Diabetic Traveler

When I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes; juvenile diabetes, mostly affecting teens and preteens (because of an unhealthy lifestyle and/or obesity) and sometimes seen in infants (because of heredity).

I don’t remember the days leading up to this but I remember that evening at the doctor’s clinic pretty clearly. I was waiting with my parents in the lobby outside his consultation room, the lobby was dimly lit, there were maybe three-four other people besides us. When we walked into the doctor’s room, he welcomed us with a sad smile. “Your reports have come in, you’re diabetic.” He said.

I was immediately put on insulin; it had to be injected into my body before every meal, I had to follow a strict diet tailored by a nutritionist and I had to involve myself in some form of physical activity regularly.

It feels so easy to write all this, easier to read. But even though it’s been more than a decade now, I am slowly beginning to wrap my head around it. When I was younger, I never realized that this – – disorder would be for a lifetime. I knew it in theory, of course. Theoretically, I know everything about diabetes there is to know. But I had never come to terms with it in my head, and I don’t why that was. I think it’s because my mind refused to accept that there was something wrong with my body,  something that couldn’t be repaired. My mind didn’t accept that so I didn’t accept it.

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When I met Naveen, he further fuelled the travel bug in me and that was when I came to making one of the major decisions of my life: I wanted to travel. I didn’t want traveling to be a part of my life, I wanted it to be my life. I wanted my life to revolve around my travel plans. And as ridiculous as it may sound, I was ready to do everything to make sure that it worked out. It should. It had to. I wanted it that desperately, sorely. And when my health was the reason I had to pause my travels, I knew what I had to do.

My journey with diabetes may have started a decade ago but I am just about beginning to accept that. That had to be my first step; accepting that there was a problem that I had ignored for far too long, accepting that I had been careless and irresponsible with my health and accepting that I had lost control over myself, somewhere.

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I think that’s the beginning of any journey, of any process: Acceptance. Coming to terms with that the fact that there are some things that are not under your control but all you can do is put your best self forward and work with it and hope that you learn something on the way and come out of it, a better person.

I am diabetic. I take insulin four times a day. I do suffer from hypoglycemia (low sugar) from time to time but I’ll be damned if that’s the reason why I can’t do what I want to do.

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