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The upside to diabetes

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.

5 comments to The upside to diabetes

  • Katie from SF, CA

    That is so great! I know it can be hard – I tend to feel sorry for myself a lot as a PWD. I tend to get all "why me?"-ish. Thanks for focusing on the positive. I think I will make a list of my own! ^_^

  • Stacey

    Gen? Is that you? lol :)
    I am usually a very positive person and it helps a lot sometimes to reflect more on the good things than the bad. You point out some great positives about being a PWD. I hope that you can remember them more for your own mental health :)

  • Katie

    It's hard to both validate the unquestionable suckiness of living with diabetes and at the same time remember what it can bring us so I'm glad you accomplished that! And I've always appreciated your honesty about your attitude towards diabetes, even if it's about something like denial. I think my list would look a lot like yours, especially knowing you all. :)

  • So well said! I agree with it all — and love this site.

    Yours in suckisness & inspiration,

  • Tina

    It is so funny to hear of someone else saying Debbie Downer. Just so you know, you don’t fit my definition of one. It can be so depressing having a chronic illness. The only good side for me is the people it has brought into my life. People like you Gen

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