Diabetes Sisters October Spotlight

This month I’m very honored to be the Sister Spotlight in the Diabetes Sisters Newsletter. Here I’m sharing the article that got published. Many thanks to Brandy Barnes and the DS team!

I guess I can say I’ve lived with diabetes all my life, even though I wasn’t born with it. I grew up learning that my father had diabetes. I also grew up under the discipline of a concerned and loving wife/mom. Despite the attention he gave to his condition, my father died of heart complications when I was 25 and recently married; his death split my life in two and I decided I wanted to advocate and create awareness. Two years after my father’s death I was diagnosed with type 2… It was a blessing in disguise; I knew I had a reason to work even harder for advocacy since it was my turn to be the patient.

One of the hardest things for me is to come to terms with the fact that I have a chronic condition that requires constant monitoring and discipline. I get lost in denial and my body gets used to hyper/hypo symptoms, so most of the time I’m oblivious to them. I go for my regular endo appointment and get happy with that 6.5% A1C, but I’m lying to myself. I know I somehow got lucky; I know I have to do better at this, poke my fingers, take my meds, etc. It gets me down sometimes and yes, I dislike myself for it.

But I’ve learned that every day is a new opportunity to reinvent and forgive myself. We’re not super-heroes and living with diabetes is not easy. It’s not only about taking our medication and checking our blood glucose levels; it’s also about taking care of our heart and mind. My goal these days is to work on mindfulness so I can be a happier, healthier person.

Diabetes has brought pain to my life, but it has also brought a sense of awareness about my needs and wonderful people to share with. I value and appreciate every single person who crosses my path and whose life is touched by diabetes. I feel we speak the same language, I know that I’m not alone; that is the power of community.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of my diabetes buddies in person. This year I was lucky to attend not only the Weekend for Women in Raleigh, but also the Roche Social Media Summit in Orlando; I had the pleasure to meet my DiabetesSister, Brandy Barnes, at both events. I am grateful for communities like DiabetesSisters where I can participate and feel like I’m not only working on myself, but helping others.

I’m always honored to be appointed as someone who gives back to the diabetes community. It humbles me and it makes me want to be better. For me, and for my loved ones.

So yes, to me, diabetes is a blessing in disguise.