Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Diabetes Journey: Part 2

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!
There is so much in life to love. And I tackle my difficult times by doing the things that I love! As long as my blood sugar allows, I will go for a run or walk outside, hike at a local park, bike, or even go outside and take photos. I love being outdoors, and find my greatest reassurance from a pretty sunset or a good run. I also love to cook and try new healthy foods or recipes! I have a mental list of all the foods I want to explore. These include raw artichokes, raw beets, and poaching an egg.  Finally, I spend time with the wonderful people in my life (Diabetes is not something I could ever deal with on my own!), sing, listen to new music, play a new instrument, and blog!

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!


About the Author: 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.

23 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, I can't imagine living with this. Has diet helped at all?

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    1. Yes, living a healthy lifestyle includes adapting a diet that can be livable everyday - that's why I consider it a lifestyle! Especially as a diabetic, having a knowledge of nutrition is a very critical part of my therapy. As I've grown with the disease, I've made sure to constantly educate myself on the best foods for my body. I look at this as an opportunity to have fun too! Being adventurous with my eating and cooking, while being healthy, is something I constantly strive to do.

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  2. I love that you come clean about your struggles and successes! SO many people struggle with Diabetes and having other people's stories to read, TRULY help!! :)

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    1. Thank you! It is hard but it is something I have to live with.

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  3. What a great and up lifting story to read today! I am glad you didn't let this hold you back, I wish you future health and happiness!

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  4. What an awesome story! I know a couple people with type 1 diabetes and it's not fun. I'm glad you're able to find some positive in this.

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    1. It isn't fun but there's always a silver lining...right?

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  5. Awwww what a great read! I had a friend in high school that has diabetes and watching her daily routine to deal With it... Ughh.... Strong person that's for Sure

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    1. I am sorry you had to watch your friend deal with this. I pray for their strength and health!

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  6. A very inspiring post with sound advice. Life throws all of us curve balls at some time or another, and if we can't push through we will be miserable. Thanks for sharing this..

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    1. You are so right. Might as well try to hit a couple of those curve balls out of the park!!!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story! I don't have a challenge, like yours, but I've been through the ups and downs of being a parent of a child with special needs. I'm learning to be intentional in having a positive outlook on both the present & future.

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    1. Just being positive and being there for your children is all you need to do. We all need our support network!!

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  8. Amazing read. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  9. Thanks for being so open and honest in your post. I wish you the best in this journey. Being able to share your experience with others isn't definitely cathartic.

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    1. You're welcome :) I am glad you enjoyed this post.

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  10. I have Hashimoto's an autoimmune disorder that effects the thyroid and both myself and my boys have some food allergies/sensitivities.
    We try to eat the freshest food possible which means there is a lot of time spent in the kitchen, but I would rather eat real food than something packaged any day. My boys are used to bringing their own snacks to church and Bible study and ask if they are allowed to eat certain foods before trying them.
    I blog about some of this over at:
    www.survivingtoddlerhood.com

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    1. We like to say that anything grown from the ground is best to eat! That means all fruit and veggies :) it is awesome that your family is eating healthy! Keep up the good work!

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  11. Thanks for sharing your story. I tested positive for Gestational Diabetes with my first child and had to regulate sugars with diet. It wasn't too bad, but a few months and it was gone. I didn't have it with my other two children, but still tested higher, what they call a pre-diabetic. I pray that it never manifests, but if it does, I will need all the wisdom from amazing people like you. Keep up the fight!

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  12. Thanks for sharing your story. I tested positive for Gestational Diabetes with my first child and had to regulate sugars with diet. It wasn't too bad, but a few months and it was gone. I didn't have it with my other two children, but still tested higher, what they call a pre-diabetic. I pray that it never manifests, but if it does, I will need all the wisdom from amazing people like you. Keep up the fight!

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  13. I love that your are writing about this. You are a strong woman and even though it might get hard a times, I'm so glad to see you not giving in and still trying to do the things you love to do! Great story and thank you for sharing it with us!

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