Throughout this year, in the short time that I have been training in 2010, I have not yet mentioned those "Type IIIs" in my life. Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999, refers to those that support, love, and encourage diabetics around the world as "Type III Diabetics." For those that may not know, Type I diabetes is what is referred to as "insulin dependent diabetes," (what I have) and Type II diabetes is non-insulin dependent diabetes. Therefore, Type III occurs when you have friends, family, and other loved ones who depend on you for support in their day to day diabetes care.
I am fortunate to have many type IIIs in my life that include my parents, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and others who have had an impact on my life during the last 12 years since being diagnosed. However, I would be remiss if I did not give special mention to my wife, Jessica, who is always supportive of me and my diabetes care. She is certainly the reason that I even participate in the Ride to Cure Diabetes since she is one who truly encouraged us to participate in the event for the first time in 2009. As I mentioned in the final blog last year, she even won the spirit jersey in the '09 Sonoma Ride because of her dedication to me and the fight for a cure. Spouses and partners are arguably the most important piece of any diabetic's daily care and I am fortunate to have a wife who puts my diabetes care at the top of her priorities. She shows me greater love through this than anyone could ever replicate!
Another Type III that I need to mention is our Yorkie, Cooper. Now this may sound a little crazy, but when I am asleep at night, if I do not wake up while going low (when blood sugar dips below 80 due to too much insulin, lots of exercise, etc.), Cooper wakes up and in-turn wakes me up. This phenomenon has happened more than once over the last 2-3 years, in fact, I would say that it happens almost monthly. I mentioned this to my endocrinologist at a recent visit and she in fact confirmed that I am not crazy and that this is a sense that dogs can develop after living with someone with diabetes for so long. Another factor could be that when I am low and it is 3:00am, I eat like it is my last meal and that meal usually includes peanut butter and crackers. Cooper loves peanut butter and crackers so he may have ulterior motives when he wakes me up as well! He is currently training our newest canine family addition, Stella, so that she can hone her own low blood sugar identification skills.
I could go on and one but without making a long list I do want to thank everyone who has ever asked me about my diabetes, financially contributed to one of our many fundraisers, or supported any other diabetic in any way. Diabetes can be a lonely journey and it is you, our Type IIIs, that keep us going day after day. Thank you.