Monday, July 10, 2006

The Luck of Diabetes

I read a blog called "The Happiness Project". The author of the blog is going to write a book about trying out all the "be happy" tips, books, etc. she can get her hands on during the year and I guess write about what she learns in implementing these ideas.

I consider myself a very happy person. I certainly have my bad days, but the good far out-weigh the bad. I usually like her blog topics. Today the title of her post was "How To Stay Happy When Something Bad Happens- Like Diabetes". Her sister has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and she writes about how difficult the day-to-day living is with such a disease.

I know all about this particular disease. I have it! I remember when I was first diagnosed I thought it was really going to be horrible- I could loose a leg? I might never have babies? I would always be different and sickly? That was before I educated myself. Oh, and as far as giving myself shots everyday? That sounded dreadful.

As strange as this may seem, I actually LIKE having diabetes. It ended up being a great disease for me. I love the challenge of adjusting carbohydrate intake with how much insulin I inject. I don't mind checking my blood sugar. They have come out with so many things that make the disease less uncomfortable on a daily basis over the past 10 years or so: short needled syringes, glucose testing kits that don't hurt when you prick yourself, other stuff I don't even know about because I'm not bothered by it really so I don't check out all the latest gadgets.

I've always been into "fitness", and diabetes just encourages that whole lifestyle. I take VERY small amounts of insulin, and it has a lot to do with my frequency of exercise. I never skip a day of exercising because I know how much better I feel by doing it, and I know how good it is for my overall health. I run most days, lift weights some days, do a lot of stretching and at the very least I walk my doggies.

I don't plan on getting any of the "complications" that you may have heard accompany diabetes. I plan on taking care of myself by eating right, exercising, checking my blood sugars often, going to my doctor's appointments, etc. I bet I take even better care of myself now than before I had diabetes. So ultimately, I'll probably live an even longer and healthier life because of it. And, as far as the "being different" thing, well, yeah...I am a little different. In a whole lot of ways!!! And YAY for me!

That is truly my take on diabetes. So I hope that once this girl's sister adjusts to being "diabetic" she'll realize it's really NOT a bad disease to have. It's a disease you can control. My mom had ovarian cancer. If she could have watched her diet and given herself daily shots, etc to control it, I know she would've considered herself LUCKY.

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