You came into my life on this day 10 years ago uninvited, inadvertent and out of the blue. But with full force.
I had just graduated high school and was ready to begin my life, enjoying a camping vacation with my family in France when you crept into my world. In retrospect I wasn’t really enjoying my time though. I drank tons of water, had to get up in the middle of the night to pee (more than once), slept during the day and didn’t have the energy to do much. I thought this was because I had just graduated and was under quite a bit of stress and hoped that it would even out after a few days. It did not. It actually got worse. At one point I was “drinking“ my own saliva because I was just so thirsty. This led to my mouth being dried out and me barley being able to speak. (if you want to learn more about the warning signs of Type One Diabetes I highly suggest this article).
Luckily for me we always camped with another family and the husband of that family was our pediatrician. He recognized the signs, talked to my mom first and then they sat me down on July 10th 2009 and told me they would like to get me to a doctor and have my blood tested. We went to this little doctors office in the countryside and they did a finger prick: 34 mmol/l. That was the moment my life changed and you entered my life.
Learning to accept you
I had a hard time accepting my new reality with you in it. I was still the same person, still there but I also wasn’t. It was always my dream to see the Golden Gate Bridge. If someone would have told me during that Summer 2009 that we would go and visit it my answer would have been: „Okay, whatever“. In my head life was starting after graduating high school and then you came along and kind of destroyed everything.
A few months later I started college and slowly but surely I began to accept you as a part of me. For the longest time I felt like I was the only person living with Diabetes in the whole eastern part of Switzerland (if only I’d have known…). That was until that fateful day in May 2014 when I discovered Instagram and the Diabetes Online Community (DOC). Suddenly there were people who had the same struggles, same success and were living with Type One Diabetes as well. It was like a whole new world opened up to me. I hid my account from my friends and family for the longest time until I was comfortable enough to talk about it.
Another milestone happend in February 2017 when I started this blog. It became my outlet to write about whatever I wanted and I started to take Instagram more seriously. I can’t even begin to phrase how much I’ve learned from the DOC. From site placements to the benefits of CGMs and diabetes accessories to the conversations I’ve had and continue to have with other Type Ones. I sometimes refer to the DOC as group therapy. I even had the chance to meet some other people who live with Diabetes in real life. I’ve met Type Ones from Sweden, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Belgium and quite a few from Switzerland.
It wasn’t always easy in the past 10 years with you. Some days you kind of defeated me and you really like to use my body as your pincushion. I’ve tried to summ it up:
- 25’550 fingerpricks
- 8’760 injections
- 730 site changes
- 210 CGM sites
- 150 vials of insulin
- 42 blood draws
- 4 Pumps
- 3 Transmitters
please keep in mind that those numbers are roughly calculated
So dear Diabetes
I don’t know why you chose to enter my life and I probably will never find out. There are days where I want to send you to the moon with a one way ticket because nothing is working. There are days when you make me cry and some other time I’m running through my appartment to celebrate you.
You’ve made me the person I am today. I didn’t know I had it in me to poke myself multiple times a day, but I do. I’ve learned a lot about my body and how it functions, which I probably wouldn’t have without you. You also got me out of some P.E. lessons during college that I really didn’t want to participate in, so thank you for that as well :).
Because of you I got to meet some awesome people and I’m currently working on some really exciting projects. You push me out of my comfort zone (like a lot) and force me to take care of myself. It’s kind of hard to imagine what a life without you would look like now. Maybe I’ll find out one day, maybe I won’t. Until then: Let’s rock this.
Ps: If we could stop fighting like an old married couple sometimes that would be great! Oh and a litte more sleep would be appreciated as well, thanks.