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[IP] the blessing and the semantics of diabetes

> From: "Dave Windley" <email @ redacted>
> I have been diabetic for 25 years, since I was 12.  I am actually grateful that I am diabetic.  It has taught me discipline and maturity that I do not believe I would have gained any other way.  When I was a
> teenager my diabetes helped keep me away from drugs and alcohol, when many of
> friends were starting down life long roads of addiction.  I have learned a lot
> about compassion and the need to be aware of my many weaknesses (physical and
> otherwise) and my few strengths.  I have made friends and had experiences that I
> would never trade for healthy Isles of Langerhan.  Like Vicki, I am self
> confident and have a good since of my own worth.  I have three children and I
> hope they do not have to live with diabetes, but if they do I know it can be
> turned into a real blessing.
> Dave

I could not agree with you more.  I was diagnosed at 16, 13+ years ago.  The diagnosis, along with the death of my uncle the year before, was one of the first events to truly "rock my world".  It became a jumping off point--what are you going to do here, sink or swim?  The choices I've made in life have no doubt been influenced by the adversity that diabetes presents.  I'm not waiting until I'm 60 to do the things I want to do.  Then again, I'm not living the wild, unfettered life, because I'd still like to be around and healthy at 60 to continue doing
those things.  I don't see diabetes as a curse or a tragedy.  It's no different than other life-changing challenges that each and every person faces at some point in life.
                        "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop
                         to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
                                                                                      ~Eleanor Roosevelt~

> BTW, his endo has diabetes (I hate to say is diabetic-that bothers me somehow-like some kind of
> stigma or something) and is a pumper.
> Penny


This was a big source of debate several years ago among my network of diabetic friends/friends with diabetes.  People had very strong opinions about the semantics of it.  I personally don't care how one says it; it's more the overall attitude that concerns me.  The way I see it, I'm diabetic.  But I'm also female, short, healthy, sarcastic, middle class, educated, American, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, etc.  None of those things, in isolation, defines who I am.  And all of them contribute to who I am.  While I certainly respect your preference,
I'd also caution you not to get too caught up in the semantics of it or to pass that discomfort on to your son.

My best to you.


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