My name is Tracy. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 22 (that’s the one where you’re insulin dependent and have to take shots just to function on a daily basis).
That’s right. No family history. No autoimmune deficiency. No genetic precursor. Just one day, my pancreas gave up, and I’ll probably never know why. If you want to get personal, read my book, Sugarcoated. I talk about the whole experience from pre-diabetes to diagnosis to life with diabetes.
But let’s back up a second. So I write. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old (creating stories since as far back as I can remember). And then diabetes came along. I stopped writing. I didn’t want to talk about it much less write about it. It’s like this marriage you kind of fell into, and the hangover never went away.
Then I moved to Baltimore to pursue a graduate degree in creative writing and publishing. There, I wrote about my experience with diabetes, how sometimes I wished I could stab it to death and other times give it a great big hug for all the eye-opening lessons it taught me. In writing about it, I came to accept my lifelong partner and how it’s changed me. It’s not cancer. It’s manageable. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to poke fun at it or yell like a crazy person when it gets me down.
When I was diagnosed, I didn’t know anyone with the disease (at least anyone close). I managed surrounded by people learning just as I was. It’s not to say they weren’t supportive, but it would have been nice to have some guidance. This blog is not that guide, but it is an opportunity to show others how much diabetes interferes or should I say “complements” my daily life. And maybe, just maybe, gives me an opportunity to blow off some steam.
Okay diabetes, I may be married to you for life, but let’s just say we’re in the midst of a divorce.
Follow me @tracygnadinger.