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[IP] Re:Contradictions, or...is it really that bad?

ryan-- i totally agree-- i think if i looked on my diabetes as a enemy i would go nuts-- what are
you supposed to do when the enemy is your own body?? so i look at it as just another thing that as
to be done, like breathing. EVERYONE needs insulin, not just me; i just happen to come with an
auxiliary supply =). 
i have started thinking of my diabetes as a kind of pet or something, like those little virtual
pets that used to be so popular. true, the stakes are higher and diabetes has done some awful
things to me, but you know what? i'd just as soon have it if i had to pick all over again, only
make better choices this time around.

i think it's worse for people who are parents of diabetics and for people who get it when they're
older. i was diagnosed five days before my 11th birthday, and so while i ave memories before that
time, i associate no particular memory with "not having diabetes." i am sure i have put my parents
through all kinds of hell since then but that is a different story. diabetes (esp. since i got the
pump) doesn't bother me anymore; i don't dream of a life where i don't have to puncture my skin in
various places to stay alive, because it's just a part of life-- like having to wear glasses.
sure, they may get in the way, but you wear them because you want to SEE. diabetes may be
inconvenient, but i don't mind doing any of the stuff because i want to LIVE. maybe not having to
stick and test would be nice in an alternate reality, but i'm not IN an alternate reality, i am
here and this is what has to be done in *this* reality.

 diabetes has done some good things for me too. i know for certain that i would not have met one
of my best friends in the world if it weren't for D (met him at D camp); i probably wouldn't have
gone to the college i did (found out about it my jr yr from another counselor at D camp); wouldn't
have met half the friends i have now (met them at college); and in general would not be the strong
person i have to be from dealing with all this. and who knows how many people's lives have been
changed by being close to a diabetic? my best friend would not be in med school (she wants to be
an endo b/c of me); all of my friends are more vigilant about their health, and it goes on and on
and on. i could not say that my life would be "better" if i had never gotten D. my life is what it
is now, and i LIKE it, and i am the person i am now, and i LIKE me, and diabetes is a part of that
for better or for worse. it's a part of me, and i wouldn't change me for anything.

becky =) (dx'd 1/24/92 at age 10, pumping since 11/21/01)

Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 09:27:01 -0400
> From: Ryan Bruner <email @ redacted>
> Subject: [IP] Contradictions, or...is it really that bad?
> Since I've joined this list, I've been amazed at the differences people 
> have toward seeing their diabetes.  In some cases, people are adamently 
> against calling diabetes a "disability", or being treated differently 
> in any way because of it...and then on the other hand, people are also 
> fighting to make people aware of the seriousness of the disease, need 
> for better insurance coverage, etc.
> These contradictions from within the diabetic community certainly don't 
> help anything.  :-)  You can't have it both ways, can you?
> But, I have to wonder why people see their diabetes as really that 
> bad.  Certainly, I don't deny the seriousness of the disease, and all 
> of the potential complications...but, is it really that bad?  I've had 
> diabetes for 20 years...diagnosed at age 9.  Through those years, I've 
> been on about 8 different types of insulin, and varying methods of food 
> control (from exchanged-based eating to carb counting).  I've had my 
> share of highs and lows.  I've dealt with going from a single shot a 
> day to 5-6 shots a day to pumping.  I've dealt with people's 
> misunderstandings of the disease (including some doctor's!).  Yet, 
> throughout all of this, I just see diabetes as part of who I am.  I 
> really can't remember life before diabetes.  I see my carb counting and 
> insulin pumping (and shots, prior to that) as simply how I stay alive.  
> It is as necessary as breathing and eating.  
> I used to be asked, "Don't you hate having to give yourself shots all 
> the time?"  My answer was always, "No...do you hate having to eat every 
> day to stay alive?"  Personally, I just don't see diabetes as all that 
> bad.  What about you?

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