Thursday, May 16, 2013

Accomplishments, Big and Small - D-Blog Week Day #4

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)

After high school I went onto being a Theatre Major at Buffalo State College. My numbers have always run a little high, and I've always struggled with keeping my blood sugar under control... But things got really bad after my first semester. I had a full course load, extracurriculars, rehearsals... I could have done it. Tons of diabetics get through college. Between the stress, the busy schedule, and going out with friends my health went on the furthest back burner you could find. My sugar was high all the time, I had ketones all the time. I was getting sick. My mom had to drive to Buffalo to pick me up when I would get sick. I started missing classes because I was too worn out to go, which took a major toll on my grades. Instead of gaining the "freshman fifteen" I was dropping weight. Don't get me wrong, I loved the friends I made, and the experiences I had in college. But there came a time to make a decision... and that decision was to finish my second semester, and come home and get healthy and focused on my diabetes.
It was a hard decision to make. I loved Buffalo, I made some of the most amazing friends I will ever have, and I actually enjoyed (some aspects of) being a college student. You can't exactly be a functioning college student if you're dead, though. So I finished out my 2nd semester, packed up (on one of the sickest ketone days I've ever had), and I went home.
I got with my diabetes educator and my endo and we hatched out a plan. My A1c was 12.4 (Yeah, I know... Spare me the criticism) Within the next year I managed to get down to 9.5. I realize to many of you, this is not an amazing number, but to me... It was a huge step! An A1c finally out of the double digits. 
So in the grand scheme of things, it was a small accomplishment. But in that moment, it was a huge accomplishment.
Today, I'm still struggling. I have really good weeks, and really bad weeks. I'm working on it. It's always going to be a struggle, but it will get easier. I will find the right method and get into a good routine. My goal for this year is to get down to at least 8.5. I will never give up on myself again. I will never surrender to my broken pancreas! :)

Never Surrender, my friends!

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