An Open Letter From a Diabetic

Here is where my heart cries out. As a type 1, I can feel sorry for myself for having this 24/7, 365 debilitating disease where everything affects my blood sugar, which leads to blindness, heart disease and amputation, but what hurts the most is how the disease effects those closest to me. Diagnosed at the age of 22 and not having any family history of diabetes, it was new to me…after diagnosis, I remember walking away yelling, in a funny way, I have a condition, not even knowing this so-called condition was one of the fastest growing diseases. I also remember thinking, I was happy to get it rather than someone else because I figured it was something I could endure; I have always been head-strong and take on whatever comes. With that said, I didn’t know the trials and tribulations were going to come or how it would impact my life or the lives of those around me. 

I was fortunate to have a wife when I was diagnosed, who took it in stride and said, “we will defeat this, God is bigger than a disease.” Not long later, we had our first child, healthy as can be and brought new life and joy to us as people and as parents. Two years later, we had our second child, completing our family with a love like before. Being a husband and father is truly the greatest gift God has given me, something I wish everyone could experience and enjoy.

During these years, living with diabetes, my wife would tell me in her soft loving voice, “I think your blood sugar is getting low.” This line in itself has probably been said to me a thousand times over the years, from both her and my kids. She picked up on my slurred or slowed speech, on me fumbling my words and on my wanting to nap (which wasn’t at all normal). Although I am not an aggressive person or someone that shouts, I would argue, raise my voice and get defensive claiming that she was wrong. I would sneak away, test my blood sugar or drink a juice and I would come back as if nothing happened. How could she know, better than me? You see, like so many others, when my blood sugar drops, my personality changes significantly. My thought process does not seem to work properly. This is just one example of what family members go through, living with a diabetic. These moments don’t just hurt a diabetic. The family lives with it, just as much, if not more than the diabetic. The family becomes used to it, but in my life, they are the true hero’s/warriors. For the amount of times I have yelled at my wife or kids because; I am so sorry. You have lovingly endured more than you should have had to. Thank you for your love and standing by during those odd ball moments and especially for not giving up. David, I am sorry I argue with you as much as I do, you are absolutely someone I admire. Josh, you have a heart of gold. Paula, you are beautiful, God sent, and are the answer. Paula, for the time you met me at mile marker number 7 for the Bloomsday road race to give me a juice…you are a life saver, you are my angel. I don’t want families to endure pain I brought to my family.

There are many things I can get over and forget about such as the road trip when my blood sugar dropped while driving, the time 911 had to be called in the middle of the night while camping in a forest, the time I lost a job because of low blood sugar and then worked a job for half the pay. I can get over losing friends because I was too afraid to inject insulin in front of them (didn’t want to look like a drug addict), or get low blood sugar around them, causing an “embarrassment” to myself yourself or my family. All of us with diabetes have similar stories or events in our lives due to this disease.

My advice: forget about trying to hide the fact you’re a diabetic, because you don’t want to be labeled. Forget about all the medical appointments and health care costs; it is not something we have control over. Your life is worth living, and living well, accepting that sometimes we might feel a little socially awkward and have to deal with things that others don’t. We are a group of people with similar stories and scenarios, however, there are groups of other people facing different challages. Everyone has challenges of their own. Don’t let this disease hold you back, keep you from living your true life.

The disease sucks, and I wish it could be figured out, but now I choose to do something about it. I have waited almost 20 years for a miracle to come, for a cure to be found, but I now realize, it doesn’t need to be in control.

I want this medical alert necklace to help with those forgetful moments; to be a tool to help you live your life. It was created not just us diabetics but for our families too.  I made it so that it is always within reach, not something you or your loved ones have to search for. It has been filled with the same solution we use as EMT’s to help with the most common problem diabetics face hypoglycemia/low blood sugar. I make it a point to help to help myself when my blood sugar drops just a little too low so that others to avoid a severe drop in blood sugar so that my family does not have to be frightened. For those instances when it does drop too low my wife or kids the solution they need, they don’t have to search for something nor do they have to inject me. This necklace contains the fastest over the counter product, that I have tested, in order to raise low blood sugar.

I'm Kris Maynard, Founder of Glucose Revival and I want to tell you that God is bigger than the disease. I became lost on my journey but now, having found my way, I can help all those affected by diabetes. Don't give up and don't lose hope. We're all in this together.

Kris Maynard