We caught up with an inspirational T1D blogger, instagrammer and influencer, Judy Mitri from Montreal and asked her to share her journey to acceptance of her diagnosis. If you’re struggling to come to terms with diabetes, this story is for you – ED.
From age 15 and through university I would not tell people I had diabetes.
My best friends knew but I would not test in public. I was passive and in denial – I did not understand why I had diabetes?– Why me? I would not wear a pump because I did not want it to show. I also did not want to answer all the questions people have about diabetes, like for example ”oh I didn’t know you can eat cake?” I wasn’t managing my numbers properly and would drink while going out, without really feeling scared about the highs and lows.
After university, I moved away from home and eventually lived by myself while going to graduate school. There was not a lot to do in the area so I worked out a lot and experienced a lot of lows. I stopped feeling the lows and becoming hypo unaware scared me and made me test my fingers way more than I should. With no one living with me, I was afraid to sleep. I realized that diabetes is a big deal and could be dangerous.
I moved back home and chose to be mature and take diabetes seriously. I read a lot of articles on diabetes to become more informed. I even bought the book “Think like a Pancreas” (Amazon) which helped me a lot. I decided that having diabetes is not a shame and that I could be upfront about it. I got a CGM and then a pump, and was showing them without any shame. I now wear my pod and my Dexcom on my arms so that people can start asking me questions and I am able to educate them. I continue to work out but now I am more informed and avoid lows.
I started posting on Instagram and found this crazy and supportive community. We share this ‘big thing in common’ and everyone is generous with advice. They gave me tips, etc. The posts and peoples responses made me feel less alone. I started an Instagram blog — https://www.instagram.com/hyper.hypo/ — which created a broader group of people who support me and each other. I created a website — https://diahyperhypo.com/ — to be public about my diabetes. I even created a sports bra for myself with an integrated pocket to make it easier to work out with my pump, which I now sell to others with T1D, so they can work out in comfort without feeling that T1 diabetes is limiting them.
The journey might seem long, but like I always say, there is always sunshine after the rainstorm. It is pretty common that a lot of T1 diabetics go through phases in which taking care of their own health may not be a priority, but the important thing to understand is that our bodies are the engines of our lives. We need to take care of it in order to realize our dreams and one way to do that is to focus on the positive rather than on the negative!