Thursday, June 14, 2012
While I would never wish diabetes on my worst enemy, there are things far worse in the world that my family could be dealing with on a daily basis. It's interesting to me how many times people ask me if I'm not having kids right now because of the risk that my child with be a Type 1 diabetic like my husband. Um... nope - not having kids because I'm kind of selfish with my time and I can't imagine the sleepless nights that come with having a child. Diabetes doesn't worry me at all. In fact, if I do have a child and they have Type 1, they would be a freaking rock star. They would know so much about their bodies, their nutrition, what they can do when they push themselves to the limits, etc.
I've written about it before (here's the post in case you missed it), how diabetes changed our lives. For the better really. I mean, Tom and I weren't really what you would consider unhealthy prior to his diagnosis. We ate well. We were running marathons. We didn't smoke. We barely drank. But since Tom's diagnosis, we are much more aware of what's going on in our bodies. Tom's become passionate about telling his story and about his amazing teammates, and me, well I will tell anyone and everyone about him and his team, Team Type 1. We really have changed our lives because of the disease.
And I say we because diabetes isn't just a disease that Tom has. I have it too.
Right, how can that be when my pancreas delivers insulin just fine and my blood sugar levels are naturally between 80 and 120 at all times?
Just like with most marriages, what's his is mine and what's mine is his.
No, I might not have to prick my finger 10 times a day, or inject myself with insulin 5 times a day, but I'm living with the disease too.
I'm a type 3 diabetic.
I know the ins and outs of the disease better than most. I know what a hypoglycemic state looks like just as well as a hyperglycemic state. I know how to change pen needles, how to prime insulin pens, how to adjust the depth of a lancet. I can tell you what one beep, two beeps, three beeps or four all indicate on a continuous glucose monitor (I'm especially good with deciphering the beeps at 2:30 in the morning). I can tell when Tom needs some sugar, or some insulin, or a little butt kicking on a run (all three have the same warning signs... but I'm good like that).
Last weekend I raced a 5k here in Suwanee (and PRed... woot woot), but after the race a really great lady named Dawn came up to me. Totally random... she had gotten two bottles of water and wanted to give me one. We started talking. She was from Colorado, was visiting family, used to live around here, yada yada. She asked what brought us to Atlanta. I usually don't say Team Type 1 because although I wish everyone knew who they were, I don't know how many people actually know of them. So I said, "my husband works for a pro cycling team based out of Atlanta". Here eyes lit up. "Team Type 1?". I look at her a little bewildered and said yes. Turns out that her two and a half year old son Sawyer is a Type 1. He was diagnosed at 19 months. We spent the next hour sharing stories - what drugs our boys are one, what meters they use, what CGM's they are on. It was like I had known her my whole life. This "horrible" disease was our common ground...and that we both are living with the disease too.
So Dawn, if you are reading this, remember... you have Type 3. Your husband has Type 3. Your six year old has Type 3. I have Type 3. We all get it. Maybe not 100% of what Tom and Sawyer go through on a daily basis, but I'd say probably 98.5% of it. :)
To learn more about Team Type 1, or to follow the amazing accomplishments of all the Type 1 athletes, go to www.TeamType1.org, follow them on twitter at @teamtype1 or like them on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TeamType1Page.