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My Doctor Was Convinced I Had An Eating Disorder–Then I Got This Diagnosis

The hardest thing about living with diabetes is there’s simply no escape. It has the tendency to pop up at the most inconvenient times, like when I’m about to go on a walk and my blood sugar decides to drop, leaving me stuck at the house until it rebalances. Or when I’m heading to dinner and my blood sugar spikes so high that I can’t eat anything.

Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 illness, 365 days a year, and you always have to be thinking about your blood sugar levels, carb counting, and insulin. There is nothing you did to cause it, and there is no cure to the disease. Some days can be great, with stellar blood sugar levels all day and no issues, but some days you just want to give up and take a time out, which simply isn’t possible.

Many type 1 diabetics struggle at some point in their life with diabetes burnout, where the physical and psychological toll of the condition becomes too frustrating, leading them to give up and let their numbers run high. While friends, family and healthcare professionals are all great resources, no one will really understand the everyday struggle of diabetes without experiencing it firsthand.

One of the most helpful pieces I can offer to anyone with type 1 diabetes is to seek out support, and be willing to accept help when you need it. If I’m lying in bed with low blood sugar, too faint to get up, I’ve realized how much simpler it is to text someone who’s home and ask for a juice box, rather than fighting to get up myself. Educate your friends and family about what exactly they can do to support you!

Diabetes has taught me so much, and truly shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve learned to not only accept it, but embrace it as a part of who I am. Since my diagnosis, I’ve learned resilience in tough times, patience, acceptance of the good with the bad, and the importance of surrounding myself with an amazing support system. While I would give anything to have my condition go away–even if just for a day–I’m still hopeful for the future of technology, and will continue making do with the resources I have.

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