It’s officially National Diabetes Awareness Month and for obvious reasons, November holds a very special place in my heart. As I have been getting more involved with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, I have been more exposed to the battles that children and their families face with managing this ongoing and serious battle. This post is dedicated to them.
I think the misperception of Type One Diabetes comes a lot from the fact that most people with the autoimmune disease look healthy. We really do. A lot of people in my life have no idea that I am diabetic as I am perceived to live a very “normal” life style, doing most things that the average person does. However, there’s always something on my mind – every minute, all day, every day. That’s blood sugar. Type One Diabetics get no days off, managing their current sugar readings with really everything that we do. It’s well-known that physical activity and food are main influences to blood sugar numbers; however, emotions play a part too. Am I stressed, tired, nervous? Constantly making sure my readings are the best possible is draining in itself, and there’s truly no other option here. One slip-up could be catastrophic – not to mention fatal – so these daily finger pricks and insulin injections have to carry on.
Another important detail of Type One is that there’s not a standard insulin “dosage” that works perfectly for everyone. Daily insulin injections are personalized to each individual and to what their body needs. And even then, some days are different and dosages have to be recalculated. This is probably one of the most frustrating parts.
For 6 years now, I have been actively managing my sugar levels to the best of my ability. Being diagnosed as a 23 year old young adult, I understand this disease and why it’s so important to continuously stay on top of my latest sugar readings. Children with Type One Diabetes do not have that advantage. As managing “highs” and “lows” still remains a challenge for me, I can only imagine what’s a kid with T1 Diabetes goes through every day when most of their peers are living life without this ongoing second “job.” For this reason, I dedicate November to all those kids. You’re truly unrecognized heroes and I truly commend you for continuing to fight this battle with me.
Together, I promise, we will find a cure and turn Type One into Type None.