This week 8th-14th June 2014 is Diabetes Week with the theme ‘I can’.

I Can ….because I have insulin! I thank Frederick Banting and Charles Best for their life saving work in their discovery of insulin in 1921.

I Can….be positive because I have experienced swimming in the depths of despair and depression.

I Can ….still ‘see’ after 14 years of Diabetic Retinopathy, 3 vitrectomy operations, laser treatment, cataract removals and plastic lens implants. I developed retinopathy through my pregnancy and had to sit with my head in a frame having laser beams shot into both eyes while heavily pregnant, with my baby deciding to play football inside me on each occasion, while I feared the movement and kicks would make my head move! Scary times. I was advised (in order to save my sight) to have a Caesarean section early at 37 weeks of pregnancy. I was afraid for my baby and afraid I would literally never see her face. Two days after delivery I was taken to the eye clinic in a wheelchair for further laser treatment. Having my daughter early did not stop the aggressive progression of the retinopathy as they had hoped. I was told I would more than likely loose my eyesight. I fought. I lost my peripheral vision but I’ve kept my main vision. Yes it’s blurry at times and full of black dots and moving seaweed ( that’s what the bleeds in my retina look like to me) but I can see my daughter still after 14 years and it’s made me see more clearly than I ever saw before!

I Can…. make a difference and help others. I can share my experiences of living with Type 1 Diabetes. I can now campaign for better accessibility to Diabetes technology and I can introduce others to the Diabetic Online Community. I can join in with The Big Collection at my local Tesco Store 13th-15th June which I will be doing with my daughter. Look I can even write a blog now!

I Can …. eat cake yes that’s correct I CAN!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I can… Because I have, I am and I want to. I was always told “there’s no such word as can’t” so when I think I can’t I adapt and realise I actually can.

Diabetic life can be a challenge there’s no sugar coating it. Full of highs and lows, discoveries, excitement, uncertainty, fear, knowledge and learning curves. One thing I can advocate is positivity. If you listen to Mary Poppins ” just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way!” I used to think ummm not if you have diabetes that would send your blood sugars through the roof except if you take it for hypo treatment purposes! I’d always think ah go fly a kite! ๐Ÿ˜‰ but it was said in a metaphorical sense not literal which I realised as I grew up. Mary Poppins really was ‘ practically perfect in every way’ with an infectious positive attitude.
So if Mary Poppins can be positive so can I, mind you I do wish I could fly around with that umbrella I’ve looked on Amazon/eBay but they don’t appear for sale ! Never say never !
One thing I can give freely is the advice to try to make living with diabetes a ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ experience despite the struggles we face together. I can because I can.