A few weeks ago, during the last leg of a 7-8 mile run which included some low blood sugar, I found myself thinking “I wish I didn’t have diabetes.” The thought was not triggered by a punctured belly, a painful blood sugar check, or a piece of chocolate I had to give up. It was caused by frustration during a not so successful run. My wish was to be able to run without worrying about all the extra stuff that comes with having type 1diabetes.
This may seem natural to many people -obviously I wish I didn’t have diabetes, right? But the truth is I don’t usually think that way. I have never found it helpful or productive to think like that and since I have no power over my beta cells, I’ve just accepted things the way they are and tried to do the best I can, treating diabetes as a part of me. I’m not claiming to be unaware of the difficulties I have as a diabetic. I just haven’t ever found myself wishing it away before. I’ve wished for many things in life and some have even come true, but for some reason I don’t remember ever wishing away diabetes. It’s just the way I am. And the truth is, things could be worse.
Diabetes is a challenge, it’s hard and tiring and not only because of high blood sugar. It’s a race that doesn’t end, a race you can’t let yourself lose. But thanks to technology and medicine (yes, I’m thanking Pharma) you can live a good healthy life and do most things as long as you take care of yourself.
Since being diagnosed my life has also changed for the better. I am probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in, I eat better and I am much more aware of all of the good things I have in my life. Having diabetes has helped me appreciate what I have. It has also forced me to continue running.
So, odd as it may seem, please allow me at this moment to say that in its own way, diabetes is a blessing.