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October 27, 2016
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Five Confessions

Day 2’s prompt for Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (#hawmc) is to introduce my health condition to other health activists. What are the five things that I want others to know about living with my conditions? I feel like you all probably know most of them so I’m going to go for the more obscure confessions of the bunch. Just as a reminder, my disclosed health conditions are: type 1 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and endometriosis. I also have issues with low blood pressure from time to time (see my recent post on Vasovagal Fainting).


The five things that I want all of you to know about living (and writing) with these health conditions are as follows:


  1. Because of the PCOS-induced insulin resistance, my type 1 diabetes is sometimes one thousand times harder to manage than it should be. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get my A1c below the 7.0% mark because of the insulin resistance and constant battle with my numbers. I take Metformin and other supplements for it, but there is always a piece of me that wonders if it’s an impossible quest.
  2. Since several of my conditions relate to reproductive and women’s health, I often feel called to blog about Mother Nature and the circumstances surrounding these things. I was raised in a house (with two brothers) where this was not an approved topic and every post is a challenge to find the right words without running into the nearest cave and hiding there forever. I continue to push myself because I know other women have these issues too and we all deserve an open space to communicate.
  3. I am a 20 year veteran of type 1 diabetes and roughly a 7 year veteran of PCOS. I have no idea how long I’ve had endometriosis because aforementioned Mother Nature has always been cruel to me in that regard. Even though PCOS is a major challenge and pain in my behind, I don’t ever celebrate my diagnosis or “survival” because it doesn’t take away from me as much as diabetes has in the past.
  4. That last sentence is probably a complete lie. If it wasn’t for PCOS, I would probably still be in a relationship today. I wouldn’t have endured three incredibly painful laser resurfacing treatments on my face to clear severe acne scars (and be considering more). I would probably have an A1c in the 6% range.
  5. As much as I want a cure for type 1 diabetes and remain hopeful that one will come in my lifetime, I stopped making the calls and letters to Congress, letter drives, and major fundraisers for research several years ago. I find myself better suited to the public advocacy life where I tell the story and use this platform as my voice. It was probably too many unanswered letters, feelings of wasted dollars, and wasted research progress that gave me the advocacy burnout. Hopefully I’ll return to it in the near future though.


There it is. My five tidbits of knowledge…more confessions. There is certainly more to all of these conditions than five small points, but I can only repeat that “I didn’t eat too much sugar to get type 1 diabetes,” “I can eat that chocolate cake,” and all the other myth responses so many times. Instead I think I’ll make some flash cards so I can save my voice for more confessions. They’re so much more fun!

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