The toll of toiling with Type 1 diabetes – you deserve a medal

Managing Type 1 diabetes demands a lot of work.  At meal times the quality and quantity of food has to be dealt with, the glucose measured, forth coming activity considered, the dose of insulin calculated and administered.  Sometimes I think the amount of work diabetes engenders is about the same as a two year old, you have fed them, changed them, given something to drink, put them down, sit down to have a cup of coffee and “Waahh”;  with diabetes you calculate your carbs, adjust for your glucose level, exercise the right amount, take the appropriate insulin and wham – your glucose is low or high –go figure!
Handling Type 1 diabetes and pregnancy is even more challenging.   Adequate glucose control is not the order of the day, excellence is the goal and requires meticulous attention to detail to achieve.  It is a lot of work especially if there are other children in the background, the task can seem Herculean.  Yet it is doable.  Breaking the job into components, one meal at a time, one insulin dose at a time, constantly adjusting gets you through the days, the weeks and soon we are talking delivery.  The frequent visits to the obstetrician, the ultrasounds and laboratory tests are a chore but are all worth it when that first cry of the new born is heard.
People with diabetes cope day in and day out. They need to know just getting by is winning and other family members sometimes forget this.  The professionals can be less than professional.  Sometimes I hear health care advisors focus on the negative – what did you eat here, did you mess up the insulin, you need to exercise more?  I wonder if they lived with diabetes for a week would they be so quick to criticize.  Step back and see the forest.  If you have diabetes and have no major problems after 10 years of the  disease you deserve at least a big hug from your family and a medal;  if 20 years – a weekend away and a two star medal: 30  years – a proper holiday and a three star medal. If you got through a pregnancy make the medals gold and get your kids to read this.