T1D Awareness Month

Being National Juvenile Diabetes Awareness Month, I figured it was important to write another blog on the issue. Being a Type 1 Diabetic for 10 years, I’ve heard a lot (see some of the irritating things not to say to a diabetic here) of misconceptions. Let’s face it, there are so many diseases and tidbits in life, it’s impossible to know all of them, and more-so, no one is expecting you to know everything about everything; but, don’t be that person that obtains an ounce of information and suddenly you’re an expert in the subject. There are some things that you just don’t understand unless you’ve lived in our shoes or dealt with us for long enough. There are some serious misconceptions when it comes to our disease that we love to educate people on, if we are allowed.

I think that the biggest misconception is that we are unable to have or consume certain things like candy or alcohol. The truth is:

We can have anything we want

– now there are some things that would or wouldn’t be wise to have depending on what our blood sugar is at the current moment, but sometimes those things are vital to our survival. We aren’t allergic to it, and that’s what insulin is for.

The second biggest is the different cures out there.

There are no cures.

We have insulin, but that is not a cure- rather it is a life support. Diabetes is viewed a little differently when thought like that. And insulin is the only thing to use. Cinnamon, cucumber water, or any other natural remedy will not reverse what happened to our bodies. Our body has literally attacked itself and kill off the insulin producing cells in my pancreas. Setting aside the science of it all, we have a non-functional organ resting in our functioning bodies- and for me it’s been 10 years. Losing weight will not reverse this either.

Diabetes is a full-time job.

It requires our attention all the time. 24/7, 365 days a year, no breaks, no vacations, and we’re certainly not paid to put up with it. We are controlling a vital function of our body. We try to put on our best face and deal with life as the real world would ‘want us’ to. But despite being in control of such an important task, we can’t control how our body reacts to the insulin, which means when our blood sugar is high we become cranky and mean, and we really don’t mean to be.

We are diabetics, and diabetes makes up a big part of our lives. But despite that,

We are still individuals

– we can be cranky and mean and not have to have it relate to what our level is at. Sometimes it strikes me as odd that anyone I have met and who have gotten to know me post June 2, 2006 do not know me without the disease. Not that it actually matters, but on days where the blood sugars get the best of me I wonder if it has mattered. I feel like I lost a part of me when I was diagnosed, almost like I don’t even know who I am without diabetes. Living with an invisible disease is beyond frustrating and can cause us to have days where we just want to sit and cry. We get fed up with it at times, but we are all fighting the good fight. Every day is a battle and a fight just to survive.

This is only scratching the surface of our struggle. Some of us have lost hope, some of us still have it. November is our time to educate, start anew, and revive that hope.

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