Today kicks off the sixth annual Diabetes Blog Week, which brings bloggers together to write about a set topic each day. It’s hard to believe (especially considering my inconsistent blogging efforts over the past few years) that I’ve participated in all five of the previous weeks (see 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010). The week has always provided me with motivation to get back into writing and a sense of community around a topic that can sometimes make me feel so alone.
The topic for today’s post is “I Can”:
Lets’ kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes. What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren’t sure you could? Or what have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of? Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?
It’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of diabetes, so I appreciate a topic that forces me to think about the positive things I’ve accomplished because of – or despite of – diabetes. Below are a few things that come to mind:
- Going to grad school – In 2010, I quit a steady job at a great company to move across the country and enroll as a full-time grad student in Boston. It was a huge risk (Would I find health insurance? Would I find a job after graduation? Could I figure how to be a student again?), but one I knew I needed to take. Being dealt a diabetes diagnosis at age 26 made me think about what I could and couldn’t control. It reminded me that I should make every effort to live life to the fullest – and if that meant going back to school in my late 20s to study food, so be it.
- Traveling – In my five plus years of living with diabetes, I’ve taken some pretty incredible trips across the country and globe. They’ve included all kinds of adventures – from elephant treks to jungle hikes, snorkel trips, and ziplining – and new foods with unknown carb counts. While I’ve had occasional fears about what could go wrong, I’ve tried to focus on being prepared for any situation and not let diabetes hold me back.
- Getting hitched (without a low!) – Last October, my incredible boyfriend of ten years became my husband. Having diabetes forced me to think about a lot of things I otherwise wouldn’t have had to during the planning process (e.g., hiding an insulin pump in a form-fitting wedding dress). Thankfully, all of our thinking ahead resulted in an absolutely beautiful day focused on the two of us rather than diabetes. And, I didn’t go low all day!
- Meeting other people with diabetes – If there’s a good thing about this disease, it’s the community. Through JDRF, conferences and casual meet ups, I’ve met so many amazing type 1s who have offered support and become friends. I’m grateful for these people that diabetes has brought into my life.
*Read other Diabetes Blog Week Day One entries here.