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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Diabetes Blog Week Day 4 - Accomplishments Big & Small

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).

Accomplishments. The whole last year of my life has been one giant accomplishment. Learning to take shots, hating them. Pushing hard for the pump and getting it just a few short months after diagnosis. Finger-pricking. Finger-pricking by my own choice many many times a day (Seriously, who does that?). Getting a recent HbA1c of 6.0%. Learning all the secrets of my body, that only diabetes could show me.

But my greatest accomplishment? After mourning for the loss of my 'normal' life, was to realise that I still had a life, and more importantly a future. This took awhile. When I was fist diagnosed, in those first few hours when I was sitting alone in a tiny room in ED, I wasn't at all ready to face up to this being for life. First up I hoped against hope that I was pregnant, and that my diabetes was just the worst case of early onset gestational diabetes ever. I even convinced my boss' registrar (did I mention my boss also works at the hospital I went to when diagnosed?), who she had follow me around like a puppy, to do a pregnancy test. It was unsurprisingly, negative. Which was a relief, because children are also, apparantly, for life.

I left hospital and wished for days, weeks even, that it was all a bad dream. I ignored the 'for-the-rest-of-my-life' aspect. I still do for the most part. After eventually accepting I had diabetes (although I maintain not for life) I found that I had 'shut off' from my future. Before my diagnoses I loved to imagine what sort of career I might have, what my kids would be like, where I would send them to school, where I would travel and when I'd get married. I imagined a life on a property, in the middle of nowhere.

When I got diabetes I stopped thinking of the future. I felt like there was nothing in my future any more - those kids names I had picked out were gone. Distant dreams that I felt were no longer attainable. It took me awhile to realise I could still do and have everything that I wanted. Many many months to realise this. But I did. I'm happy to report that I now see a future again. I try as hard as I can to maintain that vision.

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