Everything related to diabetes is testing, from the continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels, the debilitating symptoms I’ve experienced due to low and high blood glucose levels, the lumps and bruises from injecting and placing inserts on my body. Diabetes has and always will be a constant presence in my life.
January 1st 1995, marks the day I was first diagnosed. Many choose to celebrate the day that they were diagnosed. You can read more about my diagnosis here.
In all these years, I’ve never celebrated my “Diaversary”. However, when days like today come around, something I’ve learnt to do, is to appreciate the things I have in that mtoment and believe it or not, diabetes is one of those things. Would I have achieved all the things I have today without it? The truth is no one knows but I know that because of diabetes I have developed an inner strength that was not there until that day I was diagnosed. It has continued to strengthen and develop with each passing year. When I encounter major impediments in life, I can look at it and work through it critically, positively and in most cases find a solution.
Whether we have diabetes or not, we all have extremely testing times in our lives. With diabetes, I’ve found that being able to develop a positive attitude has helped me immensely but I also have very loving and supportive family and friends and most of all I am continuously working toward improving my diabetes management. I’ve set high goals for myself and have been able to achieve them without allowing my condition to be a hindrance. That’s not to say, I haven’t failed at some of these goals, of course, I have but I try to learn something from my failure. I am not afraid to give it another try or try something new.
Twenty-two (22) years of living with diabetes is a significant milestone to reach. January 1st 2017, I’ve made it this far. Twenty-two years of relentless challenges. I’ve devoted my time and efforts to maintaining a good life with diabetes. I’ve battled with acceptance of its presence and the demands of such a rigorous disciplined routine. I’ve learnt many a lesson from diabetes, adapting and maturing with its endless burdens and most importantly I’ve learnt that, regardless of the number of years you’ve endured diabetes, knowledge and understanding can be limitless.
Although today is a celebration, I won’t be having a party or bringing out a cake. However, I will be reflecting deeply on all the things I’ve achieved so far, regardless of my condition. I will be contemplating where I started in this journey and where I am today. It is a celebration of all that I have accomplished, the obstacles I’ve faced and overcome, the challenges (both diabetes and non-diabetes related) yet to come. It is also a celebration of all the years that I’ve been able to advocate for diabetes. I’m always thinking about how I can improve in my management of diabetes and also in my life in general. What do I want to do for myself?
It isn’t smooth sailing living with this condition but it is something that you can work around. Don’t allow it to completely take over your life and if you feel you aren’t in control right now, then its time to take charge of it right now! Start to figure out what is going on. Do the basics first, test your blood sugars regularly (this is always the best way to get a picture of what is happening), make sure you take your insulin or diabetes medication, I couldn’t stress enough how important this is. Work at it! Work at it! It will get better, believe me.