A World Without T1D

Today the FDA approved the first-ever hybrid closed loop insulin delivery system (aka the artificial pancreas). When I read JDRF’s news release I certainly felt inspired and excited for thousands of Type 1 diabetics around the world.

But I wasn’t as excited as I probably should have been. Maybe it’s the hormones? Maybe it’s this depressing, rainy weather? Maybe it’s my emotions? Hell, speaking of diabetes, my blood sugar hasn’t been that stable lately and has been difficult to control.

Because as exciting as this news was, it also reminded me of how far we have to go. It’s certainly a step forward in the right direction and might pave the path for other new developments in the works. But this system doesn’t do everything. I still have to calculate my carbs (or guess, more likely). And sometimes even when I calculate my carbohydrates correctly, my body reacts in a way I can’t control for.

So maybe I’m just tied of the drain of this disease and the toll it takes on my physical and mental state? I don’t often blame “how I feel” on my diabetes, but maybe I should? Some days I forget it’s there, and other days it’s like this gremlin monster that keeps humming in my ear.

The truth is I don’t really remember what it’s like to feel “normal.”

My blood sugar has been high for the past two hours as a result of two pieces of bread I ate for lunch (technically only 30 grams of carbs but sometimes they take awhile to digest). I’m functioning, and I feel fine. But I imagine if my blood sugar levels were normal right now, I’d feel 10 times better. Just yesterday I had a severe hypoglycemic episode because a correction dose ended up being too much.

I don’t always know how much this disease affects my everyday state because I never get a day without it. I have no control in this experiment. I just deal. We all do. And even on days when I don’t want to deal with it, when I want to throw Evie across the room or curl up in bed under my sheets and never get up, I can’t.

I can’t avoid it. I can’t deny it. I deal with it. I choose to survive and attempt to thrive. I have good days. And I have bad days.

Even if today is a bad day for my diabetes, it’s a good day for the world. We’re making progress.

Back in 2009 when the doctor at the university health center thought I might have diabetes, I thought, isn’t that what old people get? I had no idea what diabetes was much less how greatly it would come to affect my life.

But I didn’t die from it. I’m still here. I’m still fighting. And I give back so that one day children will not have to grow up with this disease. I didn’t always believe in a cure, but through my volunteer work with JDRF and my connections with other T1D’s, I am starting to believe.

We can create a world without Type 1. And today the FDA helped us move one step closer to that world.

So thank you to all those who never gave up on me. Thank you to those who believe.

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