Let me start with a little bit of backstory.
I was diagnosed at age 23, back in 2016, after a vacation in Naples. It started with symptoms like being thirsty all the time. And when I say all the time I mean ALL the time. I literally drank a liter of water at once. And related on being thirsty.. I also had to pee every 15 minutes. So when I returned from my vacation I decided to go to the doctor. She tested my glucose levels and it was a shocking 33 (normally this should be between 4 and 8). So I knew this was pretty bad news. I had to go to the hospital immediately with a packed bag since it was 100% certain I had to stay in the hospital for at least a couple of days. The next days were about bringing my levels back to normal, learning how to inject myself with insulin daily, how to measure my glucose levels and counting carbs & converting them into units of insulin that my body needs. At that point everything was really overwhelming.
From that moment on my life changed completely. Where I had lived a (mostly) care-free life before, I now had the feeling that I was constantly trying to keep myself alive. For everything that I ate I had this alarm in my head that says how much carbs are in this thing? How high is your glucose now? Are you going to work out later? Is it hot or cold today? As you can imagine my brain was on alert at all times.
At first it was more about the physical change and that I had to inject and count carbs etc. But I feel not many people talk about the mental part of the whole diabetes thing. For me personally it was really hard to accept the fact that my body let me down and I really started to struggle with trusting my body again. Also the fact that now I was chronically ill was an absolute slap in the face. I was not Isabelle anymore, I was a patient. Never had I gone to hospitals before and even the doctor I didn’t visit that often. Fortunately I had always been really healthy. To be completely honest with you I think the mental acceptance was the biggest bridge I had to cross. Because sometimes you wish you could take a vacation from this fulltime job in your head, but unfortunately that is not an option. You have to keep going at all times.
But after a while I began to accept the new me and everything got a little easier. I learned to trust my body again and mentally I became a lot stronger. Over time I felt it was time for me to change to an Insulin pump instead of injecting myself at least 5 or 6 times a day. The insulin pump is on my body 3 days in a row and with a couple of clicks on my remote it injects insulin in my body. After the 3 days I prepare a new one and put it on a different place. This helps me to not feel like a patient all the time because people don’t notice when I give myself Insulin. On top of that I have a sensor on my arm that I change every 2 weeks so I can measure my glucose levels with an app on my phone (before this I had to test this every 2 hours with a drop of blood).
At this point in my life I made my peace with diabetes. It has become a part of me. But at the same time I’m not letting it take over my entire life. I am so much more than Diabetes. Sure I have my off-days where I can get mad or sad, but that’s a part of life.
After reading this I hope you can understand Diabetes a bit more or if you are reading this and have Diabetes: I hope you can relate and know that you are not alone!
If you have questions or experienced something similar, Hit me up in the comments 🙂
I love you all.