When you think of art, what comes to mind? Creative art, colourful art, abstract art, black and white art? Art is different to every person, therefore, the art of living with diabetes is different to every person living with diabetes.
There are many different arts (ways) of living with diabetes. My art of living with diabetes include lifestyle, foodstuff and sports. I ensure my sugar readings stay under control so that I can be healthy and live a long and happy life.
I keep my blood glucose levels under control by making sure that I eat the correct foods. I include a large amount of fresh vegetables and fruit and, of course, protein. My favourite proteins are chicken and pork.
By doing this, my sugar readings do not get too high. By eating correctly, I don’t need to inject myself with insulin too many times a day.
In our household, we only drink sugar-free cool drinks and water, which means less sugar and less insulin injections for me. We also eat mostly home-cooked meals, which is healthier and better for my blood glucose readings.
I play a lot of sport which keeps me active and keeps me healthy and in shape, both physically and mentally. I’m a cricketer and a golfer. It takes at least four to six hours to complete a cricket game or a round of golf. So, I always keep healthy snacks and water with me to ensure my sugar level remains stable. However, I enjoy any sport as I enjoy being out in the fresh air.
My lifestyle also includes not watching too much TV, etc. and trying not to stress too much about school and exams. Stress can affect my sugar readings too.
I realise that different people have their own art of living with diabetes. It is your choice what art you use and how you use that art.
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Aiden Nel lives in Port Elizabeth. He is 15 years old and has Type 1 diabetes.