I’ve Learned To Take Control Of My Diabetes And Not Let It Control Me
By: Alejandra Varela
Ever since I was seven years old I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was not easy at the beginning, since I had no prior experience in regards to this matter, nor my parents, many changes had to be done e.g.(food habits, testing my glucose levels at least five times a day, insulin shots, to mention a few), too much to go through for such a little girl. Even though I never felt alone during this adaptation process, I always had my family, friends and teachers supporting me.
The most difficult stage was the adolescence, by the hormonal changes that affected my glucose levels and emotions. It was like a rollercoaster, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia (my body felt tired all the time). I had to take responsibility and become conscious about my reactions to people. I learned to control my character (to think before act), and that not everybody would understand what diabetes is.
In the college years, the glucose levels were stable and the HBA1c (6.5- 7.2), but I was still injecting insulin 3 times per day and always at the same hour. Since 2014 I decided to use tandem insulin pump and it changed my life. I can wake up late not worrying about insulin and food schedules, the basal doses are more accurate to my needs, the hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia decreased.
Being a diabetic is a challenge, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, is a fight against yourself (trying to keep controlled the glucose levels or eat all the carbs that you want knowing the consequences), is depending on insulin to stay alive, is carrying always glucose and a glucometer on your purse, is to have blood tests (HBA1C, cholesterol, T3, T4, etc.) at least twice per year.
Diabetes taught me to be more sensitive, to know the fragility of human being and that life is borrowed. Sometimes I wish I did not have diabetes, but I cannot change it. I just must accept this and do everything possible to control the disease. The most complicated thing was to change my negative thoughts and my low self-esteem. I do not consider myself sick (everything functions well, except the pancreas Beta cells), I am complete, but I depend on insulin to live.
If you are getting through a difficult time, do not be discouraged. Diabetes is not the end of your world, it is an opportunity to find your inner strength. I know that there are many things to worry about (what would happen if my glucose levels go high or too low? what if I do not get enough medications? etc.), just focus in the present and change whatever is necessary.