Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: living

Show Me Your Pump!

After indulging in a little social media griping about people’s reactions to my insulin pump in public, someone shared this wonderful article with me. Enjoy!

Hey, Miss Idaho, Is That An Insulin Pump On Your Bikini?

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, shown here in her home town of Twin Falls, Idaho, decided not to hide the insulin pump she wears to treat Type 1 diabetes during the pageant.

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Happy Valentine’s Day (Yes, Diabetics Can Celebrate Too)!

i love youJust because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean we have to submit ourselves to feast or famine. We can still ride the blood glucose middle line and avoid both the crazy highs from indulging in too many of those sweets, and the frustration of feeling like we can’t eat anything at all. There’s a word for this. It’s called: moderation. And planning. Yeah, they’re both the word for it. Plan ahead, use moderation, and remember that, like always, those little chalky, heart shaped glucose chunks are NOT worth a 297 reading on the ol’ glucometer. And neither are all those delicious cupcakes and cookies. Sorry guys, but our feet and eyes are far more important. 😉 Besides, Valentine’s Day is all about love and that, my friends, is always carb free.

Take a look at this WebMD article for a little more on the topic.

Diabetes Inspired Anniversary Cards

Check out Blue Cupcake. Every day that we make it through this thing called diabetes is a little miracle but every year (diaversary) is worth some serious celebrating. It’s a way of sticking it to diabetes, like saying F*** You Big D, I made it anyway!

Visit Blue Cupcake for these spectacular cards!

WE CAN DO IT!!

Letter to a Diabetic (Or I Understand What You’re Going Though)

Dear Diabetic,

I want you know that you’re not alone. I want you to know that there are a lot of other diabetics out there that get what you’re going through. They feel what you feel. They understand. I understand. And I’m writing this in the hopes that someone will see it and get some comfort from it, and know that they are not alone.

My name is Melissa Ratner. I am 32 years old. Last summer I discovered that I have adult onset Type I Diabetes. My pancreas decided to strike. Every day I have to check my blood sugar a minimum of 7 times. I have to inject myself with insulin a minimum of 4 times for a minimum of 11 needles per day in my fingers and injections sites. I’m covered in bruises and track marks at my injection sites. I have to count every carb. I have to record every number, injection, and reaction. I live my life 2 hours at a time (at most). I am aware of the complications and increased health risks associated with Diabetes. I went through fear, anger, depression, empowerment, confusion, and finally gave in to feeling completely overwhelmed. I broke down. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t feel anything but the anger and the injustice and the frustration. I hated people for eating. I hated people for not having to hurt themselves to have a meal. I hated people for not having a diseased body. I understand what it means to live with an invisible illness that few understand or take seriously. I understand that my life expectancy has shrunk, and that my quality of life is severely challenged. Everything is different now.

And here’s the most noteworthy thing I can say about my life right now. I can laugh. I can smile. And I think that there are some jokes about diabetes that are so funny I almost pee my pants. Some people think it’s poor taste to joke about diabetes but I need to laugh. Some days that’s all I got.

Look, diabetes is a disgusting, progressive, incurable disease that makes every day a pain in the ass and bitch slaps your sense of security. Even if you’re not afraid of dying, sometimes a diabetic thinks of the inevitable outcome. And why wouldn’t they? Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. I’m taking these stats straight from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet which you can find a link to on the American Diabetes Association website. 

But some good things have come from it. I’ve dropped from a size 16 to a size 8. I can run without getting winded. The new diet has gotten rid of 95% of my GI issues. All the exercise I have to do has helped reduce my menstrual cramps dramatically, and sex? Waaayyyy easier (and a lot more fun). Fat and fatigued…not sexy.

Diabetes doesn’t take a day off and neither can you. So you have diabetes. You can still live. You can still love. You can still laugh. And you can still play. It’s NOT a death sentence. It’s a change. It’s a big, scary change…that you can handle. You can. Really. Take control of your diabetes management. And research, research, research. Education is your best weapon.

A few fun facts before I close. I want to drive home that you’re not alone. At the time that I am writing this, there are 313,601,744 people in the United States and there are 25,800,000 children and adults in the US with Diabetes. That’s more than 8% of the population. A lot of good people are surviving and thriving with this disease every minute of every day.

Here’s the thing. Life is always uncertain. It’s not usually easy. And with diabetes, it’s definitely going to be a challenge. But like my brother always says about life and how to get through it…buy a fuckin’ helmet. Cause it’s gonna be one hell of a glorious ride.

With love and understanding,

Just Another Diabetic

JENN McCOLLUM

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