Posts Tagged ‘Type 1’

Little Break Up!

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Little Break Up
by Paige Wagner

As a person living with diabetes, it is difficult to shake the underlying fear of being alone – hiking alone, traveling alone, or living alone. Sometimes this disease is beyond the control
of any one individual and support can make all the difference.

Relationships become familiar and comfortable over time. For the past eight years, I have shared my life with someone who came to know me intimately. He saw the best and worst parts of me, which included terrifying incidents of low blood sugars and illness. He saved my life with a juice box in the night too many times to count. These are heroic acts I only vaguely remember, but I am nonetheless very grateful for his bravery in times of panic.

I had been unhappy in my romantic relationship for a while, but in terms of diabetes care, he knew how to protect me and catch me when I inevitably fell. This kind of support feels rare, as it takes years to develop, but I recently realized that the seemingly safest decision for my diabetes management does not always align with the best choices for me as an independent adult.

The diabetes community constantly reminds me that diabetes doesn’t have to be the defining
characteristic of my life and it certainly shouldn’t be the driving reason to stay in a relationship.

Ending my relationship was the best thing I could do for my overall health. I feel energized and positive! While I may still be fearful at times, I refuse to let that fear hold me back from the life I want to live.

I am excited for whatever may come next – Healthy relationships are revitalizing! And learning about diabetes is just a small part of falling in love with me.

Graduation

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Graduation
by Paige Hammond

“Congratulations on your graduation!” The words everyone looks forward to hearing after they work so hard to complete their degree. But of course graduation pushes that next question, “What are you going to do now?” or “Have you found a job yet?” This next step in life is a stressful time for anyone, but applying for jobs and living with diabetes creates a whole new dimension of stress. Not only have finals completely made my brain feel like mush and have sent my blood sugars on a rollercoaster, the thought of applying for jobs now sounds exhausting!

So many thoughts go through my head when I apply for jobs, like does the job offer a good benefit package, because let’s face it, it costs a lot of money to keep myself healthy! Or when do I tell someone I have diabetes or do I even tell them? What if I disclose my information and that ruins my chances of getting a job? These are things I never had to think about a few years ago and now they are swirling through my head daily. But even with all these concerns I know it will be okay, because I have people to turn to and learn from like the group I’ve met from Students with Diabetes and Young Adults with Diabetes. Many of us are in similar situations, and by hearing and sharing the good and the bad, better prepares me for what to expect as I enter that new chapter in my life.

Value of the SWD National Conference!

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Value of the Students With Diabetes National Conference!
By: Paige Wagner

This year will be the 5th annual Students With Diabetes National Conference. I have attended every conference and each one is better than the last.

From my involvement with Students With Diabetes, I’ve learned how important the diabetes community is to my overall health. I can count on this conference to connect me to LOTS of peers who understand life with diabetes. I’ve made some of my closest friends at these conferences – peers who will text diabetes memes and celebrate in range blood sugars!

That’s not all, though. I’ve learned more applicable diabetes knowledge at the SWD National Conferences than anywhere else in my life. Some topics discussed at the conference are simply never addressed in any other setting. For instance, I learned a lot last year in a breakout session about insurance and being a young professional.

Last year, seeing so many people wearing a Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Monitor opened me up to the idea of trying it out. I fell in love with my CGM instantly. Similarly, I was introduced to the Tandem t:Slim insulin pump at a SWD conference and now I wear one. The use of these tools have helped me reach the best A1c I’ve ever had, and if it weren’t for this conference I probably would have never gotten there.

It is important to recharge (especially at the end of a semester when it’s easy to feel burnt-out) and I see this conference as the place to find my motivation to engage in healthy behaviors. I find inspiration through the many conversations I have with fellow attendees about our shared struggles and strategies to achieve goals. Knowing that we’re in this together is enough to get me on track.

It’s no exaggeration to say this is my favorite weekend of the year. I feel that I leave each conference a better person than I came with more friendships, more knowledge, and more motivation.

If you’re on the fence about going, I cannot recommend it enough.