I’m a wife of 30+ years, mom of two grown sons, wanna-be cycling beast, keeper of various & sundry critters. I’m a t1d for over 4 decades now. I love camping and the outdoors. I love writing and encouraging other through sharing experiences on my blog (http://lifeindogyears.com) and hope to enlighten people about the realities of living with diabetes.
What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Haha…I got my pump in 2004 (married in 1985) so when I would discuss how great it was to have my new pump, my friends would inevitably ask me what I did with the pump during sex. I told them I usually just laid it to the side or took it off….after I stopped dying of laughter, that is.
Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
Oh my gosh, YES! My mother has always been uber-cautious where the D is concerned. She still tells me I shouldn’t ride my bike “too much” because of my diabetes. I do longish road rides, my longest to date is 54 miles. An average ride, though is around 25 miles. She also told me I “couldn’t” get pregnant because of the diabetes. After two successful pregnancies & my sons (& their wives) healthy and running their own business now, I think I’ve proved her wrong. Ha.
How do you inspire others?
I stay as positive as possible. It breaks my heart to see people writing/talking about diabetes being such a burden or how it ruined their lives. It’s all in your mindset! I refuse to let The D dictate to me. Sure, I have bad days & times when I just have to deal with something “it” does to me, but I don’t have to wallow in that moment and “live” in the bad times. My faith keeps me positive. Life’s too short not to see the best side of things. I use my blog to encourage people, too.
Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
Of course, having it pretty much all my life has affected me in a big way. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I was suddenly cured. I think it has made me stronger and more empathetic. I think I might be a more judge-y person without diabetes keeping me humble, if that makes sense. It also makes me very self-conscious about whether I’m being a burden, holding people up or if I’m “acting normal”. Yes, even all these years later. I try not to focus on that, but it is still there. The battle to overcome feeling fretful about keeping diabetes from holding me (or other people, b/c they have to care for me) back is constant and sometimes I fail. But I figure as long as I keep trying, then I’m the winner!
How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Diabetes has contributed to my depression, which I treat with medication and faith. However, I think I would deal with depression even without The D. I see it in many of my relatives, so I can’t blame all that on diabetes. It is hard, though, and I’ve learned that I have to “allow” myself time to be mad, to be tired or disgusted about dealing with it. As long as I don’t let myself moan about it for too long, it’s all okay. I honestly think my blog has been therapeutic and helped me to “articulate” my feelings sometimes. My hope is that in doing that, it also helps other people. My blog isn’t really a “diabetes blog” though, it’s more a blog by someone who has diabetes. It’s about my life. I want others to realize it’s okay to have negative feelings about living with diabetes, but that it’s NOT the only part of it. I really think without the diabetes, I would not be a very compassionate person. I struggle to show compassion as it is…don’t even talk to me about being scared of “a shot” or a blood draw. I will shame you mercilessly. *grin* I just don’t have much patience if you are a non-D who’s crying about a once-in-a-while shot you gotta take. *rolls eyes* But I can have empathy for those struggling to deal with illness and depression. I’ve been there, done that and I’m still there. It’s where I live, so I try my hardest to be an encourager. There is always something to be thankful for!
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
Um…a horse-sized duck, I think. Let’s just get it all over with at once is my philosophy. But seriously, I would rather ride him south for the winter!