Tag: type 1 diabetes awareness

“Diabetes Isn’t Even That Bad”

“Diabetes Isn’t Even That Bad” …

When I hear this statement it frustrates me. Not because I wish to allow someone’s opinion or thoughts to affect my life.

Not because it is the worst possible condition, because I know it’s not.

I’m extremely thankful for everyday I’m alive, the technology, advancements, and the chance to live a long life.

But because of how UNTRUE that statement actually is when you truly understand the disease.

Diabetes doesn’t seem bad until it enters your life…

Diabetes is when your body basically wages war on itself. In Type 1 Diabetes the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas and no longer produces insulin. Now it is an everyday battle to maintain normal blood sugars that affect how we feel, our moods, and how we are able to function.

Diabetes is where children are dying from diabetic ketoacidosis because the doctors thought the child had the flu.

Diabetes is where parents are not able to sleep throughout the night, constantly checking their child’s blood sugar, being in fear of their child having a seizure or going into a coma.

Diabetes is where you wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, feeling lost and confused, and having to fight to save your own life by guzzling juice or eating whatever you have nearby.

Diabetes is being dependent on an insulin that costs more than most people pay per month for mortgage. Having to find ways to make food stretch so that you don’t have to go without your insulin to stay alive.

Diabetes is constantly having your eyes, kidneys, and feet checked to see how the diabetes is affecting your body. There is always the risk of complications and the unknown is scary.

Diabetes is finding yourself exhausted all the time, fighting through some really bad days and wishing you could be healthy again.

Diabetes is where you’re constantly managing a disease that will never get better. You sometimes beat yourself up for the lows and high blood sugars, but deep down you know you’re doing the best you can.

Diabetes is having people say “lose weight” or “try this diet” and it will go away. Or someone telling a parent their child’s diabetes was caused by “eating too much sugar”.

Diabetes is living with a disease that could cost you your life while politicians blame the people who have diabetes for costing the healthcare system money. As if it’s our fault that our immune system decided to attack our pancreas.

Diabetes is life-threatening, costly, and an all-consuming disease. And the more we acknowledge “the bad”, the more we can change how this disease is perceived and can help those who battle it everyday.



 

A Positive Outlook Leads To a Positive Outcome

A Positive Outlook Leads To a Positive Outcome

Anita Brown

http://anitanicolebrown.com/


My name is Anita Nicole Brown and I am an 18 year Type 1 DiaBadAss! On November 12th, 2017 I will be celebrating 19 years with this disease and I will be celebrating!

I want to change the perspective of what it means to be a Type 1 Diabetic!

So how do I plan on doing that? By celebrating everything I have learned since being diagnosed with T1D and by bringing attention to this disease so that others can see the strength we actually have!

So my story is simple:

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on November 12th, 1998 (my father’s birthday and an A1C of 28)! Shortly after, I was also diagnosed with diabetic nerve damage in my legs and feet that cost me the ability to walk for about a year!

Now, this was in no way caused by me or how I was taking care of myself. It was later determined that my diabetes should have been discovered in 8th grade. However, it was not diagnosed until my senior year of high school! And because it went so long without treatment, the nerve damage set in.

As you can guess, it was a difficult time! I mean it was my senior year of high school! A time I was to be excited about prom, homecoming, graduation and college! Instead I spent most of my senior year either at home or in the hospital! And I was so afraid that because of this disease, I would not graduate!

But, I do believe I am a bit too stubborn for that to have been the end of my story! See, when my doctors told me it was a possibility that the nerve damage would never go away and I may see permanent damage….. I was not in agreement!

So I kept fighting.

Kept working at getting my levels in order and learning as much as I could about this new disease. And one morning I woke and my nerve damage had gone away! I do not think I can express the feeling of being able to walk, run, dance without help or assistance or pain!

And to graduate 2nd in my class after all that! But that was not the end of this battle with T1D! There was more to come that (at 18) I could not have been prepared for! You see, I also found myself dealing with many failed pregnancies and even a thyroid problem and even more!

It got to the point that I felt that life was not worth living if this was going to be my life! And I did try to end it all. I did throw in the towel! I remember when I came to this decision and I told God (or whatever power above you believe in) that I could not continue. That it was too hard.

But, I also told Him that if I woke the next morning….. I would know I had a purpose. A reason for being. As you can see I did wake the next morning. And I woke with perfect glucose levels! As I saw this I looked up to God and said: “Message received….. Just tell me what You have in store for me!”

From that moment, I knew I was stronger than I had given myself credit for.I knew I was given this disease because I could handle it. I can learn from it and I can grow! And that has been my mission!

I know how hard it is to have this disease. To constantly have to count carbs, make insulin adjustments, keep up with doctor’s appointments and pay attention to what my body is telling me! It is a JOB! But I now confront it with a positivity I did not have in the beginning!

Instead of being angry or upset, I look to find the positive!

And the biggest positive is the fact that I woke up this morning when so many did not! This tells me I have more to do! That my reason for being has not been fulfilled!

So I decided to go even further! I mean why not be a T1D Actress, Model, Action Fighter? I mean who says we can’t do these things and still be upfront about our disease? Still keep people informed! Still spread awareness? When I was 17 and trying to find someone….. ANYONE I could look to, I had NO ONE!

I am the only type 1 in my family so when I was learning and dealing with this….. I felt so alone! Now, I know I am not alone and I love the strength this T1D community has! I want to show the good and the bad with being a type 1 diabetic. And I hope that by showing both sides, the good is what can be seen and looked up to more!

We are so much stronger than we know and give ourselves credit for! We were given this task of balancing our lives around this disease and making it look….. easy even when it is not! But I know we were selected because we have that power….. we ARE that power!

We may never be “normal” and that is a beautiful thing! No one who has ever accomplished anything was considered “normal”! So let’s let be loud….. Let’s be vocal and show this world how DiaBadAss we truly are! We have the power to tell our story…… So let’s tell it!



 

This Is My Life Support, This Is Type 1 Diabetes

This Is My Life Support, This Is Type 1 Diabetes

By: Katharine Orona

Instagram: @this_is_type_1_diabetes | Blog: thisistype1diabetes


10 years ago I was only a few weeks away from having my life turned upside down and changed forever. I was only weeks away from being diagnosed with an incurable disease, one I didn’t bring upon myself, and one I knew nothing about.

I was about to be diagnosed with Type 1 (LADA) Diabetes.

I had been the picture of health. Perfect blood work results at every checkup, thin, and young. I was 26 years old, about to get married, and recently promoted at work. It was then that I thought I had everything under control and everything seemed to be perfect.

I had all the classic symptoms but didn’t know what they meant: extreme thirst, frequent urination, and rapid unexplained weight loss (at 5 feet tall, I went from 106 lbs to 90 lbs in less than 3 months). My doctor knew right away it was diabetes when I went in with my symptoms. I went to the ER, was immediately admitted, and spent 5 days at the hospital.

After that it took me 5 years to come to terms with my disease.

5 years to go through anger, denial, and grief over losing a life I had known for 26 years. 5 years to decide I was ready to start using a different form of treatment, an insulin pump.

I was so resistant to this technology. I saw it as life support, I saw it as a restriction, I saw it as something I would have to conceal and be ashamed about. When I was finally ready and took the plunge, I loved it from day one. To my surprise, it was freeing, not restricting.

life support

It is life support, but I am thankful for it.

However, I still felt the need to conceal it. I dreaded being asked questions about it or having people wonder why I was wearing a pager (90s folks you know what that is). I felt embarrassed that I needed something to live that other people did not. It took a long time to own it.

A few years later when I was pregnant with my son and my doctor suggested a continuous glucose monitor I went through the same feelings all over again. Another medical device? More things that will make it harder for me to pick an outfit that can conceal that too? But, I knew I had to do it so I did.

My son was worth every awkward stare and every question I faced.

These are tools that I use to make my life a tiny bit more normal. They keep me alive. When my son was born 5 weeks before his due date, and I later made the connection, I realized that he was born on the 6th anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis, at the same hospital I spent those first 5 days after diagnosis.

That fateful day in 2007 that I thought was the worst day of my life, turned out to be the best day of my life 6 years later.

Today I can finally say I not only wear my medical devices with pride, I rock them.

And no matter what method of treatment you choose, know that it’s keeping you alive and you are stronger because of it. Feel comfortable with whatever makes you different. Because it makes you YOU.

As Dr Seuss once said: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”


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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.