One of my main philosophies in life is to start each new thing on a good note, whether it is a new school, new job, meeting new people or anything else new for that matter. That is why, today, I am going to talk about some of the main 'pros' of having type 1 diabetes. Sure! - diabetes can be a complete pain in the backside, but during the last 14 years I have found that for all of its down-sides diabetes can occasionally give us something to smile about.
- 25% extra time for GCSE, A Level and H.E examinations - Definitely proven to be very useful for me so far!
- Straight to the front of the queue - I remember a particular occasion when I was about 7 years old, on a day-trip to Madame Tussauds in London, where my dad saw the massively looooonnnnggggg queue and decided that a 2 hour wait may have been just too long for me to endure without eating. Because of this, my dad went straight to the front of the queue and told the people at the ticket booth about our situation. They let us straight in! Smiles all round :) You may apply this advantage of diabetes to any other circumstance under which you have to queue (dinner queues, queues for rides at theme parks etc.)
- Looking and feeling good - Of course these come only with good control, but sometimes diabetes encourages us to look after ourselves better and respect our bodies in a way that many other people don't. When I was younger, family members and parents of friends would say to me "At least you'll always have good teeth because you don't eat all the sweets and chocolate that other children do!" and "You'll never get fat because you have to watch what you eat". At the time that these things were being said to me, I remember feeling resentment over the fact that I had diabetes and they didn't, in a sort of "don't try and make me feel better about this horrible thing that you don't have to live with" manner. However, now I come to think of it, it's true! Pay attention to your diabetes and your body and you're one step closer to looking like a supermodel (or so I like to tell myself - haha!)
- When things go bad...have a chocolate bar! - Ok, so it's really bad to go low (hypoglycemic) and you should ALWAYS try to keep your blood sugar levels in the 5.0-8.5 range. However, sometimes we have days where Diabetic Road is a little rocky and we go low (maybe not enough food, too much exercise for the amount we have eaten, too much insulin etc.) So...WE'RE ALLOWED SOME CHOCOLATE/SWEETS/WHATEVER SUGARY DELIGHT THAT IS CLOSEST TO HAND! Come on, what other medical health condition has a treatment of chocolate when things take a turn for the worse?
- A check-up at the hospital - I know it sounds strange, and under most circumstances I hateeeee hospitals, but sometimes I actually enjoy going for my check-ups. When I know that I have been checking my levels on a regular basis and they've been good (so my hba1c should be spot-on) and they're all written out to show the doctor and I'm feeling organised...I really don't mind it! Plus, I like my diabetic nurse and the other staff in the outpatients clinic so it's nice to see them. I also enjoy going to the hospital cafeteria and grabbing myself a Diet Coke and sandwich afterwards as a treat - ha!
- The people you meet - During my diabetic life, I have met several diabetic people at the hospital, on a diabetic holiday, at school, through friends, but most often by chance. When I do, I always feel a complete sense of relief and unity; knowing that there are people out there who live their lives similarly to how I live mine. People who know the routine that having diabetes involves, who prick their fingers and inject insulin, who know how it feels to go hi or low.
If you're diabetic yourself, or a parent of a diabetic child or you just know someone who has diabetes, then I'd love to hear from you too! So, there's my first post. Time to check sugar levels... x