April DSMA Blog Carnival: Life Stages with Diabetes

Holding Plant

This month the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA) blog carnival is focusing on Life Stages with Diabetes. Specifically, the question posed is “how did relationships with other people help inspire you to take care of yourself?” In my very first carnival entry, I share some of my thoughts on the topic.

This post is my April entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/april-dsma-blog-carnival/.

When I look back nine years ago at the hospital bed I laid in at the age of 12, I am often reminded of a few things that I feel will never be forgotten. The way my first injection felt. The window that let light into the hospital room that at times felt so dark. And the faces of my loved ones around me. As my journey with diabetes has continued, it is these faces that have pushed me to reach my highest potential, shown me that it is okay to be vulnerable, and have taught me to smile during even the most challenging things that may come my way. I can honestly say if it weren’t for those around me, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to The Diabetic Diva and the views I have on my health. Most around me might say I inspired them to take care of themselves. (My mom and brother have each lost 90 pounds recently-Yeah!) But, in fact, it is the other way around and I’m not sure if my loved ones realize that.

As the question posed is phrased in past tense as in “How did relationships with others inspire you to take care of yourself,” I have learned that this inspiration is not a one-time-shot but one that continues in present tense every single day. They show me that it is okay to stand out, okay to be different, and okay to go out of a normal routine so I can put my health first.

Last night my boyfriend and sister wanted Chinese food, one of the cuisines that I try hard to stay away from because of the negative effects I have seen it have on my blood glucose numbers in the past – oh, but how I love Chinese food! For a little bit, I had an internal struggle on whether or not I should eat it for dinner, and I finally discussed it with them. (Note: the first step to getting them to inspire you is to first voice that you need their guidance, which I did.) I was encouraged to not eat the Chinese food so I didn’t have to feel symptoms later, but to take some healthier food with me. I went with them beforehand to get a Subway salad, they got permission from the restaurant, and I was able to sit and eat something very healthy and not feel like I was missing out. I sat there and was reminded of the importance of encouragement from those around me. Because they were sensitive, and reminded me to not care what others around me think, that is the most important.

Last night, and every single day, the people around me inspire me to ask myself things like “Is that cupcake worth it?” or “Moments like these, laughing with my family around the dinner table, what else can I do to take control of my health to make sure I continue to experience these moments?”

I want a long life ahead of me to experience the good and the bad with the people in my life, and the healthier I am, the longer I will be around to have this opportunity. It is the laughter, the love, and the smiles that I share with the relationships around me that have encouraged me to take control of my health and continue to do so. When I was first diagnosed, people around me gave me strength to accept my diabetes. And as the years go by, they give me the strength I need to continue to stare it in the face and say “My health is in my control, and worth taking control of.”

Thank you DOC and Diabetes Social Media Advocacy for this prompt and for all that is done for those with diabetes. It is because of posts like these that we are reminded to unite as a DOC.

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