A Whole New Respect: Living With Type I Diabetes
Eighteen years ago, without my consent, I became part of a relationship that has consumed my life. Diagnosed with Type 1Diabetes at 12 years old brought on fear that no child or parent should ever have to know. In my relationship with T1D, I have learned respect. Diabetes is relentless and unforgiving. I spent many days disrespecting it out of fear – only to lose. A handful of hospitalizations, weeks of IV lines and medications, 17 eye procedures… and the list could go on.
Here is my realization – my fears will always exist. I must use my fears as motivation. As much as I hate diabetes, I cannot disrespect it. Respect = Diligent blood sugar testing, insulin corrections, infusion set changes, etc. In return, respect for myself. Respect for the life I deserve. I am grateful for everything that diabetes has given me in 18 years. Four years of high school state swimming championships, a division 1 swimming scholarship, a college degree, a rewarding career, a loving and incredibly supportive family and my greatest accomplishment, my two beautiful and healthy children.
Because of my diabetes I have known strength in myself that many will never experience. I have a greater appreciation for life and everything I am given. My hope is to some day break out of this relationship when there is a cure, but until then I will give diabetes the respect that it is demanding. After all, the outcomes can be quite rewarding.
Editor note: If you, or a loved one, are looking for diabetes information and/or resources, call Health Management Services at Renown Health at 982-5073.