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[IP] Re: contradictions, or is it really that bad

I was diagnosed at 21, and I've always been glad I didn't have 
diabetes as a child.  Believe me, I felt plenty "different" enough as 
a kid as it was -- having D would probably only have made it that 
much worse, I think.  I'm not sure how well I would have coped with 
the hassles over testing/taking insulin in class, etc.  I think if I'd 
had to go to the office a couple times a day to test, I would have 
just felt SO singled out and (again) "different".  But for that matter, I 
probably would have felt the same way about testing in class in 
front of everyone.  I really admire all you parents (and your kids) 
who deal with all this on a daily basis!

Also, some of my best childhood/youth memories were from Girl 
Scout camp -- especially "backpacking" camp where we would go 
on 3-4 day backpack trips.  I don't know what the G.S. policy is, 
but I've sometimes wondered if I would have been allowed to 
participate in that if I'd had diabetes at the time (I was 13-14 at that 
time, so presumably I would have been able to do my own basic 
diabetes management).  

It's interesting how quickly your "frame of reference" changes, 
though.  In a way, it's hard for me to remember what it was like to 
eat something without the question of its carbohydrate content or 
effect on my blood sugar even crossing my mind -- even though I 
ate that way for the first 21 years of my life!  

Is diabetes "that bad"?  I think it's all relative.  There are certainly 
plenty of "worse" diseases one could get.  For that matter, I could 
have gotten diabetes under "worse" conditions than I did.  For 
example, I could have gotten it: before the discovery of insulin; 
before bg monitoring, pumps, and all the tools we have now; 
without having medical insurance; or in a part of the world where I 
wouldn't have access to quality medical care.  Very few people in 
this world go through their entire lives without any challenges or 
obstacles, and in the grand scheme of things I think I've been 
pretty dang lucky.  

The day-to-day management of diabetes doesn't bother me too 
much (although if I had the option of giving it up, believe me, I 
would!)  But there is always the fear of complications.  I put off 
going to an opthamologist for a couple years after my diagnosis 
because I was so scared that I would find out I had retinopathy 
(stupid I know).  And, when I finally did go, that first appointment 
was terrifying!  (I was told my eyes were fine, so that was a relief)  
But any test that could reveal any complications always makes me 
more than a little nervous.  

Not to mention, the constant possibility of low bg.  The pump has 
helped a lot with that (for me), but it's still something we have to be 
aware of pretty much 24/7.  And low bg's certainly have the 
potential to be "that bad"!

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