Wednesday, April 03, 2013

D Is for Diabetes

Here we are on Day 4 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, my friends, and it's time for me to tell you about one of the most important (and hated) aspects of my life: diabetes. I have it.

And as we diabetics like to say, "But it doesn't have me."

Or does it?

Some days it really does feel as if diabetes has me by the throat. It chokes off the quick flow of thoughts, stifles creativity, and zaps my energy on those days.

Other days? My management of this chronic condition works as it's supposed to. Avoiding high-carbohydrate foods, drinking lots of liquids, checking my blood glucose levels throughout the day, moving around a bit more, and taking the right amount of insulin at the right time all add up to a day of feeling better and thinking well. That's definitely a day to celebrate!

Now before you tell me you've heard of this fantastic method for getting me off of insulin, I'll let ya in on an important fact: I have type 1 diabetes. And this "version" is quite different from the type 2 diabetes that your Granny Dolores or Great-uncle Delbert has. I didn't get diabetes because I ate too much candy or too many handfuls of potato chips. It didn't arrive in my life because I weighed too much. Nope. I developed diabetes at the tender age of almost 11 years old, and it happened because my body started attacking itself. Although researchers have found that there is likely a genetic component to some people's developing type 2 diabetes, I think it's almost definite that type 1 IS about one's genes — autoimmune diseases are like that.

Thus (and read this part several times if you need to) MY PANCREAS DOES NOT MAKE INSULIN; therefore, I have to take insulin to replace it. The good news is that in the 1920s Drs. Frederick Banting and Charles Best figured out how to extract insulin and make it into a form that diabetics can inject. From then on, diabetes didn't have to be a death sentence. So many developments have been made in the past 93 years, including the insulin pump and the continuous glucose monitor, both of which I have.

Of course, diabetes is not the worst condition to have -- it's not cancer. But it definitely is tough to have. At least I am not alone -- my family, friends, teachers, bosses, and coworkers through the years have been so supportive, plus I know that my Heavenly Father has purpose for all the things I go through, even if I don't always understand what that purpose is.


Debra Mauldin said...

Good post. I like that you are attempting to make people aware of Diabetes and how it can control your life. I suffer from Type 2 Diabetes and was recently able to get off the insulin, but I'm still on medication.

Grammy said...

Hello. My friend. I don't have diabetes, but I can sympathize with you and your family. My husband of forty five years was a type II diabetic, so it affected me as well in many ways. Thank you for your very informative post. Best regards to you. Ruby.

Sewconsult said...

You definitely are not alone. So proud of you. It's been a roller-coaster ride! If I could have taken it away, I would have done it...whatever it took. When you were diagnosed, we knew nothing of how the family autoimmune gene came into play. In hindsight, Uncle Larry was the first, then you, then me, Viv and Grandmother, all affected by the gene. It affected us all differently.
Love you.

Unknown said...

Hello from Dreamers and Builders writer's group! :)

Diabetes runs strongly on my mom's side, two cousins were diagnosed in their teens as well and my mom has it, so I definitely know how it shifts normal life. It's great to know you have such a strong support system and God definitely has a purpose!