I finally received my Lilly Diabetes 10 Year Award! It’s crazy to think that I was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago! My life has changed pretty substantially over those 10 years. I’ve moved to NYC and back. I’ve gotten married, bought a house and had a baby. Despite also having PCOS and Hashimotos, I’ve been able to successfully breastfeed Nova for almost a year now. And I’ve learned a lot about my life and what having a chronic illness means for me!
- I have so much more empathy for people who suffer from illnesses. I didn’t really understand how exhausting it can be and how hard it is to explain your exhaustion to other people… especially when the disease you have is not visible. The spoons theory is a GREAT tool for explaining chronic illnesses!
- Health insurance is a big deal. I’ve gotten involved more than I ever have before. This has included calling and writing to politicians and sharing my own story. Health insurance is not a privilege for the healthy and wealthy, it’s a right for everyone.
- I’ve learned about the PROS of diabetes; I take better care of my body, I’m MUCH more conscious about my food intake, I make sure I stay active, I listen to my body and its needs, I am much more forgiving of my body and myself, I appreciate my body more, and I am less concerned with how I look than before I was diagnosed. I used to so caught up with how other people saw me and thought about me. Now, I appreciate how hard my body works to keep me alive and it’s because of this beautiful, flawed body that I am able to participate in life. I may not weigh what I want or wear the size jeans I would prefer, but this life and this body is a gift and I will not spend one minute looking at myself as anything less than that!
- I accept help. I used to feel like I had to do everything myself and if I let people help me, I was showing weakness. I’ve learned that I am not an island and that it’s as much of a blessing to receive help as it is to give it. I have extraordinary people in my life that have been there for me on all levels; emotional, physical, spiritual. It’s because of them that my life is so full and wonderful. It’s because of this help I was able to have the all-natural birth I wanted and was able to keep my blood sugars under control while I was pregnant. It’s a beautiful thing to not have to go it alone!
- I am thankful. There isn’t enough room on this blog to list all the amazing things God has blessed me with. Top of that list is a supportive family, one who not only has had my back through the last 10-years but who has taken it upon themselves to learn about this disease so that they can better support me! My amazing friends who, as mentioned above, have been a huge lifeline with their help and emotional support over the years. My LIFE! I read two beautiful quotes earlier this year that reminds me of what pain in our life is really about. Both quotes are from The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher:
We still hadn’t learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you’re just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something. Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind-graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.
– Harry Dresden
Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don’t feel it.
– Harry Dresden
So, 10 years living with Diabetes. As difficult as it can be sometimes, I am so thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned through the difficulties and all the discoveries yet to come.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years!