I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2010 at the age of 10, and now I am 17 years old. I have struggled with this disease so much that I went into a depression and quit football and baseball.
Growing up, I was told that there was no doubt I would get a scholarship as a football receiver. Because of this disease, I have lost my love for playing sports, and my parents struggle with money.
Now it is very unlikely for me to be able to go to a University to get the nursing degree I want.
I am begging for prayers and ideas.
It saddens me to read that you have giving up on the things you love at such a young age.
At a quick glance, life at times can seem unjust. That everything is stacked against us just as we are rising to grasp the greatest moment in our life. As we watch the opportunity pass, we become encapsulated in darkness, feeling alone, helpless in finding the light when the light was always shining upon us.
If you believe in prayers this means you believe there is some higher power. If you believe this in your heart, then you know that being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes has a purpose. The road to reason may seem dim now. However, know, like many of your other accomplishments in life, you will overcome the association of not being able to reach your dreams because of your perceived limitations. Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just means that you need to do things differently.
At first, this will be difficult because you need new coping skills to allow you to follow your dreams. Similar to your athletic conditioning, you need to add a new diabetes paradigm. Not one of limitations but one with infinite possibilities.
First Order of Business
Seek out a health care professional to help you with depression. It is hard if not impossible to dream about the life you want when you feel what you want is not achievable. Not to mention the financial stress that contributes to the hopelessness that engulfs you.
People living with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from depression compared to people that do not have the disease. Fluctuating blood sugars causing fatigue and diabetes burn out, can compound your depression and feeling of hopelessness.
Type 1 Support Group
Look for a Type 1 diabetes support group.
Before joining one, think about what you want to get from the group and how the leader’s style will work with your expectations. Sharing your successes, frustrations and receiving tips in a support group, can help you see the type 1 world very differently. People living with diabetes tend to have more intimate friendships with other diabetics because their transparent discussions create instant comradely. Life long friendships have forged from these gatherings. So, give it a try.
You Are Not Alone
You can still be an athlete and a nurse. Your profound and personal understanding of living with type 1 diabetes gives you an opportunity to enrich your life in ways that some people will never understand. You will also have an opportunity to improve other people’s lives when you become a nurse. Imagine the wisdom you can impart to the newly diagnosed type 1’s. Don’t give into giving up.
There are many ways for you to achieve your dreams. Continue to reach out to people that can help you achieve your goals. Think of them as coaches giving you advice on how t play the next game. There is more than one way to win a game.
There are Olympian Athletes, NFL Football players, Professional Baseball players, Judges, Doctors, Nurses, Actors, Publisher’s Pilots and everyday heroes that all have type 1 diabetes. Be assured, all people with and without diabetes have moments of doubt and despair.
I do not know you, but I know your pain and the hopelessness you feel. My advice to you is to allow yourself to dream again. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that there is only one way to achieve your goal. Start playing ball again for the fun of it. Don’t undervalue doing something only because it makes you happy. The joy in your daily life is what will inspire you on how to live the life you want. Trust that all is well and what you want is achievable.
Throw away the old game book which holds the memory of all your losses. It is time for you to create a new playbook. One that includes coaches and people that support you in living your dream.
Your request for prayers will be answered. Now it is up to you to reach out to more people, who may not know you but understand your dream and want to help.
Stay in touch and let me know how things are progressing for you.
AskNadia and receive her unique perspective on your question.
Email Nadia at AskNadia@DiabetesHealth.com.
Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.
Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, she co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.
Nadia holds 14 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate. Her passion for working in the diabetes community stemmed from her personal loss—a mother and a brother who both succumbed from the effects of type 2 diabetes. She has used her experience as a caretaker to forge a career in helping others.