I'm participating in Diabetes Blog Week:
Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”. But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit. Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly! Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!
It feels strange for me to post about what I do best concerning my diabetes, because for so many years I didn't really "do" diabetes. I'm only recently starting to test like crazy, obsess over every carbohydrate, and pay attention to my body. I scraped by on the bare minimum for so long --- really doing just enough to not land myself in the hospital. The one common denominator that ties both extreme phases of my diabetic life is that I never let diabetes hold me back from my goals.
I worked my tush off to make straight A's through middle school and high school. I played varsity tennis in high school for four years. I went to every social function that interested me. I joined every club that caught my eye. I applied to the universities that appealed to me and took my pick. I made it into med school and then to residency. I dated some wonderful guys and married the best of them. I maintained beautiful relationships with my family, and my friends.
I did all of this with HORRIBLE blood sugars. I sometimes went for a full month without testing. I guessed my boluses with reckless abandon. I felt more tired than I should have - all the time. I peed five times more than the average person - almost every day. I was irritable and snippy when I shouldn't have been. I blamed it all on everything but diabetes. Maybe deep down, I thought that paying so much of my attention to diabetes would hold me back from everything else. By ignoring it, I refused to let it hold me back.
Then I turned my life around, and I feel like a new person. I have energy, I'm in a better mood, I feel in control. I look back at the old me and I am flabbergasted at how I managed to do so much, so successfully, all while feeling SO CRAPPY. I paid so much attention to every other aspect of my life but the part that was so central to it all -- my diabetes, my health. A part of me is impressed by the thought that I was able to fight through it and still accomplish what I set out to do, but it makes me wonder what I would have been capable of had I not always been working as a fraction of myself.
So now that I can count myself among the diabetics that holds it together and can make their Endocrinologists proud, one might appreciate that it would feel massively overwhelming. I went from 0 to 60, but not without a lot of hard work. And the funny thing is that I feel more free than ever. Despite the 10 checks per day. Despite the pump tethered to my hip. Despite the hyperawareness of the ins and outs of my body. Diabetes is still not holding me back. And I'll make sure that it never will.