A decade of diabetes

Ten years ago today, I was diagnosed with diabetes. It’s been a decade of 5 injections a day, countless fingerprick blood tests, watching what I eat, living with a chronic condition. Somebody bake me a cake!

I can remember my diagnosis in scarily vivid detail. The terrible doctor, driving away into the city on my scooter, not understanding what I’d just been told. My mom booking me on a flight home to Durban, missing the flight because the emergency room doctor wouldn’t take me off the drip because my blood sugar was so high he thought I’d slip into a coma mid-air. Arriving at the airport and my dad coming in to almost-carry me out of the baggage area because I was so sick. Straight to hospital, straight to ICU. 3 days away from a diabetic coma.

I am so lucky.

And now, ten years later! Diabetes is a part of me, but not the most important part. I’ve travelled the world – America, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Spain. I’ve been on so many adventures – walking 500km across the North of Spain on the Camino de Santiago, hiking the Otter Trail and the Whale Trail, kayaking the Orange River, scuba diving, birthing two healthy babies… Diabetes hasn’t stopped me from doing anything, from living my best life.

And I’ve learnt – amongst other things – to accept that I cannot always be in control, and to be at peace with that. (This is maybe the hardest lesson of all.)

As a beautiful act of serendipity, today I’m doing my new diabetes talk for the first time: A happy life with diabetes – what I’ve learnt from a decade of Type 1 diabetes. I’ll post the link to the video here soon.

For now, I’m just taking a moment to thank my body for supporting me for the last 10 years. And my mind for not fritzing out from the frustrations of understanding high and low blood sugar. And my heart for keeping me grateful for my good health. A decade of diabetes! Wow.

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