A Positive Side of Diabetes?

While I know that many of us have negative feelings about our diabetes, there's the complications, side effects of medication, etc., I try my very best to stay positive (in all aspects of life, but especially when it comes to my T1D) even when I am absolutely fed up with the constant monitoring, testing, injecting, etc.. My experience with the disease has been anything but easy, so please do not think I am being glib...
You may think I am nuts, but sometimes I am thankful for it - I like to think that we do not get handed anything in life we cannot handle - because it has taught me a lot. Diabetes has shown me things about myself I may never have discovered, it has shown me a lot about other people, and it has given me an appreciation for life that I think MOST people (Ds and nonDs alike) ignore. My husband sometimes jokes that if I can "go" (I like the fullest plate I can handle - not of food, but of life!) like I go and have diabetes, he fears what I would do absent of diabetes ;)
So I ask, am I alone? Or, is there something positive you can say about the diabetes in your life (whether your own or someone you care about)? Has it taught you something you do not think you would have learned without being diabetic?

When bad thing happen I believe you have two choices; laugh or cry. I choose laugh because crying about it just gets you stuck. That's not to say you shouldn't go through the grieving process, believe me, I did cry. But it is what it is. The good things of D for me are all personal. I appreciate life every day now. I have a much deeper love for my wife and all of my family. I am more empathetic and supportive. I never really thought I was lacking in these areas, but I have found they are much more important to me than ever before.

Diabetes saved my life.

I was living life perhaps a bit too close to the edge back when -- not taking care, no thoughts about tomorrow, etc. Coming down with T1 when I did taught me in no uncertain terms to take care of myself -- eat better; exercise; think for the future; all that good stuff. 30 years later now, and while no pro at it (my numbers bounce around a fair bit compared to a lot of the folks here, though my recent A1c was 6.7), but I'm still here...


I know of so many men who failed to go to the doctor because of a pain or a fever that ended up dying of something that could h ave been treated.

I am lucky, I have D and I have to go to the doctor and get my insulin scripts refilled and get all those tests done that might show that there is something else going on.

I am thankful because although I'm only 20, and not overweight, and fairly active, having my diabetes blood test check up meant I found out my cholesterol is up a bit, so now I can take care of it!

Imagine how many other people have the same problem but never get it checked til much later!
Rachael x

I believe that diabetes has made me very adaptable to change. This has translated to all other areas of my life, particularly with work. Having been through several major reorganizations and downsizings, my bosses always comment on the strength of my adaptability to change.

I really think it's because from the day we're diagnosed...from our world being turned upside down at diagnosis to the way we deal with constant change in our daily diabetes care...we can either give up or adapt, right?

I think I am healthier now than I would have been without almost 30 years of Type 1 Diabetes. I think about what I eat, and I exercise. Many people my age (52) are just beginning to think about their health, and for many - they have done a lot of damage to themselves.

LOVE UR ATTITUDE!!! I always look for the brightside in my diabetic life. I tend to think alot like u. I get so fed up with the testing and montering but I also think it has given me some insite to how other ppl feel.

Because of diabetes and what it has done to me because I didn't once take care of it, I caused myself a myriad of physical problems. It has cost me a vocation, a dream job and a relationship.

I am not bitter. I take far better care of myself than I ever did before. In doing so, I think Ihave become more in tune with the feelings of others. I made sure that I had the best care I could find when my diabetes worsened, which led to further testing, change in management, and more self discipline. It has also improved my attitude.

Sometimes, it is good to be diabetic.

Diabetes has made me a stronger...

I guess because I'm older, 63-58 at Diagnosis, and did a LOT of work on myself in the decades before D presented itself to me, I don't really feel it's had much of an impact on me. I ate pretty healthy before D, though I ate a fair amount of carbs before as a vegetarian and that's changed. I hadn't eaten sugar for 13 years by the time I was diagnosed. I didn't exercise much before and I still don't..lol

What it has given me that I so value is a sense of community. I've had that very strongly at different points in my life, notably the counter-culture of the 60s. And when I haven't had it, I've missed it but not had much of an idea how to recreate this. So many people live such insanely busy lives today. But Diabetes gave me a community of people who instantly understand and connect while being highly diverse in terms of age, profession, race ethnicity and lifestyle. I love that!

I have seen a few posts like this on this site, and I always think the same thing... "how in the world can one be thankful for T1D??". I am (usually) not one to feel bad for myself. I know that it could be so much worse. But I can only think that my life would have been better if I haven't had to spend a large portion of it pricking my fingers, giving myself numbers, worrying about what I'm eating, etc. etc.

My mom told me that T1D made me a stronger person. Perhaps that is true, but I guess we will never really know for sure since I can't compare with a non-diabetic version of myself. I think that perhaps it has made me more laid back. I rarely let things bother me too much, and maybe that is because I have had to deal with all of the trials of D since I was a child.

Mostly I am just thankful that I have been lucky and it is not worse. I have a relatively normal life - I have a job, a husband, I'm going to grad school... Maybe D has helped me achieve these things. Maybe not. But I always have a hard time being thankful for D.

the added awareness of health issues is certainly a prime reason. When you have to be on top your gave all the time, everyday, you learn something valuable.

There is nothing more healing than a good laugh...and sometimes, you just need a good cry ;)

Agreed - sometimes the opportunity to adapt can bring about wonderful things ;)

no, absolutely nothing positive about this disease. this disease has brought my life and health to a halt, along with other autoimmune attacks. i was a perfectly healthy, active, incredibly fit woman before this hit. i hate everything about it!

I understand struggling to be thankful for T1D - when I (personally) say I am thankful for it I mean it has brought something to my life and that I was able to take something from that...the something I try to take is always positive (learning from a negative/bad experience is still a positive/good thing)...I am also thankful for the 'filter' it provides (not that I employ it to do so, it just sort of does that all on its own), some people (my entire family) cannot handle being around a PWD...

For me life is all about perspective - at 19 I went DKA, had a heart attack and flat lined for over 7 minutes...that led to a coma, the doctors prepared my family (the little that was around and now there is none) for me not to wake up and if I did, they were to make preparations to have me looked after...but I did wake up, I suffered extensive memory loss, but I am here; I would rather have D and wake up on the 'right' side of the dirt...

At least you have found something positive/to be thankful for - D or no D, you are blessed with a family and the opportunity to go out and life a relatively normal life :)

Agreed :)

I am sorry that you feel that way - I can honestly say that I have felt that way before...but I think it is really unfair to post something like that when we are all trying to be positive.

After 30 years, not one thing positive I can say about the disease. I'm just fine thinking this disease sucks and I don't bother wasting my time trying to put a smiley face on it.