Awesome things about diabetes? That’s easy.
Diabetes motivates me to take care of myself even when I’d rather curl up in bed with a pile of cookies and a bottle of wine. It’s like having my very own personal trainer. On cold, dark mornings it stands at the foot of the bed and barks at me to get my lazy ass up and go for a run. It hovers by the cookies I just baked and doles out one or two but then stands there with arms crossed glaring at me if I reach for a third. It motivates me to keep my diet healthy, my weight stable, my activity level high and my stress level low. You can’t buy that kind of discipline.
Diabetes reminds me every day how lucky I am. Because of diabetes I live life to the fullest, love people with all my heart and don’t put up with things that piss me off. I have learned the hard way that life can change in an instant. Things I once thought were important became completely unnecessary and things I didn’t think I cared for became incredibly significant. Diabetes keeps things in perspective.
Diabetes taught me how strong and brave I can be. I was handed a life sentence on November 1st 2002. I have a chronic disease that will most likely shorten my life and quite possibly cause all sorts of nasty damage on the way despite my best efforts to keep it under control. It would be so easy to curl up and let fear take over my life. Instead, I face my fears every single day. I face them every time I run. Every time I cycle. Every time I go to bed. Every time I walk into one of my countless medical appointments hoping that this won’t be the appointment when I’m told I’m developing ‘complications’. That strength and bravery has spilled over into all parts of my life and made me better for it. I have become one tough chick thanks to Diabetes.
Because of Diabetes, I learned to run and have completed 6 half marathons and one 30k race. I bought a road bike, learned to ride and have completed two duathlons. I bought a camera and learned how to take pretty good pictures. I learned to say yes to things that scare me and, as a result, have photographed weddings, pro golf tournaments, the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and all sorts of community events.
Diabetes has been a hugely positive force in my life – because I deliberately chose to make it a positive force. There is no telling where it will take me next. And yes, at the end of the day, it might be Diabetes that does me in. But in the meantime, it helps make my life rich and full of love and adventure.