Monday, May 15, 2017

The “Gift” of Diabetes

I have to say, when I was first diagnosed with diabetes I felt terrible.  It doomed me to poor health, difficulties in my life and probably a shortened life.  I went through stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  Diabetes was a curse on my life.  But over time my view has changed.  And at a certain point I reached a view that diabetes was just a part of my life and that I accepted my condition even if it really has lots of downsides.

So how it diabetes the “gift that keeps on giving?”  Certainly diabetes has had a real negative effect on my health, but it has also led me to make very positive changes in the way I take care of myself. And when I look at my life before diabetes, I didn’t visit the doctor regularly, I didn’t care about what I ate and I didn’t exercise much.  And those “gifts” translate to my family as my wife eats healthy and both of my kids have picked up on all of these healthy practices.

Noblesville Diabetes Support Group
Diabetes Support Groups Make a Huge Difference
Most importantly, what I didn’t realize after diagnosis is that diabetes would give a meaning to my life and bring me new and dear friends.  Sometimes it is hardships that bring out the best in people. 

Not too long after I was diagnosed I turned to local support groups and eventually found on-line groups. Initially it let me find others show shared my own journey, the pains, the difficulty and the challenges.  I soon realized that while there was lots of technical things that could be discussed, most importantly being able to talk with other people with diabetes made a huge difference.  We can really feel vulnerable talk about our diabetes and it is vital to feel comfortable.  I didn’t feel comfortable talking with family or friends, let alone strangers.  But others with diabetes, they could understand me and I could be safe.  Eventually I also realized that I had reached a point of acceptance and comfort and that actually it was very valuable to “listen” to others who have diabetes and to share and validate feelings.  This can make a huge difference.  So for more than five years I have spent a lot of time on forums like TuDiabetes conversing with others as well as running a local support group.  And being able to do this gave my life more meaning, it felt good to help others and in that way my diabetes was a “gift.”



10 comments:

  1. Aww, what a nice post! That's awesome that you were able to run a local support group, I'm sure that's helped a lot of people too!

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  2. I started a local support group. Then after about 3 sessions, I forgot to go. That sort of broke up the group.

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    1. I'm sorry, they really missed out on the chance to get to know you.

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  3. I've always admired your positive attitude and continue to be thankful for all the support you give to others.

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    1. Thank you for your positive attitude, if you didn't do this blog week then people would not write about this stuff.

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  4. You know, I can actually "hear" you saying this... I really miss my Animas Pump Support Group. When are you coming up here???

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  5. Thanks for listening and actually "hearing" me. I surely miss you and wish I could see you even if it is -800 below zero.

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  6. It's so encouraging to hear you be able to see diabetes as the source of many gifts in your life. That's a message that every person struggling with diabetes should hear. Thanks for putting it out there Brian.

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  7. There is that immediate connection and understanding that only another diabetic can have.. When I meet another T1D mom, it is an overwhelming feeling of being truly, deeply understood.

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