Jill – a kind, Faithful Reader from California – and I have been corresponding by email for the past few weeks.  Her beautiful family and remarkable tale of making sure the glass is always half-full was something I couldn’t resist sharing with you guys.  (And her son is adorable.)

Making Lemonade out of Lemons.

Allow me to humbly share my journey in life with diabetes.

In 2004, when I was about six months pregnant, we found out I had gestational diabetes. First, it was overwhelming and took it day by day. We got creative. The only thing I had a really hard time was inserting insulin shots on my big round pregnant belly, afraid to have the needle touch the one in the oven. After a few shots, the diabetes center called “Sweet Success” showed me a picture graph of the how the needle won’t touch the baby. That the needle is so very tiny. They were so great and we were so appreciative. I wasn’t so nervous after that when did insulin shots. Three Jill E. and family.months passed and our little guy, Ryan arrived in our arms on October 25, 2004. Life is extra good. The doctors during this time informed me that I have about a 50% chance of getting diabetes back.

A year later we moved to the Sacramento area from the San Francisco Bay Area. The summer and early falls were so warm. I found myself always thirsty and felt like I wanted to drink a gallon of water. I thought it was due to Sacramento’s dry air, tired (I dismissed it as mommy tiredness) and started to go to the restroom a lot. The symptoms were feeling awfully familiar. It was either being pregnant again, thyroid problems or did the diabetes come back?

After lab tests, we found out I had type 2 diabetes, my heart sank. I needed to grieve just a tiny bit before moving on. After I grieved, I was saying its not the end of the world and things could be worse. I was glad I had the experience of what to expect when I had gestational diabetes. I decided to make lemonade out of lemons, something I was familiar with growing up.

I was born profoundly deaf, my parents found out I was deaf when I was three. My family is great, they accepted who I am and did not treat me any differently with my older two siblings. Her son, with the hose!They did not pity me, accepting me as an equal. They didn’t see me having a ‘disability’. We all have ‘disabilities’ in one way or another. Each person is unique, and programmed differently. My dad was saying the eyeglasses for his eyes were a tool, as were my hearing aids tools. My nephews, when they were toddlers, they were looking sad, that Auntie Jill is deaf or have broken ears. My dad without a beat, started the second generation of his wonderful philosophy, “There is nothing wrong with Auntie Jill, do not need to feel sorry for her, here’s my eyeglasses, these are a tool that helps my eyes.” he said. My heart just warms up remembering his words growing up. This is one example of how my family boosted my self esteem growing up.

…and I have been making lemonade since age three. So I applied those tools easily on to diabetes. Take one day at a time and try to be creative. And to continue to live life to the fullest. Life is too precious. It is all up to us to see if half full or half empty. Sure I have moments when I am very human. When we fall, I would jump back up, brush the dirt off my knees, and move forward. I appreciate the simple things life has to offer. To name a few…the colorful sunsets, our  son chasing us with the water hose, laughter until our stomach hurt, sharing heartfelt stories, seeing the fall leaves changing back East, and the unconditional love of hubby, son, family and friends. SUM lemons.

Life is still extra precious.

Jill E.”

If you want to share your story, send me an email at kerri @ sixuntilme dot com.  I’d love to hear from you!

(Sidenote:  And today is my mom’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Maaa!)