I was diagnosed at 4, so I really do not remember a time in my life before diabetes. I guess in a strange way, that makes me one of the lucky ones. I admit that my whole life I have “cheated” and have not done everything I should have to take care of myself. But I think it takes a time in a diabetics life to have the sense slapped into them. That time was just recently. My husband and I were married just over 6 months ago. Of course now comes the talk of starting a family in the near future. That was my reality check. My doctors told me I needed to get my A1C down from around an 8.7 to about a 6 or lower before I could think of pregnancy. Then came the talks about high-risk, complications, birth defects. It all terrified me because I always tried to pretend that those things couldn’t be a reality. But my husband made me realize we can do this. He made me realize how capable and strong I can be and already have been. And he made me realize that I’m not alone in all of this. It is possible if you really want it and have the support you need. So we will see what happens in the next few months, but I already know I won’t let this disease scare me into giving up.
What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Weirdest question is “did you used to be overweight”. A lot of people dont know the differences between T1 and T2 so they instantly think that if you have diabetes, you are overweight and have a poor lifestyle. I usually laugh and then explain the differences. People tend to be really open about learning from someone who lives with it daily.
Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
Traveling has always been difficult. You always have to be prepared and then prepared some more! I will admit that I talk myself out of doing things or going places because I know I can’t bring my testing supplies or snacks with me. The fear of the “what ifs” still holds me back sometimes. But I have been getting better and finding ways around these obstacles. Being creative is a necessity.
How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
I think being diagnosed at such a young age has made me a really responsible person in all aspects of my life. Learning to always have everything you need, watching what you eat, and not giving into cravings has been rough. But it was what had to be done and I learned that quickly. I’ve had those “why me” moments where I do get depressed. It is hard not too when you are having a bad day or the injections hurt. Part of me has gotten over this. There is no other choice. The only thing you can do is accept that for whatever reason this has happened to you. What you do with that and make of it is totally up to you.
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
Horse sized duck. Much easier to try to fend off one than 100.