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Thursday, November 5, 2015

An Inaugural Return! Complain and Opinion-ate #1

Two things before we start;

1. Jesus it took so much longer than expected to re-organize all this and even gain control of my blog(s) back.  Google, why you so difficult?

2. You probably thought my blogging career was dead.  You'd be partially right, because it has been for like a year, but partially wrong because I did a few posts over at my 'College Blog' (sadly my days as a teenager are numbered; very, very sad).  Why I didn't think to post on this blog and say I had a new blog is beyond me; I don't think of obvious solutions to problems a lot.  Either way, this blog for some reason has 11,000 (hoooooow!?) views, and I can change the name of it, so we're re-establishing blogging here!  And it starts now.  With a rant.  As you do.

Now then!

Okie dokie, this is volume two of the newest segment I’m calling ‘Reed Complains About Social Media Perpetuating Unhealthy Advice For People With Illness And/Or Diseases, and Gives You A Worthless Opinion On How To Correct Them.’  A mouthful I know.  I should also note that this is my second post on the topic.  Where’s the first one you may ask?  Well, long story short, I waited too long to finish it and by the time I found it again it was old news we didn’t need to hear about.  Oddly enough, though, it was still about breast cancer.  Beside the point, though.

Moving on; SO!  It’s November.  That means it’s Diabetes Awareness Month; cool!  I’m trying to wear blue everyday as a personal challenge.  I’ve gotten every day so far which is nice, but it’s only the 4th and I count denim as blue, so we’ll see how that goes in the future (I'll keep you updated, maybe start posting pictures here?  Yes?  Yes.).  Many cool things have happened now that it's Diabetes Awareness Month.  Tons of Facebook profiles went blue on November first, my dating diabetic friends (DDF?) did a picture together with said blue to remind me I am single and lonely...what else?

Oh yeah, this started circulating:

Yeah!  Representation!  Yeah, trending Facebook picture!  Yeah, putting down breast cancer awareness!  Yeah - wait, what?  

Oh.  Oh no.

Part 1: Reed Complains About Social Media Perpetuating Unhealthy Advice For People With Illness And/Or Diseases

So, yeah.  I've seen this picture posted on three separate occasions by people in my life who have no relation to each other at all.  I'm not mentioning them, because they've all been good friends/people I love (and you posted this do not think I am calling you out, because I'm not trying to!).  I'm also not posting a direct source to the Facebook page, because I'm sure the comments there will echo my own (gosh, I hope they echo my own).  But I can summarize this photo in one word, and one word only!


Just no.  This is super uncool.  Why would you post something like this?  I mean I get it; T1D is not a run-of-the-mill thing.  We don't get tons of ad campaigns or fancy shirts everywhere or our logos on 5 Hour Energy bottles.  Yeah, we get a lot of ridiculous complications and I've been up at 3AM before to test my blood sugar.  Does that mean T1D is more important than breast cancer awareness (even though it isn't directly named, this is a jab at the breast cancer awareness; I mean the picture's even pink for crying out loud)?  Is it better?  Maybe in the sense that T1D isn't as fatal as breast cancer, but beyond that?  No.  I would rather have my Type 1 Diabetes than even think about cancer; I feel like I'm jinxing myself typing it.

Maybe ironically, I haven't actually seen this posted by someone with Type 1 Diabetes.  I'd like to think means I know good people.  Or, more likely, I know people who recognize putting down others is wrong.

Also on a side rant, who the hell thinks breast cancer awareness is sexy?  Have you seen what surgeries to remove that caner/mastectomies/other operations do a person's body?  Breast cancer isn't sexy.  Cancer awareness isn't sexy.   It's supposed to be a serious thing.

Part 2: Reed Gives You A Worthless Opinion On How To Correct Them [Them Being the Bits of Unhealthy Advice]

Now I sound like I'm on an intellectual high horse or something; I'm not, I promise.  Because I used to think like that photo up there.  I mean, people are tired about hearing about breast cancer awareness month.  Everything's pink, we get it.  You guys have tons of money anyway from this; who cares?

When this issue first came up, I decided to do a quick search about all of these companies that do breast cancer awareness things every year.  It turns out, sadly, a lot of them aren't really associated with any organization, and are just looking to cash in on a very sad and serious disease.  It even got so bad people had to start an organization to remind you to look into what breast cancer awareness organizations/products you supported; talk about inception.  So not only do people with breast cancer get less money for life-saving research, the general population gets sick of the marketing and goes on to make ridiculous photos like the one above, denouncing their fundraising efforts.

Reading the above, you know I'm supposed to give you a worthless opinion on how to correct these ideals.  I say worthless because I am a random person on the internet with a blog; my opinion, in the long run, will be worth very little.  Despite this, I am going to give not one, but two worthless opinions on how to combat this unhealthy advice.  I know; hold your applause.  This is just an apology for not posting my first rant.

Worthless Opinion 1: Do not treat diseases/illnesses like it is the flipping 'Who Has it Worse' Games

Please don't do this.  I used to play this game.  It sucks.  Everyone loses.  Diseases and illnesses suck for different reasons.  They aren't not all the same.  Some carry more risk of different things, but at the end of the day they all interrupt a person's life, just in different ways.  It's like that anti-bullying campaign they teach in school; putting someone down to raise yourself up does not make you a better person.  Likewise, Putting down cancer does not makes T1D better.  It makes you a jerk, and it makes the T1D community look like jerks.  Don't do it.

Worthless Opinion 2: Do your best to treat all of these different diseases/illnesses with respect.

It's hard, I know.  You're sick of pink T-shirts and pretty women flashing their boobs for 'Breast Cancer' even though they probably don't have a tie to it (there's so much more wrong with this trend anyway, but my soap box is high enough for this blog post).  Likewise, you may be sick of that Wilford Bremley 'Diabeetus' meme that for some reason still exists.  It's hard, but please try to remember there are people behind these diseases.  People who do not fit the molds these advertisements/memes lead you to believe.  These people are sick, and they need your help.  And working together we can get a step closer to helping.  It may not be easy, you could slip up (I've slipped up), but acknowledging those mistakes is the first step to learning from them.

Let me be clear: I do not think you are a bad person if you reposted that picture.  I think you just didn't realize it's actually really hurtful to a lot of people.  If you're upset, go back and delete it.  Find a cool organization that actually donates money to breast cancer research and drop off a few bucks, if you want to.  Then go drop of a few more bucks to JDRF, because hey World Diabetes Day is coming, and I am a T1D blogger, after all.


Okay?  Okay.  Wow that was a long post.  I didn't really expect to finish it either.  What do you know.  Anyway, I'm going to try and do this fairly regularly again.  Even if I do just post pictures for November or do more rants like this (who doesn't love a good rant on the internet, right?) or just post a paragraph now and then.  I'm going to try and do something, is my point.  Though I may just update in another 6 months with a picture of a raccoon wearing and Omni Pod or something.  That'd be adorable.

If you have taken the time to read through my ramblings on this topic, I salute you.  Thanks.  Opportunity to agree/yell at me is down below in the comments section.  Thanks in advance.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Triumphant Return to Ask For Your Aid!

It has been far too long.  I apologize.  I'll never take that long of a break from blogging again.

DMama's and T1D's, lend me your ears!  I have come asking for your assistance in everyone's favorite subject; advocating!

Background; this year, I'm taking a class called Social Problems.  Our 'final' for this class involves working at a non-profit organization, and then writing a paper talking about the specific social problems that particular organization deals with.  And this may surprise you, but I decided to look at the social problems surrounding T1D and it's misconceptions.

In many ways, I feel that the lack of knowledge and abundant misconceptions cause T1D to be a social problem.  How many times have you been asked 'can you eat that?'.  'Did you get diabetes because you ate too much sugar?'  'Why do you have your phone out in class?' (Even though insulin pumps look nothing like cell phones and a vast majority of them are attached to your body).  These questions are not always asked with negative intentions, but the more people who know about it the better.  And the best way to keep a person's attention is by story telling!

That's where you come in.  I need your help.  Either through comments or email, tell me your stories.  D Mama's - do you feel your child is treated differently now that they're T1D?  Do their teachers and peers really understand what they're going through?  Has there been a particular time you've had to lay down the law?  Diabetic kids and teens - do you think you're treated differently?  Is the lack of knowledge (if you feel there is any) about T1D a problem in society?  What is the most popular misconception about diabetes you want to take into the streets and smash with a hammer?  Adult T1D's - how is it dealing with T1D for so long?  Or if you're recently diagnosed; how do you think your life would have been effected if you'd been diagnosed as a child?

Guys, I'm so excited to write this paper.  My teacher is excited to read it.  Of course names will be changed and such, but I know these stories will be a great help. If you can, spread this around; the more stories the merrier!  I'm very excited to hear from you all, and can't wait to help spread the T1D word!

(I mean come on, sometimes we need to vent about the lack of T1D knowledge!)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reed Finally Talks About Children's Congress!

So, it's been a nice summer around here.  Full of highs and lows (figuratively and literally speaking), but I feel like there's something missing....something I was supposed to tell you guys....

Oh yeah.  I went to Children's Congress!

This is extremely delayed, I'm so sorry!  There was so much going on, and so much going on when I got back that time slipped away!  But I'm here now, and through pictures and sometimes snarky phrases, I will relay to the best of my abilities the awesomness that went down.  Here goes.

Day 1

Day one actually started in the afternoon, when we preformed the Children's Congress (henceforth referred to as CC because I'm too lazy to type out 'Children's Congress') song Promise to Remember Me.  This in itself was cool - what was even cooler was preforming it with Crystal Bowersox!  You know, American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox, who has albums and fans and stuff?  Yeah that was pretty awesome, and she was so nice!  We all talked to her at one point or another, and she was so laid back with all of it we were all ecstatic (Plus she made the song sound really nice).

We were all organized by height for the video, which in a way forced us all to socialize some.  Friendships were made, and song lyrics were hastily learned, and we all had a good time.  After that, we went by state and took photos with Crystal and Olympic swimmer Gary Hall.  Double awesome!

I'm in the middle, Maxwell on the left, and Grant to the right.
There was a dinner after that where we all got acquainted, and afterwords it was off to bed and onto a new day.

Day 2

Day 2 had so much going on!  There was a 'Town Hall' meeting with a bunch of celebrities, workshops for how to talk to our Congressmen, and a huge social hour where we handed our souvenirs to each other!  I got to meet tons of new people, including;

Mac, a delegate from South Carolina, who may or may not have become a totally awesome friend over those three days (despite a few short jokes), and

Landry, a Colorado delegate and former Las Vegas Youth Ambassador. It was great to see him again, and he did awesome with his stuff there!,

There was also a photo booth with a bunch of props, and well...I may have sported a Batman mask.  It was in the name of a cure and saving Gotham City. Photo barrage, attack!

Town Hall Livestream; an awesome morning!

Trading off with Anders, the international delegate from Denmark
Mac and I handing out souvenirs - Welcome to Las Vegas pins and sunglasses!
I warned you... (with Landry, Colorado delegate)
Tons of time was spent in that photo booth...
...This one is just because I wanted to show everyone Mac with a clown nose sorry not sorry

Day 3

Day 3 was actually going to talk to the Congressmen, and no lie, I was nervous!  But by the end of the day, I was completely at ease.  Everyone I talked to was wonderful, and very willing to fight T1D!  While I don't have very many pictures of the meetings, I did get these a few weeks after CC;

Signed photos from our meeting with Senate majority leader Harry Reid!  It was a great surprise to see, and meant a lot that the Senator took time out of his schedule to not only talk with us, but sign these photos for us.  

After the meetings, we all headed over to take a group photo before heading to the hearing.  And when we were all there, we got a visitor...and by a visitor, I mean Vice President Joe Biden.  As in he came to see us all!  It was so awesome, and quite a few delegates have selfies with him on their Facebook profiles!

Yeah, it was really awesome!
Blown up because there were a lot of us!  I'm in the fourth row on the right.
I, meanwhile, opted for a photo with my new best buddy.  (As soon as I find your email I'll write, Mac!  I swear!)

After that, it was on to the hearing (which I couldn't find a good video of, but if you look around I'm sure you'll find one).  And then, just like that, Children's Congress was over.

Overall, I had an outstanding time at CC.  I met tons of new people, experienced so many new things, and came out of it so proud to represent T1D.  While it was weird without my fellow Las Vegas ambassadors, I know they'll continue on the legacy in 2015 (cough*Blake and Justice*cough).  

As per wrap up, here's an awesome board I put together of some of the souvenirs from Children's Congress.  I've found a few more pins in my luggage since then (New York and Illinois among others, I think), and they'll be added too.  I've also got the autographs from all the people at Town Hall, which will be hung up soon.  And though you can't see it, this hangs proudly next to my Children's Congress rejection letter, partially to confuse people, and partially to prove that sometimes the world can surprise you in awesome ways.

At the end of the day, all I can say is thank you.  It's the only thing that comes close to the gratitude I feel.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Painting Pods

I said earlier I was painting some of my Omni Pods, and I thought I'd share the final product

I did three others, but the stencils didn't work well and meh. I'm not an artist.

Note:  If you want to do this yourself, I used acrylic paint and basic stencils. I also used paint sealers for these pods so they don't wash off in the shower, but I've painted some before without a sealer, and they lasted like 10 minutes in the shower before the paint came off.  So if you're super careful, you can probably make them last all three days.

My Second Children's Congress Blog is Live!

I'm pleased to announce my second blog for Children's Congress is live right here!  With the help of Kerri at Six Until Me, I created a small diabetic slang dictionary, and I'm sorta really proud of it.  Apparently it's been getting a lot of feedback, which makes me really happy!  But if you read that post and you like it, Kerri's got an entire e-book called Diabetic Terms of Endearment you should check out.  Just scroll down on her page until you find the unicorn typing on the computer, and click that.

And now, I'm in a creative mood, so I'm off to paint my pods!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Finger Pricks (Micro Update)

So, my doctor keeps telling me I should start pricking the sides of my fingers instead of directly on the pads of them, and up until now I've just smiled and nodded and gone about my ways. But then this happened:

I mean, I've never seen a scab turn black before. AND, it isn't even raised like a scab, which is even stranger and freaking me out a little. Time to start using the sides of my fingers so my irrational fears of accidentally killing myself don't come true.

Doctor: 1
Sassy Teenager: 0

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My First Blog For Children's Congress Is Live!

I'm pleased to announce the first of my two blog posts is live right now on the official Children's Congress website.  Please check it out here!