Oops. I missed the start of blog week. To be fair though this is due to me being knee deep in exam prep while balancing volunteering at Oxfam and remembering to relax, see friends and feed myself. So this diabetic week is already way better than any other I have done before because I …do stuff now. Adult stuff, with books not written for children and credit card statements.
Good thing for me is that all fits nicely into the first topics, which I will break down and answer.
What have you accomplished despite having diabetes, that you weren’t sure you could?
Most things really. I grew up being told my diabetes would impact my schoolwork , my social life, my ability to eat in restaurants or go on holiday. Insurers did not like type one diabetes back then and going on holiday was a shifty business that had my parents forking out a small fortune ‘just in case’. Then when I got to the resort there was a lot of picking things we knew what ingredients were involved and staying away from anything cake shaped. I don’t know how much sugar Spanish people think they need in cakes but it really is not what they put in. I have never to eat a piece of Spanish cake without hitting 30. And that is giving 10 or 12 units JUST FOR THE CAKE. So yeah, I grew up thinking ‘well I’m already screwed.’
So, things I did when I thought I could not involve small things like eating at a buffet restaurant and then doing that while keeping my blood sugar in target. I joined a sports club. Ok, it was badminton and I was eleven but I still did it. I lost two stone in weight all the while being told it would be really hard because of my diabetes and thyroidism. I did many things. I got highers from school. I got As in History, French and German while having blood sugars over 25 in every exam, 10 unites of insulin in the leg and a lot of hope.
I went to university. I then…had to leave university because of my diabetes but then I went BACK. I am loving being back. I went on holiday without my parents, which when I was diagnosed I sure never saw myself doing because back then I could not even take my own injection. I also never foresaw friends wanting to be on holiday with a diabetic who could end up in A&E if the chef put something in a random stew.
It has taught me to live life as it comes, with one eye on the future but also to remember the present. If you dedicate your everything to prefect control….what do you get? A life spend on the sofa and walking around the local footpath with perfect hba1cs but no experience? So what if you have a few highs while climbing the Eifel towers in France or eating waffles in Belgium? It is about balance. It is about making sure the highs or lows don’t happen often enough to start hurting you but I don’t want to damage myself by refusing to live. And being a shut in without a choice because your diabetes is so unpredictable is terrible. You don’t live and mental health plummets and it is just not worth it. Time management is also a good result of diabetes. I grew up watching the clock for injections and snacks so it drilled in a habit of checking the time and if you are aware of the time you get things done. It makes a person older, more mature and more responsible at a faster rate than their peers. Sometimes that is awful but sometimes it is really something special.