Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Voices of Type 1 Diabetes

I came across this article today, Voices of Type 1 Diabetes: Doing My Best Each and Every Day written by the International Diabetes Federation, intended to profile the stories of type 1 diabetics from around the world. I always enjoy reading stories about other type 1 diabetics, but I was particularly taken aback by the story of the 24 year old Indian woman, who's history and attitude toward diabetes has an incredible likeness to my own. In particular:

"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 12 years old. I was in 7th grade, and before diabetes, I was a happy go-lucky girl. I was active, and did well in school and sports. After my diagnosis, I took my diet very seriously but in truth, I hated the painful injections I was required to take each day. I worked hard on overcoming social fears, keeping appointments with my doctor, checking blood sugars regularly and eating well. Fortunately, when I graduated from university and began working, I understood the importance of informing friends, and office co-workers about my condition, especially about the risk of hypoglycemia and what happens to me during low blood sugar episodes. I dislike pity and my co-workers understood this about my nature and supported me."

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 11 years of age, in 6th grade, and was similarly an active, high achiever (for more on my own story, see Why I Aim for Average). It has also taken me a relatively long time (through high school and university) to overcome my own pride when it comes to diabetes, and to more openly inform my colleagues and friends.    

Living with a chronic condition sometimes feel very isolating, and at times it is frustrating to think that nobody quite understands the intricate, and often subtle, daily struggles of living with type 1 diabetes, both physical and emotional. This article was a small reminder that no matter what you're experiencing, and no matter how it makes you feel, you are never alone in your experiences in this big ol' world. 

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