Today's prompt from the HAWMC is to complete this sentence:
I write about my health because…
I write about my health because I didn't know that there were people out there like me. And because there is a freedom that comes with sharing what I've kept bottled up inside since childhood about living with this condition.
I spent the first EIGHTEEN YEARS that I was living with type 1 diabetes honestly believing that I was the ONLY ONE who must not have normal glucose control.
My endocrinologists and CDEs and dietitians had always made it sound so simple: Test now, eat this, treat with this, inject with this.
And they always seemed so sincerely surprised at my failed attempts: Why were you low? Why would you eat that? Where are your logs? Your A1c is 15%. We'd like to see that come down. (To what? How do I do that? What does that even mean?)
I thought that MY diabetes must not be controllable, so I half-heartedly continued the regimen, but completely gave up on achieving good numbers. I listened to their sermons and filed them away as useless. They labeled me non-compliant and I resented the hell out of them for it. Comply with what? Bad advice?
I focused instead on anything BUT the diabetes. I graduated at the top of my class...with an A1c over 10%. I sang my first opera...with my BGs in the 360s. I had never seen an A1c below 8% and I didn't even know that they could go that low. I didn't know or care that T1D was an autoimmune illness; I was told I probably got it from a fall that must have injured my pancreas.
I write - but oh, I want to scream.
I want to run back in time in the Diabetes Delorean and tell the 10-year-old me everything I've learned in the last 3 years that I've been connected.
But most importantly, I want to tell that independent, headstrong adolescent that she will need a support network beyond her loving parents. She will need to meet others who have actually lived the same story.
But I can't tell her that. I can only tell you.
And maybe you needed to hear it.