In honor of National Diabetes Month, I want to write about my life as a Type 1 Diabetic.
My seven-year diabetic anniversary, or diaversary, is fast approaching. Being a diabetic is a daily battle of ups and downs. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects the insulin production in the pancreas. Which means that my body doesn't produce insulin and I must manually inject it by syringe or by something called an insulin pump. Without this daily injection, my blood sugar will continue to rise, with the digested glucose having nowhere to be absorbed.
Since my diagnosis in 2011, I have had to deal with daily finger pokes, multiple insulin injections, and the mental struggles of having to deal with extreme highs and lows.
Diabetes is an invisible disease, there is no physical evidence that anything is wrong, which can be emotionally draining.
Without the support of my family and friends, I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today. The amount of support it takes to be able to walk around every day, with a disease that's invisible to the majority of the world, is tremendous. Every day I wake up and hope that today is going to be a good day, but I have no earthly idea what my day will actually be like.
Even though we are told that we can eat whatever we want, just as long as we give the insulin for it but it's not that easy. I am slowly beginning to learn that eating clean makes my numbers so much better. Being in college makes having a disease like this so much harder. You want to be able to get pizza at 11:00 while you're studying, or sleeping until 2:00 on Saturdays, but diabetes makes that almost impossible. I spend night after night, being woken up by blaring alarms telling me my blood sugar is high and I need to give a correction dose of insulin, or that I am too low and I need to get up and find some juice or fruit snacks.
There are many times that I wish I didn't have this disease and that I was normal, but I'm so glad that it's me and not someone else. Having diabetes has helped shape me into the woman I am today and for that, I'm forever thankful.
If I hadn't grown up with this disease I wouldn't have learned how not to let difficult things stop me from achieving my dreams.
In the last 7 years, I have successfully continued to show horses competing at the state and national levels and now at the collegiate level. I will not let diabetes run my life or stop me from my passion.