I’m lucky. Yes, type 1 diabetes sucks, but I’m still lucky… Lucky to be alive… Lucky to have the treatment options I have available to me… In a word, lucky to have been born and diagnosed when I was. Lately I’ve become profoundly greatful for the gifts I have received.
As type 1 diabetics, perhaps it’d be beneficial for us to put the daily grind of living with this chronic disease in perspective. It is all too easy to get caught up in the daily routine of pricks & pokes, boluses & corrections. Perhaps it’d be beneficial to rise above our current (limited) perspective, and see the big picture. Stepping back and looking at what our fellow type 1 diabetics had to go through can help us do just that.
I’m profoundly grateful to have been born after 1922. From at least 1500 BCE – when type 1 diabetes was first mentioned by the Ancient Egyptians – until the discovery of insulin by Charles Best and Frederic Banting, type 1 diabetes was a cruel death sentence. In the words of one ancient doctor, “life (with diabetes) is short, disgusting and painful.” For avoiding this fate, I am profoundly grateful.
I’m profoundly grateful to have been born in the era of the disposable syringe – something we take for granted. Prior to it’s invention, the only was a person with type 1 diabetes could receive insulin was through painful glass syringes. For avoiding having to use these medieval contraptions, I am profoundly grateful.
I’m profoundly grateful for having been born in the era of blood glucose testing kits – even though my actions have often betrayed a lack of gratitude. I take for granted being able to know almost exactly what my blood sugar is. For not having to piss on a strip or be a bathroom chemist, I am profoundly grateful.
All of these things are gifts – gifts that have been given to us solely because we happen to live at the right moment in history. Although it doesn’t change the fact that type 1 diabetes sucks, let us stop and be grateful for the gifts we have received. To do so is essential for our mental health.
When you begin to see your insulin, glucometer and all your other diabetes supplies as gifts, something changes – at least for me. A burden is lifted. This simple act of changing your perspective on these things can be a powerful means to lift oneself out of the darkness of diabetes burnout.