Diabetes Awareness Month: 8,200 Pricks

I’m wearing blue today, as I do many Fridays during the year. People must really think that I like the color blue. While I do like blue, the color means a bit more to me.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month… it’s a global awareness month. November isn’t really a month for people with diabetes, because we’re well aware of the realities of this disease each and every day.

November is for you, dear friend without diabetes. It’s a month specially set aside for you to be aware of diabetes. To learn about the realities people like me face every day. To learn the truths about the different types of diabetes. To change your mind, your language and your attitude about the word “diabetes.”

The two most prominent diabetes organizations are working hard this month to help spread awareness and enable advocates.

T1D Looks Like Me Continue reading

Serious Business

“I never realized your diagnosis was so dramatic.”

“It didn’t really hit me how sick you were until I saw you at your dad’s funeral. You looked so small.”

My offline friends have said those things to me when they realized how serious diabetes is.

When I say that in August of 2011 I nearly died, I’m being 100% serious.

My immune system attacked my pancreas and I basically experienced organ failure. The best part is… the symptoms were all there and we didn’t catch them. My doctor didn’t catch them! She’d already called in a prescription for nausea medication to the pharmacy while waiting on the results of the pregnancy test that ultimately saved my life.

When those test results came back and Dr. P walked back into the room with her face very serious and sat down next to me on the exam table, I knew something was wrong, but not how wrong. Before anything else she wanted to know if I was there alone. I wasn’t. They sent a nurse to the waiting room to get my mother-in-law, who also knew that there was something seriously wrong. When she and I were talking about it recently she said to me, “I’m surprised they even let me drive you to the hospital instead of sending you in an ambulance.”

I was hospitalized for three days, I was hooked up to monitors, tubes and tested regularly. But when people hear I was diagnosed with diabetes, they didn’t (and still don’t) realize how serious it was.

I’m lucky that I was diagnosed. I’m blessed to have a husband who made me call the doctor instead of letting me sleep. I’m grateful to be alive.

Diabetes is serious. Sometimes I joke about it or I try to make living with diabetes look easy, but I work harder to stay healthy while living with type 1 than I work on anything else in my life. Diabetes doesn’t give vacation time. Continue reading