Briley has been living with type 1 diabetes since she was 3 years old and likes to joke that skiing is the only thing she has been doing longer than having diabetes. She started her blog in 2010 and has been continually making new diabetes online community friends since then. She is powered by coffee and laughter.
Maybe it's because I was a toddler when I was diagnosed with diabetes.
Maybe it's because I was a girly-girl who always wanted to prove her capability.
Maybe it's because I was diagnosed on Independence Day.
There has always been some part of me that believes this diabetes life is mine to handle and mine alone. Independence with diabetes, for me, is like coming over the crest of an icy ski slope where one line gives you the perfect turns with a surge of adrenaline and the other line leaves you wobbly, falling, ice balls rolling down beneath you, and hopefully your skis have stayed attached. I want so badly to be that independent person who can pick the right line. I'm able to pick the right line because of the tools, supports and experience I already have in this life with diabetes. I've been living the diabetes life for 27 years now and I like to think that I've learned how to use the tools for life with diabetes.
Here are some tools that have helped me become the independent person with diabetes I am today:
- Saying, "Hey! That's not the right treatment for me!" To health care professionals and insurance companies.
- Reaching out to HCPs and saying, "this is not working. And I've tried that and what's it and they aren't working either!"
- Finding local friends who ask if you're okay, who want to understand the ins and outs, and come running when I say help (even though I hate saying help).
- Finding other people with diabetes who have been there before. Who don't need a prologue to a terrible diabetes day; they just understand it.
I stand up straight, proud of this life with diabetes. I use what I know, and I ask questions when I don't. Sometimes I trip and stumble, but that's okay because I'm always ready for the next turn.