Welcome back to The Poetic Diabetic!
Do you all remember my recent article. The last article was the top six aspects that make diabetes an art and not a science, or the top six reasons why diabetes sucks. Think of this blog as the antithesis of that blog, as the top six silver linings to diabetes, or:
Top Six Reasons Why The Art of Diabetes is Beautiful
- The medicine for this disease is literally sugary sweets! Could you name any other disease where you could justify eating a pack of Skittles for medical reasons? Ironically, when I was first diagnosed, I was terrified that I’d be limited on all those sugary sweets like candy for my entire life. Turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve gotten to eat Starbursts, Skittles, Sunny D, and all the other delicacies that start with “S” in such a high concentration that I’m almost numb to the taste of them. Still, I’m quite a foodie, and I love how my habit can be implemented into my treatment so cleanly.
- Diabetes makes me more independent. More than anything else, diabetes is a lot of responsibility. Oftentimes, parents and endocrinologists will try to lighten the load of that responsibility by helping out with the administration of insulin or planning doses for their kids. That’s not how things work in my household. As my mother can attest, I don’t even let her near my pumps, much less the basal or bolus programs inside of them. I administer my own insulin and control one more aspect of my life. As a burgeoning teen who often thinks I know more than they do, I enjoy having this authority to control my medication.
- Of course, this independence is useless without responsibility. If my parents give me control over my diabetes and I’m not able to manage it, that’s a recipe for disaster. “Hospital trip: Take Two” here we come! This disease has caused me to mature enough to actually handle the responsibility I’m given. It’s taught me to be less squeamish with needles, act with urgency for necessary tasks like changing my CGM, and pack my supplies when I go on trips. I think this is to my benefit, as it gives me the skills I need as I prepare to enter into the adult world.
- Diabetes also gives me the opportunity to follow a new and constantly improving ecosystem of technology. I haven’t been quite vocal about it on this blog, but I adore technology. I’m pretty sure my dream vacation would be a weekend trip to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Speaking of the CES, it’s not unusual for diabetic technologies, such as Insulet’s recently announced Omnipod 5, to be announced at this convention. I always have a little dopamine rush when I hear that a new product has been released or that something new is being approved for public use, and diabetes gives me yet another outlet to be excited about upcoming technologies.
- Another personal highlight of diabetes is how it makes me mentally stronger. It’s quite a taxing illness, and everything that goes wrong can sometimes feel like the end of the world. It isn’t, though. This disease has taught me to be bold, to be fearless, to fight and stay strong every day, no matter how scary everything might be. I think it’s in facing my fears and accepting that I’ve found solace. After all, surviving it must mean I’m pretty strong, and that’s so fulfilling.
- Finally, diabetes introduced me to a ton of new people and communities. I’ve gotten to meet the wonderful people who run JDRF, who were kind enough to publish this blog for me. I’ve gotten to meet the different teens on the monthly teen meet-up calls, where I learned that other kids are facing the same trials and tribulations as I am. I’ve also gotten to meet wonderful doctors, parents, and diabetics, all of whom had taught me about diabetes. There is a wonderful community of type 1 diabetics and their caregivers, and I am so proud to be a part of it.
So those were my top six silver linings about diabetes. While it can often be a very hard illness, it isn’t without blessings. And remember:
Whenever you feel upset by something, try to see a silver lining, it might make you a little less upset.
See you next time,
From one diabetic to another!