Friday, May 19, 2017

Diabetes Blog Week - There's More Than Diabetes

Blog week day 5!  When I signed up I wasn’t sure I could put together 5 coherent posts over the course of little more than a week.  I don’t know if they’ve been completely coherent, but there have been 5 and I’m pretty happy with them.  Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed them and maybe even learned something.  I’m already looking forward to next year!

The final topic for this year:

Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with.  Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU.  If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can.   Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes, because there is more to life than just diabetes! 

I’m a lot of things beyond a Type 1 Diabetic.  I’m a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend.  I’m an analyst and a mentor.  I’m a crazy screaming fan of the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers, the Cleveland Monsters, and I proudly call myself a Michigan Wolverine.  Go Blue!  I’m a passionate advocate of a low carb way of eating (with or without D) and I’m an increasingly passionate Type 1 Diabetes advocate.  And this weekend, for the third time I’m a half marathon walker.

In 2014 a friend and I walked our first half.  She was roughly 7 months removed from finishing treatment and earning the title of “breast cancer survivor.”  We were completely unprepared and made it through the race only because we were too stubborn to fail.  Shortly before that race I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  Soon after the race that diagnosis was corrected to Type 1 Diabetes and I started my journey through chronic illness and insulin dependence.

Last spring we walked our second half.  For the first time we carried insulin, needles, test strips and a glucose meter.  The weather that day included all 4 seasons:  we had rain, sleet, hail, snow and sun.  We also improved our initial result by an inconceivable 38 minutes!  I was so emotional about our time and completing my first race with T1 that it was all I could do not to let out a sob as we approached the finish.  Not from sadness, but from relief and joy and pain.  At the first race we were grinning like maniacs at the finish; last year I was grimacing and trying to smile with tears running down my face, a confluence of truly confusing emotions.  It was so cold all morning that I still couldn’t feel my hands when they took this picture after the finish.  The tears were gone, though!

This Sunday we’re walking our third half marathon.  I wouldn’t say we’re completely unprepared, but we’re not where we’d like to be.  We haven’t been as prepared as we want to be yet.  But we’re strong and we’re stubborn and we know now that we can make it through 13.1 miles.  This time we’ll have the advantage of a CGM sending my glucose readings to a Pebble watch on my wrist so that we’ll know at every minute how my sugar is doing.  And we’ll have the incredible benefit of having survived this experience twice.  Two times isn’t a fluke, so short of some unspeakable accident we’ll complete race number 3 in just 2 days.  I’d be doing this with or without T1D.  But doing it this way adds a degree of difficulty and makes the achievement that much greater.   It’s part of my fight and part of my daily victory over this disease.  No matter how much it hurts, this time I’ll be smiling again at the end because we’ll both have earned it together.  

Last year we walked in honor of, and as fundraisers for JDRF.  This year we’re walking for Make-A-Wish in honor of a Princess Warrior named Paige.  

Want to learn about the other bloggers who participated this week?  Find all of the links here.

Wondering what you’ve missed in my blog?  The links are below:

·         Day 1:  The unexpected positives
·         Day 2:  The cost of a chronic illness
·         Day 3:  Blame and judgment
·         Day 4:  Mental health and the emotions of T1D

                              Diabetes Blog Week