I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a good support network for those of us with T1D. Whether it’s your family, friends, or a T1D support group, it is key to keeping your blood sugar and your health in check, but accepting your new self is half the battle.
T1D is a marathon, and it will always be in your life. With every life decision you make, whether it’s what you should eat for dinner, to go for a run, or even have children, T1D will be there every step of the way. This realization can be a little overwhelming and scary. Having a disease that is incurable can be unfathomable and denial can lead to poor diabetes management.
I will admit, this was the hardest step for me. I was certainly in denial. For a while, I thought surely the doctor made some sort of mistake. I just knew if I ate a little healthier, and if I cut down on the sweets this whole nightmare would just go away right? Nope.
It was about a good three months or so before things started to sink in, but I will say, once I started to accept what was happening to me, I started to gain control back over my life. It was true, life could go on! I could still eat sweets, I could still go to lunch with my friends, and I could still live my life, just now with a few alterations.
Coming to realization with myself and my diabetes with all its unexpected quirks made a world of difference in my health and my outlook on life. It allowed me to really start educating myself, maintaining my blood sugar levels, and start the process of telling my friends and family to create a strong support network.
This can sometimes be the scariest step of all, because with this comes questions and even sometimes judgment.
I do have to admit, I had a little different experience in this matter because my sister-in-law had to drive me to the doctor and my parents and grandparents stayed with me in the hospital, but I got the questions like we all do; “How did you get it?”; “Is it curable?”; “Will you have it forever?”; and “What happens now?”.
It is important to keep in mind through all of this, you are making significant strides to maintaining a healthy control over your diabetes. Communication and education are key when it comes to having a good support system because we all need someone to lean on. We are all human after all.
I am really blessed to have an amazing support system including my husband, my parents and grandparents, and my brother and sister-in-law, along with some close and dear friends.
Through their encouraging words, love, support, and acceptance, I have been able to really come to grips with this disease and not let it bring me down. Sure, I still have my moments where all I want to do is curl up in bed and hide from the world, but who doesn’t?
This disease can be trying and even scary at times. So, stand tall all my T1D friends, accept your new self, and always remember to lean on your support system.