I am writing on the other side of my 38th Birthday! Yay, Happy Birthday to me! It was a strange Birthday this year, I am suddenly realizing how close I am to 40...and it is very strange. It isn't depressing, sad or anything...just strange. Do you remember when 40 was old? I do! I remember my parents turning 40, and (sorry Mom & Dad)- but I do remember thinking how old they were, lol.
My Birthday this year had me reflecting a bit. You know, some of the "What-Ifs".
For anyone who does not know, I became a Type 1 Diabetic at the age of 21..overnight a lot of things changed for me- so it is a large part of any reflection. I was a very healthy 105 pounds, running several miles a day, working out and a strong relationship with God- who would of ever saw Diabetes coming under those circumstances?
Years after the diagnosis, I made some very poor choices regarding my health that held some very bad consequences for me- a couple of those being severe nerve damage (that I still deal with today) and so much damage to my body that the doctors said I would never have children.
One great thing being a Diabetic did for me, is make me eat- although it took me years to appreciate that. I had to embrace food and eating the right ways. I could no longer survive on 5-10 Ritz crackers a day. If I was going to exercise, it had to be planned around testing my blood sugar and eating. I did resist following the "proper diet", and it almost killed me...literally.
I found myself wondering where I would be if not for the Diabetes? For the first time, probably ever, I found myself ever-so-slightly appreciating becoming a Diabetic. I know this goes against a lot of things taught in Christianity, but just hear where I am coming from.
I kind of think I would still be dealing with an eating disorder if I was not a diabetic. Even after becoming a Diabetic I slipped into a "Diabetic eating disorder" (when blood sugars go high you lose weight) which almost killed me from the ages of 25-27. It took that to force me to take my health seriously. I am healthier now in a lot of ways than I was before becoming a Diabetic.
Would I love to not test my blood sugar several times a day? YES! Would I love to not have to walk around/sleep with my constant fashion accessory and best friend the insulin pump? YES and YES! Would I love to avoid low blood sugars causing me to be very mean and ugly? YES! Would I love to not have to explain to my 6 & 4 year old how to take care of me and call 9-1-1 if I pass out and/or act strangely? YES!
But, in a certain way becoming a Diabetic kind of saved my life and became a "gift". It's a big deal for me to smile when I think of Diabetes and not be angry and bitter screaming "WHY?" I still pray and hope for a cure and for a miracle- but in the wait I can embrace Diabetes a little bit.