Diabetes Is, Part 2 (optimism)

Diabetes is being part of a community of diverse, creative and supportive people who all share one thing; non-functioning beta cells.

Diabetes is having friends all over the country, and getting to know people you never would have met without this diagnosis.

Diabetes is being able to give your workout 150% when your blood sugar is high, and you don’t have to worry as much about going low.

Diabetes is having spontaneous dance parties in your living room when your blood sugar is just a little high, and you want to get it down by getting down.

Diabetes is being a master at reading nutrition labels, and doing simple math in your head. It’s already knowing decimals and ratios when you start third grade math, and being ahead of the rest of the class. They know that stuff so that they can pass a test; you know that stuff so you can eat lunch.

Diabetes is developing amazing analytic and pattern-recognition skills. Picking out variables that affect a particular outcome (blood sugar) is second nature.

Diabetes is being fearless in the face of needles.

Diabetes is convincing people that your pump is a battery pack, and that you’re actually a robot.

Diabetes is having a ready-made excuse when you want to get out of doing something. “Sorry, I can’t help you bring in the groceries, my blood sugar’s low.”

Diabetes is doing whatever the heck you want to do, while also doing the job of one of your internal organs. (Not easy, but we’re pros.)

Diabetes is instantly making friends with strangers when you notice a pump or glucometer.

Diabetes is having the BEST stories. (“So this one time, when I was low, I almost ate a sponge…”)

Diabetes is spending so much time on hold with insurance companies, supply distributers and pharmacies that you’re convinced you could play their “hold” music from memory…despite not actually knowing how to play the piano.

Diabetes is probably having enough lancets stocked up in your supply cabinet (THAT cabinet) to last you a solid 5 years.

Diabetes is your roommate wondering why you keep your laundry detergent on top of the fridge, and explaining that it’s actually full of used needles, not soap…

Diabetes is when your friends and roommates keep your food preferences in mind when planning outings, or what to make for dinner. It’s when they start picking up and using your dialect of diabetes-lingo. It’s when they always remember to buy diet soda for you for parties.

Diabetes is an open door to a world of opportunities. It’s having a perfect college application essay topic. It’s having a standout reason for going into your field of choice. It’s being motivated to help others like you because you understand what they’re going through on a personal level.

Diabetes is knowing that if you can manage a chronic disease for most of your life, you can do ANYTHING.


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