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Reality Check Redux ( was)Re: [IP] Horrible Diabetes & Stress

    We're  glad you proved those pessimistic prognosticating docs wrong 10 
years ago, so that we could all benefit today from your words of wisdom!! 
Whether diabetes is the "lousy hand" that was dealt, or some other chronic 
condition, the ONLY antidote I've found is to subscribe to the philosophy you 
espoused so well in your post. 
   I too have found this Insulin-Pumpers' "thread" to be very beneficial from 
several vantage points. For those devastated by what diabetes has stolen from 
them, they've been afforded a forum to vent, to wail, to mourn their very 
real losses. For those who triumph in spite of their disease, they've also 
been heard, championing the attitudes that work best for them. The net result 
is that we ALL gain from each others' life experiences & perspective in 
better understanding differing coping mechanisms.
     2 weeks ago, I had a very humbling experience while in NYC on JDF 
"business". I had the honor of meeting an amazing man who was dx'd at age 18, 
went to the doc for a "bleed" at age 32 & was totally blind one year later. 
He is now 53, has survived pancreatic cancer & a kidney transplant, is 
married with one grown daughter, teaches in a medical school, is also an 
asst. dean there & runs an ophthalmology research lab with a staff of 8. He 
also travels all over the world ALONE. His philosophy is that he is only 
limited by his fear, & that if he believes he can do something, then there 
will be a means to do so. People naturally gravitate to him, eager to help, 
yet simultaneously awed by his self-sufficiency & his self-deprecating wicked 
sense of humor. His blood glucose meter is "housed" in a large box he showed 
me which "talks" to him, telling him his bg, & which also has a space for the 
bottle of insulin so that the device can "read" the label & tell him which 
type of insulin it is. 
   We spoke at length & I told him all about my daughter & my own battle with 
breast cancer, and my "dual advocacy" that has resulted from my life 
experiences. Another researcher seated with us related that she too had 
battled cervical cancer, while a 3rd one confided the next day that he had 
lost his young wife to ovarian cancer 3 months earlier. Our consensus was 
that our life-altering experiences had definitely reoriented our focus & how 
we "viewed" and better appreciated the fragility of life. 
     Bottom line- those fortunate people still living relatively "unscathed" 
lives may not have yet had their "mortality wake-up call" perhaps that others 
of us have faced, but if or when they do, they too will face comparable 
decisions. How they CHOOSE to proceed with the hand they've been dealt will 
be the ultimate measure of their lives. We have tried to teach Melissa and 
her sister that they can "make excuses" or they can "make a difference". G-d 
willing, they, and we all, can continue to make a difference for those less 
fortunate than we in our access to knowledge, to medical care and to 
empowering communal support.
Regards, Renee (Melissa's pump mom & advocate)
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