The biggest changes are felt immediately when you’re diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Obviously, injections and the finger pricks were a big change, but there were two things that really stick out in my memory as being the biggest changes.
Gone were the days of sitting on the couch in the summer eating popsicles and push-pops. No more all-you-can-eat birthday cake or late night snacking at a friend’s sleep over party. Every item that I ate had to be calculated and accounted for. When you’re 10, you start picking up on the notion that eating is a social behavior. You can talk about what happened on Saved By The Bell (or whatever the kids are watching these days) while munching on some popcorn. You can mingle, albeit awkwardly, with the grown-ups at a family function and eat cheese on a cracker.
Some days I try and think about what it would be like to mindlessly eat something. I would love to not know the carb count of almost every item on the Dunkin Donuts breakfast menu. I would love to just sit on my couch and eat pizza and an ice cream sundae without fearing the resulting spike in spite of my bolus’s best efforts.
When I was 10, my concept of forever was limited. Waiting for the end of the school year could feel like for-everrr (I say this in my head like Squints a la The Sandlot). Forever, in reality, at that age is a short-term feeling.
At my diagnosis, I was told that I would likely have this disease forever. It wasn’t something I would grow out of like my short-lived grunge phase. This was something I would manage and live with until the day I died.
I would have diabetes when I went to high school AND college, bought a house and got married. It would be with me when I slept, when I was at school, when I was with my friends. It would be there when I laughed so hard I spit milk out at the dinner table and when I bawled like a baby during Titanic. It wasn’t going away.
The little things that change are just as important as the big things. Things that might start off as a little change can easily transform into a big thing later on in life and vice-versa. It’s how we adapt to the changes that makes the difference.
I have been invited by Joslin Diabetes Center to participate in a blogging contest this November – National Diabetes Awareness Month. Myself and a select few other amazing bloggers are taking part in hopes of raising $5,000 for the Joslin Diabetes High Hopes Fund.
Click here to donate today! Every little bit helps and will make a difference.