Thursday, May 29, 2008

Seriously....Never Give Up

On Diabetesaliciousness I joke about diabetes, a lot. On occasion I also rant and rave, and get on my Big D soap box because I'm not Pollyanna and have never claimed to be.
But mostly I point out the humor (somewhat sardonically at times), inform my readers, and try to be positive.

I do this for myself because that's how I can own my Diabetes. I do it for others, (namely citizens of dBlogville,Diabetic citizens, and T3's globally) so they can learn about D, find the humor, and own their D as well. I've always believed that if you can find the humor in Diabetes, then you can handle the serious and not so serious issues associated with it..

Yes, Diabetes is a bitch at times, we all know it and most of us live it. But.....we are lucky. If you don't believe me, please read the following story about a woman who spent the almost 60 years in an iron lung and then died because of a power outage...

This story (which I've cut and pasted,was written by the AP's Woody Baird) will not only make you think....It will make you sad. It will also INSPIRE and make you EXTREMELY thankful.

Diane Odell did a lot with what life threw her way and her attitude was amazing. She never gave up and accomplished so much. Please take Diane's words to heart, I know I will.

Woman Who Spent Life in Iron Lung Dies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 28) - A woman who spent nearly 60 years of her life in an iron lung after being diagnosed with polio as a child died Wednesday after a power failure shut down the machine that kept her breathing, her family said.Dianne Odell, 61, had been confined to the 7-foot-long machine since she was stricken by polio at 3 years old.
John Partipilo, The Tennessean / AP

Dianne Odell spent nearly her entire life in a 750-pound iron lung machine after being stricken with polio at age 3. Above, Odell watches television as she lies inside her iron lung machine at her home in Jackson, Tenn., last year.
Family members were unable to get an emergency generator working for the iron lung after a power failure knocked out electricity to the Odell family's residence near Jackson, about 80 miles northeast of Memphis, brother-in-law Will Beyer said."We did everything we could do but we couldn't keep her breathing," said Beyer, who was called to the home shortly after the power failed. "Dianne had gotten a lot weaker over the past several months and she just didn't have the strength to keep going."Capt. Jerry Elston of the Madison County Sheriff's Department said emergency crews were called to the scene, but could do little to help.Odell was afflicted with "bulbo-spinal" polio three years before a polio vaccine was discovered and largely stopped the spread of the crippling childhood disease.She spent her life in the iron lung, cared for by her parents and other family members. Though confined inside the 750-pound apparatus, Odell managed to get a high school diploma, take college courses and write a children's book.The iron lung that she used was a cylindrical chamber with a seal at the neck. She lay on her back in the device with only her head exposed, and made eye contact with visitors using an angled mirror above her head. The lung worked by producing positive and negative pressure on the lungs that caused them to expand and contract so that she could breathe.Iron lungs were first used to sustain life in 1928, and were largely replaced by positive-pressure airway ventilators in the late 1950s. A spinal deformity from the polio made it impossible for Odell to wear a more modern, portable breathing apparatus, so she continued to use the older machine.It is not known how many polio survivors still use iron lungs, but Odell was believed to have used it for longer than most.Odell was determined to live a full life — she earned a diploma from Jackson High School as a home-bound student and an honorary degree from Freed-Hardeman College. A voice-activated computer allowed her to write a children's book, "Less Light," about Blinky, a tiny star who dreams of becoming a wishing star.

In a 2001 interview with The Associated Press, she said she wanted to show children, especially those with physical disabilities, that they should never give up."It's amazing what you can accomplish if you see someone do the same thing."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.


Jeff said...

Great message, Kelly. Never give up. Thanks!

Laura Williams said...

Wow, that's an amazing story.

k2 said...

Jeff & Laura -
I was sad when I first read about Diane, but at the same time I was incredibly inspired and was able to put some things into perspective.
Glad u both appreciated what she had to say.

Cara said...

Hey! I read about her. I think that it is very motivating. I mean, if she can live like that, surely I can handle diabetes.
When I was 8 years old I went into keto and was in acoma and in ICU for nearly a week. When I woke up, they kept me on the children's wing with all the very ill children. During that time (even at that age) I was very thankful for only having diabetes. Some of those kids were dying. And I knew it. I knew I wasn't dying. And I was very happy about that.
Diabetes is tough, but I think it's made me tough too.

Diane J Standiford said...

The alternative isn't worth it. Isn't it great to know of such inspiration people?

k2 said...

Cara -
Your absolutely on the mark about Diabetes making us tough, AND grateful. I to remember being in the hospital with sick and dying kids and being grateful that I had Diabetes instead of somehing fatal.
I'm glad Diane inspired you!

Diane -
glad u feel this way! Inspirational people rock!