This first blog post of mine won't sugar coat anything. (Pun intended.) I'm going to be the first one to admit that having type 1 diabetes is hard. Incredibly hard. There's so much that you have to deal with and it changes your life dramatically. I'm not saying that it's impossible to live with, but to live well with it... That's the challenge, isn't it?
First of all, you deal with the highs and lows of the disease. Yes, of course, you have low blood sugar, which at least makes my head feel like I'm getting a bit drunk, and you have high blood sugar, which makes me feel irritable and like I'm in a fog. Not to mention the long term and short term dangerous consequences associated with high and low blood sugar. But I'm talking other highs and lows.
There's the highs of having a good reading on my blood glucose meter. It also feels great when my CGM perfectly calibrated. I also feel excited when I estimate carbohydrate amounts correctly for a meal that I have no idea where to begin with carb counting. And my favorite... Sleeping all night without my CGM interrupting my sweet slumber that my blood sugar is high or low. There are more of course, but these are just a few of my favorites.
Then, there's the lows. I swear I have to pee all the time. The finger pricks are painful, and that happens around eight times per day. I have mood swings... Especially when hungry or if my blood sugar is high. Carb counting when cooking homemade recipes is tedious, and having only foods with nutrition information on them gets boring after a few days and isn't as healthy. Stress makes my blood sugars rise. Exercise can make them rise or fall. I hate when my insulin pump doesn't deliver insulin properly, and when my CGM is calibrated incorrectly or has errors that cause it to malfunction. I feel guilty when my blood sugars are bad during the night, which keeps both me and my husband awake when we both have to work the next day. Hormones and colds mess with the blood sugars too, and it's nearly impossible to regulate them during these times.
Don't get me started on all of the judgement of having diabetes. Somehow, nearly everyone thinks that we did something to cause this disease just like the people with type 2 have been painted by the media to have caused their diabetes. We haven't! We didn't ask for this. We have an autoimmune disease, where our bodies literally killed our pancreases. I know I hardly ate candy as a child, or soda for that matter. Yet, it seems that everyone out there thinks that my parents must have fed me sugar for every meal to cause this. The media has completely confused type 1 with being the same as type 2, and whenever I try to educate others on the differences when they say a poorly timed joke about diabetes, then I'm a bad person and should know that it's just all in fun. Oh, and the "cures." Okra. Cinnamon. Diet and exercise. It's all so frustrating--the judgement, the cruelty, the ignorance.
This disease is hard. I've prayed so hard that it will become easier. It hasn't become any easier, actually. A lot of days it feels harder. But I keep on going, and even more intently now that I am married to an amazing man who could never understand fully what I'm going through but tries his hardest. I want to be there for him, for us, for as long as I can. And I never want diabetes to stand in the way of anything we want to do. So far, we've drove all of Route 66 (more on that in another post!), had an amazing wedding day (another post as well!), and did just about whatever we have desired while doing our best to keep my diabetes in check.
Yes, type 1 diabetes is hard for everyone. Not even our doctors can understand what we face. To them, it should be easy to manage. We can do everything right and still have bad results--and that's so hard. I choose not to be a diabetic, but a divabetic. You can too. We may have type 1 diabetes, but it doesn't have us.
Until next time,
Type 1 Divabetic