Controlling the Altitude of your Diabetes.

Have you ever been asked to explain type 1 diabetes (T1D) in simple terms?  Perhaps you are asking your friends to support you in your fundraising efforts, or are explaining T1D to a co-worker.  The best way I can explain the daily journey with T1D is to compare it to flying a plane. 

In order for a pilot to keep the plane in the air, and to provide the passengers with a comfortable ride, they must refer to the instruments in the cockpit.  These tools help them adjust the altitude and speed of the plane.  They do not want the plane to fly too high, nor do they want the plane to fly too low.

Likewise, a person living with T1D has many different instruments available to them to help manage their diabetes – blood glucose monitors, insulin pumps, needles, insulin, continuous glucose monitors, etc.  They also do not want their blood glucose levels to go too high or too low.  After referring to these tools they can make adjustments to their insulin or eat some food.

We have all experienced turbulence on flights that can take us by surprise.  When the ride gets bumpy, the pilot makes a few adjustments and the flight becomes smooth once again.  A person living with T1D also experiences unexpected ‘turbulence’ throughout the day.  Blood glucose levels may be elevated, may drop for no reason, or your insulin pump infusion set may decide not to cooperate.  You make adjustments, and carry on.

From the first plane that the Wright brothers built, to the fastest jumbo jets – technology has improved.  The same is true in the tools that are available to manage diabetes.  From urine testing to blood glucose monitoring, and needles to insulin pumps – we have come a long way.

How do you explain T1D to someone that is new to diabetes? Send your stories to mystory@jdrf.ca and you may be featured in an upcoming blog post. 

Lets turn type one into type none