I don’t think I’ve ever had a chance to not be aware of my Type 1 Diabetes.
Hated it? Yes.
Cried about it? Too many times to count.
Wished I could just…Yes. More times than I’d be okay admitting.
My life is spent in a state of constant hyper-awareness, thanks to an autoimmune disease which changes course daily. From calculating insulin dosages, to making a million decisions about what to eat, when to eat, how long of a walk I can take, which alarms to set in the night so I can wake up and have a snack so that I don’t get carried away by the sandman on an unexpected wave of hypoglycemia…
I can never forget about it, not even for a second.
And then November rolls around, and suddenly everyone is an expert on Diabetes. I can name a thousand bushes that will ‘surely’ cure me (and trust me I’ve tried), and by any stretch of the imagination, I should be without limbs by now – given the number of grandparents whose diabetes had taken their extremities away.
Yes, I am aware that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and while non-diabetics get to go back to not being aware of diabetes in December, people like me will still have to be aware – especially when Christmas dinner rolls around because I FREAKING LOVE MAC AND CHEESE.
Now, I know that there isn’t usually any ill-will when persons joke about ‘catching diabetes’ from eating something, or when they ask me (in very concerned tones) if I’m on drugs or ‘have a nerves problem’ when they see me trembling and sweating in a corner. I also know that many people don’t know (or understand) the different types of Diabetes – except for what they heard their grandparents had.
So, here’s a few suggestions for how you can practise Diabetes Awareness this month – and you know, maybe after that too…
Most importantly, rest your assumptions aside and ask me whatever you want to know. When it comes to Type 1 Diabetes, I am an open book, and open door, I will let you right in and give you a guided tour.