Diabetes has shaped so many aspects of my personality. The struggles I've had with it are not easy to overcome. Any diabetic can tell you that. I've struggled vwith accepting it as a part of me, I've struggled with denial, I've struggled with apathy, and I've struggled with an immense amount of frustration. Swimming my whole life presented a never-ending set of complications I had to work around. I'm not trying to throw a pity party, but I must say that I've been through so many emotions with this disease. It's not just the difficulty of getting it right, or staying in control, it's the willpower it takes to say no to certain things. It's the determination it takes to try again, day after day. It's the perseverance it takes to not give up hope.
If I didn't have God with me every step of the way in my life, I wouldn't have gone anywhere. Emotionally, I would not have survived having this. I'd like to think of myself as a strong person, and to some extent, that's exactly what I am. But, I didn't get that way all on my own. God has kept me and sustained me through trials that I didn't think I would get through. My struggle with apathy has been one of the biggest in my life. I went through a time, and it lasted a couple of years, where I just didn't take care of myself. I did the basics to keep myself alive, I didn't have a choice, but my blood sugars were through the roof and I didn't feel well and I was just rebelling against the stress I'm constantly under related to my diabetes. Junior and senior year of high school I didn't care that I wasn't feeling my best. I didn't care that my blood sugar was high...again. I didn't care that I forgot to give myself insulin for lunch until two hours after the fact. I just didn't care. That is the most dangerous state for a diabetic to be in. I've had to deal with consequences of that ever since. Do you guys remember the blog post awhile back where I was talking about diabetic neuropathy? That numbness in my toes and forearms I felt sometimes? That, I guarantee you was a side effect of my apathetic years. Some days I still feel that tingling in my feet, and I still feel the numbing sensation in my forearms, but it's not quite as bad as it used to be. That in itself is one of the biggest blessings. God pulled me through those very tough years. He still pulls me through some very tough days where I fail myself once again. Then I feel frustrated. My thought process these last few years has been well, apathy is better than frustration, right? I was so sick of feeling inadquate and so sick of my frustration that I eventually wanted to just shut it all out. And I did, for awhile. God pulled my mind out of the fog, with a very scary wake up call, but it worked all the same. I told you guys about that, in my Dr. Chase post. My body was not healthy and it was showing up in the tests. Now that I'm in college and forced to be on my own, I take better care of myself. Or, at least, I try to. God is still working through me with all of this.
I've definitely accepted the fact that I have type 1 diabetes, and that is not going to change, unless a cure is developed. I know that. It is a blessing, though, having this. On one hand, yes, it is difficult, but there are good things about it. I can't drink alcohol. There's a blessing right there. I live on a college campus, it's everywhere, but I know how to say no and I have no reservations about saying no to somebody who offers me some. As a future nurse, I'd like to think I can empathize with patients coming in who are just lost about a condition or disease and are distressed about it. I know what it feels like, I know how to talk to them. Granted, I will never be perfect in any situation, but it keeps me from being so rationalistic. I want to take care of the feelings of others. I know how important a support system is. I know how important an accountability system is. If there is any diabetic out there, reading this, who knows what they're doing is not a healthy habit, talk to me. I can help keep you accountable. I know what you're going through. There is no judgment on my part. Who am I to judge? I am in no way superior to anybody. I go through many of the same things you do. But what I can do, is help, as a seasoned veteran.
I've been so blessed to be able to share a few of my experiences and a few tidbits of my life with you, my readers. I know this series is coming to an end, but I've just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed writing this series for you guys! I hope in some way you have learned something. Either you've learned a new piece of information about me, you've learned a little bit more about the emotional struggle of having Type 1 Diabetes, or you've recognized the struggles we go through on a daily basis. Whatever the case, my main goal was to illuminate some details of the life of a diabetic. I hope your awareness of Diabetes has increased, and you somewhat understand what someone like me goes through on a daily basis. No, my life is not worse than yours. No, I'm not trying to prove anything. Yes, I have been immensely blessed during my life, no thanks to myself. God has kept the smile on my face in the midst of my struggles throughout these many years. It has made me a very grounded person and has made me want to share my hope and experience with diabetes. There are so many people who have been a part of my support system, I just want to thank you guys. I know there will be much more to come and endure, but through the blessings God has provided me with down here, I know I can get through it. Addressing my fellow Diabetics, I just want you to know one thing: through Christ, you have the strength to deal with this. It's not the end of the world.
"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."