Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Diabetes Journey: Part 3

By: Lindsay Dawson, Choosy Kids Social Media Account Manager

Earlier this year, I began to tell my story about living with Type 1 Diabetes. I talked about my diagnosis, my victories, my struggles, and the means by which I overcome those struggles. I assure you, not much has changed between then and now.

The last few months have been difficult. My body trends are changing, and with that comes the very delicate guessing game of which settings on my insulin pump to change, which to keep the same, and which ones are no longer necessary at all. I think (fingers crossed) I’m beginning to see the light now, but after nearly 2 months of consistently low blood sugars, even a little progress is something I celebrate. 

Diabetes is a full time job. It doesn’t take a break while you’re sleeping; it doesn’t pause while you’re at the gym; it doesn’t rest while you’re at work or stop when you’re playing with your puppy. Anniversaries, holidays, vacations, errands, cleaning, getting sick: Diabetes will play a role in the most tame and the most exciting moments of every day life. Diabetics must constantly be prepared to deal with a variety of side effects of the disease. More so, Diabetics must also be prepared to deal with the temptation to give up.
For me, that temptation arises more than I’d like to admit. However, in spite of the ups and downs of the disease, I have something incredibly special that gets me through.  

I have the most incredible circle of support.  Last December, I had to go to the ER because my blood sugar was dangerously high. In those foggy moments of fear, I looked to my best friend for support and encouragement. She was comforting me, making me laugh, and telling me that everything would be all right. I don’t think she realized, though, that the most outstanding part of it all was her presence. She was there for me, sitting by my side at midnight in the ER, knowing that she had to be at work early the next day but caring more about my situation than her own.

She is the reason that I don’t give up. She and the hundreds of others in my life – family, friends, loved ones, acquaintances, fellow Diabetics – humble me with their support, cheers, and encouragement. The day after I got home from the ER, I wrote the following Facebook post that summed up everything my heart had been feeling:
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a time when Diabetics come together to celebrate their successes, find courage to overcome obstacles, and encourage overall awareness about this chronic disease.  I think all Diabetics would agree with me that having a strong circle of support is one of the most beneficial therapies for the disease. I couldn’t do this without those I love.  

This November, I challenge you to learn a bit more about Diabetes. The statistics surrounding this disease are astronomical. In 2014, 387 million people were reported as having Diabetes; by 2035, this will rise to 592 million (International Diabetes Federation, 2015). In 2013, “more than 79,000 children developed type 1 diabetes” (International Diabetes Federation, 2015). I can only imagine how that will grow in the next report. In the meantime, Type 1 Diabetics are celebrating the month of November by showing others what the disease looks like to them in a campaign called #T1DLooksLikeMe.
Finally, World Diabetes Day is November 14th. On this day, Diabetics raise their voices and encourage everyone to wear blue as a symbol of hope and a call to action for a cure. With more awareness, more research, and more education, we believe that this disease can finally make Diabetes a thing of the past. 

Choosy wants us to be the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves, and that’s where your part in my story comes in! This month, I encourage you to show support for those in your life. Whether you know someone with Diabetes or not, I’m sure each one of you has something you struggle with. Thank the people who help you make it through, and lend a shoulder to those who need your support as well. Choosy has been an incredible role model and Health Hero in my circle of support. Who would you say has been your biggest encourager?

References: International Diabetes Federation. Key Findings 2014, 2015. Web. 29 October 2015.

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.

22 comments :

  1. Diabetes is such a scary thing. I'm happy you are starting to see a light at the end of the last couple of months. Thanks for sharing the message <3

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  2. Hi Lindsay, Hi Christine,

    What a beautiful post.
    I have someone very near and dear to me with type 1 diabetes (for well over 30 years), and I have seen what she goes through.

    Bless her and every one else who has this, because as you've mentioned, it doesn't exactly take a break.

    I do support her, and I do everything I can to encourage healthy-living with a sense of joy and enthusiasm.

    Thank-you for expressing yourself here, and I will make sure to pass this along.

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    1. Great work supporting the person close to you. Sometimes that is the best way to help someone.

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  3. I'm so glad that you have so much support. It sounds like you are handling your diagnosis in the best way possible.

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    1. Thanks. I've been handling it for sometime now so it really has just become a part of my everyday life.

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  4. Having had life long health issues which I have transformed, I know how key it is to have people in your life to support and understand what you are going through. I know work with people to create customized health protocols to transform even the most "impossible" health situations, as I've learned that life is about exploring new possibilities and believing "there is always another way". One of the most amazing things is seeing people who have all but given up hope, actually see their blood sugar stabilize and they are able to give up their medications and face live with new hope. Staying open and exploring are two things I learned when doctor after doctor gave me little hope…for anything. Best wishes for you as you navigate this new health territory for yourself and based on my own experience, stay curious and trust yourself. Life is always filled with wonderful options when we are open to them.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I'm always exploring and discovering new things - living life to the fullest. I think that is great advice.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your story and all of this information. I just found out it was Diabetes awareness month (I only knew about premature birth awareness month.) I have a friend who is post a fact a day, and I will be interviewing him on my blog later this week. :)

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    1. Sounds awesome! I'll be sure to stop by your blog and check it out!

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  6. Thanks for this Lindsay. My mom has diabetes so it's something I think about often.

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    1. It must be hard watching your mom go through it. Keep your head up!

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  7. Hey Lindsay,

    The statistics are astounding and terrifying. I bet when you went to hospital, it was a big reality check to the dangers of the disease you live with 24/7. I have seen this disease at it worst with a friend at work having to use insulin several times a day and test her bloods just as many times a day.

    She took it in her stride while it scared the hell out of me. I really should learn a bit more about diabetes. I went through a period where if I was drinking too much or going to the loo too much I would wonder if I had diabetes. I get really weak when I don't have food and that had me running to the doctors for tests,but I was nothing more than hungry and blessed for my health.

    I certainly support more research - I'm in your corner Lindsay.

    Rachel.

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  8. My cousin got diabetes when he was really young. It was pretty scary!

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    1. As scary as it is, it might be better that he got it so young so he adapts better to the lifestyle. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  9. Thanks so much for sharing your story, especially in light of National Diabetes Awareness Month.

    All the Best,
    Allison Jones | www.LiveLifeWellBlog.com

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Thanks for sharing your experience with diabetes. I think it is important to spread awareness. Some people may have it and not yet be aware so regular doctor check ups are definitely a must. It is really great that you have such a strong circle of support.

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    1. Good point about regular doctor visits. It is important that we are aware of how our body is supposed to operate.

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  11. I have no experience with diabetes, but when pregnant and encountering the threat of gestational diabetes, I knew it would be too much to handle. I can't imagine living with the experience every day. <3

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    1. Yes, gestational diabetes is serious as well. Thank you for bringing this up.

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