While I know that many of us have negative feelings about our diabetes, there's the complications, side effects of medication, etc., I try my very best to stay positive (in all aspects of life, but especially when it comes to my T1D) even when I am absolutely fed up with the constant monitoring, testing, injecting, etc.. My experience with the disease has been anything but easy, so please do not think I am being glib...
You may think I am nuts, but sometimes I am thankful for it - I like to think that we do not get handed anything in life we cannot handle - because it has taught me a lot. Diabetes has shown me things about myself I may never have discovered, it has shown me a lot about other people, and it has given me an appreciation for life that I think MOST people (Ds and nonDs alike) ignore. My husband sometimes jokes that if I can "go" (I like the fullest plate I can handle - not of food, but of life!) like I go and have diabetes, he fears what I would do absent of diabetes ;)
So I ask, am I alone? Or, is there something positive you can say about the diabetes in your life (whether your own or someone you care about)? Has it taught you something you do not think you would have learned without being diabetic?

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Mark - I totally do not understand your post to me (sorry) - I have no issue with my D, I know all the symptoms (I've been T1D for 14 years) and I have a wonderful team of doctors who help me manage...so, I'm confused (though I appreciate your kind words of advice). Cheers, Bec

you are exactly right bec. To me diabetes has made me a stronger person and im not as scared to do things now.http://www.tudiabetes.org/forum/topics/it-changes-us-but-in-a-good-way

Thanks for that - it was a good thread to read through :)

I had chocolate donuts on Tuesday, at my coworker's retirement party. I read through the thread and I disagree that it's inappropriate to question someone posting "diabetes sucks" in a ***happy*** thread as, after all it's a free country.

I've mentioned this before but after the "thaw" in the late 1960s, Dmitri Shostakovich was asked "how could you live under Communism?" to which he replied "it was better than the alternative" and I agree with that. Diabetes is here, apparently for the foreseeable future, and I'm going to work to be as happy with it as I can, despite the efforts of BlueCrossBlueSuck to %$#& with me. I was reconnoitering golf shots at their office last night and noted that they'd gotten to Google Earth, using "hops" to to the shot-proof subterranean approaches to obscure online scouting of approach shots...

Depends on what country you're in...

But, I digress.


I'm pretty neutral about having diabetes, but my diagnosis was a very positive thing for me.

With all the symptoms I'd been having, I was worried I'd be told I had a brain tumor, cancer, or some other problem/disease that would result in a fairly quick, painful death. So being told that it was diabetes, and I'd likely live a pretty normal life as long as I took care of myself, was a HUGE relief! HUGE!!!

It's a great feeling knowing that the issues that were making me so ill before diagnosis will probably all go away.

I kind of like that my choice of eating poorly has been taken away. I know I'll take constantly excellent care of myself from now on, because I'm not willing to risk the increased consequences of slacking off.

On the emotional side, there have been a few quite positive things.

I'm a pretty mellow, optimistic person, but you never know how you'll react to life's challenges. I'm very happy that I've been able to stay so happy during the physically miserable pre-diagnosis to now. I'm grateful that I didn't take the news hard, and have been able to adapt to the circumstances with relative ease. It's raised my confidence that I can handle the difficult things that might come my way in the future.

I also feel a renewed appreciation for my husband, family, and friends. It was wonderful to know I have such a loving support system in place.

There are no other people with diabetes in my family or close social circle, so I'm grateful to have found this forum, with so many kind, helpful people.

Oh, there is one more thing... an indirect positive effect of my experience with diabetes so far.

I, and my mother, had been putting off/avoiding going to the doctor. It was a combination of thinking 'eh, I'll be fine tomorrow, next week, etc' and not having much faith in the competency of Drs/medicine overall. My mom had been having a painful issue with her leg for the better part of a year. Major swelling, circulation issues, oozing wounds that wouldn't heal. Looked very bad and dangerous. She had gone to a (stupid!) specialist that told her there was nothing that could be done, and just sent her home with pain killers.

Once I got my diagnosis, I spoke with my mother about how bad things could've gotten if I hadn't gone in when I did. The first Dr I'd seen was also not on top of his game, kept saying how good I looked, and wouldn't run the tests. But the 2nd Dr I saw agreed and I got the help I needed. This got my mom to demand a 2nd opinion, and she went in the next day. She is now scheduled for a shunt placement surgery next week. If successful, her odds of throwing a clot, going septic, losing the leg, etc will be greatly reduced. Her quality of life could be drastically improved. That is a VERY positive thing!

Some things about living with T1 absolutely stink and make me hate this disease more than ever - the lows, the highs, the not knowing if you're going to wake up in the morning, the constant poking, the constant bleeding, the constant obsession over food, having to carry around a bag with a ton of supplies for a simple evening out, constantly obsessing about BG levels, waking up in a soaking sweat because you're low, the expenses, feeling like I can't do something as simple as being alone because I might lose consciousness, and feeling so different from everyone else.

When I think about all these things, it really makes me hate this disease.

But then I realized there are way more positive things that has come as a result of me living with this thing each day.  Here are  just a few:

  • I think I'm actually healthier than most people around me.  I eat better, exercise more, and am just more generally aware of my health.
  • I love harder and work harder than anyone I know.
  • I have wicked math skills.
  • I can laugh at things even when they seem scary.
  • I am more confident.
  • I can fight (and win) just about any insurance battle!
  • Things that others find "hard" in life are just minor speed bumps to me.  When you live with something as hard as D, other things just start to seem like a cakewalk!
  • I'm a tough athlete.  I think having D has made me more in tune with my body and more able to fight through things others just can't. 
  • I'm wicked organized.  When staying organized helps keep you alive, it spills over into other areas of your life as well.  This means that I am also super organized at work, and this has led to a lot of success in my career.  I don't think I would have been this organized without D.

Overall, I really do think living with T1D has made me a better person.  I'm more empathetic than I would naturally be otherwise and I value everything in my life a bit more (I think) than others around me.  Sure, I'd like a cure, but I'm pretty darn happy knowing that I have access to all the things I need to stay healthy and active. 

I used to be scared of needles. I love them now. I have learned to fight the pain. I guess it's like those guys that walk over hot coals :)

Seriously I would far rather have lived being diabetes free my whole life and have dropped dead last week from something else. Forty six years diabetes free is better then 75-80 with diabetes any day of the week. Anyone will tell you quality of life is far more important then quantity. Feeling like hell most of the time and being a slave to a disease is anything but quality. For those who walk around thinking things could be much worse I remember some years back it was either a video clip or an article online in regard to diabetes and I remember it was the physician himself stating of all the diseases out there he feared getting diabetes more then anything. I don't really think its even fair to compare diseases but honestly every single one of them is horrible and this one is no different.

I love to eat come from a eating family ,so I am thankful for the big D because if I had not got it I would probably have a weight problem . Even though I am thankful for it it is still a pain in the A@@ LOL




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