We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)
Accomplishments, big and small…
I’m just going to throw it out there, I think managing diabetes every day is an accomplishment in itself! I don’t know many other chronic diseases where you have to juggle so many balls all of the time.
However, apart from the fact that we are all incredibly awesome just for living with diabetes, one of my big accomplishments with diabetes is not letting it stop me.
Now, diabetes will stop some things. I can’t be a pilot, scuba diver or a police woman. Yet seeing as I don’t like flying, am a terrible swimmer and am possibly the least intimidating person in the world, that’s no great loss 🙂
Diabetes didn’t stop me from carrying out my future plans of living overseas and traveling. I was scared it would, newly diagnosed me thought no one would want a teaching assistant who had the ‘bad’* kind of diabetes.
I travelled to more than 15 countries, with a small backpack and a whole lot of diabetes supplies. I left Australia 9 months after diagnosis to live in England for a year**, where nothing was familiar except the language.
Most importantly, I met students with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Simply through being open about my diabetes and acting confident enough to inject and test in front of everyone (I injected for a biscuit in Monday morning assembly once…), it meant that these kids felt comfortable coming to me and talking about their own illnesses, which I think is so special.
There was one particular girl with type 1 diabetes who simply blossomed, and by the end of the year was like my little sister. I taught this girl that having diabetes was nothing to be ashamed of or apologise for, and her self esteem grew so much. I believe that is my greatest accomplishment so far with this disease, and if I can continue helping other young people in the future with this, then I will die happy!
*note the sarcasm. No one has the ‘bad’ kind, we’re all different 🙂
**this turned into 11 months thanks to terrible mental health issues that meant I had to come home, but hey I nearly got there!