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Saturday, November 14, 2015

T1D Exposed: The Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project

Today is World Diabetes Day and also the day that the T1D Exposed calendars have begun shipping!  Order your copy of the calendar here: http://www.t1dexposed.org/#buy

The theme for the 2016 T1D Exposed calendar focused on people's passions and I chose flowers and philosophy as mine! Flowers are my feel-good friends, they make my heart happy; Philosophy is like my tormented lover that works-out my brain - at times making it go absolutely stir-crazy and other times rewarding me with such a sense of satisfaction all while always keeping me wanting more.  The experience doing the shoot was a lot of fun and I cannot wait to see the finished project. 
Many thanks to the lovely Tara Lyman (who was the photographer for this shoot) and Katie Craft for being absolutely amazing and for the opportunity of being part of this year's project!

Why I chose to get involved with T1D Exposed:
See, I was the girl who, when diagnosed last May, said that I would never ever want to be attached to one of those things. But, 6 months after diagnosis I tried an insulin pump and cgm and loved how much they both helped me manage my T1D. It was difficult to accept the fact that I was attached to tubing 24/7 and had weird things that stuck out from my belly. Then there's the being naked part...having to get used to always seeing my sensor sites and the little pricks and bruises they leave behind. It can be a rough road adjusting to a very different version of "normal" but ultimately, I've chosen to embrace it all and look at the changes to my body as new, beautiful parts of myself and my goal is to help others feel more comfortable with themselves and the changes that T1D has on their bodies as well.  I decided to participate in the T1D Exposed project because I think it is the perfect avenue to celebrate and embrace these changes and the unique beauty special to those with type one diabetics - robot parts and all!
It is easy to feel self-conscious, very abnormal, and un-sexy having to poke your fingers multiple times a day and having things constantly attached to your body.  But, instead of working to hide these robot-like parts - the tubing and sites that stick out from our stomach, arms, or legs, in order to look more "normal", I choose to wear my sites and my insulin pump with pride and always welcome the questions people ask me about it because spreading awareness about type one diabetes is so, so important.  So while the very un-sexy and self-conscious feelings do inevitably creep in, I find it so important to remind myself that this is my new "normal" and that these things help keep us alive, and that in itself is such a beautiful thing and can be goddamn sexy too!  I wouldn't describe myself as a gal that wears her heart on her sleeve, but I do often wear my cgm on my sleeve and my "pancreas" on my hip - they are parts of me now, parts that help me stay alive, and I am forever thankful that this technology exists and that projects like T1D Exposed, who donate all precedes to organizations like JDRF who are dedicated to one day making type one, type none!  Can't wait for the day a cure comes, but in the meantime I will keep choosing to hold an attitude of gratitude and appreciate the tools that help me manage my t1d, to appreciate the amount of strength, calculations, and resiliency it takes just to live day to day with a disease like this, and of course, to appreciate and truly embrace all the changes - good, bad, exciting, or devastating that come along with it which has helped mold me into who I am today.  I am a gal living with an incurable autoimmune disease who, with the help of these robot parts, is able to keep myself alive and complication free, and that in itself is such a powerful symbol of strength and I think that is pretty damn sexy.


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