What It Means To Me To Be Diabetic

I actually struggled to think of a title for this blog post.

 Essentially I want it to sum up how I feel about being a Type 1 diabetic. Involving the complete change of my daily routine over the last few years, constantly thinking about it both physically and mentally, being very aware of everything that I do whilst at the same time trying to maintain an exterior that it doesn’t really effect me all that much.

No matter what anyone says or does, having a condition (or disease, depending on your mental outlook) does weigh on your mind. For me Type 1 diabetes is never far from my mind – whether it’s making sure I’m ok to exercise, or what I’m eating, the stress of a full time job and making sure it doesn’t effect my glucose levels to just my general day to day lifestyle, how I sleep, when I go out.

It’s always there. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up and it’s the last thing I’m thinking about before I go to sleep.
So answering the question – what does it mean to me to be diabetic – is actually quite a difficult one.

I guess I’ll start with the negatives – because it’s not the ideal. No-one would ever choose to have this condition, or any auto-immune disease. To be honest, I now can’t even imagine a day where I’m not thinking about my blood glucose levels.

Diabetes doesn’t have an agenda. It doesn’t care about your age, race, occupation, gender, opinions, views.

It just happens. And stays there. And it’s constant.

It’s countless times of putting something sharp into your body. Countless readings. Countless calculations.

Even spells of not wanting to eat because you just can’t be bothered being high. Again.

Having to always have equipment on you, never being without needles, pens, drugs, something to eat.

And episodes of low blood sugar really are really terrible. You can’t explain to someone who has never experienced them quite how bad they are.

But there are positives.

Without it I wouldn’t have developed the level of understanding of managing my own health.

I wouldn’t have found an enjoyment for learning about nutrition and fitness.

I wouldn’t have met some amazing people who have shown incredible strength to live with the same disease as me via the #doc (Diabetic Online Community for those who aren’t aware).

I wouldn’t have found new physical and mental strengths.

I wouldn’t have pushed myself to achieve certain goals in order to prove that diabetes doesn’t hold me back.

I wouldn’t have started this blog.

So I am I thankful to be a diabetic?

Yes. I suppose I am.

Diabetes should never hold you back from achieving what you want to do. It’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. And you’re part of a wonderful community who help and support each other! It allows you to find new strengths, to push yourself, to find out what your body can achieve after it’s turned its back on you. Yes it’s hard, but finding the ability to deal with it every day is a huge accomplishment in itself. Everyone who is reading this who has managed to develop good control should be very proud of themselves. And for those of you who are still struggling – read as much as you can on managing your condition, ask questions of as many people who can help you as possible and do your best to learn how your own body acts.

You are the master of your own diabetes management.

Until next time.

Dan

P.S. For all the incredible support I receive yesterday for my Sunday Mirror article – thank you all so much!!

 

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Dan has been a Type 1 Diabetic since November 2011 and writes about his experiences living with two autoimmune conditions (Type 1 Diabetes and Ulcerative Colitis), nutrition, exercise and living an overall healthier life on his blog and via his social media platforms.

4 thoughts on “What It Means To Me To Be Diabetic

  1. Exactly what I needed to read – thank you!
    I'm starting up boxing having dibbed-and-dabbed over the years, and now I want to make it a part of my weekly routine.
    Any advice or encouragement, or any notes at all, would be so welcome 🙂 thank you for being such a great inspiration!
    mambo_number5@hotmail.co.uk, Hannah

    Like

  2. I can relate to many things on this post, like this one “spells of not wanting to eat because you just can’t be bothered being high. Again.” It’s always comforting to know that I am not alone in my feelings. Having any disease will always weigh on your mind constantly. Great post!

    Like

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