I remember being at diabetic camp when I was 8.
We stayed in a castle.
One of the kids there referred to people without diabetes as ‘muggles.’
This was the first time I heard someone talk about diabetes in a positive way.
My brother sent me an article today claiming that ‘the cure for diabetes is imminent.’
A new ‘cure’ comes out every couple of weeks, so after a while you stop paying attention. But when Harvard professors are comparing it with the ‘discovery of antibiotics’, you can’t help but take notice.
I thought about what life would be like without diabetes. I was diagnosed when I was six, so I can’t remember much before it.
No injections, no low blood sugars, and no funny looks from passers-by when ‘shooting up’ in public.
But really, these are minor inconveniences- diabetes has given me a lot more than it has taken.
Because there’s so much you can’t control, it forces you to focus on what you can. Just by getting this one thing right, it spills over into the rest of your life. I learned that if I focused on diabetes, it also improved my overall health, fitness and well being.
It’s taught me that if you can’t change what happens to you, your only solution is to change what you think about it.
Anytime I was feeling sorry for myself when I was younger, my parents would tell me: ‘Well, at least you don’t have cancer.’ ‘At least you have your legs.’
I learned that just by changing how I looked at it, I went from feeling like a victim, to feeling lucky about all the stuff that was good about my life.
When pricking my finger, I always get asked- is it not a pain to have to do that all the time? My reply is that it’s a small price to pay to avoid getting my legs cut off when I’m 40.
If I think about all the people that had diabetes before modern medicine, and the slow, painful death they had to go through, I feel very lucky to be alive today.
If this were two hundred years ago, I wouldn’t have made it this far. The reality is- if you have diabetes in the 21st century, every day you are alive is a bonus.
You can look at all the ‘negative’ things that you are going through and be bitter about them, and feel like a victim.
Or you can look at them as things that are helping you grow and giving you a better understanding of the world.
The hard things in life can either help us or hurt us, and the choice is usually ours to make.