Monday, May 11, 2015

I Can...

Growing up in the '70's and '80's, my parents did their best to not set limits.
Back in the days of blood tests every 6 months at the local hospital and one shot a day to control sugars, I was still allowed to swim when I wanted, and bike all over the area. I went to summer camps - it must have been quite difficult for them, looking back, to allow me this freedom. Thinking about how often I went out exploring alone on my bicycle with nothing in my pocket but a couple of bugs for comics at the local 7-11, I'm probably pretty lucky that nothing bad happened.

There were a couple of things that I figured I would never be able to do, however.

1. Eat what I want.
2. Grow up healthy.

My diet growing up was very structured per the "exchange Diet" popular at the time. A glass of milk with every meal (still barely touch the stuff to this day), starch (pasta usually), vegetables, fruits and meat. This wasn't all bad - we had fresh vegetables around a lot from Mom's garden. I love raw fruits and vegetables. But that was generally it. Ice cream only on special occasions. Cake once a year (birthday - tho it was typically an ice cream cake for me). That is not to say I didn't spend some of that comic money on candy, because I did, but I felt oh so guilty when I did!

While I maybe didn't recognize how restricted it was at the time, when I got to college, I ate whatever I wanted when ever I wanted and as much as I wanted. I skipped shots (MDI by then) and landed in the hospital 2-3 times for a week at a time. I learned my lesson the hard way. DON'T DO THAT. So back to a semi structured plan I went.

Now, as an adult, with an insulin pump, and counting carbs, I really can have what I want, when I want, and mostly how much I want of it. I just need to count carbs, inject enough insulin and go on my way. It's never quite that simple, but that's the basics. I CAN eat what I want and enjoy it without guilt.

The other mental restriction was I really never believed I would grow up healthy. Much as I love the magazine, Diabetes Forecast was the prime reason for my fear on this one. What young person with diabetes wants to read about all of the people who have had amputations, or went blind from a disease you feel you have no control over. I figured I'd be lucky to make it to 35.

Well, here I am, 47 and pretty healthy. I promised my husband I'd do my best to make it to 85 so we could have 40 years together, so I'm working on it! We're at 10 years married and 13 years together so far.

I know of many other PWDs who do anything they want - rock climbing, mountain climbing, long distance cycling, movie stars, become mothers, just to name a few.

Newer PWD's - you can do anything!

9 comments:

  1. It was so different back then, I'm glad things are slightly better now. I was dxd in my teens so my childhood was diabetes free but I still felt alone for so many years.Wishing you many more healthy years and a cure one day. I think you are an inspiration.

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    1. Aww shux - I'm no inspiration. I'm still happy when I get it right more than 50% of the time. We have Richard, Janis and Natalie for inspirations!

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  2. I can relate so much to this post. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Having gone to the UnConference, you know that you are certainly not alone. Keep up the good fight!

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  4. Susan, it's interesting to read your comment on what happened to your 'diet' once you went to college. That was my first experience of being away from home, on my own, living in a big city. All those many years of a regimented diet with strict portion control went right out the window. It took getting the flu and several weeks in the hospital before I accepted the fact that I had to really pay attention and be responsible. Now half a century later my life has been filled with many interesting adventures. Living with type 1 hasn't been all roses, but it sure hasn't stopped me from enjoying life. I won't let it!

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    1. I marvel all the time about how different we all are, but how many people have had almost the exact same experiences, even separated by years, states, even countries. I love this huge extended family!! Hugs!

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  5. Yes yes yes oh yes!!! I completely relate to all of this. To this day, I will never eat a scoop of vanilla ice cream, because back then it was the only flavor I was allowed. I've had my fill!

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    1. Isn't that crazy? I really do like milk - but every time I think about pouring a glass I think back to childhood and put down the glass :P long before I consider carb count.

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