My reality involves numbers. All the time. Carbohydrate content, insulin doses, blood sugar levels.

My reality is jabbing a lancet into my fingers several times a day and squeezing blood out.

My reality involves using a spring-loaded device to shoot a needle into me every three days.

My reality has me connected to a pump twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

My reality means I scrutinise graphs, adjust medication doses and calculate ratios.

My reality has made me good at maths!

My reality is about 8 hours a year with health professionals and the rest of the time I figure it out on my own.

My reality includes times when I am unable to do anything other than shake; or cry; or giggle; or do all of these things at once.

My reality has me surrounded by amazing people who have been forced to learn far too much about a condition of which they would otherwise be ignorant.

My reality means a job where I meet inspirational people who have lived with my condition for decades. And they are still smiling, walking, seeing, loving. Living. Breathing.

My reality is the reason I have encountered incredibly, strong, smart, brilliant people who understand everything I say. Because it’s their reality, too.

My reality sometimes makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. And not think about it ever again.

My reality makes me stand up in front of hundreds of people to tell them what it’s all about. And how we deserve to be respected, admired, trusted and valued.

My reality has made me an advocate for others sharing this reality. It has made me loud, proud and determined. And, at times, very, very angry.

My reality has made me an expert at something I knew nothing about a mere thirteen years ago.

My reality makes me incredibly proud of some achievements. And resolute to prove wrong people who say ‘you can’t do this’.

My reality makes me feel a part of something bigger than me.

My reality includes miracles.

My reality connects me to people all over the world who let me know they are there and they understand. Using only 140 characters.

My reality makes me celebrate the successes – mine and other peoples. And that makes be a better person.

My reality is only part of who I am.

My reality. Diabetes.