By: Lindsay Dawson, Choosy Kids Social Media Account Manager
In the first part of my journey with Type 1 Diabetes, “Did You Know: Only 5% of People with this Disease Have it in This Form,” I discussed a lot of personal components to my story. I shared with each of you the fear I felt on the day I was diagnosed; I confessed the frustrations I endure now and again; and I expressed how imperative it is to channel negative energy into positive energy.
And this is what I’d like to discuss today. My life with Diabetes will always have victories and struggles - peaks and valleys. And learning (and actively choosing!) to see the positive side of struggle has helped me overcome nearly every valley that I have experienced. This is not just a practice I use with Diabetes; I try to do this every day of my life.
I certainly do not have as much to complain about as some, for I always say that my situation could be far worse than it is. Still, I am only human, and I get stressed out, anxious, frustrated, and discouraged like everyone else. When I have bad days – especially bad Diabetes days – it is so easy to slip into a negative mindset and stay there. Wallow. Exhaust myself in the frustration. But I have learned to take those moments for what they are, and allow them to motivate me into an even greater sense of positivity. How many people actually enjoy feeling discouraged? Not many! But how many people would feel a huge wave of accomplishment in overcoming discouragement? A lot!
Obviously, this is easier said than done. There are many times when I struggle with chaotic blood sugar readings - fluctuating for no reason at all, cutting a workout short at the gym, limiting my ability to enjoy a meal, exhausting my energy, and stealing my joy. Since my diagnosis in 2001, I have made 4 trips to the ER for high blood sugar. The longevity of my diagnosis (despite my consistently diligent care) has left me with nerve damage within my digestive system, known as Gastroparesis. The anxiety that I deal with also causes unexpected spikes in my blood sugar. When you’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic for 13 years, the negatives add up. And that is EXACTLY why I have to focus on the positive! There are a lot of little things that could bog me down. But that would be silly!
So, thank you to each of you for letting me do something I love, and helping me cope with my Diabetes in the process!
I know many of you are parents and overcome obstacles every day! Whether big or small, we all have to take a deep breath and move forward. What do you do to overcome the obstacles in your life? Do you or someone in your family have a health issue that you’ve made better with a positive attitude? I’d love to hear your stories! Share with us your blog if you have one!
Lindsay Dawson earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies and a minor in vocal performance from West Virginia University in 2012. In May of 2014, she graduated from WVU with a Master’s of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications. She has enjoyed working for several non-profits, and in addition to her position with Choosy Kids, Lindsay is currently employed as the Outreach Coordinator for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown, WV. Her ultimate career ambitions inspire her to combine her love of the arts with her passion for marketing, leadership, and civic engagement.