Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am thankful for disease! Say what?

Too many things to be thankful for is not a bad thing!  All day I have debated back and forth over which post to write.  I’m closing my eyes while pulling the trigger.  Here goes. 

Apparently today is D-blog day.  This is a day to celebrate and unite all diabetes bloggers as well as educate people about diabetes.  Technically I’m not a D-blogger since I have a personal blog and not a niche blog but I have diabetes and I write about it occasionally. 

I truly am thankful for the diabetes online community or DOC as they are commonly referred to.  A year ago I had no idea such a group of people even existed.  A year ago I was frustrated with diabetes.  The thing that frustrated me the most was that I felt like the only people who understood any of my complaints were family and sometimes it’s nice to talk to someone else besides the people who see you go through it everyday. 

I had met a mom online whose daughter had just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes shortly before I found her blog.  We emailed each other and commented on each other’s blogs but somehow it wasn’t enough for me.  She loved that I knew what her daughter was going through and she thought I had great advice for her as a mom but I wanted more.  She was part of a group of bloggers whose children have diabetes.  I felt like an outsider since none of my kids have it.  I wanted more.  I wanted to find other Type 1 adults who knew exactly how I felt. 

At some point I decided to start a second blog.  (Six months after starting it I stopped writing on it.)  When I did I joined Twitter.  As soon as I put Type 1 diabetes in my profile the DOC was opened up to me.  That was the answer to my prayers.  This group of people who I knew only by the things they tweeted made me want to be a better diabetic.  Slowly, one step at a time, I started making the changes necessary to be in better control.  The DOC has no idea they were my inspiration nor do they know they were the reason why I stuck with it during the hard times.  I am very thankful for the DOC. 

I may not blog exclusively about diabetes, or anything else for that matter, but I do enjoy participating in D-blog things.  I like to think of myself as the black sheep of the DOC because I don’t have a D-blog! 

For D-blog day today the theme is 6 things I want you to know about diabetes. 

  1. Diabetes is not anyone’s fault any more than hair color or eye color is someone’s fault. 
  2. Like hair or eye color I can hide my condition or make a big deal out of it.  I prefer to keep it to myself most of the time talking about it on an as needed basis.  Although I am not ashamed of it and will answer any question you ask me. 
  3. Nobody has diabetes real bad.  I don’t know how many times I have heard that in my life but it has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves.  You either have diabetes or you don’t.  There are differing levels of control.  Someone may be in better control than someone else but nobody has it really bad. 
  4. Juvenile diabetics grow up.  It’s not scary that I have had juvenile diabetes for 23 years.  Some woman said that to me one day!  Well, I told her I was diabetic and she asked for how long and when I told her she said, “That’s scary.”  She clearly didn’t understand.  It’s not just a childhood illness that goes away.  I still have it and since there is no cure I will have it until the day I die.  Hopefully that doesn’t happen anytime soon. 
  5. Diabetics can eat whatever they want in moderation.  Sugar free recipes for baked goods are not free foods.  A lot of diabetics count carbs and do math to determine how much insulin to give their body in order to cover the carbs consumed.  Sugar free foods still have carbs.  A lot of them.  I have learned that regular “taboo” foods taste a whole lot better than the sugar free crap so I would rather bolus for the real deal. 
  6. Diabetics can have their own children.  Children born to diabetics can be healthy.  The chances of my kids developing diabetes is greater because I have it but there is also the chance that they will live their entire lives never having to deal with it. 

I don’t hate my diabetes.  Ok, some days I do but for the most part I realize I am a better person for it.  I am thankful to be diabetic because without it I would never have found the DOC. 

2 thoughts:

MT said...

So is there a treat you can eat without worrying about sugar or carbs? I've got lots of diabetic friends. Strange that it's so common, but so few people really know much about it.
Have a great week!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Good question Michelle. I've thought about it and maybe I'm just not remembering something but the only thing I can think of is popcorn and Diet Coke.

I have learned that every diabetic is different in how their body responds to certain foods. Popcorn kills a lot of diabetic's blood sugar but usually I can get away with eating it. Not always but usually.

Diet Coke or any diet soda is a diabetic's best friend. No carbs, no sugar, no fat, just carbonated happiness in a bottle.

I am the type of person who will bolus for a full sized candy bar if I want it or any other candy or treat. But usually I wait until my blood sugar is low and then my treats are "free."

I hope that answers your question. If not, let me know. :)