Diabetes Awareness Month: Bill’s Bottle Challenge
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. For me, every month is diabetes awareness month. I have had Type 1 Diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, for 18 years. In simple terms, it means my pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, and no amount of diet and exercise will fix that. I manage and control my diabetes with an insulin pump, a mechanical pancreas of sorts. It’s a life-saving, life changing medical device that frees me of carrying vials of insulin and needles with me wherever I go. Even with a pump, diabetes is a difficult thing to manage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When you live with a chronic illness, you see a lot of doctors and get a lot of advice. Sometimes it’s the simple stuff that leaves the biggest impact.
I lived in San Francisco after I was first diagnosed and saw a wonderful doctor who masterfully blended Eastern and Western medicine. She talked to me a lot about the best ways to stay healthy and offered me a tip that I carry with me everywhere I go, literally. She said “be the guy who always has a water bottle in your hand, as water will help your control your diabetes”. That’s it. No magic pill, nothing special to buy. Just carry a water bottle everywhere. Ironically, two decades later, I’m working for Aquasana, a-best-in-class water filtration company, and I have access to all the water bottles I could possible need to carry. Medically, the reason she told me to drink lots of clean water is that my body is already working hard enough and I don’t want to make my body, or my kidneys specifically, work any harder by having to filter out the harmful chemicals found drinking water.
I have always made a commitment to healthy living, even before I was diagnosed with Type 1, but even more so now that 40 is almost in the rear view mirror. When I travel for work, I have to plan ahead more than most- think through meals, count carbs, and count the number of glasses of water I drink, all in an effort to map out healthy choices so I can stay ahead of my blood sugar. I also exercise regularly and everywhere I go, you can find an Aquasana water bottle in my hand.
If like me, you are living with diabetes, I challenge you to join me in carrying a water bottle everywhere you go. Join me in Bill’s Bottle Challenge, during November, and I will send you a glass, BPA free, water bottle. Email me at Bill.McFadden@aquasana.com and send me your address.
If you want to encourage others, post a picture of yourself on Aquasana’s Facebook and Twitter pages holding your bottle and use hashtag #BillsBottleChallenge. Together we can’t cure diabetes, but we can manage it and start a healthy trend.
*Only a limited number of water bottles will be given away, so join Bill’s Bottle Challenge now!