It’s funny how the thing you set out to do ends up being done to you. We had one goal when launching Diabetes Daily Grind back in 2014–give real support for the diabetes life (it was once ‘diabetic life’, but we got with the times, thanks to Kelly McKeever). I had it all figured out, the whole living with diabetes thing. I’d write articles for the website about how to run marathons or how to go vegan, dispelling all this great wisdom to help others, and it would be a fun, creative outlet. Turns out, I didn’t even know what real support was, because I’d been missing it all along: community. Turns out I needed the real support.
Having diabetes can really suck. Type 1 or type 2. For a good portion of us diagnosed, we bared responsibility early with shots, pump site changes, and finger pricks. Our parents—thank you Mom and Dad—supported much of the burden, but we wore the hidden weight of the daily highs and lows. This toll tends to build, and in my case, I tried doggedly to never let anyone see it. It was like a badge of honor, “Look at me do this stuff with this disease that I’m perfect at controlling.” But I wasn’t perfect, nor was my A1C, or my relationship to the disease. Living like this was lonely. None of this was known to me before starting up the website. Thank you diabetes online community for opening a space to be seen, but more importantly, demonstrating the power of vulnerability. I still admire those who post high blood sugars on social media; it happens to everyone! As we evolved as a podcast and website, this became our mission: we are not alone, we are not perfect, and life is still awesome. Just last month, for one of the first times in my life, I asked a friend at a local conference for some ideas about post-meal highs. Sure enough, she gave just the tip I needed and those highs aren’t as high.
Through interviewing folks on the podcast and reading guest articles on our site, one particular bit of truth seems most apparent—every person has their own diabetes journey and balance, which uniquely fits their own life. In listening to so many of these individual pearls of wisdom, it changed my life. Compared to how I managed my disease four years ago, there’s almost nothing that stands untouched. During quite a few podcasts, I remember distinctly thinking, “Wow, that’s a better way of doing things. Let’s bring that in.” Or, “I like that attitude.” The podcast prompted a constant beginner’s mind attitude for me. And we laughed so hard; maybe it helped lower blood sugars. I have a deep appreciation for each of our guests who were willing to share out their authentic story with courage. And, to the listeners of the show, you made the podcast a work of joy. We couldn’t wait to release each episode, just to hear from you.
It’s now time for the next step in the journey, and it’s with much sorrow that I step away from the DDG to begin a medical residency position. Appreciate the belief, support, and love from everyone along the way. With your help, I now see diabetes as one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Cheers to the (minimal) highs and lows,