Okay, so the end of last year was a blur to say the least. I only blogged once in November, and that was to say that I was determined to put diabetes back into my life. And I am. It’s taking a bit longer than usual, but I’m learning to balance all the things in my life that is going on while trying my best to keep from putting my diabetes on the back burner and leaving it there.
On the 22nd of November, I celebrated 27 years with Type 1 diabetes. Yes, you read that right. I celebrated it. I may not have written a whole post or had cake or thrown a party, but I did in my own mind, celebrate it. Having diabetes has taught me a lot of things, but namely, it has taught me to be thankful for the health that I do have. (And what a month to have to celebrate it in, right?!)
Many people think that I am crazy, but I count myself so blessed to be a diabetic in that it is one of the biggest things that has taught me to roll with the punches, to try my hardest, when the going gets tough to push harder, but that it’s okay to take a break and rest at times when burnout is at it’s peak. As crappy of a disease diabetes is, it has helped to shape me into the person I am today, and for that, I’m thankful.
It has taught me humility in knowing that I can’t do it all, all of the time. Diabetes is a sucky disease that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But coming from someone who hates to ask for help for anything, it has taught me that sometimes I have to suck it up and ask, and not be embarrased to do so. It’s not just my life anymore that depends on my health, I have two beautiful children and a loving husband that depend on me as well. So, I have to tell my self to “suck it up buttercup” and ask for help when I need it.
And help doesn’t need to be constricted to physical help – I mean mental help as well. This disease is a 24/7 monkey that can wear at anyone, and asking for help from either a friend, professional, or both, is completely ok… in fact, I encourage it.
I’ve had to learn that even though I have diabetes and my pancreas does not work correctly, it doesn’t mean that I am broken. It took me years to not feel like I was broken, a dud, malformed… It took a very long time for me to realize that I’m still a person. I am not defined by the non-functioning status of an organ that is taking up residence in my body. It causes a lot of havoc at times, yes, but I am not my pancreas, nor am I the disease that caused it to be a bum. I am still the person who loves music, who loves to write, who is constantly paranoid about how clean or dirty her house is, or who is completely mesmerized by how quickly kids can grow and loves to kiss and tickle them every minute I can. I simply have one organ (well, technically two if you count my slacker thyroid) that doesn’t work.
As a tech guru, I’ve been on many different pumps and used many different meters – and I used to be one to tell you which one I thought was the greatest thing to ever hit the market in my opinion at that time. Now, my thoughts have changed a bit to moreso encourage people to do a lot of research on their own. It’s true that what works for me may not work for you – and what works for us, may not work for the person next to us. All pumps have their drawbacks, and so do all meters. No one fits everyone, and it’s a great thing that we have all of these options on the market. I will still give you pointers and tell you pros and cons if asked, but for the most part, I’ve learned that even with diabetes, each one of us has a different experience so what I say works for me will more than likely be completely different for you and your needs.
I’ve also learned that diabetes is ever evolving… even in me, it’s constantly morphing, and to me, as someone who has loved the human anatomy, it astounds me. Even as frustrating as it is to constantly have to monitor and adjust, just to see how my body and insulin needs has changed and waved through insulin sensitivity to insulin resistance and all areas in between through 2 pregnancies and just regular life – it’s just utterly amazing to me. And that is one reason why I will never tell anyone how to manage their diabetes. Heck, I can’t keep up with mine most of the time, so I have no place pointing fingers or telling someone else what they should do or how they should do it in regards to their own personal diabetes management.
In the end, I am a person that happens to have a bum pancreas (and thyroid)… but I’m thankful for all that having it has taught me and for shaping me into who I am today.
It is my goal and passion to at least try to help others and encourage them in their own diabetes journey – whether you’ve lived with it one day, one year, or too many years to count.