I am a Mother, a Daughter, a Sister, an Auntie, a Granddaughter and a Godmother. I am a best friend, a friend and aquaintance. I am a memory and a future. Oh I nearly forgot I am a Type1 diabetic or should I say I have Type1 diabetes. This term ‘diabetic’….Is it a noun or an adjective? It’s used as both. I don’t have a preference. Type1 diabetes is part of my life. It has accompanied me for over three decades. The terms ‘diabetic’ and ‘diabetes’ do not define who I am. They are both made up of eight letters so in a nut shell are they not one in the same? It is part of me. Ok a majorly humongous part but it isn’t the only thing about me that there is. And neither is it an ‘it’.
Some people with diabetes feel like they have a label. That there said label is divided as the term ‘diabetes’ is an umbrella term. There are types of diabetes don’t forget. … Tyoe1, Type2, gestational….So does that make me a ‘Type’ plus a ‘label’ or a type of label? Then there is they way you choose to treat your diabetes (Tyoe1 in my case) by MDI ( multiple daily injections) or by means of an insulin pump. I’ve done both and I’ve chosen the pump to stay with me. So I’m a pumper too. That is my personal decision. We are all individuals. We all have a choice. We can be what we want to be.
Society labels people. We as a society have done this over time to ourselves. I have Type1 diabetes it does not have me, except for 24 hours of every single day where I have to think about what I’m doing, eating, carb counting, working out insulin doses and of course continually checking my blood glucose levels. But all of that is only part of me and my life.
So who am I ? I am Kate Louise. Born in the 70’s a child of the 80’s, turned into an adult in the 90’s and gave birth to my daughter in the Millennium. I laugh. I cry. I bleed. I can be spontaneous, crazy and wild. I am a cat and dog lover and I love snakes too (just could never bring myself to feed them dead mice so stopped myself from becoming an owner of one). See I can be sensible ! I am a wind up merchant and love it when someone gets their own back on me.. Touché ! I can listen, empathise and advise. I am an ex-wife, an ex lover. I am human ( I think!) I have stories to share and secrets to keep. I have regrets, I have wishes. I can be a pain the backside too. I can be naively confident at times. I have blonde hair and yes when I do something rather silly I am the first to describe myself as ‘a blonde’ why? Because I can laugh at myself. Because I can say it too and I have no problem with this, after all I know I can change a fuse in a plug!
I am me. I have my diabetes and other conditions that join me on my journey through life. I am Kate Louise so label me what you wish. I am my own person, myself and I are content with this.
On my headstone there won’t be a reference to my diabetes, or my achievements or mistakes made and learnt from. It will hold my name and relationship to the family I love. Plus my date of birth and the date that is yet to come. That is all. That is enough. It will read Kate Louise and that is what is important. That for me is ok because like the song says ‘I am what I am’. I am Kate Louise always have been always will be….

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