Hello, my name is Tamra and I was diagnosed with type I diabetes when I was nine years old (1987). I come from a family of diabetics; my father, aunt, cousin, and brother are all also type I’s. Despite the fact that I grew up surrounded by diabetics and good doctors, I never took care of myself. I spent my youth not understanding how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle and keep your blood-sugars in line. I ignored diabetes, I rebelled against it, and it crushed me. I gave up.
The time came when my bad behavior bit me hard. I have now spent a solid year having numerous surgeries and trying to reverse the effects of years of neglect. The really good news is that I have finally taken control and am growing healthier everyday. During my recovery, I have reached out to a community of other diabetics (TuDiabetes.com) and they have helped me grow stronger through their supportive attitudes, sharing of knowledge, and showing me that I am not alone in my struggle. So many diabetics out there have gone through exactly what I have, and they want to help.
And so do I. I want to reach out to young type I’s and let them know that they do not have to be afraid, resentful, angry, and heartbroken over being diabetic and all of it’s demands and restrictions. Diabetes will always be there, make it a positive part of who you are. Instead of fighting it, make it your strength.
I have a blog (TamraGarcia.blogspot.com) where I write many posts on being diabetic and how it has shaped me throughout life. I hope many diabetics out there read it and find encouragement to take control of their diabetes; as well as discover comfort, understanding, and knowledge in being reminded that they aren’t alone.