Dear Diabetes; A Love Letter to Type 1 Diabetes

Dear Diabetes,

I go to bed with you every night and I wake up with you every morning. This might sound like your typical marriage and maybe it is. Except I wake up with your pump wire wrapped around my torso, and go to sleep worrying if I have juice near me thanks to you. We’ve had our ups and downs like married couples tend to do. I’ve hated you when I lose sleep due to low Blood Glucose (BG) levels, and you’ve made me sick to my stomach with those awful ketones. Isn’t that what they say in vows though? Through sickness and in health. I don’t remember saying that at seven years old when I was diagnosed with you, but then again- you knocked me nearly unconscious.

So I want to take this opportunity during the month of love, hearts, candies that you make difficult for me to indulge in, to tell you a couple reasons why I love you. I don’t want this to go to your head, since I only love you because I’m stuck with you (for the time being). I’ve been told that loving is easier than hating, easier on the heart and the mind, and results in less wrinkles. So let’s give this a shot.

I love that we share a passion for food. I love eating it, and you love thinking all about it. The smells and tastes are what I want to get out of it, but you focus on the gram of carbohydrates. Every. Single. One. I love that you always want to eat, for example, when I’ve already had a huge meal but my BG drops and now I’m having my second dessert- glucose tablets. We both love breakfast. My favorite meal of the day- with eggs, avocado, potatoes or toast and a cup of joe! So relaxing. But we differ in the way you prefer chugging three glasses of orange juice at 5 o’clock in the morning, followed by a piece of toast and a handful of cocoa puffs.

I love the way you make me laugh. When that entire 1.6 units of insulin decides to work within five minutes instead of the four hours it usually stays active in my body. I pre-bolus to avoid a severe spike in my BG levels from ruining my meal (which usually happens anyway), but the one time I’m meeting someone new, or catching up with an old friend the blood glucose levels plummet and I go so low. My arms feel like noodles and my head is dizzy. I can’t comprehend anything too well but I do my best to pay attention to the person in front of me and not slur my words, so I just end up laughing.

Loving you has been challenging. But thank you for the challenge, for questioning my strength just so I can prove you wrong. I’ve felt weak because of you, but that only made me realize how strong I actually am. If I was able to survive seventeen years with you, I can handle a little hiccup in my life every now and again. I love you, and I wouldn’t take back the last seventeen years but I sure as hell would take a cure any day.

Love always,

Ciara