This may seem like an odd thing to think about, but when it comes down to it, living with type 1 diabetes it both a mental and physical marathon. You wake up each morning, sometimes having spent the night getting up and out of bed to use the bathroom, or having to treat lows, or maybe you had a great night sleep with zero disturbances and you wonder what life would be like if diabetes was not in your life.
While I don't think it's healthy to spend too much time wondering 'what if' I think there are moments for all of us where we think about what diabetes has added to our lives. As much as we don't wish to have diabetes, for some of us we have found friendships or experiences that we other wise may not have ever come across. I pull from those 'additions' when I struggle to accept that cards I've been dealt. The times that I have had to leave a party because my site ripped out, or had to embarrassingly ask for a glass of juice from someone I had just met.
Then there are the 'subtractions' and for me those aren't the ripped sites, or time spent checking my blood sugar, but the future what ifs that linger across my mind every now and then. Sometimes, those things I thought would be subtractions turn out to be okay and I am reminded that living life alongside diabetes is not a marker for disappointment. I can achieve my goals similar to my non-diabetic peers. It is my hopes that the subtractions stay distant, and are dissolved by the time they arrive. I am not naive to think I will never be let down because of my diabetes; however, I am confident that with the additions, I can stay encouraged and push forward.
For all those that have walked before me with type 1 diabetes, and have documented their additions and subtractions, I thank you. It is not easy to share our lives so openly and courageously, but in doing so, it gives those who follow your footsteps a string to hold onto.