November marks national Diabetes Awareness month. As a type 1 diabetic, this is kind of a special month for me. Not only is thanksgiving one of my favorite holidays but I also get the chance to spread awareness about type 1 Diabetes and its affects on me and my fellow t1d’s.
First, let’s dispel the myth of the look of a person with Diabetes. Not all diabetics are unhealthy people that didn’t eat correctly and/or exercise. I am a type 1 diabetic, so this is something that is an auto immune disorder that occurred naturally. My pancreas just decided to stop working. I am an avid runner and I’m all about healthy living. I didn’t create this because of my lifestyle choices.
Another myth is that I can’t have sugar. Umm… Without sugar I would die. My pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin aka glucose aka sugar to support and breakdown the food that I consume. While in the case of most type 2 diabetics, they may over produce insulin and yeah maybe they should stay away from the sugar because their body produces too much.
I stick myself at least 10-12 times per day to test my levels and that is on a light day. I test once when I wake up, before and after every meal and again before I go to sleep. I give myself an insulin shot in the morning on my long lasting/slow release insulin and a shot of my fast acting insulin before every meal. So imagine getting a flu shot at least three times a day everyday of your life. Not to mention the numb fingertips from the constant pricking to test my blood in the morning, before and after each meal, and whenever I feel a little out of whack.
This life is not easy. When you see a diabetic, especially a type 1 diabetic, hopefully you’ll understand a bit of what we go through. Oh and did I mention the carb/calorie counting and converting to units of insulin? Oh my gosh!! You need to be a mathematician to understand it all. We do what we have to do to stay alive and hopefully one day there will be a cure. Until then we just keep pushing.