Diabetes and The Unexpected - Monday 5/15
Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rule book that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random. What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens? Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected?
I could give you lots of tips on what to do with diabetes and how to deal with the unexpected roller coaster it always seems to be. However, it would all start and end with a lot of swearing. I don't have all of those answers. What I do have is a ton of GREAT stuff that has happened to me because of this disease.
How could this be, you ask? How could the girl who is bogged down and complaining about this crappy 24 hour a day/365 days a year autoimmune disease possible find a good thing about it? I know. The feelings, both physical and emotional are stupid. The constant exhaustion wears on me every moment and I am ready to pass this off to [almost] any one who would take it. I ABSOLUTELY hate the money that is associated with it. I am constantly worried about health insurance. I worry about keeping my eyesight, my feet, my kidneys, my heart, and my mind. But, it's not all bad. Here are the highlights:
1. The passion. Sure, I've always loved dogs. I really enjoy writing. Books and movies take me to a different place that I am glad to go. But, diabetes gives me a constant fight to make the world a better place. I am not looking for better treatments, I am looking for a damn cure. If they find it (and I don't believe they will because I am both a pessimist and I can find a millions reasons why they won't find it,) I will have to find something else to fight for. Hopefully it won't be something equally as afflicting. I'll need something to write about, vote for, scream on social media over, write to my government about, and vent about to anyone and everyone who will listen. For now, diabetes gives me this.
2. The money. Diabetes gave me a reason to watch my pennies. Long before I was in the financial industry, diabetes helped me re-focus on what was really worth spending my money on. Was I going to spend it on a really nice dinner out, or should I save it for the insulin to get me through an extra week? Hmmmm. Hard choice? Not one bit. Someone told me once that it is easier to save a dollar than make one, and I knew that I had to save it to be able to afford to live. Morbid? Sure. But, I made it happen.
3. The community. Do I need to thank the Diabetes Online Community? Not to the extent I normally would. Y'all know how valuable you are because you value each and everyone of us every day. I can get answers in the quick typing of a keyboard, and (with the exception of a few unmentioned trolls) you have my best interest at heart, as individuals and as a whole.
4. The people. This is a smaller collection of people. You all know who you are in the DOC because we go through the sharing, the anxiety, the worries, the laughter, the love, the tequila and bourbon, the supply exchange, and "OH MY GOD YOU'RE GOING TO THAT CONFERENCE, TOO!?" together. I love you people because you are my tribe.
5. The networking. Ever heard of KC YLC? Look us up. We are a young professionals group dedicated to raising money for JDRF. If you live in the KC area, check out Sunset Music Festival, a free music concert at Town Center, every Thursday night in June. All proceeds go to JDRF. I'm on the board and will be at every concert. You can find us on Facebook shamelessly plugging our event.
6. The food. I value good food better than ever before because it takes thought of what I should and shouldn't put into my body. More importantly, what is worth the insulin.
7. The faith. I never had faith in myself before. I battled some pretty serious mental illness for a long time. I didn't realize what I was worth until I was faced with something so much bigger than me. I lucked out. Even when I want to give up, I don't. I have more faith in myself than ever before because I am deciding to live every day - no matter which obstacles I face. I will be forever grateful.
Diabetes is no walk in the park. In fact, usually it's one big trudge through the swamp. But, there have been some completely unexpected fantastic sides to it. It may be a club that I never wanted to be a part of, but, I'm lucky to have the membership perks along the way.