Category: Awareness

10 Gifs That Nail What's Like To Have Diabetes

10 Gifs That Nail What It’s Like To Have Diabetes

10 Gifs That Nail What It’s Like To Have Diabetes

1.  Always being prepared.

I always carry along my snacks, juice boxes, glucose tabs, glucose meter, test strips, lancets, and sometimes if I have room — the most random things.

You just never know.

 

2. Serious math skills.

Doing math in my head has become second nature. I developed a knack for the simple diabetes arithmetic, thanks to the necessary carb counting and insulin mathematics.

I’m still not a fan of math though.

 

3. The expense.


Here’s to my insulin, insulin pump, test strips, lancets, CGM, sensor, doctor copays…

The cost to stay alive with diabetes isn’t cheap whatsoever.

 

4. The waiting game.

Having to stop what I’m doing at any given moment to treat a low or high blood sugar can be inconvenient at times. Diabetes forever interrupts the simplest daily tasks, and it always seems to be at the worst possible time.

Then it’s just the waiting game to get blood sugars back on track…

 

5. The cranky highs.

When my blood sugar is high, I feel pretty lousy and awfully cranky. Time to drink lots of fluids, check for ketones, and take it easy.

You might also want to keep a safe distance.

 

6. The tired lows.

When I’m low it’s hard to fight off the urge to take a nap.

I’m sleepy, sweaty, disorientated, and need sugar FAST!

 

7. The looks and stares.

When I bring out the insulin syringes or a family member asks if I’m “high” in public.

I’m sorry but I’m just keeping myself alive over here.

 

8. Seeing the Endocrinologist.

Nothing gives me more anxiety than trying to jot down and remember blood sugars for the past 3 months.
Then remembering what I ate 2 weeks ago at 3pm on a Tuesday.

No big deal.

 

9. The judgement.

Having a chronic illness, comes with a lot of stigma and misconceptions. But hearing that I caused it by eating too much sugar is the worst one.

And no, diabetes is not caused by eating sugar.

 

10. Just being awesome.

Not many people can say they work in place of a failed organ. It’s not easy but you have to give credit where credit is due.

I have diabetes, but diabetes doesn’t have me.

Source: GIPHY


10 gifs that nail what's like to have diabetes


 

Perfection Does Not Exist In a Life With Diabetes

Perfection Does Not Exist In a Life With Diabetes –

Perfection Does Not Exist In a Life With Diabetes –

By: Christina Blackmon

15 years ago my life changed forever when I was told I had Type 1 diabetes.

I didn’t even know what diabetes was. I think I thought it meant you can’t eat sugar anymore. Little did I know that when I turned 20 years old my pancreas unexplainably stopped working properly and that would mean that my entire life would now depend on a hormone called insulin being injected into my body for the rest of my life.

Without those insulin injections I would die.

Little did I know that for the rest of my life I would be completely dependent upon this hormone. I also had no idea that my days thereafter would consist of being measured 8-10 times per day by a number. A number I get from pricking myself. Knowing that important number so that I can mathematically calculate how much insulin to inject to maintain good blood glucose range based on a formula that changes hourly without notice.

I also had no idea how unpredictable and unreliable my body would be and that there would be factors outside my control that dictated what my blood glucose levels would be despite eating and calculating “correctly”.

That my blood glucose would go up and down like a roller coaster ride and effect every fiber of my being. That sometimes I would want to crawl out of my own skin to escape the pain I was enduring. That I would go from being completely calm and rational to completely angry and irritable. That my pain would be invisible to others because it’s all happening internally without notice to anyone else.

There is no exact science or prescription to manage diabetes and everyday is a guessing game. Knowledge became my power and I studied and researched everything I could about this unforgivable disease. I found that it’s high maintenance and takes no breaks or vacations.

But I also found some tools that would help me. Tools like an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor that could help me manage every second, every minute, every hour of every day for the rest of my life.

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. I will always be dependent upon insulin.

Even with my tools – just like every piece of technology they fail me. But despite this disease I have 2 beautiful healthy kids and one on the way and no diabetic complications. Some days I feel so strong like I can do anything then others I lack the motivation to keep going.

But I never give up. I keep fighting and will keep fighting till there’s no fight left in me.

I don’t ever see any other option. I’m very thankful for the tools I have to manage this disease with everything I have and love when I can encourage or inspire other diabetics to do the same.

People ask me all the time is your diabetes controlled and I just want to laugh…what does that even mean??!! I just always say it’s not perfect and will never be. I don’t try to maintain perfection because diabetes means having bad days. I try to have more good than bad days and not focus on perfection.

Perfection does not exist in a life with diabetes.



 

Top 10 Myths About Type 1 Diabetes

Top 10 Myths About Type 1 Diabetes

(Photo Credit: Josie Nicole)

Top 10 Myths About Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is one of the most misunderstood diseases, and it accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes cases. Not many people understand the complexity or severity unless personally affected by it. Much of the stigma surrounding diabetes is brought on by myths and misconceptions. But as the prevalence is increasing worldwide, it’s important to debunk many of these myths and share the facts about Type 1 Diabetes.

 

MYTH: Type 1 Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar –

FACT: Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. There is no known cause but it’s believed that genes and environmental factors play a role.

 

MYTH: People with Type 1 Diabetes can be cured with diet and exercise –

FACT: There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes (YET). Yes, diet and exercise is beneficial for anyone including those managing diabetes, but it can not treat nor reverse it.

 

MYTH: Sugar is off limits with Type 1 Diabetes –

FACT: People with Type 1 Diabetes are not limited to what they can eat. Insulin is administered to cover the carbs or sugar they eat. Too much sugar is bad for everyone, but moderation is key. Sugar is also needed and life-saving for diabetics with low blood sugar.

 

MYTH: If it’s sugar-free then it’s okay for Type 1 Diabetics to go ahead and consume –

FACT: Actually, many sugar-free foods are loaded with carbohydrates. In many cases where they have more carbohydrates than a product just made with pure sugar.  It’s always important to check nutrition labels because product packaging can be deceiving.

 

MYTH: You won’t get Type 1 Diabetes if you live a healthy and active lifestyle –

FACT: Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by ones’ lifestyle choices. Diet, activity level, and weight have no effect with the onset of Type 1 Diabetes.

 

MYTH: If a Type 1 Diabetics blood sugar is low or high then it’s their fault –

FACT: A low or high blood sugar can happen for many reasons – (insulin, exercise, illness, stress, hormones, etc.) There is no fault, just the nature of the disease at hand.

 

MYTH: Type 1 Diabetes is hereditary –

FACT: Genetics can be complicated and more studies are being done on this. While many who are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes may have no family history; research shows genetic factors play an important role in disease susceptibility. The pattern of inheritance is complex, and the development of disease is thought to be determined by an interaction between genetic predisposition and environmental triggers.

 

MYTH: People with Type 1 Diabetes shouldn’t have children –

FACT: Women with Type 1 Diabetes who manage their diabetes well during pregnancy can give birth to healthy babies.

 

MYTH: Type 1 Diabetes is the bad kind –

FACT: All types of diabetes are serious. Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes being the most common types. But with proper management, people with diabetes can live relatively normal, healthy lives.

 

MYTH: Adults can’t get Type 1 Diabetes –

FACT: Type 1 Diabetes does not discriminate – it affects babies, children, teens, and adults. While type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or adolescents, diagnosis as an adult does happen. Which is why the name Type 1 Diabetes no longer goes by “Juvenile Diabetes”.


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Would You Kill Me For a Tax Cut?

Would You Kill Me For a Tax Cut?

By: Ashlyn Mills

Blog: A Trail Of Test Strips

Before I get into the meat of this issue, I want you to imagine something…

You are 19 years old and a sophomore in college with your whole life ahead of you. Suddenly, you begin feeling ill. You are thirsty all of the time, you feel lethargic and can barely make it through 5 hours of classes without a nap in your car, something is not right and you know it. You finally go to the doctor after you’ve lost 10 pounds and the doctor tells you that you have Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

The doctor tells you that T1D is an autoimmune condition that has no cure and teaches you what you must do to keep yourself alive. After learning about carb counting, insulin injections, blood sugar testing, and life threatening high and low blood sugar, you’re sent to the pharmacy to pick up your life saving tools.

For the next 3 months supply, you are given 900 blood glucose test strips, 900 lancets, a blood glucose meter, 6 insulin pens, 50 ketone test strips, and 540 needles to use for insulin injections. All of these supplies would have been upwards of $5,000 without good insurance coverage and even with insurance, your first trip to the pharmacy cost you $400.

Now that I’ve painted a picture for you, let me put a face to this story. This is me, Ashlyn, and this is what a pre-existing condition looks like. The story above is my story. 

As you probably know, yesterday the House of Representatives made the decision to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care. Obama Care has been a major topic of debate for Americans over recent years. With the ACA, many American’s saw their insurance premiums skyrocket, which made the Affordable Care Act not so affordable.

With the ACA did come some positives such as protection for those with pre-existing conditions and the ability for an adult under the age of 27 to stay on their parents’ health insurance. At the beginning of his campaign, President Trump began pushing the issue of the ACA and saying that should he be elected, it would be one of the first things on his agenda. President Trump also insured that with this repeal, he would protect those with pre-existing conditions. Yesterday, however, the House voted against protecting those with pre-existing conditions.

If you aren’t someone with a pre-existing condition or don’t have a child with one, you probably don’t understand how serious this is. Let me tell you what this could do to people like me.
Insurance companies will be able to decide if they want to cover me or not. I will have to search high and low for an insurance company who will cover me and when I finally find one, they will charge me 3x what they charge the average patient because they know I will be a guaranteed expense.

I will then be paying $3000+ per month just for insurance premiums, which will make many of my daily meds and technologies unaffordable. I may have to limit how many test strips I can afford, which will then limit how many times per day I can test my blood sugar. The less I am able to test my blood sugar, the greater my risk for life threatening high and low blood sugars and long-term complications due to poorly managed diabetes. Meanwhile, some celebrate because they got a tax cut. But those who celebrate don’t know that their tax cut could kill me or the other millions of American’s like me living with a pre-existing condition.

Would YOU kill ME for a tax-cut?

 It all boils down to this, republican or democrat, it is important for you to understand how much this decision could impact me if the senate votes yes in the next few weeks. PLEASE, do your research and contact your senator to let them know that this is NOT okay. I am actually registered republican, but that does not mean I have to stand for this and neither do you. While I believe some MAJOR changes need to be made with our current healthcare system (the ACA) in the US, I do not believe that changes need to be made at the expense of people who have no control of the cards they were dealt. Life with diseases like T1D is hard enough as it is, please don’t make it any harder on us.

TAX CUT

Please contact your senator, my life depends on it.

-Ashlyn 

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What Diabetes Really Is: (Spoiler) It's Not a Unicorn Frappuccino

What Diabetes Really Is: (Spoiler) It’s Not a Unicorn Frappuccino

What Diabetes Really Is: (Spoiler) It’s Not a Unicorn Frappuccino

Diabetes…

How do I describe diabetes?

Or what is it like to live with it?

When you look on the internet it’s defined as mostly cookies, cake, BigMac’s, and a Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks. A Unicorn Frappuccino is loaded with sugar, but it WILL NOT cause the onset of Type 1 Diabetes.

There are two types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes– where the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. And Type 2 Diabetes– where the body doesn’t use insulin properly and can sometimes be controlled with diet and exercise. But genetics can also play into Type 2, where it had nothing to do with one’s lifestyle. But I digress…

It’s funny right?

Sometimes I question whether I’m too sensitive about it. Whether it’s not that big of a deal. Right?! You have to laugh to get through life.

I get it. The memes are humorous to those who don’t know anything about it. Ignorance is bliss. But is the disease humorous? Is it really? I mean I wish I could laugh it off.

But I face this monster everyday. And it is a monster. It’s not funny. It’s not a joke.

When I was diagnosed

My mom didn’t know the signs of diabetes. No one in my family had diabetes. I had symptoms similar to the flu: fatigue, thirst, weight loss. Little did I know that my pancreas stopped producing insulin. I was slowly dying and by the grace of god I managed to get diagnosed just in time. I now needed insulin injected into my body for the rest of my life in order to sustain life. It’s easily misdiagnosed and many die because so many people including doctors are misinformed about this disease.

I was 12 years old! No, nothing I ate caused this. My mom cried and blamed herself thinking she caused this. The stigma is that diabetes is self induced. That if you live a healthy, active lifestyle you’ll never get diabetes. THAT’S FALSE. I was diagnosed at 12 with type 1 diabetes and my life changed forever. It wasn’t funny then and it’s not funny now.

I grew up hiding my diabetes.

Kids at school would make fun of me. I didn’t want to be different. “Oh did you get diabetes from eating too much sugar?” “I heard if you eat a balanced diet you can cure it.” I’ve pretty much heard everything you can think of. People have laughed in my face about my own disease. But nobody knows what happens behind closed doors. They think it’s a “food” disease. Well that insulin I need to stay alive, also can potentially kill me. It’s a 24/hr job to stay alive.

Unless you personally experience diabetes and it’s many affects you just won’t get it. I understand that. There’s been many times where I’ve gone unconscious from a low blood sugar, I’ve had a seizure, I’ve been hunched over in pain from DKA (where my body wasn’t receiving enough insulin). I would do anything to cure this disease. To get rid of this monster. To not have this disease inflicted on anyone, not have the fear of losing limbs or damaging organs, and not have the fear of suddenly dying.

This all seems harsh and dramatic.

But unfortunately it is.

Yes, life is tough. But so is diabetes.

I don’t let this disease define me.

But I sure won’t let others define my disease as something it’s not.


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Diabetes Won't Stop Me From Living

Diabetes Won’t Stop Me From Living

Diabetes Won’t Stop Me From Living

By: Nickie Eckes

I have type one diabetes. I was diagnosed back in February of 1990, at 5 years old, because my body decided it wanted to wage war upon itself and destroy the beta cells in my pancreas.

I remember going to the hospital, and I remember being terrified and having no idea why all these doctors were “torturing” me. I just wanted to go home with my mom, dad, and brother. They said my blood sugar was over 1000 and I had to stay.

The weeks that followed in the hospital were not fun. I had gotten used to getting up and playing and running on stop. Now I was being told I had to live on a strict schedule, only able to eat a certain amount of food at certain times, along with a shot of insulin to ensure that my blood glucose levels were maintained.

They also informed my parents of a place called Camp Sioux, a camp for kids living with diabetes to go and have a “regular” camp experience, but also learn about diabetes. I loved going and it made me feel not alone because everyone was diabetic, and I made some lifelong friends. The type that understands me when I just need “a minute” or “a snack” and understand all those diabetic jokes that make my stomach hurt from laughter.

I’ve dealt with the highs and the lows of this disease now for over 27 years. I’ve handled people telling me if only I would take better care of myself, I wouldn’t be this sick. I did nothing wrong to get this illness, it’s an autoimmune condition. My body can’t make the hormone insulin, which is what is needed for the simple sugars you get from food to enter your cells for energy.

I have to calculate everything I do in a day, from what I eat, to how much I’m going to be moving, along with stress levels and illness (such as common cold or the flu) just to ensure that my blood glucose level stays within a good range and I don’t pass out due to a low blood sugar, or go so high that I get diabetic ketoacidosis (meaning your body is producing a thing called ketones and those can make you very sick). And what works one day may not work the same the next day.

I had the years of rebellion and not caring what my numbers were. I did the whole I’m gonna die young anyway so who cares. And then I decided, I wasn’t going to let this disease keep me down. My friend calls diabetes livebetes because he says “it won’t stop me from living!”

 

Research has made many amazing developments since then, so much now that newly diagnosed people are being told that not much in their lives has to change; they just need to know where their numbers are and how much insulin flow take for those different numbers. We can even program those numbers into a pump and have it do the dosing for us (although not completely without thought from us).

We now have faster acting insulins that instead of having to wait 30 minutes after taking them to even start eating, we now only have to wait 5 minutes. We have what is called a Continuous Glucose Monitoring system (or CGM for short) that can tell us our levels every five minutes, which helps a lot given it can predict a high or a low before they occur, and we can correct the issue before it becomes an issue.

In fact this year, with any luck, I will get to obtain the new diabetes pump, with the first ever closed loop system on it! Both my doctor (who is also diabetic) and I are rather excited for this and are not so patiently waiting. There’s still always planning and calculating everything. It helps, but it’s not a cure. All of these advancements sound amazing and are fantastic, but it’s still a heavy load to carry.

Diabetes Won’t Stop Me From Living

I will keep fighting. I am strong. I hope to one day be able to say “I used to have diabetes.” And because of all this, I remind myself while I may have diabetes, it does NOT have me.


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This Is What Type 1 Diabetics Would Like You To Know

This Is What Type 1 Diabetics Would Like You To Know

By: Meghan Luchaco

As a Type 1 diabetic, I firmly believe that this is one of the most misunderstood diseases. Of course, we need to give thanks to its image in the media, “diabetes jokes“, lack of education in schools, and many other things.

 

This is what Type 1 Diabetics would like you to know:

 

We didn’t get diabetes from living an unhealthy lifestyle.

As a matter of fact, we had absolutely zero control over this and nothing could have prevented it. It’s impossible for you to get Type 1 Diabetes from eating a Big Mac, candy bar, or piece of cake. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body’s pancreas – this is where insulin is produced.

 

Without insulin, we will die.

End of story. There’s no way around this fact. Everyone needs insulin in order to survive. No matter how healthy we eat or how much we exercise a Type 1 Diabetic will never eliminate the fact that we need to administer insulin.

Photo Credit: facebook.com/KirstieBradway/

Yes, we can eat sugar!

If our blood glucose is “high” or “normal” then we just need to give a little extra insulin. If our blood glucose is “low” then we consume a little extra sugar to raise our levels back to “normal”.

 

Type 1’s love balance.

It’s a battle every single day trying to not let our blood glucose go too high or too low. It really is a full-time job. We can’t just quit this job. We work hard to stay alive!

 

It makes us feel different, sometimes.

Sometimes we have to test our blood glucose at the most inconvenient times. Sometimes we have a really good day then the next we’re fighting to level everything out. It’s frustrating. Sometimes we get tired of the constant work we have to put into it but we know that we can’t give up. Sometimes we feel alone.

 

There are different ways to administer insulin.

Some use an insulin pump which is a device that looks like a pager. This contains a cartridge of insulin which is delivered into our body through a thin tube somewhat like a small IV. Others use insulin pens or syringes. All 3 ways use a needle so as a Type 1 you need to get over the fear of needles, fast.

 

This Is What type 1 Diabetics Would Like You To Know
Meghan Luchaco

 

There are many challenges Type 1’s have to live with but we can do anything a “normal” person can do!

Did you know that Nick Jonas has Type 1, Bret Michaels or football player Jay Cutler? Even “Miss America” in 1999 Nicole Johnson is Type 1!

 

We want you to know the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include but aren’t limited to increased thirst and urination, extreme fatigue, unintended weight loss, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, and fruity breath. You can also be diagnosed at any age.

 

We want you to ask questions.

Instead of staring or assuming things we would prefer you to ask us. The more you know the more comfortable we will be around you. Type 1 diabetics like it when someone is truly interested in learning more about their disease.

 

There is so much more to being a Type 1 than what is portrayed in the media.

So before you post a picture of junk food and hashtag it or caption it with something to do with Diabetes think of what it actually means to be a Diabetic.


 


 

What It’s Like To Live With Type 1 Diabetes

What It’s Like To Live With Type 1 Diabetes

By: Valeria Guerrero

What’s it like?

It’s pricking your finger endlessly throughout the day.

It’s not being afraid of blood because you get used to seeing so much of it.

It’s no longer feeling tremor to a needle because you’ve had no choice than to be poked by them every day.

It’s being woken up countless times throughout the night to fix blood sugars that just won’t become stable.

It’s waking up feeling hung over because your sugars were high all night no matter the amount of corrections you gave yourself.

It’s not being able to eat whatever you want before carb counting and analyzing how it will affect your sugars later.

It’s having to put on a fake smile every time you have to explain to someone that type 1 and type 2 diabetes are NOT the same thing.

It’s not being able to go a single work out without stressing if you’re going to go too low, drop too fast or go high.

It’s seeing all the scars all over our tummy, arms and legs from all the site changes and pokes and just cry.

It’s people staring at you while you poke yourself and watching you like something is wrong with you.

It’s people telling you “you can’ t have that” or “should you be eating that?”

It’s people assuming you have type 2 when you say you have diabetes.

It’s watching people look at you like you’re breaking the law by having a candy.

It’s asking yourself what you did wrong because you got this disease even when they say it isn’t your fault.

It’s remembering what it was like before being diagnosed and feeling nostalgic.

It’s struggling with money and possibly going into debt because supplies are just so expensive.

Photo Credit: Josie Nicole

It’s wanting to cry whenever you hear a representative say “your insurance doesn’t cover that entirely so your out of pocket cost will be…”

It’s seeing a medical bill in the mail and getting a knot in your throat.

It’s thinking of all the money you could’ve had if you didn’t have diabetes.

It’s watching people turn their head away when you’re about to poke your finger or give yourself a shot.

It’s watching your mom walk out of the hospital room because she wasn’t able to handle watching you give yourself your first shot.

It’s worrying if you will wake up the next day because you don’t know how your sugars will be throughout the night.

It’s being terrified to think about even having babies in the future because you’re terrified there might be complications.

It’s feeling lost and in a haze when you’re going low.

It’s panicking that you don’t have a juice box around that you’re dropping too fast.

It’s waking up in the middle of the night dripping in sweat as your body is begging for sugar.

Photo Credit: Ashlyn M.

It’s not being able to go straight back to sleep after a low because you have to wait until you come back up.

It’s eating anything and everything in your fridge when you have a low sugar.

It’s avoiding anyone who is sick because you don’t want to get sick and have to deal with high blood sugars.

It’s the possibility of ending up in the hospital over a stupid cold.

It’s finding test strips everywhere you could possibly think of.

It’s looking like robotron with so many devices connected to you (CGM, pump).

It’s your pump tubing getting caught on something and tearing out and trying not to scream in pain while trying to stop the bleeding.

It’s having people ask you and assume that your CGM is a nicotine patch.

It’s people telling you to correct your blood sugars over and over when little do they know that you’ve been trying everything you could for hours.

It’s having to go to the doctor every 3 months.

It’s having to have medical insurance no matter what.

It’s having to throw out a vial of insulin that has gone bad and just thinking about the money that you just threw away.

It’s ensuring you have all your supplies anytime you plan to leave the house.

It’s the fear that it’s too much for a loved one to handle and love you for.

It’s wanting and praying that your mom will eventually try to learn more about the disease so she understands you a little bit better.

It’s wanting your loved ones to know how you feel to know how hard it is; that this isn’t easy but knowing they don’t.

It’s being in denial for years after being diagnosed because you don’t want to accept it.

It’s worrying more if you have enough money for your supplies more than buying a shirt you’ve been wanting for months.

It’s having to always have a purse with you because you have to carry your supplies with you. It’s hating the word “disability” because it makes you feel less of a person.

It’s the feeling that no one gets you because everything you feel is invisible.

It’s arguing with your dad and having to yell at him that your sugars are high and that it only makes you more irritable.

It’s arguing with your boyfriend over the stupidest things because your blood sugars are high.

 

It’s your friends getting upset with you because you tell them you can’t go out for some reason, but in reality diabetes just has you feeling like shit.

It’s putting up listening to people who think they know more than you on this disease.

It’s having to be okay with death because in reality, it’s a possibility at any given time with this disease.

It’s seeing all the people who pass away from this disease and feeling your heart drop to your stomach because you know that could be you.

It’s having people tell you “there will be a cure soon” but you just feel like soon is never soon enough.

It’s not worse than cancer but this stays with you forever.

It’s not something I would ever wish on my worst enemy.

It’s hard. Man, does it get hard.

It isn’t easy. There’s so much more to it. More than anyone could see or understand. I could go on forever. There are and have been so many times where I want to give up. Where I just want to go a day or two without the pokes. To try and feel “normal” again.

But I know I can’t. I know better. Because my life depends on it. But it has shaped me into who I am today. I thank God every day because I could’ve been one of the many children who die from a misdiagnosis. I was close to it. But I didn’t. I believe and I know I am stronger than what people believe me to be.

I have gone through hell and back. There will be rainy days. But the sun will always shine again. No matter how hard the rain may have beat down on me. But I won’t let diabetes win. 

What It's Like Living With Type 1 Diabetes

 

“With my chin up, I still stand here. Strong. I wear these scars proudly. I’m a warrior. No blood sugar nor person will tell me otherwise.”

-Valeria Guerrero, Type 1 Diabetic


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Nobody Is Aware Of Diabetes

Nobody Is Aware Of Diabetes

Nobody Is Aware Of Diabetes

I wake up today with no saliva in my mouth and a dire quench for thirst. My insulin pump is still giving me insulin. I’m still hooked up to medical devices, but my body is resistant. Maybe due to illness, hormones, or because it’s a Tuesday. My blood sugars are high, much higher than a normal persons blood sugars. I’m tired, fatigued, and the feeling of mortality creeps in. I go to correct with insulin, drink water, and attempt to bring this down. But I know this won’t be the last time I experience this.


But nobody notices.

I spent my day monitoring my blood sugars, calculating and measuring how much insulin to give myself. My dosing is only an educated guess, and I have to make these decisions everyday in order to stay alive. But nothing is ever the same or perfect. I’m constantly on a tightrope, hoping not to fall. I’ll do the same thing every single day but receive different results.

When I go to pick up my insulin from the pharmacy, I get this overwhelming sense of sadness. I realize that the same insulin that keeps me alive comes with a huge price. Insulin is one of the most expensive drugs in the United States, and yet I can’t survive without it. Financially, this disease has crushed me. I’m in debt just for trying to stay alive.

But nobody cares.

Once I get home, I receive a notification that my blood sugar is low and dropping fast. I feel lightheaded, disorientated, and starving for glucose (energy). I go to the kitchen to grab anything I can find to raise my blood sugar. I feel alone, helpless, and I’m fighting to survive. It’s a near death experience, that I’ve experienced many times. A low feels like my body is shutting down. A low enough number could cause me to go unconscious, have a seizure, coma, or death.

But nobody is aware.

The night follows with finding a diabetes joke going viral on the internet. Where it’s mocking the disease, assuming it’s caused by being lazy and eating poorly. This is where I stop and realize that nobody notices, nobody cares, and nobody is aware because nobody actually knows about diabetes.

Nobody knows that diabetes kills more people than AIDS and Breast Cancer combined. Nobody knows that diabetes can be caused by an autoimmune disease. Nobody knows that children are dying from this disease. Nobody knows the overwhelming sense of fear of not knowing if your blood sugar will withstand the night. Nobody knows how it feels to experience the highs and lows.

Nobody knows our desperation for a cure…

…Except the person living with diabetes.
And those caring for them.


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What Is Type 1 Diabetes? A Video That Shows What Can Not Be Put Into Words

What Is Type 1 Diabetes? A Video That Shows What Can Not Be Put Into Words.

What Is Type 1 Diabetes? A Video That Shows What Can Not Be Put Into Words

Hearing the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes is a day that leaves you in complete despair.

What Is Type 1 Diabetes? “I’ve never heard of it before.” “Is it the bad kind?” “What did I do wrong?” “Why me?”

A million thoughts go through your head. You may feel helpless, angry, sad, confused, desperate. Wanting answers.. but the answers you’re looking for are nowhere to be found.

No amount of training can prepare you for what’s ahead. You’re now navigating through life dependent on insulin. The same insulin that saves one’s life also has the ability to take it away.

With several injections a day and thousands a year. Finger sticks, counting carbs, eating for lows, correcting for highs, long days, and sleepless nights.

Living in a reality that your life is always at risk. That there is no breaks. It’s now 24/7/365/. You have no choice in the matter.

It keeps you awake from a sound sleep, takes you away from a meeting, interrupts a night out with friends, and all of the things others wouldn’t normally have to worry about.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

It’s the mother’s and father’s who act as their child’s pancreas. Helping their child build the strength to take this disease on themselves.

The children who go to school packed with snacks and juice boxes. Taking the necessary breaks to tend to their diabetes.

Teenagers who have to buy clothes and handbags to carry their medical devices, syringes, test strips, and emergency essentials.

Diabetic mother’s and father’s who juggle raising a family while having to attend to their own needs before their children’s.

What is Type 1 Diabetes? 

This is it. This video shows what others don’t see. Visually displaying the daily struggles and adversities that are difficult to put into words.

(Song by artist Nick Jonas that is dedicated to his diabetes and describes when he was first diagnosed)

Type 1 Diabetes is facing a challenging and life-threatening disease head-on. Conquering fears and finding strength. Appreciating life more because one has to fight to hold on to it every day. The highs and the lows, the ups and the downs…it only makes you stronger.

As ugly and troublesome this disease may be, it turns those affected into bold, courageous individuals. Living off the mere glimpse of hope and faith that if we push through just a little bit longer—we’ll be fine.