Monday, May 11, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week - I Can (Day 1)


In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of "I can...”  that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren't sure you could?  Or what have you done that you've been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?  (Thank you to the anonymous person who submitted this topic suggestion.)

I was diagnosed in my late teens with Type 1 and thought it would be the end of my world. I thought that this disease would hinder me from being able to live life like a normal person. The only images of people with diabetes I had were the people in movies. I kept thinking to myself "Am I going to be like Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias"? It was frightening to think about. But then over time I reminded myself that those people in the movies were just characters and that didn't/wouldn't be me.

Yes, you have to take precautions with anything you do if you have diabetes. There is a lot of trial and error that goes a long with it, but diabetes should never be the reason you think you can't. When I was first diagnosed I was taking a dance class in college and dropped the class because I thought I can't do this I have to protect my feet. Then after missing dancing a year later I decided to take another class. I talked with my instructor on my first day back and let her know that I had diabetes and would need to check my blood sugars once or twice during class and that I would need to sit out to take care of a low blood sugar when it happened. My instructor didn't tell me "sorry you can't participate" but instead told me "not a problem" I performed in my first recital in years that year and loved every minute of it.

Later, I decided I wanted to run a 5K and believe me, diabetes wasn't my first road block, my lack of exercise and hate for running was. I like to research things before I start them, I sought out a girl in my diabetes group who is a runner and asked her for suggestions. She let me borrow her running belt and told me it would help with carrying my pump and snacks. Then I started training and the trial and error started too. I decided to play with my basal (long term insulin) rates and see what affect running for long period of time would have on my body and I learned a lot. I learned that running makes my blood sugars drop dramatically, but then an hour or two after running I would see huge spikes in my numbers. Overtime I learned the right setting for my insulin pump, packed some gummy bears in my running belt, and finished my first 5K with no problems.

Now, I am beginning my research phase of what it looks like to be pregnant with diabetes. I know this was a concern a lot of my family had when I was first diagnosed considering most people watch Steal Magnolias and think that's my future. But after looking at other Type 1 blogs and talking with other diabetics who have done it, I know that there isn't a closed door on this issue. It will be tough and take a lot of time and energy like anything involving diabetes, but it can still happen. Diabetes won't be the thing to close the door on this option in my life, but rather open the door to meeting new people and building my diabetes community in the online world and in my hometown.

Having diabetes has done more for me then I thought it would. It helped me to really begin thinking about my future, it helped me to get healthy (that one took longer than the others), and it helped me use my story as a way to help other who are in the beginning stages of their diabetes journey. But the greatest thing that diabetes encouraged me to do was to challenge all the things I was told I couldn't do and learn that even with diabetes I still could. Just remember there are more I can do this moments in living with diabetes than the I can't moments. All it times is some time and patience.


5 comments:

  1. Sounds like you're doing great and not letting diabetes hold you back. Best of luck as you begin the journey of becoming a mom with T1.

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  2. Aw you can do it! I just had my baby boy 6 months ago so if you have any questions as you begin your pregnancy with diabetes journey, just let me know!

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  3. I love reading all of the things you did with diabetes. And researching first to help be more prepared is great advice.

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  4. Hi my name is Sarah and this is the first diabetes blog I have ever read! Thank you for sharing. I've always dreamed of dancing and while I've done musicals before I've never really focused on the dancing but your story has definatly comforted me. Diabetes should never be a reason to not do something and you've definatly reminded me of that. I too am participating diabetes blog week this year but I am making videos instead of writing. Can't wait to read tomorrow's post!

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  5. Great post, Daley! I'm with you on starting to research type 1 and pregnancy. We'll have to compare notes. :)

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