• Bekah Vander Stelt


How can it already be TEN WHOLE YEARS??!? It honestly doesn't even seem possible. I remember sitting in the hospital with 867 blood sugar right before my diagnosis like it was yesterday. But then again, I can't really even remember what life was like before having T1D.

Being able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, without a care in the world. Sure seems nice...I definitely took my pancreas for granted for 15ish years! Although, I will say that having Type One Diabetes has definitely allowed me to grow in lots of ways. It has taught me to be in-tune with my body, it has taught me to love myself despite my "set-backs", and it has taught me to be thankful for every moment the Lord blesses me with on this earth.

I was doing some thinking today about how long 10 years is.

10 years is 120 months

10 years is 521 weeks

10 years is 3650 days

That's how long I have had T1D. That's a pretty darn long time. I have had AWESOME days, I have had TERRIBLE days and I have had ones in between. Through it all I have grown stronger and more confident than I ever thought possible.

Here are 10 things I have learned in my 10 years of having T1D

  1. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Just because I have a faulty pancreas doesn't make me any less than anyone else.

  2. Don't be ashamed of being a T1D. Show off the gadgets. It's a great convo starter. You should spread awareness of T1D often.

  3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Fuel it with this to help it. Exercise is important. What you eat matters. Taking care of your body WILL allow you to live a longer, healthier life.

  4. Don't get upset with your mom-she just loves you. I remember when I added my mom on my Dexcom app, allowing her to see my blood sugars 24/7 I used to get so annoyed when she would text/call me if I got too low. She always just wanted to make sure I was okay-so THANKS MOM, I LOVE YOU

  5. You are stronger than you think. Diabetes is a challenge. It requires CONSTANT thought. The psychological impact diabetes has is real BUT just know that you CAN do it!

  6. Make friends with other diabetics. This is one I wish I would have learned A LONG TIME AGO. Go to the camp, walk the T1D walk, reach out to other T1Ds on instagram. I didn't ever attend a diabetes camp because I thought they were so weird. I never really had any friends who had T1D either. This definitely caused me to feel alone at times.

  7. It's all about balance. Just like any other human on this earth, it is important to eat healthy and to exercise but you can have that cookie. You don't have to deprive yourself. Find what works for you and GO FOR IT!

  8. Not everyone will understand. I think my biggest fear when I was diagnosed was that I wouldn't be accepted. People would think I was weird or gross or ate too much sugar as a kid. I honestly don't ever remember a time in my life where someone talked negatively about me because of my diabetes but I am sure it probably happened. Just remember that you did NOTHING to get this disease.

  9. Theres always going to be highs and lows. I think for a while I got so used to not taking super good care of myself that I settled for A1C's in the 8's and 9's. I knew it wasn't great but I just didn't think I could do better. The past year or so I have pulled myself to much tighter control. My A1C is 7.2 which still could be better but it's a huge improvement. I do find myself getting really upset and disappointed now though when I have tough days. I think its so important to always remind yourself that just because you have a bad blood sugar day, it doesn't make you a bad diabetic. There will always be highs and lows and that OKAY!

  10. DON'T LET DIABETES LIMIT YOU. When I was younger there were things I didn't participate in because I was scared of how my blood sugars would be. I had always been on dance and didn't try out my junior year because I had just been diagnosed with T1D. There was time I let diabetes limit me. To this day I regret that. I will no longer let diabetes be an excuse for not doing something. I am stronger than I ever thought possible because of diabetes!!!!!

As my 10 year diaversary comes to a close I just want to let you all know how thankful I am for you. Even if I don't know you and you have read this I am talking to you. Because of your support I have become stronger and more confident as a T1D!

To my family and friends-

you are the best support system I could have dreamed of. I appreciate you more than you'll ever know! THANK YOU!!

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