World Diabetes Day…My day of thanks! #mgtab by Natalie Ann

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What does November mean to you?

On social media you see all sorts of posts about 30 days of thanks. That’s a great reminder that we should always look for the positive over the negative.

How about Movember? Raising funds for men’s health by growing facial hair. I love this one, but then again I’m a fan of facial hair.

But 10 years ago, the meaning behind November changed for me. It changed my life—my family’s life. Diabetes Awareness Month.

You see, my son was 8 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, also know as juvenile diabetes (though adults can also be diagnosed). The simplest way to describe this is that his pancreas is dead. It doesn’t function at all. The body cannot produce insulin and without insulin we will die. There is currently no cure for Type 1. Though there are all sorts of tools in place to make life more manageable, it’s still not a cure.

Type 2 Diabetes can happen to anyone, not just those who are overweight that most assume it to be associated with. The difference between the two is, with Type 2 your pancreas still produces insulin, just not properly. Diet, exercise and medication can control and sometimes ‘cure’ it.

Those of us who have someone in our lives with Type 1 Diabetes know this is a lifestyle. There is no escaping it for one minute of any day. Your blood glucose could go too high, sending your body into ketoacidosis, which in layman’s terms means the sugar stays in your blood stream and starts to break down your fat and muscles, potentially causing long term issues with your organs.

Or your blood sugar could go low causing you to pass out and yes, die. It’s scary to watch someone you love shaking and lightheaded while staring into space as you force juice and candy down them to keep them alert. Because if they pass out, you have to give them this big nasty shot in the thigh and rush them to the ER, praying you got them there in time.

Why am I explaining all of this? Because today is World Diabetes Day. Yes, that is such a thing. And I’m thankful that I’m able to give a little bit of Diabetes Awareness to my readers.

The next time you see someone shaking, looking pale, acting funny, staring into space or slurring their words. Maybe even looking for food or juice. Don’t assume they may be drunk or on drugs, because the symptoms can actually mimic each other. Ask them if they’re okay, and if there is anything you can do to help them. Blood sugar can drop suddenly with no explanation for some diabetics and many (like my son) don’t feel the symptoms until it’s too late. You could save their life.

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Fall…Finally!

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It’s my favorite time of year!

Here in New York, Fall is running a little late to the party, but it’s in route…finally!

Fall symbolizes a lot of different things for different people.

—Back to school—Happy dance for all those parents out there.

—Football—Unless your team isn’t setting the red zone on fire…yes, I mean you Eli.

—Apple picking—Sad to say, this is the first time in sixteen years I haven’t gone apple picking with my son. He’s a freshman in college and too cool to do that.

—The changing of the leaves—The perfect time to take a scenic drive to Vermont. Unfortunately, thanks to motion sickness, scenic drives and me don’t play nice.

—The first frost—Still waiting for this to happen.

—Planting my tulips for spring—Again, still waiting.

You might wonder why I put planting of tulips on my list. To me, fall symbolizes the ending of summer, the beginning of my favorite season, and a kickoff to spring. The time when I tenderly plant those bulbs, spread the soil on top and wait months and months for them to make their first appearance.

Fall also makes me think of love and new beginnings. Jordyn Montgomery got her new beginning in All My Love. She picked up the only life she’d ever known in Florida and moved to Upstate New York on a hunch and with a purpose. While experiencing loss, loneliness, mystery, and love, she met Drew Palmer who stood by her through it all, and helped her find the new beginning she’d been dreaming of.

This week only, All My Love is on sale for 99 cents!

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Taking A Chance by Natalie Ann #mgtab

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Taking A Chance

With risk comes great reward. We’ve all heard this before, correct? Maybe we’ve said, “That’s right, I’m going to take a risk and I’m going to win.” Then you get all excited, you dive head first into the freezing cold water, come up for air and you wait. And wait. And wait.  “Where’s my reward?” you ask yourself.

That was me twenty plus years ago. I wanted to be a writer. An author. That was my goal. That was my dream. I’d started and stopped writing too many times to count, getting frustrated and giving up.

Then four years ago I told myself, it’s now or never and I made a plan. I’m good at making plans. And lists. Lots and lots of lists. My lists have lists and I’m proud of that fact!

My plan was to write one book. Start and keep going until it was done. Just to say I could do it. The finished product didn’t have to leave my computer, no one had to see it but me, but darn it all, I was going to finish that book.

Not only did I finish that book, Road to Recovery, but I wrote Road to Redemption and Road to Reality. Three books in draft form and I had no clue what to do next. So I started to search out editors, and since I’m a firm believer in fate, I kept coming back to this one editor.  Something pulled at me and said, “Reach out and see what she says.”

That risk I talked about before… well that’s what I did. My finger hovered over the mouse after I reread my email fifty times. The last thing I wanted to do was have a typo in the introduction email!

I didn’t have a long wait. I wasn’t floating in the cold water wondering when I could get out and grab a fluffy towel.  Now I’m not going to say my reward was instantaneous, because it wasn’t. I had a lot of work ahead of me, and I got right to it. Pulled out another ream of paper and made another list of where to start and how to approach it.

Here I am—not even three years after Road to Recovery was published—my fourteenth book, Take A Chance, was released this month.

Rene Buchanan did what I did. She’d had a life she lived for twenty-nine years and when it wasn’t working out the way she always envisioned. When she knew there was more out there and she just had to find it, she dove into that ice cold water and took her chance. Luckily for her, Cole McGuire was there to hand her a nice warm towel, wrap her up tight and show her that her risk was both their reward.

You can read Take A Chance now. Available on Amazon.

Natalie Ann

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