Hello Sunday night, although I usually have an adverse feeling toward your approach to start a new week, I find myself happy and rather enthusiastic! Why, you might ask? Well unlike many internships, I was able to choose a day off or to work shorter days. Naturally I opted to not work Mondays, because who likes Mondays? Therefore as I prepare to sit and watch the US game in the World Cup, I know I will not have to worry about getting to bed at a decent hour or prepare for a whole new work week. Not that I do not want to start a new week, it is just Monday. As I recap this past week I would like to make it a point to express my sense of joy, being able to walk into the JDRF-Advocacy office everyday. I love being able to learn and hear about what they are doing to work towards better care and ultimately a cure. Below is a review of my very first week as a working girl! (& I promise the funniest stories are at the end so be patient!)
Full of learning, working, and many many stories. Each day I arrive around 9:15 am, and much to every ones surprise my day does not actually start until 9:30am therefore I am EARLY, yes EARLY. My timing abilities have never been up to par, probably due to my upbringing and being perpetually late to everything, thank you Barnett genes (or my mothers genes, as my father would put, and likewise coming from her about him) Either way, I am early. There are three interns all together, Mia, Anna, and myself. Before starting the internship I was prepared and confident that I would succeed knowing I had diabetes and would be able to connect with the work I was doing solely because of that. I was not prepared to be surrounded by two other Type ones, and while I was prepared to share my passion with someone new who possibly did not know much about diabetes, I find it a blessing to share the disease. We are able to connect not over the fact that we have the same major (which we don’t), come from similar backgrounds, or all want to do the same thing, but that we have this relentless disease and are able to share our stories. All three of us come from different places; have different connections with JDRF, and all have different experiences with diabetes. On Thursday we were able to have lunch together, and while casual conversation held relevance for approximately ten minutes, we spent the other fifty minutes telling stories and relating with diabetes. Each morning we work together to find news clips, we are given search topics mostly pertaining to diabetes, research, medical devices, etc. We form a document and email it to everyone in the office. At the SWD conference one speaker told us to read the newspaper everyday, and look what I am doing! It definitely helps in keeping up with topics, and is certainly interesting. I never realized how many articles there are each week that are published in reference to diabetes. I was also given the project of writing Twitter and Facebook posts that were centered on diabetes stats, and certain tag lines. These posts will soon be shared on both accounts so keep a look out! The main event JDRF-Advocacy is working on is the One Walk, where executive directors and chapter presidents of chapters registered for the walk are invited to Washington for the One Walk conference. This past week I was given the detailed job of going through the One Walk excel sheet and entering every name into the JDRF data base confirming if they were an advocate and entering their address into the excel sheet. Amanda, my supervisor must’ve known what she was doing when giving me this job as it is right up my organizational, perfectionist alley! I love organizing and making sure everything is perfect, therefore excel sheets are fun. This week was described by many of the workers as ‘slow’, mostly because they are in transition. This week it is supposed to pick up, and I cannot wait to see what other projects are in store!
Week One, off the record:
Everyday I wake up, shower, iron my clothes, think about breakfast, lunch, and dinner, make my tea (hope I don’t spill it on myself), pack my lunch, and head out the door. While my routine is much like every other interns routine, I also have to check my blood sugar (respond accordingly), pack snacks, confirm I have enough juices for the day, AND THEN head out the door. Leaving my apartment building for the day is like leaving for a day of battle. Battling the streets of Washington, DC. To many people they seem harmless, but it takes approximately a ten-minute walk and a metro ride to bring my blood sugar to the dropping number of approximately 65. (This is the average of last week) Did I mention my pump is usually on suspended while on my way to work? I have yet to bolus for breakfast while being here. Honestly, I usually treat myself to Starbucks on my way, and once again do not bolus, using it as my low treatment. (Sorry mom and dad, but its for diabetes J) & yumma too! While everyone is hustling to get to work, I am walking about as slow as I can, trying not to expend too much energy so I can make it to work without going low. I guess this is just in the job description when having type 1 diabetes, so every morning I prepare for battle and every afternoon before making the trek home I go through the same routine. Let me tell ya, being packed in a hot, sticky 5 o’clock metro train with fifty of your closest friends AND having a low blood sugar sure makes for an interesting time.
Now anyone who has spoken to me knows that my biggest fear is falling asleep on the metro and missing my stop, getting something taken, etcetera, etcetera. Do not worry everyone, I FELL ASLEEP and MISSED MY STOP. Friday morning I was coming from a friend’s house after staying over and my metro ride was longer and not one I usually take. I fell asleep and missed my stop by four. Looking down at my phone seeing 9:22am, my stomach dropped. I was THAT person, grabbed my bags and ran out the door. Laughing uncontrollably, I brought up my metro app thinking ‘Federal Triangle?! Where the heak am I??’ Thankfully Claire and Amanda, my supervisors were flexible and understood. By the time I arrived the whole office knew, I think just about everyone came up to me asking, “how was your nap” or “you were where?” I honestly had no clue where I was, but I managed to make it in to work in a timely manner. So if any of you ever need a good laugh, just think of Hannah RUNNING out of the metro train just before the doors shut, half asleep, wondering where she was. It doesn’t stop there; today I received an email from Pat Kenney, the executive director of the Northeast New York chapter, or my home chapter for JDRF. The subject line read ‘you fell asleep?’ Not only did everyone in the Advocacy office know I fell asleep, but now the chapter office in NENY knows, jeez! Not to worry, I am sure I will be able to provide many more funnies as the summer unfolds to other parts of the United States.