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

This thread is one of the more interesting to me in a long time. I was 
diagnosed at 21, my third year in college. Even though I had lived my whole 
childhood as "normal," I have difficulty remembering life without diabetes. I 
don't remember what it was like to just eat or not eat when I wanted. I know 
that when I was diagnosed I adjusted really well because I basically ate 
healthy and was usually a three-meal-a-day person anyway. I accepted and 
adjusted. I didn't have the denial or anger stage. I just worked hard to be 
the perfect patient. And I was for several years.
Like Ryan, I would always get the question "don't you hate having to take 
shots?" I never hated the shots. But over time, I realized I hated the 
schedule. I hated that I began hesitating to exercise because of the lows. 
All of it happened so gradually that it took me a while to realize I hated it.
It affected my job as a newspaper reporter. For a long time, I would be all 
too willing to go against my schedule for shots/meals for the sake of work. I 
had always been open about having diabetes, but my supervisers didn't really 
know what that meant. That skipping meals and working overtime with no break 
for a shot/dinner was a bad thing. When I finally started to tell them and 
say no, they still didn't understand. I was passed over for a promotion 
because of it. I found a new job and went back to the habits of working and 
foresaking my schedule. I became depressed and my A1c creeped up. I finally 
quit my job, went on the pump and I now work as a waitress and a freelance 
writer. My health and psyche are better, but I resent how diabetes affected 
my professional life. I still wonder if I would have kept my job if I got my 
pump sooner *sigh*
Despite that, I still identify more with Ryan and others who feel diabetes is 
just a part of them and doesn't have to be horrible. Sometimes when I think 
about how tough having children will be or the risk of complications despite 
my control being good for the vast majority of the last decade, I get pretty 
down. But that's not often.
I think my life would have been better in some ways if I didn't have 
diabetes. Well, more adventurous is probably a better word. Before diabetes, 
I was on track to be a very adventurous and outdoors type person. I went on 
lots of trips in high school, river rafting, backpacking, etc. If I were 
diabetic in high school, I don't know if I would have done those things. But 
I'm learning to have more courage to do things now. I've been kind of afraid 
to go on a backpacking trip and I think I'll make that my next challenge.
My attitude regarding my disease's affect on my professional life is turning 
around a bit. I've even been incorporating the two! Look for my name on the 
cover story of the November issue of Diabetes Interview.
And in the last year, my life in general has been better because of diabetes 
too. I would never have run the Kona Marathon as part of Team Diabetes if I 
didn't have the disease.
Sorry this got so long.
I guess that's my dollar's worth!! :-)
dxed T1 9/92, pumping since 1/02 

In a message dated 9/25/02 11:54:16 AM, email @ redacted writes:

<< So far, from the responses I've seen, it seems that getting Diabetes as 
a child is much better.  :-)  The responses from those WITH diabetes, 
and diagnosed early, seem to not see much of a big deal...whereas those 
who were older when diagnosed have the bigger problem adjusting and 
accepting it. >>
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