Happy World Diabetes Day!
To all my diabetic brothers and sisters out there, give yourselves a pat on the back for being strong diabeasts and living leashless from type 1 diabetes! Today is not only about celebrating how far we have come as a community and as individuals, but also as a day of building awareness.
This awareness is often about the struggles involved with diabetes, the different ways to manage it, or the technology that is progressing to find a cure. These are all very important conversations that need to happen, but today, I want to flip the focus of this awareness. I want to show appreciation to the people in my life, and in every diabetic’s life, who have supported us throughout our diabetic journeys.
The first and foremost thanks I want to give are to my parents, who would wake up at 12 am and 3 am every night to check my blood sugar, and would regularly have to change pee stained bed sheets late at night.
Thank you to my grandma, who would always write the grams of carbs on my sandwich bags when she would pack my lunches. Thank you to my coaches, dad, doctors, and nurses, who have helped me hone in my numbers and enjoy the sports and activities that I love. To my friends who are understanding when I have to stop whatever we are doing to get a low snack, make diabetes fun by playing the guess the blood sugar game, or are understanding when I accidentally get blood on their car seat.
And of course I have to thank my other half, compadre, number 1 diabetic support, a.k.a. my wonderful girlfriend, e, who has filled any excess space in her purse and car with emergency diabetic supplies and low snacks. Thank you for sometimes being more on top of my management than I am, and keeping me stable emotionally and glucosely. While backpacking around Europe, she would shove packets of sugar in her pockets and purse every time we went in a cafe. We are still finding Italian sugars hidden in every crevice of our bags and clothing even a year after our trip.
I want to thank her for being so creative and thinking of different on ways to pack supplies around the world. Without her out of the box thinking, past travel experiences and the big trip we have planned in the future would be a headache rather than an absolute blast to plan.
Without e and so many other people in my life, this condition would be so much harder. I truly believe that if someone with diabetes wants to accomplish something, with a lot of planning, plenty determination and trial and error, there is nothing that a diabetic cannot accomplish. But having this village of support sure does make it easier! With the help of this amazing community, diabetes has changed from a life altering disease, to something as integrated into my life as brushing my teeth in the morning (which I ALMOST alway do).
I wanted to take World Diabetes Day as a chance to appreciate the people who’s stories may not be as forward in the diabetic conversation, but who’s role and selflessness is crucial for a happy and healthy life. Maybe you can identify with some of these situations that I’ve listed. If you can, go show your diabetic support group some love and give them a big hug! Let us know how awesome the people in your support group are in the comments below! Keep the blood dripping, and the insulin aflowin’!