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‘Being Type 1 diabetic is a gift’

I got this amazing email  about being a Type 1 diabetic from one of our community members last week and had to share it. Would you like to share your story with the Sweet Life community? Email us – we’d love to hear it.


being type 1 diabetic is a gift


Type 1 diabetic

What an absolute treat to read your magazine and continually refer to it.

I have been Type 1 diabetic for 14 years. As much of a roller coaster ride as it has been, I would not swop being diabetic for anything in the world.

The people you meet along this journey, the knowledge you gain about how your body functions and responds, the prior knowledge you get from high glucose readings before you get ill and a complete understanding of the people I meet who possibly battle with elevated glucose levels or hypoglycemia.

Attitude of gratitude

Being Type 1 diabetic makes you aware on every level – spirit, body, mind, soul, feelings, thoughts, allows for wise choices (although if not wise then the consequences that accompany these – you have actually just got to smile, knowing that this is within your control), tolerant and respectful of others.

It is without a doubt, a gift.

It is amazing how when you change your mindset and adopt an attitude of gratitude, how life truly shines in its full form.

Good days and bad

Make no error, there are days when I sit on my kitchen floor and weep in frustration – as ‘for no reason’ my sugar levels are astronomically high (21.0) or scarily low (1.8) and then I do adopt the ‘oh woe is me’ and sob. Then when I’m done I get up and reconsider things with fresh eyes and chances are good I know what I have done wrong, or that my insulin pens are not working as they should or my change in hormones as I get older has added a new spin.
I have a diabetic friend who is wise, a mindblowingly phenomenal psychologist who practices the Demartini approach. At one of my ‘I can’t do this’ moments, she told me to get myself a journal and write down 200 reasons why I am grateful for the gift of having diabetes. Initially I balked at the mere thought – then when you get started you just keep going and smile as you write or nod like a lunatic. I am on 150 reasons and it’s been a couple of months – but I look back and reread these and then put one foot in front of the other again, with purpose.
– Lara
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  1. shannon shannon

    Hi Lara,
    Your post is truly inspirational. Thank you for being one of the few that offers a positive spin on this challenging condition. My 2 and half year old grandchild was diagnosed Type 1 6 months ago and I’ve watched her parents’ lives turn into a tornado. Due to her young age and rapidly growing body, the highs get high and the lows get low, with hardly the middle featuring. They have the best support including dedicated doctors, endocrinologist and family, yet the challenges remain. We pray that medical science progresses fast enough for her to have an adult life without all the finger sticks and regular level testing or for the miracle of a cure.
    Any further advice is welcome.

    • So sorry to hear about your granddaughter, Shannon – that’s so difficult…
      I know the Facebook group ‘Kids powered by insulin’ has helped a lot of parents (it’s for parents of kids with Type 1 diabetes). It really helps to speak to others who have diabetes, as it’s such a huge adjustment in the beginning. I’d also be happy for them to email or call me –
      Chat soon,

  2. Lara Lara

    Hello beautiful Shannon

    I have sat in the consulting rooms of Dr David Segal, who is a child endocrinologist and diabetic doctor and seen these little people come in and I am humbled knowing that these little people are unable to voice what they are feeling in their body and explain that things are just not right.
    The latest person I have met on my journey, is breathtaking. She is a diabetic educator in Bryanston. She is the mom of a diabetic young man, who when he was tiny was told he had Type 1 diabetes. This young man is now in his 40’s.
    If at any time you need to talk, I am here.
    Read everything and meet others, who like you, are an incredible granny with a story to tell.
    You make a difference, gran
    Love Lara

What do you think?

Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.