“I’ll never forget the fateful day I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. As a 12-year-old girl whose identity consisted of ranching, rodeo, and a new sport every season, hearing those words was absolutely devastating because I assumed my life was over. Little did I know, that was FAR from the case.
“Thankfully, so many medical and technological advancements have been made in the last 20 years since I have been diagnosed. At one time, before insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitors were around, I would easily give myself six or more shots and prick my finger more than ten times, every single day. Now, I’m able to wear an insulin pump that allows me the freedom of one needle change every three days, and a continuous glucose monitor that can read my blood sugar for up to 10 days without needing a new under-the-skin site placement.
“This Fall, the product makers of the insulin pump (Omnipod) and continuious glucose monitor system (Dexcom) that I use, are releasing their first-ever “closed-loop system”; meaning that the two devices will automatically communicate with one anothe and make corrections as needed, requiring no guidance from me. A closed-loop system could very well be the closest they ever come to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes in my lifetime. Twenty years ago I could have never fathomed that an artificial pancreas would actually exist, yet here we are.
“If I could give any advice to someone struggling through life with diabetes, or to someone who has been recently diagnosed, it would be these two key pieces of advice.
- You only have one body, treat it wisely. If you don’t want diabetes to control your life, or your body, then you must take control of it. Managing diabetes is a lot like weeding a garden. If you constantly and consistently keep on top of it, it’s fairly easy to maintain. However, if you only manage it every once in a while, its harder to do and you’re setting yourself up for a multitude of headaches down the road. You only get one body in life, and its up to you to treat it as such!
- You are in control of your life, I’ve never allowed diabetes to keep me from reaching any goal I’ve ever set in life, and neither should you. That scared 12 year old girl who was worried she couldn’t ranch, rodeo, or play every season’s sport, has done all that…and a whole lot more. There’s no doubt that diabetes adds an extra layer of complexity to life, but it doesn’t mean your life stops. If anything, your life, your tenacity, your destiny in this world, has just only begun.
“Hopefully this is able to serve as a dose of encouragement for any of you who may be battling against T1D. No matter what you’re fighting through, I know you can do it.” -Jessie Jarvis
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