You do You.

Some years ago, I was taught that everyone’s diabetes is different. On top of that, what works for your diabetes may not work for me, and vice versa.

That’s a great concept… but what does it really mean?

Well, they’re separate sentences, so let’s treat them separately, shall we?

Everyone’s diabetes is different.
Of course everyone’s diabetes is different! We come in all types. Non-insulin producing, insulin resistant, honeymooning, gestationally-high-BGing, and so on and so on. Diabetes comes in many flavors, all extra sweet (I couldn’t resist).

We also look at our diabetes differently. We refer to ourselves as a diabetic, or a person with diabetes. We see our diagnosis as a curse, or as a challenge, or as the greatest blessing we’ve ever received. Not sure I understand that last one, but if people are going to have to live with this the rest of their lives, they should be free to feel how they want about it.

What works for your diabetes may not work for me, and vice versa.
There are now officially more ways than ever to treat and live with this disease. If you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you may be taking something like Metformin or Victoza. Or you might be taking insulin, or some combination of all three.

If you’re living with type 1 diabetes, you’re definitely on an insulin regimen. But maybe you’re getting say, 70 units per day via a syringe or an insulin pump. Someone else living with type 1 might only be injecting 35 units per day. And the reasons for the differences aren’t always as clear as you might think.

We might also be taking additional medications or even hormones to help us manage our condition. Some people who have gastric emptying issues may be taking Amylin, which helps with that sort of thing. Or you may be like me and be taking a high blood pressure medication. Nothing to do with diabetes, except for the fact that when you have a compromised immune system, other health issues pop up from time to time too.

In addition to all that, there are many other additional tools that people use to help them find their best diabetes selves. Some rely on a continuous glucose monitor to help keep track of blood sugar trends, or even to help inform insulin dosing through a closed loop system. Many rely on platforms like mySugr or Tidepool to help them track everything in one place.

And if you’re reading this right now, you’re engaging in self care by participating in the Diabetes Online Community. You can check Facebook groups or Twitter chats almost daily to see how others are doing, and find out if there’s something you can learn about your own diabetes by reading about someone else’s experience.

All of this is why, whenever someone asks me ”What should I do?”, I first ask them about themselves and their experiences. Then, I might provide a couple of resources they could use to learn more. And then I tell them the most important thing:

You do You.

I’m not saying you’re on your own… I’m saying that your individual approach is the one that will be best able to handle the unique form of diabetes that inhabits your endocrine system. Nobody should have to figure out how to do this alone. But once we get ideas and guidance from those we trust, we should be free to personalize our own diabetes priorities.

The proof of success is in the many people living better and longer lives with diabetes, even though they’re each living them in a different way.

You do you. I’ve got your back.

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  • […] Welcome to a Friday rundown of some things I’ve read recently from our glorious Diabetes Online Community. I encourage you to check these out, and how about leaving a comment or two for the writers? Sound good? Here we go:     A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about how our diabetes can be different from person to person, and how we have many ways of managing our condition. In the end though, we take what we learn and personalize it to come up with the best life with diabetes we can. The post was titled You do You. […]

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