Today's Topic: We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).
I have thought long and hard about this topic. I personally think that surviving each day with Type 1 diabetes is an accomplishment in itself. The work and attention it takes is never ending. The physical and emotional toll it takes is indescribable. As I was diagnosed less than two years ago I can think of things I feel I have accomplished. The first time I pricked my own finger, my first injection, the first time I had to treat a low, the first time I had to fix a high, the first time I inserted a pump insertion site and the first time I ran, swam and biked with diabetes. Although these are certainly accomplishments, they are also things that I really have no choice about. These things have to be done in order for me to live another day.
I feel my biggest accomplishment so far has been my acceptance of having Type 1 diabetes. The first year after being diagnosed was very difficult for me. I was so angry and felt betrayed by my body. I felt guilty every time I saw a high blood sugar. I cried nearly every day for six months. My life was turned upside down overnight. I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility and the daily tasks of keeping myself healthy and alive. When I started to suffer with insulin neuritis and was virtually unable to stand without being in agony I hit the darkest point in my life. I have been through some pretty shitty things in my life but that took the cake. I never had the urge to hurt myself but I can honestly say that my motivation to live was not very high. I was a mess and felt like I was falling deeper and deeper into a black hole. I spent weeks on end not sleeping and just going through the daily motions. Even as my pain started to disappear I felt like I would never be able to return to my former happy self. I just felt totally and utterly overwhelmed. Slowly however things did start to get better, each day got better and I started to feel like myself again. Of course having amazing support from Ryan, my family and friends helped me immensely.
Rewind to six months ago when I got my pump. Like I said yesterday this was a memorable day for me. For some reason I felt liberated and the dark cloud that was following me around every day started to lift. I began to accept that this is my reality now. I cannot change the fact that I have diabetes and it became clear to me that I had the choice of either letting it control me or I could take charge and not let it. I chose the latter :) I feel I have come a long way in the last year and a half. I have come to accept that life is no longer the same as it was. I accept that I have to deal with a chronic disease for the rest of my life. I accept that some days are going to be really, really difficult. I accept that I will suffer with the lows and highs that unfortunately come part and parcel with Type 1 diabetes. I accept that I have some nerve damage in my feet and that my teeth will never be perfect.