By: Yerachmiel Altman
I achieved 57 years of living with type 1 diabetes this year! I was diagnosed just one month after my 2nd birthday and have logged half a million hours of living with type 1 to this day! I want to share with you the tips and knowledge I’ve acquired through my top 15 tips living and working with diabetes. Hopefully you find these as useful as I have. Remember that everyone has a different way of treating their disease so don’t worry if some of these tips don’t apply to you!
1. Put your mind into it.
If you focus on what’s important to your health, it opens up wider possibilities than thought before.
2. Don’t judge yourself
3. Don’t compare yourself to others.
4. Its not your fault.
You didn’t choose to have diabetes, it chose you!
5. Make smart choices everyday
Diabetes self-care is all about choices. Human minds create over 35,000 choices about every five seconds.
6. Don’t wait for the cure.
Ever have someone talk about the “cure in five years” ? Do your best to control diabetes to best of your ability. Monitoring your diabetes will only lead to better health and a longer, happier life with hopefully less complications. This will help to leave you in improved conditions to be eligible for breakthrough treatments when they ARE available.
7. No your way or the highway thinking.
Don’t think the way you are doing it is the best or only way. Always read, research and try (under medical supervision) different ways of treatment, wellness, and care. Listen to those around you.
8. Know thyself and thy diet.
Always learn as much as possible about your own self. Everyone has certain foods that for themselves don’t follow the standard “curve” (and/or standard “carb count”).
9. Find your niche and your system.
Each person has to find the system or methods that work best for them.
10. Get Techy
Technology has given us many many modern inventions which aid in our control and understanding of diabetes – you have determine which of them works best for you and which ones aren’t as helpful.
11. Find a mentor. Find a community.
Vitally important to have others who are type 1 and similar in length and type of diabetes as well as and other life factors. It is also important to have a “mentor”; someone else to ask questions of. Having another person to ask or to bounce ideas off of can many times resolve issues before they become problems. Additionally long term use of equipment gets us into habits – having others to ask may open doors we didn’t even know existed.
12. Pay it forward: spread your knowledge to others!
It is very important once one has learned enough to help others. It is both really helpful for the other people AND very good for yourself.
13. Surround yourself with love
Always have family and friends who lift you up, and help guide you through the tough times that come with being a T1D patient. There is always hope!
14. Open up
Diabetes doesn’t have to be a secret, share with others about your disease. Sometimes it can be hard to talk about your chronic illness but with more awareness comes more acceptance. However you always know how much is safe or okay to disclose,you are never obligated to tell people or only focus on your disease. You’re a multidimensional person!