Diabetes and DNA crapshoots
It seems no matter what, I have never fit in with a ‘Norm’.
- Normal pregnancy is 9 months, *I* came out after 6 months.
- Normal eyesight is 20/20, Mine is 20/200
- Normal weight for my type is about 155. Mine is... 204
- Normal is marriage and children. I was married, but no kids.
- Normal is a regular job and paycheck. Mine was freelance music and art, and SSI to get by because of the eyesight leaving me out of steady work.
- Normal is sleepovers and camping trips, friends and school clubs. Mine was being left out of most everything at school/social activities
So, OF COURSE I was diagnosed with ‘Juvenile’ diabetes (Average age is usually about 9 years old) at the ripe old age of 28.
Now, I’ve heard of ‘Late Bloomers’ but isn’t that a bit ridiculous?
So it stands to reason, that I am the only insulin pumper at my internist’s office. He tells me it is mainly because his clientele are of lower education or their language barriers and customary ‘excessively laid back’ mentality is why.
After 26 years with type 1 diabetes, I think I’ve accepted this whole shebang as “MY NORMAL”. No, my BG’s are in no way perfect, I still get mad, depressed, up in arms over it, throw-the-meter-across-the-room thing, but it is MINE come what may.
It begs the question: I read that according to the World Health Organization, that ‘Diabetes’ affected 10% of the worlds’ population.
What that doesn’t tell you is that this is mainly type 2 diabetes. Type1 Diabetes is 10% of the other 10%, so we as type 1’s make up a huge 1% of the Earth’s population.
Which leads me to the DNA Crapshoot. Who gets it and why? They say it is an immune response to a virus. We get a virus, the body attacks it and consequently kills off our Beta cells in the pancreas. But others may get the virus, their immune system goes to battle and yet their Beta cells are left intact.
I am a Science Fiction buff. I have weird ideologies and I’ve gotten thru some of the rough spots of living these last 26 years with the frustrations of diabetes by adopting an outlook of having ‘Alien DNA’.
This may be ‘weird’, ‘crazy’ or whatever to many, but it is the only thing IMO that makes any sense to this at all. Certainly I have no Eartheaon answer to it, but it gets me through what I need to do everyday. When I get the major frustration... the wanting to throw my meter at the wall, the self loathing at being ‘Abnormal’, I go into my Sci-Fi mind and think ‘OK, this is what ‘our people’ have to deal with.
With my renewed sense of Vulcan Logical thinking, I feel a lot less depressed and more analytical about it all. I notice that many of us, whatever type of diabetes we have, are prone to becoming overly emotional when we are dealing with the foibles of diabetes. Sometimes, these emotions get in the way of reason. They block us from taking action. Other times they make us react too aggressively to the situation at hand. Neither path is good, as these can hurt us in reaching the goal at hand.
I’ve read that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer clinical depression. This may be due to the brain’s need for a balanced Glycemic environment and after some years of imbalance, the chemical integrity within the brain, even a little bit, could make it less able -biologically- to handle some emotional situations. I feel it is both biological and secondary to what is happening around us. Someone may see a higher than liked blood glucose and where one would think “Oh, dangit, I ate too much/did not give enough bolus/Should have stayed at the gym longer”, another would be ready to quit the whole thing, cry and have destructive thoughts.
It may or may not help, but I propose when things get like that, get to a physician for a proper diagnosis of clinical depression, and failing that, We should adopt a different view. I call it the “Alien View” in where we become analytical at the condition we have and not at our own selves. I propose we stop viewing the tests like a ‘report card’ and placing our self worth on them.
That, in my opinion, will work better than acting out, having tantrums and giving up on our diabetes control. Giving up serves no constructive purpose at all.