Guest Post: Jumping Right In!
Holly is a sweetheart who is jumping into the diabetes blogosphere with her blog, Arnold and Me. She says that she used to have a lot of conflicting emotions about diabetes, but she's no longer ashamed. Check out her post below and then be sure to skip on over to her blog and welcome her to the crew!!
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Hello, my name is Holly! I am 25-years-old and I’m from Alabama. I am married to the most wonderful, patient man I’ve ever known, Trey. I am the pet momma to two cats (Charlie & Elvis) and one dog (Roscoe). I love SEC football. I work as an environmental engineer for NASA. And I love the weather, especially thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
Oh yeah, and I have diabetes.
On December 11, 2006, I woke up in my local hospital’s intensive care unit after experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis. My blood sugar was over 1400 at the time of my hospitalization. That afternoon, I met my endocrinologist. He told me that I was type 1 diabetic but it wasn’t my fault and I had done nothing wrong. So, two weeks after my 22nd birthday, my life changed.
For the first three years after my diagnosis, I was ashamed that I was diabetic. I avoided testing in front of people, especially friends and family. I would test and dose in restroom stalls when I was out in public. I would always wear my pump inside a pocket or somewhere discreet. Regardless of what my endocrinologist told me, I somehow felt this “thing” was my fault and I wanted to hide it.
But now, I want to start a diabetes blog. What changed? Am I more open to this “thing?” Am I less shy and private about it? Hardly! Then, why start a blog about one of the most personal areas of my life?
For starters, I am no longer ashamed to have diabetes. I understand this was meant to be a part of my life and was written for me long before I was born. However, there are some aspects about living with a disease that can only be fulfilled by sharing it with others:
Accountability: I don’t know why, but my numbers are always better when I write them down. Regardless if I eat the same or work out the same, my diabetes is more in check when it’s logged. I guess it’s kind of like when a trainer tells you “think about the muscle you’re using.” When I think about my diabetes, the more in control it seems to be. I’m hoping that with displaying my numbers and habits for anyone to see, my conscious will nag me to take better care of myself.
Community: The first type 1 diabetic that I met in real life was April (fellow d-blogger, Nerdy April, and space nerd). We were working together at a summer camp for kids. It had been less than six months since my diagnosis, and I guess I was still in shock. When I told her I had just found out I was diabetic, she gave me a hug. A hug. From someone who understood. NO! She knew! That was my turning point, I wanted more of that. More people who felt the same way I did. More people with this “thing.”
Encouragement: Let’s face it, we all have our highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. And I’ll have my days where all I want to do is test on my middle finger and say, “F-U, diabetes!” But sometimes we have our little victories. Like finally getting a fasting BG below 130. Or bringing my A1c down by 0.5%. I want encouragement for all that and for when my husband and I want to have a baby (but not yet, Mom!). And encouragement for when I want to ask my doctor for a CGM—and fighting the insurance company afterwards.
For those of you who are experienced at this, what other reasons have you found a d-blog to be beneficial? I’d like to know what I’m getting myself into. =)
So, thanks to Kerri, for letting me make my first official d-blog post on SUM. You can check out my blog at Arnold and Me. I’ll start with the story of my diagnosis, which you can tell from my intro was very dramatic. Then, some more non-D things about me.
P.S. I’m also a huge Twilight nerd. Team Jacob!