Thankful for Diabetes!

Yes as weird as it sounds, I am thankful for diabetes. How can I be thankful for diabetes??, let me explain.

  I use to have drug problem. I have lost not one but two houses and some good paying jobs. Well after my last fall, I asked for help (from above). You know that old saying "careful what you wish for" LOL, it was only about 2-3 weeks tried, couldn't drink enough water, etc.... I am pretty sure most of know the story, my only twist is while smoking outside thinking please let me feel better, bang! a thought pops into my head and it was very clear "check your blood sugar" It was after using my Mom's meter(she's type 2) that I ended up in ICU, DKA.

  Now my life has some really clear choices. Do drugs and die, see pretty simple, huh? My daughter, who now calls me Diabetic Daddy, has told me she really likes me now and I am so much better. My health is the best it's been in 30 years and I will live longer.

  Would like to hear other positive stories!!

That is Awesome.  My positive feedback is not nearly as toughing.  I am thankful for my diabetes as well.  You see my first Diabetic Dr. was Dr. james Hansen from Portland Legacy Emanuel Hospital.  He was the first Docotr to who actually talked to me and not just my parents, and respected my opinion.  In fact he even asked for it in all major decisions.  Sadly Dr. Hansen has passed away from Liver cancer about 5 or 6 years afr i was diagnosed.  One of the best things he did was put me in Gales Creek Camp my first year of diagnosis.  Some of my best friends i met at that camp.  I am thankful for my diabetes everyday i meet someone new because of it.  It has helped me to become more outgoing and easy tot lak to because i want to be a diabetes educator.  I love your tattoo by the way...that is awesome.  i actually celebrate my diabetes anniversary every year.

Thanks for starting this topic - it's easy to get bogged down in the negatives, so it's nice to look at things in a different light.  I think having diabetes has given me a great sense of perspective and allows me to handle stress a lot better.  Facing a major disease, and dealing with it day in and day out, makes minor stresses at work or school seem like less of a big deal.  If my computer won't start, I can handle that - it's small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.  I'm not sure I would be able to have that perspective and balance, and certainly wouldn't have had it through my teenage years, without diabetes.

  I think it also gives me a greater sense of compassion and understanding, since a lot of people, even some who know me well, don't know what I deal with because of diabetes.  It makes me realize that I am definitely not the only one, that we all have some hardship to deal with, and so I'm more patient with others and more wiling to see their side of things as a result.



I definitely agree that having diabetes is not always a negative thing.  Before I was diagnosed,  I was a normal 5 year old.  Nothing seemed weird or different, I was the same as everyone else.  But once I was diagnosed, I felt so alone and separated between me and my friends.  It was then that I thought that having diabetes was a curse.  But then I began to realize how much diabetes would positively change my life and my families. 

For my brothers, it was as small as just being able to have bedtime snacks since I had to.  For my parents, it was a chance to learn more about this disease and get to know other people who were dealing with the same thing.  For me, it changed so many things.  I realized that I'm not that different than the other kids.  I just have to do a couple more things before or after activities or eating.  It also gave me a chance to meet knew people my own age, younger and older than me who also had T1. 

I go to a diabetes camp called Camp Carefree.  There, we have so many friends that deal with this everyday just like me.  These people make living with disease so much easier.  And life in general.  We always say at camp that yes, it can suck to have diabetes sometimes, but if we didn't, we would never be able to come to this camp.  I think that those friends that I have met because of having diabetes, have gotten me through very rough times in my life.  Times that would have been so much harder if I hadn't had them; if I didn't have diabetes.

So having T1 diabetes can suck at times, but if you let it, it may be a miracle in disguise.  I know this is true for so many people, including my oldest brother who was diagnosed two years after me and who also went to Camp Carefree.

I don't want to say that I am thankful for Diabetes but I will say that it has been a mixed blessing.  While I did not consider myself to be unhealthy,.............I was.  I take much better care of myself than before my diagnosis.  That I see as a positive and I am also trying to get more involved in  advocacy, which can't be a bad thing.