14 Years with Diabetes

In February this year, I mark my 14th year of living with diabetes.

Each year is a milestone that I acknowledge. Some years I feel like I should use the term “celebrate”, but my diagnosis wasn’t really a joyous occasion. In fact, it was the beginning of a never-ending rollercoaster ride. However, diabetes hasn’t been a death sentence, which in itself is a privilege. The self-discovery that has accompanied being diagnosed with a life-long condition has been one I am grateful of.

I celebrate every win that I have had with diabetes and the person it has made me today. Thanks to diabetes, I have learned to advocate for my own health. I have a better understanding of the healthcare system and how to navigate it. Diabetes has also inspired a career pathway for me, although I think I would’ve done something similar even without it. Most importantly, diabetes has brought some very special people into my life.

Then there are the diabetes things to celebrate that I wish I didn’t have to celebrate. I’m not sure how I would’ve survived the last three years without a CGM and insulin pump. Diabetes technology has played a major role in helping me navigate the extra complexity diabetes brings to pregnancy and motherhood. I celebrate being in relatively good health, while trying not to worry about what the future might hold for me because of diabetes. I’m grateful for tough lessons diabetes forced me to undergo in having a healthy relationship with food and exercise.

There is so much that goes into diabetes management. It’s not as simple as simply taking your medication and being done with it. The mental load to living with diabetes is massive. You’re constantly having to think about how each thing might impact your sugars, how to troubleshoot errors, making sure you are prepared for any situation and just how to pay for everything on top of it. Just today, I was frantically trying to get my girls out for a walk so my husband could have a nap. In my rush, I totally forgot to bring my hypo food and my snack for the walk. Then I forgot to suspend my pump so my sugars wouldn’t crash. Luckily there was a supermarket on the way and I was able to swing by to grab a juice before the big drop. Imagine a bad run of diabetes day and you’ll find yourself in burnout in no time.

Life with diabetes is tough. So you know what? I should celebrate kicking its butt every year by living my best life even though diabetes threatens to drag me down at times. Here’s to never letting diabetes be my excuse and to ongoing reflection and learning to best it.

3 thoughts on “14 Years with Diabetes”

  1. Great rendition, and a brilliant reminder of how living with diabetes, is not just living with diabetes. I always say:
    “If I look after my diabetes, my diabetes will look after me.”
    And that is always a 24×7 requirement, a little easier now but nevertheless still 24×7 and everything should be fine.

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