Things I Could Not Have Known

July 31st, 2012 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

A diabetes diagnosis at any age is overwhelming, to say the least!  When I was diagnosed at age 10, there were just so many things to learn. 

I wonder, though, what I might have thought if I had known then what I know now about my life with diabetes.  Some key things that, had I been able to hear them, I might have found comforting or useful:

  • You have an opportunity to grow, or to shrink. Right now.
  • You will rely on elementary school math like no one else.
  • You will become a great Diabetes Detective.
  • You will learn all foods available in your country, and some beyond your borders.
  • Nothing will work the exact same way again.  You just have to go with it.
  • Your mind and calculations will be a ribbon of thought never lost, never forgotten.
  • Your vocabulary will expand.
  • You will have an encyclopedic knowledge of what will and will not affect your blood sugar levels; these are things most don’t think about ever at all.
  • You will get to know your body better than any physician.
  • Textbooks will not help as much as you want them to help.
  • You will need to learn to speak up.
  • Time has changed now; minutes matter in new ways.
  • Go find other people with your disease.  You will need to laugh and cry and yell and scream with others who understand.
  • You will sometimes go to sleep with juice still in your mouth.
  • You will carry something all the time.
  • You will calculate and triangulate your days and activities every day.
  • You won’t really get a break. Ever.
  • There will be numbers you don’t understand.
  • You will learn who your friends are.
  • It doesn’t have to be awful.
  • You are stronger than you think you are.

I’m sure you have some words of wisdom about this, as well, when it comes to things you could not have known at diagnosis but certainly you do know now.  What are they?

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  1. Erin says:

    Thank you Amy, your words are so powerful!

    Some things I wish I could have told myself at diagnosis of age 9:

    1) You know your body better than anyone else. Listen to it. Trust it.
    2) Everyone is different, and so is there diabetes. There is no “right” way of doing things.
    3) It’s okay to cry. It’s better to laugh.
    4) Your numbers are not a reflection of who you are.
    5) It won’t hold you back….from anything.
    6) There is always more to learn.
    7) Explore your body and your disease. Find your personal diabetic fit. It can change, and that’s okay.

  2. Erin, I think I like yours better than mine!! ;)

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