I'm about to tell you a secret that I've kept for 15 years. I know that we all make mistakes with our diabetes, but the one I made back then was literally a wake-up call. While I cringe at telling this unflattering story, I hope that it will help others realize how scary things can get quickly if you ignore your diabetes. Thankfully, the scenario that unfolded all those years ago helped bring me out of my reckless state and showed me the way to a better life with diabetes.
To love a diabetic is to be a doctor. It means helping her to remember her medications. It means driving her for an hour to the only 24 hour pharmacy when she's gotten the flu and can't take the Nyquil in the refrigerator. Or driving her to the hospital when the simple flu turns into bronchitis and her blood turns acidic.
My son learned to crawl last month. As a part-time stay-at-home dad, I found it both exciting and terrifying. Through crawling, my son has entered a new stage in life. He might have rolled or scooted a few feet before, but now he can see something in another room and make up his mind to go there.
Ethan Lewis, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12, founded GlucoBrands only 11 years later. The company produces a portable, inexpensive, tasty, fast-acting glucose gel that people can take to quickly restore healthy blood sugar levels when they experience hypoglycemia.
I wish there were a fail-safe manual for diabetes. Just when I'm thinking about how great my blood sugars have been, bam! I see a 300 on my meter, or a 40. It's so hard to know why: The off numbers could be due to hormones, stress, sickness, an incorrect carb count, varying activity levels, or any combination thereof. With diabetes, you really do learn as you go. Here are a few things I have learned along the way.
Having diabetes means attending medical appointments regularly. It's entirely possible that at some point, you experienced an incident in which a medical professional hurt your feelings, made a mistake, or told you something completely incorrect. Medical mistakes do happen. While most doctors and nurses are amazing and professional, they are also human. Errors and inappropriate comments can occur. Some simply don't understand all aspects of diabetes.
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.
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