Diabetes Within Days

Written by Sami Parker

I was diagnosed December 15, 2012. I remember it like yesterday. Doctors office, blood work, Children’s Hospital, and the rest of the whole production. 

It wasn’t until a couple weeks later that I really could process my emotions in dealing with this lifelong disease. I didn’t know how to feel. I knew I was a 12 year old girl who loved dancing, was in her prime middle school years, and loved socializing with her friends and family. But now I had diabetes, specifically type 1 diabetes, and I wasn’t sure how this was going to alter and impact my life. I was told by every medical professional that “dealing with diabetes is a different lifestyle,” and I was uncertain if that meant a positive or negative lifestyle. 

Afraid of needles, I still had to get over my big fear the first few weeks of injecting insulin. I would think to myself, so I’m going to have to do this even when I’m 22? And here I am at 22 still doing the same damn thing, but at this point it’s my second nature. The one lucky character trait I never had to deal with was denial. I hate saying this because I don’t want people reading this thinking I automatically accepted the good and bad of this disease and dealt with it perfectly. Because I still haven’t fully accepted the good and bad of diabetes, and by no means am perfect in managing my diabetes. BUT I will say, I was lucky enough to comprehend the complications of this disease if I didn’t take my insulin. For that reason I grew resilience and looked at this journey as an opportunity to turn this disease into something purposeful (even if I didn’t know what it was at the time). 

Does diabetes suck? Yes. Does diabetes cause blood sugar and emotional highs and lows? Yes. Does diabetes cause 180 more mental decisions a day in your head? Yes. Does diabetes affect your relationships? Yes. Is diabetes burnout real? Yes. Does diabetes cause you to be hyper aware of your physical activity and nutrition? Yes. But is diabetes all bad? No. 

Accepting you have diabetes, knowing your not alone, and learning how it has made you the person you are today, allows you to have an optimistic outlook and gratitude for this disease. 

Diabetes isn’t easy nor is it fun taking 10 shots and staring at the numbers 50-300 every day. But diabetes is life changing and gives you the opportunity to be the healthiest version of yourself. 

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