When doctors hand out a diagnosis of diabetes, I wish they'd give you a list of tips that can make life happier living with the illness. After my diagnosis, I felt ashamed of my diabetes, ashamed of my inability to control it with diet and exercise even though I literally worked out every single day for nine months straight. I skipped nearly all carbohydrates and didn't eat meat at the time, so all I ate was nuts, cheese, eggs, and vegetables. The doctor didn't put me on insulin right away because I was eighteen, and she wasn't sure if I had type 1 or type 2. But nothing I did was working. It was soon apparent that I was type 1 and that insulin injections were unavoidable. I had no idea that it wasn't my fault. I felt hopeless, hungry, exhausted, and alone.
When first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago, I was scared into a very rigid regime of diet and exercise. The first thing I did was register for the Tour de Cure - a bike ride sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. Establishing a goal served as an incentive to train and exercise daily.
I'm just going to come out and say it, the way people do in addiction meetings when they have hit "rock bottom." Hi, my name is Meagan. I was a very uncooperative diabetic for a great many years. I felt lonely, and I hated being different. I rarely checked my blood sugars. In fact, there were times where I didn't even know where my meter was.
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