I was scrolling through Facebook, and saw a post from Beyond Type 1. It said, “10 Reasons I’m Grateful For Type 1.” If you want to read the article, you can do so here. I decided to keep an open mind as I read the article. After I read it, I just couldn’t relate to it at ALL! I have had Type 1 Diabetes for almost 21 years, and not once have I ever felt grateful for this disease. Diabetes causes too many issues and hardships in my life for me to feel grateful for it. BUT, I have to say…while I am not grateful for Type 1, it has taught me a lot of valuable lessons in life.
1.) I’m very organized and I plan for everything!
I have always been a very organized person. In my household, I am in charge of the bills/finances. I am a list QUEEN. Anyone who knows me can attest to that! I have about 3 planners that I write in to keep track of everything. That includes all things Diabetes. Every time I make changes to my insulin, I write it down. If I see a trend in my blood sugar, I write it down. If I think of a question to ask my doctor as my next appointment…it gets written down. You get the picture.
I like to plan out things before they happen. You kind of have to do this with Diabetes anyway. When you plan something, you have to think of certain scenarios in your head. For example, if I go to an amusement park, what will I pack for lows? Where will I put my extra supplies? What will I carry with me? Diabetes makes you plan, plan, plan! If you don’t, you could end up stuck in a bad situation.
2.) Diabetes taught me to love science/medicine
After being diagnosed with Diabetes, I wanted to have nothing to do with it. But, as I got older, I wanted to learn as much as I could about it. I researched everything I could about Type 1 Diabetes, and I learned so much! I try to stay on top of the latest Type 1 research, and things going on in the Type 1 community.
In high school, I loved everything science related. I just so happened to be good at it too! In college, I majored in Biology, and that’s what I got my degree in. I am very interested in diseases in general; what causes them, treatments, etc. I definitely feel like having Type 1 contributed to me loving science in a big way!
3.) I am very good with money
Like I said, I am in charge of all the finances in my household (my husband has a lot of strong points, but paying bills isn’t one of them! Ha!)
There have been times in my life where I had very little money, and I had a hard time being able to afford my insulin/diabetes supplies. It was a very scary time. I had crappy health insurance back then, and I had to pay a huge chunk of money for my insulin. I maxed out my credit card. It was bad. At the time, I had no other choice. Sadly, that credit card still isn’t paid off!
Diabetes is an extremely expensive disease. You have to know how to budget money, to make sure you can afford everything. This isn’t always an easy thing, especially if money is tight. I have been there too many times to count. But, because of this, I have always been very good with money. While I would love to go shopping and buy new clothes or whatever else I want at the time, I usually don’t. I need to make sure I have a savings in case something happens.
4.) I have a high pain tolerance
Now, I’m sure not everyone with Type 1 has a high pain tolerance, but I feel like most probably do! We get jabbed and stabbed on a constant basis. After a while, you just get used to it. It doesn’t mean that needles don’t hurt, they just don’t phase me anymore.
Even when I’m sick, I usually don’t complain or whine about it. I just deal with it!
5.) I don’t sweat the small stuff
Diabetes can be pretty scary. It can cause a lot of complications if you don’t take care of yourself. Even if you do everything you can to be healthy, sometimes things just happen. I try not to think about this too much, but it’s easier said than done. When you are faced with something that serious, a lot of other things just don’t seem like that big of a deal. I try to keep things in perspective, and not get too worked up about small things.
6.) I appreciate my good health, and I work harder than everyone I know to be/stay healthy
One good thing about going to the doctor so often, is that I always know what’s going on inside my body. I have blood work done 3-4 times per year. Chances are, if something is going on, I would know about it. I know if there is something I need to work on, or improve. For example, at the beginning of the year, my Endo tested my Vitamin D levels and they were really low. I started supplementing with Vitamin D, and I was able to raise my levels to a great number! Some of my family members haven’t had blood work done in YEARS! Come on…
Diabetes forces you to take care of yourself. It forces you to eat healthy, and make good choices. I do not take my good health for granted. I know at any time, it could be taken away. So, I do everything I can do be healthy. That includes eating healthy and exercising.
7.) I am a strong person
Diabetics put up with a lot of crap! There is no doubt about that. It can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining. But, when you get knocked down, you get right back up. Then, you do it all again the next day.
Diabetes has made me strong. Life has thrown me quite a few roadblocks, and I’m still standing.
I have always been a very motivated person, especially when I don’t know the answer to something. I usually don’t stop until I find it. I’m like this with everything, including Type 1 Diabetes.
9.) Diabetes teaches me to appreciate my family, especially the older I get
The older I get, I can appreciate everything my parents have done for me when I was young. It has to be extremely difficult to have a child with Type 1. I can’t even imagine what they went through. Now that I have a child of my own, I can’t even imagine going through that, and I hope I never do! I owe them so much, and I don’t know what I would do without them!
Diabetes makes me REALLY appreciate my husband. He has helped me through more lows than I can count, and he’s always there in case I need anything. He is my rock.
10.) To never give up. EVER.
Enough said! 😉