life's an awkward journey we all have to go through, so we might as well entertain others as we do it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gratitude

You may not agree with everything I say here. And that's okay, because these are all my own personal opinions and thoughts. I certainly wouldn't want everyone to think the same way that I do -- where would all the creativity and beauty of diversity in this world be if that were the case?

I think one reason I started blogging was to keep a more consistent and diligent record of my life -- kind of like a journal -- for me to look back on later in life and see how much I've grown or changed, or even what I've learned from what I've done in the past.

So hopefully I can be more honest and open on here, and hopefully others might hear what I have to say or even provide a new insight on the thought or subject. And then other days I may just babble on with things that really couldn't mean anything to anyone else. (If that is the case, I do apologize. I'll try not to do that.)

I hope I do have an audience out there, and I hope I'm talking about things worth people hearing and that this blog is even deserving of an audience (anonymous or not). Those of you who have been reading, thank you. I encourage you all to speak out as well -- someone may benefit from what you have to say.

Thank you for staying with me along this journey, and I hope you continue to stay in the future. Hopefully someday something good will come out of the words I've written here. We'll just have to wait and see.

--Sadie

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Meaning of Life

When trying to recall childhood memories, they're not the clearest diamond in the mine. Fuzzy, blurry, jumpy -- we can only see it through our naive eyes. Of course, even a child can understand when a situation is very severe. No child can be at ease when their parents are broken down, crying -- and in public too. I think that was the moment I knew my life had been changed forever.

I was merely four years old when diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. Just in case you're curious, it's the type they haven't come up with a cure for yet. I take insulin shots whenever my blood sugar is high, and every time I eat. I also have to test my blood sugar at least six times a day. If you're not a fan of blood or needles, be glad you aren't Diabetic.

Lights flashing past. Driving in the dark. The sound of cars on either side of us, whooshing down the freeway. Would I make it? Could I hold it in? My mother's frustrated glance behind her shoulder as she pulled off the exit for seemingly the millionth time that night. I really had to pee! The lights of the gas station -- my huge relief. The thirst. Why couldn't I just have some water? Already frustrated enough, my mom wasn't about to let me run more liquid through my body only to have it come out that much faster; as if I wasn't already peeing enough without drinking anything.

The next day or so I remember my mom telling me we were going to the doctor's to figure out why I had to go to the bathroom all the time; even when I didn't drink anything. I remember having to pee in a cup, which I really abhorred -- pee was supposed to be washed down the toilet, not saved in a cup for someone to look at. Anxious. Waiting. The doctor returns. Tears. Confusion. What was he saying? Why was my mom crying?

Apparently my pediatrician told my mom I had high glucose levels in my urine (for those of you who don't speak "doctor" that means I had excessive amounts of sugar in my pee - not normal for anyone), and suggested we go to the hospital lab immediately and have me tested for Diabetes. I remember standing outside the doctor's office, looking up at my mom's face and wondering what on earth was so serious that could make my mom cry like that. It made me feel scared, anxious. Peeing in a cup wasn't that bad -- at least, not something to cry about. Of course, I had no way of knowing what on earth Diabetes was, or that I'd have to go to the hospital and be poked with needles every day for the rest of my life. This would change me forever.

I vaguely remember a needle breaking through the surface of my skin and slipping into the vein on my hand, something called an I.V. It didn't hurt as much as one would imagine, and was over very quickly. I remember having jolly good fun watching movies like "The Never Ending Story" as much as I wanted, drinking Diet Coke with pebble ice, frolicking in the play room where they had a McDonald's play set, receiving gifts from everyone who came to visit me, even making a few friends who had the same disease I did.

The doctors gave me a teddy bear to practice giving shots to, and a matching I.D. bracelet. I also got a book that explained Diabetes in a way a kid could understand. It turns out my pancreas, an organ in my body, didn't produce enough of something called insulin, which was why I had been peeing so much; all the extra sugar from food I ate was coming out in my pee, and my body wasn't very happy about it. So I had to get shots for all the food I ate, as well as high blood sugars, which would make my body a lot happier. I wouldn't feel so sick or thirsty all the time, I wouldn't be afraid that I was going to wet my pants if I didn't get to a bathroom soon, and I would just feel a whole lot better overall.

My experience in the hospital wasn't nearly as traumatizing as one might imagine, what with all the poking and prodding. In fact, being able to have sleepovers with my mom, dad, and Gramma each night was enjoyable, and my only complaint was that one night they wouldn't let me have ice cream and milk because they were both dairy products. The hospital saved my life. How could I possibly hate it? When it was finally time for me to go home, I was a little disappointed, but being carted home in a wagon by my loving parents definitely made feel like a princess.

Sometimes I wish I still had that child-like innocence of not really knowing how serious Diabetes was, and how much I would hate taking care of it the older I got. Everyone would get tired of being shot with a needle, especially if it's an everyday occurrence. But the reality of life or death really keeps you going. No one wants to die if it could have been prevented. Thirteen years later and it's been a journey, some parts better than others, but I'm still counting my blessings. I've never had a seizure and I've never been in a coma or even passed out. That's not very common for some who've had Diabetes for as long as I have. I'm still very healthy; the only thing wrong with me is the fact that I have this disease.

Sure, it's a little annoying to be jabbed by a variety of needles several times a day, to have calloused fingers from being pricked and sucked dry an average of 2,190 times a year (times that by thirteen years and you might appreciate that number even more), and still be managing it well enough to be allowed the responsibility of driving, among other privileges.

I've been told nearly my whole life how brave I am; how people would never be able to give themselves a shot; how they can't believe how I can live with this each day. But the truth is, I hardly remember any different. You'd give yourself as many shots as it took if your life depended on it too. It's normal to me, and I can't imagine living any other way. I only have one memory of being able to eat before I was diagnosed with Diabetes, and it's very vague; I can barely catch snippets of it anymore. I can't say I miss it, but that could be just because I honestly don't remember any different way of living. It's as normal to me as getting dressed each day; something that might be a little annoying, but just a simple fact of life.

Yes, it's unfortunate to have Diabetes, or any other disease for that matter, but at least I'm alive, which is something I'm so grateful for every single day. And even if I have to live with it for the rest of my life, at least I still get to experience the joys of living. The value of life is something so precious to me, and I would hate to waste a single moment; because you can't go back. And no one would know that as well as I.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

"All My Loving" (Beatles Cover)

This is a cover of a Beatles song done by my brother Chase. He's really talented and makes me jealous and wish that I could play the guitar as well as he does. He broke his arm on Friday, so he can't play the guitar for a while, unfortunately.

video

"Hello, Goodbye" folks!

--Sadie

Preparing for Oireachtas

Oireachtas (oar-oct-iss): Western Regional Championships in Irish Step Dancing.

The Oireachtas is in November in Seattle, Washington. I'm super excited! I'm competing with an eight hand team as well as a sixteen hand team. It's going to be so much fun. There are only 33 days left until we're there competing! It's going to be challenging, but the experience will definitely be worth it.

On Friday, my sixteen hand team won first place at a local feis (fesh). I'm so happy and proud of us! We really worked together and pulled it off. We also competed the eight hand, but didn't place in that one. But I'm not discouraged. I know we still have some work to do. It definitely prepared us for the Oireachtas though.

One of our team members had injured her foot and was unable to dance. She'd been resting it up until that point, but it hurt too much for her to dance. So we had another girl fill in her spot for the eight hand. It was the first time I'd ever seen her cry -- she's such a strong girl. I felt really bad and told her not to worry about it. We weren't going to make her dance -- I wouldn't want her to dance on an already injured foot, which hurts a lot, and then possibly injure it more and never be able to dance again. That would kill her dreams. We were able to pull off the sixteen hand without her, which was bittersweet. I wish she'd been able to participate in it with us. But she'll be healed in time for Oireachtas, and that's the important thing.

This is a really good step for our team, and it's going to boost our confidence and technique I think. It was a good experience for us, and I can't wait to compete the sixteen hand in November!

I love Irish Dance so much, and I'm really grateful I have this opportunity to be experiencing something so strengthening and positive with an influential group of girls. I'm really grateful for my wonderful dance school, and for my dance teachers, Tina and Jo, who really build me up and push me to be the best dancer that I can be. I'm so blessed to be able to have this opportunity. I wouldn't give it up for the world.

If you've never seen Irish Dancing, I encourage you to Google it or look it up on YouTube or something. It's so much fun, and unique from all the other dance styles.

Wish us luck! We're going to be practicing hard these next few weeks.

May the luck o' the Irish be with you.

--Sadie

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oktoberfest

Yesterday was Carter (my youngest brother) and my dad's birthday. Carter turned 12 and my dad turned 39. I feel so old! I can't believe my youngest brother isn't a kid anymore. It's crazy!

Well, in birthday celebration, we went to...


The Happiest Place on Earth!

And let me tell you, it's been so much fun! My mom, dad, Chase, Carter, my cousin Haddie, and I have all been on this fun holiday. We've gone on Tower of Terror, the Matterhorn, It's a Small World, Radiator Springs, California Screamin', Grizzly River Rapids, the Wilderness Explorer Camp, Soarin' Over California, Star Tours, Space Mountain (three times), Finding Nemo's Undersea Adventure, The Little Mermaid, and so many others. This is definitely a birthday Carter is going to remember.

Since we're still here, I'll have to put up pictures later. :) Sorry to make you wait.

Other good news: I NOW GET TO SERVE AN LDS MISSION AT 19!!!!!!!!! General Conference was this weekend, and that's one exciting thing they announced. :) 11 months and I'll be spending the best 18 months of my life serving others and the Lord and spreading the gospel. I can't even put to words how excited I am! I can't believe I really get to serve a mission so soon instead of waiting until I'm 21. Ah! :) :) :) :) :)

Guys can serve a mission at eighteen now, instead of 19. This is so awesome. A lot of my guy friends will be able to leave on their missions right out of high school now. They won't have to wait. It'll be so awesome! :)

This month is really going to be a great one. I can't wait to hear what the rest of General Conference had to say (since I didn't really get to listen it 'cause we're on vacation).

I hope you've all been having a great month! I just had to share the exciting news with everyone. :)

Peace Like a River!

--Sadie