2- min read 28/02/2022
author Talitha Paauwe

“My diabetes won't stop me”, “diabetes won't stop me”. I was always the first to say that. I really don't let my illness stop me! For example, I planned a one-year world trip and went backpacking with diabetes. And I'm not the only one who won't let me stop. Len cycled from the Netherlands all the way to China, with diabetes. Bas became a top athlete with diabetes. It's all possible, we didn't let it stop us.


But recently I came across a post from a diabuddy, who claimed the opposite: "diabetes does stop me sometimes." And at first I thought: 'not with me', but her message stuck. And soon I found out that my diabetes sometimes stops me too. That my diabetes sometimes holds me back. As much as I'd like to say it isn't.

Like on my brother-in-law's birthday, when part of the family went for a walk. I wanted to come, but I didn't. My blood sugar was 4.8 (80 mg/dl) and walking always makes me drop really hard. Or the time I went on a bike ride with my husband. We had to stop every few miles because I had low blood sugar. In Sri Lanka, I skipped the surf lesson because my blood sugars had been bad all day. My diabetes stops me after a bad night. At the end of the day I end up on the couch and do little more.


Diabetes will stop me, though. It sometimes stops me. I can't always do everything I want. And that's not fun, annoying even, but it's allowed. It's okay to say "no." You don't always have to keep going. It's best to let your diabetes stop you.


Yet. Do I have to drop all my motto now? Is my new motto now that diabetes is holding me back? New. Because diabetes doesn't stop my big dreams, my big goals. It doesn't stop me from living my life the way I want. Yes, it sometimes holds me back in the steps towards it. It makes it harder, but I won't let go. I hope you don't either. I hope you can still make your dreams come true, that you can do whatever you want with diabetes.

Because despite the missed surf lesson in Sri Lanka, I did leave to make my dream come true: backpacking for a year. And while his diabetes made the bike ride more difficult for Len, he cycled to China and made it.

Diabetes sometimes holds us back, but it doesn't stop us.

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