Crystal Bowersox: Standing Back Up
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No Longer a Secret
After keeping her diabetes a secret because of fear of being treated differently, Crystal Bowersox is now embracing life with type 1 diabetes. "Getting ketoacidosis and going to the hospital in [American Idol] season nine, I knew my diabetes wasn't a secret anymore," the singer-songwriter says.
"Once [my diabetes] was out in the open, I realized it allowed me to be more active in the diabetes community and I was no longer ashamed." By embracing her diabetes and becoming a role model through avenues such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and OneTouch, Crystal says taking care of her diabetes has never been more important. "By bringing awareness to diabetes, it's constantly on your mind and forces you to take care of yourself."
Surround Yourself with Support
"It's a great feeling when someone comes up to me and tells me they are going to take care of themselves because they see me taking care of myself -- I'm helping make a difference for others living with diabetes," Crystal says.
Knowledge Is Power
"I always ask, 'Have you checked your sugar today?' Because the more you know, the more you can do," Crystal says. "Although every day is different, and I might not always have the control I want, I know the more knowledge I have about what is going on with my sugars, the better. I strive for good control, but I don't beat myself up if I have an 'off' day."
Keep On Singing
"After becoming ill and seeing other people with diabetes wishing me well, everything got much clearer and I realized I am blessed to have diabetes -- [the diabetes community] is such an awesome support system to have," Crystal says. "It's so important to find communities in your area or online that you can reach out to for support to share your good moments and not-so-good moments with. I've even been able to reach out to the diabetes online community when my pump broke while traveling; it's nice to know I have someone to turn to."