way.

I'm still working on getting NASA to let me be an astronaut, so far they haven't budged to much on that one ;-) In the meantime I can't wait to hear about all of the new barriers T1's are breaking!

Comments

  1. I'll be cheering you on with your quest to go where no PWD has gone before. Keep up the good fight!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great story! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great story! Go for your dreams, if you believe in then I'm sure that others will see it too!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

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

Popular posts from this blog

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…

MCM - On Call

It's definitely Monday. Otto spit up on my work clothes this morning, I forgot to brush my teeth and I sat down in my car forgetting to clean the layer of sand from the beach yesterday. Whoops. But, it's also MONDAY!!!!! Which means you get a special look behind the proverbial curtain of Mission Control in a series I'm dubbing "Mission Control Monday". We all need a little "boost" (pun intended) at the beginning of the week, so why not get it from the heart of Manned Spaceflight itself - NASA's Mission Control
This week I am highlighting the little known fact that sometimes, as an ADCO Specialist, I am scheduled to be "On Call". It just so happens I am "on-call" this week! Even though we don't have a sweet 1990's pager, the ADCO on-call is a Specialist with the cumbersome responsibility of having their cell phone strapped to them at all times. Yes, even during the night. Yes, even when you have a 3 month old. Yes, just…

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 …
01 09 10