When I was diagnosed, as a 12 year old, it was something that Dad and I had in common. It was a pain, but at least I wasn't in it alone, and it wasn't unfamiliar. We learned how to use a glucometer together in the 80s. Now, we were both responsible for cookies that went missing during the night. I suppose that seeing my dad as a fit, rather normal diabetic made it never seem like diabetes was trying to kill us. It was part of who we are. It's us. It's how we are uniquely created.
I think of my diabetes as a physical attribute that makes me different, stronger, and interesting. When I look at it that way, I'm always ready to hone my understanding of myself (and diabetes) further. It's not just so I can live longer (although that's a great motivator), but because it's part of me that I want/ need to understand even better. It's something to be mastered.
If I were ever 'cured' of diabetes, I think I would spend the rest of my life in awe of how precisely, and with what perfect control, the normal metabolism performs its functions.
I would have a hard time giving up that part of myself, that has defined me in positive ways for the past 26 years. It has taught me that:
- discipline pays off,
- progress can be slow,
- results speak for themselves,
- and that you can always learn more.