Something that’s been in the back of my mind since I started writing this blog is .. “I hope nobody takes this as complaining.” Because that is not my intention at all — I just want to lay it all out there, like I keep saying – the good, bad, and ugly. I can honestly say that I have never once asked the question, “Why me???” Because I already know the answer to that. My pages were written long before I got here, so I don’t question that. And yes, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have days that I’m just tired. Tired of needles, of finger pricks, of being attached to this device 24/7, of low/high blood sugars. But that’s because outside of all of “this”, I’m still human. I decided many many years ago to try to use this disease for good vs evil.
My mom and I became involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in 1993 (although back then, in the stone ages, it was only called JDF – nowadays there is a bigger emphasis on the “R”) and I am still very active in the local chapter of the organization. Awareness is key and is so very important. I cannot tell you how many times someone I know – some I’ve known well, some not so much – will reach out to me – “My child was just diagnosed, can you please answer some questions?” or “My (grand)parent has diabetes and high blood pressure – should he/she still be eating a gallon of ice cream every night?” or “My daughter has been really tired, thirsty, and going to the bathroom a lot – should I have her blood sugar tested?” (which I love that the reason my friend even KNEW to ask me that question was because of my illness) and so on and so on. But let me tell you … I THRIVE on answering those questions. And I’m honored that someone introduced me to “someone they knew” because we now had a common thread. And a couple of my very close friends, are now close because of that thread. This disease has helped mold me into the person I am today. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and you need to make the best of whatever is put on your plate. “That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
I had very limited resources when I was first diagnosed. There was no internet readily available (yes, again, I AM that old), so there were certainly no blogs to read. My mom and I signed up for a “support group” that met up at the hospital periodically and we only went one time. It was mostly older people and there was nobody there with whom I could relate. I didn’t want to go back. So we didn’t. Until somewhat recently, I’ve never had a circle of friends that understood me or my disease. Over the years, my circle has gotten much bigger. I now have other T1 friends. I have good friends that are parents of T1 kiddos. I’m now able to share my stories, as well as read about others’ stories. And my hope is that one day someone will come across my blog and think/say “I’ve had that happen to ME” or “I know exactly what she means!” or even God forbid, someone reads it and then one day down the road, they may recognize a symptom either in themselves, or someone they know, that they remembered reading here. Again, awareness is key.