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April 30, 2019

The way of the Ninjabetic.

After living with type 1 diabetes for 11 years, I've come to realise that I'm quite proud of my condition. Diabetes doesn't control me or my life, but it has definitely helped shape me and make me the person I am today.

When people ask me why I'm testing my blood sugars or why the small box I have in my pocket has suddenly started beeping and vibrating, I happily tell them "I have Type 1 diabetes" and secretly hope that they will probe me for further information. I can be a massive show off at times, and I love to enlighten people if they ask me questions.

I get that warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy when I share some diabetes information and the response is "Oh I see... I didn't know that." It's a very satisfying feeling to impart diabetes knowledge onto someone. I feel that I have a little role to play in educating others about the way people with type 1 really live with diabetes, by dispelling the myths that are portrayed by the media and setting the record straight. In fact my friends are now so clued up on diabetes that they tell others about it!

Saying: "Yes I can eat this," is a personal favourite of mine, occasionally followed by a long and detailed explanation of carbohydrate counting (strangely people don't tend to ask again after that).

The way I see it is that I'm stuck with diabetes, there's nothing that I can do about it, so why not make the most of it.

Yes, diabetes has its disadvantages. Waking up at 3am dripping with sweat, feeling dizzy and wondering how long it would take to make a roast dinner followed by apple crumble, just to satisfy my hypo cravings. However diabetes also has advantages. I can't think of any other illness that requires jelly babies or haribo as life saving treatment! Saying: "Get me some jelly babies. STAT!" is possibly my favourite thing about having diabetes.

I think it's very important to have fun with diabetes. If your rabbit happens to chew through your pump tubing (as I heard happened to someone recently), it isn't the end of the world. I once dropped my lancet down the toilet twice in the same day and, after much shouting and running around with a toilet brush, I realised that I had to once again take the plunge and laugh it off.

I understand that diabetes is a serious condition and it can come with some serious complications if we don't take care of it, but no one is perfect 100% of the time... I've learnt that over the years. I've made mistakes... some huge life changing mistakes... but I've learnt from each and every one of them.

That for me is the biggest part of living with diabetes... accepting that I won't get it right every time, but knowing that I will get it right eventually.

Laura tweets as @ninjabetic1

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