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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thanks Diabetes, You Make Life an Adventure

I have type 1 diabetes, have had for almost 32 years now. Yeah me! It's sort of weird because most chronic diseases you just die from but diabetes is different, you get to linger for a long amount of time. It usually gets progressively worse but if you take care of yourself, it only gets progressively worse less quickly. After having diabetes this long, I'd like to tell people a couple of things.

  • No, you do not get diabetes from eating sugar at least not type 1.
  • No, I don't care that your dad/mom/cousin/Uncle Bosephus has diabetes and you think you know all about it. Unless you actually have it or are an endocrinologist, you know nothing. Now, shut it!
  • Yes, taking shots hurt why the hell wouldn't it.
  • Although I don't look sick (i.e. cancer patient) I am sick and this is a chronic disease which does reek havoc on my immune system.
  • Yes, I can actually eat some sugar I just have to adjust my insulin dosage. No regular soda though.
  • Please stop telling  me that some plants from the rain forest are going to cure me, when you say those things I think you're crazy and I'm probably right.
  • No, I'm not taking your blood sugar because it looks like fun. Say that to my fingertips which haven't had feeling in them since the summer of '82.

Now that my rant is over, I do want to say. I hold dear to my diabetes, to me it's part of who I am. When I think of who I am diabetic is always on the top five, we're inseparable. Isn't that sweet? I am very overprotective of my disease and I really don't like people telling me what I should or should not do with it. When I need that advice, I'll ask my doctor not random people. Sometimes it really sucks to be diabetic, to have to pull out the injection pen at the dinner table. To be at jobs where people are all skeeved about me injecting myself and I have to take my injection in the bathroom so they aren't bothered (that happened to me once). To lose jobs because no one can understand why I'm sicker than most people or have to go the doctor so much. To have to explain to potential dates (at least when I was dating) yea I have diabetes and watch me stick a needle in myself. To have to explain to my potential husband, that one day I may not be able to take care of myself and he'll have to help me or do it. I'm always impressed that he's okay with that. To try to explain what happens when I can't remember my name or start talking funny, that I'm having a hypoglycemic reaction and I need sugar and fast because you know at that moment I can't think straight. To explain when I'm hyperglycemic, that the mood swing is actually due to high blood sugar and my hormones being wacky. To go the eye doctor every year and be glad I don't have to glaucoma at 38 years old.

This year's eye exam was great though. I don't need bifocals like I thought and my eyes are actually better than they were, that's pretty amazing for a diabetic. But who knows when that will change.

There are those rare moments that having diabetes is a godsend. When I do go off, I can always blame it on high blood sugar. When I get sick, I get to eat all the popsicles, jell-o and drink all the cans of soda I can handle. When I was in elementary school and I could eat snacks in class and other kids couldn't, they were so jealous of my chronic disease. To get all this wonderful sympathy from my mama because her baby was sick. I got a lot of cool gifts when I was in the hospital at 7 years old. To always have an excuse on sick days and always get unemployment benefits because it's actually not a detriment in Washington to have a sick employee and no one wants me to sue them because they fired me due to having a chronic disease. Yea, sometimes it's a boon.

But really I wouldn't wish diabetes on my worse enemy. Well, maybe just one of them. But I always feel blessed that I've had this so long and I'm still in fairly good health. Yes, as times passes I won't always be this fit but I think if I keep going this way, doing what my doc says, trying to take care of myself I'll live long and it   will be a good life. As my friend always says, 'you know you should be careful. You know you're diabetical.' LOL. She's hilarious.


  1. Oh I'm so sorry to heard that.. Hubby's uncle has type 2 BUT! I barley know anything about it.

    I was not really that familiar with diabetes before reading this just that it had something to do about the blood sugar, Sounds terrible.

  2. Yea, type 1 is bad. I know type 2 is bad but type 1 is worse and yes it sucks. But I'm pretty used to it. I make fun of it and try to laugh about it some. But yes I have a love/hate relationship with my disease. It's tough sometimes but I don't feel sorry myself or do the why me thing. It's been over 30 years I'm over that. I have it, I deal with it the best I can. But yes it's tough sometimes.