You know - I joined these forums after a friend of mine in a Type 1 support group told me about them. Its been nice to help others and also been nice to hear and share experiences with other Type 1s.
I see a lot of posts about people having problems, people having a hard time coping, and people just venting in general. I appreciate that.
However, on a flip side, I don't see a lot of posts about people's GOOD experiences with Type 1 diabetes. So, I thought I'd share mine.
I was diagnosed as a Type 1 in February 2007. I was engaged to be married, and had never had really a days illness in my life. An avid sportswoman, once upon a time, I had always been active. I got DKA because I didn't recognize the symptoms (even though my Dad is a Type 1 as well). I got DKA so bad that I was barely alive when I was admitted to the hospital.
Now, a little background - I lived in Europe from 1996 to 2002 and had moved back to the US to take care of a grandmother. I had gotten lazy, ballooned in weight, and met a guy (my then fiance) who didn't really live a healthy life. So, when I got diabetes, I was pretty unhappy, overweight, and wasn't doing anything but playing video games and working.
So, DKA and Type 1 was a galvanising moment for me. That first night in the hospital when I was lying there hearing the faint beep of my heart monitor and all the machines, I made a bucket list. Within 2 weeks of getting out of the hospital, I started changing my life. I started working out, doing more things I enjoyed and broke up with the guy that had been so bad for me. I started doing something that terrified me every day, and I still do.
Has diabetes made my life more difficult? Sure. I have to pack a glucometer everywhere I go, and supplies. That's a pain. But it also brought me a ton of new friends, new life experiences, and made me aware every day that I'm lucky to be alive. I've taken more time to turn off the computer, and instead walk my dogs or go downtown and people watch. I switched jobs to something I enjoy more.
Diabetes is the best thing that ever happened to me. I probably would not be here today if I hadn't have gotten it.
I think we all lose sight of how in the face of adversity, we find our true selves.
So - with that being said - what is one good thing you have in YOUR life because of diabetes? I think it would be good to hear more happy stories to help people dealing with kids, adolescents and young adults to have something to look forward to.