Bring me your diabetes happies, your small victories, your moments of joy! What does diabetes bring to your life that doesn’t suck?
You know what doesn’t suck? Being tuned into my body. I pay close attention to my physical and mental health because diabetes forces me to, but I consider that a good thing. I see my healthcare team often. I have become increasingly less reluctant to share where I struggle in pursuit of better health. My body has needs and because of diabetes, I’m always listening.
And also on the doesn’t suck list? The feedback loop of diabetes. Sure, a lot of the time the results I’m seeing on my meter or CGM aren’t what I’m hoping for, but the feedback loop can be powerfully productive at times. Like when I only have 20 minutes to cram in a quick cardio workout. Was it worth it? Will I see benefits? Those are questions that people without diabetes might ask themselves, but I can see the downward slopping arrow on my CGM as proof that exercise makes a positive difference. I know, thanks to the data, that even the short stints are worth it.
You know what else doesn’t suck? Having an excuse for fruit snacks in my purse that can’t be argued against. What, you’re not deep into your 30’s with a pack of bedragged Annie’s fruit snack bunnies snuggled up against the pocket of your favorite purse?
You know what doesn’t suck? Passing along cyborg tips on the fly. Yesterday at the gym: “What’s that on your arm?” “This is an insulin pump infusion set – it connects to my insulin pump. I do this instead of taking shots.” “Oh yeah? No more shots?” “Nope. I have a steady stream of the good stuff going in all day long.” The guy smiled. “I have to tell my aunt about that. She’s still taking a bunch of shots.”
You know what else doesn’t suck? Instant buddies. Like the time at the airport when I had my pump clipped to my boot, the tubing snaking down my leg all casual. I ended up in a really nice conversation with this dad of a girl with type 1 diabetes. Or the lifeguard that other time. Or all those times I’ve met a PWD or the loved one of a PWD in the wild, and how instant and intense that connection is.
What else doesn’t suck? That feeling when people get all squirrelly talking about having to get a flu shot and you go all badass and give yourself an injection while they’re shaking in their insulin-making boots.
You know what else doesn’t suck? The diabetes community. So much inspiration and power, so many incredible stories of people continuing to kick ass despite a lazy pancreas. Friends have become extended family, and even though we can’t make insulin, we can still make a difference and make an amazing life for ourselves.