1. What were some of your initial struggles with having diabetes?
One of my initial struggles with diabetes was getting a handle on carb counting. This is something I still struggle with sometimes, especially with things that are not pre-packaged or when I am out to eat. Sometimes the foods do not match up with the serving size found online or different things are added, so sometimes I will go high or low and then have to manage it from there.
2. Is there a story that comes to mind where you realized that having diabetes is really hard?
There's been a few times where I have had some really bad blood sugar days where my Dexcom graph looks like a roller coaster and having to deal with the effect that it has on my body has been tough. Often times when I am having those days, it affects everything from my mental well-being to my physical well-being and I get really tired. When that happens, I often try to get my sugar in range and go to bed for the night, knowing that tomorrow is a new day. That's the one thing with T1D I have noticed; not every day is going to be perfect. Like anything, there are good days and bad and we just have to find ways to get through the bad days.
3. What are some struggles that you still experience now?
The impact that T1D has had on my mental health is a struggle that has definitely affected me a lot. I constantly worry about blood sugars and the impact that a bad blood sugar day has on me. I work
with kids, so I have to be able to keep a good composure and attitude and sometimes that can be hard when your body isn't working right.
4. How have you dealt with these struggles?
For the past few years, I have been talking to a therapist and have also been to a psychiatrist for anxiety. It has helped a ton. The biggest advice I could give someone that was diagnosed at a late age and feels the same as I did is that there is no shame in asking for help talk to someone!
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of Jake’s DiaStory, “Damage Control.” Gretchen Boger-O’Bryan is a writer, editor, nonprofit toiler by day and, most important, parent to a T1D, no matter the hour.