Disclosing Your Diabetes: Promoting Awareness
I just got a blog post published on the OmniPod website!! Check it out here: http://suited.myomnipod.com/calla/disclosing-diabetes-promoting-awareness/
Before I actually get into the post, I just want to say something else. Last weekend at the JDRF walk in Buffalo, I met a 17-year-old girl who was hiding her diabetes. She was afraid to tell her friends. She didn’t want her high school friends to think she was weird. I knew I needed to speak to her. I knew I needed to help her open her eyes.
Having diabetes has been an “awful gift” to me— “awful” in the sense that I have to deal with it every hour of every day, but a “gift” because I can promote awareness and help others who are scared. I like having little kids who are newly diagnosed look up to me. I like to share my experiences and my omnipod stories with those who’s shoes I have been in. Teenage years suck!! Hormones suck!! Trust me, I know. Been there, done that, but trust me, it does get easier.
So here’s my post on the Suite D (OmniPod) Blog:
As a type 1 diabetic, I find it very hard to actually “hide” my diabetes. I also don’t understand exactly why anyone would try to hide it. Type 1 diabetes is a big part of my life, and it has just become another factor and a big part of the real “me.”
I have met a great number of people because of diabetes. I have also volunteered to advocate for diabetes, created my team Calla’s Crusaders to raise money and show support for JDRF and become a big part of my community because I am a type 1 diabetic. Talking about my life as a diabetic makes me feel important, makes me feel like I am an expert in dealing with diabetes. It also makes others understand exactly how difficult it is to deal with the ups and downs I deal with on a daily basis.
Earlier this week, I went to my endocrinologist. I had had a bad week of high blood sugars, so he wanted me to write down all my numbers to see if there was any sort of patterns. Being the bad diabetic that I am, I started my log, but forgot to finish it before going to the doctor. While sitting in the waiting room, I continued to add my blood sugars to my log. An older lady beside me said “that looks awfully familiar,” speaking of my meter. She had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about two months ago and began to ask me questions. “What’s your diet like?” “What do you eat for breakfast?” “Why do you have such a big meter?” “How much insulin do you take?” “How many times a day do you give yourself shots?” Of course to me, these are all very normal questions, and I was happy to explain and continue the conversation.
I explained to her that I no longer take shots. “I am on the OmniPod insulin pump, and my meter wirelessly works with my pump to constantly give me insulin.” I pulled up my sleeve to show her my pod on my arm. She was very intrigued. She immediately understood how hard it was for me to deal with my type 1 diabetes, and how different her type 2 was from my type 1.
I think it is important to be an advocate for type 1 diabetes, and show off all my medical devices that research has helped to develop to help those coping with diabetes. Devices such as the OmniPod insulin pump and the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM) have helped me significantly to improve my control over my diabetes. Diabetes is something I cannot always control, but I try my best to live life as normally as I can, and help others to also understand the difficulties I feel on a day-to-day basis.