I’ve been a little ‘vacant’ on the blogging-front lately, purely because I am in the middle of the whirlwind that is the ACA (a professional qualification filled with exams that basically determine whether or not I keep my job… no pressure or anything), which is taking up most of my spare time, and also chucking in some stress-related high blood sugars too (whilst I’m on the subject). NOT FUN.
But seeing as yesterday, 14th November, was ‘World Diabetes Day’ (WDD), which is a global campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), aiming to raise awareness of diabetes – it would be wrong of me not to write something.
To be honest, I’ve never really acknowledged WDD before – as bad as that may sound. Which is probably, when I think about it, because that, for the majority of the past 12 years, I haven’t really wanted to acknowledge diabetes itself more than I really needed to. Plus – spending 12 years dealing with T1 without knowing any other T1 diabetics makes you wonder – who would I really have ‘celebrated’ WDD with? I think it’s fair to say that this whole ‘T1 thing’ is a bit of a solitary battle for a lot of us.
BUT – on a more positive note – yesterday was different. Yesterday was GREAT. Now being wayyyy more involved with the whole ‘diabetic online community’ there is out there, my Instagram and Twitter feeds were absolutely FLOODED with #WDD2016 hashtags, stories of type 1 and type 2, the good bits, the bad bits – but overall, just a massive sense of how awesome us T1 and T2’s really are (and we are. We do a DAMN good job).
So how did I feel yesterday? Honestly – the whole idea of the day made me smile – because it made me realise just how much I’ve achieved without letting the fact that my pancreas has packed up stop me. T1D didn’t stop me going to America for 3 months when I was 18 and working on a summer camp out there. It didn’t stop me from going to Uni, from getting the degree I wanted, from partying too much or from having the best 3 years I could have asked for. It didn’t stop me from moving to Switzerland for a year to complete my masters and year in industry (which was also one of the best years ever). It didn’t stop me from going Interrailling. Going to Leeds Fest. Travelling the West Coast of Canada for a month. Hopping from Switzerland to Germany, Austria, France – even surviving a week in Magaluf (although diabetes or no diabetes – that’s an achievement for anyone. That place is mad.). From learning to snowboard. Running a half marathon. Doing a bungee jump (even if I did cry…!). Nailing the grad scheme I wanted. Completing a ridiculous 10 mile obstacle course through the Tyrol Mountains.
Anyway this list probably goes on – but basically, I’ve had a bloody good few years, and the point is – diabetes hasn’t put a dent in any of that. I know part of the aim of WDD is to raise awareness of what it’s really like to live with the condition – and yeh, it can be tough. Just this week, for example, I’m having a ‘bad week’, and whatever amount of insulin I seem to inject, or lack of carbs I seem to eat, I cannot for the life of me get my blood sugars in range. And yeh, its rubbish. But this week will pass – and my numbers will get better. But all the cool stuff I’ve done above? That won’t change. And as long as I don’t let it, having T1 won’t change what more fun things I want to do. And that, to me, is what days like WDD are all about. #weareallawesome