Woohoo! It’s here! Diabetes Blog Week!
For the next 5 days I’ll be writing on a specific topic along with other diabetes bloggers, sharing how I navigate the world of diabetes. Below is the first topic and my corresponding thoughts.
Tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your life that you never could have expected?
The nervous system is a delicate thing, tiny fibers that crisscross the body and send signals from your brain to different key areas, telling it to move, breath, digest, feel etc. For some reason nine years ago, mine started to go haywire. Being a long time yogi I consulted my yoga books to see what the problem might be. After months of research, I reached my conclusion.
I was in the middle of a spiritual crisis.
Thinking that I was on the fast track to enlightenment wasn’t necessarily the best approach. For starters, it kept me from questioning my physical symptoms or seeking medical answers. If I had known that diabetes isn’t something you get from poor diet and lifestyle, or that it doesn’t just affect children, I would have dug deeper.
Back then there wasn’t much awareness about the signs and symptoms of diabetes. Even now when I tell people I have Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults ( LADA) they scratch their heads and look at me funny.
Finding out that there was a reason for the strange jittery sensations, erratic digestion, food sensitivities, a constant sugary taste on my tongue and the feelings of exhaustion was a total relief. It’s not that I was happy to have diabetes, it’s just that my search for answers caused so much internal havoc, that having an actual diagnosis released the pressure valve.
I cried a lot those first few weeks after diagnosis. It felt so good to let go.
It’s been quite a journey since then and aside from those initial feelings of relief, I spent years trying everything I could to conquer the beast. What I’ve learned though is that you can’t ‘conquer’ diabetes. It’s not a country you can invade and call home.
Am I the proud owner of a life with diabetes? hmmm….it’s hard to put that answer into words…
What I can say is that diabetes has changed me for the better. It’s made me raw, honest and put my feet on the ground. It’s also motivated me to open up and share through my writing more about what it means to live with chronic illness and spread awareness about the disease.
Diabetes has also inspired me to be deeply grateful. I used to take life for granted. I’d wake up every morning, dive into the day and never stop and think. Wow! I’m alive.
Now, I make a concerted effort to stop, look around me, drink in the beauty of this life and remember…
Life is precious. It’s not a given.
With great respect…Rachel