Thursday, June 14, 2018

FWD (Friends With Diabetes)

I have always been fascinated in the human story.  The unique lived experiences that we all have and create along the way.  The stories that shock us, make us cry or send us into deep belly laughs.  I love to hear stories of the past that would otherwise be forgotten or stories that we tell over and over again because they mean so much.  It's likely no surprise then that I enjoy blogging and documenting my personal stories along the way.   I often take time to think about where I once was in my diagnosis and where I find myself today.  
Dani & I (June 13th 2018)

I feel as though I have been lucky along my path with diabetes, I have always been greeted with support and not once felt alone in my diagnosis.  I always had someone to connect with whether that was in person or online.  I know not everyone has that privilege.  The biggest factor in keeping my chin above water, is the people that have come into my life as a result of living with diabetes.  They truly have become part of my life story in a way that is much larger than I would have ever imagined. 

Upon diagnosis, I met with Chloe, who was the first type 1 I had ever met.  I remember the exact feeling of sharing our stories - our life stories.  Hers, about her life with diabetes so far, while mine was just beginning.   I remember hearing what her symptoms pre-diabetes was and feeling so connected.  I get it, I was there too.  From there, I began to meet more type 1s through Connected in Motion and my clinic.  I met up with someone I had gone to elementary school with, Mitch, who had lived with type 1 for quite some time at that point.  Once again, meeting with Mitch was a reminder that I had support, and that I wasn't in this alone.  

It became apparent that aside from taking insulin and checking my blood sugar for the rest of my life, I needed to find these people. People like my good friend, Dani who is the absolute nicest and most caring individual I have ever met.  These are good hearted, full of lived experience people.  It wasn't just a matter of finding someone who knew what it was like to have a low blood sugar, but also finding a person who just genuinely wanted to help and be apart of my life story. 

I met so many wonderful people each and every year, trying to connect others so they could also feel this special bond.  Keeping in touch with 'my tribe' because I knew that you don't find these kind of relationships so easily, I was lucky.  Almost ten years into my diagnosis and my friends who live with diabetes outweigh the number of friends I have without diabetes.    I am so, so incredibly thankful for all of them who have shaped me along the way, been a source of motivation when I struggled, and have just been there through it all.  


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