Baubles, Diabetes and Inspiration!

Posted Jan 24 2012, 7:45 pm in , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today is Tuesday. I usually post a blog on Tuesday’s. Most of you probably didn’t notice. Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you…this time.

Sadly, we experienced a bit of a power outage this morning, followed by a total and compete internet outage. And when I say, ‘we’ I mean, my house. I’m sure it must have slipped my computer guy’s husband’s mind, when he taught me everything I need to know to reset the wireless. AHEM.

At any rate, I did manage to more than double my daily word count today, so I guess it wasn’t all bad. Apparently unplugged equals super productive.

But I digress…

The blog post I had planned for today has been shelved, because sometimes something comes along that was just meant to be. This afternoon, while I was sitting in the very fancy waiting room of my daughter’s orthodontist, enjoying my latte and listening to the live violinist serenade me (okay, it’s not THAT nice, but there may have been a latte), I picked up a magazine, randomly flicked it open and saw something that fit in perfectly with my day…

I haven’t mentioned this to a lot of people yet, but my current writing project revolves around a woman named Darci, and her daughter, Taylor. Taylor is ten. And, Taylor has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

I’ll be honest. I’d never really given diabetes a lot of thought in the past. And then, I became friends with an amazing woman, Deb. She’s one of my besties and one of the coolest people I’ve met. I gush about her here, so I won’t do it now. (Although I could.) Not only is Deb a fantastic friend and mother. She is also one of the most supportive, optimistic and encouraging people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. Being around her just makes you feel better. Oh, and she has diabetes.

The thing is, diabetes is part of her and who she is, but it doesn’t DEFINE her. Never once have I heard the woman say, “I can’t.” or “I have diabetes so I shouldn’t” It just doesn’t come out of her mouth. As far as I know, it doesn’t even enter her mind. (opps, gushed anyway)

Getting to know Deb and having the privilege to train with her over the last few years, I’ve also had a crash course in diabetes. Because not only do you need something to talk about on those two-hour runs, but you also need to know what to do in case there’s a ‘sugar crash’. I’ll be the first to admit, before I had my forced education crash course, I didn’t know much at all about this disease. I thought everyone who had diabetes had it because of their diet and lifestyle choices. I was wrong. (I know, slap on the hand.)

I have learned so much about the potential complications, the lifestyle choices, and the uncertain future that diabetes patients face every day of their lives. It’s crazy! Like I said, an education.

This is why my next book is, ‘the diabetes book’. (It’s only a working title that Deb and I use, don’t worry, I can do better.)

A portion of the proceeds (to be announced this spring…stay tuned) will go straight to Team Diabetes, funding diabetes research. I feel good about this book because not only do I think it’s a moving, heart warming story, but it’s my hope that it will help others understand such a misunderstood disease.

It’s funny how things come at you at the right time…Today after spending hours working on ‘the diabetes book’, and crying over a tough scene, I was in the orthodontist’s office where I picked up the January edition of Family Circle, and flipped it open to an article about this girl.


One of Rachel's Collection. Buy it HERE


Rachel was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. She turned her energy into good and started making jewellery. Beautiful stuff I might add! It’s fun, it’s funky, it comes in every color (so important!) and it’s for a good cause. Hello, what more could you want?

This stuff is nice. And I’m currently shopping for the perfect bracelet to add to my jewelry box.

This girl is amazing. Check her and her beautiful jewelry out. And support her.

I may have rambled a little, but hey, sometimes, you just gotta go with it!

So, please, tell me – Did you ever get an education on something or maybe met someone who changed the way you thought?



9 responses to “Baubles, Diabetes and Inspiration!”

  1. Elena, I am coming up on my 25th anniversary of being a Type 1 diabetic this year, so it warms my heart to read that you’re including a diabetic character in your new book. Your friend, Deb, sounds like an amazing woman. Having the emotional support of family and friends is crucial for diabetics, so I’m sure that Deb appreciates all the kindness, positivity, and encouragement you provide. It means the world to a diabetic when she/he is understood, not pitied.

    I had not heard about Rachel and her beautiful jewelry. What an amazing young woman! I will share the link to her site with everyone I know.

    Thank you for writing “the diabetes book” and for contributing a portion of the proceeds to diabetes research. You are doing a wonderful thing! Please keep us posted on your progress with the book.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thank you so much your comment! I’m sure a congratulations isn’t the right thing to say for your anniversary with diabetes, but…
      I will be ‘celebrating’ Deb’s 30th diabetes anniversary by running a Hal marathon with her. I’ll run for you too!
      I will absolutely keep you posted about the book.

      • It is a milestone for me, so I appreciate the congratulations! And thanks for running for me, as well as Deb, in the marathon! I’m totally impressed by both of you having that kind of physical fitness and stamina. I exercise every day, but moderation is the key for me. I’m a walker, not a runner. 🙂

        Looking forward to hearing more about the book. How far into it are you now?

  2. What a super fabulous moment of serendipity for you! I’ll definitely check out Rachel’s website. That bracelet is adorable and would make a nice gift for many of my friends (and myself!).

    I wonder if you could contact Rachel for research on your book. Get a first hand perspective of what it’s like to be a kid with diabetes, and maybe talk to her mom so you know how your MC feels. Just an idea.

    When my daughter was in second grade, she had a little girl in her class who had celiac disease. This was fifteen years ago before gluten free was more well known. Since I was the room mom, I took it upon myself to research the restrictions on her diet (there are many) and I made it a point to always have treats that she could have. I didn’t want her to feel different in any way.

    You run for two hours? Oy.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Rachel’s stuff is beautiful, isn’t it!?
      I’m way ahead of you the research stuff, I have a fountain of information available to me in Deb. gotta have something to talk about on those runs! Ha.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Or longer. My mother’s reaction can have her body upset for 24 to 48 hours. It’s not good. Bloating and cramping. You have a great idea Tameri. A personal perspective would be a nice touch. We were with a young girl just the other day (6) who was diabetic. It can be a real challenge. My family has it in the line. My father was a sever diabetic, but wasn’t diagnosed until later in life. He had to take five shots a day. My grandpa was able to keep it under control with diet and pills. Different stages control it differently. But it can be extremely serious and life threatening. I think what you are doing is wonderful Elena.

      I love the jewelry, btw.

  3. Wow Rachel is impressive, isn’t she? LOVE her stuff. Thanks for sharing Elena – we’ll all do our best to support her (and Deb). 🙂

  4. I became a Type 1 diabetic when I was 7. Now it’s just a part of my life, but back then it was really hard as a kid. I couldn’t eat the cupcakes at birthday parties (now I can’t eat them because of the gluten allergy, oy!), and I had to be careful in P.E. so I wouldn’t have that sugar crash. I’m not sure how much being a kid with diabetes has changed, especially since the invention of the insulin pump. That thing saved my life at 14. I’m looking forward to this next book, Elena! 🙂

    That jewelry is lovely! It reminds me of another–Lauren’s Hope, which started out as making medical ID bracelets with beads and stuff so kids could feel nicer about wearing the medical tag instead of the ugly gray chain.

  5. Elena, this is good information all around. As writers I think it is so satisfying when we can include important messages in our work about topics that should concern everyone. Even if a person is not directly connected to diabetes, as you point out, we should all be aware of it. We have several friends and family with diabetes. Can’t wait for “the diabetes book” to come out – we do give our WIPs some strange working titles!

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