I have the pleasure to share a guest blog from Tyler Brown. Tyler is a T1. He is leading a very full life and accomplishing amazing things at his young age. He is an inspiration to others. He sets a great example that shows children and college-aged kids how they can strive for demanding careers, be a family man and take control of their diabetes. I hope to share updates from Tyler on a regular basis. Here is his introduction and diagnosis.
I didn’t know what was going on. I just knew one day I was happy and seemingly healthy and the next day I was in the hospital. I didn’t understand what diabetes meant or how it would change my life. As a five year old, all I knew was what I saw around me—my mother would cry a lot, the doctors would talk to me about shots and blood sugar and other things that meant nothing to me, and family members would look at me with a face of veiled pity. As I went to school, I did not realize that there was anything different about me, I simply had to take more trips to the nurse’s office than other kids. Even as I got older, I did not realize the gravity of my diagnosis—the repercussions of poor control, the way that this one diagnosis can complicate almost every other area of life, and the fact that this would likely be a lifelong struggle. In many ways, I had to grow into my diabetes, to learn the very real consequences of diabetes while not letting those consequences hold me back from the rest of life. I had to go through fits of anger and pits of depression as diabetes became ever more tangible in my everyday life. I’ve had to accept that a cure may never come. And most importantly, I have had to learn that diabetes does not have to be what limits or defines me in life.
I was diagnosed seventeen years ago this month. In many ways, I still feel as though I’m stumbling through the new obstacles of life trying to learn how to maintain normalcy with type 1 diabetes. Yet in a lot of ways, I have learned and grown because of this disease. I am an aspiring doctor working in a hospital where I am often able to see how diabetes allows me to be a more effective and compassionate healthcare provider. I am a husband who is learning how taking care of my disease affects my wife as well as myself. And I am a pre-medicine student learning to balance the rigors of school while also managing my disease. In short, I am like so many other diabetics—learning how to control diabetes while not letting diabetes control me . It is my desire here to share my journey, the things I have learned, and the struggles that I am still learning from.