Ever wonder what it would be like to wake up one day in your 20s and find yourself with a brand new diagnosis of type 1 diabetes? Welcome to my world.
I’ve always been a healthy eater, preferring spinach to potato chips. But now that the endocrinologists and nutritionists are telling me that I have to count my carbs (or, more accurately, make every carb count), I find myself craving the S’mores Pop-Tarts that I loved as a kid and gazing longingly down the soda aisle at the grocery store. No, I don’t really want three bowls of Lucky Charms in the morning, but I want the option of those three bowls. It’s funny what happens when you tell the brain “no.” I can’t last an hour without being reminded of something that I can no longer have — popcorn and Dots at the movies, a body free of needle marks, a night on the town with nothing to carry but a tiny clutch, a vacation without refrigeration. Since my diagnosis, there has been much crying and much self-pity.
But I’ve decided to stop crying and start sharing.
Maybe you wonder how diabetes feels because you’ve got a loved one or a friend with the disease. After all, it’s not healthy for us sick ones to dwell on what we’ve lost, and no one wants to be that girl who always complains about her health. Maybe you’re diabetic, too, and you’ll take comfort in the familiarity of my observations. Maybe you’re a health care professional who realizes that patient care in diabetes is about more than just blood sugar and A1c. Or maybe you’re just curious about the lesser-known cousin of the disease that is ravaging the industrialized world.
Whatever brought you here, read on for a chronicle of the small moments that separate my life then from my life now.