For a long time as a diabetic my heart was to ignore it. I had fabulous control and never felt the need to engage in the disease outside my personal bubble of influence. Even hearing the words “support group” or “diabetic camp” made me cringe, because I was not one of “those” kids. I literally had no idea there were different ways of handling Type 1 Diabetes. What worked for me is what worked, and while I didn’t assume everyone did it the same way, I never cared to find out just how beautifully varied the disease could be and what I could learn from other T1Ds.
Being as I was avoiding associating with “those” people, of course, through life circumstances I came to personally know and love three other Type 1 Diabetics. These ladies inspired me to get outside my stifling bubble and explore the diabetic world beyond. And while I learned I do indeed have a unique way of handling my disease, I can also provide valuable insight and support to our community as a whole.
My story is unique, as is everyone elses’, and it is still being written. As an EMT starting out, there will be many challenges in becoming successful in my career and handling my diabetes along the way. But I love the fact that I will never be the EMT that accuses the parents as the child suffers a seizure, or assumes that the seventeen year boy who crashed his car into a tree after a low is drunk or high. I cringe when I hear those stories, but I know all I can do is affect my actions and spread awareness where I can.
The two things that will be my constant companions through this adventure are: my watch with a second hand, and my insulin pump. Two sides of a whole, my two lives that cannot be separated.