When I was five, I was hit with the unexpected. The first week of kindergarten, I was diagnosed with T1D, and my life changed in a big way. To say that diabetes has stopped throwing me curve balls would be a complete lie. It's one big curveball. Straight up arrows on a day when I eat no carbs? A small amount of insulin that results in a sweaty, shaky midnight low eating fest? Everyone who has T1D knows that you can do everything right and it can completely blow up in your face. A day with type one is full of twists and turns.
That being said, what has been the most unexpected thing about diabetes is what I've gained from it.
I've gained insight into my body that most people will never know. I can tell how a whole day is going to go based on 30 minutes (it might be going ok or it might be going to shit, but I can still tell).
I learned an appreciation for math early on because I had to do complex calculations in my head in order to use my life saving medicine.
I learned about the value of low sugar diets way before they were a fad. I was the girl eating carob chips in high school and eating bags of spinach and whole avocados when my peers were able to eat bags of potato chips (this is not to say that I've always been the picture of health, but I definitely understood that "sugar = not great for people" early on).
I've learned that good health is precious and shouldn't be wasted. People who treat their body like dirt make me cry because I would give so much to be able to eat a whole pint of REAL ice cream and not feel guilty/stress/be glued to a machine for hours. I would love to be able to wake up and go workout right away, and not have to eat/look a machine/be glued to a machine during my workout/eat during my workout/eat right after my workout.
I've also realized that T1D brings people into my life. The girl I met during a sorority recruitment who eventually became my little whose sister has T1D. My good friend from college who ended up getting engaged to a guy who was recently diagnosed with T1D. The four students in my school who are diagnosed and who end up in my classroom. My best friend who saved my life when I was having a diabetic reaction on a bachelorette party. My amazing husband who didn't bat an eye when I told him I had diabetes the first time we met, and who carried my Omnipod when we ran our first half marathon together, and who deals with the ENDLESS NIGHT TIME DEXCOM BEEPS.
Lastly, I've gained the ability to be flexible. That life is going to throw you crazy curveballs, diabetes related or otherwise, and you just have to go with them. I'm not the best at this (see "living with a chronic condition") but I'm trying to get better and realize that my T1D isn't going anywhere, so I might as well take these unexpected teaching moments as they come.