LADDIE: IN RECOGNITION OF NOVEMBER AS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH, SUE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, Sue from New York, AND I HAVE WRITTEN BLOG POSTS WHICH WILL BE PUBLISHED THIS WEEK. Yesterday SUE FROM NEW YORK wrote ABOUT HER APPRECIATION FOR MEDICAL DEVICES THAT HELP KEEP HER safe. Today Sue from Pennsylvania writes about her journey learning about diabetes and why increased awareness about diabetes is important.
Fourteen years ago when my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I had no clue exactly what that would mean for us. I was one of those people who thought that diabetes just meant no sugar. Quickly I learned that there is so much more to diabetes than removing sugar from your diet. The food that we loved to eat always included some type of pasta, rice or bread. Since I am the cook in our family (my husband’s culinary talents involve making either scrambled or over easy eggs), I had to become aware of the carbohydrate count of the meals that I was cooking. I can truly say that I found this then, and even today, to be a task that I do out of necessity but with no enjoyment whatsoever. I love to cook and experiment with new recipes but it’s a lot harder to do when you have to be aware of the amount of carbs in every recipe.
An added challenge to my husband’s Type 1 diabetes is the fact that he has hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia unawareness. It seems as if almost all of our friends with diabetes are either Type 2 or Prediabetic and they don’t have a clue as to how difficult it is to be a Type 1 diabetic. They have no understanding of the daily fear and stress experienced by both my husband and me as a result of his hypoglycemia unawareness. None of them have ever seen someone go so low that he becomes unconscious. I had never seen this before either and I can truly say it is terrifying. One of my first blog posts ever was about the frightening experience of my husband’s first severe hypoglycemic episode. The daily care of Type 1 diabetes is incredibly daunting with monitoring blood sugar either by fingerstick or CGM (if you’re lucky enough to be able to get your insurance to pay for it), watching what you eat, and just plain being aware of diabetes all of the time.
The reason why National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day are so important to me is that any awareness that we can bring to this illness is a positive thing. Anytime we can tell our stories to educate those who are uneducated (as I was) is a positive thing. I continue to be in awe of those men, women and children who have to deal with this condition on a daily basis because I know how difficult it is. I have become aware and I’m hoping that by calling attention to diabetes during National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day, more people will become aware. That would be a good thing.