People have an aversion to labels, especially when it comes to diseases. “I’m not defined by [insert various chronic conditions here].” We fight tooth and nail against defining ourselves by something that means our bodies have broken down in some way. We have this idea that normal people are the epitome and if we happen to not be “normal” we battle to prove to everyone (and ourselves) that we are, in fact, normal too. It’s exhausting. It’s hard. And most of the time, it doesn’t work. Sure, we can battle back from cancer to run the marathon. Or overcome blindness to climb the highest mountain in the world, but we are still who we are. We still have cancer, celiac, epilepsy, blindness, allergies, etc.
I still have diabetes.
Maybe, instead of struggling so hard to distance ourselves from the stereotype, we need to change the stereotype. Nobody’s normal. Nobody. We are who we are. Broken parts and all. We shouldn’t allow our perception of the stereotype determine what we do and the decisions we make. But we need to be smart. Know who we are, our limitations, and have a realistic view of the challenges we face when dealing with our normal.
I am a Type 1 diabetic.
I am an EMT Basic.
Those two can work. They are both a part of who I am, integral parts of who I am. But I am not naïve regarding the issues with those two parts. The better I take care of myself, including my diabetes, the better EMT I can be, for my patients, and for my partners. I can’t run from my diabetes, from who I am. I need to step into that struggle.
Welcome to my blog! I hope to share my thoughts, ideas, struggles, and triumphs with you in order to encourage, educate, and help you understand more of what I do and who we (Type 1 diabetics) are. Enjoy!