Diabetes is my life, it wasn't always that way however. I started to stop taking care of myself at the age of sixteen. I stopped testing my blood sugar and only took insulin when I felt like I needed it. I never knew what my blood sugar was, I took insulin if my I felt sore, tired or if my mouth was dry. If I sat down for a meal I would take my insulin maybe an hour or so after I ate. I was not in control of my diabetes and was afraid to take insulin before a meal because I didn't know what I was doing. I was scared to take insulin before bed but would do so, I would cancel that out by having a big pre bedtime snack.
In that time I never once saw a doctor but had access to insulin, test strips and syringes. During a fifty mile run I will cry while I think about my life with diabetes. I almost died because I refused to take care of myself, that will not bring me to tears. What will bring me to tears is thinking about all of the children that don't have access to proper diabetes care or supplies. I had access since I was diagnosed and I wasted it, a child diagnosed in a low income community does not have the access that I have and had when I wasn't taking care of myself. That hurts a lot, it is a daily thought, when I test I think about it, when I take insulin I think about it.
It is tough for me to see people on Facebook or Twitter complain about how bad diabetes is and what a burden it is. Who are we to complain about diabetes? We have everything we could possibly need and we are complaining!! I have said it before and will say it until the day I die "I love diabetes!!" Without diabetes I wouldn't be running a 50 mile race. Without diabetes I wouldn't be able to run 50 miles!! Diabetes has taught me what life is all about, in life we face a lot of challenges. We can either complain and hope people feel bad for us or we can suck it up and give it our all to make the most of our lives no matter the circumstances!!
My view of the world is different because of diabetes. I have been living with diabetes for twenty-eight years and it took me twenty-three of those years to find people that took control of their diabetes. They have taken control of their diabetes by running or cycling. Their view of the world and of diabetes is one that we can all learn from. Once you stop feeling bad for yourself and looking for attention because someone says something "bad" about diabetes you learn that diabetes is life. It isn't always easy but we can wakeup in a bed, walk on a warm floor to our meter, open a new syringe and take an injection from one of many pens that we have in our house. Think before you test or take that next insulin injection, not everyone has the access to what we have. We need to give back to those living with diabetes that don't have the access to the proper tools!! I don't know how to do that but I know a group of almost two hundred athletes that do. I believe in them, I believe they have found the secret to life with diabetes and will do everything in their power to raise diabetes awareness and help those in need of proper diabetes care!!