“Whatever you do, just don’t call her Sugar.”

29 Jul

Hello Everyone!  I have had type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes since the summer between 7th and 8th grade, which, due to my foggy memory calculations, puts me at about 16 years and a few months living as a diabetic. In that time, I’ve probably taken somewhere near 30,000 shots, suffered some near fatal low blood sugars (scary), some long weeks with constantly high blood sugars (annoying), and miraculously have remained healthy and developed no complications (yet). The one thing I’ve never done much of is talk about it in detail, probably because there is simply so much tell that it overwhelms me (and my listeners would probably be sorry they asked). Diabetes is essentially an invisible disease, so I am starting this blog to give my diabetes a “voice,” keep myself accountable in my food and lifestyle choices, and have a little fun telling stories. 

Everyone has heard of diabetes in this day and age, but very few actually know what it is or what it does. Type 1 is far less common than the media-rampant Type 2, and many people have no idea what it means to live with it.  (Sorry folks, Oprah’s recent TV special on diabetes isn’t going to tell you much, either).  This article is a very brief overview if you want some background.

There is also a great abbreviated history of diabetes and diabetes treatments in the book Think Like a Pancreas (my boyfriend finds the title of this book quite funny).

The blog title is an homage to a dear high school friend who was one of the first people I’ve met to dare to make fun of my diabetes on purpose.  He suggested making a “Diabetic Girls” calendar, with the caption, “Whatever you do, just don’t call her sugar.”  I found it hilarious then, and still find it hilarious.

Essentially, for some reason unbeknown to you and I, my body attacked the insulin-producing beta cells in my pancreas, and I no longer metabolize sugar the way all you “normal” people do.  For 15 of my 16 year track-record, I paid little to no attention to this fact and just took my insulin every time I ate, well, pretty much anything.  That’s a LOT of injections.  Well, after a fairly high A1C (average of blood sugar levels taken over 3 mos. time) of 8.0 in August of 2009, I decided it was time to make some changes.  I’ve embarked on a low-carb, nearly sugar free journey, full of whole veggies, fruits, good fats and protein, and little to zero grains (hey, I’m not perfect, there’s only so much I can handle at a time).  It has its ups and downs, but overall I think I’m heading in the right direction (my A1c in April of 2010 was 6.6, the best it’s been in as long as I can remember).

I am not defined by my diabetes, but it is a huge part of my life. It’s been hard for me to share it with people until now. (DISCLAIMER: I’m even nervous about starting this blog – here goes, World!). I didn’t want to be known as someone who was in any way weird or different or even worse, “sick.” Well, I’m not sick. I’m healthy, happy, and striving to live my best life. I hope you’ll join me as I navigate the journey – and post some awesome recipes, links, and exercises for all to enjoy 😉 .

(Also, I’m still learning about all this blogging business, so I hope I can keep up with the technology!)

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