Caleb and I will be walking in Akron’s “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes” this year on October 7th.
Getting diagnosed with Diabetes at the age of 21 was weird. I was a normal college girl, over involved in school and already planning out the next steps in my career as a social worker. That Easter weekend in 2010 changed who I was. The first label was placed on me- DIABETIC.
I then started to venture back into my normal life, figuring out what to eat, how to test my blood sugar, what insulin was, and why it made me shake sometimes. I had no idea what diabetes meant. I was filled with frustration as my pride took a hit and I realized there was so much that I didn’t know. I cried when we went out to eat, not understanding what I can eat. The next label was put on top- OVERWHELMED.
I graduated from college, married my best friend, and slowly started putting the pieces together. I became an expert carb counter, insulin adjuster, and a real diabetic. I bought the books, read the websites, and started to meet other who were diabetic. I went to a nutritionist who explained that I WAS allowed to eat sugar, and my life wasn’t over… just different. The newest label slowly unrolled- LEARNER.
I then met with a doctor who helped me throw away the shots and syringes and gave me a beautiful option of an insulin pump. I took the classes, read the manual, and blogged online about my new adventure with an external pancreas. I was embarrassed when others asked me about it, not sure how to hide it under my clothes, and nervous about white water rafting with this devise. However, I pushed forward and fell in love with the Omnipod. I proudly stuck the next word on my identity- PUMPER.
Now, I come to you as a confident women in all that God made me, who happens to have diabetes. It does not define who I am, what I can eat, or what I can do, it is just an accessory to carry around. Instead of a cute purse, this accessory comes with test stips and glucagon, but it is beautiful all the same. I am Stepping Out because the American Diabetes Association’s Walk to Stop Diabetes is so much more than a fundraising event to me. It is my opportunity to change the future and make a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by diabetes. I now carry my next label proud- ADVOCATE.
With your help, we will fight for a future where a parent does not have to hear that their child has diabetes. A future where an adult does not have to face the uncertain times ahead after receiving a diabetes diagnosis. A future where you and I will know that we had a part in making this possible. If you join me in this, I will thank you for your help and pass on a label that you can use as well- SUPPORT.
Interested in supporting me on this journey or walking with me? Check out my website here.