There was a time when keeping on top of my diabetes management was more fairytale than real life.
Checking my blood sugars wasn't a common occurrence. Carb counting wasn't around thanks to my 2 or more shots a day, in the morning and evening, so it came down to a more stringent style of meal planning. And as my docs often said, I wasn't "compliant."
At some point in my 20s, I grew up.
Well, to be accurate: I started growing up. That came in waves. And it's still a work in progress to some degree.
But that's when I started accepting and embracing the fact that my diabetes wasn't going anywhere, that I wasn't destined for doom, and I could do something about it in the here and now. That sense of hopelessness still existed, but it became like a toy that I could put into a box and pack away in the closet. Every so often that toy would reappear, but not as often as it once did.
For the most part, it was because I found inspiration to look beyond myself and saw there was a need to be hopeful.
But aside from that, diabetes wasn't something I let seep into every aspect of my life the way it seems to these days. Yes, I dealt with low blood sugars. And high blood sugars. And fears of complications and actual symptoms themselves. And all the stresses and issues you might think of. The difference was these weren't talked about in the same way as they are now.
These days, we have an entire community online talking about diabetes all the time. And we can connect to others in an instant, with the click of a keyboard or touchscreen. We have easier access to people we might want to meetup with in real life, to talk diabetes.
Yes, I don't feel so "alone" like I once did. But the flip side is that I always feel diabetes is along for the ride, because it's always on my mind for one reason or another -- even it's just a matter of looking at some blogs, tweets or FB posts mentioning D.
Now that I've taken my career in a direction where I am covering the diabetes world, along with living it and also spending my time advocating, volunteering and connecting with people about diabetes the rest of the time, it's pretty much diabetes 24-7 for me.
And that's very exhausting.
On one hand, we preach "We are more than diabetes." But on the other hand, it's all D all the time. Even when we're not sharing or wearing it on our sleeves for the world to see, we are always thinking about it -- whether it's a Low thanks to Dexcom alerting us, or constant blood sugar checks at all hours of the day and night.
Sometimes, I long for the days when I didn't know where my blood sugars were because I just dealt with it. I felt where I was, took care of it as needed and moved on with it without any need to share or connect or dwell on my diabetes.
I wouldn't sacrifice the Diabetes Online Community or people I've met through it for anything. Yet, sometimes we just need to disconnect and realize our own worlds are where we're needed most. And in those moments, diabetes is just along for the ride and not getting more attention than it deserves.
Monday, November 3, 2014
I'm honored to be hosting the Best of the Betes Blogs for this month, featuring some of the great writings of the DOC during October. But while this is me hosting this monthly treasure this round, it's not about me... but the We.
As always, it's great to find friends in the D-Community, both new and old ones, who have shared some insight about life with diabetes -- whatever the category may be.
So, without further ado, I'll highlight some of those that caught our collective eye this past month.
(Drum roll, please...)
Best Use of Humor
Renza in Australia, who blogs at Diabetogenic. Yes, you'll want to get this smile from her post called "The Greatest Advancement in Diabetes."Kim at Texting My Pancreas shares some real emotion in this video blog, A Minute.
We didn't have any nominations for this particular category, but given that November is now National Diabetes Awareness Month, I thought it'd be great to just mention the American Diabetes Association's theme this year: Cooking to Stop Diabetes. And yes, the ADA blog, Stop Diabetes, had a post on this in late October. Of course, I also always turn to A Sweet Life when I'm looking for D-recipes penned and suggested by my D-peeps.
Best Use of Photography
Melissa Lee is More Than a Number, and her photography in this post at Sweetly Voiced rocks illustrates that message perfectly!
Jenn over at Young, Fun and Type 1 did some outstanding advocacy by talking to her local news station about a recent diabetes research advance.
Best Reference to a D-Celebrity
This is a special one not only referencing a D-celeb, but written by a D-celeb -- IndyCar driver and fellow Type 1 Charlie Kimball. Charlie wrote a post marking his diaversary in October, which just happened to come on the heels of Charlie getting married to his high school sweetheart! Congrats to you both, Charlie and Kathleen!
Best Story of a D-Meetup
Ground Control to Major Tom... yes, thanks to this awesome D-Meetup post by Heather Gabel, that David Bowe tune "Space Oddity" is now stuck in my head. But it's totally worth it, to read about the experience of meeting another PWD while also being able to "share the love" through a little on-the-spot advocacy.
Best non-D Related Post
Jenn believes You Are Worth More, and her post over at Sweet Zoo is worth a read. Go on, click over.
Best Post by a Type 1
Living one day with T1D can be challenging, but on Halloween Kelly Kunik marked her 37th diaversary. And over at her diabetesaliciousness, K2 focused on the positives with a fun list of 37 items she has observed and felt through all her years with D.
Best Post by a Type 2
Kate at Sweet Success wants you to know: Diabetes is not to be ignored. Neither is this post from her.
Best Post by a Type Awesome
No nominations came in for this category, but I couldn't help but remember this post that stood out to me from October -- because it's a guest-post from my own dad, who not only rocks the D-Dad role but also is a D-Husband to my mom who's been Type 1 for more than a half-century. He wrote that over at D'Mine. Love you, dad.
Best story of a D-mistake
Tina at Stick With It Sugar endured a scary situation recently, and I was literally on the seat of my chair reading about how this whole thing transpired. And how can you not read a post with the title, "Purple Because Aliens Don't Wear Hats"...?!
Best Motivational Post
Motivate this, Motivate That... yep, that's certainly what Alanna at Life on T1 has done with her post Being Balanced Is Key.
Jennifer at Despite My Pancreas wrote a post about The Edge as to her yoga, but it wasn't until you read through the comments you got to see the true impact this post had on people in our D-Community by inspiring them to begin or re-start their own yoga adventures!
Best Diabetes Art
OK, there are 2 awesome art-related DOC efforts that got attention this past month - they both just had to be included here!
- Make Your Own Betes! Ginger Vieira has this post on Diabetes Daily about a TuDiabetes video chat that took place on Oct. 22, featuring the TheBetes.org.
- Hand in Hand, Art for Diabetes: This post from late October highlights a creative and cool initiative spearheaded by the great D-wife of our DOC leader Manny Hernandez, and it includes a trio of well-known diabetes bloggers -- Manny, Scott Johnson, and Kerri Sparling.
Nominations and Others Worth Noting From October:
Don't forget, you can snag a Best of the Betes Blogs box and show it off proudly over on your own site.
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Do you want to host? There's always a need for more, especially for Dec. 1 and then down the road as we move into 2015. Hit up Sara here: Email Best 'Betes Blogs
Thanks for being a part of this awesome Diabetes Online Community, and doing all you do.