In efforts to achieve good control, there are so many people to thank
November 2006 — With the Great Pumpkin behind us and the Great Turkey Dinner ahead, there is no better time to take a few moments and give thanks. So many people and places touch the lives of diabetics, making the burden of our diabetes management much easier to bear.
I am thankful for the Joslin Diabetes Clinic in Boston, MA. Having been a patient of theirs for over 20 years, I still feel inspired when those glass double doors swing open and I walk into the waiting room. If a cure for diabetes is found, I believe strongly that it will be found there.
I am thankful for everyone who wears a pin or writes a letter or donates their hard-earned dollars to support diabetes research.
I am thankful for my medical insurance. Despite constantly battling against the insurance system and fighting for coverage of my medical necessities, I am thankful that I have the option of insurance coverage, when so many are without.
I am thankful for the technology. Years ago, when I was diagnosed as a child, an insulin pump wasn't an option. Neither was a blood glucose meter than generated a result in less than 120 seconds. Now, I have the opportunity to wear a tiny insulin pump that administers my insulin with precision and accuracy. And my meter clocks my result in five seconds. It's a far cry from color-coded strips I compared to the chart for a blood sugar result and the hundreds of coffee cans I've filled with used syringes.
I am thankful for the places like dLife and the blogosphere, where a diabetic can go and find support. As a child, I had to attend a special diabetes camp in order to meet other people with diabetes. Now, all you have to do it search for "diabetes support" online and hundreds of options appear. There are diabetes blogs cropping up weekly, along with diabetes discussion forums. We are not alone. We never were.
I am thankful for my fat cat, who has an uncanny way of detecting my low blood sugars while I sleep.
I am thankful for people who try to understand. Whether it's the waitress at the restaurant who makes certain that my soda is indeed diet, or the receptionist at the gym who doesn't question my tearful request for a dollar for the juice machine, the compassion of these strangers is sometimes the most crucial.
I am thankful for my tremendously supportive, loving, and inspiring partner. Not knowing much about diabetes at the beginning of our relationship, he can now count carbs, calculate insulin doses, talk intelligently about diabetes research, and program my pump. He helped me incorporate a diet and fitness plan into my daily routine, keeping me at my healthiest. He encouraged me to share my voice. He brings me juice and holds me when my blood sugar is low.
I am thankful for my steely sense of resolve, a gift from my parents. My mother and father did their best to instill a sense of responsibility in me and they taught me how important it was that I take fastidious care of myself. Through patience and love, my parents taught me that diabetes was my disease and I would learn to manage it with grace.
Diabetes is a daily disease. Every moment, every day can feel as though it is carefully crafted around the details of diabetes. Sometimes, the burden feels heavy and awkward, as though you are walking a lifelong balance beam with an armful of bricks.
It means so much when someone, or some thing, comes along and takes your hand to help you find your way. For those moments, I am thankful.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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