It’s Diabetes Awareness Month!! I only found this out yesterday. And I have had Diabetes now since I was 16. I’m going on having this for 12 years now. Wow!! Let that sink in for a minute…..
I have hid it for most of that time. I only tell people if I have to. I think part of it is I fear that people will look at me differently and that I’ll get the typical comment of “Oh you don’t look like you have it.” And me having to politely correct them and say that they’re thinking of type 2. This is not to say it’s not important to be aware of type 2 because that is something that you can prevent and something that can be managed by changing your diet and making sure that you exercise.
However this is not the case with my body. Nope….my pancreas does not work at all. Not even a little bit. It went through a honeymoon phase when I was first diagnosed. This means I had a tiny little amount but not so much anymore. That means I need to make sure that I give myself insulin. Personally I use a pump for this. I hate shots so the idea of having to stick myself even slightly less.
I hate shots…I hate getting blood taken. I hate even pricking my finger. When people complain about one shot…I’m like trying having to do it multiple times a day. I remember that they wouldn’t let me leave the hospital until I gave myself a shot. I practiced on a little stuffed teddy bear.
I still remember that horrible day like it was yesterday. Thing was I had been avoiding that day for months. i knew what was happening to my body and was in denial. I fought telling my parents. Partly because I knew what it meant and partly because my grandma was dying of breast cancer and I didn’t want to burden my mom anymore.
Tears still stream down my face as I write this. It was a miserable time. I knew what was going on as I had been around it since I was 5. My younger brother developed it when he was 3. Thing was I remember being jealous of all the attention and special treatment that he got growing up. I wish I didn’t feel that way.
I knew the signs and was ignoring every single one of them. I was working on a project about it for my Anatomy class. I remember finally checking my blood sugar and the reading coming back HI. I fell on the kitchen floor bawling my eyes out with mom. Because we both knew I was going to have to worry about things the same as my brother.
I was now going to have to check my sugar regularly. I was going to have to worry about what I ate, when I exercised, how much I exercised, how much insulin to give myself, whether to do shots or to have an insulin pump. The way my heart sank. I can only imagine how it made my mom’s heart sink. How it broke my dad. How we all cried. No one can ever understand that. I think it was worse for us too because we knew what it meant.
With my brother we didn’t know all the concerns. Now we knew what it all meant and all the new doctor’s appointments and extra time spent on this not to mention the extra money. Thankfully there have been so many advancements that have been made over the last 25 years but man there’s still no cure.
I am stuck with this until a cure is developed or if by some miracle the Lord decides to touch my body and make my pancreas start working again.
What I am realizing is that I need to speak up and speak out about type 1. I need to not hide that I have it. I need to advocate. I need to tell my story. I need to make people aware. I need to help people understand and not be ignorant. I need to be a voice. I need to help encourage those who are just getting used to having it. I need to take care of myself. I need to take responsibility.
I need to also be grateful. I need to be thankful for my parents, for my brother, for the doctors, and for those who also have it. I need to appreciate the fact that though this is a chronic disease, it is not a death sentence. I can live…
I can run…I can exercise….I can eat…I can breathe…I can go places…I can do things…I can have a family. I am not limited by this. I can still follow my dreams. I can have someone love me in spite of it. I can love myself. It is part of my story and it is part of my journey. It does not define who I am and is not the only thing that makes me who I am but it is part of me.
Take some time to educate yourself about diabetes. Learn about all the
Realize that there are probably people out there who are dealing with it and you had no idea. For starters…Nick Jonas of the infamous Jonas Brothers has it. Halle Berry, Mary Tyler Moore, Jean Smart, Elliot Yamin, Dorian Gregory, Bret Michaels, Sonia Sotomayor, and Gary Hall Jr. also all have Type 1. They’ve all done crazy things. You can still chase your dreams even with this disease.
You don’t know the fight that some people are fighting and don’t have a choice but to fight. They’re fighting for their lives so that they don’t slip into a coma because their blood sugar is too high.
Have a blessed night my friends!