Age: 28 Year Diagnosed: 1991 Location: Los Angeles, Ca
"I was a competitive diver in high school and college and used to wear the Deltec Cosmo water proof pump (waaaaaay before anything like Omnipod existed). Most practices, I would disconnect and leave my pump in my gym bag and reconnect every so often to replace my basal. I had one practice that I walked into with a high blood sugar and felt like poop. I decided to keep my pump on for practice so I wouldn't miss a drop of insulin. I went up to the board to start practicing a new dive that involved somersaulting and twisting. The minute I was in the air, I started twisting one direction and my pump went the other. I hit the water wound up in my own tubing and completely botched the dive (really, I was forever bad at this dive, pump problems or not). I quickly gave up diving with my pump and stuck with taking more breaks to bolus.
I wish people understood how strong living with Type 1 Diabetes makes you, not how sick. Growing up with this disease, I've had my fair share of sick days and close calls, but I would never in a million years label myself as a "sick kid". I was a happy, curious, energetic youngster that learned how to plan for every situation, make lemonade out of some outrageous lemons, and be self-reliant. Looking back, diabetes has taught me important life skills that has helped shape the person I am today.
The greatest lesson I've learned so far on my journey with type 1 was from my camp doctor, Dr. Mary Simon. There is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" blood sugar number. Checking your glucose is not a test, you cannot get a pass or fail grade. They are simply numbers, data points to help you navigate this really unpredictable disease. The only type of "good" data you can have, is lots of data! Don't be afraid to check because of the number that will show up on the screen. Know that you're doing awesome just by checking it."