D-Blog Week topic 2 – "One great thing"

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well! 

This is a challenging topic for me. I spend so much time talking with other people about their diabetes, their problems and their amazing achievements that I don’t stop so much to think about how I am travelling myself. As a type 1 diabetic for 33 years who has 3 boys ranging in age from 3 to 18 years I think that is pretty much my number one GREATEST thing ever. That I had these beautiful people and have managed to somehow care for them at the same time as my own diabetes, is pretty cool and the best thing in my life. It is also pretty cool that I have lived and not just lived but flourished, with type 1 diabetes for so many years.

Having worked in diabetes for a decade I know that I am also doing great things for people with diabetes. I get the warm fuzzy every time someone tells me how much my words and caring have helped them through a dark time, cleared up a question that had been bugging them, or made them laugh out loud. After so many years doing this it is simply my life. I was the proud recipient last year on World Diabetes Day of the very prestigious (In Australian type 1 circles) “Seed Award” from the amazing and totally fabulous folk at the type 1 diabetes network. This award celebrates the achievements of someone making a difference for people with diabetes and I was thrilled to get it. The guys over at the type 1 diabetes network and in particular Kate Gilbert, had a big influence on me when I got started with Diabetes Counselling Online all those years ago. They remain a vital part of the type 1 support and advocacy puzzle in Australia.

So that was a good day. It reminded me that it is ok to celebrate my achievements and not brush them off. It reminded me that people really do appreciate and recognise all the extra miles I walk along with the small group of mostly family and some other very generous people with diabetes, to support others. Take last night, I am not well, had a 3 year old to put to bed, had a Facebook chat to run in our “Rural Diabetes” group, had 2 young women with type 1 texting and messaging me at the same time and another mum of a type 1 with some questions. All of this when I really wanted to watch the first battle rounds of “The Voice”!! AND I had a day where my own diabetes did not play fair. I spent the entire day hovering between 16 Mmol (288) and 20 mmol (360) – no matter what I did – pumped more insulin, changed the site, did not eat….you know the days. And then of course I was low by bed time and spiked again overnight to you guessed it, 16 mmol (288)…..so among all the lovely moments of my life I am surrounded by diabetes – my own and that of many, many other people. And you know what? I do not regret or wish away any of it.

I do sometimes need to stop and give myself a pat on the back. Give myself a hug and say well done, you are amazing. My Endocrinologist once said to me that living with type 1 diabetes is a full time job on its own. And he was right.  Motherhood is also a full time job. So I guess with these two jobs, plus running a national counselling service, diabetes wellbeing retreats and just starting my PhD – I pretty much have all my time covered. Not wasting a second.

Thanks for making me think about it guys.



  1. Sally Marchini on May 15, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I really related to your blog as am in a very similar position myself but also have coeliac disease so am in process of opening private practice as a dietitian – very stressful time, but loving every minute! Well done to us! 🙂

    • Helen Edwards on May 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

      thanks Sally and best of luck!!

  2. Helene Wild on May 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

    you are one amazing woman and living your life to the full, no excuses, and no wasted time in your life! Love you always

    • Helen Edwards on May 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

      thanks Helen, right back at ya! 🙂

  3. busybag on May 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Great post! My post today is very similar to yours! We really do need to pat ourselves on the back. And it’s okay to get ‘burnout’ when you are taking care of everyone else’s diabetes. I actually stepped away from the field recently to focus on my own diabetes. Koudos to you for recognizing the difference of making a difference and caring about yourself and your family first!!

  4. busybag on May 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Great post!! My post is very similar to yours today. We really do need to give ourselves a pat on the back when we are trying to take care of everyone else’s diabetes and our own. It’s okay to get ‘burnout’ from this. Kuodos to you for recognizing the difference between making a difference in others and being there for yourslef and your family primarily. I recently stepped away from the field to focus on my own diabetes, and I’m at peace with it.

    • Helen Edwards on May 16, 2012 at 8:31 am

      hi there 🙂 thanks for commenting – it is great to hear about people living lives on similar paths. I congratulate you on being able to step away and be at peace with that. I wonder how I will do it when the time comes. Hopping across to read your blog!