Saturday, November 3, 2012
It's unbelievable to me that five years ago today...I was in the hospital and my life changed forever. I heard the words, "You have Type 1 Diabetes." I didn't know what that meant or how much different my life would be today. These past five years, I've learned something new every single day about myself and diabetes. I have found ways to cope, stay healthy, and stay happy. These are five of the most important things I have learned in my five years with diabetes:
1. You're stronger than you think. I put on an act in front of people...I think sometimes I make this disease look easier than it really is. But my strength has really kept me going and helped me stay focused. After all, it takes a lot of strength to have self-control when it comes to sugar, testing 10+ times/day, and sticking needles in my body.
2. You can always start over tomorrow. I am learning everyday not to be so hard on myself. If I mess up, that's ok...there's always tomorrow to start fresh. It's not the end of the world!
3. Having a great support system is essential. This includes: family/friends, DOC (Diabetes Online Community), & doctors. Friends and family that ask if you are ok, that will prick your finger and test you if you can't do it yourself, or that carry sugar on them in case you have a low. These can be people that you open up to about your frustrations or that are willing to give a hug when you need one. A DOC that can share fears and hopes, and that can relate to you because they are going through the same thing. Doctors that are willing to fight for you to get the medical needs/equipment that you need and that support you even when you don't think you're doing well. These people are crucial.
4. Moderation is key. Ok, I learned this, but I still haven't perfected it. This is an everyday challenge for me. But, it doesn't come over night. Everyday I try a little more at this. I'll get it soon--the most important thing is that I acknowledge the importance of it!
5. Share information and allow people to become educated about diabetes. There are so many misconceptions about diabetes. There's Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2. People that aren't familiar with diabetes mix these up and think they are all the same. Educate people about the differences. Also, if anything--get across that Type 1 Diabetics CAN eat ANYTHING. We get tired of hearing, "You can eat that?"
I've learned a lot in the past five years. I hope over the next five--I gain more knowledge and insight...and still have no major complications. If I keep on track like I have been--I know achieving those goals won't be a problem.