In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of "I can..." that participants found wonderfully empowering. So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes. What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren't sure you could? Or what have you done that you've been particularly proud of? Or what good things has diabetes brought into your life?
This is a tricky topic for me because I honestly believe diabetes hasn't kept me from accomplishing anything. Sure, it has caused some bumps in the road, such as when I was earning my APR. There were many times when I would have study sessions and my blood sugar would drop. When I went for my readiness review panel as well as the computerized exam, I worried quite a bit my blood sugars would plummet and interrupt these important events. But the diabetes didn't prevent me from earning my APR.
I've only been told once in the 25 years with diabetes I couldn't do something because of my diabetes. In high school I was informed I wouldn't be successful playing volleyball because of my diabetes. Perhaps the assistant coach should have used my lack of height (I'm only five feet tall) as a reason I wouldn't be successful playing volleyball. But alas he used my illness. He and I never quite got along but such is life. And when he said that to me I knew it was complete rubbish so it didn't bother me one bit.
In my life, what have I been particularly proud of? With no connection to diabetes, I think it would be earning my APR, earning my masters degree and taking risks by chasing my dreams not being afraid to just pack up and move when needed.
One wouldn't think diabetes could bring something good into my life but you would be wrong. One of the most amazing things I've gained by having diabetes has been the relationships I've created with people I've attended diabetes camp with. It has been years and years since I attended and yet these people still mean the absolute world to me. Diabetes also taught me how to be incredibly responsible. Most 8-year olds don't have to pay such close attention to what they are eating, how they are feeling and the details of medicating.
I think another great thing that has come from having diabetes is I've truly learned to not "sweat the small stuff." Oh how I hate that cliche but it is true. It is no secret that basically everything impacts diabetes. The weather (Oh how the sun causes my sugars to drop), food, exercise, stress, excitement, etc. Over the past decade I've learned there is no need to stress over people not promptly returning a phone call (or email) or not being able to get things you need (or want) or bad traffic making it difficult to get somewhere or even not being able to find the car keys. There are so many other things we all tend to stress out about but these are just random examples I was able to think of as I write this post. Seriously though, I just tend to go with these things. To me, it isn't worth causing my blood sugars to go high (or sometimes low) because someone isn't returning a phone call as quickly as I would like. Honestly, I don't even get that stressed about when an infusion site is bad. No need to make my numbers go higher. :) Instead, I allow myself to get stressed about the huge things such as parting ways with my job or Rocky eating rat poison or a family member getting really sick.
This ends day one of diets blog week. Fingers crossed my future entries are far better.