As a PWD (Person with Diabetes) it is imperative to be my best advocate. That means I have to be on top of my game, no excuses. Learn about T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) and about my own body as much as I can. How everything I do affects my blood sugars and also how to make my point valid to the eyes of my healthcare provider.
In Part 1 was about our children, the importance to advocate for them. Now, in Part 2 is about ourselves. Yes, sometimes we forgot ourselves. We, that take care of our children’s or other’s, put their needs firsts and then our needs come in last (if there’s space).
Something that’s given but we tend to miss it. Nobody will ever know how good or bad we feel but ourselves. So, when we go to the doctor’s office here the words “Don’t worry, it’s nothing”. It may be for that person, but not for me!
Before I was diagnosed with T1D, sometimes “I felt off” or “not myself”. Couldn’t explain the feeling. Many times I needed to take a nap and pass out, I was not able to carry a conversation or focus on anything I was doing. I acted crazy for no apparent reason. There was a reason, uncontrolled Diabetes. My body was sending me signals that it needed help, that it was not able to keep up with my demands. What other people saw was a crazy B**ch acting up. I could only think, “what’s wrong with me?”.
It was until that cold morning in February, when I was diagnosed that all my questions were answered. I was welcomed to a New World, one of constant monitoring of everything I do. I had to learn or -literally- die trying.
Diabetes is a disease that a simple mistake could cost your life. As a T1D, I use insulin to be able to function. My body is no longer able to produce its own insulin. If I use too much I could go to a deadly low or on the other hand, if I use too little I could go rocket high and cause many problems if it’s a prolonged high.
To be able to give myself the “right” amount of insulin, I have to take in account several variables: how many carbohydrates are in the food I’m about to eat, what types of carbs are those, when was the last time I gave myself a shot, how many units, what’s my blood glucose now, what am I doing after eating, even the time of day (I usually need more insulin in the mornings), among others that will depend specifically to that person. This is important and very personal because what works for me might now work for you.
Then, we have the medical team. With whom you need to work with as a team. They need to listen to you and how you feel and how your body reacts to the treatment. Your obligation is to give them all your information. Make decisions based on all the facts is the way to have success in managing Diabetes.
Being your own and best advocate means taking care of you like nobody would. You have control of that and you decide if you want to give the good old fight or not. Do not giving up on yourself in situations when others normally would. Not letting the downs keep you down. Yes, I sound all positive and you would think, is not easy! It is not!! I know it’s not easy, but also it is not impossible. But you know… you deserve the effort!