Living with a chronic illness sucks. There’s just no other way to put it. I’ve lost a lot of time thinking about diabetes – from the anger/denial when I was first diagnosed, to the constant worrying about my blood sugar, the sleep I lose on some nights due to lows, and all the testing, calculating, and insulin injections. Not to mention all the doctor visits and the added expenses that come with this disease. Maybe someone out there has figured this out, but I am guessing us PWD’s probably spend a good 25% or more of our time just managing this illness.
With all the added anxiety and pressure diabetes brings, I wanted to list some of the positive things in my life that have occurred as a result of it. As my husband would say, I tend to have a “debbie downer” attitude, which diabetes only compounds. Knowing this about myself, I thought it would be a good idea to be a little more positive so here goes:
1) Meeting others who have battled this illness for so long and have succeeded in their lives is really inspirational. I am in awe of those who have lived with diabetes for so long and who have been so pro active in their care. This has shown me that it is possible to do everything in my life that I want to, even if it will be just a bit more challenging.
2) In general, I do take better care of my health now that I am a PWD. I really don’t like vegetables, but I eat more vegetables now than I do pre-diabetes. Exercise is also more of a priority now than it was in the past.
3) I do think of myself as a stronger person now. It takes a certain amount of mental toughness to deal with an illness that changes daily.
4) I am much more aware of the health industry than I was in the past. To be honest, I don’t know if I would be as passionate about health care if I wasn’t chronically ill.
5) Diabetes has given me a purpose. I am becoming more involved with my disease and taking steps in my career to be part of the health care system. In some small way, I hope to make a contribution that will help those of us living with this illness.