Tag: awareness

World Diabetes Day 2015

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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and today is World Diabetes Day. If you’ve been here before you know that diabetes is a huge part of my life and I’ve spent the last several years making work about it. Sometimes I make art to shed light on what it’s like to live with diabetes and sometimes I make art as a way of coping with the disease. Sometimes it’s both.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to explain how I feel when it comes to my diabetes. I am fortunate enough to have access to the medication, supplies, and care that I need, and I am capable of administering my own medication every day. I’ve achieved many of my goals, I’m at a healthy weight, I do most of the things I want to do, I have a supportive family, and I’m marrying someone who is willing to deal with and support me through all the things that suck about diabetes. And that’s just it. Living with diabetes sucks. My body seems to be getting more sensitive to pain as I get older. Sometimes my insulin doesn’t work. My fingertips are also more sensitive, especially my right pointer finger. Rubbing any slightly rough material is really uncomfortable. My feet are almost always cold. Sometimes I have to eat glucose tablets¬†at the gym because I calculated something wrong. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and realize I woke up because my blood sugar level is plummeting and then I have to eat glucose tablets while I lay sweating in bed trying to stay awake until I feel better. I could go on (and on and on…).

I’m pretty good at staying positive and I’m thankful for that particular personality trait. Making art about diabetes has been such a rewarding creative outlet and I truly believe it changed my life. I continue to feel called to make this work and I hope I can do great things with it (I have plans!).

Anyway, I hope that you spend time this month (even just a few minutes!) learning about the various types of diabetes and what it means to live with this disease. Learn what the symptoms are and share this information with your loved ones. I was three years old when I was diagnosed and I couldn’t describe what I was feeling, but my dad was observant and noticed my symptoms. My oldest sister was diagnosed later the same year and she was able to describe what I was going through to my parents because she was going through the same things. Now that I’m older, I am now incredibly grateful for that.

There are many blogs and other resources that cover this topic. Here are some great websites and articles to get you started:

International Diabetes Federation

The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes

A Cartoonist Laughs at Diabetes, and Her Book Will Make You Laugh Too

T1 Diabetes is Complicated…Even for Doctors

Don’t Judge People with Type 2 Diabetes

In Praise of Diabetes Unawareness

Type 1 Diabetes Finally Explained

The Invisibility of Type 1 Diabetes

Thank you so much for reading. Stay tuned for a peek into the things I’ve been making this fall! xoxo

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Brain School 2015

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Last month I attended Brain School at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute in Roanoke, VA. It consisted of a series of four 1-hour lectures on the brain by different doctors and scientists. The lectures were fascinating, engaging, and as clear as a lecture on the brain can be, I think. They even provided participants with free food and these sweet certificates:

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I took notes during the lectures for future reference:

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“Attention” is written boldly because it’s a word I have heard so many times over the past year and it plays a huge role in my work as an artist. You know how once you’re conscious of something you notice it more? For example when someone points out that you say “um” or “like” a lot, it suddenly resonates more than any other word that comes out of your mouth. This consistent discussion on attention has in turn made me more attentive. It’s the reason that I find connections between my own work and almost everything else I encounter in my life. Sure it’s overwhelming, but it’s also so inspiring. This is why I try to take advantage of events and other opportunities like this and I take notes!¬†Attention is something I’ll talk about more this week because yet another recent event in my life is related to this idea.

 

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Thanks for reading! xoxo

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Fall Update

Last week I had my first studio visit with my mentor for school and it was so helpful. In Chicago I was able to get feedback from other artists at pretty much any moment so it was sort of a difficult transition to go from that to having little access to feedback again. My mentor gave me a few assignments and some questions to ponder over and I’m very excited to get started.

Last week I also started teaching an after school art class for Roanoke City. This means I will be teaching five to six different classes every week for a couple months. The kids were great and I’m looking forward to working with them every week :]

I’m working on so many different things right now. Here are two!

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More sugar painting

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A special self-portrait…

I’m also working on a commissioned painting, some show submissions, and a secret side project! More info soon. Thanks for reading!

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World Diabetes Day!

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Hey everyone! So if you’re new to the site, November 14th is World Diabetes Day and that’s important to me because I’ve had Type I Diabetes for almost 20 years. One of the main reasons why diabetes awareness is so important is because so many people go undiagnosed due to their lack of knowledge about diabetes and it’s symptoms. It’s also really important because there are lots of diagnosed diabetics who don’t have access to the care they need to stay alive. Type I diabetics can’t survive without insulin. That doesn’t make insulin a cure.

The American Recall Center teamed up with several diabetes bloggers to create this awesome graphic:

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If I could only tell you one thing that I wanted you to know about diabetes, it would be that even though I look like a healthy 23-year-old, I’m constantly battling a chronic disease that affects my whole body.

You can help raise awareness today by doing a few simple things:

  1. Wear blue–the color for diabetes awareness–and share your blue on your social media accounts. Get the word out that you’re wearing blue in an effort to raise diabetes awareness. Share some information about diabetes if you can.
  2. Take the Big Blue Test. You can do this if you have access to a blood glucose meter even if you’re not diabetic. The point is to show the positive impact of exercise on blood sugar levels. For every 10 submissions, The Diabetes Hands Foundation will grant $5 in support of people with diabetes in need around the world.
  3. Educate yourself–even if it’s just finding out what the symptoms or complications of diabetes are.

Now get out there and spread the word! :]

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