I posted the following blog on November 22, 2010 -- for Thanksgiving Day. Since then I have found other reasons to be thankful -- for one, I have stayed alive long enough to celebrate my 21st Diaversary! I had a real medical scare this last January, which could have ended differently. Our son and daughter and their offspring are thriving, and thankfully, I'm here to appreciate that. And oh yes, I'm thankful that my husband and I will soon celebrate the anniversary of our marriage in the University of Washington Chapel sixty-one years ago.*
A Walk in the Park
On the Monday before Thanksgiving Thursday, I'm thankful for medical research and advances in treatments. Maybe we're not going to see Diabetes cured right away, but we keep seeing advances. I love the photo of the first pump, the Banting homestead, Danny's Museum photos. I have no doubt about advances in different diseases, they are part of my personal experience. Take Pernicious Anemia, another autoimmune disease. When my father had it, no one knew how to treat it other than with eating liver and taking blood transfusions, and it was always fatal in the end. There was liver on our family table every night, with onions, without onions, liver. The people where he worked went to the hospital and gave blood for him, again and again. Still he wound up in the hospital, dying. Then magic--that hospital's first liquid B12 arrived for an injection, the first they ever gave, and it saved my father's life. Now a normal liver stores B12 for five years, so they thought if he took it every five years, he'd be fine. No--if you have PA, you don't store B12, you've got to inject it every two weeks or so, so some more drama and dying until they figured it out. Fast forward to me sitting in my doctor's office, weak and debilitated, and my doctor walked in and said, "You've got Pernicious Anemia." I fainted, falling off my stool. He caught me and said, "But if you've got to have a chronic disease, it's a good one!" OK, not too bad--I have some neuropathy, and I have to take HcL and enzymes with meals, but it's not terminal any more. (Well, neither is Diabetes.)
When I was teenaged, I had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. They didn't know what to do with me, so just said, go to bed. I couldn't move anyway, with enormous pain and swelling all over my body. So I laid in bed for months, until I figured I could walk again and snuck out to walk in the park with my friends. (Good thing--now they know you've got to exercise, and they have medications that get you out of bed.) Well, anyway, after some walking in the park, I came down with poison oak. Busted! Back to school. You see where I'm going with this--Diabetes is no walk in the park (pun intended), but there continues to be advances. We need to appreciate them, to make use of whatever knowledge and help we can get, and keep ourselves and those following us with this disease, encouraged to live. To take care of ourselves, and to live as well as possible. It will get better and easier, I know from experience.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
*As a footnote, I just finished reading "The Boys in the Boat", by Daniel James Brown. Since I was born in 1930 in the shadow of Mount Rainier and lived in the Northwest for decades, this book really hit home. I highly recommend it!