I listened to this podcast recently about treating teenagers who are diabetic. It’s a difficult story to hear, and I definitely didn’t have that many problems during my teen years. But it makes me wonder why? What did my parents/healthcare providers do that made me take care of myself? Was it a mixture of my personality and the way things were handled?
For those of you wondering, I was diagnosed at age ten. I took things pretty much in stride because my dad is a veterinarian so I had relatively no fear of the disease. We knew what it was going in, and I had my dad to help me through it. I didn’t have perfect control (I’m still aiming for that), but I’ve never been out of control either. Diabetes Type 1 is a balancing act. Every minute of every day I have to know how much sugar is in my system, how much I’m taking in, how much insulin I should give, and how much the insulin and other elements (including weather, activity, and emotions) will affect me. Yep, it’s a pain. That’s for sure.
I haven’t posted on my blog much about diabetes because I don’t want it to become my identity. It is a part of me, but it’s not everything I am. Yet I wonder what has given me this healthy outlook on my very demanding disease?
I don’t know the answer to that. I would like to think it’s the reason I never went to drastic measures like the people in the podcast. Diabetes is just something I have to live with. It’s not a hindrance; it doesn’t stop me from being who I am; it is a piece of me just like my beliefs and my sexual orientation and my favorite color. It’s that healthy outlook that probably got me through my teen years without ever ending up in the hospital. I’m very grateful to my parents for a lot of that, considering their support. I certainly hope I can raise my own kids with that kind of confidence even without a disease like this.