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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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