Diabetes Blog Week Day 4: Accomplishments Big and Small

Today’s prompt:  Share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small.

I see my accomplishments as building blocks to keeping myself healthy. They honestly all felt like the “greatest accomplishment” at the time. Instead of focusing on just one, allow me to share some with you, starting from the very beginning. (Many of these I’ve already written about so I’ve included the link to past posts)

  1. The first shot that my parents gave me. It was in the hospital after being diagnosed. I hate needles, just receiving a shot was an accomplishment.
  2. The first time I poked my finger. And then eventually being able to do it without crying or having a fit each time. 
  3. The first shot that I gave myself. It was because I was too angry at my mom at the time to ask her to do it. But hey, anger as a motivation still did the trick.
  4. The first time I had a sleepover after I was diagnosed. Being away from my parents when I had become so dependent on them was a big deal, even when it was just for one night.
  5. Switching to an insulin pump and inserting my first infusion set. I passed out the very first time from holding my breath in anticipation. The nurse kindly reassured me that a medical center was one of the best places to pass out.
  6. Inserting my infusion set without numbing my skin first. I used to use Emla cream (a local anesthetic) to numb my skin every time I had to change my set. The day that I decided not to use it was a pretty big deal.
  7. Going to sleep away camp, both diabetes camp and non-diabetes camp. It was a big step to be away from home for an extended period of time and be responsible for my own care.
  8. Deciding that it’s okay that people can see my infusion set (and later, sensor) at the pool. Realizing that I don’t need to hide it, despite the stares.
  9. Taking care of my diabetes in college. That’s kind of a broad one, but an accomplishment nonetheless.
  10. Studying abroad in England for 6 months with my diabetes and traveling around the world. Always an additional challenge traveling with diabetes.
  11. Starting to use my CGM and inserting my first sensor. I still hesitate, but I’m getting better each time.
  12. Switching the sensor to new locations on my body. Sometimes I can be a little reluctant to change.
  13. Starting my blog and sharing my experiences with my readers. I don’t think I could have anticipated how discovering the DOC and blogging would positively change my life.
  14. Having my A1c drop to the lowest it’s been in years at my last appointment. Even if it goes up at my next appointment, at least I know that I can do it.
  15. Realizing that even though having diabetes is not easy, it has given me many other strengths.

I could spend more time talking about each of these accomplishments, but looking at this list (which still doesn’t include a lot of other diabetes achievements) helps me to realize that I truly have accomplished a lot in the past 12 years, many of which were not easy feats. I often get caught up in the day-to-day management of my diabetes. I get upset when I see the daily spikes in my blood sugar or when I have to treat a low in the middle of my workout. Taking a step back to see how far I’ve come since my diagnosis helps to put it all in perspective. Living with diabetes isn’t easy. Each day is a struggle, but I’ve come a long way. Yesterday’s mountain is today’s mole hill. A finger prick that used to bring tears and take 30 minutes now is now an act that I don’t even think about. In a way, every day feels like an accomplishment. 

It’s not just about diabetes though, it’s life in general. Your struggles now may become one of your biggest accomplishments later. These struggles and accomplishments are what help to build your inner strength and character. Big or small, they are what make you the person you are today.

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