Type 1 Diabetes is Great!

Just kidding. Type 1 Diabetes is NOT great. It sucks donkey doo doo. There’s no doubt. Some days are better than others. The daily numerous finger pricks and insulin-injections alone can wear me down. 

But as time goes on, I am able to focus on the bright side. Now that I’ve settled into an apartment, I have a routine that just includes “medicine time,” which is increasingly easier with a positive outlook. I consider the following 4 items the most positive aspects of having Type 1 Diabetes:

1. I am more aware of my body’s needs.

Controlling Type 1 diabetes means I must consistently monitor my blood sugar and track all factors that may affect it, such as food, water, heat, sleep, illness, and stress. I now have a higher level of physical awareness, which I use to keep myself healthy and balanced. For example, if I’m active and start to feel tired, I know I need a break or a snack. Lots of research has also made me more knowledgeable about biology and health.

2. I am motivated to make healthy choices.

Since being diagnosed in January 2017, I have been motivated to do what it takes to avoid diabetes complications, such as vision loss, kidney failure, heart attacks and limb amputations. I have stopped drinking alcohol. (Actually, I had one glass of wine at a Comedy Club with my daughter last month. It was lovely.) I also no longer mindlessly snack on junk food. Technically, I could still drink lots of booze and eat junk food, but they are generally not worth the negative impact they have on blood sugar and my health. I also keep myself active; I take regular walks throughout the day, and I enjoy yoga and a bit of resistance training.

Lego men inject insulin3. I am overcoming my fears.

My disease is helping me overcome one of my biggest fears – needles. Since I must self-inject insulin multiple times a day to stay alive, I have had no choice but simply to do it. It is becoming easier everyday, as my brain is accepting it as a standard part of life now. I’m still at the beginning of my journey, so I know I will only get stronger.

4. I have a greater appreciation for life and what’s important.

With 3 visits to the Emergency Room this year, I definitely felt my mortality. Life is so gosh darn short! I am going to spend every moment I can enjoying it. I am worrying less about being on a super restrictive diet; I am finding the right balance to be healthy while able to enjoy a variety of food. I am also maximizing my time to be with my loved ones.

Bakery libby
Dan and Libby attack a bakery

Fortunately, I started my diabetic journey with a helpful, caring family. My husband eased my suffering in every way he could. He stood by me, offering his love and assistance anytime I needed it. My appreciation and our bond are stronger than ever. My daughter flew from her home in The Netherlands twice this year just to be with me during my hard times.

Lots of other family and friends reached out to me and have been supportive. I also found diabetic buddies online, and they have been kind and informative.  I feel thoroughly loved and supported.  I have a great appreciation for those people… and for all the GREAT moments life can have.

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