By Robbie Austin
“Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “Not your pancreas.” TYPE 1 DIABETES!
My name is Robbie and I was diagnosed with Diabetes in February of 1998. I was in the 6th grade and scared to death. I remember while I was in the hospital, my class sent a signed poster board paper. One particular student signed it, “You’ll have a lot of homework when you get back.”
This was my first memorable moment of having Diabetes. I didn’t know at that time, but my journey on this thing we call life was set to be a wild ride.
I remember in junior high and high school I got to leave class early to go to the nurse and check my blood sugar. I was excited about this because I was able to be in the cafeteria a few minutes early before any other student. I had first dibs on the food, salad bar, and I could sit anywhere I wanted.
When I was about fourteen I took a real step into doing something in spite of my Diabetes. I’ve always been a big pro wrestling fan and some friends and I decided to put on a match for the youth at our church. It was so much fun and even the other kids that were there thought it was great and entertaining. From that point on, I was constantly performing skits at church and in plays when I was high school, I love to entertain people.
By far, my most favorite experiences with diabetes is going to Camp Endres. I believe I went there for 3 years. I still look back at those moments and just love them.
In 2006 I decided that with my passion of entertaining and pro wrestling I would start my own wrestling company. By this point I had some training and had studied tapes and watched how things were done. Some friends and I would put on these shows once a month.
If anyone has watched pro wrestling, they’ve seen that the wrestlers are actively moving and being thrown around. As we all know when we’re really active, that burns the carbs that are in our body. I had one time that my blood sugar dropped in the middle of match, but I had kept on going to finish.
The following year, I was traveling to multiple areas to wrestle such as Arkansas, Tahlequah, and of course in Tulsa. With a work schedule and having a son, wrestling was my way of staying active and entertaining people.
Diabetes is no joke, but I live with it; I make the most of it. I believe the best way to deal with something that we can’t just simply take a magic pill to get rid of is humor. My personality has always been humorous. I tell jokes, funny stories and some of those are about diabetes.
When November 2014 arrived, I found out it was diabetes awareness month. Naturally, I decided to find what funny things were out there about diabetes.
One of my favorites: “Things diabetics cannot eat: 1. Poison. 2. Cookies with poison.”
And even this pickup line: “You’re a lot like my syringes, Ultra-Fine.”
Diabetes doesn’t have force you to live a horrible life. You can overcome any objections, any hurdles. I see these kids diagnosed who are younger than me when I was diagnosed. There is so much support out there for diabetics.
The biggest support you have is yourself! It’s a choice to look at this dang disease and make the best of it. They say laughter is the best medicine, but in my case it is laughter and insulin.
I am still active in the pro wrestling world and still enjoy it every time I wrestle. I do what I need to do to keep my diabetes under control and still be who I am.
Just remember, no matter what, you LIVE with diabetes. Doctors never ask if your diabetes has you under control. They always ask if your diabetes is under control.
YOU control IT! Tell it that you are going to do something in spite of it… and then DO IT!