November DSMA Blog Carnival: What’s the one thing you would share?

I’m encouraged by the diversity of answers to the one simple question that’s the subject of the November DSMA Blog Carnival:

What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?

My first reaction is: I can only pick one? That’s difficult.

Because the first thing I would tell someone who isn’t living with diabetes is that I’m the same person today that I was before my diagnosis. I have the same hopes, dreams, and desires. I believe an incredibly wonderful life can be lived in spite of, and sometimes because of, diabetes.

If I can at all avoid it, I don’t let this disease get in my way. Sometimes it tries to shake my confidence with an unexplained high or low glucose, causing me to shift priorities from doing what I want, to doing what I have to do. It might delay me. But it doesn’t stop me. Diabetes is not my boss.

I can eat the same things today that I ate before diagnosis. I might eat them in smaller amounts now, and I might make healthier choices, and I take insulin to account for the carbohydrates I’m consuming. But I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

I still train and participate in athletic events, just like I did 22 years ago. Of course, I’m 22 years older, and I don’t look as good as I did then, but who cares? I only care that I can keep moving, stay active, concentrate on what I can do, rather than what I can’t.

Something different about me is that I’m more interested in learning new things than I was back then. I’ve learned so much about my diabetes, and diabetes in general, over the past year and a half. And it’s made me a smarter, more well-rounded, happier individual. I feel more in control of my life.

Add it all up, and you’ll see that I’m a person with diabetes… not a person suffering from diabetes.

Now, if there was a second thing I could tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes? I would tell them about the amazing amount of work it takes to live this life. I would tell them how no one should have to go through what I do. I would share with them stories about how some find it all overwhelming, and how we all need to do more to reach out to those people while simultaneously searching for better solutions.

Because for me, living with diabetes is not only about living well… It’s about helping others to live well too.

This post is my November entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

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