Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dear 10 Year Old Self,

You are stronger than this.

Type 1 diabetes is going to be incredibly challenging, frustrating and scary but you are stronger than it. There will be times where you do everything perfectly and everything will still go wrong, there will be times when you forget to check your blood sugar but you will learn from those moments, there will be times when you feel as though there is nothing you can do to move forward – but you will.

Diabetes is going to turn your world upside down but you will stand tall on top.

Juice boxes and Gatorade will save your life, literally.

You will quickly become an expert at putting jeans on with one hand while you hold your insulin pump in the other.

You will become an expert at knowing your body and the changes that occur all day long inside.

You will gain the unique talent of looking at a plate of food and instantly being able to know how many carbohydrates are on that plate. Food will become a form of medicine, you will look at it differently.

You will become a super human, capable of living life and acting as a pancreas all at the same time!

Diabetes will not define you but it will be a huge part of who you are. You are going to create a vision for your life full of goals and you will achieve them despite the odds and with each of those goals met, you will continue after larger ones to conquer.

Diabetes is nothing to be ashamed of; it is not a well understood disease by most – be the change you wish to see and step up on your soap box and appropriately tell the world how serious diabetes is so they can stop giving you that look of “really, you have diabetes?”

Be open to what life has to offer you; always turn those lemons into lemonade and yes you can drink that lemonade with type 1 diabetes and you can eat whatever you wish as long as it is within moderation, just like someone without diabetes should not drink an entire gallon of lemonade and an entire pizza box in one sitting.

Tell everyone you interact with that you have type 1 diabetes – that too will keep you safer. The more that know, the more you will also dispel those ridiculous myths out there.

Do not let diabetes be an excuse for anything in your life. If you don’t feel well, do what you can to feel better and move forward; don’t miss school or work unless you really need to. Sure, you have an incredibly valid reason, but why when you can prove your strength fighting through the bad? Don’t give in to diabetes and let it control you, you need to be in control of this disease.

You can literally do anything you want with your life but you will have to make the constant, conscious decision to do so.

You are stronger than this and you will prove that to yourself time and time again.

-18 Years Later Self