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

I was in Bahrain (Middle East) when I was 14-16 years and I felt so sorry for
them, I had to get the batteries that I used for my machine overseas since
they didn't sell them anywhere in the country and I bought insulin once (I
normally got it from Australia) and it cost about 3 times more then it did
here. What made me really sad though is that I went to school with a Bahraini
girl who also had diabetes and she thought that sugar levels like 200 were
alright and the people that lived on the streets and had no money would go
once a year to the pharmacy and have their sugars tested. Yuk, I'm very glad
that I lived in Australia and had good health care and had access to the
supplies I needed, that's for sure.


----- Original Message -----
From: Laura F.
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 6:53 PM
To: email @ redacted
Subject: [IP] Re: contradictions, or is it really that bad

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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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