You can graduate university. You can play cricket, football, lacrosse, and any other sport you want. You can become a famous painter. You can become a lawyer. You can get married and have a family. You can have a healthy baby. You can do anything you want without letting type 1 diabetes in the way of your dreams. In fact, Rachna, a participant of our monthly support groups from the Haridwar site in India, recently achieved a major goal in life. Not only did she personally overcome a great challenge, but she also led an inspirational example for women all around the world. Rachna has type 1 diabetes, but she recently gave birth to a happy and healthy baby!
At the latest December support group meeting, Rachna explained, "If I maintain sugars in normal range, I can have a healthy baby." She said this as a message to all women with diabetes who are pregnant, and she is definitely someone worthy of taking advice from. Rachna had to work hard to make sure that both her and her baby were healthy during her pregnancy. When she first found out that she was pregnant, she was happy to know she would soon be a mother, but was very fearful as well. Rachna didn't know what to expect, but she was determined not to let diabetes get in the way of her goal of becoming a mother. And Rachna didn't just stay healthy...she went above and beyond her normal diabetes regimen to ensure the health of both her and her baby. She had to take extra care managing her health during this time. She was hospitalized for 2 months, not for emergency reasons, but so that she kept a careful eye on her blood sugars and her baby's health. She kept precise records of the carbohydrates she ate, and constantly tested her blood sugars and adjusted her insulin ratios. Rachna explained that a healthy diet helped to keep her blood sugars stable.
(See photos of Rachna, her husband, and her baby above.)
With the help of a diabetes specialist, the nurses and doctors, and her family and friends, Rachna was able to have a healthy baby. She said that everyone was supportive, which made her happy. Since stress is also a big factor in one's blood sugars, this was very important. Rachna's husband was especially vital in keeping Rachna very upbeat and positive. He told us that he was also fearful in the beginning of the pregnancy, but he helped his wife by doing daily household tasks, asking Rachna if she checked her blood sugar and asking if she took the right dosage of insulin. He wanted to tell husbands of women who are pregnant with type 1 diabetes that you should help your wife follow the doctor's instructions and help take care of her blood sugars, so that your wife and children can have a happy life.
Rachna's story is not only an inspiration to future mothers all over the world, but an inspiration to everyone with diabetes. She proved that no matter what you want to do, if you set your mind to it and work hard enough, you will achieve your goal, and that diabetes does not have to stop you!
Rachna's milestone is a perfect example of the tone at the support group meeting this past December. The meeting was focused around reaching goals with diabetes, and it was the first meeting that Riley and I led together, which we were so excited about! The meeting kicked off with Riley, Alex, Dr. Gupta, Jack, and I explaining some goals that we would like to accomplish. The list ranged from staying healthy to doing well on college exams, but we all explained how we would achieve them with hard work! Then Riley, Alex, Dr. Gupta, Jack, and I had our question and answer session with the children in Haridwar and Vrindaban! The first question focused around friends and diabetes. We explained that you can have diabetes and still have friends, and they will still treat you the same! Alex attends all the meetings and is friends with Jack even though Jack has diabetes! We also answered a question where we explained that it is important to write down the correct blood sugars so that your doctors can help you get better control, even if the blood sugars you write down aren't too great. Finally, we explained that it is important to always carry diabetes supplies with you wherever you are.
Throughout the entire process we played games, involving carb counting and spinning cups! And Alex explained his inspirational quote, "Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal" by Pamela Vaull Starr and Rabindranath Tagore, leaving a message to everyone that they can achieve their goals no matter what. Building off of that, Jack asked everyone to set goals that they have to achieve by the next meeting! All the children were told to write their goals on a suitcase or a drawing of a suitcase, and then when they achieve them, Jay (a member of our team who loves aviation!) is going to have a great presentation to tie everything together, simulating a take-off so we can "soar" with our suitcases (which symbolize our goals).
Overall, this past support group was really fun and inspirational! With Rachna's healthy baby inspiring everyone, and some great goals we have set to achieve, I know that I (and I hope everyone else, too!) felt very motivated to reach our goals afterwards!
Hello everyone! I'm Hannah! I'm 16 years old and have been living a normal life with type 1 diabetes for 10 years! I'm so excited to share the journey of Penpals United with you through our blog!