February marked my sixth year of living with diabetes. Things have changed in six years, from my diagnosis to management tools at my disposal. Although diagnosed at 19, it feels like I’ve been living with diabetes for far longer. Out of the changes that diabetes has brought into my life, the lifestyle changes have been the most challenging. Diabetes introduced a steep learning curve especially as I learned to have it fit around my lifestyle and not vice versa. Yet there are still times where I curse my malfunctioning pancreas and I reminisce back to my days before diabetes…
~ I miss not being over conscientious around food
~ I miss not having to look and judge a meal by the amount of carbohydrates it contain
~ I miss not being able to indulge in high GI foods (like instant porridge with honey) without suffering the effects of a high blood glocuse level because I should’ve used a combo bolus or haven’t worked it out the right combo yet
~ I miss not being anxious and feeling guilty around eating over a certain amount of carbs a day
~ I miss not having to worry about hypos and the possibility of having a hypo so bad, I would need help
~ I miss not having to budget for diabetes supplies such as test strips, insulin, pump supplies and specialist appointments
~ I miss not being able to go anywhere without bringing all my diabetes gear such as my blood glucose monitor and test strips, emergency needles and insulin and hypo food
~ I miss not having to worry about things such as my blood glucose trend, the last time I ate and the last time I had insulin before I start exercising
~ I miss not worrying about developing diabetes complications and having to brace myself for bad news every time I go for routine check ups
In short, I miss not having diabetes.
On the flip side, diabetes has forced me to live a healthier lifestyle, which I have come to enjoy. Living with diabetes has boosted my self-confidence as I’ve had to learn to speak up for myself. More importantly, I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin and love myself. Diabetes has also enriched my life through the inspirational people I have met along the way.
So although I do miss life before diabetes, I couldn’t imagine life without it now.