November 1, 2012

Insulin is Not a Cure - Blessings

It's November. November 1st. Guess what that means? It is national Type 1 Diabetes awareness month. I think Type 1 Diabetes has gone down somewhat in our radar and this disease is nothing to joke about. It's time to bring awareness.

I have had diabetes for 17 years. And I'm still going (thank goodness). Did you know, before insulin was discovered, diabetics would die within 3 days if not earlier? Insulin was discovered in 1922. Before that, diabetics were just out of luck. Well, my struggle with diabetes has not been easy. Many of you know this already. But what I can tell you today are the blessings I've found through it.

I consider it a huge blessing I was diagnosed at two years old. I've known nothing else in my life. Those that are diagnosed at a later age, I can't imagine what that would be like. Props to you. I know it's difficult. But, take it from a lifetime veteran, you can do it, even though it does take time. I am so thankful that I have known nothing else. I have more experience and a stronger mental outlook I feel than somebody who has just been diagnosed which is very useful when dealing with something like this. But, I can also lend a hand to those who need it. Diabetes turns your life upside down. The later it happens in life, the harder it is to adjust. I'm not just saying this to be cheesy and self-righteous. I truly am thankful that I've had it from an early age. If I was one of the ones God chose to endure this disease, I thank Him that it was at two years old.

My diabetes has prompted my love for nursing. My empathy has increased dramatically. I have had so many great doctors and people who have cared for me throughout the years. I'm so thankful for them, they pulled me through. My doctor, Dr. Peter Chase, has cared for me since I was two years old. He has seen me every three months, up until I turned eighteen. He has seen me grow up and has helped me grow to become an independent diabetic. He has seen my ups and downs (lots of downs) and has always been supportive of me. Farther on in this series, I will dedicate an entire post to him! There is so much I need to thank him for. These kind of people have made my life easier. They have given me so much hope along the way to keep going, and I want to be the one who gives that hope to other people who need it. My empathy for people going through tough medical issues has increased. I understand what it's like to deal with doctors, with frustration, with apathy, and with feelings of inadequacy. If anything, I know the strain it places on a person. I just want to give that hope to anyone I can and let them know that God will not leave them. I can't wait.

The pain (mental and physical) is draining, but it has drawn me closer to God. Yes, there is physical pain. At least with me, probably because I have had it for so long, and I've dealt with a lot of apathy in the last few years, my nerves aren't always happy. It's scary, and sometimes very draining mentally. My insulin pump also deals with pain sometimes with inserting it and all that, but I can definitely tell you that God has never left me alone. Every frustrating moment with my insulin pump, every high blood sugar, every low blood sugar, every success, God has been there with me. Every decision I've had to make related to my diabetes, God has been walking with me. Yes, there were times I was angry with God for giving this to me, but it has only made my walk stronger. Yet another blessing.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
-Proverbs 17:22

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