Everyone has a thing that makes them special, something that makes you, YOU. Maybe your thing is that you can solve a rubix cube in 10 seconds, or that your hair is blue. I was lucky enough to see this kid casually riding a 6 foot tall unicycle down my street.
Maybe that’s his thing.
I have many things including rock climbing, travel, and running, just to name a few. Something that I did not choose, but is still a part of who I am, is a lazy organ that doesn’t produce a life sustaining hormone. The organ that I’m talking about is my pancreas, and that hormone is insulin. I have had type 1 diabetes since I was 6 years old, which means that most of my life and brain power has been consumed by counting carbohydrates, calculating insulin doses, pricking my finger, finding thousands of glucose testing strips in random places, and regularly scrubbing spots of blood out of my clothes. In my brief lifetime, I have probably bled from my fingers enough to stock an entire hospital blood bank for a year. Meals are not only an enjoyable time to fuel my body, they are also complicated math problems involving many different factors. As a 6 year old, I had to become extremely proficient at adding and dividing-this was the pretty much the peak of my math career. While I maintain great control most of the time, my life has been a roller coaster of high and low blood sugars, causing me to feel weak, tired, and nauseas in between times of feeling great.
There were a lot more highs than lows while in Italy.
I could go on and on about the struggles of diabetes, and why it is so difficult and my life is so hard, blah, blah, blah… (insert 90’s emo song here), but why dwell on the negativity when there is so much happiness to focus on instead? It may be crazy to say, but this diagnosis has been much more of a blessing with the many amazing things it has brought to my life. Through diabetes, I have met many wonderful people through the very supportive diabetic community, realized my passion for nutrition and healthy living that became my career, and learned how to find positivity in even the crappiest situations (read about an example here). So thank you, pancreas, for trading me the ability to make insulin with a sense of direction for my life, amazing people, and wonderful experiences. Type 1 diabetes is something I have to conquer every single day, but I will do so with a smile, because even the small victories should be celebrated. It has never, and will never stop me from doing anything. Join and smile along with me through this journey.