I write about my health because…
it helps me feel less alone. This is the slightly edited intro from my book, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Diabetes, which spells out why I write about my health:
Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 14 years old, the cusp of adolescence, changed my life forever. Insulin injections, a “diabetic diet” and the ever present fear of complications were suddenly added to the typical teenage fixations of boys, clothes, and being popular. Instead of speaking in the 1980’s valley girl slang, I had to learn a medical dialect, the language of old age. Instead of experimenting with changing hormones and a budding sexuality, I had to learn how to read my body’s signals to determine if I was ‘high’ or ‘low,’ or whether I needed sugar, or if I needed to go for a walk to bring my sugar down. And all this time I felt like I was alone, like I was the only one in the world with this dreadful disease.
I didn’t realize when I started writing this book five years ago that I would was embarking on a journey both emotional and physical. Listening to nearly one hundred women has allowed me to see that I am not alone. Listening to the stories of women living with diabetes, women who were different from me in age and personality, women who lived in different parts of the country and even across the world, women who were athletes, doctors, educators, mothers and writers, women who were married, single and widowed, has taught me that I am not alone. We all share diabetes.
That’s why I write about my health.