Friday, 28 March 2014

What I think about Type One

You know what I think about Type One? That it really sucks. It really does and I live everyday with the hope that one day this disease will no longer be a part of my life. Type one diabetes is, misunderstood and it's in a sense, the "forgotten" diabetes...or perhaps the one that people just flat-out aren't educated about. I go with the latter. Type one diabetes is, hard. All that it entails is something that is very challenging to deal with; I can't remember my life without this disease because nearly five years ago I almost felt like I had to "start over". My life was different from the day I was diagnosed. I suppose it was like learning how to walk again, except I was learning how to keep myself alive. When I stop to think about it, the gravity of what is my daily routine is very large; 95% I go about my daily life giving my insulin, testing my blood sugars and doing what I can to stay in range but then when it comes down to it and I really reflect on what I do every single day, I remember that I am literally keeping myself alive and it's so crazy to think about it like that.

I don't feel angry when I think of it. I feel frustrated but I don't feel anger towards Type One as such. Sure it's a relentless disease to deal with and requires constant attention 24/7 without fail; but if I was angry at Type One it would mean that it has never brought about anything positive in my life which it has. For example, going to Parliament with JDRF and Diabetes UK, my blog, meeting all the wonderful people on Twitter, meeting my diabetic best-friend Paris, being a part of Type One Teens on Facebook...all those positive things have come about as a result of Type One and as much as I don't want to be diabetic; I can not deny that it hasn't impacted me positively too. There are also (obviously) the negatives to a life with Type One and there are a lot...needles, high and low blood sugar, complications, carbohydrate counting; to name a few. I get frustrated when my blood sugars don't work out the way I want them to and I don't like it when I can't find the carbohydrate content in a piece of food, and I struggle, I struggle a lot with type one diabetes and there is no denying that either because it's the reality of a life with this disease.

Type One Diabetes has made me a stronger person, but it is the only reason that I have to fight to live every single day. If it wasn't for type one; I wouldn't depend on an insulin pump.

Do you know what else I think about Type One? Actually; it's what I know...

That this disease is not all of my life; of course it makes up a large majority of my life and has probably contributed to shaping me as a person over the last five years; but that isn't to say that the person I was before diabetes isn't the person I am now. Because I am still the same person; just a bit tougher; because after just eleven years of a care-free childhood I was diagnosed. But then there is the side of me that isn't diabetes; it is the part of me that type one will never touch; Type one diabetes doesn't affect the unconditional love I have for my parents and my family, nor does it tarnish my ability to be a good friend. It won't change my favourite colours or my favourite food and it doesn't change the fact that I like cats or like drinking milk. It doesn't choose my hobbies, it doesn't choose the things I like and the things I don't like...type one isn't the reason that I think insects are disgusting and that clowns are actually pretty scary. It hasn't changed my opinion that the sky is very beautiful, especially during sunset and sunrise. Type one didn't define the type of music I like and nor has it defined my personality. I am me. I am Ellie.

I'm not Ellie the type one diabetic. Yes, I am type one diabetic but I am not THE diabetic. Sure, I have it, I live with it; it's a part of my life but it's not all of it. I think it's really important for people to remember that; sometimes when diabetes is giving us a rough time it's easy to dwell on the seemingly overly negative aspect of life that is type one diabetes. So if you remember who you are, the strong person who lives with type one but isn't controlled by type one, then you know you can do it; remember you are strong because of what you deal with everyday. It lessens the sense of feeling overwhelmed by diabetes. Of course it can feel like it controls you because it requires a lot of attention and courage and patience; but it's better to not let diabetes become such a huge mental monster.

It sucks, a lot- but you know what I think about Type One? That it will never control me and won't stop me, being me.

-Ellie

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